During Christmas break, my family and I try to get away for just a couple of days. Call me crazy, but this year we are going to head north to New Hampshire to see the Ice Castles. Yes, a state that is even colder than Massachusetts, and all to see frozen water. But to be honest with you, I am actually looking forward to this though, because the Ice Castles of New Hampshire are as beautiful as they are unique. Over an acre of frozen ice walls, tunnels, towers, archways, a giant slide and much more! Starting late December the Ice Castles open at the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, New Hampshire. It is roughly an acre in size and it all begins with a single icicle. The castle is built with a system of sprinklers using the cold winter air to create, or "grow," giant icicles that are molded and formed to create slides, waterfalls, caves and thrones. It is open during the day, but at night it is a feast for the eyes with embedded multicolored lights that make the ice glow from within. If you have kids who loved the Disney movie "Frozen", then this ice castle is for them!
Pricing and HoursMonday-Thursday, 3pm-9pm
Child (4-11): $8.95 General Admission (12+): $12.95
Closed Tuesday (Except during Mass Break and NH Break)Friday, 3pm-10pm and Saturday, 12pm-10pm
Child (4-11): $12.95 General Admission (12+): $15.95
For more information, click here! You can also follow them on Facebook by clicking here!
Rinse and cut a deep "x" or — across bottom of the nut. Add them to saucepan and cover them with water. Bring to a boil for about 15-20 minutes. (You can add salt to your water, but that’s optional)
Drain them and place them on baking tray or cast iron skillet that has some coarse kosher salt on the bottom and roast them in the oven for 30 min.
Peel the hard shells and enjoy the chestnuts with a nice glass of Port wine!
Note: Make sure to peel the chestnuts while still warm… it becomes harder to peel once they cool off. If they get too hard, you can always place them back in the oven for 10 minutes.
Recipe Courtesy of Maria Lawton, The Azorean Greenbean. All Rights Reserved.
When I was a kid, we always went ice skating on Long Pond right in front of my house. Even though we can have some wild winter weather, most of the time the pond doesn't freeze solid enough to skate. That is really disappointing. I know that there are indoor rinks but nothing compares to outdoor ice skating. I loved meeting friends chasing one another one ice with the scenery whizzing by us and then warming up with hot chocolate that was served in front of the fireplace. I had no idea how lucky I was just to be able to lace up my skates and go anytime I wanted. So when a friend told me that in Newport, Rhode Island there is outdoor rink, I was thrilled!Located in beautiful downtown Newport, the Newport Skating Center is even bigger than the rink at Rockefellar Center in New York City and can accommodate up to 150 skaters! Parking is free and there is on-site concession stands. Skate rentals are for both adults and children
Want to learn more? You can visit them on the web by clicking here!
Tickets can be purchased at the rink every day during skating hours.
Skate passes are valid for 3 hours from the time of purchase.
Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour three 6" cake rounds, line with parchment.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add sugars and beat on med-high until pale and fluffy (2-3mins).
Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add molasses and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk). Fully incorporating after each addition. Do not over mix.
Spread batter evenly into prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula.
Bake for approx. 25-30mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10mins then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
Directions for Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add vanilla and beat until fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.
To Assemble Cake:
Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with 2/3 cup of frosting. Repeat with remaining layers and apply a thin coat of frosting all over the cake to crumb coat. Chill for 20mins. Frost the cake with the remaining butter cream.