The Moss House Bed and Breakfast

129 Van Norden Street, Washington, North Carolina 27889
Innkeeper(s): Rebecca & Scott Sipprell
  • The Historic Moss House

    The Historic Moss House

 

Breakfast Spinach – Pesto for Eggs 12 Mar 2015, 8:00 am

I do not like Green Eggs and Ham.

Well, I can skip the green ham part, but I do love green “things” with my eggs — especially this close to St. Patty’s Day and Spring.

This recipe for Easy Fresh Spinach-Parsley Pesto is delicious and good for you too. What a concept!

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Handy tip:  Keep your pesto in a squirt bottle so you can put in on the plate and impress your friends and family.  Remember: we eat with our eyes first.

Spinach- Parsley Breakfast Pesto

Prep time: 5 minutes
Whirl time:  3 – 4 minutes

2 Cups Washed Spinach (heavy stems removed)
½ Cup Fresh Parsley (no big stems)
2 Tablespoons Grated Orange Peel
3-4 Tablespoons Orange Juice
2 Tablespoons Walnuts or Pecans (toasting them is nice, but cool them first)
Salt and Pepper

Stuff it all in the blender and whirl away until a nice smooth puree is formed (sometimes you may need a bit more orange juice, but do not make it too thin. If you do, just add some more Spinach!)

Store it in a squirt bottle in the fridge until you are ready to use it. It can be kept for two weeks in the fridge.

Drizzle it on the plate with the eggs or over Eggs Benedict with the Hollandaise first.

Recipe for Lemon-Ginger Muffins with Tart Lemon Glaze 3 Feb 2015, 12:48 pm

Muffins are a mainstay for breakfast and I love to find fresh flavors to start my guest’s day off happy! This batter is filled with grated lemon peel for bite and chopped crystallized ginger for a little heat and sweet in the same bite.


Share the recipe with your family. It’s easy, full of love and gooey with a lemony glaze brushed on top while the muffins are still warm.

Nothing smells better than fresh-baked muffins in the morning. This muffin recipe is easy, moist and quite flavorful. Bake these up, add some fresh fruit and a breakfast casserole and you are onto the perfect way to start the day for your family or your guests. You will be a muffin hero!

Lemony-Ginger Muffins with Tart Lemon Glaze

Preheat oven to 375 and spray a 12 cup muffin pan with Pam

Ingredients:

2 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt

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2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 !/4 Cups Plain Non-fat Yogurt
1/4 Cup (4 Tbsp ) Unsalted Butter, melted then cooled
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest (2 average lemons or 1 large)
1/2 Cup Crystallized Ginger, minced

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1/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice (2 average lemons or 1 large)
1/3 Cup Sugar
3 Tbsp Water

Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs and sugar. Add the yogurt, melted butter, lemon zest and ginger. Fold and mix wet ingredients into the dry.

Careful now — do not OVER mix or you will get tough muffins …. trust me.

Spoon or use an ice cream scoop to put batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 19 minutes, test with a toothpick.

While muffins are baking, mix together the lemon juice, 1/3 cup sugar and water in a small pan and cook to melt the sugar. When you take the muffins out of the oven, prick then all over the tops (I use a fork). Now brush the tops with the glaze. I love my silicone brush!  Brush them again, and again….yup sticky, glaze-y and yummy!

Cool a few minutes before you eat them all, errr, I mean serve them! <wink>

By the way, if you do not have one already — get yourself a micro-plane for citrus zesting.  I have had one for years and use it almost everyday.

(This muffin recipe is adapted from The Pecan Tree Inn in Beaufort, NC)

 

The Birds are the Stars at Sylvan Heights 1 Dec 2014, 12:59 pm

The world has not gone to the dogs — it has gone to the birds — at least in the little Town of Scotland Neck, NC. The magnificent birds are tended to here at Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park, a non-profit group, by a caring group of volunteers and staff. The purpose here is to educate the public about the wonderful waterfowl around the world.

