We can’t make this sauce at the Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast without someone asking for the recipe. It’s so easy yet so elegant. It’s delicious on just about any fruit! I especially enjoy a dollop on a bowl of fresh berries. –like the unbelievably sweet strawberries we have been getting from Full Sun Farm.
In a food processor mix:
1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt (not Greek)
1 Tbsp sugar
1Tbsp vanilla extract
zest of half an orange
I recommend tasting to make sure it meets with your approval, if not, add a little more of whatever you think it needs. I prefer the sauce thick, but you can thin it by adding more yogurt. I’ve tried different Ricotta chesses but have had the most success with Breakstone whole milk. This recipe serves 8.
Every time we serve these scones at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast someone at the table requests the recipe. Last weekend I handed out 4 copies of the recipe , so I thought it might be worth posting on our site. When I go on vacation I end up making these scones every morning at my kids request. They like them full of chocolate and peanut butter chips. Mix in whatever your tummy tells you. These scones are lighter than the usual scone and very easy to make.
This recipe has been past down several generations. I’m not sure they were called “scones” back in the day but that’s what we call here at the Pinecrest Inn. Enjoy !
2 C Flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp Salt
1/3 C sugar or 1/4 C Honey
4 TBSP unsalted Butter
2 TBSP shortening
3/4 C cream
* zest of one lemon
Handful of dried cranberries, fresh blueberries, chocolate chips….whatever you want to mix in.
* When using fruit I also add the zest of a lemon.
Combine dry ingredients then cut in butter and shortening until it resembles fine crumbles. Add 1 lightly beaten egg and 3/4 of cream. I usually add the cream slowly mixing then adding more. You want the dough to be very sticky not wet (see photo). You may not need all of the cream. Add fruit and lemon zest at the very end and mix just till integrated. Do not over mix the dough.
Using an ice cream scooper drop 8- 10 rounded spoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle sanding sugar. White granulated sugar will work just fine, I just like the way sanding sugar gives a sparkly shine.
It seems like I do a lot of blogging about food but what can I say, I have a passion for food, especially fresh from the farm food. Last week I had many guests with certain dietary needs. Rather than make a bunch of ingredient substitutions or several different breakfasts, I decided to be bold and make one breakfast that would make everyone happy. And when I saw the beautiful variety of potatoes my friend and go-to local organic farmer, Alex Brown from Full Sun Farm had at market…my mind screamed a veggie hash with an egg or not on top.
I grabbed a hand full each of gorgeous Green Mountain, German Butterball, Papa Cacho and Russian Banana Fingerlings, some yellow onions, Red Rosa di Milano onions, red peppers, fresh basil and divine Cherokee Purple tomatoes. Unfortunately, Alex did not have any kale so I had to visit our local grocery store for some baby kale, assorted mushrooms and avocados. I also picked up some seeded bread from City Bakery for toast. I have found that not everyone is a fan of mushrooms, so I always check and if there is an objection, I just move some of the sautéed onions to a separate pan continue with the recipe omitting the mushroom step.
Honestly, I couldn’t wait to make breakfast the next morning. There are some meals you just get really excited about and this one is by far one of my very favorites. It also gets raving reviews from my guests. I am including the recipe and some pictures with this blog. Here at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast we are happy to share all our recipes with our guests. Keep in mind, I have done my best to estimate the measurements, but really I just eye it.
Although I had 8 folks for this breakfast last week, I have reduced the recipe to 4 servings.
2 1/2 lbs assorted small potatoes cubed
1 red pepper diced
2 small onions sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
Several sprigs of chopped thyme
8 oz or more assorted mushrooms
1 bunch baby kale or any green leafy vegetable (stem removed)
4 eggs (or not for vegan recipe)
2 avocados, sliced
Veggie Hash with Egg Breakfast
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and cube potatoes and place on large rimmed baking sheet. Generously drizzle potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, turning half way through. While potatoes are baking, sauté onions, red pepper, garlic and thyme in a little olive oil. Once onions are soft add the mushrooms. Once mushrooms are cooked through add kale and cook for just a couple of minutes or until kale is lightly wilted. Remove from heat. Toss potatoes and veggies together. Add a fried, poached or scrambled egg to the top for those wanting the protein. Garnish with avocado and tomato.
