Friday, December 6, 2013

 Happy Holidays

BBAK Quality Standards Logo
Happy Holidays
Gift the Gift of a Band B Getaway
There's nothing small about the holiday season when it comes to small businesses.

It's the time of the year when people spend big, and Kentucky Innkeepers are small hospitality owners offering premium B&B Accommodations -- so please shop small. Many offer gift certificates, cookbooks, and some even have retail shops. Most B&Bs will be open throughout the holiday season, hosting guests and open house events.
Please contact your favorite BandB - or discover a new B&B experience -  and make a reservation for a winter getaway. Visit the website for WINTER SPECIALS.

Also, be sure to visit and like our Facebook Page to download "Holiday Promotions and Open House Invitations."
BECOME A FACEBOOK FAN for Specials and Open House Invitations

GIVE THE GIFT OF a BandB GETAWAY: Each Member offers gift certificates as well as the Association. Contact your favorite Kentucky BandB or visit the website to purchase a gift certificate which may be redeemed at all member properties. SPECIAL HOLIDAY PROMO:  Receive a $25 BONUS when you purchase a $175 Gift Certificate or $50 BONUS when you purchase a $250+ Gift Certificate. Also, Buy 2 B&B Cookbooks and receive a 3rd one for FREE!

Call us at 502-638-0665 to purchase Gift Certificates and Cookbooks over the phone or purchase through the website:, Quick and simple - and no traffic jams, no parking challenges, and low stress! Give the gift of relaxation, delicious food, and extra pampering from Kentucky Innkeepers - guaranteed!
Thank you for your continued support of Kentucky's BandB Industry! We look forward to having you as our Guests very soon!
Happy Holidays!
Members of the Bed and Breakfast Association of Kentucky

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Interesting facts about the Brown Hotel in Louisville

The following post was written by Kenn Grimes.

Each week in my blog I write about people in, and events that take place during, one of the years in which my book, The Other Side of Yesterday, is set. The year this week is 1926. (Kenn Grimes)
The historic 16-story Brown Hotel was constructed in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, in 1923. It soon became the place to stay—and party. Each evening more than 1,200 guests came for its dinner dance. But dancing can become tiring, and early each morning many of the dancers would retire to the restaurant for something to eat, usually the traditional ham and eggs.
The Brown Hotel façade
Eventually, those diners began to desire a more varied menu. Enter Chef Fred Schmidt who, in 1926, came up with what has become, not only the signature sandwich of the Brown Hotel, but of Louisville itself—the Hot Brown.
A variation of the traditional Welsh rarebit, the Hot Brown is an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon, tomatoes, and a delicate Mornay sauce. At the Brown Hotel, the Hot Brown is served in both the (upscale) English Grill, as well as J. Graham’s Café (which actually bills itself as the “home” of the Hot Brown).
Hot Brown sandwich
But don’t be fooled—the Hot Brown may be found (in a number of variations) at restaurants all over Louisville. My favorite? The next time you’re in town, try the Kentucky Hot Brown at Rubbie’s Southside Grill and Bar, located at 6905 Southside Drive.
Interestingly enough, a second “signature” sandwich was created at the Brown Hotel, around the same time as the Hot Brown. Called the Cold Brown, it was baked poultry (chicken or turkey), with a boiled egg, lettuce and tomato, open-faced on rye bread, and covered with Thousand Island dressing. It is rarely served anymore, and is not on the menus of either of the Brown Hotel’s restaurants.
Exquisitely decorated lobby
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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Are you ready for this?

The front of the building is pretty much finished. It looks totally different than it did a little over a week ago. At first, I though I wouldn't like it, cause I love the way ivy covered buildings look. But my realtor and contractor/maintenance person finally talked me into pulling it all down. It was actually ruining my building.

The process had been somewhat arduous, but we've gotten through the worst of it, even while continuing business in the bed and breakfast as usual. My guests have been wonderful about it. In fact, many of them were totally interested in the whole project. And, everyone seems to like the finished least the part that's finished. Here's a picture of the facade taken on the day it was finally done.
No more ivy

They're working on the sides now, scraping and painting the *soffits and the around the windows. It has taken nearly two weeks of pounding, scraping, loud music, and workers in and out of my yards and house to do this much. Needless to say, I'm a little on edge...but trying to just go with the flow. The final project will be the back wall off the deck. It has to be completely tuck-pointed and all the soffits and windows done. I'll post more pictures then.

