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The Weathertop Blog

For area events & inn specials, as well as posts on our favorite topics - food, wine & travel...

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Food News

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Our Latest Asian Odyssey

Last night we served an Asian Culinary Odyssey for our guests, the Whites. We were given complete freedom to choose the menu with only one restriction - Laurie said no tofu. Fair enough...

This allowed us to mix & match countries & flavors, putting together some of our favorite dishes from Southeast Asia. The menu was as follows:

  • Soup: Vietnamese Tomato & Egg Drop
  • Salad: Indonesian Cucumber & Roasted Peanut
  • Main: Malaysian Beef Rendang
  • Main: Goan Squid & Spinach Curry
  • Main: Thai Cauliflower & Snake Bean Curry

Vietnamese Tomato & Egg Drop SoupIndonesian Cucumber & Roasted Peanut SaladGoan Squid & Spinach CurryMalaysian Beef RendangThai Cauliflower & Snake Bean CurryAsian Culinary Odyssey with The Whites

THANKS FOR JOINING US ON A TASTY TOUR OF ASIA!

 

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Great Night For Q

It was such a lovely afternoon that I decided to break out the old smoker & kick back on the garden patio while waiting for our peeps to check-in. In addition to a dry-rubbed pork loin, I threw some fresh-picked garden peppers in the smoker. Not having done this before, I wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. After three hours time, they came out soft, juicy & lightly smoked. Served on crusty bread with Ploughgate Creamery cultured butter, they were a perfect complement to the pork.

Smoked Pork Loin & PeppersSmoked Carmen & Super-Hot Chili PeppersSmoked Garden Salsa Peppers

STILL SMOKIN' AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!

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What Does One Do?

After 24 years of marriage, what do a pair of innkeepers do on the anniversary of their wedding? This year is particularly special, since it falls on a Monday and we have no guests in house. Normally, we would be cooking for others, but not tonight...

So whaddup? Well, great food & wine!

Nothing fancy mind you. Just a flatbread...with wild mushroom, fresh truffles & fresh duck sausage. Add a great salad made with local greens and wash it down with a 22 year old Grand Cru Bordeaux. Simply elegant (if you love pizza & old Bordeaux...).

Anniversary Flatbread & Wine

As for love...well that's given...

Without intimate hope, faith & trust, a business like our's would NEVER be possible.

SO HERE'S TO LOVE, PIZZA, OLD BORDEAUX & 24 MORE GREAT YEARS!

 

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The Best Gift Of All

Today we received the best gift imaginable from a guest...

A great Trip Advisor review or a nice cash tip? Are you kidding...I could care less about such things. This gift was a family recipe. And these folks happen to be from Galilee, the northern region of Israel near Lebanon & Syria. The food in that region is an amalgam of all the regiosl cuisines & cultures. Their recipe is for Spinach Shakshuka. Any shakshuka I have ever tried was based upon tomato & pepper - not spinach. So I'm totally jazzed to try this one out. To be traditional, I need to get my hands on some goat milk, but I can't find any in the local markets (I did find goat butter though, which is also needed...). If anybody knows of a source, PLEASE let me know.

Once I get the goat milk thing sorted out, I'll try the recipe, take some photos and share it all.

HERE'S TO GOOD EATS!

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New Appy This Week!

Wanted to do something special with the nice batch of black beans we received in a recent Muddy Boots CSA basket. Found the inspiration on page 20 of Jacques' "Essential Pépin" - Black Bean & Pancetta Soup topped with bananas & cilantro. I'm sure you can find the full recipe online, but consider buying the book if you don't already have it. For cookbook junkies, it's a kitchen essential...

Black Beans from Muddy Boots CSABlack Bean Soup à la Pepin

The only change I made was to add some sweet & some hot peppers from our garden for extra "lift". Sweet, spicy, tangy & fragrant - reminiscent of traditional Puerto Rican cuisine. While Jacques doesn't mention it, I'm sure his wife's ethnicity influenced this dish. We like it so much, it will be on the menu at The Shameless Carnivore this week.

And what to enjoy while the black beans are cooking?

Refreshing Mojito

Why a mojito of course! If you want a good, traditional recipe go straight to the Bacardi website (they oughta know how to make it right...). Refreshing & not too sweet. I didn't fool around with the crushed ice thing - just used cubes. A quick trip to Old San Juan...

