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Potato Tomato Frittata

January 15, 2015 by braytonbb

I have been making this Potato Tomato Frittata for years. I love it, because its a great gluten free recipe without feeling like you are missing out on anything. The recipe serves six but I have it made it for just one person before in a single serve pie plate or single serve casserole dish which even works better.

potato tomato frittataPotato Tomato Frittata– serves 6

1 TB butter, 2 med baking potatoes peeled and sliced, salt and pepper, 6 large eggs, beaten, 4 oz. shredded cheddar, 2 oz shredded swiss, 1 C sour cream, 2 TB chives, 1 LG Tomato, 2 TB parm cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Melt 1 TB butter in a skillet. Add sliced potatoes and sauté until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer potatoes to a 9” greased pie pan. Sprinkle potatoes with ½ cheddar and swiss. Spread sour cream over cheese. Sprinkle chives over sour cream. In a sprayed skillet, scramble eggs leaving fairly liquid. Salt and pepper to taste. Add eggs on top of chives. Add more cheese. Slice tomatos and add on top of eggs. Sprinkle parm on tomatoes.

Bake 40 minutes until puffed and slightly brown.

 

 

EAA Skiplane Fly-In

January 14, 2015 by braytonbb

Piper Cub on ski

When you think of EAA, you may think of the the incredible air show that takes place in Oshkosh the end of July each year. However, another pretty amazing event that EAA hosts is the annual EAA Skiplane Fly-In which is being held this year on Saturday, February 7th at the EAA Airventure Museums Pioneer Airport in Oshkosh.  Though not as large as the event in July, this spectacular winter event has welcomed more than 30 skiplanes in the past which began in 1953.

If you have never been, this would be a great event to take the family to.  The event begins at 10:00 AM and goes until 1:30 PM and is FREE of charge, which also includes complimentary chili and cake served starting at 10:30. If you do plan on visiting the museum, regular admission rates do apply.

 

 

Nutty Bars (vegan)

January 8, 2015 by braytonbb

I am so excited to tell you about these nutty bars. I know its been a few weeks since I posted a recipe. I feel awful, really, but the Holidays took a lot out of me. Now, its back to experimenting and creating.

Some of you know this, but about 3 months ago, my family decided to do a cleanse. My daughter has had severe back pain for the last four years. Her nutritionist mentioned that she might want to try a cleanse. Sometimes there are certain foods we eat that can trigger aches and pains, much like an allergy. We figured since she was going to do this, that we would join her to make it easier for her. It was only 3 days so we started juicing. We mixed our our vegetable and fruit smoothies and made our own nut milks. Some were better than others but after three days, we all felt great! Our daughter decided three days was enough. My husband and I decided to go on with the 7 day cleanse which introduced us to a vegan diet. We then proceeded to go onto the 21 day cleanse. We both lost some weight and felt great.  Thanksgiving was a challenge, but we made it through. Christmas on the other hand, well, we both fell off the wagon but have decided to get back into the groove. This recipe make a great dessert when you need a little bit of indulgence after dinner, but without all the guilt.

One dessert that gets made a lot at the inn is peanut butter bars, so this recipe is a great healthy alternative. I didn’t know a lot about vegan cooking/baking when I started this, so this recipe along with any future recipes I share with you will probably be taken from somewhere else. This recipe is adapted from One Green Planet. I did change up the recipe though and used what ingredients I had in the pantry. I also blended the nuts longer than what they did since I like a little more creamy texture, compared to nutty, but you can do whatever your palette pleases you.

Nutty BarsNutty Bars – Makes and 8×8 pan

1/2 C sunflower seeds, 1/2 C raw cashews, 1/2 C raw almonds, 1.5 C walnuts, 1/2 C all natural peanut butter, 1/2 melted organic coconut oil(melted-not in microwave), 2-3 TB maple syrup, 2 TB honey(if your not 100% vegan) and 2 tsp. organic vanilla extract.

Chocolate Topping- 1/2 C organic raw cacao powder, 6 TB coconut oil(melted), and 1 TB maple syrup

For the bars, use a food processor. Combine all the nuts and the peanut butter and process until the desired consistency. Add melted coconut oil, honey and/or maple syrup and vanilla and blend again.

Put the  mixture into a non greased 8×8 baking dish and put in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until firm.

