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Archive for January, 2011

Congratulations to Hannah P.—she’s won a gift certificate towards handmade valentines at LuckyLu Creations. We liked Hannah’s sweet Valentine’s Day tradition of enjoying a fancy breakfast with her children before school.

Like Hannah, MP and DP enjoy making even the smallest holidays special for our family. Last year MP discovered a recipe for Chocolate Fudge Pie with raspberries. The pie was simple to prepare and oh so delicious. We quickly learned that CP#1 and CP#2 love red raspberries as much as they like chocolate. The two nearly devoured the whole pint before MP could place a few on top of the pie.

This rich chocolate pie is a crowd-pleasing Valentine's Day dessert

This year we hope to revisit the pie using homemade whipped cream and our new favorite pie crust. In the mean time, we hope you and your family enjoy this dessert as much as we do!

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This week, we’re asking readers to tell us how their families celebrate Valentine’s Day. The Cute Potato team celebrates with an annual sleigh ride—namely, the Pejepscot Sno-Chiefs World’s Greatest Sleigh Ride in Lisbon Falls. The event is fun for all involved, and better yet, the proceeds benefit Pine Tree Camp—a 285-acre summer camp in Rome, ME for adults and children with disabilities.

Just one of many interesting sleds at the World’s Greatest Sleigh Ride event

The day is a thrill for kids of all ages. There are few places where a person can take in so many unique sleds and draft horses all at once. When we attended last year, the lines of people rivaled Walt Disney World, but the Sno-Chiefs are an organized bunch. The team didn’t have to wait long before boarding our sled. Our ride began in a farm field that led to a pretty, tree-lined trail through the woods. While the team cuddled together to stay warm, CP#1 and #2 asked our patient driver a lot of questions. And he graciously answered them all.

The start of our beautiful ride through the woods

After our adventure, the kids bee-lined for the hot chocolate and homemade donuts at the Sno-Chiefs’ Snack Shack. And then, much to MP’s delight, we checked out some vintage snowmobiles that were on display.

If she could, MP would have taken the Sno Traveler for a spin…

Fresh air. Good people. Sleigh rides. Hot cocoa. Really, celebrating Valentine’s Day doesn’t get much better. In fact, the team likes to think this family tradition is quite possibly the world’s greatest.

18th Annual World’s Greatest Sleigh Ride
Rescheduled for Sunday, Feb. 20
10:00 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Route 125  (Follow signs for event)
Lisbon Falls
Donation: Adults $4/Children $3
FMI: call Gordon Curtis at 353.2200

 

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If you don’t have time to make your own Valentines, find a variety of fun, handmade mini sets from Topsham’s LuckyLu Creations. Etsy shop owner Kara Dowling says she’s loved paper crafts and scrapbooking ever since grade school. Today, the expectant mom works late into the evening designing her whimsical greeting cards and gift tags.

We’re fans of Kara’s Itty Bitty Love notes. These simple, hand stamped cards are just the right size for kids to give friends at school:

These sweet mini notes come in packs of 12 and are blank inside

And Kara’s gift tags make a charming addition to small tokens of love:

Add fun tags like these to homemade treats

You can visit LuckyLu Creations on Etsy or Facebook.

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Our family adores Maine winters. Really. After a busy holiday season, the team welcomes these slower, quieter months. There’s nothing quite like hanging out in our pjs and making pancakes when the snow flies. Similarly, spending time together outdoors is most definitely cold, but always memorable—even when CP#1 and #2 take a near eternity to get their gear on.

So you can imagine when MP spotted Baby Greene’s Maine Love tees on Etsy, she was positively smitten. If there were ever a logo that summed up the Cute Potato family, this one would be it.

What's not to love about this T-shirt?

Gorham-based artist Sabrina Thiemke-Greene says the design came to her while developing the Baby Greene line of alphabet tees. Originally, Sabrina hoped to say M is for Maine, but once she inserted the heart, the design just felt right. And isn’t that the way true love is supposed to feel? We certainly think so.

To browse Sabrina’s Etsy shop, visit  www.etsy.com/shop/babygreene

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The team loves being snowed in, so yesterday we decided to throw ourselves a snow day soiree. For decorating, we revisited the snowflake cards we made a few days ago, but this time, we used larger sheets of origami paper (8.5″ x 8.5″). CP#1 and MP made a variety of snowflakes in different sizes. Then we taped white curling ribbon to the back of each snowflake and created garland for our window. The result? A simple and festive decoration we can enjoy all winter. But admittedly, MP is already thinking of making similar garland for Valentine’s Day with paper hearts.

Bright color for a winter day

To make the party complete, MP decided to use a Christmas gift given to us by Grandma Patty Potato—a pull-a-part snowman cupcake mold. We didn’t have any eggs in the house and couldn’t travel to the store, so MP decided on a gluten-free version of this easy Double-Chocolate snack cake, substituting Bob’s Red Mill GF flour and 1 tsp. xanthan gum. (more…)

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CP#1 and #2 were very fortunate over the holidays, receiving all kinds of surprises from dear friends, aunts, uncles and grandparents. To show our appreciation, we decided to make some homemade thank you notes, using colorful paper snowflakes plus a pack of blank cards and envelopes.

At age 4, CP# 1 loved cutting out snowflakes (in fact, we have quite a stockpile of them for future projects). Three-year old CP#2, on the other hand, served as our resident glue stick expert.

To makes these cards at home, you’ll need:

• 5.5″ x 5.5″ origami paper (we found ours at Rainbow Toys in Falmouth)

• Scissors

• Clear glue stick

• Pack of cards and envelopes (ours were 4″ x 5.5″ and on sale at A.C. Moore) (more…)

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We’re sad to note: Wildflours Bakery is no longer at this location due to fire. However, you can find their yummy treats at restaurants and markets throughout the state. Visit their Facebook page for details. 

Update 2016: Wildflours is rebuilding in Brunswick, according to The Forecaster.

It’s no secret that the Cute Potato team loves to bake. Our favorites? Classic Betty Crocker banana bread, Ghirardelli chocolate brownies and the fabulous oatmeal raisin cookies featured on the back of the Quaker Oat’s lid. So you can imagine we were sent into a bit of a tailspin when we learned CP#1 needed to go gluten-free, meaning baking with whole wheat flour was out of the question.

(more…)

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