Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Prize-Winning Apple Cake

My college roommate Jeanne sent me this recipe shortly after I became an innkeeper, and she had gotten it from her sister. Why prize-winning? Jeanne's brother-in-law made it and won first prize in a baking contest, and I made it and won first prize in the Lenox Apple Squeeze Baking Contest as well. Once you try it, you'll understand why this cake is a prize winner.


4-8 baking apples (the number depends on the size of the apple), peeled, cored, and cut into 16ths
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 extra-large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs


The choice of pan used for this cake is very important. A low-sided tube pan works well. I use a springform pan with a hole in the middle.

Preheat your oven to 350F.
In a microwave, carefully melt the butter (do not overheat).
Add the sugar and eggs and mix well. Transfer the egg mixture to a medium-sized bowl.
Add the vanilla.
Combine the dry ingredients and add alternately to the egg mixture with the sour cream or yogurt. The batter will be fairly stiff.
Spoon the batter into the pan.
Insert the apples with the cut core-side down as close together as possible.
Push the apples down gently into the batter.
Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and bake for 30 minutes.
While the cake is cooking, prepare the topping by melting the butter and stirring the sugar and eggs into the melted butter.
After 30 minutes, the cake will not appear done. Pour the topping over the hot cake, and bake
for an additional 20-30 minutes until the topping is cooked and somewhat crispy.
Cool. Remove from pan. Sprinkle powdered sugar on the cake just before serving.

Birchwood Inn
Ellen Gutman Chenaux
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Cheddar Dill Scones made with Ohio Amish Cheese

Because the Amish don't have electricity, their raw milk cannot be properly chilled on the farm. For that reason it can't be sold for drinking purposes, but since the cheesemaking process destroys harmful bacteria, it can be used to make cheese. Which explains why there are so many cheesemaking facilities in Ohio's Amish area. One of our favorite cheesemakers, Pearl Valley Cheese, is a little off-the-beaten path. However their Vintage White Cheddar makes it well worth going the extra distance, and three of their products won blue ribbons at the Ohio State Fair in 2009. We make sure we always have some of their cheddar on hand at the inn, both for nibbling and cooking, particularly during one of our wine and cheese weekends. This recipe for Cheddar Dill Scones combines two of my favorite flavors. The scones themselves are best served warm from the oven. They make a great accompaniment to soups or salads, or a nice change from sweeter breakfast pastries when the main course is also going to be sweet.


2 1/2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons dried
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill weed or 2 teaspoons dried
1 1/2 sticks of butter or margarine
1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup half-and-half


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor or with a pastry blender, combine flour, baking powder, salt, parsley, dill and butter. Process until mixture resembles oatmeal. Pour into a large bowl and mix in cheddar cheese. Beat eggs with half-and-half. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in egg mixture. Using a fork, stir together until just combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead about 8 times. Divide dough into two pieces. Pat each piece into a circle, about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into eight wedges. Place on a lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees until top is golden. (about 15 minutes). Scones will be even better if you can chill them for 15 - 30 minutes before baking.

The White Oak Inn
Yvonne Martin

Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Banana Bread

It doesn't get easier than this. Banana bread has been a favorite here since the children were small. It was the first bread I taught the girls to bake. When we score a case of dark bananas at the farmers market we freeze them in just the right amount for a loaf of this wonderfully moist bread. It is a family favorite and both Esther and Mirjam requested it for the bread baskets at their weddings.
A guest at Esther's wedding requested the recipe and that gave me good reason to post it here for everyone. Serve it a whipped honey butter for a special treat.


