Year: 2021

RECIPE: B&B Balsamic Dressing for Salads

RECIPE: B&B Balsamic for Salads and Pasta

Jump to Recipe icon   I had a great assistant in the B&B kitchen for a recent event. My grandson stepped in as sous(ish) chef helping mix some of the ingredients, staging the buffet, and plating help. Some of the best “feel good” moments I ever experience is when someone loves my cooking. I am over the moon when it is someone special like my teenage grandson. So, without further ado, here is ” the only dressing I will ever eat on salad again,” sayeth the Grandson. Note to Self: He has not yet had the strawberries.

UTENSILS RECOMMENDED FOR RECIPES
Medium bowl for mixing
Whisk
1-Cup Liquid measuring cup
Measuring spoons
Garlic press (optional)
Transfer blade (optional)

RECIPE: B&B BALSAMIC DRESSING

Sharable Link
Printable PDF Version

INGREDIENTS
1/4 C. quality Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbs. Honey (local clover honey is what we use – reduce amount for pasta)
2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp. dried Thyme
1.5 cloves Garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine all ingredients into bowl.

Thoroughly whisk/shake until well blended.

Transfer to cruet or other storage container. Store covered in refrigerator.

Shake well before serving.

Best served slightly chilled or room temperature.

Serving Tip

Fabulous on pasta– warm or cold. Especially tasty on Italian Pasta Salads, freshly cooked tortellini, and antipasto salads.

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

RECIPE: Pasta Pavia w/Chicken or Shrimp

RECIPE: Pasta Pavia w/Chicken or Shrimp

Jump to Recipe icon   Recently, we started an online session called ‘Cooking with Daddy’. My father asked for some recipes he could cook and we spent time online prepping and cooking– separately– together. He is in another time zone. Spending time with friends and family are one of my favourites ways to cook. This recipe comes from a dear friend who took an existing recipe and, in our opinion, perfected it. We have added our own tweaks and measurements. It is so simple and such an amazing blend of flavours. For Quick-Fix (QF) recipes, you can grab dried spices or purchase pre-cut veggies. Tweak it for yourselves. Let us know what you think!

UTENSILS RECOMMENDED
Large non-stick or cast iron skillet w/lid
Cutting mats (green for vegetables, brown for cooked meat)
Chef knife (for cutting vegetables)
Wooden or nylon (non-stick) spoon
Large non-stick tongs (optional)
Liquid measuring cup
Dry measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Wine bottle opener
Potholder/hot pad
Transfer blade (optional)
Hot pads
Stove

PASTA PAVIA WITH CHICKEN OR SHRIMP

Printable PDF Version

INGREDIENTS
12 oz pre-cooked Chicken OR raw Shrimp, shelled with no tails (defrosted if frozen)
12 oz Spiral/Rotini/Rotelli Pasta, dry not fresh – use gluten-free pasta if desired
10-12 oz Grape Tomatoes, sliced lengthwise in half
1 large Yellow Onion, chopped (about 2 Cups)
3 Tbs. Garlic, minced
2 Tbs. Capers
1 Tbs. Italian Seasoning
0.25 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (1/8 tsp is my preference)
2 springs fresh Basil or 1.5 Tbs. dry Basil (the Basil really makes this dish!)
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
Salt/pepper, optional
4.5 Cups Chicken Broth, liquid or prepared bouillon
1 Cup Moscato Wine
Grated Parmesan Cheese as side condiment

INSTRUCTIONS

This is a one skillet meal. All ingredients will be added before the stove is on. No need to pre-measure spices because you will add them all to the pan as you measure.

Leftovers Tip

This dish is a lot of food! For 2 people, there may be plenty of leftovers. If desired, separate the cooked Pasta dish into two containers before adding chicken or shrimp– one to eat right away, the other to refrigerate/freeze for another meal. For the leftovers, add chicken/shrimp after reheating defrosted portion.

On brown cutting mat, cut Chicken into bite-size pieces. Set aside to add at the end of cooking time.

With heat off, pour 12 oz. of Pasta into skillet.

On green/vegetables cutting mat, slice Grape Tomatoes, lengthwise, then place in skillet to one side of the Pasta.

Chop Onion, then place in skillet on the other side of the Pasta.

Measure minced Garlic, Capers, Italian seasoning, Red Pepper Flakes, and Olive Oil right on top of the dry Pasta.

Divide fresh Basil leaves and add to pan.

Pour both liquids– Chicken Broth and Moscato Wine over all the ingredients.

Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, stirring and/or turning Pasta with tongs for about 15-20 minutes or until Pasta is al dente (still firm when bitten, but cooked) and liquids are mostly absorbed. Note: Turning the Pasta helps the Pasta keep its shape, especially when using gluten-free Pasta.

Stir in chicken or shrimp. Cook for two (2) more minutes, then cover and remove from heat. The residual heat will continue to cook the shrimp but not too much.

