Favorite Bites from Colorado Bed and Breakfasts
There's nothing like a night's stay in a cozy B&B, and these recipes from Colorado's finest inns will make you feel right at home-away-from-home.
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(This story originally appeared in the July/August 2012 issue of Colorado Life Magazine)
IT’S A PERK OF BEING ALIVE that the two things most vital to sustaining life – sleeping and eating – are also two of the most enjoyable. The great thing about bed and breakfasts is that they combine both under one roof. While we can’t tell you how to duplicate the experience of staying the night in one of the state’s finer inns, we can offer you recipes to recreate their cuisine in your own kitchen. But the term “bed and breakfast” is something of a misnomer, as some of these places serve an equally marvelous lunch and dinner. Because no culinary artist’s palette should be limited to the morning meal, we’ve included four recipes from breakfast and beyond.
Spinach and Eggs
MorningSong B&B, Ouray
Faith Parry recently celebrated her fourth year as hostess at the MorningSong B&B, a bed and breakfast just off Main Street in the mountain town of Ouray. The inn has a Victorian theme and a view from the rooftop balcony of nearby Cascade Falls and the surrounding mountains.
Parry, a native Coloradan who grew up in Ridgway, runs the MorningSong with business partner David Westfall, Ouray County judge and owner of the building. When the previous occupant – a title insurance company – moved out, Westfall suggested that Parry do something with it. Parry had years of experience working in bakeries, restaurants and hotels, and she jumped at the chance to create a bed and breakfast of her own.
Parry cooks all the meals herself, using only locally grown and organic food, including elk and buffalo. Her spinach and egg dish garners consistent raves from guests. She got the idea from a cookbook and modified it into a specialty all her own, often serving it with local buffalo sausage.
1/4 lb fresh spinach
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp butter
Spike Gourmet Seasoning
Romano or Asiago cheese
Grease a glass baking dish and line the dish with spinach. Melt butter and add several dashes of nutmeg. Pour the butter over the spinach. Crack and nestle whole eggs in spinach. Drizzle heavy whipping cream around each yolk. Sprinkle with Spike seasoning, then with Romano or Asiago cheese. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes.
Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins
Castle Marne, Denver
Even if it didn’t boast such fantastic food, the Castle Marne Bed & Breakfast would still be impressive. The 1889 mansion in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and yes, it really does look like a castle. The place boasts 22-inch thick stone walls and a crenulated turret, while the interior exudes sophisticated Victorian charm.
Adding to the charm are the hosts – all three generations of them. Jim and Diane Peiker joined forces in 1989 with their daughter Melissa Feher-Peiker and her husband Louie Feher-Peiker to open Castle Marne as a bed and breakfast on the building’s 100th anniversary. Melissa and Louie now have three teenage children – the “castle kids” – who grew up helping out at the inn.
Breakfast in the castle’s Peacock Room (named after the peacock on its giant stained-glass window) often features several types of miniature muffins to sample. The orange chocolate chip muffins have been served from the day Castle Marne opened, and they’re a huge hit with both guests and the castle kids, Melissa said. “It’s our kids’ favorite,” she said. “They’d always ask, ‘Would you make some muffins for my class, mom?’”
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup orange liqueur
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
Makes 35-40 mini-muffins
Spray or line mini-muffin tins to keep from sticking. In a large bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking powder and salt with a fork. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Put oil, orange juice, liqueur, egg and vanilla in the well and stir together. Continue stirring until the dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full. Bake at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned and firm when lightly touched. Can be made without liqueur; just increase orange juice to 1/2 cup. Sprinkle muffin tops with sugar before baking for an added treat.