Cookie Madness at the Captain Freeman

Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and Chocolate Chunks

Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and Chocolate Chunks

We always have fun while working at our two wonderful inns in Brewster, the Captain Freeman Inn and Brewster by the Sea. This morning was no different as our great breakfast chef, Nick, was humming as he was preparing our wonderful Wild Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes. Nick is a hummer and I love to tease him. The other day he was singing “Kiss me once and kiss me twice and kiss me once again”. We laughed together as he told me that Cliff, the owner of the Bramble Inn where Nick is also the chef, was humming that song all evening. He said it was addictive, and he could not get the song out of his mind. We  both started singing the song, but we both could only remember the first few lines of the classic song by Louis Armstrong.  I’ve included all of the words Nick and Cliff so that you can sing the entire song…….

Kiss me once…and kiss me twice
Then kiss me once again
It’s been a long, long time
Haven’t felt like this, my dear
Since I can’t remember when
It’s been a long, long time

You’ll never know how many dreams
I’ve dreamed about you
Or just how empty they all seemed without you
So kiss me once, then kiss me twice
Then kiss me once again
It’s been a long, long time

(instrumental break)

Oh, kiss me once…and kiss me twice
Then kiss me once again
It’s been a long…such, a long time
I haven’t felt like this my dear
Since I don’t remember when
It’s been a long….been a mighty long time

You’ll never know how many dreams
I’ve dreamed about you
Or how empty they all seem without you
So kiss me once…and kiss me twice
And kiss me once again
It’s been a long…long time

It’s been a mighty, mighty long time

This morning Nick made my favorite oatmeal cookie for our afternoon tea which includes old fashion oatmeal, fresh cranberries, roasted pecans and large chunks of dark chocolate. The cookie is addictive and guests at both of our Brewster Cape Cod Inns went crazy over these wonderful cookies. We gave several cookies warm out of the oven to our staff and guests that were near bye. So then  I started singing “Cookie madness at the Freeman”. It had a nice little ring to it, and I decided to make that the title of today’s blog.

We make thousands of cookies at our two Cape Cod Bed and Breakfasts and are always trying new recipes. This oatmeal cookie has become my favorite and is special in that we use fresh cranberries (cut in half) and really good dark chocolate that we buy in large blocks and cut into chunks for the cookies.

Needless to say our guests love our cookies that we serve at the Captain Freeman and Brewster by the Sea. They are always homemade and very special!

Washing away the cob webs

As innkeepers on Cape Cod, we are blessed to meet the most wonderful people. Our guest blogger, Catherine, has been visiting us every spring for many years, and we always look forward to our visits with her. She is a remarkable lady who really appreciated the natural beauty of Cape Cod. The picture below was taken by our resident photographer at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast, Byron and represents all that Catherine pens about in her blog. Thank you Catherine for sharing parts of your visit with our readers.

Cape Cod sunset

Cape Cod sunset

Guest blogger, Catherine Lombardozzi

June 7, 2013 by cmtl

“Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.”
~ Dee Hock

Experts say that taking time off allows your mind to process all that you’ve been cramming into it, and to noodle through some of those nagging questions you haven’t had time to ponder. So when I go on vacation, I try to leave plenty of space for good old-fashioned vegging out – and a rainy day is a perfect excuse to do just that. Of course, sunshine is a good excuse for it as well, which the last several days have proved! But for some reason today felt like a true veg day.

I think everyone on the entire east coast got something of a drenching over the last few days as a front comes through bringing up remnants of tropical storm Andrea. I managed to squeak in a long walk on the beach this morning – a little cool and breezy, and occasionally drizzly, but peaceful nonetheless. I headed down the road a bit to walk on Paine’s Creek Beach. The storms over the last few years have changed the contours of the beach a bit – the parking lot is completely gone and the homes along the beach seem a lot more exposed than before.

Paine’s Creek Beach.
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After the long walk, I stopped to browse at the Brewster Bookstore and eat some lunch at the Marshside restaurant. Afterwards, I took a drive for a bit to indulge my real estate envy.

The rain came in earnest by mid-day so I spent the afternoon reading on the porch. It was chilly, but I made it cozy with my light jacket and a throw blanket fashioned from a beach towel. Today, I finished Zig Zag: The surprising path to greater creativity and made additional progress on Networked: The new social operating system – both interesting reads that gave me lots to ponder.

All you need for reading – a comfy spot and a restful view.

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“A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.”
~ Robert Orben

I’ll be leaving the Cape tomorrow all rested and refreshed. Between the stunning beach walks, the stimulating reading, and rain to clear away any lingering cobwebs – I would call this a successful vacation so far. I have another treat in store visiting the Connecticut Lombardozzi’s overnight on Saturday, extending my vacation for one more day.

I’m hopeful the rain will break early enough to allow for one more long beach walk. That would be icing on the cake!

