Archive for the ‘events’ Category

The Bacchus Inn Participates in the CMHA Sponsored “Cape May Chopped” Competition – 2

September 26th, 2011 by johnmatusiak

Part 2 of 3: “The Competition Begins” – Lisa Matusiak of The Bacchus Inn Bed & Breakfast agreed to compete in the locally adapted “Chopped” cooking competition that took place on Thursday, September 15. The event was one of many Cape May Food & Wine Festival events taking place in Cape May from September 15-25, 2011.

The competition challenged 6 participants to create a brunch dish using all the food items from the “mystery basket”. The items in the basket were not revealed until the competition began. Each participant had use of an electric frying pan, a limited pantry of cooking staples, and the items they brought, which included their knives, utensils, and bowls. The competitors were given 30 minutes to prep, cook, and plate 3 portions of the same dish for the judges to taste. The six competitors were Cape May innkeepers who are amateur chefs with no formal culinary training. The 3 judges for the event were David Craig of Lucky Bones, Chris Huber of Black Duck and Godmothers, and Jamie Kelly of Island Grill.

At approximately 4:00pm, the commentator of the event, Jan Pask of CMHA, welcomed all the participants, judges, and the members of the audience. After all the introductions were made, Jan directed the participants to turn the electric frying pans on and to open the “mystery basket” in front of them to reveal the items they were required to utilize in their brunch dish.

Lisa looked at each item carefully. First, she saw a small loaf of Italian bread, half dozen eggs, and a half quart of half-n-half and thought, “OK, there is a lot that can be done with these 3 items.” Then she saw the strawberries and chocolate chips and quickly decided that the dish was probably going to be something sweet. She then saw the bag of hard pretzels and thought to herself, “What in the world am I going to do with pretzels?!”

As the participants were still absorbing the items in the basket, Jan announced the 7th “surprise” item that was required to be used, a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream! For a short moment Lisa considered drinking the shot, but then reconsidered and turned her attention back to the items in the basket and to what her next move was going to be.

Lisa decided that this was going to develop into a French toast dish. So, while pondering the question of what to do with the strawberries, chocolate chips, pretzels, and the Bailey’s, she cut the bread into 3 thick slices. She then cracked 3 eggs into a large mixing bowl and added about a cup of half-n-half. As she added some salt and sugar, the idea of stuffing the bread with the strawberries started to sound good. So she put the egg mixture aside and cut up the strawberries. When she added the strawberries to the pan with some butter she concluded that the pretzels and chocolate chips would somehow get added in after cooking the French toast.

Lisa took a knife and cut slits horizontally into each piece of bread and stuffed the cooked strawberries into the slits in each of the pieces of bread. She put the 3 pieces of stuffed bread into the egg mixture and allowed them to soak for a couple of minutes. This is when it occurred to Lisa that she could melt the chocolate chips to make a sauce, but what to do with those pesky pretzels?

She added more butter to the frying pan and placed the egg-soaked bread in the pan to brown. Then Lisa poured the chocolate chips into a small metal mixing bowl with a little half-n-half. She placed the metal mixing bowl in the corner of the electric frying pan next to the slices of French toast, hoping the chocolate would melt enough to make a sauce.

The commentator, Jan, calls out that the competition is 15 minutes in and that there is 15 minutes to go.

While the toast was browning and the chocolate was melting, Lisa took the bag of hard pretzels and placed it on the table. She then picked-up her wooden cutting board and used all of her strength the crush the pretzels into the smallest pieces she could get, while thinking to herself that a food processor would make this so much easier!

At this point, Lisa flipped the French toast and stirred the now melted chocolate chips. This seemed to be a good time to add the Bailey’s shot to the melted chocolate.

After a couple more minutes, Lisa took the French toast off the frying pan and placed one on each of the three plates sitting in font of her cooking station. Then she took the chocolate off, too, thinking that she would return it to the heat right before serving to warm it up again. Now the frying pan was available to make a topping using the crushed pretzels, butter, and some “raw” sugar that was available from the pantry.

