Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's February: A message from the Innkeeper

I'm looking out the window and everything is covered with snow. Robyn came yesterday and cleaned of the sidewalks in front for me, in case we got some bookings over the week-end. It's been pretty slow lately.....January usually is. But it will be getting busy soon. February is usually a pretty good month for us. There's Valentine's Day, the Farm Machinery Show, and visitors who just want to get away or who are traveling here on business.
We have been focussing on Valentine's Day lately; putting Sweetheart packages together and making plans for decorating the rooms with flowers and candy. One of our Valentine's Packages includes champagne, red roses, chocolates and accommodations in a beautiful Victorian room with four-poster bed. It's very romantic.
We enjoy making confections for Valentines day and have tried cakes, candies, and fondue. Fondue is one of our favorites and we have a great recipe which I have posted here.
Chocolate Fondue
serves: 6-10
6 ounces dark good chocolate
3 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
2 tablespoon Gran Marnier or Kirsch
fruit, chunks of Angle food cake, and/or marshmallows

ne all ingredients in a double boiler, Stir until melted and well blended.
Transfer to a Fondue pot. Keep warm. Supply each person with a long fork and a small plate.
Have guests take turns dipping fruit, cake and/or marshmallow into the chocolate

Love Notes
Besides candy, flowers, and confections, it is traditional to send cards or to write poetry for the one you love. We have included a poem here, written in the name of love.
Falling In Love Again
I'd crept into the deepest darkest place,
Where life and love no longer saw my face.
My heart was cold, my very soul was dead.
My only solace, memories in my head.

You came to me and caught me unaware,
And unprepared, I fell into your lair.
I struggled as you crawled into my mind,
Afraid of what your loving me might find.

And as I stayed resistant to your touch
You never turned away, instead t'was such
an oh so gentle nudging at my soul
that woke me with your ever sweet cajole

'Til finally I melted in your arms
Unfolding as a child would, free from harm.
I gave myself completely, so beguiled.
A whole new world had opened when you smiled

Click here: for info on a lovely Valentine's Day week-end

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Chef Kathy Cary from Lilly's Bistro

My B&B guests are always amazed when they come to Louisville and find that the restaurants here are amazing. They are top notch, with most of the owners and chefs having been trained in some of the finest culinary Arts schools and restaurants in the world. One of the most popular is Lilly's Bistro, owned and operated by Kathy Cary, who is also the executive chef there.

Much of Kathy Cary's inspiration derives from her knowledge and love of her own Kentucky roots, where she learned to love food at an early age in her mother's kitchen. Apprenticed to a cordon Bleu-trained chef in Washington, D.C., she later started a small catering firm there and then became a chef at a stylish Georgetown restaurant.

She returned to Kentucky, and opened her first La Peche gourmet-to-go shop in 1979. Lilly's opened 24 years ago, with a menu that reflects Kathy's French-inspired use of traditional Kentucky ingredients with unexpected, contemporary twists.

Food at Lilly's continues to be influenced by our longstanding tradition of buying locally from farmers and producers, rather than pursuing fashionable food trends," says Kathy Cary, chef/owner. Kathy uses ingredients such as catfish, country ham, bourbon, seasonal produce and local artisanal cheeses and meats on an ever-changing menu that honors Southern foodways but doesn't hesitate to draw from Continental, Mediterranean and Asian techniques.

Kathy also heads a celebrated catering operation, known as La Peche. She is known and admired both regionally and nationally. The Louisville Dining Guide summed up Lilly's as "the most influential and celebrated Louisville restaurant of the past decade

Kathy has been honored to be selected as one of the few James Beard Award Nominees in the category of "Best Chef of the Southeast" – annually from 2002 through 2006.

A New York Times writer concluded, after a culinary visit to Louisville, "My eating expedition could actually have begun and ended happily in a sleek restaurant called Lilly's." (courtesy of Louisville Originals)

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Financial resolutions for the New Year

Each new year brings us a chance to bid farewell to bad habits and resolve to practice good ones. The more you know about your finances and the more attention you pay to them, the more solid your financial future will be.
If you start with one, and then add another each month or two, at the end of next year you’ll feel proud and confident knowing that you have your finances under control.

Now is the time to commit to improving your financial health next year, and get a jump-start by identifying one thing you could begin doing today to improve your personal financial well-being. Here are a few resolutions to help you take control of your finances in 2010. Good luck!

Spend less
Set a budget. Look at how much you bring home each month and subtract all your fixed expenses, such as mortgage, utilities, and gas for your car. Then divvy up what’s left over among your other expenses.
Reduce your grocery bill by shopping sales, using coupons, buying store brands, or removing junk food from your list.
Pay for your purchases with cash or a debit card, which takes money directly out of your checking account (don’t forget to record your purchases in your check register).
Give yourself 72 hours to think over a purchase. Chances are you’ll forget all about it.
Work off stress by exercising, not shopping.

Save more
Pay yourself first. Set up automatic deposits of 10% of your paycheck into a savings or retirement account.
Save in an interest-bearing savings account, such as a money market account, money market fund, or CD. Contribute to your 401(k) and save on taxes, too.
Visit to compare interest rates. Before opening an account, carefully read the fine print. In the wake of the recession, many banks are enacting strict regulations.

Limit credit card use
Use cash. Studies show people spend more when paying with plastic—even at fast food restaurants.
Ideally, use your credit card only for emergencies.

Pay down debt
Set aside an amount each month for paying down your debt.
Prioritize which debt to pay by starting with the highest interest first. When it’s paid off, tackle the account with the next highest interest rate.

Start an emergency fund
After paying off your credit cards, start an emergency fund to cover a loss of income or unexpected expenses. Setting aside six to nine months salary is usually recommended.
Make sure to use a money market fund or other easily accessible account for your emergency fund. Find a good interest rate by researching online and comparing with your local banks and credit unions.

Check your account statements monthly
Review your bank account and credit card statements when they arrive. One small mistake or unauthorized purchase can cause you big headaches later and hurt your credit score. The sooner you investigate potentially fraudulent charges, the more likely you’ll be able to clear them up.

Keep tabs on your credit report
Maintaining a good credit history is essential to achieving financial peace of mind. Make it a tradition to check your credit reports at the beginning of each year.
Keep tabs on your credit report throughout the year with credit monitoring. Our credit monitoring service will alert you whenever there is a change in your report that you should be verify.

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