A Beautiful Wedding

It was a beautiful wedding. The weather couldn’t have been nicer – sunny and in the 70’s. The bride and groom were so happy and so in love. Family and friends in attendance were delighted for the couple. The ladies in their gowns, and with their bouquets, were radiant. The men – dashing in their suits with boutonnieres. Afterward wine and hors d’oeuvres … then a horse-drawn carriage to carry people to dinner. So romantic! How lovely to have been a part of this special occasion! Thank you to Janet and Mark for letting us share in their happiness!

The garden beforehand …


Wedding flowers …

Mother, Bride, Daughter …

Just married …


The horses and carriage arrive …

Off to dinner …

… and they lived happily ever after!

Garden Update

For some time, I’ve been wanting to put an arbor over the bench that looks out on the garden. Since we have several garden weddings coming up at the Bed & Breakfast, I decided to go ahead and get that arbor. I don’t have time to get anything growing on it before Saturday’s wedding, so I am trying to figure out whether we need to decorate the arbor and if so … how. (The bench will be moved out of the way and we’ll have mums around the arbor’s base.)

The fountain looks great, but I worry that this might be its last season. Each year it gets more difficult to repair weather’s tolls. We really love having the fountain, though. It is beautiful and we enjoy the water sounds. So we’ll keep it running for as long as we can.

It rained on and off all day yesterday – a gentle, soaking rain of the type that is good for the garden. I managed to get some lovely photos of my roses after breakfast this morning. This is my favorite of the photos …

Have a wonderful day!

Special of the Day: Spinach Omelette with Leeks

Everyday we offer a set breakfast menu plus a daily special. Today’s special was Spinach Omelette with Leeks.

The omelettes were filled with organic baby spinach, sautéed leeks, and shredded Monterey Jack and mild Cheddar cheeses. They were seasoned with a homemade herb salt made with herbs from our garden. The fresh leeks were sautéed in extra virgin olive oil with a splash of  Sauvignon Blanc and seasoned with the herb salt. They were finished with a twist of fresh ground green, black and pink peppercorns.

At the end of the meal, there were clean plates all around. Just what I like to see!

Just Out of the Oven: Chai Spice Snickerdoodles

Soft and sugary, but spicy too, Chai Spice Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies. I just baked this batch for our guests.

Chai Spice Snickerdoodles*

2 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 t. ground cinnamon

1/2 t. ground ginger

1/8 t. ground cardamom

1/8 t. ground nutmeg

3/4 t. baking powder

1/4 t. baking soda

1/4 t. salt

1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened

3 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 1/3 granulated white sugar

2 lg. eggs

1 t. almond extract

3 T. spiced sugar (2 T. + 1 t. granulated white sugar blended with 1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon, 1/4 t. ground ginger, 1/8 t. ground cardamom, and 1/8 t. ground nutmeg)

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time and then beat in extract. Scrape down sides of the bowl as needed.

3. Gradually beat in the dry ingredients just until well combined. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Remove dough from refrigerator and remove plastic wrap. Scoop by rounded tablespoonfuls. Roll dough between palms to form balls and then roll the balls in the spiced sugar mixture. Place 3 inches apart on baking sheets.

6. Bake for approximately 12 to 14 minutes or until just set and slightly golden. Place baking sheets on wire racks and allow cookies to cool. Enjoy!

* Recipe from my second cookbook, Confectionately Yours: A Collection of Cookies, Candies & Yummy Confections.

Anne’s Bicycle

One of my helpers showed up at work on this wonderful old bicycle today. She bought it at a garage sale a few years ago for $12. As soon as I saw it, I had to run outside, pop some flowers in the basket, and take a few photos. The sun was already brighter than ideal, but I like these pictures anyway. They capture part of the mood of the bed and breakfast. Obviously the main appeal of staying at a B & B is spending time in a lovely  home and feeling pampered. But, for many people, an important part of the experience is sitting back and letting life move at a slower pace. Thanks, Anne for riding this wonderful “vintage” bike to work.

Mmmm … Apple Pancakes

Our breakfast special today was Apple Pancakes. Mmm!

Recipe

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 T. granulated white sugar

1/2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. baking soda

1/4 t. ground mace

2 – 4 T. melted butter (how much depends on how “sticky” or non-stick your cook surface)

1 – 1 1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk, divided

1 lg. egg

2  medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks (2 c.)

2 T. fresh lemon juice

Confectioner’s sugar, yogurt, warm maple syrup, and apple slices for serving

(1) In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together butter, 1 c. of the buttermilk and egg. Gently stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until dry ingredients are absorbed. If needed, stir in more buttermilk. Batter will have small lumps.

(2) Toss apple chunks in lemon juice then fold into pancake batter.

(3) Meanwhile, preheat grill or griddle until a drop of water sizzles but does not skate across surface. Grease well with canola oil or vegetable shortening.

(4)  Ladle pancake batter onto cook surface. (Makes 8 medium or  6 large pancakes.) Cook until bottom is light golden brown and bubbles appear on top of pancakes. Flip and cook on the second side until done in the middle and bottom is light golden brown. Garnish and serve immediately.

Orange on the Block

Looking for early signs of autumn, I decided to photograph the color orange in our neighborhood. It turns out that it was mostly in our own front yard.

Our neighbor’s crabapple tree with the tiniest fruit …

Miniature rose recovering from the summer’s heat by producing a perfectly formed little bud …
Oakleaf hydrangea foliage starting to turn …

Rust-colored chrysanthemums …

“Living Easy” rose, vibrant as ever …

Our new sign …

Leaves from our Linden tree, fallen before fulling turning …

Pyracantha berries across the street …

Early pumpkins …

But don’t let me rush things!