Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Chocolate Review

Every now and then I like to highlight some of the chocolates that we make here at the inn under our Life By Chocolate banner.

Ok, I also just like to look at picture of chocolate and this gives me an excuse. Sometimes I have to taste them too just to make sure I'm describing them right!

We make a unique bunch of chocolate bars. They are all made with 72% organic dark chocolate and have little pockets of flavor. Some of the most popular ones are the Bee's Knees with honey and bee pollen and Wild Rabbitwith chili pepper! The wrapper design features images from some of my art quilts, which you may see hanging on the walls around the inn.

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Halloween is practically around the corner, but we actually have our chocolate cats available all year around just because who can resist a chocolate cat! We make them in dark or milk chocolate.

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Our crunchy butter toffee is also a popular holiday treat that we have available all year. The chocolate is organic and so are the almonds.

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We have a large selection of chocolate bark in dark, milk, vegan, or white chocolate with all sorts of yummy things in them, such as almonds, dried cherries, pistachios, coffee beans and sea salt, and cranberries.

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Our shop is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but you can also shop our web store at Life By

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Local Bounty

August is a wonderful time to live in an agricultural community! A local farmer stopped by yesterday with a bonanza of strawberries and cucumbers! I think I ate a half basket of strawberries before I even had time to put them away. Wow, are they good when they are this fresh. These were from the Boehm Family Farm in Climax, NY on Route 26 just 15 minutes from us. They grow Apples, Peaches, Nectarines, Pears, an assortment of Vegetables. Plus have Apple Cider, Apple Cider Donuts, Handmade gifts, and more. This was their first year growing strawberries and they had such a bumper crop they were driving around to the local restaurants to see if anyone wanted to buy some. We were more than happy to oblige.

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And while we are thinking of food . . . In this photo I'm in the middle of preparing one of our breakfast specials, Asparagus and Mushroom strata. This is the onions sautéing, while the torn brioche and mushrooms wait their turn to be layered into the final dish for baking.

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Still thinking of food, with a nod to gardening . . . I finally decided that it was unlikely that I'd ever get the big Victorian Greenhouse that I dream of, so if I wanted to get a Meyer's Lemon tree, I might as well just go for it now!

This is a dwarf Meyer's Lemon from Four Winds Nursery in Fremont, California. Four Winds is legendary for their dwarf citrus trees and because I spent my childhood in Fremont, where I walked past Four Winds on my way to school every day, I, of course, had to purchase my tree from them!

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I'll be keeping it in a container so that I can bring it inside during the winter, but these trees do very well in containers.

I'm still working on our front garden, trying out various perennials to see what will do well. This is one of the latest - Pink Baby's Breath. It is putting out beautiful sprays of pale pink flowers, perfect for flower arrangements.

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This is one side of the front garden. You can see that it still has lots of room for improvement and more flowers. Budget only allows a limited purchase of new plants each year, but I have loads of patience and half the fun of gardening is puttering around it it to see what develops!

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One of our recent guests, Barbara Fiore, caught a rare shot of us together with our pups, Hudson and Bree, as we were heading out on a walk! It's rare because usually Mark or I are the ones taking the pictures, which always leaves one of us out of the shot.

Kim and mark hi res