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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

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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Adobe Spark (3)

Spring is finally here and with this welcome new season comes a statewide celebration of all things maple. To help you decide where to go with your family, we scoured 81 listings to find some of the most unique places to visit.

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adobe-spark

When there is not much snow on the ground during winter weekends, our family finds ourselves hunting for accessible adventures. We found a road trip to a new-to-us weekend farmers’ market is always a highlight. There’s a thrill to discovering local farms and artisans. All of us enjoy chatting with vendors, sampling new foods, and of course, shopping for all nature of good things. For MP and DP, a visit to a local market is also a welcome respite from our weekly grocery store visits.

From Berwick to Orono, here are some weekend markets that are worth the trip:

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MP doesn’t know about you, but today, she could use a little extra TLC. When she feels this way, she doesn’t feel much like doing anything, especially cooking. Thanks to our newest sponsor, Gather in Yarmouth, bringing home a wholesome, family meal is easy. The restaurant recently introduced Gather at Home—freshly prepared meals, sides, and desserts to go. Our family of four tried the hearty chorizo meatloaf, homemade biscuits, and roasted Brussels sprouts. The experience felt just like enjoying a home-cooked meal, but without all the work.

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Restaurant owner Matt Chappell chatted with MP recently about this exciting, new takeout option and what families can expect when they visit.

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Now that the first half of fall is over, and all of the family commitments that come with it, MP finds herself wanting to slow down. She knew the minute she pulled out this beloved pumpkin bread recipe that it was time to take a brief hiatus from weekend travel, houseguests, and get-togethers before the holidays. This super moist pumpkin bread is her simple solution to slowing down. Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, it is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or warm cider. MP can’t think of a better way to take a self-imposed time out.

pumpkinbread

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For the kids’ first trip to the Katahdin region, MP planned an overnight stay at New England Outdoor Center (NEOC) in Millinocket. The family-friendly, lakeside resort offers a variety of fun adventures, including moose tours, rafting, canoeing and hiking. For accommodations, guests can choose from rustic cabins to modern lodges.

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Our home for the night – the Eagle lodge.

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School is out in less than a month, and our summer is going to be busier than ever. MP has a special project she is working on, the kids are going to day camps, and we have family visiting from California for a few weeks. Still, there is always room for a few new adventures! Here’s what is on our list:

Maine Huts & Trails

We’ve heard so many good things about Maine Huts & Trails, a nonprofit organization in Kingfield that provides lodging and outdoor activities for all ages and levels of expertise. When a local Mom suggested CP #2’s third grade class take a year-end trip to Maine Huts & Trails, we were all in! Our plan is to take a short hike in with the kids to our hut, explore the grounds and enjoy a big, family-style meal together. We can’t think of a better way to kick off summer!

poplar

Photo courtesy John Orcutt Photogrpahy

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