Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Currier and Ives Cookie Tour

Have you ever been on a cookie tour? Certainly with the word "cookie" in the title it can't be bad! Start off your holiday season on a sweet note Saturday, December 10th with the 6th annual Currier and Ives Cookie Tour.

Start your day right here at Little River Bed and Breakfast and take a self guided tour around the Monadnock region collecting cookies and recipes as inns and specialty shops in the area open their doors to the cookie eating public.

"Like" our Facebook page where you can follow Paula's trials in creating the perfect cookie for the tour :) Hope to see you that Saturday!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monadnock Music Holiday Crafts Fair and other art exhibits

Looking for a better way to spend Black Friday? Rather than fighting crowds at the mall, there are two great crafts events happening in Peterborough...shop local, shop handmade, and shop unique and inspiring.

#1: The 34th Annual Monadnock Music Holiday Fair is a Monadnock/Peterborough post Thanksgiving tradition of quality juried artisans displaying everything handmade from soaps and shawls to jewelry, toys, and foods.

#2: Fine Craft Friday is a new juried fine craft show of select NH Craftspeople with handmade gifts for all ages. This show is taking place at the Town House right downtown.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Competitive Innkeeping - And the Winner is...

Yesterday, we attended the New England Conference of the Professional Association of Innkeepers (PAII).  Paula's first workshop was titled "Fun New Ways to Incorporate Fresh Regional Cuisine into your Breakfast Repertoire" presented by Charlie Menard, the Executive Chef at Inn at the Round Barn in Vermont.  Instead of a PowerPoint presentation with suggestions and recipe ideas, the speaker was true to the workshop's title "Fun New Ways..." and he engaged everyone in a modified version of the Food Network program "Chopped!".  No, we didn't yield knives and saute pans in the conference room... it was more of a mental exercise... but it was a hoot!

Here's how it worked:  The workshop attendees were broken up into 3 groups.  We were presented with 18 local/regional/seasonal ingredients and were given about 10-15 minutes to develop a 3-course breakfast menu using as many of the ingredients as we could.  We did not have to use ALL of the provided ingredients and we could add others that were not on the table, but we only got points for the original 18.  Then, a spokesperson from each group presented the menu to the panel of 3 judges who scored the menus based on use of ingredients, practicality, and delicious-ness (or at least perceived delicious-ness, since there weren't any real foods to try).

The ingredients (in no particular order): Eggs, Chevre, Cheddar, Bread, Frozen Local Strawberries, Fresh Cranberries, Beer, Apple Cider, Pork Shoulder, Maple Syrup, Tomato Jam, Onions, Fingerling Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Delicata Squash, Pickled Fiddleheads, and Whole Grain Cornmeal.

Paula's team presented a menu of Cornmeal Johnnycakes topped with a Fruit Compote of Strawberries, with Apples and Pears, followed by a Potato, Onion and Kale Frittata topped with Chevre and Pickled Fiddleheads served alongside a Pulled Pork that had been braised in Beer and Cider and topped with Tomato Jam, and finished off with a Breakfast Bread Pudding made with Cheddar and Cranberries and topped with a Maple Whipped Cream.

We admittedly only used 16 of the 18 ingredients, but decided not to add the Sweet Potato or Delicata Squash "just for the points".   As it turned out... we didn't need to add them since WE WON!

What did we win... well, bragging rights mostly, but we also were treated with a basket of local Vermont goodies to share (see picture below).  Many thanks to teammates Viki, Donna, Susan, Jeanne, and Susan - fellow innkeepers from MA, NH, RI, ME, and VT.

Disclaimer:  I got some good ideas for some new breakfast dishes, but PLEASE don't expect to see the "Winning Menu" on the breakfast table without at least some adaptation. - Paula

I was hoping for some of the Pickled Fiddleheads since I've never tried them, but I got Pickled Ramps... so I guess I'll be trying those instead!  Oh... and the little jar of Caramel Sauce made from Goats Milk will likely be gone by tonight.  To the winner goes the spoils!

Monday, November 15, 2010

What's new is "Old" in dining downtown

Centrally located in downtown Peterborough, The Old Theater Restaurant and Tavern, with its theater marquee out front, is serving up traditional American and New England fare and daily specials based on what is available seasonally and locally.

We like to describe it as comfort food with a twist like their fish and chips where the fish is deliciously baked, mac and cheese with edamame, sweet potato skins, and corn chowder.  It's also a great place to get a burger or have a drink at their bar.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Two cool exhibits in town or nearby...

Fall foliage season is over at Little River Bed and Breakfast, most of the leaves have been raked up, and we have even had a few fires in the fireplace already.  Now it's time to sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the indoor attractions Peterborough has to offer.  Two exhibits that are happening now or opening soon include the New Hampshire Glassmakers exhibit and "2D or not 2D: Art Inspired by Poetry".

The New Hampshire Glassmakers exhibit is a celebration of glass manufacturing in the Granite State from 1780 - 1886.  This is the most comprehensive exhibit of its kind with hundreds of rare pieces from the glass manufacturing houses in Southwest New Hampshire in Temple, Stoddard, Keene, Suncook, and Lyndeborough.  It will be open from November 13th to February 19th at the Peterborough Historical Society.

2D or not 2D: nineteen of the area's most talented artists have combined to translate their favorite poems into dazzling displays of paintings, prints, collage, glass, ceramics and much more.  The exhibit will be open from November 5th to December 31st .