Saturday, March 28, 2009

I just hate moving!

So I feel as if I've been out of touch with the world (other than via my Blackberry, or Crackberry) for a week now - we just moved and are without internet and TV for a short while. I do have Twitterberry and Facebook for my Blackberry, but it's just not the same. I haven't been able to post quality photos or blog now for a week and I'm approaching withdrawal! Please be patient...I'll be back soon!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Craignair Inn & Restaurant, on the water in Spruce Head, Maine...

I had a showing today at the inn so I grabbed my camera in hopes the snow had melted enough for me to take new photos. It was cold but clear and gorgeous with blue skies and puffy clouds. Besides, I figured out how to use my new DSLR on manual exposure which made a huge difference; what an improvement on the interiors! Detail in the foreground as well as in the long focal point. My days of SLR 35mm photography were slowly coming back to me...

This is such a wonderful property in a great location, situated at the end of a quiet peninsula across from an old granite quarry (there's a granite causeway stretching from the inn across to Clark's Island). The inn has 80 feet of shore frontage but the real estate taxes remain fairly low for a million dollar view! This is a very reasonably priced property enabling new buyers to walk into a turn-key business and show a profit right away, and still have room to grow both the lodging and restaurant revenues. Craignair Inn...a quintessential Maine coastal property...offered at $1,150,000. View Photos and Virtual Tour

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Innkeeping and Contemplation...

Doesn't this photo just ooze deep thought and contemplation? It was shortly after we moved to Maine to buy an inn. Surrounded by such natural beauty, before guests would be due to check in, we'd forward the phone and go out for a walk or a hike or just sit on the rocks by the water and enjoy our surroundings. After all, it's about the lifestyle and what you make of it, right? To me, this photo said "wow, this is a great job I have"... always take time to enjoy what you're doing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Blue Hill, Maine artist Laura Bolombini

Laura Bolombini and her husband moved from Pennsylvania to Maine 20 years ago. She says "I have gone from being a potter to a weaver a seamstress a jeweler a sculptor and a painter. I never did believe it when someone told me I had to find one thing and stick to it!! I think all my work led me to being a better artist...and gives me more ways to tell stories...after all...artists are storytellers at heart." She works in 2D and 3D and her sculptures are a personal favorite of mine. I see serene faces with whimsical themes. Just wonderful!

Maine Buck Nuts?

How's that for a company name? Biddeford, Maine locals opened their business last year and began selling frosted nuts (like pralines) for a dollar a bag, hence the name Buck Nuts! Maine is proud to offer so many locally made products and I'm proud to support such businesses.

Local Retailer, Cadillac Mountain Sports, wins award!

Cadillac Mountain Sports, a commonly used phrase in any Maine outdoor enthusiast's vocabulary, wins a local award for economic development not only in the Ellsworth and Bar Harbor area, but throughout the state of Maine. We support them, thanks CMS!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Amazing Maine Sunrises and Sunsets

Sunset from atop Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

Seasmoke at sunrise over Southwest Harbor

More sunrises over Southwest Harbor

Our clear air and low pollution help contribute to the beauty of our sunrises and sunsets in Maine. We have some of the most beautiful skies in the eastern U.S.

Summer humidity remains relatively low and with plenty of cold, clear winter days, we see some spectacular skies.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Art inspired by the beauty of Maine...

This an oil by artist Philip Koch. Though he doesn't live in Maine, much of his work is inspired by the Maine landscape. His work can be found at Isalos Gallery in Stonington, Maine. Amazing use of color and technique to show light and movement.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March Maine artists month continues...

Russel D'Alessio, though not born in Maine, (like many of us), spends much of his time along the beautiful Maine coast. His work displays a great deal of whimsy, color, movement and a bit of what he calls, spontaneous expressionism! His work can be found in Bar Harbor and Key West.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

May I interest you in a "hobby" Bed and Breakfast?

The foyer of the inn (above)

This is the inn's Den (above), with its incredibly beautiful Mahogany woodwork (large photo below). Handsome, yet the room remains bright, with a large bay window on the opposite side of the room.

This is Guilford Bed and Breakfast. Restoration at its best. Owners have taken no shortcuts at this property; every small detail has been considered and nothing spared. This is truly a meticulously restored turn-of-the-century Victorian in its final stages of restoration. Craftsmen from around the state have contributed their talent to this project and it shows. The stairway even has three different carved spindles up its entire run. Rarely to agents walk into a property and leave without thoughts of what a buyer would immediately need to replace. This is a fine example of as turn-key as it gets. With its four large guestrooms on the second floor and three bedrooms on the third floor for owners, it is the ideal "hobby" to help pay the mortgage. The prior owner used to offer catering services with a large kitchen. An intimate, classic inn style restaurant would be beautiful at this inn. If you've dreamed of living in an historic property without having to work on the restoration, this is a must see. Every room of this inn is inviting and evokes warmth. A gem in the middle of the Maine highlands. Offered at $650,000.

