Farmers' Guest House blog
September 14th, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

I tried this one out on my guests this morning and they all loved it!

Makes 24

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

For the filling:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c powdered sugar
 
For the Muffins:
4 large eggs
2 c sugar
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 1/4 c vegetable oil
3 c flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
 
For the Topping:
1/2 c sugar 
5 T flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 T cold butter, cut into pieces
 
1. Make the filling by combining the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl.  Mix well.  Place bowl in the freezer while preparing muffins and topping.
2. spray 24 muffin cups.  Make the muffin batter.   In a medium bowl combine the first four ingredients whisking to blend.  Add the dry ingredients on top; do not stir until all ingredients are in the bowl.  Then stir just to combine.
3. Make the topping by conbining all the topping ingredients by pressing with a fork until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
4. Assemble the muffins. Preheat oven to 350.  Fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter.  Take a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture and place it in the muffin pan on top of the dollop of batter.  Then add another dollop of batter to cover the cream cheese mixture.  Sprinkle some of the topping on each of the muffins. 
5. Bake for 22 – 25 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack before serving.
 
September 13th, 2014

Breakfast with General Grant & Julia Grant

General Grant and Julia Grant were sure to have graced the floors of the Farmers Home Hotel in 1867 since the first floor was, at the time, a General Store and Dry Goods Shop for the bustling town of Galena.  General Grant and Julia paid a visit this morning once again to Farmers Guest House, this time as breakfast guests.  The General visited with guests sharing wonderful anecdotes and historical tales while they enjoyed their breakfast and visit with the General.

September 11th, 2014

Never want to stay at another bed and breakfast

Unmatched Bed and Breakfast Experience

never want to stay at another bed and breakfast againOur guests love their experience at Farmers Guest House so much that they never want to stay at another bed and breakfast. We think that’s great and we will never end our relentless pursuit of ensuring that every guest’s expectations are exceeded. You can check out their review of Farmers Guest House below.

Book your stay by clicking here. 

“Ruined B&B’s for us! Forever!”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

I refer to TripAdvisor constantly, and now it’s time for me to give back to the TA community. I have been rather lazy about ever reviewing anyone on here, but the Farmers’ Guest House has inspired me to actually do it. That’s how wonderful it is.

It was actually the first time my husband and I have ever stayed at a B&B – and they have basically ruined all B&B’s for us from here on out. No one will ever stack up. Don’t miss Wine Time– I was a little unsure of what it would be like at first, but it ended up being a treasured time of meeting and greeting with others staying there, as well as getting to know Don and Sue…who are an absolute treasure themselves. You can tell they are passionate about what they do (they’ve literally thought of everything), and genuinely care about every person that walks thru the door.

We got massages while we were there (it was our anniversary) and even that was an excellent experience. They had two incredibly professional, talented and friendly individuals do our couples massage. They even laughed at my corny jokes.

Don & Sue: I know you diligently check up on TripAdvisor (as all good business owners do), so you’ll read this at some point. You made our anniversary special and unforgettable. You said the only thing that makes you sad about your inn is that you never know if any of your guests will ever be back to see you…well you can count on seeing us again.

To everyone else: Do yourself a favor and stay at the Farmers’ Guest House.

Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple

September 8th, 2014

Fluffy Eggs

“How do you get your eggs so fluffy?”  It’s such a basic and simple component to a wonderful breakfast we have to get it just right.  Begin with one dozen of the freshest farm eggs you can find.  I have a lovely lady who raises chickens here in JoDaviess County who delivers fresh eggs to Farmers Guest House each week.  Shown here is Fluffy Eggs with ham served in a puff pastry shell and garnished with Hollandaise and chives.

Fluffy Eggs

1 Dozen Farm Fresh Eggs

1 1/4 C Whole Milk

1 tsp salt

1/2 stick (1/4 c) butter

Cut the butter into 4 pats and place in the bottom of a glass 9 x 13 baking dish.  Place the dish in the oven while it preheats to 350.  While the oven preheats, beat the eggs, milk and salt in a bowl until well blended.  When oven is to temperature, remove the pan and be sure to swirl the pan to evenly coat it with the butter that has melted in the pan.  Pour the eggs in the center of the pan.  Bake for 15 minutes and then remove and stir, being sure to scrape all sides and the bottom.  Bake for another 10 minutes and stir again.  Adjust your time so that the eggs are soft set but not over cooked.  They will cook a bit more as you stir.  Serve warm.  If you would like to add additional ingredients like fresh herbs, chopped veggies or ham, do so during the second stirring.  I saute my veggies and meat before adding to the eggs.

