For years, Stephanie Petkers, a.k.a. Chef Stef, has followed her passion for cooking. She has developed a collection of recipes for comfort food she now shares with clients of her Chef Stef Maine online cooking and catering business.

Chef Stef offers a rotating selection of soups, casseroles, salads and sweets for pickup in Harpswell or local delivery at no charge with no contact. Courtesy / Stephanie Petkers

She offers a rotating selection of soups, casseroles, salads, breads, sweets and more available for pickup in Harpswell or local free delivery with no contact.

This week’s menu includes meatballs in a chunky tomato sauce, loaded baked potato soup and quinoa vegetable salad (two servings, $10; four for $18). Also on the menu are Caribbean curried chicken, meatloaf and BBQ pulled port.

Petkers’ dishes are created and sourced locally. She uses vegetables and herbs from High Hopes Farm in Bristol and plans to expand her own garden this year to enlarge her menu. Her goal is to make homemade, healthy comfort food.

Initially, she supported local seniors who were aging at home in Harpswell. Her customer base quickly grew to include the Brunswick Rotary Club and catering for small groups.

Her mother inspired her cooking and they still work together on many cooking projects. She also prepares breakfast and dinner at the Log Cabin Inn on Bailey Island during the season and caters to dietary considerations.

Petkers can be contacted through her website, chefstefmaine.com, her Facebook page, email [email protected] or 504-4685.

Chef Stef offers this Molasses Batter Bread recipe as something to try during our “stay at home” days – or beyond. With limited availability of pantry items, including yeast, this bread uses common ingredients but has a lot of flavor plus a dense texture that works perfectly for sandwiches or to toast with jam.

Molasses Batter Bread

2 1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1-1/2 cups buttermilk (or substitute 1 ½ tablespoons white vinegar and enough milk to make 1 ½ cups)
1/2 cup molasses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add melted butter, buttermilk and molasses and mix well.

Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the sides and top of the loaf are browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and dry. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool on a baking rack. Freezes well.

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