Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Perfect Day for Baking Bread

Today was chilly and rainy - I hate going outside in this kind of weather - but it was the perfect day for baking bread. Amy bakes all the bread that is served to our guests. She makes wonderful cinnamon bread which she slices thick and makes into french toast or an English muffin bread that she toasts and serves topped with ham, poached eggs and cheese and a classic wheat bread which goes great with the frittatas. She makes many different kinds and is always trying new ones or adapting old recipes but today she made my favorite - Italian bread. Being of Italian heritage, of course, I love this one. For Amy, who used to work in the Little Italy section of Erie, PA, it is a reminder of the smell of baking bread early in the mornings which filled the air and enticed her to buy bread for her breakfast. She has finally settled on a recipe that reminds her of that bread from Erie's Little Italy and our B&B was full of that delicious smell today. It is quite a long process with all that rising time but well worth the waiting. I took some pics throughout the day so you can see the product from beginning to end. Too bad I can't send a taste through the blog - it came out perfect!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Best Granola

Every morning when we have guests I help Amy and Mark get breakfast. They always put out a buffet with the items for the continental option and this always includes the Packard House Granola. Of course, my contribution to any of this set up is cleaning up anything that falls on the floor, but I can attest to how good the granola is, and if it is any indication, most guests ask for the recipe. Since Amy provides the recipe to any who ask, I am not breaking any secrets here by posting it. It keeps in the freezer and you can just take out what you want so it last a long time. Enjoy!

Packard House Granola

3 cups rolled fashioned oats
1 cup wheat or spelt flakes
1 cup sunflower seeds, raw
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup oat bran
¾ cup canola oil
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup soy protein powder (optional)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin seeds

Combine oats, wheat flakes, oat bran, sunflower seeds, and almonds in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly; use your hands if necessary.

In a separate bowl, combine the canola oil, maple syrup and vanilla mixing well. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix making sure it is well coated.

Stir in protein powder and salt and mix thoroughly.

Bake at 325 degrees on a 13x18 inch baking tray coated with non-stick spray for 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden, stirring once or twice during the baking.

Crumble in the brown sugar as soon as the granola comes out of the oven and sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds, mixing so the sugar begins to melt. Cool it on the tray.

Store in a tightly sealed container in the freezer for maximum freshness.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Amy and Mark finally got the new garden ready for planting. Last Sunday, Mark turned over all the sod, then on Tuesday he rented a rotatiller and they both worked hard tilling the soil and removing the big clumps of sod, raking, tilling some more and more raking. The finished garden looked great to me - lots of place to dig. Of course they won't let me any where near it. Looking forward to the Bath Garden Club's Annual plant sale on Saturday, May 15th so they can fill the garden up with perennials. It will add nice color to that side of the house but I still think it would be better just to leave it unplanted and leave me in it to dig to my hearts content. Oh well, a dog can dream!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Day in the Tub

Not My Best Day

It was bath day today - and I am not talking about a celebration of where we live but the fact I had to get my yearly bath. Amy and Mark took me to a "do it yourself" place which was having a fundraiser for the local animal shelter. The volunteers washed me (with help from Mark) for a $20 donation. Not a bad deal for them but not great for me. I hate baths! Even more humiliating was Amy taking pictues which I am sure she will post to my blog. Oh the indignities I suffer in order to be a good innkeeping dog.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I LOVE Attention

What a morning! It is Mayfair in Bath and Amy took me for a walk to Library Park where a lot of nonprofits from Bath were having yard sales. Lots of people so that meant lots of attention for me. I heard Amy and her friends talking that they should sell me! "Pet Lupi for a dollar!" I am all for that plus I would be raising money for a good cause - Sagadahoc Preservation Inc. or SPI. Maybe next year they will really do it and I will just be in heaven.

My Favorite Kitchen Spot

My Favorite Kitchen Spot
I love laying right here in the kitchen - this is the old floor that is going to be replaced soon.

Our Journey to Bath

Before Amy and Mark ever even thought about making me a part of their family, they were thinking about being innkeepers. About a year and a half after they adopted me, they left me in Erie, PA and took a trip to explore possible towns in New England to open their new business. While I patiently waited at home with a dog sitter, they journeyed to Bath ME, their first stop on the trip. It was December of 2004 so it was cold and raining in Maine but they fell in love with the town and the people they met. Driving to the next town in New Hampshire in a snow storm, they knew in their hearts that Bath was going to be our new home. They went ahead and looked at the other places as planned, but Bath was it. In February of 2005, they left me once again to look at a house on the market in Bath. It had been a B&B but had gone to a private home for the past couple years. Well, lucky us, they loved the house and put in a bid. It was so exciting when the realtor called us in Erie to say the Benjamin F. Packard House was ours! Things started moving quickly then. Packing up the house in Erie, making long distance arrangements for licenses, sprinkler systems and all the things that go with opening a new business. On May 14th, they packed the car and this time took me along too. We closed on the house on May 16th and in six hectic weeks, opened the new Benjamin F. Packard House B&B! My life as a bed and breakfast dog had begun.

Relax on my private patio

Come and enjoy a fabulous gourmet breakfast in my diningroom

Cozy up to warm fire with my complimentary afternoon tea

Enjoy the morning paper along with a cup of fresh brewed coffee in our parlor