Category Archives: food

Thirty Acre Farm & Outstanding in the Field {Whitefield, ME}

You may or may not have heard of this “farm-to-table” trend and, perhaps depending on who you ask,  it may or may not have hit the road and spread across the country thanks to Jim Denevan. He started a career in the food world as a dishwasher, progressed to second-line cook and, with credit given to the influence of Alice Waters in California, eventually led an Italian restaurant to source locally grown ingredients and be proud of it.

As fate would have it, his brother (Bill Denevan) owned and operated an organic farm in the area. Jim’s idea to source locally to his restaurant’s tables was eventually taken outdoors to an actual on-the-farm table. Years later, he tours the country with his Outstanding in the Field (OITF) team and, lucky for us, opens the farm doors to any and all who wish to dine.

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A summer trip to the Land of Lobstah was largely planned around the Thirty Acre Farm dinner in Whitefield, ME. An outdoor dinner on a farm on a late-August Maine evening? Yes, count me IN.

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The “dinner” started in the late afternoon (3pm) with appetizers, generous local beer and wine pours, a farm tour and a lot of photo-taking.

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On the left: Jim & Anna giving the OITF story.
On the right: Jane & Simon giving us the Thirty Acre Farm story!

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Each OITF dinner is BOYP – bring your own plate. This was an excuse to buy new plates, because there’s no reason to trust TSA with this kind of thing, and bring home a unique souvenir! The OITF team kindly cleans them for you before the evening is said and done, and they do have extras laying around just in case you miss the memo.

We sat down to dine around 5pm, with four courses ahead!

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We started with freshly baked artisan breads and, of course, a fresh-from-the-farm salad. Summer tomatoes and arugula have never tasted so good…

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The second course brought us locally sourced grilled Bluefin tuna, the farm’s signature kimchee and a daikon lamiaceae salad.

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Each course is served family-style, with “family” being defined by the lines in the table. We were among locals (Portland, ME) and travelers  (Boston, South Carolina, California, DC…) alike. It makes for great conversation, plenty to eat or a way to pace yourself for the main entrée – depending on your approach!

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For the big hurrah, the table was graced with Thirty Acre Farm lamb, baked Swedish beans and roasted peppers + eggplant. My plate looked a little bit different, with a variety of grilled vegetables, herbs and rice ‘cakes’ (not the cardboard-kind, the kind made with freshly cooked rice and seasonings):

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(They happily accommodate food allergies, intolerances and/or preferences.)

And while we were all hoping that the deliciously in-season Maine blueberries would make an appearance for dessert, we were instead greeted with a creative spread of sweet breads, homemade granola and sweet spreads:

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I’ve already scouted events in 2014, as these dinners sell out quickly! It was one of the most unique experiences I’ve had while on vacation. I know no better way to get a feel for the local food scene: support a family farm, meet the traveling farm-to-table enthusiasts and hang with local servers and chefs (huge kudos & thanks to Eventide + Hugo & Chefs Andrew Taylor & Mike Wiley).

If you have the chance to join this crew for a meal, don’t turn it down!

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Check out their upcoming events & read more about the OITF family here.

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Filed under food, things that make me Happy, travel

In Case You’re Wondering…III

These things are filling (and/or blowing) my mind for the week….

avocado

Avocadoes are a fruit…actually, A BERRY – and other reasons to love on this glorious green beauty.

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HOTSEAT

Image source.

Standing at my desk is the norm – moving more frequently to do squats,
say hi to a coworker or maybe just shrug my shoulders? That’s happening.

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Image source.

Boston is back in the news! Can. Not. Wait for this to open up….fingers-crossed I’ll be one of the 36,000 runners in 2014.

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Kale salad_journey kitchen

Image source.

Kale salad, version #1001 – a la the Journey Kitchen, mangos and a lemon mint dressing. Yes, I’ll have some of THAT goodness.

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live simply

Philosophize (it’s a word), prioritize and de-clutterhere’s how & why.