ENJOY!

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What Am I Doing Right?

While our melon plants may not be doing very well in the container gardens, all of our pepper plants are doing extremely well. They need some serious staking, as their numbers are skyrocketing. Some are getting as big as the plant! Obviously much happier than the melons. Check these out:

Carmen Sweets & Super ChiliesGarden Salsa Hots & Long Red Cayennes

Why are they doing so well?

GOT NO IDEA, BUT I'LL TAKE 'EM!

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What Am I Doing Wrong?

The farmers of Muddy Boots CSA must have that magic touch...

Here's a photo of the beautiful cantaloupe we received in our basket this week:

Muddy Boots CSA Cantaloupe

Now here are some photos of the melon plants in our container garden:

Our Melon PlantsWill We Ever See Melons?

WHADDUP WITH THAT?

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Our Newest Local Supplier

Welcome Mountain Home Farm of Tunbridge, VT! I purchased some of their buttermilk on a recent trip to Mehuron's, and the product is awesome. This is TRUE buttermilk straight from the butter churn, and the milk comes from 100% grass-fed Guernsey cows. This product is the real deal and makes a wicked good panna cotta...

lemon panna cotta

Last night's batch was lemon-flavored. I have also made a strawberry panna cotta which was equally delicious. Now I can't decide which I like better.

WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

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Waste Not...Want Not...

I try to use EVERYTHING that comes in our Muddy Boots CSA basket, every week. The latest challenge was carrot tops, which I had always thought looked nice, but were promptly cut off and tossed on the compost pile - WRONG...

Chef Ed Kenney of Town Restaurant, Honolulu, HI turns them into a wonderful pesto. Here is my "tweaked" version of his recipe:

  • Carrot Greens - 2 cups
  • Basil - ¼ cup (lime basil is even better if your CSA has it...)
  • Macadamia Nuts - ¼ cup
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano - ¼ cup
  • Garlic - 2-4 cloves (depends upon how much you like garlic...)
  • EVOO - as needed to texture

Put in a food processor and add the EVOO until a creamy texture develops. This pesto can last quite some time in the fridge in a sealed, glass container. I suppose it would freeze nicely, but I haven't tried that yet.

A word of caution - only attempt this pesto with fresh, young carrots straight from the farm. Generally, supermarket carrot greens will be old, tough & bitter.

Chef Kenney then completes the package with a great carrot recipe. Take the carrots that came with those greens and slice them in half. Mix with EVOO, sea salt & freshly cracked peppercorns and toss in a 350° F. oven for 10-20 minutes (depends upon the size of the carrots) until they start to develop a golden color. Remove from the oven, toss with a dollop of your freshly-made carrot top pesto and enjoy...

Carrot Top PestoRoasted Carrots With Carrot Top Pesto

DELICIOUS & NO WASTE!

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Walla Walla? Wow!

Call me a culinary infidel, but I had never heard of a Walla Walla onion until these beauties arrived in our weekly basket from Muddy Boots CSA. It's a sweet onion, similar to Vidalia & Maui, but these are even better because they're fresh and straight from the farm.

Just slice in half and top with sea salt, cracked peppercorns & a nice dollop of really good butter. I happened to use a cultured butter from Ploughgate Creamery that contained nasturtium flowers (also in our CSA basket...). Tent in foil and bake at 350° F. for one hour. The longer you bake, the creamier they get. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Simple & delicious, these onions are great as a side dish or spread on good, crusty bread. They're the bomb-diggity!

Baked Walla Walla OnionBaked Walla Walla Onion

ENJOY!

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Elk In The Kitchen!

Just received our first shipment of 24 BEAUTIFUL pounds of elk tenderloin from Vermont Heritage Elk, LLC, our newest supplier of locally-raised game, located in Fairfax, VT. They're so new, we can't even direct you to their website or FB page!

We've been anxiously awaiting their first slaughter, and this first shipment, since March.

Vermont Heritage Elk Tenderloin

Guess we'll just have to do a quality control check and fire some up on the grill tonight. Anybody care to join us?

EATIN'S BEST WHEN YOU'VE GOT FOUR FEET IN THE TROUGH!

