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October 13th, 2020

Brunch, Breakfast Casserole, Ham, Mill Pond Garden, Recipes, Homemade, Tried and True, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware, Recipes, Begged, Borrowed and Stolen

Some of us that like to cook say that the best restaurant is usually your home. It is even better when you have friends over.

The idea of having a few over for Brunch and then off to check out Mill Pond Garden in Lewes, was a no brainer. Mimosas, Bloodys, what would be better? The weather? Of course, and it did hold off.

My previous post is about Mill Pond Garden. Check their website for upcoming events. They open to the public once a month and I cannot say enough about how beautiful this garden is. http://www.millpondgarden.com

The primary purpose for brunch was to shake off headaches and give a rest to gurgling stomachs. An Englishman by the name of Guy Beringer supposedly invented the brunch. It was really to pacify his own hangover. He wrote an essay; Brunch: A Plea, in 1895. This was written to help those who nursed hangovers every Sunday morning from the night before.

And, no, we were not nursing any hangovers last Sunday. We just wanted an excuse to get together with a few and for a couple of hours enjoy their company, chatter, and good food.

The ham cooking, the breakfast casserole almost ready and the aroma filling the house on Sunday was priceless.

The following 2 recipes are keepers. They are easy to assemble and cook and you still can enjoy your company.

Ham with Maple Syrup Glaze

The ham went perfectly with the casserole. This ham was approximately 11 lbs. It was hard to find a spiral this time of the year. Not yet holiday season.

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Place ham in a roasting pan and pour about 1 cup of good apple cider in the pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes.

While cooking, make the glaze. It takes no time. 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 2 tbsps of grain Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan over low to medium heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Set aside.

When ham is heated through, remove the aluminum foil and brush all the glaze between the spiral layers. You want the ham covered with glaze. Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees and cook uncovered until the glaze is caramelized. Let it rest for 10 minutes if you are eating it that day. I cooked mine on Friday evening and covered it well without slicing it. On Sunday the ham was taken out in the morning so as to get it to room temperature and I made another batch of the glaze so as to drizzle it over the ham.

The Breakfast Casserole

This casserole is made the night before. Then, place in refrigerator.

24 ounces frozen shredded hash brown potatoes

salt and pepper

12 eggs

2 cups half and half

1 tsp season salt (or just salt)

1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese grated

1 1/2 cups pepper jack cheese grated

2 cups of chopped ham or your prefer meat. I used sausage with sage.

Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. Add the frozen and shredded hash brown potatoes at the bottom of the pan. Pat them down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs together. Add half and half, season salt, cheddar cheese, pepper jack and chopped meat. Please note that if you are using sausage, it should be cooked and crumbled beforehand.

Pour over the top of the frozen potatoes. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 90 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

I did take it out before the 90 minutes because it was ready. This casserole cuts very easily. It will not crumble. Perfect for a crowd.

We had gorgeous tomatoes with mozzarella and basil drizzled with a high grade balsamic. And for dessert a floating island topped with berries including my own figs. As it happens I forgot to take those photos. Take it from me…..delicious.

We all had an egg-cellent time!!



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October 8th, 2020

Mill Pond Garden, Lewes, Delaware, NonProfit Native Plants, Michael Zajic, Horticulturist, Garden in Southern Delaware, October Opening, Sunday, October 11th

Mill Pond Garden was a total surprise to me. No idea something this pretty was in close proximity to my own home in Rehoboth Beach.

It is located on Red Mill Pond in Lewes. It is the private home of Michael Zajic and his wife, who bought the property 10 years ago and the garden opened to the public about 4 years ago. You have to love flowers and gardening and landscape design. Mr. Zajic has a long history in all those things. Currently he is working on the Delaware Botanic Gardens in Dagsboro.

Mill Pond Garden opens to the public once a month and later during holidays they have different events to show off during that special time of the year. For more information please visit http://www.millpondgarden.com.

On the link above mentioned you will be able to buy tickets, as well. It is $12 per car and you can have up to 6 people in your car. Once you get to the property you will park in the cul de sac and enjoy this special place.

I went to the September opening. And will be going again with friends this coming Sunday the 11th. In case of rain then Wednesday the 14th will be the other date. Keeping my fingers crossed. The photos on this post were taken in September. On this next trip the garden will showcase Mums, Asters, and Mist Flowers who they call “Gems of the Autumn Garden”.

I cannot imagine waking up every morning to experience nature’s beauty It has been hard work and everything has been designed and done my them and helpers. Even the walkways.

I thought he had planted the water lilies but he said those were indigenous to Delaware and no he did not.

The garden is soothing and full of surprises in every corner.

I wanted to be his neighbor because across the street the garden continues to display a koi pond, ferns and many perennials as well as annuals.