For the topping, mix melted coconut oil, cacao and maple syrup and stir until creamy. After bars have firmed up in freezer, spread the chocolate quickly over the bars as it will firm up fast. Return the bars back to the freezer for about 30 minutes to let the chocolate harden up and the bars to set up even more. Transfer the bars to the fridge and let stand for 30 minutes before cutting into them.

Store in the fridge or freezer because they will soften up and lose their shape.

 

 

Mint Fudge

December 23, 2014 by braytonbb

I wanted to publish this mint fudge recipe before Christmas in case anybody needed some fast, last minute ideas on what to bring to family or friends gatherings this season. Fudge has never been a big thrill for me. I grew up not far from Wisconsin Dells where I worked and visited often, so I had my share of many different flavors. I enjoy peanut butter probably the most but sometimes can be a bit cumbersome to make. This mint fudge recipe is not only easy but fast and really good. In fact, this time of year  like to have it around for a little bite size piece of dessert after dinner since its kind of refreshing and I still get my chocolate kick. Our first home that we sold, our buyers brought this fudge recipe to our new home (about 14 years ago). I like it so much that she she shared the recipe with me and I have been making ever since every Christmas. I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Mint Fudge mint fudge

1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 1 bag of chocolate chips, 1 oz. baking chocolate and 2 tsp. of mint extract.

Melt everything BUT the mint in a saucepan over med. heat stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add mint. Pour into sprayed 8×8 pan. Chill 1 hour or more. It will seem soft but after one day, its perfect! I have never tried other flavored extracts but I have no doubt that they would be delicious. I am just partial to mint.

Covering a duvet by yourself?

December 22, 2014 by braytonbb

casa_suite_008jpgHow to cover a duvet by yourself in under 2 minutes? Not possible you say? I said the same thing. I am sure anyone who has ever tried putting a duvet cover on knows this is a royal pain in the butt. I am also sure that we have asked husbands and children to help pull, climb in, shake and whatever else can be down to get those corners to line up and not be lumpy.  You may have seen this little trick recently on Pinterest or Facebook or both. Whoever came up with this, is a genius! I  noticed where I pulled it from (makinglemonadeblog.com) makes mention that she linked up with others others so obviously this isn’t new, but it is to me.

When I first came across this, I marked it to come back to it and try it out. She made it look really simple. Too simple in fact that I thought for sure I would have some issues. I read the directions which seemed a bit confusing around step four. I then watched the video and got a confused around the same step, but still thought I am going to try this. So, today I did. She uses a full size duvet, but I actually used a king size duvet and cover on my king bed and it went just as smoothly until step four which I had to read twice, but figured it out pretty quickly. I am sharing this with you all since I will never go back to the old way of struggling to put a duvet back on my bed. For those of you who already knew this, you should be ashamed of yourselves for keeping this secret. :)  I am posting this link to my Pinterest page where you can find the details, otherwise, read below.

Step one: Lay the duvet cover Inside out on the bed with the opening of the cover at the bottom of the bed.

Step two: Lay the comforter(duvet) over the duvet cover, smoothing everything out so it lays perfectly over the cover.

Step three: Starting from closed side (top of the bed), roll the duvet and cover together towards the bottom (like a jelly roll). Start with one side, then go to the other until you can grab the  middle and roll towards the bottom.

Step four: Once rolled (you should be at the bottom of the bed), reach inside of the duvet cover at one corner  and grab the entire end of the duvet and pull through. Repeat on the other side and then the middle.

Step five: Unroll, shake it out, smooth it out, thats it!

 

Blue Cheese Stuffed Candied Pecans

December 18, 2014 by braytonbb

I have never been a big Blue Cheese or Gorgonzola fan, but I love the the pairings of sweet and salty together. A few weeks back we hosted a wine tasting gathering for a local business. Working with Gardinas we came up with some great wine and cheese pairings. They provided this wonderful Blue Cheese that wasn’t as sharp as I had sampled in the past. It almost had some sweet undertones to it. So, I tried using it again with this recipe and it really paid off. I will warn you though that these candied pecans with blue cheese are a tad bit addicting.  Its hard to have just one. I am planning on serving these at our next Holiday Party.

Blue Cheese stuffed pecansBlue Cheese Stuffed Candied Pecans

100 large pecan halves(perfectly shaped), 2 TB butter, 1/4 C honey, 1/4 C sugar, pinch of sea salt, 1/4 tsp. cracked pepper, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/8 tsp. curry powder, 1/2 C sour cream, and 1 C crumbled blue cheese at room temp.

