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Archive for February, 2012

The Week Ahead Mon., Feb. 27 through Sun., Mar. 4

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Besides the first day of March (doesn’t that just sound like spring!) the week ahead offers a number of fun events and activities that make it feel like a new season is already in bloom.

The first of these actually wraps up the month on February 29th when Morning Glory Farm’s Judy Klumick  explores cooking,  fresh from the farm at LeRoux from 11 am to 1 pm.  (Don’t know about you but I’m ready to abandon the stewpot for some fresh greens and the pleasures of a summer garden.)

And speaking of summer… March 4th, being the first Sunday of the new month, wins for itself the distinction of offering those yummy, overstuffed Grace Church lobster rolls that are a summer ritual for so many vacationers and too-busy-to-cook Islanders.  What could be better for your special Sunday ‘dinner ‘ than a picnic-style lobster feast,  to make it feel like summer is just around the corner.

The week ahead is school vacation week here on the MV which means the sparse traffic will be even sparser and trips to the grocery store will not be pleasantly lengthened with chance meetings when one can catch up with the local scuttlebutt.

Still, life goes on and for those of us not heading off Island for family visits or winter vacation there’s  still plenty  of fun to be had right here at home .  For starters, stop in at Offshore Ale on Tuesday for their weekly Jazz session featuring Eric Johnson and Jeremy Berlin.  Later in the week on March 2 the JC Trio jazzes up the West Tisbury Library from 4-5 pm.

More music, this time on Saturday, March 3rd when the Harbor View Hotel invites us to enjoy an evening of soulful standards and original music with Vineyard native, Jill Zadeh. With her soulful voice and lyrical talent, Zadeh has performed back-up vocals for world-renowned artists including Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5, Diana Ross, Patty LaBelle and Joss Stone.

Two art openings also take place during the week ahead: Island artist Wilfrid (“Willie”) Huntington whose work spans six decades and includes drawings, lithographs, illustration, dry points, etchings, oils and will be on exhibit at the West Tisbury Library beginning on March 1. On March 4th there will be an opening reception for Chris Baer’s MVRHS photography students at Featherstone.

Enjoy the Week Ahead!

Winter Eats: Carrot and Ginger Soup

Monday, February 27th, 2012

During the chilly winter months, one of the most comforting meal is soup. It’s known to warm the soul and softly heal the blues. Made from fresh and basic ingredients, this recipe can be doubled and frozen into individual servings.  Enjoy this quick and easy soup served with a side of crusty bread from The Scottish Bakehouse, it’s the perfect way to round out a warm meal.

Carrot & Ginger Soup
martha's vineyard soup

From “Creative Cooking for the Global Kitchen” by Chef David Marteau

6 cups basic vegetable stock

1/4 cup unsalted butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups chopped white onion

2 tablespoons peeled and chopped ginger

1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat the vegetable stock in a medium-sized pot and simmer. Reserve.
  2. Melt the butter and oil over medium heat. Add onions and ginger and saute until both are translucent. Reduce heat to low and add chopped carrots, cooking for 4 minutes.
  3. Pour in warm stock, simmering for 20 minutes until carrots are tender. Puree soup and serve hot with fresh garnish.
  4. To garnish: fresh herbs, chopped apples (for texture), or a drizzle of herb oil.

Not in the mood to cook? Head on over to these local spots on island serving daily soup specials:

Eating on a Budget on Martha’s Vineyard

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

You might think it’s impossible to eat on a budget on Martha’s Vineyard, known for its high-end boutiques, gorgeous  bed & breakfasts, etc. Ideally, we all want to be eating lobsters, oysters on the half shell, and attending clambakes, but those are the dreams that summer is made of.

martha's vineyard soup

The Vineyard currently is home to around 16.5k residents, but what do those residents eat when the summer season ends? Where are they shopping for their baked goods and sourcing their produce from during the cold winter months? Wanting to share some ideas on how to eat on a budget during the winter season, I’ve rounded up a few ways you can do this, no matter how small your budget is!