This is also a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat. Check the photos in the gallery to see who stops to visit the garden. https://millpondgarden.com/wildlife-photo-gallery/

When clicking on the gallery, if it is shaded just click on each individual photo.

The garden is open from 10 until 12:30 p.m. It is best to buy tickets from the website above mentioned because you have to choose the time you would like to visit.

Hope you do visit on Sunday and if not, then you will have to check my next post. Until then have a beautiful Fall Season.


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September 21st, 2020

Bon Appetit, Seaford, Delaware, Restaurant, Review, Western Sussex County, French Restaurant, Family Owned Restaurant, Good Food, Will Travel

Seaford, Delaware, is in West Sussex County. From Rehoboth Beach it is probably about 38 miles. It may be a little bit of a hike for some, but for me, “Good Food, Will Travel. And so my post begins with 4 of us taking off for Seaford. Mind you, even though 2 of them do not live there anymore, they do have strong ties to this town. Locals they are.

I apologize for the photo above. A bit blurry but at least you can see how pretty this brick building is.

These true locals tell me how wonderful it was to grow up in Seaford. It was a prosperous town located along the Nanticoke River. At one point it was voted to be the Best Small Town in America.

For many years DuPont was in this town. Seaford was also known as the Nylon Capital of the World.

Restaurants, Inns, golf courses, hospitals, Seaford had everything a small prosperous town would want. Unfortunately, a lot of that is now gone.

Hold it there, don’t discount this town as a lost cause. There is one restaurant that for 28 years has been and still is worth going. And, I just went to Bon Appetit for the first time last week. I remember people mentioning the restaurant, and how good it was. I just never visited.

Bon Appetit is located at 312 High St. You need to call for reservations to 302-629-3700. They open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. until 9 .m. Website? http://www.bonappetitseaford.net

Husband and wife team. Chino from Peru and Karen from NY. Please read about them on their website above mentioned. Everything is prepared in-house.

There is Karen on the photo. The restaurant was about to close and we were saying our goodbyes. Bon Appetit has tablecloths, lace, French prints and a comfortable atmosphere.

They have a great menu with appetizers like corn fritters, poached mussels, country pate, pickled herring, smoked bluefish and so on. Soups and salads including the French onion soup, chilled Gazpacho, etc.

About 9 entrees are offered along with a couple of nightly specials.

Desserts which we did not have are Profiterole, Chocolate Mousse, Creme Caramel and so forth.

For a Wednesday night it was crowded.

I don’t think I have been in a restaurant in recent years where the butter served looked like this. So glad that this presentation has not gone by the wayside.

You almost hated to touch it. Small rolls for the table.

Some photos I did not take but the smoked fish ordered was delicious. I had a bite.

The Chilled Gazpacho I did have. I can make a Gazpacho, as well, and there are many ways of making this traditional Spanish soup. This particular one was excellent. Don’t miss it when you go.

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms were delicious. Almost could not get that photo.

Sauteed File Mignon with Diane sauce was ordered. Perfectly cooked and seasoned.

I knew even before I got to the restaurant what I was going to have. Tommy said that they were known for their duck. I order duck everywhere I go and this was one I was hoping was going to be as good as it was described.

Tommy and I had it and it did not disappoint. It was roast half of duck with a honey pear sauce. Crispy and great combination of flavors.

Ever since they started the restaurant every dish is accompanied by a vegetable mousse. You can see it in these photos. It is so good and a detail that cannot be forgotten.

No photo of the soft shell crabs, but they were big. Got great reviews too.

All in all a very nice evening.

The Rehoboth Foodie has written about Bon Appetit. And, when I told him where I was he said “LOVE Bon Appetit! Now, THERE’S skill”.

All I have to say is that I cannot wait to go back. Remember that driving around Sussex County is pretty easy. Fall is here pretty much so go out and try something new. You won”t be disappointed.

Enjoy!!

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September 12th, 2020

Fig Fried Green Tomato Stack, Recipe, Time for Figs, Southern Delaware, Delaware Beaches, SoDel

There is my fig tree. Isn’t that a beauty? Once you see their leaves, you recognize them everywhere. Too bad they lose the leaves during the winter. They are so pretty.

My figs start ripening in September and once they start they seem to do it quickly. So my friends with Italian ancestry always are there to help me out in the consumption of this delicious fruit.

I picked those figs a couple of days ago. Wait until you see the recipe. If I must say so myself, it turned out so well.

My love of figs started over 20 years ago. In Southern Delaware there are plenty of us with fig trees. I know where they are. Shhhhhh, a secret!!

I love them fresh the best. They are just so sweet.

A few years ago I went with friends to Italy. In the town of Terracina which is to the southeast of Rome and a vacation spot for locals I immediately spotted one growing on the side of the street. Check it out.

