Scranton Seahorse Inn

Easy Baked Grapefruit Recipe

Every year the local high school band sells cases of citrus for their annual fund raiser.   I gladly purchase a case of pink grapefruit because this recipe it’s one of my go to breakfast treats in winter.   The guests love it.   It’s very simple and I usually say if you like grapefruit you’ll love this – if you’re on the fence about grapefruit this recipe just may change your mind.

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

    A delicous, healthy &warm winter breakfast treat.

  2. Halve the grapefruit and remove any visible seeds.  Begin to segment the grapefruit by making cuts around the grapefruit and at each piece.
  3. Drizzle a teaspoon of your favorite local honey in the center of each grapefruit half.
  4. For each grapefruit mix together 2T brown sugar and 1/2t cinnamon until combined.  Then evenly sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon mixture on top of the grapefruit halves.
  5. Bake for 13-15 minutes. For the last minute turn the broiler on high to finish off the caramelization.
  6. For serving, place 1/2 maraschino cherry in the center of each grapefruit half.  Serve warm.

 

 

NOTES:

If your grapefruit is super juicy lay a paper towel over the top of the grapefruit halve and blot up the excess juice.   When you sprinkle the top with the sugar you don’t want it to dissolve before it browns in the oven.

You can skip the sugar / cinnamon step altogether and just heat the grapefruit with a drizzle of local honey as described.   The heat brings out a wonder flavor all on its own.

Granola Recipe

Scranton Seahorse Inn

Healthy & Simple Granola Recipe

 

housemade granola

This recipe is a variation of my original granola recipe.  I was asked by a guest to create one that used less sugar and syrup.  After a few experiments this is the end result.   My guest and I are very happy with this version.   I like that the amount of sweeteners was reduced by more than 70% and the flavor was not only not compromised but improved.   You can eliminate the 3T of brown sugar completely when mixing the dry goods.   Make this once and you’ll stop buying boxed sweet cereal forever!

 

 

In a microwave or on a stovetop gently heat the following ingredients until the butter is melted.

  • ¾ cup high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup of your favorite local honey or local maple syrup
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • ½ t almond extract OR pure vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl mix together the following ingredients:

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup Quinoa
  • ¾ cup slivered almonds
  • ¾ cup sliced almonds
  • ¾ cup raw pepitas
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 1T kosher salt
  • 1t cinnamon
  • ½t freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3T brown sugar (optional)

Stir in the warmed olive oil mixture and oats mixture with a rubber spatula.    Spread evenly on a rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper or silpat and cook in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until browned stirring every 10 minutes.   Cool completely.

Once cooled and just before storing, stir granola with your hands, breaking up any of the mixture that may be stuck together.  Stir in 1 cup of your favorite dried fruit. Pitted dates, cranberries, golden raisins are great.   Store in an air tight container in a refridgerator for up to two weeks.

A few notes about ingredients and substitutions.

  1. Great olive oil is key. We are lucky to have Shoreline Vine here in Madison and I use their Picual EVOO for this recipe because it’s naturally sweet and appropriately earthy for this recipe.   I personally don’t recommend flavored or infused olive oil for your granola but this is about you and your taste buds.   Experiment! If you don’t have a store like Shoreline Vine near you (they do ship by the way!) then find a high quality extra virgin olive oil in your supermarket
  2. If you don’t like almonds substitute your favorite nuts in equal quantities.
  3. When springtime arrives I used whatever fruit is local & fresh in place of dried fruits. If you use fresh fruit just wash and chop and add to your granola just before serving with yogurt or milk.
  4. I serve this granola frequently and this is a fairly large batch.   You can easily cut this recipe in half by dividing all ingredients by 2.

 

 

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!

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.

Eating Healthy in 2014 at the Scranton Seahorse Inn

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

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.

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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?