  • Get an Island Club Card: one of the best ways to save on island, as well as support local and small businesses on the Vineyard, the Island Card will provide you with discounts on everything from buying a new bike at Wheel Happy to a hefty 20% discount on taxi rides on Stagecoach! 
  • Barter with your neighbor: during the winter, community is the key word. If your neighbor has some chickens, talk about trading your services for fresh, organic eggs. Do you have a special skill or talent? Think about bartering them for local foods from your neighbors’ gardens!
  • Purchase store brands: when shopping at Stop & Shop, go for the generic brands instead of the pricier brand name product. With items such as sugar, oils, and rice, brand names don’t make much of a difference.
  • Drink tap water: save on purchasing bottled water by either drinking water from the tap or having a one time splurge and purchasing a Brita filter jug. This way you’ll both be saving money from not having to buy water, but also be lowering your carbon footprint.
  • Get a customer card: head to Stop & Shop either at their Edgartown or Vineyard Haven location and approach their customer service desk. Obtaining a customer card will give you amazing discounts on everyday items, as well as special offers! You can also rack up points and have money eventually discounted from when you pump gas!
  • Use coupons: buy the Sunday paper and clip those coupons! Have a printer? Head on over to and clip and print the coupons you can use. Remember to use coupons on items you regularly would purchase, not impulse buys.
  • Grow an herb garden: If you keep your home at a regulated temperature, a great savings idea is to start your own herb garden indoors and once they grow, replant and have them on an indoors windowsill. Harvesting your own herbs will save you a good amount of money, since fresh herbs can be expensive. Not only are you saving money, but herbs are a great health benefit and can keep your immune system up during the cold winter months.
  • Make Soups: sometimes we look in our fridge and see nothing appealing. Why not make a soup with a few odds and ends in there? Take that half potato, limp carrot, a few garlic cloves, and any greens: kale and broccoli stems work well; throw them into a pot of water, season them with salt, pepper, and your favorite spices. Simmer over medium heat and then blend. You’ll have a rich, hearty soup that was also inexpensive! Have a can of white beans? Add them. Found a lonely smoked pork chop in the freezer? Throw it in, bone and all!
  • Host a potluck: if you and your friends love to cook, host a potluck themed party. You’ll get a full meal out of it and maybe even some leftovers to take home!

Those are just a few to get you locals thinking on how to save up during the winter! Soon it’ll be summer again and we’ll be sipping sangria outdoors at Atria or having oysters on the dock of The Atlantic. In the meantime, it’s either any one of the above tips or dumpster diving, which has become quite trendy in some cities! Better yet, check out these soup recipes on Cooking with Books: Hot & Sour Shrimp Soup, Tuscan White Soup, and Thai Chicken Coconut Soup.

The Week Ahead Mon., Feb. 20 through Sun., Feb. 26

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

The week ahead starts off with the three-day Presidents’ Day holiday and segues right into Mardi Gras, also known as Fat or Shrove Tuesday.

Originally the last day you could party, overindulge and eat meat prior to the Lenten fast, now the day has become…well a day to party and overindulge…period.  Both Rio and New Orleans, the two best known Mardi Gras party destinations,  will be well represented right here on MV.  Folks at Offshore Ale will be partying New Orleans style with ‘outrageous’ live music and French Quarter menu. Over on Circuit Avenue, Seasons Pub invites you to celebrate from 10 pm to 1 am with DJs Ricki Prime and DJ Midnight who will be spinning out some sounds reminiscent of Brazilian Carnival.

Families who want to celebrate are invited to the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury’s Mardi Gras Pancake Supper.  Live music, masks, beads and food with activities for kids makes this a celebration the whole family can enjoy. The First Baptist Church hosts its Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper from 6:30 - 8 pm in Vineyard Haven.

You’ll be happy to know that all the attention given Mardi Gras does not mean the Island is entering into a time of Lenten austerity.  In fact the Week Ahead seems to offer more than its share of food related activities:  On Wednesday, LeRoux invites you to expand your culinary repertoire when Kevin Crowell, chef and owner of Detente Restaurant, offers cooking tips on Wednesday, 11 am to 1 pm.

