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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

From pies to cobblers to tarts, cherries can be used in a number of desserts that are sure to get your mouth watering. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that there is an entire day dedicated to confections with cherries in mind. Today is National Cherry Dessert Day, so whether you prefer Dark Hudson Cherries, Bing Cherries or Bright Red Sour Cherries, grab a pastry featuring this delectable red treat because not having something sweet to snack on after dinner is the pits. If you’re not sure what to try to mark this momentous occasion, keep in mind this Cherry-Chocolate Snickerdoodles recipe from The Heartstone Inn and Cottages in Eureka Springs, AR.

Ingredients:

The Heartstone Inn and CottagesThe Heartstone Inn and Cottages

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 oz. pkg. Nestle Swirled Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (6 oz.) dried cherries, coarse chopped
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.
  3. Beat butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl until creamy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  6. Stir in 1 1/4 cups morsels and cherries.
  7. Combine remaining 3T. sugar and cinnamon in small bowl.
  8. Roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture until coated.
  9. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Top balls with a few of the remaining morsels.
  10. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or just until centers are set.
  11. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Friday, May 22, 2015

National Maritime Day has been recognized in the US since 1933 as a way to pay special tribute to the merchant marines and the benefits that the maritime industry provides to the country as a whole. In light of this, we are highlighting two shoreline inns that feature breathtaking locations, calming breezes and the enticing smell of sea water. So cast off from home and get your sea legs moving towards these beautiful waterside B&Bs.

Set Anchor at East Brother Light Station in Richmond, CA

East Brother Light StationEast Brother Light Station

Seafaring guests will want to find their way to historic East Brother Light Station, which shouldn’t be hard since the inn is also a live lighthouse that has been active since 1874. Once they follow this B&B’s beacon of illumination, visitors will discover a California Historical Landmark as well as a property listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While the inn is located on a private island just 10 minutes from shore, it feels extremely far away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. The first thing guests may notice upon arrival is the soothing enchantment of the modern electric foghorn. Each room, from the Marin Room to the San Francisco Room, is named for the amazing and unique view it provides. In the morning, a full breakfast is served daily and is referred to as “a work of culinary art.” The gourmet multi-course dinner, which caps off the day, is a definite highlight of every evening.

Black Dolphin InnBlack Dolphin Inn

Prove Your Sea Worthiness at Black Dolphin Inn in New Smyrna Beach, FL

When travelers arrive at Black Dolphin Inn, they may think they are seeing double. Don’t worry it’s not a reflection in the water, it’s just innkeepers Scott and Brett Smith – who are identical twins. This B&B has 14 luxury appointed guest rooms that overlook the Indian River and provides plush queen and king Euro-style bedding, wet bars and furnished balconies, as well as private spa-inspired bathrooms that have glass mosaic tile and Mirabelle air-jetted tubs.  Visitors may choose between Black Dolphin Inn’s Signature breakfast or the Southern-style breakfast. Overnight dockage is available for guests with boats, and fishing opportunities are abundant in the backwaters and bays of the Indian River Lagoon as well as nearby Canaveral National Seashore Park.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20th is National Pick Strawberries Day. Since they are the first fruit to ripen during the spring, eating fresh strawberries is an enticing way to celebrate the climbing temperature. If you are a true strawberry fanatic, you might choose to visit Le Musée de la Fraise (The Strawberry Museum) in Belgium. For those that love these red beauties but don’t want to trek that far, freshen up your home menu with this Strawberry Bread recipe from the CW Worth House Bed and Breakfast in Wilmington, NC.  For more delectable spring treats, make sure to visit our recipe page.

Ingredients:

CW Worth House Bed and BreakfastCW Worth House Bed and Breakfast

  • 3 C. Flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C. sugar
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 C. canola oil
  • 3 C. fresh sliced strawberries or 2 10 oz. packages, thawed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix all dry ingredients together with a whisk (except sugar) in a large bowl.

Mix oil, sugar and vanilla together in medium bowl. Beat in eggs. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and mix in wet ingredients. Mix until blended. You may want to drain off some of the juice from the thawed, frozen strawberries. Gently fold in strawberries.

Grease pans. For two 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pans, bake for 50-60 minutes.

Makes two loaves.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Memorial Day is just one week away, and with the buzz surrounding the latest travel report from AAA, it looks like plenty of people will be hitting the road. According to the site’s May 11 forecast, automotive travel will be up for the holiday weekend by 5.3 percent (33 million travelers) compared to the same time last year. The organization also projected that this would be the highest volume in 10 years!

Now, although this may equate to some serious traffic, you actually don’t have to go a far distance to enjoy a getaway or stay home to avoid it. There are plenty of B&B’s that are just one tank trips from several major cities, which saves significant time and money for all.

