Caffe Mocha Bread with Almond Glaze (and muffin variation)

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A coffee and chocolate lovers dream, this bread is wonderful for breakfast or for dessert topped with a scoop of chocolate or coffee ice cream.  If you don’t have a large, heavy-duty mixer, halve this recipe to make just two loaves.  Freezing first and then slicing with a large chef’s knife yields a cleaner slice.  The “secret” ingredient is two packages of Starbucks “Via” instant coffee, either regular or decaf; and using buckwheat flour means this is a gluten-free recipe!!

Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour (4) 4X8 loaf pans.  Brew five 8 oz cups of strong, hot coffee, either regular or decaf.

In large mixer bowl, beat 4 eggs, 4 cups sugar, 1 cup dark brown sugar.  Add 2 cups canola oil, beating well.

Combine 4 tsp vanilla, 1/4 cup Kalua, and 1/4 cup white vinegar  Add to above mixture and blend.

In a separate bowl, combine 5 cups buckwheat flour, 1 cup cocoa, 2 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp salt.  Add to above mixture alternating with 4 cups of strong, hot coffee.  Add two packages of Starbucks “Via” instant coffee.

Pour into prepared loaf pans and bake for one hour.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans onto a cookie sheet and glaze with the following: combine 1 cup sugar with 1/4 cup coffee, 1 tsp almond extract, and 1/2 cup sliced almonds. Spread evenly over four loaves. Cool completely.

Enjoy your first slice with the remaining cup of coffee!!

If you like this recipe but want something not so sweet in the morning, try this hearty muffin variation:

Add ingredients in the following order to large mixer while beating on low: 1 egg, 1/3c light brown sugar, 3/4c oil, 2t vanilla, 1T Kahlua, 1T apple cider vinegar, 1/4c unsweetened cocoa, 1/4t salt, 1/2t soda, and 1/8c milled flax seed, 1/2c finely chopped walnuts. Optional:  1/4t cinnamon, 1/4t nutmeg, 1/4c shredded coconut. Beat on high 2-3 min until thick and glossy.

Add 3/4c buckwheat flour alternating with 1/2c strong hot coffee plus 1 pkg Starbucks VIA (any kind). Mix until combined.  Line a muffin tin with 8 paper liners, add a generous 1/4 cup batter, and sprinkle tops generously with finely chopped walnuts.  Bake at 400 about 20 minutes or until walnuts are very lightly toasted.

Colonial Pines Inn Bed and Breakfast

Click Here for Seasonal Specials at the Inn

 541 Hickory St, Highlands NC 28741 (828) 526-2060 or (866) 526-2060 Toll-Free

Red, White & Blueberry French Toast


Red, White & Blueberry French Toast

Colorful and delicious, this is our favorite dish for a special occasion. Whether it’s Fourth of July, Mother’s Day, or Christmas Morning, you can be calm, cool, & collected by assembling the casserole in advance and popping it in the oven while you cook spicy sausage patties and fill bowls with individual servings of beautiful fresh fruit.  In order to make this in Spring or Summer, you’ll have to buy and freeze cranberries when they’re in season. Always use fresh blueberries because the frozen ones tend to turn the whole thing purple and never use anything but real maple Syrup.  For a nice texture, I like to use a soft grocery store bread by Nature’s Own such as White Wheat (shown in the photo), Honey Wheat, or 100% Whole Wheat.


10 slices White Wheat bread, coarsely torn, including crusts

4 oz cream cheese in 1/2″ pinches

1/2 cup fresh blueberries + 1/2 cup cranberries

12 well beaten eggs

3/4 cup half and half

3/4 cup real maple syrup

1 1/2 cups skim milk

1/2 Tbsp cinnamon

1/4 cup melted unsalted butter

In greased 9X13 baking pan, layer half of torn bread.  Scatter evenly the pinches of cream cheese, the blueberries, and the cranberries.  Top with remaining half of torn bread.  Mix eggs well, then add half & half, maple, syrup, and skim milk.  When completely blended, add cinnamon and mix briefly.  Pour over bread layers.  Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 325 and bake uncovered about 70 minutes until risen and lightly browned. Top with melted butter before serving.  Makes six generous servings.

Bon Appetit!

Colonial Pines Inn Bed and Breakfast, 541 Hickory Street, Highlands NC

(828) 526-2050 or (866) 526-2060 toll-free


Lovely Lemon Bars (and Gluten-Free)

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Here’s a quick & easy recipe with a bright lemon punch (scroll down for gluten-free adjustments and a delicious cinnamon-almond version):

Preheat oven to 350, line an 8×8 baking pan with foil, & spray with cooking oil.