“Total physical and mental inertia are highly agreeable, much more so than we allow ourselves to imagine. A beach not only permits such inertia but enforces it, thus neatly eliminating all problems of guilt. It is now the only place in our overly active world that does.”
~ John Kenneth Galbraith

Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast Winter Color

By Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

It may be white outside for many of us, but at our two Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast, Captain Freeman Inn and Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa, our winter fruit courses have been filled with color.

This mornings breakfast included a delicious baked pear that Byron garnished with fresh orange, blueberries and blackberries and a homemade raspberry sauce…..mnnnnn!

Baked Pear served with orange, berries and pomegranates.

Baked Pear served with orange, berries and pomegranates.

We like to consider our breakfasts at both of our Cape Cod Inns to be Farm to Table whenever possible and always look for in season produce that is the freshest possible. The winter months are always a challenge with February probably being the hardest. Basically the fresh fruit choices are lemons, apples and pears. Lemons are a treat, and we just served our Lemon Biscotti as our afternoon tea this weekend. We also love our Baked Apple which is recipe served on the QE2 cruise lines. It’s very decadent and delicious.

QE 2 Baked Apple

QE 2 Baked Apple

Another storm is on the way. That’s OK!  We just feel blessed to have time to finish up our winter projects. The biggest change guests will notice this year is our hall common areas which are now newly painted with new wall sconces- no more dated wall paper.

Newly remodeled hall

Newly remodeled hall

. We just brought over Nanna’s Grandfather clock which fits perfectly in the hall. The Captain Freeman is such a beautiful stately building, and we feel very honored to be it’s stewards for part of our lifetime journey on Cape Cod as happy innkeepers.

Rediscovering Breakfast #7

I am so tickled with this new mission to find new recipes. We are having so much fun!

This weekend we added a new twist to our repertoire of menu options. We just hired a new chef to cook for the Captain Freeman.

DSC00252Esperanza comes to us with a wealth of experience in the kitchen and a side passion to cook authentic Mexican food. When we were planning the weekend menus for Brewster by the Sea and the Captain Freeman Inn, I was excited to include some of her favorites as an option for our guests.
On Friday we experimented with a new Lemon-Ricotta Pancake.DSC00254 Ricotta cheese lends a delicate, airy texture to these pancakes and the freshly grated lemon zest adds a hint of citrus flavor. We served it with a warm compote of fresh, sweet berries.

I am also looking to add a savory or sweet bite that guests can enjoy with their coffee and tea when they first sit down for breakfast. Last week we visited our favorite coffee house in Orleans, the Chocolate Sparrow, to enjoy a cup of mocha coffee. We decided to splurge and enjoy some sweets, and I had the most delicious apple tart. It was served warm with apples that were perfectly sweetened and a delicious home made pastry. On the drive home I decided to find a similar recipe for Saturday’s breakfast.
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I landed on a recipe that I found on the internet that included sour cream in the dough that made for a pastry that was part puff and part pie in flavor. I purposefully made the tarts small so as not to spoil the main breakfast. Guests staying at the Captain Freeman Inn loved the tarts, and I am always encouraged when none are left:) The dough was actually very easy to make, and I put the tarts together the evening before. I used sweet Granny Smith apples and sweetened them with sugar, fresh lemon juice and cinnamon.

Sunday’s breakfast was a true adventure and included an option of blueberry buttermilk pancakes or Huevos Rancheros Tostadas. Oh my gosh, they were so delicious and the pancakes were a perfect side option for guests that do not like Mexican.DSC00262
After our guests were served all of our staff sat down to enjoy Esperanza’s meal. I was so impressed and ate every single morsel on my plate. The food was so intensely flavorful but not hot. I was not hungry until dinner and found her cooking to be filling and satisfying. I have always wanted to do some Mexican breakfasts at the inn but did not feel confident. Next weekend we are going to duplicate this menu with different guests staying at Brewster by the Sea and Captain Freeman but this time around, Esperanza will make the pancakes and Donna will do the Tostadas…..a learning breakfast to say the least.

Bon Appetit!

Rediscovering Breakfast on Cape Cod- Breakfast #5

Almond-Crusted French Toast served with Strawberries and Hickory Smoked Bacon

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Everyone loves a good French Toast and today’s version was a huge success!  I especially like to use Challah bread as it really absorbs the custard creating an eggy, sweet old fashion favorite. Crunchy almonds, fresh strawberries and fragrant orange zest brings this classic breakfast dish to a whole new level!

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Bon Appetit to all of our guests staying at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast, Brewster by the Sea and Captain Freeman Inn!