In fact, instead of you having to head to Google maps and figure everything out for yourself, we’ve compiled a quick hit list for you: Head here to check out some inns not far from New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, the Four Corners, Los Angeles and more.

And to make it even easier, there is still time to grab a BnBFinder Gift Certificate. It’s the best gift to get, for yourself or someone else, since there are no blackout or expiration dates; shipping is free or an instant e-Card can be downloaded and printed; and each certificate can include a personalized message.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

May marks Finger Lakes Wine Month, and there are plenty of B&B’s in the region to help mark the occasion with unique packages designed with wine lovers in mind. Here are two specials worth savoring from the 1837 Cobblestone Cottage Bed & Breakfast and the 1792 Filigree Inn, respectively. So raise your glass to Riesling, Pinot Noir, Ice Wine and more, plus amazing inns with amenities galore.

 1837 Cobblestone Cottage Bed & Breakfast 1837 Cobblestone Cottage Bed & Breakfast

Simply the Best at 1837 Cobblestone Cottage Bed & Breakfast
Situated close to downtown, the 1837 Cobblestone Cottage Bed & Breakfast – a historic stop on the Underground Railroad, featuring a “secret room” – has three guestrooms with comfy king-sized beds, private baths, and fireplaces. Guests enjoy a full three-course breakfast in the Main Room each morning before they set out to explore the region. The “Wine with the Best Tour” in partnership with Crush on Canandaigua Wine Tours offers wine lovers an all-inclusive price, guided tours, convenient pickup and drop off at the inn, and planned itineraries custom designed by sommelier Andrew Brooks. The “Sip and Savour All Day Tour” and the “Sniff and Swirl Half Day Tour” both provide a knowledgeable Crush Wine Country Host on the Canandaigua Wine Trail, transportation to wineries, and all winery tastings. The former also offers a full production tour at an award-winning winery, lunch with wine (note: additional beverages will be billed to your table), and an inside look “behind the scenes” of the wineries. Tour price is $129.00 + tax, per person. The latter also offers inside looks of “behind the scenes” as the Finger Lakes grapes are transformed. Tour price is $79.00 + tax, per person.

1792 Filigree Inn1792 Filigree Inn

Sip and Swirl in Style at 1792 Filigree Inn
Situated on 180 picturesque acres, a half a mile from Bristol Mountain Ski Resort and 10 minutes to Canandaigua Lake, the 1792 Filigree Inn offers suites that accommodate up to four people. The inn offers cozy king-sized feather beds, full kitchens with dining areas, fireplaces, and jacuzzi tubs in the tile bathrooms. Not to mention they also have private decks, and offer “Finger Lakes Wine Tour Packages.” The weekend rate, including one-night accommodations, a six-hour wine tour of the Finger Lakes region with Le Gault Limousine Service, and a $ 50.00 dinner voucher, is $610.00 for two people. The weekday package includes one-night deluxe suite accommodations with a five-hour wine tour courtesy of Le Gault Limousine Service and a $50.00 voucher for dinner. It is priced at $500.00 for two people. An additional one-hour tour is $75.00. Taxes and gratuities are not included in these prices. The inn also resides close to the NY Wine and Culinary Center, several antique shops, and the Canandaigua Wine Trail. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Nothing is more invigorating in the summer than a fruit cocktail on your porch or in the backyard. A revitalizing appetizer for the sweltering dog days, they are often easy to make and ripe with refreshment. Naturally, someone thought there should be an entire day dedicated to this brightly colored dish, which is why today is National Fruit Cocktail Day. So, tantalize your taste buds with this seasonal Fresh Orange Sorbet with Fruit Skewers recipe from the Centennial House & Conference Center in Northfield, MA and celebrate this crisp occasion. While an apple a day may keep the doctor away, this dish draws in every orchard aficionados. For more summer delicacies and other delicious specialties, take a look at our recipe page.

 Centennial House & Conference Center Centennial House & Conference Center

Ingredients:

  • Orange juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Club soda
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry
  • Pineapple

Directions:

The night before, mix orange juice pineapple juice and a splash of club soda to taste and freeze in a large bowl overnight. The next day, scoop out the frozen mixture into champagne glasses. Skewer strawberry and raspberry and place in glass. Add a wedge of fresh pineapple to the edge of the glass and serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Welcome to a new regular column on the blog featuring picture-perfect B&B’s. Each month we’ll showcase a trio of inns where the scenery is so ahhh-worthy they’re ideal for all sorts of social sharing. To get us underway, we’re starting in the Aloha State because Hawaiian sunsets are pretty hard to resist, which means it’s time to start packing and get snapping.

