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

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

by Donna Leahy

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


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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Leahy serves up an ample taste of a dream fulfilled: to buy, renovate and operate a rural Pennsylvania inn with her husband. At the same time she offers 125 recipes that have converted hostelry visitors into her fans. Sidebars peppered throughout discuss such basics as catering to guests' dietary restrictions, securing publicity for the business and what it's like cooking for a crowd. The heart of the book, however, is its informal table. Time constraints mean that Leahy favors recipes that are not overly complicated and others that can be prepared in advance. Breakfasts (as in her earlier Morning Glories) are a particular strength with 16 egg dishes and 16 additional helpings of breakfast fare featuring fruits or berries, such as Baked French Toast with Peaches and Blueberries. Soups bring on Oyster and Pancetta Chowder and Smoked Tomato Soup, and salads include the savory Quail with Belgian Endive and Blueberry Vinaigrette. While limited in number, entries entice with Sirloin Strip Steak with Stilton Crust and Lobster Fricasee with Corn and Chive Pancakes. Teatime is a daily affair at the inn, where Strawberry Mascarpone Meringues and Pecan Shortbread Bars may be piled on the plate. Husband Robert Leahy's striking photographs of local scenery and Amish and Mennonite neighbors supply an intimate portrait of a weekend in the country. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
After running a bed and breakfast their "practice inn" in Maine for three summers, Leahy and her husband decided to open an elegant inn in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country. This book not only provides recipes from their acclaimed restaurant but also tells the entertaining story of how their fantasy inn became a reality. Leahy is the self-taught chef, and her easy, delicious recipes are interspersed with "Notes from the Inn" (e.g., "The Difficult Guest") and mini-essays on such topics as "Rising with the Chickens" and the other hard facts and delights of running their business. Leahy's highly readable, engaging style reflects the warmth and hospitality that have contributed to the success of the inn, and her husband's striking photographs of the surrounding landscape and their Amish and Mennonite neighbors add to the book's appeal. For most collections. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.25(w) x 10.75(h) x 0.25(d)

Read an Excerpt

Apple Cinnamon Stuffed French Toast

Stuffed French toast is one of my most requested breakfast dishes, so I'm constantly thinking up new combinations to offer our returning guests. We serve this lightly sweetened filling of apples, sour cream, and cream cheese encased in freshly baked cinnamon bread, but French bread may be substituted if you can't find unsliced cinnamon loaves. Melted apple jelly gives the dish a finishing glaze.

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons corn oil
2 apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1/2 cup apple jelly
Six 2-inch-thick slices cinnamon bread

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with solid vegetable shortening.

2. Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Fold in the chopped apple.

3. Slice a 2-inch-wide opening into the center of the top of each piece of bread, cutting down almost all the way to the bottom. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture into each pocket.

4. Whisk together the eggs and cream in a small mixing bowl. Dip each slice of French toast into the egg mixture, coating each side evenly.

5. Heat the butter and corn oil in a large skillet until the butter is melted and foamy. Saut� the bread pieces until golden onboth sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Place the saut�ed pieces on the prepared baking sheet, transfer to the oven, and bake for 10 minutes, until the filling is heated through.

6. In the meantime, heat the apple jelly in a small saucepan or in the microwave until melted. Brush the tops of the baked French toast with the glaze, and serve.

Serves 6

Salmon Roulade with Garlic Potatoes

Salmon is rolled around a creamy garlic potato filling here, and baked until lightly browned. Anchovies provide the exciting taste in the buttery lemon sauce.

3 large red-skinned potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup white wine
6 oil-packed anchovy fillets (about 1/2 can)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Six 7-ounce pieces of salmon fillet, each about 1 inch wide, skin removed
2 tablespoons chopped chives

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with foil.

2. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan, and add lightly salted water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and put them in a mixing bowl. Mash with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the garlic and 1/4 cup of the butter. Pass the potatoes through a food mill or ricer, then whip until smooth and fluffy.

3. Roll each salmon fillet into the shape of a donut, and affix the ends with a toothpick. Place them in the baking dish. Fill the center of each piece with the potatoes. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the potatoes are golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.

4. In the meantime, combine the wine, anchovies, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring often, until the anchovies are dissolved and only a few tablespoons of liquid remain. Remove from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice and the remaining 1/2 cup butter.

5. Using a spatula, transfer the salmon fillets to warmed plates. Carefully twist out the toothpick, leaving the roll intact. Drizzle the anchovy sauce over the rolls, sprinkle with the chives, and serve.

Note: The potatoes may be made up to 8 hours in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.

Serves 6

Recipe for a Country Inn. Copyright � by Donna Leahy. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet 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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