Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Curried Chicken Salad

Thank You Laurie, The Gracious Hostess and Chef @
The Knotthole Bed and Breakfast, Easton Washington

Curried Chicken Salad

Another Eye Catching Appointment
In The Beautiful Wooded Mountain Setting Of
The Knotthole Bed and Breakfast
Curried Chicken Salad
1 roasted chicken
1 cup red or green seedless grapes
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup golden raisins (Laurie has used regular too.)
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup mayo (or more if desired)
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lime juice
Combine all dressing ingredients and mix well. I usually mix it the night before to give ingredients time to incorporate.
Remove the meat from the roasted chicken and cut into cubes. Place the chicken in a large bowl and add all the other ingredients. Toss gently. Pour the dressing over the chicken salad and toss until the mixture is coated.
Serve in butter lettuce cups with roasted peanuts or cashews on the side. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts but Laurie prefers the the peanuts or cashews. Approx. 6 luncheon servings.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sticky Toffee Pudding (Cake)

A Wise Ancesteral Scottish Saying

The Kitchen Window View At
The Knitthole Bed and Breakfast

Laurie In Her Kitchen At
The Knotthole Bed and Breakfast

Sticky Toffee Pudding

We were so lucky to be guests at The Knotthole Bed and Breakfast in Easton Washington and even luckier to sample Laurie's cooking. This is an old recipe from the Rothes Hotel in Scotland which is the homeland of Laurie's mother, Reita. I have tasted three different recipes and hands down this recipe is the ultimate absolute best! Thanks for another great recipe Laurie!
Sticky Toffee Pudding
8 oz.chopped dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 oz. butter (6 Tablespoons)
5 oz. sugar
2 eggs
6 oz. self rising flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons coffee essence
Place the dates in a bowl and pour 6 oz. (3/4 cup) boiling water over them. Add the baking soda, vanilla, and coffee essence. Stir and set aside.
Grease an 8x8 pan (Laurie uses glass) and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a hand held mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually add beaten eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in flour in two lots, then fold in date mixture, including liquid. The mixture will look sloppy and lumpy. Pour into pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes.
Toffee Sauce
6 oz. soft brown sugar
4 oz. butter
6 Tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Mix all ingredients in a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil and then simmer about 3 minutes. Using a toothpick, stick holes in the pudding and then pour some of the sauce over it. Put back in oven for a couple of minutes. Cut into squares, add vanilla ice cream and pour remaining sauce over the top.
Can be made ahead of time and microwaved until warm but it must be served warm! If you have any leftovers, try to eat within two days as it doesn't seem to freeze very well.
Approx. 12 servings. Thank you Laurie for another fabulous recipe and memory!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Apple or Peach Dumplings

Meet My Friend Laurie Owner Of
Knotthole Bed and Breakfast

Super Easy and Super Delicious 
Apple or Peach Dumplings
My friend Laurie, whom I respect as an excellent cook, sent the link to this recipe as one she has used and it is her second most often requested recipe by the guests at her Bed and Breakfast. Laurie and  husband Howard are owners of the Knotthole Bed and Breakfast in Easton, Washington. Refer to my post of August 9, 2011. Laurie also gave me her suggestions for making the dumplings with a crisp bottom rather than a doughy bottom.  Laurie did include the WARNING: Prepare this dish at your own risk. It is beyond imaginable!
Apple or Peach Dumplings
2 whole Granny Smith Apples or Peaches
2 cans (8oz. tubes) Crescent Rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cinnamon to taste
1 cup Mountain Dew (7-up, Ginger-ale or Sprite also will work)
Peel and core apples or peel peaches. Cut each apple or peach into 8 slices each. Roll each apple or peach slice in a crescent roll. Place in a buttered 9 x 13 pan or baking dish. Bake at 350F. Laurie's suggestion is to bake 15 minutes and then pour the sauce over the dumplings. This prevents the bottoms from being doughy.
To make sauce: Melt butter and add sugar and barely stir: add vanilla and cinnamon and pour over apple dumplings. Pour Mountain Dew (or soda of choice) around the edges of pan. Continue to bake a total of 40 minutes. (If you bake the 15 minutes and then add sauce and soda, bake 25 additional minutes).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Solar Lights

Solar Lights
One of the newer items available at www.environmental are these solar lights. Available in the clear lights or multi-color, these lights require stringing no electrical cords. The brilliance of these lights is amazing and can be set with several different modes. The solar collector is a very sturdy built receptacle and with an attached stake can be placed in the ground. We are using our lights strung across the patio during the summer months. These lights are a boon to the folks who love to decorate out of doors during the Christmas holiday season. Technology can replace a stressful life!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Peachy Vinaigrette

I am an owner of a new Vita-Mix with the tutelage of our children. It is amazing what this powerhouse of a blender can create. Green smoothies are the breakfast of choice in their homes and the benefits are very evident. Weekly I receive emails from the company with a recipe. Today this recipe arrived. Peaches are in abundance at this time in the northern Ohio area. I am off to the roadside fruit market to get the peaches as this sounds very delicious.

