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Rumchata pancakes

April 21, 2016 by braytonbb

Well, as you may have heard, our Rumchata Pancakes did not get into the top 16 of Bed and Breakfast.com annual breakfast recipe contest. This will have been the first time in three years. I am disappointed since this recipe was so tasty, but we will try harder next year. So with that being said, here is the recipe for your enjoyment if you want to try it out.

Rumchata Pancakes with Rumchata Maple Syrup – Serves 2 generously

1 1/2 C flour, 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 1 TB brown sugar and 4 TB craisins(total), 1 1/3 C RumChata,(total) 1/2 C skim milk, 1/2 tsp. almond extract, 1 egg, 1 stick of butter(total), 1/2 C maple syrup and powdered sugar.

For the pancakes, Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and 2 TB craisins. In a seperate bowl, whisk together 1 C RumChata, skim milk, almond extract, egg and 3 TB butter.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until combined. Let sit 5 minutes. While the pancake batter is resting, add 4 TB butter, 1/3 C RumChata, 2 TB craisins and maple syrup.  Bring Syrup to a boil until craisins are plump and then turn down heat to simmer. In a preheated skillet add pancake mix. Flip once when brown on one side. Stack pancakes on a plate and sprinkle powdered sugar over the top. Add a 1 TB butter and pour RumChata syrup over the top

 

Holy Moly May Oshkosh Events

April 7, 2016 by braytonbb

Oshkosh events

Menominee Park zoo and amusement center

Holy Moly May! Oshkosh has got a lot of events in May as we get ready for another great Wisconsin summer!

First off, lets start off with Saturday, May 7th. There are four big event/activities all taking place this day.

 The Oshkosh Bird Fest and the Live Birds of Prey Presentation.  This is the “tailgate party” for bird lovers! Bird walks, bird banding, children activities, informative exhibits, native plant sale and concessions are all at shelter #1 in Menominee Park from 6:00 AM -2:00 PM, rain or shine!

No need to go much further since the Menominee Park Zoo and children’s amusement center opens at 9am for the season. Lake Fly Café will also be open for a variety of food, snacks, ice cream and gift shop items from 11-6. They will be kicking off the season with a FREE carnival from 11-3 with children’s games, face painting, balloons and of the train.  Don’t forget, you can rent canoes, kayaks, aqua bikes and mini pontoons!

The Oshkosh gallery Walk is always the first Saturday of every month. Downtown comes alive from 6-9 PM with Oshkosh Galleries and businesses keep their doors open late to feature artwork of all varieties and genres from local artists.

I know if I had the morning off, I would request someone to take me to the Paine Art Center for Mothers Brunch from 10:00 to 11:30 AM.  This sounds like the best way to show Mom how special she is to you.  The Paine’s Conservatory is the perfect location to enjoy brunch prepared by Zuppas.  Reserve by April 25th though since spot books up quickly.  After brunch, wander the gardens and enjoy the beautiful spring garden display with tulips, daffodils and flowering trees. Afterwards, stop by the mansion to view The Audubon’s Birds of America.  This exhibit will feature the renowned large format prints (also called “Elephant folio” print) of American artist John James Audubon and his birds of America Series. These exceptional prints date back to the 1820s and 1830s and are among the most beloved wildlife imagery in the world.

The Winnebago Home Builders: Spring Parade of Homes begins May 13.  See the latest in construction and design as you tour 14 homes by area builders throughout Winnebago county.

Festival of Spring is always something to look forward to, which starts at 9:00 AM on May 21.  This is a free outdoor event featuring the Paine’s annual spring plant sale and more than 100 vendors of orginal art, fine crafts, plants and garden supplies.  Faire food and live entertainment will also be provided.

Ardy & Ed’s kicks off the first Cruise Night of 2016, Thursday, May 26th. just in time for Memorial Day Weekend.  This is an evening of great cars, music and food. WVBO radio will be present rocking hit oldies from 103.9. Enjoy this nostalgic setting across from Lake Winnebago and view some of the finest collective vehicles in the state.

 

Chocolate Truffle Bars

March 24, 2016 by braytonbb

Chocolate lover? These chocolate truffle bars adapted from The Gunny Sack, will surely do the trick. With a brownie base, a truffle center Ultimate chocolate dessertand ganache topping, who won’t be complaining that you didn’t get a big enough piece. One bite size piece will go a long ways. I will warn you though that if you do not make them in a large enough pan, you may have a hard time opening your mouth wide enough to get a bite. Make them in too big of pan though and they just don’t make the same statement. I guess you will just have to experiment.

4 oz. semi sweet chocolate squares, 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, 5 cups powdered sugar, dash of salt, 1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips, 2 tsp. vanilla, 2TB coffee, 3 sticks of butter and 12 TB of heavy cream.

Bake a 9×13″ pan of brownies of your choice. I like fudgy brownies over cake brownies, but for this recipe you will defiantly want to use the fudgy brownie recipe on the box or use your own favorite recipe as it holds together much better.

While brownies are baking, melt your 4 oz of unsweetened chocolate and 4oz. of semi sweet chocolate. Allow to cool to room temp.

