Saturday, May 30, 2015

Whitehall, Camden

Over the Memorial weekend, I had an opportunity to visit the newly remodeled Camden hotel Whitehall. Maine is 95% very New England traditional chic as if the time stopped in 1940. I am, however, a fan of anything modern, so a hotel that looks traditional on the outside but has a modern interior design gets my attention. Camden with a very well-to-do summer guest clientele has several boutique hotels, and Whitehall is the latest. My friend C. came visiting over the weekend from Boston, and it took little convincing for him to stay in Whitehall and I had a good reason to check it out myself, one week after it officially opened.

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Long weekend inspirations

For some reason it feels like Friday today. Maybe, because of the long weekend? It is hard to believe that Memorial weekend is already here. It will be partly sunny in Maine, but also rainy and not really hot yet. Sometimes we have a heatwave around this time, but not this year.
Here are a few fun weekend inspirations.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Vegan Curried Chicken Salad

Vegan chicken salad ---  now, this sounds like an oxymoron, but the idea for this salad is inspired by a chicken salad recipe, but I wanted a vegan version. The flavors and textures is like a chicken salad, but the main ingredients are roasted cauliflower florets and chickpeas instead. This ‘chicken’ salad tastes wonderful, very crunchy, and it is very satisfying and also filling thanks to the vegan mayonaise. It travels well to picnics, and keeps in the fridge for a few days. A summer staple!

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Moroccan Lemonade

In the summer, it is great to get together for an afternoon in the garden or on the deck, at a picnic or a garden party. Often, this calls for festive drinks --- home-made iced coffee with vanilla gelato, limoncello with prosecco, or a sophisticated non-alcoholic lemonade.

This lemonade is a beautifully aromatic with a subtle Moroccan flavor with cinnamon and a gorgeous deep pink color.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Cozy spaces for summer

Ah, summer ! I could spend all my time outside, with an open patio door, flowing between inside and outside, inhabitable space with fresh air, sunshine, a breeze, to eat meals, read a book, work, meet with friends. Even small spaces can offer this cozy outdoor ‘living room’. Here are a few inspirations that I found (and immediately would book in an AirBnB in a foreign city. Paris? Lisbon?)

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Where my salad comes from

One of the themes of this blog is ‘eat seasonal, local food’. In Maine, this is not an elitist idea but something most of the people of Maine pursue, and the local farmers, farm land and farmers markets are plentiful. Afterall, Maine does feel sometimes like stuck in the 50s, in a good way. In the summer (i.e. now) I get most of my produce from the Farmers Market and the rest from my garden. There are always the same farmers, and familiar banter develops over the years. Here is one of my favorite farmers, Mark. His arugula and mesclun salad mix is divine; it is crunch fresh and does not wilt for over a week. …… and here is where it really comes from.
Farm to table.
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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Shoe shopping Summer 2015

We swooped right into summer. The lawn needs to be mowed in the not too far future, and fruit trees are budding, and I am having a hard time to decide which summer shoes to buy. Target has such cute ones I want them all…like these
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or these….

Friday, May 8, 2015

“Things I am thinking about” Friday

Normally, this is a “things I am loving” list Friday, but this week it is more a Things that I’ve thought about this week Friday.

The weather has been so beautiful, warm and sunny that it made me forget the long winter in one swoop. It is cooling down a bit and there will be a few days of rain but that is ok because the wildfire danger with the dry brush and leaves from last season is very high at the moment. In one week the world went from naked and brown to green lawns and budding green trees. Summer, basically. It is graduation weekend, the good weather might even stick around long enough for commencement photos, and then the town will be empty of undergrads and it will return to its summer languishing pace.

The farmers markets are officially starting again, riding through town brings the aroma of steak on the grill to my nose, and graduation and good-bye-for-the-summer get-togethers happen everywhere.

Painted in Waterlogue

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Occupation: Prince of the United Kingdom

The weather continues to make us forget the long and hard winter, and gives us a taste of the summer to come. Beers on decks, gardens and trees with specks of green, and once May unfolds there will be an explosion of green.

This morning I read somewhere that now Prince William made it official and single-handedly registered his new daughter, Princess Charlotte, at the registrar. Love the unabashedly  "Occupation: Prince of the United Kingdom".  It looks like there is really a job description of prince and princess, instead of it being a title.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

May food calendar

We have a streak of early summer --- temperatures are up in the 70s! happy dance. Poor students, they still have finals week ahead. But I am sure they will come up with creative ways of learning in the sun.

So, what’s on the food calendar for May, up here in the Northeast?

  • spinach
  • ramps
  • rhubarb
  • fava beans
  • asparagus
  • sprouts
  • fiddleheads

Here are few food inspirations, mostly for myself. Pesto panzanella salad.

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Quaker and GMO?

Hello, May! May you spell some resemblance of summer with warm days and first hikes and flowers!

So, this is a little bit of anti-sponsored information (I could probably be paid to not post it), but I came across this campaign on Facebook this morning. The anti-GMO movement is not new, however, what was new to me is that Quaker, of the beloved Quaker oats, seemingly the mothership of healthy food, actually used genetically modified organism as ingredients. Say, what? Bye-bye, Quaker oats. Will look for an organic alternative at Wholefoods.

Today, it  is unclear which long-term effect GMO foods have; however, it makes common sense that since they were engineered to withstand the use of herbicides and pesticides better, they are often doused with those, which cannot  be healthy for the food, nor the environment or the people living close to those crops (graphic pictures…)/ People start to have higher rates of autoimmune diseases, cancers at young age, so this is not unrelated. Why do the companies do it? Of course, to have a higher crop yield, sell more roundup and who cares about the consumer. GMOs and Monsanto are banned in many European countries, but in the US Big Business tries to shut up the consumer, and the government is not much (responsible) help either in protecting the consumer.

This is a petition to write to Quaker and PepsiCo and ask them to at least support labeling of genetically-modified organisms in consumer products. So far they have spent millions (like Monsanto) to block legislation. ---

So, if you care what you eat and what the environment looks like in 20 years for your kids, consider signing the petition. (—> link)
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