Exceptional and Easy Palmiers Recipe & Avocado Toast

The popularity of the food networks and all the cooking shows, demos and competitions that are out there might lead one to believe that we Americans really like to cook.   Why is it then, that so many people say that they don’t know how, or never learned?  And why, oh why, is so much of what’s in our grocery stores pre-packaged “convenience” food?  It’s actually a complicated question. My guess is that people would cook or bake at home more often if they just had a few basic recipes that they were comfortable with and that they could alter to their own tastes easily.

Here are a two really simple recipes, one using only 3 ingredients, that we actually use here at the inn, and that would be a boon to anyone’s kitchen repertoire!

PALMIERS RECIPE

These are those little puff pastry desserts, also called elephant ears, palm trees, or pigs ears, that look complicated but in fact are one of the easiest things in the world to make. Best trick of all?  Make a bunch at a time, freeze before baking and keep on hand in the freezer. They only take 20 minutes or so to bake and you’ll have a delicious treat for those unexpected guests.

Ingredients: (all three of them!)

1 sheet puffed pastry,    1.5 cups granulated sugar,    1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Mix the sugar and the salt together.   Pour out half of it on a clean work surface and spread it around to about the size of the pastry sheet.  Place the sheet directly on top of the sugar. Pour the other half on top of the pastry sheet.  Spread this second half evenly over the surface of the pastry.  Using a rolling pin, roll the sheet out to an even square (the sheets are generally rectangular), pressing the sugar into the pastry.  Now, fold the sides of the sheet inward to a little less than halfway to the center point. Then, fold each side in toward the center again, leaving a tiny space down the mid-line of the sheet. Now fold one side over the other like a book.

Seeing a picture of an unbaked  palmier always helps figuring out the folding process:

Unbaked palmiers - Recipe

Place the log on a cookie sheet and refrigerate (or freeze) until firm.  Slice the log into 1/4 inch wide slices, and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  You should get about 3 dozen from each log , depending on the size of the sheet.  Freeze until very firm. Then store in a freezer bag until ready to bake.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the palmiers ( do NOT thaw them out!) on a parchment lined cookie sheet with plenty of space in between them.  Bake for about 10 minutes.  The bottom side should be getting golden brown. Flip palmiers over to caramelize the other side, bake for another 10 minutes.

The finished product looks like this:

baked palmier - Easy Recipe

The great thing about these is, besides being super easy, they are flexible: you can have them sweet or savory. You can add cinnamon to the sugar, or ground up nuts; spread a thin layer of jam on the top layer before covering with sugar.  Anything you like really.  For a savory snack, skip the sugar obviously, and spread the top with  either pesto, tapanade, sun dried tomato paste, cheese; again, whatever flavors you like.  Here’s where a simple Google search will yield tons of usable ideas for you.

AVOCADO TOAST RECIPE

By Maryjeanne.li via Wikimedia Commons

By Maryjeanne.li via Wikimedia Commons

Another “recipe” that you might go to again and again is avocado toast.  Recipe is in quotes here because this is not a recipe as much as a technique perhaps.  But whatever you call it, it’s quite delicious.

You will need:

1 ripe avocado,   bread of your liking (really, any kind will do),   salt,   a lemon, cilantro if you like it

First, slice your bread if it’s a baguette or an Italian loaf; whatever thickness you like.  You can also use pre-sliced whole grain bread. Whatever.  Toast it. Or stick it in a pan of hot olive oil. It doesn’t really matter.  Meanwhile, open your avocado and scoop it out into a bowl.  Mash it up with a fork, roughly and leaving chunks in it. Or make it smooth. Whatever.  Put a little salt on it and squeeze some fresh lemon juice on it. Mix it up a bit. Add cilantro if you’re using it. (Add whatever you like, maybe some chili powder or hot sauce; maybe lime instead of lemon, the choice is yours).

