About the Author

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Shannon Bryan is a feature writer for the Portland Press Herald and content producer for MaineToday Media's entertainment website, www.mainetoday.com.

And here's a well-known truth: Shannon can't cook. She's also ostroconophobic (in Maine?!?), but in a foodie place like southern Maine, she's determined to learn how to cook, eat, and order with the best of them. Read about her culinary crusade:
Pans on fire

She's also an investigator into all that's strange and entertaining to do around here. Those findings are gathered here:
Out Going: Things to do in southern Maine

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> Recipes - The easy kind

> Drinky Drink

> Cooking Classes

> Meet your food

> Burn Gallery

> How to

> New Cook Tips

> The Vegetable Garden Experiment

Previous entries

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

Tuesday July 03, 2012 | 11:47 AM
Perhaps you classify yourself as a cook. Maybe even a good cook. Or maybe you're someone whose kitchen talents are limited to knowing the precise amount of time it takes to nuke a hot dog in the microwave so it's hot but not so hot that it splits open like a lightning-struck log.

Whatever your culinary classification, I think we can all agree on one thing: Anything breaded and fried is good.

Whether it's shrimp or avocado or yesterday's ham, simply dip it in some panko and fry it in a pan.

Wednesday June 20, 2012 | 11:48 AM
I sometimes develop "crud in the pan."


Maybe I'm pan-frying some chicken or scallops or toasting up some arborio rice and tomatoes (en route to a splendid risotto), but inevitably, the crud appears. Like some stove-top phantom, it finds its way into the pan. It adheres like golden-brown quick-dry cement, sometimes in spots, sometimes covering the whole pan.


Monday June 18, 2012 | 01:54 PM
I'm not usually very receptive to advice. Someone starts a sentence with, "You know what you should do..." and I reflexively stop listening.

Hence why I'm such a bad flosser with poorly managed investments and a car that rarely gets treated to preventative maintenance.

But when it comes to cooking, I'll take advice from just about anywhere. Those expert tips and educated recommendations can mean the difference between prematurely flipped pancakes and pancakes that are flipped at just the right moment - when the batter starts bubbling. And I will not stand for a pancake with batter in the middle. It's shameful!

Thursday June 14, 2012 | 11:36 AM
Nothing gets people talking quite like a parsnip.

I picked up a monster-sized one (a full 1.5 pounds of root vegetable wonder) at the Portland Farmer's Market yesterday. It was another foray into the land of vegetables I've never eaten/cooked/seen before because they were never served during school lunches under a blanket of Velveeta cheese.

I didn't need a bag, I told the parsnip purveyor, because I wanted to run through Monument Square carrying this gargantuan root vegetable like an Olympic torch. I ended up walking with it instead. And people started commenting on it.

Friday June 08, 2012 | 01:35 PM

Really. Goat cheese goes great on a date.

Goat cheese is like the smart, good-looking cheese that's witty and easy to talk to and it takes you to all the nicest restaurants and makes you feel pretty and you just know it's love even though you just met but that doesn't matter because your kids will be so attractive!

Ahem. Excuse me.