A Recipe from a Herb Friend

by Joanne on June 7, 2009

If you read the Watkins Glen posts, you are aware that Ted and I stayed in a Bed and Breakfast called “Herb Cottage”.  I used the most wonderful smelling home made soap while visiting this B&B, I had to order more.  It smelled so good. The scent was Lime Geranium.  

While going back and forth about the soap with Carolsue, the proprietor of this quaint little bed and breakfast, I mentioned my food blog and invited her to send along one of her recipes.  She sent two fantastic Vegetarian recipes and also a little write up if you should ever think of visiting the Watkins Glen, New York area.  Recipes first then The Glen area.

~ LASAGNA ~

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  • Two 10 ½ ounce packages extra firm organic tofu
  • One cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Half cup grated romano cheese
  • Two tablespoons dried green and red peppers
  • Two tablespoons dried basil
  • Two tablespoons dried oregano
  • Two tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • Two tablespoons minced garlic
  • Lasagna noodles (whole wheat noodles or regular – depending on your choice)
  • 4 cups Tuscan sauce
  • Two cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Heat the oven up while you are making the dinner (350 degrees).
  2. In medium size bowl crumble the tofu so it looks like hamburger.   Add parmesan cheese, romano cheese, green and red peppers, basil, oregano, parsley and garlic.  Mix thoroughly.  Set this aside.
  3. In a large pot, bring lots of water to a boil.  Enough water that will cover up the noodles when they are boiling (about ¾ of the entire pot).  Soon as the water is boiling, add the lasagna noodles and cook for about 8 minutes until they are soft.  A cover on the pot makes it boil faster.  (Whole wheat noodles take a tiny bit longer to get soft.) 
  4. Grease lightly a large tin foil pan with canola oil.
  5. As soon as the noodles are done, drain well and add first layer of noodles to bottom of tin foil pan.  Then add the a third of the tofu mixture, a third of the mozzarella and a third of the sauce.
  6. Keep doing this until you have made three layers. 
  7. Sprinkle a little bit of oregano or parsley over the top layer just for pretty.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  When you take it out of the oven let it sit for about 20 minutes before you serve it so it gets more solid and not “soupy”.

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Carolsue then surprised me with this terrific dish from the Moosewood recipe book.

Zucchini-Feta Entree~ from Moosewood restaurant, Ithaca, NY

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Serves 4-6

One of my favourites and exemplifies the good flavours of Balkan cuisine:  tangy, nutty and herbed.  Expect raves. 

  • ¾ cup bulgur (medium texture)                 
  • ¾ cup boiling water                                   
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grated feta (5oz)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 ½ T vegetable oil 
  •  2 cups sliced onions
  •   ½ to 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves minced or pressed            
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 6 cups thinly sliced zucchini rounds         
  • 1 T tamari soy sauce
  •  ½ t oregano 
  • ½ t basil 
  • 1/2 t marjoram 
  •  1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 TBS sesame seeds 
  • 1 c grated cheddar
  •  2 tomatoes thinly sliced     

*Place bulgur in bowl and pour boiling water over it.  Cover and set aside until water’s absorbed and is soft and chewable.

*Saute onions and garlic in oil until translucent.  Add zucchini, dried herbs and black pepper – continue to sauté on medium to low heat until zucchini is tender, but not falling apart. 

*In bowl lightly beat eggs.  Mix in feta and cottage cheese.  Add parsley, tomato paste and soy sauce to the bulgur and mix well. 
*Assemble in 9×9 oiled casserole dish.  Add the first bulgar mixture, next the sautéed vegetables, then feta mixture.  Top casserole with grated cheddar cheese, tomato slices and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
*Bake covered at 350 for 45 minutes.  For crustier cheese, uncover for final 15 minutes of baking.  This casserole can be more easily served if it sets for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve w/tossed salad.   GREAT! 

