Food Friday: Back Into the Kitchen

Summer ended last week. It is time to reacquaint yourself with the pots and pans and woks and cast iron skillets and cookie sheets that are going to be your seasonal life savers. Turn up the heat and welcome back to the kitchen.

I have some favorites that will be coming back into rotation now that I can’t foist most of the evening grilling on Mr. Friday. And I am relying on one of my favorite food resources, The New York Times.

Some folks have headed back to college, and have gone off their comfortable meal plans, and are fending for themselves for the the first time. There is more to life than ramen noodles and cold pizza. The rest of us come crawling into the kitchen each night, and wonder what on earth we can possible make for dinner without feeling totally keelhauled. Before heading directly for the cheap white wine (although it will be time to switch up to a nice inexpensive Malbec soon!) I want to point out that here are some basics that work without much risk of disappointment or failure.

These are easy peasy, as we are wont to warble. Throw that chicken in the oven and let the Slate Culture Gabfest podcast amuse you with their take on the intricacies of modern culture. And now you can have some wine.

Fettuccine Alfredo:

If that seems too fancy, here are eight, 8, ways to make mac & cheese:

Salmon, for the fish eaters:

Cast Iron Pan Steak:

Bearnaise to go with that fine steak: Because if you are going to hell, you might as well go in style. Yumsters.

Because you really could have spaghetti every night.

It took me years, YEARS, to get rice right. Here is a never fail approach:

Craig Claiborne’s Beef Stew: It is going to get chilly, honest.

Even easier is a good meatloaf. Although if your household is anything like ours, you have some ancestral meatloaf recipes in place already. Still, does yours count pancetta among the ingredients? Doubtful.

And here is the definitive list of the New York Times’s 50 most popular recipes:

You are on your own for salads and desserts. For this week, at least. Next week – breads!

“No man is lonely eating spaghetti; it requires so much attention.”
-Christopher Morley

Food and Eco-Tourism Workshops

MID-SHORE FOOD SYSTEM COALITION 1Join a round table workshop on “Food and Eco-Tourism on the Mid-Shore,” at any one of the upcoming sessions in the five-county mid-shore region. The first is coming up fast: Thursday, July 21 at noon at the Dorchester County Library.

Why attend? The aim is for you to leave the hour-and-a-half session with three new ideas for your business.  Share in strengthening the regional food systems with positive outcomes by personally involving you and your business in this economic development/marketing workshop.

The Mid-Shore Food System Coalition (MSFSC) is launching this first series of workshops to brainstorm new ideas and revenue streams with a focus on community resilience and triple-bottom-line sustainability.

Go to the MSFSC website, to review the mission and goals as this initiative moves forward.

To reserve a space, please email

Additional “Food and Eco-tourism” sessions are planned for Tuesday, July 26, 8 p.m. at the Kent Library in Chestertown; Monday, August 1, 7 p.m. at the Caroline County Library in Denton; Saturday, August 6 at 10 a.m. at the Talbot Library in Easton; and Thursday, August 11 at 6 p.m. in Centerville at the Queen Anne’s County Library.

Third Annual St. Michaels Brew Fest Kicks Off Saturday, June 4th

The third annual St. Michaels Brew Fest gears up for Saturday, June 4th offering unique beers and a first-of- its- kind VIP ticket. The festival brings together over 70 American Craft Brews, including one offs, firkins and rarities, collaborations and casks from local, regional & national breweries. Ten new Firkins made only for the day of the event will be tapped. There is a specific tapping schedule you can follow at each venue to taste these unique offerings. One of the festival’s co-founders Ace Moritz of Eastern Shore Brewing shared “What makes this festival special is that it is attendee driven, not Distribution Company driven. These beers are curated by craft beer owners and true beer connoisseurs.”

Some of the featured Breweries include Dogfish Head Brewery – BBC – 16 Mile Brewery – Tall Tales Brewery – Eastern Shore Brewing Co – Real Ale Revival – 3rd Wave Brewing Co – Troegs Brewing Co – Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Victory Brewing Co – Flying Dog – Port City Brewing Co. – Yards – Duclaw – Terrapin – Southern Tier – Brewers Art – Burley Oak – Lagunitas – Union Craft Brewery – DC Brau – Allagash – and that’s just to start with….

Foxy’s Harbor Grille’s owner and Brew Fest co-founder Terye Reese Knopp carries seventeen taps of craft beer at her restaurant. She explained, “We go to a lot of beer festivals both good and bad and we wanted to create our own for St. Michaels. We felt it would bring in a new younger demographic that was following the craft beer market and that was also good for tourism. It puts heads in beds too.”

