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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Observance, Mother Earth

loveearthEarth Day isn’t one of those splashy holidays.  It is nationally recognized, as an observance.  The movement has also grown to include over 192 countries.   It’s listed on all calendars, including the electronic one on your cell phone.  Since I’ve retired from the classroom, I no longer celebrate with the children in school.  There was always some personal joy to the excitement a teacher could create with little ones.  Earth Day was one time to be sure to be outside planting and inside creating beautiful artwork, a fun day loaded with learning.  Now it is a time when I try to reconnect with the outdoors, and make a personal plan to change something in my efforts to protect our planet.

Personally, today I recycled paper, aluminum cans, plastic containers, and press board.  I collected trash on my walk with Lui.  Although it wasn’t an easy challenge, I completed the challenge to remove 40 items from my closet and give them to the Salvation Army for reuse.  I remembered and reduced my use of plastic bags by having enough reusable bags with me at the grocery store.  Today I also planted 10 tree saplings, of varieties native to the area, hoping someday to transplant nice young trees to final homes around my family’s properties. plant-trees

Here at the inn we try to have a green side to hosting guests.  We use as many non-incandescent light bulbs as possible, many CFL’s and now switching over to LED.  (On a side note: we are lucky to be able to recycle those CFL’s at our local library.)  Heat and hot water tanks are turned off or turned down when guests are not using them.  Vegetable and fruit peelings, coffee grounds and egg shells are all composted.  We provide containers and encourage guests to recycle, and have subscribed to single stream recycling.  Our appliances and furnaces have been replaced with energy efficient units.  We are proud to tell our guests that $2 of their stay is donated through the Green Lodging Program to the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, helping to protect the wild and scenic Delaware River and Bald Eagle Habitat.  This year our plan to improve our footprint as an inn, is to encourage our guests to use our alternative sources for fresh water, rather than small plastic bottles.

All that reflecting on a personal goal to observe Earth Day, as I think we all should, improving and reducing our private impact on the earth.  Still, the most interesting event that I participated in happened last night.  The library director and I organized a new program meeting at the library, “The Greater Wayne Herb Guild”.  We had a nice turn out of interested people who have the common interest to increase our knowledge in the growing, harvesting, cooking and using herbs. It was fun to create and bake the snack of Lemon Lavender Muffins and mint tea.   Hopefully, when you visit the inn soon, you will be enjoying some savory new recipe!  2016-04-21 20.07.002016-04-21 20.07.23

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

½ c. butter, softened                      ¾ c. non-fat sour cream                                                   ½ c. egg substitute                         1 t. vanilla                                                                         1 c. sugar                                        ¼ c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt                                     ¼ c. unsweetened applesauce       ½ c. brown sugar,packed                                               1 t. baking powder                           2 c. all-purposeflour                                                        1 t. baking soda                                                                                                            Streusel:  1 t. cinnamon, ¼ c. brown sugar                                                                              Glaze:  2 T.  non-fat milk, 1 c. powdered sugar

Directions:                                                                                                                               1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a 10” Bundt pan by greasing with butter flavored Crisco and dusting with 1 T. flour.

2. Blend butter and sugars in large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add sour cream, egg substitute, applesauce, yogurt and vanilla.  Beat until well combined.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Add the flour mixture to the batter bowl and blend until combined.

4. Pour ½ the batter into the Bundt pan and carefully spread to cover the entire bottom of the pan.  Mix the streusel and sprinkle on top of the batter in the Bundt pan.  Cover with the remaining batter.sour cream streusel

5. Bake in warm oven for 45-50 minutes, or a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

6. Loosen the cake and invert on serving platter.  Make the glaze by combining the ingredients and stirring until smooth and thick.  Drizzle over cooled cake.

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Angelic Bananas

6 Bananas                               angelic bananas                                                                       ½ c. butter, melted                                                                                               ¾ c. brown sugar                                                                                               ¾ c. sour cream, for serving

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in shallow casserole dish in microwave. Peel bananas and cut into ½ slices. Place bananas in butter and stir to coat. Scatter brown sugar on top of bananas. Put dish in oven for 20 minutes to bake. Stir gently with wooden spoon after 10 minutes. Remove from oven and divide into serving dishes. Add a dollop of sour cream and serve warm. Makes 6 servings.

 

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Signature Springerle

I’ve talked about our tradition of making Springerle Cookies for the Christmas holidays, but we also enjoy making these favorite cookies for other times of the year.  Valentine’s day is one of those times.  With hearts and flowers, a bit of red food coloring, and raspberry flavor we have a beautiful specialty to say romance.

6 whole eggs                 Making Springerle                                                             6 c. powdered sugar                                                                 1 stick butter, softened                                                             1 tsp. flavoring                                                                           ½ t. baking powder                                                                   1 ½ – 2 lb. Flour                                                                          *optional: grated rind of lemon (nice with anise or lemon)

Directions:

Beat eggs in mixing bowl till they thicken a bit and turn lemon colored (about 5 min). Meanwhile measure out 6 cups of sugar into another bowl.  Add gradually to beaten eggs.  Mix well; add stick of softened butter.  Mix well, add flavoring of your choice, including citrus peel if adding.  Mix well.   Measure out about one pound of flour and whisk with the baking powder.  Gradually add flour to batter  until well incorporated., continue to add flour until consistency feels right; not too dry and not too sticky.  The best way to learn this is by repetition!  It should stick to your fingers but not too much.  When you’ve reached the right consistency, you can roll it out, rub a bit of flour into the surface and it feels pretty smooth.  Roll out to about ¼-3/8” thick.  This depends on how thick you want your cookies and how deep your mold.  Flour your mold and press your mold into the dough.  If you are using a springerle rolling pin (you will want your dough on the thicker side if using a rolling pin) flour the whole rolling pin, and using even pressure roll across the already rolled out dough, molding the patterns as you go.  Cut out each cookie after molding it, regardless of which style of molding used.  Place cookies on a greased or lined baking sheet.

springerlemediaBaking Springerle:

Let the cookies set up for at least 24 hours before baking.  Lay wax or parchment paper over the trays and place the loaded baking sheets on an out of the way table or counter.  After the resting period, bake springerle cookies in a 225-300 degree oven for about 15-25 minutes depending on the temperature used.   (225d. for 20 min.; 250d. for 18 min.; 300d. for 15 min.) The cookies should be just starting to show signs of changing color on the edges, and solid underneath.  Let cookies cool slightly, and remove them to cooling racks until completely cooled.  Store in an airtight container and enjoy!  This recipe can yield up to 3 – 12 dozen depending on the size of the cookie.  Until you have practiced, try halving the recipe.

This recipe courtesy of the Springerle House; www.springerlehouse.com                              Please take a look at our store (under specials tab) to see the vintage Springerle rolling pins and boards we have available for purchase.

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