Monday, February 28, 2011

Featured This Week

Featured this week at The Blue Elephant Cafe

Monday February 28, 2011
Carrot Bread

Tuesday March 1, 2011
Perfect Blueberry Muffins

Wednesday March 2, 2011
Broiled Cocktail Frankfurters 
Chocolate Sponge Dessert 

Thursday March 3, 2011
Welsh Rabbit Served over Toasted Bread

Blue Elephant Cafe
12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Applesauce Cake

My final apple recipe of the week was applesauce cake. Warm applesauce added to a typical cake batter, then poured into a loaf plan and baked  in the oven. 

Ready to go into the oven! 

Fresh out of the oven. 

Warm applesauce cake! 


Blue Elephant Cafe 
12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072


Apple Crisp

I love to make and eat apple crisp. It is probably one of the easiest dessert recipes ever. I've never used Marjorie's recipe before. It was much like any other crisp recipe, minus oats or anything crunchy on top of the apples.

With a little help from my new best friend, Mrs. Marjorie Standish, I made it through the week making all of the apple recipes and got through almost all of the apples. Only six apples remain on the counter. I suppose I will have to find something to do with them this week. Perhaps a repeat of one of the favorites from this past week? Suggestions from you readers are more that welcome please write in! 

Blue Elephant Cafe 
12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072


Fried Cabbage

Looking for an easy side dish? Marjorie's Fried Cabbage is tasty and very easy to make! I love how Marjorie was all about the simplicity of cooking and the use of inexpensive ingredients. Her recipes could be used very easily for a family on a budget, a single person, or someone looking to cook their way through a cookbook in a restaurant!

Definitely give this recipe a try!

Blue Elephant Cafe
12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072


Bologna Stack-ups

Bologna! Just the word conjures up a variety of memories for lots of people; from fried bologna to the bologna ad on t.v. and from the brown bag elementary school lunches to Homer Simpson singing his bologna song. Marjorie Standish on the other hand made use of bologna as a tasty hors d oeuvre. A blend of cream cheese, horseradish and a dash of cream is spread between layers of bologna. To serve I then sliced it into wedges and served the pieces on toothpicks.

The customers daring enough to try this culinary adventure agreed that it was not bad! In fact, a tasty little treat! Look out Blue Elephant fans, this is just the beginning of some of the crazy recipes inside Cooking Down East!

Blue Elephant Cafe
12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072


Best Apple Pie and Crust

Was this the best pie I've ever made? I'm going to have to go with no. I had the hardest time with making the crust. When I was in Culinary School we had a week dedicated to pies and we made several pie crusts per day. I never had as much trouble with a crust as I did with this recipe. 

There is a lot of speculation that weather has much to do with how your baked goods turn out, and on this day that could have been the case but I think it also had to to do with the ingredients Marjorie used in her pie Crust. Of course flour, salt and a little bit of water but the odd ingredient was vegetable oil. In any pie crust I've made before it has called for vegetable shortening or butter, but oil was a new ingredient. I had to make and throw out this pie crust twice before the crust was pliable enough to roll out. It tasted just fine but it wasn't a light and flaky crust and I suspect an ingredient like shortening or butter would have given it those qualities.

On the other hand the filling of Marjorie's Best Apple Pie was delicious and had just the right amount of sugar and spices. If I were to make the whole recipe again I would substitute the vegetable oil in the crust with shortening and use the same filling and see how it all turned out. 

Blue Elephant Cafe
12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Diced Apple Bread

Who knew you could be so creative with apples?! Marjorie has a total of seven apple recipes in her Cooking Down East cookbook alone. I've been having fun on my apple adventure so far despite the fact that it's not apple season.

On the docket today; Diced Apple Bread. The recipe was almost identical to the apple cake that I made yesterday. However, unlike the apple cake, the bread was baked in loaf pans and did not have any spices.

Come in to the Blue Elephant today and have a slice of apple bread or buy a whole loaf to share with your family! Stay tuned for more delicious apple recipes to come!

