Monday, May 25, 2009

Mocha Walnut Muffins Recipe

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • ¾ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ cup very strong black coffee
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 18 regular-sized muffin cups, or line with paper or foil baking cups.

2. Mix flours, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt and baking powder.

3. In a large bowl, whisk buttermilk, oil, coffee, eggs and vanilla until blended.

4. Stir flour mixture into buttermilk mixture just until blended.

5. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.

6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Remove muffins to wire rack to cool.

Makes 18 muffins

Visit Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins' recipe page at for more recipes.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bed and Breakfast Q & A #1

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to run a Bed and Breakfast? We've had our B&B, the Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins, for 7 years now, and have learned a lot in the past several years. I took a B&B innkeeping seminar before we bought our B&B, read some books, had company over and practices for several years beforehand, but once we took the plunge, there was a lot I was still unprepared for and have learned through trail and error. I'll share a series of Q&A's about running a Bed and Breakfast Inn here on my blog.

There will also some general Q & A's for the inn-goer as well. If you've never stayed at a Bed and Breakfast Inn before and what to know some general information, I'll share that as well.

If you have any questions you'd like me to answer, email me at and I'll post them on my blog. I'm sure there are many questions out there.

So for today...

Q. How many hours a day does an innkeeper work?

A. That can vary. I'd say the average hours a day we work is 14-16 hours per day. We're up no later than 6:00 am (some days earlier), and we don't stop until evenings, anywhere between 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm. And that's 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Sometimes we'll go months without a day off.

You can see our Colorado Bed and Breakfast (Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins) at our website at

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Brown Sugar Substitute and Tips

I will share some cooking tips I've learned over the years here on my blog from time time. Today's tip is:


Have you ever run out of brown sugar and need some for a recipe? You can make a quick substitute with white granulated sugar and molasses. Make as needed.

1 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp. molasses

Stir together until it resembles brown sugar.

Also, to keep your brown sugar soft, the best trick I've found is to keep your brown sugar in a sealed plastic container, or zipper bag, along with a piece of bread. The bread becomes hard and your sugar stays soft. If your sugar is hard when you need to use it, pop it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds at a time to soften.

Visit Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins' recipe page at for all our listed recipes.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I Didn't Know That About Colorado (Part 1)

There are SO many interesting facts about Colorado that I've come across since we've lived here, and I thought I'd share some of them with you all from time to time.

Mr. Hershey's Candy Bar Conceived in Denver

When apprentice confectioner Milton Hershey accompanied his father from Pennsylvania to Denver during the 1880's, the young man went to work for a local candy-maker. His father, Henry, had come West hoping to cash in on the booming silver market but came out a loser.

However, while in the Queen City, Milton realized that fresh milk could make a better chocolate which held its texture and flavor longer than the traditional methods. Back in those days, chocolate was an expensive candy which only well-to-do could really afford. It has been said that Hershey was to chocolate candy what Henry Ford was to the automobile. Back in the Mennonite region of his home state, Milton eventually produced the famous inexpensive Hershey candy bar in a town which was named for him and had streets named for the ingredients of the famous bar. With mas production, the rich milk chocolate candy became affordable to the masses.

In his eighties, Hershey produced the famous long-lasting tropical chocolate during World War II. As a part of the combat "D-rations," it became a world-wide favorite, both for the American servicemen and as the most popular gift to war refugee children. He simply extended the thinking he had first realized in Denver.

(from the book "I Never Knew That About Colorado" by Abbott Fay)

Visit Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins' website at to find out about our facilities, check our availability calendar, and make a reservation with us. Discover more Colorado history and trivia while enjoying your Colorado vacation.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Red Pepper Pasta Primavera Recipe

I've been working for the past 2 years, and diligently for the past 2 1/2 months on getting a cookbook written. I just finished it on Wednesday and sent it off to the publisher yesterday morning. I should hopefully have it back in a couple of months, if all goes well. Since I'm excited about the upcoming cookbook, I thought I'd post a bonus recipe. This is a recipe I've been making for years that my family, especially my hubby, just love, as well as the friends and family when I make for them when we have company as well. Enjoy!


½ Tbsp. Basil
½ Tbsp. Parsley
1 Medium-Large Red Pepper (can use green, flavor varies)
½ cup Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. Tabasco Sauce
1/8 tsp. black pepper
16 oz. Fettuccine or Linguine
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large Carrots, julienned
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
1 medium zucchini, julienned
10 oz. cooked chicken or turkey breast, cut into strips

For Pesto:

In a blender or food processor, place basil, parsley, red pepper, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, Tabasco sauce, and black pepper. Cover, blend or process until pureed. Set aside.

For Pasta:

In a large pot bring water and oil to boil and cook pasta for 6 minutes. Add carrots and onion. Bring to boil again and cook for 2 more minutes. Add zucchini, return to boiling and cook 2 more minutes (or until pasta is done, but not mushy – al dente).

Drain pasta and vegetables; return to saucepan. Stir in pesto; add chicken or turkey. Toss well to combine. Cook over very low heat until heated through, tossing occasionally. Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Visit Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins' recipe page at for more recipes.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Orange Julius, Orange Breakfast Whip

I post a recipe of the month at my website... and this is the recipe featured for May 2009. You can also find previous recipes archived there as well.

This month's recipe is ORANGE BREAKFAST WHIP (more commonly known as Orange Julius) but I thought the name was copyrighted so I didn't want to infringe on that. Enjoy!

  • 1/2 of a 12-oz can (6-oz) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and whip on high speed until smooth and frothy.

Makes 4 servings.