Monday, June 27, 2011

Breakfast for Dinner: Rasied Waffles

J and I like breakfast for dinner, and during the winter I probably cook waffles, pancakes, or omlets once a week. But in the summer, I don't usually think of breakfast for dinner. But this week, I was a receipe for raised waffles, something I have always wanted to try but never gotten around to. So last night that's what I did!

Raised Waffles
This recipe makes about 4 waffles, enough for two.

1/2 packet of dried yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup buttermilk, or regular milk
1 cup flour
1 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

At breakfast time, Dissolve the yeast in the warm (not hot) water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Heat the milk until it just barely bubbles. If you use buttermilk, you will notice that it thickens slightly and water seems to seperate from the milk itself. Don't be concerned about this.

Mix the yeast, milk, butter, sugar, and flour in a large bowl until well mixed. Leave the bowl on the counter until dinner. The mixture will double in size, so use a big enough bowl to accomdate it.

At dinner time, mix in a beaten egg and the baking soda until everything is well mixed. Bake the waffles according to your waffle maker's instructions. Serve with real maple syrup and butter -- why would you use fake when you have these beautiful waffles????

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Garden

I used my Flip Video to make a little video about my garden. Warning: my panning skills aren't great so take your motion sickness meds before viewing! :-)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mirbeau Spa Get-Away

This weekend Joanne and I got away for a little pampering to a place I have wanted to visit for a long time, but never could quite afford: Mirbeau Inn and Spa, located in Skaneateles, NY. Recently, LivingSocial offered a pretty good deal for a weeknight stay at the Spa. For $350 we got the room, three course dinner for two, and $100 credit in the spa.
Mirbeau Spa and Inn

We went down on Thursday. Skaneateles is only about an hour and a half from our house, so we timed our visit so we got to Skaneateles at noon. I was hoping for a reprise of our Doug's Fish Fry visit of last summer, but J felt like something a little less fried, so we stopped a the Sherwood Inn. I had a bratwurst, red cabbage and German potato salad. It was good -- but it wasn't our personal favorite: Johnsonville Brats. J had a much more disciplined lunch of a salad with grilled chicken.

After lunch, we made our way to the spa. First up were side-by-side manicures and pedicures. The young ladies who took care of us were really lovely. They took a lot of time -- the mani and the pedi were one hour each.

We then had some time in the hot tub, which was more like a stream than a tub, actually. I'm sorry I didn't take a picture, because it is kind of hard to describe. Off of the resting area, where you wait to be called for your spa treatments, is a little courtyard, beautifully landscaped (like everything else at the spa!) We enjoyed the hot water, and also a cool drink from the bar.

When we returned to our room, we found 6 of the most lovely strawberries, dipped in chocolate. Usually this is kind of a throw away thing -- the concept is better than the actual execution. Not in this case. The chocolate was really wonderful.

Our room was gigantic. We had two king-sized beds with those bed toppers where your body heat makes an impression in the top, so you are lying in a perfect you-shaped cradle. There was a fire place in the room, but given that it was about 95 degrees outside and 95% humidity, we decided to pass on the fire. The bathroom was equally huge, with a multiperson shower (4 people could have showered in there!) and a soaking tub.

View from the Porch
Dinner was on the porch. Our SocialLiving deal got us a three course dinner -- 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, 2 desserts. There were no restrictions on the menu, which was pretty amazing. We selected calamari and tuna poke (raw marinated tuna). The tuna was wonderful, but the calamari was only ho-hum. We both chose steaks for our main course. They are dry-aged on the premises, and mine was really wonderful -- very deep flavor and everything you might want in a steak. We ordered onion straws and sauteed mushrooms as sides, and although I wished later that we had ordered an actual vegetable, the onions and the mushrooms were lovely. Finally, we had desert. My pick was creme brulee, and J went with a pudding. Her pudding was actually more like a very dense, moist cake.
Our dining companions

After dinner, we went for a stroll around the grounds. Everything was beautifully landscaped. I got a couple of ideas for plants I want to add to our own gardens, based on what I saw. We also noticed that someone had arrived in their personal helicopter. The Spa has a landing pad!

We had a very restful evening, and then stopped for breakfast before heading home. Again, the food was great -- house made granola and yogert, fruit, cold cuts in the European style.Well fortified, we headed for home.

I heard that the Spa will be doing another LivingSocial offering sometime soon. We will definitely buy another deal and return to the Spa. It was one of the nicest places that we have visited!