Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Granola To Your Door Contest" Clue #3

Greetings, Blog Readers and Foodies.

Here is our third of four clues in our inn-made granola to your door contest. (PS: I just had a bowl of yogurt and our granola for mid-afternoon "dessert." It always chases away the sweet tooth cravings!)

Inn at Long Lake's Gazelle Room will be re-named on April 28, 2009, honoring one of American's treasured composers. This gentleman's life was cut short at age 38 due to a brain tumor inflicted by a golf ball hitting his head earlier in life (youch!). Composing many songs with his brother, his gifts to the great American songbook define us and bring us such joy. I am so honored to have this man become a part of this beautiful inn!

Here are some clues:
1. As a young musician, classical composer Maurice Ravel was approached by our subject "personality" for instruction. Ravel declined knowing this composer had a unique composition point of view that he did not want to change by being his mentor.
While in Europe, this composer wrote about his experience in France--and became one of his most known compositions.
2. The Gazelle Room has a great view of Long Lake. It might be summed up in two "words": S'wonderful, s'marvelous.
3. Jazz and classical music were composed by this personality. One of his favorite works has a memorable upwards glissando on the clarinet.

Hope these clues help. Keep your 4-week list to be submitted between April 14-21, 2009!

Keep checking the inn blog for news, views, and tips from the inn kitchen!

Your Maine Innkeeper,
Naples, Maine

Friday, March 27, 2009

Skip Organic Produce?!

Hi, Blog Readers, Foodies, and Friends.

Just saw a cool article in "Cooking Light" magazine (one of my fav magazines). According to the Environmental Working Group, some fruits and veggies are least likely to contain trace levels of pesticides--so pricier organic options may not be necessary.

The Top 5 Fruits listed are:
1. Kiwifruit (yummy--and tons of Vitamin C)
2. Bananas (Potassium and versatile in baking)
3. Pineapples (my favorite fruit on this planet!)
4. Mangoes (becoming increasingly popular)
5. Avacados (ummm....guacamole anyone?)

The Top 5 Vegetables listed are:
1. Cabbage (almost 'slaw time folks!)
2. Onions (the most popular)
3. Broccoli (so versatile)
4. Eggplant
5. Asparagus (expensive enough! why add the "organic" price tag?..okay, YUMMY!)

I also read recently that a sign the economy is turning around is the increasing return of consumers to stores like Whole Foods and specialty Food Stores. Hope this information above helps you stretch your food dollars farther.

Happy Homecooking to you from the inn kitchens...

Your Maine Innkeeper
Long Lake...Naples, Maine

Friday, March 20, 2009

Scallops--The New Chicken?

Greetings to All!

For some reason this week (after a dismal illness of weeks past) I had an immense craving for scallops. Often in the past I have enjoyed these in a baked casserole format covered with buttery cracker crumbs--and, my...they are good this way.

Alas, it is Spring, however, so I bought a pound of scallops locally (about $8.00) and prepared a quick saute dish with them.

Here is all I did: Rinse and drain the scallops used. Gordon Ramsey (my hero!) said that blotting the scallops with some paper towels removes the moisture (so that when you saute them, they get a nice golden brown color on them.) Melt some butter in a large saute pan on medium-high heat, add scallops. Cook for a minute or two on each side. Remove to warm plate. Saute some onion (or shallots) until translucent, add some chopped garlic and chopped tomatoes (and green onion, if you like)and a hit of vermouth or dry white wine. Saute a minute. Season, add scallops back. Toss with whole grain pasta. There is it! You can get nutritious 3 plates of food off these 1 lb. of scallops.

Basic prep: some larger scallops require you removing the whiter cartilage--easy to do.

Bay scallops are smaller than sea scallops. Four ounces of scallops have 23 grams of protein, are basically fat-free, and are great sources of vitamin B12, omega3 fatty acids, magnesium, and potassium. These are great for your cardiovascular system! Studies have shown these nutrients help fight against colon cancer as well. Adaptable as chicken breast in the kitchen, I am sold for sure on scallops!

Fresh bay and sea scallops can be found October through March. Buy local whenever you can and from a reputable source. Make your own rice or pasta dishes to your own taste. Happy Cooking!!

Your Maine Innkeeper,
Naples, Maine

Monday, March 16, 2009

A New Era for Inn at Long Lake

Greetings, Blog Readers, Friends, and Foodies!

