Saturday, February 28, 2015

2015 Amish Country Entertainment

Along with the shopping, dining, rich cultural experiences and other events, Ohio's Amish Country is also host to three wonderful entertainment venues: The Ohio Light Opera, the Live Theater at Carlisle Inn, and The Amish Country Theater.The Innkeepers and staff of the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast encourage visitors to make one (or all) of these shows a part of your time spent here.

Entering its 37th performance season, the Ohio Light Opera seeks to explore and perform the best tradtional operetta and musical theater titles the industry has to offer. For its 2015 season, beginning June 13, The Light Opera will feature Brigadoon, Can Can, One Touch of Venus, Oh, Kay!, Friederike, Ruddigore, and Yeomen of the Guard. Single ticket prices range from $48-$52 for adults, $20 for students ages 16-23, and $10 for children 15 and under. Multiple-show subscriptions are also available. Click here for a full schedule of the showtimes and more information about each.

The 2015 performance season at the Live Theater at the Carlisle Inn will play host to another season of Half-Stitched beginning June 2 through August 15, and invite a new musical to the stage, Josiah for President, beginning August 21 until December 19.  Half-Stitched  tells the story of an Amish widow who decides to teach a quilting class that is open to the public. She never expects a Marine,  a biker, a dysfunctional couple and severl other quirky characters to sign up. This show is a clash of personalities and cultures that will leave you laughing and crying the whole time. Josiah for President follows a former Congressman who is determined to make Josiah, an Amish farmer from Pennsylvania, the next President of the United States. Josiah's hard-working, common sense attitude about life lands him as a write-in candidate for the Presidency, but can he tussle with the career politicians in an unfamiliar world? More information and tickets are available here.

The Amish Country Theater is a family-friendly comedy variety show in Walnut Creek, Ohio. During their regular season (which begins on May 14 and runs through November 7), the theater features everything sketch comedy, including a pair of Amish brothers covering modern pop songs, "The Real Housewives of Amish Country," a professional ventriloquist, and many others. During its off season until May, the Theater is host to several special individual and group performers, such as Bluegrass and other Gospel singers.Visit their website here for ticket and show information.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Orange Hazelnut Biscotti Gift Package and Recipe

To mark the special day, Valentine's Day guests of the Amish Country Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast received a three-flavor variety biscotti gift package.  We enjoyed making five different flavors of biscotti, sometimes also called mandelbrot. Here is the recipe for one variety I made, Orange Hazelnut Biscotti.

Orange Hazelnut Biscotti

Orange Hazelnut Biscotti
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
Orange Chocolate Bar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons orange zest
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts or walnuts

Chocolate for drizzling or dipping biscotti
1 (use 4 squares) Lindt Intense Orange Excellence Bar
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1.) Preheat oven to 350℉. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or grease lightly with vegetable oil. 

2.) Sift flour, baking powder, soda, and the salt together into a bowl. 

3.) With an electric mixer; cream the butter, oil, sugar, vanilla, and orange zest together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (1-1 1/2 minutes), stopping the mixer twice during the process to scrape the bowl with a spatula.

4.) On medium speed add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each egg is partially incorporated (5 seconds). Scrape the bowl after each addition.

5.) With the spatula, mix in half the flour mixture by hand, then with the electric mixer on low speed blend for several seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed until smooth. Add the walnuts or hazelnuts. 

6.) Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide in half. With one of the portions form a strip about 3 inches wide and 11 inches long and place it on one of the baking sheets. With the other portion form another strip and place on the second baking sheet. 

7.) Bake the dough until lightly golden and firm to the touch (20-25 minutes). 

8.) Remove the baking sheets and lower the oven temperature to 275 ℉. Allow the strips to cool for about 10 minutes and then with a serrated knife, cut each strip into 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange the the slices standing up a 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheets. Bake until crisp (20 minutes). Then turn the oven off and leave the cookies in for 15 more minutes. Do not overbake.  They will harden as they cool.

9.) Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets.
Biscotti and Chocolate

10.) Place Lindt chocolate and semi sweet chocolate chips in double boiler to melt. Be careful to not get any water into the chocolate.  I have a gas oven, which is ideal to use for melting chocolate.  The pilot keeps the oven just warm enough to melt the chocolate. If you use the warmth of a gas oven, do not turn the oven on; simply place your oven-safe bowl in for about 1/2 hour, and it will be perfect for melting.  If you chocolate is too thick, simply add a little vegetable oil to thin.

11.)  Dip the end of the biscotti into the chocolate, place on a wire rack, and garnish with sprinkles or chopped nuts if desired.  Allow chocolate to harden.

12.) Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or in freezer for up to two weeks.

Another variety I made was Ghirardelli's Chocolate Nut Biscott.  Follow this link for the recipe.

Biscotti are easy to make but look hard.  Make them, and your friends will think you are brilliant.  Of course you are.  Go for it.

Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast is located in Ohio's Amish Country in Holmes County. This is a region where charming villages hug winding roads, where farmers plow with teams of horses, and where shops are bimming with wares and hand-crafted goods reflective of the Amish culture.  Do make your way to Amish Country, stop by, and we will be happy to show you our inn.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
February 20, 2015