Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baked Scallops and Refrigerator Rolls

Rolled out refrigerator dough ready to go in the oven. 

Fresh baked refrigerator rolls brushed with butter and ready to serve. 

Baked scallops hot out of the oven.

Rolled in butter and cracker crumbs and backed to perfection. 

Baked Scallops with a side of Spinach Salad and Refrigerator Rolls. 

After the brief snow storm we had last night come on in to the Blue Elephant and try today's Standish Special. Or warm up with a hot cup of tea and a donut muffin. We look forward to seeing you soon!

The Blue Elephant Cafe
12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Molded Egg Salad

Almost a month ago I made Marjorie's "Pressed Chicken Salad." Today I pulled out a very similar recipe, "Molded Egg Salad," which is basically egg salad mixed with gelatin that is set in a loaf pan. It will be served with a zesty spinach dressing over a romaine lettuce and a side of toast.

For some extra flavor Marjorie added a tad of vinegar, a bit of green pepper and of course salt and pepper. It must have been a classic Maine loaf served when company came calling. I can see Marjorie now pulling the molded egg salad out of her refrigerator and setting it down on the kitchen table. 

Come in to The Blue Elephant today to try the molded egg salad today! 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A note from the kitchen

Nearing the end of two months of Cooking DownEast with Marjorie Standish many customers have been asking lately "how many recipes have you done?" And "how many more do you have to go?"

I counted how many recipes were in the book before I got started with the project as I was getting myself organized. There are 330 recipes total. I figured that if I did an average of two recipes per day that I just might be able to get through the cookbook before wedding season begins and we get really busy.

Since setting this goal and getting underway with this project I have now completed 41 recipes leaving the grand total 289 to go. It still sounds like an overwhelming number and seems as if there is no end in sight. However, the response to the food has been so wonderful and the support from our customers is so great that my motivation has not decreased at all. I encourage everyone to come in and see what's cooking from the Cooking DownEast cookbook at the Blue Elephant or check out the blog each week to see what will be featured and stop by to try your favorite dish!

Do you have a favorite Marjorie dish that you would like me to make in the near future? Post a comment and let me know and stay tuned for more exciting dishes!

Featured This Week

Featured this week at The Blue Elephant Cafe

Monday January 24, 2011
Roasted Chicken 
served open face on toasted white bread with stuffing and gravy 

Stuffed Frankfurts 
with a side of baked beans and potato chips 

Tuesday January 25, 2011 
Broiled Flank Steak 
Sliced thinly with sauteed mushrooms onions 
and peppers in a sub roll with melted cheese 

Donut Muffins 

Wednesday January 26, 2011
Molded Egg Salad 

Thursday January 27, 2011 
Baked Scallops
served with a side of greens 
and Marjorie's Refrigerator Rolls

Friday January 28, 2011
Drop Sugar Cookies  

Broiled Flank Steak Subs

"It used to be if we prepared a flank steak, we spread it with dressing and rolled it. After browning, it was placed in a covered pan with a small amount of water and cooked slowly in the oven. That was the Maine way of doing it. Then we heard a true London Broil is a flank steak marinated in French dressing, broiled, sliced paper thin on the diagonal." Marjorie Standish

I wasn't wild about making a broiled flank steak as I knew that I was going to have to figure out some way to serve it to our customers. But with a little creative thinking I figured out that I could easily turn this recipe into steak sandwiches. I marinated and cooked the steak according to Marjorie's recipe, in addition to this I sauteed some peppers, onions and mushrooms.

The mixture will be served in a sub roll with a little melted cheese on top and a side of chips and pickles. A nice warm meal for a cold Maine day.

"If you are fortunate enough to find a flank steak then try it marinated in a soy sauce with only powdered ginger as the seasoning. That is the best of all." Marjorie Standish

Donut Muffins

Delicious donut muffins here at the Blue Elephant and they are still warm out of the oven. Come in and try one while they last! 

