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Bed & Breakfast news for Innkeepers and B&B travelers
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cinco de Mayo marks a big win for Mexico by commemorating a victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Today we’ll be celebrating by showing off a beautiful property South of the Border and a hot recipe for guacamole, the former belongs on your bucket list and the latter is ideal for festivities at home or abroad!

Casa VioletaCasa Violeta

Mi Casa Is Tu Casa
Casa Violeta in Tulum is like a dream come true. This oceanfront oasis features 10 rustically-designed palapas (bungalows) each facing the Caribbean and featuring its own unique character, including thatched roofs. They were designed with modern amenities to make guests’ stays luxurious and relaxing. Here visitors can fall asleep to the sound of the ocean and enjoy their own little tropical paradise, far away from the crowds. This boutique hotel also offers an on-site restaurant, yoga studio, spa, shop, various packages plus excursion trips for those who want to explore the region’s history or enjoy some outdoor adventure. This property is the perfect place for relaxation or romance and is situated a short distance from the beach and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere.

Chestnut Street Inn's Roasted Jalapeno GuacamoleChestnut Street Inn’s Roasted Jalapeno Guacamole

Your One and Only – It’s Guacamole!
What’s the one food that immediately comes to mind when you think of Mexican delights? Guacamole is our top pick, and with plenty of spice is when it’s just right. That’s why we had to suggest this hot recipe of Roasted Jalapeno Guacamole from Chef Monika Sudakov of the Chestnut Street Inn in Sheffield, IL. It gets the party started right.

Ingredients:
4 ripe avocados
1-2 jalapenos, roasted, peeled and chopped
4 scallions, minced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Roma Tomato, seeds removed and finely chopped
Pinch Salt and Pepper
1 Lemon
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 Tbl cilantro, chopped

Directions:
Over an open flame using tongs, char exterior of the jalapenos and place into a freezer bag. Or, alternately, if you have an electric oven, heat to 375 degrees and place jalapenos on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for approx. 15-20 mins or until the skins begin to blacken, then transfer to freezer bag. Allow jalapenos to sit for approx. 1/2 hr and then peel, chop and place into a bowl. Add chopped tomato, scallions and garlic. Run knife around pit of the avocado to slice it in half. Twist apart to expose pit. Strike the pit with a sharp butcher knife and remove. Score avocado meat into small chunks in the peel and remove with a tablespoon. Add to the bowl. Season with salt, pepper, cumin and paprika. Add juice of one lemon and 2 Tbl chopped cilantro. Using a fork, lightly mash avocado and stir to combine. If you would prefer a smoother guacamole, put mixture in a food processor and puree to your liking. Note: If you are making this well in advance, add 1 drop of green food dye to the guac to keep it nice and green for longer. Serve with chips and crudites.

Friday, May 1, 2015

In honor of the Kentucky Derby, this month’s column features a classic Southern cocktail with tantalizing Northern take: the much celebrated mint julep. Our second round comes from the Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast in Watkinsville GA, where only transplanted Yankees would have the guts to mess with this Southern icon – but their efforts definitely result in glory.

The “classic” version of this recipe calls for ¼ shot of bitters, but innkeepers Mario Castro and Dave Shearon substitute it here with Italian Campari. This switch amplifies the color on the liquid as it mixes with the mint and ice, and Campari’s complexity of bitter flavors provides this Southern staple with a continental sophistication that both pleasantly surprises and satisfies the palate.

And we’re off with The Ashford Manor Mint Julep!

The Ashford Manor Mint JulepThe Ashford Manor Mint Julep

Ingredients:
1 shot Bourbon
1/4 shot Campari
3 shots simple sugar (1 part water 1 part sugar, boil until sugar is dissolved, then chill)
Fresh Mint sprigs
1 Silver Mint Julep cup
1 rocking chair
1 front porch

Makes a single serving

Directions:
In a small pitcher stir bourbon, Campari, simple syrup, and mint sprigs together. Pour over crushed ice in a sliver Mint Julep cup. Garnish with a mint sprig and powdered sugar sprinkled over the top. Add a small cocktail straw and enjoy while sitting in a rocker on your favorite porch.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Mother’s Day is 10 short days away, so there’s no time like the present to find a gift for mom that lets her know she’s the bomb. Take breakfast in bed to a new level when you give her a bed and breakfast getaway. She can pick from special packages designed with her in mind, or choose her own adventure – from culinary escapes to spa weekends, wellness retreats and more.