Soffit (from French: soffite, formed as a ceiling; directly from suffictus for suffixus, Latin: suffigere, to fix underneath), in architecture, describes the underside of any construction element. Examples of soffits include:
The underside of an arch or architrave (whether supported by piers or columns),

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

To paint or not to paint

Work continues on my 125-year-old Victorian home. This is day six. I think they're painting today. It's awful quiet out there. I know they're here, but can't hear a single brush stroke. I will be taking more pictures. I want to hear what you all have to say about the color.

I don't like painted bricks, but the ivy ruined the facade. They did their best to repair the bricks but they have to be painted. I'm a little nervous about the color I picked out. It's so red! well actually a rusty, brick red. I'm hoping it won't look too gaudy.

Contrary to what the Victorians used, we decided to paint the trim white. Another necessity due to the ruination of the wood, and metal window frames. Wow! I will never sanction English Ivy again. Posting pics later.

This is not my house; neither is it in the same architectural style as mine.It is much larger and more ornate and has elements of a Queen Anne style. But the photo shows well how the Victorians liked and used color.

  I've posted a link here to a video which explains and shows the Victorian Italianate style in which my house was built. At 4500 square feet, my house was built straight up and is quite narrow but deep. Built in 1882, it has three floors and is topped off with a flat roof.

Italianate Architecture

     Most of these homes were constructed in the mid- to late-1800s and can be found nationwide, primarily north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Although loosely modeled after the villas of Italy, the style became so popular in the U.S., Foster says, that it was sometimes referred to as American style.
Italianate structures ranged from modest row houses to grand mansions. But what ties them all together is elaborate ornamentation, primarily with respect to cornices, windows, porches and doorways.
"After a period of picturesque architecture, Italianate reverts back to a tighter symmetrical floor plan of an earlier time," says Foster. "Basically, it’s a simple box with a lot of ornamentation."

Victorian Italianate row houses, built in San Francisco, 1875
Brick Victorian Italianate row houses in Boston

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

And so the saga continues

 Well, the lvy is almost down. It's taken three days. There were two kinds, Grape and English, clinging to all four sides of the house, but mostly in front. The English Ivy was the worst, with very strong tentacles that pulled off the tuck pointing and paint and destroyed some of the wood around the windows, etc. Right now, it looks pretty bad. 

They put up scaffolding yesterday in order to reach the ivy at the top of the building, scrape and burn of the tentacles, and start painting the facade. The facade had been painted before I bought the building almost 20 years ago. Although I don't like the idea of painting the brick, I've decided to do so because otherwise, we would have to tuck point at an expense of thousands. It's very common to see buildings here with painted facades. I am going to take pictures today and try to keep a photo log of the rest of the project.

Well, the lvy is almost down. It's taken three days. There were two kinds, Grape and English, clinging to all four sides of the house, but mostly in front. The English Ivy was the worst, with very strong tentacles that pulled off the tuck pointing and paint and destroyed some of the wood around the windows, etc. Right now, it looks pretty bad.

Right now, the guys (three of them) are way up on that scaffolding scraping, torching, and working their way down. What a job! This is the fourth day. It's be at least three more before they finish.

Now that the ivy is down, I see that it doesn't look as bad as I thought it would. I'm so hooked on ivy covered cottages (altho my house is definitely not a cottage) that the thought of having the bare brick exposed struck me as not being aesthetically as pleasing...but I think it'll be okay. I think we do have to paint the facade though. The ivy ruined the bricks and the tuck pointing. 

I didn't want to have to paint the facade, but I finally came to terms with it. The bricks were in such bad
shape that we had no other choice. I picked out a red brick color and decided to stay with white for the trim. Actually, the Victorians didn't use much white on their houses. Thy liked muted rust, cranberry, bluish-green, gold, and tan. I was going to go with tan,  but my trim had been white before and it went well with my Azur blue tiled porch and my urns of colorful flowers. So, I decided to use white again.

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Monday, September 2, 2013

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The Saga of the Falling Leaves" (Oh the misery of it all...)

