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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Does your significant other live for chocolate? Do you want to give them the ultimate gift of sweetness? We aren’t just talking about one box for Valentine’s Day, either. Instead, how about an immersive experience over multiple enticing destinations?

The Chocolate March 2015 is the ideal way to exhilarate their sweet tooth by visiting select bed and breakfasts in the St. Croix River Valley. Tours run during three Sundays spread throughout the month of March and feature several chocolate recipes and delectable treats that will be sure to satisfy.  While the tours include numerous B&B stops along the way, we have highlighted some of our favorite spots for you to enjoy a weekend capped off by indulging in the big event.

 St. Croix River Inn St. Croix River Inn

St. Croix River Inn – Osceola, WI (www.BnBFinder.com/StCroix)

Featuring fireplaces, private bathrooms, Jacuzzis, private balconies and flat-screen HDTVs, the amenities at St. Croix River Inn should be enough to convenience anyone to stay. However, the star luxury is the gourmet, seasonal menus that are offered on Friday and Saturday evenings where guests savor a robust dinner that is served with a stunning view overlooking the river. It’s a culinary paradise for foodies who will definitely want to stay here during the tour that takes place March 15th.

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 Pleasant Lake Bed &Breakfast Pleasant Lake Bed &Breakfast

Pleasant Lake Bed & Breakfast – Osceola, WI (www.BnBFinder.com/PleasantLake)

Located on 20 wooded acres alongside Pleasant Lake, the Pleasant Lake Bed & Breakfast is perfect for anyone desiring a private getaway. Secluded and quiet, the Pleasant Lake Bed & Breakfast has plenty of unique experiences available, whether it is feeding the fish from the dock overlooking the lake, canoeing, or relaxing in the fireside double whirlpool. The March 15th Chocolate March is the perfect time for a satisfying escape.

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Aurora Staples Inn Aurora Staples Inn

Aurora Staples Inn – Stillwater, MN (www.BnBFinder.com/AuroraStaples)

Stay at the Aurora Staples Inn Bed and Breakfast and revel in the restored Victorian home and all it has to offer. From the original wood-burning fireplace to the showcase parlor to the library, there is so much rich history here to take in before you take on the Chocolate March. Guests can enjoy  wine and appetizers at check-in as well as afternoon tea. Aurora Staples Inn will be featured on the March 22nd tour, so take advantage of it.

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 Phipps Inn Bed & Breakfast Phipps Inn Bed & Breakfast

Phipps Inn Bed & Breakfast – Hudson, WI (www.BnBFinder.com/Phipps)

With a Billiards room, two porches, three parlors and private balconies, there is no shortage of ways to relax at the Phipps Inn Bed & Breakfast. Sparkling chandeliers and finely crafted furnishings transport guests to a more sophisticated era. A lavish breakfast is served daily on sparkling china and crystal. Come experience the elegance at the Phipps Inn Bed & Breakfast during the March 25th tour.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It’s National Chocolate Cake Day, and what better way to indulge in it than with a recipe full of delectable decadence that will satiate the cravings of every chocolate lover you come across? The Inn & Spa At Cedar Falls – Hocking Hills Lodging, located in Logan, Ohio, has exactly what you need to get this delicious job done, so let the baking begin. Make sure to check out this recipe and plenty of others on our ever-expanding recipe page.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Inn & Spa At Cedar Falls - Hocking Hills LodgingInn & Spa At Cedar Falls – Hocking Hills Lodging

Ingredients:

½ cup butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, broken up
2½ cups flour
2¼ cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups sour cream
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Frosting:
4 oz unsweetened chocolate broken up
½ cup solid vegetable shortening
½ cup butter softened
¼ cup sour cream 1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 box (1 pound) confectioners sugar
½ cup cocoa powder

