Sunday, December 13, 2009

Deck the Halls With Boughs of Holly Falalalalalalala

Seasons Greetings everyone. Hope your shopping and baking and decorating are in full swing. Bill and I have decorated the Inn and are planning our holiday party. We have been baking goodies for almost a week now and hope to surprise our friends and family with delicious desserts this Christmas season.

We have just gotten back from visiting my daughter and son-in-law, Rachel and Mario and my beautiful new grandson Joseph Michael. Christmas sure does take on a whole new meaning when there are young children in the family. One sees the holiday in a whole fresh new light when seen through the eyes of a child. And it makes the season all the more magical.

We have been busy at the Inn making our guests feel at home and full of the holiday spirit. Its nice to see guests sitting around the fireplace and having a glass of wine or a hot cup of cider and admiring the tree. Many of our guests are here to shop at the Woodbury Commons so they are eager to talk about the great deals they made and who they are shopping for. All in all it makes for great fireside chat and friendly banter. These are the little things that make being an innkeeper such a rewarding experience.

I had promised in a previous post to give you some of my cookie recipes. Well today I would like to give you my most popular cookie, the Snickerdoodle. Very easy to make and very quick to be eaten. This is a very popular cookie at the Inn and especially a favorite of Innkeeper Bill.


1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup of shortening (crisco)
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tblsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Start by creaming the 1 1/2 cups of sugar and shortening with electric beater.

Next add eggs to the shortening and sugar mix. Beat until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the egg, shortening and sugar mixture. Mix all
ingredients thoroughly.

In a shallow dish mix 2 tbls. sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon.

Form dough into small 1 inch balls. Roll the balls in the sugar/cinnamon mix
and place on on ungreased cookie sheet. For better results, use parchment paper lined cookie sheets.

Bake cookies in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake.

Makes about 2 to 3 doz. cookies.

I like to call these my magic cookies because before you know it, they
disappear before your eyes. (smile)

Well folks, must get back to baking. I am making 17 different kinds of cookies this year and I am only up to #8. But I will be back next week with another great cookie recipe and news of whats going on at the Inn at Stony Creek. Have a wonderful week and hope to see you soon.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Time to give thanks........

Hi everyone. This Thursday, all across the U.S. we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. It is a day to give thanks for all the bounty and blessings that God has given us and to share our table with those we love the most.

Here at the Inn at Stony Creek we have much to be grateful for. We have been blessed with loving families and good health and we are forever grateful for the wonderful guests that come through our door each and every week of the year. This year has especially been a banner year for us at the Inn. The addition is up, we created our first ever vegetable garden and our beautiful rose serenity garden. We have made plans to complete the new guest rooms in the addition in the near future. Bill and I have talked about new "events" that we want to initiate in the next year. (More information will follow on these at the beginning of 2010.) So, we have had a lot going on this past year and next year will be even busier.

If you are still planning your Thanksgiving feast, I would like to share with you my recipe for coconut custard pie. It is a favorite in our house and I hope it will be in yours. It is wonderful with a dollop of whipped cream and a great addition to that pumpkin pie.

Coconut Custard Pie

4 slightly beaten eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups milk, scalded
1/2 cup flaked coconut (you can use 1/4 cup more, if you like coconut)
1 9-inch unbaked pastry shell

Blend eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Gradually stir in scaled milk.
Pour into pastry shell. Sprinkle with coconut.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes (until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean. Cool on rack and then chill.

Well folks,I guess thats all for now. I will be posting some great cookie recipes for the Christmas holidays in the next few blogs and hope you will share some with us. We will also be telling you about some of our plans for 2010 and hopefully getting some feedback from you.

Bill and I want to wish you all a very Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving and we hope you will come visit us soon at the Inn at Stony Creek.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Haunting We Will Go

Hi Everyone,
Well, its that time again when we wait in excited anticipation for scary ghosts and goblins to start roaming the chilled, October night skies. The darkness comes earlier and earlier each day. And before you know it, its the witching hour, Halloween.