Brew a small amount of strong coffee and chill.

Beat 2 sticks(1 C) of butter and vanilla until light and fluffy with a stand alone or electric mixer or your arm will get very tired.  Add powdered sugar slowly, 1 cup at a time (or you are going to have a big mess and clump of hardended chocolate butter).  Scrape down the sides when needed and mix again.  You want it to be like a thick buttercream.

Add salt, coffee and 4-5 TB heavy cream and beat. With mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the room temperature chocolate.  Beat on high for one minute. Add more heavy cream, 1 TB at a time if needed.  Carefully spread over cooled brownies.

Bring a 1/2 C heavy cream and  a stick of butter to a boil.  Pour over chocolate chips and let sit for a minute until chocolate chips start to melt. Stir gently to smooth.  Pour over truffle layer and gently spread until evenly coated.  Chill before cutting.  Wet knife each cut you make in order to get a smooth cut. Keep refrigerated.

 

 

Oshkosh April Events

March 9, 2016 by braytonbb

Courtesy of Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau

Courtesy of Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau

Coming to Oshkosh this April? Listed below are some annual events along with things you shouldn’t miss out on.

April 9-10 Special Olympics Sports Tournament celebrates its 39th year in Oshkosh on the UW- Oshkosh campus, the State Indoor Sports Tournament hosts basketball skills, team basketball and gymnastics competition to more than 650 athletes from across the state.

April 23 is the annual Oshkosh WineFeast, one of Oshkosh’s most popular events of the year with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Oshkosh Boys and Girls Club .  Guests can attend the general WineFeast, which begins at 7 p.m. and gives guests the opportunity to sample fine wine from around the world, sip tantalizing brews and try tasty cuisine from area restaurants. Guests can also choose to purchase reservations to the elegant wine and dish tasting that happens before general WineFeast at 4 p.m. called Cellar Select. Cellar Select provides a richer fine wine and dinner experience and is an opportunity to socialize with familiar faces in a relaxing environment. Doors open at 4 p.m. for a champagne reception and the evening program starts promptly at 5 p.m.

April 23-24 is the annual Oshkosh Marathon, half marathon and 5K race. With the weather kicking off March to such a great start, we can only hope for the best weather conditions next month. Starting at 7:00 AM, on Sunday April 24, the race will begin just a few blocks away from the inn. Proceeds from the event benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh, Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Inc. and the Oshkosh Area Humane Society.

Other events that you can check out at your leisure are listed below.

Joye Moon Watercolors features a selection of work by acclaimed watercolorist and Oshkosh native Joye Moon, through April 17th.

Be the Dinosaur at the Oshkosh Public Museum through May 16th where you will find out what it would be like to be a dinosaur, through virtual technology in this new, innovative exhibition.

Rare WWII Nose Art through December 2016 where more than 30 pieces of nose art from actual World War II combat aircraft made their first-ever trip outside their home museum, with the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh chosen as the first public display location for this rare collection.

For a broader list of things to do in Oshkosh in April and beyond check out Visit Oshkosh.com.

Birthday Bash at WI inns

February 29, 2016 by braytonbb

 

Happy Birthday! (1)

So what does an innkeeper do when they want to get away? That’s easy, they find a Wisconsin bed and breakfast and get pampered themselves.

That is exactly what my husband and I and another couple did last week for my birthday. Our first stop was in Kohler, where we toured the Kohler museum. It was no charge to tour, but of course I took away a lot of ideas which I will be implementing in the next year, so as my husband put it, it really wasn’t free. We then headed over to Sheboygan and hit the John Michael Kohler Art Center. Another museum that was free of charge with a lot going on.

By this time, we were ready to check in at Lake Orchard Farm Bed and Breakfast which is also a working farm located on the shores of Lake Michigan. First off Mary and Nate, the owners, are fantastic hosts and our accommodations were beautiful, cozy yet spacious and very historic. There are 6 generations that have lived and worked on this farm. In fact, the inn was the old chicken hatchery, but you would never guess that unless you look at all the amazing photographs that they have placed around the inn. Mary serves up a wonderful breakfast in the morning as well, situated by the fireplace.

After breakfast, Nate and Mary were kind enough to take us through their newest venture in aquaponics, which refers to any system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks), with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In Nate and Mary’s case though, they raise tilapia in the old cattle barn and have added a large greenhouse where there are(well I can’t even tell you) how many different forms of lettuce that they harvest along with tomatoes, beans, peas, cucumbers, etc. Lucky for us, they were generous enough to send us home with some samples of tilapia and vegetables that we snacked on in the car after we left. Once we got home, what do you think we had for dinner? You guessed it, baked tilapia with some brown rice and vegetables. Yum!

Our next stop was in West Bend, which is only about forty five minutes away from Sheboygan. We had several stops along the way before arriving at our next inn for the evening. Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast is nestled deep in the woods. We just felt ourselves  relax as we crept down the long driveway to the inn. Each of their rooms are decorated  beautifully but we stayed in the Timber Trails room which had this mirror that transformed into a TV ( I may have to steal that idea), and a grand two person shower with numerous jets and showerheads, custom tile and a heated floor. If you decide to leave this amazing room, there is plenty to do at the inn. They have an impressive DVD library, game room with pool table and even an old tabletop Galactica video game.

