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Turtle Bars

May 21, 2015 by braytonbb

Is there anyone out there that does not like turtles, the candy? These turtle bars are scrumptious and yes rich, but its hard to say no to just one. I would usually save such recipes for when it is colder outside, but mother nature has not been too consistent with us lately so these bars seemed like the perfect time to get made over the weekend. Oh, by the way, super easy to  make too! Hope you enjoy.

turtle bars1 bag of caramel bits, 1 1/2 bags of semi sweet chocolate chips, 2 C pecan pieces, 2 cups crushed Ritz crackers, 1/2 C melted butter and 1 can of sweetened condensed milk.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×13 pan. Combine crushed Ritz crackers with melted butter until moist.  Spread evenly in the bottom of the pan, pressing down until firm.

Add half of chocolate chips on the crust, followed by the caramel bits and 1 1/2 C of the pecan pieces and then finally the rest of the chocolate chips and the rest of the pecans.

Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.

Bake 30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting or you are going to get a mess.

You can refrigerate these if you choose, but make sure you let them warm up before eating,  otherwise you may break a tooth on the caramel. Still good,  just not as easy to eat.

 

 

What to do in Oshkosh this weekend

April 27, 2015 by braytonbb

What to do in Oshkosh this weekend?

Beautiful Bird

Well, there are three very different events that will take you around the city on Saturday, May 2nd. Staring off with Bird Fest beginning at 6:00 AM at Shelter #1 in Menominee Park going to 2:00 PM, rain or shine. There will be Live birds of prey presentations, The “Big Sit” which is a tailgate party for birders, Bird walks and childrens activities with informative exhibits along with a native plant sale and concessions. Later on in the evening, during Gallery Walk from 6:00-9:00 PM at the Masonic Center there will be a Student  birds art exhibit plus photography and art displays throughout downtown Oshkosh.

The Natural and Organic Expo is a FREE event that will be taking place on Saturday as well at the Sunnyview Expo center starting at 9:00 AM. This Expo brings together local and national companies that specialize in natural and organic foods and products. Learn what it is to buy direct from local, organic farmers and vendors. Snatch up early seedlings, innovative new products, specialty, meats, cheeses, sauces, olive oils, jams, nuts, dried fruits, wine, beer, baked goods fresh greens, free-range meat and eggs. Learn to grown your own garden. Not enough space, learn where community gardens are at in your area. Also, health products, art and Eco Sustainable items will be at the expo. Try different products from area restaurants that are all locally and organically purchased and prepared.

Don’t forget about Afterwalk starting at 8:00 at the Grand Opera House Lounge.  Never any cover and a full service bar and bar menu. After Gallery walk, enjoy music Rob Anthony.

 

 

 

Lemon Muffins

April 23, 2015 by braytonbb

I am hoping these lemon muffins will bring on some warmer weather. Man, I got spoiled last week and now this snow, sleet and rain the last couple days has got me craving some warm sunshine so out comes what I consider summer feeling goodies.

Lemon Muffins – 8 Jumbo lemon muffins

1 lemon, 1 C sugar plus 1 TB sugar, 2 C flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 2 eggs, 1 C buttermilk, 1 TB lemon extract and 1/2 C melted butter.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Zest lemon and chop if not using a microplaner. Slice lemon in half(short way) and squeeze out juice, removing any seeds. Mix lemon juice with 1 TB sugar

In a bowl combine remaining 1 C sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, mix eggs and buttermilk and lemon extract. Stir in butter and add to dry ingredients and mix until combined. Spray 8 jumbo mix tins or use cupcake liners and fill almost full. Bake 25-30 minutes.

Option 1: Brush tops of  muffins with lemon juice mixture and sprinkle with additional sugar.

Option 2: Best used when using muffin liners.  Let muffins cool slightly. Poke holes in tops of muffins with a toothpick  and pour lemon juice mixture over muffins. Sprinkle with a course sugar.

