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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Garden Fresh Frittata

6 large eggs                                                                                                                             1/2 c sour cream, mixed with 1 T. Spinach and Herb Dip Mix
3/4 c. cheddar cheese, divided
2 t. butter
2 t. olive oil
1 c. sliced mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/3 c. red pepper, chopped
1/4 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. fresh broccoli crowns, chopped
1/2 t. sea salt                                                                                                                           1/2 t. fresh ground pepper

Directions: Mix the sour cream and dip mix (I prefer Tastefully Simple) in a small bowl, and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 10″ deep dish, pie plate with cooking spray; set aside.

Melt the butter and oil in a skillet on medium high heat.  Add the chopped vegetables and mushrooms.  Saute for approximately five minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and cover pan.

Whisk eggs and sour cream mix in mixing bowl, beating for about one minute. Stir in 1/2 c. of cheese.  Spread the vegetables in the pie plate, and pour the egg mixture over top.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of frittata and return to oven for 5 minutes.

garden fresh frittata

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Chocolate and Cherry Magic Bars

Crust:                                                                                                                                       1 – ¾ c. all-purpose flour                                                                                                       ½ c. granulated sugar                                                                                                            ¼ c. packed light brown sugar                                                                                                 ¼ t. salt                                                                                                                                  ½ c. butter, melted

Filling:                                                                                                                                        1 can cherry pie filling                                                                                                              ½ c. sweetened condensed milk

Topping:                                                                                                                                   ½ c. shredded coconut                                                                                                        ½ c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels

 

Directions:

Spray a 9” square baking pan with cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl combine flour, sugars, and salt.  Add melted butter and blend in with a fork until crumbly. Spread the mixture evenly into the baking dish and press down firmly.  Combine the pie filling and milk, stirring until well blended.  Spread this mixture over the crust.  Mix together the coconut and chocolate.  Sprinkle evenly over cherry mixture.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until set and coconut is slightly browned.  Cool on wire rack. Cut into 12 or 16 pieces when completely cooled.Choc n Cherry Magic Bars

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Oatmeal Jam Cakes

1 c. butter flavor shortening                                                                                                    1 ½ c. firmly packed brown sugar                 oatmeal-jam-cakes                                                                          2 lg. Eggs                                             2 t. almond extract                               ½ t. vanilla                                           ½ t. white vinegar (keeps cookies soft)                                                        1 t. baking powder                                1 t. real salt                                         ½ t. baking soda                                   2 ½ c. rolled oats, uncooked (can use quick-cooking in a pinch)                      12 oz. fruit jam, our favorite is raspberry                                                                                                                                 Sanding Sugar

Whisk together the flour, salt, soda and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.  Beat the shortening and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well blended.  Beat in the eggs, extracts and vinegar, blending well. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix at a low speed until just combined.  Stir in the oats.  Cover the dough and refrigerate at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or grease.  Roll out about a fourth of the dough on a floured surface to about 3/8” thickness.  Cut out circles of dough with your choice of min. 2” to max. 2-1/2” inch round cookie cutter.  Put half the circles 2” apart on prepared tray, place ¾-1 t. of jam in center of base cookies.  Using a very small hole cutter punch holes in the remaining circles, then place on top of bases over jam.  Press the edges of cookie sandwiches to seal.  Sprinkle with sanding sugar.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake one tray at a time at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on edges.  Do not overbake or cookies will be hard.  Cool 2 minutes on trays, then move to cooling racks to cool completely.  Makes about 2-1/2 dozen cookies at 2-1/2”.