Rediscovering Breakfast on Cape Cod-Test Breakfast #4

I love to prepare breakfasts for our two Cape Cod bed and breakfasts, Brewster by the Sea and the Captain Freeman Inn. This Sunday our guests staying at the Captain Freeman enjoyed the following menu:

Warm Cheese Puffs with Coffee and Tea

Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice or our specialty drink-”the Brewster Sunrise”

Byron’s Baked Apple with Cream Mousse and Craisons

And our Test Breakfast #4-

Cheesy Eggs Sandwich with Homemade Sausage

When I saw this recipe it reminded me of  Mc Donalds-Egg McMuffin.

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I must confess, in my younger years when the kids were small, we frequented McDonalds often and I personally loved their french fries and egg McMuffin. I thought it would be fun to create a gourmet version for our guests.

The sausage was a huge success. I added fresh thyme,sage and rosemary with a little red pepper to give it a kick. What I learned is that the sandwich was a little dry and needed an optional sauce. Decided next time to make the sausage thinner with a light Chipotle Sauce on the side. Yummmm!

Guests seemed to love the idea and most just picked it up in their hands. I think it brought back fond childhood memories for all!

Rediscovering Breakfast on Cape Cod-Test Breakfast #3

My mind cannot stop thinking about breakfast foods…….I actually fall asleep and wake up thinking about all the new recipes. Our winter guests staying at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast, the Captain Freeman Inn and Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa have all been such good sports and seem to be enjoying the adventure. I usually have a motto of not trying a new recipe for our breakfasts until I try it once or twice. For this  new culinary adventure it feels OK to just roll out the new recipes to our guests. I always appreciate their honest feedback and am on a roll as the first 3 have been absolute winners! (I always have backup items in the freezer and can resort to something simple like herbed eggs if the recipe fails:)

Last night I decided upon a new recipe for our first course for our Sunday breakfast. Each breakfast now begins with a  new  “surprise health nectar” and a fresh baked delight that our guests can enjoy with their coffee or tea. I wanted to create items that were light, flavorful and not too filling. Muffins always seem pedestrian so my eye has been going to miniature bite size scones, pastries and biscuits. This mornings menu included a wonderful Savory Cheese Puff with Gruyere cheese and black pepper.

I was wide awake at 5am this morning with visions of cheese puffs bouncing in my mind. I decided to get an early start since I was trying something new. The cheese puffs were actually very easy to make and all came our picture perfect! Once they came out of the oven I placed them on a warming tray so that they were warm when we served them to our guests. Cheese puffs also freeze really well and can be used later.

Savory Cheese Puffs

Savory Cheese Puffs

These airy cheese puffs are a relative of the popover, leavened only by eggs to expand in the heat of the oven. Called gougeres in French, they are a delicious way to start your day.

Bon Appetit!

This recipe is a keeper and has been added to our new recipe book that I am creating for our staff to use. Once I get organized I want to collect all the good recipes and have a cookbook available for our guests. As always, just let me know if you would like any of the recipes that I blog about. I have always said that life is too short to keep any recipes secret!

Carol’s Cooking School

From — Sunie Pope, Innkeeper Captain Freeman Inn

A few weekends ago Carol Edmondson, one of the many Innkeeper wonders of Cape Cod, held a cooking school at CFI.  Small Plates – Big Flavors.  Bellisimo Italia!  Carol and her husband Tom owned CFI for several years before selling and moving into the real estate business of selling Inns.

What was on the menu, you may wonder?  Last weekend Carol made warm lemon olives, fresh fig goat cheese focaccia, wild gulf shrimp roasted with herbs and prosciutto, butternut squash and sage carnaroli risotto and arancini.

The smells and laughter wafting from the CFI kitchen were so enticing, I’m surprised the whole town of Brewster didn’t pop by to see what was going on.  LOL!

Carol’s straight forward baking practice and thorough knowledge of delicious food was terrific and her presence captivating both to the students and the kitchen itself.  Most students stood by watching mesmerized and salivating while some got their hands dirty kneading dough, stirring rice, practicing knife skills, etc.  It was quite entertaining for us all to participate.  And a heck of a lot of fun!

After cooking and prepping, the guests took a break to soak in all their newly acquired information while we did some final preparations for the feast!  And what a glorious feast it was!  It’s always such a pleasure to eat something gourmet that you personally made (well, you and 13 others… even better!)  Come visit us for some great cooking secrets and lots of laughter.  Learn how to spice up that kitchen of yours in a matter of just a few hours.

Join us for the next cooking school on January 14th, 2012 En Francais.  I recommend you book ahead, this weekend sold out rather quickly and I hadn’t even blogged about it!

Lemon Fairy Cakes

From — Sunie Pope Innkeeper, Captain Freeman Inn

Our creativity in the kitchen is at it’s peak on Fridays at CFI and BBTS because it’s CUPCAKE day!!!  In case you haven’t noticed, we love our pastries at the Inn.  How can you go wrong?  Okay, so Lisa is a bit more mainstream in her baking, she loves to create recipes that will unquestionably be a hit (and every single one has been) and I prefer to work with ingredients that are a bit “off the cuff” (aka whole wheat and natural sweeteners).  I’ve been working on creating recipes that are not an “acquired taste” and offer a dynamic flavor with the healthful addition.  So, I’m sure you can imagine how much recipe testing and tasting goes on in the CFI kitchen.  We have a lot of fun laughing, dancing, (disagreeing) and decorating.  Haha.

