PHOTOGRAPHIC ART OPENING AND BENEFIT FOR NORMAN “SKIP” LAVALLEY

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

On June 12, 2011, Café Miranda will be hosting an art opening and benefit for Jason Philbrook and Jacob Post from Noon to 2:00pm. The afternoon will feature the artist’s work, tasty appetizers from Café Miranda, beverages from Central Distributors which will include Due Torre, Chartron La Fleur, Excelsior, Canaletto and live music from Rattlebox.

The artists and Café Miranda will donate fifty percent of their proceeds to benefit Café Miranda’s long time employee Norman “Skip” Lavalley whose life will end sooner than it should due to cancer. Skip is a very humble and giving man who has consistently given back to those around him. Coming from a less than ideal childhood Skip found time, love and dedication to give to two childrend (Keeegan -8 and Kiara -5). Skip and his wife, Melissa stepped in as second parents to assist the children when their mom was in need. Skip still asks nothing for himself – he asks only that these children be given a fun outing to York’s Wild Kingdom. And while these children have to learn the loss of a “parent” early on in their life, Skip wants to share smiles and a lasting memory. Which seems appropriate given that Skip was a professionally trained traveling circus clown.

Jason Philbrook said “We’re business men and neighbors on Oak street and I’m thrilled to see my neighboring business taking care of a former employee essentially like family during a tough time like this. That’s setting a good example for businesspeople and that’s why I upped the contribution and why I’m thrilled to combine the fundraiser with the scheduled exhibit opening event.

We will ask for a $10.00 dollar donation that will include soft drinks and appetizers served from our counter along with cash bar.

About The Artists:

Jason and Jacob are childhood friends who have grown up in fishing families in the nearby town of Owls Head. Their childhood involved much time spent outdoors and their interest in nature gradually began to involve photography of our wooded coast.

Jason now runs Midcoast Internet Solutions just up the street, but has a creative itch to scratch that is fulfilled with a serious passion for photography. He enjoys an eclectic variety of photo interests ranging from historical processes and styles, film & darkroom work, nature, photographing his lovely family, abstracts, people, and sports. He effectively alternates between traditional film & darkroom processes and color digital photography. Jason developed a knack for black and white film prior to the digital revolution and now makes it an intentional medium of choice for some subjects.

Inspired by Eliot Porter’s Maine photography, Jason did the first ever solo photography exhibit at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1995 with an exhibit of color nature photographs. Jason has not exhibited since due to work and family obligations, but has continued to photograph and study photography. Jason uses the Internet to find the old cameras, film, supplies, and advice to do traditional photography using gear that went out of use before he was born.

When not working at Rockbound Computer, Jacob gets away once in a while to immerse in photographing coastal nature closeups and island wildlife and plants. Being away on an island for days at a time, Jacob uses color digital photography’s benefits to the maximum, shooting great quantities and varieties of nature subjects with exacting detail and color. Jacob printed all the color photographs for this show using professional archival pigment inkjet printing equipment built for fine art needs.

Hand Made Pasta Throw Down

Monday, March 14th, 2011

PASTA THROW DOWN ROCKLAND STYLE!

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

 

This is going to be FUN! Our next cooking class is going to feature a “Pasta Throw Down” with Frank Isganitis from the LimeRock Inn.

Both Chef Kerry and Frank have deep rooted Italian families – and both have terrific stories of growing up with Italian Grandmas. 

Chef Kerry and Frank will discuss and demonstrate basic techniques in traditional “hand rolled” and “machine rolled” spaghetti, tagletelli & fettuccini. The class will also include ravioli & “lasagna” styled dishes. Tips on drying, freezing and preparing fresh pasta with appropriate sauces will also be included.

Students will learn two methods for making pasta, enjoy samplings and finish with a family style pasta dinner (with wine and beer pairings of course!).  Believe us.. you won’t leave hungry.

The bonus – we will find out which Italian makes the most awesome hand-made pasta in Rockland. Will it be Chef Kerry or… Frank?

Class Time -10:00AM – 1:00PM

Format – Classes are primarily demonstration with some hands on and concludes with a full service lunch. Beer and wines will be provided by Central Distributors, Lewiston ME and paired by Eric White.

Class Size – We limit our class to 12 participants. If we have more than 12 participants, and can fill another one, we will schedule another class.

The Cost – $60.00 per person, plus tax per class. Cost includes two glasses wine beer, or soft drinks of choice (depending on what is being paired). Reservations & full payment required.

Lunch Guest Add-on – Those enrolled in the class may invite a lunch guest. $30.00 per guest which includes lunch, drinks and tip.

Call Cafe Miranda to book your spot.See More

Eric Hopkins

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Renowned Maine artist Eric Hopkins is a good friend, inspiration, and regular at Cafe Miranda. The salt of the earth, he continues to capture the essence of Maine with his paints and brushes. Flying over and sailing along Maine’s rugged coastline, his work is a testament to the special place we have carved out as our home.  Eric works in oils, watercolors, blown glass, and photography. Make sure to check out his gallery and studio while in Rockland, just off Main Street (around the corner from Atlantic Baking Company) on Winter Street.  We are also lucky enough to have a few of his paintings on display at the restaurant.

