Since becoming an innkeeper, I've been on a fast learning curve. In my previous life, I never made any sort of fancy appetizers. With special events at the inn, such as bridal showers, appetizers are becoming a specialty. Puff pastry is my friend, and a freezer staple. Really expert chefs probably make their own puff pastry, but not me. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Deb or Yvonne of the Eight Broads make their own.
1. Lightly coat baking sheet with olive oil. Toss bell pepper strips in the oil to coat. Place under broiler for approximately 5 minutes, until peppers are lightly charred. Remove from oven. Cool. Dice roasted peppers, drain if necessary.
2. Unfold puff pastry; cut each sheet into nine squares.
3. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, red peppers, 2 tablespoons Romano cheese, parsley, oregano and pepper.
4. Brush pastry edges with milk. Place 2 rounded teaspoons of cheese mixture in the center of each square. Fold edges of pastry over filling, forming a rectangle. Seal edges with a fork. Cut slits in pastry; brush with milk. Sprinkle with remainng Romano cheese.
5. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack. Serve warm.
This one is for Joyce in Seattle! After hearing that the only Lemon Curd she could find was $8 a jar I dug through my files to find the easy microwave recipe that was my treasured standby for years. It is easy, almost foolproof and comes out tangy and creamy each and every time.
I have also included the one that I use now which is somewhat richer, uses more lemon and takes longer. It is truly worth the effort. Use it for the Lemon Croissant French Toast filling(a recipe I posted to Eight Broads a few weeks back), fold in some whipped cream and fill tarts, spread it generously on blueberry muffins or scones, or as one of my guests said, skip the muffins. It tastes just fine straight up on a spoon.
Easy Beasy Super Simple Lemon Curd
1 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup fresh lemon juice
Lemon Zest from 3 lemons (a microplane makes this task a cinch)
1/2 cup butter (unsalted if you have it)
Combine all ingredients in a blender at medium speed, just till the butter is in fine pieces.
Pour into a microwave safe bowl.
Cook in the microwave for one minute intervals, stirring after each minute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.
Remove from the microwave, stir in the lemon zest
Pour into a 2 small containers and allow to cool.
This will hold in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks
Here is the other one. Somewhat tarter and more time consuming.
5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup of butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup of lemon juice
Zest from 5 lemons
Heat about a quart of water in a double boiler
note: I prefer to use a metal mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water. It allows the whisk to get all the 'corners' and distributes the heat evenly.
Mix the egg yolks, lemon juice and sugar in the metal mixing bowl
Set over the simmering, not boiling, water
With a wire whisk stir continuously adding the cut up butter a little at a time
As the butter melts and incorporates add more until all butter is used
Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest
Cover with saran wrap and hide in the refrigerator until chilled
If God had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley
Every morning we make these pancakes, with very few exceptions, someone wants the recipe. This morning was no exception. The menu centered around a cranberry walnut french toast with a bit of a lemon glaze, and was served with the fresh peaches that are right in season now, with a side of Lancaster County baked sausage and these potato/veggie pancakes. The peaches grow on a neighboring farm as do the potatoes and all that goes in them. The mushroom capital of the US, Kennett Square, is less than an hour away so we get some pretty wonderful mushrooms as well. This recipe is one of those that has a basic formula and can go in any direction that the produce in your fridge leads. The recipe is more of a road map allwowing you to take a variety of detours, all wonderful. Today I put in chopped spinach, onion, thinly sliced mushrooms, green peppers and a bunch of herbs. One of my favorite variations includes fresh corn sliced off the cob right into the mixture. There is no end to the veggies you can grate or chop into these. Yum!
3 cups shredded potatoes
2 Tbsp flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced red or green peppers
any other veggies up to 1 cup may be chooped and readied
1 bunch parsley ( 1/8 cup chopped)
1/8 tsp freshly grated pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
oil or butter for the griddle
Cook and cool potatoes.
Preheat a griddle or frying pan. Add some oil or butter or a combination of both
Peel and grate with a coarse grater
Add flour, eggs, cheese, onion, peppers, parsley, butter and seasonings
Mix in any other veggies you have chopped and ready
Mix gently with a spoon till combined
Drop onto hot griddle using a large spoon. I use a medium ice cream scoop that hold about 1/4 cup. Do not pack or form as these are better if they are somewhat loosely connected. Press only enough to shape and hold together.
Fry till golden brown flipping once
note: These hold beautifully in a 250F oven till serving time.