Bill and I love Halloween. The pumpkins get carved into smiling (or scary) jack-o-lanterns. The bowls get filled with treats for the kiddies and we hope we won't be tricked. Our neighbor down the street decorates his house with dozens of witches and pumpkins and all sorts of lights to celebrate this spooky season. Its just an exciting and fun filled time of year.

And of course, it wouldn't be Halloween without the traditional ghost story. Now in my last blog I said I would have a scary story to tell you. I searched and searched the web for great Hudson Valley stories to tell you and then said to myself, "Hey Joe. How about the true story that you and Bill experienced 6 Halloween's ago"?
So I have decided to tell you about this memorable night.

On the night before Halloween, Bill and I had decided to take my sons Zack and Ben out to dinner and to the haunted hayride at Pennings farm. The boys were so excited to be spending the night at the Inn. We finished our dinner and then went on the hayride. It was very scary and well worth the wait to get in. Afterwards, we returned to the Inn for some snacks and cider. Two of our favorite guests were staying with us. Rick and Carol just happened to be civil war reenactors and were regaling us with scary stories. Then Bill started telling us all the history of the house which is now the Inn at Stony Creek. It was built in 1840 and then added onto in 1860 by the two Sams, Gardiner and Houston. We were certain that one of these two men was still occupying the spirit that is. But we were never quite sure which one. And then the lights went out. We had a power failure.

We quickly lit some candles and made sure everyone was alright. Well, this certainly added to the suspense of our stories. Bill continued with his tale. He told us that there was a small family cemetery about a quarter mile from the Inn that he had always wanted to visit but just either never got the chance or could never get anyone to go with him. We all jumped at the chance, well almost all of us. Our guest Carol was the one who convinced us that this would be a great time to go. It was pitch black and chilly, but we got in Bill's car and off we went. We got there in about 10 minutes. The cemetery was off the road about 50 feet in a small patch of woods. It was so dark but we had brought flashlights with us. We went in to the first row of headstones and saw dates from back in the 18th and 19th centuries. Very old stuff. Well, we had seen enough. We were ready to go back to the car. But all of a sudden, Bill started walking to the back of the cemetery. We called for him to stop but he kept on walking shining his flashlight straight ahead. Suddenly, he stopped and called us to come to him. He said "look" and the beam of light was shining on a tombstone. The name on the tombstone was Sam Gardner. We turned around and ran out of the graveyard. We were convinced that Sam Gardiner had caused the power failure at the Inn and guided us to his grave site. When we got back to the Inn, Bill said he had felt compelled to walk to the headstone, almost being drawn to it. Needless to say, none of us slept very well that night. But at least we know which Sam decided to stay at the Inn. Oh, don't get me wrong. He doesn't hurt or scare anyone. He just wants to make sure his house is in good hands.

Well, I hope that I haven't spooked you too much. After all its just a story....or is it? So, get ready to carve your pumpkins and set out the treats for all the little kiddies who come knocking at your door. Just be sure that it IS a little kiddie under that mask........BOO.

Happy Halloween everyone.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Destination: Sugar Loaf

With Autumn in full swing, Orange County is abound with festivals and fairs. Last week I told you about Warwick's Apple Fest. Well, this week Bill and I went over to Sugar Loaf and visited the Sugar Loaf Craft Fair. Although not quite as large as the festival in Warwick, it boasted rows and rows of food and wonderful handmade crafts. We went into one display of mums and pumpkins and saw the most unusual pumpkins and gourds. And of course we had to buy some for the inn. Check out the picture of us surrounded by the fall colors.

Now Sugar Loaf is known as an arts and crafts village. Anything you could imagine is sold in the quaint little shops that line its Main Street. You can also get great food there. My favorite restaurant is the Barnsider. Great American menu at reasonable prices. Definitely a great place to spend a weekend afternoon browsing and dining.

Speaking of dining, I told you in my last blog that I would share some great fall recipes with you. Well here is one of my favorites. Its a pork tenderloin with a maple-dijon glaze. You can serve it with roasted sweet and white potato wedges and steamed broccoli with lemon.