 September 2, 2013
"I'm having an anxiety attack. My contractor is tearing down the ivy on my bed and breakfast property Monday...that is tomorrow. I have loved that ivy for the nearly 20 years I've had my bed and breakfast. But it is causing havoc with the bricks, the wood, and the tuck pointing so it has to come down. Can't imagine what it will look like after we rip off its clothes!! : =(

Well they came today and started ripping the damned stuff off. I was making breakfast for my guests when I heard a loud scraping noise outside my kitchen door. I opened it and there they were, Richard my close friend and contractor, and Wendell a cracker-jack worker and tuck-pointer, hard at work.
The two of them looked sort of funny, cause Wendell was up high on a steel ladder killing himself yanking off the lovely green stuff while Richard was just standing there doing nothing except leaning against the ladder with both hands.

     "You must be exhausted," I said to him, flashing a broad sarcastic smile. "Want some coffee to keep up your strength?"  I knew very well he was holding the ladder to keep Wendell from falling.

Then I remembered, there was a couple in the room above the kitchen in which there was a window facing the garden. Wendell probably had snatched all the clingy vines from around that window. Hope my guest weren't too alarmed, thinking he was some kind of "peeping Tom."

Anyhow, this is the way the morning started. It's well past noon now and they have worked their way around to the side of the house nearly to the front, my heart beating faster with every falling leaf. My house is going to look so naked without all that ivy.....
(cont. tomorrow.....)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Make fresh Berry Jam with an automatic Jam & Jelly Maker

I know this is a advertisement and I usually don't post them on my blog, but this looks so intriguing, I'm even thinking about getting one. And the video itself is charming.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Great Mildew and mold killers for bed and breakfast owners

I found these great tips on-line. As an innkeeper and owner of a 125-yr-old historic home, I have to fight both Mildew and Mold continually. Rather than wait until it overtakes my five bathrooms, we jump on it right away. So when I came across these tips on killing the ugly stuff with little white, fluffy, cotton-balls, I got very excited. Furthermore, I decided I had to share it with the rest of you; not just you innkeepers, this is for anyone who does housekeeping.

Four Cunning Uses for Cotton Balls

by Jessica at Brightnest

Cotton balls may be fluffy, but it’s time to take them seriously. These little round wisps of cotton can be lifesavers around the house. Here’s how:
Kill Mildew Naturally. Mildew and mold aren’t polite: they don’t always grow in accessible places. If your bathroom or kitchen have developed minor mildew or mold issues in tricky places – like the very back corner of your under-the-sink cabinet – you can reach them easily with cotton balls. Soak a cotton ball in tea tree oil or white vinegar, and then place it on the problematic spot (this may require a well-aimed toss). Let the cotton sit overnight. The tea tree oil or vinegar will kill the growth.

 Freshen a Room. Here’s a philosophical question: if a carpet doesn’t smell great after it’s vacuumed, is it really clean? Avoid this quandary entirely by spreading your favorite scents at the same time you vacuum. Simply moisten a few cotton balls with your favorite cologne, perfume or essential oil (we like eucalyptus) and then drop them into your vacuum bag. As you vacuum, the scent will fill the room.

Organize Jewelry Chains. If you ever want to test someone’s patience, hand them a few tangled jewelry chains and tell them to fix it. To avoid testing your own patience every time you need some jewelry, use cotton balls to store necklaces and bracelets. Unroll the cotton balls, and then wrap them around the chains. (If your chain is long, use more than one cotton ball.) The cotton works as a buffer, so when chains are stacked on top of each other, they won’t tangle. Tip: This is a great packing technique if you’re traveling.

Deter Mice. Fall is coming. And the colder weather means Chai lattes, sweaters and mice infestations. Yikes! To deter mice from moving into your home this fall, soak a few cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them around common entry points for mice. Mint smells like wet garbage to mice, so they’ll stay far away. Every few days, replace the cotton balls so that the minty smell remains potent.

Check out Brightnest for more great household tips

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Craving a nice juicy steak

  I did something a couple of weeks ago I’ve never done before. I’ve thought about it many times but changed my mind at the last minute before I got to the point of looking it up on the internet. But I finally took the plunge. Usually I just delete a lot of my emails, especially those looking like they might be spam. This time I clicked on that link taking me to a site that’s been tempting me for weeks now.