New this year is a special VIP ticket aboard the double decker Patriot Cruise ship in the St. Michaels Harbor. Enjoy a one hour cruise on the Miles River with Hugh Sisson, owner of Heavy Seas Brewing. They will bring beer made especially for the cruise, only for VIP ticket holders. Music will be provided by local favorite, Emma Myers. Tickets are $100 plus tax and service fee. The cruise boards at 10:30am (next to the Crab Claw) and disembarks at 11:45am at the Crab Claw event. There are a very limited number of VIP tickets.

The St. Michaels Brew Fest organizers include Ace Moritz of Eastern Shore Brewing, Terye Reese Knopp of Foxy’s Harbor Grille, Jon Mason of the Town Dock and Tracey Jones-Wass of The Crab Claw. As organizers they also offer a Designated Driver ticket for $5.00 and partner with Check Yourself Talbot who offer free waters at hydration stations. “We applaud the Brew Fest organizers for their commitment to alcohol responsibility and are excited to again partner for the third year,” said Beth Williams, Check Yourself Talbot chairwoman. “The inaugural Brew Fest marked the first time our coalition participated in an event, and the response proved overwhelmingly positive! We handed out hundreds of waters and snacks, and had so many participants thank us for being there. This year, we’re bringing more than 1,000 waters to keep everyone hydrated. We look forward to another great festival and greatly appreciate the organizers for their continued effort toward hosting a safe – and fun – event.” The festival also has volunteers from The Rotary Club of St. Michaels coming to man the hydration stations to show fantastic community collaboration.

The Annual St. Michaels Brew Fest is always the weekend after Memorial Day. The festival hours are from 12pm to 5pm. General admission tickets are $45 plus tax and service fee. To buy tickets click or visit or

St. Michaels Beer Fest Venues: The Crab Claw 304 Burns Street (right on Mill Street off Talbot), Eastern Shore Brewing at 605 S.Talbot Street(Old Mill), Foxy’s Harbor Grille at 125 Mulberry Street (right on Mulberry off Talbot)

CheckYourself Talbot is a community-based coalition of people who are committed to
supporting positive and safer drinking choices among young adults.

Adkins Arboretum Announces ‘Native Table’ Raffle

Early-afternoon brunch en plein air with fall leaves drifting lazily to the forest floor…a sunset dinner on the wetland overlook set to a serenade of spring peepers…indulgent desserts in the Native Plant Nursery’s lush greenhouse. These delights are what winners of Adkins Arboretum’s Native Table raffles can anticipate.

Beginning this spring, the Arboretum will hold two Native Table raffles annually. Winners will receive a seasonal dining experience for 20 inspired by the Arboretum’s wild edibles. Only 100 tickets will be sold per raffle, with proceeds used to support the Arboretum’s mission of conserving the Chesapeake Bay region’s native landscapes.

The winner of the first Native Table raffle will receive Brunch Under the Branches, a decadent brunch for 20 catered by chef Steve Konopelski of Turnbridge Point Bed & Breakfast. Guests will indulge in offerings inspired by the field and forest, including wild onion frittata, banana and black walnut muffins, sassafras sweet tea, highbush blueberry cobbler, and field greens garnished with wood sorrel in a sumac vinaigrette.

Konopelski is a classically trained pastry chef and couture wedding cake designer who graduated at the top of his class from the prestigious French Culinary Institute. A former Broadway performer, he infuses his creations with passion and artistry. His love of performing and ability to connect with people have made Konopelski a popular teacher whose love of teaching is almost matched by his love of baking. Konopelski and his husband, Rob Griffith, own and operate Turnbridge Point, an upscale bed and breakfast and event venue in Denton.

Brunch Under the Branches will be held under the Arboretum’s new education pavilion on Sun., Sept. 18 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Ticket sales are underway and will end on Thurs., June 30 or when all 100 tickets are sold. The winner will be selected by a random drawing on Fri., July 1. Tickets may be purchased at or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0. for more information, visit

Photo courtesy of Steve Konopelski

Photo courtesy of Steve Konopelski

Talbot County Announces 7th Annual Restaurant Week, April 3-9

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 12.28.17 AMIts lucky number 7 for Talbot Restaurant Week.

The annual event, sponsored by the Talbot County Office of Tourism and the Talbot County Tourism Board, will be held April 3-9, 2016. Participating restaurants offer prix fix lunches and dinners, many with special menus designed to showcase their finest dishes.

“During Restaurant Week, we shine the spotlight on our many talented chefs and restaurateurs,” says Tourism Director Cassandra Vanhooser. “We’re blessed to have many of the region’s finest dining establishments located right here in Talbot County, and we think that’s something to celebrate.”

