French Toast Casserole

Northfield Inn French Toast Casserole:

 

 

Typically, on a weekend, I will do a breakfast buffet. I always make a version of the casserole to satisfy my guests with a sweet tooth. This is a very easy casserole you can prep a couple of days in advance. Yum!!  

5 large eggs

1 1/2 C whole milk (or you can use skim or other milk, it just doesn’t make as nice a custard.

½ C sugar

1 tsp vanilla or almond flavoring

 

Mix together until frothy

 

Slice a baguette or use old bread/brioche/challah and put in an 8x8 pan sprayed with oil. (I like the baguette because it makes a nice lattice like casserole)

 

Pour liquid over and soak overnight.  

 

Optional: sprinkle with slivered almonds before baking. I also take 4 T of flour, butter and brown sugar that I melt and mix in a pan. Dump a cup of oatmeal, mix and top the casserole before baking.

 

Bake at 350 degrees covered with foil for 45 minutes and then uncover and bake for 15 minutes or until the custard is set.

 

I will often prep the casserole and freeze it just unthaw before baking.   This is a very forgiving recipe and will bake into a delicious breakfast even if it becomes a little freezer burned J.

 

Garnish with sprinkled powdered sugar and fresh fruit.  Serve with maple syrup (although I find it is sweet enough for most people without the syrup)

 

I have made this casserole with gluten free bread and almond milk and it was a hit.

Copy of Wow!! 2019!

Copy of Wow!! 2019!

If I made a career out of blogging I would make no money and I would have been fired a couple of months go. Oh well, my apologies.

January has been relaxingly slow but I am looking forward a very busy year. In February, I get to see so many of our Northfield Inn old and new friends as many parents come to visit their students at Carleton and St. Olaf. Last week I had the pleasure of hosting a luncheon for 22 women from a local Methodist group. Desserts, my chocolate chip cookies, seven layer bars, and brownies were a hit. I served a huge salad along with corn muffins and black bean soup. Requests were made for my recipes. Although none of you have had my soup, I am attaching the recipe. It was sooo good and healthy, a rare combination. Many guests have had my corn bread muffins so I am attaching that recipe also.

See you all at the Inn! I promise not to take so long adding to the blog…

Northfield Inn Corn Muffins

 Makes about 15 muffins

1 C. plain yogurt

1/4 C melted butter

2 eggs

Mix above together 

Add 1/3 C sugar

Dry Ingredients

2/3 C high lysine corn meal (you can find it at the coop)

1 C flour

2 t. baking soda

½ t baking powder

¼ t salt

 

Mix with wet ingredients. Just fold in until barely mixed

Add ½ can of corn

Baked in muffin tins with cupcake papers or sprayed with cooking spray at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

I have made these gluten free with Pamela’s flour as a substitute for the flour.   Also, vegan by subbing the butter for Earth Balance, soy yogurt and ½ c of applesauce for the eggs.

Northfield Inn Black Bean Soup     

 

1 16oz. package of dry black beans

Rinse beans and soak overnight (at least 8 hours).  Drain beans and cover with water again an bring to a boil and simmer for around 2 hours until the beans are soft.  (before this point, don’t add salt, this will make the beans hard and you will never get them soft)

 

Sauté vegetables in 2 T olive oil:

 

3 celery stalks

3 large carrots (scrubbed, I don’t peel mine, you lose all of the great vitamins)

1 large onion

Just chop all of this and cook for about ten minutes add 3 cloves of garlic for one minute and then dump it all into the pot with the beans.  Add one 32 oz container of vegetable broth (you can use chicken but the vegetable keeps the soup vegan) and cook for another 45 minutes.

Spices:

1 T. Penzey’s southwest spice mix (or add cumin, paprika and oregano)

1 T salt or to taste (I like mine a little salty J)

Several grinds of fresh peppercorns

At this point you can puree this with an emersion blender or leave chunky 

Sides, sour cream, chopped jalapeño pepper, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro, chesses (parmesan or cheddar)

 

Enjoy!!!

Holiday Dessert Cooking Class

Here ye, Here ye!!

I have a private cooking class that has one suite available and opening up for one lucky person or couple. The class is the weekend of December 7th. the cost is $419 and includes two nights with a fabulous breakfast each morning. Saturday morning you are on your own to explore our wonderful downtown retail shops which will feature a 10% discount at the Kitchen Spoon. Saturday afternoon we will hunker down with Chef Gwen Anderson to try our hands with a Buche de Noel with chocolate ganache and lemon, Holiday Cheesecake and Cranberry pecan Swirls. Saturday night I will have my famous chili, wine , salad, and focaccia. Enjoy hanging around with everyone with good conversations and fires in both fireplaces., Bring a book or your knitting.

