Month: April 2017

Breakfast Inspiration – Lemon Blueberry “Pan” Cake Edition

So – where do you get your ideas for breakfast? People ask me all the time. Are they my own recipes or someone else’s?

Honestly – it’s a combination of both a found recipe and then the tweaks to make it mine.

20170206_100335

Baked Pancake topped with lemon curd & fresh blueberries

While I like pancakes, personally – I hate serving them to guests. I want them all to be the same perfect size and all piping hot fresh off the griddle at the same time. But – I don’t have a dinner griddle in my kitchen.  So, that makes it nearly impossible to serve 10 people fresh, hot pancakes at the same time when you are running a B&B.

Early in January, we took a couple days and went to Jersey City to help our daughter with her “Daddy Do” list before our perfect little grand-daughter was born. We met the kids at the Brownstone Diner for lunch. One of the things on their menu is a pancake wrap and our son-in-law ordered one. It was a large buttermilk pancake rolled around a savory breakfast filling.  But then, I didn’t really want a savory filling. So what to do? That’s when I came up with the lemon curd and blueberries.

I mean, a savory filling would be okay – but it wasn’t going to make me try and figure out how to make that when I got home.  Or ask for the recipe.

20170206_100743

Sheet pan-cake rolled. Not pretty, but it tastes great

Hmmm – an idea was born. I already do an omelette roll as a means of serving omelettes to a large group. Could something similar be done with pancakes?

At Carriage Corner, 90% of the pancakes, waffles, scones, muffins, and sometimes the bread in the baked french toast is made from scratch.  So, the first thing I had to do was come up with a good pancake recipe.  Not too sweet but still fluffy and griddled pancake like.   Plus, while I can’t claim a gluten free kitchen, I can prepare gluten free foods using GF cup for cup flour – so having a good, go to pancake batter is necessary.

First, I tried baking my pancake on a sheet pan – but that didn’t roll well and didn’t look pretty.  Honestly, I think I baked it too long.  And I haven’t tried doing it again with a shorted cooking time, because I came up with something works.   For the filling in that first sheet cake, I blended lemon curd with marscapone cheese and a tiny bit of powdered sugar to create a ‘lemon cream’ to spread on the cake and then sprinkled it with fresh blueberries.  Blending the lemon curd and cheese didn’t really add any flavor or richness to the filling and just created more work, so another option was needed.

First Lemon Blueberry "Pan" Cake served to guests

Lemon Blueberry “Pan” Cake served to guests

A good friend from Seattle is an amazing baker and her instagram feed is filled the images of gorgeous layer cakes.  So, taking my inspiration from her, my next step was to bake the pancake batter in a cake pan. It worked!!  It still had the fluffy texture of a pancake.   Once the cake had been removed from the cake pans, it was sliced horizontally to make 2 layers.  Between each layer, I spread lemon curd and sprinkled blueberries.  This was good, it was sweet without being over the top and the blueberries added a nice freshness.

But then, blueberries started getting questionable and harder to find nicer blueberries.  So, I started thinking – what if I made a fresh blueberry compote?  I could start with frozen blueberries and you still have the ‘freshness’ of them and I’d have ‘syrup’ to put on the table if someone needed something else.  It works a treat!  I’m telling you – I’m so happy with this breakfast item – it feel decadent and the combination of blueberries and lemon is amazing – it’s fresh and tart and the cake is just the tiniest bit sweet.  I say this all the time – but it’s really one of my favorite breakfasts.

Next – I’ll share the recipe and show you how the entire cake looks before slicing and serving.  Until then, tell me what inspires your breakfast choices?  Is it something you saw on Food Network?  Something you ate?  Or a favorite food?  Do you have a challenge for me?  A breakfast you’d love to see recreated?

A Bit About Us & What We’ve Been Up To

Hi folks! I want to tell you a little bit about us – who we are and what we’re doing.

J&G

This past year, after having his third shoulder surgery, Jay really couldn’t see himself going back to work in the automotive industry. If you find yourself talking about a car problem at breakfast, however, his ears will perk up, he’ll definitely join conversation, and you might even find him either crawling under your car or pulling it into the garage to check something out.  He’s also quite handy, doing all necessary repairs around the B&B himself.  He loves that kind of thing.  He also really enjoys deep cleaning stuff. (I don’t get it, but to each their own.)  

Anyway, just after the final surgery, we found out our East Coast-based daughter and son-in-law were having a baby.  The stars aligned and the time was right for us to move forward with the dream of owning a B&B back east.  We wanted something large enough to support us in a modest lifestyle, ideally with more than four rooms.  We wanted something small enough for us to manage on our own though, so nothing bigger than five rooms.  We wanted a location that had an almost year-round draw and was no further than three hours from that fresh little grandbaby. I also wanted to make sure I had a place to set up my larger-than-it-probably-should-be sewing room.

Lancaster Rose

Lancaster Rose

We found a bed and breakfast in Lancaster County, PA that felt like home as soon as we walked through the front doors.  The then-owner was ready to retire and spend more time with his grandchildren after running the B&B for the past 24 years.  Before we could even list our home on the West Coast, we made him an offer.  It was a hectic Summer, adding two new puppies to our family while paring down and listing our home, and saying goodbye to our friends and careers for a completely new lifestyle on the East Coast.  The sale of the B&B closed without any issue and we have been slowly making changes to make it our own.

So, if you have previously stayed here, and even if you haven’t, you may want to know what we have been working on:

*Upgraded the complimentary Wi-Fi; in-room televisions and cable

*Deep cleaned all the carpets

*Painted all the guest rooms and bathrooms

*Added all new fluffy white towels, and working our way toward having more towels in each room

*Introduced luxurious bedding.  It’s so nice, you won’t want to get out of bed!

Malloracas

Malloracas

*Purchased new snuggly robes

*Added blow dryers to every guest bath

*Installed environmentally friendly refillable dispensers with spa-quality soap, shampoo, and conditioner in the showers, along with soap and lotion by the sinks

*Stocked the guest fridge with complimentary bottled water and an assortment of soft drinks

*Added a complimentary snack station which includes: an electric kettle and assorted teas; a Keurig coffee maker and assorted K-cups; freshly baked treats – usually cookies, but sometimes there are brownies, coffee cake or cake; snack packs of chips; and fresh fruit

*Perfected new breakfast recipes, ensuring a fresh, hearty, handmade meal using local and organic ingredients, when possible

*Added electric fireplaces to all the guest rooms and created cozy sitting areas

*Filled a closet with board and card games and a large selection of outdoor games

*Installed a stone patio in the backyard and added a fire pit

*Rearranged furniture in the common room to make it more inviting and provide space for everyone to sit and visit

Last Holiday Table setting of the 2016 Christmas season

Last Holiday Table setting of the 2016 Christmas season

*Moved the large china cabinet so we can get around the table to serve your breakfast.  I prefer to plate the meal and serve it, putting extras on the table. I like family-style, but I really like making sure everyone can relax and not worry about being responsible for others’ plates.

*Updated the website with new photos and descriptions, revamped the Facebook page, and actively post on Instagram

*Implemented new loyalty and referral programs.

We also updated the room rates to make them comparable to other B&Bs in the area. What we don’t want do is change the rates during peak periods or over the weekends. When you’re our guest we want you to be able to relax and unwind. Therefore, we want you to plan your visit when it is comfortable and convenient for you, not because you can get a better rate on a certain day. We also want you to know that you will be treated like family, staying in a clean, safe space, and hopefully you will leave feeling like you can’t wait to come back!