Hot Chocolate Recipe

The November chill is setting in and combined with the rain and grey skies I'm craving hot chocolate.  Some would say that any day is a good day for hot chocolate.   Our favorite cup of cocoa is easy to make and uses real good quality dark chocolate for a very rich flavor. hot chocolate 1 cup of chopped bittersweet Callebaut chocolate Heat 2 cups steamed whole milk in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Whisk in chocolate until it melts and is well blended into hot milk. Pour into cups, top with mini marshmallows, cinnamon or   your favorite liquor like Frangelico or Kahlua. I think once you make a cup of hot chocolate using this recipe you may never go back to the packets again.    Enjoy and stay warm!

Mint & Green Tea Simple Syrup Recipe

mintThis is for the mint lovers out there.   Recent guests from San Diego Maureen and Carlton asked me to please post this recipe so here it is guys! We grow our own mint out in the garden and I'm forever trying to come with different ways to use it.   I like this recipe for a simple syrup infused with green tea and fresh mint.   I toss local fresh ripe cantaloupe and/or watermelon with this fragrant syrup and serve it as a first course in the summer months when the ingredients are fresh.   When you're done a little of this sweet syrup goes a long way to taste test as you add it to your fruits of choice.  If you try it Let me know what you think.
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1.5  cups water
  • 1 T white corn syrup
  • 2 green tea bags
  • 1/2 c packed fresh mint leaves
Combine the sugar, water and corn syrup in a sauce pan can cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes.   Don't let the syrup boil but heat long enough to make sure the granulated sugar is completely dissolved. Chop the mint and place 1/2 of it in a mesh tea bag or infuser and set aside the other 1/2 aside.  Place the infuser filled with mint and the green tea bag in the syrup.    Remove from heat and allow the syrup to cool completely (about 1 hour). When cool remove the mint the green tea.    Stir in the remaining mint.  This will last in a covered container in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. Enjoy!

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

RhubarbCoffeeCakeYou know I love my rhubarb.  The only thing that I don't like about it is that the growing season for rhubarb in Connecticut is too short.   I take advantage of the local harvest, including from my own garden, as much as I can.   A lot of our guests here at the Scranton Seahorse Inn have asked for this recipe - even from some that didn't think they liked rhubarb.  The small chop on the rhubarb in this recipe doesn't overwhelm but provides tasty tart bites.  The combination of the wheat and all purpose flour provide a nice nutty aroma and flavor.   I hope you enjoy this Rhubarb Coffee Cake recipe.
CAKE:
 1 pound finely chopped rhubarb
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
5 tablespoons butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup  sour cream
1/2 teaspoon orange extract or 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
STREUSEL:
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 375°. 2. To prepare cake, combine rhubarb and 2 tablespoons flour in a medium bowl; toss well to coat. 3. Place brown sugar and 5 tablespoons butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream, rind, and vanilla; beat until well combined. 4. Lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until combined. Fold in rhubarb mixture. This is a thick batter.  Spread evenly into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. 5. To prepare streusel, combine turbinado sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or 2 forks until mixture is crumbly; stir in nuts. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.   Invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely.   Cut into squares and enjoy.

National Pancake Day is March 3

hd-breakfast I guess there's a reason to celebrate something every day so why not pancakes too!  Throughout the year we make variations on  these crowd pleasing favorites.   In fall and winter we serve gingerbread, pumpkin or apple pancakes.   In the spring we'll change it up to lemon ricotta and sometimes in the summer we're making buttermilk and sweet corn pancakes.   But our tried and true hit are fluffy classic buttermilk pancakes topped with berries and local maple syrup.   Here's our recipe for our version.  Enjoy!   Happy Pancake Day!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Table Salt
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream

  1. Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt Butter and cool slightly
  3. Whisk buttermilk into cooled butter and then whisk in the eggs and sour cream.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Use a large rubber spatula and fold together until just combined. Use a minimal amount of strokes - some lumps might remain. Let stand for at least 15 minutes - this will give the sour cream and baking soda time to react.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup for each pancake onto a hot oiled skillet or griddle. When bubbles start to uniformly appear it's time to flip. These pancakes will rise nicely so let them cook for at least 2 minutes on the second side. Don't forget to use quality (LOCAL if available) syrup. Enjoy.