Serve hot with grated Parmesan Cheese as a garnish. Can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator/freezer.

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

Berry Peachy Morning Shadows

The morning is warm. Even as early at 6 a.m., it is warm. We welcome the soothing morning shadows. Fresh peaches and blackberries are bathed in the shadow of a Queen Anne chair. Life is good.

Breakfast awaits our Bed & Breakfast guests with the promise of Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict to follow. Life is good. Come . . . let us show you how good it can be.

RECIPE: German Cucumber Salad

RECIPE: German Cucumber Salad

Jump to Recipe icon Want a great cucumber salad that travels well and does not have mayonnaise? Here it is!

UTENSILS RECOMMENDED

  • 1 Quart water-tight container
  • Cutting board (one green for cutting vegetables)
  • Chef/paring knife
  • Vegetable peeler (optional)
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Serving bowl
  • Serving tongs

GERMAN CUCUMBER SALAD RECIPE

Makes approximately 4 servings.
Shareable Link: German Cucumber Salad Recipe
Printable PDF Version: WRM German Cucumber Salad Recipe

INGREDIENTS
NOTE: Pre-measure all ingredients, if possible. This recipe is great for picnics since there is no mayonnaise.

1 Seedless cucumber or 2 regular cucumbers (remove seeds if desired)
1 Small Purple Onion
3 Tbs. White Vinegar
.25 (1/4) tsp. Granulated Sugar
.25 (1/4) tsp. Salt
.25 (1/4) tsp. Black Pepper
3 Tbs. Fresh Dill or dried dill (1:1 ratio)

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1
Whisk together vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in one-quart container with lid (Gallon-size Ziploc works well, too). Let sugar mostly dissolve before add dill. Using scissors or paring knife snip dill into vinegar mixture.

Step 2
Peel cucumber, if desired, then thinly slice and add to container with vinegar/dill mixture.

Step 3
Cut purple onion into small slices/wedges. Add to container with cucumbers. Seal and shake well. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Cut onion in half lengthways from bulb end to tip. Remove papery outer skin.

Place onion, cut side down, on chopping board. Cut off bulb end and discard.

Using the tip of the knife, cut onion lengthways into even slices or, at a slight angle, into even wedges.

Step 4
Periodically shake container, inverting to allow liquids to coat solid ingredients. Best minimum time for salad to “cure” is 30 minutes. Can be refrigerated and keep longer, if desired.

Step 5
Pour cucumber salad and liquids into serving bowl. Toss to evenly blend onions and cucumbers. Serve with tongs. Enjoy!

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

RECIPE: Vienese-style Schnitzel (Gluten-free)

RECIPE: Vienese-style Schnitzel (Gluten-free included)

Jump to Recipe icon Preparing German food for my family is a delight of mine. My mother traveled with her military family, both as a child and as a newlywed. One of her vivid memories as a girl was eating schnitzel from a street vendor in Germany. She said he folded the schnitzel in half and handed it to her wrapped in paper, just like you might get a hotdog here in the States. Sadly, my mother was not a cook to never recreate the dish, but I am . . . and so are my kids. We all love to travel, cook and equally love to eat the foods from all the lands we visit.

Many years ago, I decided to recreate my mother’s Austrian/German experience by making my own schnitzel. It was, and still is, a hit with the family– so much that they all make it in their own homes now that they are grown. So, raise your steins and dig into making schnitzel! Warm German Potato Salad, German Cucumber Salad, and pumpernickel bread (not very often homemade) are all part of this wonderful meal. Please pass me the butter.

A TIPS/TRICKS on this one is to use gluten-free bread crumbs. Remember to substitute the flour with cornstarch to make it truly gluten-free.

UTENSILS RECOMMENDED

  • Stove/Range/Oven
  • Deep skillet/dutch oven with spatter screen
  • Fork or tongs for turning meat in hot oil
  • Cutting boards/mats (one red mat for pounding pork, one green for cutting lemons)
  • Carving knife
  • Meat mallet
  • Chef/paring knife
  • 2 Pie pans for dredging
  • Dry measuring cup
  • Whisk or fork for eggs
  • Holding plate for coated pork
  • Separate oven-safe, serving plate for draining cooked schnitzel (paper towels or screen for draining)
  • Serving bowl and fork for lemons

AUSTRIAN SCHNITZEL RECIPE (Gluten-free included)

Makes approximately 6 servings.
Side dish suggestions: Warm German Potato Salad, German Cucumber Salad, and Pumpernickel bread.
Shareable Link: Austrian Schnitzel Recipe (Gluten-free, optional)

TIPS/TRICKS 1: For gluten-free version, use gluten-free bread crumbs and cornstarch to replace the regular bread crumbs and all-purpose flour.

INGREDIENTS
NOTE: Pre-measure all ingredients, if possible.

