Winter in Naples Cooking School at the Captain Freeman

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and Owner

Winter in Naples

Winter in Naples

We just had a wonderful cooking school at the Captain Freeman this past weekend. Our professional chef, Carol Edmondson continues to create a wonderful experience with plenty of helpful cooking tips as well as providing delicious recipes for the food cooked in the class. This class included pizza and antipasta, enjoyed with wine tasting after the class.

The full menu included Bruschetta with Roasted Peppers and Shaved Reggiano, Italian meats and cheeses on toasted bread,
Classic Pizza Margherita Pizza, Sea Scallops, Arugula and Pancetta Pizza, Salad with Roasted Eggplant, olives and Fresh Citrus Vinaigrette and the show stopper Berries with Zabaglione Sauce.

The class always enjoys watching the simple way to roast the peppers…..

20140208_152824

Looking forward to our next two classes which includes:

Savory cuisine from Rome on March First where we will sample the classic cuisine of Rome influenced by it’s history and geography. Rome is the home of many religions and ethnic groups not unlike any major city. Their influences are felt in preparation unique to the region. Winter soups harvest flavors preserved from fall gardens. Pork is an essential ingredient fresh and preserved in Salumi of many types. Artichokes and eggplants are fried in olive oil to whet winter appetites. Capers and other pickled vegetables perk up the winter Roman table. A harvest of flavors to bring to our late winter menu along with the freshest of local foods and the best of our own local preserves.

On March 29th we will visit Avignon in the heart of Provence. True French country cuisine influenced by ingredients found daily in the market square. In March the mistral, a cold wind from the Alps, blows across Provence. Warming soups are a must. Spring lamb, winter greens, great cheeses and bread from ancient grains are the staples of early spring. Early greens are peeking through and lemony salads brighten spring tables. Wine poached winter fruits finish this hearty meal.

Bon Appetit!

Spanish Cooking School at the Captain Freeman

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

We recently had our first cooking school of the season which included Spanish food from Valencia. Our Chef Carol Edmondson continued the tradition of providing wonderful cooking tips in the class and later an over the top delicious meal which we enjoyed in the fireside dining room at the Captain Freeman Inn.

Our wonderful chef, Carol

Our wonderful chef, Carol

The menu included warm lemon, garlic and rosemary olives,

warm olives

warm olives

figs with goats cheese,

Fresh figs served with goat's cheese

Fresh figs served with goat’s cheese

warm garlic and herb flat bred and the show stopper, Paella with duck, seafood and chorizo.

Paella with duck, seafood and chorizo

Paella with duck, seafood and chorizo

All of our cooking school meals include a wonderful fresh salad and a dessert that pairs perfectly with the meal . For this dinner Carol chose  Valencia oranges in Rioja wine with Manchego.

It was fun to learn a different way to grill the peppers which was actually quite simple and included just holding the pepper over the stove flame and then pealing away the burnt skin.

fresh roasted peppers

fresh roasted peppers

Our classes always include Wine tasting before our meal and Byron was so excited about the Spanish wines he was able to find. For those wine conoseurs, a detail description of the wines we served is noted below:
Wine

RED
• Zerran – 2011 Montsant
Garnacha 50%, Mazuelao40%, Syrah 10%

• The Saint – Rioja – 2008 Reserva
Tempranillo

• Los Dos 2012 – Campo De Borja
Grenache 85% & Syrah 15%

• Laya 2012 – Garnacha Tintorera 70% , Monastrell 30%
WHITE
• Godello 2011 – Castelo Do Papa
Godello 100%

