Monday, May 30, 2011

Lobster Boat Racing in Maine

Tis the season once again for lobster boat racing in Maine. Called Maine's answer to NASCAR, the rivalries, the friendships, the plotting and manoeuvring are all here. And this year will be no different than years past. Check out the video below for an up close view!

Look over the schedule, plan your vacation and follow your favorites!

For more information and to see pix from previous years.

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

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Onion Cometh

My science experiment...

Found this onion on the counter, hiding behind the radio. Not exactly sure why it was there, but it was.

When I found it it was growing straight up. I put it on top of this vase to see if it would continue to grow. Well, yes it has, but as you can see it has started to grow 'sideways' so the leaves are always facing up. I'm wondering if I turn it so the leaves are face down, how long will it take to turn completely around again?

Then again, I may just plant it to see what happens. Probably not much other than leaves as it has almost completely used up all the nutrition the original onion contained. It's a mere shell of its former self. Perhaps I will just have some lovely onion tops for garnish!

Stay tuned...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mini Cheeseburger Cookies

mini cheeseburger cookies
No, we're not serving cheeseburgers for breakfast...these are cookies! Grandson Sean won first prize for these cookies. Here's Grammie's version.

Got permission to share the recipe...

For the 'bun'- Nilla Wafers, honey & sesame seeds
For the 'hamburger patty'- Thin Mints or Grasshopper Cookies
For the 'lettuce'- shredded coconut and green food coloring
For the 'cheese'- white frosting and yellow/red food coloring

How to (adjust amounts for the number you want to make): you need 2 Nilla Wafers and 1 Thin Mint per 'hamburger'. A handful of shredded coconut and a few drops of green food coloring will do for about 12 cookies. 1/4 cup of frosting and yellow food coloring for the cheese. (Yellow drops, not the gel. If you use gel coloring you'll need yellow and red food coloring gels to make the 'cheesy' orange.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rounded side of 'bun' on cookie sheet. Place one Thin Mint on top. Place in oven for no more than 2 minutes. (This is to slightly melt the chocolate so the cookie doesn't slide apart.)

Cool. Place green-colored shredded coconut sparingly on Thin Mint, draping over the edge. Thickly frost the inside/underside of the second Nilla Wafer with the cheesy-colored frosting. (I heated the frosting so it was liquid-y.) Press frosted Nilla Wafer down on top of 'hamburger' so 'cheese' oozes out the sides. Lightly brush warmed honey on the top of the Nilla Wafer and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Voila! Cheeseburger cookies!

Printable recipe page

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

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Freeport, Maine for Art and Controversy

Who knew the art world could be so contentious? First we had the governor demanding a mural depicting the working history of Maine be removed from the walls at the Department of Labor. The reason? Apparently a couple of managers took offense to the depictions of workers looking downtrodden. Really? Then improve their lot on your own and we wouldn't need a Department of Labor now would we? (OK, off the soapbox.)

Well, now we have more in that same line with a local art gallery owner and artist stating the mural wasn't all that good anyway.

The best way to figure this out? As art historian Daniel Kany says, 'Come see for yourself'. Art works by the artist whose mural was removed are on display at Thomas Mosher Furniture on Main St. And art works by many other artists are on display at the Frost Gully Gallery on Rt 1 north, about a mile from downtown Freeport.

We're also displaying some local art works on the walls in the dining room.

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

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bird's Nest Cookies

Perfect little cookies to use up any 'robin's egg' malted candies left over from Easter. Jelly beans fit right in the nest as well. And we also used speckled egg-shaped M&M-style candies.

How to: use your favorite thumbprint cookie recipe. Reserve the egg whites from the cookie dough recipe. Whisk until frothy. You'll dip the cookie balls in the egg whites and then roll in coconut flakes to get the 'twiggy edges' of the nests. You can also use chopped nuts. Or, add cocoa powder to the cookie recipe to make chocolate nests.

Roll the cookie dough into 1" balls.

Dip the cookie balls into the egg whites and then roll in the shredded coconut or nuts. Place on parchment paper on cookie sheet.

Use a 1/2 tsp rounded measuring spoon and the back of a wooden spoon to make the indentations in the cookie balls.

I went through gyrations (see above) to get the indentations just right before baking the cookies. Again, this is where I learn stuff so you don't have to- the cookies puff up, obliterating the nicely shaped indentations. Ugh. However, make them anyway as it is easier to punch the puffed cookie down into the shape that was there rather than trying to make the indent from scratch when the cookie is done.

Bake the cookies according to the recipe you used. I baked these for 17 minutes to get the coconut browned. About 2 minutes before the cookies are ready to come out of the oven, pull the cookie sheet out and tamp down a 'nest' into the center of each cookie. You'll see where the indent was that you made originally. Pop cookies back in for remainder of time.

Cool completely before adding your 'eggs' to the nest.

(This would even work with the easy peasy peanut butter cookie recipe. When you remove the cookies from the oven, press down in the center with the end of the handle on a wooden spoon to make the indentation.) Or unwrap a chocolate candy egg and press into warm cookie as you would with a Hershey kiss.

You can also skip the whole 'nest' bit and fill the indentation with jam or jelly before baking.

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

Makin' Whoopie (Pies, that is)

Finally. After all these years, I've made a whoopie pie. Well, a couple of dozen whoopie pies. If you've never had one, think Devil Dog. But better because it's homemade! So, here is one way to make them. You can change up the filling by adding flavorings like mint extract or by blending in your favorite jam. You could also make up a batch of cannoli cream or whipped cream if the ingredients below sound a bit excessive.

Without further ado...the whoopie pie:

Ingredients for cakes:

1 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 c butter, softened
3/4 c cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
2 c flour
1 c buttermilk (you can use the powdered buttermilk or plan to make Irish soda bread, too)

Ingredients for filling:

3/4 c butter, softened
1 c confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 c Marshmallow Fluff
2 tsp vanilla extract*

Preheat oven to 375.

Beat egg, sugar, butter and vanilla until creamy (about 2-3 minutes). In a second bowl, mix cocoa powder, baking soda, flour & salt. Alternating ingredients, add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the butter mixture until all ingredients are combined. It should have the consistency of a thick-ish cake batter, not solid cookie batter.

Grease baking sheets and drop batter onto sheets in scant 1 tbsp drops. The batter will spread while cooking but should stay put when you drop it! Leave room for expansion. (I learn these things so you don't have to.) Bake for 7-9 minutes. You can test with a toothpick like you would for cake. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool. (No, really, even if you never do this, you should this time.)

You'll get about 40-48 cookie cakes. (Which are yummy on their own, so take care to not eat an odd number of them!)

Mix up filling ingredients until well-blended. (Make any changes like mint extract or orange extract for the vanilla extract.)

Drop filling mixture onto one 'inside' edge of a cake and squish down with second cake, making a sandwich.

You can definitely see the possibilities in how many different flavors you could have as filling. You can also switch up the cakes as well using a variety of different cake flavors. Spice cake with maple filling?

* Note for readers in other countries- extract=essence. So if you usually buy vanilla essence, that's what extract is here in the US.

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