Farmers' Guest House blog
March 8th, 2014

Welcome to Galena

Farmers Guest House Galena welcomes your wedding

welcome to galenaLove is personal and so is the attention you will receive when you choose Farmers Guest House for your wedding. Our motto is Welcome to Galena, a place you’re free to be yourself.  Stay with us as you experience the rich history, culture and world-class dining found in Galena, Illinois. We are proud to present you with new ways to Go Out. Join us for someone’s special event or create your own memorable moments.

welcome to galenaCelebrate the support for equality and inclusiveness that is now possible this spring in Galena, Illinois.  Start your planning for your special day with us at Farmers Guest House. We offer a variety of wedding and reception options for you to celebrate. Make sure to reserve a group of rooms for all of your family and friends, or better yet, book our entire property so that you have the run of the house for your celebration. Learn more about our wedding and event resources in Galena by calling Susan at 815.777.3456, or check out VisitGalena.

March 4th, 2014

Egg Bake Redefined

The term “egg bake” may conjure up memories of grandma’s casserole with crushed cornflakes on top, but here at Farmers Guest House we have redefined the classic egg bake.  We’ve removed the unnecessary carbs and replaced them with farm fresh veggies like asparagus, spinach or broccoli, added protein rich, low-fat, ricotta and blended that with farm fresh eggs, homegrown herbs and a little breakfast magic for a great start to your day here in picturesque Galena.

March 2nd, 2014

Mardi Gras Snow & Ice Sculpture in Galena

 It was an exciting weekend filled with pub crawls and grub crawls and even a parade, but the visual highlight had to be the snow sculptures.

The entries were sponsored by some of the many restaurants, art galleries, wine tasting rooms and of course, the finest Bed and Breakfast – Farmers Guest House.


February 27th, 2014

Galena Weddings

  Repeat guest and professional photographer, Rick Jennisch, recently put two of his favorite things together – Farmers Guest House and photographing a wedding in Galena.  The entire wedding party stayed for the weekend and the wedding took place at the inn.  The bride and groom took a ride with Galena Carriage Company.


February 22nd, 2014

New Neighbors

The annual visit from my son-in-law, daughter and granddaughter was the perfect opportunity to visit our new neighbors, Plumery Tails.  The owner raises Alaskan Malamutes and this is a picture of Max and Addy (Max is the Malamute).  The store features children’s books, dog treats and other items to bring home.  With a purchase you can take candid pictures of these majestic dogs.  Be sure to stop in for a visit next time you stay with us.

February 15th, 2014

Mug Muffins

Muffin in a Mug

Mix up a muffin recipe and store in the refrigerator. Then make them one at a time in the oven or microwave for a fresh, hot muffin each morning using one of our made-in-America, Farmers Guest House mugs.  These mugs are oven, microwave and dishwasher safe.  They work well for coffee, too!  Call to order mugs and we will ship them to you in your choice of 12 colors.



Farmers Guest House Basic Muffin Recipe – makes 1 dozen standard sized muffins

In a large mixing bowl blend

2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

In a large measuring cup measure 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1 large egg.  Add more milk if necessary to equal 1 1/2 cups liquid.  whisk with a fork and then pour over dry ingredients.  Mix together only until blended. (See below for different muffin options)  Fill muffin cups or a oven-safe mug 1/2 full.  Sprinkle with course sugar.  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes @ 400.  If using convection, reduce to 15 minutes and 375.  In the microwave cook for 1 minute to 90 seconds using a toothpick to check for doneness.  Microwave ovens vary so your first muffin will help you determine the cooking time.  Left over batter can be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly covered plastic or glass container for 3 – 5 days.

Raisin or Apple Cinnamon Muffins – add 1 tsp cinnamon to dry ingredients and stir in 1 cup of raisins or diced apples at the end.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar rather than plain sugar.

Almond Cranberry Muffins – add 1 tsp almond extract to wet ingredients and stir in 1 cup of dried cranberries at the end.  Press a few almond slivers on the tops of the muffins in with the sugar.

Chocolate chip Muffins - add to wet ingredients 1 tsp vanilla and stir in 1 cup of mini chocolate chips at the end.

Blueberry Muffins – add 1 cup of frozen or fresh blueberries at the end – be careful to stir gently and not break the berries.

Any muffin can be covered with a streusel topping rather than sugar.  In a food processor, add 1/4 cup cold butter with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup of flour.  Pulse until mixture is crumbly and put a Tablespoon of the mixture on each muffin in place of the sugar.  Extra streusel can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two weeks.

The possibilities are endless – cut the sugar to 1 T and make savory muffins with diced ham and cheese or bacon and chives.  Have fun!  Muffins are just cupcakes you eat with your meal instead of after.






January 14th, 2014

Galena Bed and Breakfast Hot Deal

galena bed and breakfast hot dealWhen it’s cold outside, it’s time to take advantage of our midweek Galena Bed and Breakfast Hot Deal.

Experience all of the things to do in Galena and be among the first to rejuvenate at The Studio at Farmers Guest House. The Studio at Farmers Guest House is the only dedicated spa suite at a Galena bed and breakfast.

