Friday, February 26, 2010

Almond filled Baked Plums

Winter and warm fruit seem to go hand in hand and with the snowy winter Lancaster has been having these plums just hit the spot.  On a recent trip to the grocery store I found some amazing deep purple plums. I love plums, fresh from the tree or baked in tarts, or, as in this recipe, baked on their own with a sweet almond filling. Finish with a bit of creme anglaise, sweetened whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream.


8 ripe deep purple plums
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons rum, dark
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey


Cut the plums in half and remove the seeds

Place the remaining ingredients, except the honey,  into a food processor and blend until it is smooth

Place the plums cut side up in a baking dish

With a spoon fill the center of each plum with the almond filling

Drizzel all of the plums with honey

Bake at 350F until the almond filling is lightly browned

serve warm

Serves 8

Swiss Woods
Debbie Mosimann
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Maple-Bacon Strata

Soon the sap will be running, and this is a great time of year to use maple syrup in a savory breakfast. And this recipe was created right here in the Berkshires.


1/2 pound bacon, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
5 eggs
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
1 teaspoon salt
8 slices challah (egg bread) cut 1-inch thick, lightly toasted and cut into thirds
12 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated
2/3 cup shelled pistashios


  • Grease a 9X13-inch pan (or a 2-quart casserole dish).
  • Cook the bacon pieces in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat until crisp (about 10 minutes), and drain on a paper towel.
  • Whisk together the cream milk maple syrup, eggs, mustard, sage, and salt.
  • Lay half of the bread strips in the prepared dish. 
  • Sprinkle with half of the bacon, half of the cheese, and half of the nuts.
  • Layer the second half of the bread, bacon, cheese, and nuts.
  • Pour the eggs mixture over the layered dry ingredients. Cover.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove the casserole from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Remove the cover from the dish and bake for about 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden.
  • Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 8

Birchwood Inn 
Ellen Gutman Chenaux
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Outrageous Orange French Toast

I served the Outrageous Orange French Toast in March 1999 when I first bought the inn, and over the past 11 years, the Outrageous French Toast remains a simple and comfort-food staple.


6 eggs
1 cup orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed) (or 2/3 cup juice and 1/3 cup Grand Marnier)
1/3 cup milk or cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Rind of one orange, finely grated
9 slices of challah (egg bread), 1 inch thick each, and cut each slice into two triangles
Powdered sugar
Orange slices
Maple syrup


Beat the eggs in a large bowl.
Add the juice (and Grand Marnier), milk or cream, sugar, vanilla, salt, and orange rind.Mix well.
Dip the bread in the egg mixture, turning to coat both sides.
Melt the butter in a large skillet or on a grill on medium heat. Cook through, browning both sides.
Place three triangles per person, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and garnish with orange slices.
Serve with maple syrup (the real stuff!)

Serves 6

Birchwood Inn
Ellen Gutman Chenaux
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Jazzy Sausage - Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Insipid sausage for breakfast again? Not with Jazzy Sausage! Michael Salmon, owner/chef of Hartstone Inn, in Camden, Maine, created "Cumin-Spiced Bacon and Sausage Roll" to serve with breakfast. At Birchwood Inn, we leave out the bacon and roll the sausage in the spices. This is one of our WOW! recipes.


1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (Michael also adds 2 teaspoons whole cumin)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons anise seeds

Sausage links


Mix the sugar and spices together.
Store in an air-tight container.
When you are going to serve the sausage, preheat the oven to 400F.
Spoon four tablespoons of the sausage on a plate, and roll eight sausage links in the spice mix until well-coated.
Place the sausage on a small cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
Store the rest of the sugar-spice mixture in an air-tight container for the next time you are having sausage.

The Jazzy Sausage can be served as an accompaniment to both a savory and a sweet breakfast.

Birchwood Inn 
Ellen Gutman Chenaux
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Yes, it's spelled correctly!  We've combined French Toast and Waffles and have a Fwaffle.  Couldn't be easier or better!