We recently made a goat cheese and chive breakfast scramble for our Asheville Bed & Breakfast guests. It made me think about how lucky we are to have so many artisan cheese makers right in our own WNC backyard. As it turns out, the time-honored craft of artisan cheese making has experienced a revival the past few years, especially throughout North Carolina. Our state boasts over 40 cheese producers, with about 30-35 of those being artisanal in nature. Artisanal cheese-makers own their own goats or cows and process their cheeses on small, sustainable family farms or local creameries.
Many N.C. cheeses are produced without the use of additives, growth hormones, preservatives or other unnatural ingredients, and are some of the most prized in the nation. In 2011, Looking Glass Creamery in Fairview was one of only six Artisan Cheese-makers across the country to be featured in Williams Sonoma catalog. Three of their signature cheeses Early Bird, Ellington, and Chocolate Lab were showcased. Ellington is named after the famed art deco architect who designed many of Asheville’s unique buildings. The famed cheese won the Taste Test Awards by Cooking Light in 2011 and brought home second place at the American Cheese Society Conference and Competition last August.
The artisan cheese movement has taken such a strong hold, there is now an official cheese trail (wine lovers eat your heart out!) The WNC Cheese Trail gives cheese connoisseurs a chance to tour the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, while sampling some of the finest local cheeses fresh from the farm. Sample cheeses from local favorites like Round Mountain Creamery, Heritage Homestead, Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery, Looking Glass Creamery and more. Whether you prefer Blue, Chevre, Gouda, Brie or something more exotic, the tour will give you the chance to taste a wide variety from soft-ripened pasteurized varieties to hard, aged raw milk cheeses. The distinctive flavor of handcrafted cheese results from the high quality and pure nature of the milk being used and the variety of grasses and herbs used to feed cows and goats. For more information, visit www.wnccheesetrail.vpweb.com.
Now that we’ve got you all geared up for some yummy local WNC cheese, we’ll share one of our favorite Bed & Breakfast recipes with you.
Goat Cheese & Chive Scramble (serves 6)
3 tbsp. stick of butter
18 eggs whisked
2 tbsp. half and half
Good quality goat cheese (to taste)
Half a bunch of chives chopped
Heat large sauté pan over medium high heat and melt butter. Mix eggs and half and half together and pour into pan. Turn heat down to medium low and cook eggs slowly. Gently push eggs around in pan and keep a close eye on them. When almost set turn off heat and add goat cheese and chives.
This past weekend we explored the up and coming River Arts District. It’s been a while since we ventured down there in the evening and “wow” has it grown. There are several new galleries, restaurants and even an electric bike shop. We met up with our good friends who happen to also own a Montford bed and breakfast just a few doors down from us on Cumberland Avenue. It’s always nice to have an innkeeper friend you can call on at five till 9 in the morning when you realize you are missing one of the key ingredients for your breakfast, like butter or eggs and even 2 slices of bacon. Thanks James and Susan. They have been great friends and a source of support in many ways.
We began our evening at The Magnetic Field — a bar, restaurant and theatre venue. This is a great place to catch dinner and a show. The plan included dinner and the first performance of the evening (at 7:30). On this particular evening, they were featuring “MILF the Musical” and later in the evening “No she didn’t…Good Girls Gone Bad and the Dances that Happen” — probably not a show that has been cleared for family entertainment.
I am usually a wine drinker and rarely venture down cocktail road, but our friends were very excited about a favorite drink that was fortuitously featured on this special evening out and so we all went along for the ride. Our friends first experienced this delicacy while visiting Peru and have rarely seen it on a menu in the homeland. So if you go…even if it’s not on the menu, see if you can order a Pisco Sour Cocktail. You won’t make any friends with the bartender – it is a high maintenance drink –but this concern will melt away after just one and you can restore the relationship with a decent tip. This cocktail was invented in Peru around 1900 and uses Pisco, a Peruvian grape brandy and “it’s to die for!” The brandy itself is a bit stark, but when skillfully mixed with the other ingredients (sugar, egg white, lime juice), it becomes a smooth, frothy refreshment pleasure. Avoiding the risk of damaging a long-established relationship with your favorite bartender, I am going to include the recipe at the bottom of the blog so you can try this at home.
The dinner menu is small but focused on quality and features local and seasonal ingredients. I had local trout that was on a bed of butter beans and sea island peas over a lovely cauliflower puree and surrounded by a brown butter sauce. The portion was the perfect size and just scrumptious. My husband enjoyed the flat iron steak with roasted fingerling potatoes, local shitake mushrooms, sautéed greens and a Cabernet demi-glaze. The meat was very tender and the sauce a perfect accompaniment to the plate. Our friends enjoyed a plate of local cheeses, crab bisque soup (which had a nice little kick) and peel and eat shrimp which were a good size and fresh and tender. The service was also “spot on”.
