Recipes

Monday, February 20, 2012

Winter Weekend in Maine

It’s not news to tell you that I love Maine…especially Portland.  It’s one of my absolute places to go in New England. 

The bonus is that now I have a friend who lives a short 10 minute drive from the Old Port!!  One of my good friends/former co-workers moved back to her home state of Maine about a year and a half ago and I am just now getting up to visit her!! 

We had a relaxing, fun, and delicious weekend with our dogs :)

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Bromley had a great time playing with Molly! 

First thing we did when I arrived was to head into downtown Portland to hit up a local winter Farmer’s Market and then walk around the Old Port. 

I picked up some local cheese to tryIMG_3432

We dove into the cheese later on

Beautiful little spice shop on Commercial Street

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Finally tried a cappuccino from Bard Coffee

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It was very good, but I still think that Thinking Cup wins. 

Lots of cute shops, lunch, more walking and then I decided I needed a sweet treat

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I can’t believe how many places I had never visited in Portland before!!  Including Two Fat Cats!

Everything is made from scratch and it just looks that way.  The cookies aren’t perfect round circles, and the cupcakes are just frosted by hand with a knife…no fancy piping.  I LOVE that.

I couldn’t decide so I bought 2 cookies to nosh on…a little then & a little later.

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I’m STILL thinking about these cookies and wish I could have one RIGHT NOW!  The one above was an Almond Shortbread….so soft, buttery, almond-ey…perfection in my opinion.

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Also a pecan chocolate chip.  Again, soft, buttery…all the things I love in a chocolate chip cookie.  

As I was eating them I couldn’t stop saying how good they were…that’s when you know you found something special.

After that, we went back to her house, grabbed the dogs and headed to a local beach for an afternoon walk!

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Bromley had a blast!!

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He wants to live near the ocean now.

From there, we headed home and started thinking about how we wanted to tackle the evening to be sure to hit up lots of delicious spots.

But first some wine and cheese

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I probably over-did it a smidge on the cheese, but it was good stuff and I was hungry.

Our first stop was my friend, Jen’s, favorite Mexican place…El Rayo!

Inexpensive, fresh, flavorful food, with a great drink list!

Since we had more food in our future, we only split 2 small tacos and 1 hibiscus margarita ;)

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Next, we headed to Walters for drinks and some appetizers. 

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Since my cocktail on Valentine’s Day was such a success I decided to go the “ask the bartender” route.  I ended up with one of their cocktails on the menu but minus the syrup.  This one had rum, grapefruit juice, and lime juice.   

We also ordered a Brussel Sprout Salad that was divine… shaved brussel sprouts, red onion, cob smoked bacon, marcona almonds, dried cranberries in a lemon honey mustard vinaigrette with pecorino

And also some Cracklin’ Calamari and Salt & Pepper Shrimp.  Both really good.  This was just enough food after all the cheese, wine, tacos…etc. 

We had hoped to stay for dessert but they had run out of what I really wanted so we figured we’d hit up another spot for a sweet close to the night.  Unfortunately most places were closed, or at least their kitchen’s were and we were out of luck!

In the end it was fine…we were full and I still had some of my Two Fat Cats cookies left.

Sunday morning we were both woken up around 6:30 by our lovely pups…thanks guys.

Sunday involved picking up pastries from Standard Baking…my request.

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Coffee from Coffee By Design, and then heading to another state park/beach with the pups.

Flaky fresh Pan au Chocolat and an Ocean View.

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A little later we said our goodbyes, and I packed myself and Bromley into the car to head home. 

I was trying to be a good wife and find Brian a bottle or two of a certain beer he really likes (its from Maine and hard to find…Lunch IPA in case anyone sees it and wants to let me know where!)

I tried 3 places with no luck so I gave up.

But then I got a FANTASTIC idea.

Lobster > Beer.  I stopped by a fish market in York on my way home and grabbed 3 lobsters.

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I made Brian do the dirty work. 

I’d say it’s a fair trade ;)

Oh I had also picked up some crab cakes that were on sale at Whole Foods

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Took our “Feast” to the next level.

Quick potatoes

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(cooked 1large potato in the microwave, then just sliced it and browned it in the pan I cooked the crab cakes in, sprinkled with a little Old Bay)

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Steamed Asparagus

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Notice I just put down an old towel on the table instead of place mats…things get messy when we eat Lobster.

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Apparently February is a great time for Lobster…these were some of the BEST lobsters we’ve had in recent memory!!  The meat was so flavorful!!  I wish I got 6 of them!!  We each had 1 and split the 3rd. 

Couldn’t even finish the crab cakes, but no worries those made a delicious lunch today. 

What an fabulous way to end a great weekend.  It almost ALMOST felt like summer for a minute.

Can’t wait to go back and visit Jen when it’s warmer out!  So many things to do and still SO many restaurants to try!!  I was notorious for always eating at Fore Street whenever we are in Portland, but she is breaking me out of that habit…although I do miss it.  Next time ;)

Hope you all had a great (long?) weekend!  Brian and I both worked today, so not so long here, but still nice as you can see.

15 comments:

  1. Maine is awesome!! The cookies and coffee llok yummy, but i could not be more jealous of that lobster! Yummmm

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  2. Emily @ A Cambridge StoryFebruary 21, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    Wow what a weekend! Bromley looks psyched to be at the beach and you guys ate like royalty - sounds like the perfect combo to me!

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  3. FunandFearlessinBeantownFebruary 21, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    You know that I also love, love, love Portland.  And I also love random lobster feasts in February! :-)

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  4. What a great weekend!  Love the photos of dogs playing in the sand...you are making me want to take a weekend trip soon!  Those lobsters look amazing - maybe February is the new time to get some :)

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  5. What a great weekend! I love Vervacious. Dying to go back and get some new spices. Their jars are so lovely!

    And I'm jealous of that pain au chocolat as well!

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  6. I am quite jealous of this entire weekend. beach time and great food, pups and a good friend, what could be better?!?

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  7. Fort Williams is where I got engaged in December 2011! Right near the light house at 6 in the morning ! :)

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  8. Next time youre in Maine, try Back Bay Grill (fancy delicious dinner) & Bintliffs Cafe (for brunch)

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  9. See? Now you know why I love it here so much! :) I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit. I want to recreate that brussel sprout salad!! Next time, let's also do a picnic lunch, time in the sun on the beach, have steamers & lobbies on the deck and head out for dessert much earlier! You know me & company.....hope you come again soon!

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  10. LOVE Portland! Can't wait to go back.  I'll definitely have to keep El Rayo in mind, looks like a very fun place :) 

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  11. Aww what a great spot for a proposal!! 

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  12. I ate at the Bintliffs in Ogunquit last spring...SO good!  I'll have to remember Back Bay Grill!

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  13. Yes! I am loving ALL those ideas!!  Definintely coming back sooner than later this time :)  Thanks again!!!

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  14. Portland is one of my top 10 favorite places in the US. I went into Two Fat Cats on my last visit but sadly was too full. LOVE Standard though.

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  15. what a fabulous weekend!!!  i need to get up there :)  and i need almond shortbread...

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