Talbot Restaurant Week begins with a fabulous launch party on April 3, this year at the Historic Tidewater Inn’s elegant Gold Ballroom in Easton. Local restaurants and food businesses offer generous tastings of their finest dishes, and guests also get two drink tickets they can use for the beverage of their choice. The price is $45 per person, with advance ticket purchase recommended.

Participating restaurants also feature special prices and menus throughout the week. Two-course lunches will be available for $20.16, while three-course dinners are priced at $35.16. Prices do not include tax, tip, or beverages.

“Restaurant Week is a wonderful opportunity for diners to try new restaurants or revisit favorites,” Vanhooser says. “We encourage people to make their reservations now and join us in supporting our local restaurants and food businesses.”

For more information about Restaurant Week, contact the Talbot County Tourism Office at 410-770-8000 or visit


Oils and Herbs at CBHS

William Acosta, the owner of Olivins in St. Michaels, will demonstrate how to use his herb products in making breakfast at the Oct. 8 meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Herb Society. The society will meet at 6 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 7215 Ocean Gateway, Easton.

Acosta is passionate about stimulating your taste buds to give you the best tasting experience you have ever had. As his company brochure says “Tasting Is Believing!” In addition to owning Olivins his interests range from flying to food and he is a personal trainer and life coach. His skills and interests combine to make him an enthusiastic explorer of the world of taste. And he invites us to share in exploring this world.

Olivins Aged & Infused Fine Olive Oil & Vinegars is located at 205 North Talbot Street.

The society usually meets the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Meetings include an herbal potluck dinner, a short business meeting and a presentation on an herb-related topic. The theme for October is “Breakfast for Dinner.”

CBHS was formed in 2002 to share knowledge of herbs with the local community. The group maintains the herb garden at Pickering Creek Audubon Center. For more information, call (410) 827-5434 or visit

“Tastes of Tilghman” to Benefit New Tilghman Watermen’s Museum

“Tastes of Tilghman” – the culture and foods of Tilghman Island – will be held under tent at Black Walnut Point Inn on Sunday, October 11, from 4 – 7 p.m. This event will benefit the Tilghman Watermen’s Museum which opened this summer. The Museum is dedicated to the documentation and preservation of the history, traditions, heritage and culture of Tilghman Island.

There will be informal discussions with Tilghman watermen, as they relive their careers on the Chesapeake. There will be tastes of Tilghman food from Two if by Sea Cafe, wine, and beer, and door prizes. Local songstress, Shelley Abbott, will perform.

Tickets are $45 per person/$80 per couple and are available in advance only. No tickets will be available at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Two if by Sea Cafe, Tilghman Island Country Store, and the Museum at the Lee House, payable by cash or check. For more information, contact the museum at 410-886-2930 or

October 1 Brings 2nd Annual Oyster Crawl to St. Michaels

Fordham Brewing Company and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum are presenting the 2nd Annual St. Michaels Oyster Crawl on Thursday, October 1 for a limited number of participants. The 4-7 pm. event features a “From Seed to Shuck: Exploring Chesapeake Oyster Farms” program at CBMM, followed by a walking tour of historic St. Michaels for stout and oyster pairings at four waterfront locations.

The two organizations have been partnering together since 2012, when Fordham launched its Rosie Parks Oyster Stout brand, made in honor of the museum’s recently restored 1955 oystering skipjack, Rosie Parks. The event is a fundraiser for the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, with all proceeds supporting the non-profit museum’s education, restoration, and exhibition programs.

Fordham Brewing Company—the makers of Rosie Parks Oyster Stout, shown here—and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum are presenting the 2nd Annual St. Michaels Oyster Crawl on Thursday, October 1.

Fordham Brewing Company—the makers of Rosie Parks Oyster Stout, shown here—and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum are presenting the 2nd Annual St. Michaels Oyster Crawl on Thursday, October 1.

Rosie Parks Oyster Stout has a new twist this year as it is brewed with Avery’s Pearls oyster shells. Avery’s Pearls is the brainchild of Ryleigh’s Oyster Food & Spirits Owner Brian McComas. Ryleigh’s three locations in Baltimore, Md. will be serving Rosie Parks on draft, with the stout also available for a limited time in six-packs and draft in select Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia locations. The brewery release party for Rosie Parks is scheduled for Friday, September 4th from 5 to 8 p.m. at Fordham’s headquarters in Dover, De. A portion of the stout’s sales are being donated to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

The October 1 St. Michaels Oyster Crawl begins at 4 p.m., with participants joining CBMM’s Director of Education Kate Livie for a brief “From Seed to Shuck: Exploring Chesapeake Oyster Farms” presentation in the museum’s Van Lennep Auditorium. During the program, the museum will offer tastings of local, farm-raised Choptank Sweets, shucked and served by a Chesapeake waterman. The oysters are generously donated by the Choptank Oyster Company of Cambridge, Md. To kick off the event, each participant will receive a keepsake tasting glass to take along during the crawl and to commemorate the event.

