Monday, May 31, 2010

Plantation Breakfast Bake

 Every year when James Taylor is in concert at Tanglewood, his greatest fans from Tennessee create a party ambiance at Birchwood Inn. One year, I wanted to make them feel at home and serve grits, but I didn't have a clue as to how to do this properly. So James Taylor's absolutely greatest fan Bob taught me how to make great grits. I did have a bag of Carolina Stone Ground Grits ( I bought in Charleston so I was off to a great start right there.
If you think you don't like grits, you haven't tried this recipe made with the stone ground grits!

 The Grits
6 cups water 
1 1/4 cups grits
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter

The Rest of the Casserole
1 pound Italian turkey sausage (a mixture of sweet and hot), ground
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups grated cheese (I use parmesan but you could also use aged white cheddar)
1/4 cup finely minced parsley 

 The day before you are going to serve the Plantation Bake, add the grits, salt, and butter to the water and boil over medium heat. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for an hour and a half, until the grits are thick and the water has boiled off. 
Add the butter, eggs, and cheese to the grits.
Break up the sausage into small pieces and saute. 
Saute the onions and mix with the sausage.
Add the sausage and onions to the grits.
Spoon the grits into a 9X13-inch dish and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 375F. Take the dish out of the refrigerator one hour before baking. Sprinkle the parsley and a bit of extra cheese on the top of the grits. Bake for 1 hour, until the grits are golden on top. Remove the dish from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before cutting and serving.
I've heard it freezes well, but we've never had any leftover to freeze.

Serves 10.

Birchwood Inn
Ellen Gutman Chenaux, Bed and Breakfast Foodie
Pin It

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tomato Benedict

Another of my favorite simple appetizers.    This recipe got its name because we started out making it as a breakfast dish.   We take a toasted English Muffin half, top with  two or three tablespoons of the hot tomato mixture, put a poached egg on top and sprinkle with some fresh basil.    In fact this was on our breakfast menu this morning and one guest declared it was the best breakfast he'd ever had!   But somewhere along the way one of us tried leftovers with some crostini and declared this would be perfectly delicious as an appetizer.     I think it goes particularly well with woven wheat crackers like Triscuit.   We've also been known to throw in 1/2 cup of aged sharp cheese such as Asiago or Parmesan.

3 - 4 cups of diced fresh tomatoes - whatever variety you have on hand  
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of dried basil
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Fresh Basil for garnish

Combine all the ingredients except the fresh basil.   Pour into a 9 inch pie plate or Au Gratin dish.   Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until it is bubbly and the top is toasted.    Serve immediately with crostini or crackers.

The White Oak Inn
Yvonne Martin
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
Pin It

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Arkansas Peaches In Season: It's Time for Fresh Peach Cobbler

A visit to the Hot Springs Farmers Market revealed a great surprise:  newly picked Arkansas peaches!  It's the first crop of the season, and a week early.  Today's guests at Lookout Point enjoyed an appetizer of fresh Arkansas peaches, blueberries, topped with a splash of cream and mint sprig.  Oh, the peaches are so sweet, with a heavenly fragrance.  Not it's time to make peach cobbler. 

The farmer from whom I bought the peaches joyfully provided his best recipe for Fresh Peach Cobbler.  I made a batch, and it's so easy and yummy.  Enjoy!


3/4 stick butter
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup all purpose unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
dash of salt
3/4 cup milk
2 cups peaches, peeled and sliced


Melt butter in a 2 quart deep baking or casserole dish.
In a small bowl combine sugar, flour, baking powder, satl, and milk.  Whisk until well mixed.  Pour this batter over the melted butter.  Do not stir.

Combine peaches with another 1/2 cup sugar (or less, if peaches are sweet). Spoon peaches over batter.  Do not stir.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Serves 8.  Or one, if it's the first fresh peach cobbler of the season.  :)

Lookout Point Lakeside Inn
Kristie Rosset
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
Pin It

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

White Bean Dip

I promised some simple appetizer and spread recipes.   Here's one of my favorites.  I like it because it's healthy, has fibre, and is low fat and only takes about 5 minutes to make  It goes well with tortilla chips, crackers, pita bread, crostini or crackers.  I often spread it on a wrap and then top with cucumber and tomatoes for a tasty vegetarian sandwich.   If you can't find white cannellini beans, any white bean will work.

