Author Archive for lbbaadmin

A Ghostly Halloween in Old Louisville, Kentucky

You don’t have to stay home to celebrate Halloween. Locals or visitors within a couple of hours of Louisville, Kentucky can pack the kids in the car and drive over to Old Louisville, the third largest historic preservation area in the country. Once there, they will find plenty of treats at most every door as they go trick or treating in the spookiest neighborhood in the US. And, be assured, there will be plenty of ghosts lurking in the shadows.

Ghostly HalloweenIf you venture out on Halloween night, you’re liable to see ghosts peering from the silent gardens and leaning against many of the old iron gates. It is said that they sob from the windows of the Victorian mansions, crouch behind the bushes growing along the walkways, and sit on the steps of the Christian Science Church on the corner of Third and Ormsby. The tree-lined streets dotted with turn-of-the-century mansions are covered with gargoyles, chameleons, serpents, swans, turrets, and towers.

Bring your trick or treat carryalls. Knock on the huge antique doors lit by Victorian lanterns and punctuated with beautiful stain glass. Walk quickly past the hidden balconies, secluded courtyards, and secret passageways to avoid any unruly spirits. You wont regret it and the kids will love it. Thrills and chills await costume wearers of all ages.

If you decide to spend the night, there are ten beautiful bed and breakfasts to choose from, all situated in the heart of Old Louisville. You can book on the internet or call ahead to make a reservation. It’s an ideal location for taking advantage of all Louisville has to offer on Halloween. If it suits you or your family, you can spend the whole day and check out some of the activities available. Louisville loves Halloween and you will love Louisville.

Nancy Hinchliff, freelance writer/innkeeper

Call and reserve a Ghost tour (Tour the spookiest neighborhood in the USA)

The Spirit Ball/ (a gathering of spirits at the Conrad Caldwell Mansion)

Come to the Kentucky State Fair: Aug.16-26

By Nancy Hinchliff, freelance writer/innkeeper

Hank Williams Jr. in concert Thurs, Aug. 16th, Main Stage

OK, so you can’t afford that trip to Disneyland or to some other exotic location. You and your kids can still have fun camping in the woods or even in the backyard, or maybe visiting grandma. The goal is to get away together. Throughout the summer, cities typically have lots of special events happening and Louisville is no exception. A perfect combination of all things good and fun for everyone is the Kentucky State Fair/, August 16-26. And, this year, it will be bigger and better than ever. It’s a good idea to plan your visit now.

Since 1902, Louisville has hosted Kentucky’s State Fair. The Fair is obviously known for its tradition in agriculture and food. This year it will not disappoint you. Among other delicacies, you’ll find elephant ears, funnel cake, corndogs, polish sausage, pineapple whip, lemon-slushies, roasted corn, BBQ and Krispy Kreme donut burgers! Everywhere you look, there’s another food booth or cafe. The kids will love the cotton candy, delicious hot dogs, and ice cream.

Thousands of awards will be given in categories such as fine arts, crafts, agriculture, and live stock. One category still popular in today’s modern culture is “housewifery”. The competition judges everything home-made from Textiles to Cherry Pie. But the largest entry department is still agriculturally-based, an acknowledgment to Kentucky’s largest industry and history.

Live stock

The live stock exhibitions and competitions range from Rooster Crowing contests to Blue Ribbon contests for cattle, goats, horses sheep and pigs, as well as exhibits of poultry, pigeons, and rabbits. An assortment of dogs will show off their special tricks and Border Collies will demonstrate the technique of herding. There is also a Discovery Farm where the kids can pick up and cuddle the baby animals. And, if you love horses, there’s a World Championship horse show

4-H and FFA

Cloverville is a village set up to allow 4-H participants to display their skills and compete for champion honors in entomology, geology, forestry, electric, foods, horticulture, woodworking, clothing, knitting and crocheting, home environment, consumer science management, technology, country hams and photography. Check out the diversity of skills that are developed and offered through 4-H programming across the state. The West Hall is also home to the Kentucky FFA (Future Farmers of America) exhibits showcasing the best among youth in agriculture, including products such as tobacco, hay, corn, floral arrangements, mechanics and woodworking.