What’s even better? When you buy a BnBFinder Gift Certificate between May 1 – May 10, you receive a gift too – a 10% discount on your purchase if you use the promo code MOM10.

The best part? Mom runs the show:

  • She chooses where and when to go!
  • There are no blackout or expiration dates.
  • Shipping is free, and for instant giving, an instant e-Card can be download and printed.
  • Certificates can be sent to her with a personalized message.

So get smart and give Mom a gift she can really take to heart – a travel experience exclusively for her that’s created with a BnBFinder Gift Certificate!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Innkeepers often have to juggle several jobs at once, from providing breakfast to concierge services. However, one of the most overlooked and underrated tasks of a B&B owner is keeping their inn spotless for guests. Whether you want cut down on cleaning costs, or you are seeking some new tricks to add to your routine, our innkeepers are the go-to-authority for suggestions that are sure to leave your house looking shiny and new.

 Prospect Hill B&B Prospect Hill B&B

Repurpose Those Garden Tools

With spring comes the dust and pollen of allergy season. If your porch or front steps have a layer of either, sweeping might not get the trick done entirely. This is where innkeeper Judy Hotchkiss of the Prospect Hill B&B (www.BnBFinder.com/ProspectHill) brings out the leaf blower. “It’s far more effective than a broom,” she reveals.

Judy also suggests buying Greased Lightening from the laundry section of Walmart. It’s great for a multitude of cleaning purposes – from removing greasy hair products and imbedded dry skin from acrylic bathtubs and showers, to eliminating messy massage oils and creams that have gotten onto fabrics, sheets and clothing.

 White Lilac Inn White Lilac Inn

Cut Your Fabric Softener Sheets (and Costs) in Half

“One of our best tips is cutting the fabric softener sheets in half for use in our dryers,” says Mari Kennelly of the White Lilac Inn (www.BnBFinder.com/WhiteLilac). “It works perfect on a full load of towels and still allows the towels to function at their best to absorb moisture when you use them.”

This allows to keep your towels at peak freshness and to keep your cleaning budget under control.

Running a Bed & Breakfast for DummiesRunning a Bed & Breakfast for Dummies

Implement a Linen Reuse Program

Our CEO Mary White suggests using a linen reuse program not only to save time by not having to wash towels after just one use, but to also conserve water. “Give guests the option of reusing towels by placing a small sign in the bathroom that says something like, ‘We are proud of being a green inn. Towels left in the tub means you want them replaced, and towels left on the hooks means you want to reuse them.’”

This tip, and plenty of others, can be found in Mary’s book, Running a Bed & Breakfast for Dummies: (http://www.amazon.com/Running-Breakfast-Dummies-Mary-White/dp/0470426829/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430163169&sr=8-1&keywords=running+a+bed+and+breakfast).

Friday, April 24, 2015

B&B Name

Raise your glass because today is Sauvignon Blanc Day (#SauvBlanc Day)! We figured it’s the ideal time to pair this wine with some equally delicious dishes, which as you know by now plenty of our inns can provide. The zip and zing of this crisp refreshing white pairs well with a variety of light dishes like chicken and seafood specialties. Below are two enticing recipes we suggest to get your savvy on: Chicken Bryan from the Whitestone Country Inn in Kingston, TN and Baked Stuffed Haddock from the York Harbor Inn in York Harbor, ME.

Feel free to come up with your own pairings too with the help of our ever-expanding recipe page.

Whitestone Country Inn

Chicken Bryan

Ingredients:
8 oz chicken breast
2 Pounds of Butter (Room Temperature)
3 Tbsp of Dried Basil
Juice of 2 Lemons
Goat Cheese
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Sundried Tomato and Garlic Char Crust
Fresh Parsley or Fresh Basil for Garnish

Directions:
Mix butter, basil, salt, pepper, goat cheese, and lemon juice in a mixer until well combined. Store in refrigerator in an air tight container. Dredge chicken in sundried tomato and garlic char crust and grill until done.