The site? Kansas City Steaks.  I know, a lot of people order steak through the mail without hesitation. But I’m so careful about what I put in my stomach that I was a little afraid to order red meat, much less red meat sent through the post. Yes it comes packed in dry ice, and yes this company has been in business for a long time and is very reputable. But still…. Would the dry ice melt? Has the company gone down hill over the years? Are their delicious looking steaks photo-shopped?

I know. I know. How obsessive can you be? Well, finally I got over it and ordered six 8-ounce rib-eyes; my favorite cut. I really don’t eat a lot of red meat…mostly chicken and fish, but once in a while I start yearning for a thick juicy steak. And that’s what I got in the mail. They were beautifully wrapped, still encased in dry ice, and looking really fresh and tempting.

This evening, for dinner, I am having half of one (they’re gigantic) for the first time. I took it out of the freezer last night and set in the frig, This morning I made some Béarnaise sauce (my very favorite…thanks for the recipe, Julia). I will broil my steak carefully and have it with the sauce, fresh sautéed mushrooms, a baked potato slathered with butter and sour cream, and a salad. Not exactly low cholesterol, but I won’t do this again for a couple of months. In the meantime I’ll pump up the fruits and veggies at dinner-time for a while. I am so excited!!

I have included, below, an absolutely exquisite recipe for Béarnaise sauce:

Béarnaise Sauce


1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 egg yolks
1 stick butter, melted
Salt and pepper


Make the Béarnaise reduction first. In a small saucepan, combine the tarragon, shallots, vinegar and wine over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Blend yolks and Béarnaise reduction together. With the blender running, add 1/3 of the butter in a slow steady stream. Once it emulsifies, turn the blender speed up to high and add the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper and set aside in a warm spot to hold the sauce.  Yummmm.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

The 3rd St Gallery in Old Louisville: .....where art and music come together

The Aleksander house is located in Old Louisville, the third largest historic preservation area in the United States. Within that area are row upon row of beautiful and interesting historic mansions and houses. There are also nine other bed and breakfasts as well as several good restaurants. If you stroll around the area, you will soon discover some interesting independents shops, galleries, local groceries, and a a hardware store. One such place is the 3rd street gallery.

"Today the 3rd Street Gallery is a fine art space dedicated to providing quality and original art through the promotion of local, national, and international artists. [We] They host a variety of special events in [our] their spacious restored gallery, including art exhibits, social events, and charitable gatherings. [We] They provide a forum for artists, collectors, and the public to experience painting, works on paper, jewelry, and pottery." (quote from 3rd st. gallery website.)

I have made a concerted effort to keep up with what's going on at the gallery and was recently sent the following post announcing a very special performance by local jazz musicians. I am going to make an effort to get out and see these guys perform on the 18th of August. I know they will be great as they are stellar musicians.

3rd Street Gallery
Roger Barbour & Friends

Please join us for a afternoon of music featuring Roger Barbour on trumpet & flugel horn, with Mark Strickland on piano, Miles Jackson on upright bass, Vince Taglieri on drums.  Special guest Barbara Ray on vocals.

August 18, 2013
3:00 - 4:30 pm
$15.00 at the door

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Aleksander House Bed & Breakfast ::

Aleksander House Bed & Breakfast ::

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

A fabulous summer dessert

Wildberry  Crisp
 And...... Nectarine and Wildberry Crisp   
(with recipe below)...Fabulous!!

Nectarine and Wild Berry Crisp
6 medium nectarines, about 2 lbs.
1 cup wild berries (I used blueberries and huckleberries)
4 tblsp. sugar
2 tblsp. lemon juice
1 cup oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tblsp. roasted and roughly chopped pistachio meats
Leaving the skin on, slice the nectarines into 1/2 inch chunks.  Mix the nectarines together in a bowl with the berries, sugar, and lemon juice. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare the topping by mixing together oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and pistachio meats.  Add the butter and using a pastry tool or your fingers, mix the ingredients together until the mix comes together and resembles small peas.
Pour the fruit mixture into a shallow baking dish (about 9 inches in length).  Cover evenly with the oat mixture. Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until the top is evenly golden brown.
Enjoy warm with ice cream or cool.
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer cooking

Honey-Teriyaki Salmon

I found this delicious dish on the web at Eat, Live Run while surfing for enticing looking recipes for summer. This dish can be cooked on the grill or seared in the frying pan. I think it would make a great light summer meal served with a fresh green salad and a rice of your choice. Yum

1 lb fresh salmon fillet
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
3 tbsp sake
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp cooking oil
Combine the soy sauce, mirin, honey, and sake in a resealable plastic bag. Add the salmon and mix well to coat. Place in the fridge to let marinate for 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
After salmon has marinated, remove from fridge and bag, reserving the marinade. Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the salmon and sear for about 2 minutes per side. Turn the heat to low and add the remaining marinade. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes, until cooked through.

