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Archive for the ‘Our Favorite Recipes’ Category

Recipes from the Kitchen of A Bed of Roses- Mrs. Wolfson’s Legendary Chocolate Chip Cookies

October 11th, 2014 by abedofroses

Fresh Baked Chocolate Chip Cookes

Fresh Baked Chocolate Chip Cookes

One of my fondest childhood memories was of ducking under the wood rail fence to our next door neighbors house where her mother had just taken fresh baked chocolate chip cookies out of the oven. I’ll never forget how they smelled and Mrs. Wolfson always gave us some. My own mother was not a baker so this was an incredibly rare treat. I have often dreamed of how perfect those chocolate chip cookies were- thin and crisp at the edges but chewy and chocolaty in the middle. I never could duplicate them. On a recent visit with my older sister I mentioned them to Marianne and was amazed to discover that she had the recipe all along! I finally tried out the recipe, almost afraid that in my memory I had made them better than they were. Well, I don’t think so- these are pretty awesome! Keep a close eye on them while baking. The edges will be brown and a little crispy but be careful not to burn them!

Ingredients:

  • 3 sticks butter or margarine at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups flour, not sifted
  • Chocolate chips to taste (I used about 2 cups)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Add eggs, baking soda and vanilla. Mix well.
  4. Add flour, mixing until smooth. You can add a few drops of water if the dough seems too stiff.
  5. Add chips.
  6. Space generous tablespoons of batter on cookie sheets, leaving room for them to spread
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes, watching closely.

An Innkeeper’s Secrets: Easy Ways to Decorate Your Plate

August 22nd, 2014 by abedofroses

Chilled Raspberry Peaches

Chilled Raspberry Peaches

We really do “eat with our eyes first”. How a dish looks on the plate plays a large role in whether we decide to eat it or not and it also enhances the sensory experience tremendously. Even though I was an artist and illustrator before becoming an innkeeper, you don’t have to be an artist to make beautiful, appealing dishes than invite your guests to taste the food and savor each bite. A colorful garnish that looks special can be so easy to put together. Fresh ingredients are always key, but a few slices here and a twist there can make it look really special. Here are some easy tips on decorating the plate.

Remember three rules for creating an appealing plated dish:

  1. Color WheelTaste- when garnishing a plate the first consideration should be, will it taste good? Will the taste of the garnish go well with the rest of the meal? A good garnish is edible! Going to elaborate lengths to create a dramatic look is unnecessary and futile if the eater doesn’t want to consume it.
  2. Color- a plate needs contrast. If all the dishes are monochromatic you lose an opportunity to create interest. Contrasting colors in a garnish like a red tomato and green herbs or bell peppers work well. Complementary colors are at the opposite sides of a color wheel, like red and green or yellow and blue, but use common sense. Not all colors occur naturally in foods and you do want it to look edible! An organic edible flower may provide the right contrasting color too.
  3. Complementing tastes, colors and shapes make an inviting plate

    Complementing tastes, colors and shapes make an inviting plate

    Shape- Pleasing shapes can be created just by how the food is arranged. Fanning a sliced strawberry or avocado creates a harmonious shape. Arranging a few slices of plumb tomato in an arc does the same. Think in threes and curves instead of in straight lines.

For a sweet meal, like our orange stuffed French toast or Peaches with orange sauce in a puff pancake, a sliced orange with a small cut from the middle to the outer edge can be twisted to make a lovely nest for a sliced and splayed strawberry or an organically grown flower.  I love to use nasturnum. For the strawberry, wash and hold with the stem side down, then thinly slice without cutting to the stem- just enough that you can smoosh the strawberry to splay the slices.

Nest a splayed strawberry on a twisted orange slice

Nest a splayed strawberry on a twisted orange slice

For a savory meal, slice a tomato and decorate it with contrasting colored sliced peppers and a sprig of fresh curly parsley or a scored cucumber. Wash and cut the cucumber in half, then take a sharp tined fork and run it down the sides of the cucumber making shallow cuts at even intervals. Then thinly slice crosswise and place on top of the tomato slice. A bell pepper can be cut in half lengthwise, from stem to bottom, and then thinly sliced across. You can also create a bell pepper ring by cutting a circle around the stem, removing the center seeds and membrane and then slicing across. Arrange the slices by crossing them or the rings by layering them in threes like an Olympic seal.

