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If you’re on the road frequently like me, you may happen to surround yourself with people who love trying out local delicacies, the catch of the day, and even local beers on tap. “When in Rome,” right?
Well, if you’re also like me and know what you like and prefer to stick with it, there’s nothing wrong with that either (that’s what I keep telling myself anyway). Sure, it could be fun to venture outside your comfort zone, like trying a farm fresh, locally-grown piece of rhubarb and strawberry pie, but sometimes you just want to go with the ol’ faithful of chocolate mousse.
Enter the Black Point Inn, a charming seaside resort in Prouts Neck, Scarborough, Maine. It’s the type of place where guests enjoy sipping an evening cocktail in Adirondack chairs on the front lawn to escape from the otherwise hectic pace of life and to bask in the breathtaking sunset. It’s the kind of place where you challenge your travel mates to a stimulating game of checkers in the parlor room on comfortable white wicker furniture; the type of place where time stands still as you enjoy afternoon tea in the cozy lobby with assorted muffins and pastries in front of their wood burning fireplace.
So, you can imagine the delicious menu for one of their restaurants, The Chart Room. Crab cakes, chilled oysters, and New England clam chowder, oh my!
But in true picky eater fashion, that’s not what I ordered. I did, however, order a local dish: that’s right, their trusty lobster roll. With a touch of mayonnaise, shredded iceberg lettuce, and New England-style roll, I figured I couldn’t go wrong by ordering a light meal.
And I certainly didn’t — as a fan of lobster but not all of the work that goes into eating it, there’s nothing better than a sandwich that’s delicious but also easy to eat. As a New York City dweller, there are lobster rolls available to me at home but it’s like eating a slice of pizza outside the Big Apple. Why would bother when you can get the real deal in its original location?
Although I pass up some menu items in Maine, like oysters and crab cakes, out of personal preference, when it comes to a good old-fashioned locally caught lobster, sitting outside on the veranda not only eating local but enjoying the scenery, it becomes the quintessential bite of New England.
There’s something special about Maine lobster rolls in particular. The New England or frankfurter roll is baked a little bit differently from a typical hot dog roll. Technically, the sides end up being flat and can be buttered on the outside. While it’s lightly grilled, the split occurs on the top instead of on the side. Plus, there’s lobster meat in the roll served cold instead of warm and there’s usually a light spread of mayonnaise inside the bun or even tossed in with lobster meat itself. A typical serving size is four ounces, and this Chart Room didn’t disappoint this picky eater.
So, as I sat on the veranda taking in the ambiance of wood-paneled walls adorned by local artist Holly Ready’s artwork as the Atlantic Ocean beckoned in the distance, bites of the lobster roll in turn became the focal point of the culinary experience, and rightly so.
Road Trip USA: Maine
Welcome to our 3rd stop on our Road Trip USA! This week we’re trekking through Maine!
We started off by adding the Maine flag to our Travel Journal.
We started off by reviewing the states and capitals we’ve learned so far, then located Maine and Augusta on our Wall Map.
Some of the things we learned about this week:
- Located Augusta, ME on our Wall Map
- Read National Geographic US Atlas and located Augusta, ME using the mapping grid
- Learned about the state flag
- State Bird: Black Capped Chickadee
- State Flower: The White Pine Cone and Tassel
- We continued reading If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution
- We reviewed the first two verses of the next verse to our 50 States and Capitals Song
- State Animal: The Moose
- State Berry: The Blueberry
- Famous Landmarks: Portland Head Light
- Classified our Maine state animal symbols and added them to our wall
- State food: Maine Lobster, and blueberries.
- Had blueberry muffins for breakfast
- Visited Red Lobster to let the kids see a live lobster and try one out.
- Checked out some of Maine’s Fun Facts: www.50states.com
We read through our state symbol information and the kids colored their Maine worksheet.
We re-visited the Black Capped Chickadee and Moose and added them to our animal wall.
We added Maine to our small wall map. ( Trend USA Wall Poster) (I just purchased two of these then cut out the states on one of them, and left one whole. Then I added small velcro dots to both the whole map and the little pieces so we could add our states as we went.
We finished out our week with a trip to Red Lobster where the kids got to touch a live lobster…
And that wraps up our Maine study! If you’d like to come along with us on our Road Trip USA journey, click the image below to learn more!
Taste As You Go
A food and lifestyle blog containing recipes and stories about raising a family and building a home in Connecticut.