• Licia Albarino 2011 – Rias Baixas
SPANISH WINES – Grape Variey Descriptions for wines in our tasting.
Albariño – White. Native to Galicia, with small, very sweet glyceric berries which produce high quality wines. It is the basic grape of Rías Baixas DO. There has been a dramatic increase in the area planted with this grape over the last few years.
Godello – White. A high quality, very aromatic grape. Native to Galicia, new planting has been encouraged in the last few years, especially in Valdeorras DO. It is considered a main variety in Valdeorras and Bierzo DOs.
Garnacha Tinta – Red Garnacha. A high-yielding grape that produces vigorous wines. This is the most widely grown red grape in Spain, especially in La Rioja, Madrid, Navarre, Tarragona, Teruel, Toledo and Zaragoza.
Cariñena (Mazuelo) – Red. Produces robust, balanced wines. An excellent complement to Garnacha, it is widely planted in Catalonia and La Rioja, where it is known as “Mazuela”.
Monastrell – A red, very sweet and productive grape. It produces wines with a deep colour and considerable alcoholic content. It is mainly found in Murcia (52%), Alicante, Albacete and Valencia and it is considered a main variety in DOs such as Alicante, Almansa, Costers del Segre, Jumilla, Penedés, Valencia and Yecla.
Syrah – Red. A variety thought to have come from Persia, grown extensively in central and southern France. Hermitage wines are usually 100% Syrah. Very little is grown in Spain (principally Catalonia and La Mancha).
Tempranillo – Red. Superb quality and very aromatic, the star of Spanish grapes. It is called Ull de Llebre in Catalonia, Cencibel in Castile-La Mancha and Madrid, and Tinto Fino and Tinto del Pais in Castile and Leon. It flourishes in Burgos, La Rioja, Alava, Cuenca and Ciudad Real. It is considered a main variety in the following DOs: Calatayud, Cigales, Conca de Barbera, Costers del Segre, La Mancha, Penedes, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Somontano, Utiel-Requena, Valdepenas, and Vinos de Madrid.
WINE DESCRIPTIONS
BODEGAS ORDONEZ 2011 ZERRAN MONTSANT – RATINGS – WA 92 ; IWC 91+
Zerran is another fantastic deal from Spain. The 2011 Bodegas Ordoñez Zerran is a blend of 50% Garnacha, 40% Mazuelo (aka Carignan), and 10% Syrah sourced from vines that were planted between 1934 and 1942 (so the youngest vines are 70+ years old!).
The only ‘shock’ was how good this was in the glass, the wine’s explosive fruit component with notes of boysenberry, plum, and blackberry with a hint of cola taking center stage. There’s good minerality and acidity to balance out the fruit and the soft tannins make this bottle very approachable right now.
Very expressive, very versatile, very affordable, this has all the makings of a first class ‘house red’ or party go-to. There are excellent notes from both Wine Advocate (92 points) and International Wine Cellar (91+ points) as well as some enthusiastic words. It reveals abundant kirsch, lavender, black raspberry and dusty, loamy, earthy scents intermixed with notions of spring flowers and blackberries. There is not any oak evident in this dense effort.” Excellent value. Stock Report Aug. 2013
Robert Parker writes in Wine Advocate: “Even more so is the 2011 Zerran, which ratchets up the level of concentration and ripe fruit. It reveals abundant kirsch, lavender, black raspberry and dusty, loamy, earthy scents intermixed with notions of spring flowers and blackberries. There is not any oak evident in this dense effort. Its completeness and overall equilibrium are impressive, and this great value should drink well for 5-6 years, possibly longer. (There is no track record for these wines in terms of aging.) Production from the Rueda vineyard (38.3 acres) owned by Jorge Ordonez was begun in 2011. This well-known white wine appellation sits on the border of the province of Segovia. The 2010 and 2011 Zerran come from a vineyard planted at 1,500-1,800 feet altitude. They are blends of Grenache, Mazuelo and Syrah whose vines were planted between 1934 and 1942.”
Josh Raynolds writes in International Wine Cellar: “Vivid purple. Aromas of black raspberry, spicecake and musky herbs, with a smoky topnote. Densely packed and youthful, with spicy dark berry flavors accented by cracked pepper and a touch of candied violet. Tannins build on the zesty finish, which shows refreshing bitterness and a touch of boysenberry.”
2008 The Saint Rioja Reserva
Website: http://www.thesaintwine.com – Region: Rioja Varietal: Tempranillo
Coined by Jancis Robinson as “Spain’s answer to Cabernet Sauvignon,” its style varies significantly depending on terroir and the wine-making techniques used. Cooler regions and stainless steel fermentation tend to produce Tempranillos with fresh strawberry and cherry like fruit, similar in body to Pinot Noir. Examples from hotter, more arid regions that undergo extended oak aging often produce richer, plumper, jammier wines, typically exhibiting chocolate, tobacco, and leather notes. Tempranillo provides the backbone of the highly regarded wines of Rioja, Toro and Ribera del Duero. In Rioja particularly, it is typically blended with Garnacha (Grenache), Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graciano. In La Mancha and Navarra, it is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to produce inexpensive, great-value wines. One of the few places Tempranillo has spread to is Spain’s neighbour, Portugal. Grown mainly in the Douro valley since the mid 19th century, where they call it Tinta Roriz, it is used as one of the key blending agents in port. Lately it has been used in the region’s intensely rich, dry, table wines.
With more area under vines than any other country, it ranks third in terms of quantity of wine produced. The range of its wines is a reflection of the country’s regional climatic diversity ranging from the rich and sumptuous reds of the hot and arid Ribera del Duero to the light, crisp whites of the cool Atlantic region of Galicia and Basque Country. For some of the country’s best reds, try the regions of Rioja, Navarra, Ribera del Duero, Priorat, and Murcia. Spain is also nsible for some of the world’s finest fortified and dessert wines, the finest of which come from the town Jerez (Sherry), in Andalucía.
Complex aromas of ripe fruit blend with smoky fine woods. The wine is fantastically well structured and has a long lingering finish. The Saint Rioja is a deep ruby colored wine that displays an abundance of fruit enhanced by a full 26 months of oak aging. On the palate it shows big fruit, spice and outstanding concentration of flavors with impeccable balance. This Reserva will continue to age well for at least 10 years. The Saint Reserva Rioja will match well to most dishes for the perfect pairing, try this with grilled meats, BBQ and mushroom or seafood risottos. Enjoy this wine with good food and good friends or, try it alone in your room with the door locked, you’re the boss!