* If grilling, marinade the salmon, grill it and pour hot, reduced marinade over just before serving.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kitchen upgrade

Well, I finally did it. It was a harrowing experience...five days of mud, grout, and wet paint., not to mention no access to the stove, the refrigerator, the freezer, and the laundry room. But it was worth it. My dingy yellow kitchen is now a creamy beige color with a kickass wall of rusty red. 

My favorite contractor and friend, Richard, had his crew install a beautiful terrazzo tile floor in addition to painting the walls and repairing the ceiling. He will help with the installation of a new stove and sink next week. I am ecstatic with the results. Have included a picture of it below.

You probably have noticed there are no chairs around the table. That's because it's a baker's table and we use it for food prep, etc at the bed and breakfast. If I have people over to dinner, we eat in the dining room.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spinach and Cheese Strata

I found this savory bread surfing around the internet for food sites. It was posted in 2010 on Annies Eats.  I thought I’d try it at my bed and breakfast next time I had a large crowd. Not only does it look scrumptious, but it seems pretty easy and can prepped the night before, which is great if you have a large crowd.

“It is incredibly convenient in that all the prep work is done the night before, and in the morning all you have to do is bake and serve.  I thought the overall flavors of the dish were great, but there are a couple of changes I will make next time.  First, I will double the amount of spinach.  If an ingredient makes it into the title of a recipe, you should get more than the occasional bite of it.  Plus, spinach is tastes good, and is good for us.  Also, I will omit the mustard called for in the original recipe.  I found it unnecessary, and it seemed to overpower a lot of the other flavors.  I’ve included these changes in the version below.  Enjoy! (Annie)”

 Yield: about 6-8 servings

3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1½ cups onion, finely chopped
2 (10 oz.) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 tsp. salt, divided
½ tsp. pepper, divided
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 oz. coarsely grated Gruyere (about 2 cups)
2 oz. finely grated Parmesan (about 2/3 cup)
9 large eggs
2¾ cup milk

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions to the pan and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add ½ teaspoon of the salt, ¼ teaspoon of the pepper, and the nutmeg, and continue to cook for 1 minute more.  Stir in the spinach, remove from the heat and set aside.
Butter the inside of a 2½-3 quart baking dish.  Layer the bottom of the dish with one third of the bread cubes.  Top with one third of the spinach mixture and one third of each of the cheeses.  Repeat these layers twice more with the bread, spinach and cheese.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, the remaining ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper.  Whisk together until blended.  Pour the mixture evenly over the bread and spinach layered in the baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Bake uncovered until puffed, golden brown and cooked through, 45-55 minutes.  Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013


