Author Archives: Jason Schlosser

New Ferry Arrives in Maine | Portland to Nova Scotia

10048621_H12765889-600x400

Courtesy Bangor Daily News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nova Star Ferry arrived in Portland Thursday and will begin roundtrips on May 15 to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The cost of tickets will range between $79 and $139 for adults and $39 to $64 for children. The ferry has a capacity of 1,200 passengers and offers lodging, fine dining, a casino and spa. If you’re planning a vacation to the Northeast, start today by contacting the vacation planning specialists at Newagen Seaside Inn located just minutes from Boothbay Harbor in Maine’s famed Mid coast region. 

 

A Less Than Perfect Vacation: Trip Advisor Horror & Success Stories

Trip Advisor, Newagen Seaside Inn, Oceanfront Inn, Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Now that I have your attention, I should tell you that we don’t specialize in Tripadvisor horror stories, although we have had negative feedback like all hotels. While some properties ignore harsh reviews, we take comments to heart and continue to make strides to ensure that every Maine vacation at Newagen Seaside Inn is outstanding. Over the last 2-years, a new ocean view restaurant has been built, every guest room has been renovated, a deluxe oceanfront cottage was built, we now offer rooms with air conditioning and we are opening a new fitness center and executive board room this Spring.

Tripadvisor is the world’s largest travel site with 125 million travel reviews, 69 million app downloads and over 108 million unique visitors per month. Their reach is far and their travel data runs deep. One search may leave you inspired by the service and amazed at the location while another leaves you disgusted and horrified this hotel even exists. One of the worst hotels in the world, the Days Inn Atlanta Northwest, had this advice from past guests, “They have a renovated wing, but cockroaches can walk across the parking lot”, “Never again. The room smelled bad, spiders, ants and stink bugs were everywhere including the bed.” and room tips such as “Burn this hotel” and “Run away from this place.” The hotel had 88 terrible and only 2 excellent, which were probably written by staff. When researching hotels on Tripadvisor consider the number of negative reviews. Consider The Grand del Mar in San Diego, rated the #1 hotel in the United States, which has 715 Excellent reviews and 7 terrible. Just like you wouldn’t take Day’s Inn at their excellent reviews you shouldn’t take The Grand del Mar at their terrible reviews. When using Trip Advisor be sure to consider the negative reviews in light of the number of positive and vice versa. And by all means, if you’ve stayed somewhere please take a few minutes and share your experience with the world. It’s a benefit to travelers and hotels like us at Newagen Seaside Inn who value feedback. If you want to avoid the Days Inn experience and are looking for a Grand del Mar experience in Maine, look no further. Start planning your perfect Maine vacation by calling us at 207-633-5242.

Maine Wedding Musicians: Finding the Perfect String Ensemble, String Trio or String Quartet

Wedding Ceremony Musicians in Maine

Recently my wedding compatriot, Jeremy Constanzer, was asked if he could recommend a good string ensemble in Maine. This question comes frequently because many brides and grooms have difficulty finding wedding musicians through traditional online searches. As we searched “wedding music in Maine”, “string quartets in Maine” and “string ensembles for weddings in Maine”, I noticed that our preferred string ensembles were nowhere to be found through top search results. Great bands such as Bob Charest and Wavelength appeared but wedding music clearinghouses such as Gigmasters returned trios as far as New York City. Not helpful! Also appearing was our absolute favorite string quartet, the Portland String Quartet, and a local favorite, the DaPonte String Quartet. Wonderful performance based musicians, but they do few, if any wedding ceremonies. 

If you’re looking for a talented string ensemble we recommend Richter Ensembles and Encore!.  I’ve had the privilege of working with both over the years and they have proven pleasant, professional and on time. Contact them today if you’re planning a wedding.

If you’re looking for a Maine Wedding Venue, contact the professionals at Newagen Seaside Inn. We would be grateful for the opportunity to be of service to you for your event of a lifetime. 

Share Your Story Contest: Newagen Seaside Inn, Boothbay Harbor

 Share Your Story

Over the years I have had the privilege of connecting with amazing people. As I remember summer experiences, it is not necessarily the fabulous decor at weddings, delicious cuisine flowing from the kitchen or spectacular sunsets that stand out. Although those are all outstanding, it is the stories we hear from you that are our favorites. What life was like at Newagen when you were four. How cold the saltwater pool was. War stories. Stories from college. Fish tales. How you met. How you beat cancer. Memories with loved ones, who have passed on. Why you love to sail. Why you love your job. Why you hate your job. Your trip to Kilimanjaro. How you survived a hurricane on your wedding day. You get the idea! 