2012 Los Dos Grenache / Syrah
Brand: Bodegas Aragonesas – Region: Campo de Borja – Varietal: Grenache Blend Style: Red Wine
Winemaker’s Notes:
From slopes on the edge of the Sierra Iberica, just south of Navarra where Garnacha is king, this special cuvée blends Syrah with rich Garnacha produced from vines of 30 years of age. The resulting wine is nuanced and elegant. Fermentation is classical, with no carbonic maceration. Aging is entirely in stainless steel. The wine is immediately aromatic, full and friendly on the palate and finishes with a refinedlength.
Almira Los Dos is bright cherry red with violet hues and has a pleasantly intense and complex aroma of subtle fruit and balsam, with a full, well-structured and lingering taste.
85% Grenache and 15% Syrah The fun and fruity character of Los Dos might seem simple at first taste, but Grenache and Syrah have been making hap…
RP: 87 + Wine critic This is a dark rich wine with a nice fruity aroma. Bold black berry flavor, that hold it flavor right to the finish. The tannin on the finish were … Read more
classic old world Garnacha dark-fruit-forward flavor profile with a long, dry, spicy Syrah finish. would be excellent with something like carolina-… Read more
A round, fruit-foward palate of cherries and blackberries carries through to a refined, lengthy finish. Read more
Suggested Recipe Pairing presented by
Spain Easy Paella featuring RiceSelect™ Arborio Rice – RiceSelect™ Arborio Rice has an exceptional ability to absorb flavors, which makes it the perfect choice for tasty paella and Spanish Red Wines
Parsnip Risotto with Pancetta and Sage Recipe
Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemongrass Recipe
Garlic-Infused Mashed Potatoes and Celery Root Recipe
02/17/2012
This is a dark rich wine with a nice fruity aroma. Bold black berry flavor, that hold it flavor right to the finish. The tannin on the finish were present but smooth. We had this with some spice chili that my wife prepared, I wondered how this wine would match with the hot and spice dish. This wine stood it ground, it’s flavor came through the spices in the chili nicely, even mellowing out the chili a little. One spoon of chili followed by a sip of wine (alright , maybe a gulp), then some more chili. It was great. Two years ago a reviewed a 2008 vintage of Los Dos, but I was not impressed and stated I would not purchase again. I am happy that I forgot about that review. I would buy the 2010 vintage again.
Snooth User: kleith
classic old world Garnacha dark-fruit-forward flavor profile with a long, dry, spicy Syrah finish. would be excellent with something like carolina-style smoked pulled pork with a vinegar slaw topping (with cilantro, I think). Keep it at proper temp, as Garnacha can get cloying if let get too warm and Syrah loses dimension when too cold.
External Reviews for Los Dos Grenache Syrah Campo de Borja 10/05/2011
A round, fruit-foward palate of cherries and blackberries carries through to a refined, lengthy finish.
External Review Source: Astor Wines & Spirits 09/28/2011
An excellent Spanish red from the Campo de Borja region, made from a blend of old-vine Garnacha and a bit of Syrah. Dark, fresh and – no surprise – deliciously “grapey” on the palate. Light, silky tannins make for a very pleasant finish. Try it with grilled fare for a failsafe pairing.
Winemaker’s Notes: From slopes on the edge of the Sierra Iberica, just south of Navarra where Garnacha is king, this special cuvée blends Syrah with rich Garnacha produced from vines of 35 to 50 years of age. The resulting wine exhibits an elegance rarely encountered in the wines from this DO. Fermentation is classical, with no carbonic maceration. Aging is entirely in stainless steel. The wine is immediately aromatic, full and friendly on the palate, and finishes with a refined length.
Tasting Notes: The fun and fruity character of Los Dos might seem simple at first taste, but Grenache and Syrah have been making happy noise together for centuries in the southern Rhône Valley. The grape duo are no less rewarding in this wine, showing oodles of fruit such as mulberries, boysenberries, and raspberries.
BODEGAS ATALAYA 2012 LAYA ALMANSA
WA 90
Neal Martin writes in Wine Advocate: “The 2012 Laya, a blend of 70% Garnacha and 30% Monastrell, has a superb bouquet of pure dark cherries, blackberry and incense that would normally grace a wine far more expensive. The palate is medium-bodied with layers of succulent black fruit that is neatly entwined with the subtle French oak. It is not a complex wine, but it is supremely well-crafted for the unbeatable price. Excellent.”

