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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Deck the Halls and the Pots

On the second day of decorating take a look at some of the boughs of green.  I like to add the special touch of live greens both inside and outside. Have you ever thought about what to do with “too heavy” to move planters layered potwhen the summer flowers have long faded and froze?  Brighten the outdoor holiday decor with cut greens and a fresh bow. Christmas dusty miller You can use almost any type of evergreen to make these outdoor gardens, whatever is available.  The branches can be cut to create different heights.  Push them into the dirt in the pot and if the soil is dry water well, when the ground freezes it preserves the greens to look nice all winter.  I also look at some of the other available plant leftovers that might make nice alternate textures.  The tissle weed seed heads hydrangaeare beautiful when spray painted, and this year I tried some spray paint on the hydrangea heads that had dried in the hanging basketfall.  Even the hanging baskets make good winter gardens.  Mine were also brightened with some water proof Fairy Lights which look like magic after dark.

 

Inside tucked among the Santa Claus decorations, on the hall table, in the guest rooms, poinsettiasand assorted other places it’s very easy to brighten the house with poinsettia plants. They come in so many colors and varieties from the greenhouse I like to place two or three together.  Cut greens are also filling empty crocks to add that wonderful Christmas aroma to the sitting rooms.  Again, a variety of cut evergreen boughs pushed into some floral foam will keep the greens through the holiday season.greens in crock

And don’t forget to spruce up your houseplants with some whimsical, glittery embellishments from the Christmas decorations spiced peace lilydepartment of your favorite store.  I will splurge on a centerpiece from a very artistic florist for the dining room table.  Each year Kathryn’s  creations from Fox Hill Farms astound me, and instead of getting sad when the fresh flowers fade, I pull them one by one and replace with some silk flowers.  The greens last a long time and only I know the arrangement didn’t come that way!  This is the original creation, isn’t it stunning?centerpiece

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Anniversary Flashbacks

How many times have you used the old clichés to mark the passing of time; ‘Where did the time go?’, ‘My how time flies!’, ‘I don’t remember when time seemed to past so quickly’, and so many more?  This summer marked our ninth year as a Bed and Breakfast, and it sure did pass quickly.  As I work my way through the daily chores in each room I try to think back to when we first opened the doors for our guests.

Wayne RoomThere have been improvements to our guest rooms.  In an old house wiring needs to be upgraded and in the beginning we didn’t realize what would happen when three hairdryers were all used at one time!  Bathroom fixtures have been upgraded, oh yes, and a bathroom added since we’ve opened our doors.  Bedding has been improved for guest comfort, and we are using ultra soft Comphy sheets for better sleeping.  Next on the upgrade list in guest rooms will be improved HD cable features.

There have been changes to the common rooms as well.  If any of you remember, or if you haven’t been here, you will notice we like to “collect” things, particularly unique antique and vintage items.  And, of course, these items are artfully displayed, changed for the seasons, and at times replaced with newer old décor.  When I look back at photos of the rooms from the nine years of hosting, I notice that furniture in the beginning was sparse, and now the rooms have a more comfortable, relaxing feeling.  Just this week guests walked through the door and said, “We’re Home!”  That saying never gets old when we hear that feeling expressed by our guests, we hope to make guests feel comfortable.

Our kitchen, where the food magic happens has seen multiple changes.  Some years back, Warren built a new island with an oak butcher block top.  This was the final phase of remodeling without destruction of the character of the original kitchen.  How did we ever work together in the kitchen, and plate the dishes without this?  But our favorite, and pride and joy is the stove purchased two years ago. stove Six burners, convection oven, and wow, we’ll never cook on electric again!  So much for our favorites in the kitchen, our guests just love all the new recipes I try and keep adding to the repertoire. (Who else gives a thumbs-up for Pintrest? wink, wink)

Eleven years ago I was asked to allow my gardens to be a part of the Secret Garden Tour, what??  What a chore, we really hustled to make the property presentable, after construction and getting ready for a bed and breakfast bulldozed about two-thirds of our acre.  Since then I found out that gardens are constantly being changed, and weeds sometimes get the best of us.   We’ve added fruit trees, berry bushes, and herbs hoping to be able to offer fresh, in season food for breakfast.  Last summer’s addition of a waterfall feature is absolutely my favorite change to the property.  Although, it took a year to complete the pergola and landscape around the waterfall, it is already an oasis for guests to relax and enjoy.waterfallre