Breakfast in the morning was also amazing. Let me tell you, I do not eat mushrooms. On my plate that morning was a Portobello mushroom top. I know what you probably thinking, but I grew up having to try everything. To my amazement, this mushroom tasted like steak. Sally did an amazing job and my husband was even more amazed that I ate the whole thing. We could have sat around all morning talking to Sally and Chris, but we both had things to do, like getting back at our own inn to check in new guests.

There are a ton of great Bed and Breakfasts in our state and all over the world for that matter. Why not check out these two or any other Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast.

Raspberry Crumble Bars

February 25, 2016 by braytonbb

These raspberry crumble bars come from my idol Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa. She just makes everything look so effortless. I thought Valentines Day weekend was the perfect time to try this dessert. They were a hit with us and our guests as well. I have also included my recipe for blueberry crisp bars, since they are similar in case you are interested.  This recipe calls for good quality granola and since I think I make the best granola out there, I opted to use my own recipe which I have also included.

Raspberry Crumble Bars Raspberry crisp bars

2 sticks butter at room temp., 3/4 C sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 1/3 C flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 12 oz. raspberry jam, 2/3 C granola, 1/4 C sliced almonds.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place butter and sugar in a bowl and mix until combined. Add vanilla. Mix flour and salt together and slowly add it into the sugar mixture until it looks like it is coming into a ball.  Turn the dough out and separate 2/3 dough, keeping the rest off to the side. With 2/3 of the dough, pat into a 9″ square pan, going slightly up the sides. Spread with jam, leaving a small border around the edges.

Mix the granola and remaining dough together, breaking the pieces up so they look like large clumps of strudel and sprinkling them over the jam covering the entire surface. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and bake for 45 minutes until lightly browned.  Cool completely before cutting!

Think Spring

February 8, 2016 by braytonbb

Think Spring, huh?  Its a little tough to imagine right now, but Its a little easier to do when I see what is going on in Oshkosh starting in March.

First off, starting off with Rooms of Blooms at the Paine Art Museum, March 3-6 and 10-13th.  If that doesn’t make you think spring I don’t know what does.

flower_3

Rooms of Blooms showcases the art of floral design inside the exquisite settings of the historic Paine estate. This event features more than one hundred artistic fresh floral creations by the most talented designers in the region.  Each creation is inspired by the beauty of the Paine and artworks on display. Inside the rooms of the Paine, floral arangements will adorn the castle with large scale displays to smaller singular arrangements that create beautiful table settings and create spectacular aromas.

 

hopsprops limeliteSaturday, March 5th at EAA Air Venture Museum from 7:00-10:00 PM, Hops and Props is the premier beer-tasting event which is going into its 12th year. Your taste buds will thank you as you are sampling some of the finest beers in the world and enjoying delicious food and live music that will keep you on your feet all night long. Spend an evening sampling more than 300 extraordinary beverages from around the world while the master brewers you love are on hand to answer any and all questions you have about their craft. Plus, the 2015 People’s Choice winners return to share their award-winning beers that you voted for. Getting excited just thinking about this, maybe you should upgrade to VIP status which includes early admission to a five course meal featuring food and beer pairings. Dinner begins at 5:30 and tickets are limited.

St. Pats Parade and partyOshkosh’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Tent Party returns to downtown Oshkosh on Saturday, March 19.
Irish bands will entertain inside the tent. Following the parade, there will be special meet and greet opportunities with the Ice Queen, her sister, and all their Princess friends. You can also expect Irish Dancing performances by Richard’s School of the Dance, Kinsella Academy of Irish Dance, bagpipers, and other entertainment. We will have children’s contests for “Most Freckled Face” and “Reddest Hair”. Several fundraising activities will take place including raffles, a silent auction, and the opportunity to add your name to Irish Fest’s Welcome or “Fáilte” Door with a tax-deductible donation.

 

 

 

Apple and Honey Crostini

January 28, 2016 by braytonbb

These apple and honey crostini’s are all my husbands fault. Yep, you heard here. Scott is to blame for this delicious little appetizer. My husband travels on occasion to trade shows. He is a food broker who is really great at getting small food manufacturers off the ground. He travels to these trade shows to display and help sell their product. Many times at the end of the show, there will some trading that goes on among vendors. You see, they are so use to having cheese or butter or whatever around and we typically have our freezer full of pizzas  or fish or whatever he is working on this month and so the two may trade products. Well, the other day he came home with a half a gallon of ricotta cheese and a two pound bag of gorgonzola. I love both of these products, but they typically will go bad before we may get a chance to enjoy it all, so I try to come up with some creative ways to use product. The apple and honey crostini was born. Enjoy!

Apple and Honey Crostini – Serves 10 crostini's

Baguette, lightly toasted, Apple or pear(sliced thin), honey, raspberry jalapeno jam, thyme, handful of candied walnuts 2 oz. or so gorgonzola, and 5 oz or so ricotta cheese ( I used part skim, but whatever you have laying around will work).

