Our Cape Vacation. 2015

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To celebrate my dad’s 75th birthday, my family stayed together on The Cape for a week at the end of August. It was a wonderful way to celebrate several birthdays in August while getting to all hang out together. I loved getting to spend time with my brother and sister and their families. Everyone had a blast!!

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I prepped for the vacation by making big, huge batches of macaroni salad, potato salad, and a cake for the vacation on Friday night.

On the Saturday morning that our rental started, I finished stuffing the car silly with all of our stuff for the week. It was packed!!!! And then we started our trip down to Falmouth. We picked up our keys and headed into town to kill some time shopping and playing around at the playground and carousel until we could have access at the house.

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The day of arrival was my dad and nephew’s birthday so after dinner we celebrated with a cake that I had made. I made this epic Oreo Cookie Buttercream Frosting that I need to make again asap!

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Sunday was the first full day on vacation so we had to gear up for the week. My sister and I went grocery shopping for a dozen people. NBD.

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Halloween. 2015

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Autumn loves Minnie so much that when I found a Minnie costume that would fit actually fit her I snatched it up. Of course, I based our costumes off of her’s so Price was Mickey and I was Daisy Duck.

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But first, we started our Halloween a day early as Autumn went to daycare in costume on Friday in a spider costume. She actually wears it regularly. ha!

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Price and I were having a rough week so we decided to perk ourselves up by having tons of fun on Halloween.

As it is our last Halloween up here, we decided to go up to Salem to enjoy the festivities up here. Price and I had been once before for Halloween with our friends Emily and Peter and it was a lot of fun and really busy. We didn’t want to deal with the crazy crowds so we decided to go up for breakfast, enjoy the morning there, and head home before lunch.

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We went to The Ugly Mug for breakfast. (thanks for thesuggestion Twitter Peeps!!) It was so good that we are already planning on our next visit there.

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Minnie and Mickey!!!

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After breakfast, we headed out to wander around Salem.

We first visited the Witch Trials Memorial before heading over to the adjoining Charter Street Burning Point.

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I love the rich history that is scattered throughout New England. It’s incredible in Boston and the surrounding areas.

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Boil Boil Toil and Trouble

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Witches were everywhere!

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At least this witch was a nice one!

I told Autumn to wiggle her nose like Samantha. She looked at me strange.

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There is a fantastic exhibit called Stickwork at the Peabody Essex Museum that we will come back to visit in depth one day. Especially in the snow!

Also, they have another exhibit that we want to see one day so we will be back soon.

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I will defiently miss Fall in New England when we move. I can’t stop taking pictures of the changing pictures so I can capture all the carious hues of greens, yellows, oranges, reds, and purples that fill the trees and sidewalks.

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I mean, come on…

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There was a festival for kids on the Salem Common. They had dressed up characters that Autumn loved/was scared of, games, bounce houses, and face painting.

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The bounce house maze experience was greeted with so much enthusiasm (she tried to go in before it was fully set up!!) but some big kids (4 yo’s?) ventured back through and they didn’t mean to scare her but did so we had to yank her from the side and she clawed for her freedom. Poor Minnie!!

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Hey dude. Thanks for settling Salem.

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We wrapped up our Salem adventure with some more wandering around and some shopping just after 11am and headed home.

Autumn was so upset to be leaving but she was just over tired from the busy morning as the hysterics lasted a minute before she was passed out for the ride home.

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Keep it up New England. You rock this time of year.

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We carved our pumpkins in the afternoon after watching a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Halloween special (but of course!). Plus, I made an apple crisp and a frity flax oat bran bread. The house smelled so good from the baking and the hot cider we had warming on the stove.

Later on, Autumn and I went out for an hour for trick-o-treating. It was confusing to her but she had fun with it.

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She was wiped out after it so she ended up going to bed at 6pm! Now that’s a great day!!!

Unfortunately we don’t get a lot of trick-o-treaters. It’s a nasty cycle in our neighborhood… kids don’t go here because people don’t hand out candy>>> people don’t hand out candy because kids don’t come here. This doesn’t sit well with me as I LOVE to hand out candy to kids in costumes.

I ended up calling my Dad to see what we would be getting ourselves into next year when we are down in FL with him and he had to just rub it in that he had 300 kids. OMG!!!!!

I’m thankful we had such a great day celebrating Halloween in Salem this year.Mickey, Minnie, and Daisy had a great Halloween!!!

 

 

Apples, Pumpkins, and Donuts. Oh my! at Applecrest Farm, NH

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What do they say about best laid plans?