Not only is Spain cranking out an abundance of great values overall, there are certain sources that have consistently hit the mark year after year. One of the producers that we keep going back to is the Gil family. These are the folks who bring you an impressive list of exciting wines: Bodegas Atalaya, Juan Gil, Shaya, Can Blau, and El Nido. We’ve carried the Laya every year ever since the inaugural 2009 vintage was released in the U.S.. There have been changes in the organizational aspects of the company since that time. But thus far there have been no changes in the quality and value of what goes in the bottle. This 2012 Bodegas Atalaya Laya from Almansa is a blend of 70% Garnacha Tintorera (aka Alicante Bouschet) with 30% Monastrell (aka Mourvedre). Although every vintage has been quite the juicy value, this is the first vintage that pulled in 90 points from The Wine Advocate. Neal Martin of The Wine Advocate writes, “It is not a complex wine, but it is supremely well-crafted for the unbeatable price.” There are immediate impressions of mixed berry preserves with a hint of smoked meats and fresh cracked pepper that carry from your nose to your palate. There is also surprising volume and length for a wine at this modest price. You might want to keep a few bottles handy for those summertime neighborhood BBQ’s or as a hearty all-around house go-to. A juicy ‘90-pointer’ for $7, this is definitely a case buy.

Lícia Albariño 2011
Wine Description
Lícia is a shortening of Galicia, the autonomía in northwest Spain known for its Celtic influence and overall greenness due to the maritime climate. This refreshing, flavorful white is made from 100% Albariño, sourced from the subzones of Condado de Tea and O Rosal in DO Rías Baixas. Situated along the border with Portugal, vineyards in these subzones benefit from the drier climate and warmer growing season.
Tasting Notes
Straw yellow with greenish hues, the Lícia Albariño has strong varietal characteristics with hints of grapefruit, candied fruit, quince jelly, notes of fresh herbs, green apples, and minerals. It is fullbodied and wellbalanced, highlighting the aromas of citrus and green apple, with a long and persistent finish.
Food Pairing – This wine pairs deliciously with grilled fish—or any kind of seafood—Asian cuisines, rice dishes, salads and grilled vegetables.

Castelo do Papa
Papa, spicy scents of citrus peel, green apple and anise, with a salty mineral overlay. Fresh and taut, with the wine’s minerality dominating fresh apple and pear fruit and notes of fresh herbs adding complexity Exceptionally concentrated and focused. Finishes brisk and persistent. This fresh, mineral-inflected Godello will pair well with swordfish sautéed in butter and wild herbs, grilled or pan-fried sweet veal or pork sausage, and a host of casual foods like tapas, pasta with white clam sauce or fried oyster sandwiches.
Wine Advocate
Made from the indigenous Spanish varietal Godello (25-year old, organically farmed vines), this cuvee is aged completely in steel and sees no malolactic fermentation. A restrained yet intense minerality along with spicy, lemony, flinty, stony notes make for a fresh, medium-bodied, complex white to enjoy over the next year.
Score: 90. —Robert Parker, August 2012.

