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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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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Veggie and Herb Frittata

4 c. leftover home-fries
¼ c. corn flake crumbsSouthwestern Egg Bake
½ c. finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
½ c. chopped  mushrooms
½ c. finely chopped broccoli
6 eggs
¾ c. skim milk
¾ c. spinach and herb dip
1-1/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. melted butter
1 c. small curd cottage cheese
¼ c. King Arthur gluten free flour
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 t. freshly ground pepper

Directions:  Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.  Spread potatoes evenly in the bottom and slightly mash down.  Sprinkle the corn flake crumbs on top.  Sauté the onion until translucent.  Add broccoli and mushrooms and continue sautéing  until soft and cooked.  Spread this vegetable mixture on top of potato mixture.

In a large bowl, beat the six eggs.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.  Pour the egg combination over the vegetables and potatoes and gently spread to the corners.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.

Take the frittata out of the refrigerator and let stand on counter for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for one hour or eggs are browned and solid.   Serves 12.

Variations can be made by changing vegetables; I like to use spinach or kale from the garden.

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Pumpkin Squares

pumpkin squares reCake Mixture:
1 box yellow cake mix, reserve ¾ cup.
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten

Blend the butter and egg into the cake mix and press into a greased and floured 9x13x2” pan.  Use the back of a tablespoon to pat this mixture evenly over the bottom and 1” up the sides of the pan.

Pumpkin Mixture:
1 large can pumpkin
3 eggs, lightly beaten
½ c. brown sugar
¼ c. white sugar
2/3 c. evaporated milk
1 ½ tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Ginger
½ tsp. Ground cloves

Topping:
¾ cup cake mix
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
½ -1 cup nuts, chopped, optional

Gently mix the pumpkin, eggs, sugars, milk, and seasonings.  Pour over unbaked mixture.  Blend the reserved cake mix with sugar and butter.  Roll into walnut sized balls and place over the pumpkin mixture.  Sprinkle with nuts if desired.  Bake at 350 for 55 minutes.

Serves 18, 2 x 3” squares.  Prep time 20-30 min.  Can freeze.

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Auntie’s Butter Crust Apple Squares

Crust:                                                                                                                                 3 cups all-purpose flour                                                                                                       1-1/2 t. salt                                                                                                                            ¾ + 1/3 c. butter flavor Crisco                                                                                              apple squareserve auntie apple squarere7-1/2 T. very cold water                                                                            Directions:  Put the flour, salt and Crisco in a food processor.  Pulse to mix.  While pulsing, slowly add the water continuing to pulse until a ball is formed.  (if needed, add 1-2 additional tablespoons of water to form the ball)  Remove the dough from the processor and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.

Apple Pie Filling:                             8 to 10 large baking apples, peeled and sliced                                          1 cup white sugar                              4 T. flour                                              2 t. cinnamon                                                                                                Directions: Place apple slices in a large bowl.  Whisk dry ingredients to mix in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the sugar mixture on the apples and toss to coat.            Allow to sit for 20 minutes.

Butter Crust Topping:                                                                                                          1 c. granulated sugar                                                                                                          ½ c. flour                                                                                                                              1 c. butter (or margarine), softened                                                                               Directions: Combine sugar, and flour.  Mix in butter until well combined.

Assembly: Roll out chilled crust on a lightly floured surface and place in a jelly roll pan (15 ½” x 10 ½” x 1”) bringing the crust up the sides.  Pour the apple filling on the crust and spread evenly.  Drop the butter crust topping by teaspoons over the filling and gently spread covering as much filling as possible.

Bake at 350 F for 90 minutes or until the top is golden.

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Easy Cheese Danish

While this recipe may not be on the diet list, it is a favorite among our guests.  It’s a sin to share, as the danish are so quick and easy to make. (You’ll know I’m not slaving all day in the kitchen!)  It is also great to take along to a brunch party for a special treat as it makes a big pan.

Ingredients:

 2 – Pkg. Crescent Rolls                       1/8 c. egg beaters (or 1 egg yolk)

2 – 8 oz. 1/3 fat cream cheese             1tsp. vanilla

1 C. granulated sugar                          1tsp. lemon juice

1/8 tsp. Almond extract

 

Preparation:

Spread one pkg. of rolls on the bottom of a 9” x 13” greased pan. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and extracts until smooth.  Spread batter on top of rolls.  Spread the second package of rolls on top, sealing to the sides of the pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden in color.

Frosting:

Mix 2 T. milk and 1 cup of powdered sugar.  Spread over hot, baked Danish as a glaze. Easy Cheese DanishCool. Cut into desired shapes, (we like triangles).   Makes about 24.

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Best Ever Banana Bread

3 Ripe Bananas, mashed                                                                                                       1/3 c. melted butter                                                                                                               3/4 c. granulated sugar                                                                                                           1 egg, beaten                                                                                                                           2 T. non-fat sour cream                                                                                                             1 t. vanilla                                                                                                                                1 t. baking soda                                                                                                                      ¼ t. salt                                                                                                                                   1 ½ c. flour                                                                                                                           For streusel:                                                                                                                            2 T.  ground cinnamon                                                                                                          ¼ c. of sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan, and flour.Best Ever Banana Bread

In a medium bowl mix dry ingredients.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar and egg, and beat by hand until well mixed.  Blend in sour cream and vanilla.  Add mashed bananas and mix until blended.  Add flour mixture and stir just until combined, taking care not to overmix.  Mix the streusel ingredients in small bowl, set aside.

Pour half the batter into the greased loaf pan and spread evenly.  Sprinkle about two-thirds of the streusel over the batter in the loaf pan.  Slowly add the remainder of the batter, trying to pour evenly.  Sprinkle the remainder of the streusel over the top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes.  Can be checked for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center, and it comes out clean.

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Twisted Rhubarb Compote

6 c. rhubarb, cut into 1” pieces
1 T. candied ginger, finely chopped
½ c. sugar
2 T. agave nectar or honey
2/3 c. ginger aleTwisted Rhubarb Compote
¼ c. fresh strawberries, cut up (added for color)
Zest of one lemon
Juice of ½ lemon

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Cover and cook over medium low heat for approximately ten minutes, stirring 2-3 times during cooking.  Cool.  Store in refrigerator.

May be eaten warm or cold.  Great topped with whipped cream and a sprig of mint.

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