By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician
The excitement of traveling is in the air. We have all been cooped up for over a year now and we are itching to get out of Dodge. Traveling abroad, across the U.S. and through the wonderful state of Ohio has taken me on quite the gamut of accommodations from a yurt in The Wilds, and camping in Betty, our T@B teardrop, to high-end hotels and of course everything in between. Experiencing unique lodging and my foodie ways have become a bucket list pursuit for me that started even from a young age. In the summer of ’83, the unique choices of lodging and food primarily fell to bed and breakfasts and their regional cuisine. Our family vacation that year took us across New England notches, lakes, foothills, the Atlantic Coast and White Mountains. In those days without mobile phones, booking.com and google maps to help you secure overnight accommodations, we were left with a bed and breakfast book and the good old fashioned Rand McNally Atlas to assist us on our trek. The food was amazing and planted a seed for a lifetime romance. A few years later as a college student, I landed a job as a soup and veggie cook at North Hero House. It was a B and B on steroids tucked on the small island of North Hero, and surrounded by beautiful Lake Champlain. Think Kellerman’s in the Catskills minus the dirty dancing! We cooked up some fabulous breakfasts and the evening meals complete with cocktails that could rival a 5-star. I had the time of my life and my romance with bed and breakfast and country inns was alive and well.
The term bed and breakfast first became popular in the British Isles. In the U.S., the concept of bed and breakfasts were popular from the pioneer days to the 1950s when the allure of the new modern motels built beside interstate highways became overnight sensations. VRBO and Airbnb have brought the romance and accessibility of bed and breakfast right to your fingertips. Breakfast today, has become just as much a starring role in the headline. Foodies will travel to B and Bs that specialize in creative tantalizing scents and tastes from owners’ kitchens. Breakfasts can range from a continental breakfast of coffee and a baked goods to breakfasts featuring local ingredients and specialties to gourmet fare equivalent to top upscale hotel restaurants around the globe. Eggs are turned into frittatas, omelets, souffles, quiches, stratas and infinity and beyond. Carbs are fully loaded with gluten, dairy and topped with butter, syrups, creams, and seasonal fruits. Specialty breakfasts featuring all the dietary requests in the world can even be found.
More than 30 years after my first B and B experience, we opened our empty-nester home to visitors. The walls could surely talk about the breakfast and conversations we had with our guests pre-COVID-19. We decided to close temporarily through the pandemic, but I am excited to re-open again and begin to meet fascinating people enjoying intriguing conversations over delightful breakfasts. These prizewinning breakfast entrees from the 2016 Best Breakfast tournament by bedandbreakfast.com are sure to be on our plates. Try them at your home as well.
Eat well and Healthy,
Banana Fosters Style Pecan French Toast Weller Haus Bed, Breakfast & Event Center
1 Loaf of French Bread
2 Large Eggs
1/3 Cup Milk
1 /2 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. Vanilla–preferably Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla
1 Tbsp.Cinnamon (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg (or to taste)
2 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup Captain Morgans Spiced Rum
4 mini food -grade transfer pipettes
Slice 1 and 1/2 of the bananas, place in a small bowl and pour 1/4 cup of the rum over the bananas. Reserve additional bananas for garnish
Cut off one end of the french bread and discard. Cut the first slice of french bread 3/4″ thick but only cut 2/3 way through the loaf. Make the next slice 3/4″ thick but cut all the way through. You will repeat this process three more times and end up with four slices of french bread each with a pocket in the center.
Combine the brown sugar and pecans, mixing thoroughly by hand.
In each of the pockets, place a layer of the brown sugar/pecan mix. Reserve 1/2 of the mix as you will need for the final layer.
Remove bananas from rum, place on a paper towel to absorb excess liquid. In a separate baking dish, combine eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk until completely mixed.
Place the 2-tbsp. butter on a preheated 300 F griddle. Once the butter foams, dip each side of the bread into the egg mixture and place on griddle.
While bread is browning, prepare the food-safe mini pipettes. Using the 1.5 tsp. remaining rum, place the small end of the tube into the liquid, squeeze the bulb end to suction the rum into the pipette.
When the french toast is browned to your preference, approx. 2 minutes each side, remove from griddle and plate 2 pieces per plate.
Garnish with the remaining bananas, powdered sugar and top with whipped cream.
If using the rum-filled pipettes, insert one into each slice of french toast. Do not squeeze rum into bread…that is up to the diner!
Citrus- Berry Breakfast Pizza Cedar Crest Lodge
1 1/3 c flour
1 1/3c milk
1 ½ tsp. sugar
1 cup water 120-130°
2 Tbsp. oil
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. double strength vanilla
1 cup strawberries
1 blood orange, sliced & zest
½ c fresh blackberries
½ c fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 400°. Combine yeast, 1 cup flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add water and oil. Mix with hand mixer on medium speed until well blended about 2-3 minutes. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface 5-7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Let dough rest for 15-20 minutes. Divide dough into ¼ c segments. Place all but 6 segments on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for later use. Press 6 dough segments into greased individual mini cast iron pans or simply into rounds on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
Combine softened cream cheese, 1/3 c sugar, 1 tsp. lemon juice and 1 tsp. vanilla in a small bowl and mix until well blended.
Combine strawberries, blood orange, zest, blueberries, blackberries, and powdered sugar in a small bowl and toss until well combined. Set aside while pizza bakes.
Prebake pizza crust for about 5-7 minutes. Divide lemon cream cheese mixture between the 6 crusts and spread evenly. Bake for about 10 minutes or until crust is golden. Remove from oven and top with berry mixture. Sprinkle with powdered sugar right before serving. Serves 4
Apple Sausage Cheddar Quiche The Oaks Victorian Inn
1/2-pound sausage (sweet, spicy or turkey)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 shredded Granny Smith apple
1 Tb. lemon juice
1 Tb. sugar
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1-1/2 cups half and half
1/4 tsp. salt
Line a 9-inch pie plate with pie crust (see Chef’s Notes below!) and set aside.
Crumble the sausage into a large skillet. Add onions. Cook over medium heat until the meat is browned, and the onion is tender. Drain well. Return the pan to the stove and add the shredded apple, lemon juice and sugar. Cook over medium-high heat stirring constantly until the apple is tender and liquid has evaporated.
Spoon the sausage, apple, onion mixture into the pie shell. Top with cheese. Recipe can be put in the fridge and kept overnight at this point if desired.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl blend eggs, half-and-half, and salt. Pour over the sausage mixture. Bake 35-45 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let quiche stand a few minutes before serving.