Pork Tenderloin w/Maple-Dijon Glaze

2 12-14 oz. pork tenderloins
2 tsps. crumbled dried sage leaves
1 tbls. butter

6 tbls. pure maple syrup (please, no Mrs. Butterworth)
6 tbls. apple cider vinegar
2 tsps. Dijon mustard

Rub tenderloins all over w/sage, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Melt butter in large non-stick skillet over med-high heat until hot and bubbly.
Add tenderloins and cook until brown on all sides, turning occasionally for 6 min.
Reduce heat to med-low and cook until meat thermometer reads 150 degrees, turning occasionally, about 10 min longer. Transfer to platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

Whisk 5 tbls. of syrup, 4 tbls. vinegar and all the dijon mustard in a bowl to blend and set aside.
Add the remaining vinegar to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits.
Reduce heat to med-low and return pork and any accumulated juices to skillet.
Add the maple syrup mixture and turn the pork until totally coated, about 2 min.
Remove from heat.
Transfer pork to cutting board and slice into 1/2 in. slices.
Stir in remaining syrup into the glaze and season with salt and pepper.

Arrange pork slices on plates. Spoon glaze over pork and serve.

Serves between 3-4 people. Can be altered to accomodate more people.

To make the potatoes:

Peel and slice however many potatoes you need. (both sweet and white)
Place in a baking dish and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and rosemary.
Toss all the seasoned potatoes in olive oil until fully coated.
Bake until tender in a 350 degree oven for about 45 min to an hour.

Now that we have food out of the way. Just wanted you to see our beautiful landscaping at the Inn. The Montauk daisies you see in the foreground of the picture just happen to be our second pride and joy of this year. Of course our first pride were our roses. But you will just have to come and see and decide for yourself.

Well, enough for now folks. Bill and I send our best regards to you all and look forward to seeing sometime soon. Til next time.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hi everyone. Last weekend Bill and I and some family and friends went to Apple Fest here in Warwick. What a day. The weather could not have been more beautiful and the food couldn't have been better.

After serving our guests a breakfast of homemade cranberry scones, apple walnut cinnamon muffins and of course our now famous zucchini bread, we headed out to Apple Fest about 9am. When we got there, we were surprised at how not crowded it was. Well, that was short lived. As you can tell by the picture, by 11am it was wall to wall people. It seems to get bigger and better every year.

There were all kinds of foods and crafts and music. We walked around the whole festival and ogled at all the wares. Bill bought a birdhouse to add to the vast collection of birdhouses we already have. Now this is not any birdhouse. It is made from an antique tool with a claw and barbed wire. Go figure. But it makes him happy and that is all that counts.

My favorite part was the food. I was very good though, and didn't get too crazy sampling everything. But I did get some apple fritters. And they were delicious. We all went for lunch at Le Petite Cuisine. They always have great food and great sides. There were nine of us for lunch, but they managed to accomodate us and we sat down to a great meal. I had the Apple Fest pannini. It was an open faced sandwich on a toasted piece of french bread with turkey applewood sausage, apples and gruyere cheese melted all over it. Yummmmmmm. And on the side, a great chick pea salad.
Very satisfying and very Apple Festive.

All in all it was a very good day. You all must come next year if you missed it this time. In the next few blogs I will tell you whats going on for Halloween and I'll have some spooky recipes and some great history about the Inn.

Happy October everyone from Bill and I and check back soon.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Apple Fest is Coming!

October 1st, can you believe it? We have been so busy at the Inn that we have had hardly any time for anything else. Guests have been coming in and out the whole of September and October is set to be one of our busiest months ever. I hope that means we are doing something right. (smile)

This coming Sunday, October 4th, is Apple Fest in Warwick. It is the single biggest event of the year. I have talked about it before in my previous blogs, but it is definitely worth reminding everyone of this great celebration. The streets of the town are lined with vendors, selling just about anything you could be looking for. From food to crafts to clothes or anything else you could imagine, you will find it here. But come early because it gets crowded by mid-day. The town is expecting upwards of 30,000 visitors. Hope to see you there.

