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.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Come on Irene

Growing up, I spent lots of summers in Miami Beach. Needless to say, I've encounter my fair share of hurricane stake outs. After the ritualistic boarding of windows and securing of porch furniture, our neighbors would gather for an all night hurricane soiree. Good company and good wine was my fathers idea of hunkering. As a child, the anticipation made my toes to tingle. It's been awhile since a hurricane has crossed my path, but Irene's stirring up some pretty familiar feelings, a strange brew of uncertainty and giddieness,

Irene's making everyone feel pretty uneasy. Everyones surely wondering what will come tomorrow evening at around four pm. I'm hoping she'll let off us easy with a gloomy day of rain. But that's thing with hurricanes, you just never know. All we can do is wait. So our advice? "Hunker down" and get cozy with a stockpile of dark and stormies.

The recipes pretty simple. To do like they do in Bermuda:

In a collins glass filled with ice, add:
2 oz Gosling’s Black Seal rum
5 oz of Ginger Beer
Garnish with lime and serve immediately.
Courtesy of epicurious

Be safe everyone!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Best Lobster Rolls on Cape Cod

We all have our obsessions. Every time my brother visits New York, he and his sons take to the streets at any wee hour in search of the perfect burger. Mind you, he's been known to do this even after a holy meal at the likes of Café Boulud. We all have our quirks.

As for me, I have a bit of a tender heart for clam shacks. Of course there is virtually one in every town on Cape Cod in one form or another, but I am not alone in the relentless pursuit for the best lobster roll known to mankind and every now and then a merciless heaping of fried clams is in order. This season we summoned the Scout Cape Cod search quarters for some navigational pointers.

There is no shortage of polls on this subject - a quest that is totally subjective. Our particular criteria is without frills. Lobster rolls must be easy on the mayo and fresh mountains of lobster. Clams must be perfectly plump and crispy. The atmosphere has to ring salt water, sea air.

As we near the end of our season we've tallied the results. Liam's at Nauset Beach is the holy grail for fried clams. This shack is one of the only ones on Cape Cod that is actually at a public beach so you can snack on these crispy delicacies while you are engulfed by crashing waves on the National Seashore. Mind you, this splurge never comes without the consequences. One hour of of queasiness is a drop in the pail for the delight of your first bite.

On the other hand, if your destination is a killer lobster roll, it's so easy to get lost on a wild goose chase and tumble into sadness and disappointment when your prize finally arrives.

Cap'T Cass fits the bill in the category of perfect atmosphere, snuggled into Rock Harbor in Orleans. When I look at a place like this, I say...anything is possible, order me up.

Everything about this shanty is darling, a true throwback in time with paper plates, really friendly staff. The lobster rolls are a bit humble, mine was a bit soggy, but delicious. It's a worthy runners-up because every visitor must go to Rock Harbor. It's our little corner of old Maine. Our dining neighbors ordered two ferocious boiled lobsters and they looked so fresh they could jump off the plate . Located at 117 Rock Harbor Rd, Orleans. BYOB and bring cash. 11am - 2PM.

If you want to order take out to feast over a Rock Harbor sunset, pop over to Young's Fish Market right next store. Not to disappoint. Rock Harbor Rd., Orleans (508)255-3366As I said, it's all about atmosphere.

Scout Cape Cod sent our two Spanish Aphrodites to scout the lower cape with the sole intention of eating lobster for two days straight. Their zeal for the assignment was really adorable.

Susannah and Esther (so chic) dutifully engaged in their mission and landed at Arnolds in Eastham ordering unreasonable amounts of warm and cold lobster rolls, the works!

In fact, they gave this joint our top ranking. Sure Arnolds's may lack the romance situated right on Route 6A, but the compromise was sobered with the mountains of fresh lobster meat and authentic prep. 3580 Route 6a, Eastham, (508) 255-2575.

