Food

Fall Flavors

fall flavors at their finest

It’s finally Fall here in Lancaster County and with the crisp air and changing of the leaves, I’ve been inspired to play with fall flavors while creating breakfast.  When Fall rolls around, the fall flavors I think of first are pumpkin, cranberry, apples & pears.  My first thought was pumpkin granola – but I already have a very, very good granola recipe that I’ve shared and I wasn’t sure I really wanted another.  So first I googled pumpkin granola and printed out a bunch of recipes – which I then compared to my original granola recipe.  This is what I ended up with:

 

 

Pumpkin Crunch Granola:

Ingredients:

  • 3 3/4 Cups oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1t pumpkin pie spice* – I made my own
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3T packed dark brown sugar
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325*.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats through pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In a second bowl, whisk the egg whites.  Add in pumpkin, syrup, oil, brown sugar & vanilla – whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour wet over dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.  Spread onto prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes, making sure to stir every 10 minutes to prevent burning.
  5. Allow granola to cool for 20 minutes.  Gently add dried cranberries.  Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Beautiful jar of cranberry curdThis was served layered with plain greek yogurt and cranberry curd.  It was amazing – if I do say so myself.  Please let me know if you try it.

I have actually been thinking about the flavors of Fall for a few weeks now.  Earlier this summer, I made both lemon and lime curd [but not lemon/lime curd, hmmm] and I could stop thinking about what else I could curd.  Cranberry would not leave – so I made that as well.  I will share that recipe later – but it was amazing!

*I had a guest staying with us who has a cinnamon allergy – so I had to make my own cinnamon free pumpkin pie spice.  There are many recipes available for pumpkin pie spice – I used nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves & mace.

 

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.

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!

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?

Spring Fling Sewing Retreat

Gazebo at night

Gazebo at night

I am so thrilled to announce the first sewing retreat at Carriage Corner!  I’ve been thinking about this since before we purchased the Bed & Breakfast, to have quarterly retreats ~ specifically sewing retreats and possibly knitting retreats, also.   So the first ever “Carriage Corner Sewing Retreat” is happening Friday, March 24 – Sunday, March 26, 2017!  This first one will be a general sew in.  Come bring your projects and sew.  A highlight of this retreat is that Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic will be on hand to work with you on your sewing challenges, developing a TNT, how to take a pattern and to see design changes.  Carolyn and I will also take time to take a full set of measurements if you need them.  Other than that there will be no set sewing agenda. If you just want a weekend away, to sew and spend time with fellow sewists, this is the time and place for that to happen.

The Particulars:
1. If you want to stay at Carriage Corner the cost for the weekend? is $350 per person, double occupancy; $425 single occupancy.
2. There are 5 guest rooms at Carriage Corner with queen beds in every room.  If you are requesting double occupancy,  please give the name of the person you will be rooming with when you register.  Every room has a private bath. 
3. If you live locally or want to participant on a daily “day tripper” basis ~ the daily rate is $125 per person.
4. When registering please state whether you are registering for double or single occupancy.
5. This retreat is open to 15 people ONLY
6. Registrations are taken on a first come basis.
A typical Carriage Corner Breakfast

A typical Carriage Corner Breakfast

Your registration includes the following:
Friday, March 24th:
~ Arrive at Carriage Corner by 10:00 am.
~ Fabric Shopping at Fabric Mart.  The van will leave at 11:00 am.
~ After getting your fabric fix, lunch will be at a charming little cafe called Crave.
~ Friday evening around 5:00 pm, we’ll have a happy hour at Lancaster Yarn Shop.  Wendy, the owner of the yarn shop, will co-host the happy hour with me.  The yarn shop will be open for your shopping pleasure.
~ Dinner will be on your own Friday evening.
~ The sewing area will be available to set up after the reception and you can sew to your hearts content.  (There are 2 machines available for use, on a first come basis)
~ The sewing space will be open through the night for the late night stitchers.
Saturday, March 25th:
~ Carriage Corner breakfast will be served promptly at 8:30 am to get your sewing day started off right.
~ After breakfast, head into the ‘sewing space’ and work on whatever project you want.
~ Carolyn will be available all day to help with sewing questions.
Log Cabin after it's facelift

Log Cabin after it’s facelift

Lunch:
There will be a make your own sandwich bar available for lunch
Dinner:
We’ll order pizza in from the local pizzeria for dinner.
The sewing space will be open through the night for the late night stitchers.
Sunday, March 26th:
~ Carriage Corner breakfast will be served promptly at 8:30 am to get your sewing day started off right.
~ Everyone who is staying at Carriage Corner will need to check out of their room by 11 am.
~ After breakfast, head into the ‘sewing space’ and work on whatever project you want.
~ Carolyn will be available all day to help with sewing questions.
Lunch:
Sunday lunch will be on your own.
All weekend there will be coffee, tea, water and sodas available along with treats.
How to Register:
Please send an email to [email protected]com, with “Carriage Corner Sewing Retreat” in the subject line to confirm that you will be attending.  I will send a reply email confirming your attendance with additional details.  Now I understand that not everyone can come for the entire weekend.  As stated above, there will be day-tripper options available for Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday.  Come one, two or all three days. (If you come as a day-tripper for all three days, a discount on the day-tripper rate will be available)  In the event that Carriage Corner is completely booked for the event, and you want to stay over, I can recommend some lovely B&B’s close by.  The day tripper rate will be available, again on a first come basis.
If you would like to arrive on Thursday night or stay over on Sunday, we are offering a discount on the rooms on Thursday and Sunday nights if you want to extend your visit.
I hope you will come out and sew with us in March!