The Grinch

WAHOOOO! It’s officially Christmas in Edgartown this weekend! We like to celebrate big here on Martha’s Vineyard, there is a parade, holiday menus at the restaurants, sales around the island, and much more.

The Future Mr. and I have decorated our tree and we are in full holiday mode. I wanted to create an easy to make cocktail to keep you in the Holiday “Spirit” if you will.


The Grinch features Midori, Vodka, Triple Sec, Lemon Juice, & Simple Syrup. This drink goes down way too easy, and is one of those drinks that you may go back to time and time again this Holiday season.


Makes 1

  • 2 oz Midori
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • Club Soda
  • Ice
  • Green Sugar
  • After wetting the rim of the glass with either a lime or simple syrup, coat the rim of the glass with the green sugar and set aside.
  • In a shaker add the Midori, Vodka, Triplke Sec, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup and Ice. Combine thoroughly.
  • Fill the sugar rimmed glass with ice and pour the contents of the shaker over the ice
  • Top with club soda and enjoy!

11 Christmas in Edgartown Events You Can’t Miss


Christmas in Edgartown is always one of my top 5 weekends of the year here on Martha’s Vineyard. The holiday decorations lend an air of enchantment over Edgartown, the community is incredibly joyous and friendly, and the parade is always the epitome of small town living (meant in the best way possible of course).

There are over 100 events happening this weekend, which means there’s an event for everyone. There’s cookie decorating, cocktail parties, sales galore and so much more.

Below is a list of just some of my favorite events that take place over the weekend. For a full list of events, CLICK HERE

Kickoff to Christmas in Edgartown at Backwater Trading Co | Thursday, December 6th 6-9 pm

Sip, Snack, and Shop at Backwater while your favorite staff members are dressed up in their favorite holiday gear. trust me, this crowd favorite is one event you don’t want to miss.


photo via Point B
The Teddy Bear Suite

Every year bears of all shapes and sizes come out of hibernation just for this event. Bring yourself, your loved one, your kiddos, or your bestie to Nevin square and enjoy some serious cuddle time with the bears. Put on by Point B Realty, this event is a fantastic fundraiser for our local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club. Last year alone they raised over $40,000!!!

Thursday, December 6th – 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday, December 7th – 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 8th – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.Sunday, December 9th – 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Photo via The Preservation Trust
The Vineyard Trust’s Annual Cocktail Party | Friday, December 7th 5:30 – 7:30 pm

This event takes place at the historic Dr. Daniel Fisher House on Main Street. It’s a great gathering where you run into people you haven’t seen in a while, as well as a place to make new acquaintances. Tickets are $75 and available HERE

Donaroma’s Winter Wonderland

I look forward to this even every year! There’s music, food, and the real star is the way they decorate all their green houses. Last year they went above and beyond decorating, so I can’t wait to see what they do  for this year! This years theme – The 12 days of Christmas.

Friday & Saturday 5-7 PM


Photo Via Vineyard Lights Photography
Lighting of the Light House | Friday, December 7th 6:00 – 6:15 pm

Considered Edgartown’s version of a Christmas Tree lighting, the Lighting of the Lighthouse is always fun to bundle up for and enjoy. Gather on Lighthouse Beach and count down with the rest of us

Mytoi Illumination

Park in downtown and hop on the On Time where a free shuttle that runs every half house awaits to transport you to the Garden. Enjoy this Japanese Garden like you’ve never seen it before.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday 5:30 – 7:30 pm


Christmas in Edgartown Parade |  Saturday, December 8th 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Live animals, floats, decorated cars, and much more all culminating to the arrival of SANTA!!! the parade route takes place on Main Street between Pease Point Way and Water Street.

The Great Red Stocking Fund Chowder Contest | Saturday, December 8th 12:00 – 2:00 pm

Held to benefit The Red Stocking Fund of Martha’s Vineyard, this is a can’t be missed event! Armatures, professionals, and restaurants all compete in hopes of being crowned The Best Clam Chowder, The Best Seafood Chowder or The Best Island Chowder made on Martha’s Vineyard. Tickets are $10 and available to purchase HERE

Divine Med Spa & KG Events Holiday Party – Invite Only | Saturday, December 8th 7:00 pm

Exclusively for the members of their VIP program this cocktail party is filled with pampering treats!

