April 13th, 2013 by Elaine
The Baker’s Lament: “It’s a HASSLE to cut cold butter into scone or biscuit batter in order to equally distribute those sublime pockets of buttery fat and achieve the perfect result I crave.”
Fear not! You don’t have to cut in cold butter EVER again!
Here’s how to make the best buttermilk biscuits you have ever tasted, without that busy busy busy. And this is fast fast FAST!
Will you choose to spread MORE organic fresh cream butter on top, or scoop up some of our amazing British import jams and jellies from Wilkin & Sons?
I was in for the orange marmalade, first, then the lemon curd for the second one, personally.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl: 1 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour plus 3/4 cup unbleached white whole wheat flour. Add 2 T baking powder, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon salt. Whisk to combine.
In microwavable bowl, heat 1/2 stick, (1/4 cup) butter in microwave on high for 1 minute. Add 1 1/4 cup very cold fat free buttermilk, stir with spatula until butter reforms into clumps. Add 1T canola oil, stir to combine.
Add buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture, stir with spatula until just blended, do not over mix. Batter will be wet.
Drop batter in 3 T mounds onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Or into a way retro-cool cast iron biscuit pan like ours!!! Bake at 450 degrees for 14 minutes until golden.
Lots of luck waiting for them to cool, try to distract yourself for 3-4 minutes and then dive right in.
Add two perfectly poached eggs and ascend directly into Heaven.
Credit where credit is due:
Cooking Light Magazine, Spring 2013 Just be aware that we changed a few instructions: parchment paper didn’t work, larger biscuits are better, your cooking time may vary, just sayin
April 5th, 2013 by Elaine
The ease of frozen puff pastry comes to the rescue when making these lovely pastries at Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast!
This recipe makes 8. All you need is one box of frozen puff pastry, a couple of tart apples, a circle of brie cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and egg! And a bit of flour for dusting.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Work quickly with thawed pastry or it gets sticky and difficult. A box has two sheets, let them thaw for about 30 minutes, then roll them on a floured board with a floured rolling pin until about 10 inch square. Cut each square into four squares and lay on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
Layer a slice of brie and 3 slices of Granny Smith or other tart apple in the middle of each square.
Overfilling is the enemy, don’t overdo it.
Top each with a sprinkle of brown sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of butter (1T cut into 8 pieces.). Brush the border of each square with a wash of whisked egg. Fold two opposite corners together and press to hold. Brush the entire top of pastry with egg wash.
Bake for 20 minutes until toasty brown and puffy. Serve warm. Easy and YUM!!!
March 1st, 2013 by Elaine
Here’s one of the simplest and most delicious ways to add fiber and nutrients to most meals!
At Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast we keep a tightly covered container of this heavenly tasting, chewy seed mix in the fridge for spooning into yogurt and cereal.
We dip into it for dinners too, on top of rice, mixed into steamed veggies, it’s ubiquitous YUM!!!
The flax seed is the only seed that needs to be ground in order to be digested, the others are fine as is, all straight from the bulk food bins!
Here’s the mix: ground flax, raw pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and hulled hemp. Mix it up, eat it up!
September 3rd, 2012 by Elaine
It’s FALL! The Yelton Manor test kitchen is fired up to fashion some new recipes using the season’s freshest ingredients from our local farms. Coming into the market right now are bushels of tomatoes, summer and winter squashes, eggplant, beets, plums, apples, peppers. It’s The Grand Finale of the harvest!!!
This casserole is the nexus of my lifelong passion for Mac and Cheese, love of roasted vegetables, mission of breakfast, and gratitude for exactly the right herb and spice. Breakfast is the *new dinner*, so plan this as an appetizer, main event or side dish at your autumn dinner party. It has WOW factor presentation too!
I always double this recipe so I have one to give away. It’s a kitchen mess, so you might as well double up. It’s fun to share food!
Choose a baking dish approximately 9X13. This will make 15 small servings, 12 if larger portions. This is fabulous freshly made, of course, but also refrigerates nicely as a leftover and can be microwaved by the serving. Like anything with cheese that you are “rewarming”, choose a defrost cycle on your microwave so the cheese doesn’t “seize”. I am currently freezing a few portions and will come back to edit this when I know if that’s a good option.
