Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Recently I was asked what the difference between a Frittata and a Strata, so decided this would be a good subject to blog about. With so many dietary restrictions and limitations, I more frequently create Frittatas for my guests, whether in a quiche dish, muffin tins, or ramekins. The added benefit of baking in ramekins is it helps to keep your egg dish warm longer.

Frittatas are an Italian version of an omelet. Because of the way it's cooked, I think it is more versatile, as it can easily be refrigerated, reheated, and eaten later. I have used several different techniques over the past few years. I tend to prefer sautéing fresh vegetables, usually from my own garden, fresh herbs, freshly grated cheeses, a little butter helps with the creaminess, and lightly whisking my eggs so they don't swell too high...this is not a soufflé. The following recipe is just one of many I have made, and can easily be modified to your own tastes and preferences.  

Breakfast Frittata

1 TBSP, plus another 1 TBSP butter

2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

Salt and Pepper

6 large eggs, beaten

4 oz shredded Cheddar cheese

2 oz shredded Swiss cheese

1 C sour cream

2 TBSP chopped chives

1 large tomato

2 TBLS grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400.
1.  Melt 1 TBSP butter in a skillet, add potatoes, and sauté until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer potatoes to 9-inch quiche plate or deep-dish pie plate that has been buttered or sprayed with cooking spray.

2.  In skillet, melt remaining butter and soft-scramble eggs, leaving them fairly liquid. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle thin layer of Cheddar and Swiss cheese over potatoes. Spread sour cream over cheese. Sprinkle chives over sour cream. Add eggs and top with remaining cheese.

3.  Peel (optional) and slice tomato. Place tomato slices in circle on top of frittata. Sprinkle grated Parmesan over the tomatoes.

4.  Bake about 35 minutes or until frittata is completely puffed and slightly browned. If baked in quiche or pie pan, let it set for a few minutes, then slice and serve. Yields 6 to 8 servings.

Stratas (Italians sure know their eggs and cheese) are typically layers of egg, cheese, and bread making a casserole that puffs up when baking. A strata has the same ratio of liquid to eggs as a quiche, although traditionally milk is used, not cream. You can put anything into it you would put into a quiche or frittata. Here is delicious recipe, that again can be modified to your tastes and preferences.

Image result for ham vegetable and cheese strata recipe picHam, Veggie, and Cheese Strata


6 C stale crusty bread or rolls, broken up into 1 inch pieces

8 large eggs

2 C half & half, heavy cream, evaporated milk, or a combination of these

1/2 tsp seasoning salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 large onion, diced

2 clove garlic, grated

2 C of sautéed veggies of choice

3/4 tsp seasoning salt

1/2 tsp pepper

4 C fresh spinach leaves

2 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese

1 C fresh shredded parmesan cheese

2 C chopped cooked ham

1.     Tear leftover bread or rolls up onto a cookie sheet, and toast in a 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until light brown. Set aside to cool. Sauté onion in olive oil for a few minutes, add garlic and sautéed veggies, seasoning salt & pepper. Continue to cook until crisp tender then add spinach. Sauté 1 minute. Set aside to cool.

2.      In a large bowl, beat the eggs well and add milk/cream, next seasoning salt, pepper & nutmeg, and half of both cheeses. Add in the bread, ham, and cooled veggies. Mix to combine well. Pour into sprayed 9"x13" baking dish. Cover evenly with remaining cheeses. Cover with foil that has been sprayed with Pam. Refrigerate for 5-6 hrs or overnight.

3.   Bake in a 350 degree oven, covered with the foil for 40 minutes. Take off foil and continue to bake for another 20-30 minutes until light golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes and then cut in squares.

Be Adventurous and Enjoy!


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Changing Seasons

I have to say that I'm enjoying Fall even more than usual (well except for all the leaves on the ground waiting for my rake). Its been an exceptionally long, hot summer this year, and this cooler, crisp air is most welcome...along with the rain...its back! Harvests are in, grapes are pressed, and most are already in barrels. This year's harvest has been exceptional...highest amount of grape tonnage on record here in the Willamette Valley. The popularity of Oregon's wine country as a destination continues to grow...and the year isn't over yet...there are still plenty of wine tasting opportunities open 7 days a week, as well as casual and fine dining options.  The trees and vines will soon be bare and ready for their winter sleep...

The Carlton Inn's wood pile has been restocked, and ready for those long chilly evenings to be enjoyed with someone special. Perhaps a shared bottle of wine you have acquired while out discovering what the area excels in...excellent wines...and if you think its just Pinot country, you haven't been to the Willamette Valley in awhile...time for a (re-)visit.

