Category Archives: Vermont Food Blogs

Oktoberfest at the Inn

 

Oktoberfest hats
Hats for Oktoberfest guests at Abbott’s Glen

Oktoberfest, held at Abbott’s Glen Inn in Vermont, is always a fun fall-getaway event. Each year our naturist guests join us from all over New England to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage and a great dinner in celebration of Germany’s Oktoberfest. The menu this year, included “the best of the wursts,” representing five different varieties, two cabbage dishes, a spaetzle dish with a creamy Swiss cheese sauce, potato pancakes with homemade apple sauce,  potato dumplings in broth, and a variety of hearty German breads and mustards. No German dinner would be complete without a sauerkraut dish, simmered with beer, apples (from our orchard), and sweet onions.

Platter of Wursts
Platter of wursts for Oktoberfest dinner

New to our table this year was a relish tray, which is common in German restaurants. The tray offered horseradish-infused cottage cheese with fresh chives, a corn and bacon relish, a light white cabbage slaw with just a hint of vinegar and sugar, and saltine crackers to scoop it all up.

Oktoberfest dinner table
Oktoberfest relish tray

 

 

 

The meal was accompanied by German music, and the table was set with vintage linens, steins of various sizes, and candlelight. The aromas  wafted through the Inn all day, tempting guests to periodically pop into the dining room to ask, “What am I smelling, and when can we eat?!”

inneri table set for Oktoberfest
Table set for Abbott’s Glen Oktoberfest dinner

 

 

 

Our naturist guests were encouraged to contribute to the German atmosphere wearing any German attire they wish to adorn. Now this can get a little freaky with a bunch of fun-loving nudists, but we maintained some decorum when it was time to sit down and dine. Green felt hats with a variety of feathers were the uniform for most. My husband felt comfortable enough to wear a silly Dachshund hat most of the day and we had a great great time poking fun at him, with his suspenders connecting to an old pair of jean shorts. Not exactly lederhosen but, hey, he’s English, and anyone who knows my husband Lindy knows he definitely has his own special fashion sense. The guests and staff are given a selection of fun aprons they can wear: the ones for the women depicting buxom St. Pauli girl garb with steins of beer and tiny wastes. The men could choose either a lederhosen-wearing gent with six-pack abs holding the obligatory stein of frothy beer, or one depicting a more portly sort, with a beer belly, and sausages and fat German pretzels hanging from his lederhosen. All the garb we needed to enhance the sense of fun and revelry of this beer-drinking day. Abbott’s Glen does not have a liquor license, but guests bring German beers and wines, and sometimes a bottle of Jägermeister to share throughout the day.

The dinner concluded with a fabulous chocolate torte Eight layers of yellow cake held together with a chocolate pudding type of filling, glazed with a thick nap of German chocolate ganache. Although most of us had eaten more than usual, we all managed to enjoy the buttery sweet layers intermingled with a silky pudding filling and fudge-like topping. A cup of coffee gave us a respite from all the German beer and wine enjoyed throughout the meal.

German steins & Cake
German steins & cake

What a great way to begin the beautiful month of October. Vermont is legendary for its brilliant fall colors, apple orchards brimming with a variety of apples, and roadside stands full of pumpkins and winter squashes. We celebrate the harvest all month with beautiful meals reflective of the season. Stay tuned for more recipes from this beautiful time of year.

Kaese Spaetzle

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 tsp. each salt & nutmeg

1/8 tsp. pepper

3 eggs

3Tbs. butter

1/3 cup of milk

1 onion, sliced

1 1/2 cups shredded Emmentaler cheese

  1. Sift together flour, nutmeg, and salt & pepper in a medium bowl. Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Alternately mix in the milk & flour mixture with eggs until smooth. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Press batter through a spaetzle press into the water. (If you don’t have a spaetzle press, a large-hole grater can be used, but be aware that it will be messy!) When the spaetzle float to the top, transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Mix in 1 cup of cheese.
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until limp and golden. Stir in spaetzle and remaining cheese until blended. Serves 8.

