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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

Do You Pouf?

Pouf - Bee Kind

One of the early upgrades we made to Carriage Corner was to stock the bathrooms with BeeKind toiletry items.  We made the decision that rather than purchase tiny individual sized items that either don’t get used up and then have to be thrown away or just get taken (which is fine).  That we were going to go with the BeeKind line of products as we liked their philosophy.  All of the BeeKind products are made without parabens, phthalest or artificial ingredients.  Both Jay and I felt that the fragrance was light and citrus-y enough to work for either men or women.

The next decision was to put refillable bottles with pump dispensers into each shower.  Each bathroom has a supply of Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash (doubles as hand soap at the sink) and Lotion.  pouf - packaged

At that point, our older daughter said, if we were supplying body wash in the showers rather than bar soap, we needed to also supply poufs.  So – we ordered a case of poufs and we put a brand new pouf sealed in a plastic bag in each bathroom.  One per stay.

 

pouf - showerBut – I’ve noticed that people rarely use them and I don’t know why?  I’m looking for ideas here.  I find that when I use a bath pouf, I get better suds from my body wash than if I used a wash cloth.  I also use less body wash to get clean.

Personally – I love my pouf.  So – I’m wondering – would you use a pouf?  If not – why not?  Talk to me, because I really do want to know.  I also need to know if this a good expense or a waste of money that could be spent elsewhere?

Lemon Blueberry “Pan” Cake

Lemon Blueberry Pan-CakeIn the last blog post – I talked about where my inspiration for breakfast comes from and how I run with it.  The Lemon Blueberry “Pan” Cake has had a few remakes and my favorite version uses a blueberry compote rather than layering fresh blueberries.  And this weekend on Mother’s Day – I believe I’m going to layer that cake up with some fresh, house-made lime curd and possibly dress the plate with some pansies – because I can.

So – I bet you want to see the finished cake and some recipes, right?  Okay.  First – you should know that both of my daughters are gluten-free.  Neither of them are diagnosed celiac, but both have done elimination diets and they do not process gluten well.  So – when experimenting with this recipe – I’ve almost always made it with King Arthur Flour’s Measure for Measure.  Often, I don’t even tell guests they are eating something that’s gluten free.  A tiny bit evil?  Maybe.
Pancake

3C flourServing a slice

9T sugar 

6 3/4t baking powder

3/4t salt

7 1/2T butter

2 1/4C water

3 eggs

2t vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together into medium bowl
  3. Melt butter in small bowl.  Add water, egg, and vanilla mix well
  4. Stir liquid mixture into dry ingredients until there are no dry spots left
  5. Pour batter into 2 prepared 9″ cake pans
  6. Bake at 425* for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean

Cake PlateWhile your cake is baking, prepare your Berry Compote, this is going to be layered in the cake, drizzled over the top and served as ‘syrup’ at the table..

Berry Compote

3C fresh or frozen fruit

3T orange juice

1/4t nutmeg

Place fruit, juice and nutmeg in a small saucepan and bring to a medium boil

Once bubbling, reduce heat slightly and use a potato masher to muddle and mash the fruit

Cook over medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes, occasionally mashing and combining the fruit

Cake on the plateRemove from heat and transfer to a clean jar or container – I go straight to my syrup pitchers.

Once your pancake is cooked and your compote has simmered to the thickness you want – you’ll need to work a bit fast here.  Turn the pancakes out of the cake pans and then cut them in half horizontally.  On a pretty cake plate, layer as follows:  pancake round, lemon curd, then blueberry compote, repeat until you get to the top layer – just drizzle your blueberry compote on the top – doing your best to make it look pretty.

Slice and serve like a cake with additional lemon curd, fresh berries and more warm compote.  This cake is more pancake like it texture, density and flavor than a cake.  You can also layer fresh fruit in with the curd if you want.  Please let me know if you try this.  Enjoy!!

 

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?