12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072


Monday, January 24, 2011

Stuffed Frankfurts

I officially feel like a 1950's housewife. As I was slicing open the Frankfurts, filling them with the stuffing and wrapping them with the bacon I was thinking, "wow, somebody actually thought this up and then proceeded to eat it." I have to give Marjorie credit for being very innovative and creative with inexpensive ingredients.

It actually looks pretty tasty after being cooked in the oven and will be served with a side of chips and baked beans.

Today is so cold outside and we have some warm delicious food here at the Blue Elephant. Come in and warm up!

The Blue Elephant Cafe 
12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072


Roasted Chicken Sandwiches

Marjorie's roasted chicken is a classic recipe. The stuffing is prepared in a saute pan and then filled into the cavity of the bird and roasted in the oven until cooked thoroughly. Once it is done you make a gravy out of the juices in the bottom of the pan.

mmmmmmmm...... stuffing

Into the oven goes the chicken

Roasted stuffed chicken hot from the oven 

The roasted chicken will be served as an open faced sandwich today here at the Blue Elephant. Carved meat fresh off the bone on toasted white bread with stuffing and a drizzling of gravy. Come get your roasted chicken sandwich while it lasts! 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lemon Sours

I think Marjorie liked pastries best out of everything she made. I'm basing this assumption on the fact that the baked goods section of her cookbook is twice the size as some of her other sections. The baked items that I have made so far have been superb and I would highly recommend them to anyone wishing to bake.

On Thursday the daily Standish Special was Lemon Sours. Since I had not had a chance to read the recipe thoroughly before beginning to bake, I had expected the end result to be lemon bars as the name of the recipe suggests. However they were far from a traditional lemon bar.

The base crust was a combination of flour and butter while the filling was kind of like a cake with coconut and walnuts. To top it off, and give it its name, a lemon sugar glaze. It was a delicious dessert, very soft and moist. I can just see Marjorie making these for a bake sale at her church or for a neighbor or something of the sort.

The Lemon Sours went fast. Come in next week to try more of Marjories yummy treats!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tossed Sardine Salad

Another fishy day here at The Blue Elephant cooking with Marjorie Standish. A mixed green salad tossed with Maine sardines, red peppers and celery and tossed with a zesty homemade vinaigrette.

Come try the Tossed Sardine Salad while it lasts!

Salmon Loaf with a Creamy Egg Sauce

I'm truly amazed at how many loaves are in this cookbook. Meatloaf, halibut loaf and now salmon loaf. Those are just the ones that I've encountered so far who knows what is to come. I won't go into detail about how to make this loaf because I've said it before with the meatloaf and the halibut loaf. The addition to this recipe that is so delicious is the creamy egg sauce that goes on top.

My grandmother and mom used to make this sauce to go on top of haddock every once in a while and it is a delicious (though very caloric) sauce.

There is still plenty of Salmon Loaf to go around here at the Blue Elephant so come on in and try it today!

 The Blue Elephant Cafe 
12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072

Monday, January 17, 2011

Friday January 14, 2011

Fish chowder and oatmeal bread. My mom makes Marjorie's fish chowder recipe every year for a Christmas Eve dinner and all the while I was making it to serve at the Blue Elephant I was striving to make it as delicious as my mom makes it every Christmas Eve.

The Chowder has Haddock, milk, evaporated milk and seasonings in it. What make this recipe taste so good is that the first step is "trying out" some salt pork in the bottom of the pan then cooking the rest of on top of the fat that comes off of that. The soup is loaded with fish and potatoes and onions. It's seasoned to perfection and there is still some left, come in today to get your serving of Fish Chowder before we run out!

Thrusday January 13, 2011

Despite it's appearance the Creamed Ham and Mushrooms over a Parsley Rice Ring was a huge hit!

A combination of cubed ham and shitake mushrooms in a creamy dijon sauce 

A rice ring with parsley and onion 

An assembled creamed ham and mushrooms over the parsley rice ring...

