Apricot Foldovers

apricot foldoversPastry
!/2 c. butter
4 oz. finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (1 cup)
1 ½ c. all-purpose flour (I prefer King Arthur)
2 T. water

Filling
1 c. dried apricots
2 ½ c.  hot water
1 c. granulated sugar

Chop the dried apricots by hand into ¼ inch pieces.  Place in a medium saucepan and cover with the hot water.  Allow to soak for about an hour.

Cream the butter and cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Blend in the flour. Add the water and mix well.  Roll into a ball and flatten to a six inch disc.  Wrap disc in plastic wrap and chill for 4-5 hours.

Meanwhile, cook the apricots and water over medium heat.  When the mixture is boiling, turn the heat down, continue to simmer and stir frequently for about 30-45 minutes.  Apricots should be soft and mushy, and the sauce thick.  Add the sugar and continue to stew stirring constantly for another 5-10 minutes until very thick. Remove from heat and cool.

Divide the chilled dough into quarters.  On a lightly floured board, roll one quarter of dough into a 6” x 8” rectangle.  Cut the rectangle into 2” squares.  Place ½ teaspoon of filling on each square; fold over and seal.  Bake the cookies on a parchment lined sheet in a preheated 375 degree oven for 8-10 minute, or until lightly browned on the edges.  Makes 4 dozen cookies.

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Laugh and be Jolly

Christmas signDeck the hall!  Put up the holly, laugh and be jolly!  It’s time to start the celebration!  It’s just the perfect way to start the holiday season.  It’s time for the annual Holiday Open House at the James Manning House B&B!

Every year in the beginning of December our little historic community provides holiday spirit for visitors, the greater community and friends of Bethany with an event we call “Christmas in the Village”.  This year the event is scheduled for December 1, from 2-4, and is a free event.  Many of the area organizations plan special events for everyone to 019enjoy.  The library invites Mrs. Claus to come and help children write letters to Santa Claus.  She and a helper read stories to the children.  The librarian offers cookies and hot chocolate as well.  Bethany United Methodist Church is offering a “Keepsake Christmas for Families”, which includes a hands on craft for inspiration.  The Bethany Historical Society has an open house with cookies and punch.  They are also planning a surprise display, which reminds us of a great part of our country’s history.  Bethany Village, senior living, invites all to their tree lighting and Tricky Tray.IMG_3695

The two historic B&B’s, E. Kellogg House and the James Manning House will be hosting open houses.  Enjoy the Christmas decorations and see the beauty of these two lodging inns.  There will be seasonal treats at both.  Perhaps you’ll have to clear the doorway for the Victorian Strollers to pass with their hoop skirts much in the same way the residents of these fine houses did 150 years past.

The James Manning House is pleased to present the Honesdale High School Chamber Choir singing Christmas carols and seasonal songs.  This talented group of young people will delight all who stop to listen.  Here at the inn we are preparing dozens of cookies and treats to tempt your palette.  Enjoy seeing the Santa Claus collection and decorated trees of various themes.  We dare you to count the Santa Claus collection, numbering above 350!  (hint: count the snowmen instead, far less of those, for now!!) Maybe you need some unique Christmas gifts, our little gift shop, is ready to help fill the need.  Gift certificates are also available for holiday giving.

The evening finishes with “A Journey Through Bethlehem” a living nativity presented by the Bethany Presbyterian Church.  The story of Jesus’ birth told through living story and live animals. The living nativity runs from 4:30-6:30, December 1 and December 2.

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Best of Summer Squash Frittata

Summer Squash Frittata1-Small zucchini squash, pared and cut into ½ inch cubes (a heaping cup)
1-Small yellow summer squash, pared and cut into ½ inch cubes (a heaping cup)

¼ c. chopped onion

1-2 Tbs. Olive Oil (I like 1 Tbs. extra virgin, and 1 Tbs. butter infused)

6 large or extra large eggssummersquash

¼ c. sour cream

1-1/2 t.  Weber’s Veggie Grill Seasoning

1 t. salt

½ t. ground pepper

2 Tbs. fresh basil pesto

6-10 grape tomatoes, halved

1/3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ c. fresh basil leaves, chopped

 

squash pan frittataPreheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat oil in an eight inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat; add the vegetables and sauté covered until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, add remaining ingredients to a large bowl.  Whisk eggs, cream and spices until eggs are frothy and thick.  Pour egg mixture over vegetables in the skillet. Gently place tomatoes decoratively on top of eggs.  Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until eggs are set, sprinkle cheese on top and return to oven for another 2 minutes and  top is starting to get browned.  Sprinkle the basil on top. Serves 6.

