Thursday, June 28, 2012

Anyone for a Mojito?



The end product! YUM
Hot summer afternoons have arrived and 4th of July picnics are just around the corner.   I love a lazy warm summer day and I love inviting company over for nice big juicy hand shaped hamburgers, fat  sausages, grilled veggies, beets, and corn along side my favorite potato salad.  And now for the good part!  Something fun to drink. Mojitos originated in Cuba and some would even call it their national drink. They are basically a rum, lime, and mint combination finished with some kind of sparkling water or in this case, soda. Somewhere in my research I read that this was Ernest Hemmingway's favorite drink. It is easy to see why.  This drink has countless variations but the one that I make and love to serve is really simple and succeeds every time. If you have guests who do not enjoy alcohol it is even good without the rum!  We did about 200 of these for my daughters wedding and I can tell you, they were a huge hit for everyone except maybe my two dear friends who were bar keepers for the day.. (thanks Mike and JoAnn!!) I am sure that night they were muddling mint in their dreams!
Traditionally cane sugar is used to sweeten mojitos and after muddling and adding ice they are filled with a plain unsweetened seltzer water. I have cut back on the sugar and used sprite in this version. I have also successfully made them using a Seagrams key lime seltzer and adding a bit more sugar. Pretty versatile isn't it?
A word to mint. There are more mint varieties out there than I can count. Fuzzy mint which is a spearmint to the very pointed leaves of the dark stemmed true peppermint.. all different and varying intensities. Mojitos are best made with one of the lighter non fuzzy leafed spearmints. Peppermint does not work for these at all!  Figuring out which of the mints in your garden will work best is a project anyone would love being involved in.


We call this Kentuky mint. It is the perfect mint for these mojitos

 INGREDIENTS
Per drink:

1 lime
1 teaspoon cane sugar (ok, regular white will work)
5-6 Mint leaves  whole (plus a sprig for garnish)
3/4 shot light rum
3/4 shot dark rum  (not spiced)
Sprite
ice


DIRECTIONS
 

 Slice the lime in half and then slice off a slice from each half
Put one slice in the bottom of the glass.
Reserve the other to garnish when serving
Add the sugar and the mint leaves
My patch of mint.. careful.. it will take over!
Muddle the sugar, lime and mint just until the mint is bruised *
Add enough  ice to fill the glass
Add the rum
Juice the rest of the lime and add to the glass
Fill the glass with sprite and with a long handled spoon, gently stir to combine
Hang the lime slice off the rim and serve with a straw

Can anyone say "zum wohl"?  (cheers, prosit,  etc will do as well!)


*muddling is done to break up the surface of the mint and release the flavor. You do not want to turn the mint to pulp but gently using a utensil (I often use a small wooden spoon if I don't have a muddling tool) work the sugar, lime and mint till the lime releases some juice. The sugar works to bruise the mint as well in this process. 

Swiss Woods
http://www.swisswoods.com
Debbie Mosimann


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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Three-Minute Chocolate Cake in a Mug

Three-Minute Chocolate Cake in a Mug

Have a craving for chocolate cake and there isn't any around? Not to worry because you can make this chocolate cake in three minutes. There's a down side to this recipe -- a chocolate cake is always only three minutes away.
I always associate this recipe with a former innkeeper named Madeleine, but this is one of those recipes that friends pass back and forth. And now I'm passing it on to you. 



INGREDIENTS


1 large coffee mug
4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

 Spray the mug with cooking spray. In the mug, mix the dry ingredients in the order above. Then add the egg and mix. Add the milk, oil and vanilla. Mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips. 

Place mug in the microwave and cook on high for three minutes. The cake will rise over the top of the mug.  Allow the cake to cool slightly. Grab a spoon and dig in!

 Ellen Gutman Chenaux, Eight Broads in the Kitchen
http://www.birchwood-inn.com
BIRCHWOOD INN
Lenox, MA
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Savory Four Cheese Scrambled Eggs

For unique scrambled eggs, this is our "go-to" recipe. We've been making these scrambled eggs, with variations, since we opened Lookout Point (nearly 10 years ago). Wafting through the dining room and waking up guests' olfactory senses, the smell of fresh garlic cooking is a delightful breakfast surprise.

INGREDIENTS
8 egs
6 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded

Variations: try some fresh parsley or rosesmary minced and mixed in while cooking. Or diced fresh tomatoes--whatever is in season.

DIRECTIONS

Whisk eggs with the cream cheese cubes, then add the Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper, and mix thoroughly.

In a nonstick 10 inch skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. When butter is bubbly, add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Pour egg mixture into skillet. Stir and fold gently. When the eggs are approximately 50% cooked, add the shredded cheddar and monterey jack cheeses (reserving a small amount to top on finished eggs before serving). Finishing cooking eggs to your liking, stirring/folding gently.

When serving, top with reserved cheese, and fresh herbs. 

Lookout Point Lakeside Inn
http://www.LookoutPointInn.com
Kristie Rosset
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Our Favorite Scones (with a twist!)
Our friend, Janet Lowenstein, owned the beautiful Stone Lion Inn for many years in Wellfleet on Cape Cod.   She made fabulous scones and shared the recipe.   We have tweaked it just a bit but love every fabulous mouthful.
So, here's our twist!   Our wonderful Cornell University- Hotel School senior- Hockey Defenseman - (and proudly one of the tri-captains) Braden Birch is back for another summer at the Inn.  He makes the great, great brownies that go on our dessert buffet.
Yesterday was his first day back in the kitchen and he started to make Cranberry Orange Cookies.
All of a sudden, he realized that he had the recipe for Cranberry Orange Scones.  Thankfully, he didn't stop what he was doing but made a batch of scones.  He froze them on parchment paper and we baked them off this morning.
Let me tell you, I think these are the BEST scones I've EVER had.  They are beautiful and light and fluffy.   We kid that he has such incredible arm strength from playing hockey that he can really beat eggs!  But he just has a magic touch.
 --- INGREDIENTS ---
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (preferable Kosher)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup sun dried cranberries
1 Tablespoon orange zest

--- DIRECTIONS ---
Preheat oven to 425.
Measure dry ingredients and mix together in a bowl with a fork.   Add the dried cranberries and orange zest and mix so that the fruit doesn't stick together.
Add cream and stir until a soft dough forms.   Gather the dough together in a bowl and turn out onto a work surface dusted with flour.   Knead 8-10 times until the dough holds together.
Pat dough into a circle approximately 10" in diameter. (At this point, Janet would brush with melted butter and dust with coarse sugar.  We don't even bother with this since they are so darn good without).  Cut into 12 triangles and place on parchment covered baking sheet.   Bake for 15 minutes until just browned.
--- The William Henry Miller Inn http://www.millerinn.com Lynnette Scofield Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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