Friday, March 25, 2011

Bella Rose Bed and Breakfast -- New Season, New Recipes!

Well, in addition to all the normal in-house maintenance tasks we take on each winter at Bella Rose, we also like to branch out and try a few new breakfast recipes.  I'm not going to give all the secrets away, but I am going to whet the whistle a bit.  First on the "to try" list within the next couple of days is something I just found in one of my favorite cooking magazines -- Bacon and Leek Risotto with Poached Egg.  The Italian in me just can't resist the sounds of this one -- not to mention it reads just like something I know would taste absolutely yummy and be an unexpected treat besides. Those who know me know I'm not all that great at dreaming up my own recipes, but they also know I can spot a good one a mile away.....  So, let's hope this is the case. Chris is the perfect Guinea Pig so he gets to sample all new recipes before we place them in front of guests.  Can you imagine putting an "unknown" in front of six hungry people on a Sunday morning?  NO THANKS!  I'm not that brave!  So, stay tuned.....I'll report back and let you know if it's a winner or a loser.  I'm hoping it's delish!  I'll also let you know what's next on the list to will be a something more along the sweeter side of life!

Wine Walk on April 2 in Historic Canandaigua

If you haven't tried Canandaigua's Wine Walk yet, you really should. Local wineries set up in shops or restaurants on Canandaigua's Main Street and offer free tastings the first Saturday of every month.  It is very popular and offers a great wine tasting experience, without the need to drive from winery to winery.  And, to make it even a better experience, you can stay the weekend with us, at Bella Rose Bed and Breakfast, which is within walking distance of downtown Canandaigua.  So, look ahead and see if April looks like a chance to get away then give us a call.  We have a great wine walk special to jump on that makes it hard to resist this great experience.  Just think -.a romantic getaway, free wine tastings, dinner out, and a delicious breakfast each morning.  It doesn't get much better!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, courtesy of Bella Rose B&B, and Cook’s Illustrated

I promised you cookies, and cookies you shall have.  I also promise this recipe beats all other chocolate chip cookie recipes you've tried to date, I think mostly because of the browned butter.  So, from my house (or bed and breakfast) to yours, bake away and eat to your heart's content!  And, this won't be the last recipe Bella Rose publishes, so be on the lookout for more!  Bon Appetit!

1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ t. baking soda
14 T unsalted butter
½ c. granulated sugar
¾ c. packed dark brown sugar
1 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 ¼ c. semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (60% Ghiradelli Bittersweet preferred)
¾ c. chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (opt)

Preheat oven to 375.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk flour and baking soda in medium bowl, set aside.

Heat 10 T. butter in a 10-inch skillet over med-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes.  Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 2-3 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large bowl.  Stir remaining 4 T butter into hot butter until completely melted.

Add both sugars, salt and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated.  Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 sec.  Let mixture stand 3 minutes then whisk for 30 seconds.  Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny.  Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 min.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (I make them a bit smaller…).  Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.  Bake cookies, one tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10-14 min, turning baking sheet halfway through baking.  Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving (uh huh…).

 NOTE:  Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter; the dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is browned.  Use fresh, moist brown sugar instead of hardened brown sugar, which will make the cookies dry.  This recipe works with light brown sugar, but the cookies will be less full-flavored. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Canandaigua Wine Walk

The Canandaigua Downtown Merchants' Association and Bella Rose Bed and Breakfast, invite you to come enjoy the wonderful experience of a Finger Lakes wine tasting, all within the downtown streets of Canandaigua.  The first Saturday of every month brings at least six different wineries from the Seneca Lake Wine trail and/or Canandaigua Wine trail to restaurants and shops along the historic Main Street of beautiful Canandaigua.  This is a great way to walk and taste, with no driving required........especially if you take advantage of the "Designated Driver Not Required" package offered by our B&B, Bella Rose.  You get to stay here and be within walking distance for tastings, as well as dine along the way as part of your package.  It's a unique wine tasting experience and it is well attended.  Wine walks will continue throughout the year so if you can't make it for this weekend, why not next month?  Mark your calendar for April 2 and make your getaway reservations today!