Festival of Spring

April 20, 2015 by braytonbb

 

Plant On Sale

Festival of Spring at the Paine Art Museum and Gardens is awaited by many each year. Saturday, May 16 from 9:00 to 4:00, this FREE outdoor event features the Paine’s annual spring plant sale which includes thousands of “tried and true” plants as well as new and hard to find varieties. The festival also includes more than 150 vendors displaying and selling their art, crafts, plant and garden supplies and plenty of activities for the kids with fair food and live entertainment.

The Paine mansion and gardens are also open for FREE during the festival where the exhibit of Winslow Homer in America is taking place, and outdoors, the gardens feature more than 10,000 blooming tulips and spring flowers. Bring on summer!

Vegan Peanut Butter Caramel Truffles

April 16, 2015 by braytonbb

Don’t be scared about by the word vegan. It just means healthier and you can still enjoy the flavor especially when you add peanut butter. These truffles are not made with caramel but an alternative. Since I am still somewhat new to the vegan world I am always looking for new recipes so I am really excited to share this 5 ingredient recipe, since we all need a little chocolate after dinner, in my opinion. This one came from the minimalist baker which I find myself using a lot. Hope you enjoy.

Vegan Peanut Butter Caramel Truffles – serves 20 Caramel peanut butter truffles

16oz. Medjool dates, pitted, 2.5 TB melted coconut oil, divided, 3/4 tsp. sea salt, 1/4 C all natural creamy, salted peanut butter, 1 C dairy free dark chocolate chips.

Add dates to food processor. Add 1 TB melted coconut oil and mix. ( do not melt coconut oil in the microwave. Heat in a bowl over a gas range or add to a saucepan for electric range).  If it doesn’t look like it is forming a paste, add a little bit of warm water. Not too much though other wise it won’t stick together. Add 3/4 tsp. seal salt and mix more, scraping down the sides.

Form into ball the size of a superball or a bit larger and place on parchment paper and freeze for 30 minutes.

While they are freezing, combine peanut butter and 1/2 TB melted coconut oil. Right before your 30 is up, heat peanut butter mixture in microwave for about 20 seconds. Remove truffles from the freezer and pour peanut butter mixture over the tops of the truffles. Freeze again for another 30 minutes.

About 5 minutes before you are ready to take the truffles out of the freezer,  warm the chocolate chips with remaining 1 TB melted coconut oil in the microwave until melted and dip truffles into the melted chocolate. Sprinkle with more sea salt if desired and place back on the parchment paper.  Put in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

 

 

Mother’s Day Brunch

April 13, 2015 by braytonbb

Purple tulips

I will probably be making breakfast for other Mom’s on Mother’s Day weekend and that is okay, however, if I wasn’t, I would want someone to treat me to a Mother’s Day Brunch at the Paine Art Museum and Gardens on Saturday, May 9th. at 10:00 AM.  The Paine is an amazing setting and inside the Paine’s conservatory is the perfect location to enjoy this scrumptious brunch prepared by Zuppa’s. Some of the items being offered for brunch are chilled asparagus with strawberries, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette
watercress salad, brown sugar bacon, rhubarb glazed ham, dauphinoise potatoes, vanilla crème brulee, assorted muffins and scones, coffee, orange juice, champagne and mimosas.  Why not splurge on your Mom, Grandma, Aunt, Sister or friend this year who means so much to you. Afterwards, wander through the gardens and enjoy the wondrous display of tulips, daffodils and flowering trees coming to life as we enter into summer.

 

WPA Homeschooling Conference

April 6, 2015 by braytonbb

 

researching and taking notes

The WPA Homeschooling Conference is being held once again at the UWO campus May 1st and 2nd. There is so  much here for everyone.  If you do not have children but are considering homeschooling or unschooling, than this is the the conference for you. Maybe you are new or are a long time homeschooler, than this is the conference for you as well. Whether you have toddlers, teens or grown children, there is something for everyone. You can purchase curriculum, create or your own or share ideas with others. Many have walked away with a sense of relief just feeling that this is the place to connect with other parents that are asking themselves questions or going through some of the same things that you may have.

