February 12th, 2014 by hafford
There’s never any need to wait for a holiday to enjoy this chocolate feast. It’s a great treat to enjoy with friends while you linger at the table after dinner. And, while they are pretty, a fondue pot is not necessary. Make your fondue on the stove and when you are ready to serve pour it into a pretty bowl. When (if!) the chocolate gets too cool just reheat it. I’ve even used a microwave to reheat.
Choosing your dippers is the fun part. Use fresh fruits like bananas and strawberries, dried fruits like apricot and chunks of mango, lemony pound cake cut into cubes, marshmallows, and my favorite rice krispie treats. When arranged nicely on a platter and presented to family or guests you’ll instantly turn into a superhero. Provide plenty of wooden skewers so everyone can dip and dip and dip.
- 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate. I use Callebaut bittersweet which is available in the specialty food aisle of most supermarkets.
- 3/4 cup half & half
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, optional
- 3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of your favorite liqueur (such as Frangelico, Grand Marnier, Kahlua, Tia Maria, Amaretto, or a brandy) (optional)
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl and set aside.
Combine the 1/2 & 1/2, sugar, and butter in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring just to a simmer, stirring often.
Remove from heat and pour immediately over the chocolate. Let stand until the chocolate has melted, then stir gently until smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract and the liqueur until smooth and shiny.
Place the chocolate sauce in a fondue pot over a low flame or bowl and serve with your dippers.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups (360 ml).Preparation time15 minutes.
February 6th, 2014 by hafford
We’ve already had our fair share of snow here on the east coast. Fortunately for us that also brings with it a unique beauty for all to appreciate. The photo here is one I took as the dogs and I were out walking early one morning through Hammonassett State Park.
Looking for a last minute getaway this weekend? All of our remaining rooms for this weekend are discounted to just $110 per night. The Scranton Seahorse Inn is conveniently located in the center of Madison on the Connecticut shoreline which makes it a great place to sneak away to for a night or two. So, whether you’re in need of a place where you can put your feet up and relax in front of a fire, or a quiet retreat where you and your best friend can play a game, build a puzzle, or hide in your room with a bottle of wine and a movie, or if you’re looking to do some coastal exploring, we are here to help and have everything you need.
Call us today at 203.245.0550 to book your getaway at the Scranton Seahorse Inn. A full breakfast is always is included.
January 15th, 2014 by hafford
I think quinoa should get the most versatile food award for 2014. I giggle to myself as I read other foodie blogs when they have discovered how great quinoa is in sweet recipes because I’m on the other end of the spectrum as I begin to discover great new ways to use quinoa in savory recipes. I’ve been using quinoa in my signature granola, cookies, and pancake recipes for quite some time. And this time of year my quinoa breakfast porridge is very popular. It’s healthy, it’s gluten free and it’s vegan so what’s not to love? If you haven’t found a place for quinoa in your diet yet this porridge recipe is an easy and delicious way to start
For each serving:
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 1/2 cup almond milk (see my recipe for easy homemade almond milk)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 dash cinnamon (or cardamon)
- 1/4 cup fresh seasonal fruit like chopped apples, pears or your favorite berry. Raisins work too!
- 1 handful of your favorite nut – almonds, peacans, or walnuts – toasted and coarsley chopped
- Bring the quinoa, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered until tender, about 15 minutes.
- Mix in the fruit and top with toasted nuts.
January 5th, 2014 by hafford
I came across this article on Cooking Light and I thought I’d share it with you.I I always read between the lines and what I see it telling you is that staying here at the Scranton Seahorse Inn is good for your health. And better yet, if your new year’s resolution is to eat healthy then you better make a reservation quickly! Seriously none of this is new information but we do have to be periodically reminded that breakfast is important.
Start your day with fresh smoothies and fruit juices
I have been working on new recipes and ideas to make breakfast here at the inn healthier and well balanced and I think you’ll be pleased with what I’ve come up with. This winter you can look forward to fruit smoothies, fresh squeezed vegetable juices like carrot and ginger or kale and apple. We have some great high energy hot whole grain cereals including steel cut oats & quinoa with my house made almond milk and dates. There are egg white omelets packed with fresh veggies and a new variety of waffles and pancakes made with healthier grains including whole wheat & buckwheat. We will continue to offer the best lean protein which we get delivered weekly from our favorite Connecticut farm Nodine’s Smokehouse – because every good day has to start with bacon or sausage.
We look forward to seeing you at the inn soon and to supporting your new healthier eating.
January 3rd, 2014 by hafford
Souper Sundays return on December 14th
There are many things we do here on the Connecticut shoreline in order to coexist with the cold New England weather. From skiing and skating to reading and hibernating, we each have our own ways to keep from going stir-crazy during Old Man Winter’s annual visit. One of my own favorite winter rituals is to make homemade soup. It’s healthy (well…sometimes!), satisfying and delicious, which means that in one pot I get to fulfill all of my new year resolutions: live healthier, cook at home more, and eat better.
The aromas that fill the inn are second only to the reward of eating a bowl of hot homemade goodness. I enjoy it so much that I have have started sharing my ritual with our Sunday guests and am calling it Souper Sundays. All guests that check in on Sunday are invited into the kitchen to help me prepare what will become the Sunday supper that we will share at dinner time. It’s a time to bring the ever-changing Scranton Seahorse Inn guest community together to do something fun, healthy and, if we do it right – utterly delicious.
Book your room with us and enjoy a perfect stay at a classic Connecticut bed and breakfast that includes a cooking class and dinner with (new) friends. Bring your own favorite wine if you wish, and we’ll provide the soup, bowls, and spoons!
