Monday, December 19, 2011


Beef Prime Rib Roast

I've tried quite a few recipes for standing rib roasts...and they were all pretty good, but this one is so far superior and actually easier too! Once I made a paste of herbs and salt and pepper and rubbed it on the roast. It looked spectacular but as soon as you sliced the meat it fell off. And then the au jus was way too salty to use.
Just recently I opened up the November/December issue of "Cooks Illustrated" and there was a recipe for the best prime rib. Just in time for our family Thanksgiving dinner. So I gave it a try and it received rave reviews from everyone.

Serves 6 to 8 people
1 seven pound first-cut beef standing rib roast
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

When buying your roast prime grade is best but sometimes my market does not have prime, so next best would be choice grade. Have the butcher slice the bones off and then tie then on in place again on the roast.

At home salt the roast and then refrigerate it uncovered for a least one day or up to 96 hours.

Then on the day you are to serve the roast take it out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until almost smoking. Sear the roast on top and bottom and sides until browned. Let the roast cool for 10 minutes. Transfer roast, fat side up to wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and season with pepper.
Roast until a instant read thermometer reads 110 degrees, about 3 to 4 hours.

Turn off the oven leaving the roast in. Allow the roast to continue to cook for about 30 more minutes for rare ( 120 degrees ) or 60 minutes for medium rare ( 125 degrees)

Remove the roast from the oven and let and tent with foil and let rest for about 30minutes. Next adjust the oven rack so it is about 8 inches from the broiler. Remove the foil over the roast and ball it up, and place it under the ribs to lift the the fatty part. Broil the roast until the top is well browned and crisp, 2 to 8 minutes.
Remove the roast to a carving board, then cut the twine that is holding the bones on and remove for great beef broth. Slice the meat to your desired thickness and serve with a little au jus from the drippings. The meat will be incredibly tender and beautifully pink.

Believe me your house will be smelling fabulous by this time!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


As the temperature cools in the Fall, here at the Inn we bring out the s'more maker on the porch. Guests can make their own s'mores the traditional way.
And we also make another version with brownies that is a huge favorite with the guests.

S'more Brownies


6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt

1 stick butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large cold eggs
1 cup all purpose flour

4 cups large marshmallows

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 by 8 inch baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by one inch.

For the crust: lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the brownie. Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl in the microwave. Melt for 1 minute then stir, repeat one or two more times until completely melted and smooth. Stir the light brown sugar and white sugar, vanilla and slat into the melted chocolate mixture. ad the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir just until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle come out mostly clean, with a few crumbs...about 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven. Move the oven rack up to about 6 inches from the top.
Set the oven on low broil. Layer the marshmallows across the top of the brownie and place back in the oven. toast under the broiler until golden, about two minutes. Watch closely so it does not burn the marshmallows. Cool completely, then gently remove the brownies from the pan using the foil flaps to pull it out. Carefully separate any marshmallow that is stuck form the foil.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Granny's Biscuits

Honey and Biscuits. Yum!
This is a super easy recipe from my grandmother who made them almost every day for 60 years!
My whole family loves them and we have them every gathering. Since Granny passed (at the age of 91) I am the one in the family that makes them. The guests at the Inn love them with honey or sausage gravy. They are also really good day old...just split them open, put some butter on and broil. Drizzle some honey over and what a crispy treat!

Granny's Biscuits

2 cups White Lily Self Rising Flour
1/2 cup butter
1 cup chilled buttermilk or whole milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

In a large mixing bowl add flour and fork sift. Add butter and blend with a pastry blender until the mixture looks like crumbs. Then make a well in the center and add  your choice of milk. Stir just until the dough comes together. It will be very sticky at this point.

Turn out onto a floured surface. ( I use wax paper on the counter for easy clean up)
Dust the top of the mixture with flour and fold over. Add a little more flour and fold gently about 6 more times. Use your hand to press the dough down until about one inch high. Cut out biscuits with whatever size biscuit cutter you like. I have used a doughnut hole cutter for tiny appetiser biscuits, a one inch round for most times and a two inch round for big biscuits. ( I have even used a wine glass at a friends house who did not have a biscuit cutter!)

Be sure to push down straight when cutting the biscuits and have a small cup with flour to dust the cutter in between each cut so it does not stick. Place biscuits on a baking sheet just so they touch. If they are really close together they will bake softer and if not touching at all they will be crisper on the outside. We like them crispy in my family and even prefer dark bottoms.

Take the scrap dough and form into a ball again and continue making biscuits until all the dough is used. You can even use the last little bit....this is the one we always sample when baked.

Bake biscuits until light and golden, about 15 minutes. You can butter while hot or leave for later. Serve with honey, butter and jams.

Friday, August 5, 2011


We have been serving this recipe at Woodhaven since November of 1993 when I found it in my "Bon Appetite" magazine. It was a recipe from a restaurant in California. We started using french bread but switched to the Great Harvest farmhouse white when we ran out of the french bread one morning ....and the guests liked it better! It is not overly sweet but truly decadent.

Also we have increased the caramel over the years and even serve a drizzle more over each piece. We all agree that one can not have enough caramel!

So many guests ask for the recipe that we have it printed on a special card that they can take with them. And most guests mention it in their posting in the guest comment books in each room.

This is especially good when you are having family or friends for a brunch because the preparation is all done the night before and then all you have to do is pop it in the oven to cook.

Inn at Woodhaven Caramel French Toast

1 loaf Great Harvest Farm House White Bread
1 and 3/4 stick butter
1 and 3/4 cup light brown sugar
4 Tablespoons light Karo syrup
9 jumbo eggs
2 and 1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons vanilla
garnish of berries and whipped cream

Melt butter, brown sugar and Karo syrup in saucepan over medium heat. Stir often and bring to boil, then pour into a 9x11 inch casserole. Layer slices of bread over the caramel mixture, using three slices together to make a one inch depth.
Mix eggs, and milk and vanilla well and pour over the bread. Gently lift each slice of bread to make sure that the milk mixture has coated all the bread. The sprinkle cinnamon over the top and cover with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate overnight. Uncover and bake at 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until slightly puffy and set. Serve with a garnish of berries and whipped cream.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


The Summer Antiques Market is June 26, 10:00 am to 4:40 pm on the grounds of Locust Grove Historic Home. In addition to American country antiques the show features formal furniture, jewelry, toys, textiles and silver. There is something for everyone. The admission is $6 and includes a tour of the home.

July 4th at Locust Grove will be a treat as it is FREE!

And my favorite special event at Locust Grove - The Jane Austen Festival - happens July 9 and 10. Each day the fair runs 10:00am to 4:00 pm. The formal tea sells out each year so sign up early.