Like I said before, October is a very busy month for Bill and I at the Inn. Guests come from all over to see the beautiful, breath-taking foliage that the Warwick and Hudson Valley areas have to offer. We are anticipating that the foliage will peak around October 15th. So take a ride and enjoy the spectacular colors.

In my last blog I promised that I would share some great fall recipes with you and I happened to mention my zucchini bread. I thought that this would be a great recipe to share with you to serve on these rapidly cooling mornings. I hope you enjoy it.

Zucchini Bread

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs beaten
1 3/4 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini (don't drain)
2 cups all purpose flour
11 11/4 tsps baking soda
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
chopped walnuts and golden raisins (optional but recommended))

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 2 9x5 inch loaf pans with
cooking spray and dust with flour.

Combine oil, sugar, eggs and zucchini in a large bowl. Combine remaining dry
ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients gradually to the zucchini
mixture. Beat 3 minutes with mixer on medium speed. Add walnuts and raisins.

Scrape batter into pans evenly. Bake 50 min. to 1 hour or until inserted knife
comes out clean.

Serve with cream cheese spread.

As the holidays approach, I will share with you some great cookie recipes as well as some quick breakfast recipes that are easy and festive.

Next week I will tell you how Apple Fest was and what to expect next in our area.

Bill and I wish you a great, colorful, happy, Autumn and will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Bye for now.

Monday, September 21, 2009

September to Remember

Hi everyone,
Well, Fall is officially here. Time to get ready to put out the mums and the pumpkins and watch all the fall foliage burst onto the Warwick scene. Bill and I are busy getting the Inn ready for this all important season for us. And in 2 weeks, on October 4th, we are celebrating Apple Fest, one of the biggest events in Warwick. Every year, upwards of 30,000 people converge on Warwick to sample and enjoy all that the Hudson Valley has to offer. More, later on in the blog.

September really was a month to remember. We completed the stone patio and had a beautiful pergola put in over it. We also added a fire pit, which is a great hit with the guests. On Labor Day Sunday, we christened the new patio by having our 2nd annual family reunion. Bill and I cooked and barbequed and had a great old time with our family and friends.

We harvested the last of our garden vegetables. I don't think that I have ever seen so much zucchini in all my life. I have a great recipe for zucchini bread which is out of this world. Every neighbor and family member got a nice warm bread this past month. If you would like the recipe, contact me at the Inn.

Our Irish friends visited us this past week. Linda and Cathrine were a breath of Irish spring for us. They toured and shopped and toured and shopped some more. Linda's sister Alison and her husband have been frequent guests of ours for some time now and we always look forward to their stay. So if they are reading this, a big hug and howdy do to you all. Oh and a big thanks for the great cookbooks. Can't wait to try some of those great recipes.

Ireland wasn't the only country to be represented. We had visitors from Canada, Poland, Sweden and Germany. We are quite the international meeting place. The stories they had to tell were both informative and enlightening. And we always get great ideas for the Inn.

Just want to tell you a little bit more about Apple Fest. There are rows and rows of crafts and food and entertainment and all sorts of fun for kids from 1-99 and beyond. There are bands or groups of musicians on almost every corner. There are rides for the kids too. Everything comes from Warwick or the Hudson Valley. Come early because it gets crowded. Remember, October 4th, Sunday, from 9am until dusk. See you there.

Next month I will have some great fall recipes for you and maybe a scary story you can use for Halloween. Yup, its that time again. Have a wonderful month and come see us at the Inn.

Monday, August 24, 2009

OMG is that Autumn that I see?????

Hi all. Joe here with the latest at the Inn at Stony Creek. Bill has just returned from a trip to see his parents in Florida. It was great to have him back. Running an Inn is hard work and each of us can do it on our own. But when we do it together, magic seems to happen. Work has continued on the addition. We just had a beautiful patio and pergola added. Can't wait to start the landscaping around it.

