Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dungeness Crab Mac and Cheese with Hazelnut Crust

Last year, the Best Places to Kiss Cookbook came out. Sandlake Country Inn for many years has been listed in the book Best Places to Kiss in the Northwest with the highest rating of 4 lips (Simply Sublime). We were very fortunate to be featured in this new cookbook!

A couple of days ago I was browsing through the cookbook and I came across a recipe that I can't wait to try. Our breakfasts here at Sandlake Country Inn are based on real comfort food. This new recipe, while not for breakfast, screams real comfort food to me! I haven't tried it yet, but I thought I would share it with you. It uses local ingredients and if you try it before I do, let me know what you think! We would use Tillamook aged white cheddar, local dungeness crab & Oregon hazelnuts. It's Oregon's Bounty!

Recipe from Sybaris Bistro, Albany, OR

2 1/2 Cups uncooked penne pasta
2 Cups heavy cream
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 Cup grated white cheddar cheese
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
1/2 Lb Dungeness crabmeat (from a 2 lb crab)
Dash of Tabasco
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground white pepper
1/2 Cup hazelnuts, roasted and finely chopped
Lemon wedges (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cook the pasta in boiling water, following package directions, until it is not quite al dente. Drain and let cool.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over high heat. As soon as the cream boils, add the cooked pasta. Bring back to a boil and stir in the cheeses and mustard. Bring the mixture back to a boil and add the crabmeat, Tabasco and salt. Remove from heat and season to taste with pepper.
  3. Put the crab-pasta mixture in a greased casserole dish and sprinkle with the hazelnuts, Bake until hot and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.
Variation: Fpr am attractove [resemtatopm. bake the crab macaroni and cheese in clean crab shells. Ask your neighborhood fishmonger to save four crab shells for you to clean and bake in. Preheat the oven to 400 degress F. Place the shells on a baking sheet, carefully fill with the crab-pasta mixture, and sprinkle with the hazelnuts. Bake until hot and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Our Home Roast Rocks!

Here at Sandlake Country Inn, we take coffee seriously! Ron has been roasting our green beans about 4 years now. The beans we purchase are organic, AAA & free trade! Even our home roast decaf is chemical free using the Swiss water system.

Enjoy Ron's home roast which we deliver to your door before breakfast, and for the rest of your day if you ever want a great cup of coffee, just help yourself to our 24 hour beverage table. There we have a Flavia beverage system with a variety of coffees. We also have a large variety of Stash Teas which are a local Oregon company.

Sandlake Country Inn is a certified "Green Lodging" property and we are proud of being able to offer luxury accommodations which are able to meet green standards. Whenever possible we purchase products made in Oregon. Not only does it help stimulate our state's economy, but it's a great way to lower our carbon footprint. The least distance a product has to travel the better it is for the environment.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Earth Day, April 22, 2010

Earth Day and Being Green

It's been encouraging to see how going "green" has become mainstream. We still have a long way to go as a society, but Oregon businesses have really been in the forefront.

We have been using green practices for many years here at Sandlake Country Inn, but now with the help of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild's partnership with the group Sustainable Travel International, we became a certified "Green Lodging Establishment"in 2008! Be careful of those businesses who are "green washing"! That's the practice of just claiming they're green but are not able to provide proof.

Going "Green" doesn't have to mean that you can't enjoy luxury! In fact, most of our guests over the years have no idea that when they stay with us we are a "green" property.

Since we purchased the inn 9 years ago, we have made a commitment of our business practices to promote the sustainability of our planet's natural resources. Here are a few things we have done to help
  • Compost
  • Recycle
  • Buy locally when possible
  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning products with all natural ingredients
  • Use durable products instead of throw away
  • Use e-mail for most all business communications
  • All bubble baths, soaps & lotions are environmentally friendly...no chemicals, all natural products
  • Purchase our lotions & bubble bath in bulk & provide each guests room with reusable glass containers instead of disposable travel bottles
  • When an appliance breaks, we've replaced it with an energy efficient appliance.
  • Purchased a TerraPass for each of our vehicles to eliminate it's carbon footprint
  • Replaced light bulbs wherever possible with florescent or LED blubs
  • Encourage our guests to reuse their towels if they feel comfortable doing so
  • Reusable grocery bags when shopping (Costco has great ones 3 in a pack for $4.00)
Come celebrate Earth Day 2010 with us! We'll show you how our Oregon Coast Lodging mixes green practices and affordable without any hassles or attitude!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Restaurants!