Here’s what you need: 3-4 butternut squash, depending on their size. You will just use the neck (for perfect medallions, optimum pizzaz!), so look for squash with long, lovely necks. Chop, roast and freeze the rest of the squash for a soup, or veggie pot pies, later.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees for roasting the squash. Prepare cookie sheet(s) with foil or parchment paper for roasting. Prepare baking dish(s) by coating the bottom and sides with olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt.
Peel and thinly slice the squash. In a large bowl, gently toss the squash medallions with olive oil, salt and pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Spread the squash on the cookie sheet(s) and roast for about 30 minutes, until soft to a fork.
Get your grated cheese ready. A cup of Smoked Gouda and a cup of sharp cheddar cheese. Chop a bunch of scallion, including some of the green part.
For the custard, crack 10 eggs into a large bowl and add a handful of water, whisk like a warrior woman for a full minute. The ultimate awesomeness of this recipe depends on this whisk! C’mon, whisk it!
Gently fold in the cheese, scallions, a dash of paprika if you like a bit of heat, chopped dill if you like, and the roasted squash.
Pour the mixture into the casserole. For a dramatic effect, crack three more eggs onto the top of the frittata and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Next time I make this I am going to try and use a knife to cut the egg whites outward and maybe it will create a starburst effect!? I’ll keep you posted on that.
Don’t be tempted (I am a mac and cheese freak, remember?) to add a bread crumb topping to this. It needs no further adornment and the top is going to be worth seeing just as it is. Reduce the temperature in the oven to 325 and bake, uncovered, for about 40-50 minutes. The edges should be puffy and brown and the center should be firm, no jiggling. Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Oooh, are you ready for the layers of lusciousness?
July 24th, 2012 by Elaine
We sprung into Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast “Test Kitchen Mode” this morning after we found this amazing treat on Pinterest from a blog called “Ambitious Kitchen, The Perfect Slice of Life”. Just the NAME of this was enough to send us into spasms of food lust!!!! I dashed out to the Farmer’s Market for the raspberries while Cindi pulsed the oats in the food processor to make the perfect (and gluten free!) flour.
We are always freezing bananas at their perfect, spotted ripeness moment, the freezer is chock full of them for smoothies and banana bread. And the dark chocolate is always on hand for our signature brownies, the vanilla and oatmeal for our homemade granola, all the other ingredients for our muffins and cakes, so…..this was a natural act!!!
In the original recipe the banana bread is made in a loaf pan, but we love these individual small loaves. This can cook much longer in a full loaf pan, upwards to 40 minutes, but these came out perfect for us at 28 minutes. Your results may vary, so pay attention, use a toothpick in the center to check for perfect doneness!!!
No doubt, we were smitten with the sight of sweet/tart raspberries and dark chocolate being mixed into this lovely oatmeal and banana batter. Good heavens, it’s a healthy sweet tooth DREAM!!!!!
So, into the baking pans with it!!!!
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal Banana Bread
About 3 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 egg whites
1 cup smashed raspberries
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
Make oat flour: Place oatmeal into blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until oatmeal resembles flour. You may need to stop blender and stir oats a couple of times to ensure that all oats have been blended.
Measure out just 2 cups of the oat flour and place in a medium bowl. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a separate large bowl, beat mashed bananas, dark brown sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs for 1-2 minutes until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Slowly add in flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Gently fold in raspberries and dark chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. If using individual small loaf pans, 28-30 minutes should do. Cool 10-15 minutes, then remove from pan and place on wire rack to finish cooling.
Though Robert, Cindi, the rest of the staff and I stood around and simply stuffed these into our mouths amid moans and yums, we managed to snatch a photo of a serving suggestion too! We served these to Yelton Manor B&B guests this morning with a side dollop of homemade yogurt and fresh raspberries.
These are easy to make! Head on out for some raspberries right now when they are fresh at the farm! I suspect that frozen berries would work just as well. Two YUMS up!!!!!
These freeze nicely for serving later. Individually wrap in saran and place in freezer Ziplock bag.
By the way, this will probably go Vegan pretty easily simply by leaving the egg whites out. It’s already gluten free as is!!!!