Jan calls out “5 minutes to go”.

Lisa spooned some of the topping onto each of the pieces of French toast. Lisa took the bowl with the chocolate sauce and placed it back on the heat and stirred it with a whisk. Jan announces, “2 minutes to go”. Lisa took the whisk and drizzled the chocolate sauce over each piece of French toast. Done!

Then Jan calls out, “5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 … competitors stop cooking!”

Jan then invited each participant to take their brunch dish up to the judges. When it was Lisa’s turn, Jan asked her to tell the judges and audience what she had made. Lisa said, “Today I made Strawberry-Stuffed French Toast with a Crunchy-Pretzel Topping and Chocolate-Bailey’s Sauce”. She watched as the judges each tasted her dish and wrote down their evaluation of her dish on the score card. When all 6 of the participants’ dishes had been tasted, Jan asked the judges to tally their scores and determine the winner.

As the judges came to a consensus, Jan gave each of the competitors a certificate for participating in this event. Then Jan asked the judges if they had made a decision, they indicated that they had.

The winner of Cape May Chopped is … Lisa!

Coming Soon – Part 3 of 3 “Celebrating the Victory”.

Strawberry-Stuffed French Toast with Crunchy-Pretzel Topping and Chocolate-Bailey's Sauce

Strawberry-Stuffed French Toast with Crunchy-Pretzel Topping and Chocolate-Bailey's Sauce

The Bacchus Inn Participates in the CMHA Sponsored “Cape May Chopped” Competition

September 17th, 2011 by johnmatusiak

Part 1 of 3: “Preparing for the Competition” – The Bacchus Inn Bed & Breakfast has reason to be proud this week as Lisa Matusiak, our chef, owner, mom, and wife, competes in the locally adapted “Chopped” cooking competition on Thursday, September 15. The event is one of the many Cape May Food & Wine Festival events taking place in Cape May from September 15-25, 2011.

Lisa was invited to compete late Wednesday afternoon with a telephone call from Jan Pask, Vice President of Cape May Historic Accommodations (CMHA), after one of the participants dropped out of the competition. Lisa, although slightly apprehensive, agreed to participate. After making dinner for her family Wednesday night, she prepped the breakfast for the next morning, as she normally does. The breakfast for Thursday morning was Challah Bread French Toast, a sweet dish, for 11 people. After that, she spent some time Wednesday night with her recipe book and watched a little food network to help get her into the creative cooking mind-set.

On Thursday morning, Lisa got JT, our oldest son, off to school. Lisa then did some work for The Bacchus Inn and took care of our youngest son, Ian. After making lunch, Lisa made an iron-on Bacchus Inn logo and ironed it onto a new apron purchased at one of her favorite stores in Cape May, The Cape May Linen Outlet. She then prepped her knives, bowls, and utensils that were suggested to bring by the event organizers and headed, on bicycle, to the “Chopped” event at the VFW hall on Congress St. in Cape May.

Lisa knew little about the other 5 competitors because of her late entrance into the event. The only information that she knew was that all the competitors were Cape May innkeepers and amateur chefs with no formal culinary training. The 3 judges for the event were David Craig of Lucky Bones, Chris Huber of Black Duck and Godmothers, and Jamie Kelly of Island Grill. Each judge is a respected member of the culinary/restaurant community in Cape May.

The competition offered each participant a mystery basket filled with 6 food items that were required to be used. Each participant had use of an electric frying pan, a limited pantry of cooking staples, and the items they brought, which included their knives, utensils, and bowls. The competitors were given 30 minutes to prep, cook, and plate 3 portions of the same dish for the judges to taste.

Coming Soon – Part 2 of 3 “The Competition Begins”.