Teddy Bear Trot – Holiday 5k Run & Walk | Sunday, December 9th 10:00 am

Run or walk through merry downtown Edgartown wearing Santa hats, reindeer antlers, festive costumes and clothing. The run and walk start at 10:00 am and same-day registration starts at 8:30 am at the Kelley House. 100% of proceeds benefit the MV Boys & Girls Club Healthy Happy Kids Program. You can register for the race HERE

The Original Breakfast with Santa | Sunday, December 9th 8:00 – 10:30 am

The original – and longest running – breakfast with Santa. Take photos with Santa while enjoying the buffet. The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce partner with The Wharf Pub to raise money for the Jim Lambert Memorial Scholarship Fund. This entire event is done with volunteers and donations, so be sure to come out and support this wonderful event. Location: The Wharf Pub The event is $4 for children, $8 for adults.

The Martha’s Vineyard Local Wild Food Challenge 2018

locally caught venison backstrap

Date: 10.21.18 2:30 – 8:00pm
Location: The FARM Institute, Edgartown, MA
Photos: Alex Vieira (unless otherwise noted)

The day started off wet, windy, and dreary, but by 2:00 I was parked at the FARM Institute looking over the field and seeing sunny skies. It was still windy but it was all smiles and open fires as chefs and amateurs alike gathered to compete and display their skills by cooking ingredients that were locally sourced. That means everything from the protien to the veggies were either caught or foraged straight from the land and sea around Martha’s Vineyard.

Before I get to my recap there are a few things you need to know…

The rules are simple

  1. At least one ingredient must be locally sourced
    1. forage, gather, dive, fish, hunt, or grown
      1. The more effort you put in to gathering your local ingredients the more points you get
      2. Also, the more locally sourced ingredients you include the more points you get
  2. Dishes may be hot, cold, frozen or liquid (really what ever your heart desires to make)
  3. Bring most of your dish in advance
    1. Each Challenge Venue will have equipment such as ovens,
      grill plates, BBQ’s & Refrigerator to finish & hold dishes.
  4. Write a short story about your dish. This is a blind tasting, but the judges want to know to what lengths you went to get your locally sourced ingredients.
  5. Upon completion of your dish your plate will be photographed. Your dish, along with your story will then be entered for judging.

The Martha’s Vineyard Event had 15 categories: Grand Prize | Runner Up | Third Place | Best Effort | Best Water Dish | Best Forest & Land Dish | Best On The Wing | Hemingway Award | Caroline Johnstone Award | Platter Palooza |Best Drink | Best Dessert | Junior Grand Prize | Junior Runner Up | Junior Best Effort

How is the competition Judged?

Each dish is blind judged on 4 core values

  1. Ingredients
  2. Effort
  3. Taste
  4. Presentation

Each value is worth up to 10 points, making a maximum total combined score of 40 points possible.

Okay now that we got the basics out of the way we can discuss the event itself. This was such a fun event celebrating the purity of all the beautiful locally sourced ingredients available to us here on Martha’s Vineyard and New England. I’ve always joked that if there was ever a zombie apocalypse the island would be a perfect place to be due to all the amazing food and water sources available here (not to mention it would be somewhat easy to defend LOL).

When I first pulled up to The FARM institute I was greeted with smells of an open campfire and something savory in the air. Amateur and Hunter-Gatherer Matthew Hayden and his Sous Chef Joe Vaness were the highlight of my day. His “wilderness” kitchen had everything you would need to survive off the land. There was a tripod with a pot hanging over one fire, another fire to fry food in a large wok, and finally the biggest fire of them all for grilling and smoking succulent food that ranged from traditional proteins such as fish, chicken and ham to less popular, but surprisingly tasty proteins like raccoon and squirrel. He also had a cornucopia of veggies and starches that he prepared as well.

I was nervous at first to try the more adventurous items, but when you’re at a Wild Food Challenge you find yourself getting into the spirit and trying food you never thought you’d try. The first thing that was ready to try was Raccoon. I was nervous, but knew I had to try it. The raccoon was a tad over cooked, but the seasoning Matthew used gave it a great flavor. I’d say it was similar to steak, but not quiet.

I wandered over to the other corner of the small field for Demonstrators and Food Trucks where Donny Brice and Sean Yancey were cooking up a GIANT batch of Alligator, Snapping Turtle & Crawdad Risotto on a paella pan wider than I am tall over an open flame. The Duo also prepared a Wild Boar and Italian Sausage Chili. I’ve had Wild Boar before so I knew I was going to like this. It was pretty good. My only wish is I had some hot sauce so I could add some heat to it. But when you’re cooking for the masses it’s better to go mild than spicy. Next came the Risotto… I was a little trepidatious but at this point I was ready. The Risotto was perfectly cooked, it was light and fluffy not heavy or sticky like it can get if you’re not careful. The Alligator, to sound cliché, tasted a lot like chicken. The crawdads were nice and tender and made me want more. Sadly the Snapping Turtle was extremely tough. I am wondering if it is one of those meats that are better off being cooked low and slow. I’d give turtle another try. Overall the Wild Food Risotto was really good! I’d go back for more.