Plating:
Place grilled chicken breast on the plate and top with one scoop of butter and goat cheese mixture. Garnish with fresh parsley or fresh basil.

York Harbor Inn

Baked Stuffed Haddock

Ingredients:
Seafood Stuffing
1 1/2 cups Onions, finely diced
1 1/2 cups Celery, finely diced
2-4oz Clarified butter
1# Cooked Native Maine shrimp, drained
8 oz Crab meat, drained
4 oz Chablis
32 oz Hi-Ho crackers, crushed
1 tsp Thyme
2 tsp Garlic, minced
½ oz Dry parsley, chopped
1 tsp White pepper
1 oz Worcestershire sauce

Creamy Dill Dressing
3 cups Mayonnaise
1 cups Sour Cream
2 Tbsp Oil
2 Tbsp Wine Vinegar
3 Tbsp Dill Weed
2 Tbsp Honey
1 oz Onion, minced
1 oz Celery, minced
1 ½ tsp Dijon Mustard
¾ tsp Garlic, minced
¼ cup Milk
1/8th tsp Salt
1/8th tsp White Pepper

Directions:
Sauté onions, celery, and garlic in butter until translucent. Combine thyme, wine, parsley, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Place crushed crackers in large bowl. Pour wine mixture into cooked veggies. Mix well. Combine veggie mixture with crushed crackers. Gently mix in seafood. Cool. Lay 6 oz haddock filet over 4 oz of stuffing. Top with 1 Tbsp dill dressing (see next recipe) and lightly cover dressing with buttered bread crumb. Bake in a casserole dish at 350″ with white wine and a little butter, for 25-18 minutes. For Creamy Dill Dressing: Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to blend. Refrigerate.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day! This humanitarian holiday took root as an idea from Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1969 after he had witnessed the devastation of a terrible oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA. Today, it calls attention to environmental programs and builds community activism around the world through numerous events and activities. From recycling to planting a tree, no action is too small when it comes to helping the environment and making a greener future for all. Some of our inns have taken this initiative to heart, becoming more eco-friendly than ever before through programs such as Destination Charging.

Tesla Motors rolled out this project, which gave over 100 hotels, restaurants and resorts High Power Wall Connectors for green travelers to charge their Tesla cars. BnBFinder inns are heavily involved in this, and in many cases, are offering their services for free to guests who stay overnight. Below are a couple of inns partaking in the program, which are going green in other ways too.

 West Hill House B&B West Hill House B&B

Don’t be Wasteful at West Hill House
The Tesla charging station has introduced a whole new world of guests to innkeeper Peter MacLaren of the West Hill House B&B (www.BnBFinder.com/WestHillHouse) in Warren, VT. One traveler from Toronto, ON was driving his Tesla Model S85D from his hometown all the way to Boothbay Harbor, ME for a wedding, a little under 13 hours of driving. After doing some research he found that the historic 1850’s home was the perfect half way stop to charge his car and to experience what Peter likes to call the BEB experience – bed, electrons and breakfast!

Aside from the two Tesla charging units, the West Hill House B&B also features a J1772 charger for other brands of electric cars. The inn is a recognized as a Green Hotel in the Green Mountain State and takes several initiatives to go green, including adding a solar hot water pre-heating system, compact fluorescent lights, and recycling at all times.

 Inn on Randolph Inn on Randolph

Renew, Reuse and Recycle at Inn on Randolph
The Inn on Randolph (www.BnBFinder.com/InnonRandolph) in Napa, CA participates in green practices daily, with their use of 95% LED lighting, low-flow water sources, natural cleaning products and substitution of stainless steel bottles for plastic water bottles. So when Tesla offered to put in charging stations for guests using Tesla and other electric cars, innkeeper Karen Lynch saw it as the next step towards her inn becoming more environmentally friendly.

A handful of guests have already used the stations, which have been on the property for two weeks. “We are thrilled to offer this new cutting-edge service to them,” said Karen. “It just fits so seamlessly with our efforts to provide the highest-end modern amenities in our serene, historic setting.”

