The Map to Italy is in the Kitchen.

The Map to Italy is in the Kitchen.

I always thought that my Nana was a little scary growing up. Actually, I thought all of her family was a little frightening. In the kitchen, she was all business, and when things didn't quite go her way, you might as well have found a rock and hid yourself under it. The only time I remember Nana baking was when I was little and she attempted to make brownies. They were the most difficult items to eat, I didn't dare tell her that, as clearly she was pretty upset by the incident. So, she said forget baking and stuck to the savory. Since then, her only successful sweet dish has been "Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake" which in itself is iffy. Sometimes she makes it and it's great, other times, I think she may have lost her marbles.

The other part of crazy I witnessed growing up was watching Nana consume a meal. Lobster especially, and as I am writing this I am praying that no one will ever show it to her, it may get me voted off the island-with a wooden spoon.

Maine Restaurant Week kicks off with the 2011 Signature Event

PORTLAND, Maine – Expanding on last year’s legendary cocktail competition, the March 2011 Maine Restaurant Week kick-off Signature Event introduces a two-pronged dessert competition. Taking place on February 28 at the Masonic Temple in Portland from 5-8 pm, the Signature Event celebrates the priceless individuality behind Maine’s cocktail shakers and sugar shacks.

Cookies challenge cakes and cupcakes take on truffles in the “How Sweet It Is” portion of the competition, but only one can win. Guests at The Signature Event have the final say in this people’s choice face-off.

More Than Just Dinner’s on the Docket at Maine Restaurant Week 2011

PORTLAND, Maine — Restaurants across the state are gearing up for the third annual Maine Restaurant Week, taking place March 1-12. Restaurants around Maine will participate in the event by featuring special three-course dinners ranging in price from $20-$40. Some restaurants will also offer three-course prix-fixe lunches from $15.

Restaurant Week celebrates the vibrancy and richness of Maine’s culinary traditions while giving restaurants a much-needed boost during the slowest time of the year.

More than seventy restaurants are already registered for the March 2011 Maine Restaurant Week, from Eliot to Bangor to Rockland. A list of participating restaurants and featured menus is available on

Kicking off Maine Restaurant Week is The Signature Event™, on Monday February 28 at the Masonic Temple in Portland.