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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Time Changes But Fall Color Continues

Anyone else get caught by the time change? I got up at my usual early morning time only to discover that I had forgotten to change my clock back the night before. Oh, well, at least I now had time for one more latte before starting breakfast prep.

We are still being wowed by the Fall colors on the trees around our inn.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Falling in Love with Fall

There is definitely lots of Fall color on display in our area right now, but there is still plenty of weeks left. The October Glory maples in our front yard are just now changing color, as well as the oak tree and Japanese maples around the grounds. Still plenty of leaf raking ahead of us!

All of these photos were taken around the inn grounds last week.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Glimpses of Fall

While many trees in our neighborhood are starting to color up, most of the trees on our property are holding out for mid-October. Still there is plenty of color to be found on a relaxing stroll around the ground.

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This is Loki, a recent guest of a guest that stayed at the inn for a week. He was a real sweetie and not at all the troublemaker that his name would suggest.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Chocolate Review

Every now and then I like to highlight some of the chocolates that we make here at the inn under our Life By Chocolate banner.

Ok, I also just like to look at picture of chocolate and this gives me an excuse. Sometimes I have to taste them too just to make sure I'm describing them right!

We make a unique bunch of chocolate bars. They are all made with 72% organic dark chocolate and have little pockets of flavor. Some of the most popular ones are the Bee's Knees with honey and bee pollen and Wild Rabbitwith chili pepper! The wrapper design features images from some of my art quilts, which you may see hanging on the walls around the inn.

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Halloween is practically around the corner, but we actually have our chocolate cats available all year around just because who can resist a chocolate cat! We make them in dark or milk chocolate.

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Our crunchy butter toffee is also a popular holiday treat that we have available all year. The chocolate is organic and so are the almonds.

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We have a large selection of chocolate bark in dark, milk, vegan, or white chocolate with all sorts of yummy things in them, such as almonds, dried cherries, pistachios, coffee beans and sea salt, and cranberries.

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Our shop is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but you can also shop our web store at Life By Chocolates.com

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Local Bounty

August is a wonderful time to live in an agricultural community! A local farmer stopped by yesterday with a bonanza of strawberries and cucumbers! I think I ate a half basket of strawberries before I even had time to put them away. Wow, are they good when they are this fresh. These were from the Boehm Family Farm in Climax, NY on Route 26 just 15 minutes from us. They grow Apples, Peaches, Nectarines, Pears, an assortment of Vegetables. Plus have Apple Cider, Apple Cider Donuts, Handmade gifts, and more. This was their first year growing strawberries and they had such a bumper crop they were driving around to the local restaurants to see if anyone wanted to buy some. We were more than happy to oblige.

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And while we are thinking of food . . . In this photo I'm in the middle of preparing one of our breakfast specials, Asparagus and Mushroom strata. This is the onions sautéing, while the torn brioche and mushrooms wait their turn to be layered into the final dish for baking.

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Still thinking of food, with a nod to gardening . . . I finally decided that it was unlikely that I'd ever get the big Victorian Greenhouse that I dream of, so if I wanted to get a Meyer's Lemon tree, I might as well just go for it now!

This is a dwarf Meyer's Lemon from Four Winds Nursery in Fremont, California. Four Winds is legendary for their dwarf citrus trees and because I spent my childhood in Fremont, where I walked past Four Winds on my way to school every day, I, of course, had to purchase my tree from them!

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I'll be keeping it in a container so that I can bring it inside during the winter, but these trees do very well in containers.

I'm still working on our front garden, trying out various perennials to see what will do well. This is one of the latest - Pink Baby's Breath. It is putting out beautiful sprays of pale pink flowers, perfect for flower arrangements.

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This is one side of the front garden. You can see that it still has lots of room for improvement and more flowers. Budget only allows a limited purchase of new plants each year, but I have loads of patience and half the fun of gardening is puttering around it it to see what develops!

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One of our recent guests, Barbara Fiore, caught a rare shot of us together with our pups, Hudson and Bree, as we were heading out on a walk! It's rare because usually Mark or I are the ones taking the pictures, which always leaves one of us out of the shot.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Fish & Game - A Fabulous Farm to Table Restaurant in Hudson, NY

During a brief break after the 4th of July weekend, we had the opportunity to finally try the new (or new to us!) farm-to-table restaurant in Hudson, NY - Fish & Game.

The restaurant is located on 3rd St near Warren St (the main "drag" in Hudson) so it is very easy to find and plenty of on-street parking, at least when we were there.

Upon entering the establishment, we were immediately charmed by the blend of rustic and modern decor. It felt very welcoming and comfortable.

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The menu for dinner is an seven course tasting menu, with 2 optional courses, which, of course, we opted for! They do not list the menu on their website because they are all about "fresh from the farm." This means that the menu is always changing as it is based on what happens to be available on that particular day/week from the many local farms that they showcase in their dishes. They also make it clear when you make the reservation that there are no menu or ingredient substitions. What they serve is what you get. Lucky for us, that's our favorite way to dine - surprises from the kitchen!


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I just took a few quick photos of two of my favorite dishes because I was there to enjoy the experience and not be a food paparazzi!

This was a tender and sumptuous layering of pork belly and strawberries. Yum. It practically melted in my mouth.

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I loved this combination of oh so fresh peas with onions, basils, and garlic scapes. One of my favorite things about having an organic vegetable garden is being able to pick fresh peas and eat them right off the vine. This was almost like that, but better because of the blend of other flavors.

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I would definitely recommend trying Fish & Game when you are in our area. Hudson is only about 30 minutes from our Inn and is always a fun town to visit for the great restaurants and shopping.

The Full Tasting Menu during our visit:

  • Mushroom and Onion Top Bouillon with spicy garlic paste
  • Bluefish with cucumber, cherries, and kimchi
  • Pork Belly with strawberries and sprouted fenugreek
  • Peas with onions, basils, and garlic scapes
  • Lamb and Rice Porridge with sprouted wheat berries and leaves
  • Beet Chips with shiso cream, chicory, and chocolate
  • Anise Hyssop Cake with toasted sweet oat milk


The optional courses were a hardboiled egg wrapped in thin sliced cured ham as a starter and then a final course of local cheeses.

Monday, July 21, 2014

New Products in the Art Supply Shop

Our art supply shop is expanding! We now carry a selection of Golden Fluid Acrylics, Gessoboard (both plain and cradled), Holbein Extra Fine Artists Oil Color, Derwent's Inktense Blocks and Pencils, and watercolor sketch books.

As artist's also get hungry, we also carry Liz Lovely Gluten-Free cookies! These cookies are so delicious, even if you don't need to be gluten-free. My favorite is the Ginger Snapdragons!

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