Starry Night Bakery & Coffeehouse owner Shannon Clarke found a passion for baking delicious treats as a child, when she would whip up fresh blueberry muffins for her family in between watching Saturday morning cartoons. After kicking aside her desk job to chase her dreams, Clarke turned her passion into her livelihood by opening Starry Night Bakery & Coffeehouse. Her career change paid off. In addition to owning a thriving business, Shannon was also ask to compete on Season 3 of Food Network's popular show, Cupcake Wars against other top bakers from around the nation.
Visitors to the popular bakery can sample a rotating seasonal menu of cupcakes in classic flavors such as red velvet and chocolate chip, as well as inventive varieties, such as salted caramel apple or an espresso and chocolate ganache voodoo cake. The caf? also features streamlined, black-leather sofas, so customers can lounge as they sip chai and freshly ground espresso drinks, snack on cinnamon rolls, or fuel up with breakfast items such as cheddar biscuits stuffed with hickory bacon. And when she is not making hand held cakes, cookies, and savory fare, Shannon combines her skills as a graphic designer and baker to create customized wedding and birthday cakes.
Snickerdoodles Bakery & Coffee House infuses holidays and special occasions with an extra dose of sweetness by supplying scrumptious and elegantly presented treats. The shop's bakers can fashion cakes in all manner of shapes, ranging from traditional round and tiered to dome-like lady bugs to 3D cartoon characters. To make finished products truly personal, the cake gurus customize creations with chocolate plaques, vibrant icings, and even hand drawings. In addition to baking cakes, the staff whips up other treats, such as cupcakes, scones, and 12-inch chocolate chip cookies, which feed a party or one cookie monster.
Though many vintners refer to their winemaking techniques as "old country," those of the Loews are older than most. The family's first forays into the drinkable craft began in the 19th century, in an area of the Austro-Hungarian Empire known as Galicia, now part of Ukraine. There, they brewed honey wines and distributed them throughout Europe. The Loews continued in the business well into the 20th century, but their enterprise was disrupted by the outbreak of World War II. The Loew name wouldn't appear on another bottle until nearly a half-century later, in a vineyard an ocean away.
The modern iteration of Loew Vineyards was established in 1982, and today stretches across 37 lush acres in Frederick County. Here, the gravelly soil nourishes flavorful grapes ideal for both red and white wines. The Loews tend to the vines throughout the year, harvesting the grapes in the fall and pruning them and fitting leaves with tiny mittens in the winter. Their crops are transformed into more than a dozen varieties of wine, ranging from the citrus-y, semi-sweet Serendipity to a balanced hearty red wine. The family even bottles honey wine (Mead) in a nod to their European past.
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At Casa Rica-The Mexican Food Place, the chicken, shrimp, and veggies are fashioned into two very different cuisines: Mexican and Indian. On the Mexican side of the menu, tortillas form the base of burritos, enchiladas, and quesadillas stuffed with chicken and cheese. Chefs cut and bake tortillas to build nacho towers piled with seasoned beef, melted cheese, jalapenos, guacamole, and dollops of sour cream. They also swaddle tamales in a corn husk wrapper before cooking, and stuff green chiles with jack cheese before deep-frying. On the Indian side of things, coriander, cumin, garlic, and ginger deliver the quintessential Indian flavors to such dishes as tandoori chicken, lamb saag, and shrimp biryani. The chefs eschew meat in a number of vegetarian dishes, including chickpeas submerged in a curry sauce and samosas stuffed with potatoes and peas.
A simple, homey sign and no-frills brick façade welcome visitors to the laid-back environs of The Hampstead Diner, where laminated menus elicit stomach rumbles with a seemingly endless supply of homemade eats. At breakfast, peppers, potatoes, onions, and eggs sink into skillets and scrambles, and plates of belgian waffles crowned with cutlets of fried chicken forge a delicious truce betwixt the worlds of sweet and savory. Diners perched upon wooden park benches happily chow down on morning or midday meals, which include Reuben sandwiches, chili-topped dogs, and freshly ground, hand-pattied burgers.
Nestled in the rolling hills of Maryland's countryside, the Wakefield Valley Golf Club showcases three different nine-hole courses. Each course presents a unique set of challenges, with the green course showcasing lengthy par 5s and the white course challenging golfers with hilly terrain and water holes that lure errant shots and experimental scuba-tank golf bags. The gold course, meanwhile, sets up demanding tee shots into narrow fairways, as seen on its signature eighth hole, where water guards the green on all sides.
Golfers can warm up for rounds at the driving range and practice green or employ the swing-honing advice of PGA Professional Scott Magee, who teaches enough students to believe that he will find one who can pull a putter from a stone. Guests can also refuel rumbling stomachs with casual food and drinks at Fenby’s Restaurant.