The exterior restoration is nearing its final stages and will be complete this summer, and I'll be ready to present new photos in all her glory! Property Photos Virtual Tour

Stonington Maine Artist, Rebecca Daugherty

Each time I visit my listing, Inn on the Harbor, I visit the Isalos Gallery. I remember walking into the gallery and immediately being drawn to a large vertical photo on a back wall (pictured here). The artist is Rebecca Daugherty. Her use of perspective in some of her pieces is what I love to do with my photographs. And her play on light is stunning. This piece stuck with me, period. So I am glad I found her blog and website and can keep up with her work. Stop by Isalos if you're in the area (I can show you a fabulous inn for sale, too!) or at one of the locations where her work is on display.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Maine Shrimp Dip Appetizer Recipe

I bought a small supply of my favorite tiny Maine shrimp the other day from a "street vendor" on Mount Desert Island (you've seen trucks parked along side Maine roads with "FRESH SEAFOOD" signs) and was searching online for an alternative to my favorite recipe. I found a few on and thought I'd post those, but wanted to give you mine as well, it's a keeper!

The shrimp in the photo are raw and unpeeled, I buy them raw and peeled, ready to toss into the recipe.

Add 1 pound of raw shrimp (if they were frozen, just thaw and squeeze out excess water), toss with 1 cup real mayonnaise, 1 cup of grated parmesan (I buy a block of fresh and throw it in the food processor to obtain small pebbles/granules to toss into anything), 1 clove of garlic, a dash of tobasco, salt and freshly ground black pepper (coarse) and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Spoon on top of slices of fresh, crusty bread and enjoy!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My appreciation of our local Maine artists...

During the month of March (with the anticipation of Spring and the travel and tourism season), I'm going to blog about talented Maine artists throughout the state.

R. Scott Baltz is today's featured artist. He lives on Mount Desert Island and displays wonderful movement through use of color and style. I've shown three pieces of his work that I think clearly show the seasons of Maine beautifully.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

MAINE FOODIES READ ON...2009 James Beard Nominees are in...Maine has quite a presence...

Maine offers some of the most spectacular dining in the country. The 2009 James Beard Foundation nominations are in and we're proud to have such talent right here in the Pine Tree State. Here are this year's Semi-Finalists:
  • Outstanding Chef: Sam Hayward, Fore Street, Portland, Maine
  • Outstanding Restaurant: Fore Street, Portland, Maine
  • Best New Restaurant: Emilista, Portland, Maine
  • Best Chef, Northeast:Penelle Chase, Phoebe Chase, Megan Chase, and Ted Lafage, Chase's Daily, Belfast, Maine
  • Rob Evans, Hugo's, Portland, Maine
  • Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier, Arrows Restaurant, Ogunquit, Maine
  • Rich Hanson, Cleonice Bistro, Ellsworth, Maine
  • Brian Hill, Francine Bistro, Camden, Maine
The five final nominees will be announced March 23rd. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March in Maine...

March 11-15 is the Portland Flower Show
March 13 is Moonlight Madness in Bath
March 21-22 Maine Fishing Expo in Freeport (come stay at the Captain Briggs House, a great in-town but on a quiet side street B&B for sale)
March 22 is Maine Maple Sunday
March 22 bake fresh breads with Stone Turtle Baking
March 25 cooking and baking with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)
March 27-29 Maine Home and Garden Show
View a comprehensive calendar of events from

Maine Maple Sunday in annual springtime tradition

March 22, 2009 is Maine's Maple Sunday. It's the participating farms' opportunity to give visitors an understanding of just what goes into creating that beautiful amber colored syrup known as sweet liquid gold. Come see what tasty treats our sugarhouses have to offer!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Our Open That Bottle Night Dinner...

This is Maine chef and cookbook author Kate Gooding (Black Fly Stew, the painting in the background was used for Kate's cookbook cover). Kate and her husband Don hosted our dinner. Kate's been on Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern!

Here was our menu

And here's our Wineaux crew (minus Kate, acting photographer)

This was my contribution to the evening's menu - Baby Greens Salad with Figs Marinated in Sherry, Roasted Walnuts, Peppercorn Goat Cheese, in a Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette. It paired so well with the Milz Riesling, I've posted the recipe below!

Baby Greens, Walnuts (toast and cool before tossing), Peppercorn Goat Cheese, Dried Figs (soak in Cream Sherry for a few hours), Cracked Black Pepper (coarse). Toss with dressing.

St. Helena Kitchens Balsamic Fig Vinegar (this brand is a must buy, no other I've tried can compare)
Dijon Mustard (about a tablespoon)
Black Pepper
Sherry from soaking the figs (a couple tablespoons, be liberal!)
Drizzle in equal amounts:
Walnut Oil
Light Olive Oil

Anyone who knows me understands that I don't use recipes or measurements, I do it all by taste. The proportion of oil to vinegar is about two thirds – adjust to your taste. The vinegar, although acidic, is less so than most and has so much flavor you might want to add more, since it will be balanced by the creamy goat cheese and the sweet figs.

This is the perfect combination of flavors!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Thriving Real Estate Blogs

While my husband was browsing through blogs this morning, he came across a funny post with a catchy photo of a sign. But the subject of the entry was the best part, at least for me! It mentions several thriving real estate blogs, and guess whose was mentioned with a link out to that blog? Find it on growabrain