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Holy Cannoli

One of my favorite parts of this job is making breakfast.  I have always loved entertaining and feeding people.  There’s just something special about it – ya know?

But – I get bored with making the same thing all the time.  Truthfully, what might be a wonderful meal for 2 or 4 guests doesn’t always work well if there is more than that.  And vis a versa.  For example – a pan of baked french toast feeds 12 people quite easily – but I would never make that if there were only 4 guests – too much waste.  And I love making buttermilk waffles for 4 guests – but don’t make them if we have more than that.  Clear as mud right?  So – with that being said – I’m always on the look out for new ideas to make for guests – either big or small groups.

I would say that 85% of the accounts that Carriage Corner follows on Instagram are other bed and breakfast.  One day while scrolling through my feed, I found a picture of Three Sisters Cottages breakfast.  Three Sisters is in Jefferson, Texas.  I mean – YUMM! This looks amazing – I have to figure out how to make this.

 

So – first I googled.  Then I talked with Italian guests.  Then I played.  My version is a stuffed french toast.  It’s a tiny bit labor intensive, but honestly not bad.  I would make this for a full house.  My recipe will make 12 rolls, and I serve 2 per person.  You milage may very 🙂

Cannoli filling:

  • 1 Cup full fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 contain marscapone cheese
  • 2T sugar
  • 2t powdered vanilla
  • shy 1/2 cup dark chocolate mini chocolate chips
  • zest from 2 oranges

Mix all ingredients together until fluffy, set aside.

French Toast:

Cut the crusts off 12 slices of good quality whole grain bread.  Using a rolling pin, roll the bread out as thin as you can.  Place a heaping spoonful of cannoli filling on each slice of bread and roll up.  This works best if your bread is large enough to roll onto itself.

Egg Wash:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1t light vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg

Whip all ingredients together.  Roll the stuffed bread in the egg wash and then transfer to a hot griddle.  Roll the french toast while cooking to brown all sides.  Plate and then dust with powdered sugar.  I serve this with orange slices and sausage.  It’s really very good.  Trust me – that’s lots of food – we generally start this meal with granola parfaits.

The Kindness of Guests

For a long time I have wanted a treadle sewing machine.  I think they are beautiful and the fact that I enjoy sewing adds to the beauty of them – for me anyway.

The Bird-in-Hand mud sale happens in late June each year.  This mud sale looked like a good one.  Jay loves going to these auctions and it’s fun for an afternoon.  But you have to be quick about what you want and how much you are willing to pay for it.  I managed to pick up a sled for a great price which will be piled high with wrapped gifts as part of the holiday decor, but that’s another post . . . this post is about the treadle.  See, we were in the furniture tent and the sewing machines started coming up.  Like I said, I have always wanted one – but it wasn’t what we were looking for and I wasn’t sure I had a place to put it.  So when the first machine came up and sold for something like $12 I could have kicked myself.  I wasn’t quick enough.  Jay finally ended up winning the bid for a cabinet without a machine.  That cabinet was in rough shape!

We just happened to have guests sitting in the swing and gazebo when Jay was unloading the items he bought at the mud sale.  R – helped him move some of the furniture and put it into the house.  Well, come to find out R has a small collection of sewing machines and people regularly give him treadles and other sewing machines.  Many of them they have put into a museum.  When R came to stay again in August, they brought a beautiful light colored treadle cabinet and a machine that would fit in it – that only needed a belt to work.

One day last week – I said to Jay, maybe you can move the base from our machine into the cabinet from the machine that R brought us.  I’d like to swap that table out for our guest book.  It feels like a piece of me in the guest common areas now.  It’s smaller than the table that was in the same spot previously, but I like this *sew* much better.  Sadly, the machine doesn’t fit into this cabinet – not without loads of modifications, but someday, we’ll have a working treadle in this spot.

For now – this will do just fine.

View from the front door

Log Cabin Room Update

Hello lovely guests and visitors to Carriage Corner!  As you may be aware, Jay and I purchased Carriage Corner in Mid-October 2016.  We were full of dreams, plans and recipe ideas.  Some of them we’ve used and some still need attending to.  But, I thought today I’d take a minute and give you a tour of Log Cabin.  This room was previously called Plum or One.  If you’re curious you can read the why of the room names here.