September 6th, 2014

Speak up, diet requirements are no problem

Diet Requirements? No Problem.

speak up diet requirements are no problemWe’ve heard nightmare stories of getaway travelers at hotels and bed and breakfasts not being able to find anything to eat. The problem? They’re vegan, gluten free or have another diet requirement.

Sometimes innkeepers and hotel operators forget that not everyone is like themselves. Because they are not thinking of the guest’s experience they force guests to feel uncomfortable.

And, sometimes religious restrictions force guests to sit quietly, eating nothing, or very little.

Not at Farmers Guest House. We will make every effort to accommodate your diet restrictions. All we ask is that you give us some advance notice so that we can make arrangements and make special purchases.

At a time when some 20 percent of the adult population in the United States is on some sort of special diet—and one-third of those are on diets they’ve created (go ahead, you can admit it…I do it too)—the topic of food when traveling is coming up more often. At Farmers Guest House, we like to address it right away. We are here to help you enjoy your getaway. Your getaway is about you, not us.

And it’s been very good for our guests.

In the last 2 1/2 years that Don and I have owned Farmers Guest House, guests have become a lot more interested in various food allergens. For our guests, we simply make a note in your profile of any food allergens or requests that you inform us of. This makes it easy for all of our guests to enjoy their full, new country breakfasts at Farmers Guest House, as well as WineTime each evening at 5:00 PM.

The good news is that with a restrictive diet, it’s easy to fit in at Farmers Guest House. Often, our specialty-diet meals look exactly like the other dishes we are serving.

Standing out and letting us know your diet restrictions can have other benefits too. We recently had a guest, after explaining that he became gluten-free, built a rapport with the other guests and it opened up conversations, leading to the guests all discovering new things to do while on their getaway to Galena.

September 3rd, 2014

Pottery – Handmade in the USA right here in Galena, Illinois

It’s a special feeling to eat and drink out of pottery that was handmade by your neighbor – especially when that neighbor is a first class artist!  Here in Galena we have a wonderful variety of artists who enjoy creating fine pottery.  Their annual event, Twenty Dirty Hands, is held in October once again this year.  TwentyDirtyHands.com

My favorite work to collect this season is from Kent Henderson, owner/artist of Galena Clay Works, who has a rather unique approach to showcasing his work.  About 1/2 mile past the business district on historic Main Street in Galena, nestled among some of the oldest homes in the city, is an old garage.

In this “old glory” garage is a sometimes dusty, but curiously charming display of Kent’s pottery – and a large box with a slot and a padlock.  A sign says to pay for your pottery through the slot by cash or check, thank you, and have a nice day.  Kent often comes down to the garage when a guest stops by, but just as often leaves the garage unattended while working in his private studio or enjoying the day in Galena.  He tells me this approach has been working well for him and he enjoys turning the savings of low over-head over to his customers in the form of reasonable prices.  His garage gallery is open late and has plenty of parking on the street in front.  Stop and see my friend Kent when you get to Galena and enjoy American craftsmanship at its finest.

Make a reservation with Farmers Guest House today.  Reservation Link

August 23rd, 2014

Annie’s Galena Cottage

The only cottage within walking distance to Main Street, Annie’s Galena Cottage offers you all the comforts and amenities of our luxury inn.

Just 80 feet behind the main building and less than a two block walk to the entrance to Main Street’s Shopping District, guests still have a taste of the country as deer graze in the wooded area behind the cottage.  Just this past week this family of deer kept our guests entertained all morning. Thanks for the photos, Vic!


August 21st, 2014

Galena Food and Wine Festival

Galena Food & Wine Festival

Galena food wine festivalBREAKING NEWS: Farmers Guest House, widely recognized as the best bed and breakfast in Galena Illinois, has been selected to participate in the 2014 Galena Food & Wine Festival. Farmers Guest House will be the first, and only, bed and breakfast to be featured at the Festival.

“We are delighted to be able to participate in the Galena Food & Wine Festival this year,” says Farmers Guest House innkeeper Susan Steffan. “We know that food is a significant reason why visitors choose a certain bed and breakfast. Being able to let them experience one of the amazing breakfasts we serve will help the entire destination in attracting additional overnight visitors.”