Swiss Woods www.swisswoods.com Debbie Mosimann Bed and Breakfast Foodie
There are many ingredients I cannot live without. One of them is lemon, the more tart the better! And they don't get more tart than this bread, adapted from "Gourmet." I serve it as a morning sweet bread, but it is a hit no matter what time of day you serve it. Pure pucker power!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 large eggs Zest of one lemon 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 orange marmalade 1 teaspoon lemon or orange juice
Preheat oven to 350F. Generously grease an 8 1/2X 4 1/2 X 2 1/2 inch loaf pan
Stir flour, baking powder and salt together. Combine yogurt, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Whisk until well blended. Gradually whisk in the dry ingredients. Fold in the oil. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until tester comes clean. Cool on rack. After 10 minutes, loosen the bread and turn it out on the rack to cool. The bread can be made a day ahead by wrapping it well and storing at room temperature. Before serving, slice the bread. Stir the marmalade and juice together and microwave for 30-45 seconds. Stir again. Spoon the glaze over the bread and serve.
Birchwood Inn http://www.birchwood-inn.com Ellen Gutman Chenaux Bed and Breakfast Foodie
Goat cheese is smooth and creamy, and I love the combination of goat cheese and fresh summer tomatoes. Quiche, as I know all of you know, should have a flaky pastry crust, but I make mine without. Maybe it's the extra few minutes to make the crust, and maybe it's that it cuts a few calories, but I don't miss the crust. Add one if you prefer.
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, seeds removed and sliced 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled 5 large eggs 1 1/4 cup half and half Freshly ground pepper Salt (I use Kosher) 1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with Pam or favorite oil.
Seed the tomatoes and slice or cube bite-size. Place in bottom of pie-plate. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over tomatoes.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until light. Stir in the half and half. Add Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper to taste (I prefer 1/4 tsp pepper and a pinch of salt). Pour over the tomatoes and cheese.
Bake until eggs are puffed and lightly brown, about 30 -40 minutes. Serve warm.
Note: In winter when fresh tomatoes are not available, I prefer plum or Roma tomatoes. After seeding I'll lightly cook in a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Cook for just two minutes, and then add the Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper to the tomatoes. Cook another minute. Or, start with 1/4 cup minced onion and saute two minutes before adding the tomatoes. Summer tomatoes have great flavor, but in winter they need a bit of cooking to add more depth to their taste.
3-4 peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup half and half
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
4 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Use butter or a spray to grease a 10-inch pie plate or ceramic baking dish.
In a medium saucepan, heat the half and half and cream until almost boiling. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool a bit while you slice the peaches.
Slice the peaches into a small bowl. Sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg over the fruit and toss. Layer the peaches on the bottom of the baking dish.
Ready for the oven
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add salt to the flour, and then slowly add the flour so that it is incorporated without clumping. The mixture should be smooth. Carefully and slowly add the half and half/cream mixture (you don't want to cook the eggs from the heat of the cream mixture). Pour over peaches.
Note: Some recipes call for adding 2 tablespoons of peach schnapps or kirsch when baking with cherries, but I don't think it's critical.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until set. Serve warm. Can also refrigerate overnight, and in the morning bring to room temperature and serve at breakfast. Clafouti is frequently enjoyed by guests at The Beechmont.
What a great week for a foodie. My friend Michael Harris came to Hanover and a weekend at The Beechmont, bringing with him a sampling of his wonderful artisanal cheeses. Michael amazes me. His ice cream shop, now in its second year on Warren Street in Hudson, New York, serves up salted colossal pistachio, black raspberry chip, and many other "just-what-you-want" flavors of ice cream at Lick. As if a shop isn't enough, he decided to buy some goats last spring and started Bench 8 Creamery. My husband and I first feasted on an ash-covered bloomy rind semi-aged cheese he calls Cloud Nine. Yum. I crumbled a feta over fresh green beans one night for dinner, and tossed a chevre into a veggie pasta dish the following night. We still have a Banon, which is a cheese wrapped in a brandy-soaked grape leaf. Michael and his partner Christopher sell the cheese at a number of farm markets in Hudson and the surrounding area. If you're in Hudson, be sure to stop by Lick for ice cream, too!
As if cheese wasn't enough, I took a road trip with a good friend into the D.C. area this week to stock up on spices from Penzeys. Oh, I could shop online, but going into the store and seeing and smelling all those spices makes a girl smile. I was long overdue for cleaning the cupboard and I am now ready for most any recipe calling for ground red chipotle, smoked Spanish paprika, and India Tellicherry peppercorns. I have a huge bottle of double strength vanilla, too. If you have a retail Penzeys near you I consider you a lucky person.