Can you believe that it's August 24th already? The summer, albeit not a great summer, seems to have flown by in a flash. Autumn is right around the corner and the bounty of Warwick and Orange County will be in full display at the Farmer's Market every Sunday in the village. Our bounty was pretty plentiful this year also. Our garden at the Inn yielded a great harvest. We had zucchini, yellow squash, italian flat beans, tomatoes, peppers and herbs. Needless to say we have been having great meals with these fresh veggies.

With the onset of Fall, the local farms will be hosting apple picking. You can go online and google "apple picking in Warwick NY" and it will bring up all the places to go to and any info you would need. And don't forget the wineries. Warwick Valley Winery will not only provide you with apple and pear picking, you can also enjoy a delicious lunch as well as a wine tasting if you like.

You remember that in previous posts I told you that Bill and I liked to experiment with new recipes for breakfast at the Inn. Well, I would like to share this one with you. It is Stuffed French Toast with blueberry compote. Hope you like it.

Stuffed French Toast w/ blueberry compote

Prepare a 9 x 13 glass or aluminum pan with cooking spray

Dice up 1 loaf of country white bread
Place a layer of bread loosely in the pan
Dice up 1/2 of an 8 oz. brick of cream cheese
Place it on the bread layer.
Add balance of bread over this and then add balance of cream cheese.
Sprinkle with cinnamon.

In a bowl, scramble 12 eggs.
Add 1 1/2 cups of milk and 1/4 cup of 1/2 and 1/2.
Add just over a 1/3 cup of real maple syrup.
Mix well and spread over the bread.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for about 50 min. or until french toast puffs up and is slightly crisp.

While the french toast is baking, put a pint or more of fresh or frozen blueberries in a small saucepan. Add 1 tsp. water and 4 tsp of sugar. Cook over a low heat until boiling, stirring occasionally. If you have them, add 2 tbls of blueberry preserves. Serve warm over the french toast.

Makes 8-10 servings, depending how hungry you are. :)

Well, I hope you enjoyed the post. I will have lots to tell you the upcoming blogs. Fall is our busiest time of year and I will keep you posted on all that is going on around the area.

Hey, don't forget Apple Fest, Sunday, October 4th. More info to follow.

See you soon.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Arts and Crafts Come to Orange County

Summertime brings out the creativity in all of us. We plant and design gardens. We do home improvements to make our houses more appealing. And some of us become the artist that dwells deep in our very being.

Every summer, local artists display their talents and sometimes even share their skills during the Warwick Studio Tour. Artist’s studios are open around the Warwick and Florida areas and can accommodate visitors during regularly scheduled days.

For instance, Amity Arts Pottery in Florida, NY is a great mix of pottery and people.
It's run by Judy Duboff who teaches pottery for people of all ages. There is also a retail store for those who would rather just admire her wares.

In Warwick, there is a plethera of galleries and classes. Daniel Mack Rustic Furnishings Studio is in a 1906 carriage house filled with beautiful and exotic natural materials that Dan uses to make furniture, architectural elements, and sculptural objects.

Warwick Pottery Studio, run by Marilyn Dale displays creative and expertly made clay art for your home. There are beautiful pottery, dishes, mugs and bowls that will compliment your dining experience, as well as tiles, vases, sinks, and backsplashes.
Marilyn conducts classes mid week second Sunday studio tour most months.

Now schedules can change and it’s best to call before you go to confirm that a studio is open. You can get more info on the website,

Bill and I have been busy being creative ourselves with the addition and the landscaping around the Inn. Sort of doing our creative part in beautifying Warwick. So don't forget to stop and see us when you are visiting the area.

See you all soon and keep cool this August.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blossoms on the Menu?

Happy belated Independence Day to you all. Hope your weekend was wonderful. Bill and I had a great weekend. My son, Zack graduated last weekend and we had a small family party to celebrate. And we are also celebrating a visit from my mom from Florida who hasn't been up to New York in 7 years.