First, prepare the pecans. Make sure your pecan halves are perfect. Keep the broken ones for another time. Spread them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Watch carefully, so they do not burn. White pecans are baking, melt butter and honey in a saucepan. When pecans are done baking, add to honey mixture, stirring until coated. Cool completely!

Combine sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne and curry powder in a large bowl. With a slotted spoon, remove pecans and place in the sugar mixture, tossing to coat.

Mix the blue cheese and sour cream until creamy. Using pastry bag(much easier), pipe the blue cheese mixture onto the flat side of one pecan. Top with another pecan and smooth out the edges. Serve right away, so you don’t eat them faster than you serve them.

Thanks ztastylife.com for the inspiration.

Coffee Bar

December 15, 2014 by braytonbb

coffee bar2Our new coffee bar is a guest inspiration. Every once in a while a guests will say “Hey, have you ever considered this”, or “you know what you should have”? Sometimes, we have the same ideas, but financially or having the space is sometimes a challenge. Other times though, we think to ourselves, yeh, your right, that would be a good idea. This coffee bar is exactly that.

I am going to call this guest, now friend out. Robin Wagner, thank you! I know its been a few years since you made this suggestion, but it wasn’t an easy fix. We wanted it to be just perfect. You said to us a few years ago that it would be nice to grab coffee in your robe, without having to go into the dining room, when others were having breakfast. You just wanted to grab and go without feeling that you were interrupting something. That is never the case, however, we do want our guests to feel right at home. So, we began thinking, designing and trying to find the the right spot that  made it look like it fit, like it was always there. Our four seasons porch where we keep all of our Oshkosh information, and cozy fireplace was or first choice, but I didn’t want to lose what we offered in that room. We then thought about the alcove by the front door. Perfect spot, but it didn’t seem central enough.

Older homes, don’t come with a lot of closets, so we didn’t want to give up one of the few we had, but we felt that putting in the living room, which is also a common area would be the most beneficial. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough room to stick in a refrigerator, but we did add a sink with filtered water, a space for wine glasses, coffee mugs, water glasses and our new Keurig which is getting a lot of use. We still offer coffee and tea in our dining room, but the Keurig  comes in handy for late night drinks or for those that want just one cup.

We hope you will stop in and check out our new Coffee Bar.

Mashed Potato Pancakes

December 11, 2014 by braytonbb

I have never been one to make a good potato pancake. In fact, its been a work in progress for me. However, when I saw this recipe, I had to get my hands on it and turn it into my own.  It couldn’t be any easier and any more delicious! Now, the key here is to have left over mashed potatoes. No leftovers? That is okay. I made a few of these up ahead of time, put them in the freezer and set them out in the morning to thaw and fried them up an hour later. It worked like a charm. In fact, you couldn’t tell the difference between the fresh and frozen.  I don’t think instant potatoes will work, but  hey, you can give it a shot and let me know. You want them to be thick, yet fluffy.

First off, you need a good mashed potato recipe. I typically only share my breakfast, dessert and appetizer recipes, but since you need mashed potatoes, I don’t think my Grandma will mind if I share this family secret.

Mashed Potatoes – feeds 6 generously

5# potatoes, 1 8 oz block of cream cheese, 1 C sour cream, 2 TB butter, 1 tsp. onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste.

Peel potatoes. Boil. Mash potatoes. Whip Potatoes. Add rest of ingredients and whip well again until thick and creamy.

Put in a casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes. ( Keeps up to 2 weeks in refrigerator before baking and freezes well too)

Mashed Potato Pancakes – 12 mini pancakes mashed potato pancakes

3 C mashed potatoes, 2/3 C shredded cheddar cheese,  2 TB chopped onions, 1 egg lightly beaten, 3 TB flour, plus more for dipping,  Tsp. garlic powder, vegetable oil(for frying) and sour cream(garnish)

In a large bowl, stir together the mashed potatoes, cheese, onions, egg and 3 TB flour until combined. Roll each portion into a ball and then flatten it into a 1/2″ thick pancake. I kept mine the size of a lid of a can.

In a shallow dish, add enough flour to coat 12 pancakes. Dredge each mashed potato pancake in flour.

Heat vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. I added enough to coat the bottom of the pan plus some. Fry the pancakes, flipping only once making sure that the get nice and brown on each side. Don’t flip too soon though, otherwise they won’t heat all the way through and they may fall apart. Transfer pancakes to a paper towel lined plate.

