Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Roadside Art in Maine

Ever been driving along and all of a sudden you see some oddity you just have to stop and take a picture of? Welcome to Roadside Art! This is an art form in and of itself. There are no rules, no panels of judges, no awards or prizes. But, even without an art degree, you'll know it when you see it.

So, without further ado...I'm taking the opportunity to start my own little Roadside Art blog post. I'll add to it as I take more pix.

Berlin Wall sectionPortland, Maine's own chunk of the Berlin Wall.

Lobster KongKing Kong Lobster climbs a lighthouse.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main Street Freeport, Maine 04032

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Art of Breakfast Cookbook

White Cedar Inn blueberry pancakesLots of you have seen this photo on our website and on our postcards and you've heard me talk about pouring the syrup while the photos were taken. Dana was here last summer to take new photos for our website. Among her many talents is that she's a great food photog! What a surprise when we found out that pancake shot was going to be on the front cover of a new breakfast cookbook!

If you've had Rock's blueberry pancakes ('World famous' as some guests say) you have a good idea why they made the front cover. Alas, they didn't make it into the recipe section so the only place you can get them is here!

Here's the author, Dana Moos, getting ready to sign my copy for me at the book launch.

The Art of Breakfast Cookbook

Look for a copy on Amazon and at Maine independent bookstores when you're in town!

White Cedar Inn 178 Main Street Freeport, Maine 04032

Monday, July 18, 2011

LL Bean's New Park in Freeport, Maine

Ben and Jerry's scoop shopA month or so ago the old B&J's on Main Street in front of LL Bean was torn down. (Fear not, the new scoop shop is just around the corner.)

Yesterday, this is what the new space looks like:

LL Bean Freeport, Maine

The orange traffic cones are where new light fixtures will go. Lots of nice seating on that wall and the sidewalk in front is now double width. I thought I was going to miss the scoop shop but this design came out really well. A similar path has been created along the left hand side of the Bike & Boat shop.

It looks like one long walk through a meandering path along a 'river bed'.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Linda Bean's Maine Kitchen and Topside Tavern

Linda Bean's Maine Kitchen and Topside Tavern opened up on July 1 at the corner of Bow and Main Streets. Underneath (where Zales used to be) is the 'Lobster Theater' where kids can experience the petting tank and touch a lobster, starfish and other sea creatures. (Cute little gift shop, too!)

If you remember the interior from when it was Bath and Body Works you won't recognize anything but the stairs!

There's a gorgeous bar and balcony upstairs. Stop in and check it out!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lobster Boat Cruise

lobsteringMeasuring the lobster

So, I finally went and did something I've been telling all of you to go do for years- I went out on the Lucky Catch lobster boat cruise.

I called kind of late in the day (I don't recommend doing that!) and got in on the Seal Watch cruise at 3:45 PM (times change, so be sure you know what time you are going out).

It was calm and cool out on the Casco Bay. We headed out from the pier and passed some windjammers, an oil tanker, the Casco Bay Ferry, sailboats and more. It's a gorgeous hour and half out on the water.

I would definitely recommend it for families with kids 7 and up. You learn about the lobsters, get to help bait the traps, measure the lobsters in the traps, throw back the small fry and get a fun educational experience about the life of a lobsterman/woman. If you have a place to cook up your lobsters, you can buy them right off the boat. Yup, the ones you just hauled in.

Lots more gets caught in the trap than lobsters so you'll get to see crabs, sea cucumbers, sea worms and more.

I won't spoil your day out by telling you everything in advance. Just take a look at some of the pix I took and give us a call to schedule a 'Lobsterman for a Day' Package as part of your stay with us.

lobster boatPushing the reset traps back in.

sexing lobstersBoy or girl lobster?

seagullsWhat happens when you dump the bait bag overboard.

seals and cormorantsSeals and cormorants.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

OK, this is absolutely yum! Even if you think you can't make a cake from scratch, you can do this. Oh, yes you can! (Adapted from Gourmet magazine.)


For filling:
1/3 c sugar
1/4 c water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cornstarch
2 c blueberries (fresh or frozen)

For cake batter:
1 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 lg egg
1/2 c whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, soften slightly (makes it easier to whisk)
1 tsp vanilla

2 mixing bowls- one small, one large; small saucepan, 9" sq baking dish, greased. (I use a 9x13 pan, double the batter recipe, 1 1/2 times the blueberry filling to serve 15.)

Preheat oven to 375.

In a small saucepan stir together the 1/3 c sugar, water, lemon juice and cornstarch, then add blueberries. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering for 3 minutes, stir occasionally. Remove from heat, set aside.