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Customer Appreciation May

Customer-Apprecaition-2015-WebAs a special thank you to our guests we want to show our appreciation by offering you a spring special.  Book two week nights during the months of May or June and the second night is free!  Book two nights, including a Friday or Saturday and receive 50% off the second night.  Guests will also receive a free customer appreciation package in their room and can enjoy a late check-out of 12 noon.  Excludes May 25 through May 27.  Subject to availability and does not apply to previous reservations.   Special runs from May 1 through June 28.

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White Chicken Chili

Trust me we don’t serve this soup for breakfast, but sometimes I just need to share a tasty dish that I feel my guests will love as much as we do. After all, if you’ve eaten a James Manning House breakfast you probably believe me when I say this is good and easy to make.
WhiteChickenChil2 c. cooked chicken breast (cut into pieces)
½ c. onion, chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic, minced through a press
1 T. olive oil
2 c. chicken broth
1/2t. cumin
1 c. white wine, dry or table wine
1 can (15.5 oz.) great northern beans, drained
1 can (15.5 oz.) cannellini beans, drained
1 c. frozen corn (white is best)
1 can (15.5 oz .) creamed corn
6-8 oz. Colby jack shredded cheese
1 t. salt
1 t. white pepper
1 t. parsley
Add diced green chilies to your taste (I like just enough for color)
Extra cheese for garnish

In a 6 qt. Stockpot, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Stir in the chicken broth and add the chopped chicken.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Meanwhile, mash the drained cannellini beans. Stir in the mash and all other ingredients, except the cheese.  Simmer the chili for approx. 15 minutes (or pour all into a crock pot on low for 4 hours).  Stir in the cheese and heat until melted.  Garnish as desired.

Serves 6-8.

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Thank You, May!

blossomsThank you, May!  Thank you for the sunshine.  Thank you for the flowers.  Thank you for the singing birds, and thank you for warmer temperatures.  It’s been a long cold winter into spring, but we’re not looking back!  Thank you May for bringing our guests.  Yes, we are very thankful for YOU, our guests!

May is the end of our ninth year in business!  Ten years ago we hosted our first guest in group awaythe B&B, so we are taking time to appreciate all those who have crossed our threshold into this wonderful historic house to take a reprieve from their lives.  Our guests travel for so many reasons; visiting family and friends, celebrating weddings, researching their roots, enjoying the wonderful outdoors, or just to get away.  We have met wonderful people, made new friends and enjoyed every minute of hosting you, our guests.

Our guests have helped us along the way.  Most of our guests love where they live, and are happy to share things to do and places to see in their area.  They have traveled to beautiful and fun places. Both of these conversations add to our bucket list of travel.  Guests have given us encouragement. They enjoy looking at our eclectic collections of decorations and antiques. They want to know about the comfortable beds and bedding. Guests have taught us how to provide more comfort. They like the fluffy towels.  They remark about the top shelf bath amenities, and locally made soap.   They enjoy lanchgsnuggling under the warm, weighty duvets.   Guests have given us ideas for the breakfast table. They enjoy our old and new recipes for their breakfast.   Repeat guests make requests for a previous dish.  They ask for recipes. They tell us about healthy eating.  They appreciate our ability to cook for allergy or specialty diets.

There are so many reasons we appreciate our guests.  There are so many reasons we love being innkeepers.  We hope that we are able to continue to make our guests feel at home.  We hope we have a chance to see you soon and demonstrate our appreciation for YOU, our guests.

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Spontaneous!

Do you feel like this winter has just been hanging on way too long?  Just because the weather has been wetter and colder than normal when we are looking for Spring, doesn’t mean you can’t get away and enjoy some R&R.  There are some fun things to do around our area of Wayne County.

Have you ever been to a sugar bush?  This weekend, March 17, 8th Annual Self-Guided Maple Tour, a tour of maple open houses in the Northeast PA region, predominately in Wayne County but also with stops in Pike and Lackawanna Counties. Enjoy locally produced maple products and learn more about today’s producers of maple syrup. maple bush You can tour area sugar bushes at your leisure, following the maple syrup making process from the tree to your table.  Along the way, pick up some locally produced pure maple products.  This event is free to the public. Don’t feel like driving, a bus tour is available.

Stop by the second to last Main Street Farmers’ Market of the season at the Cooperage on Main St, this Saturday, March 17.  Stock up on artisanal goodies, freshly baked goods and farm fresh eggs. There will be locally grown produce like carrots, cabbages, potatoes, onions and even hearty greens!  Also, enjoy farm to table eats from Anthill Farm Kitchen. Make sure you stop by for the healthy recipe demonstration and earn your Coop Cash to spend on produce at the Market!