If your main dish is a spicy southwestern or Mexican dish you can top your tomato with fresh cilantro. To garnish an Italian main dish, like our Italian Egg Cups with Proscuito de Parma, you can top your tomato with a fresh basil leaf or a Rosemary sprig. We always have plenty of fresh herbs growing in our “kitchen garden”. Parsley, chives, thyme, rosemary and mint are easy to grow and always look fresh and inviting on the plate.

Cilantro grilled chicken with rice pilaf decorated with avocado.

Cilantro grilled chicken with rice pilaf decorated with avocado and plumb tomatoes.

Avocado adds a creamy cooling taste to any spicy dish and is decorative as well. While working at a French Restaurant right out of college I learned how to thinly slice a peeled avocado and then gently push on it to splay the slices on the plate. All it really needs is a touch of salt and fresh ground pepper, but you can also slide slices of tomato between the slices or drizzle with a little balsamic glaze. Top it with a shaving of fresh Parmesan Regianno and it’s heavenly to taste and to look at.

Bon Appetit!

Innkeepers’ Secrets: Fresh Home-baked Cookies from Scratch in a Flash

June 21st, 2014 by abedofroses

Cookies for now and later too

Cookies for now and later too

Nothing beats warm cookies made from scratch the old fashioned way. But we’re all busy and sometimes it seems like too much trouble for just a few cookies. Innkeepers need to have fresh baked cookies available every day whether they have two guests or 14 guests and we can’t get away with anything but the best homemade recipes. Guests expect variety too! You can’t put out the same cookies all week. The way we do it is to make large batches, bake only the number of cookies we need and quick-freeze the extra dough in individual cookie portions.

Place the dough in a glass baking dish

Place the dough in a glass baking dish

The next time you need cookies you take only the number you need out of the freezer, let them defrost on the cookie sheet for a few minutes and bake. Instant cookies that taste just a delicious as they did the day you mixed up the dough!

A one-tablespoon ice cream style scooper is an invaluable tool for this job. Once you’ve scooped and placed the dough you’re baking today onto cookie sheets, scoop the rest of the dough into large glass baking dishes, just far enough apart that they don’t touch each other.

Pop the frozen cooked into a zip lock bag

Pop the frozen cooked into a zip lock bag

Put in the freezer for 30 minutes. Take them out of the freezer and with a little twist of the wrist you can take each cookie off of the baking dish and throw them into a large zip lock freezer bag. Return to the freezer until the next time you crave that home-baked goodness. We keep several different kinds of cookie in the freezer so we can change them every day or mix and match, so be sure to label the bags. Easy!

Recipes from the Kitchen of A Bed of Roses- Aromatic Spice Cookies

October 28th, 2013 by abedofroses

Spice cookies are perfect for Fall

Spice cookies are perfect for Fall

Perfect for a crisp fall day. Come back to the inn from hiking in the western North Carolina Mountains and curl up by the fire with some spice cookies and warm apple cider or tea! .

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sugar for rolling

Instructions:

  1. Combine 1cup sugar, melted butter and egg in a mixing bowl until smooth.
  2. Stir in molasses
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger
  4. Blend into the molasses mixture
  5. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°

  1. Put remaining sugar in a small deep bowl
  2. Roll dough into walnut sized balls and roll them in the sugar
  3. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
  5. Dust with confectioner’s sugar (optional)

Recipes from the Kitchen of A Bed of Roses: A Romantic Honeymoon Breakfast for Two

September 7th, 2013 by abedofroses

An Intimate Breakfast for Two

An Intimate Breakfast for Two

There is nothing like opening the front door of your inn to a bride, still in her wedding dress, standing there with her new husband, straight from the wedding reception. That’s one of the best reasons for being an innkeeper. We recently had some newlyweds that were lucky enough to have the whole inn to themselves for one night of their honeymoon. We served them this elegant but easy two-course breakfast at our romantic little table for two.

  • Persian Watermelon Salad
  • Chived eggs in Puff Pastry
  • Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
  • Chicken Apple Sausage
  • Juice and coffee
Chived Eggs in Puff Pastry with Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Chived Eggs in Puff Pastry with Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

 

For this menu you start the side dish first.