Garnish:
Whipped cream and berries

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9- inch round cake pans.
2. CAKE: In a glass bowl melt butter and chocolate together in microwave on high until melted and smooth, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes stirring halfway through. Set aside. Beat on slow speed the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt until blended.
3. Add sour cream, eggs, 1 cup water, chocolate mixture and vanilla. Beat 30 seconds on low and until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium, then beat 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pans.
4. Bake for 40 minutes or until cake layers spring back when pressed.
5. Cool layers in pans on rack 10 minutes. Remove cakes to rack to cool.
6. FROSTING: In a small glass bowl, melt chocolate in microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Set aside. Beat shortening, butter, sour cream, milk, vanilla, salt, 1 cup of the sugar and the cocoa powder in a medium-size bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in remaining sugar and melted chocolate until thick and smooth.
7. Place a cake layer on pedestal. Spread with about 2/3 cup frosting. Top with second layer; spread with about 2/3 cup more frosting. Top with remaining layer. Frost top and sides, swirling decoratively. Garnish with whipped cream and berries.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Give the gift of a romantic view Give the gift of a romantic view

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that always seem to sneak up on you before you’re prepared. Whether it is running to the mall the night before to find a gift or running to the florist the day of to get your significant other half wilted flowers is very cliché. Separate yourself from the wallpaper gifts other people are getting their partner. Buy a BnBFinder.com gift certificate that comes with the flexibility that allows them to stay at thousands of destinations across the country. The perfect gift for that special someone that has everything and asks for nothing (because who doesn’t love to get away for a weekend?), consider buying a BnBFinder.com gift certificate that includes:

- No blackout or expiration dates.
- Free shipping (or you can download  and print an instant e-Card).
- A personalized message from you to that special person.

Take all the credit while they make all the important decisions. Buy a BnBFinder.com gift certificate today.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Today is National Cheese Lover’s Day friends, and we couldn’t agree more that this dairy-based delight deserves some time in the spotlight. From cream cheese to cheddar and gouda to gorgonzola, it’s all worth the admiration. The Darby Field Inn and Restaurant, located in Albany, NH, has the ideal recipe to help you celebrate in style – so let’s get the ball rolling, shall we? Make sure to check out this recipe and plenty of others on our ever-expanding recipe page.

Cheese Balls

The Darby Field Inn and RestaurantThe Darby Field Inn and Restaurant

Ingredients:

1/2 lbs Wispride
1/2 lbs Cream cheese
2 tbl Butter
2 tbl Cream Sherry
1 cup Chopped Walnuts

Directions:

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Blend all except the walnuts in a mixer at medium speed or by hand with a rubber spatula until thoroughly blended. With wet hands, shape into baseball sized balls and roll in the chopped walnuts. Refrigerate until firm.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

This winter has been bitterly cold around our BnBFinder office! Luckily, with Hot-Buttered Rum Day coming up this weekend on January 17th, we’ve found a great way to warm up! The Mayhurst Inn located in Orange, VA has a superb recipe that is sure to make you feel better no matter what the weather is. Make sure to check out this recipe and all our other ones on our ever expanding recipe page.

Mayhurst InnMayhurst Inn

Ingredients:

Batter Ingredients:
• 1 lb dark brown sugar
• 1/4 lb butter
• 1/4 – 1/2 tsp nutmeg
• 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cloves
• 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• Pinch of salt

• 1.5 oz or 2 tbs of dark rum

Directions:

• Beat Sugar and butter together until creamed and fluffy
• Beat in spices and salt
• Put 2 full tsp of batter into cup
• Add 1 jigger (1&1/2 oz or 2 tbs) of dark rum
• Fill with hot water
• Stir well

Innkeeper Jack North adds an additional thin pat of butter on top and stirs lightely. Makes a delightful and robust winter drink. Warms you inside and out. Serves 20+.

Batter keeps well in refrigerator.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Football is a great excuse to get away with some of your friends and have a good time. In honor of the biggest game of the year, Super Bowl XLIX on February 1st, why not take a whole weekend trip and get away from the normal crowded places you might frequent? Take advantage of these special packages with some of your pals for an awesome guy’s weekend that includes anything from brewery tours to fly fishing classes, and culminates in you watching all the action together on Sunday and scoring the perfect manly escape.

 POSH Palm Springs POSH Palm Springs

Get Athletic in Palm Springs, CA

From golfing to tennis to hiking, the POSH Palm Springs (www.BnBFinder.com/PoshPalmSprings) is the ideal guy getaway for the active man. If you have a less active person in your group that’s no problem because they can enjoy the happy hour cocktails by the pool while you are trekking the mountains surrounding Palm Springs. Either way, everyone will enjoy a full gourmet breakfast, poolside lunch and fire pit appetizers before dinner.  With a saltwater spa and outdoor hot tubs, there is no shortage of ways to relax after a long day of activities.