During the Sale of Champions, eight 4-H and FFA exhibitors sell their champion livestock to hometown and national supporters. The animals represent the Grand and Reserve Grand Champions in each of their respective species as selected during the Fair’s livestock show. The Kentucky State Fair features one of the most esteemed livestock shows in the nation and winning a class is highly coveted.

The Thrillway

One area popular with the kids is the Thrillway, with all its many exciting rides. Tickets may be purchased ahead of time

Main Stage Concerts

Tickets for the Kentucky State Fair Main Stage Series events will be available at Kentucky Exposition Center Ticket Office, KFC YUM! Center Ticket Office, Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) Ticket Office and all Ticketmaster outlets. Out of town visitors may purchase tickets through Ticketmaster. Tickets purchased through Ticketmaster are subject to a convenience charge. There is no service charge at the KEC or KICC Ticket Offices. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. For accessible seating, call (502) 367-5144 or (800) 231-8085. artists include Hank Williams Jr, Journey, with Pat Benatar and Rascal Flats.

Free Concerts

Many concerts are free with paid admission to the Fair. All shows begin at 8 p.m. (expect August 26) in the original Cardinal Stadium at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Gates open at approximately 6:30 p.m.Some of the musical artists include Ted Nugent, Boys II Men and the Oak Ridge Boys.

Food and Music

Many of the dining areas combine music with their special food offerings…a nice combination where you’re, tired, hungry, and just want to relax. You’ll find a variety of foods that will interest the whole family, from hamburgers to Bar-B-Q to salads and desserts.

Accommodations

Be sure to check out Louisville’s many bed and breakfasts on line for availability. Many of them are within 5-10 minutes from the fairgrounds, some are offering special “Kentucky State Fair” rates, and all of them are reasonable and comfortable…..See you at the Fair!

Summer in Old Louisville: Shakespeare in The Park

by Nancy Hinchliff, innkeeper and freelance writer

If you’re contemplating visiting historic Louisville, KY next week and looking for something to do, you might consider an outdoor festival or play. Louisville has plenty of both, and many of them are free, including movies, live theater and concerts.

A special treat is William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, which will be running today and all next week during Louisville Kentucky’s Shakespeare in The Park festival. Performances are held in historic Old Louisville’s Central Park bordered by Fourth Street, Park Avenue, Sixth Street and Magnolia. They will be ongoing until July 29 each evening at 8:30 p.m., pre-show at 7:30 p.m.

Shakespeare in the Park is the oldest free Shakespeare festival in the United States. Each summer, in Louisville’s Central Park, Kentucky Shakespeare, the non-profit behind the festival, stages the work of the Bard of Avon.

This year, which marks the 53rd year for this annual festival, Shakespeare in the Park presents Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Jane Page. Interested in learning more about the play? Here is a plot summary. Performances take place daily, July 12-29, at 8:30 p.m. Pre-show entertainment starts at 7:30 p.m.

Central Park is historic itself—the park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the man who designed New York City’s Central Park. The Shakespeare in the Park performances are free and open to the public, making the event ideal for a family picnic. Or sit on the benches for a grown-up date night. If you prefer VIP seating—two reserved Adirondack chairs in the front rows, frozen drinks and wait service for snacks and beverages—contact Kentucky Shakespeare and reserve your spots.

If you go, be sure to check out Louisville’s wonderful bed and breakfasts. Many are close to Central Park, as well as in other beautiful parts of the city. You can check availability here.

Not By Bread Alone: A brief history

Louisville is fortunate to have many wonderful restaurants and Bed and Breakfasts. Visitors can take advantage of the suberb dishes served in both places. Good ole Kentucky food abounds here and many of the local chefs and inn-keepers are experts in bringing to you, not only wonderful evening meals and gourmet breakfasts but desserts of all kind. Kentucky has an unusual and interesting pie tradition many of which have unexpected ingredients. I have written a brief history of Pie below and included three Kentucky pie recipes for you to try at home.

