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We love Valentine’s Day because it’s an opportunity to celebrate during what can be one of Maine’s coldest, most wintery months. And there’s no denying the allure of a moist, rich chocolate cake. This classic recipe is our favorite for its dependability and ease. If you choose to make the frosting yourself, you won’t be disappointed. It’s rich and creamy without being cloyingly sweet. Together, the cake and the frosting do a little song and dance in your mouth — it is that good.

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When it’s too cold to enjoy the outdoors, or the snow conditions are not quite up to snuff, we try to find active indoor spaces that have something for all of us. Following are a few new favorites and suggestions for where you can find similar locations throughout the state.

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Happy New Year and welcome to winter! We love January for a variety of reasons: it’s a time to wind down from the holidays, start fresh and make our annual list of winter trips we want to experience. Here are a few highlights:

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While shopping at holiday craft fairs over the weekend, MP met Ann Bayer, the owner of Mama Bayer cookies. The self-taught, Falmouth baker makes decorative sugar cookies from her home kitchen. Not only are Ann’s creations thoughtfully designed, they’re also delicious. Her sugar cookies are soft, buttery and made even better with a sweet layer of frosting.  Continue Reading »

Happy almost Thanksgiving, everyone! We adore this time of year because it’s the kick-off to so many good things, like an afternoon spent making Thanksgiving pies. This fun, family tradition includes making one apple pie, one pumpkin pie and a new-to-us pie. This decadent, chocolate pecan pie began as a new-to-us recipe and quickly rose to the level of family favorite. The pie has a rich buttery flavor made even better with the satisfying combination of chocolate and pecans.

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First, can MP just say, wow! It’s been well over a month since she’s posted here. She forgets how busy the start of the school year can be for her family. That’s why whenever Columbus Day weekend rolls around, it’s a gift to sleep in, catch up on a few to-dos around the house, and explore our home state.

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Like all summers, ours seemed to go by just. like. that. Between our busy schedule and humid summer days, MP thought she missed the opportunity to pick strawberries altogether. And while buying fresh berries at the farmers’ market is an option, there’s nothing quite like going to a farm or field to pick your own fruit.

Then, via Facebook, the folks at Goss Berry Farm in Mechanic Falls reminded MP about late season strawberries. Suddenly, it didn’t matter that June and July had passed by in a flash, PYO strawberries were on the horizon! And if that weren’t enough, high bush blueberries and sunflowers were also plentiful. On a picture perfect August morning, MP and DP drove to the farm with plans to pick as many berries as humanly possible.IMG_1268

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