Category: Recipes

From Local Farm to Your Kitchen

Nationwide and with promotion even from the White House by Michele Obama, there is a growing interest/push for Local Foods, Strong Farms and Healthy Communities.  You can drive down Merrimon Ave. (just two streets over from Cumberland Circle) and see where churches are growing vegetables on their front and side lawns ( cared for by their congregations).  Members of AIR (Asheville Independent Restaurants) have all committed to using local farm products within 100  miles.  ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) is a hugely responsible for teaching local farmers how to market their products, connecting food service buyers and Chefs to farms that can fill their needs, producing and publishing a local Food Guide, designing a brand that certifies products that are Appalachian Grown, education of school children focusing on where their food comes from (farm tours) and organizing Asheville City Markets coordinating with the Mountain Tailgate Market Association. Even if you are just visiting you can enjoy the following list of Tailgate Markets: Asheville City Market-8am – 1pm, Saturdays, 161 S. Charlotte St. and Eagle Street- free parking available; Asheville City Market South-1-5pm, Wednesdays – 2 Town Square Blvd- Biltmore Park Town Square; French Broad Food Co-op Market– 2-6pm, Wednesdays, 76 Biltmore Ave., in parking lot next to French Broad Food-Co-op; Montford Tailgate Market-2-6pm, Wednesdays, parking lot of the Asheville Visitors Center, 34 Montford Ave; East Asheville Tailgate Market-3-6pm, Fridays, Groce United Methodist Church’s parking lot at the corner of Beverly and Tunnel road; West Asheville Tailgate Market-3:30-6:30 pm, Tuesdays, 718 Haywood Road, in parking area between Grace Baptist Church and Sun Trust Bank.  Items to buy range from flowers, goat cheese, grass fed beef, pasteurized pork, cider, vegetables, fresh bread, honey, molasses, mushrooms, eggs, soap and chocolate, to name a few items for sale.


The All American Omelette

photo 1At Applewood Manor,It is a challenge to come up with visually stimulating, nutritious and healthy filling entrees daily.  Incorporating choices for the varietal taste of guests.  We serve breakfast between 8 to 9 AM every morning unless the manor house rooms are reserved by a bunch of friends or family reunions (we LOVE to host) in all our 6 rooms.

We take great care identifying and watching individual allergies, likes and dislike preferences as well as limiting diets of choice.  Posting of the daily menu of all three courses; a homemade bread  toasted with cream cheese, a bowl of fresh fruit with toppings choices of Dannon Lite Greek vanilla yogurt with my heart healthy granola and then the main entree.  Adding care for those diets of  no eggs please, vegans, vegetarians and type 2/ type 1 Diabetics.  It all culminates in great fun!

Enter my all American omelette.  I call it that as I prefer the thinner omelette to the fluffy thicker French omelette so as to control the cooking of the ingredients.  We offer our guests 6 ingredient choices; Baby spinach, cherry or Campari tomatoes chopped, sweet colored peppers, sweet chopped onion, ham and lastly extra sharp cheddar cheese.

The secret to a perfectly orchestrated omelette is to not over cook the ingredients, use a preheated nonstick 12 inch skillet, cooking the omelette at a low heat  and mix the well beaten eggs with a tablespoon of water per egg.  You can use butter, soy butter, olive oil, coconut butter or any other butter substitute.  I saute the chosen ingredients until almost done yet still crisp, then collected that in a straight line from the skillet handle to the opposite side all of the skillet.  Reduce the heat and pour the beaten egg on each side of the line of ingredients.  Swirl the egg gently toward the ingredients before is set and then leave alone.  Using a thin rubber spatula testing the egg edge to see if set, with a controlled wrist movement lift and flip set egg over the center line covering the sauteed ingredients. Repeat on other side when egg is set.  Slip onto plate and put in 200 degree F oven to finish cooking for about 3 to 5 minutes.  I try to keep very little crusty brown on the underside of omelette, unless instructed differently.  If someone wants a very soft omelette serve after 3 minute set up; if want a more well done omelette serve after 5 or more minutes.  Omelettes can sit in oven for as long as 15minutes before being too dry.

There are many many more ingredients and your imagination is unlimited in your choices to add.  In New York City, a standard omelette offered at practically all Diners was a jelly omelette.  That is an omelette where the filling is any kind of prepared jelly/jam spread in the center then sides folded over.  Sounds terrible but the sweet/tart with the egg is delicious.  Enjoy!


Applewood Manor’s Pumpkin Blooper Bread

Pumpkin Blooper BreadI needed some more bread recipes and was giving a try/ taste to find some good ones worth serving to our guests.  Not all recipes are created equal!  With all the cooking I do for our Bed and Breakfast you would think I would be able to read a new recipe and follow it with much wisdom and experience.  Not reading carefully always gets you in the butt.

I found a Pumpkin Bread recipe from Maine that looked easy.  I had a can of Libby’s Easy Pumpkin Pie mix sitting in my pantry with all the other correct ingredients on hand.  Easy work; there cannot be that much a difference between a regular can of pumpkin and this mix? In the beginning I noticed something was going wrong, I had way too much dough for a single 9×5 inch bread pan.  So, I prepared two 9×5 inch baking bread pans.  Hey good deal, two loves from one recipe, eureka!  Baked them and not only did they look beautiful but they tasted wonderful, a thumbs up from my favorite taste tester, Larry. Next time you are in Asheville you might be driving by our Inn and smell the pumpkin bread cooling! Maybe Larry will save you a slice!


So here is my adapted recipe I call Pumpkin Blooper Bread:

Applewood Manor’s Blooper Pumpkin Bread

Preheated oven 350 degrees

2 – 9×5 bread pans

Electric mixer

24 servings (12 servings / loaf)

3 c. sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 c. canola cooking oil

3 c. flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. baking soda

1 can Libby’s easy pumpkin pie mix-30 oz can

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 c. finely chopped toasted pecans

Mix together in mixer the oil, eggs and sugar.  Stir in separate bowl all the dry ingredients  to combine.  Add dry ingredients alternately with pumpkin to oil, egg & sugar.  Add chopped toasted pecans and vanilla, stir into batter.  Pour (as equally as possible) batter into prepared pans.  Bake 350 for 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Let bread cool in pan before removal.  I recommend using parchment paper in the loaf pan for ease of removal.  Cover with two layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours before serving.  Tastes best if slightly toasted/warmed in oven by broiler for breakfast.  This can also be used as a cake dessert with ice cream/whipped cream.