Historic Cold Springs Village offers Cape May vacationers a unique experience

August 6th, 2011 by johnmatusiak

Historic Cold Springs Village is an asset of Cape May county. It is a collection of historic properties from the area dating back to colonial times. Visitors to bed and breakfast, motels, inns, can see actors making various crafts from candles to pottery. In addition to the historic village there are themed exhibitions. This week Historic Cold Springs Village is exploring the farm.

This weekend of August 6-7, 2011 you can go , “down on the farm.”  Down on the Farm weekend includes barnyard animals, horse drawn carriage rides and of course crafts.

Historic Cold Springs Village is just minutes from the City of Cape May. If you have had enough beach for a day it is a pleasant alternative.

 

Cape May’s 2nd Annual Volleyball Beach Bash

July 13th, 2011 by johnmatusiak

This weekend Cape May will be hosting the 2nd Annual Great American Volleyball Beach Bash. It will be held on the beach adjacent to Cabana’s Beach Bar and Grill on Saturday, July 16th. It is a fun event to either participate in or for bed & breakfast guests to sit on the beach and watch. Cabana’s will also hold an After Party from 3pm – 7pm with drink specials offered to everyone attending and food discounts for event participants. This is an event that visitors of Cape May should not miss!

To participate, please register at www.greatamericanvolleyball.com

Cape May offers some military history for Memorial Day

May 26th, 2011 by johnmatusiak

Anyone who visits Cape May will agree that it offers a colorful glimpse into our nation’s history. Cape May has a rich history that spans several notable events from the landing of the dutch ship that carried Captain Mey to when our little city at the southern most tip of New Jersey became an island during World War II. A major part of Cape May’s history is rooted in military service. So on Memorial Day weekend, when we honor fallen soldiers who fought for our nation, it is appropriate to talk about a few attractions here in Cape May.

Cape May is fortunate to have Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts or MAC. MAC offers guests of our Bed and Breakfast several World War II inspired tours of Cape May, such as the Friends of World War II Tour and World War II Trolley Tour. Guests can learn of Cape May’s rich military history on these tours. MAC also partnered with the State of New Jersey to renovate the World War II Lookout Tower at Cape May Point. The Cape May Lookout Tower offers guests the opportunity to enter and explore a piece of WW II history. The World War II Lookout Tower is lined with images of veterans. It is a WW II lookout tower first but also a special memorial for veterans. Guests of The Bacchus Inn Bed & Breakfast consistently say the World War II lookout tower is well worth visiting.

Cape May offers two services on Memorial Day weekend. One happens all season long the other for the Memorial Day holiday in Cape May. Sunset Beach at Cape May Point State Park flies a different veteran’s casket flag daily throughout the season. This modest ceremony takes place at sunset when the flag is then lowered as the sun sets along with a recording of “God Bless America” playing at the same time. The Memorial Day ceremony on Monday in Cape May is a more formal event taking place at the Columbia Ave Veterans monument. Dignitaries will say a few words and a representative from the VFW Post speaks as well. Vacationers are encourage to attend the Cape May Memorial Day events and to take a tour to learn more about Cape May’s military history.

Cape May Veterans Memorial on Columbia Ave

Birders Unite! It is the World Series of Birding in Cape May

May 14th, 2011 by johnmatusiak

The birds arrived several weeks ago here in Cape May. This weekend those who love birding will arrive to see the migration in a fun competition. Visitors don’t have to venture far to find there feathery friends. Guest of the Bacchus Inn Bed and breakfast need go no further than the porch to hear the birds beautiful songs. In spring the birds follow their instincts and begin the spring migration.

Cape May offers a perfect spot for birds to rest along their journey. There is plenty of food and mating partners.
The migration offers bird watchers a marvelous opportunity to see a large variety of birds. Many of these birds are not found in the Cape May area the rest of the years. Cape May is a pit spot for the birds and a great opportunity for locals to see exotic varieties. The males are in their mating plumage trying to attract the females. It is something to see.

