Breakfast in Garden

Archive for the ‘Food with Soul’ Category

Pinehurst Inn Breakfast: Celebrating Summer Harvests in Cold of Winter

January 24th, 2014 by Nancy Sandstrom

white bowl with overflowing blueberries and a partially slices loaf of sour dough bread.As we prepared our Pinehurst Inn breakfast this morning, I was struck by the beautiful color of the blueberries pulled out of the freezer. Every time I look at these deep blue jewels, I am filled with joy. Please understand…..I am a blueberry junkie. I have been known to put blueberries on many food items ranging from pork chops to eggs.

That being said, there are those tried and true recipes that simply always work. For inns, they become expected fare by returning guests. So this morning, when we gave the menu to our guests,  they lit up with a smile. Even though they were new guests for us, they had been referred by some of our frequent guests who mentioned our Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast. They knew they were getting the true Pinehurst Inn Breakfast.

We try very hard to incorporate locally grown / produced ingredients into all our recipes. This time of year, clearly we are working with what’s in the freezer or available this time of year. In the case of Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast (recipe below), this is relatively easy.

  • The Bayfield blueberries in our freezer are a part of the approximately 150# that we’ve stashed away to last through the winter. Hats, scaves and mittens off to Highland Valley Farm – the Dale family knows how to grow berries. They are one of a number of terrific Bayfield orchards.
  • The cream cheese in this case was “home made”, the leave-behind on my most recent production of whey (yes, the whey is another very cool story at another time).
  • The bread come from Ashland Baking Company, after our weekly visit to pick up the freshly baked, round sour dough loaves (the aroma in the car on these pick up days is wonderful!).
  • The eggs recently are coming from Chequamegon Food Co-op who does a great job of sourcing local egg people during a tough time of year (so, would you lay eggs when it is 15 below?).
  • The syrup comes from Wisconsin Maid Sugar Bush out of Park Falls. This golden syrup arrives by the gallon, hand delivered by the very folks who tap the trees, boil it down and bottle it. Lovely.

In other words, this recipe is built from hard work, tender care, heart & soul with a touch of joy added in. And as we prepare it, we know that it is something guests will enjoy. It’s a win-win.

So are you wondering about a recipe? Of course. We share happily below. All we ask is that you take some thought about where you are sourcing your ingredients. Making those right decisions definitely enhances the flavor and adds that last ingredient we all need…..a bit of true joy.

Pinehurst Inn Blueberry Oven French Toast

Green Gab from Pinehurst Inn – Find Your Area CSA

January 16th, 2014 by Nancy Sandstrom

Variety of fresh produce including radishes, peppers,carrots and potatoesWe just completed our annual sign up for one of a number of area CSAs – Community Supported Agriculture. We are very blessed to live in a region that offers great options on organized, bundled weekly or biweekly boxed of fresh, local produce and food products. Picking up these boxes of foodie treasures makes me giddy as I drive home dreaming up some of the many ways we can incorporate these delicious ingredients into our meals and those meals we provide our guests. Similarly our treks in the summer and fall up to the Bayfield Orchards brings joy whether picked raspberries, blueberries or apples – all coming from the fields and trees of our good friends and neighbors.

What is a CSA?  From Wikipedia:   “Community-supported agriculture (CSA; sometimes known as community-shared agriculture) is an alternative, locally-based economic model of agriculture and food distribution. A CSA also refers to a particular network or association of individuals who have pledged to support one or more local farms, with growers and consumers sharing the risks and benefits of food production. CSA members or subscribers pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of vegetables and fruit, in a vegetable box scheme. Many CSAs also sometimes include herbs, cut flowers, honey, eggs, dairy products and meat. In theory a CSA can provide any product to its members, although the majority of CSA tend to provide produce and other comestibles. Some CSAs provide for contributions of labor in lieu of a portion of subscription costs.”

We suggest a checking out Local Harvest for more information on the benefits of patronizing CSA’s.

Our decision to support our local farmers and producers comes from both a desire to support our local economy (agritourism is a big deal in the Chequeamegon Bay!). But our own health and quality of food prepared in our kitchen is equally as important. We know the growers & producers. We’ve seen many of their operations. We have confidence that we are getting some of the healthiest and highest quality produce and products we can. The decision is heart-felt driven by our desire to build a business based on Sustainable Tourism.

Looking to find CSA’s in your area. You will find a great search function at Local Harvest as well as a ton of additional information.

photo credit: Photo from Acorn Creek Farm, Tomah, WI

 

Pinehurst Inn Breakfasts….Think Blueberries

October 31st, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

blue plate with blueberry french toast, partial view of rolled napkin, and pansies.

Pinehurst Inn is a “B&B”. We got the beds part down – comfortable, welcoming beds. The second “B” is for breakfast. And we feel pretty good about the breakfast part as well, although we are always trying to take it a bit further. But there are some recipes that just continue to work well for our Pinehurst Inn breakfasts. This is the case with our Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast. When we introduce this entre to returning guests at the Bayfield B&B, they smile with happy memories and taste buds.

So for this post, we introduce all of you to the winning recipe – which can be done with blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries. We use a dense whole grain sourdough bread, local maple syrup and organic eggs. This recipe is so simple, can be made the night before and serves up beautifully. Served with local bacon or savory biscuits, it’s a winner!

Visit our Breakfast page to find the Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast recipe.

As an inn with all our eyes and ears focused on sustainable operations, we make great effort to source our foods locally. So here are some of our “food partners” in the area.

Blueberries – Highland Valley Farm

Raspberries – North Wind Farm

Whole Grain Sourdough Bread – Ashland Baking Company

Maple Syrup – Northern Wisconsin Maid Syrup

Milk – Tetzner’s Dairy (their ice cream is to die for!)