Blue Elephant Cafe and Catering 
12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072

Monday, February 21, 2011

Apple Cake

Last week The Blue Elephant had the honor of hosting a party at the cafe. We happen to have just a few apples left over and as a result... I hereby declare this week "Apple Week!" First up, apple cake; a thick batter with chopped apples that bakes up nice and fluffy with soft apples and a delectable smell. 

Only a couple of pieces remain so come in early tomorrow and get your piece of warm apple cake with a dollop of whipped cream. 

The Blue Elephant Cafe and Catering 
12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072

Featured This Week

Featured this week in Cooking Down East with Marjorie Standish at The Blue Elephant Cafe:

Monday February 21, 2011
Apple Cake

Tuesday February 22, 2011
Diced Apple Bread

Wednesday February 23, 2011
Best Apple Pie and Crust 

Thursday February 24, 2011
Bologna Stack Ups 

Friday February 25, 2011
Fried Cabbage

Come in this week to try one of these fantastic recipes from Marjorie Standish's Cooking Down East Cookbook! Stay tuned for daily updates and photos right here on the blog!

Also "like us" on facebook at to see daily specials and soups and find out what we are up to in the catering world! 

The Blue Elephant Cafe and Catering
12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lobster Stew

"According to experts on fine Maine cookery, the important steps to success in creating the perfect lobster stew are, first, this partial cooling before ever so gently adding the milk- a mere trickle at a time. The constant stirring until the stew blossoms a rich salmon color under your spoon, and finally, the aging, since every passing hour improves its flavor."  Marjorie Standish

Marjorie's stew has three basic ingredients, lobster, butter and milk. I wanted to be sure to allow the soup to "blossom" as Marjorie says so I let it sit for a couple of days. The most difficult part of this soup was steaming and picking the lobsters and even that was not difficult. We still have a small amount of Lobster Stew left so hurry in today and grab it while it lasts!

Maine Boiled Dinner

I was hesitant to do this recipe and have been shying away from others like it for the fact that I'm not sure how I am going to turn it into a dish that can be served here at the cafe. However I read through Marjorie's long description of Maine Boiled Dinner and decided to give it a try. 

"At the first sign of fall you hear Maine people talking about a boiled dinner. We make boiled dinner the year round nowadays but when the new potatoes, carrots, cabbage, turnips and beets are ready in the gardens, then you hear the remark, 'we must have boiled dinner'." Marjorie Standish

For our Maine Boiled Dinner we served Corned Beef Brisket with carrots, cabbage, potatoes, and beets. It smelled absolutely delicious while it was cooking and came out tender and juicy. Though the description was long and involved it was actually easy to pull together and not very complicated. It just took awhile for all the vegetables and the meat to steam in the the water. 

I highly recommend this recipe to anybody looking for an easy dinner. And it is a recipe that could even been be done in the crock-pot. 

Hot Milk Cake

This is one of my new favorite cake recipes! This is why: more than likely you will have all the ingredients on hand, be able to pull the cake together in just about an hour and it will taste delicious! Hot Milk Cake is a basic white cake, what makes it different is that you boil milk and pour it into your batter just before baking it.

Another feature that makes this cake unique is the frosting. It is a Broiled Coconut Icing. Sugar and coconut combined with a little bit of butter. This combination spread on top of the brownies and then placed under the broiler for just a couple of minutes brings out a delicious flavor in the cake. It is definitely a recipe to keep around and one that I will use in the future here at The Blue Elephant!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whoopsie Pies

That's right, "Whoopsie", not "Whoopie." I'm not quite sure why Marjorie called it this, but perhaps it is the way they pronounce it Down East. My family has a history with this recipe and I'm sure many Mainers turn to it when making whoopsie pies.

My grandmother used to make whoopsie pies, and they would disappear so quickly that she gave up and to save time she made a cake, cut it in half and filled it with the filling. She is convinced to this day that making whoopsie pies this way not only saved her time, but the cake lasted twice as long.

