Baby Spinach Salad with Cumin Roasted Pear and Maytag Blue Cheese

by Chef Michael Salmon
serves 6

3 Bosc pears

1/3 cup walnut halves

1/3 cup dried cranberries

3 Tablespoons walnut oil

2 Tablespoons port wine

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 Tablespoons cumin spice mix (recipe below)

10 oz baby spinach

1/4 pound Maytag bleu cheese (or other good quality creamy bleu cheese)

Honey and walnut dressing (recipe below)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel the pears and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the core and stem with a melon-baller and cut each half into 3 equal wedges.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the walnut oil, port wine, brown sugar, salt and cumin spice mix. Add the pear wedges, walnut halves and dried cranberries and toss to evenly coat.
  4. Place a silpat mat or piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread out the pear mixture on top. Roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature.
  5. To serve, toss the baby spinach with enough of the honey and walnut dressing to coat. Arrange the roasted pear wedges on the plate and sprinkle with the cranberries, walnuts and crumbled bleu cheese.

Honey and Walnut Dressing

1/2 cup walnut oil

1 Tablespoon crushed walnuts

1 Tablespoon minced shallot

2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 Tablespoons honey

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Heat the walnut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When it gets very warm (not hot), add the crushed walnuts and shallots and allow it to steep off the heat until cool.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard and honey. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the cooled walnut oil until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cumin Spice Mix

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 Tablespoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons whole cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons whole anise seeds

Mix the sugar and spices together.

Vitaly – World Class Illusionist at the Camden Opera House

Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 7:30PM

Master illusionist Vitaly has mystified fans from all over the world, including Las Vegas superstars Penn & Teller whom he has fooled on their hit TV show, “Fool Us”. From bringing pictures and drawings to life to erasing people from their own driver’s licenses, Vitaly’s signature illusions leaves even the most jaded audience awestruck at his jaw-dropping feats.

Reputed as “one of the most captivating and enjoyable illusionists performing in the world today” (Chilliwack Progress), Vitaly breathes innovation and artistry into the field of magic. He invented and designed every single illusion in his stage show, An Evening Wonders, treating spectators to a theatrical entertainment not seen anywhere else in the world. Not only do they witness the elegant rendering of the impossible, they are also charmed by Vitaly’s engaging personality and genuine desire to partake in his amazing acts.

Now based in Vancouver, Vitaly has garnered rave reviews and has appeared on CBC, the Vancouver Sun and The Province, which has crowned him “the master of his own magical domain.” He continues to amaze people all over the world.

Vitaly was 14 when he discovered his passion for magic. Soon he was developing his own material, entertaining his friends and family. Years later, he would abandon a career in engineering to focus on rebuilding people’s childlike sense of wonder and bridging the gap between dreams and reality.  General admission tickets: $18 advance, $22 door:

Complimentary Pairings at Cellardoor Winery

Visit Cellardoor Winery on several upcoming Sunday’s and enjoy complimentary food and wine pairings!   Their 200-year-old barn in Lincolnville will feature their award wining wine along with food bites from local purveyors.  While you’re there, browse their gift shop and enjoy the breathtaking views of their vineyard!

2017 Complimentary Pairings Schedule:

September 17 | 12:00 pm3:00 pm  * Complimentary Pairings: Eat more Cheese
September 24 | 12:00 pm3:00 pm * Complimentary Pairings: Maine Water Buffalo Co
October 1 | 12:00 pm3:00 pm  * Complimentary Pairings: Black Dinah Chocolatiers
October 8 | 12:00 pm3:00 pm * Complimentary Pairings: Ducktrap River Farm
October 15 | 12:00 pm3:00 pm * Complimentary Pairings: Maine Street Meats
October 22 | 12:00 pm3:00 pm * Complimentary Pairings: Morses Sauerkraut & European Deli

Reservations are not required for tastings, but they are recommended for groups of 6 or more guests. Call (207) 763-4478 to request a reservation.

Apple Picking Fun at Hope Orchards!

hope-orchardsIt’s fall and that means fresh apples, apple pie, apple cider, apple butter… and more!  Hope Orchards, located just 6 miles from the Hartstone Inn offers both pick-your-own and pre-picked apples.  Pears and pumpkins too!

Opening Day!

September 15th – 9am-5pm
You’ve waited all year for this.  Opening Friday, September 15th 2017 if mother nature allows it.  Come get the first taste of the season with Paula Reds and Ginger Golds – Mmmmm!

First Press of Cider

September 29th (tentative date!)
Our cider is fresh pressed every Friday right on the farm.  It’s a sight to behold.  Made with NO preservatives or pasteurization.  People come for miles to get our fresh cider.  Make sure you come early as we tend to run out quickly!  Date depends on harvest and may change as we get closer to harvest time.
*Please remember, unpasteurized cider can be a health hazard to infants and to the elderly.