As can be the case with dinner theater, the dinner component can be quite lacking. This is not the case at The Magnetic Field. This restaurant can stand on its own merit. Everyone had a great meal and great fun at the “theater” portion of the evening.
Next on our list is the Junction (which is located just up the block from Magnetic Field) and is also focused on local and seasonal ingredients. It is rumored they just may have the best burger in town…as self-proclaimed experts on the topic; we’ll be the judge and let you know. For more recommendations on great dinner spots don’t forget to ask your innkeepers at this Asheville bed and breakfast.
• 1/4 cup (2 oz.) pisco (grape brandy)
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 1 teaspoon pasteurized egg whites
In a blender, whirl 3 ice cubes, Pisco, sugar, fresh lime juice, and egg whites. Whirl until smooth (you’ll no longer hear the ice cracking against the side of the blender) and serve straight up in a martini glass with a dash of aromatic bitters and a wedge of lime.
It’s that time of year again when my garden and our local tailgates are overwhelmed with tomatoes. These last few weeks we have had a glorious production of cherokee purple, sun gold cherry and plum tomatoes. Since we have been eating them in salads, as a salad, in fresh tomato sauce and any number of other ways, I decided to experiment with oven roasting them. I drizzled approximately 2 Tbsp of olive oil onto a rimmed baking pan. I then tossed in some fresh thyme and oregano. I halved a variety of tomatoes in similar size and placed them on the baking pan in a single layer. I roasted them in a 325 degree oven for about 2 hours. They just need to be soft and wilty. I placed them in mason jars and refrigerated. They will keep this way for about a week and can be frozen.
Tomatoes prepared this way are divine! The best way to devour these sweet and lovely treats is on good crusty bread. My husband likes his bread grilled with a little olive oil. Crumble on some good goat cheese, pour a glass of wine and enjoy a piece of heaven.
Unfortunately, this is not really breakfast fare and I was determined to use these tomatoes in a dish at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast. My own favorite breakfast always includes eggs and tomatoes so a frittata seemed the best way to highlight the intense flavor of these tomatoes. Of course good local crusty bread could also be served with this meal. If you can’t roast your own, your local specialty grocer should have them and if necessary you could substitute sun dried tomatoes packed in oil. You will need a deep 10 inch oven safe saute pan. I prefer cast iron but any oven ready pan will do.
I decided to create an oven roasted tomato, smoked mozzarella and basil frittata. I served this to guests (guinea pigs) last week who could not stop raving about how good it tasted or how pretty the plate looked. So this morning I decided to make it again and take pictures as I prepared it. I also took pictures of the guests but promised not to show them. One guest suggested I take a picture of his empty plate as he scarfed down the last bite….thus the last photo. My thoughts were that I’d write a blog and include the recipe with photos. As I loaded the pictures onto my computer I realized I could turn the photos into a video. Please understand if you watch the video …it has no sound and was published and edited by an amateur. ..me.
The great thing about frittatas is they are easy and quick to make. More importantly you can put almost anything in them. I used smoked mozzarella because I thought it would marry well with the tomatoes and it melts incredibly well. It has that gooey effect and does not completely disappear. Another good cheese would be goat cheese. We have the most amazing local cheese farms in and around Asheville. I am particularly fond of Three Graces Dairy and Spinning Spider Creamery. Next I am going to make a frittata with chives and goat cheese, from one of these farms. My kids want me to make a ham and swiss without the tomatoes ….we’ll see.
I could eat tomatoes everyday this time of year. To me the saddest part of summer ending is the end of fresh tomatoes from my garden. Please come visit our Asheville Inn and let us feed you well. For more information call 888-811-3053 or visit www.pinecrestbb.com.
Oven Roasted Tomato, Smoke Mozzarella Cheese and Basil Frittata
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ Tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup roughly chopped roasted tomatoes in oil
2 shallots sliced thin or small yellow onion
½ cup cubed smoked mozzarella
7 eggs beaten
¾ cup milk
Handful fresh basil chopped
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Heat oil and butter. Add shallots and sauté until soft and golden. Mix egg, milk, basil and pinch of salt and fresh pepper. Pour egg mixture over shallots. Sprinkle in cheese and tomatoes. Cook over medium for approximately 5 minutes or until sides look set. Put in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until firm. Let it sit for 5 minutes and serve.