I decided to make Whoopsie Pies this week to honor Valentines Day, and it was a good choice! We have 3 pies left.  Come in today and get 'em while they last!

Shrimp Salad

Marjorie says "When I'm asked to make sandwiches for an occasion, I choose one of the following, for they are my favorites." One of these favorites happens to be Shrimp Salad Sandwiches. I wouldn't think of making shrimp into shrimp salad. I have only ever seen this seafood as baked stuffed shrimp or shrimp cocktail; it was refreshing to see it become a new dish. 

In this recipe the Shrimp is cut up very fine and added to creamed butter with seasonings and lemon juice. It makes a colorful and delicious sandwich. We are serving it on white toast with a side salad. Hurry in to try it today before it runs out! 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Porcupine Meat Ball Sub Sandwiches

It may be the strangest name you've heard in awhile, and you may wonder, "What the heck is a porcupine meatball?" A porcupine meatball is a standard meatball with ground beef, breadcrumbs and seasonings. The added secret ingredient... uncooked rice. The meatballs are baked in the oven with a tomato soup/water combo poured over the top. The juices cook the rice and, ta da, make a porcupine meatball.

The porcupine meatballs will be served in a sub sandwich with a mushroom marinara sauce. Come on in to The Blue Elephant Cafe and try today's Standish Special! 

12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Drop Molasses Cookies

If you ever find yourself in a pinch needing something sweet these are great cookies. I had not planned on making any cookies today but, we needed something sweet on the counter. When I was flipping through the recipes in Cooking Down East, these stuck out because the ingredient list was short and basic. We had everything on hand, and I was able to whip them together and bake them off in no time at all.

They smell delicious and look great! Drop by and have a molasses cookie with a cup of coffee or tea.

12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072

Chicken Salad

Nothing says simple like chicken salad. To make this chicken salad Marjorie had me cut up chicken meat into large chunks and marinate it in oil salt and pepper. Once this marinates, it gets mixed with mayonnaise and is then served in a lettuce cup. It will also be served with a piece of toast and tomato on the side.

Come in today and try good old fashioned chicken salad from Marjorie Standish!

Crispy Oven Chicken, Molded Beet Salad and Lyonnaise Potatoes

"This recipe was my favorite way of doing chicken until I discovered oven-easy chicken." Marjorie Standish on Crispy Oven Chicken.

I suppose I should have started with the Crispy Oven Chicken since it used to be Marjorie's favorite, but alas I already made the Oven Easy Chicken about a month ago. Both recipes are delicious and very easy to make.

The Crispy Oven Chicken is made by coating the chicken with Rice Krispies cereal and baking it in the oven. It is a healthy alternative to fried chicken. It reminds me very much of my grandmother. It makes me wonder about the last part of Marjorie's statement "... until I discovered oven-easy chicken." Where was she finding all of her recipes?

Molded beet salad. A combination of beets, celery and lemon gelatin formed into a mold. Beets are not the most appetizing vegetable and many people have bad childhood memories of this root vegetable! I cant say that this was a favorite for our customers but it did look pretty on the plate!

The crispy chicken came with a side of beet salad, biscuit and coleslaw. It went over famously and I will have to make it again!

Lyonnaise Potatoes... French for potatoes with onions. Lightly sauteed onions to which potatoes with salt, pepper and parsley were added. Come in today for a side of these tasty potatoes!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pineapple Sponge Cookies and Filled Sugar Cookies

Pineapple Sponge Cookies. A cross between a classic sugar cookie and a macaroon without the coconut. They look and smells fantastic. 

Classic rolled sugar cookies filled with a raisin sugar mixture. Baked to golden brown perfection. 

Once again Marjorie's cookies were effortless and came out beautifully. I think part of my cookie dilemma was finding the right recipe. Now that I have an abundance of easy to follow delicious recipes, it will be easy to perfect my cookie making skills. 

Come in to The Blue Elephant today and try one of these delicious new treats. 