Sprinkle with a little Sea salt, a dollop sour cream and chives.

Adapted recipe from justataste.com

 

Asparagus Strata

December 4, 2014 by braytonbb

This asparagus strata was inspired by these pretty singular casseroles that I found the other day. I get asked this question a lot. What is the difference between a strata and a frittata?  Well a a frittata is an open faced omelet that has fillings such as cheese, meat, veggies that is blended into the egg mixture instead of being added to the top. A strata is more of a casserole type item by pouring the egg and milk over the bread, cheese, meat and/or veggies. Stratas  are usually left in the refrigerator over night as well so the bread soaks up all the egg and milk goodness. I made this for one, but if you have a smaller appetite, this could easily work for two people.

Asparagus Strata – Serves 1-2asparagus strata

3 slices prosciutto, 3 asparagus stalks(ends cut), 2 eggs, chives, any leftover artisan bread( 3 thick slices), salt, pepper, butter, Havarti, Swiss or Fontina cheese(shredded), 1/2 tsp. horseradish and half and half.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a small casserole dish. Lay 1-2 slices of bread on the butter of the casserole dish. It is okay that it heaves over the sides.

Whisk together eggs, horseradish and half and half. Stir in half of the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg  mixture over the bread, saving about 1/4 C. Layer the prosciutto over the bread and then lay the asparagus over the prosciutto or wrap the prosciutto around the asparagus (whatever you prefer). Pour the remaining egg mixture over the asparagus and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake immediately or put in the refrigerator overnight.

Bake until just set about 30 minutes. sprinkle with chives and paprika for added color.

Don’t forget those gift certificates

December 1, 2014 by braytonbb

gift cert1

Many of you probably have your Christmas shopping done or maybe you have at least started. I would normally be one of these two, but this year I have been pushing myself to get the turkey on the table, the decorations up and now thinking about what to buy for everyone. May I suggest gift certificates. I know they can be a bit informal but they really are the perfect gift. I know I will be purchasing several this year. Please think small business if you can. Those box stores are nice but you want to talk about impersonal, that about takes the cake.

Speaking of gift certificates, we sell any denomination of gift certificate you would like, including ones that are packaged up in a nice little bundle that includes anything from flowers, to candy to dinner at a local restaurant. We can even take care of mailing them out for you if you wish. Just give us call, or buy online, let us know how you would like us to handle it and we will take care of the rest. No lines to stand in and it already comes wrapped.

Being Thankful

November 24, 2014 by braytonbb

Give Thanks... (#7287)

As I start preparing for Thanksgiving this year, since we always host the family, I get a little teary eyed knowing that I have a lot to be thankful for. I know I should tell my family and friends more often than I do, but I always assume they know. Whether they do or not, I know I need to voice it more often.

My daughter is a junior this year in high school. She has always known that she has wanted to to be a large animal vet. Other than wanting to go to UCLA, which we had to break it to her, that financially that was not going to happen, River Falls WI, has been her dream. Small school, small town and hands on learning is what she has dreamed about. Already taking some college prep courses in high school and doing an externship over the summer has made her even more sure. We travel this week up to UW River Falls to tour the school, just to make sure that what she has in mind is what it is all about. We have talked to her about doing her generals close to home to save some money and then transferring but that has never been her idea of the right thing to do. I get it! I was once there too. I just wanted to move away and make my own life and dreams happen. That is until she met Mr. wonderful a few weeks ago and now staying closer to home for those generals doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.  Funny how that happens, huh?

Anyway, I have been asked if I am ready. Ready for her to leave, or ready for her to stay? Well, I have to say because she is my only and we are very close, I would miss her like crazy. However, I know that she is ready. So I guess that makes it just a little bit easier knowing that she may choose to be four hours away. Am I ready if she stays? Yes, if I know she is staying for the right reasons and that its the best thing for her. I saw a quote the other day and it said that we should give our children two things. One is roots and the other is wings. I don’t think it could have been said any better.

With that being said, I am thankful for the support of my family, the love of my husband, the closeness of my friends, the guests that choose to spend time at our inn since there are so many great places to stay and the inspiration that my daughter gives me daily to be a better person and a Mom. I hope that you all find your thanks this week, throughout the holiday season and as you live your lives.

