We really can’t help ourselves when it comes to fall and food. After all, Wisconsin is tops in cranberry production and cheesemaking, to say nothing of potatoes, corn, apples, beer, and more. So it seemed only right to dedicate a story to the cornucopia of innkeepers whose cooking talents are top-notch.
While mere mortals may dabble in cooking and baking, our innkeepers are gods and goddesses of the kitchen. Which, of course, means an incredible food experience when you stay at a Wisconsin B&B. Here are some of our picks for “top chef.”
When innkeepers get together for a cook-off, you can be certain they will put their best foot forward. At Bowman’s Oak Hill B&B in Wisconsin Dells, innkeeper Nancy Bowman was a grand prize winner for her Wild Rice Cranapple Bake. Here’s what you need to do for this delicious breakfast treat:
Number of Servings: 4 generous or 8 side dish sized portions
Baking Time: 30 minutes
Baking Temperature: 350°F
1 ½ c. cooked Wild Rice
¾ c. raw oatmeal
2 large red apples
¾ c. dried Cranberries
½ c. raisins
½ T. cinnamon
½ c. chopped nuts (you can use either walnuts, pecans or a mixture of the two)
2 c. milk
¼ c. brown sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 T of butter
Preparation: In large bowl Mix: rice, oatmeal, thinly sliced apples (Not peeled), cranberries, raisins, cinnamon and nuts.
Heat in microwave oven until hot: Milk, brown sugar, salt and butter
Mix into rice and fruit mixture.
Put into buttered 2 qt. casserole.
Cover and Bake @ 350°F for 30 minutes
How served / presentation:
Garnish with: A dollop of low fat vanilla yogurt and drizzle of pure Wisconsin Maple Syrup.
For my meat lovers I add a side of sausage with whole grain English muffin.
This recipe makes 4 generous servings or 8 side dishes to be served with an egg dish and sausage.
Suzanne Soltvedt of Fountain Chateau B&B in Hustler was also a winner in a cook-off for her Wild Rice Pancake, Cranberry Delight. This recipe may look long, but with homemade chutney, cran-raspberry syrup, and browned sage butter, it is well worth the time and care for this delicious delight:
Number of Servings: 8
Necessary Utensils: 1 large sauce pan, 2 small saucepans, mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, strainer, grater, paring knife, griddle and small fry pan
Ingredient List: Whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, eggs, honey, buttermilk, olive oil, orange zest and orange half. Water, sugar, cranberries, apples, vinegar, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves. Cran-raspberry juice, sugar, light Karo syrup. Unsalted butter, sage leaves, chicken broth
1. In a large sauce pan place ½ cup wild rice in 2 cups boiling water and cover; cooks in about 45-55 minutes but check the water doesn’t cook dry.
2. To make the pancakes, place 2 cups whole wheat flour, 2 tsps. baking soda, ½ tsp baking powder, in mixing bowl. Add 2 eggs, 2 tbls. Honey, 2 ½ cups buttermilk, 2 tbsp. Olive oil and mix
3. Add 1 ¼ cup cooled wild rice
4. Add the zest of one orange grated
5. Add 1 cup minced craisins or raisins or dried cherries
Mix until moistened; place about ¼ cup of batter on hot griddle; turn when top bubbles. Continue until all the batter has been used.
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp. Cinnamon
¼ tsp. Ginger
¼ tsp. Allspice
1/8 tsp. Cloves
1/2 cup vinegar
½ cup craisins or raisins
1-16 oz. Package of cranberries or 2 cups
1 cup apples, peeled, cored and diced
Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes
1 ½ cup cran-raspberry juice
1 ½ sugar
¾ cup Karo syrup
Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes
Browned Sage Butter
5 T. Unsalted butter
15-18 sage leaves broken into small pieces
¼ c. low sodium chicken broth
Heat the butter on high heat in a frying pan. As soon as it gets hot, add the sage leaves and swirl to coat. Keep cooking until the butter turns brown and the sage leaves begin to turn brown. Immediately remove from the heat.
Hollow out an orange half
How served / presentation:
Place two pancakes on plate
Fill the hollowed out orange with chutney
Fill a small pitcher with cran-raspberry syrup – serve on the plate
Drizzle browned sage butter over pancake
Owner of the Lindsay House B&B in Manawa, Judy Trull, was recently featured on Living With Amy with Fox 11 – she whipped up her recipes for Panetonne French Toast & Dreamscicle Scones. Take a peek at the recipes and the segments of the show below:
Innkeepers at Jay Lee Inn in Elkhart Lake, Garden Gate B&B in Sturgeon Bay, and Hamilton House B&B in Whitewater have all had recipes published in the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast cookbook, as well as many other innkeepers across the state! Here’s a sample of what they offer:
Jay Lee Inn: Swedish Flop
1 cup butter, divided
2 cups flour, divided
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour – shouldn’t
this be deleted?
Chopped nuts and/or
Confectioners’ Sugar Frosting:
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 heaping Tbsp butter
1 heaping Tbsp Crisco
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut ½ cup of the butter into 1 cup of flour and mix to make coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons water over the flour mixture and blend quickly with a fork. Roll or pat out dough into two long strips (about 10–12 inches) on an ungreased cookie sheet. Combine 1 cup water and the remaining ½ cup butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the vanilla. Remove from heat and beat in the remaining 1 cup flour, stirring by hand with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Spread the dough over the pastry strips and bake 55–60 minutes, or until lightly browned. (It will flop at this point.) Allow to cool slightly before drizzling with frosting. Sprinkle with your choice of nuts, coconut, or sprinkles.
For the frosting: Mix together all ingredients, adding just 1 tablespoon of milk at first. Add additional milk to make frosting of desired consistency.
Garden Gate B&B: Brunch Strata
3 cups sliced mushrooms
3 cups chopped zucchini
2 cups fully cooked ham, cubed
1½ cups chopped onions
1½ cups chopped green peppers
2 garlic cloves, minced
¹/³ cup vegetable oil
3 8 oz. pkgs cream cheese, softened
½ cup half & half cream
4 cups day old bread, cubed
3 cups (12 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Sauté mushrooms, zucchini, ham, onions, green peppers and garlic in oil until vegetables are tender. Drain, pat dry and set aside.
In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and cream until smooth. Beat in eggs and stir in the bread, cheese, salt, pepper and vegetable mixture.
Pour into 8 individual ramkin dishes. Bake uncovered at 350°F for 35–40 minutes or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Hamilton House B&B: Breakfast Meatloaf
1 lb. ground chicken
1 medium Granny Smith apple, grated
1 medium onion, grated
2 cups plain stuffing croutons (I like Pepperidge Farm)
2 large eggs
Parsley, thyme, and rosemary
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray pie pan or loaf pan with cooking oil. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Press evenly into pan. Sprinkle top with parsley, thyme, and rosemary.
Bake for 50–60 minutes until browned. Cut into wedges and serve— good warm or cold.
Variation: Can be made with any combination of ground chicken, pork, or veal.
Did you know that many Wisconsin B&B have chefs on staff? Inns such as Old Rittenhouse Inn in Bayfield, where they showcase the regional harvest of the Bayfield Peninsula and offer cuisines that are organically grown and locally raised, or White Gull Inn in Fish Creek, where they use only the freshest of produce and other ingredients, preparing each meal carefully to order, are just a couple of examples of inns that showcase their top-notch culinary skills.
Now, if all that has made you hungry, jump to our expanded recipe section in this enewsletter and get cookin’ yourself!
Are you ready to Seek the Unique?