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Posts Tagged ‘maine’

One of the things we love best about our new home is its close proximity to some incredible farms and orchards. The team recently stopped by Sunflower Farm & Creamery in Cumberland to visit with their newest baby goats. Owners Hope and Chris Hall regularly open the farm to visitors, so children and adults can enjoy spending time with the babies. And boy, did we ever. 

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Clearly, the Cute Potato kids were smitten. They asked MP and DP multiple times if we could bring one home. MP suggested we visit the farm more often! 

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After leaving the baby goats behind, we visited the farm yard and the grown-up goats. They were just as sweet as the kids, and lots of fun to watch. 

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After such a great visit, we’re all looking forward to Saturday, May 17 — the day the farm opens its creamery for the season. MP is already dreaming of fresh chevre, feta, and decadent cajeta (caramelized goat milk). And if you’re interested in learning how to make your own cheese, Sunflower Farm offers classes in July, August and November. Check their event calendar for listings. 

Sunflower Farm & Creamery
12 Harmon Way
Cumberland
207.829.8347
Find them on Facebook

PS: Have you visited another great goat farm or creamery in Maine? Tell us! We’d love to include the locations here. 

 

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MP found this letterpress Easter greeting while shopping at Royal River Books in Yarmouth. When she turned the card around, she learned it was made in Swans Island by a company called Saturn Press.

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Some investigating revealed that the card company, which began in 1986, is owned by designer Jane Goodrich and printer Jim van Pernis. The two create vintage-inspired greeting cards using their collection of turn-of-the-century images for inspiration. Van Pernis uses four antique printing presses to develop the quality prints you see here.

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The team at Saturn Press has an old-fashioned approach to everything they do. The small company doesn’t have a web site or a computer in their small, Swans Island shop and studio. The popularity of their product comes from word of mouth. It seems when your work is a labor of love, people notice. In article in American Way magazine, Goodrich says of Saturn Press’ designs, “There’s extreme satisfaction in knowing that you’re bringing something beautiful that has your fingerprints on it back into the world.”

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MP is so impressed by this small Maine company, and will definitely be seeking out their gorgeous cards and book plates for years to come.

To shop for Saturn Press cards, visit Luxe Paperie online, or stop by great local shops like Daytrip Society in Kennebunkport. And before we forget, happy spring to everyone! We are so glad it’s finally here.

 

 

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If there is one dessert that MP can’t pass up, it’s cookies. Decadent chocolate chip cookies are her weakness, followed by crisp butter cookies and just about anything made with dark chocolate. So you can imagine her delight when she discovered Slice & Bake Cookies by Camden-based cookbook author Elinor Klivans. The cookbook features make-ahead cookie dough you can refrigerate or freeze for later use.

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Photo courtesy The Kitchn

MP and CP#1 tested Grandmother Sophie’s Butter cookies, and we loved the results. The dough was easy to prepare and the resulting cookie was delicious. We topped the cookies with dark chocolate chips.

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Photo courtesy Chicago Tribune

Recipe:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
Chocolate chips or pecan halves (optional)

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and salt in a bowl just until blended. Beat in sugar until blended smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl. Mix in yolks and extracts until blended. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, mixing just until incorporated.

Divide dough in half. Put each on a large piece of plastic wrap. Form into logs 7 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll back and forth to smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight, until firm. Or overwrap with aluminum foil and freeze up to two months. Note: Frozen dough needs defrosting in the refrigerator 3 hours before baking.

To bake, set rack in middle of oven. Preheat to 350 F.

Cut cold logs into slices, about 1/3-inch thick. Place cookies 11/2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Press a chocolate chip (flat side up) or pecan half into each slice. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are lightly browned, 15-20 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheet 10 minutes; transfer to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes 42 cookies.

SOURCE: Adapted from Slice & Bake Cookies, by Elinor Klivans

In addition to dessert cookies, Klivan’s book also features savory cookies. MP can’t wait to try her recipe for Black Pepper & Parmesan Crisps (a future post, promise).

Want a copy of Slice & Bake Cookies to call your own? Tell us the foods you can’t resist. We’ll choose a winner at random and announce early next week. Contest ends Sunday, March 23.

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On this sunny March Friday, with the promise of warmer days ahead, it’s nice to recall last summer. A highlight of our August was filming a short piece as Maine Insiders for the Maine Department of Tourism. The two-day shoot took us from Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in Freeport to Popham Beach and all of our favorite places in between.

Photo courtesy Erin Little.

Photo courtesy Erin Little.

The team began our first morning of filming at 8 a.m.—a feat for our family since we’re almost always running behind! We were amazed to find a crew of wonderful folks waiting for us at the entrance to the park. There was Mitch and Nick, two great guys from the ad agency who would become our interviewers, shirt lenders, and honorary Sherpas for the weekend. Photographer Erin Little, the talented woman behind the lifestyle blog, Bluebird Baby, and her partner Mark snapped pictures of us throughout the shoot. The crew also included camera man Jayson Lobozzo. Jayson was especially kind to CP#2, who wasn’t in the mood for filming on Day 1, but brightened after Jayson shared his personal camera with him. Ramsey Tripp, who is known for his work on The Peloton Project with Patrick Dempsey, was also on hand for filming. Tom, who managed sound, followed us everywhere in the heat with heavy equipment (thank you). And we were thankful for producers Darlene, Victoria and Rebecca, who made sure we had enough water and snacks to keep us energized for the next 8 hours.