Holualoa Inn/Jumping Rocks PhotographyHolualoa Inn/Jumping Rocks Photography

Big Island Beauty at the Holualoa Inn
The Holualoa Inn is located on Hawai’i's Big Island 1,400 feet above sea level on the slopes of Mount Hualalai in Holualoa, a small town rich in Hawaiian history and culture with numerous galleries, shops, and eateries. Situated along the Kona Coffee Belt, this Old Hawai’i town boasts a bounty of original coffee farms and is full of stories of the first ones. The inn features 30 lush acres of tropical fruit and flower gardens, 5,100 Kona coffee trees, a custom-tiled mosaic pool, exquisite guestrooms, rooftop, hot tub and garden gazebos, an abundance of Aloha Spirit, plus spectacular Pacific Ocean views and exceptional service. Open-air lanais capture fragrant garden aromas and soft tropical breezes. The Great Room features select works from local artists, a player piano, traditional Polynesian furniture, stunning sculptural accents and sweeping garden views. The dining room is set for an appetizing breakfast with its generous views of the Kona coastline.

Manoa Valley InnManoa Valley Inn

What’s Old is New at the Manoa Valley Inn
The Manoa Valley Inn is conveniently located within minutes of Waikiki and the downtown Honolulu business district, yet it is surrounded by the beauty, luxury, and serenity of Manoa Valley. Guests relax in the quiet of the peaceful, spacious veranda and soak up a bit of Hawaiian nostalgia from years gone by. This intimate retreat provides a unique alternative to resort living. The inn has five elegant rooms, two spacious suites, and a tropical, saltwater heated swimming pool with a soft flowing waterfall situated in a secluded garden with many trees and flowers. The Manoa Valley Inn resides within walking distance to bus lines, restaurants, and theater. There are also three permanent guests on-site: two friendly, playful dogs and a mysterious cat!

Mango Sunset BnB Inn at Lyman Kona Coffee FarmsMango Sunset BnB Inn at Lyman Kona Coffee Farms

Rise and Shine at the Mango Sunset BnB Inn at Lyman Kona Coffee Farms
Mango Sunset BnB Inn at Lyman Kona Coffee Farms is located 10 minutes from the airport in Kailua-Kona, on the Big island of Hawai’i. The inn features four guestrooms and baths. A full hot breakfast is served every morning on the ocean view gazebo. It includes 100% certified organic Kona coffee, fruit salad, and juices. Guests enjoy observing the 18 species of birds that can be found on or nearby the property. Local activities include volcano hiking, biking, fishing, and golf. Throughout the town of Kona, visitors can explore historical sites and artist villages. Guests have access to a communal computer and Wi-Fi to share photos with family and friends.

Friday, May 8, 2015

While this Sunday everyone will be honoring Mother’s Day (and rightfully so!), a crustacean that is small in stature but large in flavor might not get noticed. However, May 10th is also National Shrimp Day, and like Bubba said to Forrest, “Shrimp is the fruit of the sea.” We know that moms come first, but shrimp could be picked as a close second. So why not impress her with a dish she’ll savor? Consider cooking this decadent Shrimp Aubergine recipe from the Houmas House Plantation and Gardens in Darrow, Louisiana.

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

Houmas House Plantation and GardensHoumas House Plantation and Gardens

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 6 ounces butter
  • 4 cups onions, chopped
  • 2 cups bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 12 (1-inch) slices of eggplant
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups seasoned corn flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oil for frying. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery and sauté until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp, salt, and cayenne and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink. Dissolve 2 tablespoons flour in the milk and add to the shrimp mixture. Stir until the mixture thickens slightly. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the parsley and green onions. Stir and cook for 2 minutes more. Season the eggplant slices with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, season the egg wash with salt and pepper. In a third shallow bowl, season the corn flour. Dredge each slice of eggplant in the flour. Dip each slice in the egg wash, letting the excess drip off. Dredge each slice in the seasoned flour, coating each side completely. Carefully lay the eggplant slices in the hot oil. Fry the eggplant in batches and until golden brown. Remove the eggplant from the oil and drain on paper-lined plates. To serve place two to three fried eggplant pieces in the center of each plate. Spoon the shrimp with sauce over the top.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

By Traceylovesmom, via Wikimedia CommonsBy Traceylovesmom, via Wikimedia Commons

Mom will never know you waited until the last minute. Although Mother’s Day is just 72 hours away, there’s still time to make her holiday shine. Whether she wants to wine, dine or enjoy some spa time, a BnBFinder Gift Certificate is your best bet. Plus, don’t forget about our gift to the gift giver.

Right up until May 10, you can receive a 10% discount on your purchase when you use the promo code MOM10. The best part?

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

Don’t let this chance get away, buy Mom a BnBFinder Gift Certificate today!

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.

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