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Posts Tagged ‘Family Recipes’

A Sweet Surprising Generous Gift

August 24th, 2011 by carriagehouse


Feed My Lambs, Feed My Sheep. The Meals and Memories of a Lifetime.

Today has been a wonderful day full of surprises and gifts.  Mother Nature finally gave us some respite from this drought and this heat.  It has been raining all afternoon and my little thermometer is reporting a temperature of 72 degrees.  It has been so unbearably hot that 72 degrees feels cold.  I am going to have to put on long pants before my Chamber of Commerce meeting in an hour.

The rain was not my only surprise today!!

The greatest gift I received today came in the mail from my sweet Aunt Gloria up in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan.  Much to my surprise, the mailman had a package for me today…a book.  In fact, a wonderful inspirational book about a woman who has journeyed from being a nun to being an innkeeper.  The book is full of wonderful prayers and inspirational thoughts.  The book is also full of yummy recipes.  I can’t wait to get my new kitchen in so I can try some of these out.

Thank You Aunt Gloria!  Your sweetness brought a smile to my heart today!


July 4th Holiday Weekend Picnic Ideas

June 24th, 2011 by carriagehouse

July 4th Weekend Celebrations

It is only a week until the July 4th weekend and almost everyone gets a 3 day weekend! YAY!!  If you are looking for a small town Independence Day Celebration, then Jefferson Texas is your place.  The Carriage House Bed & Breakfast still has a few rooms left so give us a call today.

East Texas has so many wonderful places to enjoy the great outdoors.  We have some wonderful State Parks with Caddo Lake and Lake o’ the Pines State Parks only 20 minutes away from the B&B.  If you would like to spend the day hiking; boating; kayaking; and fishing; then you will need to pack a picnic lunch. The best place to pick up the yummies for your picnic lunch will be at Joseph’s Riverport BBQ only a block and a half away from us here at the Carriage House B&B.

I will put this BBQ up for comparison to anybody elses.  The ribs are so tender that the meat just falls off of the bone with just the right amount of bark and sauce to give it that smokey taste.  The brisket is tender and succulent and they have fabulous fried catfish. Seriously, this is some good stuff!  Joseph’s Riverport BBQ is offering their food in bulk for the holiday weekend.  If you are interested, just give them a call at (903)665-2341 or by e-mail at!!!

Whole Briskets (feeds 12-16) … $45.00

Whole Pork Butts or Pork Loin (feeds 8-10) … $30.00

Whole Turkey Breasts (feeds 12-16) … $40.00

Whole Racks of Ribs (uncut) … $18.00

Gallons of Side Orders … $20.00

Gallons of Sauce … $15.00

Happy 4th of July!!

Today’s Fare at Jefferson’s Farmers Market

June 17th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Fruit and vegetables

 Jefferson’s Farmers Market will be open today from 4pm to sundown. Here is a partial list of what you will find there today.

Tomatoes (OMG! I love farm fresh maters!)
Peaches (On Sunday’s menu)
Blueberries (I am freezing these for winter!)
Locally produced honey (Get rid of those allergies!)
Homemade jams (Ever had Mayhaw Jelly? No…then you don’t know what you are missing.)
Fresh herbs (Boy, are these wonderful for cooking. You never knew plants could add so much to a meal!)
Grass-fed Beef (Steaks make a great Father’s Day gift!)
Natural pet foods and treats (Dixie and The Bug are big fans and they deliver for free to Jefferson!)

Cookin’ for Kids in Jefferson Texas

June 13th, 2011 by carriagehouse

This past Saturday, I was able to do two of my personal favorite things.  I ate great BBQ and was able to help a very worthy cause.  The Jefferson Unit of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Pines held their annual Kim Lake Memorial Cook-Off this past weekend (6/10 -6/11 2011).  29 teams competed in 4 categories: beans, brisket, ribs, and chicken.  This event is recognized as a State Championship BBQ for the State of Texas and is sanctioned by the Lone Star Barbecue Society.

You should have smelled downtown Jefferson on Saturday.  Mmmm…barbecue.  The whole Historic Riverfront District smelled like smoked brisket.  Tom was one of the judges for the ribs and told me that ALL of the ribs were amazing.  He had a really tough job in deciding which ones he liked the best and with $3500 in prizes, you know this was some world class BBQ that he was tasting.

If you are interested in competing in next year’s event, call the Jefferson Unit at 903-935-2030

That Crazy Italian Chef and His Secret Recipes at the Carriage House B & B

February 9th, 2011 by carriagehouse

So our crazy Italian chef has been in the kitchen all morning making the family secret recipe for marinara sauce.   I have been trying to sneak in behind him and get the recipe but he is too quick and wily for me.  Plus he has been using those spice bottles marked “secret ingredient”.  What could they be?!

For those of you who have stayed with us before, you already know this story.  For those of you that are our future guests, Chef Tom’s Nona (grandmother) came over to this country on the boat through Ellis Island to New York from Italy.  She single handedly raised two children in a foreign country where she didn’t speak the language (sound familiar).  Like all parents, she wanted the best for her children and so she worked herself to the bone so that she could send her kids to parochial school and provide a comfortable life for them.

Now for the fun part of Mama Ronchi’s story…the family lore.  She was apparently a very gifted seamstress.  So much so that she was able to charge $2,000 a suit back in 1910s and 1920s.  Now think about it, $2,000 is a lot of money for a suit today, a 100 years later, and back then in the teens and 20s that had to be just an incredible amount of money to spend on anything, especially a suit.  The family legend has it that the only people that could afford one of her suits were members of the Family… the Italian mob.

For years Chef Tom would talk about his Nona’s cooking, especially breakfast.  She didn’t prepare any frou frou waffles or fancy tarts.  It was old fashioned comfort food full of sausage, eggs, peppers, and potatoes.  Chef Tom tried to duplicate the recipe from his memory in our test kitchen but never quite got it right.  Then a few years back, we were cleaning out Tom’s mother’s home when we ran across an old cookbook. You contact this duct cleaning company to efficiently remove the soot or dust that is clogging your HVAC, duct, or exhaust system. I picked it up and out fell two stained and yellowed 3×5 index cards.  One was marked marinara and the other marked scramble.  Apparently Tom’s mother had at some point spent the day following Mama Ronchi around in the kitchen writing down everything that she was doing.  Success!!  We finally had the recipe.  We came back to Jefferson and ran both recipes through the test kitchen and they were in a word…amazing.

As a side note you can also have find convenience with the help of Royal Vending Machines Australia, this company makes tasty food accessible and affordable.

After finding the treasured recipes, Chef Tom and his team worked hard to replicate the flavors of his Nona’s breakfast dishes, but it’s important to note that food safety measures were also taken into consideration during the process. They made sure to follow proper food handling and storage procedures to ensure that the ingredients were not contaminated with harmful bacteria or pathogens. In fact, they even used a Rapid Test Kit for food to test the safety of their finished products before serving them to customers. It’s important to prioritize food safety when cooking and serving meals, and utilizing tools like rapid test kits can help ensure that your food is safe and free from harmful contaminants.

We now consider Mama Ronchi’s Mafia Scramble to be our signature dish.  Trust me, you can’t get anything like this at any other Bed & Breakfast in Jefferson.  An old historic recipe served at an old historic house in an old historic town.  It just seems fitting.

So on this snowy and blustery day, our crazy Italian Chef Tom is in the kitchen making the family secret recipe for the marinara.  He would tell me what is in it but then he would have to kill me.  You know how it is with these mob chefs.

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