On your next trip to Louisville, you will of course want to stay at one of our wonderful bed and breakfasts and savor the unique dishes the inn of your choice has to offer. In addition, your inn-keeper will help you find the perfect restaurant for your evening meal. (Nancy Hinchliff, Inn-keeper/Free lance writer)

* * * *

Historically, around the early 1500s, probably the first pies on the European continent, were called “coffins” or “coffyns”. They were savory meat pies with tall crusts which were sealed on the top and bottom. Open crust pies were called “traps”. These pies held assorted meats and sauces and were baked like a modern casserole with no pan.

The origins of pie can actually be traced to the ancient Egyptians, who incorporated nuts, honey and fruits into bread dough. However, according to most food historians, pie pastry actually originated with the Greeks. At that time they were made of a flour and water paste which was wrapped around meat to seal in the juices. The Romans took home Greek recipes and developed their own pies, cakes and cake-like puddings. The pie craze then spread throughout Europe, via the Roman roads, every country adapting them to their own customs and foods. English women were baking pies long before the settlers came to America, but by the 1700s American pioneer women often served pies with every meal.

 

Mark Twain

Samuel Clemens, who used the pseudonym Mark Twain, loved pie and often ate Huckleberry pie baked by his life-longhousekeeper, Katy Leary. After a trip to Europe, where he developed a strong dislike for European food, he complained that “…it has been many months…since I have had a nourishing meal…” He ironically devised a recipe for “English Pie”. His tongue-in-cheek recipe, hinting at the awfulness if these pies, follows:

“…Take a sufficiency of water and flour and construct a bullet-proof dough. Work this into the form of a disk, with edges turned up some three fourths of an inch. Toughen and kiln-dry for a couple days in a mild but unvarying temperature. Construct a cover for this “formidable creation”, in the same way and of the same material. Filled with stewed dried apples. Aggravate with cloves, lemon peel and citron, and add two portions of New Orleans sugar. Then solder on the lid and sit in a safe place until it petrifies. Serve cold at breakfast and invite you enemies.” ( M. Twain)

* * * *

Many of the pies which became associated with Kentucky, came from the Shakers of the Amish in Indiana. Two very popular ones are the Sugar Cream Pie and the Shaker Lemon Pie. A third is Vinegar Pie.

The Sugar Cream Pie was a simple, basic, “desperation” pie made with ingredients that were always nearby or on-hand at the farm. When making this pie “finger-stirring” in the unbaked crust was necessary, so as not to whip the cream before baking.

Only three ingredients go into Shaker Lemon Pie : lemon slices (peel and all), sugar, and eggs. The filling is more like marmalade. Where did the Shakers get the lemons? It is said that they traveled in boats to New Orleans to sell their wares and returned with cash and lemons.

This is a very tart lemon pie which uses whole lemons, rind and all, inside the pie. They are first sliced very thin, then macerated overnight, four lemons to two cups of sugar. The key to this pie is slicing the lemons very thin.

When lemons were not in season, pioneer women baked pies with vinegar, which substituted for lemon juice. They were custardy and still had a fruit-like flavor from the vinegar. Vinegar Pie remained popular in regency England, throughout the nineteenth century, even after English settlers brought it to America.

RECIPES

Sugar Cream Pie
Ingredients
pastry for one 9-inch pie crust
3/4 cups sugar
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
whole nutmeg
Instructions
pre-heat oven to 450 degrees and prepare the pie pastry. Place sugar and flour in the unbaked pie shell. Add whipping cream and mix well, using you fingers to slowly mix the liquid ingredients. Add vanilla and continue stirring. Grate nutmeg over the top. Bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 and continue baking, approximately one hour. Do not over bake. Remove from oven. The pie will appear runny, but sets when it cools. If the pie doesn’t set, get out some spoons and enjoy it anyhow

Vinegar Pie:
Ingredients
1 nine-inch pastry crust
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cider vinegar
Instructions
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a blender or large mixing bowl, mix together eggs, butter, sugar and vanilla. Pour into pie shell. Bake about 50 minutes until firm. Let cool. Top with whipped cream.