PORK
1 lb. boneless Pork Loin (sliced to approx 3/8″ thick)
2 eggs, beaten (additional eggs may be needed if pork is pounded very thin, aka more surface area)
0.5 (1/2) Cup All-purpose flour (cornstarch for gluten-free)
2 Cups Dried Bread Crumbs (Panko works very well, or gluten-free bread crumbs)
2 Cups Canola Oil (for frying) – have not tried an air fryer for this yet
Salt and pepper, as desired
Fresh lemon, cut into thick wedges

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1
Slice cold/slightly frozen pork to desired thickness. Using a meat mallet, pound the pork slices as thin as desired (1/4″ thick quickly fries). Place on holding plate. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bread and fry.

Step 2
Cut lemons into thick wedges for squeezing onto cooked schnitzel. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then place on table for individuals to add as desired.

Step 3
Pour canola oil into deep frying pan skillet. Oil should be deep enough for pork to float, not just pan fry. Pork is fried as a single layer in the pan, so 2″ deep is usually sufficient. Wait to heat until Step 8.

Step 4
Crack eggs into first pie pan and thoroughly whisk until well blended. Set aside.

Step 5
In second pie pan, pour flour/cornstarch into pan, then coat each pork slice on each side placing pork back on holding plate for dredging step. When pork is coated, discard remaining flour/cornstarch as it has raw pork exposure.

Step 6
Using second pie pan again, add bread crumbs and salt/pepper (if desired). Blend with a fork.

Step 7
Dredge flour-coated pork pieces on both sides in egg wash, then bread crumbs. Restack on holding plate; it is ready to fry.

Step 8
Heat oil to 350 degrees or until small amount of bread crumb mixture sizzles when added to hot oil. Preheat oven/toaster over to warm (lowest temperature) to hold cooked schnitzel.

Step 9
When oil is up to temperature, use a fork to begin laying pieces of pork in a single layer of frying pan. A spatter screen will help protect hands and stovetop from popping oil. Before turning, fry pork pieces until deep golden brown. (Pork needs to be thoroughly cooked.) Using tongs, turn and fry the other side. When cooked, use tongs to remove and place to drain on serving plate. Keep cooked schnitzel in oven/toaster oven to keep warm while next batch is prepared.

Step 10
When all schnitzel is fried, turn off stove and let oil completely cool during dinner. Serve schnitzel with a squeeze of lemon and desired side dishes. Enjoy!

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

PONDERING: Finding Purpose

PONDERING: Finding Purpose

My word for the year is PURPOSE. I have had an impactful year in 2020. The unexpected losses of my nephew and my mother are two very impressionable events. For this year, I have chosen to ponder a specific word for the year—PURPOSE. I have placed the word on my calendar in a recurring event with a daily reminder in anticipation of targeting one, or more, purposeful activity each day. I shall strive to recapture it in my personal journal.

Right now, I know that much still overwhelms me. Sorting through photographs of the past eighty years is just one thing. Ancestry.com—here I come. At the very least, I can share these pictures where they may help others better identify with a newfound relative.

Now, it is off to the race with a cup of tea. Back to sharing our lovely bed and breakfast with “the world”.

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

TRADITIONS: Twelfth Night

TRADITIONS: Twelfth Night

King Pepin 12 Days image from 1780 book Mirth Without MischiefSome traditions are celebrated but the origins are unknown. Twelfth Night is one of them. It arrives on January 5th, twelve days after Christmas. Sound familiar?

Many know the Twelve Days of Christmas song which is believed to have been sung at a ball during King Pepin’s reign (752-768 AD); others give meaning to each line of the song or consider it to be a memory game with each person adding a something new to the song—think of the memory game “I am going on a picnic and I am going to bring ___________” with the next person adding his/her own item and then repeating the preceding ones in reverse order.

Meanings given to the song may include the numbers like in this paired list of biblical references:

  • A partridge in a pear tree: Jesus
  • Two turtle doves: The Old and New Testaments
  • Three French hens: Faith, hope, and love
  • Four calling birds: The Four Gospels
  • Five gold rings: The Torah/Pentateuch, first five books of the Old Testament
  • Six geese a-laying: The six days of Creation
  • Seven swans a-swimming: Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • Eight maids a-milking: Eight Beatitudes
  • Nine ladies dancing: Nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
  • Ten lords a-leaping: The Ten Commandments
  • Eleven pipers piping: The eleven faithful apostles
  • Twelve drummers drumming: Twelve points of the Apostles Creed

While Twelfth Night can be meaningful in many ways, its true meaning is a bit mottled. For my husband and me, it is a chance to quietly spend the last of the holiday season in celebratory fashion with dear friends.

For us, this year’s Twelfth Night will be a private, dinner celebration with close friends. Small gifts, often handmade, will be exchanged between individuals, and in our group they usually are simple and/or functional. For instance, I made leather covers for small composition booklets for each person. My husband forged icicle-shaped ice picks.

Whatever your traditions are, make your season merry and bright! From our home to yours, we send the absolute best wishes for Twelfth Night and the new year.

Wonderfully yours,

Alice