3 large banana, peeled and mashed
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup walnuts chopped


1. Milx ingredients in order given and stir by hand till the flour is mixed in

2. Bake for 1 hour at 325F or until a toothpick comes out clean

3. Cool 10 min in the pan then remove to finish cooling on a rack

Servings: 12
Yield: 1 loaf

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Oven Temperature: 325°F

Swiss Woods
Debbie Mosimann
Bed and Breakfast Foodie

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Add a little citrus zip to your recipes

We use a lot of lemon and orange slices at the inn. And that results in many leftover end pieces. We take those pieces and throw them in a container in the freezer. When we are making a recipe that calls for orange or lemon zest or peel, we just take some of our frozen pieces out, let them thaw for about five minutes, and chop them up very fine in our mini food processor. A nut chopper would work just as well. And we often add chopped up citrus rind to recipes that don't necessarily call for it. Most muffins and quickbreads can be really kicked up a notch with a hint of orange or lemon. (This morning we served a pumpkin date and orange quick bread that was to die for.) Try adding lemon to turkey burgers or meat loaf. Sprinkle over fish before baking or add a little to sauces. I always put chopped orange rind in my cranberry sauces or relishes, and often add it to my oatmeal cookie dough. It's a versatile way to flavor many foods without adding salt or calories.

The White Oak Inn
Yvonne Martin
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Microplane Graters

left to right: cheese grater, newer small hole model, my first Microplane

There are kitchen gadget that make your life so much easier you wonder what you did before getting one. Of course there are some that are plain silly and linger in a kitchen drawer until they get tossed out or a friend looks at it and says: "Wow, I always wanted one these" even after being warned about it's uselessness. That's OK at least then it's out of the house.

This handy tool is one of the gadgets that belongs into my "all time favorite kitchen tool" category. You would think that I own part of this company the way I can go on and on about it. I do not!

I have two different models. One with small, flat holes and one with larger, wider holes.

The model with the tiny, flat but sharp openings is the perfect grater for all sorts of things, mostly for "zesting". The openings are so small that they grate the surface without tearing it.

When lemon and oranges are plentiful and inexpensive I buy a bunch and grate the zest with my small hole Microplane. It grates the perfect zest for flavoring a dish. What I don't need right away, I freeze. By using a Microplane I can avoid getting any of the white pith that can impart a bitter taste to my dishes.

This Microplane is also perfect for grating nutmeg. Freshly grated nutmeg tastes so much better than what you can buy at the grocery store already grated.

Kathryn from the Beechmont Inn, in an earlier post, was singing the praises of "Penzey's" and I wholeheartedly second that. I order all my spices from Penzey's including whole nutmeg.

It's great for fresh ginger root too.

The model that has the larger holes is perfect for grating cheese or when a recipe calls for chunkier, fresh ginger root.

I bought my first Microplane about 10 years ago and I still use it almost every day.

Brampton Inn
Danielle Hanscom
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Carolina Turkey Chili

Six times a year we host "Carolina Tailwinds", a bicycle group headed by Anne and Greg Fleming. They ride with their guests from Chestertown to Lewes, from there on to Berlin and St. Michaels and back to the Brampton. The last day of their trip we have lunch waiting for them at the inn. I'm naming this chili in their honor because every time we serve it they tell us: "This is soooo good!"
Of course I think they are soooo nice!
We serve this chili with a mixed green salad, home made biscuits and brownies for dessert.
It really seems to hit the spot after a long ride.
It is very easy to make!

Serves 4 to 6 depending on how hungry everybody is.


2 tablspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound lean ground turkey
½ cup onion, chopped medium
1 cup green and red bell pepper, diced
1 tablspoons chili powder or to taste
2 cups V8 vegetable juice cocktail
2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes
1 15-oz can dark red kidney beans


Heat olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add turkey, onion and peppers.
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until turkey is cooked and vegetables are tender about 10 min.. Don't let the meat brown. It should be broken up and cooked through.

Stir in chili powder. Stir in V8 juice, diced tomatoes and kidney beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, and making sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan until chili comes to a boil, about 15 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference.

Serve hot with sour cream, and grated cheese.

Brampton Inn
Danielle Hanscom
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Lemon Lover Muffin

Yvonne so wisely pointed out that muffins are the best excuse to eat cake for breakfast. That is so very, very true. This muffin fits well into that category. Actually, this recipe is a variation on a cake my mother has made for years. Some of us (you know who you are...;-) can positively never get enough of that tart, delicious burst of tanginess.
It's a very plain looking muffin hiding a ton of flavor.