In the past few posts I have been bragging about our vegetable garden as well as our new Serenity Rose garden. Well, I am happy to report that the rose garden has a multitude of buds and we are expecting a floral explosion within the next week.
The veggie garden has been showing signs of all kinds of produce. Our tomato plants are bursting with fruit and our peppers are getting huge. What a great omelet that is going to make. Our lettuce is sweet and tender. But our pride and joy are our zucchini and squash plants. The plants produce two kinds of blossoms before they bear fruit. The female blossom produces the squash and zucchini and those should not be disturbed. But the male blossoms produce a large orange/yellow blossom that is most definitely edible and very delicious. Bill takes the blossoms and after cleaning them thoroughly, he dips them in a tempura batter and fries them. We serve them at breakfast with maple syrup and the guests love them. They can also be served as an appetizer with a honey mustard or mango sauce. Yummmmmmmmy.

The garden, however, does come with its share of headaches. We thought at first that we would just be battling weeds. We didn't realize how hard it would be to keep the critters like rabbits and groundhogs away from our labors. We have tried everything. We have a 6 ft. fence around the whole perimeter with chicken wire at the base. But we have a ground hog that is intent on digging his way in from under the adjoining shed. If you have any ideas, please share them with us.

Well, summer is in full swing and vacation time is here. Warwick and the surrounding Orange County have lots to offer in the way of sightseeing, wine tasting, great restaurants and history, history and more history. So if you have a mind to be up in this area, come see us at the Inn at Stony Creek. We would love to see you.

Bye until next time

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Scones Anyone?

Hi everyone. Can you believe it? June is almost over and what seems like the mid-point of the summer, the 4th of July, is right around the corner. We had a busy June here at the Inn. The rose garden is coming along beautifully and the veggie garden is bursting with greenery. We hosted two wedding parties this month and it was so exciting to see the preparations and the last minute nerves and of course the beautiful brides.

For their wedding breakfast we served them our famous Egg Souffle' with a cheddar dill sauce, grilled potatoes, bacon, a fruit floret and my now very popular "Inn at Stony Creek Scones". I thought that I would like to share my recipe with you and hope you enjoy it.

The Inn at Stony Creek Scones

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Measure and mix
2 cups unbleached flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
currants or blueberries or chopped strawberries or even chocolate chips
(If you prefer no fruit, leave it out, but at the last step, sprinkle with a mix
of cinnamon and sugar).

Stir in
1 1/3 cup of heavy cream

Mix until all ingredients come together.
Turn onto a floured surface.
Knead quickly 2 or 3 times.
Pat into an 8" to 10" circle.
Cut into 6-8 wedges amd place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Brush each wedge with melted butter and sprinkle with granulated sugar (or sugar and cinnamon if not using fruit).
Bake 17 to 18 minutes.......NO LONGER.

Now an added recipe to serve with the scones!

Devonshire Cream

1/2 cup of heavy cream
2 tblsp confectionary sugar
1/2 cup sour cream

In chilled bowl, whip cream and sugar until peaked. Fold in the sour cream.
Serve with the scone recipe.

Absolutely delicious!

If you would like to share some of your breakfast recipes with us, we would love to hear from you. Meanwhile, enjoy the scones and hope to see you at the Inn sometime soon. Happy Summer everyone!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Rose by any other Name

Hi folks. Joe here. Well, Bill and I finally finished establishing our gardens for the 2009 season. Our vegetable garden is abound with all kinds of plants. Tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, lettuce, cucumbers, beans and all kinds of herbs are just some of the things that we have incorporated in the garden. Our guests are in for quite a treat during harvest season when we will be including these veggies in our morning meals. Whether it be a strata or a frittata or just a vegetable omelette, our guests will be sure to enjoy our bounty. One of our specialties will be zucchini blossoms in a tempura batter with maple syrup. Yum, makes me hungry just thinking about it.

