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Reprinted with permission from The Lancaster New Era, Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Romancing the Scone

Breakfast in bed or by candlelight can warm up your Valentine's Day

By Susan Jurgelski
New Era Staff Writer

DON'T WAIT UNTIL dinner to court and spark your valentine.

Jump-start February 14 with breakfast bathed in candlelight.

At The Artist's Inn and Gallery bed and breakfast in Terre Hill, Jan and Bruce Garrabrandt serve a four-course breakfast by candlelight - including a dessert course - every day.

“The more candles, the more romantic,” says Mrs. Garrabrandt.

“Guests usually don't need lunch,” says Garrabrandt.

For Valentine's Day, Mrs. Garrabrandt even adds the heartfelt touch of cutting her butter, pastries and cookies into heart shapes and serving red foods on white plates.

The Artist's Inn was reently called the best undiscovered romantic inn in Pennsylvania by Marti Mayne and Sandy Soule of Bed and Breakfast.com (www.bedandbreakfast.com). Their website hosts more than 27,000 inns and bed and breakfasts worldwide, and 25 “romantic” inns were cited around the country.

Dating back to 1848, The Artist's Inn and Gallery, the former Apple Blossom Inn, was opened by the Garrabrandts in 1997. It features three bedrooms with fireplaces and whirlpool tubs, and a sitting room which serves as an artist's gallery for Garrabrandt's colored-pencil drawings.

The Garrabrandts, who worked in newspaper advertising in New Jersey before moving to Lancaster County, had vacationed here.

“We were outgrowing our home, and I had always wanted to open a bed and breakfast, and we thought Lancaster County would be a perfect spot”, says Mrs. Garrabrandt.

She says the county is home to the second largest concentration of inns in the country.

“We want to give people a respite, a place to get away,” says Garrabrandt, an artist and writer. “This is a good part of the country for that, since it's still semi rural and buggies go up and down the street. It's like it's another century.”

The Garrabrandts say may people in Lancaster County have never heard of Terre Hill, a town of around 1,200 tucked away in the northeast corner.

“It's a nice little secret,” says Garrabrandt. “But if you say it's three miles north of Blue Ball, then everybody is like, “Oh yeah, I know where that is”.

* * *

Here are some romantic recipes from The Artist's Inn and Gallery.

These scones are so yummy that you won't need any jam or cream with them, says Mrs. Garrabrandt.

Apricot and White Chocolate Scones

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped dried apricots
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup half and half

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In food processor, process butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until mixture is crumbly. (I just use a pastry cutter and do this by hand!) Stir in apricots and white chocolate chips. By hand add eggs and just enough half and half so dough forms a ball. Turn dough onto floured surface. Knead lightly ten times. Pat into two eight-inch circles and cut each circle into 9 wedges. Sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake on greased cookie sheet about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.

Note: Mrs. Garrabrandt halves this recipe and it still serves six people. She cuts the scones in small and larger sizes so people have a choice. The scones will also keep their shape if cut into hearts for Valentine's Day, stars for the Fourth, and trees for Christmas. This recipe will not get hard, even if the scones are eaten the next day. They also freeze well.

Broiled Mango Fans

  • 3 Mangos
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 3 teaspoons coconut
  1. Peel, halve and core mangos. Lay the half on a cutting board. Starting near the top, slice the mango thinly and all the way to the bottom, leaving the top intact. Repeat with each half and place them in pie plates or broiler-proof pan. If you push down slightly, they should “fan” out.
  2. Divide the butter around the pan to keep them from sticking. Sprinkle with the lime juice.
  3. Mix the brown sugar and ginger, and pour over the top of the fans.
  4. Bake in 350 oven for 20 minute or until brown sugar melts.
  5. Sprinkle with coconut and broil until coconut is slightly browned. Serve warm.

Makes six servings.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary

  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into small chunks
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh rosemary, chopped fine

Mix all together on a half-sheet pan. Roast in oven at 400 for about 40 minutes, mixing every so often.

NOTE: This works well with any potato or yam.

Cranberry-Apple Turkey Sausage

  • 4 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and peeled
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • cup sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup juice (whatever kind you have on hand)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme (fresh is best)
  • 1-2 “hits” of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bunch (about 1/4 cup) fine-chopped fresh sage

In a food processor, finely chop sage, apples, onions, and cranberries, emptying the bowl between each ingredient. Mix sage, apples and cranberries and remaining ingredients. Use approximately two tablespoons to make each sausage patty. Cook on medium to high heat 2 - 3 minutes on each side, searing and caramelizing the outside of each patty without burning.

Dark Chocolate Mousse

  • 8 oz. dark chocolate
  • 1/4 lb. butter, cut in small pieces
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • cup sugar
  • Melt chocolate in top of double boiler.
  • Divide chocolate in half, placing chocolate in pastry bag to cool slightly.
  • Working with the chocolate left in the pan, add the butter and whisk to melt with the chocolate.
  • Remove pan from the heat, add egg yolks and whisk in.
  • Place pan in refrigerator until mixture is lukewarm.
  • Meanwhile, use the pastry bag to draw hearts, zig-zags or any design on wax paper. Place in refrigerator to cool.
  • By now, the chocolate mixture is lukewarm and can be taken out of the fridge.
  • Beat egg whites and gradually add sugar until egg whites stand in stiff peaks. Gently fold the eggs whites into the cooled chocolate mixture.
  • Spoon into martini glasses.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Just before serving, remove from refrigerator and let them rest about fifteen minutes. Serve topped with real whipped cream and your chocolate hearts on top.

Serves 5.

ROMANCING BREAKFAST

  • Use your best crystal, china, silver and linens - all those things you forgot you had.
  • Serve by candlelight.
  • Decorate with flowers.
  • Think hearts: heart-shaped pastries, cookies, plates - even butter.
  • Serve colorful red foods on white plates.
  • Have soft jazz or piano music playing in the background.
  • Print a menu and put it in a frame. Personalize it.
  • Always start the meal with a toast.
  • Serve anything chocolate.
  • Decorate with lace doilies, a collection of your grandmother's embroidered linens or antique valentines.
  • Try to make the food pretty, as well as tasty.
  • Fold two napkins together -red and white or white and black. Tie with ribbon or slip into napkin rings.
  • Use real butter and real maple syrup and make real whipped cream. You can really tell the difference!
  • Remember and talk about what made you fall in love.
  • Reminisce about your first date.

--Source: Jan Garrabrandt, The Artist's Inn and Gallery, Terre Hill