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November 2014

Cook with the Best in the Northwest

Tastes of Howlers Inn, by Mary-Martha Bahn
Reviewed by Mary Rose

Cook with the Best in the Northwest archive

 

It's not often you get to eat breakfast while watching a wolf pack pace and play in the yard below.

But everything about Howlers Inn near Bozeman, Montana, is a memorable experience, from the majestic mountain setting to the cozy rooms. Not to mention Mary-Martha's fabulous breakfasts.

 


Howlers Inn

 

You get a hint of things to come when you read through the room journals. Two items are mentioned repeatedly: wolves and breakfast.

"I was blessed with wolf songs early this morning," reads one entry. "Howlerific!" reads another, summing up the sentiments of many guests.

Breakfasts are "wonderful," "incredible," "awesome," "a fine highlight," "scrumptious," "heavenly!" Well, you get the idea.

Mary-Martha shares her morning recipes in a self-published cookbook with 37 easy-to-make dishes, Tastes of Howlers Inn.

 


Tastes of Howlers Inn, by Mary-Martha Bahn

 

The morning I visited, I got to taste the Egg Blossoms, as pretty as they are delicious. I enjoyed the version made with phyllo, but Mary-Martha can also whip up a gluten-free version using thin slices of Black Forest ham.

 


Egg Blossoms

 

Once home, I put on my apron and made Savory Pumpkin Seeds from a garden pumpkin. You'll just never have enough of these.

 


Savory Pumpkin Seeds

 

Then it was on to the Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake (recipe below). I like raspberry anything, but combine this flavor with sour cream and cream cheese and bake it into a coffee cake, and you've got a real winner.

The 63-page cookbook doubles as a souvenir booklet as well as an educational tool for learning about wolves. Mary-Martha publishes the book in small batches to make sure the information about the wolves is up to date. The current edition features the stories of Comanche, Kiowa, Sekani, Chinook, and Tahoe, the five wolves now living in the 4-acre sanctuary.

 


Part of the wolf pack

 

The photos are delightful, showing the wolves when they first arrived as pups and showcasing their playful side in winter. There is a history of the inn as sanctuary, along with facts about wolves. Mary-Martha has done a fine job of weaving all this information into an absorbing narrative.

When you buy this book you'll be receiving facts, photos, and recipes you won't find anywhere else. But you'll also be supporting animals that have found a safe home and a purpose. The purpose being to teach us that all wild creatures can be endearing and celebrated as part of our natural world. You can order a copy of Tastes of Howlers Inn by contacting Mary-Martha via the Howlers Inn website. Send her an email, and she'll let you know the price.

 


Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake

 

Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake
Used by permission of Mary-Martha Bahn.

Serves 10–12+.

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup raspberry preserves
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and sugar.

Add butter, and beat at low speed until mixed.

Remove and reserve 1 1/4 cups of this mixture.

Add baking powder, soda, salt, sour cream, eggs, almond extract, and cream cheese. Mix well.

Spread in greased 9x13 pan.

Spoon preserves over the top. (Note: If the preserves are cold, heat them in the microwave for 20–30 seconds to make them easier to spread.)

Sprinkle with the reserved flour mixture and almonds.

Bake 30–35 minutes until wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

 


Comanche, 150-pound Alaskan tundra wolf and darn nice guy.

 

Mary Rose lives high in the mountains of Montana. She enjoys traveling to farmers markets in summer and making snowballs during the long winter. She is happy to find many locally produced foods, including lentils, cheese, and stroopwafels.

 

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