Let me know as soon as possible. It is first come first serve. My apologies to everyone who won’t get into the class….Look for a special weekend in January featuring detox cleansing, yoga and relaxation. We will go vegetarian that weekend, vegan available.

#stayinNorthfield #northfieldhotel #onlyinMN #visitnorthfield

Paint

Paint

It has been a few weeks since my last blog. Forgive me but a lot has happened since the middle of September.

First, my son Nate was married at the Inn. It was a beautiful weekend and confirmed what I had suspected since I arrive here. The Northfield Inn is a very special place. The wedding weekend (less than 50 people) was a very intimate and meaningful event. My daughter-in-law’s family stayed here while all of the out of owners hung out for a variety of events. Friday there was a pizza party, Saturday morning bagels and coffee while everyone got ready, flowers were put together and there was just all around socializing. The ceremony took place the lawn. It was chilly, 52 degrees but no one seemed to mind. We had several tornadoes the week before so we took a neighbor’s cut up tree and decorated the lawn with logs and simple mums. Okay, they were huge mums, if you go to Costco, you know what I mean… The food was casual but delicious,. Everyone hung around the Inn. Dancing on the stamped concrete patio, fire pit in the driveway and just chatting around the fireplaces inside. Of course, Sunday morning we had bagels from Tandem Bagels, a couple of my delicious breakfast casseroles (savory and sweet) and fruit, while everyone got ready to take off to locations around the country.

As soon as I have photos I will post them. If you think the Inn might be a good place to hold your special event, let me know. The Inn cold be yours for a weekend to have an combination of events.

At least once a week I am asked what color paint we have on our walls. It is Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage. When the paint was selected, the guys just took a paint chip and had it matched at Sherwin Williams. But DON’T get the Sherwin Williams Silver Sage. It is the wrong color. My neighbor made that mistake. In case are you want to know the trim is Sherwin Williams’ Dove White (and not White Dove).

It is not my intention to brag about the cookie recipe in my last blog but I had a chance to do something slightly different last time I made them. My friend Heather went to the East Coast to attend Elton John’s last tour concert (lucky!!) and brought me back a Bernie Sander’s Candy bar. it was dark chocolate with a “liberal dose of sea salt” :). I grated that bar into my recipe and OMG it was so delicious…

Cookies

Cookies

We have had a great couple of weeks welcoming back our students from St. Olaf and Carleton. First came the athletes, golfers, volleyball players and football, then the freshman excited and nervous about starting their next life phase.

The Defeat of Jesse James Day brought in guests excited about the reenactment and eager to have “fair” food without the fair crowd. What beautiful weather we had the entire weekend! The Northfield Inn is always an excellent place to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays and we have seen quite a few guests doing just that.

As promised, I wanted to share some recipes. The first is a recipe that was shared with me by a psychiatrist. Okay, so the story is my best friend from college Debbie and I decided to celebrate our fortieth birthdays with a weekend at a rustic spa in Central Illinois On Saturday night a psychiatrist spent the evening helping us get in touch with our “left’ brain and the next morning at breakfast she decided to share her cookie recipe. Since then, it has been my go-to cookie recipe. Over the years I have added peanut butter ships, butterscotch and Heath bar crunch. I hope you enjoy the recipe. If you don’t feel like baking just spend a few days with us here at the Inn.

Northfield Inn Chocolate Chip Cookies:

 

Adapted from Mrs. Field Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

2 C. Sugar

2 C. Brown sugar

2 C Butter (room temperature)  {I have substituted butter flavored Crisco for a non-dairy version and it is still tasty}

 

Mix thoroughly, 2-5 minutes (I like it fluffy)

 

Add 5 large eggs, 1 ½ T vanilla, ¼ C water, beat until mixed.

 

Dry ingredients mix in a separate bowl (no I really don’t do this I just add the small ingredients and flour right into the “liquid”):

 

1 t salt

1T plus t tsp each baking soda and baking powder

4 C flour (sometimes I sub in 1-2 C whole wheat flour to add a little nuttiness)

 

Mix until just incorporated (don’t over mix or you get a tough cookie and sometimes we like our people like that but not cookies)

 

This is where I change the recipe from the original.

 

6 C oatmeal (you can pulverize to make oat flour and I used to when I was a perfectionist but you know, it really doesn’t matter…)

 

Add and then fold in 3 C. good chocolate chips (Nestle’s or Kirkland brand are very good) and 3 C chopped walnuts.  