Cappuccino Biscotti w/ Hazelnuts & Chocolate Chips Recipe

Biscotti are easy to make and delicious with a cup of tea, coffee or milk any time of the day.   Our cookie jar in the coffee lounge is always filled with cookies or biscotti and this recipe gets a lot of requests. Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup (100 grams) peeled hazelnuts
  • 2 cups (260 grams) all-purposeflour
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee, cooled
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
cappucino-and-hazelnut-biscottiPreheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. 

In a small bowl whisk together the espresso or coffee, milk, egg and vanilla extract.  

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices until combined. Gradually add the espresso mixture and beat until a dough forms, adding the chopped nuts and chocolate chips about halfway through. With floured hands divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface roll each half of dough into a log about 12 inches long and 1.5" inches wide. Transfer the logs to a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spacing about 3 inches apart. Bake for about 35 minutes or until firm to the touch (logs will spread during baking). Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.  On a cutting board cut the logs crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2 inch  slices. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet, and bake for 5 minutes or until they are pale golden.    I personally like my biscotti a little softer than is the tradion.  If you like yours real crunchy you can cook the sliced biscotti on each side for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. 

Optional:  Die hard chocolate lovers can melt good bitter sweet chocolate over the logs as they are cooling and before slicing.

Makes about 36 biscotti.

 

Chocolate Fondue Recipe

callebautThere'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.

 

Quinoa Porridge Recipe

Quinoa Porridge

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
  1. Bring the quinoa, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered until tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Mix in the fruit and top with toasted nuts.

Souper Sundays!!

Spicy Red Pepper Soup

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!

 

   

Oatmeal Scones with Hazelnut & Cherries

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. hazelnutsOne 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
  1. 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.
  2. Whisk together cream and egg.  Reserve 2 tablespoons for glazing scones.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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! Michael          

Kale Smoothie

Breakfast is our favorite time of day.  We make it our duty to serve things like pastries, pancakes and bacon.  However, we do offer healthy choices at breakfast for our guests that want to enjoy something delicous at breakfast but don't want to over do it.  One of our moskalesmoothiet requested offerings is our Kale Smoothie.   The recipe below is how I make it most days but keep in mind smoothie recipes have ingredients that are easy to swap with others.   Feel free to use what ever your happen to have on hand.   Scranton Seahorse Kale Smoothie
  • 2 handfuls of fresh kale washed and chopped.
  • 1/2 chopped fresh chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple
  • 1 pelled chopped apple
  • 1 cup unsweetened unflavored almond milk
  • 1 cup ice
The strawberries and pineapple should be frozen for at least an hour.   What I do is package 1 cup of each the strawberries and pineapple in zip lock bags and when I'm ready to make a smoothie I've got them already chopped measured and frozen. Combine all ingredients in a blender or smoothie machine and blend until smooth.   Depending on your preference add more ice (or almond milk) to thin out the smoothie.  I personally don't like mine thick like a milk shake.  You can keep the extra in a covered pitcher in the refrigerator for a couple days. What's your favorite smoothie recipe?      

Apple Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe

When I was in pastry school one of the chef instuctors shared this recipe with our class.  I've carried this fairly simple recipe with me for many years and it's always a hit.  When  I make it  at the inn I always get asked for the recipe.    Use your favorite tart, fresh and locally grown apples for the best results. 
  • 2 sticks of butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 T Vanilla Extract
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 5 peeled and diced apples
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar on medium - high speed until light and fluffy.   Add eggs one at a time  - completely incorporating and scraping down the bowl and paddle with a rubber spatula after each addition.  Don't skip this step!    Add vanilla. Combine all dry ingredients and whisk to incorporate.    Set the mixer to low and slowly add to butter and egg mixture until just combined.  Add sour cream and mix until smooth.    Add apples until thoroughly mixed.  Pour mixture in even amounts into three 8" spring form pans that have been sprayed and lined with parchment paper.   I suggest a struesal topping and you can use your own favorite recipe or here's my easy nut free topping:
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch table salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter  cut into pieces, softened but still cool
In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt on low speed until well combined and no large brown sugar lumps remain, about 45 seconds. Add butter and mix on low until mixture resembles wet sand and no large butter pieces remain, about 2 1/2 minutes.    Spread evenly over each pan of batter.  Bake at 350F until golden brown and a test inserted into each pan comes out cleanly.    About 1hr 10 minutes.

