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.

Maple Walnut Bars

From — Sunie Pope, Innkeeper Captain Freeman Inn

If you’re anything like me, you’re thrilled for Thanksgiving!  FAMILY TIME!!!  And it’s also my time for a mini-vacation from all the cooking, believe it or not… My multi-talented aunt hosts a glorious meal with wonderfully cheery guests at her home in New Jersey.

Do you have guests coming this week or perhaps you need to bring something to your Thanksgiving buffet?  I have just the recipe!

About a month ago I stumbled upon a Maple Walnut Bar recipe that I’ve tweaked and baked in honor of autumn, my favorite season.  Days later, one of our guests contacted us.  She couldn’t stop thinking about these delectable treats and had to have the recipe.  She said, (and I quote) “I died and went to heaven on them!!”  And what better time to share an EASY recipe than a few days before Thanksgiving, when you’re rushing to get things done and aren’t so sure how that dessert is going to hold up this year…  Good luck!

These maple walnut bars are begging you to give them a try.  They’re very easy, straight-forward and quite delicious!  Plus, it’s partially sweetened with maple syrup – so you can feel a little better about your choices for your health!

Bars:
2 c flour (1 part white, 1 part whole wheat pastry)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/2 c salted butter, softened
1 c pure maple syrup
1 large egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c (4 oz) walnuts, chopped
1. Combine flour and soda, mix well.
2. Electric mix sugar, butter then add maple syrup, egg and vanilla on high, until creamy.
3. Slow mixer’s speed and add flour mixture and walnuts, be careful not to over mix.
4. Pour batter into greased 8″ x 8″ baking pan and smooth out.
5. Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
6. Cool in pan for 15 min.
7. Remove from pan and cool completely before icing.
Frosting:
1/2 c salted butter, softened
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 T light brown sugar
3 T pure maple syrup
1/4 c + 2 T confectioner’s sugar
walnut halves
1. Cream butter and cream cheese with electric mixer at high speed.
2. Add brown sugar and maple syrup, until smooth.
3. Slow speed and add confectioners’ sugar.
4. Return to high speed and mix until smooth.  (I found it was not nearly thick enough, so I added an additional cup of confectioners’ sugar.)
5. Once bars are completely cooled, spread frosting on and top with a walnut!
You and everyone else you’re feeding will love them!  Give this recipe a whirl and let me know what you think!
If you don’t bake, I guess you’ll just have to make your way to The Captain Freeman Inn to taste these goodies.  Be sure to mention them when you make the reservation!
Oh, and if you come for my high tea‘s, let me know you want these and I’ll be sure they’re on the menu.
Any requests for a recipe you’ve been dying to try but haven’t found the right one or are too afraid to try first?  I’m ready!  Just ask!  :)
 
Happy Thanksgiving!
For those of you still looking for a place to go for this wonderful holiday, think about making a last minute booking with us.  At our bed and breakfast, you will be treated like Kings and Queens with delicious breakfasts and relaxing scenery.

Pastries Galore

From — Sunie Pope, Innkeeper Captain Freeman Inn

Donna, Abbi, Lisa and I attended a 3 hour pastry class at Upper Cape Tech in Bourne, MA (the very beginning of Cape Cod).  We drove up a steep hill to reach the school doors at sunset, the view of the Sagamore & Bourne Bridge from up there was awesome!

Our teacher, Joyce Krystofolski, a pastry chef with over 20 years experience and owner of Delicious Endeavors, was a riot!  We got down and dirty with pastry flour, eggs and sugar (the basic ingredients for any pastry chef).  We re-explored the basics in baking.  Joyce had us preparing mini-almond cakes, chocolate shortbread cookies, shortdough crusts with lemon filling, pate a choux, creme patissiere and pecan tassies.  The most important thing, she stressed, was to measure all of our ingredients in weight.  Otherwise everyone’s measurements will be different.  We had quite a fun time learning new recipes and relearning the basics.  Always a good way to spend an educational evening when you’re a chef.

My favorite recipe was the almond cake, a variation on a recipe I have been making for years.  I adore nut flour based cakes as opposed to wheat flours, the flavor is so much more intense and the texture is thick and moist.  Although this recipe included a bit of white flour, it was mostly made of almonds.  You can always replace white flour with whole wheat pastry flour for those health nuts out there (like me).  Delicious and nutritious!

7 oz. almond paste

7oz butter

7 oz sugar

7 oz eggs

3 oz cake flour

Cream almond paste, butter and sugar until completely free of lumps and fluffy.  Slowly add in eggs, beat well.  Add in flour and mix until combined.

Spread in a 12″x18″ (1/2 sheet pan) lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cool in pan.

Cut cake into 3 even strips (12″x6″) spread first layer with jam, stacking, ending with the last layer without jam.  Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top.  Chill the stack.  Roll out about 8 oz of marzipan very thinly, apply to top of stack.  Cut into 1″x1″ squares.  Perhaps top with fresh fruit.  Can be kept in freezer well wrapped for up to a month.

Come to our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast and Chef Sunie and Chef Lisa will be sure to serve you some pastry goodness similar to what you find in this yummy recipe.