Chocolate Cheesecake

April 2, 2015 by braytonbb

I am not sure why I have never had much luck with cheesecake, but this chocolate cheesecake turns out great every time. I have always made cheesecake in a water bath but this one doesn’t call for it. If you are not a chocolate fan, this recipe may not be for you. Covered with a chocolate ganache topping is just fine with me, but it is very rich and decadent so be prepared to be overwhelmed with goodness! Also, cheesecake is always best the next day so plan on two days for this goody.

Chocolate Cheesecake with Ganache Topping – Serves 12 generously chocolate cheesecake

Crust- 9 oz. of finely crushed Oreo cookies and 6 TB of melted butter

Filling – 10 oz.  Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet chocolate chips(I have used Nestle semi sweet which is fine, but better chocolate always makes a better product!), 4- 8oz. packages cream cheese at room temp, 1 1/4 C sugar, 1/4 C Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa (same goes here for brand), and 4 Large room temp eggs.

Topping – 3/4 whipping cream, 5 oz. Ghiradelli chocolate chips and 1 TB sugar

Spray a 10″ springform pan with high sides. Mix your finely crushed Oreo cookies with melted butter and press into the bottom of your springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

While your crust is cooling, melt 10oz. of chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth. You should stir every 30 seconds to prevent from burning. While chocolate is cooling, blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder until smooth. Make sure there are not any lumps! Pour in chocolate. Add eggs one at a time until blended but do not overblend! Pour cheesecake filling over crust, smooth top and bake for 1 hour until sides are hour and center still looks a bit soft. Do not attempt to open oven door to check on cheesecake! Once done, turn oven off, open oven door and let cheesecake cook until at room temp. Once cool, run knife around the outside of cheesecake between pan to loosen. Cover tightly and chill in fridge overnight.

A few over before serving, make topping. Stir cream, 5 oz. chocolate and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until smooth. Pour over center of cheesecake but leaving edges bare. Chill until topping is set. When ready to serve, remove sides of springform pan.

Hints: If cheesecake cracks in the middle, no worries it will be covered up by the ganache.

To prevent cracking, use room temp. products, do not over beat eggs, and do not open oven door. Cheesecake needs to be cooled gradually. Opening oven door or cooling to quickly are sure ways to crack cake. Of course it will still taste great, but if you are going to go through the work, be patient!

 

WineFeast

March 30, 2015 by braytonbb

WineFeast I would have to say is probably one of Oshkosh’s greatest social events of the year. Each year over 750 attend this event to sample fine wine, sip cold brews and try appetizers from area restaurants. The best part of this event is that 100% of the proceeds raised go to directly benefit almost 4,000 youth at the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh.  Guests can either attend WineFeast at 7:00 PM on Saturday, April 25th or you can purchase reservations that take place before the general admission. Come at 4:00 Pm for Cellar Select which provides a enhanced wine and dinner tasting.

WineFeast tickets cost $75/person, Cellar Select Reservations (which includes a ticket to WineFeast) cost $125/person.

Recipe Contest

March 26, 2015 by braytonbb

So, as many of you know, we entered the Bedandbreakfast.com breakfast recipe contest for the second year in a row. Both years we made it to the top 16 out of the hundreds of people that entered. Once it gets down to the top 16, you are then paired up with another recipe and Facebook fans vote on whose recipe they would like to see go on to the next round (very similar to the March Madness Brackets).  Both years, this is as far as we have made it. Last year was the best “sweet” original breakfast recipe. This year, we had to use “regional” ingredients. I

chocolate covered cherry cheesecake bread puddingLast year, our chocolate covered cherry cheesecake bread pudding looked amazing in pictures.