Rum Raisin Scones

I call this grown up scones because the raisins are soaked in dark rum before cooking.    The longer the raisins soak in the rum the more intense the flavor gets.    The raisins will keep 8-10 weeks in the refridgerator so I make a large batch and have them ready.  The recipe below is enough for 12 scones.   Ingredients:
  •  1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 dark rum (I use Meyers)
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 1/2 kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream + 2 tablespoons to brush the scones with
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
Place the raisins in a small saucepan and cover with water.   Bring to a boil then strain.   Now place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with the rum and let it set for at least an hour.      In your mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, and salt.  Toss in the cut up butter and place the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.   Using the paddle attachment mix on low until the butter is broken up into pebble sized pieces (3 minutes).  Strain the raisins reserving the rum.    Add the raisins to the flour mixture and beat just once or twice and evenly distribute them.   With the mixer still on low speed and add the 1/4 cup of rum and the heavy cream until the dough comes together.   Using your hands, knead the mixure in the bowl until the dough comes together completely. Turn the dough out to a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 7-inch round - about 3/4 inch thick.   Using a sharp knife cut in 12 equals wedges - like a pie.    The wedges will look small but they will spread and rise in the oven! Place the pieces on your baking sheet at least 1/2 inch apart.  Cover with plastic wrap and freee for 15 minutes.  Preheat your over to 375.   Brush the scones with heavy cream and spinkle with the Demerara sugar.  Bake the scone for 20 minutes turning the baking sheet halfway through.   Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm.

Hawaiian Waffles Recipe

Macadamia nuts and shredded coconut aren't the only things that make this dish a summer time favorite.   I serve a tropical salsa along side it to finish it off.     Use whatever fruit is ripe and fresh at the supermarket.   Some of my favorites include mango, pineapple, & kiwi.   Don't be afraid to try something different like starfruit or papaya to wow your family or guests. For 6 Belgian Style Waffles
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking power
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cups coarsely chopped raw macadamia nuts
Whisk the eggs until foamy and then whisk in the butter and milk.    Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the egg mixture and whisk until smooth.    The batter should not be so thick that you cannot run your whisk through it.   You can thin it out by adding a tablespoon or two of milk.      Fold in the nuts and coconut.    I like to let the mixture sit for 10 minutes before using. Follow the instructions for your waffle iron to cook.   But a general rule of thumb is when the steaming from the iron stops your waffles are done! Tips: Instead of maple syrup, which can overpower the flavors of the coconut and macadamia nuts,  try a light or amber agave nectar. Chop your fruit salsa into small bite size pieces just like a salsa and serve a heaping mound with each waffle.

Molasses Sugar Cookies

molasses cookiesWe try to keep the cookie jar in the coffee bar stocked.   There's a lot of midnight cookie monsters out there so this is a difficult task at times!   We had a group of guests from Germany recently that begged me for my molasses cookie recipe.   I wish I could say it was mine!  This was passed on to me from my friend Liza who in turn got it from Jillifer's Emporium, Great Barrington, MA.   Enjoy!       Ingredients:
  • 1 pound butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 1/2 cups unsifted flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  1. Cream butter, molasses, water, salt and brown sugar together.
  2. Beat in eggs
  3. Sift dry ingredients together and then add to creamed mixture.
  4. Mix well
  5. Refigerate for 24 hours.
  6. Roll into balls (1" diameter), then roll in granulated sugar
Bake for 15 - 18 minutes at 350 degrees - adjust time for convection ovens. Yields approximately 3 1/2 dozen

Rhubarb!