King’s Cottage B&B King’s Cottage B&B

Cut your Carbon Footprint at King’s Cottage
Any business traveler that wants to go green and is headed through Pennsylvania  will want to check out, and check into, the King’s Cottage B&B (www.bnbfinder.com/KingsCottage). Located in Lancaster, PA, innkeepers Janis and Ann were ecstatic when Tesla Motor Corps made the offer of installing both a Tesla Charging Station and a Clipper Creek universal charging station. Tailored to business travelers, the King’s Cottage offers discounts to road warriors as well as free Wi-Fi, fax and breakfast on the go – perfect for anyone looking to take an emissions-free working vacation.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Today is National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day, so we thought it would be fun to turn this dish on its head just a bit. Instead of giving you a traditional pineapple upside-down cake recipe, we are providing an alternate option that is even more enticing. Our friends at the Sobotta Manor Bed & Breakfast in Mount Airy, NC came up with this decadent dish that features the day’s favored fruit in another innovative way as Pineapple Mandarin Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast.

Make sure to check out this recipe below, and plenty of others, on our ever-expanding recipe page.

Sobotta Manor Bed & BreakfastSobotta Manor Bed & Breakfast

Ingredients:
1 loaf French bread or sourdough bread sliced thick
1 8 oz pkg of cream cheese
3 tablespoon splenda
3 tablespoons nuts
3 tablespoons toasted coconut
6 eggs
¾ cup flavored creamer
1 Tbsp of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

For the sauce:
1 can mandarin oranges (drained) reserve juice
1 can pineapple (drained) reserve juice
1 cup of sugar (can substitute splenda)
2 Tbsps of cornstarch
1 cup of fruit juice (keep the juice you drain from fruit)
1 Tbsp butter

Directions:
Cut French bread about 2 inches thick and take a sharp knife and make a pocket lengthwise. Mix cream cheese, splenda and nuts together well and put approximately 1 large tablespoon cream cheese mixture in each of the pockets you’ve cut in bread.

In a large bowl mix the eggs, flavored creamer, cinnamon, and nutmeg whisk well, dip the cream cheese stuffed bread slices and brown well.

Prepare the sauce and pour over bread top with nuts and toasted coconut.

Sauce:
In a small sauce pan mix the water, sugar, cornstarch over moderately high heat until it is thickened, then add the drained fruit. Simmer for about ten minutes then pour over French toast.

Friday, April 17, 2015

We’ve accepted that winter is coming. Actually, we’re thrilled, because we couldn’t be more excited for the return of Game of Thrones – even if that means more chilling, heartbreaking scenes. (Red Wedding recall anyone?) Naturally its arrival got us thinking about which B&B’s our favorite characters would go to if they could ever escape the Seven Kingdoms. Think about it: Fighting for the Iron Throne is exhausting, so who wouldn’t want a relaxing weekend away complete with a cozy bed and bountiful breakfast? Here are four inns where everyone can feel like royalty, without losing their head – or facing the Hound (RIP).

Victorian Mansion Bed & Breakfast Victorian Mansion Bed & Breakfast

Toast the Vine to Tyrion at Victorian Mansion Bed & Breakfast
Tyrion had a pretty stressful time living in Westeros. After killing his father it was definitely time to flee. The one thing that always helps him cope is wine, and why not? The grape is pretty great. That’s why we think Victorian Mansion Bed & Breakfast in Los Alamos, CA – and their Wine Lovers Package – is something the Half Man would definitely enjoy indulging in. Upon arrival, you will be greeted with a bottle of premium California red from the area. In the morning, after you finish your in-suite breakfast, you and your guest will be picked up for a day of wine tasting in the areas made famous by the movie Sideways. Sit back and relax as you are chauffeured through some of the most beautiful scenery along the Central Coast. Later when you arrive back at the Mansion, your private fireplace and hot tub will be waiting.

