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Pork Loin Filled with Apricot-Cranberry Stuffing

by BnB Finder October 21st, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Pork LoinStuffing is not just for turkey, and it doesn't have to consist mainly of breadcrumbs. In this recipe, pork chops are stuffed with a sweet and tart fruit (and breadcrumb) filling that sets off their mild flavor. They're first browned for crispness, then baked to cook them through with a minimum of fuss. Meanwhile, you're making a simple sauce out of fresh ingredients to finish off the dish. Though this all takes preparation, it's worth it for a special occasion at home. From the Castle in the Country in Allegan, Michigan, a great place for a celebration
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Lemon Pepper Tuna Cakes

by Jane Wangersky October 16th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
file00041689699Canned tuna has a lowbrow reputation -- we think it's good mainly for quick lunches, especially to take to work or school, or maybe retro casseroles swimming in canned soup. But if you read Tin Fish Gourmet by Barbara-Jo McIntosh, you’ll see that tuna and other canned fish has way more potential. Here’s a simple dish I’ve been making for years; it varies according to what I’ve got in the house, but this version makes a nice end-of-summer supper.

If you like crab cakes, these are much more affordable. If you’re secretly craving something at the other end of the
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Seafood Gumbo

by BnB Finder October 14th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Seafood Gumbo - CopyGumbo is much more than soup, and this gumbo is special enough for a Sunday dinner, even if you're having guests. Shrimp, crab, and oysters come together in a thick, rich, spicy base. It will take patience, especially if you've never made roux (a flour-fat base for soup or sauce), but it's worth it. Unlike the usual lard-based Cajun roux, this one uses vegetable oil, which you're more likely to have on hand. It's from the Fuquay Mineral Spring Inn and Garden Bed & Breakfast in Wake County, North Carolina, a designated landmark convenient to Raleigh and Chapel Hill.

 

 

 

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Essential Chili: The 4 Things You Really Need

by Jane Wangersky October 9th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
chiliI’ve got several time-honored, long-cooking, big-batch chili recipes that use chunks of beef and about 10 kinds of spices. This isn’t one of them. But it’s quick and easy, it tastes good, and you can build on it till it’s almost like one of those more ambitious chilis.

Keeping it to four ingredients, I had to find the essence of chili. Having lived in Texas, I know some people will take issue with that essence containing beans rather than meat. If you feel this way, hey, use meat instead -- I’ll talk about that and other variations in just a
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Gourmet Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

by BnB Finder October 7th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes, Sandwiches
Gourmet PB&JIf you're wondering what can possibly be "gourmet" about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, just check out this recipe. It has a definite French feeling, between the French toast base and the Pinot grape jelly (Pinot Noir grapes are not just for wine making anymore).  The crunchy peanut butter is, granted, very North American, but you can always call it beurre d'arachide croquant, as one side of the label says here in Canada. This is one of many lunch dishes at Stone Chalet Bed and Breakfast Inn in Ann Arbor, MI, which offers many special amenities for business
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Simple Spicy Meat Loaf

by Jane Wangersky October 2nd, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
meat loafLast spring, I wrote that everyone and his dog had their own ideas of what made a good meat loaf. My own family has several different ideas, and today I’m going to share one of them.

Early fall can be a tricky time to plan meals. You never know whether it’s going to be a burgers-in-the-backyard kind of day or a meat-roasting-in-the-oven kind of day. Plan on this dish and you’ll be ready for either. If it turns out warm and sunny, you can just buy some hamburger buns, make a salad, and grill the sausage patties on
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Mockaletta: A Stripped-Down Classic

by Jane Wangersky September 25th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
paninis-and-sandwichesA real muffaletta is one of those rare dishes whose taste is somehow way more than the combination of the tastes of the ingredients. I realized this the first time I tasted one in a little cafe in New Orleans, on my one visit there many years ago. Since that trip, I’ve got out my Cajun-Creole cookbook and made my own muffaletta from time to time, usually when I had to take something to a potluck. It’s been worth it -- those few times.

What exactly goes into a muffaletta? (Which you’ll see spelled countless different ways.) You start with
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Award-Winning Wisconsin Breakfast Panini

by BnB Finder September 23rd, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Award-winning Wisconsin Breakfast Panini-1Panini are among the elegant members of the sandwich family, and this one is so special it won the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association’s first recipe contest. The Speckled Hen Inn in Madison, Wisconsin is known for its "seasonal farm-to-table breakfast" and this recipe is a great example of what the area offers in the fall.  Bacon, cheese, and apples combine with cranberry-cherry chutney (recipe included) for  a flavorful, filling breakfast -- or lunch, or even a light dinner if you pair it with a salad or other vegetables. If you don't have a panini press, just
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Bacon and Cheese Bread

by Jane Wangersky September 18th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
bnc breadThe dinner just before shopping day can get a little strange. Sometimes it’s just a clear-out of the fridge, with everyone eating something different. Other times I manage to pull together what little food’s left in the house. This was one of those times.

The only meat left in the house, besides a stewing chicken that would take a long period of slow cooking to become edible, was a package of bacon I’d forgotten about till then. There was still time to mix dough in the bread machine for home baked bread, which would go a long way toward making
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Pulled Pork Sandwiches

by BnB Finder September 16th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
pulled pork right sizePulled pork is one of those dishes many people like to order when they're eating out, but few ever try to make at home. But when you read this recipe, you'll realize how easy it is, especially if you have a home smoker. (I make pulled pork entirely in the oven, so that works too.) The piquant taste comes from a dry rub made of everyday spices, and slow cooking at a low temperature is the secret to making the pork soft enough to shred. The hardest part is the waiting. From Sage Hill Inn
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Red Pepper and Cheese Sandwich

by Jane Wangersky September 11th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
pepper cheese sandwichPeople have been eating bread and cheese since way before the word “sandwich” started being used for it, so the cheese sandwich is a real classic. Sometimes, however, you want something more than a simple classic taste in your lunch -- let’s face it, even the classics can get boring with repetition. So it’s natural to look around for something that might add a little more taste and texture to your sandwich. Red peppers are one ingredient that have traditionally been paired with cheese, as in pimento cheese.

Growing up in the North, I was only aware of pimento cheese
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Eggs with Smoked Salmon, Polenta & Asparagus

by BnB Finder September 9th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Poached Eggs with Smoked Salmon, Polenta, and AsparagusOnce you've made this elegant breakfast, you'll not only have something extra special to serve your family and guests, you'll know how to poach eggs and make your own polenta. Both are easier than you may have thought. The recipe calls for blanched asparagus; this just means you put it into boiling water for 30 seconds. When you take the asparagus out, you should put it in cold water or it'll keep cooking till it's too soft. This comes to us from the Mountain Top Inn and Resort in Chittenden, Vermont, where you'll find everything from a
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