The dish is served!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday December 12, 2011

Due to the inclement weather today The Blue Elephant is closed. However stay tuned and come in tomorrow and try Marjorie's "Creamed Ham and Mushrooms with a Parsley Rice Ring."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Little Nut Cakes"

Tuesday January 11th and it's a cold, winters Maine day outside. Come to The Blue Elephant Cafe and warm up with a cup of tea or coffee and today's Standish Special Little Nut Cakes. Delicious miniature white cakes with toasted almonds, the perfect dessert to warm you up. 

12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072

Oven Easy Chicken with a Jellied Cranberry Salad

When I was little I remember weekend dinners at my grandmothers, she used to make jello with fruit in it. It was not my favorite part of the meal but it was a constant part of the menu and I suppose that it could have even been one of Marjorie's recipes. When I was making the Jellied Cranberry Salad yesterday it brought back all kinds of memories of going to have dinner with Grammy and Grampy. 

It seems a though jello with fruit in it would not be very popular any more as it is a dish that dates itself from the 1960's. However, the general consensus on the dish yesterday was that it was very good, I also tasted it while I was making it and though it was very sweet, it was very tasty. 

The Oven Easy Chicken is what I might call Marjorie's version of "Shake and Bake." However, I'm guessing that Marjorie's recipe predated shake and bake. True to it's name it is one of the easiest chicken recipes- bake half an hour on one side and then half an hour on the other and it's ready to be served.  If I, or if Marjorie, were serving to guests I bet we both would have chosen to serve mashed potatoes and a green salad with this chicken. Since I'm trying to work in all of the recipes in the cookbook I chose the jello salad instead.

Overall the both recipes are something to add to my permanent collection. Oven Easy Chicken Served with Jellied Cranberry Salad and Mixed Greens is still on the Blue Elephant menu today so come in and and try it before it's all gone!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Featured This Week

Featured This Week at The Blue Elephant 

Monday January 10, 2011 
Oven Easy Chicken 
Served with Jellied Cranberry Salad 
and A Side of Greens 

Tuesday January 11,  2011
Little Nut Cakes 

Wednesday January 12, 2011
Creamed Ham and Mushrooms 
with a Parsley Rice Ring 

Thursday January 13, 2011
Fish Chowder 
Served with Oatmeal Bread 

Exquisite Chocolate Mint Sticks

Exquisite chocolate mint sticks...... need I say more? Although her dessert section is quite large, this must be one of Marjorie's best recipes. To put a custom spin on the dessert, I made white chocolate elephants out of a mold that I've been working on as a side project and placed them on top of each square. The end result - a delicious minty elephant dessert! 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stifled Beef Over Mashed Potatoes

What a great recipe, not only is it fun to make, but it smells delicious. I felt like a little kid shaking the beef in a paper bag filled with flour and spices. It was a lot of fun! After the beef browned in a pan, I make a roux, then deglazed with water and bring it to a boil. The next step was to pour this over your meat and set it in the oven for a couple hours.

Marjorie says that it's a hearty, satisfying meal that can be served with mashed or baked potatoes. I chose mashed potatoes, and it does complement the dish nicely. The dish, though called Stifled Beef by Marjorie, is also known by some as Smothered Beef. It seems as though it was probably a rather popular dish back in the day. As an added tip Marjorie says..."Any left over may be used in making a beef pie."

Come in today and get your helping of Stifled beef and Mashed Potatoes at The Blue Elephant Cafe! 

12 Pepperell Square Saco Maine 04072

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Update Wednesday January 5, 2011

The Spinach Casserole and French Bread went over famously and we sold out of all of the portions before 12:30 today during lunch! Thank you to all of our supportive customers at The Blue Elephant for coming in and having lunch. We enjoy your company very much!