At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn

Fly Fish in Asheville, NC

Get in touch with nature and try your hand at fly fishing in the private, pristine waters near At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn (www.BnBFinder.com/CumberlandFalls). Take your own personal guide from Headwaters Outfitters and learn the ins and outs of fly fishing in one of the most pristine settings in North Carolina.  Round out your stay with either whitewater rafting or visiting the nearby casino and come back to an elegantly decorated guest room that has its own unique style and character.

 The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard

Cook in Canton, OH

Hosted by expert instructors that cover everything from casual French home cooking to sweet and tart lemon desserts, visit The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard (www.BnbFinder.com/Gervasi) and take one of their renowned cooking classes. These Tuscan-inspired, luxurious suites will pamper even the most hardened man. Enjoy top-notch food that you make by the fireplace or take a wine tasting class taught by professional  wine educators in their  celebrated tasting room. Custom culinary and/or wine adventures are available, so let innkeeper Scott Swaldo tailor the perfect experience for you.

Blue Rock Bed and Breakfast Blue Rock Bed and Breakfast

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Tour a Brewery in Millersville, PA

Football is synonymous with drinking beer, so enjoy a stay at the Blue Rock Bed and Breakfast (www.BnBFinder.com/BlueRock) with famous Lancaster Brewing Company just minutes away. Enjoy a full beer brewing package that includes a $25 Gift Certificate for lunch/dinner, an LBC bottle opener, two bottles of LBC beer, a beer tasting sheet, a $5 coupon on merchandise from LBC and a tour of the facility.

Thursday, January 8, 2015
This Sunday the Golden Globes Awards, one of the most prestigious accolades given to Hollywood actors and actresses, will take place with some of our favorite movies and TV shows up for a number of awards.  Rather than be an arm chair observer, this could be the perfect time for anyone that wants to live out their dream of being a movie star to visit many of the locations featured this Sunday, from the beaches located in Inherent Vice, to the government buildings in House of Cards, because who wouldn’t want to spend a day in Kevin Spacey’s shoes?
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 Serendipty Ranch Bed & Breakfast Serendipty Ranch Bed & Breakfast

Comb LA and like Inherent Vice
With a nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture for Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice showcases a lot of diverse California scenes.  Stay at the Serendipity Ranch Bed & Breakfast to enjoy everything from the California beaches to downtown LA. Like Phoenix’s character, Southern California is your playground at this scenic valley escape. Every morning you will wake up to a full country-style breakfast with the menu changing daily. Enjoy the gorgeous pond found on the ground, or venture to one of the many attractions Southern California has to offer.
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Swann House Swann House

Walk through Washington like a Senator from House of Cards
If you’ve ever watched the Netflix original series House of Cards, you’ve seen Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, wheel and deal his way through several Washington, D.C. mainstays. If you want to act like the TV Senator and try and backstab your way to the presidency, or if you just want to be a normal tourist, try staying at the Swann House located just 12 blocks from the White House. With 12-ft. ceilings, Jacuzzi tubs and even crystal chandeliers stay in a place that will treat you like a foreign ambassador.
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HH Whitney HouseHH Whitney House

Sleuth through Louisiana like True Detective
Whether you want to take the True Detective tour and see where several of the iconic scenes from the miniseries were shot, or if you want to simply enjoy Mardi Gras, stay at the HH Whitney House. Just nine blocks from the French Quarter, you can either discover New Orleans on your own terms or follow in Matthew McConaughey’s footsteps along the Louisiana coast. With a rear-garden that features a gorgeous swimming pool, private balconies and a full array of complimentary snacks and beverages, it shouldn’t be a mystery why you will want to revisit HH Whitney the minute you leave.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Luckily for those of you stuck in the cold, January is National Oatmeal month. This versatile ingredient can be used for anything from a stand alone breakfast to a main ingredient in cookies. Take one of our favorite oatmeal recipes from The Victorian Rose Bed and Breakfast and warm yourself up for what is sure to be a chilly month and make sure to check out the rest of your favorite recipes here.

