Sunday, February 28, 2010
Friday night at our inn, our book/dinner club met for a ladies over nighter! What fun we had! We shared a meal, 50 Calorie Margaritas, good books and the company of each other!
Several months ago, we started a book club here at the inn. A little different than most, our club doesn't read the same books every month. We all have different ideas of what we like to read. So, that brought such a variety to the club and now we are not only exchanging notes of what good books to read, we are exchanging books. Great fun and love opening our eyes to new reads, a delish meal and good times together. Follow us below for a few recipes that were made at our club meeting Friday night. Unleavened Bread pizza's, 50 Calorie Margaritas and pesto to name a few! Enjoy and let us know how it turns out for you.
50 Calorie Margarita
To serve 2 or 3
1-12 oz can Sierra Mist Light
1 pkg. "on the go" Crystal Light, Lemon
3 to 4 shots Tequila
Put in blender and add ice to make about 5 cups. Blend! Rub glass rim with wedge of lime and dip in salt.
Most of you know that I cannot leave well enough alone so I added a few things to the above recipe. I enjoyed it and evidently so did the gals, a little shot of Grand Marnier in each glass along with a bit of lime juice right into the blended mix. Of course adding the liqueur makes them more like 75 calorie margaritas! Totally worth the few extra calories I might add!
Now for the pizza's.....
In a bowl:
1-1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white flour
3/4 t. baking soda and salt
In a blender:
3/4 c. cold water
3 T honey
2 T oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
Add wet to dry, kneading like yeast bread for about 5 min. Roll out very thin individual pizza's. Bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 7 min. Take out, top and bake with toppings at 425 degrees for about 4-5 min. or....just pile them without toppings right out of the oven on a plate and cover in honey and eat!
I make this Pesto with walnuts and I forgot the Parmesan cheese last time I made it. It was delightfully delicious!
1/2 c. walnuts
3 cloves diced garlic
Process for about 30 seconds!
Add about 4 to 5 cups of fresh basil leaves, 1 t. salt, 1/4 t. pepper and process with motor running slowly adding about 1 c. olive oil till all is smooth. Can add 1 c. grated Parmesan cheese and process a few more moments.
Be sure to store in two separate containers in fridge with a little olive oil on top!
Thanks book club ladies for joining me at The Pfeiffer Cottage Inn Friday evening. Already looking forward to our next meeting at Donetta's on Tuesday, April 6th!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
The perfect ending to our daughter's perfect stay started at "Word of Mouth Bistro" this morning in Salem.
Oh my gosh...creamy french toast, not gooey, just perfectly creamy and covered in crispy creme brule' fashion, the Creme Brule' French Toast at "Word of Mouth" was delish! I had been there for lunch before but had heard from a fellow foodie that their breakfasts, in particular this one was quite good...and it was!
We are always looking for places to send our guests for lunch or dinner...never breakfast. But, sometimes we just need to treat ourselves! And this morning was a treat.
Still a little sore and weathered from our snowmobiling yesterday, breakfast on our way to PDX was in order. Sherry and Jeff seemed to really enjoy their "too short" visit as we cramed as much fun as possible in to 3 days as we could. Spent some time hiking in the OSU College Forest Trails, took them to our new fav, Vault 244 for drinks and dinner and then our snowmobiling trip yesterday. I think I'm hooked on snow, speed and figuring out how to do it more often.
The Mt. Bachelor area isn't too far away and the highway is gorgeous from Albany but it doesn't snow there year round. So, I may have to find another sport to keep me busy in the summer. Hwy 20 goes from Newport, OR all the way to the east coast area. Here in Oregon, our hwy is absolutely breathtaking. The hwy or so it's called, "over the rivers and through the woods," is draped with old trees hanging with moss, emerald green ferns and the Santiam River all too perfect to not be photographed. So, occasionally we do stop for pictures but yesterday, we just needed to get to the snow. That's when this little issue with an Oregon State Police officer kind of got in the way.