Award-winning Breakfast

Galena food wine festivalFarmers Guest House will be providing attendees with samples of their award-winning Caramel Apple Bacon French Toast. The unique and tantalizing breakfast entree was recently awarded first runner-up in the international food competition known as BedandBreakfast.com’s Best Breakfast in North America.

“We aim to provide each guest with a measurable getaway experience and we recognize that food is a big part of the overall getaway experience,” says Steffan. Since purchasing Farmers Guest House in 2012, Susan and her husband Don have raised the standards of the guest experience, redefined the brand as the premier country elegant escape destination, and added The Studio at Farmers Guest House – the only downtown Galena bed and breakfast spa facility.

Top Galena Bed and Breakfast

Farmers Guest House is the number 1 ranked bed and breakfast in Galena, IL on TripAdvisor and is one of only a select few admitted to the BedandBreakfast.com Diamond Collection. Farmers Guest House is your reason to visit Galena. Start planning your escape from the ordinary by clicking here.

August 16th, 2014

Zucchini Cornbread

This cornbread is so flavorful and moist that many guests ask for the recipe every time it is served as a part of our Fiesta Breakfast.  It also makes a great way to use up an abundance of zucchini at this time of year.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1  1/3 cup flour

1 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup sugar

2 T baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

8 cups shredded zucchini

2 small or 1 large onion chopped

4 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9 x 13 glass or stoneware pan.  Beat eggs and oil in a large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients holding back 1 c of cheddar cheese.  Stir until all ingredients are incorporated.  Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.  Bake for 1 hour.  Cut into 15 – 18 pieces and serve warm.

 

August 13th, 2014

Tipsy Tuesday and a Free Room Too

The Best of Galena

Galena is a great place to visit whenever you come to our special place in Northwest Illinois. A Galena getaway becomes so much more enjoyable when you can enjoy $2 glasses of top notch wine and a free room at Galena’s best bed and breakfast.

Fried Green Tomatoes Galena

tipsy tuesday and a free room tooEvery Tuesday, Fried Green Tomatoes offers their Tipsy Tuesday $2 wine by the glass special. This isn’t your usual experience with $2 by the glass wine. They open up their entire by the glass selection and pour their regular pour, not some tasting pour. Did I mention that Fried Green Tomatoes is widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in Galena? Or, that they are the only restaurant in Galena with the prestigious Wine Spectator Award for Excellence 12 years running? You can taste several top wines by the glass and not even spend $10; leaving you enough to really enjoy their innovative Northern Italian cuisine. Can’t beat that deal anywhere!

Best Bed and Breakfast Deal Galena

tipsy tuesday and a free room tooFarmers Guest House has saved the best for last. We’ve made Tuesdays Free* at Farmers Guest House when you book a 3-night stay that includes Tuesdays. You can book any of our country elegant rooms and suites when taking advantage of our Tuesdays Free promotion. Each morning you will enjoy Susan’s full new country breakfasts – awarded first runner-up in BedandBreakfast.com’s Best Breakfast in North America competition. Each evening at 5:00pm (Tuesdays too) join us for our WineTime™ social and networking hour where you can ask us anything about your stay and mingle with other guests.

Galena: Open for Business

Tipsy Tuesday and a Free Room TooThere are so many things to do in Galena when you choose a midweek getaway. Our shops, wineries-breweries-distilleries, parks, open space, restaurants and historic attractions are open for business throughout the week, so you won’t be missing anything except for the weekenders.

While you’re here and enjoying the best of Galena, don’t forget to book your massage or spa treatment at The Studio at Farmers Guest House. Enjoy a private, or couple’s massage in our on-property spa room – the only dedicated inn spa suite in downtown Galena.

Experience Galena like a local and visit us during the week. You won’t be disappointed.

*Tuesdays are Free: Book any 3 consecutive nights that include a Tuesday and the Tuesday is free!  That’s three nights for the price of 2! Why wait until the weekend to get away? 3 nights lodging includes a full breakfast each morning, WineTime @ 5:00 p.m. each evening and all the other wonderful amenities that make us Farmers Guest House. Excludes holidays; cannot be combined with any other special, discount or 3rd party gift card. Tuesday free promotion not valid in October.