In the smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 c sugar. In the larger bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, butter and vanilla. (Be sure the butter is not hot, the eggs will start to cook!) Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour the batter into the greased baking pan (it should not pour easily, it should be thick-ish). Spoon the blueberry filling over the top, spreading evenly over the surface. The blueberries will start to sink.

Bake about 25-30 minutes until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool.


This morning we had about 2 1/2 cups of leftover apple pie filling from yesterday's apple pie pancakes. Voila! I used that instead of the blueberries. You could use any kind of fruit that would make a nice 'compote'- peaches, pears, plums, etc.

Top with fresh whipped cream (yes, you can do this, too!) Serve. Blush at applause. Take a bow.

Serves 4-8 in the 9" pan.

BTW, when we serve it here, we're calling it 'Yankee Frugal Cake'.

Printable Recipe Page.

White Cedar Inn 178 Main Street Freeport, Maine 04032

Monday, July 11, 2011

Biking in Maine

Today was the second day in a row we had guests wheel in on bicycles! I know we have more coming later on this summer as they have already called to make sure we have a place they can store their bikes. (Yes, we do.)

Today's guests biked to Bar Harbor and are now on their way back home to VA. (Not on bicycles!)

Yesterday's guests are taking a leisurely tour of Maine from their home in MA.

And in a few weeks we have another guest coming in from VT.

So far, I'd have to say these are some of the happiest, most relaxed guests we've had! I guess you get to take all your work stress out on the road. Actually, just leave it on the side of the road and go home refreshed.

Thinking of a bike tour of Maine? Check out the state's biking-friendly site for more info. You can also pick up a bike tour guide with removable pages at any Maine Visitor Center (there's one 5 miles from here). And be sure to give us a call to reserve a room. We're at the confluence of several of the major bicycle routes in the state! Plus, you can get a bike tune-up or pick up some gear at LL Bean, just down the street.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Kid's Alright

I don't talk much in the blog about guests, but this one I had to share. Yesterday we had a dad and his son stay with us. They had stayed once before 2 years ago. They head waaaay up north into Canada on a yearly fishing trip. Real guy stuff.

When the son came to the door, by himself, while dad unloaded the car, I said to him, 'Hi! You're Sam, I remember you!' He was stunned. For a minute. Then he said, 'Really? You remember me from two years ago? That's amazing!'

He then proceeded to tell me how his dad had taken him to a 'cheap motel' last year on their way to fishing and that this year he had said, 'No, dad, this year we have to go back to that really nice B&B place in Maine.' I could hug this kid.

We chatted quite a bit. He wanted to see if his pin was still in the map where he put it 2 years ago. We went and looked at the map. He was astonished at all the pins from all the different states and countries where our guests have come from.

He wanted to know if we still had our dog and if he could play with her. (Now you know Bre is getting really old and chasing whiffle balls around is not her thing any longer.) I explained to him that Bre was old and she's been sick and we try to keep her quiet and in our apartment as she falls down on the hardwood floors in the dining room if she comes out to visit.

Sam was all sympathy. 'I hope she gets better soon,' he said. For the life of me I have no idea why I told him she wasn't going to get any better, what she has is killing her. She's not in pain, but she's not going to get better.

With the openness of a kid he said, 'I'm sorry. She's a good dog. Remember how she chased the whiffle ball when I hit it?'

We moved on to talking about other things and he wanted to know if I was getting up to make him breakfast in the morning. That query piqued my curiosity and I asked him what time was he wanting his breakfast? '5 AM,' came the reply, 'we have to hit the road bright and early! We have 14 hours to drive.'

Well, you all know me and I'm barely out of bed by 7:30 so I had to tell him I couldn't do breakfast at 5 AM but he was welcome to have some cereal and hot chocolate.

His dad came to the door with their gear and Sam said, 'Dad! You should see the map. People come here from HAWAII! All the way from HAWAII to this B&B. I told you it was the best B&B in Maine!'

I took them both to their room (the Crow's Nest) and he was thrilled. 'Cool! And dad gets his own bed!' (Dad was quite happy about that, too.)

They rolled out of here sometime this morning. It might have been at 5 AM, I have no idea, I didn't even hear the door shut or the car start!

When I finally got out to the dining room there was an envelope with my name on it. I opened it up and there was a greeting card with a photo of a teddy bear comforting a golden retriever puppy. Inside was this:

Dear Monica,

I'm sorry about your dog. It was nice seeing you. Sam

I had to leave the room.

Thank you Sam. You made my day.

Oh, did I mention? Sam is 10.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main Street Freeport, Maine 04032