Slice your baguette to about an 1″ thickness and add to a greased cookie sheet. Lightly broil for about 30 sec. Remove from the oven.

Mix ricotta and gorgonzola together and add a little bit of honey towards the end. Spread on baguette slices and top off with apple or pear slices. Add walnuts around apple, on top of the cheese. Drizzle of little honey over the top. Spread a scant amount of the raspberry jalapeno jam over the apple and sprinkle with thyme.

We also served these with cheese, sausage and crackers during our wine and cheese social hour.

The raspberry jalapeno jam you can buy at any farmers market around here. I like to mix my own raspberry jam with a little jalapeno jam together if you can’t find any, otherwise I may trying making my own this summer as well.

 

February events in Oshkosh

January 14, 2016 by braytonbb

Check out all these great events in Oshkosh in February. I would like to see some of these frigid temps let up a bit but I know is good for the EAA SkiPlane Fly-In and for Battle on Bago, but I am not so sure the plungers are going to appreciate it,even if it is “freezing for a reason”.

EAA skiplane fly inSaturday, February 6 beginning at 10:00 AM and running until 1:30 PM is the annual EAA Skiplane Fly-In at the EAA AirVenture Museum.  This is a very special winter event in Oshkosh that has welcomed more than 30 skiplanes in the past. This event is free of charge to the general pubic and includes complimentary chili and cake, however regular admission rates apply for guests visiting the museum itself.

 

 

 

20120225_123857_Polar_Plunge_1453

February 19-20 is the annual Oshkosh Polar plunge located at Menominee Park in Millers Bay.  Last year, 1,700 people took part in this great cause and after the donations were tallied, they raised more than $444,000 for Special Olympics Wisconsin. Take part in this event solely or put together a team.  If your team raises over $2500.00, you will earn your choice of team party at participating locations.

Starting Friday at 5:30 till 9:00 PM, enjoy happy hour inside the entertainment tent with live music and food and drink specials. Saturday at 9:00 begins registration and the 5K begins after.

Get the little ones started in this event early as the pee wee plunge begins at 11:00 AM. From 12-3 live music by RPM in the WIXX tent and Spitfire rodeo in the Y100 tent will be playing while the plunging takes place. I am sure you will be working up an appetite before and after so take part in the Buffalo Wild Wing eating contest in the entertainment tent at 1:45. Now if you are too chicken to plunge, that’s okay, You can still volunteer or donate. After all, its for a good cause.

 

Battle on Bago is starting its 9th season February 26-27th. at Menominee Park with free admission with live music both evenings! $275,000 worth of prizes are given away and you don’t even have to fish to participate. Just come down and enjoy great food, drink, entertainment and raffle prizes. Battle on Bago was created in 2007 by a group of five Oshkosh Southwest Rotarian in order to support area youth and conservation efforts throughout the state of Wisconsin. This is the Midwest’s largest ice fishing tournament of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discover Wisconsin Promotion

January 6, 2016 by braytonbb

discover-wisconsin-logo

You may remember that Discover Wisconsin was here in June filming us for an upcoming promotion for the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association.  Its has been nice to hear how people that have never considered a B&B have started look “outside the box” for non cookie cutter lodging experience. It has also been great to hear from so many that they did not realize how different one B&B can be from another, right down to the location, owners, décor and experiences that we all offer.  The episode aired in October and we couldn’t have been more pleased. Well, we are happy to announce that we have jumped in for another promotion with these wonderful folks along with a lot of other amazing Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts. Three lucky winners will be chosen to win one of three amazing two night packages that include dinner and tourism experience.

We are happy to include a two night lodging stay and partner with Beckets on the Fox River for an modern dining experience along with a family membership at The Paine Art Museum . Don’t wait! Check out all the great specials and enter for your chance to win at Discover Wisconsin in January only!

Saying Goodbye

December 23, 2015 by braytonbb

Saying goodbye is always difficult especially when it comes suddenly and around the holidays. Last Thursday my Mom called to say that my Grandma Garnet (my Fathers Mother) was in the hospital and they did not expect her to make it through the night. Friday afternoon I got the call that she had passed. Tuesday was her funeral. She lived a great life to the age of 89 with 6 children ( my Dad being the youngest) and 14 grandchildren. I feel blessed that my daughter got to know her Great Grandmother. She had just as many family as she had friends at the funeral. Though I wish it wouldn’t have happened right before Christmas, I got the chance to see so many of my cousins and acquaintances that I have not seen in twenty and some thirty years. I have never been comfortable with death and never know what to say. I suppose the reason for that is that I have been very fortunate not to have had to experience this often. My parents are young and healthy along with my Aunts and Uncles and Mothers parents are still around that I get to see often.

My daughter graduated high school early and so we are having a graduation party for her this Saturday. As planning and preparing moves forward for the both of us, my mind is still on my Grandma. What I took away from her funeral though, is the importance of family. Not just the ones you see nearly everyday, but the ones you don’t. Dr. Suess said it best. “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory”. 

