Friday, April 30, 2010

Kennebunk Farmers' Market

The Kennebunk Farmers' Market opens for the season tomorrow, Saturday, May 1st.

This farmers' market is plentiful with fresh local fruits and vegetables, artistanal cheeses, natural and free-range meats, poultry and eggs, culinary herbs, fresh baked breads, pies and pastries, Maine maple syrup and even lobster.  Along with the edibles are handmade herbal soaps, fresh cut and dried flowers, alpaca yarn and hand knit hats, socks and scarves.

The outdoor market is held rain or shine on Saturdays from May 1st to mid- November from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Click HERE to learn more about the Kennebunk Farmers' Market, see the vendors list and get directions.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Kentucky Derby

It is time for the "Run for the Roses" at Churchill Downs in Louisville this weekend as they host the 136th Kentucky Derby.

The Derby kicks off the "triple crown" of thoroughbred horse racing followed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes in May and June.

What is so enjoyable about the Kentucky Derby are all the well-known traditions.  The elaborate hats, the fancy parties, the mint juleps and the endless renditions of "My Old Kentucky Home", but as post time approaches pay attention, this is after all the "most exciting two minutes in sports" and you don't want to miss it.

The race will air on NBC on Saturday, May 1, 2010.  Special coverage begins at 4:00 PM EST.

Post time for the Kentucky Derby is 6:24 PM EST.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Portland Phoenix "Best of 2010"

The Phoenix has published their "Best of Portland" list for 2010.  The annual reader's poll showcases the winners in four categories, Arts & Entertainment, City Life, Food & Drink and Shopping.

Here are a few we plan on checking out:

"Best Brunch" - The Front Room.  Located on Congress Street, they offer a dizzying array of delectables including, silver dollar pancakes with Maine blueberries, croque-monsieur, bisquits and gravy, three egg omelettes, french onion soup, fresh salads and house-made corned beef hash.  And the best part, they serve brunch everday!

"Best Bookstore (New)" - Longfellow Books.  We love independent bookstores.  They are fighting the good fight to bring their passion and knowledge about books to the people.

"Best Public Open Space" - Eastern Promenade.  Take a walk on the Eastern Prom trail or simply find a grassy spot and enjoy the spectacular views of Casco Bay.  This is why we live in Maine after all.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Varano's Italian Restaurant

We have always loved Varano's.  It is one of our favorite places to dine and celebrate special occasions.  And now we love them even more.

Over the weekend, we hosted a 40th birthday party for someone very special and Varano's catered the affair.  It was outstanding.

We chose two entrees from their extensive catering menu, Chicken Marsala and Shrimp Scampi, as well as garlic bread and their famous caesar salad.  The entrees were so delicious, brimming with fresh ingredients and aromatic sauces.  The garlic bread was crispy, but tender, and golden brown.  And their caesar salad is to die for, crisp romaine lettuce, romano cheese, seasoned croutons and Varano's homemade caesar dressing.

The portions were more than generous and as the hosts we got to keep the leftovers, lucky us.  The prices were very reasonable and the Varano's staff was awesome to work with.

Click HERE to learn more about Varano's Italian Restaurant in Wells, Maine.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Goat Island Lighthouse

Goat Island Light Station
Cape Porpoise, Maine

Click HERE to learn more.

Friday, April 23, 2010

IZZE Beverages

What is IZZE, you may ask?  Simply, it is a refreshing combination of pure fruit juice and sparkling water.  No refined sugars, caffeine, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors.

The Colorado-based company entered the all ready crowded beverage category in 2002 and have carved out a niche with their all natural products.

They offer a thirst quenching array of flavors including pomegranate, grapefruit, blueberry, clementine, peach, blackberry, apple and lime.  And we are totally delighted with their eye catching packaging and simple, yet colorful logo.

Click HERE to learn more and find IZZE near you.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

We will be celebrating Earth Day locally at two exceptional events on Saturday, April 24th.

We'll start our day at the Nonantum Restaurant in Kennebunkport where they will be hosting a "benefit breakfast buffet" to raise funds for the Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm.  Breakfast will be served from 7:30 to 10:00 AM.

Next we'll head over to the Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm in Wells for a day full of eco-friendly activities.  Included are exhibits and demonstrations from the York County Audubon Society and the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. There will also be concerts, nature walks and lunch offerings.  The event is from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and admission is free.