2 - 14 oz. cans white cannellini beans - drained and rinsed
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
generous half cup of fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of dried cumin
Optional - 1 tomato, diced fine, as garnish.

Put all the ingredients except the tomato into a food processor and pulse until everything is well blended and smooth.   To serve, put in a serving bowl and top with diced tomato.

Best if made a few hours ahead and refrigerated to allow the flavors to blend.

The White Oak Inn
Yvonne Martin
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
Pin It

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Marinated Cheese Appetizer

As promised, the first of our summer appetizers.

This one is best if allowed to mellow for a day or two, although it can be enjoyed the same day it is made.

1 lb. of mild white cheese - Monterey Jack or Havarti are perfect
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/3 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of dried basil or 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano or 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
1 clove of garlic, cut in 1/4's

Cut cheese into bite-sized cubes and place in a gallon zip-loc bag.
Combine remaining ingredients and mix well.
Pour over the cheese in the bag and seal bag tightly.
Refrigerate for at least two hours, preferably a day or so.
Gently shake bag occasionally to distribute marinade.
Pour into a pretty serving bowl, garnish with fresh basil or oregano and serve.

The White Oak Inn
Yvonne Martin
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
Pin It

Appetizers anyone?

Summer time and the living is of my favorite songs.   And one of my favorite philosophies too.   One thing's for sure, when it's hot outside you don't want to spend any more time in the kitchen than absolutely necessary.    This is the time of year we change our first course at dinner at The White Oak Inn from a soup to an appetizer.   People don't want to eat rich and heavy food in hot weather, and we certainly don't want to heat up the kitchen if we don't have to!    So over the next few days I'm going to share some of my favorite fast and easy summer appetizers.   Most of them are spreads or dips.   They're equally at home spread on crackers, crostini or even raw vegetables.

Many of these recipes can be assembled in 10 minutes or less - perfect if you have unexpected company or  to accompany before-dinner drinks on the porch or patio with your favorite companion.

Let's start with a basic list of pantry staples that will ensure you're ready to entertain at any time.   Many of these are already cooking staples, so you may have them in stock already.   
Canned or jarred artichoke hearts
Sundried tomatoes packed in oil
Canned cannelini beans
Fresh Cilantro
Cream Cheese
Sweet and Hot Pepper Relish or chutney
Assorted Cracker
Kalamata Olives
Green Olives
Fresh Tomatoes
Parmesan Cheese
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Fresh or dried basil
Fresh or dried Oregano
Fresh Garlic Cloves

Next post - Marinated Cheese

The White Oak Inn
Yvonne Martin
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
Pin It

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bircher Muesli

This is the muesli I grew up with in Switzerland.

Serves 6 - 8

1 cups old fashioned oats
½ cups milk
1 medium bananas, mashed
juice of one lemon
¼ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup real maple syrup
1 medium banana, diced
2 apples, peeled, cored and grated
1 oranges peeled and sectioned
1 pears, peeled and diced   
1 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1 kiwi, peeled and diced
½ cups chopped, toasted walnuts or pecans
¼ cup heavy cream, optional but it really makes it taste wonderful. Low fat yogurt works as well.

In a large bowl pour milk over oats. Stir and let stand 5 min. until oats absorb almost all the milk. Add mashed bananas, lemon juice, orange juice, maple syrup. Mix well.
Add all the chopped and diced fruits and nuts.
Gently fold in heavy cream or yogurt.
Should be served at once. Muesli doesn't sit well. It becomes water and mushy.

Brampton Bed & Breakfast Inn  
Danielle Hanscom
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
Pin It

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gazpacho with Grilled Lime Shrimp

It is interesting how we develop opinions about things both good and bad. Gazpacho has never been on my list of favorites and the only reason I can think of is 12th grade gourmet cooking class. That was the year that the Home Ec department (OK.. so I was in High School when it was still called Home Ec!) ran a cooking competition. I love a good competition especially one where I think I have a good chance to win. For this entry I created this amazing layered meringue baked to perfection and layered with lime curd and lemon curd and finished off in the middle with a mix of berries and scented cream. It was stunning if I do say so myself.
It came in second. Ron won with his Gazpacho! I have had an aversion to Gazpacho ever since.
So here, years later I am playing with Gazpacho and... newsflash.. absolutely love it. Cold, crisp and refreshing it is the perfect lunch soup or starter to a great meal. Use the freshest ripest tomatoes you can find, perfect for the plenty of summer just around the corner. I have paired it here with a tail on shrimp soaked in lime and cilantro.