Cream l stick unsalted butter with l cup sugar

Add 2 eggs, beating well

Add 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice & zest from half a lemon

Add 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup flour,* 1/2 cup almond meal.

*For gluten-free, substitute Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Mix for the flour.

Bake for 25 minutes until slightly browned. Remove from oven and glaze with:

1/2 cup confectioners sugar mixed with 1 Tbsp lemon juice & zest from half a lemon.

Cool completely, remove from pan, & cut into squares. Serve with a cup of tea, then make another batch – they won’t last long!! p.s. I like to use organic lemons

CINNAMON/ALMOND VARIATION:  Same as above except add 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp almond extract, and 1/2 tsp baking powder to batter. Sprinkle top with sliced almonds before baking.  Glaze with 1/4 c granulated sugar mixed with 1 Tsp juice & zest from half a lemon,  1/8 tsp cinnamon & 1/4 tsp almond extract.

Colonial Pines Inn Bed and Breakfast,  Donna & Chris Alley Innkeepers Since 1984

541 Hickory Street, Highlands NC 28741 828.526.2060 or 866.526.2060 Toll-Free

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

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 Finally, Spring arrived and allowed us to plant a new herb garden.
You can bet the tender baby herbs will soon
find their way into our breakfast creations!
Arrive on Monday and stay Thursday night FREE!
New reservations only, excluding October
Chris constructed a couple of  20″ deep x 30″ high
sawhorses out of pressure-treated lumber
and topped them with a marble top from an old dresser.
An assortment of pots planted with herbs, mints,
and salad greens, and – voila! – the perfect little herb garden
right outside the kitchen door!!
Join us for a Refreshing Mountain Spring!
Donna & Chris Alley
Innkeepers Since 1984
Colonial Pines Inn Bed and Breakfast
541 Hickory St
Highlands NC 28741
(828) 526-2060
(866) 526-2060 Toll-Free

Winter White, Spring Specials

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 Have you ever seen a white squirrel?
We haven’t, either – but a guest recently captured this photo
of the rare White Squirrel (not an albino) between here and Brevard.
How lovely it would be to see one on a
beautiful snowy day like we’ve had lately.
Join us for a chance to see all things white and enjoy
these Late Winter/Early Spring Specials:
Now through April 15
(Miss Rebecca’s Cottage included)

Arrive on MONDAY
and stay THURSDAY night FREE!
(excluding July & October)

Colonial Pines Inn Bed and Breakfast
(828) 526-2060
(866) 526-2060 Toll-Free

Passion Flowers for Our Valentines

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Join us for a Valentine Weekend Getaway!!
All guests will receive a free gift of luxurious 16 oz Passion Flower Lotion
or 10 oz bar of Passion Flower soap, both made rich with
Olive Oil and Shea Butter.
While here, you can check out other fresh botanicals
such as African Violet, Zinnia Aloe, Fresh Holly, Winter Pear, Sugar Plum
Harvest Apple, Spiced Pumpkin, and Peppermint Frost.
Stay all other non-holiday weekends through March
and your Second Night Is Half Price!
See you soon in the mountains!
Colonial Pines Inn Bed and Breakfast
(828) 526-2060
(866) 526-2060 Toll Free

A Happy 2013 to YOU!!!

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This is what your Innkeepers will be doing in January!
Colonial Pines Inn will re-open on February 14, but
Miss Rebecca’s Cottage is always open and ready for your wintertime visit! Enjoy a third night at half price for Valentine’s Weekend, and please check out our other 2013 SPECIALS.Chris & I  both want to extend a personal THANK YOU to every single one of our fantastic guests who made it a come-back season in 2012! You were perfect guests – considerate, funny, kind, sweet, entertaining, helpful, and sometimes delightfully opinionated! We hope you thoroughly enjoyed your stay at Colonial Pines and found us to be polite and professional Innkeepers.  Yes, we were ready for a break by the end of October, but we loved every minute of it and we are honored to have been your hosts since 1984. We will be open and ready on
FEBRUARY 14 to do it all over again for our

To visit before Feb 14, check out
 which provides a warm, comfortable and private wintertime escape right here in town with a stone fireplace and full kitchen.
House-sitters Diane and Bob will be here to answer questions, take reservations or forward a message to us.  Please call early for your best choice of rooms in 2013. Highlands is no longer a secret and can be a very busy little town.
We hope to see you soon in the mountains!
Donna & Chris Alley
Innkeeper/Owners Since 1984
 (828) 526-2060
(866) 526-2060 Toll-Free