On April 28th (one year anniversary of my acquisition of this beautiful inn)Inn at Long Lake's 16 elegantly appointed guest rooms will be re-named. Eight of our rooms will be designed around 8 great Big Band & American musicians. Eight of our rooms will celebrate 8 wonderful icons of American film history.

Selecting the new room names was challenging but so much fun. With the help of Tracy Fulop, local designer and retail maven, the decor in each room will evolve over the years to come.

In today's world with all its uncertainty, it is time to reflect on another challenging time in American history (1920's-1930's) that gave us such creativity, entertainment, and American pride despite it all. From these decades, we know things always turn around as long as we stand united--that is American spirit!!

In honor of this anniversary, each Wednesday for the next month I will reveal an image and set of clues to these personalities on this blog. Guess the entire 4, submit your correct answers by e-mail at the contest's end, and I will send you a FREE bag of our delicious Inn Granola right to your door*. (*Limit 1 per household; contest for readers within the continental United States). See how many you can guess (trust me, I'll make the clues easy and fun!!). PS: My granola is really yummy so give the contest a whirl!

And, as always, keep checking the blog for kitchen tips, food facts, and the INNside scoop on inn life every week.

Hope the coming Spring is finding its warmth and magic to YOUR door.

Your Maine Innkeeper,
Naples, Maine

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring is Here??

Hi, Blog Readers and Foodies!

This weekend was busy at the inn. We were almost full last night! (Not bad for March). The weather was quite warmer (45-50 degrees). Yippee!

I have been recuperating from the flu going around just in time. It really zonked me out during the week. I got so inspired this weekend, however, cooking and made some Banana-Almond Crescent Cookies. These are shaped like little moons and the ends dipped in semi-sweet chocolate. So cute! Lots of work on Friday but I couldn't resist. I had some of the dough left over, put the whole semi-sweet chips in it-and, in addition to my Bailey's Irish Cream-Chocolate Cookies on Saturday--served them as Monkey Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies the next day (2 different cookies).

Oh, incidentally--to jazz up any cookie, melt the chips in the microwave, dip the ends in the melted chocolate, then cool completely on wax paper. Common sense: humid, hot weather is not kind to these dipped cookies!

For Sunday breakfast I made a Cinnamon Bread Baked French Toast topped with a Fresh Apple-Cranberry Syrup. The syrup was made by melting some butter (at a medium heat), sauteing some chopped apples, then whole cranberries, adding a "hand grab" of brown sugar, some cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, and some maple syrup. This tasted great on the French Toast. Just remember to not overcook the apples so they have a little bite. Fresh sliced peaches syrup (canned are too soft) would be nice on any French Toast (with or without the cranberries--just omit the allspice.) Served with whipped cream and powdered sugar dusted on top, this breakfast entree looked great for this beautiful morning. Great way to get fresh fruit in at breakfast!

Anyway, I will be posting a CONTEST this week that I am very excited about. Please check back (hint: all winners get a part of the inn breakfast delivered to your door!!).

Thanks for reading the blog today.

Your Maine Innkeeper
Naples, Maine

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Here Piggy, Piggy...

Hi, Blog Readers!

Here is some practical advice I wanted to share about your kitchen's garbage disposal. And, perhaps, this advice will save you some immense grief (hey, knowledge IS power!).

As a Dinner Chef at Phillips Exeter Academy, our pot area had a large disposal we called "The Pig." It saw a lot of food waste in its time, for sure. Mixing with water and sucking it down into the world below, it was a great piece of equipment when used correctly. When used improperly, one would think a Plumber's convention was in town (the mess would be huge!). We're talking Hip Boots, my Foodie Friends!

Some things to NEVER throw down your disposal:
1). fats, grease, chemicals, candle wax
2). cooked pasta or rice
3). eggshells

Besides these, always flush plenty of hot water when using your disposal. Sharpen the blades by processing ice cubes from time to time. A natural deodorizer for your disposal is baking soda (left over night), baking soda + a cup of white vinegar (the reaction foams), or a fresh lemon.

Always stand back or cover the disposal hole for safety's sake!

Until next time...Thanks for reading...

Your Maine Innkeeper,
Keith A. Neubert
Naples, Maine