All Stuffed Up

Stuffed up with goodness that is! Just you wait and see.

We’re back a bit early this week for two reasons. First and foremost to express our gratitude to Deborah over at Taste and Tell Blog for featuring Eat, Play, Love in this week’s Blogger Spotlight. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Deborah’s blog, it’s a wonderful and delicious little space in the blogosphere. Deborah is a blogging veteran, a pro. She creates simple and tasty recipes and shares them through an honest writing style and tantalizing photos. To say we were honored would be an understatement. Thank you Deborah!

Now for the second reason we’re posting today – Blueberry Stuffed French Toast. It’s our latest contender in the French Toast Tourney and if this doesn’t end up as one of the final four, well you can butter my buns and call me a biscuit. In other words, you may not want to wait for the winner next March. This one is a must try, at least in my book.  Continue reading

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Sweet, Sweet Memories

As promised, tonight we’re concluding our Maine recipes (We won’t make you wait anymore Caroline! :) ), and what would a trip to Maine be without the traditional Maine Blueberry Pie. We couldn’t think of a more fitting end to both our trip and our Maine posts.

So without further adieu…We began by making a butter crust. I love to make pie crusts. I have several favorite recipes – the all-shortening crust for my Grandma’s blackberry cobbler and a shortening and butter crust for apple pies; but when it comes to blueberry pie, I like a good, all butter crust.

We started by sifting together the flour and salt and then we cut in the cold butter. I didn’t have my trusty pastry blender on hand at the cabin, so I used two knives to create coarse crumbs. Continue reading

Vacation *Time*

Nearly nine weeks ago I set my watch to Eastern time for our vacation to Maine, and even though we have been back for nearly six weeks now, I have yet to set it back to Central time. I just like that when I look down at my watch I’m reminded of our family trip. I know one day it’s going to end up making me really late for something (like when the time changes this fall), but for now, it makes me smile.

So in honor of the Eastern time zone and family vacations, and because it’s nearing the official end of summer, we’re going to close out our Maine recipes this week. First up, a Classic Lobster Roll.

We prepared this dish from some of the leftover lobster meat we had saved throughout the week. I know you’re thinking, “Leftover lobster? Surely they didn’t leave any uneaten lobster on their plates!” And no, Mike and I certainly didn’t leave any lobster on our plates, but Mr. N and Miss A can’t quite finish a whole two-pound lobster just yet. (Although Mr. N can come close!) So, we chopped up the leftover lobster. Continue reading

Another Maine Course

We’ve already talked about how inexpensive the live lobsters in Down East Maine were, especially when compared to prices in the Midwest. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we made yet another lobster dish on our summer vacation; and since this weekend was the unofficial end of summer, we’re taking another look back at our delicious memories.

Toward the end of our week in Maine we wanted to fix up something a little more elegant for the grown-ups. While the kids really enjoyed all the lobster, they wanted a break. I guess it was too much of a good thing for them, not however for Mike and I who would never tire of lobster. So while the kids dined on some pizza, Mike and I worked on our Lobster Risotto.

I’ve got to give credit where credit is due – this meal was, for the most part, courtesy of my dear hubby. He’s our resident risotto chef. It’s one of his favorite things to make and I’m happy to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor. I did, however help with the lobster preparation this particular evening. Until now, Mr. N and Mike had boiled our lobsters, but I was finally ready to give one a shot. I have to say – I understand why Mr. N threw his first one in the pot. While I didn’t throw it, I sure was tempted. It’s a bit intimidating. Continue reading

Working Our Mussels

We’re sticking with Maine for just a few more weeks. Can you tell we did a lot of cooking at the cabin? It was fabulous! This particular recipe is probably the one we’ll remember the most and not because it was our favorite meal, although it was quite delicious, but because it was a truly memorable experience.

It didn’t take us long, especially with our little explorers, to realize that there were tons of mussels on our little stretch of beach. The bay was situated in an intertidal zone and the mussels were especially easy to find at low tide. 

Mike and I instantly started thinking about how we could cook some of these babies up, but we weren’t sure if they were safe or if we were allowed; and after having food poisoning from mussels on our honeymoon I wasn’t about to mess around with safety. So Mike asked the fisherman that sold us our clams if we could harvest some mussels. He explained the quantity and size regulations and gave us the number of the Maine Department of Marine Resources which would give us real-time pollution levels for our area. We were really getting excited now, so after a quick call and an all clear, we were ready for the mud. That’s when the fun began.

Miss A and I let the boys do the dirty work, and dirty it was! Mike and Mr. N really got their feet and hands grimy out in the soppy, muddy sand digging for mussels. Continue reading

Clamming Up

By Mike
(Kristy is recovering from sending Miss A to her first day of school. No tears from Miss A…and only a few from mom.)

I’ve never been one to kill my dinner, though as regular blog readers know, I’ve made exceptions when it comes to lobster.  However, we also tried two other live shellfish on our trek to Maine last month–steamed mussels (coming soon) and clams.

Live clams are gross.

They have these little finger-shaped things that stick out and sort of flop and leak seawater, and frankly the most accurate and vivid descriptions I can come up with for them aren’t really appropriate for a family blog.  What’s cool, though, is that if you tap the tip of these mouths, they come to life!  They stiffen up, spit water, and contract a little.  Tap them again with just a little bit of pressure and they retract back into the shell.  It took a few minutes of playing around with them to figure out exactly how they worked, but once I got the hang of it, it was fun.  Mr. N especially got a kick out of it, and liked making them squirt water.  The fun outweighs the grossness, and to our friend Kelly over at Inspired Edibles, we hope you have a chance and the fortitude to try cooking live clams on your forthcoming trip to Maine. Continue reading