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Connecticut-Style Lobster Rolls with Butter Although I live in Pennsylvania now, part of me will always be a New England girl. More specifically, a New England girl perpetually living in the middle of spring through the middle of fall because, honestly, I could do without the winter nor'easter storms and blizzard-like conditions. One of my favorite New England experiences is digging into the first warm and buttery lobster roll of the summer. Unfortunately, Stephen and I don't have easy access to authentic lobster rolls during the summer and have resorted to getting our fix whenever we happen to be in Boston. So, when I received an email from Lobster Anywhere inviting me to try their Lobster Roll Kit, I immediately accepted and started planning the rest of our menu for our "So Long to Summer" party with our friends Chris and Laura and their two kids over Labor Day Weekend. Lobster Anywhere is a online retail company that has been delivering "the finest Maine lobster, unique dishes, and award-winning chowder" to customers all over the country since 1999. All of their gift packages include free overnight delivery, as well as a cooking and handling guide, an especially useful item for those who don't work with seafood that often. Once I had a lock on the date of our party, I arranged to have the Lobster Roll Kit delivered the day before to ensure that I'd be cooking and serving the freshest possible seafood to our guests. When I opened the package, I was blown away by how thoughtfully it was put together. On top were individual packets of oyster crackers. I was tempted to open one of the bags right then and there for a little snack, but I was a good hostess and resigned myself to wait until the party. The next layer revealed a fresh lemon, a box of Maine saltwater taffy, and a package of split-top rolls, an absolute must when it comes to making lobster rolls. Underneath the rolls was the New England Clam Chowder with simple reheating instructions. I'm extremely picky when it comes to clam chowder, so I was excited to give the chowder from Lobster Anywhere a taste. I continued digging until I found the gold -- two pounds of cooked lobster meat from the claws and knuckles. In an instant, I knew that this party was going to be epic. /> Since the lobster arrived already cooked and already shelled, I didn't have to spend too much time in the kitchen prepping for the lobster rolls. That meant I could devote more time to setting a nice table for our guests. Although there was lobster on the menu, we kept the whole affair pretty low-key and casual. When it came time to pull the meal together, I removed the lobster meat from its package and placed it in a colander for a quick rinse. I mean, just look at that lobster. Have you ever seen lobster that beautiful before? The Lobster Roll Kits includes a recipe for Classic Maine Lobster Rolls that calls for mayonnaise, but, seeing as I'm from Connecticut, I chose to make Connecticut-Style Lobster Rolls. That meant skipping the mayonnaise altogether and creating a decadent sauce for the lobster meat from three simple ingredients -- melted butter, paprika, and lemon juice -- while the clam chowder was warming in the microwave. Once I finished grilling the sides of the rolls, it was ridiculous how quickly everything came together. The New England Clam Chowder was thick (but not gluey), creamy, and full of generous pieces of clam and potatoes. The flavor was rich but not overwhelming, and just one spoonful brought me back to the summers of my childhood. Before I talk about the Lobster Rolls, I just want you to look at it. The Lobster Roll Kit comes with enough lobster meat to make 6-8 overstuffed lobster rolls, so we didn't skimp on the filling when assembling our sandwiches. The warm butter accentuated the natural sweetness of the lobster meat but didn't stand in its way. There was no question that the lobster was the true star of the evening. As I polished off my first lobster roll and started in on my second, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for the opportunity to share such a decadent meal with good friends. (And, I'm pretty sure they felt a deep sense of gratitude that they were invited to such an affair! *wink*) I was so focused on my lobster rolls that I completely missed eating the only side dish I prepared from scratch -- the Roasted Corn with Cilantro Lime Butter. Everyone told me it was delicious, and when I snacked on some of the leftover corn the following day, I couldn't help but agree. Thank you so, so much to the folks at Lobster Anywhere for allowing me to put your Lobster Roll Kit to the test. You have now have a devoted following in Pennsylvania who will be talking about this meal for months to come! A twist on every child’s favorite sandwich, this lobster grilled cheese looks absolutely incredible. What could be better than a fluffy roll with melted cheddar cheese and lobster tails inside? The original recipe calls for garlic and red pepper flakes, but if you aren’t sure your little ones will enjoy the added heat, we recommend taking these ingredients out. Now that you have some delicious lobster recipe ideas your whole family is sure to enjoy, all that’s left to do is order some fresh Maine lobster from Cape Porpoise Lobster Co. and get cooking. Have a great, kid-friendly lobster dish of your own? Please share it in the comments section below!
