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Recipes

Happy Valentine’s from All of Us at the Inn at Ellis River

Yellow tulips and glasses of champagneValentine’s Day brings thoughts of champagne, strawberries, and chocolate, of course! We’re looking forward to treating our guests to a special breakfast on the morning of Februrary 14, but if you can’t join us, what about making some of our Triple Chocolate Banana Muffins to start a romantic breakfast off right? They’re easy to bake the night before if mornings are busy. We’re planning to pair the muffins with a tropical fruit cup, and homemade Granola (we’ll add some dried cherries for an extra treat) and yogurt, of course! The main course? It’s time to show off those strawberries as a topping for crispy Belgian waffles, and if you dare, garnish with double chocolate chips and whipped cream as well. Some thick-sliced applewood smoked bacon is just the right accompaniment. Here’s a special trick – lay the bacon strips out on parchment paper on a baking sheet, and rub the bacon lightly with brown sugar before baking in a 400 degree oven until the bacon is crisp. No time for breakfast romance? Why not plan to make a special late night chocolate snack like our Holiday Joy Cookies – just decorate them with some red sugar sprinkles instead of the almonds, serve with fresh strawberries and that glass of bubbly, and enjoy! Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at the Inn, and remember that Valentine’s is a state of mind, not a date ~ we’re always ready to help you celebrate!

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Milk Chocolate Fudge ~ Our Gift for the Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour

The Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour returns to Jackson, NH, for Thanksgiving weekend through the weekend of December 22, 2012, with a festive sleigh ride through the village that stops at inns and shops for chocolate treastures.  One of the Five Tasty Tours in the Granite State named by the Concord Insider, this popular holiday event combines two holiday favorites ~ a sleigh ride and chocolate.  The Tour departs from Nestlenook Farm and circles the village loop with stops at the Inn at Jackson,  Backcountry Bakery, The Wentworth, J-Town Deli and Country Store, the Snowflake Inn and Flossie’s General Store.

The Inn at Ellis River’s two night package includes two tickets for the Tour and a gift our homemade milk chocolate fudge. (A limited number of one night packages are available). We hope you will jingle your way into the holidays with this special sleigh ride, but if you can’t, here’s the recipe for our Milk Chocolate Fudge:

Ingredients

  • 1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) margarine or butter
  • 2 4.2 ounce bars Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate
  • 2 4.4 ounce bars Hershey’s Milk Chocolate
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 7  ounce jar marshmallow whip
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Place evaporated milk, sugar, and margarine or butter in a large saucepan. Stir together over moderate heat until margarine is melted and ingredients are combined. Bring to boil and boil exactly 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add chocolate bars and chocolate chips gradually, stirring constantly. When chocolate is completely combined with the milk mixture, add marshmallow whip and vanilla and stir until fudge is a uniform color. Pour into a 9×13 inch pan and refrigerate until firm.

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Get Ready for the Holidays with Easy Party Appetizer Recipes

The Holiday Season is approaching, and we want to help you get ready to enjoy the festivities with friends and family. November shopping bargains abound in North Conway and Jackson, and we’ll help you with some easy recipes for entertaining. The Inn at Ellis River is partnering with some other members of Country Inns in the White Mountains for a Get Ready for the Holidays’ weekend November 16-18 . Your two night escape includes Saturday morning appetizer cooking demonstrations, an afternoon for shopping, four-course wine dinner at the 1785 Inn, Sunday morning’s breakfast featuring easy brunch treats for a crowd, and recipes of course!

We’re keeping our appetizer recipe a secret for now (we’re planning to have fun with lots of tasting as we perfect it!), so check out some of our recipes from the Inn to Inn Cookie Tours (like the Chipotle Cheddar Savory Shortbreads) or Herb Tours (like Basil Pignoli Bites) for savory snacks you can prepare ahead and have handy for a holiday party or unexpected guests. Here’s is a suggestion for an easy hors d’oeuvre for four or forty to complement either of these savory treats:

Antipasto Skewers

On each 6 inch skewer, thread an olive, a piece of roasted red pepper, a cube or small ball of mozzarella cheese wrapped in a thin piece of Prosciuto, a small marinated artichoke heart (or 1/4 or a larger heart), and a cherry tomato. (For vegetarian skewers, omit the Prosciuto). Place in a flat baking dish, brush with Oregano Vinaigrette and chill for 30 minutes.

Oregano Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, minced

Combine the vinegar, garlic, mustard, and oregano in a small bowl. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking constantly until all the oil is incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and stir in tomatoes. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use on the Antipasto Skewers or a mixed green, pasta, or grilled vegetable salad.

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Make the Inn at Ellis River’s Savory Crepes Caprese for a breakfast treat!

crepe caprese and baconWe had great fun at the Annual Inn to Inn Herb Tour this past weekend. The herb we featured was basil, and guests enjoyed it in Lemon Basil Coffee Cake and our savory egg entree with sweet basil at breakfast, and in some wonderful homemade lemonade flavored with lemon basil and Basil Pignoli Bites with Pesto for afternoon refreshments.

We learned a lot of fun facts about basil. In Greek, it means “royal,”, in India, it is a symbol of hospitality, and in Italy, a symbol of love. What a perfect combination of meanings ~ part of the inn’s hospitality is to prepare your food with love!

Sweet basil typically is used in Italian food: the most common Mediterranean cultivars are “Genovese”, “Purple Ruffles”, “Mammoth”, “Cinnamon”, “Lemon”, “Globe”, and “African Blue”. The round, often pointed leaves of the basil plant looks a lot like peppermint to which it is related. Basil is an annual easily grown from seed, and is not frost tolerant at all, so don’t plant it too early when cold weather may be possible. It needs full sun, and more moisture than some herbs, so keep it watered; especially in pots. As colder weather approaches, you can bring basil inside as a window herb if you plant the seeds in the late summer in pots and set them in a bright sunny window. Be sure to pinch the tops of your plants so they won’t flower – flowering will stop their growth. Harvest just before you start your recipe for maximum flavor.

There’s still time to grow some basil in your own garden or herb pot this summer, and enjoy it fresh in the Inn at Ellis River’s Savory Crepes Caprese.