John’s Gate Gourmet Bed and BreakfastJohn’s Gate Gourmet Bed and Breakfast

Head North like Jon Snow to John’s Gate Gourmet Bed and Breakfast
Much like Jon Snow trekking over The Wall into wintery terrain, guests can make their way towards Canada (sans the White Walkers) to John’s Gate Gourmet Bed and Breakfast in Niagara on the Lake, ON. This custom built, pre-Victorian style bed and breakfast offers activities that include relaxing at nearby 100 Fountain Spa, bicycle paths, coupons to the nearby wineries, as well as hiking north of the border – just like our favorite man of the Night’s Watch. Savor the full 3-4 course hot breakfast each morning as well as the complimentary hot and cold beverages offered around the clock. While Jon Snow may know nothing, you’ll discover that there are plenty of reasons to appreciate this small-town inn.

The Inn at Meander PlantationThe Inn at Meander Plantation

Travel as Daenerys Does (but with Dogs not Dragons!) to The Inn at Meander Plantation
Being the Mother of Dragons can’t be an easy gig – especially now that they’ve reached their teenage years and are in fiery stage of rebellion. Most people don’t want such hot commodities headed to their home. However, we think Dany would like to stay at The Inn at the Meander Plantation in Locust Dale, VA. With 80 acres offering lots of room for exploration and adventure, this B&B provides pet-friendly rooms that provide easy outside access – ideal for dragons (if they could behave more like canines, and actually existed of course). The Pets Welcome Package is available Sunday through Wednesday and includes two-nights lodging (pets stay free); homemade dog treats on arrival; a chef-prepared 3-course dinner basket one of the evenings; a gourmet picnic for the humans on the day of your choice (with a little something for the puppy); and more.

First Farm InnFirst Farm Inn

Find the Hodor to Your Bran at First Farm Inn
Hodor is every Game of Thrones viewer’s favorite gentle giant. From his contagious smile, to his simple greeting (which also happens to be his name), he has endeared himself upon fans in a way few characters can. If you favor such temperate and colossal beings, First Farm Inn in Petersburg, KY should be part of your journey. This renovated farmhouse, which sits on 20 acres, is the quintessential B&B of country living. Surrounded by pastures that are dotted with a colorful assortment of friendly horses, guests may get in-touch with their equestrian side – just like Bran has while riding Hodor’s back – with the trail ride lessons that innkeepers Jennifer and Dana offer.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

 Photo from Cliparts.co Photo from Cliparts.co

It’s April 15…Tax Day in the USA. You filed and the government owes you funds – yay! – but the question remains: how can you get the most bang for those extra bucks? We have a few brilliant ideas to share, and they involve a bed, breakfast and the opportunity to enjoy a unique travel experience catered to your tastes.

Consider yourself a foodie? Then select one of our inns with a seriously top-notch restaurant spot, or a B&B with hands-on gourmet cooking classes. Are you an outdoor enthusiast? Hop on a hot air balloon, get hiking, biking, hit the green or start sailing.

With a choice of over 1,500 properties, there’s something for everyone in every setting you can conceive of: urban landscapes, mountain scenery, seaside vistas, beachfront views, a B&B in a tree – and even one on the high seas!

There’s no time like the present to spend those tax dollars on something special. You worked hard all year, so it’s about time you indulge in an escape we know is definitely well deserved!

Check out our Bed & Breakfast Specials and set up your ideal getaway today.

Monday, April 13, 2015

If you’re pining for peaches today, you’re in luck! Celebrate National Peach Cobbler Day and enjoy some of this lusciously sweet dessert. Did you know that the largest peach cobbler was baked at the Georgia Peach Festival in 2007 and measured 11×5 feet across and 8 inches deep? They used 90 pounds of butter, 150 pounds of sugar, 150 pounds of flour, 32 gallons of milk and 75 gallons of peaches!

While we don’t necessarily expect you to take on a baking project of that magnitude (though we definitely encourage you to try!), we do have you covered with a more manageable recipe from the Fairview Inn in Jackson, MS (www.BnBFinder.com/FairviewInn).

Ingredients:

Fairview InnFairview Inn

1 stick butter
1 cup self-rising flour
2 cup white sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 qt fresh or frozen peaches
2/3 cup peach schnapps
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
Melt butter and place in bottom of 9x13x2 pan. Make batter of flour, milk and sugar. Pour over butter, and then add peaches. Do not stir. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until edges brown.

Serves 12

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