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A beautifully set table. The perfect, soft glow of light. A fine glass of wine. A tempting dish of incredible food. Engaging conversation. A memory made with a loved one or friend.
There's something magical about a great dining experience. During this time of social distancing, we may not be able to meet inside our favorite restaurants, but we do have the ability to create an amazing restaurant experience at home.
Here are some ideas to help you plan a restaurant quality dinner at home that feels as special as dining out (or even better).
Candle Lit Romance
Set the table: Pull out the wine glasses, cloth napkins, tablecloth and candles to create a dining table with an upscale, romantic vibe. Bonus points if you have both votives and candle sticks to bring to the table. Light them all, dim your lamps and prepare for romance. Fresh roses or orchids in a glass vase will add even more romance to your table. Can’t access flowers right now? Get creative with faux flowers or small plants you already have at home.
Cue the music: When it comes to creating the right backdrop for your restaurant style dinner at home, music really sets the tone. For a romantic at-home dinner, try playing soft and soothing music that won’t overpower intimate conversation. Light jazz, soft piano, acoustic ballads. whatever you and your dining partner prefer. Make it a total home run by creating a song list filled with tunes that mean something to you and your loved one.
What's on the menu: An upscale dining experience calls for an impressive meal. The good news? Creating a multiple course dinner doesn’t have to be difficult - you can have everything delivered to your door. Plan to incorporate a delicious appetizer, a special main course, elevated side dishes and something amazing for dessert.
Extra touches: Add personalized place-card to your dining partner’s seat when you set your table. A small, sweet note to your significant other is sure to make them feel appreciated, and drive the romantic vibe home.
Family Game Night
Set the table: This dinner at home is all about fun! Have your favorite board games ready to play after the meal, and bring out your trivia cards for some family dinner fun. If kids are joining your dinner, then using plasticware is far better than setting out your finest. If you have the material, try covering everyone’s table setting with a large swatch of paper (secure each piece to the table) and provide plastic cups with crayons for some coloring (or “hang-man” game) fun.
Cue the music: Play upbeat, kid-friendly music everyone can enjoy. Try a playlist that includes a few of each person’s favorite happy or silly songs. Creating a playlist could be a fun activity for kids (and grownups) who may find themselves bored at home.
What's on the menu: Every parent knows that even the most easy-going kids can be picky eaters. For a family dinner at home, focus on kid-friendly foods like Lobster Rolls, and don’t forget to add a sweet treat!
Extra touches: Create a first-place ribbon or official-looking award to hand out to the person with the most game “wins” of the evening. A bit of friendly competition always makes things extra fun.
Best BBQ Joint
Set the table: This tablescape is the most casual, because we all know the best BBQ tends to get messy. If you can’t eat your BBQ outside, then bring the outside picnic vibe in! Pull out your gingham check picnic table cover, or cover your table with a clean, brightly patterned sheet you don’t mind getting messy. Bring out your mason jars, striped straws, baskets, paper plates and melamine ware - and since this is BBQ, don’t forget to provide plenty of napkins :)
Cue the music: Throw on your favorite country western tunes, folk music or bluegrass. Any music that gives you that “down home” feel is perfect for this shindig.
What's on the menu: Since you’re throwing a BBQ at home, you aren’t limited to steak or burgers (though we recommend indulging if you can). Try something new and exciting on your grill, such as grilled lobster tails or grill up some Aussie style shrimp on the barbee. Maine Lobster Rolls also make a delicious and unexpected addition to any BBQ.
Extra touches: Brew up some southern-style sweet tea or make fresh squeezed lemonade. Find the best authentic cornbread recipe, and give it a go. Ever notice that the best BBQ joints always seem to have the best cornbread?
We’re here to help
We hope these ideas inspire you to create an incredible restaurant experience at home. If you're inspired to spoil someone special with a romantic dinner at home, check our latest dinner specials - perfect for creating an upscale that’s sure to impress.
Tarragon vinegar recipe
- 2 cups of fresh tarragon (leaves and stems)
- 2 cups of white wine vinegar (can substitute with raw apple cider)
- Jar with lid that’s large enough to hold your brew
- Put the fresh tarragon leaves into your jar and muddle to release the essential oils.
- Pour the white wine vinegar over the leaves and into the jar
- Seal the jar and put in a cool, dark place to store for 2-3 weeks.
- After a couple of weeks, remove the leaves and stems from your vinegar and replace them with a fresh sprig for garnish. Serve alongside a fresh boiled Maine lobster, or use in any of these other yummy recipes (link to other yummy recipes).
