Friday, February 27, 2015

Pomegranate Martini

We are innkeepers, and one of the amazing parts of innkeeping is those guests that come back over and over again. February for us includes a scrap weekend. Sprap.. scrapbooking, a whole niche by itself. These folks are serious scrappers arriving with little wheelie suitcases filled with paper, cutters, photos .. everything you need to put together those one of a kind photo albums. I have loved it.. through the years watching pictures of their kids, vacation, tailgate parties and life events. It has been over 10 years that this same group comes and stays. They found and adopted the current inn cat (Agatha), they convinced Werner to have the fire pit going in the middle of winter, and they taught me all manner of mixing cocktails. So... ladies, this one is for you! Pomegranate Martinis.. a thing of beauty!




INGREDIENTS

 2 oz citron vodka
2 oz orange liquor ( I used Patron Citronage)
2 oz Pome  (pure pomegranate juice)
1/2 lime, juiced

ice to shake

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
measure the vodka, orange liquor, pomegranate juice, and lime juice into the shaker.
Top with a glass and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
Strain into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish with a thin lime slice
Enjoy!

PS the beautiful martini glass was painted by one of the scrappers, Anne Marie. I just love it!

Debbie Mosimann
Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast
the Lititz PA Broad
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Monday, February 23, 2015

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake: AKA Dessert for Lovers

Sharing a beautiful slice of cheesecake tops off a perfect date night for us. In fact, my family loves cheesecake so much that our daughter and her husband chose omit a traditional wedding cake and go with a cheesecake bar at their wedding. Here at Lookout Point in Hot Springs, Arkansas, we are fortunate to work with a young innkeeper whose passion is--cheesecake! One day, Tiffany will be known as the Cheesecake Queen in her own cheesecake shop. This recipe was created by Tiffany Wilson, and shared at a recent Cooking School class.

INGREDIENTS


2 ½ cups chocolate cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
2 cups high quality white chocolate
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs (at room temperature)


DIRECTIONS



1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix together cookie crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 inch springform pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely while preparing filling. Fill a large baking pan with hot water and place in the bottom of the oven after crust has been removed.

2. In a saucepan, combine raspberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to boil, and continue boiling 5 minutes, or until sauce is thick. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer to remove seeds. Place sauce in a squeeze bottle if available.

3. In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt white chocolate chips with half-and-half, stirring occasionally until smooth. Or use the chocolate melt setting on your microwave if trustworthy. When mixture is melted and smooth, whisk in 1 tablespoon cornstarch and vanilla.

4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Scrape bowl and beaters throughout the process. Blend in 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time on low to medium speed, scraping bowl and beaters after each addition. Gently blend in melted white chocolate mixture. Pour half of batter over crust. Squeeze 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over batter. Pour remaining cheesecake batter into pan, and again squeeze 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over the top. Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.

5. Turn oven temperature down to 275 degrees F. Bake cheesecake for about 90 minutes, checking midway and turning pan if cooking progress is not even. Turn off oven and leave closed for 30 minutes, or longer if center is still jiggly. Open oven door and allow to cool in oven for 1 hour or longer. Cool on counter, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for several hours before removing from pan. Serve with remaining raspberry sauce.

Serves 12
 

Lookout Point Lakeside Inn
http://www.LookoutPointInn.com
Kristie Rosset
Proud to be one of the 8 Broads, from Arkansas
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Evil Toffee

When I first posted this recipe in 2010 I had written that I made a batch thinking I could take a photograph after the weekend and by the time I got to it, persons unknown had eaten all of it!   Well I made it for our Valentines chocolate dessert buffet this year, and this time I hid away a small quantity so I could take a photograph.  

It's such a simple dessert to make.   Food for lovers - yes, chocolate lovers!   Seriously, it's so simple to make, and with ingredients that you probably have on hand, that you could throw together a batch at any time.  

This recipe has been around for years.   I think the real name for it is Mock Toffee, but a good friend of mine started calling it "Evil Toffee" because it sits in her refrigerator tempting her!   And when she doesn't have any left, thoughts of this sweet treat haunt her until she makes some more.   The hardest part of this recipe is waiting an hour for it to chill enough to eat.   I confess that more than once I've failed on this score and just eaten some with a spoon.

One little change I've made to this recipe recently - I've discovered I can sprinkle some coarse sea salt over the chocolate layer before it sets for even more of a salty/sweet contrast.

INGREDIENTS
about 24 saltine crackers
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Optional - coarse sea salt to sprinkle

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Line a 9 x 13 baking pan or cookie sheet with foil.   Spray with Pam or grease with butter.  Put saltine crackers, salt side down, on the foil to completely cover it one layer deep.  

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.   Add the brown sugar.  Simmer over medium heat for 3 minutes.


Gently pour this mixture over the crackers.  Immediately transfer to the hot oven.   Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. 

Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over top.   Wait a minute and then spread chocolate evenly over top.   

Refrigerate for at least one hour.   Remove from pan and cut or break into pieces.   Store in refrigerator if you have any left to store!


The White Oak Inn
http://www.whiteoakinn.com/
Yvonne Martin
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sweetheart Shortbread Cookies

I love to make these cookies for Valentine's Day, but they are delicious anytime of year. Perhaps they should be called Ghost Cookies because no matter how many I make, they disappear!

INGREDIENTS
3/4 pounds unsalted butter, softened slightly
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup raspberry jam
More confectioners' sugar for dusting.

DIRECTIONS
Cream the butter and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until well-mixed and light.
Mix the flour and salt together and add to the butter-sugar mixture. Add the vanilla and mix well.
Make three balls of the dough. You can refrigerate the dough in plastic wrap for several hours if the dough is sticky. If not, roll out each ball of dough to a 1/2-inch thickness.
Using a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out 20 cookies. Using a 1 - to 1 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookies cutter, cut the center out of 10 of the cookies. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, sprinkle with sugar, and refrigerate for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cookies barely begin to color.
Cool.
Just before serving, add a dollop of jam to the whole heart cookies. Spread lightly. Place the cut-out hearts on top of the jam. Dust with confectioners' sugar and watch the cookies disappear!


Birchwood Inn, http://www.birchwood-inn.com Ellen Gutman Chenaux


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