Every time you come here you have a new experience. The guests of the park wander through a variety of “counties” and areas of the world and are in the midst of the waterfowl that live there. The beautifully maintained walkways lead you from one place to another with birds flying and swimming around — and they are every color under the sun.


Look carefully and you will meet the resident Blue Jay that steals a pencil from you and lands nearby — checking to see if you have a snack for him! There are places to buy food for the birds and feed them yourself.

And last year Sylvan Heights added a Parakeet corral, where you buy a stick with seed on it. The parakeets land on you and feed off the stick — it is so much fun. You can also feed some Flamingos food in this spot too.

Check out the website and make plans to visit this magical place sometime in the near future.  You will be entranced by the birds,  the sounds and the beauty of this place. My grandchildren love it and so do I!

Sylvan Heights is open Tuesday – Sunday, pretty much year round. They do close a few days each year (ie, Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day), but if you have any questions, consult the website or give them a call.

Contact Information for Sylvan Heights Water Park

Website:  http://www.shwpark.com
Phone:    (252) 826-3186

500 Sylvan Heights Park Way
Scotland Neck, NC 27874

Rainbows in Washington NC … Gold Still at Large! 26 Nov 2014, 9:00 am

Isn’t this a delightful sight?

Ever dream of a rainbow with its proverbial pot of gold? Well, this one has the lovely city of Washington, North Carolina at the end!  We were driving over the bridge one rainy evening and saw this colorful display. I made my husband, Scott, pull up in our driveway so I could run into the B&B, grab my camera and drive back.

I jumped out on the bridge and snapped as many of these as I could.

The end of the rainbow is right over our place — The Moss House Bed and Breakfast — just behind the trees in the middle of the shot. I tried jumping up and down to get the Moss House’s red roof into the shot. Evidently, I do not have any frog in me. <wink>

I could not even see the first leprechaun, nor spot any signs of gold! …….. But with the mild bursts of rain we’ve been getting lately, I am optimistic and keeping my eyes open for rainbow sightings and pots of gold!

Come see us and bring your lucky camera!

 

Crisp Mornings with Apple-Sage Sausage 12 Nov 2014, 5:51 pm

Crisp mornings make me think of warm Oatmeal Pancakes and hearty Apple-Sage Sausage with maple syrup and some fruit sliding down the side of the pancakes. What’s not to love?

When we first took on the role of innkeepers at The Moss House Bed and Breakfast, I knew the best thing I could do was reach out to all my cook friends and family and gather their favorite breakfast treats. So The Moss House Apple-Sage Sausage was born and became a keeper for the last 8 1/2 years.

 

When the call for delicious was sent forth, all my chums came to my aid. One of our favorites was a recipe from my good friend (and an excellent chef), Reid. He had this Apple and Sage Sausage recipe from a delightful cooking magazine. I worked with it, rearranged it a bit and have since made it my own. Thanks for the start to a wonderful sausage relationship Reid!

I now have a year-round crop of fresh sage I tend carefully for cooking and a great local source for country pork sausage I like to use for the base. I have also made it from a mix of ground turkey and pork. I found the all turkey to be just a bit too lean for this, but I have made that version work too.


Okay, are you ready for really tasty sausage? Let’s get cooking!

The Moss House Apple-Sage Sausage from The Moss House Bed & Breakfast in Washington NC  

1 lb good country sausage
2 TBLS olive oil
1 medium firm apple, like Granny Smith or a Fuji apple (chopped fine)
¼ cup of finely chopped sweet onion
¼ cup chopped fresh sage
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 TBLS finely ground fennel seeds (a spice-dedicated coffee grinder is great, but a sharp knife and some excellent fine chopping skills work fine too)
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp salt (or to taste)
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Heat oil over medium heat in a sauté pan and cook together the finely chopped apple and the onion until slightly browned and soft. Set aside to cool.

Put the sausage meat in a large bowl and add the chopped sage, parsley, pepper, salt, ground fennel seed and cinnamon.

