1 A delicious summer meal along with a fresh avocado and tomato salad, and all the fixings for our burger feast, masterminded by my daughter, Alexis. She made fresh salmon burgers- found a side of line caught salmon at the Bar Harbor Farmer's market- and I made grass fed, organically raised beef burgers. The brioche rolls came from Balthazar Bakery in New York.
2 Alexis made this "Atlantic Beach" lemon pie for dessert. It was very simple, but delicious- a saltine crust, lemon filling, and whipped topping. Our friend, William Laird, was ready to dig right in.
4 I was in charge of making the caipirinhas- Brazil's national cocktail. It's made with cachaca, a sugar cane hard liquor, raw sugar, ice and lime.
5 I learned the recipe from my friend, Necy Fernandes, who always said muddling the sugar and lime together was the secret to a great drink.
6 After muddling, I added the ice and then the liquor and stirred. Caipirinha is usually served in heavy short glasses- I used these lead crystal Baccarat glasses.
7 The Caipirinha is one of my favorite cocktails, and it is a refreshing drink for summer entertaining.
8 Kevin Sharkey, and our friend, photographer Douglas Friedman, had a little fun with the pie! Don't worry, no one got pie in their face- it was all for show!
9 On another occasion, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian sent us some Creekstone Farms ribeyes for our steakhouse dinner. He and his family joined me and my family for a weekend at Skylands. Here he was preparing the ribeyes. Geoffrey loves to cook, and he made sure every ingredient he needed was sent to Skylands prior to his arrival- maybe he thought he would starve in Maine???? http://www.creekstonefarms.com
10 The ribeyes were grain fed, grade prime, and dry aged for 49-days. One such steak was enough for three people- hungry people. The bones were very popular!
11 Geoffrey and Thomas Joseph stopped dinner preparations for a quick photo. Geoffrey is an Iron Chef, restaurateur, television personality and author. He is a lot of fun as a house guest and is welcome to visit any time!!!
12 The ribeyes were highly seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and fresh thyme. Here they were ready to be cooked.
13 Geoffrey at the grill. I had this Argentine grill fashioned from steel- the long steel "v" shaped grill racks are slightly slanted, allowing any rendered fat to drip into the long metal pans that fit nicely under the ends. The weather was perfect for cooking outdoors.
14 Everyone helped with the meal- it's always fun cooking with friends and family. Here I am with Geoffrey and those delicious ribeye steaks right off the grill- Geoffrey allowed the steaks to sit for at least 20-minutes before slicing them!
15 Geoffrey served a handful of watercress with each steak.
16 Roasted shallots also accompanied the steaks. We all loved these "melt in your mouth" delicacies. Geoffrey roasted whole shallots, in their skins, at 250-degrees for three hours until soft and carmelized. He sprinkled them with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for the last half hour.
17 I love these oysters Rockefeller. I actually served them for another dinner I hosted for Mr. Rockefeller, and they were so good, I made them again for our steakhouse dinner.
19 Tiny brioche croutons we made for a kale salad we ended up never serving at our steakhouse dinner- menu changes do happen.
20 The next day, we used all these eggs to make Geoffrey's frittata for a picnic luncheon.
22 On this day, we all went down to the club dock to pick up the lobsters for our cioppino that evening.
23 Here is Mike Fiore, my property director, pulling up the lobster for the cioppino.
24 Everybody helped carry the lobsters in. The children were anxious to learn about lobsters, how they were caught, and how it felt to touch and lift them.
25 Look at all those lobsters! The claws were secured shut with thick, red rubber bands directly after they were caught. They were kept submerged in water in these plastic crates.
27 These were crushed tomatoes for the cioppino. The recipe is simple and fast, but the seasoning was critical for a tasty stew!
28 Here was the cioppino broth simmering on the stove. It smelled so good! After the broth was made the seafood was cooked right in the broth.
29 We also had clams stuffed with brioche breadcrumbs, lemon zest, herbs and clam juice.
30 Kosher salt made pretty beds for the stuffed clams.
31 Samantha Seneviratne helped Thomas plate the stuffed clams. She once worked full time in the test kitchens of Martha Stewart Living. Her first book, "The New Sugar and Spice" has just been published by Ten Speed Press.
32 Of course, we also had homemade Parker House rolls- some dinners are just not complete without a warm piece of bread and a pat of butter.
33 Red leaf lettuce for the children's dinner. It was amazing how most of the kids loved new and different lettuces- especially if they were lightly coated with a delicious vinaigrette!
34 Geoffrey decided to make a simple pasta with olive oil and garlic. It was utterly delcious!
35 Madeline enjoyed her dad's pasta in one of my faux bois bowls. Do you remember these beautiful bowls from Martha by Mail???
36 Geoffrey served the pasta- his daughter, Anna, aged six, was his helper.
37 The finished cioppino
38 Thomas and Samantha plated the delicious cioppino.
39 Instead of crab legs and shrimp (called for in the original recipe), we made this one just with Maine sea food- halibut, mussels and lobster.
40 Split lobster tail, halibut, mussels and lobster claws.
42 Geoffrey and I made special Martinis for everyone- I introduced many of the guests to Imperia Vodka, my favorite Russian vodka produced by Russian Standard.
43 Thomas made these mouth watering lemon meringue tarts for dessert.
44 Each one was gently browned on top by using a hand torch. The meringue was soft and browned well- Thomas used a bit of cornstarch as well as vinegar in the meringue.
45 Perfect - and it tasted even better.
46 Our last lunch was special- we enjoyed a meal of smoked salmon and whitefish with rye bread, pain seigle, onions and capers. We got this salmon whitefish salad from Acme Smoked Fish in Brooklyn, New York. They have been on my television show. http://www.acmesmokedfish.com/
47 Alexis made a wonderful corn, peach, tomato and basil salad. The peaches and corn came from a New York City farmer's market, and the tomatoes and basil were from my own garden right at Skylands.
48 Using fresh eggs from my chickens at Bedford, we made a simple, but great egg salad for lunch.
49 Sliced cucumbers- fresh from my garden. You can never go wrong with organic and fresh.
50 Fresh lettuce from my garden at Bedford.
51 Blueberries and peaches for this wonderful summer pie I made with Geoffrey and his daughter, Madeline.
52 i brushed the top of the galette with a basic mixture of heavy cream and egg before sprinkling with sanding sugar just before it went into the oven.
53 Another pie was filled with these delicious blueberries, which the Zakarians picked right from my terrace.
54 I made the blueberry pie with two crusts and cut a large hole in the center of the top to allow steam to release, but also so I would be able to see if the center of the pie was bubbling- a sign that the fruit was correctly cooked.
55 They were both big winners for dessert.