The very next day, February 23, a workshop on Wampanoag cooking is being offered  by ACE and the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. Kristina Hook-Leslie will share a recipe passed down from her ancestors as she prepare venison stew in the Wampanoag tradition. The two hour class begins at 6:30 pm.

Don’t neglect to drop by at The Tisbury Farm Market to enjoy their weekly food demonstrations and tastings.  If you haven’t been over there for a bit, be prepared to be surprised by the great selection of prepared foods that fill the small shop with mouthwatering aromas. Pick up some cooking tips and try something new from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday, February 25. Free and all are welcome.

Sandwiched between, on  Friday, February 24 the Harbor View hopes you’l l stop in for dinner and some laughs when Comedy Night returns with a line-up of three of New England’s favorite comedians: Carolyn Plummer, Danny Kelly, and Greg Howell. Patrons must be 21 years or older.

Enjoy the Week Ahead!

The Week Ahead: Mon., Feb. 13, through Sun., Feb. 19

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Though I make mental notes to remind myself that the annual 20 Miler Road Race is coming up, it’s always a surprise to see runners hitting the pavement as I head out on a Saturday morning in mid February.  Did these guys take a wrong turn sometime last August,  pass through a twilight zone and are just now making it around the bend in OB some 6 months later?!

What but a great organization like the MV Boys and Girls Club could bring people out year after year to run the route between the VH SSA and the Oak Bluffs School.  Well, also in the plus column is the opportunity to really shake those cobwebs out,  get outdoors and possibly catch the first signs of spring  poking up though last year’s leaf cover… a seasonal  rite of passage often missed as we move from house door to car door and back again.

Earlier in the week, Valentine’s Day  makes the perfect opportunity to check out what Island chefs have been up to this winter.  We hope that by the time you’ll be reading this all your plans and reservations have been made and are tied up in big red bows.  If not there’s still time to check out MVOL’s run-down on restaurant and accommodation specials.  For those who want to continuing celebrating, Le Grenier will continue to offer its 2 for 1 entrée offer to those ordering a bottle of wine along with their meal, right through the month of March.

On Thursday February 16th, the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard invites us all to come in and tour the Shelter, meet the nice folks who tend the animals and enjoy refreshments.  Who knows, with so much love in the air this week you just may happen upon your new four legged best-friend while checking out the dog runs or cat loft.

Love is in the air, so enjoy the Week Ahead

Marthas Vineyard, Menemsha Hills

Martha's Vineyard, Menemsha Hills


Cooking the Vineyard: Apple Brandy Cake

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Morning Glory Farm, in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard is a must-visit farm when you’re on the Vineyard. There aren’t Alpacas (for those, head to the Alpaca Farm in Vineyard Haven), but the amount of gorgeous, locally harvested produce is worth the visit, plus delicious baked goods made fresh daily. It can’t get any better! Well, it actually can (during the season): you can eat your purchases on picnic tables sprinkled around the property, getting your daily Vitamin D from the special Vineyard sunshine.

Farmed by Jim and Debbie Athearn since 1979, they are the biggest vegetable producers on island, with amazing seasonal produce. My favorite? Their sweet corn, specifically the Bi-color Sparkler!

martha's vineyard cooking book

While at the Edgartown Library, I stumbled upon the book “Vineyard Harvest: A Year of Good Food on Martha’s Vineyard” by Tina Miller with Christie Matheson. In it was a recipe for Macoun Apple Brandy Cake. Although I couldn’t get my hands on Macoun Apples, I got a variety of crisp apples and decided to test out this apple cake. It’s such a simple recipe, no mixer needed and the results are perfect for coffee or tea time, or as a late night snack.

