Monday, July 21, 2014

Sour Cherry Crisps with Almonds Recipe

Yes, it's been way too long since my last post.  I have no good excuses, either.  Procrastination doesn't seem to be a good excuse, right?

Anyway, I have a good reason to post now.  This past weekend, I got my hands on some local sour cherries.  I've always used sweet cherries when I make…..well, anything cherry related, so I was intrigued, curious, motivated and set on using these somehow.  I only bought a quart so my options were limited.  I was also limited by my own self-imposed rules on what I make for breakfast, such as switching off from sweet to savory, not having repeats, and wanting to do something unexpected sometimes.  So, after considering other choices for WAY too long on a tired summer's evening, I decided to do a sour cherry crisp with almonds.  I have a gazillion recipes for crisps, cobblers, crumbles, etc., and they are all so similar, I figured it was pretty easy to figure out a version for these yummy sour cherries.  I said they were LOCAL right?  Oh yes, I did.

The morning of the "dessert round", I was scrambling for time.  As usual.  I needed to get these crisps in the oven because oven space is ALWAYS at a premium for me since I just have the standard range in my kitchen.  I really don't like putting too much in the oven at once for fear the quality of my "mean" breakfasts would become compromised.  I can't have that, no way, no how, no dice.  So, I took a little of this and that and put it together, with fingers crossed that it wasn't going to be a. too sweet, b. too tart, c. runny, d. too pasty, e. something else, I'm sure. I have high expectations of myself, you know.  I made an extra (kind of, anyway) that hubby and I were going to try, but of course it wasn't going to be BEFORE we served it to our houseful.  But, I still had to know how it was.

Fingers crossed.

Anyhoo, when it came time for dessert to be served, we dolloped them with a small scoop of frozen vanilla yogurt and then put a drizzle of dark chocolate sauce on top.  Everything is better with chocolate, I know, so how could this hurt?  Right?  It looked good if nothing else….

Fingers crossed.  Do you like the drama here?  LOL

TALK ABOUT YUMMY!  It was perfect, everyone raved, and I must admit, I'm pretty proud of myself.  I'm so proud of myself, I got the energy to blog about it and post the recipe for others to use.  So, here it comes.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.  And, remember, if you use SWEET cherries, nix the sugar on them.  It won't be necessary.

Bon Appetit!

Sour Cherry Crisps with Sliced Almonds

Crisp Topping:

½ c. quick oats
½ c. all-purpose flour
½ c. brown sugar
½ t. cinnamon
Dash fresh nutmeg
Dash salt
6 T. cold butter, cut in cubes
½ c. sliced almonds


4 c. sour cherries, pitted (frozen is fine)
½ c. granulated sugar
¼ c. cornstarch
1 t. almond extract
Dash salt

Preheat oven to 375. 

Mix dry ingredients for crumb topping.  Cut in butter till resembles coarse crumbs.  Add almonds and toss together till mixed.  Set aside.

Mix sugar and cornstarch together for cherries.  Toss cherries with this mixtures (might not need to use it all, but cherries should be well coated).  Add almond extract and salt.  Toss lightly.

Fill eight small ramekins with cherries till 2/3 full  (1/2 cup of cherries will do the trick).  Top with oatmeal mixture (you might have some left over for the next time).  Baked till top is lightly browned and cherries bubble, approx. 15-20 minutes.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

These are quite yummy topped with frozen vanilla yogurt and a drizzle of dark chocolate sauce.  If you want that recipe, you'll have to buy my new favorite cookbook, "The Art of Breakfast"; it's in there!


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Winning Recipe for you, from Bella Rose B&B!

Do you like granola but not the fat content that comes with it?  Yeah, us too.  So, the answer to that is really quite simple -- make your own!  Doing so controls the amount of fat in it.  That makes a huge difference, and since all granola needs a fat component, this is really the best way to make your own healthy and delicious granola as a cereal for breakfast, on top of fresh fruit with some plain, low fat Greek yogurt, or…..on ice cream.  (I won't tell if you don't!).  At Bella Rose B&B in Canandiagua, we serve it on fresh fruit with yogurt, and it is ALWAYS a hit, no matter what the season.

