Farmers' Guest House blog
May 9th, 2013

Still Number 1 and Growing

wine lovers weekend in GalenaFarmers Guest House has been reviewed on TripAdvisor by 554 guests and we’re still number 1. That’s right, the best bed and breakfast experience in Galena is at Farmers Guest House. The best thing is, you don’t have to take our word for it. Just take a look at what our guests are saying.

Don’t you want the best from your Galena bed and breakfast getaway?

“excelent B & B”

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 6, 2013 NEW
Thank you Don and Susan. Chuck and I had a wonderful time. Plan on recommending this B & B to my mom and other friends. Visited for my birthday and plan on coming back for our anniversary. Also looking forward to getting a gift certificate for my brother because he needs it and I will enjoy the time with my nieces and nephews. Will call you soon to book. Look forward to seeing you again. Chuck & Tonya Seward McHenry IL
May 7th, 2013

The Inn Life

Reprinted from Inns Magazine, May 2013

Inn Life

Susan & Don Steffan, Farmers Guest House, Galena, Illinois

galena lodgingTalk about romance!

“This innkeeping journey of ours began on our honeymoon,” smiles Susan Steffan. “We rode off into the sunset from our reception to a b&b.” It was the first b&b experience for Susan and Don. Converted b&b goers, they discovered that they loved the lifestyle. In fact it fit their whole family – nine children and all, so they prepared thoroughly to go into the business. “It was a blast,” she laughs. “We did B&B practice every weekend! I would do the whole breakfast regalia, even down to the heart-shaped Fench Toast.” That, she confides, is Don’s favorite.

“It’s wonderfully fun working together,” she says. “It develops your personal relationship so much more.” Their search proved long and discouraging. Until, getting some girl time with one of her daughters, she and Susan happened on Farmers Guest House. “Mom!” said her daughter, coming through the front door, “this is it!”

Their b&b journey nearly ended due to family tragedy. Their daughter, Barbie, really embraced the family plan. “Our youngest daughter wanted to do it as a career,” says Susan. “From the time she was ten years old, she’d be watching the Food Channel and she’d bring some great recipes to me. She was a very good cook.” Sadly, she was killed in a car accident before the family found their b&b destiny. The Steffan family almost put that dream aside. “A year after the accident,” says Susan, “we realized we had to go forward. We needed a restart, and so we went ahead.” Glad they did, Susan says, “I’m thriving on this!” And Don? She has to admit, “He loves it!”

With country elegant style, Farmers Guest House really was accommodation for farmers coming to market. Built as a ground floor General Store with basic lodging above, the inn now boasts beautiful suites, three with a whirlpool for two. All have luxury amenities. Located in the historic downtown area of Galena, “It’s a walk back in time,” says Susan. You can have the most romantic location, but that may not provide romance. “What really makes it is how the innkeepers treat you,” insists Susan. “Being there, providing Concierge Service without being intrusive, that’s true romance.”

Heart-shaped French Toast, anyone?

Farmers Guest House
Galena, Illinois

May 5th, 2013

Gluten-free Pancakes

Kristy asked for this one on our facebook so, here you go!
Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancakes
1 ½ c buttermilk
1 ¼ c vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 t vanilla extract
3 c gluten-free flour blend
¼ c sugar
2 t  baking powder
2 t baking soda
½  t salt
Mix together liquid ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to bowl and mix all at once after all ingredients are added.  For thinner batter add a bit more milk.
Make your pancakes on a griddle at medium heat.



May 5th, 2013

Bacon Caramel Apple Pancakes

A picture is worth a thousand words. Our breakfast this morning for our Galena bed and breakfast guests, was Bacon Caramel Apple Pancakes with fresh fruit smoothie and some blueberry pastries, this was a meal to remember.

bed and breakfasts Galena il

April 23rd, 2013

Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Crepes

Why settle?

bed and breakfasts galena ilWhen you want to escape it all and take a much deserved break there is no need to settle for dusty old inns and ho-hum breakfasts. At Farmers Guest House, recognized as the best of the bed and breakfasts in Galena Illinois, you’ll stay in a country elegant atmosphere and indulge on exquisitely prepared, new country breakfast cuisine such as Susan’s famous Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Crepes.

Check out this recipe, and settle for nothing but the best when you plan your Galena getaway.

Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Crepes with Blueberry Sauce

Basic crepes

2 c flour

¼ c sugar

½ t salt

2 c whole milk

2 large eggs

2 T butter melted

1 t pure vanilla extract

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.  Blend the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add to the dry ingredients and stir by hand until batter is smooth.  Let batter rest in the fridge at least one hour.

Heat a crepe pan or shallow 10” frying pan and brush with a small amount of butter just to keep crepe from sticking.  Pour ¼ c batter into the pan, and immediately swirl the pan to coat the bottom.  Cook until slightly browned, flip and cook about one minute more.


1 ½ c whipped ricotta cheese

1 large egg, beaten

½ c powdered sugar

Grated zest of one lemon

¾  c fresh blueberries (we use fresh Galena blueberries whenever possible)

In a bowl, whisk ricotta with beaten egg, powdered sugar and lemon zest. Fold in blueberries.  Spoon a tablespoon of the cheese mixture on the crepe and roll up like a burrito to keep ends from leaking.  Lay crepes in a buttered 9×13 dish, brush with 1 T melted butter and sprinkle with 1 T sugar with ½ t cinnamon.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350˚.  Serve with blueberry sauce.