Bread slices (whatever you might have on hand--homemade for wonderful results though)
1/2 cup half and half
4 eggs well beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Heat waffle iron
Mix all ingredients together.   Dip bread into batter and place on hot waffle iron.
Bake until golden brown and serve with butter and your favorite syrup.
The William Henry Miller Inn
Lynnette Scofield
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Just good ol' pancakes

Sometimes there's nothing better than just pancakes.   Growing up, we would often have them for supper and that continued after I was married and cooking after a long day of work.   Comforting, delicious.  Warm syrup---only the real thing will do.  For me, the perfect pancake is hot off the griddle with some soft butter, maple syrup and applesauce.
Since today is Shrove Tuesday, it seemed the perfect day for the "cakes".  

1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


While you're mixing your ingredients, begin heating your griddle over low heat.
Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl.
Mix buttermilk and milk in another bowl and whisk in egg, butter and vanilla.
Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until just mixed.
Turn the heat up a bit on the griddle and brush with vegetable oil (a little butter never hurts....). Bake in batches and the old adage is true--just look for the bubbles. When the cake bubbles, it's ready to flip.
This recipe will make about eight pancakes and you can double this recipe if you wish.
The William Henry Miller Inn
Lynnette Scofield
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Pecan Short Bread from the Brampton Inn

Classic shortbread cookie. This is a treat with a spot of tea.
Makes 16

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (bake in 325 oven for 10 min. Be careful not to burn the nuts)
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus a bit more for preparation
¾ cup confectioners sugar
½ cup cold (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼  teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides.
In a food processor, pulse pecans until medium to finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. In the same food processor, blend flour, sugar, butter, and salt until dough barely holds together. Add reserved pecans. Pulse 2 or 3 times, just to incorporate.
Press dough evenly into the bottom of prepared pan. If dough is sticky, dust with a hint of more flour. With a fork, prick dough several times across top.
Bake until barely golden, 30 to 35 minutes.
Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Use foil overhang to lift shortbread from pan onto cutting board. With a serrated knife, carefully cut warm shortbread into 16 squares. Cool squares completely on a rack before serving.
Can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days, however they never last that long at the inn!

Brampton Inn
Danielle Hanscom
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are surely one of the most beloved comfort foods there are. In the past couple of years TV chefs and food magazines have featured recipes to bring the homely mashed potatoes to a new level. Adding large amounts of butter, heavy cream and cream cheese are a few of the additions I have been reading about. Most are to die for, literally. Because the holidays bring us an abundance of calories as it is I like to keep our mashed potatoes a bit lighter, as a good vehicle to hold up to the gravy. Serves 6.

2 cups of water
1 tablespoon salt
10 medium sized potatoes like Yukon Golds, peeled and diced into 1" cubes
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
about 1 1/4 cup 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped parsley for a garnish

Add water and salt to a large sauce pan and set over medium heat. Add potatoes and peeled garlic and and cook until very soft. Heat milk. Drain potatoes and using a food mill process potatoes through mill while adding small amounts of milk. Add butter and grated nutmeg and whip with a whisk. Transfer to a nice dish and sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot.

Brampton Inn
Danielle Hanscom
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Grapefruit and Orange Cup

This time of year when the grapefruit and oranges are at their best we like to serve this refreshing breakfast fruit cup. It's very easy to prepare and tastes like a burst of sunshine. This is best prepared the night before.
Serves 3

1 large grapefruit
1 large orange
2 Tblsp. honey
1/2 teasp. freshly grated ginger
one lime

Cut peel and white pith from the grapefruit and the orange. Using a sharp knife remove the sections of the fruit between the membranes. Remove any pits and make sure to do this over a medium bowl to catch all the juice. Drizzle with honey, add grated ginger and cover bowl with cling wrap. Refrigerate over night. In the morning spoon fruit and juice into glass dishes. With a "zester" cut fine small curls of zest from the lime. Garnish fruit cups.

Brampton Inn
Danielle Hanscom
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Silpat another favorit gadget from the Brampton Inn

The absolutely fabulous non-stick sheet pan liners for the serious cookie baker.

Remember how we used to butter the cookie sheets before scooping out dough and baking the cookies in a 350 degree oven??
The cleaning up of the cookie sheets wasn't much fun. More like a pain in the neck.

Pan coating spray made the clean up a lot faster. But still there was some elbow grease needed to take care of the job.

Thank goodness along came the Silpat liner. There is nothing stopping me from baking cookies anymore. Hooray!!!