One of the things that was really important to us was to make the rooms feel lighter, brighter and comfortable.  While we hope that you won’t spend all of your time in your room, if that’s what you choose to do, we want you to be comfortable doing so.

Log Cabin’s face lift started with a new sign on the door welcoming you into the room.  Next, we took everything out – including the desk and electric baseboard heater.  We shampooed the carpets, re-calked the sink, showers & toilet and installed new shower heads.  Then the painting started.  Everything was painted.  Then, we started putting it back together.  Seating area set up with a large chair and half, electric fireplace (for heat or ambiance) and a flat screen television with cable.    Also, free wireless internet is offered throughout the bed and breakfast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After figuring out where the bed and chair needed to go, we added a darling little electric fireplace and put the new flat screen television on top of it.  I’m really looking forward to decorating this little fireplace for the holiday – I think it might get some stockings.  Quite possibly, a tiny tree will go where the fan is currently and I know there will be some twinkle lights added to the room.

The final addition to the room was a beautiful pink and green log cabin quilt that was purchased at the Farmersville Mud Sale in March.

We’ve added some of our personal items to the rooms – the Norman Rockwell plates and a few other things.

Everytime we finished a room – it became ‘my favorite.’  I still love Log Cabin.  The layout of the room, the space you get with the couch, fireplace and television.  Guests seem to really enjoy this room.

If you promise not to laugh, I’ll even share a little video tour I’ve done of the room.  That’s my voice and you’ll hear me when you call to book your room.  We are looking forward to meeting you and helping you have exactly the type of get away you are hoping for while visiting Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  I hope you enjoyed this tour of our Log Cabin Room.  The just over 1 minute video is too long to upload here, but it can be found on YouTube.

 

 

Sew Camp #2 – Recap

Better Late Than Never – Right?

In all honesty, I’ve been putting off doing this recap because I don’t have a ton of photos – and I ran out of the ‘swag’ that was in the attendees gift bags.  Then I remembered that S2 had taken a lovely photo and I asked to use hers.

FabricMart Spoils

The 2nd Sew Camp was as wonderful as the first.  We were very lucky in that the only guests at the B&B were sew camp attendees and that meant I could really focus my attention on sewing and spending time with the Sew Camp Attendees.  We had 3 ladies who booked into the B&B for the entire Sew Camp and 2 ladies who joined us for Saturday only.    As Sew Camp does, we started Friday with breakfast and pastries before heading out to FabricMart.  Everyone purchased fabric and at least one piece of that newly purchased fabric got sewn up over the weekend.  Friday dinner was a happy hour, with lots of little finger foods, but it’s been suggested we have more of a cocktail hour next time.  You can always bring your own adult beverages, we are just limited in what we can serve – just FYI.

C stitching her machine knit sweater together – this was completed over the weekend

 

S1 and the front of her Charlie Caftan from her FabricMart purchase

Saturday morning had at least one of the ladies in the sewing room bright and early – before breakfast even.  Which is absolutely fine!  She grabbed her coffee and headed into the sewing space to get a head start on her project.  See, B brought a very involved, couture jacket to work on and she was doing tons of handstitching.  I think it was late Saturday before she started basting things together.  H arrived around 11a and S arrived just before noon.  Once we got everyone set up – it was time to take a short break and have some lunch.  Then people went back to sewing, knitting and conversing.  C – had finished the back of her sweater and was getting started on the front.  A few of ladies took a break and run out to Rumspringa to sample some beer.  Saturday dinner was a baked pasta loaded with sausage and cheese, served with a salad.  We skipped desert.  Several of the ladies stayed up quite late sewing – again, that’s the plus of being at a retreat you can sew as long as you want – stopping only for food.  Sunday was more of the same.

Sunday, there was more sewing.  S & B stayed for lunch which included an amazing blueberry buckle that B made.  It was so yummy!