"Yes, I know I was speeding ossifer and yes, I know exactly how fast I was going!" That's probably why he let me off with only a warning. I totally deserved a ticket but the fact that I probably reminded him of his mother or something probably helped. Ray thinks it was the nice red fire sticker on our car but then again, it could have been the fire engine red color of our car that gave him notice to my speed. Red does look pretty cool dashing down hwy 20 against all that gorgeous green if I don't say so myself! So, a little "slow down mam and I'll let you off with a warning this time" and we were on our way.
Hiking, snowmobiling, shopping, painting ceramics, eating, drinking, baking, enjoying downtown Portland and then they were gone! Too fast but fun, too short but totally enjoyed them both, too much good food...yes and now it's time for sleep. Thanks Jeff and Sherry for a very "fun" visit. See you soon!
Friday, February 12, 2010
A chef, a baker and a wine maker! Come see how all these culinary artists make good food look and taste beautiful. Grown by our farmer's in the Linn Countryside, some of the best food in the country comes from here. Fertile soil soaked in rain water, perfect summer weather and mix that with a very excited group of people that want to share all the goodness that comes from this area of the Willamette Valley region and you have the perfect combination.
Join us Tuesday, February 16th from 12-2pm at the Linn County FairExpo when we meet Danuta Pfeiffer of Pfeiffer Vineyards as she shows us how successful the Oregon Country Trails are here in Oregon! Creating one of these trails here in Linn County will offer us the opportunity to share with visitors and guests to our region. Our farmers, restaurateurs, wine makers, local shop owners and artists will meet and learn how being a part of "our" trail will not only benefit them, but benefit our entire region and promote sustainability.
So, do you grow blueberries? Do you have a farm where you grow some of the best food in the region? Do you have a hazelnut orchard? Do you run a B & B? Or...do you just wanna come for the food? Doesn't matter cause we love to share. Local foods as well as art samples from our area artists will be shared as we enjoy a "taste of the Linn Countryside." Bring a dish to share if you wish but please remember to use only Linn Country products.
To RSVP please call or email Cathy Bradford: 541-928-0911 email@example.com
Sunday, February 7, 2010
For those of you that love Trader Joe's as much as I do, you will totally get this. For those of you that just think I'm a freak...well...I am! I am freakishly in love with Trader Joe's!
Smoked Gouda, Lemon Curd, Maple Pecan Scones, Flat Breads, grass fed beef, jams, nuts, cereals, teas, coffee and wine! These are a few of my favorite things.
There is just something about walking in to Joe's that makes you feel like you are entering a sweet little market and it contains only the things that you truly need in life. Fresh potted herbs greet you at the door along with flowers in buckets of water or planted in little pots. Then there are the breads of which you have a ton to choose from. One of my favorites is Naan bread. Flat, pita like bread perfect heated and enjoyed with pasta and marinara. The fruit and fingerling potatoes next to the onions, etc. are quite the treat and go well with the bacon wrapped grass fed beef.
A great variety of cheeses including my fav smoked gouda. It's the perfect mild cheese that goes well with apple slices and crackers. Pre-made salads, sandwiches, chimichangas and other lunches are great on the go meals too. Milk, juices, butter from Ireland, hummus, artichoke dip and all the other goodies are on my list!
One of the most favorite things here at our inn is the Blueberry Green Tea we get at Joe's. Our guests love it! It goes well with the Cranberry Dippers and scones if we decide to buy them. I can't keep those cranberry dippers around cause I love them and will work my way through the whole container if I'm not careful. The Lemon Curd is probably thee most popular item here though. Why make it when Joe's tastes better than homemade! Perfect for my new Lemon Curd Coffee Cake recipe or my homemade cherry almond scones, Joe's Lemon Curd is a stock item in our pantry.