In celebrating this holiday season, say I love you often, and treat the times like they may be the last. In remembrance of my Grandma I have included a few pictures. The first one was taken one week after my daughter was born. I lost my Grandpa just a few weeks after, but thankfully I was able to get a picture with her, with the both my Grandma Garnet and Grandpa Glenn. The second picture was taken at my high school graduation party and the last picture, though is not very clear, is a photo taken, with myself, my Mom, and both of my Grandmas in the fall of 1995.

Thank you to all of you who have read through this and have come into our lives.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Nicole, Scott and Chase

Glenn and Garnet Nov. 97

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

graduation 91

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pictures of Grandma

 

The perfect gift

December 14, 2015 by braytonbb

wbba logo

You just found the perfect gift. Whether its that hard to buy for person or you want to do something special, something different, why not consider buying a gift certificate to your favorite bed and breakfast. We know you have many options when it comes to finding a place to stay and we would love to be your go to place, but we also know that there are so many amazing bed and breakfasts in Wisconsin to choose from.  We want you to experience a one of kind destination like a local.  Innkeepers of the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association (WBBA) have been embracing this philosophy for decades.  Therefore, for those on your holiday list who like to immerse themselves in the local culture when they travel, a Wisconsin B&B association holiday gift card would be the perfect gift. The gift card is good at 125 member inns who have all been inspected, insured, licensed and all deliver the “bed” and “breakfast” part of the name.  This card is available in any dollar amount and is good for five years. The recipient will also receive a Wisconsin B&B Association directory.  To order a gift certificate from us, just give us a call, email or you can purchase right through our Brayton Bed and Breakfast website.  Otherwise, if you would like for the recipient to choose anywhere they would like to go, you can visit WBBA site and either order online or call 715-539-9222.

Unlike a big box hotel or a spare bedroom in someone’s apartment, Wisconsin B&B Association inns offer private rooms and private bathrooms and made from scratch and often gourmet breakfasts.  Because the innkeepers themselves are locals, they know the best insider finds and are more than happy to share. The style of the inns represented by the Association is wide ranging…from historic estates, waterfront cottages, contemporary urban retreats and even working farmsteads.  It worth noting that many are eco-friendly too, sourcing locally whenever they can and preserving historic structures so they don’t end up in the landfill.

Wrap up your holiday shopping either with Brayton Bed and Breakfast or the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association.  You will feel good knowing your giving the gift of an experience rather than just more stuff.  Also, you are shopping locally, which small businesses appreciate.  One other final tip: Give those out of town guests who insist on staying with you every holiday and don’t seem to get the hint that too much togetherness can be just that, too much! Its the gift for both of you.

About the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association

The Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association was established in 1987 and is one of the largest B&B associations of its kind in the United States. Every member inn is inspected, licensed and insured. Full descriptions of all the properties may be found at www.WisconsinBandB.com.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2015 by braytonbb

Give Thanks

 

 

Scott and I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I am taking the day off and NOT posting any recipes. You may visit our recipe blog though and feel free to take away anything that may work for your Thanksgiving or anytime for that matter. We want to say thank you to all our past guests and hope that you are spending this holiday with friends and/or family. We also want to thank those of you who are staying with us this holiday season since we know you have many choices when it comes to where you relax and lay your head in the evening.

Celebration of Lights

November 23, 2015 by braytonbb

 

The Night We Met The Town Quack

The Celebration of Lights is a truly magical sight to see. Beginning tomorrow, November 24th through December 31st. in Menominee Park, on the shores of Lake Winnebago, the park will be transformed into a mile of illuminated holiday wonder from 5:00-9:00 PM daily.  Just 14 years ago when this began, it started out with a few lighted trees, a couple of displays and not  many people knowing how this would grow in just a few short years. This event now attracts over 13,000 vehicles filled with family and friends ooohing and aaaahing over nearly a million twinkling lights.

A 100 foot tree with sculptured scenes  and animated light displays will be scattered throughout the park. Fill the car up and bring your camera to take pictures with the reindeer and Santa. Don’t forget to bring a non perishable food item to get a $1.00 off.

 

 

Apple Pie Pancakes

November 19, 2015 by braytonbb

These apple pie pancakes will be a hit for those who can’t wait for the big meal on Thanksgiving. Start the day off right by treating your family to these homemade, fluffy pancakes with sauteed cinnamon apples and a touch of streusel topping. I am getting hungry just thinking about these pancakes that we made last weekend for some guests.

Apple Pie Pancakes w/ streusel topping – Serves 3 apple pie pancakes with streusal topping

Apple Topping – 2 apples (any kind), 2 TB butter, 2 Tb brown sugar, 1.5 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 C maple syrup

Streusel – 3/4 C sugar, 3/4 C flour, 2 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4 softened butter. (mix all ingredients until crumbly)

Pancakes – 1.5 C flour, 3 tsp. baking powder, 1.5 tsp. cinnamon, 1 TB sugar, 1 1/4 C milk, 1 egg, 3 TB melted butter, and 1 tsp. vanilla

Peel apples, core and dice. In a saucepan add 2 TB butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup and apples. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes until apples are softened, stirring occasionally. Turn heat off, cover and set aside.