Best Wines to Pair with Paella?
Fabulous Blog Post – http://enofylzwineblog.com/2013/03/27/best-wines-to-pair-with-paella/
Every cuisine has at least one – a one-pot meal, a dish of humble origins that is the quintessential definition of that place and people. There’s Gumbo, Cassoulet, Risotto, Irish Stew and Pad Thai to name a few. And the Spanish? Well, they have paella. March 27th is National Paella Day.
Paella originated Valencia region of Spain.
Paella was originally farmers’ and farm labourers’ food, cooked by the workers over a wood fire for the lunchtime meal. It was made with rice, plus whatever was to hand around the rice fields and countryside: tomatoes, onions and snails, with a few beans added for flavour and texture. Rabbit or duck might also have been added, and for special occasions, chicken plus a touch of saffron for an extra special colour and flavour. Paella was also traditionally eaten straight from the pan in which it was cooked with each person using his own wooden spoon.
There are three main types of paella; Valencian consists of rice, green vegetables, meat (rabbit, chicken, duck, pork), land snails, beans and seasoning; Seafood replaces meat and snails with seafood such as prawns, mussels, and clams and omits beans and green vegetables, and Mixed, a combination of meat, seafood, vegetables.

Paella Valenciana (image courtesy of daytondailynews.com
In addition to the three main types of Paella, two other popular variations are Vegetarian, which typically contain vegetables like artichokes, lima beans, red and green peppers,and Paella Negra, which is typically seafood, cooked with squid ink, so it looks black.

My personal favorite – Paella Negra (image courtesy of piospaella.com)
When pairing paella with wine, I recommend keeping a few food and wine pairing guidelines in mind:
• What grow together, goes together – I prefer to pair with wines from Spain, Portugal, or wine from the neighboring Languedoc-Roussillon region in Southern France. Outside of Spain or France, consider Sangiovese or Pinot Noir for red wine.
• Pair humble with humble, great with great – Paella has humble origins, I generally pair with inexpensive wines unless it’s a special occasion.
• Sparkling wines go with almost anything – Pair Valencian, Mixed, and Negra paella with rosé Cava and Seafood and Vegetarian with Brut Cava

Can’t wait for the next class. We have a few slots left  in the Naples class.

February 8, 2014     Naples, Campagnia

March 1, 2014     Rome
March 29, 2014     Provence

Mystery Ride to Cape Cod at the Captain Freeman Inn

Guest blogger, Suzy Brooks

We recently had a wonderful gathering at the Captain Freeman for our Provence Cooking School. My husband and I enjoyed a lovely dinner afterwards (where we get to eat all of the delicious food made in the class) with a lovely couple that joined in on the festivities. Their family has a wonderful tradition of creating mystery trips for their kids. This trip was a surprise for Suzy and when we heard she loves to blog about their “Mystery trips” we anxiously awaited her post. Thanks Suzy for sharing on our blog.

The post below along with the great pictures was written by Suzy Brooks.

Mystery Ride

Posted April 20, 2013 By Suzy Brooks

“A Mystery Ride? For ME?” After years of planning Mystery Rides for my children, husband, family and friends, the day had finally come… Mr. Brooks had just announced to me that he was planning a Mystery Ride to celebrate my birthday.  I truly couldn’t believe my ears, and instantly my excited anticipation began to grow.

What is a Mystery Ride, you ask?  That’s a good question!! Mystery Rides have been part of our family fun since ten years ago when we tried to spring a surprise Disney Trip on our kids. We were in Boston when they confusedly demanded to know what we were up to. We took pity on them and excitedly announced we were going to Disney World!  Their reaction was less than happy, and in fact, one child (who shall not be named) dissolved into a puddle of tears, demanding to go home.  It was on this Pillar of Joy our Mystery Rides were founded.  Since then, we have been whisking each other off on surprise trips to Hither and Yon, with mixed results along the way.

The trip that launched a thousand Mystery Rides: Florida!

Through the years, our Mystery Rides have run the gamut:  from simple (Kite flying in Newport) to complex (an April vacation spent at Six Flags) and from unsuccessful (a hike on a hot day) to awesome (a historical trip to Boston).  All rides have the same common denominator – the Ride Recipient has no clue what the plan is.  Questions and guesses are encouraged and welcome, and are fired off at every turn of the steering wheel.  However, the answer is always the same.  No matter what we are asked, we always answer with:

“That’s a good question!”.

Here’s a peek at a few (oh, okay – a BUNCH) of our past trips:

A heated, historical hike. This one was a flop!

Hanging out with V.B. from Fox 25 News. He included the kids in his broadcast.

