Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sweet Treats at the Whistling Swan Inn

Mini Brown Sugar Cheesecakes
Christmastime in my family always meant a lot of baking. My mother, grandmother and I would set aside a whole day and whip up all the cookies and cakes traditional to the season and to our Italian culture. As the innkeeper of the Whistling Swan Inn, I'm always looking for new treats to serve my bed and breakfast guests.

A few weeks ago my friend, Joanne, brought over her recipe for Mini Brown Sugar Cheesecakes. They were absolutely delicious...hope you will try them and enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 C graham cracker crumbs (about 1 sleeve of four-section graham crackers from a 14.4 oz box)
  • 3 T granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 T, plus 1 tsp. unsalted butter, melted 
  • 2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 T lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 C light brown sugar
  • 1/2 candied ginger or slivered almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine graham crackers crumbs, granulated sugar and salt. Add butter and stir until combined. Spoon about 1 tablespoon mixture into each cup of a buttered 24-cup mini muffin pan; press down to form a sold bottom layer. Bake for about 5 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. Reduce oven to 300 degrees F. 
  2. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With beater running, add eggs 1 at a time. Add lemon juice and zest, vanilla, ground ginger and brown sugar and beat until combined. Divide filling equally among muffin cups and bake until firm, approximately 15-20 minutes. Transfer to to a wire rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate until set for at least 4 hours or overnight. 
  3. Gently run a knife around the cheesecakes' edges to loosen them and invert pan to release the cakes. Transfer to a cake stand and garnish with candied ginger or slivered almonds.


It was a good thing I took this picture when I did, because they didn't last long.

Happy baking.
Ros

Ros Bruno
Innkeeper
The Whistling Swan Inn
110 Main Street
Stanhope, NJ 07874
973-347-6369
www.whistlingswaninn.com
Check availability

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Open House at the Whistling Swan Inn

Top to bottom:
Nikki, Sandy and Emily
Last Sunday, we had a Christmas open house at the Whistling Swan Inn, my Victorian bed and breakfast in Stanhope, NJ. It was all about good food, old and new friends, family and even a couple of stay-over guests joined in the fun. Every time there's an event at the Inn, I swear I'm going to take pictures for the blog or my Facebook page. And every time, I'm too busy prepping, greeting guests and making sure everyone is well-fed, so the picture taking goes by the wayside.

This time, I was able to snap a couple of photos before things got underway. Nothing quite beats the enthusiasm of youth, and the faces on these three beauties sum up the joy of the holiday season!

Physically, I don't think I could get my leg up over that banister, but mentally, girls, I'm sliding right behind you.

Ros


Ros Bruno
Innkeeper
The Whistling Swan Inn
110 Main Street
Stanhope, NJ 07874
973-347-6369
www.whistlingswaninn.com
Check availability

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ready for the Holidays at the Whistling Swan Inn

Foyer mantle complete with
nutcracker collection
We've been busy this week at the Whistling Swan Inn. There's a lot of space to decorate in a three-story Victorian bed and breakfast, and most of my time this week has been spent on a tall ladder trimming the trees and trying to get the perfect drape to the swags on the mantles. Tom was in charge of outside decorating, and the white pine roping suggested by my friend, Randi, at Lockwood Farms, was just the right touch for a simple, yet traditional, Victorian theme.

There's a lot to do during the holiday season in the Skylands region of New Jersey, so now that I'm done decking the halls, I plan to take advantage of some of the festivities.

Ballet has been a long-time love of mine, and seeing The Nutcracker is one of my favorite holiday traditions. This years' performances will be held at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown as well as the Centenary Stage Company in Hackettstown.


Cutting your own Christmas tree can be a day-long and memorable event. Evergreen Valley Tree Farm has more than 10,000 trees available. The farm, located in Washington Township, NJ is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday until December 23rd.

.... well, on to some cookie baking ...

Ros

Ros Bruno
Innkeeper
The Whistling Swan Inn
110 Main St.
Stanhope, NJ 07874
973-347-6369
www.whistlingswaninn.com
Check availability