Apple Brandy Cake
“Vineyard Harvest: A Year of Good Food on Martha’s Vineyard”
by Tina Miller with Christie Matheson


1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powdermartha's vineyard cake
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brandy
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 buttermilk
4 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon brandy
1 large egg, whisked
3 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 9-inch pan.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together to aerate them.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
  4. Add the wet to the dry and stir until blended. Fold in the sliced apples.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes.
  6. Preheat the broiler and for the brandy topping, whisk sugar, brandy, butter and egg.
  7. Pour immediately on baked cake and broil until golden brown.
  8. Serve warm or cooled, with a dollop of whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

Currently Morning Glory Farm is closed for the season, but you can head to their website for updates, as well as employment opportunities for the 2012 summer season.

By Marnely Rodriguez

Facebook: CookingwithBooksBlog
Twitter: @nella22

Local Valentine’s Day Gifts for Foodies

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Consider this your reminder: Valentine’s Day is February 14th this year. Same as last year, and I think it’ll be the same next year. Either way, though some of us still forget, this guide will help you to remember, as well as suggesting some great gifts!
martha's vineyard features article
We all know them, the ones that are always cooking at home and at the same time eating out at all the new restaurants. They’re friends who invite you over for wine & cheese night when the new  Beaujolais Nouveau comes out in November; they’re the ones with the latest on chefs, culinary trends and restaurant openings from here to California. You know…your foodie friends. Whether your husband/wife or your girlfriend/boyfriend is a foodie, this is my list of Martha’s Vineyard’s Top 3 Foodie Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day 2012!

Chilmark Coffee Company
Based out of one of the Martha’s Vineyard “up-island” towns, Chilmark Coffee Company is the product of passionate Todd Christy. He sources the best raw coffee beans from around the world, including: Costa Rica, Burundi, Colombia and Ethiopia. Each bean is carefully roasted by Christy himself, distinctively showcasing the different nuances each coffee bean brings to the cup.

Want to give that coffee lover in your life the ultimate coffee gift? Sign them up for a 6 or 12 month subscription to Chilmark Coffee Company, and each month they”ll receive a 12 ounce bag of premium coffee.

Not Your Sugar Mamas Chocolate
We all know the foodie who eats only organic, raw and un-adulterated food. That special friend who gardens his/her own produce, composts all his/her food waste and consumes only food that’s harvested within a twelve mile radius of themselves. And that one friend who is really hard to shop for…but not with Not Your Sugar Mamas!
martha's vineyard chocolate
Created on-Island by Bennett & Ky, NYSM is a Martha’s Vineyard chocolate company that addresses niche eaters who are on the constant lookout for foods that not only taste great, but make you feel great as well. Cacao has always been known for its antioxidant properties and consuming it raw gives you direct health benefits. Other organic ingredients added to the bars are: spirulina, maca, coconut palm sugar, lucuma, pomegranate and more.

For the raw foodie lover in your life, consider getting  The Sampler pack which includes all four bars in the collection. Don’t forget to throw in a bag of their cocoa mix for hot chocolate called Be Cozy, perfect for the cold winter months.

Edible Vineyard
For those foodie friends that are far from the Vineyard, nothing says “I love you” like sending a subscription to Edible Vineyard, a collection of local recipes, how-tos and stories from growers, chefs, fishermen and more. You can easily find Edible Vineyard all around the Island, in places such as Edgartown Meat & Fish Market or Cronig’s Market.
martha's vineyard features article
Foodies that don’t want to miss an issue can subscribed and get these Edible’s delivered right to their home. It’s a great resource for recipes local to the island, as well as interviews with local chefs and bakers. Because if you can’t be on the Vineyard, you might as well cook like you’re on the Vineyard!

Whichever foodie gift you choose, anything that reminds you of your love of Vineyard summers is a great idea. Wishing everyone a love infused week!

By Marnely Rodriguez

Blog: Cooking with Books
Facebook: CookingwithBooksBlog
Twitter: @nella22

The Week Ahead Mon., Feb. 6, through Sun., Feb. 12

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Because February 14th falls on a Tuesday this year, Valentine’s Day has gotten bumped up to the coming weekend when Martha’s Vineyard restaurants and hotels will be rolling out  special menus and special deals for those who prefer to to do their celebrating over the weekend, even if it is a couple of days early.