There were several milestones this year...celebrated 50 years of wine making in the Willamette Valley, 29 years of IPNC, over 20 years of SIP, The Carlton Inn Bed & Breakfast turned 100 years, as well as celebrating 10 years in business.

I've also met many new friends this year, and gotten to know some old friends better. Here is to celebrating a beautiful holiday season...stay tuned!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Garden Room Makeover

Its Official! The Garden Room has passed the Beyond Comfortable Rating by the first guests to use the newly remodeled room. Brand new paint, a new King sized mattress, bedding, pillows...and microfiber Comfy sheets combine to make this an overall, exceptional ahhh feeling.

The new brown color accentuate the soft teal and natural wood wainscoating of the bathroom, which adds to the serenity of relaxing in the deep jaccuzi tub.


Even the cottage style furnishings are sporting new looks. The crystal chandelier really shines against its new backdrop.

It truly looks like a beautiful garden.

Just need to get those professional pictures to really do it all justice.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Try these Fall Favorites...

On a brisk autumn day, I enjoy the ritual of a day spent in the kitchen baking and the aromas it creates! Here’s an easy and delicious recipe you can try in your home, and enjoy the aromas of Fall with your family.

Autumn Apple Bread

  • 2 ½ c lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 c soft unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla

  • 2 T lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 4 c all purpose-unbleached flour
  • 1 T baking soda
  • 1 ½ t salt
  • 1 ½ t freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ t cloves
  • ½ t ginger
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 5 c finely chopped crisp apples (I suggest either fugi or gala apples for this recipe)

Preheat oven to 350….grease 3 glass loaf pans

Cream sugar, butter, sugar and then beat in eggs & liquids.

Add all dry ingredients to the wet & mix well until everything is incorporated. Stir in your chopped apples and then portion the batter into the 3 loaf pans and bake for about 1 hour. Enjoy!

Blueberry Malted Belgian Waffles

Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 TBLS granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teas salt
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil...
  • 1 1/2 cups 2 percent milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup malted milk powder
  • 2 TBLS baking powder
  • 1 cup blueberries (thaw and drain well if you use frozen berries)

  • Maple Syrup/Butter
  • Fresh Whipped Cream, powdered sugar, fresh berries (optional garnishes)

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, oil, milk, egg, malted milk powder, and baking powder and mix with a whisk until well combined. Do not over mix - mix is slightly lumpy. Gently fold in blueberries.

2. Heat a waffle iron and liberally coat with cooking spray.

3. Ladle the batter onto waffle iron and cook until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes, depending on wattage of iron.

4. Garnish with fruit and whipped cream, serve with maple syrup.

A Carpet of Gold just a short week ago...

Now the trees are bare...or nearly so. There is beauty and crispness in the air, and in a short few weeks a dormant winter. Still time to come and enjoy the season in a beautiful setting.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Welcome to The Carlton Inn's Blog

My first attempts at blogging…so ready or not, here I come. Thats what I have to tell myself in order to get the momentum going. So Hello World, Here I Come!

Today is also the first day of my cleanse. Normally I would wait until after the New Year, but I need to get a head start before the holidays. Since moving to Carlton, Oregon in mid-July, and becoming an Innkeeper, I’ve noticed a bit more snugness in my jeans…I equate this to practicing new recipes, and sampling them all, and regular leftovers from those scrumptous breakfasts…sigh…delicious desserts, and wonderful wine tastings offered by Oregon’s Wine Country in the Willamette Valley. I’ve also been working my way through a number of local eateries, from Carlton (of course) to Newberg, Dundee, and McMinnville. I’m not even half-way through them yet.

Since moving to Carlton and purchasing The Carlton Inn B&B, I’ve visited a number of the local wineries (no hard chore), taken a wine tasting class, experienced my first Walk in the Park, Artist’s Tour, where I collected a few new art pieces for the Inn, and of course numerous visits to the Farmer’s Markets in McMinnville. There are many more events that I’m looking forward to participating in…I’ll keep you posted.

Improvements to The Carlton Inn B&B are ongoing. New dual-paned windows have been installed throughout all the guestrooms, bathrooms, and living room areas. What a difference this has made to insulating from outside noise and temperature control, as well as having screens on all the windows, so fresh air is plentiful if that is your preference.

There have been some stylish updates to each of the guest rooms, including new silky soft sheets (available for purchase to), allergy protective covers for the pillows, some light fixtures/chandeliers, furnishings, and artwork. New pictures of each of the guest rooms has been included in the room/rates page. So what you see is what you get!

Your personal Innkeeper at The Carlton Inn B&B, Karen