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

  1. Preheat the oven for 400°.
  2. Wash and chop 2 medium to large Red Bliss Potatoes into a medium dice.
  3. Peel 1/2 of a large Sweet Potato and chop into a medium dice.
  4. Combine into a ceramic casserole dish. Add chopped fresh rosemary and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with Olive Oil.
  5. Bake for 1 hr., stirring well once after 30 minutes

 

The Main Course consists of eggs served in a nest of puff pastry. While the potatoes are roasting:

  1. Whisk 3 eggs per person with 1 Tablespoon of creamy ranch dressing per person.
  2. Add chopped fresh chives to taste and put aside.
  3. For the puff pastry you can use the canned pastry sheets* made by the folks who brought you canned crescent rolls. These are the perfect size for 4 servings. (When we prepare this breakfast for two, we get to have some too!)
  4. Lay the pastry sheet out on a wooden surface and cut into 4 squares.
  5. Spray a Texas Muffin Tin with nonstick spray and arrange the pastry squares in the bottom of each one with the corners draped over the sides.
  6. Put aside until the first course is prepared.
Persian Watermelon Rose Salad

Persian Watermelon Rose Salad

For the first course:

We inherited this refreshing watermelon salad recipe from the previous innkeepers here at A Bed of Roses and we love it. The sweetness of the watermelon is combined with sweet dates and set off perfectly with salty pistachios. A little detective work led me to the original source of the recipe. The link to the complete recipe is here at The Nourishing Gourmet. It’s simple to prepare and the organic rose petals and edible rosewater raise this fruit salad to the level of “elegant”, especially if you own a melon scoop. We serve it in dainty glass bowls.

Put aside the watermelon salad and start the eggs.

  1. Melt a tsp of butter in a large nonstick frying pan. When the foam subsides pour the egg mixture into the pan and turn to low.
  2. If preparing enough eggs for 4 you will cook for approximately 20 minutes, using a spatula in long slow strokes to keep the eggs from sticking. If preparing just enough for 2 it will take a few minutes less, but beware of cooking them too fast or stirring them too often. Turn the heat off and cover when the eggs are still slightly wet and serve the first course. The eggs will continue to cook.
  3. While the eggs are cooking bake the puffed pastry squares in a preheated 375° oven for 11 minutes. If you don’t have a second oven or toaster oven you can bake these before the potatoes and reheat just before serving.
  4. To serve, mound the eggs lightly into the puff pastry cups, spilling over a little.
  5. Sprinke the roasted potatoes with seasoned salt and serve alongside the egg cup.
  6. Garnish with a slice of fresh ripe tomato, green and yellow pepper slices and parsley.

*Just a note: when I first bought the inn I diligently searched for puff pastry recipes online, but when I found them they almost always said making it from scratch was time consuming and unnecessary. The frozen puff pastry is fine. For this recipe the canned sheets make the perfect amount and add a touch of sweetness to complement the savory eggs.

 

 

 

 

 

Perfectly ripe juicy mangoes are finally available! My Favorite Mango Recipes.

July 6th, 2013 by abedofroses

Sweet Ripe Mangoes

Sweet Ripe Mangoes

Finding the perfect mango at the grocery is an art, but one that is far easier to master this time of year. Here in Asheville, Florida Mangoes are in season from May to September and you can find a few different varieties. We see everything from the yellow Champagne mangoes that are more elongated and creamy to the large fat rounded Kent and the sweet and juicy Tommy Atkins varieties. Mangoes when they’re ripe don’t need much to bring out their flavor, but here are a few ways that I love to prepare them.

A simple Mango Blueberry salad on a bed of lettuce is a lovely accompaniment to my buttery, lemony Dutch Babies at breakfast time. Just peel and dice (a large dice) the mangoes and combine with an equal amount of fresh washed blueberries. Sprinkle with a little sugar. I find most recipes call for way more sugar than you need. Add lemon zest and a little bit of lemon juice and orange juice, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Elegant Muesli Fruit Parfaits

Elegant Muesli Fruit Parfaits

Another way to dress up mangoes for breakfast or dessert is layered into a muesli fruit parfait. The muesli is made the night before. Combine 1/4 cup of sugar with 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice. Add 3/4 cup of milk and 1 1/4 cups of rolled oats. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning it will have a thick pasty consistency. Chop strawberries, 2-3 large berries per person. Wash enough fresh blueberries for two small handfuls per person. Peel and dice one mango and then start to assemble. These look lovely in champagne flutes. Put a handful of the chopped strawberries in the bottom of each glass and layer a few of the blueberries, then a few chunks of mango. About half the glass should be filled. Put a spoonful of the muesli on top of the mangoes and a little whipped cream on top of that. Layer again starting with the strawberries and ending with the muesli. Top each with whipped cream and serve.

