Monday, April 20, 2009

Shad Festival 2009, Lambertville, New Jersey

So, Shad Festival 2009 weekend is coming up FAST! It's actually this weekend!!! Shad Festival will be taking place April 25th and April 26th from 12:30 - 5:30 PM both days. It's rain or shine but I looked up the local weather forecast for Lambertville, New Jersey anyway (I included a screenshot).

Above is a photograph that I took from the New Hope side of the Delaware River. The bridge connects the "sister" towns. You'll likely be walking or driving over the bridge at some point during Shad Fest if you go. It's a great place to stop and take photographs of the river. You'll probably even get to photograph fishermen fishing for The Shad! That's what the men are fishing for in the lower right-hand corner of my photograph of the bridge.

One of the first things you'll see is the "Welcome to New Jersey" sign once you cross the bridge. Right now a bunch of Shad Festival banners and flags are hung by this sign. I'm sure you'll notice it!

Here's some information about the festival so you know what to expect once you get there (pulled from the site).

In The Food Court: everything from taco salads to fried Calamari! There will also be the tried and true favorites: Hot dogs, hamburgers and fries and fresh lemonade for the traditionalists! And Shad of course!Also featured: beer tasting and wine tasting.

Shad Roe Cooking Demonstration: at the famous Hamilton's Grill on Saturday and Sunday - samples for everyone!

Entertainment: Rock out to the best of local talent, with entertainment throughout the weekend: Check back soon for the schedule for your favorite type of music, there's everything from jazz, and R&B to funky pop rock.

Family fun: Check out the North Union Street Parking lot for the Kid's Bazaar, where you'll find everything haloes to wear, airbrush temporary tattoos, sand art, and kids will also have the opportunity to print their own T Shirt designs and make their own candles. Face painting too! And this year down in Lambertville Station's parking lot -- kids will go crazy for the rides because they're back!

Shad Festival Poster Auction on Sunday at 3 pm at the First Presbyterian Church on N. Union St. Over 130 original works of art will be on display throughout festival weekend. Register to bid at 2 pm on Sunday, and at 3 pm, the auction begins. Proceeds will go to local students pursuing a collegiate career in the arts. There will be both a silent and live auction of posters. All live auction posters MUST BE original works of art. Minimum starting bid at the live auction is $50. Minimum starting bid at the silent auction is $20. All entries are eligible to receive poster prizes!

The website actually updated their Shad Festival page to include information about the festivals parking situation. It gets really crowded in the Lambertville/New Hope area on normal nice weekend days, let alone during a festival.

"Sections of Lambertville's main streets will be closed for the festival, so do not try to drive all the way into town. Follow the parking signs to our lots and park the entire day for a fee. Shuttle buses will transport you to the festival from the lots located on Route 179. There are other lots located at the Diamond Silver Complex on N. Main St. (Rte. 29) and Arnett Ave. Proceeds from parking support our many civic and volunteer organizations. Throughout Lambertville metered parking with be in effect and violations carry a minimum fine of $25. Cars parked illegally along Route 29 or in "no parking" zones are subject to a minimum fine of $45. Please park in our lots!"

The weather for Shad Festival Weekend is going to be nice!!! The high for both days is in the low 80s and there's only the slightest chance of rain as of today. I'm excited that the weather is going to be nice because yesterday and today have been wet and rainy thus far. Remember to bring sunblock! Even though it's early in the season, the sun is stronger than you expect it to be. I got burned Saturday afternoon and I was only outside for a few hours.

I have some more photographs that I've taken of the Shad Festival signs and fishermen fishing for Shad, so I'll make another post later in the week to remind you all again!

Here's to digital cameras and full bellies!
- Cait

*All photographs in this posting were taken by me, including the screenshot of the page.

Spotting Dinner - Pasta with English Pea Pesto

I saw an episode of Giada at Home the other day where she made pesto using spinach and arugula instead of basil... When I was checking out TasteSpotting and came across dianalynn's posting of pasta with pesto made from peas, I was inspired. What a great take on pesto, especially with fresh peas becoming available.

Photo from southernfood

Pasta with English Pea Pesto

via southernfood


  • 1 pound spaghetti or linguine
  • 8 ounces diced ham
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 cup frozen petite green peas, thawed or lightly cooked
  • 3/4 cup packed torn basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, optional
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Cook spaghetti or linguine following package directions. Drain and rinse with hot water.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, brown the ham in a few teaspoons of olive oil or butter.

Meanwhile, for pesto, combine in a food processor the peas, basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and walnuts, if using. Run the food processor, adding olive oil a little at a time. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.

Toss the ham and pesto with the hot pasta. Serve with more Parmesan cheese.
Serves 6.

To really "bulk" out the pasta, I'd serve this with a simple grilled chicken breast (or grilled chicken tenders). I've always prefered chicken tenders to a whole chicken breast.

Here's to fresh produce and full bellies.
- Cait

Spotting Lunch - Crab Melt on Wholewheat English Muffins

For as long as I can remember my mother's choice sandwich was a tuna melt. A summer or two ago I remember her bringing home half a tuna melt sandwich from The Summer Kitchen in Newtown, Pennsylvania that looked so good every time I go to that restaurant I see if it's on the menu. We'd also make tuna melts at home for a quick lunch of dinner. I like it better than the average tuna salad sandwich (although I did make a tuna salad with grilled ahi tuna - AMAZING)... When I was on TasteSpotting looking for something for lunch and found cafenilson's crab melt - I was sold! I'll probably be trying this recipe out for my mom for Mother's Day - I know she'll love it!

Photo from cafenilson

Crab Melt on Wholewheat English Muffins

via cafenilson


  • 1 cup crab meat (you can use the real thing or the imitation crab, either way it still tastes good)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, fat -free half and half or milk (I use whatever I have in my refrigerator)
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded and divided into two or 4 portions depending on size of muffins used (see below)
  • paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 halves english muffins or 2 large ones


  1. Melt butter in a medium hot sauce pan. Add flour to make a roux. Add cream (or milk) and cook until thick. Add more or less cream to make a thick enough white sauce. Add crab meat pieces, stir carefully and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
  2. Place muffin halves in a baking sheet. Divide the crab mixture in half (or four if using regular sized english muffins.)
  3. Add crab mixture on top of muffin, enough to cover. Add the cheese on top. Cheese need not cover the muffin as it will melt and spread so watch out how much you put. Sprinkle with paprika on top.
  4. Broil in the oven until cheese melts and top is crusty golden brown, usually 10 - 15 minutes.
  5. Remove and serve with salad of choice.

The serving suggestion from cafenilson is that you serve the crab melts with a salad and I agree. This would be great with almost any kind of salad that you could think of. I came across a cucumber salad in Barefoot Contessa "Back to Basics" which would be a nice along side this. But a simple red onion and heirloom tomato salad would be equally as nice. Ina's tabbouleh salad (minus the pitas) would be a great choice too!

Here's to Alaska and full bellies.
- Cait

Spotting Breakfast - Mushroom, Asparagus, Gruyere and Egg Casserole

I love eggs for breakfast and I always love finding something different to do with them. When I was looking for a few breakfast dish on TasteSpotting I found inn cuisine's egg casserole. One thing I really loved about the dish is that it uses asparagus. Spring is the time to enjoy fresh asparagus, and this is a great way to use up asparagus you may have left over from dinner. I never cook a whole bundle of asparagus since I'm usually only cooking for one or two.

Photo from InnCuisine

Mushroom, Asparagus, Gruyere & Egg Casserole

via InnCuisine

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus (approximately 1 pound), rinsed, trimmed and cut into 1 & 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3-4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) sliced mushrooms
  • 3 ounces grated Gruyere, divided
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 controlled splash of dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

to prepare

Gently steam asparagus pieces for approximately 3 minutes, remove from heat and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F for baking. Spray your favorite casserole dish (approximately 9&1/2″ x 9&1/2″ x 1&1/2″ in size) with non-stick cooking spray.

to make the casserole

In a large bowl, break eggs and whisk gently. Add 2 ounces grated Gruyere (reserve remaining for garnish), minced shallot and garlic, splash of dry white wine, Herbes de Provence, salt and freshly ground black pepper; whisk until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Stir in steamed asparagus and sliced mushrooms. Pour egg mixture into prepared casserole dish and place on center rack of preheated, 350 degree F oven; bake for approximately 30-35 minutes (depending on size and depth of your casserole dish and accuracy of your oven). Casserole is done when eggs are set in the middle, i.e. eggs no longer jiggle when casserole dish is moved back and forth.

When eggs are set, remove casserole dish from oven and and sprinkle with remaining ounce of grated Gruyere. Cut into 4 large wedges (or 6-8 smaller ones) and serve warm.

Pair with warm, crusty bread and a mixed green sald or fruit. Optional—top bread and salad with a slight drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a bit of grated Gruyere if desired. Enjoy!