Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.                                                                         -Joseph Campbell

What does Memorial Day mean to you? For most of us, it's a long weekend.  In Ogunquit, Memorial Day is the un-official start of summer.

All the inn's, B&B's and hotels that dot the resort town of Ogunquit proudly display their no vacancy signs. Ogunquit is flooded with long weekend revelers that seek beach and merriment.

But today many of us paused to remember the true meaning of the day. The sacrifices that  servicemen & women gave.

Many  Americans have family members that have served our nation. I have a grandfather, uncle, and cousins that have all served. My paternal grandfather fought in World War II.

Sacrifices were made by my family.  My grandmother had to assist the war effort, and work at a factory that made war supplies. My father was a child during the war, and was cared for by extended family as both his parents assisted the war effort.

My grandfather stormed the beaches of Normandy and was part of D-Day. Later that summer, my grandfather was injured, and became a prisoner of war. Yes, the sacrifices were hard for the Testa family during those dark years.

Throughout America today, parades honor those who served. Here in Ogunquit Maine we had our small town parade. The high school band from neighboring Wells Maine marched in the parade along with war veterans, girl scouts, and town politicians. Wreaths were laid, taps was played and prayers were said. It's today that we honor these brave souls so we can have this Monday holiday. Let us not forget their or their families sacrifices.

As the nation celebrates,  lets pause and honor those that served. Happy Memorial day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Misty May Morning on the Marginal Way

Many have walked the Marginal Way on a bright sunny day, but there is something special about this public path on misty day.....

The pace is slower, and there are virtually no people on this  foggy Wednesday morning in May.

The fragrant sea air is intoxicating. The howl of the waves crashing on the ancient rocks is mesmerizing. The coastal fog hugs the shore like a warm blanket.

Inviting benches provide a great view to the roaring sea, and a respite from everyday life.

I also ran the Marginal Way at sunrise today. As always, the twisting trail inspires me for the upcoming day....aah, the Marginal Way.

The Details:

The Marginal Way is an old Indian trail that meanders the rocky coast of Ogunquit Maine.
Located 75 meters past Cottage Street on Shore Road.
Entrance is about a three minute walk from Ogunquit Beach Inn.
Public Paid Parking Located on Cottage Street, behind the Dunaway Centre.
Access is free. Donations are accepted.
No Dogs, bikes, etc on the trail.
The Marginal Way is about 3 miles (5km) round trip ( from entrance to the end of the Cove and back).
Walk at your own risk, there are steep rocks, cliffs and beaches.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The name says it all....

The name says it all. If you love breakfast, you'll love Amore!

It's an Ogunquit favorite. Serving breakfast to legions of faithful fans for almost two decades. Owner-operator Leanne Cusimano guides this breakfast restaurant with precision and care. There is attention to every detail: enticing breakfast food, inviting atmosphere and well trained staff. Cusimano is passionate about providing her guests with a quality dining experience.

Amore Breakfast  is known for it's famous Banana Foster, a pecan-coated, cream-cheese-stuffed French toast served with a side of sauteed bananas in a rum syrup. My buddy John accompanied me, and  he chose the uber popular Foster's (which the New York Times said "...a strong contender for the town's most decadent breakfast.")

I told the staff that I was gluten free, and they alerted me to items on the menu which are gluten free. My server assured me that there was no cross contamination. I was impressed by his knowledge. Amore Breakfast serves a variety of gluten free items: omelets, bagels, fruit and waffles.
(Michael, and owner Leanne Cusimano)

I ordered the Eastern Omelet, a smoked Salmon red onion, capers, and cream cheese three egg omelet, accompanied with a gluten free bagel. The meal was delicious!

Amore Breakfast is decorated with nostalgic American theme. Checker-board  patterns mixed with retro tables and a long breakfast bar with stools awakens the senses. The wait in summertime can be long, but rest assured, it is well worth the wait!

The Details:
Amore Breakfast
309 Shore Road
Ogunquit, ME 03907
Telephone: 207 646 6661
Open 7am to 1pm. Limited parking in rear. Located on Shore, close to Perkins Cove.
Amore features: traditional breakfast/brunch menu, healthy items, gluten free, and many specials. Amore Breakfast also serves mimosas, beer and frozen specialty coffee drinks.
Beat the crowds, go early!
If you are walking to Perkins Cove, try their coffee to go at Cafe Amore. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Frannie Peabody 5km Race - Ogunquit Maine

A race with drag queens in high heeled sneakers? Only in Ogunquit!