 

The foods of summer

Here it is the beginning of October at Abbott’s Glen clothing optional resort. Like most of us, we are asking where the summer went, perhaps feeling like we didn’t get in all the things we wanted to. On my list were a few more visits to our local organic farmers’ market on Saturdays, longer walks with our dog Tito, and more time to swim at Harriman Reservoir (more commonly known as The Ledges). What we did a lot of was entertain our Inn guests with glorious dinners and breakfasts served outside on the patio. Just in this past month we have celebrated the foods of Greece, Tuscany, and Mexico. We have BBq’d up lots of ribs and chicken as we danced and sang to live blues with our house band, The Reprobates. Leisurely Sunday breakfasts enjoyed al fresco included lots of farm fresh eggs, which we made into deviled eggs and fritattas with fresh herbs from the garden and platters of fresh summer fruits.

Classic BBq pork ribs
Country-style pork ribs
Zucchini Fritatta
Zucchini Frittata
Deviled eggs with Herbs
Deviled eggs

What a joy to be able to go our right out my kitchen door to pluck sweet basil, fronds of tarragon, and mint, which always invades everywhere, every year. Colorful nasturtium blossoms adorned many of our summer platters of food.

The garden had it’s challenges with cooler than normal temperatures, but we had many meals of green and wax beans, Swiss chard, and kale. Our tomatoes are just starting to produce and each day I harvest a pint or two of cherry tomatoes. This year we grew the sweet orange variety as well as a purple variety. Teamed up with fresh basil, thinly sliced red onion, and drizzled with a blood orange olive oil, salt, and pepper was all it needed.

Our fruit trees are fuller than we have ever seen. The plum tree branches are so laden with fruit they are almost laying on the grass. Our apple and pear trees are full of sweet smelling treats that will make their way into apple sauce, apple desserts, chutneys, and breads.

And how could I forget the zucchini?? Maybe I was trying to, as we ate it in every way possible! Our favorite recipe had to be a filo pastry filled with sauteed zucchini, eggs, feta, and fresh dill. Layered with filo and baked until golden, it was a perfect partner to the shish kebabs served for our “It’s Greek to Me” dinner.

greek cocktail hour
Greek mezze

Our guests started their evening with a mezze table, including items such as stuffed grape leaves, roasted eggplant dip, mini spanakopita, and mixed marinated olives.

Summer desserts included many ice cream treats, berry cobblers, and a frozen Margarita mousse we served for our “Taste of Mexico” dinner.

single serving berry trifle
Individual berry trifle

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most memorable evenings this Abbott’s Glen summer was the 12th Anniversary dinner celebrating our 12 years in hospitality. We always rent a tent and entertain about 25 couples. The menu included a cocktail hour pond side, where we treated guests to watermelon mojitos and a variety of little bites from sushi to roasted mission figs drizzled with a balsamic reduction.

Anniversary cocktail foods
Cocktail spread at the pond
celebrating 12 years in hospitality

Dinner included grilled shrimp served with a fresh peach salsa and cold roasted tenderloin with a chimichurri sauce.

Dinner buffet al fresco
Anniversary Buffet

 

Summer table set
Summer table set for dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was fortunate enough to steal away to Santa Fe for a week to visit a dear cousin who is a major foodie and a fabulous cook. I enjoyed a variety of cuisines from tapas in downtown Santa Fe to fabulous elk burgers cooked on a wood fire at my cousin’s ranch.

elk burger
Elk burger Santa Fe style

Hoping your summer was full of family fun, fabulous foods, and travel experiences that made your summer memorable!