In CA, we used to live within a 1/2 mile from a Trader Joe's and since moving to Oregon our drive to the nearest store was 40 miles. Portland's Hollywood District has the best selection of wines of all the Joe's we have ever found but it is 72 miles from here. We are crossing our fingers and toes and hoping that our Corvallis Joe's has a good selection of Oregon wines as well.
We love that Joe's offers all they can in Oregon wines and beer which is great in keeping it local as well as offering what is good all over the world. So, needless to say, we have have waited a while for Joe's here in the Willamette Valley and have made our lists and will be in line to enter the new store in Corvallis on Friday.
See you there!
Monday, February 1, 2010
I think I'm spoiled. Yeah...I'm almost sure of it! I work hard, don't get me wrong. But I work hard at the stuff I love. I garden till I drop, I actually love cleaning, I stay way too ahead of the laundry and even the cat snubbed her nose at me when I scrubbed whatever that black thing was on her chin off. But, I think I know how to play hard too and thank goodness my partner in crime has taught me that it's ok to play. In fact he is the "king" of playing! A little sip of whatever he is tasting for the day and a stinky cigar and he's good to go. He plays racquetball with old men, very sweet old men by the way and he loves to garden too as long as he has his cigar clip hooked on to something while he works. Yes...they do actually make cigar clips. Side note: he actually thought I would be cool having his stinky cigar clipped to my bike handlebars while we were on a bike ride last summer! Really?...are you serious? He loves exploring the side roads with me as long as he gets a little nap now and then. I love watching his head swing when I jerk the steering wheel a little. Well...I gotta have some entertainment besides the gorgeous countryside you know!
Well, on one of our play dates a few nights ago, we decided to try out Bam Boo Diner in downtown Albany. One of four dining establishments owned by Chef Matt Bennett and his wife Janel and the only one of the four we hadn't had the pleasure of dining in yet. I had a very tasty veggie patty with vegetarian fried rice and a side of, "what the heck woman! You are drinking that way too fast. Am going to have to carry you outta here?" I wanted to send that side dish back to the kitchen but he wouldn't budge plus I was thirsty and I love a really cold beer and they gave us these little crispy goodies to nibble on. It was good! I was excited when our fortune cookies came too. I know that's weird but they always crack me up. I read mine and just thought ok whatever. It said, "Now is the time for peace in your life. Go along with other's ideas." Yeah...I could do that...once! Then I grabbed Ray's and I have to say, I was a little jealous. His fortune seemed so deep, so thoughtful and I was on the edge of my seat to see what would come of it. It said, "You shall soon make a long, overdue personal decision." Wow...a life altering decision maybe? Ummm....no! His decision I was informed would come in the form of how many bottles of Oregon Brandy he was planning to buy and how soon it would be before heading back to Portland to stock up on these libations. Dumb me...of course! Why would it be anything else. I love my man and the more he makes me laugh the better.
The movie that night was "The Blind Side." Wow...it was so sweet. If you haven't seen it, go see it. I don't buy movies but I think I have 3 somewhere around here. I may buy that one to add to my collection. The Holiday, Rudy, The Notebook and now when it comes out, The Blind Side!
Now how to segway in to cheese? Does cheese even need a segway? Well...on Saturday, I made my first trip to Saturday market in Corvallis. An indoor Farmer's Market and it was very impressive. Flowers, whole grain breads, almond puffs, chocolates, meats, eggs, jewelry, veggies and cheese. I love cheese! My favorite is Rogue Valley Chocolate Stout Cheddar. I used to have to drive to Whole Foods near Portland to get it but now Ray's in N. Albany carries it. We tell our guests that our goal is to serve them a hearty, healthy and organic breakfast whenever possible. We also tell them we try to add a little chocolate and liquor to each breakfast too. I think that's why they love coming back. There's nothing wrong with a little pear liqueur and/or chocolate with every breakfast.
That was my weekend in a nut shell! A little work, a lot of fun, a date and shopping...can't get any better than that!