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A little bit about the Herb Cottage 

The following is offered by Carolsue describing the wonderfully warm Herb Cottage and surrounding area.  She will mention hand made soap. If you should ever visit the Cottage, the aroma of these soaps will capture your senses and lure you into a wonderfully relaxed state of mind. Like me, you will want to take some home.  These are my soaps from Carolsue:

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Lime Geranium Soaps Wrapped Up so Pretty - you won't want to use them.

~  YOUR  TRIP  TO  MONTOUR  FALLS  ~

Think about this as you travel toward Montour Falls or think about coming…

herb cottage

A huge, beautiful white home on a corner built in 1859-60 (the year the civil war broke out) with huge Norway pines in front.  It has an open oak stairway when you enter from the large wrap around porch with gingerbread trim and comfy white wicker furniture.  A cozy living room to your left with healing music on most of the time, candy jars and an antique piano.  A large herbal shop that doubles as a dining room for entertaining a lot. We find reasons to get 10-12 together…celebrating someone that quit smoking, someone who had a good job interview, someone whose niece had a baby in Ohio, etc.   Since the house is the biggest everyone comes to 102 L’Hommedieu, N. most of the time for get togethers. 

There is an 1881 tongue in groove cupboard to hold dishes, wine glasses and little gifts to give away so no one leaves empty handed.  There is a kitchen with a slightly sloping floor (hey, the house is 150 years old!).  The kitchen is redone to the period of the original year built and a white washed fence in the back keeps the afghan hounds around.  Off the kitchen is a stairway that was the “maid’s entrance” (now that would be Carolsue!) that winds up to the twin beds on one side of that stairway and a sitting room on the other side.  Upstairs are four huge bedrooms, a large hallway and a large bathroom with a long white claw foot tub.  Shutters were found at an old ship captain’s house– for free – so I scraped and painted one pair a bright white for the kitchen window to fling open.  There is a picturesque woods behind the house and you can hear the waterfall from the back porch and twin bedroom.  The back yard boasts sugar maple trees that have bright yellow leaves in the fall and a thirty foot slate wall that holds the hill at bay and was built when the house was.  There is a hammock under a sugar maple, teak tables and chairs to play cards (or Scrabble!) and a chiminea with wood for the ready.  There is a cozy studio where I create my wreaths, centerpieces, soap, bath salts and potpourri for sale in my gift shop.  I love to cook and for some reason seem to gravitate to making warm chocolate chip cookies weekly.  Never did that before.  Guess it’s just that it feels the house should have the smell of something baking.  You’ll have big healthy organic breakfasts, organic popcorn sits around on the living room trunk nearly every night and the atmosphere is peaceful.  Most guests comment on how sparkling clean the B&B is.

Just over the bridge is downtown with a gorgeous waterfall at the end of Main Street (hence the name Montour Falls).  The library has original Tiffany windows donated by a rich dude in the late 1800’s.  The creek through the town is Catherine Creek (pronounced Cath-er-een) after an American woman kidnapped by the Indians to become the chief’s wife who eventually became the matriarch of the town.  What caught my attention was kids 15-16-17 years old ride bikes and skateboard with no ego like they would have in a big city.   This population is 1,700.

Neighbors introduced themselves right away, brought over little welcome bowls of food, beans and tomatoes from their gardens, introduced their dogs, brought pictures of their children and invited me to their homes right away.  They helped move in the piano that took six men …then fed them tortillas and beer made in Ithaca, 20 minutes away where the famous “Moosewood” restaurant is.  The town is Mayberry!  The bonus is they have real New England antique shops with true treasures, the wineries are prolific with wonderful quality.  The Watkins Glen international raceway, Seneca Lake and cruises are just minutes away.  Mostly all parks have gorgeous trails that lead to more waterfalls.  People are truly into their community.  The sky is big and you’ll notice stars you haven’t seen in a long time.   You’ll have a nice time…I’ll be sure of it.
Carolsue

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