I don’t think I’ve even begun to recall all the changes during the last nine years, and I can only imagine what the next nine years will bring.  The best part of running a bed and breakfast business those years are the wonderful people we’ve met.  There are no regrets and we hope you will visit us again soon.group away

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Ready, Set, June

clematisJune is bustin’ out all over!  It’s been one string of blooms to another, wisteria to rhododendron, phlox to peonies to clematis.  Here in the Poconos of Northeastern Pennsylvania the weather has taken its good old time to warm up and brighten up with sunshine.  That hasn’t stopped the outside chores.  Around the inn we have been planting flowers and pulling weeds, mowing grass and fixing deer fences.  Personally, I like sprucing up the yard and being outdoors, cloudy days and a bit of drizzle can’t stop me.  On the other hand, wearing fleece jackets or full out downpours does get depressing after a string of days of that kind of weather.  All that has changed, summer is almost here and it’s time to get away for a day or two (or three or four) of pure relaxation.  Let our gardens and wildlife refresh and replenish your spirits.  Enjoy our satiny soft sheets on pillow comfort mattresses.  Grab a good book, find a comfy chair inside or out, forget the phone and don’t lift a finger.  Time for that getaway!

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Green is Good

018Spring has sprung, the grass is green, and so the flowers are now seen. Just a little humor for the bright and peppy way the season makes one feel.  So far spring around the inn has been a sea of bright yellow forsythia blooming and assorted varieties of daffodils and narcissus dotting the landscape with color and vibrancy.  Mother Nature and the gardens have certainly awakened from their winter nap.

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Of course the emergence of flowers, warmer temps, and greening of grass means time to fit the outdoor chores into the routine and schedule.  Beds must be raked of winter debris, errant volunteer plants (i.e. weeds) must be pulled, branches picked up, trimming, and mulching, etc, etc.  It’s a good thing I like to garden……….  Rainy days find us doing some spring cleaning and finishing up indoor maintenance chores.  But honestly we do all this because the inn is just a wonderful old house and we enjoy making it beautiful for you, our wonderful guests!daffydoor

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Imagine Spring

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Now, this Second Day of February, Two Thousand and Seventeen, the One Hundred and Thirty First Annual Trek of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club….

Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of All Prognosticators, was awakened from his burrow to the cheers of his thousands of faithful followers….

And, of course, he saw his shadow predicting six more weeks of winter. Are you about as ready as I am to strangle the little rascal? First, we get nailed with “The Blizzard of 2017” and 30 inches of snow, and now four days later, insult to injury, I’m looking out my window watching it snow some more. The Spring equinox arrives Monday!! I was watching my daffodils poke their heads through the ground, now it will be weeks for this to melt. So not to get too depressed, I thought I’d share some pictures from the Philadelphia flower show and imagine the Spring to come.

 

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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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Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho!

privacy screenHeigh ho, heigh, ho, it’s off to work we go!  That’s right, isn’t that how everyone feels in the Spring?  The sunshine and warmer temperatures create energy and call us to get up and get moving, get us motivated to do something.  Around the inn we decided to get some projects accomplished that have been on that “to do” list for, well, let’s be generous, and say a year (maybe two…).

First up, the privacy screen.  If you have been to the inn in nicer weather, you may have taken a stroll around the grounds and gardens.  Secretly tucked away on the south side of the house is a nice big patio, flower gardens and small fish pond.  This area was secluded from the street by a row of hemlock trees.  Unfortunately, our northeast portion of Pennsylvania has been plagued by pest called  hemlock woolly adelgid, which stops new growth, old needles brown, fall off and eventually kills the tree.  We have treated our trees and slowed the progress of the trees dying, but have still been left with unsightly dead lower branches and the loss of our privacy.  privacy screen start

Debates have raged on an answer how to fix this problem.  The second factor in this issue is an out of control wisteria plant.  When we bought our property, in 2005, the previous owner was concerned she cut a wisteria vine too severely.  On the contrary, the pruning helped the plant thrive, and unknown to that owner, the plant had been very sneaky and sent ground runners to the other side of the row of hemlock.  This created a beautiful bloom last season, but what were we growing, hemlock or wisteria?  Ta, da!  The idea for the privacy screen was agreed upon.  It would be a lattice fence which in a few short years would be covered with beautiful blooming wisteria, and if ever needed the hemlock trees could be cut down without the loss of privacy.  hemlock wisteriaAs spring has just arrived, work has just begun.  If your list is like ours we will keep finding projects that will keep us going all season long.  Next up, the patio?

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