Peaches are plentiful at the farm markets this week in south central Pennsylvania. They're really juicy this year, the kind that run all over your hands and chin when eating. I made my first peach clafouti of the summer with these bursting-with-flavor peaches, and decided maybe you'd like to try one, too, and am sharing the recipe. Apple harvest is just around the corner, and apples also make a tasty clafouti as do cherries and blueberries. I just adjust the seasonings to suit the fruit.
A dear friend recently visited family in Charleston, S.C., and enjoyed the best grits of her life at a Charleston restuarant. The grits were served as a side to a glorious dinner, not breakfast. The restaurant (the name of which is lost), generously shared their grits recipe with Shari, and I gobbled up these grits at a dinner in her home. Ahh, friends sharing recipes. That's the nature of our blog, BedandBreakfastfoodie.com. Guests traveling from California, visiting a number of southern states, called their trip the "Grits Tour". Celebrating the best of the south, here's a terrific grits recipe. I'm not a natural southern cook, but I can learn for these great recipes!
2 cups heavy cream 2 cups water 1/4 pound butter 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon white pepper 1 cup quick grits
Bring cream and water to boil. Add butter, salt and pepper. Slowly add grits and reduce heat. Cook 20 minutes; be careful not to scorch mixture. Serve with breakfast or dinner as a potato or rice replacement.
Although I was born in Arkansas, I lived in the south for only a few "growing up" years. When we moved to Arkansas to build the inn, we soon heard about the southern dish of Chocolate Gravy. In my mind, chocolate and gravy just don't go together, but our daughters regaled the virtues of this sauce. They love biscuits with chocolate gravy on a lazy Saturday morning. So here's a true southern delight: Chocolate Gravy. Ladle over your favorite biscuits, homemade or store bought, and enjoy.
Chocolate Gravy is a nice addition to breakfast on Chocolate Covered Wednesdays, featured every Wednesday at Lookout Point Lakeside Inn.
This summer's peaches have been incredible! Birchwood Inn guests look forward to this very easy and full-flavored dish we serve as the fruit course at breakfast, and the grilling brings out the best of the peaches.
8 ripe but still firm peaches
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (preferably the tiny wild ones)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Sprigs of mint
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
A fruit or Champagne sorbet (optional)
Combine the blueberries and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the sauce is hot. Mix the cornstarch and lemon juice together and add to the blueberry sauce. Cook until slightly thickened. Keep warm on low heat.
Heat the barbecue to high.
Spray a grill basket with Pam.
Cut the peaches in half, remove pits, and place cut side down in the grill basket. Put the top of the grill basket on. Grill the peaches until they are very slightly grilled (they will have grill marks), about 10 minutes. Turn the basket over and cook for a minute or two more.
Remove the basket and peaches from the grill. Place a half peach on each plate. Put a mint leaf in the middle of each piece and gently spoon the blueberry sauce into the center of the peach. (This also works very well with raspberries). Add several fresh blueberries on top. If you have a sorbet, it makes a nice addition to the grilled peaches.
http://www.birchwood-inn.com Ellen Gutman Chenaux
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ears of corn--cooked and taken off the cob
Beat the egg in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk and baking soda mixing well.
Then stir in the flour, saugar, oil, baking powder and salt.
Spoon the batter onto a hot griddle. Add amount of corn to the batter on the griddle that suits your fancy (for us, the more the better!).
Bake until edges are browned and pancake is cooked through.
We will often top with either cilantro butter or honey butter.
Just soften amount of butter that will serve your group. Add either a tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro and a teaspoon of confectioners sugar (for a stick of butter) or for the honey butter, a tablespoon of honey per stick of butter and confectioners sugar until you reach the creamy consistency that you're looking for.
It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato. ~Lewis Grizzard
Lancaster County and produce, fresh from the garden, seem to go hand in hand. Plump tomatoes still warm from the stalk, zucchini and squash picked at just the right moment, and onions sweet and wonderful. Summer is the season for all things fresh and once again I am overwhelmed by the amount and quality of the produce available.
I look at my counter lined with dark red tomatoes, and can hardly wait to turn them into something amazing for breakfast. This morning they made the topping for a baked egg frittata. This is a variation on our eggs Florentine or baked eggs and cheese.