Anyway, not to brag (too much), but this recipe won an annual recipe contest that our local balsamic vinegar and olive oil store, F. Olivers, conducts every spring.  I was amazed.  Shocked actually.  But, mostly I was thrilled that out of so many submissions, mine won!  Now, I want to share it with you, my many loyal readers and followers.  I encourage you to try it at home as it is very easy, very tasty, and quite good for you too.  And, if you can, make a point to use the olive oil from F. Olivers that I used, which was the Roasted French Walnut variety.  It's definitely worth it!

Bon Appeit!

Homemade Granola

3 Cupsold-fashioned oats
1 Cupcoarsely chopped nuts - your choice
1/2 Cupunsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 Cuppumpkin seeds
1/2 Cupsunflower seeds
4 Tbs.packed brown sugar
3/4 Tsp.ground ginger
1/2 salt
1/2 Cuphoney
3 Tbs.F. Oliver's Roasted French Walnut Oil  (
Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl.  Combine honey and olive oil in small bowl until well-blended, then add to dry ingredients, mixing in thoroughly.  Spread on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Baked in preheated 300 degree oven for 40 minutes, tossing at 10 minute intervals.  Cool on rack.  Stir and store in airtight container.  
You may add in dried fruit when ready to serve (but not before); however, it is wonderful on its own with a bowl of fresh fruit (berries, pineapple, grapes, apples) and topped with non-fat plain Greek yogurt.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

New Year, New Website!

Happy 2014 from Bella Rose B&B!  This year holds much promise for us in the innkeeping world, maybe more than any other year.  Because, for those of us lucky enough to be in this business AND live in this beautiful area of the world called the Finger Lakes, we know that the world is just discovering us.  Finger Lakes wine country of New York has been awarded "most beautiful wine region" in the world as well as having finally received well-deserved accolades -- and prestiges awards -- for having darn good wine!  Wine and scenery that rivals the best of the best, right here in our own sensational backyard!  How lucky are we?  Very!  And to be sure we are ready to represent and show off this beautiful part of the world, we have a brand new website.  After all, we should show ourselves off too, right?  So, take a peek.  Check out our big, bright pictures.  Let us know what you think.  Or better yet, share with your friends, like us on Facebook, Pin us and spread the word every which way you can.  Then, think about when YOU should plan your next vacation to the Finger Lakes and to Bella Rose B&B.  You'll be so glad you did!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Canandaigua's Centennial Celebrations Continue!

I know, it's a bit late to be blogging about our city's centennial celebration going on all this year, but better late than never, right?  I think so....LOL....!  Anyway, it is a big deal for our fair city and one I should have brought up long before now.  We've had a myriad of events all year including 100 days of music entertainment downtown, an upcoming tour of historic homes right here on North Main St. (including one house right next door, built by the same builder as our lovely B&B), and to cap it off, our annual Christkindl Market in November on the front lawn of the Granger Homestead.  Thousands of people have visited Canandaigua in the Finger Lakes this year, hopefully having enjoyed an event or two while here.  If not, there's still time, so make your plans now.  This city, where we have called home for 14 years, is special, beautiful (and will be more beautiful when construction is complete in the business district...), and full of historic charm.  It has that warm, small town feel.   It is welcoming and friendly.  It isn't perfect, but I couldn't imagine being anywhere else and am proud to wish Canandaigua a very, very happy birthday.  May the next 100 years be even more spectacular than the first.  Congratulations!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cherry Almond Muffins recipe by Bella Rose B&B

Cherry Almond Muffins
Posting a recipe on this little blog of mine is long overdue.  Sorry!  And, since I got a request this morning for this very one mentioned on Facebook, well, I thought why not just get to it...  It is yummy after all, and a good one to try for any morning breakfast treat, but especially for Sunday.  Which is tomorrow.  So, get shopping and be ready to go.  It will be worth it.  Just be sure to use all the cherry preserves to get enough of this very important flavor in each bite!

Thanks, Cathy, for spurring me on!  And, thanks to repeat guests, Jim and Diane for sharing.  It only took me 4 years to make them!

Cherry Almond Muffins (14 regular or 7 jumbo)

Batter ingredients:
1 ¾ c. flour
½ c. plus 1 T. granulated sugar
½ t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
¼. t. salt
½ c. cold butter
1 egg
¾ c. sour cream
1 t. almond extract

1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 egg
¼ c. granulated sugar
½ t. vanilla extract
¾ c. cherry preserves, slightly warmed

1/3 c. flour
2 T. granulated sugar
2 T. cold butter
1/3 c. chopped sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350.

