Friday Favorites | Five craft beer activities to do in Maine this weekend.

My husband and I have been working our way through the Maine Beer Trail as part of my bucket list adventures for 2017. There are a lot of local craft breweries and the number continues to expand. It will probably take us longer than one year to get all the stamps on our beer trail map and that’s okay. The adventure is in working our way through the stops and getting to explore more of Maine.

For this week’s Friday Favorites, here are five craft beer activities happening in Maine this weekend. Continue reading

Y is for Younity | Want to try a blueberry wine? You’ve come to the right state.

While we’re working our way through the Maine Beer Trail, one of my bucket list items for this year, we don’t have a lot of experience with Maine’s wine scene. I have been to Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville, and since they opened their tasting room at Thompson’s Point, I have gone to a few of their wine pairings. So far, that is the only winery I have been to in Maine. We do plan to tackle the Maine Wine Trail eventually, but as I said in my bucket list post, it’s probably best to attempt only one alcohol related “trail” a year.

In researching Maine wineries, I learned that there are:

(a) far more than I realized; and
(b) most of them make a version of blueberry wine.

We bought three bottles of local blueberry wines so that we could have a mini-wine tasting and compare flavors.  For our wine tasting, we opted to try the following wines (all descriptions are from the winery’s websites): Continue reading

V is for Vintage Maine Kitchen | Creatively flavored, all-natural potato chips.

One of the first snacks I ever made for my Dad was a french fry sandwich which was exactly what you think it would be: french fries slathered in ketchup served between bread. This was not because I was young and creating whimsical food combinations. My Dad had requested it. He liked french fry sandwiches. It may have been an unusual way to eat french fries, but it’s not surprising that potatoes would be on the menu.

One thing Maine has is potatoes. We usually show up somewhere in the top ten for states that grow the most potatoes. We’re never at number one, but are always well represented. It’s something in enough abundance that I can almost always buy local ones during my food shopping excursions and I was happy to discover a local company making something especially delicious out of Maine potatoes. Now I have another fun way to support Maine potato growers. Continue reading

N is for Northwoods Gourmet Girl | The special joy of a Blueberry Dessert Sauce.

I’m sure it’s no surprise that blueberries would come up in my A to Z posts. As my previous blog post shared, Maine is the largest producer of wild blueberries in the world. And, there are some great local business incorporating blueberries into their product lines.

I stumbled upon Northwoods Gourmet Girl Blueberry & Green Tea Dessert Sauce randomly while shopping at Bow Street Market in Freeport. I was intrigued as even though I’ve eating blueberries all my life, I’d never had them in a dessert sauce.

I’m sure this will date me, but I pulled out my “Cooking with Friends” (as in the TV show) cookbook. When my husband and I bought our first house, we hosted a housewarming party and asked guests to bring either a bottle of wine or a cookbook. I know it’s a little greedy to ask guests to bring something so specific, but we do have an amazing collection of cookbooks now. The wine however is long gone. Continue reading

H is for Highland Foods Maple Pepper | Maple makes everything taste better.

The maple connoisseur in my family is my husband. It is with great pride that he was able to wean me off of imitation maple syrup and onto the real stuff. Now I’m a convert and the worst kind of zealot. I can’t image not using the real stuff for my pancakes, over ice cream or in recipes.

Other maple products have thus far eluded me even though there are many to choose from in Maine. There was even a limited edition craft beer release of Maple Sunday from Lone Pine Brewing that was released this year on Maine Maple Sunday.  I blogged about Maine Maple Sunday during last year’s challenge with my post #atozchallenge | C is for Coopers Maple Products and Maine Maple Sunday.

Last month, with St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, I decided to try out Highland Foods Maple PepperTM and cook the Guinness Beef Stew recipe listed on their blog. Highland Foods has been making maple pepper for thirty years and they sell three types: garlic, original and habanero. I used the original maple pepper for my beef stew. The original flavor is made with 100% pure maple sugar, sea salt and black pepper along with a few other ingredients. Continue reading