 

 

breakfast grilled cheeseThis year, our breakfast grilled cheese didn’t have as nice of a picture, but I thought the recipe is one that I will not quit making. It is not real friendly to make for a full house just because its a little putzy, but for a few people its perfect. I had many requests to make this when people come back to visit, so do not be afraid to ask me to make it ahead of time. I just have to make sure I have all the specialty ingredients on hand. I don’t think you will be disappointed. It’s actually one of my favorites.

With that being said, no new recipes this week but I have included the links to both last years entry and this years.

 

WPS Farm Show

March 23, 2015 by braytonbb

The WPS (Wisconsin Public Service) Farm Show starts tomorrow at 9:00 Am and goes through March 26th at the EAA AirVenture Grounds. As an attendee, your admission is FREE!  With over 400 vendors will be at the show to answer any questions you may or help with any purchases you may be considering. You will be able to see the latest farm equipment, machinery, tools and services. There will be onsite agricultural consultants from WPS to answer any energy management questions you have and show you the latest energy efficient equipment and techniques. A three silent auction will also be held to help benefit the FFA organization. along with the a kiddie tractor pull on Wednesday.

Donuts

March 19, 2015 by braytonbb

What else is there to say? Who does not like a warm glazed donut? I have not bought a donut from a grocery story or bakery for years. I love them but know how bad they are for me so I do have some self control in the donut department, expect when it comes to making my own. I mean, they are just sitting there, staring at me. I have to cave. Now, I don’t proclaim these to be any better, or any worse for that matter than a store bought donut, in fact you may argue that these really are not donuts, but just knocks off. That’s okay, I think once you try these you won’t complain. I did pull this idea off the internet because it just seemed too good to be true, but its not. Don’t like glaze, add some cinnamon sugar. That is what I did with the holes. Yum!

Semi- Home made Donuts – Serves 8(if you only have 1) donuts

1 can of Grands biscuits ( I used the honey and butter flavor), oil for frying, cinnamon sugar or a powdered sugar glaze. Recipe below.

Separate biscuits so you have 8 biscuits laying in front of you. Cut out a circle in the middle of each biscuit, so it looks like a donut. I used the top of my maple syrup bottle. Separate your holes from the donuts. The holes may look small, but trust me, they will get bigger once you fry them up.

Heat your oil in a deep frying pan, one that has a lid.  I used about 2 C of oil until it came up about half way in the pan. Here is the tricky part, heating your oil. I have an electric stove so for me 2-3 was my setting, or low for most. If you oil is to hot, your donuts won’t get done in the middle and if its too cool, they won’t get crispy on the outside and moist inside so you may have to try one out first. Make sure your oil is hot before adding your biscuits. Add one to two biscuits at a time. They will grow and you don’t want them to touch. Put on your lid and watch them get brown on the bottom side. For me, it took about 45 seconds on each side. Once you see it starts getting brown in the middle, carefully flip biscuit over and brown the other side. Once done, cool on a wire rack with wax paper underneath for a minute before glazing or sugaring. Eat right away! (Like that wasn’t obvious)

Powdered Sugar Glaze – 1 1/2 C powdered sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla, and 4-5 TB of milk. Mix well until smooth. You want this glaze to be a little thinner than usual, so don’t be afraid of the milk.

Oshkosh Marathon

March 16, 2015 by braytonbb

 

Oshkosh Half Marathon, courtesy of the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau

 

For the past ten years, Oshkosh has hosted a half marathon and 5K but this year with the completion of Hwy 41, a full marathon (26.2 miles) has been scheduled for April 19th along with a two person half marathon relay. This is a certified marathon qualifier for Boston.

People have been asking for this, and so Oshkosh delivers once again. All races will start in downtown Oshkosh beginning at 7:00 AM and will continue through the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus before joining the WIOUWASH Trail. It is a flat, scenic route that should appeal to a lot of runners. I am not a runner, and try to avoid it whenever possible, so no, I will  not be participating, however many of our past guests tell us that it is a great course and they enjoy coming to Oshkosh each and every year.