Add the cooled apples and onion and dive into it to mix well (your hands not your whole body!)

It is really great to make this the night before or you can freeze it. When you are ready to cook, just make up patties.

Usually, I prefer large patties rather than two small ones. Watch the frying temperature when you are cooking — apples have sugar and brown up fast. Make this in big batches,freeze and you’ll have some ready every Saturday morning for weeks to come!

 

 

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Sail Away on the Jeanie B 8 Sep 2014, 4:37 am

Nothing — and I mean nothing — beats a day on a sailboat or a beautiful evening and returning into the sunset on a glorious breezy evening!

Scott and I have owned sailboats, but nothing beats going out on a big-rigged boat like the Jeanie B. Ahhh … just thinking about it puts me on board, cruising down the Pamlico River and smelling the fresh air with sails unfurled and the river moving past me. Captain Paul will take good care of you!

This is what it is all about!

The Jeanie B  is a  72′ Gaff Rigged Schooner and a classic design based upon the famous working class schooners of the Seventeen and Eighteen Hundreds with the splendid addition of modern navigational equipment for safety and a robust diesel engine for days when the wind gets lazy. 


1/2 Day River Excursion or an Evening Sunset Cruise are each around 3 hours in length starting at the Washington Waterfront proceeding south along the Pamlico River 5 to 7 nautical miles toward Blount Bay. 

Along the way, you will experience the environmental wonderland of the Pamlico River where wildlife is prolific. We regularly see osprey, cormorants, pelicans and sea gulls, along with a multitude of fish turtles and even pods of dolphin.


The cost is only $25.00 per person for 1/2 Day River Excursion or the Evening Sunset Cruise. Children under 12 are half price.

Here’s my recommendation:  First, check out the Jeanie B website.  Prepare to fall in love.  Next, call to find out the dates she is at dock — 252-671-0080.

Then — book passage to make your sailing adventure a reality!


Do not miss this joyful excursion when you are in Washington, NC. By the way, The Moss House B&B is only three blocks from the dock! We’d love for you to come stay with us.

 

 

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Beckie’s Bag of Biscuits and Beans 13 Aug 2014, 10:07 am

I am an innkeeper. I take pride in my B&B and what we offer our guests here at The Moss House and I am often asked as a seasoned innkeeper (more than 8 years now!) …

“I have always wanted to own a B&B — What do I need to know to be a good innkeeeper?”

Being an innkeeper means lots of time in the kitchen!

Innkeeping is … hmmmm … well …. if you ask any given  innkeeper you will get a totally different answer. I think, my answer is:  Start with being interested in being a Great innkeeper. You will get from it what you put into it.

So here is my personal primer. Take from it what you like:

Beckie’s Basket of Biscuits and Beans

Maybe the interest I personally had in this honored and highly active profession started with my own history and “mixed skills.”  Yes, let’s call them “skills.”

I packed my bag and in it I put:

  • A love of cooking, baking and feeding people
  • Having a cleaning business for several years
  • Being a housewife and mother and running a home and a farm for years
  • Many years of fixing and remodeling homes with my hubby, Scott  (I love to paint a room!)
  • Many years of being on stage, doing props and decorating for productions … and, oh yes …
  • A childhood of doll houses, dress-up, cake baking and making pretty places for fairies in the backyard

I believe each innkeeper, and potential innkeeper, brings to this demanding and rewarding lifestyle his or her own set of skills.

Scott and I have set up The Moss House Bed and Breakfast with our collective tastes and eclectic style. Another innkeeper would find his or her own style. For instance, don’t buy a B&B in a ski zone if you hate winter! (I know, duh!)

We happen to love being in town, in a house with historic value —  but even more than that — a traceable family history with the town and the house. We love our garden and the wide veranda being part of the garden.

We wanted a warm and inviting outdoor space as well as private and comfortable rooms for the guests. We also love water so we chose The Moss House because the Pamlico River and River Walk were right out our front door in Little Washington, NC.