Shaker Lemon Pie (late 18th c.)
Ingredients
2 nine inch pastry crusts
2 medium sized lemons
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
Instructions
Slice two lemons paper thin.Take out seeds and macerate the slices in two cups of sugar overnight. Stir the mixture now and then so that the sugar dissolves into a fragrant syrup. The next day, prepare pastry for a nine inch two crust pie. Beat four eggs well, then mix them with the syrup and lemon slices. Pour the mix into the bottom crust and cover with the top crust. Bake at 450 degrees for fifteen minutes, then reduce heat to 375. Bake an additional 20-25 minutes, or until knife inserted into pie comes out clean.

36th Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays: Feb. 26 – April 15, 2012

Humana Fest - Louisville, KYby Nancy Hinchliff, writer/Innkeeper

Actor’s Theater of Louisville is announcing their 36th Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays at a Kickoff Party on Thursday, March 1 at 6 p.m. in the Sara Shallenberger Brown Lobby. The free event, featuring delicious fare from local restaurants, Humana Festival memorabilia, giveaways and more, will bring in the Festival with much-deserved fanfare.” (posted by Actors Theatre of Louisville
Actors Theatre of Louisville)

It’s that time again. Time for Louisville’s wonderful Actor’s theater to present it festival of new American plays. If you’ve never been before, you’ll be in for a real treat. Actor’s is a top notch playhouse and the festival is one of the nation’s best. Started by Jon Jory, actor/director  in 1976,  it has continued to delight and surprise theater-goers with it’s amazing selection of plays written by upcoming and talented playwrights.

The Humana Festival has premiered the Pulitzer Prize-winning plays Dinner with Friends (Donald Margulies), Crimes of the Heart (Beth Henley) and The Gin Game (D.L. Coburn) and Pulitzer finalists Becky Shaw (Gina Gionfriddo), Keely and Du (Jane Martin) and Omnium-Gatherum (Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros and Theresa Rebeck) as well as Getting Out (Marsha Norman), Agnes of God (John Pielmeier), Lone Star (James McLure), In the Eye of the Hurricane (Eduardo Machado), Courtship (Horton Foote), Extremities (William Mastrosimone), My Sister in this House (Wendy Kesselman), Tales of the Lost Formicans (Constance Congdon), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (John Patrick Shanley), Marisol (José Rivera), One Flea Spare (Naomi Wallace), Slavs! (Tony Kushner), The Batting Cage (Joan Ackermann) and Y2K (Arthur Kopit).

Actor’s Theater has received the three most prestigious awards given to regional theaters. In March 1979, they won the Margo Jones Award, presented for the encouragement of new playwrights. In May 1979, they received the Shubert Foundation’s James N. Vaughan Memorial Award for Exceptional Achievement and Contribution to the Development of Professional Theater. And in June of 1980, they became the second theater to receive the Special Tony Award as an outstanding non-profit resident theater.

If you decide to experience a night or week-end of unique and exciting  theater, treat yourself to an overnight stay or two at one of Louisville’s exemplary bed and breakfasts. Choose from a variety of styles and atmosphere, while assuring yourself that which ever selection you make, you will find an immaculate place of lodging, comfortable/beautiful rooms, friendly hospitality, and a wonderful gourmet breakfast. The Louisville Bed and Breakfast Association has nineteen members, with nineteen beautiful Inns for you to choose from. Most are within  fifteen minutes of  Actor’s Theater, some even closer. You may make your reservation on-line.

For names and descriptions of play, performance times, and ticket prices, you may check on-line at Actor’s Theater.

Valentine’s Day

by Nancy R. Hinchliff, inn-keeper/freelance writer

Valentine’s Day at most bed and breakfasts is usually very busy. They fill up with couples looking for a romantic get-away to celebrate the day or week-end with someone they love. The Inns offer Sweetheart Packages, Spa Packages and the like. They fill their rooms with red roses, champagne and chocolates. Louisville is no different than most cities. Our bed and breakfasts are exemplary and really outdo themselves on special holidays, especially the romantic ones like Valentine’s Day

Many of the inns like to serve a special sweetheart’s breakfast of Belgium Waffles with fresh strawberries and real whipped cream. Or, decadent chocolate waffles with whipped cream and a luscious ribbon of chocolate sauce dribbled across the top. Strawberries and chocolate seem to be very popular on Valentine’s Day, so many of the Innkeepers make chocolate-covered strawberries. They’re really not difficult to make. Below are a couple of wonderful recipes.