For the pancakes, whisk together milk, egg and vanilla. SLOWLY pour melted butter into milk mixture, make sure not to set the eggs. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Pour batter into warm skillet  and flip when bubbles start to form. Cook until golden brown. When pancakes are ready, top with apple mixture and streusel.

You will have extra streusel left over. I keep mine in the fridge until I need to use again for more pancakes or muffins.

 

 

Christmas is in the air

November 16, 2015 by braytonbb

Christmas is in the air! Can you sense it? I have always said, one holiday at a time. I feel like Thanksgiving doesn’t get enough credit. As soon as Halloween is over, the Christmas decorations are up in all the stores.I mean our annual parade was just last week, so I felt that it was important to let you all in on a couple of my favorite exhibits each year in Oshkosh. Nutcracker in the Castle at the Paine Art Museum and Deck the Halls at the Oshkosh Public Museum. Both of these exhibits are right across the street from each other, so its easy to go right from one to the other.

NutcrackerThe Nutcracker in the Castle begins this Friday, November 20th and goes through January 4th. The Paine Art Museum transforms this historic mansion into an original production of the Nutcracker Fairy Tale with scenes from the holiday story.  Starting out with the opening party scene with a giant Christmas tree to the Magical Land of Sweet and the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy, with the tale unfolding throughout each of the elaborately decorated rooms.  There are three different way to visit and enjoy the experience of the Nutcracker. You can take a self guided tour, candlelight tour or a guided tour each offered at separate time.  Whatever you decide, do not forget to visit the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cucpake cafe for one of Tamaras Cupcakes scrumptious treats.

 

 

christmas balls

Deck the Halls begins this Sunday, November 22nd and goes through January 3rd. This is the third year for the Oshkosh Public Museum to be open for this amazing experience with holiday decorations reminiscent of the times that the Sawyer family resided here. The second floor gallery exhibits a life size Christmas village that showcases toys representing difference decades from 1930-1990. At the center of it all is the unbelievable detailed Magnusen family wooden toy circus. Be sure to watch out for the museum elves as well and they have come up with some new hiding places.

 

 

Malted Milk Ball Creme Brule

November 12, 2015 by braytonbb

Malted milk and  creme brule and tiramisu are all my favorite desserts and/ingredients. I am still working on a worthy tiramisu recipe but this malted milk ball creme brule really takes it over the top. The Whoppers candy crushed up and caramelized really adds another dimension to this dessert. This recipe was inspired by geezlouise website. Thank you!

malted  milk ball creme bruleMalted Milk Ball Creme Brule – Serves 6

1 1/4 C whipping cream, 1/4 C malted milk powder, 1 TB dark cocoa powder, 3 large egg yolks, 1/4 C sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 raw sugar(topping) and a handful of crushed Whoppers.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over low heat. Warm until the cream is hot but not boiling.  Once the cream is hot, turn off the heat and mix in the malted milk powder and cocoa powder.  Whisk until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine yolks, sugar and vanilla.  Slowly whisk in the warm cream a little at a time.  Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove anything that may not have mixed well.

Place 6 ramekins into a shallow baking pan. Fill each ramekin about three quarters full with the creme brule mixture.  Fill pan up to 1″ with boiling water.  Put pan in oven and bake for about 25 minutes but check about half way through.  Your custard should be set but also still jiggles, but not watery. When done, remove and allow to cool slightly.  After about 10 minutes lay a piece of parchment paper over the ramekins and put in the fridge for a couple of hours to cool.

When cooled, sprinkle raw sugar to form a thin layer and torch to caramelize the sugar or broil, but watch carefully. It doesn’t take lake. Crush up you whoppers and then sprinkle over the sugar. Torch or broil again.  Serve at room temp and be prepared to melt with each spoonful. YUM!

WBBA Conference

November 9, 2015 by braytonbb

Scott and I are away for an annual conference for the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast association for the next few days. We do have an interim innkeeper holding down the fort for us while we are away networking with another innkeepers and learning about new industry trends.

Each year the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association (WBBA) holds an annual conference somewhere in a different part of state. A few years ago it was right in our back yard just a few short blocks away from us. This year we will be traveling to Eau Claire. We start off with a tour and dinner at the Leinenkugel Brewery in Chippewa Falls before sitting down on Monday morning to many great speakers and topics that range from new and exciting breakfast offerings to website design. This year the Minnesota group joins us, so it will be great to see some new faces. My favorite day is Tuesday where a trade show takes place and I can get my hands on reordering more of the great Comphy Co Sheets we keep on our beds, Turkish Towel robes, Sunset Hill coffee  mugs and hopefully find some new items we just can’t live without here at the inn. I can’t wait to update you when we get back from small vacation and educational few days.

Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

November 5, 2015 by braytonbb

Pumpkin spice donut holes are the rage these days it seems. Well, I don’t know about donut holes but pumpkin spice is for sure. Everywhere you look there is some promotion. I get it though, Its that time of year and who doesn’t like pumpkin? Well, I have found a few people, but not too many. I hope you are not tired of all the pumpkin and apple recipes I have been putting out, but it just seems like the right time. I pulled this recipe off of seededatthetable.com and I couldn’t be happier with it since they are baked and not fried! Lets just say, I had my share of several of these little tasty treats. I wasn’t sure how to photograph these guys, but trust me. They are well worth it!

Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes – Yields 36 pumpkin spice donut holes

1 3/4 C flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp.nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 C vegetable oil, 1/2 C brown sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 can of pumpkin puree, 1/2 C milk( I used skim).

Coating- 1/2 C sugar, 2 TB cinnamon and 4oz. melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin spice together. In a separate bowl mix the pumpkin, oil, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla together. Combine all ingredients until it creates a dough.

Spray a mini muffin pan well. Spoon batter into mini muffin container. Bake for 10 minutes or so. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes. I rolled my around in my hands to make them a little rounder so they looked  more like holes than mini muffins.

For the coating, melt butter. In a separate bowl mixing cinnamon and sugar. Dip the donut holes in the butter and then roll in the sugar mixture. Eat while warm. If they last past a day, they are still good, but they do become a little gooey, so I think its best just to eat them all or share them.

Oshkosh Farmers Market

November 2, 2015 by braytonbb

The Oshkosh Farmers market moves from our lovely downtown to indoors this weekend. Ever Saturday until June from 9:30-12:30 approx. 40 vendors will be offering fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables, eggs, honey, syrups, cheeses, pasture-raised meats and poultry, fish, jams and preserves. A variety of handcrafted items are also available throughout the season.  Local food artisans bring fresh baked goods, candy, prepared foods and other goodies.  Ready to eat foods are available in the kitchen from local businesses. This Saturday The Roxy Supperclub will be providing great eats and music by Bob & Ernie will be enjoyed by all.  You can visit OSFMI to find a list of Who’s Doing What, a Market Layout (updated every Friday) and our Weekly Events for a list of our popular scheduled musicians.

The OSFMI is located in the Multi-Purpose Room at the rear/north side of Merrill Middle School, 108 W New York Ave. Ample parking is available right outside the entrance door #23. Best of all, it’s free!

 

Gluten Free Pumpkin Oatmeal

October 29, 2015 by braytonbb

Whether you are gluten free or not, this pumpkin oatmeal will be sure to win you over. Its more hearty than what you would imagine, easy to make for just one or a crowd and it literally only takes about 40 minutes from start to finish. I just used gluten free oatmeal, but go all out and use Quaker Oats or whatever you have on hand. Seems like the perfect breakfast to me on this breezy fall, almost Halloween kind of day.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Oatmeal – serves 4 (8 oz ramekins) Pumpkin oatmeal

1 C gluten free thick cut oatmeal, 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, dash of salt, 3/4 tsp. baking powder, handful of raisins, 1/2 C pumpkin pie filling, 1/4 C maple syrup, 1 TB butter, 3/4 C skim milk ( I also have used almond milk, which turns out great too :)), 1 egg and a handful of chopped pecans, and whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray ramekins with non stick spray.

In a large bowl combine, oats, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking powder and raisins. In another small bowl whisk together the pumpkin, maple syrup, butter, milk and eggs.

Combine both bowls and mix well. Pour into ramekins and top with pecans. Bake for 30 minutes. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle additional pumpkin pie spice on top.

 

Halloween To Do

October 26, 2015 by braytonbb

En el dia de los muertos

What to do for Halloween this year. Well we don’t have anything scary going on at the inn, but we do have a cozy place for you to lay your head after heading one or a few great events. Whether you like to be scared, you just want a good story or you just want to enjoy the season, we can assure you that you will have a great time here in our wonderful city.

 

First lets start off with Night Whispers a the Oshkosh Public Museum . You will find out if the ghost stories of Oshkosh are truly for real, as claimed in the newspapers and personal encounter or just things that may have been exaggerated through time. Take a night time walking tour through the  museum with real stories of ghosts reported that haunt Oshkosh. Guided tours are offered at 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from October 26-30, 2015. Pre-registration is required and space is limited to only 15 people per tour, guaranteeing everyone has an up-close and personal encounter. A cash bar serving soda, beer and wine will also be available. Tours not suitable for children under 10.

Spirits of the Grand Tour has always been my favorite. It is only three nights from October 29-31. Tours are at 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00 PM for 45 minutes and are limited to the first 24 people. Tickets are $15.00 and sell out fast! There are over 130 years of history to experience. Led by the interactive tour guides of Hysterical Productions, you’ll travel from lobby to auditorium to balcony to basement to dressing rooms, each with its own story. Thankfully, the tour ends in the Grand Lounge where you can enjoy a beverage and exchange stories!

Free Fridays are always at the Time Community Theater and Friday, October 30th will be no different at they will be showing the 1978 Halloween movie. Show starts at 7:00
The last outdoor farmers market of the season will also be on Saturday, October 31st. starting at 8:00 AM. with plenty of in season vegetables, honey, syrups, cheeses, pasture raised meats, poultry, jams and flowers.  There is still a wide variety of handcrafted items and live music starting at 9:00. until noon. Don’t fret though, they will pick up with the Winter market the following Saturday from 9:30-12:30 in the  multi purpose room at Merrill Middle School.