Makes 12 regular or 10 giant muffins


the zest of three large, well scrubbed lemon
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups unbleached flour
½ teasp. salt
2 teasp. baking powder
1 teasp. baking soda
½ cup sour cream at room temperature

½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix fresh squeezed lemon juice and powdered sugar. Set aside.

Spray muffin tins with non-stick baking spray.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar. Add lemon zest. Add one egg at a time incorporating the eggs well into the butter/sugar mixture.

Add sour cream and mix well.

Add flour mixture and mix until well incorporated. Do not over mix.

Fill muffin pans no more than 3/4 full. The muffins should have a nice dome when they are fully baked and not spill over the side of the pans. This will make it easier to drizzle the tops with the lemon syrup.

Bake for 18 to 20 min. until springy on top.

Remove from oven and using a toothpick poke small holes into the top of the muffins.
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the reserved lemon/sugar syrup over each hot muffin. If there is any syrup left, distribute it evenly amongst the muffins.

Let stand for 15 minutes before removing muffins from tins.


Brampton Inn
Danielle Hanscom
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Golden Vegetable Soup - A delicious fall soup from Ohio's White Oak Inn

October means cooler evenings, lighting the fireplaces in the inn, lots of squash and pumpkins at the farm market stands, and soup cooking on the inn stove. This is one of my favorite fall soups. It's full of vegetables, but not too heavy. A perfect match for the season.


4 tablespoons of butter
2 cups of chopped onion
2 cups of diced celery
3 cups of grated carrots
2 cups of grated acorn or butternut squash
1 cup of grated pumpkin or rutabaga
12 cups of chicken stock
3 cups of fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 teaspoons of curry powder


Melt butter in a large stock pot and saute onion until translucent. Add the celery, grated carrots, grated squash, grated rutabaga and the chicken stock. Add more water or stock if needed to completely cover the vegetables. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the corn, parsley, pepper, and curry powder. Return to a simmer and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until corn is tender. Taste and add salt if needed.

The White Oak Inn
Yvonne Martin
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Breakfast Strudel: An easy, savory breakfast that looks impressive

I began making this breakfast strudel a few months ago, and our guests frequently request the recipe. Now I can just send them to the 8 Broads in the Kitchen foodie website! The ingredients of the strudel may be adapted to suit your tastes and what is available fresh and local. Here's the basic recipe. I hope you enjoy creating your own unique Breakfast Strudel


1 sheet puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
5 eggs, whisked
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 cup bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 Tablespoon fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 egg for wash

Note: this strudel is a great vegetarian entree. If you prefer, consider adding chopped cooked bacon or diced ham to the eggs.


Thaw puff pastry according to package directions. While preparing other ingredients, keep thawed puff pastry on parchment lined baking sheet, covering with film, in the refrigerator.

Whisk eggs, add salt and pepper.

Saute bell peppers and green onions until tender. I prefer the red peppers for color.

Prepare egg wash by whisking one egg, and adding water to dilute.

Remove puff pastry from refrigerator, and prepare the pastry. The pastry appears to be in thirds. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut a series of approximately eight "wings" at an angle on each outer 3rd of the puff pastry, leaving a 1/2 inch tail at the bottom of the pastry. Looking at the pastry, the appearance reminds me of an arrow head.

Over high heat, scramble eggs along with the bell peppers & onion mixture, until soft scrambled. Spread the eggs over the center third of the puff pastry. Spread the cheese over the egg.

Starting at the top of the pastry, wrap the eggs with the puff pastry, overlapping the cut "wings" of the pastry to hold the eggs. Tuck the pastry "tail" under the last wings to seal the pastry. Brush egg wash over the puff pastry. Sprinkle with grated parmesan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Serve hot.
Serves 4.

Lookout Point Lakeside Inn
Kristie Rosset
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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