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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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Enjoy A Vermont Gourmet Getaway

Vermont has such a great farm-to-table food culture that I'm not sure why it took us so long to come up with this getaway package...guess we're getting old...

If you've stayed with us before, you know how good the local produce can be. If not, our Vermont Gourmet Getaway can be your ticket to discovery. Essentially, it's a two-night getaway filled with all sorts of local delicacies. Click here to see the details.

With foliage season, and its many first-time visitors, just around the corner, it seemed like a good time to introduce this package.

Come for a visit and sample some of Vermont's finest offerings. We're also beginning to see some gold & red on the leaves...just sayin'...

SEE YOU SOON!

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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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VT Music Fest - You In?

Don't forget! This coming Saturday is Vermont Music Fest - a day filled with great music, delicious food & fun activities for the entire family. Will we see you there?

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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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