Oh that’s right, they often get screwed up.

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We had planned on going apple and pumpkin picking at Applecrest Farm with Price’s sister this past weekend. We went there last year, and had a blast, so we wanted to go again to get some more apples, pumpkins, and cider donuts.

Unfortunately, the day was much chillier than what would have been comfortable for apple picking. The temperature was okay, but the wind went right through ya!  So we changed things up and checked out their large farm market instead

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First, we bee-lined it to cider donuts stand for fresh donuts, which are my most favorite fall things ever. Autumn seemed to enjoy herself too!

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Oh, hello.

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Since we skipped the orchards, we got all our apples in their new Farm Market.

They were building it last year when we were visiting so it was fun to go back and see it completed. It is so charming with crates of fresh fruits and vegetables, a lot from their very own farm. As well as a selection of beer and wine, frozen prepared foods, and freshly baked goods. Rounding that all out is a healthy stocked refrigerated section, that includes fresh cider. It’s hard to find in the area, but they have raw cider, which is needed to make hard cider, so they are a great resource for home brewers.

There even is a Farm Bistro. Adorable. Timing wasn’t right for us to visit and try it out, but I’m really hoping to go back one day.

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I love fall in New England.

We grabbed a lot of apples from our visit so I have plenty of apples to eat (Idared) and bake (Cortland) with. They cut a blue hubbard squash in half for us (to split with Catherine), which roasted up so very well! Plus, I grabbed day old cider donuts, that I used to make a bread pudding. That I then smothered with a lot of homemade apple cider caramel sauce. (recipe coming soon!)

Apples and pumpkins are still available for picking so be sure to check out Applecrest Farm this weekend!

Applecrest Farm

133 Exeter Road (Rt.88)

Hampton Falls, NH 03844

603.926.3721

Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Open Daily, Year-Round.

Crab Eggs Benedict: Millbrook Company- Sedgwick, ME

Eggs Benedict is my favorite brunch dish. I love to try it everywhere we go from greasy spoons to top rated restaurants. I love the classic version, but I also love trying other fun variations. I share my experiences and personal ratings in my Eggs Benedict Reviews in my Dining Out Section. Check them all out!

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While we were visiting Price’s mom, Elaine, in Maine earlier this summer, we were on a mission to get a new grill for her house there. Since her house is on a itty bitty island it’s a decent drive into the closest town containing big box stores, like 45 minutes.

So we needed some strength to make such a journey (ha!), so we stopped for breakfast on the way at Millbrook Company in Segwick, Maine.

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Of course, as soon as I saw an Eggs Benedict on the Specials Board, I was immediately interested. Not just you’re typical Eggs Benedict, but a Crab Benedict, and for just $12.95. It sounded like a delicious deal!

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In the unassuming building on the side of Rt 15, sits Millbook Company. A breakfast and lunch place opened Wednesday- Sunday from 7.30am to 2.00pm. They have the basics, and they serve them well. When you serve a limited menu, you better do it right, and it seems like they really do with the nice crowds in there and the food we all enjoyed, from the standard breakfast favorites to the delicious specials.

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Millbrook Company has a great bakery that creates fantastic breads, cookies, bars, sticky buns, and much, much more. They serve there delicious baked goods at the restaurant, as well as sell them at area farmer’s markets.

While I didn’t get a breakfast that had a side of toast I did get a bite from Elaine just so I could try their house made jam. I love that they pay so close attention to their products that they make their own breads and jams.

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We ordered the Blueberry Buckle for Autumn, figuring it is similar to a muffin, which she enjoys. She did thoroughly enjoyed it, as did we, when we snagged bites ourselves. It was moist, rich, and packed with blueberries. I loved the crumb on top too.

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I’ve had plenty of Crab Cake Eggs Benedicts before, which are always enjoyable, but I enjoyed the similar approach with just serving crab on the English muffin. It didn’t muddle things, it kept it all perfectly simple, allowing the crab to shine through.

I would have loved some bigger lumps of crab, but the crab itself was delicious and overall I appreciated that it was affordable.

The eggs were poached perfectly. I just love watching when velvety soft warm yolks start to trickle down when the eggs when cut. It blends really well with rich Hollandaise sauce.

The side of potatoes was a little bland, but I I didn’t mind that much as I do appreciate getting to season the potatoes myself as I often find they are under-salted or over-salted. The crust on the potatoes certainly made up for any deficiencies in the amount of salt used when preparing the potatoes. I love the good crust on homefries.