Case in point are the Lambert’s Cove Inn & Restaurant and The Harbor View Hotel both of which are offering extravagantly romantic menus and sweetheart deals on their room rates. Hob Knob is offering a Feast of the Senses event that will quicken the hearts of food lovers everywhere.

If you live on Martha’s Vineyard the deals get even better:  Dine at the Harbor View and then make a short trip upstairs to your free room.  A $25 room cleaning fee applies but that seems a very small price to pay for so much romance.

At Zephrus in Vineyard Haven, Chef Benjamin deForest’s  sumptuous Valentine  menu starts on   February 10th and continues through to February 19th.

Or head in to Edgartown  where Lattanzi’s Restaurant  will host a Wine and Cheese of Italy fundraiser to benefit the Annual Fund which pays for programs and services at the Edgartown Library. Good food, friends and a raffle of wonderful donated items.

Over at Island Alpaca invites youto their Valentine’s Weekend Open House, Feb. 10-12 where their alpaca, Bacio (meaning kiss in Italian) will offer kisses to all. Self-guided walking tour, meet and greet the friendly alpaca in our viewing area, and enjoy some hot cider and Alpaca video presentation. Bring in a donation for the food pantry and enjoy a 15% discount on any purchases not already on sale.

Love is in the air, so enjoy the Week Ahead

Menemsha Hill, Marthas Vineyard

Menemsha Hill, Martha's Vineyard


Dinner & A Movie: Local Meat meets “American Meat”

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Last Friday, the 3rd, The Farm Institute and Morning Glory Farm hosted a dinner and screening of the movie “American Meat”, held at the Morning Glory Farm Stand. From 6pm to 9pm, guests had a chance to taste local meats raised and harvested on Martha’s Vineyard while watching the movie.
farm movie night
American Meat, directed by Graham Meriwether, is a documentary through the eyes of Joel Salatin, showcasing and comparing systems of raising meat in the United States. Salatin, author of Folks, This Ain’t Normal, You Can Farm, and Salad Bar Beef, is the leader of a fast growing community of farmers and chefs, as well as community consumers that are deciding on raising, consuming and selling meats raised without antibiotics. Can small farms really produce all the meat that the United States demands? In one word, the answer is Yes, but approximately 4 million people have to go into farming. Maybe not an option for the next few years, but somewhere down the road we might all eventually realize the benefits of raising meat the Joel Salatin way.
farm movie night
The menu, created by Beetlebung Farm Chef Chris Fisher and his team, consisted of local meats from The Farm Institute and Morning Glory Farm. The dinner options were:

  • Beetlebung beef burger topped with Mermaid Farm Feta cheese, served with a side of roasted root vegetables
  • Farm Institute Glazed Sausage, served with caramelized onions and cabbage
  • Meat Lover’s Salad: Beef tongue, Ox meat, Pork skins, beets and horseradish
  • Sides: Roasted Root Vegetables and Braised Greens

Chilmark Coffee Company was serving hot coffee and I had a chance to try their Himalayan brew. Intensely balanced with slight sweet undertones and a smooth finish, this and a Sweet E. Coconut cupcake were the perfect way to end a meaty night. A joint effort from both farms and all their volunteers made this a night for the Vineyard community to unite in a way we love the most: seeing friends and eating good food.

Writer Biography:
Marnely Rodriguez is the author of the food blog Cooking with Books and is a freelance food and travel writer. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management and as a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Marnely has worked as an overnight bread baker in Colorado, a chocolate maker in Virginia as well as a pastry cook on Martha’s Vineyard, just to name a few. Influenced by her hometown of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, she is on an endless search for Caribbean flavors, new adventures and gastronomic inspiration which she then shares in her food writing and recipe development

By Marnely Rodriguez

Blog: Cooking with Books
Facebook: CookingwithBooksBlog
Twitter: @nella22

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