I was delighted to see how great the rhubarb in our garden was looking this morning.    When I see these big bright green leafy stalks it means two things - spring time & great tart breakfast treats.   Some of the favorites at the inn are rhubarb upside down muffins, rhubarb crisp and my personal favorite - rhubarb sour cream coffee cake.  I make this one with a combination of all purpose flour and wheat flour.   Here's the recipe:
  • 3 1/2 cups finely chopped rhubarb (about 1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • zest of one medium orange
  • 2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Streusel:
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup toasted & chopped walnuts

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°. 2. To prepare cake, combine rhubarb and 2 tablespoons flour in a medium bowl; toss well to coat. 3. Place brown sugar and 5 tablespoons butter in the bowl of a mixer; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream, rind, and vanilla; beat until well combined. 4. Lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until combined. Fold in rhubarb mixture. Spread batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. 5. To prepare streusel, combine turbinado sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or 2 forks until mixture is crumbly; stir in nuts. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Almond Milk

This is a great recipe for those with dairy or soy allergies and tastes so much better than anything you buy in a store. And because almonds are a high energy food this is a terrific start to anyone’s day! Ingredients:
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 5-6 very fresh pitted dates
  • ½ a vanilla bean or ½ teaspoon good vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon agave nectar (if needed)
Steps: 1. Soak almonds in water in a blender overnight 2. Blend on high speed until almonds are completely ground. The water will become white and frothy. Strain through a fine mesh strainer pressing on almonds to extract the excess milk. Reserve the liquid and discard the almonds. 3. Rinse your blender and pour in the reserved milk. 4. Add the dates, and scrape the beans of ½ a vanilla bean or use ½ teaspoon good vanilla extract 5. Blend until smooth and then taste. If you think the milk needs to be sweetened and a small amount (1/2 teaspoon) of agave nectar being careful not to over sweeten. Serve this with cereal, granola, or enjoy straight out of the glass!

Buttermilk Pancakes

Prep Time 30 minutes Serves: 6 Ingredients:
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Table Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cardamon (optional)
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream
Steps: 1. Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. I use cardamom and cinnamon interchangeably with this recipe. Sometimes I use both! They both pack a lot of flavor so just a pinch will do. 2. Melt Butter and cool slightly 3. Whisk buttermilk into cooled butter and then whisk in the eggs and sour cream. 4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Use a large rubber spatula and fold together until just combined. Use a minimal amount of strokes - some lumps might remain. Let stand for at least 15 minutes - this will give the sour cream and baking soda time to react. 5. Pour 1/4 cup for each pancake onto a hot oiled skillet or griddle. When bubbles start to uniformly appear it's time to flip. These pancakes will rise nicely so let them cook for at least 2 minutes on the second side. Don't forget to use quality (LOCAL if available) syrup. Enjoy.

Seahorse Inn Granola

Prep Time 30 minutes Ingredients:
  • 3 cup Quaker Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup Any combination of your favorite nuts (we love pecans and almonds)
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Unsweetend Coconut
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup Local Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Local Honey
  • 1/2 cup Quinoa (save time and buy prewashed)
  • 1/2 cup Golden Raisins
  • 1 cup Your favorite dried fruit(s)
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Steps: 1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl mix together oats, coconut, nuts, quinoa, and spices 2. Combine syrup, honey, vanilla and butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat until butter is melted. NOTE: You can vary the ratio of honey and syrup you use based on taste preference. Just be sure you have 1.5 cups of sweetener. 3. Stir together the warmed syrup mixture and add to the oat & nut mixture. Stir until well coated. 4. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet covered with a silpat. If you don't have a silpat coat the baking sheet with cooking spray. Set oven timer to 7 minutes. Every 7 minutes for approximately 30 minutes remove the pan and stir. We want the mixture to be evenly cooked to a dark golden brown. 5. Once cooled combine the dried fruit to the oats. The granola can be kept refrigerated in an air tight container for up to 3 weeks. Enjoy with milk, soy milk, or plain yogurt.

Spiced Banana Bread with Chocolate

3 very ripe bananas 2 large eggs 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 cup granulated sugar 1 tsp. baking soda 2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips For topping: 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/8 tsp. cardamom 1/8 tsp. all spice 1/8 tsp. nutmeg Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter or spray an 8-inch square pan. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork or potato masher. Add the eggs, and stir well to combine. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and vanilla, and stir to mix. Add the chocolate chips, and stir briefly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the batter in the pan. Optionally you can add an additional ¼ cup chocolate chips to the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.