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MP adores fall in Maine — the crisp mornings, the golden sunlight and the vibrant leaves make the season feel like a celebration. Winter is right around the corner, and for this reason, she feels compelled to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Our family had never traveled to the Rangeley area before, so we decided to make the most of an autumn weekend in this stunning part of the state.

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MP is the resident family photographer. It’s a job she thoroughly enjoys, but every once in awhile, she wouldn’t mind being included in a picture or two. For this reason, she reached out to talented family photographer, Nina Cutter. MP discovered Nina’s photos on Instagram and was instantly drawn to her creative use of color and light. Her style is playful and honest, as evidenced by the sweet photos she took of our family.

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Treworgy Family Orchard is located in Levant, just 10 miles outside of Bangor, where owner Gary Treworgy and his big creative family design an incredible corn maze on the grounds of their farm. Since 2001, visitors have enjoyed their impressive mazes — which have ranged from a variety of animals to a Celtic labyrinth and even a knight fighting a dragon! This year’s design is Paul Bunyan, Legendary Lumberjack, and our crew decided it was high time we visit the farm to experience the maze for ourselves.

 

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Finally! We are back from a busy summer break that included finalizing a big project (details in a future post), entertaining houseguests, road trips, and all variety of camps for the kids. While our family adores summer in Maine, we consider September, with its golden sunshine and mild temperatures, one of the best months of the year.

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coastal

Our family last visited Acadia National Park in 2009 when the kids were just two- and three-years old. At the time, we explored the Schoodic Peninsula — a lesser known entrance to the park, where a 6-mile loop treated us to spectacular views of lighthouses and forested islands. The visit was a quiet way to introduce our young family to the park, and while we loved our first adventure together, we left wanting to experience more iconic spots in Acadia.

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Every once and awhile, MP goes through old photos and is reminded of a great event. Such is the case with the colorful, wonderfully quirky July 4th parade in Bath. We visited during the summer of 2013, and even though it was a hot, sweaty morning, our whole family just loved everything about this festive, community-powered parade.

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bananabread

Happy Memorial Day weekend, friends! If you’re searching for a recipe to bring to a party host or offer house guests, this quick bread delivers every time. The banana/chocolate combination is loved by everyone in our household. Dense and not overly sweet, this bread is made even better slathered with your favorite peanut butter. It makes a great breakfast treat (and a smart bribe when the kids are not quick to get out of bed on a school day), a wholesome snack to send along in a lunch box or a quick bite before an early evening baseball game.

You’ll need: 

• 2 cups of all-purpose flour
• 3/4 tsp. baking soda
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (approx. 3 bananas)
• 2 large eggs
• 1/3 cup plain yogurt (we prefer whole milk)
• 4 oz. semisweet chocolate
• Butter for coating the pan

To make:

Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter a 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pan and set aside.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl to use for later.

Cream sugar and butter in a large bowl at medium speed until blended (about one minute). Add banana, eggs and yogurt. Beat until blended. Adjust the mixer to low speed. Slowly add the flour mixture until moist.

Break up the chocolate and place in a medium-size, microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for about one minute or until the chocolate is nearly melted. Stir the chocolate until smooth and allow to cool for a minute or two.

Next, add one cup of batter to the chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Then spoon and spread 1/3 of the plain batter into the base of your loaf pan, followed by 1/3 layer of the chocolate batter (the batter will be thick but spreadable with a silicone spatula). Alternate the batters 1/3 at a time, ending with the plain batter.

Use a butter knife to gently swirl the two batters together in the loaf pan.

Bake for approx. one hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick at the center comes out clean. Cool ten minutes on a wire rack and if you wish, remove the loaf from the pan. Cool on the rack completely before serving.

Yields: One loaf. Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.

PS: The very best banana muffins. And a Memorial Day weekend adventure in Damariscotta and Newcastle.

 

 

 

 

 

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