Thankful Past Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is over and December is here, so it is time to pack away the pilgrims and the pumpkins for another year and start preparing for Christmas festivities. We had a truly delightful extended family spend their Thanksgiving with us at The Morning Star – a family that we have know through the bed and breakfast for about 15 years. For them, and for the many, many wonderful guests that we have had stay at the B&B over the last 19 years, we are thankful.

ThanksgivingPilgrims

 

Wishing you the best as this holiday season continues …

Foraged Flavor … An Upcoming Event

On April 24th, from 2:30 to 4:30, we’ll be hosting a book signing with Tama Matsuoka Wong for her book Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer’s Market, written together with Eddy Leroux. Together the two have identified wild plants that are not only edible, but also flavorful. This cookbook brings together botanical illustrations, tips for identification and collection, and recipes such as Chickweed Crostini, Bee Balm Spring Rolls with Lettuce and Dipping Sauce, and Lambsquarters Rigatoni Casserole.

For a while, I have had an interest in growing edible flowers and herbs and a few vegetables, but have not previously paid much attention to whether other plants (and weeds) in my garden are edible. Reading Foraged Flavor has opened my eyes to the possibilities of cooking with other plants such as creeping jenny and juniper.

Tea and treats will be served at the signing … with any luck, featuring some ingredients gathered from the garden.

Ms. Wong is the official forager for Daniel, Daniel Boulud’s 3 Michelin star restaurant in NYC. 

 

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Barkley Scones

The recipe for these plain, but moist, scones – the type that is good for slathering with butter and jam – was sent to me by some lovely guests from Oregon who have stayed with us a number of times over the years.  Enjoy!

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Barkley Scones

3 c. flour

1/2 c. sugar

1 T. + 1 t. baking powder

1/4 t. salt

2 c. heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together dry ingredients, then beat in heavy cream.

3. Turn mixture out onto a floured work surface. Divide in half. Shape each half into a disk 6″ wide. Cut into four wedges. Transfer wedges to baking sheet.

4. Allow scones to sit for 15 minutes, then bake for about 18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Banana Mocha Coconut Muffins

The other morning, I had a guest on an almost vegan diet; so I made these delicious muffins which one would never know were free of dairy products and eggs. I hope that you enjoy the recipe!

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Banana Mocha Coconut Muffins

3/4 c. sweetened shredded coconut

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. granulated white sugar

2 T. instant coffee or 2 t. espresso powder

1 T. baking powder

1 c. mashed ripe bananas

1 c. coconut milk

1/2 c. canola oil

1 T. coconut rum

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, preferably miniature ( use vegan chocolate if needed)

1 recipe Coffee Coconut Milk Glaze (below)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread coconut on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for 3 to 4 minutes or until just starting to turn golden at the edges. Remove coconut from baking sheet and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, prepare 12 standard muffin cups or 10 four-ounce ramekins with baking spray.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, 2 T. of the instant coffee or 2 t. of the espresso powder, and baking powder. Set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together bananas, coconut milk, canola oil, and rum. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips.

5. Divide batter into ramekins or muffin cups. Using the back of a spoon, shape each cup of batter into a slight mound. Bake 15 to 20 minutes for 12 muffins or 20 to 25 minutes for 10 muffins. Muffins are firm to the touch when done.

6. Meanwhile, prepare Coffee Coconut Milk Glaze. Glaze muffins immediately upon removing from oven and  then sprinkle them with toasted coconut.

Coffee Coconut Milk Glaze

1 c. confectioner’s sugar

2 T. coconut milk

1/2 t. minced orange or lemon zest

1/2 t. instant coffee or 1/4 t. instant espresso powder

1/2 t. coconut rum, light rum, or orange or lemon extract

1. In a small bowl, slowly stir coconut milk into confectioner’s sugar. Stir in coffee, then zest, then rum or extract. Stir until smooth, then warm glaze to dissolve coffee.