A group of these bird watching aficionados decided to make a friendly competitions out of the unique birding experience here in Cape May. The group try to identify as many varieties of birds as possible in a given period of time. There is a misconception that all the birds are seen. This is not always the case. In fact many birds are identified by call alone. It takes a trained team but birders enjoy the experience. The WSOB

World Series of Birding Logo

competition is coordinated with the Cape May bird observatory. Results of the event can be found on there website.

If you are looking for a new hobby, birding at Cape May Point or in the Cape May region may be the answer. There are always other birders available to offer expertise and fine company in this nature seashore habitat.

Cape May Jazz Festival kicks of the spring season in Cape May

April 7th, 2011 by johnmatusiak

Cape May Jazz Festival starts April 8th and continues to the 10th. Guest of the Bacchus Inn bed & breakfast have attended this event and consistently rave about the experience.

This event has venues throughout Cape May. Some venues are larger and some more intimate. Each spaces offers a unique experience.

The music offers various jazz, blues , and latin. This year Kevin Eubanks and Poncho Sanchez are featured April 8,9, 2011 as well as many more artist.

Kevin Eubanks

The Cape May Jazz Festival goes on all weekend with several shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets for Cape May Jazz Festival 2011 are available online: https://www.capemayjazz.org/maxed_store/tickets.cfm

Accommodations are still available at The Bacchus Inn online:
www.bacchusinn.com

The sounds of spring are returning to Cape May with the Birds

March 13th, 2011 by johnmatusiak

Cape May NJ has always been a birding destination. Each season there are thousands of visitors to Cape May Point Park and the Cape May Beaches searching for exotic birds. Spring kicks off each year and residents of Cape May are pleasantly serenaded by the birds return.

Spring returns to Cape May slowly. It is a promising time. The flowers are sprouting and the trees are just beginning to green. This is a great time for visitors to the Cape May Bird Observatory. Many prefer a quiet, pleasant stroll on a deserted beach that offers only the sounds of the surf and birds.

If you are looking for a nice excuse to get out of the house after a long, harsh winter, this may be a great time to do so.

Christmas season is in swing in Cape May

December 7th, 2010 by johnmatusiak

As soon as you cross the bridge into Cape May you are surrounded by seasons greetings. The lamp posts are dressed in garland with images of snowflakes illuminating the street scape. The Washington Street Mall is decorated with care and visions of holiday greetings dancing in all the merchants’ heads. The Bacchus Inn and other bed and breakfasts are dressed for the season and welcoming guests to see our best Victorian Christmas.

Cape May MAC is coordinating the tours of the inns. They are also offering trolley tours and other Christmas attractions. The Physick Estate, Cape May’s museum house, is a winter wonderland. The trees surrounding the grounds are strung with lights and the house offers its own unique Victorian Christmas charm.

The scents of the season are everywhere; cinnamon, pine cones, and evergreen surround visitors with wisps of hot chocolate and hot apple cider throughout.

The air is filled with laughter and kids are all similes.

It is a great time to be in Cape May because the only thing missing from this holiday season is you.

Boo- from Cape May featured by Cape May MAC

October 17th, 2010 by johnmatusiak

The fall has come to Cape May. The leaves are turning, the hawks have arrived, the bed and breakfast are decorated for fall, and the ghosts are very active. Cape May MAC (Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts) is offering a glimpse into the macabre  with “Halloween Happenings” tours October 15-31.

Craig McManus will be in Cape May, October 22, for a ride with the ghost writer tours. The Physick Estate is decorated for the season and has a murder mystery event  There are also several Cape May Bed and Breakfast and private home tours like “Phantoms of Cape May” and “Historic Haunts” tours. The trolleys are also in full gear offering several touring options such as the Cape May Point Lighthouse ride.

Tickets are available at the Physick Estate on Washington Street in Cape May or the information kiosk a the Washington Street mall as well as by phone @ 609.884.5404.


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If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us at 609-884-2129 or 866-844-2129, email us, or use our online request form.