Blueberry Sauce

2 c fresh blueberries (we use fresh Galena blueberries whenever possible)

1 ¼  c orange juice

¾ c sugar

3 T cornstarch

¼ c cold water

In a saucepan over medium heat, add blueberries, orange juice and sugar. Stir gently and bring to a boil.  In a small cup, mix the cornstarch and cold water.  Add to boiling sauce, simmering until a thick sauce is formed.  Remove from heat and serve warm.


April 20th, 2013

A Lovely Walk to Downtown Galena

 Galena is known for its many wonderfully scenic walks, and right now the walk to town right from outside the front door of Farmers Guest House is one of the most is most beautiful. Soak in the floral explosion you’ll see on the short walk to Galena’s  historic Main Street. Everywhere you turn, you’ll see our streets and historic homes lined with daffodils, tulips and hyacinth,  making for a beautiful 5 minute stroll on to Main Street – a top 10 historic Main Street in America.

Farmers Guest House is the “no-brainer” Galena lodging choice. From our country elegant decor, to our one-of-a-kind new country breakfasts, it’s easy to see why Farmers Guest House is continually recognized as the best and most romantic bed and breakfast in Galena. Let us help you create the perfect midweek or weekend getaway in Galena. Innkeepers Susan and Don Steffan are expert at introducing you to all of the things to do in Galena. Farmers Guest House offers plenty of free parking, numerous luxurious amenities and our signature WineTime™ each evening at 5:30 pm.

With all Farmers Guest House has to offer our guests, choosing from all of the places to stay in Galena has never been easier. Start planning your adventure with us.

April 19th, 2013

Blueberry Muffins

This is such an easy yet delicious recipe for an all-time favorite.
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 c milk
1 1/2 c flour
3/4 c sugar
1/2 t salt
2 t baking powder
1 c blueberries – fresh or frozen
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c flour
1/4 c butter, softened
1 1/2 t cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 and grease a muffin pan.  Beat oil, eg and milk with a fork in a large bowl.  Measure dry ingredients into bowl without stirring until all dry ingredients are added, then mix just until blended.  Gently fold in blueberries being careful to not break the fruit.  Using an ice cream scoop, put batter into muffin cups about 2/3 full.  Mis the last four ingredients with a fork and crumble topping over muffins.  Bake for 20 minutes or longer if using frozen blueberries.  Let set in pan for 5 minutes before turning on to wire rack. Serve warm, makes 10 – 12 muffins.
April 10th, 2013

Stuffed Puffs

Stuffed Puff Pastry

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially at Farmers Guest House.  Today guests enjoyed warm papaya and kiwi muffins and puff pastry shells filled with a tasty garden scramble – all fresh baked and served with a side of fresh fruit, juice and locally roasted coffee.  What a great start to a lovely day.

March 31st, 2013

Every Day is Special, but March 30 has Special Meaning at Farmers

Couple who met on March 30 plan to marry that day at Farmers Guest House, where March 30 holds special meaning for innkeepers.

By Hillary Dickerson, Galena Gazette

March 30 isn’t just another day of the week at Farmers Guest House bed and breakfast in Galena.

bed and breakfasts GalenaA year ago in 2012 on March 30, Don and Susan Steffan, owners and innkeepers of the popular inn on Spring Street, officially took the reins from the previous owners, Jess & Kathie Farlow, who purchased Farmers 11 years earlier, also on March 30.

It seems no better way to celebrate one year in business for the Steffans than by hosting a wedding and celebrating with a couple for whom March 30 also holds special meaning.

When Ian Courtney, who is originally from Scotland, and his fiancée Peggy Preston came from LeRoy in January to find a place in Galena to exchange vows, all the pieces fell into place. The couple met on March 30, 2012, very close to 3:30 in the afternoon, at a pub in Bloomington. After becoming engaged in October, the couple planned to marry a year to the day after meeting.

In Farmers, Courtney and Preston found the perfect location.

“It’s just too much coincidence to overlook,” noted Peggy of the significance of March 30 at the inn. “I have always felt there is meaning in fateful coincidences, and the fact that Ian and I ever met in the first place, considering our very different and diverse geographical upbringing and the paths that our lives took prior to us meeting each other, is a testament to the fate that we believe brought us together.”

Farmers Guest House innkeeper, Susan Steffan agrees, “This is providential, not coincidental.”

With the significance of the date, it’s only fitting that Jess Farlow, who’s been performing wedding ceremonies for 12 years, will officiate at Preston and Courtney’s private ceremony, appropriately scheduled to take place at 3:30pm.

There have been many wedding ceremonies at Farmers’ through the years – in the dining room, backyard, living room, the Charlotte and Julia Suites and the Annie’s Cottage. (The best Galena cottage.) This particular wedding is certain to be memorable.

“It will be a wonderful way to celebrate the significance of the date for all of us,” noted Farlow.

How can Farmers Guest House help you start your perfect future together? 

March 30th, 2013

Stuffed Blueberry French Toast

I served this at our last quilt retreat and just received a request for the recipe.
12 eggs
2 ½ cups whole milk
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
1 Tablespoon vanilla
12 slices Texas Toast or one loaf of French bread sliced in 3/4″ slices
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
8 oz cream cheese
Wisk together the first 7 ingredients.  Place a layer of bread in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish (six slices of Texas Toast or 1/2 loaf of French bread).  Sprinkle the blueberries over the top of the bread.  Cut the cream cheese in small pieces and distribute over the top of the berries.  Dip the remaining bread in the egg batter, fully saturating the bread, and lay on top off the casserole, completely covering the berries and cheese.  Pour the remaining batter over the top.  Let stand at least one hour so the bottom layer of bread soaks up the egg mixture completely.  Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, cut in serving size pieces and dust with powdered sugar to serve.  This pairs well with maple syrup and sausage.