Sunday, July 29, 2012

What's a Mooncussser?

A mooncusser is a sort of pirate,  but a lazy one.  No arduous sea voyages or plank walking. Mooncussers were shoreline scavengers that would set decoys of fake lighthouses and cause shipwrecks and then come in for the prey. They didn't own boats but road on horseback mostly in the middle of the night.  Sailors were very scared of mooncussers. I don't blame them. Apparently they were ruthless. From what I've heard they were a big problem in the lower Cape. A far bigger problem than Great Whites in Chatham Harbor today.

To make a long story short, there are but a few Mooncussers still around and our favorite is Mooncusser's Tavern in Harwich. There actually was a bloke sitting at the bar that totally resembled a pirate (or maybe the Pied Piper) with a long gray braid, sea cap and earring in his nose drinking a martini. I kid you not. 

This cozy restaurant has a lively atmosphere, a smiling staff and great snacks. With a full tapa menu and martini bar it is a great hang-out. We shared a few tapas and loved the Avocado & Tuna Tempura with wasabi & edamame puree, and the Mooncussers frites with a rosemary bearnaise. As an entree, the Pan Seared Day Boat Scallops with asparagus risotto, crispy shallots, preserved lemon was lovely.  I've  heard that the duck-infused sliders win the overall popularity contest which I will save for next time.

So head on over after a long day at the beach. Our pirate friend may still be there at the martini bar and I am sure he has a lot of stories to tell.


Mooncussers Tavern, at the Harwich Port Seafarer, 86 Sisson Road is open daily from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Closed Tuesdays in the Fall.  Telephone 508-430-1230

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ice Cream is a Very Serious Thing

Everyone has a beloved ice-cream establishment. This summer spread your wings and stop at The Local Scoop in Orleans.

Mary Debartolo, the founder of the Slow Foods local chapter, created this gem of a shop to spread the goodwill of local foods. Cool and cheerful, this new spot allows you to live like an ice cream artist and create your own fabulous eye-popping ice-creations with innovative flavors and tempting toppings.

We tried Birthday Cake Frozen Yogurt because when you have a toddler in hand, it's hard to say no to anything  that has the word birthday cake in it!

The Local Scoop    34 Cranberry Highway (RT 6A), Orleans, MA.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cape Cod Daily Deal

If you are looking for foolishly great deals on Cape Cod, then this is the time to sign up for Cape Cod Daily Deal. Click here, be reckless and enjoy these discounts while they last.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tomatoes a la Cape Cod

I don't mind saying my garden was a complete flop this summer. I've stopped asking why I can't make tomatoes happy. I am in complete wonder when I go to the farmer's markets and see boatloads of them toppling off the tables. For the past few weeks I've had BLT's every single day in about every shape and form. As the past two days have brought cooler climes, here's a tasty little warm me up from 101 Cookbooks. So yummy.

Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe

5 tomatoes, cored (if necessary) and quartered
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
3 medium yellow onions, peeled, quartered
extra-virgin olive oil
5 plump cloves of garlic, unpeeled
fine-grain sea salt
2 - 3 cups light vegetable stock or water
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees and position 2 racks in the middle of the oven. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, alternately you can just rub them down with a thin glaze of olive oil.

Arrange the tomatoes, skin side down, on a baking sheet. Coat the bell pepper and onions with olive oil and put them on the other baking sheet along with the garlic, place the pepper skin side down as well. Give both sheets a light showering of salt, then bake until the tomatoes start to collapse and the onions start to brown and caramelize, about 45 minutes. Turn the onions if they start getting overly dark on the bottom .Check on the garlic as well, once the cloves are golden and oozy inside, pull them from the oven.

Peel the garlic, dump all of the roasted vegetables into a big, high-sided bowl, and puree with a hand blender. Alternately, use a conventional blender or food processor and work in batches. Blend in a cup of the stock, and keep adding the rest 1/2 cup at a time until the soup is the desired consistency. I like a little chunk and texture to this soup particularly if the weather has a bit of a chill, but smooth or chunky is your call. Add the paprika and a bit more salt if needed - adjusting to your taste.

Serves 4.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Alas Labor Day

Is it here already? Oh, Labor Day. While we love a bbq-filled three day weekend, we don't so much enjoy the reminder of summer's end. Here's our final ode to summer:

Cocktails at the Wequassett? Yes please.

A sneak into the Chatham Bars in Inn Spa for a pedicure (our beach worn toes are sure in need of it).

Take in the beauty of end of summer with an early morning stroll on the Provincetown breakwater

Or an end of day stroll on any secluded beach on the National Seashore. All alone for one last...Ohm.

And perhaps a beach party added to the sunshine mix...

With lots of good friends

And a decadent feast on the grill

Just don't forget to catch at least one awe inspiring early September sunsets.

And after all just might go dance your socks off at the third annual Red Nun Music Festival on Sept 3

Happy Labor Day, Everyone!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ultimate Veggie Burger Recipe

This recipe is taken from 101 Cookbooks, written and photographed by Heidi Swanson, writer of, Super Natural Cooking.

2 1/2 cups sprouted garbanzo beans (chickpeas) OR canned garbanzos, drained and rinsed
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 onion, chopped
Grated zest of one large lemon
1 cup micro sprouts, chopped (try brocolli, onion, or alfalfa sprouts - optional)
1 cup toasted (whole-grain) bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or clarified butter)

If you are using sprouted garbanzos, steam them until just tender, about 10 minutes. Most of you will be using canned beans, so jump right in and combine the garbanzos, eggs, and salt in a food processor. Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, onion, zest, and sprouts. Add the breadcrumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a moist mixture that you can easily form into twelve 1 1/2-inch-thick patties. I err on the moist side here, because it makes for a nicely textured burger. You can always add more bread crumbs a bit at a time to firm up the dough if need be. Conversely, a bit of water or more egg can be used to moisten the batter.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium low, add 4 patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes. Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Carefully cut each patty in half, insert your favorite fillings, and enjoy immediately.

Makes 12 mini burgers.