I am convinced that every innkeeper has his or her own rendition of this wonderfully versatile dish. The base is a mixture of eggs and cheeses to which you can add just about anything vegetable or even meat. It holds well on a buffet, makes for a great supper, or even works with soup for lunch.
Today I am baking it in a ceramic 9X13 pan but it works equally well in individual ramekins or a decorative oven safe casserole dish. Just remember to adjust the baking time for smaller quantities.
Eggs Frittata ala Swiss Woods
12 oz cottage cheese
4 oz butter, melted
8 oz cup sour cream
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup red onion, diced
3 ripe roma tomatoes, diced ( about 2 cups)
2 stems basil, leaves removed and chopped (about ¼ cup)
1 cup yellow squash or green zucchini, julienned
With hand mixer, mix the first 6 ingredients well
Add the shredded cheddar cheese
(At this point you can hold the mixture in the refrigerator overnight to bake in the morning)
Preheat the oven to 350F
Add the diced onions to the egg mixture
Pour egg mixture into a 9 X 13 baking dish which has been lightly greased
Bake for 20 minutes until just set around the edges. It should not be set in the middle
In a skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil sauté the squash for 5 minutes
Turn off the heat and add the tomatoes and basil
Carefully remove the eggs from the oven and top with the vegetables
Return to the oven and finish baking for another 15 min or until the eggs are set and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean
Place casserole dish in a serving basket, garnish with fresh sprigs of basil and serve.
Swiss Woods www.swisswoods.com Debbie Mosimann Bed and Breakfast Foodie
This is one of the first muffin recipes I created when I became the owner of The Beechmont Inn. Strawberries are a favorite of mine and I love the taste and texture of cornmeal. Try the Blueberry Cornmeal Pancake recipe I listed, too.
1 cup all purpose flour 1 cup ground cornmeal 1/3 cup sugar 2 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 2 cups strawberries, cut into small pieces 1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola) 1 large egg
Preheat over to 375 degrees. Grease muffin pan or line with paper cups.
In a large bowl, combine and whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add strawberries and toss gently to coat with the flour mixture. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil and egg. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture and combine until dry ingredients are moistened, but do not over mix. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full and bake about 20 minutes. Makes one dozen.
This is a favorite of guests at The Beechmont Inn. The cornmeal adds a nice bit of crunch to the pancake. Try it!
2 cups flour, plus 1 Tbsp flour 1 cup ground cornmeal 1/3 cup sugar 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 3/4 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup plain yogurt 1 1/2 cups milk 4 large eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp orange oil (or 2 tbsp grated orange zest) 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted 2 cups fresh blueberries (frozen are fine when fresh is not available)
In a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Use a whisk to blend. In a separate smaller bowl, lightly beat the eggs, and then add the yogurt and milk and blend. Add the vanilla extract and orange oil. Add the melted butter and blend. Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and blend, being careful not to over mix. Lightly coat the blueberries with the tablespoon of flour (if the blueberries are in a 2-cup measuring cup, just shake the flour over the berries)and add to the mixture.
Cook the pancakes on a hot griddle with a layer of vegetable oil to prevent pancakes from sticking. Makes about 16 four-inch pancakes. Serve with your favorite syrup and bacon or sausage.
Rolling hills planted with peach and apple trees and sloping vineyards are scattered through our area of south central Pennsylvania. We're twenty miles north of Baltimore County, but there's no traffic or bottlenecked beltways on our back country roads. You'll slow down now and then, but mostly to pull over, park, and fill the cooler with the bounty that summer brings us each year. I have my favorite farm stand, of course, although the owner is new this year. I wasn't expecting the change in ownership, but I admit the melons, green beans, tomatoes, strawberries and blueberries are just as fresh and good as in past years, so I'm still a regular. On the way to dinner the other night, however, we spotted a new stand on the way to New Oxford, one of our favorite neighboring towns. The site was formerly a nursery that closed last year. Now there's a new awning stretching across the front of the building with tables heaped with fruits and vegetables. I can't wait to explore this new market. And it's almost time for a drive north to Carlisle to The Peters Orchards for peaches and apples. Their Honeycrisp apples have won best of show at the Pennsylvania Farm Show and are perfect for snacking and baking. And I can almost smell the aroma of a peach clafouti as it comes out of the oven.
Whenever your travels bring you to our neck of the woods, be sure to have a cooler in the trunk so you, too, can explore and take your favorites home to enjoy. Nothing better than local. Nothing better than fresh.