Excerpt from: Operatic Divas and Naked Irishmen: A Memoir

     When I first opened my bed and breakfast, I made everything from scratch including granola, muffins and cinnamon rolls. I even whipped my own fresh cream and made my own jams and jellies. I had pretty much always been a food snob and wouldn’t eat anything out of a can except tuna fish. I preferred to make my own soups and sauces and I was always very big on fresh fruits and vegetables, and meat and fish from a meat market. I even preferred to use fresh herbs from the pots on my back porch and grind my own coffee beans.
     I guess I was influenced by my mother and grandmother. Even though we lived in Detroit, a fairly large city, I grew up during the second world war and we had an extensive Victory garden in our back yard. What we didn’t grow ourselves, my parents bought at fruit and vegetable stands which dotted the dusty country roads of Michigan. I remember taking long, leisurely drives and returning home with huge baskets of tomatoes, apples, and luscious purple grapes.
     My mother did a lot of canning in the basement. And when you walked down the stairs into the cool, dark concrete, you could see what looked like giant cocoons of cheese cloth hanging from the ceiling. Underneath each one was a pail into which thick, purple, syrupy stuff dripped for hours. The mingled smells of plum, grape, and blueberry hung in the air like a sugary veil. She made the most delicious jams and jellies.  I can still taste that wonderful flavor under my tongue, sweet and sour at the same time, making my mouth water like I’d just eaten a fresh lemon.
     Sometimes, the smells changed to the more pungent aroma of vinegar and tomatoes or the sweet comforting fragrance of fall apples as they boiled together in huge metal pots on the stove my daddy moved down stairs and planted against the far wall. Shelves lined the opposite wall, as repositories for the rows of canning jars filled with everything imaginable. Mom lined them all up like soldiers with fat see-through bellies and rubber and metal caps. I’ve never tasted chili sauce and apple sauce like hers again.
     During the war, our Victory garden had everything you can think of growing in it. In the summer, my sister and I gathered lapfuls of plump, ripe cherry and pear tomatoes and sat in the cool green grass of the back yard with a salt shaker eating and laughing. It was then I first developed my obsession with fresh fruits and vegetables ripened in the summer sun.
     Although I’d been a “food snob” most of my life, staying a purest was next to impossible when we became busy at the Inn. I just didn’t have time to make everything from scratch, or to can and make fresh breads and granolas.
     But breakfast at my Inn moved beyond bacon and eggs and I continued to collect recipes and try out interesting gourmet dishes. There was always the aroma of freshly ground and brewed coffee made from the finest European blends with a dash of French Roast, and homemade muffins, waffles, French toast or pancakes.  All four were favorites with my guests, but they especially liked the German baked apple pancakes made with Granny Smith apples.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Changes on the Local Horizon

Almost nineteen years ago, soon after I moved to Louisville, I realized I needed to find a small local store or two where I could buy the best produce and meats, regardless of the price. I wanted breakfast at my inn to be of the finest quality I could afford.

I was making a lot of items from scratch, like muffins and granola, but I also wanted waffles and pancakes that tasted amazing. I found that with Carbon Waffle Mix, a wholesale company in Michigan, I could order cases of their wonderful malted waffle and pancake mix and serve quality waffles and pancakes that all my guests would rave about.

Eventually I found four local markets I loved: Pauls Fruit and Vegetable Market, Burgers Fruit and Vegetable and meat market, KingsleyMeat Market, and a wonderful Flower, Seed, and Gardening Market. For the past eighteen years, I have been shopping faithfully at all four. Regretfully, two of them are closing this year.

Burgers, in the Cherokee Triangle, opened in 1958 and has been a fixture here in Louisville all that time. I
found them when I was looking for a place to buy a standing rib roast for Christmas dinner. They had the most wonderful meat counter with amazing butchers, skilled and friendly. I was so disappointed when I heard they were closing, but the saving grace is that their main butcher, Jeff Burger Jr. will be opening up a meat counter at Paul’s  Fruit Market in Middletown. Now I’ll still be able to get a fabulous standing rib roast for Christmas.

 The other store-closing is Bunton’s Seed Co.,
where I’ve bought flowers, grass seed, fertilizeRs and even garden tools and gloves for the past eighteen years. I will really miss them. They were a wonderful resource of information on lawns and gardens. As the song goes: Nothing Stays The Same and, as we know, "tempest fugit" (time marches on).

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Chicken and White Bean Soup with Tomatoes

Both of my daughters are wonderful cooks. I'm hoping they got it from me. I always loved cooking and tried to get them involved from the time they were old enough to hold a spatula. Anyhow, my youngest daughter and her husand, who also loves to cook, came up with this wonderful soup recipe. So I'm going to make it today. Thought my readers would also enjoy it. I will let everyone know how mine turns out. Hope you all will do the same. Happy cooking...............

Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 2 hrs | Servings: 4-6 | Difficulty: Easy


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme, black pepper
  • 1-1/2 to 2 chicken breasts, cooked, chopped
  • 1/4-1/3 cup red or dry white wine
  • 2-3 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Wedge of salt pork, trimmed of rind. About 2-1/2 " long and 1/2 " thick
  • 2 cans great northern white beans, drained and rinsed


Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil till onion is just translucent

Add bacon and cook till browned

Add thyme and cracked pepper along with the chicken, cook till combined and fragrant, about 5 min.