- December 14th: Butternut Squash with Sage and Apple & New England Style Clam Chowder
- December 21st: Creamy Chicken Chowder
See you at the inn!
September 1st, 2013 by hafford
Is September really here already?!
We refuse to let summer fade away so quickly. There’s still plenty of summer fun, sunshine, lobster and beer to be had. We’re going to help you extend your summer holiday by offering some decreased room rates. Join us any day labor day week and take advantage of our End of Summer Sale. The Long Island Mist and The Sunlight Serenade are just $110 all week. Of course we promise to serve up a delicious breakfast using fresh and local produce each day you’re here. Check availability and book on line to take advantage of this special offer.
Sorry, this offer cannot be combined with other discounts, bed and breakfast gift cards or existing reservations.
August 11th, 2013 by hafford
I think it calls for a sick day….cough, cough. And we’re here to help you recuperate! All available rooms on Sunday August 11th are just $110.00. Grab your aspirin, and your sunglasses and head to the beach. We’ve got beach chairs, beach towels and beach passes if need them. Call us today at 203.245.0550 to book your room Just don’t forget to call your boss too.
Our relaxing porch overlooking the gardens
Sorry this offer does not apply to existing reservations.
July 14th, 2013 by hafford
I’m a bit behind in sharing some of the recipes I’ve been asked for. I hope to catch up on that this week.
One of my favorite recipes (and that of many of the guests) is this scone recipe. This is not my own invention but a variation of a recipe my friend Jan shared with me. In my opinion hazelnuts make everything taste good!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- 1 1/4 cups Quaker oats
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup 1/2 & 1/2
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries
- Spread oats and chopped hazelnuts evenly on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned and fragrant – about 7 minutes. Keep an eye on this and be sure not to burn the hazelnuts. They will brown before the oatmeal does which is ok. Remove from oven and cool. Raise temperature of your oven to 425 degrees.
- Whisk together cream and egg. Reserve 2 tablespoons for glazing scones.
- In a food processor combine the flour, sugar and baking powder and pulse a few times to combine. Scatter in the cold butter and pulse until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse cornmeal. Transfer this mixture to a good size mixing bowl. Using a large rubber spatula fold in the oatmeal and nut mixture. Add the cherries.
- Fold in the liquid ingredients until large clumps form. using your hand mix the dough a few more times until a large ball is formed.
- Dust your clean work surface with a little flour and then gently pat the mixture until a 7″ circle until it’s about 1″ thick. Using a sharp knife cut into 8 wedges. Line a sheet pan with parchment and place wedge 2″ apart. Brush each wedge with the reserve liquid and sprinkle with a little sugar. Place sheet pan with scones in freezer for about 10 minutes.
- Bake until golden brown and delicious – about 12 – 14 minutes. Let them cool for about 20 minutes before serving.
This recipe doubles easily. Uncooked wedges can be wrapped and frozen for 2 weeks. If you plan to freeze the uncooked wedges don’t glaze or sugar them until your ready to cook (you can use 1/2 & 1/2) Cook them frozen and increase the cooking time by a few minutes.
As always write all call me with questions, especially if the recipe didn’t come out as planned!
July 6th, 2013 by hafford
Wow! We have had terrific weather here in Madison for the 4th of July celebrations and the weather forecast promises more hot & sunny days ahead. We’re going to try to tempt you to extend your vacation by a day or two by offering all available rooms July 6th – July 11th at 20% off the regular rate. We can offer even more savings with our beach passes with are yours to use while you are here an provide access to Madison Town beaches. Pack light since we also have beach chairs and beach towels available for your use during your stay at the Scranton Seahorse Inn. Celebrate summer by staying at the best bed and breakfast on the Connecticut Shoreline!
A view from the town beach in Madison
Enjoying a delicious hot breakfast each morning in our dining room or outside in the warm summer sunshine.
Call the inn to reserve your room now and take advantage of this last minute summer special!
Offer not valid with other discounts or existing reservations.
April 17th, 2013 by hafford
We often brag about the company we keep here at our location in Madison, Connecticut. Being surrounded by so many great people and great businesses here on the Connecicut Shoreline make work feel like anything but work.
We are especially pleased today to go on and on about our business relationship with fellow Madison Chamber Member and good friend Dyan Salemi. Dyan is founder and owner of In O’Scents of Madison which specializes in bath products that are handmade with the finest ingredients she can get her hands on. From soaps and bath salts to scented sachets and custom gift baskets In O’Scents of Madison delivers products you cannot find anywhere. Nowhere else will you find specialty products like these that include the attention and love that goes into each and every product Dyan makes right out of her own home. Like a true Bostonian Dyan has the gift of gab and when she stops by the inn to make a special delivery for me or a guest she’ll take the time to entertain us with stories of her past like her Italian grandmother’s advice for spraying your pillow case with linen water scented with pure lavender or the benefits of the pure shea butter she uses in her soaps. Her generosity to her friends, customers and our community rightly earned her the Madison Chamber’s New Member of the Year award in 2012.
We are proud to say that the Scranton Seahorse Inn provides all of our guests with handmade soaps by In O’Scents of Madison and we even have our very own signature scent. Both my new and regular guests love the seashell shaped soap so much that some are buying it from me.
Look around Dyan’s website at In O’Scents of Madison and give her a call when you see something you like. Remember, she’ll customize a gift basket, a party favor and even help create your own signature scent.
Once again, it’s great to be In Good Company!