 

 

4th of July

The 4th of July weekend at Abbott’s Glen is always one of our busiest. Naturist flock to the resort to enjoy Live Blues music, great BBQ and a great fireworks display. We served up some juicy pork ribs & organic raised chicken was mopped up with a Maple BBQ sauce & grilled until sweet & sticky.  A big pot of Bourbon beans simmered on the stove with chopped peaches & a good swoop of Kentucky Bourbon. We always make a huge bowl of Slaw dressed with a Maple Dressing & sun dried cranberries. A big basket of Corn muffins flecked with sliced green onions & a touch of honey, always end up being the favorite item that everyone goes back for more. A crock of honey laced cinnamon butter accompanies the muffins and by then there is no more room on your big ole plate! Dessert comes later in the evening after we have danced off some calories to our 6 piece Blues Band, called The Reprobates.

 

 

Saturday summer dinner at the inn

Couscous with mango & herbs
Couscous with fresh mango, raisins, herbs & lime juice

Every week at Abbott’s Glen clothing optional resort,  I create a new menu for our naturist guests.Some of the highlights from the weekend included a couscous dish with fresh mango, jalapenos, raisins & fresh herbs, sauteed in then mixed into cooked couscous with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.The recipe came from Marcus Samuelssons cookbook called The soul of a new cuisine. The food images coupled with warm & beautiful images of African women & children further draw you into this amazing book , exotic with unusual food parings & spices.

Each dinner served in our dining room over looking the pond, starts with a salad, reflective of the season.

Romaine Salad
Romaine salad with grape tomatoes & kalamata olives

Since my herbs are growing beautifully, we chose to make a batch of buttermilk herb dressing & ladle it over some fresh greens with grape tomatoes & kalamata olives. Dill was the pervasive herb & I was thinking it would go equally well over chilled pasta salad with grilled salmon or chicken.

Whole wheat dinner bread
Homemade whole wheat  dinner bread

The entree of grilled pork chops received a few hours of marination with a lovely combination of soy sauce, ketshup, fresh ginger, cinnamon, & olive oil. The chops were served with a fresh peach salsa. That paired beautifully with the spices in the marinated pork.

grilled pork chops with peach salsa
Grilled pork chops with a fresh peach salsa

Dessert was a glass goblet filled with three berry trifle. Fresh berries, homemade custard, homemade sponge cake & a big dollop of chantilly cream had everyone wishing they had not eaten so much dinner. Nonetheless, when dishes were being cleared it appeared almost every guest ate all of their creamy decadent dessert.

single serving berry trifle
Individual berry trifle

 

 

 

Creamy Herb Dressing
1/4 cup fresh dill, Italian parsley, chives
3/4 cup good mayonaise(Hellmans)
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
couple dashes of hot sauce
In a food processor combine dill parsley, chives with mayo & process until herbs are shopped.
With motor running , slowly pour in the buttermilk & oil, then add vinegar, salt & pepper & hot sauce.
You may substitute buttermilk with sour cream.
If you don’t have chives, scallions work well too.
This is one of the favorite dressings I prepare here at the inn.

Makes about 2 cups, enough for 12 portions of salad.
Will keep 2 weeks.

Mango Couscous
1 cup couscous
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1 mango peeled, pitted & and cut into 1 inch pieces(1 cup )
1 jalapeno chili, seeded & finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup of cilantro & parsley, roughly chopped
In a separate saucepan, heat 1 Tbs olive oil & pour in couscous. Stir for 3 ~ 5 minutes until starting to brown. Then add 1 1/4 cup of water & boil covered for 6 ~ 8 minutes. Remove from heat & keep covered.
Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Add garlic, mango, and jalapeno and saute until mango begins to turn color slightly. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, couscous, tomato, raisins, lime juice and herbs. Stir & heat through. Season with salt to taste.
Can be served hot or at room temperature.
Serves 4.