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And while you’re prioritizing, put a Runner’s World style Race-weekend on the agenda (shameless plug – but really, who doesn’t have “RUN WITH RUNNER’S WORLD” on a bucket-list somewhere?):

RW heatherdcRD codes

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And while you’re living simply, enjoy this long holiday (US) weekend!

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Filed under food, Goals, Nutrition, recipes

In Case You’re Wondering…II

Here are some more gems from around the world wide web…happy reading!

Be a good one

From the TED stage…

And whatever you do, don’t waste your 20s (or any other decade, for that matter)! Challenge yourself now; do what’s right for you now.

Speaking of which, the Greatist did us all a huge favor! 22 of the best Fitness, Health &  Happiness TED talks,  in one place.

everyone else 

From the conscience of the diet industry:

An apology. A glimpse into the training behind monetized weight-loss programs, the approaches some “health” professionals are taught and one woman’s refreshingly honest perspective.

From the streets of the Big Apple:

Mayor Bloomberg is beaming as we look to New Yorkers for a dose of perspective and how healthy an urban life can be.

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BANANA

From the mind of a runner:

Because we’ll all think “OMG. Yes. THAT.” to at least 20 of these.

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From the kitchen:

THE Thug’s approach to a delicious vegan-friendly sandwich.

The Paleo Girl’s approach to chocolate pudding.

And the dietitian’s approach to pizza, a la portabellas.

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Last, but not least, from my wanderlust mind:

somewhere youve never been

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What reads are on your radar this week?

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Filed under food, Goals, new things!, random, running

Farm Fresh: A Visit to Butler’s Orchard

When we realized how close the trail race was to Butler’s Orchard, it was a no-brainer. Saturday visit to the farm: check!

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A coworker lives close-by and happens to be part of the extended Butler family – she has repeatedly extended farm-visit invites to the office. Who turns that down? We ventured over in our post-race haze, sweaty, tired and hungry for some farm-fresh eats!

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Erika and Tyler met us in the Market ready to play tour-guides for the morning. We grabbed our buckets and hopped into the golf-cart. Spoiled: party of three!

First stop: Blackberry vines.

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Did you know: the red ones aren’t ripe yet. When the berries are ready to be harvested, they have big “balls” (for lack of a better term…) and will very easily pop right off the vine into your hand! Erika’s warning: check for bugs, otherwise snack on a few. Redefine “fresh” eats.

We filled half of our buckets up with beautiful juicy blackberries before heading to the next stop: raspberries!

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Did you know: raspberry plants are much smaller (vs. blackberry) and the fruits grow on the underside. There are a few prickly leaves, so be careful when you’re digging in there for the good ones! When they’re ripe and ready-for-picking, the raspberry falls into your palm with the lightest pinch.

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T. Butler’s preferred form of farm-transportation.

Next up: tomatoes & eggplants!

They showed us the “neon” eggplants – smaller, brighter and easier to pile up in your hands. We each picked a few & tossed them into the buckets.

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Yep, that tiny guy is ready for your kitchen.

We saved the best for last: rows and rows of every kind of tomato. Have you heard of “pineapple” tomatoes? Me neither. But they’re enormous, full of flavor and the farm-tour’s favorite. We trust him, and the fact that you really can’t go wrong with summer tomatoes.

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Our mouths left happy after snacking on fresh-from-the-vine cherry and roma tomatoes. Our box left full of heirloom, roma and pineapple tomatoes. Our stomachs wondered how we were still munching, but certainly didn’t complain.

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Huge thanks to our tour-guides, and an even bigger one to Butler’s Orchard for opening their gates year-round for any and all to come shop at the market and/or pick-their-own fruits, vegetables and herbs on the farm!

If you’re in the area and looking for a great way to spend a few hours outside, add this to your agenda. (Coming up on the Orchard: apples, pumpkins & Christmas trees!)

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Filed under DC, food, new things!, Nutrition

From My Kitchen to Yours (LOVE Giveaway)

Just dropping in to say there is some LOVE-spreading going on today! Hop on instagram and leave a LOVE note if you want some Love Grown Foods goodies (who doesn’t? It’s the best of the best.):

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Instagram: heatherdcrd

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Happy Friday!

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Filed under food, Giveaway, good days