Be sure to make your reservations early. Some of the Inns have Sweetheart packages during the entire month of February. But, in case they don’t, call your favorite one and reserve as soon as possible.

Recipes for Chocolate Covered Strawberries

INGREDIENTS
16 ounces milk chocolate chips

2 tablespoons shortening

1 pound fresh strawberries with leaves

DIRECTIONS

Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.

Turn berries upside down. Insert pick in Styrofoam for chocolate to cool.

Recipe from: Armida Cooks

Since it’s Valentine’s Day today, I figured I’ll re-post this oldie-but goodie recipe for Chocolate Covered Strawberries. If you want to impress your cutie pie, these strawberries are so easy to make.

Whenever I go to a fancy Sunday brunch, there are two things that I first look out for: the champagne and the chocolate covered strawberries. The recipe below is fool proof and delicious. Just make sure your strawberries are super dry before you dip them in the chocolate. Oh my gawd, I’m having cravings just writing this!

INGREDIENTS

2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons shortening, such a vegetable Crisco (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil)*

12 large fresh strawberries, with stems, rinsed and patted dry

DIRECTIONS

Prepare cookie sheet by placing wax paper on bottom of it.

Place chocolate chips and shortening in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1-1/2 minutes or just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred; cool slightly.

Holding strawberry by top, dip 2/3 of each berry into chocolate mixture; shake gently to remove excess. Place on prepared tray.

Refrigerate until coating is firm, about 30 minutes. Store, covered, in refrigerator.

*Butter, margarine and spreads contain water which may prevent chocolate from melting properly; oil may prevent chocolate from forming a coating.

New Year’s Resolutions That Don’t Cost an Arm and a Leg

by Nancy Hinchliff, Innkeeper/freelance writer


New Year's Resolutions checklist

Stick to your New Year’s resolutions without a pricey gym membership, fancy equipment, expensive classes or other budget-busters. Rest assured, you can stand pat in your resolutions throughout the year without spending a bundle. Here are the most popular New Years resolutions, along with tips on following them when you’re on a tight budget.

Exercise more

Instead of buying an expensive gym membership, put on a pair of sneakers and walk! Walk in the park, walk in town, walk in the city. Borrow a neighbor’s dog and walk. Park your car at the far edge of the parking lot and walk. Forgo the elevator and walk the stairs. If you think about it, you’ll find lots of ways to work more walking into your day.

Eat healthy foods

Pursuing a healthy eating program can easily bring down your food costs because healthy eating starts with fresh produce and basic ingredients that don’t cost a lot. See Healthy Eating, for Less for tips, hints and ideas for healthy eating for the budget-minded.

Stop smoking

Instead of expensive medical programs, hypnosis and/or nicotine patches, check out the many free programs and websites that can help you kick the habit. Start with the Centers for Disease Control How to Quit Smoking page: www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/how_to_quit

Take up a hobby or learn a craft

You don’t necessarily need to invest money in materials, books and classes to take up a hobby—why don’t you revisit a pastime that you used to love? Go on and find those knitting needles, or retrieve the roller blades from the back of the closet, or dust off the stamp collection. You just might fall in love again.

Read more

Instead of breaking the bank at the bookstore, visit your local library and check out a new book every week. Most libraries also have magazines for perusing, along with computers with fast Internet connections and lots of helpful advice for finding what you need online.

Learn something new

There’s no need to enroll in expensive college classes if you are looking to expand your horizons and learn something new. Look into “auditing” a class at your local university or community college. Many schools will allow you to sit in on classes (and participate!) without paying tuition (and without earning credits—but you just want to learn, right?). You can also inquire at your local library, community center or bookstore about free or low-cost classes or reading groups covering a huge variety of topics.