Apple Hand Pies

October 22, 2015 by braytonbb

I just love these cute little apple hand pies. You have to admit, that anything you can eat with your hands is always better, right? Regular apple pie is just too messy to pick up, but not this one. Just grab and go.

I got really ambitious the other day and decided to make my own pie crust. Its not that I have not done it before but sometimes, time is of the essence and Pillsbury doesn’t do too bad, but you can always tell the difference.

Now, don’t let home made pie crust scare you off. It is really easy, it just takes a little bit more time and patience, but trust me, its well worth it!

Apple Hand Pies – Serves 12 Apple hand pies

Dough – 2 C flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 C butter, 1/2 C sour cream.

Filling – 2 C peeled and diced apples (Granny Smith works best), 2 tsp. lemon juice, 1 heaping TB cinnamon, 1/2 C sugar (plus more for later), 2 tsp. flour, and 1 egg (whisked with just a smidge of water for the egg wash).

First make your dough. Whisk your flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add butter and work into flour mixture until wet and mixed in well. Stir in sour cream. It will seem like the dough is too wet, but just go with it. Turn it out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough a few times while adding more flour a little a time until it is no longer sticky.  Roll the dough out roughly into a 8×10″ rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds and wrap in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Next, onto the filling. Combine apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour until combined. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Take dough out of fridge and unfold it onto a floured surface, rolling out to roughly 12×12. ( Be careful that the dough isn’t too thin, but you don’t want it too thick either). Use your best judgement. Use a 3″ round cookie cutter or the base of a water glass. cut out as many circles as you can get and then re roll and continue cutting until you end up with approx. 24 circles.

Place 9 circles in a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Spoon a portion of the apple pie filling into the center of each circle, leaving room around the edges. Top the apple filling with another dough circle. Crimp the edges of the pie with a fork to seal. Brush each pie with the egg wash. Make a small slit in the center of the pie to let steam escape and then sprinkle with sugar. Don’t hold back!

Bake for 15 minutes until light golden. Let stand for a few minutes and then enjoy!

Crock Pot Maple Pumpkin Chex Mix

October 15, 2015 by braytonbb

Any time you can use a crock pot and then add the scent of maple and  pumpkin to your home, go for it. Throw in some Chex Mix and you have got yourself a nice little appetizer. I typically don’t by Chex cereals but my daughter was on a gluten free kick for a while and Chex has some great cereals that we tried out. I ended up buying a couple of boxes and really didn’t have room in my pantry for everything I purchased, so we started throwing some things together (after I was researching some ideas) I came across AverieCooks website and with a little help from her and what I had in my pantry, the final product was pretty tasty. Hope you enjoy.

Crock Pot Maple Pumpkin Chex Mix crock pot maple pumpkin chex mix

3 C cinnamon Chex, 3 cups rice Chex and 3 C honey nut cheerios, 1 C each of dried cranberries and cherries, 3/4 C each of honey roasted cashews and honey roasted peanuts, 1 1/2 C pretzels, 1 1/2 C graham cracker broken up, 1/2 C butter(melted), 1/2 C maple syrup, 1/4 C brown sugar, 2 TB pumpkin pie spice, and 1 TB vanilla. Hint ( if you don’t have something, try something else. It will still be good).

In a large crock pot add cereal, dried fruit, nuts, pretzels and graham crackers.

Melt butter. Add maple syrup, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Drizzle over the dry ingredients in the crock pot and stir well with a rubber spatula, so you don’t break up the pieces of cereal. It may seem like it is not enough liquid, but it will be fine.

Cook covered on high for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Check after about 90 minutes to make sure nothing is burning.  When done, turn over on wax paper and let dry completely for two hours or overnight. Break apart and keep in a zip lock bag. This will be chewier than most Chex mix type concoctions, but after tasting, I don’t think you will mind.

Discover Wisconsin

October 12, 2015 by braytonbb

 

Fallen leaves on the ground

Back in June I mentioned that Discover Wisconsin was here at our inn filming. They also filmed a few other B&B’s in Wisconsin as well. The wait is finally over. We will be attending a premier party to see the final product tomorrow at the Grand Opera House. There will be about forty other bed and breakfast owners attending as well, some of which will be staying with us. I am so excited. I am even more excited to announce though that for those of you who live in the Green Bay viewing area, you can catch the first episode on CBS at 6:30 on Saturday, October 17th.  For the rest of you around the state, check out Discover Wisconsin to view your dates and times. We will also be on the radio for five spots. If you scroll down to the bottom of the link I provided you will see these times as well.

We will be featured on the  Discover Wisconsin homepage from October 14-21st. (However, the information remains on the website under “ Destinations”).  See it now, on the landing page as “coming soon”!  By clicking on it, you will NOW be able to get a sneak peak and see  photos, video clips, and features. Check it out!

Want to win an adventure? Visit Discover Wisconsin Contests and enter your information to win a grand adventure somewhere in Wisconsin. We may even putting a package together ourselves in the next few days. hint hint.

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