Being an innkeeper may not be for everyone, but for a creative soul in search of a satisfying lifestyle it is absolutely something worth looking into. Many state organizations offer Aspiring Innkeepers classes.  In NC, contact the North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns Association.

Talk to an innkeeper and get a job at one if you can. That is was sealed it for me. I worked at a NC inn and knew I had to have my own! Look into your own basket of biscuits and beans to find what you have to offer to the guests at your own B&B.

Love and happy travels,

 

 

Rollin’ on the River in Washington NC 22 Jul 2014, 8:49 am

It is a warm summer evening or even a cool fall night and the walks along the Pamlico River always make me smile. The town of Washington, NC ( sometimes called “Little Washington”) owes a great deal of its unique wonder to this glorious river we live on. It’s what drew Scott and me here to open the bed and breakfast. It offers home to the many kinds of birds that nest near here. And, of course, the Pamlico River provides a perfect setting for walks, sailing, fishing or a kayak paddle.

This river holds a full history going back to Indian settlements, the Civil War and changing commerce along the rivers edge. You can walk along the river walk in the evening and see folks fishing along the docks and the boardwalk or watch the boats follow the flow.

In the summer, you can watch the sailing school boats go by and catch an expert bringing in a flounder for his dinner. The mix of salt water coming up the river from the Pamlico Sound and the fresh water coming in from the Tar River and the other smaller creeks makes this area the second largest Estuary system in the Eastern US.

Come and enjoy the river, this wonderful place called the Pamlico.

 

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Garden Life at The Moss House B&B 2 Jul 2014, 7:18 am

Spring and Summer offer so many colors and living critters in the small gardens here it feels like a large space sometimes. Every month brings in new colors and to catch the eye so I just had to share some with you all.


Each year my little garden offers new surprises and reminds me that life renews all on its own, all by itself  — with a little rain, sunshine and bit of gardener love.

 

You never know who you might meet at The Moss House! Sit on the veranda or on the back porch and the visitors will come.

The Chaste Tree on the corner of the garden is over 100 years old and still blooms for us every year. No, I did not plant it!

Come by and check out the changes that happen everyday, sit on a rocker and visit the dragonflies.

 

 

Great Granola with More Taste, Less Fat! 3 Jun 2014, 1:45 am

Homemade Granola with Lots of Crunch —  Sweet and Nutty!

I love granola on fruit, yogurt and even ice cream, but most of the time the “good-for-you-stuff” is masked by tons of sweetener and fats. I had to find a better solution, so I set out to do some detective work!  I knew I did not want anything artificial or weird in my granola, but it had to be really tasty — a little bit sweet and nutty, I love the nuts!!

Is it possible to have delicious granola without all the fat and added sweeteners? Yes!

So here is what I worked out. I make it often at The Moss House Bed and Breakfast and put it on fresh fruit or sprinkle it over some “Spiced Oatmeal Pancakes” with sauteed apples or fresh strawberries. Yummy!

Great Low Fat, Tasty Granola Recipe by Beckie

Set oven at 325 degrees – two racks upper middle and upper bottom
2 oven trays with silpats or parchment paper

Bake for 20-30 minutes, swapping trays in oven and stirring twice

Mix a big bowl

4 cups Oats (not quick oats)
1 cup Nuts chopped ( I like chopped up whole almonds, walnuts, pecans and even pistachios)
1/2 cup raw Sunflower Seeds
1/2 cup raw Pepitas ( shelled pumpkin seeds)
1 Tablespoon good Cinnamon

Warm in a measuring cup for 20 seconds:

1/2 cup Local Honey
1/2 cup Water

Stir together and pour over the Oatmeal mix, stir it all together (Use clean hands, ok?)

Divide onto the two sheets and put in the oven. Remember to check on it so it doesn’t burn.

Change trays and stir it all twice during the cooking. The point is to crisp it all, get some brown crispiness going and then let it dry out.

Cool and put in a glass jar.  Use liberally … often.

 

Enjoy!