Farmers' Guest House blog
June 29th, 2014

Enjoy a Honey Flan at Farmers Guest House

What a lovely way to start the day!  Honey flan, Petite Pancakes and Country Ham – a recipe for a great day.  This is my version of the recipe from the March, 2014 edition of Southern Living Magazine.

Honey Flan, modified from a recipe in the March 2014 edition of Southern Living
Serves 18
1 cup sugar
1 cups honey, divided
2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
2 cups whole milk
6 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 350.  In a large saucepan heat sugar just until melted, add 1/3 cup of honey and remove from heat. (Do not overcook or the sugar will turn to candy)  Immediately pour hot sauce into 12 ramekins.
2. In a large bowl process condensed milk, whole milk, eggs, egg yolks and salt until smooth.  Pour evenly over sugar in each ramekin.  Place ramekins in 2 9 x 13 inch pans.  Add hot tap water to pan to a depth of 1 inch.
3. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes or until set.  Remove from water bath and place on wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.  Cover and chill for 3 hours or overnight.  Run a knife around edges of flans to loosen and invert on plates to serve.

June 7th, 2014

Tour of Galena – Winner Stays with Farmers Guest House!

Farmers Guest House is proud to be hosting Ben, the winner of the Masters Category 4/5 race from this afternoon.  The Tour of Galena is in its 4th year and is determined to be the best omnium stage race in Illinois if not the entire country.  This afternoon’s Road Race was two laps of  a  22-mile course including several steep and long climbs and was held under USA Cycling event permit.  45 miles of Galena hills!   No, not everyone can roll their bicycle in through the front door, but we made an exception for today’s winner! (There is secure bike parking around back for the rest of us regular riders.)  Book your reservation in one of our winning rooms or suites – the summer months are filling fast! 

May 22nd, 2014

A Treasured Guest

Farmers Guest House recently hosted the popular radio personality, Steve Summers, from Q98.5 out of Rockford.  Here is what Steve had to say about Galena -

The City of Galena is a Northern Illinois Treasure to Experience

 By Steve Summers May 21, 2014 3:06 PM


Steve Summers, Townsquare Media


This past weekend, my lovely wife and I celebrated 29 years of “bliss” with a weekend get-a-way to nearby Galena, Illinois. What an incredible town that is so rich in history, and only a little more than an hour away. Galena, Illinois welcomes you with a Main Street right out of 1860′s mixed with the convenience of today. The movie “Field of Dreams” used Galena’s Main Street as the backdrop for ”Old Doc’s” Office. You instantly feel as if you’ll see Old Doc walking along the street…

The shopping is vast and exciting. If you love wine, you hit the jackpot with numerous vineyards and taste stations. Be sure to take a tour on the Trolley Cars and you’ll learn about President Grant’s home, his rise to General, and then on to become the 18th President of The United States of America.

President Lincoln slept in the Belvidere Mansion in Galena and address the town from the balcony that is still there in front of the Desoto Hotel.

When you go, be sure to bring your camera to capture breathtaking views on the way there on Highway 20, and all over the city.

Enjoy this Northern Illinois treasure soon. You’ll be glad you did.

Become a Q98.5 V.I.P by simply registering online here at Then you can sign up for one of two get-a-ways we’re giving away Wednesday, May 28th with the Q98.5 Wake Up Crew.


May 20th, 2014

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2014

Once again Farmers Guest House has been awarded the prestigious TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. Each year that Susan and Don Steffan have owned Farmers Guest House they have earned this award.



Recognized as a Top Performing Bed and Breakfast as Reviewed by Travelers on the

World’s Largest Travel Site


Galena, IL – May 20, 2014 Farmers Guest House, Galena’s premier bed and breakfast today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide.  Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website. Read Complete Press Release

May 17th, 2014

Galena Excursions

Guests ask us about attractions “off the beaten path” that we recommend.  Council Hill Station is one of those destinations.  This old train station has been saved by a lovely and ambitious couple – Diane and Jamie.  It’s a rustic tour that includes an old barn, a new barn for music and a  riverwalk.  Make you reservation with us this summer and we can give you a map to this out of the way backwoods slice of Americana.

May 16th, 2014

Strawberry Pancake Points

It’s finally Spring and that means STRAWBERRIES!  These Strawberry Pancake Points are just one of many new items on our breakfast table this season.  Served with a fresh fruit bowl topped with pink grapefruit sorbet, warm apple pastries and fresh Iowa pork sausage, this is a great way to start a day of relaxation and fun here in Galena. 

May 9th, 2014

Banana Nut Bread

Every few weeks someone asks me for my Banana Bread recipe and, even though it has been posted here before, here it is again.  This recipe is from my Grandma Rose to whom I owe my love of cooking.  I have such heartwarming memories of sitting in her kitchen as a child, listening to her sing along to the transistor radio as she created French Toast, Chicken Soup or Spaghetti and Meatballs.  She made Banana Nut Bread for us on special occasions.  Now I make it for my guests here.