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Apple Pie Pancakes

applecider-pancakes2 c. all-purpose flour                           ¾ c. powdered milk                             2 T. white sugar                                  1 t. baking powder                                ½ t. baking soda                                   1 t. cinnamon                                       ¼ t. nutmeg                                           1-1/2 c. fresh apple cider                                                                                  ½ c. unsweetened applesauce                                                                                              2 T. sour cream                                                                                                                      2 T. canola oil                                                                                                                          2 eggs, slightly beaten

Apple Pie Filling

1 c. apple, cored, peeled, and diced                                                                                        ¼ c. packed brown sugar                                                                                                        ¼ c. all-purpose flour                                                                                                                ¼ c. quick cooking oats                                                                                                            ½ t. cinnamon                                                                                                                         2 T. cold butter, diced

Measure dry ingredients together in large mixing bowl, whisk to combine.  In another large bowl, combine cider, applesauce, sour cream, oil, and eggs.  Whisk to blend ingredients together.  Stir cider mixture into dry ingredients until batter is just combined.  Let rest 5-10 minutes before making pancakes.

Meanwhile, make apple crumble filling.  Combine sugar, flour, oats, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or fork until mixture is crumbly.  Stir in apple to coat.  Set aside.

Heat griddle until water dances on surface.  Use butter to grease griddle and pour batter into 4” pancakes.  Sprinkle approx. 2 T. of Apple mixture on each pancake.  Cook each pancake until bubbly on top and dry around edges.  Flip and cook until other side is light golden brown, about another minute.  Scrape griddle if necessary between batches of pancakes.

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Simple Scones

simple scones

Guests have been asking for my scone recipe for some time.  This is my favorite recipe and using different additions will give you a variety of scones.  One trick is mentioned below, freezing.  I also start with frozen butter and grate it in the food processor.

 

2 c. all-purpose flour                              ½ c. butter, frozen                                                   ] 1 t. baking powder                                 ½ c. fat free sour cream                                          ¼ t. baking soda                                   1 large egg                                                             1/3  c. sugar                                         1/2 t. salt                                                                       ½ c. raisins*

Directions:  In a medium-sized bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.   Grate the butter into very small pieces.  Work into dry ingredients with your fingers.  This mixture should resemble coarse meal.  Stir in raisins.*

In another small bowl, beat the egg and cream until smooth.  Using a fork stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until large clumps form (do not over work the dough.  Pressing the dough into the sides to pull together to form somewhat of a ball.  Divide into two or three clumps and dump on a floured board.  Press each into a thick disc.

Cut disc into 6-8 triangles (or cut with round cookie cutter).  Put pieces on parchment lined cookie tray, approx.. 2” apart.  Bake in 375 degree preheated oven until golden around the edges. To serve dust with powered sugar or make a glaze with confectioner’s sugar and water, milk, or juice, approx. one tablespoon liquid to one cup of sugar.

The secret to the James Manning House is to freeze the preformed scones before baking. Once frozen wrap tightly and store for up to one month.  Bake as many as desired from frozen state, do not thaw.

*Alternate additives:

Mixed dried fruit                  craisins and orange zest                                                         Lemon-blueberry                dried cherries and almonds                                                   Butterscotch chips             dried apricots and white choc. chips                                 Chocolate and coconut      hazelnuts and toffee                                                                 Pecans and caramels        craisins and white chocolate                                                         Be creative!!

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Get Up, Get Moving!

herbgarnishIt’s mid-spring.  The great outdoors is calling.  It’s time to renew that connection with the outdoors.  Many of us, and here at the inn included, are thinking about planting.  Maybe it’s flowers, perhaps some vegetables, and here I always like to have some fresh herbs for cooking, well er, at least to garnish the plates.  (I’m looking forward to the new herb guild and learning more about recipes and cooking with herbs.)  The perennials are up, including a favorite around here, rhubarb. The maple leaves are opening and the flowering                                                       trees are gorgeous.

Activities are definitely also “waking up”.  Downtown Honesdale is kicking off the tourist season with Train Day, May 7.  There are activities for young and old alike.  There will be street vendors and fun, not to mention riding the Stourbridge Line. stourbridge line If walking Main St. and shopping is your outdoor activity there’s a special treat in store (no pun intended!) for you.  The Greater Honesdale Partnership is kicking off its Partnership Passport.  Shop all summer long visiting participating merchants and qualify for prizes.