12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072

Featured This Week

Featured this week at The Blue Elephant

Tuesday February 8,  2011
Filled Sugar Cookies 
Pineapple Sponge Cookies

Wednesday February 9, 2011
Crispy Oven Chicken 
Molded Beet Salad 
Lyonnaise Potatoes 

Thursday February 10, 2011
Marjorie's Chicken Salad 

Friday February 11, 2011 
Porcupine Meatball Subs 

Friday February 4th

Sardine Stuffed Tomato Cups. When I was growing up my dad used to love to tell the story of how my aunt, his older sister, worked in a sardine plant one summer and what she used to have to wear for a uniform and how embarrassed she was to have this job. It's a cute story, and I guess they used to tease her about it. Sardines are definitely not a delicacy and not something I enjoy working with very much.

Marjorie, on the other hand, has an abundance of recipes involving sardines. This most recent one involved hollowing out a tomato and filling it with tossed sardines, celery, Tabasco and salad dressing. At The Blue Elephant we served the cups over a bed of mixed greens.

Thursday February 3rd

Famous Chocolate Cake with Boiled Frosting coated in a chocolate glaze. The first part of that description comes from Miss Marjorie, but I added the chocolate glaze. I tend not to stray too far from the basics when I bake, but this chocolate cake recipe will certainly be added to my favorites list!

It was so moist and soft and with just a hint of cinnamon had just the right amount of kick to it. Her boiled frosting recipe was similar to a whoopie pie filling. Very sweet and filling. The cake reminded me of one giant whoopie pie. Overall it was a crowd pleaser and will definitely make its way back on to the menu I'm sure. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

We are open today!

We are open today, Tuesday February 1, 2011, during this first dusting of snow. Come in and enjoy a nice lunch and some good company!

Today's Specials 
Cooked Elbow Macaroni with a fresh Vegetable Sauce 3.50

Tomato, Onion and Bacon Quiche 4.95

Breakfast Potatoes 1.00

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese 
2.50/cup   4.99/bowl 

Chocolate Marshmallow Pie 2.00/slice 

Standish Special
Texas Hash 
Sausage, Pepper, Onion and Celery 
Mixed with cooked rice, tomato soup and topped
with potato chips 
Served with a slice of Gingered Pear salad 

Today's Soups

Butternut Squash 

Potpourri Soup

The Blue Elephant Cafe
12 Pepperell Square 
Saco Maine 04072


Texas Hash and Gingered Pear Salad

Texas Hash reminded me a lot of American Chop Suey. It is made with sausage, rice, tomato soup and vegetables though instead of beef, noodles and tomato soup. Texas Hash is also topped with potato chips for a little added crunch.

Gingered pear salad reminds me of when we used to go over to my grandparent's for Sunday dinner and there would be a jello salad with fruit in it. This recipe has pears that are halved with a melon ball scoop of cream cheese and nuts. The gelatin has a cinnamon, ginger flavor and will all be served with the Texas Hash. 

Potpourri Soup

"This is one of the most popular soups I have ever used in my column. Hearty and delicious, it is made with hamburg. Or if you just happen to have any- venisonburger"- Marjorie Standish

Delicious it is. A thick tomato based soup with vegetables and meat, the perfect soup for a cold winter's day. A little side story- When I was home for Christmas, my grandmother, who was born and raised in Maine and still lives here, was inspired by my project and took it upon herself to write down some of her recipes for me. One of these recipes was Potpourri Soup. Now that I've made Marjorie's version I need to pull out Grammy's and see how they compare. Maybe I'll even have to make a batch of each and see how the customers at the Blue Elephant like the two.

There is still some Potpourri Soup left. Come in it today and warm up at the Blue Elephant and watch the snow fall outside!

Drop Sugar Cookies

I love to bake, however cooking making is not my forte. However, this recipe was so easy and came out so delicious it gives me great ambition to perfect my cookie making skills with other recipes. If you ever find yourself in need of a cookie recipe I highly recommend turning to Marjorie Standish's Drop Sugar Cookie Recipe on page 170 of Cooking Down East.