Blog Special 3 for the price of 2!

Life is so busy for all of us these days! Why not have a 3 day weekend and still go to work on Monday! If you live  within 90 miles of the inn, you can arrive on Friday and stay until Monday am.  I’ll pack you a special gourmet breakfast for your drive to work ( or you can still have our candlelight breakfast before you leave.  If you are in the Central Time Zone you gain an hour going to work, so you can be there in no time!

Plus with our blog special you can stay for 3 nights and only pay for 2!  Good through April 30th.  Call the inn for specific details.

Save even more by adding our Tippecanoe Dinner package!

End of February ……..

Well, at the beginning of February, I challenged myself to write every day about Food and Love. I made it to the end (with the help of my best friend, Kathy!).

Here at the Oliver Inn, we are all about food and love. We try to create a relaxing environment with great food, a special place for you to take the one you love for a great getaway. Remember to keep looking for ways to share food and love with your friends and family every day.

Keep following us for recipes and events as well as our restoration project here at the Inn. I will still be blogging—just not every day. See you in March!

St Patrick’s Day is just around the corner!

Many people think everyone in South Bend is Irish, since Notre Dame is known as the Fighting Irish. Well, I don’t know about the rest of the year, but of course we’re all Irish for St. Patrick’s Day!

South Bend hosts many festive events that weekend, including the annual St. Paddy’s Tent Party, to be held this year on Friday, March 12. Then on Saturday, March 13, we have a big parade that ends with the Greening of the East Race.

We have some great Irish pubs in town, including Fiddler’s Hearth, just a few minutes’ walk from the Inn. Start making your plans to come and spend St. Patrick’s Day weekend here in South Bend. It’s only a couple weeks away!

German Pancakes

If you are looking for a way to wow your family for a fun breakfast, this recipe for German Pancakes is just the thing.

2 tblsp. melted butter
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
½ tsp. salt

Coat a large oven proof  frying pan or a 9×13 baking pan with the melted butter. (If you prefer, you can use 6-8 small ovenproof dishes to make individual serving-size pancakes.)

Combine the remaining ingredients, whisking hard until frothy or using a blender. Pour batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake at 400 for about 20 min., until puffy.

For toppings, you may want to saute sliced apples or peaches (fresh or frozen) with cinnamon and butter, or use sliced fresh strawberries. Whipped cream adds a fancy touch. The pancakes are also delicious served simply with warm maple syrup.

Let me know how these turn out and what toppings your family likes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I just took a batch of chocolate chip cookies out of the oven. Would you like one? Here at the Inn we have homemade cookies every day. I use the Nestle’s Toll House recipe right off the bag. I make up the dough on Monday and keep it in the refrigerator. Every afternoon, right before our guests arrive, I scoop out a few cookies and bake them. Fresh baked cookies make the whole Inn smell great, and most people find them irresistible.

Before we bought the Inn, I would make a batch of dough, scoop the cookies into balls, and freeze them. Then after a busy day, I could still make freshly baked homemade cookies for my family. I know these days you can buy frozen hunks of cookie dough and do pretty much the same thing with even less work. But why not try making your own frozen cookie dough balls? It really takes very little time, and they’re tastier–and more economical–than the premade ones.

And don’t forget you’re always welcome to join us for freshly baked cookies here at the Inn. We still have a few rooms left for this weekend!

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Do you love chocolate dipped strawberries? They’re incredibly easy to make, and you can surprise your loved ones with a treat that will make them feel very special. If you have small children they may want to help.

Combine 1 cup (6 oz.) chocolate chips (I like to use dark chocolate) with 1 tablespoon of solid shortening, like Crisco, in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for one minute, then stir until smooth. If the chips aren’t quite melted, heat the mixture for an additional 15 seconds at a time. Dip clean, dry strawberries in the chocolate and lay them on a sheet of wax paper until set. If you’re in a hurry, you can put them in the refrigerator to help them set faster.

You can dip other things besides strawberries, too–like pretzels, cookies, or other kinds of fruit. Be creative. And be sure to let me know how it turns out!

Spinach Hash

Today I thought I would share a Rachel Ray recipe that has become a favorite of my guests. It is beautiful, good for you , easy, and very tasty. Even my husband will eat spinach this way! Try it for a quick breakfast or a super supper.

Spinach Hash

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
4 tablespoons butter, divided
8 small red potatoes
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 large ham steak, finely chopped
4 extra-large eggs
2 cups baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped (or one 10-oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and wrung dry in a kitchen towel)
10 leaves fresh basil, chopped or torn (or a few rounded spoonfuls of prepared store-bought pesto)
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a couple of generous handfuls

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of extra-virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons, and 2 tablespoons of butter. While the pan is getting hot and the butter is melting, cut the potatoes in half and then thinly slice them, add to the hot skillet and season with salt, pepper, thyme, and the crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring every now and then, for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes have browned and are tender. Add the onion and the ham and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Preheat another skillet over medium high heat with 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has melted and the bubbles have subsided, crack eggs into the pan, season with salt and pepper, and fry to desired doneness.

While the eggs are frying, finish off the hash by adding the spinach and basil (or pesto) to the potatoes. Toss to wilt and warm the spinach. Sprinkle the hash with tomatoes and cheese and remove from the heat. Transfer the ham and spinach hash to plates. Top each portion with a single fried egg or arrange the fried eggs evenly over the platter.