Fig and Blue Cheese Bites

November 20, 2014 by braytonbb

These Fig and Blue Cheese Bites were actually an inspiration from one of our favorite restaurants here in town called Gardinas. Scott and I have changed up our diet as of about 6 weeks ago (story at another time) so we have gone out of our comfort zone and have tried some unique dishes as of recent. The other night we were out and had ordered Gardinas Fig flat bread. We were in love with the first bite and wanted to try to recreate it at home.

Of course Gardinas is a heck of a lot better, but I don’t think we did half bad. We did add some prosciutto ham but I don’t think I would again. It doesn’t really need it. If you are craving a little protein though, this would do the trick. We also used a baking stone, but if you don’t have, I think it would turn out just fine.

Ingredients: Store bough pizza dough, fig spread(found in the deli section), dried figs, Blue Cheese, and prosciutto(optional).

fig bites2

Fig and Blue Cheese Bites 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. I used a round pizza stone. Put it in your oven while the the oven is preheating. Once you get 450 degrees, leave pizza stone in the oven for 30 additional minutes. In the meantime, stretch your dough on a piece of parchment paper to the size you want it. It will raise in the oven, so stretch it out good. Spread on the fig jam. Here you will add prosciutto if you desire. If not, cut figs in half or in quarters and sprinkle them on your pizza. Sprinkle on Blue Cheese.

Slice the parchment paper and dough onto your pizza stone. Turn down oven to 400 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. Watch carefully. Once done, we added a little balsamic glaze to the top of the pizza. Cut and serve. We served ours with Hughes Chocolates and some crackers.

Nutcracker in the Castle

November 17, 2014 by braytonbb

“Land of Sweets” courtesy of the Paine Art Museum

The Nutcracker in the the Castle at the Paine Art Museum starts this Friday, November 21st and goes through Friday, January 5th.  We couldn’t be more excited. The Paine “castle” is decorated elaborately throughout each of its historic rooms with scenes from the Nutcracker fairy tale. If you have never done the candlelight tour, the magic happens before your eyes with the shimmering glow of more than seventy Christmas trees through the home. There is also special actor guided tours with live music and the youth ballet performances which bring this fantasy even more to life. Make sure you make your reservations though soon, since sell out is very likely. After your tour, stopping in the enchanted cafe is a must, where the Sugar Plum Fairy will serve up hot chocolate and home made cupcakes from the Cake Guru.

 

 

 

Broccoli and Bacon Mini Quiches

November 13, 2014 by braytonbb

These mini broccoli and bacon quiches are so cute and tasty. I mean who doesn’t like anything that is mini, right? This recipe is for 2 servings, so you can share or make them both and have the other for lunch or dinner or even the following day.

I love making quiche but this time of year when we are a little slower, sometimes I only have 1 or 2 at the breakfast table, especially during the week. I had mini aluminium pie tins which were fine, but when I found these beauties about a month ago, they looked good enough to plate up. I have also tried some of my other quiche recipes in these single serve cuties and they have turned out great. Just remember to adjust your quantities on the ingredients.

Broccoli and Bacon Mini Quiches – Serves 2 broccoli bacon mini quiche

1/2 C fresh broccoli, chopped, 1/2 C shredded Swiss, 2 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled, 2 eggs, 1/2 C half and half, pinch of salt, pepper, garlic powder and horseradish.

Divide broccoli, cheese and bacon between two mini pie plates greased lightly. In a small bowl whisk the eggs, half and half, salt, pepper, garlic and horseradish. Pour over broccoli. Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered for about 20 minutes.

Pumpkin Creme Brule

November 6, 2014 by braytonbb

Its Thanksgiving month. what do you expect? Your going to get pumpkin recipes from me. I will try not to do it all month though, because as hard as it is for me to believe, I have found some non loving pumpkin people out there. I know, absurd! I don’t understand it either. However, for all you other pumpkin lover fans like myself, here is another for you. It tastes like pumpkin pie, but without the crust and a little more crunch with the toasted pecans on top. It literally is heaven in your mouth. I got this recipe from a Taste of Home magazine about 15 years ago, so you know its got to be good.

pumpkin creme brulePumpkin Creme Brule – Serves 4

1 can(15oz) of pumpkin, 2 eggs, , 1 C half and half, 2/3 C brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp. salt

Topping – 1/4 C brown sugar, 1/4 C chopped pecans, 1 T melted butter, whipped cream and cinnamon is optional but I think its a must.

