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Comfort food at home away from home

By Staff | Aug 17, 2009

Lacey Elphic’s ancestors built the house, which is now Country Heritage Bed and Breakfast, in 1921. Elphic and her husband Blair bought the home five years ago and are excited to have it back in the family. The Elphics are busy throughout the year housing guests nearly every weekend. This summer in particular has been so busy some projects, like landscaping, have been put on hold.

HAMPTON – Lacey Elphic always wanted to own the house her ancestors built.

“I really wanted the house to be back in the family,” she said, “and I thought running a bed and breakfast would be fun, and it has been.”

The 88-year-old house along Highway 3 was built in 1921 by Elphic’s great-great uncle, Ed Borcherding and his father. It boasts four levels and multiple bedrooms, but Borcherding and his wife, Ressie, never had any children. When the couple passed away, the home was sold and turned into a bed and breakfast.

When Elphic and her husband, Blair, heard the house was up for sale again, they jumped at the chance, wanting to keep using the multiple rooms for a B and B.

They renamed the bed and breakfast, however, from Country Touch to Country Heritage, Elphic said. “I just thought this name was more fitting, since this is my heritage.”

These famous home-made muffins are available at Country Heritage Bed and Breakfast. Innkeeper Lacey Elphic isn’t willing to give out the recipe because she wants people to come out for the cooking and atmosphere the B & B off of Iowa Highway 3 provides. Pictured are Elphic’s blueberry, apple cinnamin, and cream cheese muffins.

The Elphics have hosted numerous guests in the home for five years and counting. A family room, four bedrooms and a bridal suite with private bathrooms give customers ample room to relax.

“We want people to use it as their house,” Elphic said. “Sometimes people will use the kitchen to cook a pizza or they’ll play video games and watch movies in the living room.”

Some guests even go out to the garage to shoot some pool with Blair Elphic, or enjoy chatting outside with the innkeepers in a gazebo while the fire pit crackles away.

Part of making their guests feel at home includes home-cooked meals.

“We mainly do breakfasts, but sometimes we’ll make a dinner and dessert,” Elphic said. “We also offer special Sunday breakfasts by reservation.”

Catering to individuals’ needs is no problem for Elphic. She normally asks guests if they have a preference for breakfast or any other meal she may be providing.

“A couple that stayed with us last week was from England,” Elphic said, “and their only request was for smaller portions, but like most other guests they just wanted a warm home-cooked country breakfast.”

Many of Elphic’s recipes are thrown together without measurements, and others she’d just rather not give out, like her mammoth muffins.

“If I gave the recipe to you,” Elphic said, “then people wouldn’t need to come out here and enjoy the home-cooked food and atmosphere.”

So here are some of the recipes Elphic had no problem giving out. For more information on Country Heritage Bed and Breakfast or to make a reservation check out the business’s Web site at www.countryheritagebb.com/ or give the Elphics a call at (866) 456-4036.

Breakfast Bake

Lacey Elphic

1 bag hashbrowns

8 eggs

3 cups of milk

Salt and pepper

Dash of ground mustard

Ham or sausage

Peppers, onion, mushrooms (optional)

Cheese

Add hashbrowns to greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Mix together eggs, milk, salt, pepper and ground mustard. Pour evenly over hashbrowns. Add ham or sausage, peppers, onions and mushrooms. Top with cheese. Bake at 360 degrees for 60 to 90 minutes or until done.

Raspberry Stuffed Breakfast Puff

12 slices bread, cubed

8 ounces softened cream cheese, cut in 1 1/2-inch squares

1 1/2 cups raspberries

12 large eggs

2 cups milk

1/2 cup maple syrup

Place half of the bread cubes on the bottom of a greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Scatter cream cheese and raspberries over bread. Place remaining bread over raspberries. Mix together eggs, milk and maple syrup. Pour evenly over entire pan. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 to 40 minutes until puffed, browned, firm and thoroughly cooked. Cut into 3-by-4-inch pieces and top with raspberry sauce. Serves 12.

Raspberry Sauce Topping

3 cups sugar

6 tablespoon cornstarch

3 cups water

3 cups raspberries

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup butter

Thoroughly blend sugar and cornstarch in a stockpot. Stir in water. Cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally until mixture boils, thickens and turns clear. Stir in raspberries and simmer until berries soften. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and butter. Pour 1/2 cup topping over each portion. Serves 12.

Caramel Brownies

1 box of chocolate cake mix

1/3 c plus 1/2 cup evaporated milk

3/4 cup butter melted

14 ounce package caramels

1 cup pecans

3/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix 1/3 cup evaporated milk, cake mix and butter. Place half in 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Save other half for later. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. Cool. Melt caramels and 1/2 cup evaporated milk and pour over cake. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and pecans. Top with remaining batter. Bake at 350 degrees for an additional 18 minutes.

Chicken and Rice

1 can chicken broth

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 cups instant white rice

2 whole chicken breasts

Bring chicken broth to a boil. Stir in 2 cups of rice and cover. Remove from heat and let sit for 6 minutes. Stir in cream of chicken soup. Place in the bottom of glass baking dish. Put chicken breasts on top of rice. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until chicken is done.

Season and marinate chicken however preferred.

Contact Lindsey Ory at lindsey.ory@hotmail.com

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