High atop the Custom House in Boston

Matfield Maple Farm, where we learned all about Maple Syrup!

Basketball Hall of Fame & Six Flags on this Ride!

A day in Newport, RI

Waterfire in Providence, RI

The Urban Art Bar in Boston

Ghost Tour with our favorite Freedom Trail Tour Guide, Jeremiah Poope

Another fabulous day in Boston. Quack, Quack!!

International Auto Show

5 Wits at Patriot Place

A Mystery Ride for 40 grown-ups!!

A van full of Mystery Riders :)

I bet by now you are wondering where Mr. Brooks brought me on my Mystery Ride, right??  That’s a good question! Unfortunately, due to all the storms we had this winter, my Mystery Ride was cancelled.  Twice.  It was nearly two months later before we were able to get rolling!  But, the day finally arrived, and we were off!  We headed down Cape, and after many incorrect guesses on my part, around noon we arrived at the Captain Freeman Inn in Brewster.

The Captain Freeman Inn, Brewster

The smile on my face began to broaden as we checked in and our host asked if we were here for the Cape Cod Culinary Cooking School. Cooking school?? Yaay!  Mr. Brooks finally filled me in.  We were here for a French cooking class, along with some other guests at the Inn.  We would be working in their commercial kitchen to prepare a meal with Chef Carol, and later on, we would be enjoy our creation for dinner.  I couldn’t wait to get started!

Putting the finishing touches on the fresh fruit tart.

All finished!! Would you like some?? YUM!

Salad Nicoise with fresh tuna. Delicious!

I have to say it was well worth the wait.  Innkeepers Donna and Byron have a beautiful inn, and provided such a memorable experience for all of their guests.  Arriving there was a wonderful surprise, and truly worthy of the Mystery Ride title!

I think Mystery Rides have become so ingrained in our family tradition because of the side effects…  For those of us planning a Mystery Ride, we have the opportunity to plan with the receiver in mind.  It is fun to surprise others and it makes for playful interaction.  As a recipient of a Mystery Ride, we learn patience, trust, flexibility and geography!!  Joy is in the anticipation, and with Mystery Rides, our anticipation is even higher than when we plan typical family outings.  I hope to keep planning Mystery Rides for years to come, and having one planned just for me was SO fun!!

Ride on,

French Mediteranean Cooking on Cape Cod

Cooking school

Cooking school

This past weekend we sampled Avignon in the heart of Provence, true French country cuisine, at the Captain Freeman Inn. Our cooking schools have been a wonderful success this winter where we combine a relaxed two night stay on Cape Cod with delicious food and lively conversations. The cooking school is led by our talented chef, Carol Edmondson. Carol is full of helpful cooking hints that can be used at home as well as many hands on techniques as the class prepares our evening meal.

Fresh ingredients

The menu always includes the freshest ingredients available at the time and why she does not publish the menu ahead of time. She likes to see what is fresh and in season when she shops for the weekend class.

This weekend’s menu included a wild mushroom saute,

A mixture of wild and cultivated mushrooms

A mixture of wild and cultivated mushrooms

a main course of delicious Game Hens with a Honey Lavender Glaze

Game hens

Game hens

and my favorite, Salad Nicoise with haricot verts, baby potatoes, black olives and sliced fresh tuna.

Salad Nicoise

Our wine tasting begins at 5:30 and the antipasta made in the class always pairs perfectly with the meal. We enjoyed a savory Tapenade which is a blend of briny,earthy flavors using black olives, garlic, anchovy paste and herbs and oil with french bread. cookingSchool-Provence-20130323-0121 We also enjoyed  a lovely assortment of French cheeses with the favorite wrapped in fig leaves.

And the happy ending included a delicious Rustic Pear Tart with a French Sauterne wine and coffee.

Pear Tart

Pear Tart

The last class of the season to be held at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast is “April in Paris”. The April 6th class brings us classic French preparations featuring the finest local ingredients available in the spring. Fiddle heads, asparagus and baby greens adorn spring salads. Berries are a must in tarts. Cheese is everywhere in great variety. Young chickens and ducks are available to roast on a bed of root vegetables and to confit, a slow braise in a bath of chicked or duck fat produces a succulent result. Bread is a central ingredient for a perfect Parisian meal. We will pair locally raised poultry with great Parisian flavors. Can’t wait to see what the menu includes. Bon Appetit to all of our guests staying at our two lovely inns on Cape Cod, Brewster by the Sea and Captain Freeman Inn.

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.