Click HERE to learn more at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm web site.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Portland Public Library

The Portland Public Library re-opened last Thursday after being closed for one year to undergo a massive reconstruction.

The 7.5 million dollar renovation has taken this once dim and outdated space and transformed it into a vibrant gathering place full of light and energy.

The new library hosts three levels including the enlarged Rines Auditorium, the expanded Lewis Gallery, and the new Portland Room.

It is clear to see that a tremendous amount of heart and soul has been poured into this Portland landmark.

The Portland Public Library
5 Monument Square
Portland, Maine
(207) 871-1700

Click HERE to learn more.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spinach and Risotto Casserole

We first discovered this recipe in our favorite entertaining cookbook, Effortless Elegance with Colin Cowie.  Spinach and Risotto Casserole has been our "go to" dish for entertaining and always a crowd pleaser.

Traditional risottos are very labor intensive, a lot of stirring and stove tending.  This recipe combines all the classic risotto ingredients, white wine, arborio rice, parmesan cheese, and then bakes the dish casserole style.

It is out of this world and very kind to the cook.

Check out other great entertaining tips and recipes from Colin Cowie..

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blackberry Hill Designs

In Ogunquit yesterday, we took in some of the Patriot's Day festivities.  The weather was less than cooperative but as we sought shelter in the craft tent, we discovered a wonderful Maine jewelry designer.

Blackberry Hill Designs handcrafts "jewelry with a bit of whimsy" and we were immediately charmed by their Scrabble Tile Pendants.  The pendants are made from recycled scrabble tiles featuring custom graphics coated with resin to give them a brilliant shine.

With so many cool graphics on display, it was hard to choose just one, so we chose two.

Check out Blackberry Hill Designs at one of their upcoming arts and craft show appearances.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pulitzer Prize

For the second year in a row, a novel set in Maine has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

The 2010 winner is the debut novel  Tinkers by Paul Harding which was published by the small newcomer, Bellevue Literary Press.  This book flew so low under the radar that the New York Times never issued a review.

Tinkers tells the story of a man at the end of his life, confined by illness, and the journey his mind takes recalling the past.  It asks the question, where will our mind take us if we have time to contemplate our mortality?

Last year the Pulitzer Prize for fiction went to Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.  A meditation on life told through thirteen short stories interconnected by the title character, Olive.

Two great award winning books set in Maine.  We like this trend.

Tinkers and Olive Kitteridge are available now in paperback at Amazon.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ugly Betty finale

Ugly Betty aired it's series finale last night.  What a great show and Betty has come a long way.

In addition to the colorful characters and outrageous story lines, the show was known for showcasing great music and the final four minutes of the series gave us three awesome songs to download.

"All The World (I Tell Myself)" by Correatown
"Ready Steady Go" by Generation X
"The Beauty in the World" by Macy Gray

Patriot's Day in Ogunquit

"Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere"
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Come celebrate Patriot's Day in Ogunquit this weekend and you will be in good company.  None other than Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Betsy Ross, Paul Revere and a host of other historical notables will be there to greet you.

The schedule of events include a Fife and Drum concert, a re-enactment of Paul Revere's ride, "Taste of the Town", a Craft Bazaar, Kidstown Amusements and Casino Night.  Many Ogunquit businesses will be offering discounts, samples and sales as well.

The festivities begin on Friday, April 16th, and conclude Sunday afternoon, April 18th.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dana Heacock

We took a stroll through Ogunquit Village over the weekend and stopped into the Abacus Gallery.  We had to get another look at the Dana Heacock prints that have captured our imagination.

Dana Heacock is a Maine artist known for his artwork in the Abacus Calendar.   He also produces fine art giclee prints of his original paintings.

Known for his bold use of color and striking images, Heacock's work leaves a lasting impression.  If you get a chance to see these prints up close they truly are beautiful.

Abacus has stores in Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, Portland, Freeport and Boothbay Harbor.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Glee is back!  The award winning show returns tonight with a long anticipated new episode.

The 14th episode of the series titled "Hell-o" will include cover performances of classic songs by Lionel Richie, AC/DC and the Beatles.

The fans of Glee, affectionately known as "gleeks", can hardly wait to reconnect with their favorite characters and revel in the musical numbers.