With that said… We want to hear from you! Share your story or share this post with loved ones who have a story to tell. It doesn’t have to be about Newagen, but it can be. We just want to hear from you. We will select our three favorite submissions and share them with the world (or at least our 2000+ Facebook fans) for voting. The winner will receive a 5-night stay including breakfast each morning. Stories may be sent to mystory@newageninn.com and must be submitted by February 28.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Lobiloo Floral Design Software: Maine Wedding Feature

Lobiloo Floral Design Software
                                                                                                                                    Few couples approach floral design with enough knowledge to make selections as confidently as what to wear and what to eat. Until now, that is… Lobiloo, created by florist Emily Carterremoves the mystique and “it’s all Greek to me” and swaps that with “no problem mon.”

Strawberry Shortcakes

photo

Ingredients
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
8 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2oz freeze dried strawberries (crushed)
1 cup unsalted butter (cold and cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
2 pints fresh strawberries (cut into chuncks)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
juice of 1/4 lemon
2 cups cold whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Place 1/4 cup butter in jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with the lip all around) Set aside
2. In medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and freeze dried strawberries.
3. Smoosh the butter cubes into the dry ingredients. Try and work quickly and until there are a few pea size pieces of butter left, but most of it rubbed into the flour.
4. Whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Pour into the center of the butter/dry ingredients mixture. Gently mix with your hands until it starts to come together a bit. (this is messy, but worth the extra care) Pour out onto clean, lightly floured surface.
5. Knead until it comes together completely. Shape into a rough rectangle and fold over onto itself. Press down until it is back to the same size, fold over onto itself again and repeat 5 times.
6. Roll into rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into squares, the size of your choosing.
7. Place cookie sheet into the oven to melt the butter. Place the biscuits into the cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and fluffy.
8. combine strawberries, 1/3 cup sugar, black pepper and lemon juice. Let set for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile whip cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
9. Split a strawberry biscuit in half, layer with strawberries and whipped cream and smile.

Grilled Corn and Watermelon Salad

Corn SaladNewagen Seaside Inn’s Executive Chef, Fiona Dunlap, shares her recipe for a delicious and easy summer salad that will make your Memorial Day picnic preparations a breeze.

 

 

 

 

Grilled Corn and Watermelon Salad
6 Servings

Ingredients

6 ears fresh corn, husked
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 cups diced watermelon
1 small diced Vidalia onion
¼ cup chopped mint
2 Tbls chopped cilantro

Lemon Dressing
1 lemon, juiced
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat grill or broiler to medium heat.
  2. Rub corn with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill or broil corn for 7 minutes or until ears are lightly browned. Remove from grill and allow to cool.
  4. Remove the kernels from the cob and place in a large mixing bowl along with the watermelon, diced Vidalia onion, mint, and cilantro.
  5. In a small bowl, prepare dressing by whisking together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  6. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve at room temperature.
Overnight French Toast

Overnight French Toast with Almond Streusel & Blueberry Maple Syrup

Serves 6-8
                   
7 eggs
1 ¼ Cups milk
1 1/4 Cups half and half
½ Cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 baguettes ends trimmed, sliced and dried

For Streusel:
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ Cup all purpose flour
¼ Cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons butter
¼ Cup sliced almonds

For Syrup:
½ Cup blueberries
½ Cup pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon lemon juice

 

  1. Coat a 13 x 9 inch glass or ceramic baking dish with non stick spray
  2. Whisk eggs, milk, half and half, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg in a large bowl
  3. Toss baguette pieces in egg mixture and let stand 5 minutes to absorb some of the custard.
  4. Arrange baguette pieces in the baking dish, flat side down. Pour residual custard over bread
  5. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hrs
  6. Preheat oven to 375
  7. Combine all ingredients for the streusel in a bowl, then sprinkle over the baguettes
  8. Bake until topping is golden and bread is set. About 30 minutes
  9. Simmer blueberries and syrup together in a saucepan over medium low heat, stir in lemon juice and serve over French toast.

Spicy Shrimp and Lobster Mango Bisque

Nothing says I love you like a thoughtful gift, a romantic dinner and a passionate kiss. Why not surprise your love with all three on Valentine’s Day including this delightful bisque?