Discover the best of Galena with our Winter Spa Getaway, the best Galena bed and breakfast hot deal in 2014.

Overnight accommodations in your choice of room, suite our Annie’s Galena Cottage, Sunday through Thursday

1 – 60-minute massage

25% off additional massage services

15% off all purchases from our gift shop and The Studio

Starting at only $145  To take advantage of this special package, contact Susan at 815.777.3456
This package not available on holidays, cannot be combined with any other promotions or with third party gift cards.


January 7th, 2014

Galena Bed and Breakfast: Creating Memories

Creating memories is the trademark of Galena, Illinois. It is an idyllic destination with unmatched charm and historic significance.

galena bed and breakfast creating memories galena bed and breakfast creating memories galena bed and breakfast creating memories

Within Galena you find Farmers Guest House, the premier boutique lodging option in this beautiful small town well-known as the Midwest’s best getaway destination.  Farmers Guest House is the perfect venue for your wedding, honeymoon, family gathering or company retreat. There’s no end to available options which includes reserving the entire Guest House for your exclusive use. From quiet time in front of your private fireplace and a couple’s massage in our one-of-a-kind Studio, to new country breakfasts, we will create a one of a kind experience for you.

Farmers Guest House offers a variety of luxurious rooms and suites in a relaxed environment, as well as our Annie’s Galena Cottage; the only private cottage within walking distance of downtown Galena.

January 6th, 2014

Resolve to eat better in 2014

Some of the most exciting adventures you want to enjoy while traveling are new culinary experiences. As you look forward to 2014 and planning your getaway to a Galena bed and breakfast, keep that in mind. Want to really be able to keep your New Year’s Resolution for 2014? It’s simple, just resolve to eat better in 2014.

At Farmers Guest House, guests receive a full new country breakfast each morning and also get to enjoy our renowned WineTime™ each evening.

Enjoy such specialties as… well, we’ve decided to let our images tell the story. Looking forward to welcoming you to Farmers Guest House soon…

resolve to eat better in 2014 resolve to eat better in 2014 resolve to eat better in 2014

resolve to eat better in 2014 resolve to eat better in 2014 resolve to eat better in 2014

December 23rd, 2013

The Urbanologist: Q & A with Susan Steffan

best bed and breakfast GalenaIn this exclusive interview about her journey to operate the best bed and breakfast in Galena, owner-operator-innkeeper, Susan Steffan took a look at the thrilling experience of the bed and breakfast world and how she has introduced a new country elegance to Farmers Guest House, while also maintaining their historic property in Galena; the second most friendly city in America.

This post originally appeared in The Urbanologist, by Max Grinnell on December 22, 2013.

In my line of work (urbanologist, traveler, college lecturer, etc) I spend a great deal of time on the road. It’s nice when I get to bunk down in a place as charming as Galena, Illinois with hosts as cordial and friendly as Susan and Don Steffan at their lovely B&B, the Farmers Guest House.

After a visit this summer, I reached out to Susan to ask her a few questions about what this lovely corner of Illinois, the B&B business, and some of the challenges they have encountered in the world of hospitality.

What led you to start a B&B in Galena?

boutique hotel galena ilWe first stayed at a bed and breakfast on our honeymoon to Mackinaw Island in 2004.  After that we would stay at a B&B whenever we travelled and began toying with the idea of having one of our own.  In 2007 we went to an Aspiring Innkeeper Seminar, much like the one we host now, and determined that B&B ownership would be our next career. We studied the industry for a few years and made a “bucket list” of what would be our perfect inn.  The search for the ideal B&B took three years but in 2012 we left our mainstream jobs and took the plunge.

What’s been the greatest challenge for you and Don as you’ve started this new endeavor?

Don and I were both in careers that involved less teamwork and more solitary effort.  Working with another person and having to compromise frequently involved quite the learning curve.  We also live and work 24 hours a day with each other.  During the first few months we wondered if our marriage was going to make it; but now our relationship is better than ever.  We know and appreciate each other more than ever before and have also learned that we are much better as innkeepers when we take “me” time and “us” time.  Don goes bowling, I quilt and go antique hunting, and we both disappear with friends now and then to sit at a vineyard and watch the grapes grow.  Most folks who ask what our greatest challenge was also ask what our greatest surprise was.  What has surprised us is that we are having a great time and we don’t have problems with unruly or difficult guests.  We would hear horror stories and get worried about how we would handle troublesome people but we just haven’t encountered those people.  We love our guests and enjoy our new life as innkeepers!

What are your top 3 destinations in Galena, your “must-sees”, if you will?

This is hard to answer because there is so much to do and see in Galena and the surrounding areas.  We have guests that return year after year and continue to find something new and entertaining to enjoy.  But, when first time guests ask this of us, we always recommend strolling historic Main Street with all its shops, art galleries and tasting rooms; touring Grant’s Home, which is over 90% filled with furnishings from when President Grant lived there; and the Historic Galena Museum.  However, we also highly recommend the many year-round outdoor sporting activities, not to mention our fine restaurants, brewery and distillery.  And these are just the activities within walking distance!

For more information on Galena and Jo Daviess County, take a look at their excellent website. Here visitors can find information about cultural attractions, historic sites of note, and much more.