July 2nd, 2012 by Elaine
And again it is JULY at Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast, and my afternoons are spent putting up the harvest as it comes in. Today: basil pesto, a fabulous summer YUM and winter staple if you simply plan ahead and freeze a boatload of it! If you are following my blog you already know that I love pestos of ALL kinds, and Basil Pesto is the King of Pesto, the original, the classic! I make it once a week this time of year, have dinner with some of it fresh each time and freeze the rest in ice cube trays for using on pizza and pasta throughout the winter.
Here’s the simple recipe. Top off all your basil plants before they flower, gather a bag full! Or ask your local organic farmer to harvest some for you.
Pine nuts are toasted simply: put them into a dry pan and toast on a medium heat until fragrant and golden brown. The precious little nuts are pricey, I know, but that’s what makes your pesto so awesome!!! SO worth it! Spend some cash on the very best Parmesan Reggiano cheese too, you’re worth it. Remember: you cannot buy this kind of quality, delicious, healthy food, you can only make it yourself, so do it right and with the very best!
The ingredients are simple, cut this recipe by half if it’s too big for your food processor, (I have a big monster, hooray!).
I reaped 12 cups if my own organic basil, first tops of the season!!! Added 12 garlic cloves, 2 cups toasted pine nuts, 8 oz grated Parmesan Reggianno cheese, 4 t salt, 2 t pepper, 2 2/3 cup olive oil, and presto it is pesto!!!
So, out of the processor it goes and into ice cube trays. These plastic trays are easy to find at The Dollar Store. Cover very tightly with saran, double wrapping to ensure a great seal against freezer burn.
After a day or two freezing up hard, simply transfer the lovely little squares of pesto to ZipLoc freezer bags (I’m a bit of an overkill freak so I double freezer bag them…).
Seriously, if the police ever raid the inn they will be certain that I have a freezer full of marijuana, but honestly, Officer, it’s pesto!
Each square is a perfect size for a Naan pizza, or for two perfect bowls of pasta with marinara. If you purchase jars of basil pasta you will pay a fortune for it and you cannot trust that the ingredients are as pure and wholesome as what you put up yourself. Go ahead, be obsessive, it’s the only way you can be certain to truly eat well any more!!!!!!! What a delight: summer PESTO…soon to be enjoyed in winter!!!!!!!
June 22nd, 2012 by Elaine
At Yelton Manor B&B we specialize in feeding 34 hungry holiday-ers every full inn morning. This calls for a big breakfast buffet where the hot egg dishes bake, family style, like casseroles. But sometimes we serve a smaller houseful, and we have fun creating beautiful plates that can only be possible with fewer diners.
Turn the corners of your lips UP into a big smile, because here is an easy technique that turns out a very lovely breakfast entree! And remember: breakfast is the new lunch and dinner too!
Choose a red, yellow, orange, purple and/or green sweet pepper, crunchy fresh from The Farmer’s Market. Core and slice into rounds. Make sure to trim any white pith inside, because it will be bitter.
No secret ingredients here, but we played around in The Manor kitchen to perfect the technique. Choose a nice fry pan that has a tight fitting lid, preferably see-through.
Use butter if you want a buttery, caramelized bottom on the fried egg. Use Pam or olive oil if you please. We used Pam and still got an excellent result. Grease the fry pan well.
Over a medium heat, warm the pan with the peppers laying flat. This pre-heating let’s you drop the eggs into the peppers without significant leakage out of the form. Have a 1/4 cup of plain water nearby. Test the pan for readiness by flicking water drops…when the water sizzles your pan is ready.
Drop in the eggs. Garnish immediately with salt and pepper, we used snipped chives here. Feel free to creative.
Then pour the 1/4 cup of water around the edges of the pan and close with the tight lid. This will steam the eggs for a nice “over easy” effect, leaving a runny yolk, ideally, but cooking the whites satisfactorily.
Watch carefully for perfect doneness! Then plate up beautifully, garnish with snipped herbs and edible flowers from the garden, and delight your diners!!! Today we served whole grain bagels on the side, and pumpkin muffins too. As a healthy, delicious accompaniment, we frequently add hot, sliced, baked sweet potato rounds to the plate.
This is a simple, lovely presentation and would be beautiful on a “breakfast in bed” tray too!!!