But, vegetables and herbs aren't the only thing we planted this year. We have established our new Serenity Garden complete with a natural stone bench and an umbrella covered table for those quiet mornings where a guest or two might want to be served breakfast amidst our beautiful array of roses. Of course the roses aren't in bloom yet, but they soon will be and what a variety we planted. We have the lovely Elegant Lady rose. This is a orange tinged pink rose that is aromatic as well as beautiful to look at. We also planted the Memorial Day Rose which honors the men and women who served to protect our great nation. A special specimen, the Pope John Paul II Rose is a pure white rose that definitely lives up to its namesake's purity. There are a variety of others that just have to be seen to be appreciated.

You can see that Bill and I have been quite busy this season and we hope you will come see us soon. Have a wonderful late spring season and don't forget to visit the farmer's market in Warwick to sample some of the Hudson Valley's wonderful produce.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fine Dining in Warwick

Here at the Inn at Stony Creek we are always trying new recipes for breakfast. Put Bill or I in the kitchen and we are in our glory. We are like scientists experimenting with new culinary delights to please and titillate our guests during our morning meals. And like any good cooks we also enjoy eating and are forever trying out new restaurants to satisfy our demanding palates. We literally prowl the areas around the Inn trying to find new and interesting places to eat so we can also recommend them to our guests.

Well, eureka. We have found two very exceptional places to eat which we now offer as recommendations to the folks that stay at our Inn.

The first one we tried was Conquito. This was originally The Backyard Grill. It was sold a couple of years back and then bought back by the original owner, but this time with a new name and a decidedly authentic Latin flair. Bill had a pork dish and I had the Pollo con arroz. Both were terrific and well portioned. But the things that really turned me into a fan were the "empanadas" for the appetizer and the salad. The dressing was absolutely incredible. Great place to visit for both lunch and dinner. And Saturday evenings at 9pm, there is a Salsa band with dancing.

The second place we tried was Grappa's. Italian, but real Italian. The appetizers included Tuna Tartare with avocado and caviar, baked oysters and portobello mushrooms with a balsamic vinagrette glaze and walnuts. I had as my main course the ravioli duet. A plate full of porcini mushroom raviolis and lobster raviolis with a shrimp sauce. Wow, is all I can say. And the desserts.....well let me say that they are definitely worth going off your diet for.

Now I am getting hungry all over again, so I will sign off until next time. Come up to Warwick and see us at the Inn and then visit one of these two restaurants. You won't be sorry.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring Fest comes to Warwick

As innkeepers, we are always concerned with the comfort and well being of our guests. Well, this past weekend the innkeepers became the guests of the guests.

On Saturday evening, Bill and I (and by "I", I mean Joe, Bill's partner and assistant) were treated to a wonderful dinner by two of our regular guests, Nora and Lucy. Nora is a great cook and in our kitchen made a delicious shrimp and clam fra diavolo over spaghetti and tilapia pinwheels stuffed with lobster. Yum, it was a terrific dinner. We finished it off with coffee and a scandinavian almond cake baked by yours truly. It was a fun evening and gave us a chance to sit back and get "waited" on. The conversation and company was a great way to spend a mild spring evening.

One of the things we talked about was the upcoming Spring Fest in downtown Warwick. It has been around for about 10 years and has become as anticipated an event as the Fall Apple Fest in October. The event which is taking place on Saturday, April 25th from 10am to 5pm is a home and garden expo with vendors lining the streets of Warwick. You will find all sorts of entertainment and dancing also. And of course don't forget to visit the food stands and sample all the delicious food that the Hudson Valley has to offer.

The other thing that you will want to visit is the farmer's market set up at the Spring Fest. This is the first farmer's market of the season. Here you will find fruits and vegetables and all sorts of food grown right here in the Hudson Valley. After this, the market will be set up every Sunday morning beginning on the first Sunday in May.