Brownie Cookies

March 5, 2015 by braytonbb

I posted a recipe for some brownie cookies about three years ago. Though I do try to come up with new recipes  and try out other peoples recipes to share with you, I also like to tweak the recipes I know that are good but could be better. This is one of them. I think these have really got a true brownie texture to them. I added some white chocolate chips too since I had them laying around, but if you want, leave them out or add even more chocolate, which never hurts.

Brownie Cookies– revamped from a previous recipe brownie cookies 2

8 oz, semisweet baking chocolate, 1 1/3 C flour, 3/4 C brown sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 eggs, 1/4 tsp. baking powder, 1/3 c pecans, 6 TB butter, 8 oz. of chocolate chips, and 4 oz of white chocolate chips.

Melt 8 oz of semi sweet chocolate and butter in the microwave. Every 30 seconds stop the microwave and stir and the chocolate and butter are melted and combined. It should take about 2 minutes. Set aside.

Beat together eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Once combined, stir in chocolate mixture, followed by the flour. Fold in the nut and then both chocolate chips and white chips.

Chill dough for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, scoop 1 TB of dough balls onto a cookie sheet. Chill cookie sheet for at least one hour.  Trust me, the cookies will stay their shape much better, otherwise you will have flat, hard cookies.

Bake at 350 after chilling for 15 minutes. Let cool and enjoy, if you can wait.

St. Patricks Day Party

March 2, 2015 by braytonbb

Oshkosh brings it when it comes to St. Patricks Day. Starting on Friday, March 14th is the ShamROCK  the court fundraiser for Cerebral Palsy at The Bar. Rest up, because then its time for the Shamrock Shuffle at 10:00 AM at UW Oshkosh. Barley & Hops will then be hosting an Irish Cider School at 2:00 PM, followed by the St. Patricks Day Tent Party and Night parade on Saturday evening. 

This is family affair that starts at 4:00 PM. Oshkosh’s very own Irish bands Dornan and Sheamus Fitzpatrick and the McNally Boys will perform in the gigantic, heated tent at 547 Main St. Dancers from Richard’s School of Dance, Kinsella Academy of Irish Dance, bagpipers will keep you entertained all afternoon and into the night.  There is a fun contest for the “reddest hair and most freckles contest for the kids. There will be Irish cusine, Guinness beverages and displays on St. Patrick and Ireland’s history, with several fundraising activities as well, such as raffles, and a silent auction.  The well anticipated parade with start at 6:30 PM from Ceape Ave. and head North on Main St. to Iriving.

 

Raspberry Muffins

February 26, 2015 by braytonbb

These raspberries muffins may make you think of summer but I think that is what we all need right now to take our minds off this of this dreadful cold weather. I have used both kinds of topping on the muffins so I wanted to give you both recipes depending on your preference.  I also love these new parchment paper muffin liners. They are so simplistic and they don’t leave any crumbs on the paper.  These were great paired with our spicy sausage casserole this past weekend. Hope you enjoy.

Raspberry MuffinsRaspberry Muffins- 10 jumbo muffins

1 1/4 C sugar, 1 stick of butter, 2 eggs, 1 C sour cream, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 C flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 C fresh raspberries.

Sugar Topping- 2 TB sugar, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg (blend)

Streusel Topping – 1/2 C butter, softened, 1/2 C sugar, 1/2 Brown sugar, 2/3 C flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg.  Blend butter until smooth. Gradually stir in other ingredients until crumby.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients and mix until blended. Gently fold in raspberries. Place batter in muffin liners or spray a jumbo muffin pan. Sprinkle on topping mixture or streusel mixture onto each one. Bake 25-30 minutes.