In a large bowl, combine all your ingredients except the topping ingredients. Beat until smooth. Pour into four greased 8 oz. custard cups. Place filled custard cups into a 13×9″ pan. Pour hot water around the cups up to 1″. Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

While the creme brule is baking, mix topping ingredients together. Sprinkle over the custard when done baking. Then, bake an additional 30 minutes. Serve warm if you can, otherwise room temp is great too with some whipped cream and cinnamon.

Pumpkin Tiramisu

October 30, 2014 by braytonbb

Tis the season for pumpkin. This pumpkin tiramisu sounds scary to make, but actually its pretty darn easy. Just give it 24 hours to chill and you have yourself a dessert that looks like it took hours to make. Don’t like that coffee flavor in tiramisu? You are in luck, since there isn’t in ounce of coffee in this recipe. I have  played around with this recipe for years trying different fillings for seasonal tiramisus like cherry for Valentines Day, or mint for St. Patricks Day, but pumpkin is my favorite.

pumpkin tiramisuPumpkin Tiramisu – Serves 8 large servings

1 can pumpkin, 1/2 C brown sugar, 1 TB, cocoa powder, 3/4 C sugar, 1 tsp, pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp. vanilla, chocolate graham crackers, 3 (8oz) cream cheese blocks, and 2 TB half an half.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Add pumpkin, half and half, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla until creamy.

Lay graham crackers in a oblong 4 qt. casserole pan. You may have to break pieces to get them to fit. Spread a quarter of the pumpkin mixture over crackers. Layer 3 or more graham crackers over pumpkin mixture, 2 more times, ending with pumpkin mixture. Cover and chill overnight. In the morning, cut into squares and dust with cocoa powder.

Blooming Apple with Homemade Caramel Sauce

October 23, 2014 by braytonbb

Recipes such as this blooming apple and home made caramel sauce really makes me think of fall, so I figured this would be the perfect time to post this.  So, lucky for you, two recipes in one this week. The blooming apple recipe I found on Pinterest and thought that it was rather genius. They made it sound like it would just fall and be beautiful while baking, but it doesn’t quite work out that way. Also, I should add, I have been asked if I feel guilty posting recipes I find intriguing on Pinterest. My reply is absolutely not!  I give credit where I find it and besides, I have said this before, but I feel it is my obligation to report back to you on the recipes you may have wondered about making yourself.

As for the caramel recipe, I have been making this for years. I used it on the blooming apple, but I have also used it as an ice cream topping, caramel bars, and a drizzle for caramel apples. With that said, it does not set up like a caramel apple would, which is why I use it as a drizzle.

caramelCaramel Sauce – 4 Cups

2 C sugar, 3/4 C butter, 2 C whipping cream, 1 C light corn syrup, 1/2 salt and 1 tsp. vanilla

Heat all ingredients except salt and vanilla to boiling in a 2 qt. or larger double boiler over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once ingredients are incorporated, turn heat down slightly and boil for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is a dark amber color.

Stir in Vanilla and salt. Serve right away warm or store in the refrigerator  and heat up when needed. Will keep a couple of  months in the refrigerator.

blooming appleBlooming Apple – serves 2

2 large honey crisp apples or something sweet and tart at the same, 3 TB brown sugar, 4 caramels, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tb flour and 2 tb butter.

Slice 1/4 top horizontally off the top of the apple. Scoop out the core with a melon ball or small teaspoon. Then use a thin knife to make two deep circular cuts around the center of the apple. Next, turn the apple over and  make narrow cuts all the way around the apple. flip it back over and add unwrapped caramel to the center.

Heat butter and brown sugar in the microwave just until melted roughly 30 seconds. Stir and heat more if necessary. Remove from microwave and stir in flour and cinnamon. Divide mixture over the top of the two sliced apples. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and use a large spoon to move the apple from the pan to a plate or bowl. You may have to help spread the apple slices out. I drizzled mine caramel sauce and added whipped cream and cinnamon but ice cream would be good too for a dessert.

I am including the website  where I got the blooming apple from since they do a great job of showing how to cut the apple if you need.