Peachy Vinaigrette Recipe

1.5 Peaches, washed with the pits removed
2 Basil leaves, chiffonade
2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Agave
Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper
Add all of the ingredients into a blender. Blend until the desired consistency has been achieved.
Mix with a salad of baby greens, toasted pecans, dried cherries or cranberries and some fresh cut scallions. Enjoy the bounty of summer!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chardonnay Chicken

Chardonnay Chicken
This recipe is from a dear acquaintance my husband and I were privileged to meet while guests at The Knotthole Bed and Breakfast in Easton Washington. Actually Deane is the father of the Inn hostess, Laurie. Laurie is such a great cook and pairs this interest with fine wine. Her father Deane and mother Reita shared a visit during our stay. Deane offered to share this recipe which Laurie stated was absolutely delicious. Understanding Laurie and Howard's appreciation of great food and wine and her statement of vouching for her father's remark that this recipe was special was the endorsement that convinced me I needed to not only have this recipe but share it with you my readers. Thanks Deane!
This recipe makes four servings 1 chicken (cut- 2 breasts, 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fennel seed
3/4 cup diced onion (sweet)
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced carrot
1 glass of chardonnay to drink while making recipe
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (minced)
1 3/4 to 2 cups chardonnay wine
1 to 2 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh chives (minced)
1 tablespoon Italian parsley (minced)
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large Dutch oven heat the olive oil on high heat. Meanwhile lay out the chicken pieces and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. In the hot oil brown the chicken, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove browned chicken and set aside.
3. Reduce heat to medium-high, add the fennel seed and onion and cook for about 10 to 15seconds. Add the celery and carrots, stirring for about 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned.
4. Add the garlic and stir in, cook for about 30 seconds more. Put the chicken back in the pan, sticking it in between the vegetables. Add the fresh thyme and wine. Bring to a boil then cover the pan and place in the 350 degree oven and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for another 30 minutes until chicken is tender.
5. Remove chicken and vegetables to a large platter and keep warm .Measure liquid; it should be about 2 cups. Return liquid to the pan and put pan back over medium-high heat. If the liquid is more than 2 cups boil for a minute or two to reduce slightly.
6. In a cup mix together the water and the cornstarch. Stir the mixture into the sauce in the pan, then add the cream. Cook, stir continuously, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for about 2 minutes or until saucy.
7. Remove pan from heat, stir in chives and parsley and spoon sauce over chicken and vegetables.
8. You should now be ready for another glass of chardonnay----------
( Note: You can also add 3/4 cup of sliced mushrooms and/or 3/4 cup of diced bell peppers to this recipe and insert them in step 3 above.)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Avocados Stuffed With Crab

This recipe comes from a dear acquaintance in the State of Washington. Knowing the level of appreciation Deane and Reita have for pairing fine food and wine I am sure this is a receipe that will become a favorite of mine and yours. I am happy to share it with you.


1 can (6 ounces) or fresh crabmeat drained, flaked and cartilage removed

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup shredded lettuce

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon finely chopped green onions

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon seafood seasoning ( I use Johnny’s)

1/8 teaspoon Paprika

1 medium ripe avocado, halved and pitted


In a bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Spoon onto the avocado halves and serve.


This recipe is for two people and makes only two servings. But, you can easily adjust to however many you want .It makes an excellent salad. Also, I have found that the little 6 ounce cans of crab work just as easy as the fresh crab and are more convenient.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Knotthole Bed & Breakfast

click to enlarge photo
Our Guest Room, "The Moose Room"
Knotthole Bed and Breakfast
High atop a hill in the Snoqualmie Valley just east of Seattle in Easton WA. is the Knotthole Bed and Breakfast. Host and Hostess Howard and Laurie Knott graciously await your arrival. The home site view is breath taking but inside the lovely home these two visionaries dreamed, planned, designed and built, one is just captivated by the detail and carefully appointed features of this warm and welcoming home.
One awakens mornings to the gentle breeze whispering through the pines in unison with the melodic chirping of the birds. Hummingbirds can be seen flitting to and fro from the feeders or gleaning nectar from the blooms of the many flowers. It is natures best show only topped by the fine meals prepared by hostess Laurie! I will be posting some of Laurie's recipes, so do return to the blog for the recipes and my photos.
The guest rooms are so cleverly named and decorated in theme. Our room was the Moose Room. We were greeted by a large moose resting on our bed with clever moose decor thoughout. One can most appreciate the clever mind of the couple after viewing the Bed & Breakfast!
Out of doors the beautiful rock garden at the end of the inviting patio is landscaped with colorful endemic plantings and is the visiting spot of large monarch butterflies. A waterfall incorporated in the rock garden flows along the length of the back of the home. An outdoor fire pit is cleverly accompanied by three chain saw art bear cubs "roasting marshmallows".
The interior of the home displays the beautiful art chosen as a compliment to the harmony of the couple's exquisite taste. All in all when you are greeted by Laurie and Howard Knott, you will immediately feel you have found your home away from home. Visit the site www.KnottholeB and
Please check back as I will be posting several of my photos along with more postings.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 1 Return

Day 1 Return
Today it is unpacking, laundry, restocking the refrigerator, and above all collecting my thoughts of such a wonderful vacation with all of our children and the grandchildren. Stop by tomorrow as I begin a recap of our time away beginning with the Knotthole Bed & Breakfast and then on to Alaska. This photo was taken from the site www.Knotthole Bed & Breakfast. Do check it out!