Don’t like Lobster? Here are some other tasty recipes that make use of tarragon vinegar
- (Cooking Light) (Substitute step 1 with your already prepared tarragon vinegar) (Real Simple) (Eating Well) (recommended and tested by healthy cooking connoisseur Lindsey Bos (Seattle, WA))
/>Ruthie Hawley is the SunriseGuide’s 2014 summer intern through the Blackstone Accelerates Growth Program. She is passionate about all things related to sustainability, girl power, and fostering peace. She will graduate from Colby College in May 2015.
I think I prefer crab rolls to lobster rolls, but don’t tell my mom. To make crab rolls, just substitute a pound of lump crabmeat (being sure to remove all the bits of cartilage first) for the lobster meat.
Save the bun calories and enjoy your lobster salad on a bed of greens.
If you like lobster rolls, be sure to check out my other WW friendly recipes, including Tex-Mex Shrimp Rolls, Low-Carb Garlic Shrimp, Easy Shrimp Stir-Fry, and Mom’s Maine Corn Chowder
If you’ve made these Maine Lobster Rolls, please give the recipe a star rating below and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. And stay in touch on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.
Lobster Dinner for Four: Family Meal
We know finding a meal that satisfies the entire family can be a difficult task. At Maine Lobster Now, we believe in the importance of variety — which a Lobster Dinner for 4 Value Pack can provide! Sample our live lobsters from Maine with a fresh variety of options. We’ll ship you our fresh ingredients straight from Maine and allow you to decide what follows. Worried about picky children, grandchildren or other members of your party? No worries! Try preparing our Maine lobster mac and cheese recipe for the kids, while whipping up some butter poached Maine lobster tails for your guests. With the holidays right around the corner, our Lobster Dinner for 4 provides the perfect gift for loved ones and friends, too. Order online, have it delivered – all lobsters are shipped live!
Crayfish and lobsters may look identical to the untrained eye. But each has characteristics that make it unique.
Lobster (left) and crayfish (right)
Crayfish, also known as crawfish or crawdads, are part of the ‘small lobster’ invertebrate, arthropod family. They can reach a length of 6 inches, weigh about 8 lbs, and have a lifespan of 2 to 3 years.
They have a hard exoskeleton to protect their inner tissues and vital organs. Their exoskeleton can be yellow, pink, orange, brown, or greenish-blue. Crayfish are constantly shedding and regrowing their exoskeleton.
Their carapace, the part of the exoskeleton that protects the head and vital organs, is hard, yet smooth. Crayfish take in oxygen with their feather-like gills.
Crayfish use their two front claws to crush and tear their food apart. They have five pairs of walking legs in the front. There are also five pairs of smaller limbs, called swimmerets, that end in pincers.
Lobsters belong to the invertebrate arthropod family. They can live up to 50 years, sometimes longer. Lobsters can be 25 to 50 cm long. Their average weight ranges from 1 lb to almost 4 lbs. They breathe through gills found at the ends of their legs.
Their outer covering is more flexible than other arthropods. Their carapace isn’t as smooth as that of the crayfish.
Lobsters have dark exoskeletons and mainly depend on their natural environment. This helps protect hide from predators.
American lobsters have a darker brown or green color, while those in Europe have a deep shade of blue. Their joints are more colorful, with specks of orange or red.
In addition to their five pairs of legs, lobsters are known for their unequal, yet large claws. They protect them against predators, as well as attack, catch and tear their prey.
One of their claws is known as the ‘sharp crusher claw.’ It’s the bigger of the two and helps crush and tear up their prey’s hard shell. Then there’s the pincer claw which is sharp and razor-like. It helps tear up their food.
A fun fact is that lobsters can grow a new claw if one gets cut off. Like crayfish, lobsters shed their exoskeleton and regrow a new one in a process known as ‘molting’.
In adult lobsters, this can take place once or twice per year for 5 to 7 years. During that time, they have to remain vigilant of predators since their outer covering is soft and vulnerable.
children that are 13 years old or younger to its specialty restaurants (when accompanied by an adult) and even offers them special pricing.
Kids ages 6-12 can dine at specialty restaurants for a $8 cover charge. Kids 5 years old and under eat free.
In fact, some specialty restaurants have a special kids menu, which kids can order off that offers kid-friendly favorites from the regular menu. Children under the age of 5 will have a menu similar to the kids menu from the main dining room.
Royal Caribbean does recommend, but does not restrict, Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine, 150 Central Park, and Chef's Table are best enjoyed by children 13 years or older.