Glee airs tonight, April 13th, at 9:28 PM ET on Fox.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Portland Sea Dogs

The Portland Sea Dogs will  celebrate their home-opener at Hadlock  Field this Thursday, April 15th, against the Trenton Thunder (Yankees).

The Sea Dogs, AA minor league affiliates of the Boston Red Sox, are anticipating a big 2010 season.

With notable major league alumni like Josh Beckett, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez, you never know what future superstar you'll see.

So buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, and a hot dog too, and let's play ball!

Gates open at 4:00 PM with the first pitch scheduled for 6:10 PM.

Click HERE to visit the Portland Sea Dogs official web site.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Nubble Light

The Cape Neddick Light Station
aka "The Nubble Light"
Cape Neddick, Maine

Click HERE to learn more about this classic southern Maine lighthouse.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

An Education

We watched An Education  recently and were delighted by the performances and beauty of this film.

It is an engaging coming of age story set in early 1960's London before it started to swing.

Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is a young student working hard to secure entrance to Oxford University, but she dreams of Paris and reading whatever she wants. When she meets a charming older man (Peter Sarsgaard), her small world transforms in ways she never could have predicted.

Carey Mulligan is a revelation and delivers a star-making performance.  The film was nominated at the Academy Awards this year for Best Picture and Best Actress for Miss Mulligan.

An Education is available now on DVD at Amazon.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ogunquit Playhouse

The Ogunquit Playhouse just announced their 2010 season and there is something for everyone.  From time honored classics to dramatic spectacles to Monty Python, this is shaping up to be another remarkable year at "America's foremost summer theatre".

The Drowsy Chaperone: A Musical within a Comedy
June 9 thru June 26

The Sound of Music
June 30 thru July 24

Sunset Blvd.
July 28 thru August 14

Monty Python's Spamalot
August 18 thru September 11

September 5 thru October 24

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Acorn slippers

We love Acorn slippers.

"Comfort on Earth" is the Lewiston based footwear company's mantra.  Their 2010 spring collection is full of color with a multitude of eye-catching styles.  And their weatherproof soles make them wearable indoor and outdoor.

We're partial to the ballet slipper.  Think Audrey Hepburn.

Monday, April 5, 2010

On the Newsstand

We were kicking ourselves for letting our Vanity Fair subscription run out when we saw who is gracing the May cover.  The article, "Grace Kelly's Forever Look", examines the enduring legacy of this girl from Philadelphia. This issue hits newsstands April 7th.

Down East magazine's April issue, surveys Maine real estate and asks the question, what is your dollar worth?  And a charming article defines the weekly ritual of going out for breakfast on Saturday mornings.

In the April issue of Coastal Living, Casco Bay gets a shout out in a travel article entitled "9 Coastal Wonders to See Now".

Friday, April 2, 2010

Raspberry Bellinis

We thought a Raspberry Bellini would be a great cocktail to serve on Easter Day. It's festive, delicious and so pretty. The drink is served chilled in a champagne flute and it is easy to prepare.

Raspberry Bellini
(serves one)
1 tablespoon raspberry syrup
4 ounces chilled Prosecco, Italian sparkling wine
fresh raspberries, for garnish

To prepare the syrup, puree one 6 oz. container of fresh raspberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of water in a food processor and strain to remove the seeds.

Place 1 tablespoon of raspberry syrup into a champagne flute.  Pour in the chilled Prosecco and stir gently. Garnish with fresh raspberries and serve.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hurricane Restaurant

We love this time of year in Maine.  All the fabulous restaurants open their doors after a winter break and the locals have the place to themselves (more or less).

One of our favorites, the Hurricane Restaurant in Kennebunkport, opens for the season tonight.

Located in the heart of Dock Square on the Kennebunk River, this is a great spot. Their menu includes the freshest seafood, steaks and chops, amazing soups, salads and sandwiches.

But if you are an oyster fan - this is the place for you.  Every Sunday night until the summer season, they offer oysters on the half shell for a "buck-a-shuck".  They are delivered ice cold to your table, beautifully presented, with fresh lemon, cocktail and mignonette sauces, spicy horseradish and warm toasty french bread.  Are you feeling it?  We always order a glass of sparkling wine to complete the experience.

Oh, did we mention their award-winning wine list and decadent desserts?

Click HERE to visit the Hurricane Restaurant web site.