Donny Price tending to the Risotto

By this point in the afternoon chefs and amateurs alike were gathering in the prep tent to prepare their dishes for blind judging. As we made our way into the blissfully warm tent you could smell all the dishes cooking and my mouth started to water. I went up to a few contestants and asked what they were making.

Sarah Thurgood, a Chef at the Beach Plum Inn in Menemsha,  wanted to “showcase the bounty of the Island without using animal proteins” by creating a Forager’s Pasta. She said “It was challenging at times, but I found inspiration along the way”. Guys, she made a dish entirely from wild Martha’s Vineyard plants or locally made ingredients. Sarah made the pasta itself from locally grown kelp, Mermaid Farm wheat flour, and eggs from her own chickens. She also made cheese from Milk from the cows at Mermaid Farm.

Sarah & John (Brother & Sister) Thurgood’s Foraged Ingredients

Sharing the same station was her brother, John Thurgood, the head Chef at the Beach Plum Inn in Menemsha. The genius of these siblings astounds me. John wanted the judges “To taste the life of a Martha’s Vineyard eel in the back of Menemsha Pond”. He went out and trapped the eels, then filleted them. After he cooked them he reinserted the fillets into its own skin and made it crispy! The eel is “swimming” in a broth made from local shellfish, grass shrimp, chubs, silversides, snails, & razor clams.

I truly enjoyed talking to some of the contestants. They accepted the challenge and brought their A-game. Local chef and real estate agent, Leslie Floyd, prepared a Venison Tenderloin with a Venison demi and a Chicken of the wood mushroom risotto.

Chicken of the Wood Mushroom Risotto by Leslie Floyd

The Capece Family prepared a Venison Wellington with a side of Autumn Olives that they got by going for a walk in the woods behind their house. I was curious what Autumn Olives were. Joseph, the dad, let me try one. It was surprisingly tart, but in a good way! When I think olives I expect that briny flavor, but not in this case.

Autumn Olives foraged by the Capece family

The chef I was most fascinated with was Mac Schilcher with his duo of crab and his “wild Beer”. I learned that he managed to pull wild yeast not only out of the air, but off of plants as well, then used Thistle instead of Hopps (apparently back in the colonial times they didn’t really use Hopps) and birch bark to flavor his beer. It was on the sweeter side, but it was really good… and I’m not a big beer drinker so that’s saying something!

Mac Schilcher’s Colonial Style Beer

The last chef I got to talk to was Vanessa M Sabee, Sous Chef at the Sweet Life here on Martha’s Vineyard. She presented to the judges half a chicken with ingredients from Morning Glory Farm and her home made Sea Salt.

Caught eating a wing from Chef Sabee

Back outside I found myself back in front of Matthew Hayden’s demo area. I was hoping he’d have some other unique eats for me to try. After a few squeaks and a pep talk to myself I tried Crickets. WOW was I surprised! They were pan friend with onions over the open flame. They tasted like the crispy onion strings you’d put on top of Green Bean Casserole you serve at Thanksgiving.

Right before I ate the cricket

At this point I was ready to try anything. I survived crickets y’all!!! Next I tried the Squirrel. I found I liked squirrel better than Raccoon. Matthew stuffed it with veggies, basted it, then cooked it in a cast iron skillet over the large grill. It was like a perfectly cooked pork tenderloin.

This was my first time at this incredible event. There were demos on how to break down different animals, the chefs were open to any questions I had, I got to taste some unexpected and surprisingly good food and I learned a lot about different local ingredients available just outside my door. I plan on going back next year.  The Local Wild Food Challenge and Bill Mason have created a strong tie to the Agricultural community here on Martha’s Vineyard highlighting the beauty and bounty of our land and sea. This was such a well received event by the community and has ample room for expansion in the coming years.

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The Martha’s Vineyard Local Wild Food Challenge 2018 Winners!