1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
6 large tomatoes peeled and diced
1 large red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 stalks celery chopped
1 large sweet onion finely chopped
2 cloves  garlic, diced
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 cups vegetable juice like V8
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, fresh, chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce


 In a large pot boil 2 quarts of water. Place the tomatoes into the water one at a time removing them as soon as the skin has popped (less than a min)

With slotted spoon transfer them to a colander. Place under cold running water

Peel the skins off and dice the tomatoes

Place the diced tomatoes into a large bowl

Dice all the remaining vegetables and add them to the tomatoes

Add the vinegar, V8 juice, and lime juice

Chop the parsley and cilantro and add to the whole mix

Add salt and pepper and the Tabasco to taste

With a stick blender gently puree till there are still visible pieces remaining but the sizes are no larger than peas

If you do not have a stick blender you really need to put that on your birthday wish list. They are amazing. Mine is over 20 years old and I use it for everything from soups to salad dressings. They are inexpensive and just ohh so handy. If you don't have one you can use a blender or food processor to  puree some of the mixture to get it down to the right consistency.

These tasty shrimp were developed as a  compliment to a nice cold cup of Gazpacho. They are full of flavor and fresh highlighting the wonderful combination of cilantro and lime. Tail on shrimp make it easy to eat as an appetizer and besides that they look cool

Lime Cilantro Shrimp

10 large shrimp, tail on
1 lime, sliced
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro, fresh, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine all of the liquid ingredients and pour over the peeled tail on shrimp
Cover and allow to marinate for 1 hour in refrigeration. Stir every 15 min.
Preheat the grill
With tongs, place the shrimp on the grill and grill about 4 min on each side
Remove from the grill and serve immediately on the side of a glass filled with Gazpacho

Swiss Woods
Debbie Mosimann
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
Pin It

Monday, May 10, 2010

Spring Rolled Omelet

 Rolled omelets are beautiful to behold. They are also so versatile as you can fill them with any of your favorites. Be creative! 


4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (optional)
4 tablespoons Calamata olives, pureed slightly, with bits of olive still visible (optional)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (Parmesan, cheddar, Gruyere, Swiss)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup cooked ham, diced
1 cup frozen green peas
1 cup roasted red pepper, julienned, or 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned (optional) (they add color to your filled, especially if you are not using the ham)
1 cup fresh asparagus, steamed but not soggy


Preheat oven to 375F-400F.

  • Using cooking spray, grease a 15X10X1 inch jelly roll pan.
  • Line the pan with parchment paper, going up the sides of the pan.
  • Grease the paper and set aside.
  • In a blender, add the cream cheese and milk. Blend until smooth.
  • Add the flour and salt and blend to combine.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and add them to the blender. Blend well.
  • Place the prepared pan on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the pan for about 5 minutes.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the pan and bake for 20 minutes, until the eggs are puffed and set.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and immediately spread the eggs with mustard, the olive puree, or a spread of your choice.
  • Sprinkle  with 1 1/4 cups of the cheese, reserving 1/4 cup cheese.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Roll up the omelet from the short side, peeling away the parchment paper, tightening the roll-up with a metal spatula each roll. Roll, peel, tighten. 
  • Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese.
  • Return the omelet to the oven for 3-4 minutes so that the cheese topping melts.
  • Slice in 1-1/2 inch slices.

Each rolled omelet serves 6.

Birchwood Inn
Ellen Gutman Chenaux
Bed and Breakfast Foodie

Pin It

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Great Grill Appetizers for Mothers day

With Mother's day approaching I thought it would be fun to give some easy fun ideas for grill appetizers. Bed and Breakfasts are known for serving really creative breakfasts but what many folk do not realize is many Inns also go all out for afternoon hor dourves  or even an evening dessert buffet like the one  found at one of our own 8 Broads, Lynnette,  at the William Henry Miller Inn.  All that to say that we can be creative in all kinds of foodie directions, not just standout breakfasts!
Here are a few really simple but yet special hor dorves. they are easy enough for the kids to help with and surprise Mom with something savory and fun. Enjoy. And to all you Mom's out there I want to wish you a happy  Mother's day.