Add wine, turn up heat and cook till reduced by half

Add tomatoes, chicken broth

Bring to simmer, add salt pork wedge, cover and transfer to 350 degree oven and cook for 1 hour

Stir, add beans and return to oven (covered) for another hour

Remove salt pork wedge

Serve with crusty bread

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gluten-Free Crispy Chicken

Quinoa-Crusted Chicken Quinoa-Crusted Chicken Crunchy and full of flavor, this quinoa coated chicken is a home run. This recipe provided by the Gluten Free Club

1 cup cooked quinoa (click here to learn about, and How To Prepare Quinoa)
4 chicken breasts
1/3 cup dijon mustard
2 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper

Prepare quinoa, drain then spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 300°F for 20-30 minutes until lightly toasted. Let cool, then break up any clumps using your fingers. Place into a shallow dish and toss with some salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, mix mustard and thyme. Lightly coat chicken with mustard, then dip in quinoa. Turning and pressing in quinoa until completely coated. Place on baking sheet, spray lightly with some cooking spray, then bake at 425°F for 20 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.

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Friday, February 8, 2013

How To...Keep Berries Fresh

Contributed by: The Gluten Free Club

Washing berries before storage usually accelerates their deterioration. But if you can remove the mold spores and other bacteria that are on the surface of the berries, you can prolong their freshness and shelf life for up to two weeks.

Fresh berries
White or Apple Cider Vinegar

The standard solution for washing produce is 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar. However for berries, a lighter vinegar solution of 16 to 1 (ie. 1 Tbsp vinegar : 1 cup water), will produce the same results without leaving any vinegar aftertaste on the berries.
Combine the water and vinegar in a large bowl, and add berries. Let stand for 3-8 minutes (3 minutes for delicate berries like blackberries and raspberries, and about 8 minutes for firmer skinned berries like strawberries and blueberries). Do not allow berries to soak for longer than 10 minutes.

Drain berries well using a colander, but do not rinse. Place berries onto a dry lint-free towel and blot dry to remove all excess moisture.

To store, line a lidded container with a paper towel. Fill the bottom with berries, then cover with another paper towel. Continue layering until container is full. Cover and refrigerate.

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Are You ready for Romance?

It’s that time again. The time when many of us start thinking about what to do on Valentine’s day for that very special person in our lives. We’ve done the flowers and chocolates, bought his or her favorite thing and taken them out to dinner. If you’ve run out of options, we have a great suggestion for you.

Why not spend the night or the week-end in a beautiful bed and breakfast in historic  Louisville, Kentucky? Our inns are welcoming, with distinct atmosphere and amenities, and delicious gourmet breakfasts. Our innkeepers know what makes their guests happy and comfortable. Great attention to detail is given when furnishing and decorating their guest rooms.
Belgian Waffle

Scrambled eggs
Each and every one is focused on making your morning breakfast a delight. You won’t be disappointed when you sample the delicious Belgium waffles, pancakes, or French toast prepared in ways that might include fresh fruit, tantalizing sauces, and authentic maple or other flavored syrups. If you prefer, our innkeepers, many of whom are chefs, can prepare astonishing omelets, and other vegetable and egg dishes, accompanied with Kentucky ham, sausage, or bacon.  Muffins, scones, home-made granolas, and other individual specialties of a particular inn may also part of your morning meal.  And don’t forget the fresh ground, gourmet coffees…Europeans blends, French Roasts, Columbian, Hawaiian, Jamaican, etc.
In addition, our innkeepers will help you find interesting things to see and do in the city and
nearby. Louisville has amazing local restaurants with every kind of cuisine you can think of. And our museums, theaters, and cultural attractions are first class. Not to mention world famous Churchill Downs which hosts the Kentucky Derby drawing thousands of international guests.
You won’t regret choosing our bed and breakfasts and our wonderful city to delight that special someone. I can guarantee it will be a visit you will not easily forget.
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Caramel Apple Crumble

This is a fabulous recipe from How Sweet It Is

serves 4-6
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 large apples, cut into chunks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup oats
2/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Toss apple chunks with salt and cinnamon.
In the bottom of your slow-cooker [mine is 7 quarts], mix brown and granulated sugars, then spread evenly to cover. Layer apples on top, keeping them in a single layer as much as possible, then adding the rest of top.
Mix the crumble topping together in a bowl, using your fingers to distribute the butter evenly and thoroughly and clump it together. Sprinkle it over top of the apples. Cook apples on low for 4 hours, or high for 2 hours. Turn off heat, unplug, and let sit, covered, for one hour. During this time the caramel will thicken a bit more. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Note: this “caramel” sauce is not your typical thick and gooey caramel – it does thicken in the crockpot once cooled.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Keeping food fresh longer

27 Ways To Make Your Groceries Last As Long As Possible

by Peggy Wang at BuzzFeed Food

If you love cooking but are tortured by the cruel, limited shelf life of fresh foods, these tips are for you.