As is always the case, I really enjoyed spending the weekend with like minded crafty ladies.  I found sound of C’s knitting machine incredibly soothing.  I loved watching B’s progress on her jacket and can’t wait until I catch a glimpse of it on Instagram.  Meeting S and her husband felt like we had reconnected with old friends – I wish they were just a little bit closer so we could get together more often – but I’m hoping she’ll come to the next Sew Camp and the menfolk can go off on beer tour.  Just this past Tuesday, I was in New York at the #nysewcialhour and it was great to catch up with C & S and find out that S finished her Charlie caftan and it was perfect for her recent vacation!

Simplicity 8419 Donated by Simplicity Pattern Group

This time around – I decided that maybe we should have some ‘swag’ to give out to all attendees.  I started by reaching out to Simplicity Pattern Group and Cashmerette.  Both of these fabulous companies offered up goodies to be given to our group of lovely ladies.  Simplicity sent a box with 2 current patterns – New Look 6517 (I can’t wait to make those floaty pants) and Simplicity 8419 (I might have bought a sheer polka dot fabric for View C at FabricMart) and Cashmerette offered a coupon code good on PDF pattern purchases which was incredibly generous.  I made little thread catcher bags from a pattern by Crazy Mom Quilts using up stashed quilting cottons and a fun decorative stitch on my machine; I also made donut pincushions.  Jay threw some beautiful hardwood cutting blocks into the mix.  I had asked him to make these from the scraps of wood left over from making shoulder stands  and the multi-point pressing tools, because the little green mat that came with my buttonhole and eyelet cutter set was ruined and I needed something to cut on.  We had 2 door prizes – Saturday we gave away a shoulder stand which S2 won and Sunday we gave away a multi-point tool that S won.

If you are thinking about attending a future Sew Camp the details can be found on the Sew Camp tab and the dates for 2018 have been set – March 23-25, 2018 and September 21 – 23, 2018.  I’m thinking about making something for the goodie bags that will be the same every time.  Originally I was thinking about the donut pincushions, but in different colors each time, but now I’m not sure.  How about a few patterns weights that keep getting added to?  What are your thoughts?

Fresh Really is Best

All layered up

I never really knew how easy it was to make granola. Seriously, everyone has their own favorite recipe for granola – you can do a search without finding 15 pages of recipes. Just take a look at pinterest – you’ll see what I mean.

Anyway – I’ve been asked a time or two for the granola recipe I serve here at Carriage Corner. This recipe originated from a friend of mine and was individualized Christmas gifts for the girls for years. Now I make it every 2 weeks or so and don’t add any dried fruit. Here’s the basic recipe:

 

CC’s Basic Granola Recipe:

Dry Ingredients poured into the mixing bowl

6 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2T water
2 tsp vanilla

Mix dry ingredients. Mix liquid in microwave safe dish and then microwave for 1 minute. Pour over oat mixture.
Mix well. Spread out on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake at 300* for 25 – 35 minutes stirring several times.
Remove from over, add 1 cup raising and let cool.

This is how I’ve adapted the recipe for the Bed and Breakfast.

Carriage Corner’s Breakfast Granola:

spread out on a cookie sheet

6 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 cups chopped unsalted mixed nuts
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2T water
1 1/2T vanilla

once baked – it will continue to darken as it cools.

Mix and bake as above, stirring every 10 minutes or so. When it comes out of the oven – don’t touch it! Letting the granola cool off without adding dried fruit or mixing it up helps it to create clumps.

This is a good, basic starter granola recipe. Play with it. Mix things up – swap things out. What else could you use for sweetener besides honey? Maple Syrup? What is your favorite fruit and nut combo? Blueberries & Almonds? Peaches & Pecans? Raisins & Cashews? You can now make any flavor granola you like. When you make a batch – let me know what flavors you used. Enjoy!

Best Available Price

Quite often when answering the phone, the caller will say:  “what’s your best room rate?”

Sample Breakfast 2This always flabbergasts me and leaves me stuttering. I mean why would you think that we’d just have a hidden ‘best’ rate.  The answer is – our best room rate is posted right here on our website, under the rooms tab.  The price is right there – there isn’t a range, we don’t charge more because it’s the weekend or there is some event happening in town.  See, we don’t think it’s fair to reward people who want to get away at the last minute by reducing the room rate, nor do we think it’s fair to punish the people who plan ahead for their vacation and pay a higher rate because they didn’t wait in hope the the rate would go down.