I've got 2 new restaurants to tell you about.

Whiskey Creek Barbeque & Grill
Last night we decided give this new place a try. It's been only open a couple of months and it's located on Whiskey Creek Rd (along the 3 capes scenic route). It's only a 15 minute drive from Sandlake Country Inn on your way to Netarts.

The decor is Texas BBQ and quaint. Our waitress was very warm and hospitable and gave us great service. I had the BBQ pork ribs dinner. Their dinners come in 2 sizes, regular and Texas. We decided to get the Texas size so we would be sure to have enough to take home with us for the next days lunch. Ha! There was so much food, I'm sure that even the regular size would have given us enough to take back with us! The ribs had great flavor, but frankly were a little tough for me...next time I'll try the brisket or sausage. You get several choices of sides with your dinner and on the waitress' recommendation I chose the onion rings and coleslaw. Both were wonderful. Ron had the brisket and it was juicy and tender. His sides were fresh homemade french fries and cowboy beans. He gave a thumbs up to both of those.

Their prices are very reasonable with sandwiches in the $7.50-$10.50 range and huge dinners in the $17.00-$20.00 range

We're looking forward to going back to try more!

Ben & Jeff's Burgers and Tacos

We haven't tried this brand new place out yet, but the buzz around town is we're going to be in for some good food. Ben & Jeff's Burgers and Tacos is located in Pacific City, right next to the Pelican Pub. It's a fabulous location and will be a great alternative to the Pub which gets insanely busy and tends to be pricey for pub food. The menu is just as the name says...Burgers and Tacos. Nothing on the menu is more than $6.00 A place like this is definitely much needed in Pacific City. Just a few feet from the beach and Haystack Rock, it would be fun on a sunny day to take your burger & tacos with you, get your toes in the sand and enjoy the amazing view of Haystack Rock.

We're looking forward to trying their food and wish them a lot of success!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Unfamiliar with Our Area? Use our Interactive Map!

Are you someone who is not familiar with our area of the Oregon Coast or where our Oregon Coast Bed and Breakfast is located? Check out our Interactive Google Map on our website.

This Google Map allows you to see not only where we are located, but where all our favorite hikes, outdoor activities, beaches, whale watching sites, restaurants and museums are. You can zoom in and out to view the different areas. Make sure you check out the satellite view!! You can see exactly what kind of area we are in, how close to the beach we are and what an amazing area this section of the Oregon Coast is. Our location is perfect to explore Cape Kiwanda, Cape Lookout, Cape Meares, Tillamook and the Three Capes Scenic Route.

Since this map is personalized just for us, we've added all of our favorite spots, shopping and restaurants. It doesn't mean that you'll find every single restaurant or store on our map and we've only concentrated on areas that can be reached by car within a short period of time.

Once you are on our map and you want to see where all the restaurants are, just click the "on" button in the white "Dining" box. There are separate boxes for "Activities", Dining", "Shopping" and "Museums". The museums category also includes our local art galleries.

If your idea of a getaway or trip is to explore nature at it's finest and get away from the traditional touristy large towns, then Pacific City and Sandlake Country Inn is a perfect fit!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Birding and Blues Festival

Birding and Blues Festival - For three days discover secrets about the intriguing bird life and wildlife along our spectacular Oregon coast. There will be morning guided field trips and interactive daytime seminars. Then, each evening after an ocean sunset, try some fine restaurant fare, check out the art galleries, and warm your soul with blues in the night. Expect dancing and concerts both Friday and Saturday night plus music around town.

The festival will occur the weekend of Friday, April 9, Saturday April 10 and Sunday, April 11th 2010 in Pacific City. April sits at the front door of the migratory season when birders ready themselves for the wildlife’s seasonal awakening. The weather is starting to include many spring-like days and the birds are become more lively.

Stay with us at Sandlake Country Inn , your Oregon Coast Hotel alternative, and be only minutes from the action. Click here for a complete program guide to the Birding and Blues Festival