Monday, March 21, 2011

Have an Unprogrammed Vacation

Do you really want to program your vacation?   One of the most common questions we have is what can we do at The Pearl of Seneca Lake B&B and around Seneca Lake?

We find that our guests usually crave the opportunity to “do nothing”. They sleep late, eat a hearty breakfast (no lunch necessary), and maybe go out to visit a few wineries, take out the canoe or row boat, sit on the dock with a book and/or a glass of wine, take a nap in our two person hammock, and have a lazy dinner.   Some enjoy a night cap under the stars.   And sometimes they have a bonfire and roast s’mores.

Each person is so different and has different needs.   Only you will know what you need to do or not to do.

You might want to check out our attractions page to see the listing of things to do, things to see and places to eat.   We have provided links to various web sites, dates of area events and phone numbers.   We look forward to seeing you relax and enjoy the beauty of the Finger Lakes.   Be sure to make your vacation a renewing experience.

- Mary

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The power of cookies is so amazing. It seems that they are the ultimate comfort food. When we first moved into our house and the builders were still working, I tried different recipes and made sure they were coming out of the oven at break time. They were a hit. I then began to give some to the UPS man and the other tradesmen. It seemed logical to give some to our B&B guests as they were leaving, and that practice has continued. We have heard that some guests return because they love these cookies. They also seem to raid the cookie jar which always warms my heart.

The following is the recipe that is also posted on our web site. Some of the secrets that have been developed are to really beat the butter/sugar/eggs/vanilla, and use a variety of different kinds of chocolate chips. Another idea suggested by Cook’s Illustrated is to let the ingredients sit at different stages, and again when everything is mixed together. Those ideas do seem to make a difference.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Combine the ingredients in the following order:
1 cup oil or butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Let set for 5-10 minutes. Then add:

2 cups flour (when doubling, use 3 1/2 cups flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

(The choc chips mix with the batter better if added before the oatmeal.)
2 cups chocolate chips, some semi sweet, milk choc, dark choc. or bitter-sweet choc.
1 1/2 cup nuts

2 1/2 cups blended oatmeal
(Measure oatmeal; blend in blender to a fine powder)
(Nuts can be added to blender)

I have found that if I let the cookies sit on the counter for 20 minutes to 2 hours, they have a nicer consistency after they are baked.

Place on cookie sheet.   Bake about 10 min at 375 deg. Enjoy!

- Mary