Mac's Shack in Wellfleet, the big brother to Mac's take-out on the pier is totally charming and fits the bill as a true contender for top ranking. Look at this. I love the boat attached to the roof with the fisherman trappings.

For an upscale lobster roll in a lively rambunctious room with copper tables and flickering candlelight, you can have an impeccable lobster roll with fines herbs, lemon aioli, celery, shack fries and tons of fun. 91 Commercial Street; 508-349-6333.

Lobster up!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fish en Papillote

Every once in a while, I crave this fanciful dish.

Cod in Parchment with Asparagus and Orange

4 15×15-inch squares parchment paper

4 5-to 6-ounce fresh Cape Cod fish fillets (such as halibut or cod; each about 1 inch thick)
12 fresh tarragon leaves
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
4 tablespoons orange juice and some orange rind

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place parchment squares on work surface. Generously butter half of each parchment square; top buttered half of each with 1 fish fillet. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper; top each fillet with 3 tarragon leaves, then 1 piece of butter. Arrange asparagus around each fish fillet; pour 1 tablespoon orange juice over each and top with sprinkles of rind.

Fold parchment over fish and asparagus, folding and crimping edges tightly to seal and enclose filling completely. Place on 2 rimmed baking sheets, spacing apart. do ahead Can be made 4 hours ahead. Chill.

Bake fish packets 17 minutes. Slide packets onto plates and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe Courtesy of Bon Appétit | April 2008, Photo The Silver Cloud Diet

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Seaside Dream Chronicles

Rainy day Monday whipping up dreamy thoughts of the ultimate Cape Cod beach home. Today's dream time is on Robert Stern. These classic shingle style homes are so timeless as seen in this pie in the sky.

I would pack my bags quite peacefully for this sweet scenery. U can't help to wonder what is behind that beautiful round window.
Thumbs up.
Time to curl up with a book. Every afternoon at 4pm.
And while I'm cultivating divine shingle style bliss, my fantasy interiors would be appointed to interior designer, Victoria Hagan. Everything she does is a show stopper and you can generally spot her designs a mile away when you strum through house magazines. Her work is sophisticated, beachy, comfortable and no shortage of the seaside staple hue, true blue.

All eyes on stripes.

Wood floors, transom cabinets.
Sweet dreams.

Cottage charmer.

My favorite all time kitchen.

What more can I say....
....Dream on.

Courtesy photos from the Victoria Hagan and Robert A.M Stern websites.

Monday, August 8, 2011

This Week on Cape Cod

We cannot believe it's already August. With an impeding (yet still very very distant...) deadline, we're itching to scratch off every last to-do on our summer bucket list. So to that we say, carpe diem! And seriously, we mean everyday. There's a ton going on each and every day here on Cape Cod. Here's a smattering of this week's must do's:

Today (as in Tuesday August 9)
: Get your cha cha on.
Ballroom Bliss of Yarmouth is hosting a three session ChaCha and Salsa workshop for both singles and couples. There's something so utterly fantastic and down right memorizing about the salsa. Wouldn't it be fun to surprise all your friends with some never-before-seen dance moves? For more information check out Cape Cod Events . Click here for a list of lessons across the Cape.

Wednesday, August 10
We've already gushed about our experience with Adventure Chatham's paddle boarding rentals here. But because it's just that fun, here's our second round of enthusiasm. Sign up for "Wednesday Night Paddles" from 5:30-7:30 PM. Taking place either at Oyster River, Stage Harbor or Chatham Harbor/North Beach - rent a board ( for only 20 bucks!!!) or bring your own and partake in a gentle group excursion. What a fantastic way to enjoy some of those stellar sunsets we've been seeing recently. Call Adventure Chatham at 800-809-1750 or check their Facebook page for more info.