Don’t forget your Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner, check out the menu and fun at these three local restaurants: TheTrackside, Tick Tock’s, and The Red Schoolhouse.

Of course, your favorite bed and breakfast will provide the rest and relaxation with comfortable beds, a cozy fireplace and delicious breakfast.  Be spontaneous!  Drop the weekend chores and get away from doldrums!

 

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On the Positive Side

Hello February! Depending on where you live this means you’re on the down side of sunsethomewinter.  In Northeast Pennsylvania we enjoy the later sunsets and additional daylight.  My guess is, however, that the groundhog will see his shadow and we’ll be in for six more weeks of winter.  Personally, I don’t mind more snow, in reasonable amounts, but I don’t need subzero temps or strong north winds.

While there are winter activities to enjoy even without snow; skiing Elk, ice skating, tubing, and more.There is also indoor entertainment to enjoy as well.  Crystal Cabin Fever starts this month, eagle watching along the Delaware (tour bus or in your car), music at the Cooperage, new exhibits at Dorchester antiques, riding the Stourbridge Line, and so much more.  

Here at the inn we have been using the “stay inside” winter weather to work on those long needed projects that tend to build up while “you’re napping”!  Warren finally decided he would hire a company to sand and refinish our hardwood floors in our quarters.  It was a busy week as all furniture had to be removed from the room, wallfloor décor removed and our bedroom couldn’t be accessed. While the furniture is out it’s the perfect time to touch up paint, fix holes, and dust all the corners, shelves, etc. I guess it should be considered fun, too, as we had to stay at a B&B for a week!

Meanwhile, I took the time to go through some of the magazines and photos that definitely had been pushed aside or shoved into drawers.  I also cooked and jarred four new jellies and jams.  The sweet aromas helped to lessen the varnish smells. It really is nicer to make jam in January, warming up the kitchen at a cold time of year.  jelliesWhen the fruit was ripe in July and August I didn’t have the time to prepare for the jams. Freezing the fruit to store for later was the better option. So this worked out perfectly.  In case you are wondering, added to the other flavors, we now have; bumbleberry, cherry, black raspberry and josta berry, and autumn cranberry pear.

 

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Apple Bread

Apple breadIt’s January, winter is a time we all seem to need some comfort food to warm our bellies and our souls.  To quote Oprah, “I love bread!”.  The other day I was in the mood for beef stew and, of course, that requires tasty, crusty bread.  Remember bread machines, the “hot” food appliance of the nineties? breadmachineIf you don’t have time to knead, rise and bake by hand…….

1 package yeast
2 ¼ c. bread flour (I prefer King Arthur)
¾ c. whole wheat flour
½ t. salt
4 T. sugar
½ t. cinnamon
¼ t. nutmeg
2/3 c. warm applesauce
1 T. unsalted butter
½ c. warm unsweetened apple juice
½ c. apple, peeled and chopped fine

Put all ingredients in bread machine pan, in order as listed in your instruction guide, or as listed above.  (some machines prefer the yeast added after dry ingredients)  Use the white bread setting on your machine and press start.  This bread is not suitable for the delayed timer mode.

If you have the time and love to make bread, you can mix the dough and hand knead until smooth and silky, about 10-15 minutes.  Let rise until double in size, about 1-1/2 hour.  Shape into two loaves.  Let rise a second time, until double, about 45 min.  Bake at 350 degrees, about 40 minutes.

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Useless Information?

Dust off your Trivial Pursuit Game, it’s time to engage your brain in the strange, meaningless world of trivia.  Today is National Trivia Day. trivial pursuit Take a break from your work challenges and see if you can stump your co-workers, your kids or your partner.  (Where do they come up with these crazy days to celebrate?)
In ancient times, the term “trivia” was appropriated to mean something very new.
Over time, the word “trivia” has come to refer to obscure and arcane bits of dry knowledge as well as nostalgic remembrances of pop culture.

So here we go, let’s see how smart you are (or how much valueless information is hiding in your noggin):

1)      In which country did Cheddar Cheese originate?

2)      In which city did Starbuck’s coffee originate?

3)      “Granny Smith” is a popular type of what food?

4)      Which river divides New York and Pennsylvania?

5)      In which US state did the first steam locomotive run on rails?

6)      Which Pocono bed and breakfast is currently offering a BOGO deal?

Hope you enjoyed my little game.  Do you want the answers?  Scroll down to the bottom of this post.triviaEngland, Seattle, apple, Delaware, Pennsylvania (Honesdale to be exact), James Manning House B&B, of course! Hope you’ll check out Cabin Fever and pick a time to stay. (The innkeepers might just join you in a game of Trivial Pursuit!)

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