This summer’s Stuffed French Toast was such a hit at breakfast and requested by so many guests, we decided to launch “how to” video. Now, I am no Ina Garten or Giada De Laurentiis so cut me some slack. I went a little overboard with the powered sugar at the end..so my daughter has told me. And the door bell rang during the shoot so my griddle got a little too hot….but all in all it was fun. So much so, we decided to do a video about Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast, which will be launching very soon..so stay tuned.
Back in the kitchen, we’ve moved past Summer’s peaches and are into what Autumn has to offer. To embrace the change of season, I have prepared this recipe with a mixture of apple butter whipped cream cheese and some delicious local Hendersonville apples. Truth be known, I did not pick the apples myself, but you can do just that at a number of farms right now. Well, if you are not hungry after watching me prepare this scrumptious breakfast, I need to reconsider my cooking show aspirations.
Our recipes are requested so often, we thought it might be a good idea to share them on our Blog. Below we have provided a sampling of the most requested recipes here at Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast. At this point we seldom consult a formal recipe, but rather toss a little of this and a little of that into whatever we are making. To the best of our ability we have tried to provide measurements for all the recipes. Good luck and we hope to see you back at Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast, Asheville, North Carolina very soon!
Fresh Blueberry Pumpkin Muffins
Mix 1 2/3 c flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. baking powder, ½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. allspice and set aside.
Cream 1/3 c butter softened, 1 c brown sugar, 1 egg beaten.
Blend 1 c canned pumpkin and ¼ c evaporated milk.
Combine the creamed and blended ingredients together and then gently combine the dry ingredients. Add I c fresh blueberries.
Spoon into 6-8 large muffin cups or 12 small. Top with a mixture of 2 Tbsp. flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, ¼ tsp. cinnamon and 1 Tbsp melted butter.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. May require a little longer baking if using 6 large muffin cups.
Local Zucchini Bread
Mix together 3 eggs beaten, 2 c grated zucchini,, 1 c oil, 1 Tbsp vanilla, 2 c sugar, and 1 tsp salt.
In a separate bowl mix 2 ½ c flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 Tbsp cinnamon and 1 c chopped pecans and mix well.
Grease 2 loaf pans and bake at 350 for 50 minutes.
Grandma’s Lemon Bread
Grate the rind of one lemon and set aside.
Cream ½ c oil and 1 c sugar. Add 2 beaten eggs and lemon rind.
In a separate bowl combine 1 ½ c flour and ½ tsp. baking powder and add alternately with ½ c of milk to the creamed mixture. Fold in ½ c chopped pecans.
Line a loaf pan with wax paper. Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 for I hour
Glaze – combine the juice of the lemon with ¼ c sugar. Pour glaze over loaf after cooling for 15 minutes.
Beat ¾ cup softened butter and 1 8 ounce softened package cream cheese until creamy. Gradually add 2 cups sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add 2 eggs one at a time blending after each addition.
Combine in separate bowl 3 c flour, ½ tsp. baking powder, ½ tsp. baking soda, ½ tsp. salt and gradually add to wet ingredients. Beat at low speed just until blended.
Stir in 4 medium mashed bananas, pecans (optional) and 1/2tsp vanilla extract.
Streusel topping – Mix ½ c brown sugar, 1 Tbsp flour, 1 Tbsp melted butter and 1/8 tsp cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over batter.
Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans and bake at 350 for 1 hour
Mix 2/3 c oil, 2 2/3 c sugar, 4 eggs, 1 (16 oz) can pumpkin and 2/3 c water.
In a separate bowl blend 3 1/3 c flour, 1 ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp baking powder, 1 tsp cloves. Mix into wet ingredients and fold in 2/3 cups chopped pecans.
Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans and bake at 350 for 1 hour.
Fresh Blueberry Waffles – makes 8 waffles
Mix 1 ¾ c flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder, 1 Tbsp sugar, ½ tsp salt and set aside.
Wisk 3 large eggs, 1 stick of butter melted, and 1 ½ c milk.
Make well in center of dry ingredients and pour in egg mixture. Stir gently until just blended. Fold in fresh blueberries.
Pour ladle full into each waffle
Farmers Market Frittata – serves 8 -10
Mix 11 eggs, 1 package parmesan cheese of good quality, handful of chopped fresh basil and a salt and pepper and set aside.
Place 1 Tbsp. olive oil in the bottom of a 12 inch non-stick frying pan or sauté pan. Add thinly sliced 1 – 1 ½ lbs red potatoes, and 1 tsp. salt to pan and cook until fork tender.