 The Victorian Rose Bed and Breakfast The Victorian Rose Bed and Breakfast

Doris Baked Apple Oatmeal

Ingredients:

-1/2 cup oil
-2 eggs
-1 cup sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 cup milk
-1 and 1/2 cup rolled oats
-1 and 1/2 cup quick oats
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-2 cups chopped apples (or other fruit as desired)

Directions:

Stir all ingredients together and add 2 cups chopped apples (or any other fruit to you liking). bake at 350 Degrees for 50 minutes in a greased 2 quart dish.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year’s Day is the perfect time to start fresh with your New Year’s Resolution. Some people will try and take up cooking while others will simply have to cook out of necessity to please that picky guest. Either way we have you covered. Here is a full day worth of meals from our inns sure to please your family, friends and guests.

 Andon-Reid Inn Bed and Breakfast Andon-Reid Inn Bed and Breakfast

Breakfast: Deviled Ham Stuffed Eggs from Andon-Reid Inn Bed and Breakfast

Ingredients:
-8 hard-cooked eggs
-1/4 cup deviled ham spread
-1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
-1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
-1/3 cup finely chopped celery
-1/3 cup mayonnaise
-1 teaspoon prepared mustard
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-1/8 teaspoon pepper
-Paprika

Directions:
Slice eggs in half lengthwise; remove yolks and set whites aside. In a small bowl, mash yolks with a fork. Add the next eight ingredients; mix well. Stuff or pipe into egg whites. Refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with paprika. Makes 8 servings.

Adobe Rose InnAdobe Rose Inn

Lunch: Asian Grilled Shrimp from Adobe Rose Inn

Ingredients:
-2 lb. large shrimp, cleaned, deveined and butterflied
-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1/2 cup fresh basil finely chopped
-4 extra large cloves of garlic put through a garlic press
-2 TBS. white wine vinegar
-1 TBS. Worcestershire sauce
-Sambol Olek to taste (can be found in Asian grocery stores)
-1/2 teas. salt
-1/2 teas. freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
In a bowl, thoroughly combine the following:
-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1/2 cup fresh basil finely chopped
-4 extra large cloves of garlic put through a garlic press
-2 TBS. white wine vinegar
-1 TBS. Worcestershire sauce
-Sambol Olek to taste
-1/2 teas. salt
-1/2 teas. freshly ground black pepper

Place 1/4 cup of marinade in a large zip-lock bag. Add the shrimp and turn to make certain all shrimp are coated with the marinade. Chill the shrimp and marinade for no more than two hours. Refrigerate the remaining marinade. Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from burning on the grill.

Heat the grill to a medium heat, approximately 350 degrees. Thread the shrimp onto the skewers and grill for 2 – 3 minutes per side or until the shrimp is opaque in the center. Be careful not to over cook. Arrange the skewers on a platter and spoon heated marinade over the shrimp. Enjoy!

Serves 6 -8

Sage Hill Inn Above Onion CreekSage Hill Inn Above Onion Creek

Dinner: Chicken Parmesan from Sage Hill Inn Above Onion Creek

Ingredients:
-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded to an even thickness)
-2 cups flour
-2 eggs, plus 2 Tbsp water
-2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
-salt and pepper
-4 slices good quality mozzarella
-1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

For Marinara
-1 cup onion, small dice
-1/2 cup celery, small dice
-1/2 cup carrot, small dice
-1 28 oz. can San Marzano tomatoes, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
-1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
-2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
-1 Tbsp tomato paste

Directions:
1. Sweat the onion, carrot, and celery (without browning) in a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic, and continue to cook for a minute or so. Be careful not to brown the garlic, or the sauce will have a slight bitterness to it. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme and oregano. Simmer for fifteen minutes, and add the basil when the sauce is done (to preserve the fresh flavor).

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take the chicken breast and season both sides lightly with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs. Make sure to shake the excess off after each coating. Preheat a skillet with about a half inch of olive or peanut oil. Add the chicken and fry until golden brown. You may have to cook in batches depending on the size of your skillet. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan or the oil will cool down, leaving you with a soggy crust. Be sure to re-season the chicken right after its out of the skillet.