 

Bake at 375 degrees for about 7 minutes.  I put them in for 3 minutes 37 seconds and turn the pan and bake for another 3 minutes and 37 seconds.  I know that sounds crazy but there is a thin lie between done and too brown…

 

So this makes a million cookies (about 14 dozen) so I get tired of making them.  (After about 8 dozen cookies are baked, I shove the rest of the batter in a glass bowl and freeze to bake at a future time.)  Of course, when I am done baking I freeze the cookies and bring them out as needed.  

 

I have tried cutting this recipe in half and it never turns out well….

 

 

 

My First Blog

My First Blog

As a new chapter at the Northfield Inn begins, I need to thank my friend and "partner" owner Andy Howe for his help and inspiration.  It was Andy's vision that made the Northfield Inn the preeminent Northfield destination it is today.  My goal is to carry on in his footsteps.  In a few days Andy will be leaving the Inn and embarking on a life changing six month trip around the world.  I wish him a wonderful and fulfilling trip!!

I have been encourage by many friends and guests to put together a cookbook.  Frankly, I am not so egotistical that my simple recipes would be interesting enough to comprise an entire book.  But I will add recipes on this blog.  Look for some of my favorites in the coming days and weeks.  Along with the recipes I will try to add some interesting details about local goings on, new venues and just plain old ideas you might find helpful!!

Northfield Inn Gardens

Northfield Inn Gardens

New Breakfast Menu

New Breakfast Menu

It's been awhile since I posted a blog, so it's about time! What better blog post than to tell you about our new breakfast menu! If you watch our Facebook page, you know much of this.

Supporting the local community has always been part of our mission and goals at Northfield Inn. We decided then to change our menu so that we could use more fresh, delicious, and local foods that are in season. This is a win-win for both the community and our guests. The best way we feel we can accomplish this is by preparing and serving gourmet breakfast sandwiches! 

We have been "testing" this idea and menu for the past week with our guests. They all loved the sandwiches! They used words, like "phenomenal," "excellent," "delicious," and "scrumptious!" Below are five sandwiches we have tried. We are perfecting one more, Egg in a Hole Benedict. Stay tuned for more info!

You can also watch our Facebook page as we continue our quest to have the best B&B for our guests! 

Tested and Approved Sandwiches

BLT+

BLT+

English muffin with stone ground Dijon mustard, bacon, lettuce, tomato, two oven baked eggs, avocado, and Gorgonzola crumples. 

Ham-licious

Ham-licious

A crispy Ciabatta bread with honey mustard spread, baked ham, smoked Gouda, and two oven-baked eggs with with cream.

Herb Sensation

Herb Sensation

Ciabatta bread with whole grain mustard, spring lettuce with lemon balm, two baked eggs, Asiago crumbles, asparagus with thyme and lemon zest, cherry tomatoes with oregano, and thick cut bacon (optional).

Moz-zilla!

Moz-zilla!

Crispy English muffin, spring lettuce, layers of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, and topped with oven-baked, runny eggs. 

Sliders

Sliders

A simple, soft bun, baked egg with cream, herbs, and Gouda cheese wrapped in bacon

Mornings at Northfield Inn

Mornings at Northfield Inn

6:30 a.m.

Coffee, tea, orange juice, water, fruit, yogurt, and english muffins are provided in the butler's pantry to start a healthy day!

6:30 a.m. until Breakfast

After grabbing starters from the butler's pantry, hang out in the living room while listening to some light jazz and read the paper, or stay in your suite to sleep a little longer, or take a long hot shower.

 

8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Enjoy our chef-designed breakfast. You tell us what time you want to eat, and we will bring it to you in the dining room or your suite. 

After breakfast, let us help you plan your day!

Breakfast Starters

Breakfast Starters

New at Northfield Inn!

Grab a coffee, tea, juice, or water and a healthy snack while we cook your breakfast. We offer these breakfast starters at no additional cost to our guests.

Before and After

Before and After

We bought the property in October 2015 with the intent to open a bed and breakfast. We thought it would be fun to show photos of some of the rooms before and after the renovation. We open January 21, 2017, so come check us out!