Take your toast and slather  it with the avocado mix.  Try not to eat it standing there in your kitchen.   We have served this as a side to an omelet filled with salsa and cheddar. Yummy!  You can make it a nice main course by making two toasts and setting them on top of a big salad tossed with all kinds of things that you like.  Or, you can just eat it over the sink.  Whatever.  Are you sensing a pattern yet?  And. .  bonus:  avocados are good for you (yes, they are fatty, but it’s the good kind!), so you can make this as often as you want guilt free!

Please, DO try this at home!  We will share more in the coming weeks.

Guests can try these wonderful recipes at our Maryland bed and breakfast.

 

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Fall Wine Tasting Special

As this particular August comes to an end, it’s hard to imagine that we even had a summer: the weather this year has been so unbelievably, and unseasonably, cool and pleasant, that it feels like fall already!  Yes, autumn is indeed just around the corner.

With almost every weekend in September and October booked already, we’d like to take a minute to remind folks of what a good idea it is to get away mid-week, or Sunday through Thursday.  We’ve blogged about that before, but it bears repeating:  there are lots of reasons to visit the Brampton during the week.

This fall, we’ve added yet another reason: Our September and October Local Winery Special: Stay two nights Sunday through Thursday and we will give you TWO tickets to TWO wine tastings and tours at our TWO local Kent County Maryland wineries.

We’ve blogged about the wineries before too, but if you didn’t know Maryland wine tasting existed, don’t worry, here’s a link that explains it all, including this map:

Maryland wine tasting map

14 wineries on the Eastern Shore alone; now the trick is figuring out which one pairs best with steamed crabs. . .

Happy tasting!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Eastern Shore of Maryland is home to small but prize winning wineries. We are happy to be able to offer our new September and October mid-week Special that includes two complimentary tickets for a wine tasting tour at each of these two local wineries.

Cassinelli Winery and Vineyards  about 20 minutes South of Brampton.

and

Crow Farm and Vineyard about 20 minutes North of Brampton.

Enjoy this $36 saving, Sunday through Thursday. Must stay 2 nights.

For a complete list of wineries on the Easter Shore click here.

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Great Photo Opportunities Abound at the Brampton!

chestertown marylandChestertown Maryland:  Big Sky Country??

That’s what it seems like sometimes. The blue sky goes on forever, with the green and gold fields keeping up the pace.  It really is so beautiful around our Chestertown bed and breakfast that something in nature is forever catching the eye.

It could be the rainbows on the dining room walls created by sunlight hitting the  crystals on the chandelier.  Or it might be the way the light is filtered through the leaves on the beech tree creating an almost supernatural glow on the folks getting married under it.

Even a thunder storm can be a thing of beauty, if you’re watching it from the safety and confines of our covered porch!

Birds of all kinds are always putting on a show, in competition with the fireflies’ display. Dragonflies and butterflies are flitting all over the place; so many different species we’ve lost count.

And honestly, when is the last time you saw a young praying mantis drinking out of a cat’s water bowl?  That was a first for us!

maryland bed and breakfast

Not to be outdone, Squeaky the inn cat and his (not completely wild) sidekick  Soda Pop are often out and about pretending not to strike a pose.  How could you NOT take their picture?  Just wait until Halloween rolls around: how cool is it to have an orange AND a black cat to photograph!?!

Chestertown bed and breakfast

We’ve posted so many photos of flowers over the years. . .peonies, hydrangeas of many kinds, lilies, tulips, poppies. Here’s our lovely state flower, the Black Eyed Susan, which is doing very well this year:

maryland fall foliage getaways

We could post pictures of flowers until the cows come home!  Oh wait. That reminds me.

chestertown md

This bucolic scene is just a short 2 mile walk or bike ride up the street from the inn.

So if photography is your thing, or if you just want to document your visit, you can be sure that there will be no deficit of photo ops while you’re here.

The end of summer is upon us and the light is truly amazing.  Come and join us at our Chestertown bed and breakfast in these remaining weeks, or plan your Maryland fall foliage getaway now.  Just don’t forget your camera!!

 

 

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