Take a vacation

Instead of flying or driving to faraway destinations and spending your hard-earned money on a motel and meals out, take a “staycation.” Stay at home during your time off, but make a commitment to sightsee, visit museums and generally get to know your hometown all over again.

Visit a Louisville bed and breakfast!

We are a short drive from Indianapolis, Chicago, Cincinnati, and St Louis. Although a little longer travel distance, it is still easy to get here from Nashville and Georgia. And, of course, Kentuckians, for the most part, have a doable weekend getaway spot. The bed and breakfasts all have Valentine’s Packages to satisfy your romantic mood. Do come and visit us, but call ahead of time.

Other options

There are lots of popular resolutions that don’t cost a cent to begin with. You don’t need a lot of money to pursue these resolutions:

  • Cook more
  • Get organized
  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Help others or volunteer

Thanksgiving On A Shoestring

by Nancy Hinchliff, Innkeeper/freelance writer

Enjoy the holiday

During this time when most of us are cutting back on our spending and trying to find ways to beat the economic slump, entertaining family and friends may be quite a challenge, especially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Americans love to eat. Some wait all year for that one day they can “pig out” and feel okay about it. Everyone stuffs themselves with all manner of food and drink on Thanksgiving. It’s been a tradition since the pilgrims sat down with the Indians for the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth in 1621.

Keeping the cost down

Even if you are out of work, on unemployment or temporarily living with your parents, it is still possible to create an incredible Thanksgiving dinner if you give it some thought. The secret is in the planning and in doing most of the work yourself. Rather than rushing out and buying up expensive bags of ready made dressing, cans of cranberry sauce and canned gravy, you might want to consider making these things from scratch. It is much cheaper and, in most cases, costs less and tastes better.

Planning your dinner

You first have to decide whether or not you can afford to buy a turkey. That might depend on the size of your family and the amount of money you have to spend. Turkeys are more expensive than chicken or other fowl and are usually quite large, so you might consider buying a chicken instead or Cornish game hens, if you’re cooking for a smaller group. Chicken goes just as well with all the thanksgiving trappings. However, if you absolutely have to have a turkey, remember that if you buy one a little bigger than what you’ll need for the big day, you can have at least three meals out of it by making wonderful dishes with the left overs.

Food and Drink

After the meat, probably the easiest and least expensive dishes to include in your meal are potatoes (white or sweet), vegetables, dinner rolls, and pumpkin pie. The first two items will probably be on sale at your grocer during the season. Vegetables vary in cost from inexpensive green beans, corn, and broccoli and zucchini to more expensive mushrooms, artichokes and asparagus. A big cost saver would be to make your own dinner rolls or biscuits and pie, as well as the cranberry sauce, the dressing, and the gravy. They really are not difficult to make and you can actually have fun doing it, if you allow enough time. Figure your schedule out ahead of time and make some of your food and drink items the day before.

While the kids most likely will drink milk, and some of the adults, too, for something a little more festive, you might try a cranberry punch or serve a lovely white wine with your turkey. Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio all go well with turkey , as does Pouilly Fuisse (which is a little more expensive, but might be an interesting choice if you are a guest and want to bring something special to the host or hostess). And, of course, after the main meal, lots of delicious strong coffee to keep everyone from falling asleep from the tryptophan in the turkey.

Making a fabulous pie

If you don’t like pumpkin, apple pie goes well with this type of meal. And if you have children, they really enjoy helping in the kitchen and can be assigned various jobs to help you out. Making pie crust seems to strike terror in the hearts of many cooks. So, buying them ready made has become common place. However, they are more expensive than homemade and, in most cases, don’t taste as good. For those of you who are adventurous, here is a video with exact instructions (see below). Once you have your crusts made, you can decide whether you prefer pumpkin pie or apple.

Nancy Hinchliff”s blog: A Memorable Time of My Life

Recipes:

Pie crust (video), Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie

And for something very special
Fabulous Pumpkin Cheesecake

CHEESECAKE FACTORY PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

Photo of Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust:

1 1/2 cups graham crumbs
5 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. sugar

Filling:

3- 8oz.pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
Whipped Cream

Instructions:

Mix crust ingredients together, just till coated and crumbly. Press onto the bottom and 2/3 up the sides of an 8″ springform pan. Bake for 5 min. at 350. Set aside.