1. Onions stored in pantyhose will last as long as 8 months.

Onions stored in pantyhose will last as long as 8 months.
Put onions in pantyhose, and tie knots between onion. Plus it makes a freaky wall art installation!

2. Freeze green onions in a plastic bottle.

Freeze green onions in a plastic bottle.
Make sure the green onions are completely dry before storing or they'll get freezer burn.

3. Get an ethylene gas absorber for the fridge.

Get an ethylene gas absorber for the fridge.
A set of 3 costs $16. These little pods absorb the ethylene emitted by fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh up to 3x longer. Here's a handy list of ethylene-producing and ethylene-sensitive foods.

4. Store delicate herbs like flowers, then cover with plastic, secure with a rubberband, and refrigerate.

Store delicate herbs like flowers, then cover with plastic, secure with a rubberband, and refrigerate.
This is the best way to keep delicate herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, and chives fresh the longest.

keep reading.....

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Be careful what you put in your refrigerator

OK, a tomato is technically a fruit, but taste-wise, it’s closer to a vegetable. The fridge is not the ideal place to store tomatoes. Store them there and your perfect tomatoes turn into a mealy disappointment. They’ll still be good for cooking, but not the best for eating fresh. Instead store them on your counter (not in direct sunlight) and enjoy them when they’re ripe.

Tomatoes and basil go well together on your plate and it turns out they have similar needs in the storage department too. Basil will do best if it’s stored on your counter and treated as you would fresh cut-flowers. A fresh bunch of basil can be stored for a week or two in a cup of water (change it every day or two) away from direct sunlight. Covering it loosely with a plastic bag will help keep it moist (but make sure the bag has an opening to allow for some fresh air to seep in).

Potatoes like cool, not cold temperatures. They do best at around 45 degrees F, which is about 10 degrees warmer than the average refrigerator. Most of us don’t have a root cellar (a cool, dark place to store root vegetables like potatoes), so keeping them in a paper bag in a coolish spot (like a pantry) is best. Why paper? It’s more breathable then plastic so potatoes won’t succumb to rot as easily.

Onions don’t come out of the ground with that protective papery skin. To develop and keep that dry outer layer, they need to be "cured" and kept in a dry environment like a pantry, which is not as damp as the refrigerator. Also, lack of air circulation will cause onions to spoil, as will storing them near potatoes, which give off moisture and gas that can cause onions to spoil quickly.
Avocados don’t start to ripen until after they’re picked from the tree. If you’re buying a rock-hard avocado, don’t store it in your refrigerator, as it slows the ripening process. On the other hand, if you have a perfectly ripe avocado that you’re not ready to use, storing it in the refrigerator may work to your advantage by prolonging your window of opportunity to use it before it becomes overripe.

( Courtesy of Kitchen Daily:  Eating Well article by: Hilary Meyer)

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Bridge for Louisville and Indiana over the Ohio River

"The new eastern bridge is getting a new look. With Indiana’s approval, the companies in charge of designing and building the span rejected the style that a committee of elected and community leaders selected more than six years ago.Instead of the needle-like towers originally proposed to support cables carrying the bridge deck, the cables now connect to two bulkier arches above the road.

Indiana finalized its contract last week. Construction on both portions of the project is expected to start later this summer.Building the eastern span and the roads leading to it would cost roughly $763 million, down from what Indiana officials said was an earlier estimate of about $987 million. Indiana’s section would be essentially done by Nov. 1, 2016, about eight months ahead of the required completion date.

Kentucky has selected Walsh Construction to build the downtown span, the roads leading to it on both sides of the river and reconstruct the Spaghetti Junction interchange near downtown.Walsh’s completion date of Dec. 10, 2016, is more than 11/2 years earlier than Kentucky’s requirement of June 30, 2018." (courtesy of the Courier- Journal, Louisville, KY, Jan., 2013)
Read full article.....


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