This nifty quick release liner is a flat silicon sheet that can take heat up to 500 degrees. And it works. I don't know why but the baked cookies fly off the Silpat like nobodies business.

Put the liner on your cookie sheet, scoop the dough onto it, bake for however long it takes, with a spatula gently remove the cookie when ready, rinse your Silpat with lukewarm water, dry with a kitchen towel and you are either done or ready to bake more cookies.

The liners are not cheap, I think you can get them for about $15 to $18 when they are on sale. Cooking stores carry several brands. Boy, are they worth it!

They also make silicon muffin pans and other cake pans out of the same material but they never worked for me. Too wobbly. I wouldn't waste my money on those.

Brampton Inn
Danielle Hanscom
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Coconut Macaroons

These gems are a staple in our cookie jar.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3 oz. cream cheese softened
¾ cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 teasp. pure almond extract
2 teasp. orange juice
1 ¼ cup unbleached flour
2 teasp. baking powder
½ teasp. salt
14 oz. flaked coconut

Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar in a large mixer bowl until light and fluffy.
Add egg yolk, almond extract and orange juice; beat well.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt: gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in 3 cups of coconut. Cover tightly and chill for one hour until firm.
Shape dough into 1½ inch balls (we use a small ice cream scoop) and roll in remaining coconut flakes. Place on cookie sheet lined with Silpat. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until barely golden. Remove from oven and cool 10 min. before transferring macaroons to cooling rack. When completely cooled store in air tight container.
You can also make this cookie ahead and freeze before baking.

Brampton Inn
Danielle Hanscom
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing ala Vancouver, Canada

This recipe is from the OFFICIAL Cookbook of Expo 86.  You may not recall, but the World Expo was held in Vancouver, Canada in 1986, and my family attended while visiting family.  Our very young daughters at the time still fondly recall the size of the huge slugs on Vancouver sidewalks, and not much else.  :)  However, I continue to use this wonderful cookbook, and my favorite recipe from it is the Lazy Gourmet Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing.  The Lazy Gourmet still exists these many years later, and provides excellent catering and take-out for Vancouverites. 

In honor of the 2010 winter Olympics, here's a tip of the fork to a great recipe from Vancouver.

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups oil
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups grated carrots
1 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cream cheese icing:
6 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a bundt pan.
Beat eggs until very frothy.
Gradually add sugar to eggs, beating until light.  Gradually add oil to mixture and beat until light.

Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and spices.  Add to above mixture and stir.

Combine carrots, drained pineapple, vanilla, and walnuts.  Add to batter and mix thoroughly.  Pour into prepared pan and bake 50 - 60 minutes.

Cream cheese icing:
Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Stir in melted butter slowly.  Add sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Spread on cooled cake. 

Lookout Point Lakeside Inn
Kristie Rosset
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ithaca is touched by the Olympics!

Eggless Cranberry Cookies

Some of our favorite guests are going to be at this year's Olympics in Vancouver---one as a coach and two as players.  We will be glued to the set and in their honor, want to post some of their favorite recipes!

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup milk (we use skim)
2 Tablespoons orange juice
2 Tablespoons sourcream
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chopped cranberries

Sifted confectioners sugar
Orange juice to taste

Cream together the sugar and butter in a large bow.  Stir in milk, orange juice and sour cream.
Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda and end with cranberries.
At this point, we form the cookies into small golf ball size balls and place on a parchment covered cookie sheet.  We freeze and then bag and use only as we need.
Bake at 300 degrees for twenty minutes.  Drizzle with glaze.

The William Henry Miller Inn
Lynnette Scofield
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cranberry Apricot Bread

This moist and flavorful bread is super easy, requiring only stirring and a little bit of chopping. 

2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest
3/4 cup water
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 eggs
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried, chopped apricots
1 cup pecans, chopped

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bottom only of two 9x5 loaf pans.  In a large bowl, combine sugar, orange zest, water, buttermilk, orange juice, mayonnaise, and eggs.  Whisk until well blended. 

Add flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.  Gently stir in cranberries, apricots, and nuts.  Pour into greased pans.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted inc enter comes out clean.  Allow pans to cool for 20 minutes, then pour glaze over top while still warm.  Cool completely, then wrap tightly and store in refrigerator.  These loaves also freeze well.
Lookout Point Lakeside Inn
Kristie Rosset
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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