Recipe for a Country Inn: Fine Food from the Inn at Twin Linden

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9780060184926: Recipe for a Country Inn: Fine Food from the Inn at Twin Linden

What is it really like to own and run a country inn?

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is a world unto itself. A world of rolling hills, Amish horse-drawn buggies, and Mennonite barn raisings and home of the awardwinning Inn at Twin Linden, owned by Donna and Bob Leahy. Although the inn is known for elegant accommodations and warm hospitality, it is Donna's bountiful breakfasts and elegant dinners that keep visitors returning time after time after time. In this book, she shows you how to re-create the simple, fresh, and uniquely inspired country cooking of the Inn at Twin Linden.

There's no better start to your day in Lancaster County, or your own kitchen, than one of Donna Leahy's breakfast recipes: Baked French Toast with Peaches and Blueberries, Apple and Walnut Pancakes, Smoked Salmon and Eggs with Sorrel, or Crab and Eggs in Chive Crepes.

And then there are Donna's legendary dinners. In summer, start with any of her extraordinary chilled soups such as Sparkling Strawberry Soup, Crab Gazpacho, or Apricot Raspberry Soup. Warm soups for cold winter nights include Spiced Cranberry Pear Soup, Lobster Thyme Bisque, and Apple Cheddar Soup. Donna's salads, usually right from her gardens, transcend a simple mix of greens. Try the Minted Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinegar, Marinated Green Beans with Crispy Leeks, or Shrimp Salad with Cilantro and Sweet Corn Salsa.

Donna's philosophy of freshness and do-ahead simplicity makes her recipes ideal for home cooks. Main dishes include Beef Tenderloin with Caramelized Onion Tart, Rack of Lamb with Mint Pesto and Chèvre Crust, and Seafood Pot Pie with Saffron and Dill. Desserts and teatime treats such as Fudge Pecan Tart, Raspberry and White Chocolate Tarts, and Wild Blueberry Scones are easy to prepare and will satisfy your guests' craving for a sweet treat.

Offering much more than a cookbook, Donna also shares the highs and lows, joys and frustrations of living out the dream of running your own inn. Recipe for a Country Inn details the nuts and bolts of innkeeping (as well as sketching the unusual characters who sometimes are your guests). Join Donna as she takes you through the day-to-day life of innkeeping -- whipping up egg dishes for breakfast, taking reservations, setting up the sideboard for afternoon tea, planning elegant dinners, and most important of all, greeting her guests and making them feel right at home.

If you love country inn cooking and have perhaps dreamed of buying your own country inn, enjoy the entire delicious experience in Recipe for a Country Inn.

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Review:

Located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, home of Amish and Mennonite farmers, the Inn at Twin Linden delivers relaxation along with great eating. Recipe for a Country Inn is chef-owner Donna Leahy's evocation of the award-winning spot and its cooking and, perhaps most interestingly, provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what makes such a place tick. Leahy pulls no punches, and in a series of "Notes from the Inn" ("Publicity" and "Guests," to name two) she recounts the nitty-gritty of day-to-day inn management. The inn is justly known for its bounteous breakfasts and dinners, and Leahy provides over 125 recipes for these treats, which include the likes of Baked French Toast with Peaches and Blueberries; Apple and Walnut Pancakes; Rack of Lamb with Mint Pesto; and Seafood Pot Pie with Saffron and Dill. Soups like Scallops and Sweet Corn Chowder and salads such as Marinated Green Beans with Crispy Leeks are also on the menu, as are desserts and tea-time favorites like Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding and Apricot Coconut Almond Bars. The recipes are readily made and come with tips and variations, like those for dressing up simple egg dishes (use a mixture of crème fraîche and herbs as a delicious all-purpose garnish). Illustrated with color photos throughout, many of which capture the beauty of the inn's locale in all seasons, and with shots of the dishes, the book will delight lovers of country cooking as well as those curious about the management of a vacation institution. --Arthur Boehm

About the Author:

Donna Leahy is the chef-owner of the Inn at Twin Linden and is the author of Morning Glories and Wisdom of the Plain Folk. She and her husband, Bob, reside at the Inn in Churchtown, Pennsylvania.

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