Of course I had some. They were there for the taking. In the Island of Capri I had a Fig Smoothie. Loaded with figs and very refreshing during hot weather.

So now you know that I do like them.

In 2013 I developed my Fig and Fried Tomato Stack. If you want that recipe you can go to http://www.aboutmybeaches.com.

On the search put Fig Stack. The recipe is very easy. Last night I decided to make the recipe again and here it goes.

A couple of green tomatoes (or as green as you can get them this time of the year)

A couple of ears of corn

4 slices of thin bacon cut in half

Corn starch

Salt

Pepper

Butter

Honey

2 cups or more of figs cut in half (I like a lot of them)

Balsamic reduction (you can make your own or buy commercial one)

Cook the bacon in a large frying pan. Place on paper towels. Keep the drippings.

Cut the corn off the cob. Set aside.

Cut the two green tomatoes in slices. This recipe served 2. You need to have 3 slices for each person.

Get a plastic bag and put about 1 1/2 cups of Corn starch. Season with salt and pepper. Place tomatoes in the bag and shake gently to coat.

Heat bacon drippings and add some vegetable oil. You do not need a huge amount of oil. Fry the tomatoes, turning them over once. You want them to have a nice honey color. Place on paper towels.

In a small frying pan put a little bit of butter and cook the corn for a few minutes. Take them out and put in a bowl.

In the same pan put another tablespoon of butter and add the figs. You want them to cook some but not to let them get mushy. Add about a tablespoon of honey or even a bit more. Check the photo above. The figs are in the back burner after the cooking process.

Get two pretty plates to start making the Stack. First put corn on the plate. Spread it a bit in order to place the first fried tomato. Then 2 pieces of bacon, then spoon figs with juice on. It can drip to the sides. That adds to the allure of the dish. Repeat the process, finishing with the third fried green tomato on the top. Spoon figs around the corn. The final touch is a drizzle of the reduction of balsamic vinegar. Yes, I did make this reduction some months ago.

Voila!! This is Fig, Fried Green Tomato Stack. This dish has the texture, the tang, the finish; yes, the everything. It is totally delicious and you just need a nice cup of wine and enjoy!!

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September 11th, 2020

Stewman’s Lobster Pound, Restaurant, Review, Dine-In, Take Out, Waterfront, Bar Harbor, Maine, Wheelchair Accessible, Casual Dining, Accepts Reservations

They call it Stewman’s and it is located on the waterfront at 35 West St., Bar Harbor, Maine. Tel. 201-288-0346. Website? http://www.stewmanslobsterpound.com

From the West Street Hotel, and our balcony, we had an advantage view. Around 11:30 a.m. or so the line begins to form. It goes quickly and we were there on Labor Day. An ideal setting to be able to sit right on the water.

Early in the morning we took a walk around the area. Not open yet but you were able to get the idea of what they would be serving there. It has a full menu and of course many of the delicacies that you come to experience in Bar Harbor.

You can watch them make the lobster bisque and the clam chowder. Pounds and pounds of this delicious soups with an addition of Sherry.

It was quiet but not for long.

Then look at it as the afternoon progressed.

We stopped for a tasting of soup. Both completely different, but my bisque was truly delicious.

I’ll be honest, I thought, originally, that it was going to be a tourist trap. Yes, tourist do come in but, boy, was I wrong. It is definitely worth trying. It stays open until 9 p.m.

So if you are thinking of a quick get away this Fall, Maine has captured my attention.

Posting from Maine’s trip, I remain.


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September 10th, 2020

West Street Hotel, Bar Harbor, Maine, Waterfront, Reviews

For so many years every time we have a hot summer in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, I say that I would love to visit Maine. Had never been until just last week, on Labor Day weekend.

I wanted something not too big, waterfront, and accessible to everything in town. The West Street Hotel fit that to a tee. Located at 50 West Street, it is located downtown on the waterfront.

Nothing better than word of mouth for advertising. Tels. 207-288-0825, 877-905-4498 Website? http://www.theweststreethotel.com

Getting to Bar Harbor was pretty easy if flying from the Philadelphia airport. You fly into Bangor. Only about 1 hour and 20 minutes if that. Then rent a car and drive one hour to Bangor. Perfect for a quick get-away trip.

The hotel has about 84 rooms. There is parking in the property but if by any chance it is full they will valet your car. This hotel is part of the Opal Group and they owned a lot on the Bar Harbor waterfront.

Easy checking in with a friendly staff and you will see a greeting pooch, as well.

We arrived Wednesday, 9/2 and were greeted by a fire in the fireplace. The weather was beautiful.

The room had a balcony and our view was gorgeous. Check these photos.