*Note- You should have left over topping(which over one you decide to make). I keep my left over sugar topping in the pantry for use at another time and my left over streusel topping in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Happy Birthday

February 23, 2015 by braytonbb

Happy Birthday to me! Yes, my birthday was yesterday and I still don’t mind celebrating the day or weekend like I Nicole birthday at Carmellasdid this year. I will get to that reason in a moment.  Thursday, we attended a business function in town at Manila who offered up some wonderful sushi and Filipino cuisine. Friday night Scott and I celebrated with another couple we enjoy spending some time with at Brooklyn Grill who has the best happy hour around. Saturday night we decided to stay in, prepare dinner together and enjoy a glass a wine watching a movie.

We have a tradition that on our birthdays we get to choose one place to dine. Typically it is one of our favorites and sometimes it is someplace new that we have never tried. I typically don’t like to go out to breakfast, since what I make is usually better than I can get anywhere else, but this year, brunch appealed to me and I had heard so many great things about a place called Sap in Appleton, so the three of us decided to go.  Once we arrived it was an hour wait so we decided not to stay, however the food that was coming out looked amazing so I look forward to going back. Carmellas is almost right next door so we decided to walk down there for lunch. They filled up quickly, but the service was fast and friendly,  and the food was amazing. Though the tiramisu was untraditional, it was probably one of the best I have ever had. Spending a few hours with my family and having the day off couldn’t have been a  better birthday other than the opportunity to be able to share it with my entire family.

I was asked when I turned 30 if it bothered me. No, it didn’t. Then when I turned 40, I got asked the same question. Nope, that didn’t bother me either. I am pretty sure unless something dramatically changes, 50 won’t won’t be any different. As I was enjoying myself this weekend, it really hit me. Maybe the the reason birthdays don’t bother me is that because I had such a great childhood. If it were not for my parents, obviously I wouldn’t be here. So I guess celebrating my birthday is celebrating my parents and so thank you to Deb and Gary who are currently enjoying themselves on a beach in the Caribbean. I will see you in a few weeks. Also, thanks to all the great birthday wishes I received via texts, emails, Facebook and a few calls.

 

Bagels and Lox Benedict

February 19, 2015 by braytonbb

This Bagels and Lox Benedict recipes serves one generously when served with hasbrowns or tater tots which I prefer and a side of fruit such as grapes. The key to this recipe I think is using an everything bagel with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cracked pepper, onion and garlic. It adds a lot of flavor to this great breakfast dish. If you have never poached eggs before, it does take some practice, so try a couple times, you will get it. It took me a little bit of practice too.

Bagel and Lox BenedictBagels and Lox Benedict- serves 1

1 Everything Bagel, sliced in half, 2 oz. of smoked salmon, 4 thin slices of red onion, 2 poached eggs

Lemon Caper Sauce – 1/2 C vegetable broth, 3/4 TB cornstarch, 1/4 C sour cream, 3/4 TB lemon juice, 1 TB drained capers, fresh dill and salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk vegetable broth and cornstarch until smooth. Stir over medium heat until boiling for 2 1/2 minutes. Whisk in sour cream, lemon juice and capers. Stir often until steaming until 2 1/2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep on low until ready to serve.

Poached eggs – Recommended method, if you do not want to buy a poacher. In a sauce pan big enough for two eggs that do not touch, simmer about 2″ of water(not boil, but heavy simmer). Add a small splash of white distilled vinegar to the water. Crack one egg into a soufle cup or small bowl. Do the same with the second egg in a second bowl.  Gently swirl the water as it is simmering to make a whirlpool. This helps the egg stay together(trust me). SLOWLY add 1 egg to the whirlpool water. With a slotted spoon, keep egg off the bottom of the saucepan by sliding slotted spoon underneath egg every few seconds. Do this for about 3 1/2 minutes more or less depending on you like your eggs. When done take your slotted spoon and gently lift egg out of water onto a strong paper towel that won’t stick to the egg, to absorb any water.

Cut bagels in half horizontally and toast. Put bagel halves on a plate and top each with onion and then smoked salmon. Add poached eggs on each  half of the bagel. Spoon sauce over eggs and garnish with dill.