Welcome to Oshkosh

October 21, 2014 by braytonbb

We just want to be the first, though I doubt we are, to say welcome to Oshkosh. We are so excited to know that  Ski’s Meat Market and Grocery store  will be opening up tomorrow at 10:00 AM in downtown Oshkosh. It almost feels like Christmas. I can hardly wait! I hope to be one of the first paying customers on Wednesday.  We could not be more overjoyed to have a full service grocery store in downtown Oshkosh where we cannot only find the basics like milk, eggs and butter, but finally being able to buy fresh Manderfields bakery, a vast organic section to compliment NDC and one of kind items that we can’t find anywhere else locally. I have a feeling I will be visiting often and sending many people down the street. We have been waiting for something like this for quite some time and we couldn’t be happier knowing the crew behind such an endeavor. We know you will be very successful! 

What are your plans for Halloween?

October 20, 2014 by braytonbb

Smoke art  - Animated Jack-o-lantern

Halloween falls on a Friday this year, so what are your big plans? Oshkosh is the place to be with two very spooky but fun things to do and all within walking distance from the inn.

On Friday, October 31st, the Grand Opera House with host the Spirits of the Grand at Tunnel 24: The speakeasy for only one night from 7:00-7:30. Tickets prices are $15.00 with include a specialty cocktail. In case your wondering, it is PG-13 rated.  This is an annual haunted history tour but new this year is Tunnel 24 taking you right back to 1928. The jazz birds and  mobsters will take you through the “underground tunnels of Oshkosh” where you will hear stories of haunted history  and end up at The Golden Peacock Club for a haunted happy hour. The drama will continue though at the Grand Lounge with charleston, jazz, blues and brawling. Something you will not want to miss!

On Saturday, November 1, Casks and Caskets will be holding the best home brew contest from 7:00-10:00 at the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau to benefit the Oshkosh Hunger Force. With live music from Sly Joe and the Smooth Operators, a costume contest, a wide variety of beer, wine, mead and cider styles, a huge silent auction and door prizes with a post event party at  Beckets, this is a great weekend to celebrate here in Oshkosh.

 

 

Gingersnap Pears

October 16, 2014 by braytonbb

This gingersnap pear recipe is great in the summer but the pears are so juicy right now, I just can’t resist. If you find that the pears are not to your liking in the store, canned pears work just as well too. Not a fan of gingersnaps? I am  not really either so sometimes I use graham cracker crumbs, depending what I have in the pantry. Two different flavors, but same concept. This recipe will serve 6 generously using a 6 oz. ramekin. If you don’t have, use an 8×8 pan and scoop into dessert cups when done baking.

Gingersnap Pears – serves 6

6 large pears peeled and diced or 2 large cans of diced pears, 1/4 C melted butter, 1 C graham cracker crumbs or crushed ginger snaps, 1 TB flour, whipped cream.

Put your diced pears into a bowl. Sprinkle flour over the top and stir gently. Add pears to ramekins.

Mix melted butter with graham crumbs or crushed gingersnaps. Sprinkle over pears.

Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Top with Whipped Cream and sprinkle some cinnamon, or pumpkin pie spice over the top and enjoy.

 

New Packages

October 13, 2014 by braytonbb

[MAYMA-tiiii♥♥♥......]

New Packages, just in time for this upcoming winter.  We always have some great packages and add-ons to your stay, but each year we try to come up with something new and fresh for a limited time. This year, we have really outdone ourselves. We have 5 new packages we want to share with you and 4 of them are for a limited time only. These are just brief descriptions of what we are offering, so if you are interested,just go to our website and find out more.

1. We always have our Packer Package but it is worth mentioning so make your reservations and catch the bus at Ratch and Deb’s Pizza where you don’t have to worry about parking or driving and we serve you a full breakfast in the morning.

2. Pick up your Paintbrush on Sat. Dec. 13 where we will all be walking down to the Artspot to do some Painting. It will make a great gift for Christmas or to keep for yourself the painting on our specials page will show you what we will be doing that day.

3. Nutcracker in the Castle from Nov. 21- Jan. 5th. The busiest of seasons when the Paine Art Museum puts on quite a show with over 100 Christmas trees and Candlelight and guided tours are set to the Nutcracker theme. Stay 2 nights and get 20% off your stay with the Nutcracker purchase.

4. New Years Eve Comedy Dec. 31st. Lets end the year right and have a private party at Backlot Comedy House in downtown Oshkosh. Reservations need to be made by Nov. 17th.

