One of the special pleasures of staying at a bed & breakfast inn is waking up in the morning to the enticing aroma of a freshly prepared, home-style breakfast. ``I like to serve my guests something that will stir fond memories, and there's nothing like the aroma of fresh baked goods to do it,'' says Kay Trepp, who supervises food preparation at the Seal Beach Inn and Gardens, a classic country-style B&B near the beach.
One of the wonderful aromas in Ms. Trepp's kitchen comes from her Chocolate Orange Wreath, which won top honors in a southern California innkeepers' baking competition last year.
About two hours' drive up the coastline from Seal Beach, Nancy Donaldson and partners Lu Caruso, Sandy Hunt, and Gay Swenson operate the Old Yacht Club Inn, established in 1980 as Santa Barbara's first B&B.
As head chef, Ms. Donaldson provides her guests with breakfasts that feature regional cuisine, using ingredients that are both fresh and seasonal.
``It is most important to choose fresh ingredients,'' she says, ``even if it means changing your menu.''
Chocolate Orange Wreath 1/2 recipe Basic Cream Yeast Dough 12 ounces cream cheese 1/3 cup sugar Grated peel of 1 orange 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated semisweet chocolate Coarse raw sugar Sliced almonds Chocolate curls 2 tablespoons orange juice, plus extra
Prepare Basic Cream Yeast Dough (recipe follows); set aside. Combine cream cheese, sugar, two tablespoons orange juice, and grated peel of one orange.
Roll half of yeast dough to large rectangle (use remaining half for another purpose). Spread cheese mixture on top of pastry, top with grated chocolate, roll up jelly-roll fashion. Place in circle, creating a wreath on parchment-lined baking sheet. Using sharp knife, make cuts 2/3 of the way toward center of roll, and pull apart slightly, laying each slice on its side. Brush with orange juice, sprinkle with coarse sugar, sliced almonds, and orange peel. Bake in preheated 350-degree F. oven for 45 minutes or until brown. When cool, garnish top with chocolate curls.
Basic Cream Yeast Dough 2 envelopes active dry yeast 1/2 cup warm (115 degrees F.) water 1/2 pound butter (room temperature) 6 1/2 cups flour (or more if necessary to make stiff dough) 2 1/2 cups whipping cream 4 eggs 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon salt
Proof yeast in warm water and set aside. Slice butter into flour; either cut by hand or use heavy-duty mixer, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In another bowl, combine yeast with remaining ingredients, mix well, and slowly add to flour-butter mixture. Beat until thoroughly mixed and place dough in plastic bag, allowing room for expansion. Can be kept in refrigerator for up to four days.
Lemon Bread (Old Yacht Club Inn) 1/3 cup butter or margarine 1 cup sugar 3 tablespoons lemon extract 2 eggs 1 1/2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup milk 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
In food processor (or mixer), mix butter, sugar, and lemon extract. Add eggs; process until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add flour and milk in thirds, alternately, mixing lightly between additions. Add grated rind and chopped nuts. Pour batter into greased loaf pan. Bake 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool. Store in foil at least one day.
Old Yacht Club Inn Omelets
To your favorite basic omelet recipe, add one of the following fillings when eggs are set:
Santa Barbara Omelet
Fill with one diced tomato, one sliced scallion, 2 tablespoons diced chilies, 1/2 cup grated Jack cheese, 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese. Season with lemon pepper and chervil. Place avocado slices and teaspoon of salsa on top.
Fill with four ounces sliced, saut'eed Kielbasa sausage and eight ounces of sliced M"unster cheese. Sprinkle with lemon pepper and chervil to taste.