Hops and Props

February 16, 2015 by braytonbb

hopsprops limelite

Photo thanks to Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau

 

Hops and Props is an annual event that has been going on at EAA  to support museum activities. This years event takes place Saturday, March 7th from 7:00-10:00 PM at the EAA Air Museum.

This is an evening sampling more than 250 beverages from around the world with fine food being offered. Micro-breweries and distributors are on hand to teach you about the brewing process, history and techniques to become a beverage taster. You will be able to meet master brewers and learn to distinguish different characteristics of ales, lagers, and mixed style of beers from wheat, fruit, stouts, porter and meads. You may even find a new favorite.

To round out this evening, great music from several live bands, coffee, and sweets along with hot and cold hors d’oeuvres will be served. Of course you must be 21 years old to attend and admission price does include museum entrance, a commemorative beer glass and a professional prepared tasting guide. 

 

 

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

February 12, 2015 by braytonbb

These Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies are not going to be a new recipe to many of you, but they are still a goody. You can pick up a bag of butterscotch chips and probably find some variation of the recipe on just about any name brand bag. I like to add a little extra butter and of a course a few extra chips if you have a couple bags sitting around. Not only are these cookies great for kids or adults, but they freeze well too. That means if you find that your family doesn’t eat the whole batch, throw some in a Ziplock bag for future nibbling.

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

 

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies – about 36 cookies depending on size. I like using a 4 oz. cookie scoop

1 1/2 sticks of butter at room temp. , 1/2 C sugar, 1 C brown sugar(light or dark), 2 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 1/4 C flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. salt, 3 C quick oatmeal, uncooked and a bag of butterscotch chips, plus more if you like.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees on convention if you have or 375 bake.

Beat butter, sugar and brown sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat again.

Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt to butter mixture and blend well.  Stir in oatmeal and butterscotch chips; mix well. Drop onto a cookie sheet and bake 9 minutes and slightly brown. Let cool, if you can.

 

Jim Belushi at the Grand

February 9, 2015 by braytonbb

When I first heard that Jim Belushi was coming to the Grand, I couldn’t believe it. I am a big fan of his and his comedy.  If you have ever wanted to see Jim and the Board of Comedy, which consists of Megan Grano, Larry Joe Campbell, Brad Morris and Joshua Funk, this is the time.  Jim Belushi has more than thirty years of experience as an alumnus of Saturday Night Live and Chicago’s famed Second City and has been on the hilarious comedy “According to Jim” for 8 seasons. They are bringing an improvised comedy sketch to the Grand stage. The performance is Sunday, March 1, 7:30 PM at the Historic Grand Opera House in Downtown Oshkosh. This show is friendly with a PG rating as they pretty much “make stuff up” along the way and invite audience  members to particpate. Buy your tickets now before they are sold out.

 

Black Forest Mini Cheesecakes

February 5, 2015 by braytonbb

February in my opinion, is the perfect time to make these Black Forest Mini Cheesecakes. February is National Cherry Month and with Valentines Day around the corner, these sweet little desserts for perfect to show someone how much you love them. I borrowed this recipe off of the Cooking Classy website and will be making often. These miniature versions are hard to resist since you only get a few bites, which doesn’t seem like quite enough. This recipe is super easy, but you do have to have plenty of time for them to set up, so don’t expect to throw this together quickly.

Black Forest Mini Cheesecakes – Serves 18 Black Forest Mini cheesecakes

Crust- Crushed Oreos and 1 1/2 TB butter melted. I bought Crush Oreos off of the shelf and figured 1 heaping TB per regular muffin cup.

Cheesecake – 3/4 C semi sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, melted and cooled slightly, 2/3 C sugar, 2 TB cocoa powder, pinch of salt, 12 oz. cream cheese, 2 LG eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/4 C heavy cream, and 1/4 C sour cream.