For a savory meal mangoes pair well with grilled chicken. I like to top grilled chicken with a mango salsa. Marinate 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts in 2 Tbs. tamari sauce mixed with 2 Tbs. honey. Let it sit in a glass bowl while you prepare the salsa. Combine a peeled chopped mango with 2 Tbs. fresh squeezed lime juice, 2 Tbs. diced onions and 3 heaping teaspoons of ground coriander. Grill the chicken for 7 minutes or until done. We use wood lump charcoal with a handful of mesquite chips to give it a smoky flavor. Top with salsa.

Another great way to serve mangoes and chicken together is in a grilled mango chicken salad. Crush a large clove of garlic into a 1 quart Ziploc freezer bag. Add 1 tsp. of fresh squeezed lime juice and 1 tsp. of olive oil. Add 1/4-1/2 tsp. of ground cumin then put 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts in the bag, seal and squish around to mix. Let the chicken marinate while you prepare a salad of mixed greens, red, yellow or orange diced peppers, cucumber and any other favorite fresh vegetables. Toss with a slightly sweet vinaigrette. I like to combine balsamic and raspberry vinegars and then add a little pomegranate juice and honey. Add just enough olive oil that the dressing emulsifies when whisked. Grill your chicken, slice it and top the salad with the chicken slices and peeled, sliced mango. Perfect for a hot summer night’s supper.

Recipes from the Kitchen of A Bed of Roses: A Springtime Asparagus Goat Cheese Tart

April 22nd, 2013 by abedofroses

Asparagus Goat Cheese Tart

A light springtime tart

It’s finally Springtime! One of the harbingers of Spring that I really look forward to is tender fresh asparagus that hasn’t been shipped all the way from Peru! One of my favorite ways of enjoying asparagus is in a light tart with local goat cheese paired with a minted fruit salad of fresh strawberries, pineapple and sliced kiwis.

 

Ingredients:

  • One 1/2-pound frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed
  • 1/2 bunch scallions (white and pale green parts only), sliced thin (around 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices, reserving tips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3-ounce log soft mild goat cheese
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried, crumbled

Directions:

  1. On a lightly floured board, roll out pastry into a 14-inch square and fit into an 9-inch tart pan with a removable fluted rim.
  2. Roll a rolling pin over top of tart to trim pastry flush with top of rim. Chill pastry shell while making filling.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°F. with a baking sheet on lowest rack.
  4. In a small skillet, cook scallions in butter with salt to taste over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Cool.
  5. In a steamer set over boiling water, arrange asparagus slices and top with reserved tips. Steam asparagus, covered, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes, and drain well, reserving tips separately.
  6. In a blender, blend eggs, goat cheese, milk, and salt with pepper to taste. Add tarragon and pulse custard to combine.
  7. Spread scallions and asparagus slices in pastry shell and arrange reserved tips decoratively on top. Pour custard slowly over vegetables
  8. Bake tart in pan on heated baking sheet in the oven 15 minutes
  9. Reduce temperature to 375°F. and bake tart until set, about 8 minutes. Transfer tart in pan to a rack.
  10.  Remove rim of pan carefully and serve tart warm or at room temperature.

Recipes from the Kitchen of A Bed of Roses. How to make an old recipe Holiday Worthy: Putting the Soufflé into Herbes de Provence Soufflé.

December 14th, 2012 by abedofroses

Savory Breakfast Souffle

Separating the eggs helps the souffle brown up nicely

A recipe that I inherited from the last innkeeper tasted great and worked well for a house full of guests, but something about it always bothered me. It was called a “soufflé”, but I had my doubts. The recipe called for layering cheese, then a cream mixture, a layer of herbed eggs topped with more of the cream mixture. In my mind the result, while tasty, wasn’t light and airy enough to be called a soufflé. I looked up the definition and then went to work. While the result may still not be a classic French soufflé, separating the eggs and beating the egg whites adds the airy feel I was looking for and the presentation is much prettier as well. With some sour cream praline biscuits and roasted chived potatoes this makes a really special holiday brunch. Serves 8.