Flying_Over_Blue_Bay

Flying over Blue Bay, 2009, watercolor, gouache, and crayon, 32 x 32 inches, by Eric Hopkins.

Eric usually starts off at Cafe Miranda with an appetizer called Thai Calamari, with pan sauteed calamari with thai chili butter, scallions, black sesame, cilantro and lime. For his entree he gets serious with Aggablagga– sauteed calamari and fresh pasta, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, and marinara.

Photograph of painting provided by Bill Thuss.

Eggnog

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

It is not really the holiday season until you have homemade Eggnog!

Teddie Levy’s classic Eggnog. (with some subtle additions from those pesky Miranda Chefs).  Note, this is not for the cowardly!

12 egg yolks
1 lb powdered sugar
4 Tbsp vanilla
1 quart heavy cream (yeah!)
1 quart milk
14 ounces Meyers rum
14 ounces brandy, cognac if you MUST! Calvados apple brandy is a real nice touch
3 ounces of Sweetgrass Winery “ Cranberry Smash”
12 eggwhites
1 tsp white pepper
Nutmeg to grate on top

Method:
Beat yolks & sugar till pale

Add everything else except the egg whites.

Beat the egg whites  & fold into the mixture.

Grate nutmeg on top

Get a cab home… Kerry & Kristina ( in-law of Teddie)

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving wherever you are and whoever you are with. We’ll be cooking and feasting here in Maine!!!

open cookbook

Pasta

Friday, November 13th, 2009

My first memories of pasta, are at my Nona’s house in Shenandoah Heights, PA. where as a tot I would reach up to feel the flour on a wooden board. A big house with the requisite “other” kitchen in the basement, where all the HEAVY DUTY cooking happened. It seems that a lot of Italian American families had the “other” kitchen. There was the one the public saw and the “other” one so everything that looked magnificent also looked effortless.  I think about my grandmother and that kitchen every time I make pasta here at Miranda.

scan

While the family was about the grounds Constance, “Connie” Altiero was at the big wooden bench mixing, rolling  & cutting the pasta. I do have to say that that in later years, after I became a chef  she said “Kerry pasta schmasta  it’s MACARONI!” Flour, eggs & salt. That’s it. We use semolina flour, a higher protein than all purpose flour, but you also can use durum flour, a finer grind of  semolina, eggs from Bowdens Egg farm in Cushing, and a quality sea or kosher salt.

These are authentic “rolled “ fresh pastas. We have all seen the little hand cranked machine with rollers like that of a wringer washing machine (am I dating myself? ) one uses in the home. Most “fresh” pasta one sees commercially is extruded. That is to say the flour, salt and typically water, not eggs, are mixed in a machine and forced through a die (looks like a meat grinder). This is how most dried pastas are made as well.  We at Miranda have the roller, albeit larger and with a motor. Now before you say “a motor, how easy!” I must remind you that it is Italian, and as with my Alfa Romeo autos well let’s just say reliability is part of the character!

Pasta Noodles:
1 lb of durham flour
2.75 ounces of eggs
Large pinch of salt Connie would grab the cheek and say” That’s a Pinch!)

Traditionally one piles the flour on a board and makes a well in it, sort of like a volcano crater.

Pour the beaten eggs into the “volcano crater.”

Stir with your fingers until the mixture is as homogenous as possible and then knead well. It IS a stiff dough. You can also use a kitchen aid mixer or a food processor w/ dough blade.

This can be refrigerated over nite or up to several days.

Place the ball of dough on a board and slice ½ inch thick.

Starting at the largest gage, roll the pasta through.

Repeat this on ever lower settings until you reach the desired thickness.

At this point you can use the “sheets” of pasta for lasagna, cannelloni, manicotti or other stuffed products.

Another use is to think of the sheets as egg noodles by randomly cutting them in larger chunks, what we at Miranda refer to as “Hand Cuts.” Great for beef stroganoff, a spatzele replacement, anything with hearty stew, or as my mentor, Anthony Miguel Cassasanto  referred to as “handkerchiefs,” or what we refer to as a “Tent.” See our menu for “Pitch A Tent.”

If you are cutting angel hair or spaghetti, you want the “sheets”  of pasta to be as thick as the width of the cutters. For fettuccini or tagliatelli roll a bit thinner..

Cook 5 min, still firm,”al dente” and just a little butter, a little extra virgin olive oil and coarse salt. Simple and delicious.

This is the most elemental of the food we do at Miranda and the closest to my heart. We will do a ton of sauced, baked, sautéed and other pasta dishes in the future. CHEF’s TIP: Connie suggested to always pour a small glass of Chianti whilst making the pasta, “it makes the cook and the macaroni  happy”