Early this afternoon two ladies came in to have lunch and were so excited by Marjorie's cookbook and my project. They had loads of stories and tons of suggestions for recipes that I should be sure to cover in the up coming weeks! It is always fun when someone comes in and is as excited as these two women were by Marjorie's cookbook and by my latest cooking venture.

Be sure to keep checking in to see what recipes are coming your way and come in to The Blue Elephant to be the first to try the daily Standish Special!

Spinach Casserole with Homemade French Bread Served with a side of Greens

Today, January 5th, I had planned to make Spinach Casserole and Homemade French Bread. No problem, except that I knew that the French Bread was going to take more time than I had this morning, so I made the bread yesterday afternoon. I always overestimate how much time it will take me to pull together one of Marjorie's recipes and could have probably pulled it off this morning. In addition to this I must say that her French Bread recipe is perhaps the easiest French Bread Recipe that I've ever made. 

We made a lot of bread when I was in baking class at Culinary School. It always took a long time to pull together, let it rise, punch it down, and let it rise again before rolling it into loaves. Marjorie's recipe however only involved mixing the ingredients (which were minimal) and then stirring the dough five times in ten minute intervals. After that you roll it into your loaf shape and let it rise for an hour and half and bake for half an hour. It seems like a lot of steps written out but when you are actually making the bread, it very simple. 

            "Then (and this is the interesting part), stir through this dough with a spoon at 10-minute intervals     five times. Did you ever hear of anything so easy? No kneading, as you can see"
                                                                                               ~Marjorie Standish on French Bread

This morning when I came in I made the Spinach Casserole which is a combination of spinach, rice and cheddar cheese. I baked the casserole in mini ramekins and the dish will be served warm with a couple slices of French bread and a side of greens. 

              "This way of serving spinach is a popular 'company' dinner at our house.......It was a prize winning recipe and I can see why, it has so many good things about it........" 
                                                                               ~Marjorie Standish on Spinach Casserole 

Christmas Nut Loaf

Before the holiday season gets too far away from us I figured that I ought to make Marjorie's Christmas Nut Loaf recipe. The recipe is basically a fruit cake loaded with pecans, walnuts, Brazil nuts, dates, candied oranges, maraschino cherries and raisins.

Like most fruit cakes this one was very dense and extremely heavy! Though it didn't taste terrible it wasn't terribly appealing either. Fruit cake, or Christmas Nut Loaf, is an odd concoction in the first place, and I think it's either something that you like or you don't. I decided to put my smaller loaf out for samples yesterday to intrigue customers and hopefully someone will be interested in purchasing the second loaf, or at least a piece of it. Come on in and give it a try!

Fort Western Pie

To kick off the new year, on Monday, January 3rd, I started with a recipe of Marjorie's called Fort Western Pie. It really didn't look anything like a pie but had more qualities like her American Chop Suey (which I made about a month ago). The pie was more involved than the chop suey though, added to the noodles and tomatoes were vegetables like peppers, onions, and olives. In addition to all of that, there were hard boiled eggs and cheddar cheese. The whole concoction was topped with buttered bread crumbs and baked until it was bubbly and hot.

It smelled and looked delicious. It was served with a side of mixed greens and a choice of dressing.

Mixing all the ingredients together 


Ready to go into the oven!

Hot out of the oven and ready to serve.... 

Come in and try Fort Western Pie today! 

Shepherds Pie and Stuffed Eggs

Before the holidays I made a couple Standish Specials that never made it to print. The first was a Shepherds Pie. Nothing special went into this recipe; it was traditional and delicious. Ground meat with corn and mashed potatoes all baked in the oven until crispy and golden brown.

It was one of the more popular recipes that I've made here at The Blue Elephant, perhaps one of Maine's traditional comfort foods. The other recipe I chose to serve before christmas was what Marjorie called Stuffed Eggs. I know them as deviled eggs and I'm sure most people would as well. I served them over a  a bed of lettuce and added a little paprika for some added spice and Christmas spirit.