Combine cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl, mix until smooth with an electric mixer. Add pumpkin, eggs, and spices, beat till smooth and creamy. Pour into the crust. Bake for 60-70 min. or till the top turns a bit darker. Remove from oven and allow to come to room temperature, then refrigerate. After it has thoroughly chilled, remove the pan sides and cut. Serve with whipped cream.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Cooking at the Cottage

by Nancy Hinchliff, Innkeeper/free-lance writer

If you’re looking for fun things to do while you’re in Louisville, here’s a unique idea. Cooking at the cottage opened in

The Gourmet Cottage, Louisville, Ky

November of 2010. It’s a cookware retail shop that carries of variety of items that any cook would love to have in their kitchen. But what is so unique about this establishment is that they conduct cooking classes right on the premises. As a retail store, they specialize in cookware, bakeware, decorating supplies, gadgets, coffee/tea/chocolate, and bridal & gift registries.

Classes are held at the retail store which is with ten minutes of any one of the member bed and breakfasts of the Louisville Bed and Breakfast Association. You can book your cooking class at the same time you make reservations at your favorite Inn. Louisville has wonderful local restaurants. The chefs who teach at the Cottage are all owners and/or executive chefs at one of Louisville’s fine restaurants. Many of them also teach at the local Culinary Arts School at Sullivan University.

“Our goal at the Cottage is to offer our customers old fashioned, personal service with a smile! If there is anything you need, just ask one of our staff members and we will be happy to help you find it or if you want, try to special order it for you. Remember, we have gift certificates available, for any amount, which can be used on merchandise and/or cooking classes. These make a wonderful gift for that special foodie in your life!

Participation in a Cooking at the Cottage hands-on class places you in a typical cooking environment with inherent risk. By registering for a Cooking at the Cottage event, you agree to release Cooking at the Cottage and its staff, employees and contractors, from all liability arising from direct or indirect damages or injury.” (Mark & Linda Kunz Bayens).

Pancakes in the Time of Pumpkins

by Nancy Hinchliff: Innkeeper/freelance writer

Fall is a great time to visit Louisville and stay in one of our wonderful bed and breakfasts. The weather is near perfect, sun shiny days but not too hot. The outdoor festivals are in full swing, and trips to the countryside to view the turning leaves, taste the fall wine, snd visit the beautiful working farms to pick up pumpkins for Hallowe’en and delicious apples is relaxing and fun.

Most of our Inns feature wonderful fall selections for breakfast like Pumpkin Pancakes, baked German Apple Pancakes, and fresh melon. You will not be disappointed. I have included a guest post from another blogger here and a couple of delicious recipes.

guest post by Teresa Rice

We are living in the time of pumpkins. Great boxes are filled with them at the local farm market–gone now to jack o’ lanterns, many of them and unceremoniously tossed out after their night of drama.

Some go on to be cooked and used now or saved for special holiday recipes. Many will go into pies, the iconic Thanksgiving dessert. Some will go to lovely warming soups or pumpkin bread or muffins. A few will go inmore exotic culinary directions. And don’t get me started on the squashes–so many varieties, from mirlitons to sweet dumplings, butternuts to buttercups.

I’m tempted and bewildered by my imagination as my table, loaded down with all manner of squash and pumpkin can testify. What to make and write about? Pumpkin ravioli–buttery, tender and delicious? Or a butternut soup, fragrant with saffron and rich with cream and ghee? I ponder long over a delicate pumpkin roulade, filled with sweetened mascapone. Then I think about swiss chard wrapped around sausage, pumpkin and barley mixture, or mirlitons filled with highly seasoned shrimp stuffing.

These, along with pies and cakes, muffins and breads, will be welcomed in my home as we travel the calendar into the holidays, to the winter solstice and on to a new year. But one special dish–an ultimate comfort food–comes first.