Slice one red and one yellow pepper and one onion thinly and sauté in a little olive oil in a separate pan until soft.
Add peppers to potatoes and pour egg mixture over top. Grate ½ cup fresh Parmesan Reggiano and sprinkle over top.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Slice and serve.
Spinach Cheese Egg Puff – serves 6
Mix 5 eggs beaten, ¼ c flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 cup cottage cheese, 2 cups shredded cheddar or Colby cheddar, ¾ of a 10 oz pkg. frozen spinach thawed and drained. Place in 9x 9 and top with 2 cups cheese.
Bake on 350 for 40 minutes or until solid.
We usually double recipe for 8-10 and put in 9×13 (use only a whole container of frozen spinach). There are variations to this recipe. Try zucchini, mushrooms or even green chilies instead of spinach.
Raspberry Bliss – serves 10
Combine 10 eggs, 1 ½ cups half and half, ½ c sugar, cap full almond extract. Mix until well blended and set aside.
In 2 greased glass baking pans cut 10 croissants in half and generously spread whipped cream cheese on both sides. Add handful of frozen or fresh raspberries to bottom half and replace top. Place 6 croissants in an 8X11 and 4 in a smaller pan then pour custard over croissants.
Mix ¼ c orange marmalade with ¼ cup orange juice and spoon over croissants.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
Orange French Toast with local Chiabbata Bread– serves 4
Mix 1 ½ c half and half or whole milk, 5 eggs beaten, ¼ c sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and zest of one orange. Pour over 8 slices chiabbata bread and let sit for 45 minutes. (good idea to slice the bread and set out night before)
Melt lots of butter on griddle and grill until lightly browned on both sides.
Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast Syrup. Mix 1 ½ cups brown sugar, ½ c corn syrup and ½ c water in sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add 2 Tbsp butter and bring back to a boil turn down heat to a simmer. Remove from heat after 5 minutes.
Optional – add ½ c toasted halved pecans.
Orange French Toast
Hendersonville Apple Pound Cake
Blend 1 ½ tsp vanilla, 1 ½ c sugar, 1 ½ c oil, 3 eggs, 3 c flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 ts. salt. When mixed almost has consistency of cookie dough batter.
Stir in 3 cups chopped peeled apples (2 to 3 yellow delicious), 1 c coconut and 1 c nuts (pecans)
Bake in Bundt pan at 350 for 1hr to 1:15hr
Cool, turn out and punch small holes in top and pour glaze over cake
Glaze – Mix 1 stick of butter, 1Tbsp corn syrup, ¾ c sugar, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ c buttermilk, 1 tsp vanilla and boil for 5 minutes.
Lemon Glazed Cake
Combine 1 box lemon cake mix, 1 box instant lemon pudding, ¾ oil, ¾ water and 4 eggs. Blend well and pour into Bundt pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clear.
Glaze- Mix 1 c powdered sugar with ¼ c lemon juice and spoon over cake. May need to add more sugar or juice depending on desired consistency.
Lemon Glazed Cake
Butter Pecan Cake– same as above but use butterscotch pudding and butter pecan cake mix. Use glaze from Apple Bundt Cake.
Chocolate Cake – same as above but with chocolate cake mix and chocolate pudding.
Everything Cookies – makes 6 dozen cookies
In a roasting pan combine 2 sticks softened butter, 6 eggs, 1 lb. brown sugar, 2 c sugar, 1 Tbsp vanilla, 4 tsp baking soda and 3 cups peanut butter.
Add 9 cups quick or old fashion oatmeal, ½ Tbsp Karo light syrup, 16 ounces chocolate chips and 16 ounces butterscotch chips and mix by hand.
Appalachian Trail for One Day Let's face it, aren't we all a little enamored with the Appalachian Trail? This romantic notion of walking from Georgia to Maine holds some mystical power over us all. And if you are lucky enough to live nearby the trail in Asheville, you can put down the Jon Krakauer book, lace up your boots, and give i...
All Things Ale Trail In the brief time that we have been innkeepers here in Asheville, we've had the opportunity to frequent any number of local breweries and to experience the city's reputation as the "Denver of the East." With over 20 breweries in Buncombe County alone, it's hard to even know where to start. One of the gre...
Seasons of Change We arrived as new innkeepers at Pinecrest in the dead cold of early February, greeted by guests and frozen drain pipes but such is life in a house solidly built in 1905. Spring has definitely arrived at the bed & breakfast, bringing the beauty of the redbuds blooming outside the sleeping porch, our mos...