While our focus is to take fresh Maine ingredients from earth and sea and local farms right to you table, our Executive Chef, Fiona Dunlap, has given us a pass. Our justification and inspiration: She just returned from a trip to Jamaica where mangoes are abundant and spicy foods are as common as white sandy beaches.

We hope you enjoy our Valentines Day inspired recipe which integrates savory, spirited Southerly ingredients and sweet delicious Maine shrimp and lobster to bring warm reminders of those perfect Maine summer days.

Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Mango Bisque

Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour Servings: 12

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups onions, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup green bell peppers, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup red pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup banana peppers, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup poblano peppers, seeded and chopped

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups plaintains, diced (about 2 plaintains, very ripe)

7 cups lobster stock

2 mangoes, very ripe (peeled, pitted and pureed in a blender)

1 1/2 pounds Lobster (about 4 Lobsters)

1 pound Maine shrimp (try to get the highest count)*

1/2 cup fresh parsley

3 tablespoons cajun seasoning (or seasoning salt)

2 tablespoons cajun seasoning (or seasoning salt)

1 teaspoon dried mustard (Coleman’s preferred)

*The count of shrimp (ex. 21-25) means that you can expect 21 – 25 shrimp per pound. Go for a higher count (small shrimp and thus more per pound) for easier to manage bites, and sweeter taste.

 

Directions

1. Boil lobsters, allow to cool, pick meat and chop (set aside) and use the shells to make your stock.

2. Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl.

3. Combine the onions, bell peppers, and chile peppers; then divide them in half.

4. Place half these vegetables in a small bowl near your stove so you can add them quickly in the next step.

5. Heat the oil in a heavy 5-quart pot over high heat until it is smoking hot (500 degrees), about 5 minutes.

6. Make a roux -add the flour and whisk constantly, making sure that the oil and flour are thoroughly combined, until the roux is a caramel color, about 2 minutes.

7. When making a roux – it is very important to keep stirring at all times and to keep all of the flour moving. (If you don’t, the flour will burn and the roux will be very bitter – useless. If you see little black specks in the roux, it has burned. If that happens, throw it out, clean the pot and begin again. If your roux seems to be browning too fast, take it off the stove and continue to whisk until it has cooled slightly, then returning it to the heat).

8. As soon as the roux is a caramel color, quickly add the combined onions and peppers, and 3 tablespoons of the seasoning mix.

9. Keep whisking constantly for 15 seconds, then remove the pot from the heat and continue to whisk until the roux has cooled down slightly, about 2 minutes. (The roux will continue to darken to a deep brown as you whisk.)

10. Return the pot to high heat, add the plantains and stir well to mix them with the roux.

11. Cook, stirring frequently, until the plantains take on a slightly darker color, about 4 – 5 minutes.

12. Carefully add 4 cups of stock and bring to a boil, whisking frequently and well to dissolve the roux.

13. At this point the liquid will have a yellowish-brown color and a soft seafood taste.

14. When the mixture boils, scrape the bottom well, then add the remaining vegetables, the remaining seasoning mix, and the remaining 3 cups of stock.

15. Cover and return to boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovering and stirring every few minutes, until the plaintains are soft and breaking into smaller pieces, about 12 minutes.

16. Whisk in the mango puree, re-cover, increase the heat to high and bring to full boil.

17. Stir in Lobster, shrimp and parsley, remove from heat immediately and serve over rice.

Modified from Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Shrimp Mango Bisque                            www.food.com/recipe/prudhommes-shrimp-mango-bisque-310554

Coastal Inspired Design: Maine Oceanview Hotel Rooms in Boothbay Harbor

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Main Inn construction in 1943, nearly all guest rooms are being upgraded this winter. After purchasing Newagen in 2001, Scott and Corinne Larson, completely renovated the Inn and implemented four coastal-inspired color palettes. In that same tradition, Corinne and designer Jessie LaFalce have created four new designs. The cozy quilts, woven rugs in sea glass colors and local Maine art were all inspired – just as you will be – by the expansive ocean views.

So if you’re wondering where to stay in Maine, you’ll find your answer among our collection of newly designed ocean view rooms. Decorated in the casually elegant Maine cottage style, Newagen Seaside Inn’s ocean view rooms mix antique furnishings with modern luxuries and offer easy access to the inviting common areas through our historic coastal inn.

At the Newagen Seaside Inn, the Maine coast is always right outside your window and our Maine family is always at your service. Call today at 1-800-654-5242 to reserve your room, or just to chat. We look forward to hearing from you.