Looking to entertain the little ones? Head down to the Cape Rep theater in Brewster for the musical adaption of the New York Times bestselling children's book, Click, Clack, Moo, Cows That Type. This isn't your ordinary children's theater. For one thing, it's hidden in the woods and your GPS will be of no help. You need to put on your adventure hat and bring your four wheel drive( but a mini could make it, too) down a winding dirt road and follow the hand painted signs to a well chartered woodsy path. Alas you will reach the most enchanting outdoor theater! It's quite the experience (and we would know, as we enjoyed a fabulous showing just last week!) Showings are every Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30, but get there early because the theater fills up fast. Click here for more info.

Thursday, August 11
This Thursday (and every Thursday through October) head to Yarmouth and check out the Bass River Farm Market and Al Fresco Artists from 8:30-1:00. Enjoy a plethora of local and organic goodies: produce, sea food, baked goods, prepared foods, flowers, and more. Need a little culinary inspiration? At 10:30, Yarmouth Port chef, Lu Matrascia of Primi Piatti, will be sharing a recipe and hosting a cooking demonstration with ingredients a la the farmers market food stuffs. Afterward, venture across the street and check out the works of local artists. The South Yarmouth Library even hosts a special tent for kids. Visit here for more info.

Friday, August 12
Head on down to Wellfleet for a good old fashioned drive in movie. You really gotta do this at least once! Pack the car with pillows, blankets and snacks a plenty (and probably some bug spray too). Catch either The Smurfs or the final installment of Harry Potter.

Saturday - August 13
Buy tickets in advance for the 11th Annual Hookers Ball sponsored by the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fisherman's Association. This event is so much fun. Tons of great foods, lots of wine, and a whole lot of dancing. Learn more here

Sunday, August 14 - The day of relaxation. Also- the middle of August. Yikes. Take a break. Kick up your feet. Enjoy some (hopefully) sunny summer weather.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Raw Kale Salad

I love kale, It's a superstar antioxidant and is loaded with vitamins. My sister made this salad for us two summers ago and all I can say is -it opened the floodgates to blessed kale. Ferociously addicting.

Raw Kale salad

1 bunch curly or dinosaur kale, chopped the size of parsley.
1 cucumber diced in small chunks
3 raw carrots, peeled and shaved with a vegetable peeler
1/2 red onion(preferably soaked in rice vinegar for 30 minutes, not necessary)
1 avocado, diced
1 quarter shaved red cabbage, chopped
2 heaping tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds

3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar

sea salt

dash of cayenne


1. Wash vegetable well especially the kale.

2. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl, and toss to combine.

3. In small bowl, combine dressing ingredients, stir well and drizzle on salad.

4. Let sit 30 mins to 1 hour before serving.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Outdoor Dining on Cape Cod

Wouldn't it be fantastic to host a secret dinner party? Yes, a secret dinner party. The Parisians do it. Have you heard of the Diner en Blanc. Three weeks ago, as part of a mystical annual event, close to 11,000 Parisians, dressed entirely in white, gathered at the cathedral of Notre Dame and the Louvre's court yard for a secret feast. Beginning in 1988, these dinner parties flourish in spontaneity and hinge upon an element of surprise. Like ghosts, attendees transform the iconic settings as they carry in their own food, chairs, tables, and silver. At midnight, after a night of dancing and dining, the guests respectively deconstruct the alfresco "dining room," leaving without a trace, as if the event was a simply a mirage.

image and inspiration courtesy of the NYT

There is something so magical about outdoor dinner parties. Between the the twinkling lights and the warm balmy air, a table setting transforms into a fairy tale feast.

Inspired by the French, we love the idea of coming into nature and leaving nothing but perhaps a footprint. Why not take your dining outdoors?

Or on a dock.

Or better yet, in the sand...

On a blanket.

Just last weekend, we had the most marvelous sunset beach picnic with the most amazing people. While we can't claim to replicate the spreads above, our setting was just as magical. With such gorgeous scenery, who really needs anything else except for friends, good food and a bottle of wine.

not as chic, but equally enjoyable