Grand Prize:

Everett Whiting with his plate “Venison Threeway”

  • Traditional British meatball made with venison steak and liver wrapped in venison cowl fat on a bed of wild watercress and hen of the woods gravy
  • Marinated seared venison heart on wild carrot top pesto and wild onions and carrots
  • Seared venison backstop with hen of the woods mushroom bi-color Bolete (a type of mushroom) with white wine pan sauce and wild field sorrel

1st Runner Up:

Tyler Gibson “Duck 3 Ways”

Best Effort:

Dan Athearn “Far East Island Mackerel; Wild Concord Cosmo”

Wildest Ingredient:

Julie Kane and Gus Hoy “Vegetable Medley with Fried Eel”

Best Use of Local Ingredient: 

Mac Schilcher “Duo of Blue Crab with a Colonial Style Imperial Stout”

Best Story:

Heather, Joseph, Lucia and Koko Capece “Deer Family”

  • Island Venison Wellington with foraged autumn olives and wild mushrooms on Martha’s Vineyard

Best from the Water:

John Thurgood “Tasting a Vineyard Estuary”

  • Foraged ingredients: Chamomile Oil, Sea Heather Sea Asparagus, Rose Hips, Dandelion Greens, Concord Grapes, Baby Green Crab, Chives, Clover, Eel, Scup Eyes, Watercress
Photo by Sarah Thurgood

Best from the Land:

Sarah Thurgood  “Forager’s Pasta”

  • Local ingredients: Pasta made with Vineyard kelp,Mermaid Farm Wheat Flour, and eggs from her Chickens. The cheese she made with Mermaid Farm’s Milk.
  • Foraged Ingredients: Chicken of the Woods mushrooms in Chilmark, grapes from Gay Head(AKA Aquinnah), pickled grape leaves, pickled milkweed flowers, watercress, sea heather, clover, feral chives, rose hips, red sea beans, chestnuts, rehydrated elderberries, kelp,
Photo by John Thurgood

Best on the Wing: 

Robert French “Stuffed Teal”

  • Confit legs and wild mushrooms

Best Dessert:

Michelle Manfredi “Waltzing Mathilda Sorbet”

Best Drink:

Nina Gordon

  • Kombucha float with homemade ice cream

Platter Palooza:

Doug Werther “Island Surf & Turf”

  • Island venison, homemade sea salt, local lobster reduction, Sengekontacket bay scallops, local sweet corn puree; foraged watercress, peptic, pickled sea beans, local apple salad; served on local burl wood platter

Caroline Johnstone Award:

Shane Laderoute with his plate “Duck Jägerschnitzel”

Junior Challenge Grand Prize:

Zeb Athearn “Seared Spanish Mackerel, Sunchoke Puree”

Junior 1st Runner Up:

Clara Athearn “Sunchoke Nettle Gnocchi with Braised Venison Rump”

Junior Best Effort:

Eli Aronie “Foraged Acorn Flour Crusted Chappy Venison; foraged honey mushrooms & dandelion chimichurri”

11 Wardrobe Staples For The Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival Weekend

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Those in the know, know that Martha’s Vineyard is home to some of the best restaurants in the North East. Even the local’s favorite places are drool worthy (I’m looking at you The Newes From America Pub, Offshore Ale and Lookout Tavern). The Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival is next week and it’s like Christmas morning to my foodie self! The Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival is a five day celebration of sea, farm, field, and vino from around the world. Nationally and Internationally acclaimed Chefs and Sommelliers gather to create a unique immersion into food & wine all set with a backdrop of breathtaking Martha’s Vineyard.

With that in mind I wanted to present 11 basic wardrobe staples that you should pack for this weekend. Each is a classic piece that you can mix and match for a myriad of options which can be either dressed up or down depending on the event and your accessories. Plus, by packing so light you have room for all the fun gifts and items you’ll be buying over the weekend as a memento from your trip to Martha’s Vineyard.  😉

Fresh Off The Farm is the kick off event of the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival held at The Ag Hall in West Tisbury. This is a fun casual event with music by one of Martha’s Vineyard’s more popular local band, Good Night Louise, fantastic food prepared by local chefs pared with wines from Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. You’ll want to be comfortable in the barn, pared these Good American skinny jeans with this untroubled top by Halogen and classic Bootie by Steve Madden.

This upscale event at l’etoile features 5 Moet Champagnes paired with preparations by the chefs of l’etoile using oysters from the oyster farms of Martha’s Vineyard.  Enjoy these parings in a classic paring of an elegant J. Crew trench coat, a pop of animal print flats by Steve Madden, and a perfectly tailored tie waist dress by 1901.