Home: October 2015

Before: Foyer

Before: Living Room

Before: Dining Room

Before: Kitchen

Before: Secondary Kitchen

Before: Bedroom One

Before: Bedroom Two

Before: Bedroom Three

Before: Spiral Stairs Entry

 

Home: December 2016

After: Foyer

After: Living Room

After: Dining Room

After: Kitchen

After: Butler's Pantry

After: Suite One

After: Suite Two

After: Suite Three

After: Laundry Room

After: Suite Four (Added as an Addition)

Our Story

Our Story

We have completed the Northfield Inn's promo booklet, Our Story, which provides history and amenities of the property and Inn. Feel free to download and share!

Holiday Window Scenes

Holiday Window Scenes

If you haven't seen the holiday window scenes at the shops in Northfield, it's worth a trip! Here are just a few from this year's Winter Walk. 

Our Ecological Footprint

Our Ecological Footprint

One of our guiding principles is to reduce our ecological footprint constantly and consistently. When we open in January, here are a few ways we will be living this principle: 

Throughout Home

  • Two new efficiency central air units (one upstairs and one downstairs)
  • New efficient furnace
  • LED bulbs in interior and exterior of home
  • Use of green-sealed cleaning products
  • Bathroom and bedroom linens washed only between guest stays (unless guests ask during their stay)
  • Recycle or donate plastics and aluminum 

Each Suite

  • Wireless lights that can be turned off from smart phone
  • Ceiling fan in each bedroom
  • Extra blankets
  • Trash and recycle containers
  • All new, efficient water-flow, rain shower heads in each bathroom
  • Friendly reminders how to reduce water consumption

Food and Nature Ecology

  • Buy locally grown
  • Vegetable garden on property
  • Rain garden on property
  • Community walking, sitting garden on property
  • Composts egg shells, coffee grounds, fruits, and vegetables
  • No-kill but repel pests

Future Transportation Partnerships

  • EcoTrans 
  • Northfield Bus Lines

A Few Photos

A Few Photos

As we get ready to open next month, I thought it would be fun to post some photos of the details of the Inn. Here are a few to get started! 

Our new sign and matching lamp post.

Games

Games

 

During your stay, grab a game from our game box. Below is a list of some of the games you can choose. 

  • 5 Second Rule
  • Apples to Apples
  • Bananagrams
  • Cards
  • Checkers
  • Chess
  • Clue
  • Code Names
  • Connect Four
  • Dominoes
  • Michigan Rummy 
  • Monopoly
  • Outburst
  • Over Ten Puzzles
  • Parcheesi
  • Payday
  • Pit
  • PlayStation 4 with Games
  • Scattergories
  • Scrabble
  • Sorry
  • Speak Out
  • Telestrations
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Yahtzee

Don't see a game you like? Let us know! We will do our best to find it and have it waiting for you upon your visit. 

Winter Walk

Winter Walk

Coming to Northfield for the Winter Walk on December 8, 2016? Consider staying at Northfield Inn!

We currently have availability for the event. 

Mention you saw this ad on Facebook and get 25% off your stay!

Coffee Equipment

Coffee Equipment

We will have hot coffee waiting for you from breakfast through happy hour each day of your stay. If you wish to make your own coffee, however, here is a list of tools we have ready for you:

Poor Over Single Filter

Coffee Bean Scale

Manual Bean Grinder

Chemex

Timer

Mug

Goose Neck Kettle

Percolator 

Scoop

French Press

Chemex Paper Filters

Spoon

Breakfast at the Inn: MAKE YOUR OWN APPLE BAKE

Breakfast at the Inn: MAKE YOUR OWN APPLE BAKE

Granola, cranberries, and almonds

Raisins, cranberries, yogurt, and syrup

Yogurt, cinnamon, and raisins

We have created another item you will find on our menu at Northfield Inn. We decided to bake apples filled with raisins, brown sugar, and butter. We then experimented with different topics, and we liked them all! That's when we decided to let our guests create their own by choosing the toppings. Here are a few of the toppings you can choose:

  • Raisins
  • Almonds
  • Yogurt
  • Whipped Cream
  • Cinnamon
  •  Syrup
  • Sugar
  • Granola
  • Apple crisps
  • Cranberries
  • ...and more.

 

Breakfast at the Inn: COFFEE CAKE MUFFINS

Breakfast at the Inn: COFFEE CAKE MUFFINS

Every breakfast at the Inn will feature a muffin as a side dish. Today we experimented with a recipe, Coffee Cake Muffins, from Damn Delicious. We followed the recipe as written because it is oh, so good but with one exception: we made our muffins Texas style -- BIG! These muffins are great as a side dish or entree and served with coffee, our many teas, milk, fresh orange juice, or water. 

We hope you are enjoying our blog. Keep following us as we build a great menu for our guests before we open on November 1, 2016.