So why cupcakes (or “Fairy Cakes” as the Brits say), you wonder?  Have you not noticed the 2011 trend?  Cupcakes are IN these days (yes, believe it or not we’re still aware of the fads out there even though we’re in the midst of the ocean).  Have you been to a wedding lately?  Couples are choosing cupcakes as an accompaniment to a small wedding cake. I’ve been asked to bake 300 cupcakes for a birthday/goodbye party next month.  People are requesting them for every occasion all over the states.   Why?  My take is that they’re fast to serve and individually prepared, there is charm to the decoration of a cupcake, and each person that eats one feels special.  A cupcake is a treat that was made just for you!  Think about it, Pizza Hut came up with  personal pan pizza years ago and that’s still a hit.  Cupcakes are the same idea.  Who doesn’t want something that was made just for them?  Oh yes please!  Plus, bakers can work with all sorts of sizes.  At CFI we tend to stick to minis… the smaller the more you can eat, right?  ;)

Now there are millions of cupcake recipes out there.  Why this recipe, you ask?  I love LEMON (as do Abbi, Byron and Lisa).  We go crazy over it!  When I make something lemony, I have to hide it.  Otherwise, the dessert is gone before I get a chance to put out a second helping for our guests.  These lemon cupcakes are simple, elegant and oh so moist.  Plus, one of our guests took a bite and immediately asked for the recipe.  To me, that means time to share!

LEMON FAIRY CAKES

serves 24

3 c flour (2 parts white, 1 part whole wheat pastry)

1 T baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 c unsalted butter, room temp

2 c sugar (or 1 1/2 c agave nectar)

4 large eggs, room temp

grated lemon zest from 3 lemons

2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice (or more if you really like lemon, like me)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 c buttermilk

lemon curd

1. Over preheat to 325 degrees

2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt

3. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer.

4. Add eggs one at a time.

5. Beat in zest and vanilla.

6. Slowly add flour mixture, do not overmix.

7. Fill cupcake tin 3/4 full.

8. Bake for 25 min.

9. Once cooled, dent center with knife and fill with lemon curd as desired.

MASCARPONE FROSTING

4 T softened butter

8 oz (1 c) mascarpone cheese

2 1/2 – 3 c white powdered sugar

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. lemon zest

1. With a mixer, cream butter and cheese.

2. Add lemon juice and zest.

3. Slowly add sugar until you find the consistency you desire.

4. Drizzle frosting over cupcakes and top with lemon zest.

You really could use any sort of frosting recipe.  I found the mascarpone complimented the tart lemon really well, but a buttercream frosting will give them more of a festive look.  Add a little more lemon zest on top and you’ll be sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Good luck!  And have fun!  Of course, if you’d rather not bake but love lemon as much as I do, feel free to request these next time you’re here.  Brewster Bed and breakfast at your service!

Brewster for the Holidays

From — Sunie Pope Innkeeper, Captain Freeman Inn

Let the Holiday Festivities begin!  There certainly is no snow on the ground (just yet), it’s been so warm, but we sure are ready for it!

You may recall reading about Brewster for the Holidays on this blog not too long ago; this weekend it is taking place.  The shops are open and the cookies are baked.  Things are deliciously busy (for Cape Cod’s off-season, that is).

At The Captain Freeman Inn we hosted tours for the public to come view the renovations we’ve made over the year, including our lovely new sitting room!
  Donna and Byron went on a Christmas decorating frenzy, and they sure know how to decorate!  The Inn is just beautiful, filled with so many reds and greens and whites.  What a great way to get into the Christmas Spirit.  Can you believe it’s already December?
Visitors came piling in for chocolate truffles from Brewster Sweets, cinnamon dusted eggnog and our delicious Christmas cookies.  Lisa baked sweet gingerbread cookies and crispy sugar cookies.  We spent the day giggling and decorating the little men and reindeer yesterday.  Oh yes, we got a little creative!Us ladies put on our antlers and headed out into the crowds of Brewster-folk to mix and mingle.  So much laughter and cheer on Cape Cod year round.  Tomorrow is the final day of the festival, so head on over.  Join in on the fun by purchasing a raffle ticket to win over $1000 in coupons at all the local shops in Brewster!  The Chamber of Commerce has put a lot of effort into Brewster for the Holidays.  And it always shows well.
Happy Holidays!  Yes, we’re still open to guests.  We look forward to welcoming you to our Bed and Breakfast soon.