Today marks the 4th annual Frannie Peabody Center 5 kilometer run/walk for AIDS.  The Frannie Peabody center assists over 1500 clients that have AIDS in Maine. Frannie Peabody also sponsors outreach and AIDS testing in Maine. I am proud that the people of  Ogunquit provide so much monetary support for this wonderful agency. Once again the amazing Jimmy Lucibello raised over $8000 in donations.

After 31 years on our cultural landscape, AIDS is still a reality. Many people that attended the race have friends that are living with HIV or AIDS. The virus does not discriminate and education and awareness are essential in today's modern world.

It's also nice to have a 5 kilometer race in my adopted home town; I run some part of this course virtually every day. Race started on the beach, then north on Route One/Main Street (escorted by Ogunquit's Finest) then a right on to Ocean Ave, and then 1.5 kilometers of hard packed sand on Ogunquit beach!

(Running through the village centre.  Picture courtesy of Rick at Moon Over Maine)

This little race packs a lot of schwag.  Yoga stretches, and a goodie bag with t-shirt and snacks. Food from  Julies Provisto and Bread and Roses Bakery. The race ended at the beach with an old fashioned healthy cookout from Nancy's Catering. Entertainment provided by a DeeJay and  3 AIDS Awareness drag queens.Topped off with perfect weather and big waves! It doesn't get much better!

(Ogunquit's Mark Register & Bobby Winn)

I came in fifth overall with a time of 20.24/6.34 per mile. First place winner was elite runner and Ogunquit selectman Bobby Winn, followed by Ogunquit's Bryan Wilson and Mark Register. The race was professionally timed, and once again Bobby Winn set the course and built the starting gate!

Friday, May 11, 2012

I am Thai Restaurant Review

There are many restaurants in Ogunquit. Every other year or so, a new restaurant appears on the Ogunquit landscape. This year it's "I am Thai".

I am Thai is more of a take-away kitchen as opposed to a fine dining establishment. However, the food is fine dining quality. Once a week, Michael and I like to get Thai take-out. Local folks here in Ogunquit  told me that this new "restaurant" had a Gluten Free menu, so decided to give it a try!

I am Thai is located above the Omelette Factory on US Route One/Main Street, about 3/10 mile north of the village centre. The building is a traditional "Cape Cod" house. The restaurant is more or less an open air kitchen with four little tables with folding chairs. It's also a mini variety store that sells convenience store items. The kitchen is very clean, and "Ami" ( one of the owners). Took my order and prepared the meal.

Both the menu and Ami were very clear what was Gluten Free. Ami was knowledgeable about preparing Gluten Free meals and very conscientious. I ordered the Green Curry Chicken dinner. The curry mixture had bamboo shoots, bell pepper, green peas, zucchini, string beans, broccoli  in a tangy sauce. Michael's meal was the traditional Pad Thai with Chicken and Shrimp.   I am Thai does not use MSG or hydrogenated oils.

The quality was very good, price was excellent and the quantity was plenty (we actually had leftovers). The menu states that all curries are served with white rice, but I opted for the brown rice.
The menu is extensive with many traditional Thai food featuring:  an assortment of fish, duck, chicken, pork, tofu and vegetarian dishes.

The Details:
I am Thai
422 Main Street ( US Route One)
Ogunquit, ME 03907
Telephone: 207.641.8881
Open from 11am to 9.30pm serving lunch and dinner
Quality: Good
Prices: Excellent ( for Ogunquit)

Traditional Thai take-away cuisine. MasterCard and Visa accepted. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Squares.

Eating Gluten Free can be a challenge. I really enjoy power bars or snack bars.  However, the Gluten Free power bars that are sold at most stores are lacking flavor and substance. So I asked Michael to come up with a culinary solution. Mike's solution is  a tasty recipe that can be enjoyed as a breakfast item or as an energy bar anytime of the day. We occasionally add this item to our continental breakfast at Ogunquit Beach Inn.

4 - 5 Banana's mashed
3/4 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Stick of unsalted Butter
1   Egg
1.5 cups of Gluten Free Flour (we use Bob's Red Mills)
2  Teaspoons of Xanthan Gum
1  Teaspoon Baking Soda
1  Teaspoon Salt
1  Cup of certified Gluten Free Oats (Bob's Red Mills brand)
1 Cup of shredded coconut
1/4 cup of Craisins
1.5 cups of GF Chocolate Chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes (check with toothpick).

We use a 10" x 13" inch greased pan.

In a large bowl, mash bananas. Add sugar, egg, melted butter and mix. Mix the dry ingredients (GF flour, xanthan, baking soda, salt). Add oats, coconut, chocolate chips, and craisins (dried crannberries). Scoop into 10" x 13" inch pan.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes (when toothpick comes out dry). Let cool. Cut into squares and enjoy! These energy bars are chewey and packed with energy!