 

Breakfast at the Inn

Our clothing optional inn in Vermont has been serving beautiful breakfasts since we opened our doors in 2004.One might think that we would run out of creative ways to make breakfast more interesting or special. Our new chef has been surprising us every weekend with new muffins, coffeecake & egg dish recipes. This weekend was no exception.

quiche with brown rice crust
cajun quiche with brown rice crust
Ricotta Coffecake
Ricotta Coffeecake
fresh fruit salad
fresh fruit salad

Our guests came into the dining room to find a gorgeous fresh fruit salad, a quiche made with a brown rice crust, sauteed peppers & onions and andouille sausage & Vermont cheddar cheese. A coffeecake made with ricotta cheese created a moist buttery crumb and the addition of freshly grated nutmeg provided a fresh spice flavor. It was topped with a sugary nut crust  with no butter. It was light moist & yummy. The best part, it can be prepared the night before & baked in the morning. It just might become a favorite!

Ricotta Overnight Coffeecake

2 cups flour

1tsp. baking powder & baking soda

1 tsp. grated nutmeg

1 1/2 cups softened butter

3/4 cups white sugar

2 eggs

1 cup ricotta cheese

Topping

1/2 cup brown sugar & 1/2 cup walnuts

1 Tbs. cinnamon & 1 tsp.freshly grated nutmeg

Grease 13 X 9 cake pan. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder & soda & nutmeg. Set aside.

Beat butter & sugar until fluffy. Add eggs & ricotta.

Then stir in the flour mixture.Scrape the sides of bowl & then stir again.

The batter will be thick. Spread into the greased pan.

Whirl the topping ingredients in a processor  but only long enough to chop the walnuts.

Sprinkle atop the batter, cover & let sit overnight in the refrigerator, uncovered.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 40 minutes. Serve warm.

 

 

 

Vermont strawberries & asparagus

 

 

asparagus & strawberries
fresh from the garden asparagus & strawberries

We are approaching mid June & I am still getting beautiful asparagus from our garden. We never tire of it no matter what meal it makes it way into. We often steam it once we have cut it into 2 inch pieces then it is ready for a quick saute with shallots. Then we scramble up some eggs & mix the asparagus in with a generous shaving of good Parmesan cheese. Simple , healthy breakfast food.

Another favorite way to enjoy it is simply grilled. I toss it with olive oil , salt & freshly ground pepper & then place it on the grill med heat for just a few minutes. The trick is to not loose any between the grates.Once they are grilled to your liking, dip them in a homemade aoli sauce. Mine usually has a good quality mayo, a tsp. of dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt & pepper & at least a Tbs. of minced garlic.Yummy.

The strawberry patch is just starting to redden. A small handful was gathered to tempt my husband to the breakfast table, where we enjoyed them bare, & savored their sweetness freshly picked moments ago. If you are a foodie or gardener, the season keeps getting more exciting.

Gluten free breakfast item

Always looking for new & exciting items to add to the inn breakfast menu, our chef Gerry suggested a quiche made with hash brown potato crust. This is a Martha Stewart adaptation. Not only did it look fabulous, it tasted wonderful & was light & with a crunchy  bit of crust. Gerry made 2 varieties . One vegetarian & the other with sauteed cubed ham. Our guests enjoyed it with a fresh fruit platter & a handsome strawberry cream cheese coffee cake.

coffeecake
strawberry jam cream cheese coffeecake
crustless quiche
Hash brown quiche with Vermont goat cheese

Hash Brown Quiche

2 Tbs. butter

1 package of hash browns

12 large eggs

Salt & Pepper

1 1/2 cups sour cream

8 oz. of soft goat cheese

4 chopped scallions

1/3 cup cubed sauteed Ham

Preheat oven to 375

Brush a 9 inch x 2 1/2 spring form pan with butter. Line sides of pan with strips of waxed paper the same height as pan. Brush with butter.

Squeeze moisture from potatoes Mix it in a bowl with butter, 1 egg, 1 tsp. alt & pepper. Pat it into the spring form pan & up the sides.

Place on  a baking sheet & bake 15~ 20 minutes until set.

In a large bowl, whisk sour cream , goat cheese, salt & pepper until combined whisk in 11 remaining eggs.Add ham. Pour into crust & sprinkle with scallions. Bake 45 ~ 50 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before unmolding it from the pan. Peel off the wax paper before serving.