Located under the Grand Tasting event tent at the Winnetu Hotel, The Thrill of the Grill is sure to have something for everyone. Sample and sip wines from Frederick Wildman and Sons while noshing on grilled delights from Justin Purdue, Group Executive Chef, Lark Hotels, David Vargas, Chef/Owner, Vida Cantina, Will Myska, Pit Master and Executive Chef at Ore Nell’s BBQ, Ryan DePersio, Chef/Partner from Fascino, and Anthony Bucco, Executive Chef, Felina. Stroll around the tent while wearing the J. Crew Parke Blazer, Halogen Shirt, Good American Jeans, and Steve Madden Booties.

Three Chefs, two of whom are known as pillars of the New Jersey restaurant scene, Michael Carrino, Chef/Owner of Pig & Prince Restaurant in Montclair, NJ, and Kirk Avondoglio, Chef/Owner of Perona Farms in Andover, NJ and hosted by Executive Chef Scott Ehrlich of The Dunes at the Winnetu Oceanside Resort create six delectable seafood courses pared with French  and Italian wines. Enjoy the creations in Good American Jeans, the Back Button Sweater by 1901, Steve Madden Flats, and top it off the the Trench Coat by J. Crew.

Always a sold out event, the Joseph Carr Dinner  is a six course regalement “paired with selections from Napa Valley Vintner Joseph Carr’s private cellar including his highly rated Dylan’s Ghost Wine, limited production Joseph Carr Reserve and a bottle or two from France that he will ‘dust off’ just for this occasion. Each of the six courses will be thoughtfully prepared and artfully presented by Woods Hill Table’s award-winning Executive Chef Charlie Foster, and will showcase the highest quality grass-fed proteins, raw milk cheeses, and organic produce,” MV Food & Wine Festival. For this fantastic event I suggest wearing the Halogen top with the Halogen faux leather pencil skirt and paring them with the leopard print Steve Madden Flats and the J. Crew Trench Coat.

This is the culmination of dinners and seminars, the main event featuring tastings from 250+ winemakers, spirits, breweries, gourmet foods, and restaurants. It gets really hot in the tent so forgo a coat because you don’t want to be lugging that around while sipping and tasting. Go bold in this red 1901 sweater, faux leather Halogen pencil skirt and comfortable leopard print Steve Madden flats.

Did you know, New England is the second hardest weather in the world to predict? Always be prepared for rain when traveling here. Just because it is raining doesn’t mean you can’t look cute while bopping around town. Be comfortable in Sperry Duck Boots, Good American Jeans, Halogen Top, and this updated twist on the classic yellow rain coat by J. Crew.


Sperry | Women’s Saltwater Indigo Stripe Duck Boot

Steve Madden | Randi Bootie in Taupe Suade

Steve Madden | Featherl Leopard Print Flat

Good American | Good Legs High Rise Skinny Jeans

Halogen | Faux Leather Pencil Skirt

Halogen | Surplice Knit Top in Blue/Green

1901 | Poplin Detail Tie Waist Dress

1901 | Back Button Crewneck Sweater in Red

J. Crew | Parke Blazer in Heather Camel

J. Crew | Dion Trench Coat

J. Crew | Perfect Raincoat




5 Martha’s Vineyard Spots You Must Visit During The Fall

The Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Fishing Derby Headquarters

Located in a small shack at the end of Main Street, The MV Bass & Bluefish Derby headquarters is the center of activity for locals and tourists alike. Between 8-10 am and 8-10 pm crowds and entrants gather to either weigh in their hopeful prize-winning catch or see what was caught that day. Trust me when I say Derby Fever is a real affliction that plagues the island from mid-September to mid-October.

Gay Head Clay Cliffs

There is something magical about the fall golden light on these beautiful cliffs. Go an hour or so before sunset during what I call “The Golden Hour”. The fall light turns the cliffs into a natural art exhibit.

Menemsha Sunset

Okay Okay I know everyone already knows about this spot, but as someone who was lucky enough to live in Menemsha, believe me when I say the more spectacular sunsets are always in the fall. You’ll be an Insta hit with your sunset photos… no filters or editing required!

photo by Albert O. Fischer
Mass Audubon’s Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, Sheriff’s Meadow & Land Bank Trails

Fall is an incredible time to enjoy preservation lands on Martha’s Vineyard. The island gives an incredible show before going into winter hibernation, and you might get a glimpse of our local wildlife. CHeck out all there is to see at Felix Neck, Sheriff’s Meadow trails, or Land Bank Trails.

Photo by Mass Audubon Society
The Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival

For one glorious weekend in October, the island is inundated with premier chefs and sommeliers from around the country and world to create fantastic events ranging from a wild food challenge to intimate paring menus to the best grand tasting on the East Coast.

Photo by MV Food & Wine Festival





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