We’ve also researched the prices around town for other B&Bs as well as the local hotels and our prices are right in line with what everyone else is charging.  We aren’t the least expensive, but we also aren’t the most expensive.  For this first season, we’ve also taken away the 2 night minimum on weekends.

Jay & I thought long and hard about this when we set our rates. The room rate is the room rate, it’s not higher at the weekend; it’s not lower during the week; we don’t offer a break if you stay 1 night vs 4. We do offer a referral discount and a repeat guest discount and rarely, I’ll post specials on facebook or have some sort of special on our website. But by and large – our best rate is the one you see by booking direct. So please, give us a call I’m happy to book your room and get your vacation started. 717.768.3059.

Oh and the price always includes a full breakfast, which changes daily.  The also have freshly baked cookies, snacks, fresh fruit and beverages available.

So, we hope you’ll give us a chance.

Turkey Hill Experience

The magic 3Earlier this week, we finally got the chance to do the Turkey Hill Experience.  It took us approximately 30 minutes to drive to Turkey Hill from the B&B and most of that is getting to the freeway.  It was very easy to get to – straight down 340 until you reach 30 (the longest part of the trip) and then straight down 30 for about 10 miles.  You can see the Turkey Hill sign from the freeway, so you know when you should take your exit.  They had someone in the parking lot helping with parking, so that was nice.  We didn’t have to drive all around to find a spot, he directed us to the closest spot to the front.

We arrived at just about the perfect time.  Once we had our tickets and a map of the place, we had 10 minutes to wait until our taste lab started.  Taste Lab is an additional fee, but you get to make your own ice cream flavor – within limits.  There will be no maple bacon ice cream with pecans – at least not yet because those flavors aren’t available.

Making Their Own Flavor 3

Pat Milking the Cow 2After making our own ice cream flavor and eating all of it – we then went back upstairs to the exhibits and other fun stuff.  There were 3 computerized stations which you need to do in order – if you are going to do them.  Start with creating your own ice cream flavor – again, it has limits, but this time you get to name it.  Once you have your flavor created, you then get to design the perfect package for it.  Finally, you can create your very own commercial for your ice cream flavor.  Jay, Eleanor and I all created a flavor and packaging.  Eleanor made a commercial.

But that’s not all – there is a tiny playground along with several other interactive exhibits.  You can milk a cow – it’s not real, but you JB Driving the Delivery Truck 3 copylearn the process; drive a delivery truck, find out your tea personality; sample Turkey Hill tea, haymakers, sorbet and ice cream; and really just have fun.  All together we spent about 3 hours inside the Experience.  Taste Lab is about 40 minutes and the rest wandering around, playing, creating, laughing, taking pictures and having fun.

Several times on the drive home – one of would say “That was really fun!”  The Turkey Hill Experience is open 7 days a week, so if you have in Lancaster on a Sunday and have nothing else to do – check it out!  Our opinion is that you don’t have to have children to enjoy this experience.  Be advised – it’s not a factory tour but more like a hands-on learning exhibit.  We’ll go again – it was really fun!

 

Antiques Lover?

Are you a lover of antiques?  Or maybe just a fabulous window shopper?  Well, did you know that 3 times a year Adamstown hosts three (3!!) Antique Extravaganza weekends?

I did not!  But I’m certainly excited about the next one.  Starting June 22 and running right through June 25th, Adamstown (known as being the Antiques Capital of the USA).

Last month, we had a friend visiting from Seattle and one day she just wanted to go for a drive and see the countryside.  In Lancaster County the countryside is quite different from you’d see in the Pacific Northwest where we are from.  So, we were happy to oblique her.  Without any sense of purpose, we set out on a drive.  First we stumbled across this darling little hobbit house.

hobbit house fb

But we kept going, through woods and farmlands.  Watching farmers out working the land with their giant mule teams.  It really is breathtaking.

Then, we came across the Adamstown Antiques Mall and we were all smitten.   The Antiques Mall is a collection of booths, but curated and put together quite differently.  Like items seem to be grouped together inside – at least the tiny little section that we explored.  There was everything you were looking for and I plan to go back and find a high chair – maybe during the Antiques Extravaganza weekend at the end of the month.