From there, participants will break into four groups for a brief walking tour along the St. Michaels harbor to sample oyster and stout pairings at four locations. This year’s participating restaurants include the Crab Claw Restaurant, Town Dock Food & Spirits and Foxy’s Harbor Grille, all located on St. Michaels’ harbor front, along with Theo’s Steaks & Sides, serving from the museum’s Miles River waterfront Oystering on the Chesapeake exhibition building.

Oysters will be prepared a number of ways, including Oysters Rockefeller, Oysters Casino, and raw on the half shell, and an award-winning oyster stew.

“Brewing an oyster stout is a rite of passage in the mid-Atlantic, especially when you look at the rich maritime culture and how oysters play a part in the ecosystem,” said Fordham VP of Sales Casey Hollingsworth. “We took it a step further this year by partnering with Avery’s Pearls oysters which are farm raised in Hog Island, Va. Rosie Parks is a dry stout with hints of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and chocolate. The beer finishes with a slight brininess which compliments the sweetness from the malts.”

The skipjack Rosie Parks was built in 1955 by legendary boat builder Bronza Parks for his brother, Captain Orville Parks, and was named for their mother. CBMM purchased the sailing workboat in 1975 from Captain Orville, after 20 years dredging oysters along the Chesapeake Bay. Rosie had a reputation as both the best maintained skipjack in the oyster dredging fleet and as a champion sailor at the annual skipjack races. She is now a floating exhibition and ambassador of the museum, participating in the annual skipjack races along the Bay.

The cost for the St. Michaels Oyster Crawl is $65 per person, or $55 for CBMM members, with limited participation and registration needed by Monday, September 22. To register, contact Allison Speight at or 410-745-4941. The event is generously sponsored by the participating restaurants, as well as Kelly Distributors of Easton, Md. For more information, visit or


Eastern Shore’s Top Restaurants Come Together for Stronger, Healthier Babies

On Thursday, October 22 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, top chefs will offer Delmarva diners an opportunity to enjoy a great night out while raising funds, making friends and increasing awareness of the March of Dimes mission to improve the health of babies.

In addition to sampling signature dishes, guests will be able to bid on many unique auction items graciously donated by various businesses.

“What better way to enjoy a wonderful meal than by supporting the March of Dimes mission and working together for stronger, healthier babies, right here on the Eastern Shore,” said Dr. Betty Malkus, 2015 Event Chair.

Funds raised by Signature Chefs Auction support lifesaving research and educational programs on the Eastern Shore, such as the Storks Nest in Cambridge.

Premature birth is the most serious infant health problem in the United States today. It affects 450,000 babies nationwide each year, with over 400 in our community. Babies born too soon are more likely to die or have lifelong disabilities. The March of Dimes is committed to reversing this trend by funding research to find the causes of premature birth and developing strategies to prevent it. Guests will hear first-hand the impact the March of Dimes has had on the lives of the West family from Bishopville, MD.

Individual tickets and table sponsorships are available and include tastings from top chefs and an open bar. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit

Thank you to our local sponsors: Peninsula Imaging, Black Anchor Tattoo, Craig’s Drug Store, Hebron Savings Bank, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, H&M Bay, Kool Ice, TGM Group, Sea Watch International, Craig’s Institutional Pharmacy, Avery Hall Insurance, Miles and Stockbridge and Congressional Seafood.

Flavors of St. Michaels Cookbook Provides Funding for St. Michaels Woman’s Club Scholarship

Create the distinctive taste of the Eastern Shore in your kitchen with The Woman’s Club of St. Michaels cookbook, Flavors of St Michaels, Volume II. Many of the club’s best cooks contributed favorite recipes in eight categories including appetizers, seafood, main dishes, breakfasts, and desserts. Using various locally available ingredients of bay, farm, and field, the over 350 recipes are perfect for family meals or entertaining. The cookbook makes an ideal holiday, hostess or housewarming gift. Each cookbook purchase includes a free, high-quality cloth gift bag, creating a unique presentation.

All proceeds from the $20 cookbook will be used to support the Scholarship Fund. Each year The Woman’s Club of St. Michaels awards $6,000 to a deserving senior from St. Michaels High School who is heading to higher education. This year’s recipient, Julia Jester, is able to begin her college career in the Fall thanks to this generous scholarship.

Flavors of St. Michaels, Volume II is available at local merchants. It will also be available at local events. For more information: or email: .

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