Well, enough for now. Check back soon for more of whats going on at the Inn at Stony Creek and the town of Warwick. Have a great week.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Guests for Breakfast

When I was a little boy, my favorite meal was always lunch, especially on school days. My mom or my grandma used to pack me my favorite sandwich, a piece of fruit and at the bottom of the bag, a surprise treat. And there was always that little note that said, "I love you" or "Be a good boy". But now that I am all grown up and have been with the Inn at Stony Creek for the last 5 years, my favorite meal has become breakfast.

Now, you might think it's because of the breakfast foods we prepare or the great smell of fresh roasted coffee that we brew. But it might surprise you to know that my favorite part of breakfast at the Inn are the guests. Its a wonderful experience every morning to meet the different people that come to stay with us. They come with a variety of backgrounds and stories and more important, a wealth of diverse culture.

Whether they are from Europe, Asia, Scandinavia, or even right here in the good old USA, they come to us with stories and experiences from all aspects of their lives. Our relaxed atmosphere allows them to feel comfortable in sharing things about their homeland, their reason for coming to the Inn, or even stories about their families.

We have one family from Ireland who have become friends to us. They come a couple of times a year with their empty suitcases joking that they've "come to shop". After breakfast, they head to Woodbury Commons and shop until they have filled their bags. And the next morning, with that wonderful Irish brogue, they regale us with tales of their shopping adventure over a hot cup of coffee.

But its not just the international guests that provide so much color to the Inn. It's also the folks who come from all parts of the United States. They come from parts of the country that might as well be a foreign country. Their backgrounds and experiences are just as diverse as if they had come from overseas.

So, you can see why I love breakfast at the Inn at Stony Creek. It's a wonderful, friendly, international experience for all our guests to enjoy. Hope to see you all sometime soon. Spring is here and we have lots of things to do here in Warwick.

Oh, and by the way, if you are coming to take advantage of our Shop and Stay package, be sure to ask for our certificate, good for a coupon book at Woodbury Commons.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring at Last!

Well, its about time. Spring has sprung and we are getting excited about getting the inn ready for the warm weather season.

We will be doing a lot of landscaping this season, especially around the new addition. But lots of color will abound around the whole property with all sorts of flowers and greenery. We're also adding a vegetable garden to add that extra bit of freshness to our already wonderful breakfasts.

Speaking of breakfasts...We've added a new recipe to our morning repetoire. You can find our delicious Stony Creek Scones served up with our homemade Devonshire Cream. Our scones are made with a variety of fruits or sometimes plain with a dusting of cinnamon sugar. They are already a hit with the guests.

Well, off to the garden to till and hoe. Hope to see you all real soon. Happy Spring everyone.

Monday, March 16, 2009

60th Birthday Party at the Inn at Stony Creek

This past Saturday eve (March 14th) we had a family of guests here celebrating the husbands 60th Birtyhday. It was a surprise and his wife made up a story to get him here, but he was sure fooled and stunned when he walked in the front door! They were experts at making green apple Martini's and picked out the best Dark Chocolate Torte I have ever tasted from the Georgia Cafe in Manahattan. The family went out for a celebratory dinner at a local restaurant, The Landmark, and then returned to the Inn for desert and coffee....and more Martini's. A great time was had by all and they mentioned returning for another party in the future. We really enjoyed hosting them!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Carriage House addition is looking good!

During the Fall of 2008, we built the Stony Creek Carriage House addition and it blended surprising well with the existing Inn. We have a few more details to finish on the outside this Spring. The landscaping will be started as soon as the weather warms and we are looking forward to putting in a blue stone patio where we can serve afternoon tea over looking Mount Adam! Shortly thereafter we will start the new office area for check in and our new personal living quarters. Of course it will be for all to enjoy if you care to check it out!. Then our final phase will be the 6th guest room with private entrance, jacuzzi and fireplace. It will be a challenging year for us, like everyone else trying to balance what we finish and these difficult economic times. We are hoping The European Tourists start coming for sight seeing and shopping at Woodbury Common starting in April. And.........of course our American guests who are the mainstay of our business! Come see what we have accomplished thus far, relax and visit one of Warwick's Wineries. Don't forget the Warwick Drive Inn Movie on a summer night!