8th Annual Hope Orchards Fall Festival

Sunday, October 8th, 2017 ~ 9am – 5pm
Come enjoy live music, oven pizza, woolens, fiber arts and crafts, children’s activities and more!  See Hope Spinnery, Uproot Pie Company, Black Sheep Woolens, Barber’s Bunnies, Blueberry Farm Alpacas, Button Chair, One Woman Studio, Orange Chair Studio, Snow Hill Studios and Washington General Store.  Rosey and the Wayfaring Strangers will play from noon until 2:00pm.

Variety Weekend

Friday, October 20th – Sunday, October 22nd

Friday: Start the variety weekend Friday evening by sampling over 20 varieties of Maine grown apples and pears from 6:00pm – 7:00pm followed by the “delicious” themed Story Slam at 7:00pm.  The Story Slam is a shared event with Sweettree Arts and Hope Orchards.  Each storyteller tells their story around the theme of ‘delicious’.  These are personal stories that are told and not read.  Stories may contain adult content. 

Saturday: All varieties available for tasting, pairing and purchase all day until 7:00pm.  Maine Street Meats will join us from 11am – 4pm for variety pairings. Doughty Hill featuring veteran musicians Sid Stutzman (vocals, guitar, mandolin), Dawn Potter (vocals and fiddle), Brian Smith (vocals, guitar, bass), and Dan Sharrow (vocals, percussion, bass) from 7:00pm – 9:00pm. The band performs an engaging mix of bluegrass, folk, rock, Irish, blues, and original tunes, with a focus on tight harmonies, virtuoso leads, and an entertaining acoustic edge. 

Sunday:  All varieties available for tasting, pairing and purchase all day until 5:00pm.  Appleton Creamery and State of Maine Cheese will join us from 11:00am until 4:00pm for delicious cheese pairings.  The Gawler Family and Bennett Konesni will play from 3:00pm to 5:00pm.

Variety sampling  All day Saturday and Sunday all varieties available for tasting and purchase paired with local cheeses and warm apple pie by the slice or whole.

Final Press – The BIG Squeeze

Friday, October 27th (tentative date)
Our last and largest cider press.  Cider freezes very well and we take orders in October for large quantities from this batch.  Get on the list so you can enjoy hot cider all winter!

Thanksgiving Dinner Getaway Package

Leave the cooking to us and spend your Thanksgiving holiday at the Hartstone Inn!  Our Thanksgiving Dinner Package includes two night’s lodging, sumptuous breakfasts each morning and a five-course gourmet Thanksgiving dinner for two.   Enjoy cocktail hour before dinner, complete with delicious hors d’ oeuvres.

We have two seating times for our holiday dinner – 2:00 pm or 5:30 pm. 

The menu is as follows:

Prosciutto wrapped Sea Scallops with a Sweet Potato Puree and a Cranberry Butter Sauce

Butternut Squash Soup with a Nutmeg Cream

Citrus Sorbet

Sage Rubbed Turkey with Apple, Sausage and Parsnip Stuffing, Shallot Smashed Potatoes with Gravy

Pumpkin Soufflé with a Spiced Crème Anglaise

View package pricing here.  Place your reservation today as this holiday celebration fills up fast!


Maine Open Lighthouse Day

Maine Lighthouse Day returns Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 with 25 lighthouses open to the public at no charge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (special hours at some facilities). Sponsored by the Coast Guard, the Maine Office of Tourism and the American Lighthouse Foundation, the event draws between 15,000 and 18,000 visitors annually.

Participating lighthouses in Knox and Waldo counties include:

Curtis Island, Camden

Visitors must find their own transportation to this offshore facility. Kayak tours may be available from Camden harbor.

Fort Point, Stockton Springs

An active Coast Guard aid to navigation, the lighthouse contains a fourth-order Fresnel lens.

Grindle Point, Islesboro

Transportation is available by Maine State Ferry to Islesboro. The lighthouse is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation.

Isle Au Haut, Isle Au Haut

Transportation is available from Isle au Haut Boat Services in Stonington, which is offering a special cruise that will go ashore for a guided tour of the lighthouse.

Marshall Point, Port Clyde

The lighthouse is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation. It also has a museum and gift shop.

Monhegan Island, Monhegan

Speical hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Transportation is available via Monhegan Boat Lines (Port Clyde), Hardy Boat Cruises (New Harbor) and Balmy Days Cruises (Boothbay Harbor). Keeper’s house contains a museum; also, special art exhibit in assistant keeper’s house.

Owls Head, Owls Head

The lighthouse is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation and contains a fourth-order Fresnel lens. Book signing by children’s author Angeli Perrow from 1 to 4 p.m.

Rockland Breakwater, Rockland

The lighthouse is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation. There is almost a mile walk along the breakwater to the lighthouse.

Camden Rock Climbing Package – NEW!