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If you are in the area I suggest stopping by this charming small breakfast and lunch spot. The simple home-cooked meals for affordable prices make for a great place to visit. Be sure to check out the beautiful views from the pavilion too!

Rating

English Muffin– 17/20 pts

Crab– 16/20 pts

Poached Egg– 23/25 pts

Hollandaise- 23/25 pts

Homefries– 8/10 pts

Total: 87/100 pts

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Millbrook Company

160 Snows Cove Road

Sedgwick, Maine 04676

207.359.8344

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Thanks for visiting. Please leave me a comment to provide some feedback. I appreciate all the comments I receive. 

 

Apple and Peach Picking At Tougas Family Farm- Northboro, MA

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This past weekend was really wonderful. Not just because it was Labor Day but because we to Tougas Family Farm in Northboro, MA.

We are moving to Florida next spring so I am determined to do as many Autumn related things here in New England. I really love the fall, but then my dreaded winter comes. So I’m soaking up every possible thing that we can do like apple picking, pumpkin picking, watching the Head of The Charles, go leaf peeping, and much, much more.

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We kicked off the Autumn related activities with some apple picking. Thankfully, I found Tougas Family Farm, which also had peach and nectarine picking available. I couldn’t have asked for a better day as we were able to pick all 3 fruits.

As the farm is 45-60 minutes from Boston, we timed our departure with Autumn’s normal morning nap time. It worked out perfectly!

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We arrived in great time just after it opened at 10am to get in line to purchase our box ($36 for a 1/2 bushel, approximately 20 pounds of fruit) that we would fill up with our treasures.

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From there, we got in line for a short tractor pulled wagon ride to the fields. The first stop had 2 varieties of apples for picking, but everyone on a wagon opted to just go to the 2nd stop where there were apples, peaches, and nectarines available for picking.

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I highly suggest some babywearing for apple picking.

It can be a lot of walking for little legs so babywearing helps you carry your kiddo while your arms are still free for picking and carrying around your box of fruit. Plus, then you don’t have to juggle with getting a stroller on and off the wagon.

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We started with picking Ginger Golds which are great eating apples, as well as baking apples as they hold their shape well.

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After picking some massive Ginger Golds, we headed up a few rows to get the New England Classic, the McIntosh. They are are great all around apple for eating and baking. They are great for pies and that is my #1 priority when it comes to apple picking as I love fall baking.

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We started picking apples first as they are sturdier fruits compared to peaches and nectarines, so we filled the bottom of the box up with our apples first, to then place the peaches and nectarines on top of them.

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Autumn loved picking the fruit with us. She was very delicate with them from picking them on the tree to putting them in the box. She would light up with each fruit picked.

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Autumn ate plenty of fruit at the farm, but continued her attempt at eating our 1/2 bushel  for the rest of the long weekend but walking over to the box on the counter to request a ‘beach!!’. After inhaling the sweet fruit, she would come to me with the pit, then sign for ‘more’ while saying ‘mas beach!!!’.

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Tougas Family Farm has both White and Yellow peaches. Yellow are my favorite but you can’t go wrong with any fruit freshly picked from the tree.

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Movin’ to the country,
gonna eat a lot of peaches.

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They had ladders available to help you pick fruit that is out of arms reach. We though this was really helpful, as a lot of farms we’ve been do don’t offer ladders. This way we would easily could carefully reach a lot of sun ripened fruit. Plus, there is something extra fun about climbing a ladder to get a piece of fruit.

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Autumn was very proud of the fruit she picked. She carried this peach around like a baby for a long time!

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After we filled our box, we headed back to the farm via wagon ride, to put the box in the car and check out the farm animals and the farm store.

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A quick stop at the large playground for some swing action and then we were were off to the farm.

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The goats there are very friendly as kids, and adults alike, can feed the goats pellets ($1) directly from their hands. Autumn was basically freaked out by them, so she watched them cautiously in Price’s arms.

Price made fast friends with a goat who loved being rubbed on his head and back.

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I tried very hard to convince this chicken that it wanted to come home with us, but as chicken as, she was very stubborn and refused all my offers.

The pig ignored me as well.

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Lastly, we stopped by the farm store for some apple cider donuts.

They also had picked fruit, jams, and prepared foods available for take out and for picnicking while at the farm.

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Apple cider donuts are my Achilles heel. And it appears that they are Autumn’s as well. I guess the saying is right, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!!!” She

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Such a wonderful day together!!

Tougas Family Farm

246 Ball Street

Northboro, MA 01532

508.393.6406