After leaving the Antiques Mall we stopped across the street at Oley Valley Architectural Antiques where my mouth literally fell open at the beauty of the salvaged items.

architectural salvage fb

Our final stop on this outing was stopping at Appalachian Brewing Company in Lititz for dinner.

We still have rooms available that weekend – why not plan a little weekend get-away and do something fun?  We’d love to make your downtime something relaxing and special for you.

Wedding Season

WeddingWedding season is in full swing  over at the Stoltzfus Homestead.  Starting in April and running through November  each year, there are weddings happening every Friday, Saturday and some Sundays right across the street from Carriage Corner.  Many people don’t know that Carriage Corner is located – literally – across the street from the Stoltzfus Homestead  – an incredibly popular wedding venue.  We enjoy seeing the people and hearing the music from our front lawn.

We’d love to invite you, your wedding party and your guests to stay with us as you celebrate your love.  While we don’t have a traditional ‘bridal suite.’  We do have one lovely, large room that is separated from the other four guest rooms and would be perfect for a bride to stay and pamper herself prior to her wedding.  This is our Lonestar Room – it has a four-poster queen bed with a beautiful lonestar quilt.  A small sitting area with 2 comfortable chairs facing the fireplace and television.  It’s the only room with a bathtub.  We provide bath salts and bubble baths for guests in this room.

Because our Bed & Breakfast is small, we are the perfect size to host your bridal party or just some special members of the family.  Because we are a bed & breakfast and not a big hotel, you can feel comfortable running through the halls in the plush robes we provide while getting your hair and make-up done or looking for that one lost items – because we all know, that happens :\

Or maybe, you want to suggest that your travelling guests stay here.  Again, we’re super close.  Wedding time?  It’s a quick walk across the street, it might take you longer to drive over.  After the reception has ended and your guests want to continue catching up – we have a firepit in the backyard with comfy chairs around it and they can stay up visiting as long as they like.  We also keep the lights on in the gazebo all night and you can sit and enjoy listening to the buggies clip-clop by long after the sun has gone down.

Finally if 1 wedding party takes up the entire B&B, we’ll take 5% off your total stay.  I hope you’ll consider us as a place for either your wedding party to stay and relax before and after your wedding, or for your out of town guests to stay and be close, or even for both.  Congratulations on your upcoming wedding – we wish you the best!

Room Names

*Edited:  Contest Closed, Winner Notified.  Thanks for playing.  

Many people have asked about the names we gave the room.

LonestarThat is one thing we did change.  You see, when we got here the rooms were a jumbled mess – at least to us.  They all had fruit or color names – depending on your view.  But they had numbers on the doors.  AND the room decor didn’t really have any tie in to the name.  See we had Plum, Strawberry, Lemon, Pineapple & Cranberry.  So, you’d arrive and check in.  I’d see you’d booked the Strawberry room and then take you to the room with the off white walls, green quilt, solid beige chair and a the number 2 spelled out on the door.  It was confusing for me!

Being new to the area and not having a chance to explore BUT wanting to do the ‘rebranding’ of rooms before the new website went live – I had no idea how to name the rooms that made sense.  I grabbed a book on Amish Quilts off the bookshelf and started thumbing through it.  Cranberry already had a beautiful Amish made, hand-quilted lonestar quilt on the bed – with that a theme was born.

 

So now our rooms are all named after quilt patterns.  3 of the 5 rooms have quilts that match their names.  The new names are:  Log Cabin, Lancaster Rose, Tumbling Blocks, Dahlia, Lonestar and the office/gift shop also got a quilt name:  Drunkard’s Path.  If you were a loyal guest of the previous owners and want to stay in the same room you always stayed in – give me a call.  Tell me the old name of the room and I’ll tell you what the new name is.  I have a cheat sheet so I don’t forget.  😀

So – let’s have a little contest.  Click over and check out the room pictures then come back and comment on which 2 rooms don’t have quilts that match their names.  The room pictures are updated with the the new quilts and names.  Leave a comment telling me which rooms don’t have bedding that matches their name.  Make sure I have a way to contact you.  I’ll draw 1 person from the comment to win 50% off their second night!  Good luck

Edited – I’m closing this contest on June 20th and the answer is in the comments.

drunkard's Path