Make topping by mixing flour, sugar and cutting in butter until crumbly.  Stir in almonds and set aside.

Make filling by beating (use a mixer) cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Separately whisk the egg, sour cream and almond extract until smooth, then add to flour mixture until moistened.  Batter will be thick.

Grease regular-sized muffin tin, or if preferred, a jumbo muffin pan.  Fill greased cups, ½ full with batter.  Divide cream cheese filling and preserves evenly between muffin cups; swirl gently to combine.  Cover with remaining batter.  Sprinkle topping over.  Bake for 30-35 minutes for jumbo pans; 20-25 minutes for regular pan.  Cool five minutes before removing from pans.  Bon Appetit!

MY NOTES:  After making these according to the directions, I would make the following changes next time:  Divide batter in ½ before putting in muffin cups.  Only add enough batter to fill approx. 1/3 of the cup, then make a depression in center of batter.  Spoon in preserves.  Add cream cheese in an even layer.  Top with remaining batter, then crumbly topping, then bake.  They are also good without adding a top layer of batter, just as long as you add a healthy portion of the crumbly topping to insulate cream cheese layer.  I made regular-sized muffins and got 12, not 14.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"In Full Spring" at Bella Rose B&B

All joking aside, it is Spring, although the weather and the calendar aren't in agreement with one another here in Canandaigua, NY.  Winter, and everything that comes with it, is past and we are ready to take on a new season with gusto!  Vacation break in the sunny south is over, and we have tackled our winter "to do" list in earnest.  Carpets have been cleaned, everything that could be scrubbed and polished, has been, and painting, touched up.  The B&B looks brand new again, which is our annual goal.  Cushions have been "restuffed" for Ann Eliza's Suite loveseat, an antique chair has been reupholstered because, well, it just needed it.  We have also upgraded our flat-screen HDTV's in two rooms - Ann Eliza's Suite now has a big honkin' 37incher and Evie's Chamber has the 26incher from the suite.  We still have a couple of minor things to tend to before hitting the great outdoors, but the place looks great - if I do say so myself!  We have also added a couple new recipes to the rotation, one being bacon wrapped eggs in polenta that is just YUMMY.  So, we are ready!  Plan your visit to the beautiful Finger Lakes, Canandaigua, and Bella Rose B&B, SOON!  Spring has sprung!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

It's a new year at Bella Rose B&B!

How can it be a new year already?  It seems as if I published a similar title just yesterday, but it must have been a year ago.  Doesn't seem possible.  Time flies by so fast and sometimes it feels like just a blur.  I'm sure you know the feeling.

But this year is just slightly different, and I must admit, I'm glad we aren't the superstitious type.  It is the year 2013 and if that isn't bad enough, we are starting our seventh year.  Some people might think the number 7 is lucky, but others might be thinking......uh oh, it's the year one gets itchy.  You know, "the seven year itch".  THAT doesn't sound positive does it?  Mix that with the number 13 and one might be a bit intimidating going forward.

Well, that's poppycock.  We have nothing to fear as life in the B&B world just keeps getting better.  Already this year we met a wonderful young couple visiting the area from Florence, Italy.  They were here five nights, which isn't so special by itself, but when you take into account that they were only going to stay ONE, it becomes pretty neat.  They enjoyed their time here enough to keep adding a night until they had no more to add.  It was a delight to get to know them and talk of Italy (you know I'm Italian, right?) and fondly remember our trip there in 2010.  But, I digress....  The point is, if that's any indication of how 2013 will be, it will be great.  More people to come from far away lands, more people to meet and talk to and learn fun things about other parts of this great world, and more people to feed!  Yes, I know you know that we like to do a pretty darn special breakfast at Bella Rose, and this year will be no different.

So, "BE GONE" with any bad luck the number 13 could bring, or any "seven year itch".  We look forward to another great year with our B&B and seeing you anytime you feel like coming by.   Speaking of which, isn't it time you planned a little getaway?   Here's to a great 2013 for you, for us, for everyone!  Cheers!