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When Eyes Are Bigger Than Stomach

Got a great price on a Spanish cheese that I never had before, called Etxagarai, so I ordered some. It's a smoked, raw milk sheep cheese from the mountainous Basque Country of northern Spain. It is phenomenal. Problem is, the wheel weighed in at 7 pounds, soooooo...

I guess we're gonna be eating a lot of this stuff for a while!

Anybody wanna help???

PEACE, LOVE AND BBQ!

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This Weekend's Menu At The Shameless Carnivore

Check out this weekend's menu at The Shameless Carnivore...click here...

Muddy Boots CSA is delivering an awesome variety of summer's freshest vegetables & herbs. Our salads, pestos & veggie sides are just about as colorful and flavorful as they can possibly be...

We're also anxiously awaiting an order of elk tenderloins from Blue Mountain Elk Farm in South Ryegate, VT. We had elk striploin from Blue Mountain on our menu during the winter. The quality & flavor were amazing. Can't wait for the arrival of this tenderloin shipment! If it is delivered on Saturday, as promised, it will DEFINITELY by added to our menu. Stay tuned...

Bon Appetit! 

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Wagyu At Weathertop!

Our first shipment of Wagyu beef arrived today - beautiful, whole flatirons! I just finished trimming them up into 8 oz. portions and plan to offer them as a menu special starting tomorrow evening, while the supply lasts. What's so special about Wagyu? Without going into too much detail (you can Google it yourself...), it's as close as you'll come to Kobe beef, without flying to Japan and taking out a second mortgage to cover dinner. It's the same breed of cow, just raised in Texas. Oh yeah...in Texas, they don't feed the cows sake or give them daily massages (at least to my knowledge)...but the flavor profile is "reasonably" similar.

With such flavorful beef, we plan to honor it by keeping the preparation simple & seasonal. After a light dusting of smoked sea salt and freshly cracked peppercorns, we'll sear it on the BBQ, then serve it on a bed of heirloom tomatoes from our Gaylord Farm CSA basket. The finishing touch will be a toasted spice vinaigrette.

And what wine will we recommend? Give me the night to think about it - that will be the subject of our next blog. Tonight, we're having our "test" steaks with a Super Tuscan.

Bon Appetit!

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Bacon Has Its Day!

Since Saturday was International Bacon Day, we decided to celebrate at Weathertop Mountain Inn by serving our favorite uncured, fruitwood-smoked bacon for breakfast BOTH days of the holiday weekend. We continued the celebration through evening dinner service by featuring our Berkshire pork chops with house-made bacon-maple jam.

AND THE HITS CONTINUED...

For dessert, we served a dark-chocolate cake topped with a layer of marzipan and finished with a layer of dark-chocolate ganache. For guests who crave the combo of chocolate & bacon, we offered to add a few slices of our favorite bacon - hot, crispy & crumbly - on top of their chocolate cake. Why resist an urge? You can't enjoy dining to its fullest unless you have four feet in the trough!

Happy Labor Day and Bon Appetit!

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New Menu Item at The Shameless Carnivore

Slow weekend at The Carnivore, since most guests were at weddings or visiting family. However, that gave us time to "play" in the kitchen, and Lisa came up with a keeper...bacon jam...

This wonderfully flavorful, artery-seizing reduction includes North Country Smokehouse uncured bacon, onion, garlic, dark-roasted coffee, cider vinegar, brown sugar & maple syrup. Here you see it simply presented on fresh slices of zucchini, which happened to be our initial taste test. Starting Monday, you will find it on our menu, topping a cumin-encrusted Berkshire pork chop. That should be even better!

Hope to see you at The Shameless Carnivore soon!

Bacon Jam

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This Weekend's Menu at The Shameless Carnivore

Check out this weekend's menu at The Shameless Carnivore...click here...

This week we're introducing a new starch side dish - Bhutanese Red Rice. This heirloom rice is grown at over 8,000 feet and is irrigated by mineral-rich glacier runoff. It is a nutritional superstar, packed with potassium, magnesium, molybdenum & phosphorous. It is also high in fiber and complex carbs. The flavor is nutty & earthy, with a crunchy texture similar to wild rice. The brilliant red color, which looks great on a finished plate, is an added bonus.

Bon Appetit!

Bhutanese red rice packageBhutanese Red Rice Dish

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