3. Place the pan fried chicken on a parchment paper or foil lined sheet pan. Place a ladleful of sauce on the chicken, making sure to leave some of the crust exposed. You will have extra sauce, which can be frozen and used later. Place the mozzarella on the sauce, then sprinkle with the parmesan. Bake until the cheese is bubbling. You can serve this with any pasta, tossed with some of the extra sauce.

Yields 4 servings

Inn At WoodhavenInn At Woodhaven

Dessert: S’more Brownies from Inn At Woodhaven

Ingredients:
Crust:
-6 tablespoons butter, melted
-1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
-2 tablespoons sugar
-pinch of salt

Brownie:
-1 stick butter
-4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
-1 cup packed light brown sugar
-3/4 cup white sugar
-1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-4 large cold eggs
-1 cup all purpose flour

Topping:
-4 cups large marshmallows

Directions:
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 by 8 inch baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by one inch.

For the crust: lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the brownie. Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl in the microwave. Melt for 1 minute then stir, repeat one or two more times until completely melted and smooth. Stir the light brown sugar and white sugar, vanilla and slat into the melted chocolate mixture. ad the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir just until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle come out mostly clean, with a few crumbs…about 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven. Move the oven rack up to about 6 inches from the top.
Set the oven on low broil. Layer the marshmallows across the top of the brownie and place back in the oven. toast under the broiler until golden, about two minutes. Watch closely so it does not burn the marshmallows. Cool completely, then gently remove the brownies from the pan using the foil flaps to pull it out. Carefully separate any marshmallow that is stuck form the foil.

Drink: Holiday Eggnog from 1785 Inn

Ingredients:
-12 large eggs separated into 12 egg yolks and 12 egg whites
-1 pound powdered sugar
-5 cups dark rum
-2 quarts heavy cream
-Ground nutmeg to sprinkle on top of drinks

Directions:
Beat the egg yolks until light in color, keep beating and gradually add in the powdered sugar, then (while still beating) gradually add in 2 cups of the dark rum. Cover the mixture and let rest for an hour.

Begin beating again and gradually add in the other 3 cups of dark rum and the heavy cream. Cover and refrigerate for three hours.

Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold the egg whites into the mixture, and it is ready (yields approximately one gallon). Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

When ready to serve, stir lightly, pour into glasses, and top with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year’s Eve is quickly approaching this week. Looking to get a fresh start away from home without breaking the bank? Consider letting one of these B&Bs take care of everything for you- all you need to do is show up with a New Year’s resolution and they will handle the rest.

 Caldwell House Caldwell House

Get Away From the Crowds in the City

In Salisbury Mills, NY, the Caldwell House Bed & Breakfast offers the perfect retreat for anyone looking to get away from the fast paced chaos of New York City for the New Year. Take a train or drive upstate to take place an early Happy Hour at the Inn followed up transportation to and from Anthony’s Pier Nine for dinner and dancing to bring in the New Year in style. Wake up to a delicious breakfast buffet the next morning for the perfect end to your New Years activities.

Wine and Skiing in the Berkshires

Enjoy champagne and hors d’oeuvres in Lee, MA at the Devonfield Inn as you count down until the New Year. You will also receive a free bottle of wine as well as a gourmet candle lit breakfast by the fireplace. Take advantage of the complimentary cross country skiing and free tasting of up to 6 wines of your choice at the Furnace Brook Winery as well to add an extra twist to your New Year activities.

Sleep In at Carolina Beach

With a pre-dinner wine and cheese reception and early champagne toast, you will want to take advantage of a late wake up at the Beacon House Inn Bed & Breakfast in Carolina Beach, NC. Stay in late and enjoy a New Year’s brunch complete with Mimosas and Bloody Marys to complete the perfect lazy New Year’s celebration. With a late checkout time you will also get to enjoy the gorgeous weather and beach festivities that The Beacon House has available for guests.

 The Inn At Jim Thorpe The Inn At Jim Thorpe

Live Music in the Poconos

Listen to Lehigh Valley Music Award winners Steve Brosky & Jimmy Meyer with the New Year’s Eve Package at The Inn At Jim Thorpe. Eat at the nearby Broadway Grille for both for both New Year’s Eve dinner and New Year’s Day breakfast. Also receive a bottle of wine and two souvenir wine glasses for staying.

Check out these and all our New Year’s specials at www.BnBFinder.com/NewYears

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