For those of you who want more strenuous outdoor activities, how about Biking Wayne County?  Ride from Honesdale to Hawley through beautiful rolling hills.  Then enjoy a bikehonesdalerelaxing ride back to Honesdale on the historic Stourbridge Line train.  End the day with a complimentary beer tasting at Irving Cliff Brewery.  It sounds like a great day, and you could relax at the James Manning House for the night and enjoy a wonderful breakfast in the morning!

Sshh!  I know another secret, for you anglers……….the streams and lakes have been stocked with trout again this week.  There’s some great fishing around these parts!

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Egg Cup Stratas

Egg Cup Strata9 slices of whole wheat bread (square shape works best)                                                     2 turkey sausage links  (remove casing ) or about 6 oz. loose sausage                               1 clove garlic, minced                                                                                                               ½ c. finely chopped fresh mushroom pieces                                                                         1½ c. fresh baby spinach                                                                                                          2 oz. of cream cheese                                                                                                              ¼ c. salsa (to suit your taste, I used Salsa Verde I made)                                                      1 T. honey mustard                                                                                                                  3 eggs                                                                                                                                        ¾ c. non-fat milk                                                                                                                       Salt and pepper to taste                                                                                                            2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced                                                                                             1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:  Using a large circular cookie cutter, or similar, cut as large a circle as you can out of each slice of bread, removing the crusts.  Using the palm of your hand lightly press each slice of bread flat, making them thin.  Spray a regular muffin tin, 9 cups, with cooking spray.  Press each slice of bread into a cup, making 9 little crusts.  Do not discard the crusts.  Set aside.

Prepare the turkey sausage links by breaking up the meat into very small pieces, or crumble the loose sausage.  Saute sausage with the garlic in a medium pan until no longer pink.  Reduce heat to medium, add the mushroom and cook about another 2 minutes.  Add the spinach, and continue to cook until spinach is soft.  Add the cream cheese, and cook for additional two minutes stirring to completely combine and melt cream cheese.  Remove from heat and stir in the mustard.  Allow this to cool for several minutes.

While cooling, cut the crusts into cubes.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until frothy.  Add the cooled sausage mixture in large spoonfuls, stirring after each addition.  Season with salt and pepper.

Time to build the strata.  Place a few crust cubes in each cup.  Spoon the egg sausage mix into each cup, filling the cup.  Wait a few minutes for the bread to start absorbing the liquid.  Place a tomato slice on each cup.  Sprinkle with cheese.   Cover the muffin tray with foil.  Refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Loosen the foil and bake covered for 15 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking until the eggs are firm, about 12 minutes.

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Spiced Quinoa with Roasted Apples and Vegetables

quinoa

 

2 med. apples, peeled and cubed                                                                                            3/4 c. baby carrots, cut in 1/2″ pieces                                                                                      1 lg. sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 ½ Tbs. extra virgin olive oil                                                                                                 ¾ t. cinnamon                                                                                                                         ¾ t. coriander, divided                                                                                                               ½ t. ground ginger, divided                                                                                                       ½ t. Real salt, divided                                                                                                               1 cup dry quinoa                                                                                                                       2 cups water                                                                                                                           1 t. dried parsley                                                                                                                   1T. lemon juice                                                                                                                         ½ c. craisins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a large baking sheet with foil.

Mix olive oil, ½ t. each of the cinnamon,  ½ t. coriander, ¼ t. of the salt and ¼ t. of ginger in a large bowl.  Add apples and vegetables and toss to coat.  Spread this mix in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Roast in the preheated oven for approx.. 20 minutes, stirring once at about 10 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, combine quinoa, water and parsley in a medium saucepan.  Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cover.  Simmer for about 15 minutes until liquid just absorbed.  Stir in craisins, lemon juice, and remaining spices, keep covered and cool for 5 minutes.  Add roasted vegetables and stir.

Adapted from Nutritoulicious.

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