Experience rock climbing right here in Camden!  Are you a first time climber? Or an experienced climber looking for a new adventure? Our Rock Climbing Adventure Getaway Package offers 4 hours of climbing for two people right here in beautiful, Camden, Maine.   We’ve partnered with trained, local guides who are experienced, passionate climbers.  They cater every trip to the client’s goals to create life long memories! 

In addition to climbing, our getaway package includes two nights lodging, sumptuous breakfasts each morning and dinner for two, featuring the Chef’s spectacular five-course tasting menu.  View package pricing here. (Available spring through fall.)


Common Ground Country Fair

September 22, 23 & 24, 2017 – Unity, Maine
Gates Open at 9am

The Common Ground Country Fair, located in Unity, Maine is an event like no other.  It brings together people from so many walks of life, all in the spirit of celebrating the rural and agricultural traditions of Maine.  Since 1977, this celebration of rural living offers something for everyone, in a traditionally festive atmosphere. Features farmers and their livestock, Maine-grown organic foods, music and entertainment.   Learn basic gardening skills and see vendors of Maine-made crafts, folk arts, food, plants, agricultural tools, environmentally friendly living items and much more!

See the complete schedule of events here.  Keynote speakers here.

TAKE THE TRAIN! Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad offers trips to and from the fair!

Take their trains for a unique and convenient way to get to the Common Ground Country Fair. Park at either our Unity or Thorndike parking areas and ride the trains to our platform on the east side of the fairground commons just behind the administrative buildings.

Tickets are good for any train during the day of purchase!  This is more than a round trip ticket, it allows  you to travel back to your car if you forget something and get back to the fair.

They will have two trains operating all day on convenient schedules and their stations are only 10 to 15 minutes from the fair grounds.

Tickets sold at our boarding areas in Unity and Thorndike on the day of the fair.

Blueberry-Vanilla Crème Brûlée Recipe

by Chef Michael Salmon

5 egg yolks
1/4 cup, plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out to use, pod reserved for another use (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 cup whipping cream
3 Tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup pecan pieces (optional)
whipped cream
additional blueberries
4 sprigs of spearmint for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat about 1 quart of water in a teakettle (or saucepan) for a hot water bath.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add the vanilla and whisk in cream and milk.
3. Divide the blueberries and pecans between four shallow ceramic dishes. Divide the custard mixture between the four dishes and place in a pan with at least 1-inch sides. Fill the pan with the hot water about halfway up the sides of the dishes.
4.  Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until firm. Remove from the oven and water bath and cool. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
5.  To serve, evenly sprinkle the top of each with enough granulated sugar to cover. Using a torch, slowly begin to caramelize the sugar, moving the torch around a lot to prevent burning in any given area. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, some fresh blueberries and a sprig of fresh spearmint.

Grilled Summer Vegetable Timbale with Goat Cheese and Basil

by Chef Michael Salmon
serves 4

2 beets
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
2 medium sized carrots
1 portabella mushroom
1 medium beefsteak tomato
12 spears asparagus (pencil size)
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 cherry tomatoes
3 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped, for garnish

1. Boil the beets until fork tender. Remove skin and cool. Slice each into 4 slices.
2. Remove ends and slice both the zucchini and yellow squash into 8 equal slices on a slight bias. Peel carrots and cut into sticks 2 inches long and 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. Core the tomato
and slice into 4 equal slices. Clean the portabella mushroom and cut into 8 wedges. Cut the tough part (pale color) off the bottom of the asparagus spears and peel the lower half of the
spears, removing the tougher outside shell.
3. Blanch the carrot slices in boiling water for 2 minutes to partially cook them and cool them off in a bowl of ice water. Lay all of the vegetables out on a baking sheet (use one with
sides) and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Turn them over and coat the other side. Let sit for 15 minutes. Using either a stove top grill pan or a barbecue grill, grill the vegetables (reserving the marinating oil and juices) on each side, just enough to mark them and cook them slightly. The tomatoes cook very quickly. Do not overcook any of the vegetables. Remove from the grill to another baking sheet.

To make the vinaigrette, mix the chopped basil with the balsamic vinegar. Place in a small container with a lid. In a 1/4-cup measurer, pour in the reserved oil and juices, and fill the
remaining way with additional olive oil. Add to the container a few grinds of pepper and a pinch of salt. Cover and shake gently.

For assembly and presentation, place a 3-inch timbale mold (I use a 3-inch piece of PVC pipe that has a 3-inch inside diameter) on the center of a 12-inch dinner plate. Layer in the
vegetables in this order: 1 tomato slice, 2 zucchini slices, 2 beet slices, 2 yellow squash slices, 6 carrot sticks, and 2 mushroom wedges. Build each layer securely on top of each other and press down gently on the vegetables to firm up the stack. Remove the mold form. Decorate the plate with the 3 asparagus spears, 3 cherry tomato halves, and a sprig of fresh basil. Slice the goat cheese and arrange around the plate. Drizzle with vinaigrette and chopped basil. Serve.