Grandma Rose’s Banana Nut Bread


½ Cup Butter

1 Cup Sugar

2 Eggs

½ Cup Buttermilk

1Teaspoon Vanilla



Sift together and ad:

1 ½ Cups of Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

½ Teaspoon Salt



1 Cup Chopped (Course) Walnuts

1 Cup of Mashed Bananas (2 -3 very ripe)


Don’t over mix.


Bake 350 degrees for 1hour and 5 minutes in a greased

and floured bread pan.


April 26th, 2014

General Grant’s Home Front Civil War Encampment and Reenactment

General Grant signing autographs for the boy scouts downtown.

Coinciding with Boy Scout Weekend, this year’s Home Front Civil War Encampment brought sunny skies and big smiles to the banks of the Galena River. The generals were out signing autographs and the boy scouts enjoyed the reenactments.

Encampment along the Galena River

April 11th, 2014

Farmers Guest House Named First Runner-Up in Best Breakfast in North America Competition

best breakfast in north americaGalena, Illinois, April 11, 2014: has named Farmers Guest House’s Caramel Apple Bacon French Toast as First Runner-Up in their Best Breakfast in North America competition.

Open Gates Bed and Breakfast of Darien, Georgia won the competition with their Sweet Stuffed Crepe Cigars.

After making it through highly competitive early rounds, Farmers Guest House was the only bed and breakfast in Illinois to reach the top 16. Farmers Guest House is excited to be called First Runner-Up and will have the chance to compete for the ultimate prize next year.

“An inn like ours builds our business on our breakfasts,” Farmers Guest House innkeeper Susan Steffan said. “The Best Breakfast contest is the No. 1 competition for us. Our guests love and follow what happens on their site. It’s a fantastic organization.”

First Runner-Up status gives us the opportunity to be represented as Illinois and Galena lodging elite in the eyes of the bed and breakfast traveler. There’s nothing better out there,” concludes Steffan.

best breakfast in north america

March 27th, 2014

Best Breakfast 2014




Breakfast Lovers and B&B Fans to Select Favorite Recipes in’s

Best B&B Breakfast Tournament


Best Breakfast 2014AUSTIN, TX, March 27, 2014 – Starting today, breakfast lovers and B&B fans are invited to help select the best B&B breakfast in North America during the® Best B&B Breakfast Tournament™.  Farmers Guest House in Galena, Illinois is one of 16 bed and breakfasts to make the cut for the two-week “sweets to beat” recipe battle for the best B&B breakfast.

Farmers Guest House was selected by guest judges for its Caramel Apple Bacon French Toast.

“Caramel Apples and Bacon are icons of the Midwest so this French Toast dish is a natural centerpiece for our sumptuous breakfast.  Return guests ask for it when making their reservation; maybe it is because Caramel Apple Bacon French Toast is something we always wanted when growing up; dessert with our breakfast!” says Don Steffan, who owns the Farmers Guest House with his wife and chef, Susan Steffan.  Regarding the origin of the recipe Susan explains, “Before we bought the inn two years ago, I would practice potential breakfast dishes on Don, who claims, ‘It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!’ I would think about breakfast all the time, even in my sleep.  After we were innkeepers for a few months I dreamed this up.  I woke up one morning inspired, went in to the kitchen, and made this for a houseful of guests – It has been on the menu ever since.”’s Best B&B Breakfast Tournament contest works in brackets, much like the NCAA Basketball®’s March Madness®, with’s Facebook® fans voting on their favorites.  The recipes in each bracket winning the most votes move on to the next round of eight, four, and the final two, which will battle it out in a “sweets to beat” showdown on April 10.  The winner will be announced April 11.

Click here for a list of the Sweet 16 finalists.

The Sweet 16 were chosen based on recipe creativity, uniqueness and appeal by guest judges including Anne Banas,;  Genevieve Shaw Brown, ABC News; Adrien Glover, Travel + Leisure;  and Larry Olmsted, Great American Bites columnist.

In the past two years, sweet beat out savory.  In 2013, the winning recipe was the Lemon Soufflé Pancakes with Blueberry Compote from the 1851 Historic Maple Hill Manor Bed and Breakfast in Springfield, Kentucky.  In 2012 (the inaugural year), the Bittersweet Chocolate Waffles Topped with Mint Butter Cream and Strawberry Sauce from the Lyttleton Inn in Littleton, Mass. won first place.

Go to’s Facebook page from March 27 to April 10 to vote for the best B&B breakfasts.


About, based in Austin, Texas, is the most comprehensive global site for finding bed and breakfast properties, with more than 12,000 properties worldwide, representing nearly 75,000 rooms. helps travelers find and book the ideal B&B or small inn through informative descriptions, photos, and more than 300,000 consumer reviews. offers convenient gift cards welcomed at more than 4,000 B&Bs in the United States and Canada, with no restrictions or blackout dates. It is owned by HomeAway, Inc., the worldwide leader in online vacation rentals.


Don & Susan Steffan, Farmers Guest House, 815.777.3456,

Denise Clarke, for, 512.899.0004,