Next time you visit us, be sure to check them out.

It’s the berries! (in Bayfield!)

June 12th, 2012 by kristensandstrom

Well, everything truly does seem to be happening a bit earlier this year. We have just heard that the strawberries are just about ready at the local berry farms. Right now Erickson’s Orchard & Country Store has a limited quantity of ready-picked strawberries available for purchase. This is about two weeks ahead of schedule, but we certainly don’t mind. There is something so especially delicious about eating fruit that was just picked locally!

We talk about cooking with local foods all the time, and how easy it is. We’d like to utilize our blog a bit more to share with you ideas to help you do more in your own kitchens. We make it a point to buy as many fresh local berries as we can while they are in season. We have a couple of extra freezers to store these scrumptious treats year round. Berries are actually quite easy to freeze, but how you do it really does make a difference in how long they will last.

We are quite lucky at Pinehurst that my father (Steve) loves the process of cleaning and cutting berries for freezing. He also does this with potatoes, peppers and other produce. He finds it quite relaxing and reminds him of his childhood. This is a good thing as I don’t think the women in our family feel quite that way about it. Here’s a link to some very simple and good instructions on freezing strawberries: http://www.pickyourown.org/strawberries_freezing.htm. The most important step of this process is draining the cleaned berries of as much moisture as possible.

So, what can you do with these berries? Of course, the very best part about buying local berries is picking them directly from the flats and eating them! But, alas we can’t always do that. Here are two recipes that we serve quite frequently at Pinehurst Inn:

Strawberry Parfait:
This is a really easy one: Take some fresh Bayfield strawberries, and quarter them. Then take some plain yogurt and add a touch of maple syrup and vanilla extract (just enough to flavor as you like). Layer the strawberries and yogurt with your favorite granola and enjoy!

Strawberry (or any berry) Muffins:

Ingredients:

1

Herb gardens begin as Spring blooms in Bayfield!

May 29th, 2012 by Nancy Sandstrom

silver sage farm and flowers image Yesterday Kristen and I took a trip to Silver Sage Farm to purchase herbs for the Pinehurst Inn gardens. This beautiful farm is located in Port Wing, WI, about 30 minutes from Bayfield. While it is a bit of a trek, it is completely worth it. Owner, Mary Pearson, has her own little piece of paradise. Upon arrival the first thing we noticed was the amazing gardens right outside of Mary’s home. Wine grapes, lettuces, flowers and so much more! The bees and butterflies were very very happy.

This is one of the things about living up here that is hard to explain to those who have been acclimated to the city to the extent that they buy their herbs at the grocery store or a discount store. There is something so much fun about going to the actual farm and talking to the gardener about their plants. They really do treat them like a family. Calling plants sad because they haven’t been transplanted yet. Mary was eager to tour me through her garden to share the different varieties of herbs she has.

 

herbs from silver sage farm imageWe found a beautiful selection of rosemary, thyme, basil, parley, peppers and more. Even a few things we hadn’t heard of. Lemon Basil? Orange Thyme? Mary was a wealth of information and was able to suggest a few different varieties of peppers that will do better in our region. The smells were amazing and we simply can’t wait to get these in the ground so they can flourish and be added to you breakfast when you come to visit us.

Now we just need mother nature to cooperate a bit more and give us the time to get these beautiful plants in the ground before the next thunderstorms roll in.

 

Finally, one of our favorite parts about visiting Silver Sage Farm that we weren’t expecting were her gorgeous horses greeting us! We couldn’t help but take a few photos!

silver sage farm horse image

Pinehurst Inn – “Bringing Soul to our Breakfasts”

April 29th, 2012 by Nancy Sandstrom

As I was doing my normal wandering through a number of sustainable food-related blogs this morning, I came upon a blog written by Terra Wellington on The Buzz – Fresh News, Musings and Insights from Stoneyfield Farm. In “How to Bring Soul to Your Food” Terra relates beautifully how food is her connection to history, memories and community. Sharing this blog post is a joy as it conveys so well a philosophy behind how Steve and I attempt to build our breakfast (as well as many of our own meals) here at Pinehurst Inn.

The sourcing and discovery of new and locally grown ingredients is such an adventure. The incorporation of new discoveries not only elicits memories from years past, but also connects us to both nature and local Bayfield area growers in a way that adds incredible richness to the process. Bringing a yummy breakfast to the guests’ table is a primary goal. Yet we’d like to take that a bit deeper. If they want to know, we share where that food came from and some of the stories behind it – the people, the place, the natural history.

Yesterday Steve and our 4-year-old grandson, Aidyn trekked down to Pikes Creek just below Pinehurst Inn. Aidyn had just purchased a periscope and it was time to do some exploring. During this trek, they came upon a wonderful stash of fiddlehead ferns and wild leeks (ramps). After more adventure seeking, a few small bags of these incredible greens landed in the kitchen. An opportunity for research and some cooking. Steve created a wonderful tart with an Almond Flour Crust, mixture of fiddlehead ferns and wild leeks, parmesan cheese. Yum. An incredible dinner.

As we ate, he also shared the natural story – only found in the early spring in wet brackish forests. Each spring when the snow melts, the ferns push their way up through the forest floor, uncurling slowly. It’s at this moment just before they uncurl that they are harvested. Tender and with a taste that is reminiscent of a cross between a green bean and asparagus. How blessed we are that these short lived treats are right outside our door, creating a new seasonal food tradition.

And yes, we went ahead and created another tart for breakfast for our guests. They were happy and loved sharing similar food stories.

So over the coming months, periodically we will post some of the ways we attempt to bring “soul to our breakfasts”. How about you? Do you try to bring soul to your food?

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