Serves 12.

It’s that rhubarb time of year!

Around the last week of May, our Vermont garden starts coming to life. The asparagus patch has given us numerous pickings & so many lovely meals in the inn. New seeds were planted for beans, carrots,chard, peppers & all kinds of wild flowers. The strawberry bed is loaded with white flowers, a promise of those sweet tasting  berries that will play a big part in our Inn breakfasts & dessert time in the restaurant. But before berries, we always have a small showing of rhubarb. We planted it years ago & I usually forget its there due to poor weeding practices on my part. This past Saturday  I decided a strawberry rhubarb cobbler would make a nice ending to our dinner meal. So I was lucky enough to get 2 1/2  cups the perfect amount for our chosen dessert.fresh from the garden rhubarb

I always think of my grandmother when I smell rhubarb cooking. She would make the best rhubarb pies & the town folks knew it too. During our summers in Vermont my cousins & I would load her pies into a wagon & would visit neighbors pulling that red wagon until the pies were gone & an envelope was full of dollar bills. A sweet memory indeed.

strawberry-rubarb-cobbler-inn-dessertStrawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

1 cup plus 1 Tbs. all purpose flour

2 Tbs. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup cold unsalted butter

1/2 cup of 1/2 & 1/2

2 1/2 cups rhubarb

2/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 Tbs. quick tapioca

2 Tsp. lemon juice

2 1/2 cups of strawberries, halved

2 Tbs. kirsch

Sift flour, 2 Tbs. sugar, Baking powder & salt in a large bowl.Cut in butter until crumbly. Make a well in the center of mixture & pour in the 1/2 & 1/2 . stir until the dough is moistened & the dough cleans the side of the bowl.

Preheat oven to 425

Combine rhubarb, sugar,tapioca & lemon in a medium saucepan. Heat until boiling, then reduce heat & simmer stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Remove from heat & add strawberries & kirsch. Pour into a 6 quart baking dish. Gently spread dough over the hot filling. Place on baking sheet & bake 25 ~ 30 minutes.

Cool & serve with a scoop of ice cream. I made a homemade batch of vanilla & half way through the churning process I added 4 oz. of frozen lemonade. It was yummy a top of the cobbler!

Memorial day & we are a grillin

At our country Inn in Vermont, we always take great care to prepare a memorable meal on Saturday evening. Even on a holiday weekend when folks are in a party mood, we still take time to prepare a special dinner. Given it was Memorial day we fired up the grill for a batch of spicy rubbed strip steaks. I made up a batch of bleu cheese( Point Reyes) walnut butter to top the steaks once they were cooked off.

We are in the middle of asparagus season here at the inn. Each morning, our dog Tito & I take a walk on the property. Our last stop is always the garden to see what is happening.Asparagus seemed like the only reasonable choice to accompany our dinner steaks.Asparagus patchmy garden buddy, Tito

Fresh Asparagus from our garden
Basket- fresh – Asparagus

Pizza for breakfast?

We tries something fun & different for breakfast on Sunday,  Memorial day weekend. Pizza? Now if you are like me, you are thinking a cold slice leftover from a late night of drinks (too many) and pizza at midnight. Well forget about that! We made up homemade crust and topped them with assorted breakfast items typical of morning edibles.How about a crust topped with scrambled eggs, shredded potatoes, bacon, onion, & cheddar cheese. A vegetarian option was a crust topped with scrambled eggs, a white sauce, sliced tomatoes, feta cheese & chopped scallions. The breakfast was rounded out with a lovely fresh fruit salad & a platter of homemade banana crumb coffee cake.

Pizza for breakfast
Breakfast -pizza

What made it perfect was we were able to enjoy it out on the patio with the sound of birdsong over looking the pond. A beautiful day lay ahead.

dining-breakfast-patio
Vermont-breakfast-patio