PUMPKINS AND PANCAKES

Saturday mornings were hotcake eating time at our house, also at my grandma’s. Mamma would get out her round twelve-inch griddle and she’d let me skitter water drops across the surface to test the heat. Then she’d ladle out five or six little hotcakes at a time. When bubbles formed and just began to pop the spatula would swoop down and flip them, splat splat splat. I’d watch their cooked tops rise up when the raw side hit the hot griddle. They’d hesitate, then sigh and lower themselves to the pan to finish cooking.

We’d gather around the table like baby birds, waiting our turns. Hot stacks piled onto our plates as they got done, never one by one, so you’d have enough to pile together with butter pats. We buttered them up and ate them down with Steen’s Cane Syrup–thick, dark and smoky flavored–or a lighter syrup my mother made with maple extract added to simple syrup.

The ettiquete was to use your knife to cut the stack into eight triangular wedges and load as much as you could get onto your fork. The fork became a mop and the hotcakes became hot, tender butter-and-syrup delivery devices. Wow.

Mamma’s hotcakes were always pristine and plain. No blueberries or pecans, no bananas or walnuts. But I remember my grandma making us pink and blue and green hotcakes at Eastertime. They didn’t taste any different, but they were crazy fun.

The pumpkin was not a familiar part of our lives and certainly didn’t find its way onto our table for hotcake mornings. The Louisiana yam filled its place in pies and cakes and anywhere else a pumpkin might be. They must have been somewhat available, though. On the road between Baton Rouge and Hammond a little sign indicated the turn off to Pumpkin Center, Louisiana–pronounced “punkin.” The sign actually gave the turn for Baptist, Louisiana and then Pumpkin Center so it looked like all the Baptist pumpkins must gather at the Baptist Pumpkin Center to do who knew what. This was a hilarious joke at the time and still makes me smile.

RECIPES

I would have found these incredibly exotic in my childhood, even as I do today. They are the deep old gold of spectacular winter sunsets. Spice aromas capture you the minute you begin to mix the batter and the hot griddle instantly careens the smell throughout the house. No one will sleep through breakfast when you make these. I find I close my eyes and breathe these long before I get to taste them. Once I finally get a butter-drenched pumpkin-butter-slathered bite, my tastebuds rise up to meet the flavors on a cloud of weightlessness.

Many recipes for pumpkin pancakes are dense and heavy from the added pulp. Leavening agents like baking powder and baking soda are too wan to carry pumpkin up to the lightness a pancake deserves. The secret is to beat the egg whites and delicately fold them in to assist with the rise. This batter, as a matter of fact, is very similar to an airy roulade recipe, frothy and tender. The pancakes must be baked quickly or the egg white advantage deflates. The optional sprinkle of pumpkin seeds gives a satisfying counterpoint. If you’re not fond of pumpkin seeds, try my favorite chopped and toasted pecans, which is not to say that they aren’t perfect without nuts of any kind.

The pumpkin butter–oh lordy, what can I say? A touch of rum for breakfast? Let the good times roll, dawlin’. I prefer a thick spread, particularly for my pancakes, but adjust the liquid to suit yourself once the cooking is done.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients

•1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup fresh cooked pumpkin or canned pure pumpkin (not pie filling)

3 large eggs, separated, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Vegetable oil, butter or non-stick spray for the griddle

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, optional

Instructions

Whisk buttermilk, pumpkin, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl to blend; whisk in melted butter. Sift flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into large bowl. Add dry ingredients to buttermilk mixture and whisk to combine. Beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold whites into batter.

Lightly oil or butter heavy large skillet set over medium heat. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto skillet. Sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds on each pancake and cook until bubbles form on top, about one-and-a half minutes. Turn pancakes over and cook until second sides brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to plates. Sprinkle with nuts. Serve with Rum Pumpkin Butter and maple syrup.

Rum Pumpkin Butter

1 cup fresh cooked pumpkin or canned pure pumpkin (not pie filling)

1/2 cup orange juice or apple cider

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon dark rum, optional

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low heat for 5 – 20 minutes or until blended, stirring frequently. Add more orange juice or cider if mixture is too thick.

All text and images copyright 2010 Theresa Rice