Things that caught my eye were that Bar Harbor is so clean. Never saw any trash whatsoever. Did not see any police around either. Did finally see the police station.

It did catch my attention finding these mailboxes with free masks inside and a hand sanitizer pump.

The tides in that part of Maine change fast. Every day they are so significant, ranging from 8 to 11 feet of water ebbing and flowing, and up and down the shoreline, the beach and in the rivers that flow to the ocean. Check out the next 2 photos. From our balcony we could see how low the tide was across. People walk and drive the cars during low tide. But, there are some that have been caught in it and that fjord has no ramp. In a matter of a few hours it completely fills up again. Very interesting.

There are more posts from Bar Harbor coming up….Lobsters, Out and About, tune in.

The West Street Hotel was perfect for us. And it will be perfect again some other time.

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August 24th, 2020

Meatless Monday, Fresh Tomato Tart, Recipe, Easy, Healthy Eating, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware

I started putting recipes under the heading of Meatless Monday some time ago. No, I did not start this movement. But in 2003 Sid Lerner, the Founder of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future did.

It is a way to give us one day of healthy eating where you can leave all meats behind. It is for Monday since we all see it as the beginning of a new week. Basically, you can do it any time.

Sharing the Fresh Tomato Tart recipe because at this time of the year the tomatoes are amazing. Delaware is known for its tomatoes.

The recipe was given by the late Debbie Meinhardt from Ocean City, Maryland. At the time, I was the Chairperson for a cookbook from the Worcester Country School, now known as the Worcester Preparatory School, located in Berlin, Maryland.

The Title was A Collection of Recipes II. It was back in 1997. I use the book all the time. The recipes are good and best of all is that the contributors were all friends.

Fresh Tomato Tart

1 refrigerated pie crust (1/2 of a 15 ounce package)

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup of chopped fresh basil

3 medium sized ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ slices

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Pie: Crust:

Fit pie crust into a 10 inch tart pan or pie pan according to package directions. Trim excess pastry along edges.

Generously prick bottom and sides of pastry with a fork.

Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Cool.

Filling:

Sprinkle cheese evenly into pastry shell and top with basil. Leave a few leaves for garnish.

Arrange tomato slices on top. I used 2 big tomatoes. Brush or sprinkle liberally with olive oil and also sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place tart on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet on lower rack of oven.

Bake for about 40 minutes.

Remove from oven. Top with leftover basil as a garnish. Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Just assembled and ready for the oven.

Out of the oven, ready to eat after garnishing it.

Enjoy!!

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August 23rd, 2020

Our Harvest, Fenwick Island, Delaware, Restaurant, Review, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware, The Art of Wining and Dining, Delaware Beaches, Good Food, Will Travel

I call it the Art of Wining and Dining. There are 5 elements that are key to food presentation. There is color, shape, texture, arrangement, and garnish. Using the best local ingredients is a must.

First time this summer, just last week, we went to Our Harvest located at 1106 Coastal Highway in Fenwick Island, Delaware. They are open 7 days per week. There is parking and they accept reservations. Awesome!!

Website? http://www.ourharvestde.com

Even though we decided to eat inside, the outdoor seating on these trying times was very cute and complemented the restaurant’s aura. Inside the restaurant is very spacious and tables are placed according to the new regulations.

I knew what I was going to eat. They have a chicken that is to die for. It is a shareable dish but think about it, you can take the leftovers home. We had enough for 2 extra dinners.

Doesn’t it look amazing? Believe me, it is. Usually people don’t go to a restaurant to eat chicken but at Our Harvest this is a very popular dish. Even a signature dish I would dare to say.

This chicken is called the Whole Amish Air Chilled Chicken. It is Arnold Palmer brined, and wood fired with lemon and rosemary. An explosion of flavors.

Baywater Blistered Shishitos, sambal butter and sesame salt. I have always been told that in a group of Shishitos there is usually a hot one. I have yet to found it. Also a shareable Small Plate.

Baywater Farms Stuffed Squash Blossoms. Got great reviews and the squash blossoms were crispy and stuffed with ricotta, local crab meat, and creamless cream corn.

This is the Grilled Calamari with charred bead, and warm tomato bagna cauda. To tell you the truth, they were not the favorites. A little overdone and probably I would have preferred olive oil, capers and garlic.

This was another winner. The Crispy Rice Flour Soft Shell, paprika aioli, pea shoot salad, and a celery seed vinaigrette. Nice size soft shell and delicious combination of flavors.

Our service was perfect. We had enough time to talk and there was no rushing us.

If you have the opportunity to go to the restaurants that are in all our beaches, please do so. It is not a long drive. My motto? Good Food, Will Travel.

Have a great week. Enjoy the Season!!


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