Top 12 Reasons to stay at Captain Freeman Inn over the Holidays

From — Sunie Pope, Innkeeper Captain Freeman

We may all think of Cape Cod in the summer season as a vacation spot not to be missed, but have you even considered taking that drive or flight out to the Cape when the snow is glistening and the inns are warm and cozy?  It’s truly a beautiful time of year.  The shoreline is stunning, filled with migrating birds and disappearing footsteps.

Just in case the landscape isn’t enough draw, there is plenty to do over the Holidays on the Cape!

1) Brewster for the Holidays, exploring the shops of downtown Brewster greeted by cheery faces, homemade temptations, tree lighting and caroling.

2) Cooking Schools at CFI with Carol Edmonson.  We are holding several European cooking classes over the season, followed by a scrumptious cocktail hour.  Not to be missed!

3) Harwich Port Stroll & Sleigh Rides.  Walk downtown and get to know many locals and tourists alike while you experience the charm of Harwich Port.

4) First Night in Chatham. The music is excellent, the town charming and the fireworks beautifully presented over the sea.  I recommend you get there early to be sure to get a ticket!

5) A wonderfully peaceful place for a quiet time of reflection.  Perhaps you’re writing a novel or beginning a new hobby?  The space and quietness of The Captain Freeman Inn are perfect for stirring the creative mind.  So many artists make the Cape their home in order to attune their imagination amongst the solitude and peace this outside world provides.

6) Meeting Santa at Snow’s in Orleans while being entertained by the wonderful trains choo-chooing around the store.  Perhaps you could stop at Nauset Beach on your way back to the inn for a brisk stroll along the ocean.

7) Of course, Christmas shopping.  You will find many unique gifts and locally owned shops on the Cape.

8) Don’t forget to bring your ice skates for ice skating on Local Ponds.  Brewster has the most fresh water on Cape Cod.  Then head back to your room at CFI for a cup of hot tea or coffee and some delicious pastries.

9) Cape Cod Central Railroad.  Hop aboard the Cape’s railroad and travel through our elegant towns, picturesque salt marshes and cranberry bogs.  The train offers the Thanksgiving Dinner, the North Pole Express and Murder Mysteries.

10) Yoga/Meditation – Where better to practice then in the setting of our natural world during the quiet season?  Join Sunie at CFI for private Yoga sessions in your own room beside the fire.

11) The P’Town Lighting of the Pilgrim Monument, a tradition dating back to 1910, is a beautiful site to see.  The Lobster Trap Christmas Tree by the pier downtown is always a treat.  A true Cape Cod presentation of the Holidays.

12) Indulging in our High Teas with Sunie (CFI’s private chef) or luxuriating in a Spa Getaway at The Captain Freeman Inn.  (Not to mention our plush feather like topper mattresses and pillows and 600 thread count triple sheet linens!  Talk about luxury!)

If that’s not enough, gives us a call at (508) 896-7481.  We’ve got plenty more ideas to give you for a most enjoyable stay.

Brewster Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Get together

From – Sunie Pope
The CFI and BBTS Team hosted an evening at our Cape Cod Inn for The Chamber of Commerce this past week.  It was well attended, 60 people were expected and 70 showed up.  The menu was CFI Sliders, Gourmet Pizza and Apple Crisp with Pumpkin and Vanilla Ice Cream.  What a treat!  I worked the kitchen while Donna and Byron greeted and visited with all the local business owners.  And let me tell you, working in a HOT kitchen with the ovens on high with great people is a lot of fun!  One of our chefs prepared the sliders, delectable and beautifully presented marinated veggies with fresh mozzarella, which were gone in a second and the kitchen was suddenly buzzing with hungry patrons impatiently waiting for the pizzas that were wafting in the air and enticing their nostrils.

Sunie & Denise

Chamber B to B Meeting at Captain Freeman Inn with Sunie and Denise.

Brewster's inimitable twins (Jen & Lisa) and the indispensable young man Nathan

I had 4 pizzas on the menu, all named after different landmarks in Brewster.

Cobb’s Pond was a traditional Greek pizza with Feta & Goat Cheese, Olives, Sundried Tomatos & Fresh Garlic.

Paine’s Creek was a delicious blend of Gruyere Cheese, Cured Salami, Prosciutto and figs.

Breakwater Beach was a simple Mozzarella Cheese and Homemade Tomato Sauce.

Nickerson pizza, my favorite, had Homegrown Pesto Sauce (basil from our own backyard), Fontina Cheese and Free-Range Chicken.

We made a total of 12 pizzas.  And my were we busy rolling dough, spreading homemade sauce, tossing cheese and topping with tasty flavors.  It was a busy blast!

The pizza dough was a hit.  And I offer you the recipe, because pizza is so much better when you make your own crust!  Just be sure to give yourself 2 hours.

Wheat Pizza Dough

1 T dry yeast

2/3 c warm water

1 T maple syrup

1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour (I like to use Bob’s Red Mill)

Add:

1/2 c warm water

1 T sea salt

2 T extra virgin olive oil

2 c whole wheat pastry flour

1 c white flour

1) Mix sponge together and whisk

2) Cover and let rest in a warm, quiet place for 20-30 min

3) Add water, salt, oil to sponge and mix together.  Add flour in in 1/2 c increments.

4) Form dough into a ball and knead on floured board.  Knead 10 min.

5) Place dough in lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm, quiet spot for about 40 min.

Then bake with your choice of toppings.

Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy!