Italy is known for it’s pizza and the guests on our recent Michael Salmon’s Foodie Adventure to Tuscany couldn’t wait to make their own! Pizza night at the Villa consisted of each guest rolling out their own homemade dough thinly and topping it with some (or all as some did) of the variety of toppings we had available. The selection included fresh mozzarella cheese, young and aged pecorino cheese, fresh ricotta cheese, rosemary oil, pesto, tomato sauce, roasted peppers, marinated mushrooms, a variety of cured Italian meats, eggplant, arugula, roasted garlic, olives, basil, anchovies and more!
Each guest then cooked their pizza on bricks till it was crispy, bubbly and ready to devour! Some people came back and made a second and saved it for breakfast the next morning!
Spring is here! I know because some of our favorite businesses that take a little break for winter are re-opening. The Cellardoor Villa is located at the intersection of Routes 90 and 1 and is a great place to taste several of their wines. With 19 varieties available you’re sure to discover a nice bottle to pair with your next meal or choose a bottle from our award winning Hartstone Inn wine list to sample with the Inn’s cuisine.
Yesterday was the first full day of spring and it snowed! It snowed enough to actually cancel school here today! The ground had been bare and spring flowers were beginning to peek up from the ground. It was because of this that the snow was a bit of an unwelcome surprise. We have faith though that it will melt quickly and that spring weather is on it’s way!
(Photos by: Anita Brosius-Scott)
As many of you know, last fall we began “Michael Salmon’s Foodie Adventures“. These “adventures” or culinary trips abroad are a way for us to marry our love of terrific food, culinary adventures and great company. We have so much fun traveling and enjoying life that we decided to create several foodie adventures each year outside of the Inn. Our first destination is Tuscany and we completed are first two week long trips this past October. Over the next few days we will publish a series of blog posts on our Tuscany trip. If you have the desire to learn something new, would like to explore several beautiful villages in Tuscany and like to cook – or just eat, this may be the trip for you! We have space available in the October 2011 trip. We also just began booking for a trip to the Loire Valley in France!
We here at The Hartstone Inn, along with many households in America have tried to find ways to be more environmentally conscious. Paul, one of our innkeepers and his wife use no chemicals in their home. They have provided us with many recipes for green cleaners. One of our favorites is the silver polishing concoction. As those of you know who stay here, our guests eat with silver utensils at all of the meals we serve. Silver tends to tarnish and with as much a s we use it, this means lots of polishing! The recipe below allows for not only a chemical free polish but for large amounts to be polished at once with little to no “elbow grease”! All you need is a deep container, salt, baking powder, water and aluminum foil.
1. Line pan or container with aluminum foil. Cover the bottom entirely.
2. Put silver utensils into pan.
3. Pour boiling water in pan until the silver utensils are completely covered.
4. Add one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of baking powder for every inch of water in the pan.
5. Let sit for five minutes.
6. Drain water and wash silver utensils as you normally would i.e. dishwasher, by hand etc…
It will be shiny and beautiful – just like new!
Have you always wanted to learn how to make pasta? Join Chef Michael in his kitchen and learn techniques that include making the dough, coloring and flavoring different pastas, rolling out and cutting various shapes of pasta, filling pastas such as raviolis and tortellini and cooking pasta. Specific dishes include: Spinach Fettuccine Puttanesca with Shrimp, Farfalle with fresh Tomato, Basil and Roasted Garlic, Green Pea Ravioli with Lemon and Olive Oil and Potato Gnocchi with Lobster and Asparagus. Classes are informative, entertaining, and of course, filled with delicious food. “More Pasta Favorites” cooking class is offered March 5th and 6th from 1pm-3pm. Make a weekend out of it and book a two night Cooking Class Package! Prices are from $352-$512 and include a five course dinner for two.
For 2011, as a gift to our guests we have added a new amenity. Our guests now have complimentary access to our local YMCA! The Penobscot YMCA is a state of the art facility that offers all of the following:
8-Lane 25-Yard Swimming Pool
Warm Therapy Pool
State-of-the-art wellness studio and fitness center
Indoor Walk-Jog Track
Free weight equipment and designated stretching area
Rock Climbing Center
Family Play Gym
Full-Service Child Care Center
Multi-Purpose Conference Center
Adult, Child and Family Locker Rooms
Wide selection of free fitness programs
Family Nights for the entire family
Year-round full-size gymnasium for basketball and volleyball
Relax in the sauna, swim a lap or two or be challenged by the giant rock climbing wall. Now there are even more fun things to do when you visit Camden!
Mary, our culinary intern from Peru decided that we needed to add some holiday cheer to our afternoon cookie selection. With that in mind, she set out to bake some gingerbread men this afternoon with a Hart(HEART)stone theme. They turned out so cute that the chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies are green with envy.
What are you baking this holiday season?
Last weekend we had Kate from Black Dinah Chocolatiers at the Inn to teach a Holiday Chocolate Making class. Participants received hands on instruction on the basic skills necessary for artisanal chocolate making. Kate guided participants through tempering chocolate, flavoring and mixing ganache, dipping truffles, and multiple decorating techniques. Everyone left with both chocolate bars and chocolate truffles that they had created themselves! If this sounds like something you would enjoy, join us on January 22nd or 23rd for our Valentine’s Chocolate Making Class. Kate will be back again with more fun recipes and techniques!
For those of you looking for last minute holiday ideas and making chocolate by hand is out of the question, Black Dinah Chocolates make great gifts. They are beautiful and delicious!
Throughout the winter and early spring we offer specialty five course dinners here at the Inn. Themed menu topics include “Dinner in Tuscany”, Haute Chinese, German, “An Evening in Spain” and “Dinner in the Greek Isles” just to name a few. Last Sunday night was Thai Dinner. Dinner guests enjoyed Fresh Maine Lobster Spring Rolls with a Sweet Chili-Peanut Sauce, Coconut-Chicken Soup with Mushrooms, Mango Sorbet, Red Curry of Duck with Pineapple and Coconut Fried Bananas with Lychees and Papaya.
If you enjoy Thai food, join us on March 13th for our next Thai night. The menu will be:
March 13, 2011
Thai Beef Salad with Spicy Cucumbers
Shrimp and Coconut Soup with Lemongrass
Lime and Mint Sorbet
Maine Lobster with a Jungle Curry
Coconut Ice Cream with Tropical Fruits
You can find the dates and all the menus of our specialty dinners right here on the website!