 Asparagus wrapped in Pancetta

Pancetta is found in the deli case at your grocery. It is the Italian version of bacon  and comes in 4 inch diameter rounds. For this recipe you want to ask for it to be sliced paper thin.
8 slices Pancetta, very thin
24 stems fresh asparagus
pinch salt

In a flat sauté pan bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
Snap the woody ends off of the asparagus. They will naturally break where the tender part starts
Drop the asparagus into the boiling water several stems at a time just 30 seconds until they turn bright green
Carefully remove them with a slotted spoon or kitchen tongs
Allow to cool slightly
Wrap one slice of pancetta around 3 stems of asparagus
Brush tips with olive oil
Heat the grill. Place on the grill turning often till the pancetta is crisped.
Serves 4 (2 bundles each)

Caprese Skewers

These are fun and kids will enjoy helping you thread everything onto the skewers. Perfect to make ahead and bring out when the steaks are almost finished!

4 bamboo skewers, soaked in water
12 good sized grape or cherry tomatoes
12 small mozzarella balls (can use the marinated ones )
12 leaves fresh basil
olive oil
balsamic vinegar (optional)

Remove the skewers from the water and thread with a tomato, basil leaf, mozzarella ball, basil leaf, tomato, basil leaf..  using 3 tomatoes per skewer
Brush with olive oil
Flash grill these on a hot grill on the side just when you are about ready to serve. They are finished when the tomatoes split but the mozzarella has not melted. Serve immediately. Do not hold these warm on the grill or your mozzarella will melt off the skewer.
Serve drizzled with an aged balsamic vinegar (optional)

Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast
 Debbie Mosimann
 Bed and Breakfast Foodie
Pin It

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Swiss Woods Spring Strata

This recipe just screams spring. I know, the title has entirely too many "s's", but I will also tell you that this has been a roaring hit at the breakfast table these last 2 weeks. The guests here don't seem to mind being the the trial runs for all the new recipes coming out of my kitchen. They are happy to offer suggestions and I will admit to changing a recipe because of energetic discussion at the breakfast table. Asparagus is one of those love it or hate it kind of vegetables. When I first started making this strata I would leave an asparagus free zone in one corner.  After observing that corner repeatedly return to the kitchen I stopped that and just loaded this flavorful dish with lots of the best asparagus I could find.
 When  local asparagus starts to appear I visit a nearby Amish farm for fresh picked bunches of deep green stems with purple tips. Even those who are not sure they like veggies for breakfast, love this strata. Stratas, literally defined as layers, are a very simple and versatile breakfast or brunch dishes consisting of layers of bread and in this instance, vegetables and cheese. They are hearty and satisfying as well as easy. Assemble this the night before, cover and refrigerate to bake in the morning.
I have used a combination of Emmentaler and Gruyère cheese here, the classic fondue mix, but a sharp cheddar will work as well. Feel free to use more spinach, onion and asparagus. It will not ruin the dish!

6 slices Italian bread,  1 inch slices, cubed or torn apart
1/2 medium red pepper, diced
1/4 cup spring onions, sliced
1/2 cup spinach, coarsely chopped or torn apart
1/2  cup yogurt, Greek style
1 Tablespoon mustard, Dijon whole seed
12 oz asparagus tips, sliced on the diagonal
1 cups Emmentaler cheese, grated
1 cup Gruyère cheese, grated
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cup milk


Tear the bread slices into small chunks and allow to dry slightly. This is a perfect use for day old bread
Snap off the woody end of the asparagus then slice in 1 inch diagonals
Dice the red pepper
Slice the spring onions
In a sauté pan gently steam the asparagus, onion, and red pepper just till the asparagus turns bright green.

Wash the spinach thoroughly and tear into pieces removing any stems
Mix the yogurt, mustard, milk and eggs together with a whisk
In a 2 quart casserole dish or a 9x13 flat baking dish that has been brushed with olive oil place half of the bread cubes.
Arrange half of the vegetables mixed, across the bread

Sprinkle a cup of the cheese on top of the vegetables
Repeat using the rest of the bread, vegetables and cheese
Pour the egg mixture over the top making sure that all the bread is moistened
Cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Uncover and bake at 350F for 40-50 min until a knife comes out clean.
Serve immediately

Servings: 8

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Inactive Time: 12 hours

Oven Temperature: 350°F

 Swiss Woods Bed and Breakafast
 Debbie Mosimann
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
Pin It