Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pancake Muffins with Strawberries in Syrup

We debuted a new breakfast special last week to rave reviews - Pancake Muffins with Strawberries in Syrup.


Here is the recipe if you'd like to try these at home:

Makes 24 muffins

Nonstick cooking spray

2-1/3 cups of all-purpose flour

1 cup of pastry flour

2 teaspoons of baking soda

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

6 large eggs, at room temperature, yolks and whites separated in two bowls.

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

6 Tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3-1/3 cups buttermilk, at room temperature

Prepare the Muffins:

Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Generously spray two 12-cup muffin pans with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until firm, but not dry. About 2 - 3 minutes. Set aside.

In another large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the mixer on medium-high until thick, ribbony, and lemon-yellow. About 6 minutes. Add the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla; mix on medium-low until combined. Add one-third of the flour mixture and mix on low speed. Add one-third of the buttermilk and mix to combine. Alternate adding the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, ending with the buttermilk and mixing until just combined.

With a large rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter, leaving some streaks.

Fill the muffin pans, about 1/2 cup of the batter into each muffin cup. Bake, rotating the pans after 10 minutes, until browned on top and puffed, and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out dry, about 20 to 25 minutes total.

Prepare the Strawberries in Syrup

1 cup pure maple syrup

1 cup quartered, hulled ripe strawberries

In a small saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil over medium-high heat. Put the strawberries in the syrup and turn off the heat. Set aside in a warm spot.

To Serve:

Pop the muffins out of the cups and arrange 2 to a plate, spoon syrup and strawberries of the muffins, and then sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

One of my favorite things about this recipe, is that while these are delicious freshly made right out of the oven, I think they are even better after they have been frozen, thawed, and reheated -- and our staff agrees! This is great for making in advance for a large group of people or having them on hand for an intimate party of 2!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Flowering Fence

We've started a flowering fence along the entrance to the pool by trimming back the dead hemlock trees to 5' trunks and then planting a variety of climatis vines at the base of each trunk. Some of these vines have done better than others.


But this is a work in progress. So I'm not too bothered when some critter decides to take bit out a plant at the base of a vine that had almost climbed to the top of the trunk!


Next year we'll replace and add more vines as needed. We are also thinking of adding in a climbing rose or two to give us a full season of flowers.

The vines on the side of the Main Inn, however, are going gangbusters! Of course, they will all be removed when it is time to paint that portion of the inn again. Keeping our property looking spiffy includes painting a portion of the buildings each year -- it's too big to do all in one year.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wandering Deer

What I thought were a couple of tourists, has turned into daily visitors! This pair of does stroll around our side lawn every morning and evening looking for tasty flowers.


They enjoyed a couple of mouthfuls of the Mock Orange shrub and then moved on to look for the next course.

Good thing they don't like peonies! I've been adding one new peony to this flower bed for the last couple of years and they are starting to look really nice.


The vines are starting creep across the wall on the inn. I like the way the vines look, but of course, they are all scraped off every time that section of the inn is painted, which is probably every 5 years. This is probably a good thing, as vines like this can start to work their way into the building.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Can the Weather be Too Perfect?

It is such a gorgeous day today that I'm having a hard time reminding myself that I have work to do!


All I want to do is walk around the grounds sniffing flowers.




Even the woods is full of purple flowers (although it is hard to tell in this photo).