June 15th, 2012 by Elaine
Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast fruit smoothies are utterly amazing for one simple reason: they are 100% fruit. Our Smoothie always features one variable: whatever fruit is at the peak moment of its season. The backup singers (“Do wop, do wop!”) are cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, kiwi and banana. We freeze the bananas at their peak moment, all the melons can be frozen as ready to use chunks too. So when it’s all whirred up together, it needs no water, no yogurt, no nuthin! Frosty, creamy and awe inspiring DELISH! This week we made strawberry every day. Next week it will be cherries. Soon the blueberries come in, ooh la la!
We are frequently asked by a potential guest: “What do you serve for breakfast?” Standard answer: the menu changes. But it also stays much the same, there are healthy, delicious options all the time. We have some of the best jams and jellies you’ve ever tasted. We serve our homemade granola (on the sweet side) as well as 3 flavors of Uti’s Gluten Free Granola, and 4 other choices of cereal. Chobani Organic Greek yogurt tempts in various flavors. The coffee bar has one of our 3 special Manor blends of locally roasted, free trade Costa Rican coffee and juice. Our hot buffet (this photo is from today!) includes a fruit platter, fresh whole grain bagels or English Muffins, cream cheese and butter. Today the egg strata was Spinach and Feta Cheese, with a fresh farm market tomato salsa spooning in as a veggie condiment. The Stuffed French Toast was blueberry, the syrup Michigan Maple. We served our “Go Nutty” Pistachio Bundt cake too!
Here’s our strawberry smoothie posing with the rest of breakfast!
June 8th, 2012 by Elaine
We never tire of testing new breakfast recipes at Yelton Manor B&B, so when this “super easy” baked egg recipe showed up on Pinterest we were all about it. The original recipe was pure fiction, unsuccessful in every way. So this morning we worked it and worked it and….BURP…5 attempts later…..finally got it right.
You need 8oz ramekins, which can be hard to find for some reason. Luckily, I have been scarfing them up whenever I see them.
You need: Fresh grated (or frozen) hash brown potato. Warm the grated potato with dollops of butter in the microwave for about 3 minutes until soft. Mix up. (The original recipe called for Tater Tots, but we nixed that idea right off the bat. If it’s something you happen to have on hand I suppose you can give it a try. We like fresher ingredients best.)
Spray Pam in the ramekins. Line the inside with the potato mixture, pressing down to form a cup. Broil until edges are brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and add some freshly made tomato salsa (tomato, onion, green pepper, chile or jalapeno if you like) and a dibble of shredded mozzarella cheese. We are vegetarian, but if you want this with a little cooked bacon pieces or diced ham, have at it in this step.
Make a little pocket in the center of each ramekin and drop a fresh egg in. The original recipe called for baking the eggs, but we found that it makes the eggs rubbery and unacceptable. So…. Put back under broiler on lower shelf for about 6 minutes, or until whites of egg are ALMOST set.
As they cool for 5 minutes the rest of the egg white will gel, leaving a perfect runny yolk. These are lovely served in the ramekin, but we took them out to serve like cute little self-contained egg cups. To get them out, invert onto a small plate and then, again, upsy daisy them onto the plate you are serving on.
The Manor staff all gave these TWO YUMS UP! Might be really nice if you are making someone special a breakfast in bed!!!
June 6th, 2012 by Elaine
Each season at Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast we invent new breakfast options. Heaven forbid our longtime Manor Family get bored with our breakfast!! In 2012 we added this Pistachio Bundt Cake, a very elegant, pale green slice of pure deliciousness!!! Borrowing the fine idea first invented by The Cake Doctor, we use cake mix and pudding mix for the measurement ease (and predictability) of the dry ingredients, then “doctor” it us with luscious enhancements.
“Go Nutty!” Pistachio Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 package instant pistachio pudding mix
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 inch bundt pan. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes. Blend in eggs, water, oil, almond extract.
Add 1/2 of the chopped nuts to the batter. Mix until incorporated.
Scatter the other 1/2 of the chopped nuts in the base of the bundt pan. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack until completely cooled.
Today when we had 3/4 of the “Go Nutty” bundt left over after breakfast, we took it over to the firehouse and treated the good guys there to some breakfast!