Herbes de Provence Soufflé

  • 4 cups shredded cheese- choose your favorite, mild cheese or a combination of Monterey jack and cheddar.
  • 14 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 2 Tbs Herbes de Provénce Blend ( I prefer one heavy on the lavendar)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Spray an 9″x13″ glass baking dish with nonstick spray
  3. Spread cheese in bottom of dish
  4. Whisk the cream, mustard and white pepper until it just begins to thicken
  5. Separate the eggs into two mixing bowls.
  6. Whisk the Herbes de Provence into the egg yolks
  7. Beat the egg whites until quite frothy then fold into the yolk/herb mixture
  8. Pour half of the cream mixture over the cheese
  9. Pour the egg mixture over the cream layer
  10. Pour the remaining cream over the eggs
  11. Dot with butter
  12. Bake for 40 minutes
  13. Let settle for 5 minutes, cut into squares and serve.

Recipes from the Kitchen of A Bed of Roses: Preview from the New NCBBI Cookbook

August 1st, 2012 by abedofroses

Peach Topped Bavarian Torte

Arrange the peaches decoratively on top of the cheescake.

Two new cookbooks are coming out and a bunch of our recipes are appearing in both! The newest edition of the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association Cookbook has gone to the printer and the North Carolina Bed & Breakfast and Inns Cookbook should be out the first week in September. Here is a sneak preview from the NCBBI Cookbook. Check our recipe section soon for a preview of the newest ABBA cookbook!

Peach Topped Bavarian TorteNorth Carolina Bed & Breakfasts & Inns

My sister Marianne gave me this recipe in 1972. I had to increase her original recipe to fit current spring form pan sizes.  It’s a crowd pleaser. For the B&B I cut it into squares to serve in the afternoons.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 3/4 cup softened margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/8 tsp vanilla extract (we used Madagascar)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans

Cheesecake

  • 12 oz (1 1/2 8oz packages) softened cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 eggs (not easy to do! I beat the second egg and poured in half)
  • 3/8 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Topping

  • 29 oz can of sliced cling peaches in juice, well drained
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sugar

Preparation

  1. Beat margarine or butter with sugar and vanilla at medium speed until well blended
  2. Add flour and mix.
  3. Stir in pecans.
  4. Flour hands and press mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a spring form pan.
  5. Beat cream cheese and 3/8 cup sugar at medium speed until smooth
  6. Beat in egg and vanilla until blended
  7. Pour into pan
  8. In large bowl combine cinnamon and sugar. Add peaches and toss lightly
  9. Arrange on top of cream cheese mixture
  10. Bake 10 min at 450°
  11. Reduce heat to 400° and continue baking 25 minutes more
  12. Cool in pan 20 min, then carefully remove sides

Serve warm or refrigerate

 

 

Recipes from the Kitchen of A Bed of Roses B&B – A Cinco de Mayo Breakfast Egg Casserole

May 4th, 2012 by abedofroses

Eggs and jalapenos

Eggs and spicy chiles are a great combo

Start Cinco de Mayo off right with a delicious Breakfast Casserole with a Mexican flair! Just about every B&B has some version of this crust-less Mexican quiche and it’s easy to see why. It’s easy to make, easy to adapt to more or fewer guests, and it’s sure to please everyone. It starts out mild but you can spice it up to taste or add a spicy salsa on the side. I serve mine with a spicy apple salsa that combines sweet and spicy flavors for an unusual twist.

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 10 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 2 small cans of chopped green chiles
  • 1 diced jalapeno (optional)
  • 8 Tbs melted butter

Spicy Salsa:

  • 3 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 diced jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 Tbs jalapeno jelly or to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine the first 9 ingredients, eggs through butter, in a large bowl.
  3. Pour into a greased 9”x12” glass baking dish and sprinkle with paprika.
  4. Bake 40 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes and cut into 8 pieces.
  5. Combine salsa ingredients and serve alongside the eggs
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