5. Grand Discount! 1 Free ticket to the Grand Opera House with a two night stay through June.

6. Guided Ice Fishing Package – Captain Scotty from Scotty’s Pontoons will take you out on the ice to do a little fishing or to just check out the scenes. Everything included from the shanty, to the bait and we will even pack you a lunch.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

October 9, 2014 by braytonbb

This carrot cake oatmeal is the perfect recipe for this time of year when you the whether starts to chill and something hearty but something just slightly sweet is just what you are craving. I have made this with gluten free oatmeal and also with quick oats and you can’t even tell the difference. Feel free to add extra cinnamon, brown sugar, honey or maple syrup to make this the sweetness you desire. Served with a side of peppered bacon and some yogurt makes this the perfect fall breakfast.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal – serves 1 carrot cake oatmeal2

1 small carrot shredded (about 1/4 C), 1 C hot water, 1/3 C quick oats or gluten free oatmeal, 1 TB raisins, 1 TB shredded coconut, 2 TB candied walnuts, 1 tsp. cinnamon, a dash each of nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves, and sea salt, 2 Tb brown sugar, 1 TB honey, 1 tsp. maple syrup, 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 2 TB half and half or skim milk.

Add shredded carrot and water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir for a few minutes. Once the carrots have softened, add the oats, raisin, coconut, 1 TB walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and sea salt. Cook until the oats have absorbed  the liquid, about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Turn off heat and add honey, maple syrup and vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and add half and half or skim milk and the rest of your walnuts.

The half and half gives it a much creamier taste, but if you are trying to cut back on calories the skim milk is great as well.

The picture shows bananas on top. I got confused. I also make a banana bread oatmeal and put these on top by mistake. Oops.

Oshkosh Chili Cook-off

October 6, 2014 by braytonbb

Chili Cook-Off

The Oshkosh Chili Cook Off is one of my favorite events that takes place in downtown Oshkosh. It is always the last Saturday in October, which just happens to be the last outdoor Farmers Markets as well for the year. This year, it is Saturday, October 25th. Proceeds from Oshkosh Chili Cook Off help to support the Day by Day Warming Shelter.

For just $10.00 for adults, you can enjoy all the chili you can handle. With over thirty different amateur chili cook-off teams, you can sample your favorite traditional chili or brave some of the unique flavors that are created each year and then voting on your favorites.  Some popular unique flavors in the past have been pineapple chili, chocolate chili, vegan chili, meat lovin’ chili and MANY more chili samples!

Whether you you plan to register or you just want to enjoy the day by hanging out downtown for the Oshkosh Saturday Farmers Market and Chili Cook off, it is sure to be a day of great smells and fun.

 

Apples, Sauteed

October 2, 2014 by braytonbb

Apple

I just love the smell of apples this time of year. Sauteed apples, apple cider, crisp, applesauce, pies, I could go on and on. I just don’t get sick them. This sauteed apple recipe that I want to share with you can be used for so many things. Sometimes I just use it as a side dish like the picture shows or sometimes I will make a batch and and layer them over my apple pie french toast, or serve them with pork chops with my family. Either way, you can’t go wrong since they are so easy to make. 

I have included some of the links to past recipes that I have posted for your convenience.

Sauteed Apples – Serves 2 apples, sauteed

1/8 C butter, 2 apples(diced big or sliced hearty) 1 tsp. cornstarch, 1/4 C cold water, 1/4 C brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add apples. Cook and stir constantly for about 5 minutes.

Dissolve cornstarch in water and add to skillet with apples. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon. Boil for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep on low with a cover on skillet until thick and gooey.

Autumn in Wisconsin

September 29, 2014 by braytonbb

fall 2011There is nothing like Autumn in Wisconsin! Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a warm weather kind of girl. I love the hot temps, summer breezes and spending the day on Lake Winnebago on Scotty’s Pontoons. However, digging out those jeans, cozy sweaters, taking in the early morning sunrises, brisk walks in the evening and admiring the beautiful array of colors on the trees is a close seconds to those warm summer days.

We are so fortunate here in Oshkosh to have beautiful tree-lined streets that showcase the wonders of Fall and reflect off of Lake Winnebago. Menominee Park and South Park both showcase the colorful sanctuary that we should be so proud to display to our guests that come to our city.

Want to take a road trip though and experience all the colors of Wisconsin. Check out the Travel Wisconsin website to know how locally we are progressing along with the rest of the state.

We are heating up the apple cider and bringing out our pumpkin recipes for breakfast and desserts.Get all our latest and greatest recipes by following us on our Facebook page or on our blog.

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