Topping – Canned Cherry Pie Filling, 1 1/4 C heavy cream, 2 1/2 TB sugar, and shaved chocolate(decoration)

For the crust, preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl, blend Oreo cookie crumbs and butter. Divide mixture among 18 regular sized paper lined muffin tins. Bake 5 minutes and allow to cool.

For the cheesecake filling, whisk together 2/3 C sugar, cocoa, and salt until smooth. Add cream cheese to sugar/cocoa mixture and whip until creamy and smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending until combined. Add vanilla. Pour in melted chocolate and mix. Add 1/4 C heavy cream and sour cream and mix again. Divide mixture among cookie lined muffins cups about 3/4 full. Bake 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool at room temp for 1 hour, then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 more hours.

For the topping, Whip 1/4 C heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add 1/2 TB sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.  Spread a thin later over chilled cheesecakes and then pipe a rim around the edge to hold the filling. Spoon a heaping amount of cherry pie filling  in the center of the cheesecake. Sprinkle shaved chocolate over the cheesecake to dress up.  Store covered until ready to enjoy.

Echos of the Past

February 2, 2015 by braytonbb

 

Civil War Days, Naper Settlement, IL

Photo by Mark Kaletka – Flickr

 

 

Echos of the Past historic trade fair is one of the Midwest’s large indoor historical trade fairs. Taking place at Sunnview Expo Center February 28th.  If you are a history buff,  you will love this event that has been going on for over thirty years, featuring supplies for the historical re-enactor, muzzle loading enthusiasts, and just general public curiosity. You will be able to meet merchants and craftsmen stocking historical clothing, books patterns, tinware, pewter, beads, leather, fur forged iron, pottery, firearms, knives and hundreds of other  items.  Civilians and soldiers alike will be representing time periods ranging from the mid 1700’s through the American Civil War, and western frontier.  This interesting and educational experience will disguised as fun for the whole family.  Enjoy demonstrations, music, shopping, fashion shows, and festive atmosphere. On-going seminars daily. Food is available on site.  Admission $5.00 for adults, children 10 and under free with an adult.

Apple Bites (Vegan)

January 29, 2015 by braytonbb

These Apple Bites are another great vegan recipe that I wanted to share with you. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too many vegan recipes at one time, but this is great for breakfast, lunch, a snack and even the kids will love it. Thanks to Rachelshultz.com, she has just given me a broader selection of healthy foods. This one though, is like dessert. Yumm!

Apples

 

Apple Bites – 1 apple serves 2

The serving size can be disputed, but a half of apple with all these goodness on top is about all my belly can take, but feel free to indulge.

1 Granny Smith Apple, 2 TB Peanut Butter, pecans or walnuts, and chocolate chips. Rachel suggested coconut. I opted out, but add whatever toppings you like.

Core Apple. Slice apple into thin rings. Spread peanut butter on one side. Top with nuts and chips. Enjoy!

 

Valentines Day

January 26, 2015 by braytonbb

 

 

happy valentines day - pink gerbera with a heart of chocolate!

I have always thought that Valentines Day should be celebrated the entire month. Actually I think it should be celebrated everyday but lets just focus on February for now. A couple of years ago, we ran a promotion that when you stayed with us in February you were able to choose a gift box when you arrived. Inside the box would be chocolate( of course) but also a gift to show our appreciation. It could be A Brayton B&B mug, cookbook, coasters, or a percentage off a nights stay. We have decided to bring that back this year. So, make that reservation and surprise someone with a romantic weekend at a bed and breakfast. 

If you should decide to come on Valentines Day weekend this year, and you are looking for things to do outside of the inn, may we suggest, go the a show at the Grand Opera House. February 12-14 at 7:30 PM, The Grand is showing The Importance of Being Ernest. This is a “trival comedy for serious people”. 

Saturday, February 14 enjoy a great evening at Beckets, just walking distance from the inn. Janet Planet will be playing FREE, live romantic music starting at 8:00 and  Chef Mike sure will not disappoint with his amazing creations.

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