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Photo courtesy etravelmaine

Filming for the project was a blast. MP wishes she brought her own camera along to document the days. She spent most of the first morning sitting on a piece of driftwood in the sun, answering questions about the great state of Maine, while the kids and DP played on the rocks. Later, we went to The Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster, one of our favorite summertime spots, and ate lunch during filming. We were surprised to find a small crowd of people gathered nearby, wondering aloud, “Who the heck are they?” The crew—cameras nearing our faces (and our lobster rolls)—would joke and say, “act natural!” which sent us all into fits of laughter.

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Photo cutepotato.com

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Photo cutepotato.com

We continued to more wonderful places: Mainely Custard, a homemade custard stand in Freeport, and then on to Bath where we strolled Main Street, watched Shakespeare in the Park, and traveled by trolley to the Maine Maritime Museum. Our time at the museum was a highlight for all of us—we loved touring the historic schooner on the museum grounds and would highly recommend a visit. It’s the perfect place for kids to pretend they’re ship captains or pirates at sea.

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Photo courtesy etravelmaine.com

Day 2 had us exploring Popham Beach, which has to be one of Maine’s most beautiful spots. There’s a great expanse of beach, tide pools, and rocks to climb. The weather was incredible that day—sunny, blue skies, and a slight sea breeze.

Photo courtesy Erin Little

Photo courtesy Erin Little

We played in the water, answered a few more questions, and filmed, filmed, filmed. Compared to Day 1, the visit to the beach was relaxed and easy, mostly because we stayed in one place. When it came time to move on to our next destination, we were sorry to leave. Fortunately, Fort Popham is close by and fun to explore with kids. We played hide and seek in its great stone halls, and poked our heads out the windows to take in the view.

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Photo courtesy Erin Little.

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Photo courtesy of Tangled & Warped blog.

We finished our second day of filming by lunch, and it was time to say goodbye to the incredible crew. All of us are so thankful they captured our adventure on film—it’s an experience we won’t soon forget. Here’s the result:

Many thanks to Carolann Ouelette and the Maine Department of Tourism for the opportunity!

PS: For more Maine Insiders and for seasonal family fun ideas, check out visitmaine.com

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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and MP likes to give and make special gifts for the family. It never ceases to amaze MP how many choices there are for creative gifts in Maine! Following are a few favorites:

1. A crocheted hat for kids and adults made by LaceyLove81
2. Get festive with felt heart garland from InJoyEcoCutie
3. This balsam pillow from Lakeside Quilts Maine makes a thoughtful gift
4. Find this sweet ‘Love Maine’ onesie at LiveME

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’re giving away a ‘Love Maine’ onesie, thanks to our new friends at LiveME. All you need to do is comment below. Contest ends tonight, 2/7/14, at midnight EST. We’ll announce the winner early next week. Good luck! xo, MP

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Jessica Jenkins, the owner of Daytrip Jr. in Kennebunkport, guest blogs today. If you haven’t already, follow Daytrip on Facebook. Jessica is a wonderful source of ideas for kids and families. We’re so happy to have her here! Take it away Jessica….

In search of a winter activity to cure our cabin fever, the Daytrip Society family packed our hats, coats, and snow pants and headed north toward the Saco Heath Preserve. We spotted some amazing photos of the preserve from the summer and fall, so we took our chances that the trail would be passable in winter.

When we arrived, we were happy to find the parking lot open! We entered the trail and walked along the snow-covered boardwalk which zigzagged about half-mile to where the trail opens up to the Heath (aka a bog). My husband and I were glad for our last minute decision to throw a sled into the car, so our 4-1/2 year old could get a tow whenever she needed it!

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As we tromped along the floating boardwalk, we were surprised by how different this terrain looked and felt from any other we had visited in Maine. Our research told us that the Heath was once two adjacent ponds containing acid that slowed the decay of peat moss. The ponds eventually filled with so much peat, they grew together and formed a single raised bog. We were careful to stay on the trail—parts of the walk were above 20 feet of water and moss! Knowing this added a bit of excitement to our outing.

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Even though the trail is only 1.8 miles long, the extra effort it took to walk through snow made this a good hike. Our family took time to rest on the benches conveniently located mid-way through the bog. We pulled clementines out of our pockets for a sweet snack and gazed at the land surrounded by Atlantic White Cedars.
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We looped around and continued our return hike, already planning to come back to the preserve each season to get a feel for its year-round beauty. A visit to the preserve turned out to be the perfect way to get us out and exploring nature on a cold January afternoon! FMI on the Saco Heath Preserve, visit here.

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During this white and wintery time of year, MP craves color. What a treat it was to discover the Wildflower Soup Etsy shop. Shop owner and Brunswick Mom, Tammy Johnson, makes dolls and colorful quilts that are sure to brighten anyone’s day. Take a look:

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A sweet, cotton patchwork quilt for babies and toddlers.

Heirloom cloth dolls make a thoughtful gift.

Heirloom cloth dolls make a thoughtful gift.

MP loves the colors in this fun rag quilt.

MP loves the colors in this fun rag quilt.

See? Don’t you feel better already?

To learn more about Tammy and her Etsy shop, visit here.

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