Farmers' Guest House blog
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,

March 23rd, 2014 Diamond Collection


Contact: Susan Steffan

Farmers Guest House

March 24, 2014


bedandbreakfast com diamondGalena, Illinois – Farmers Guest House has joined the Diamond Collection, a distinction reserved for premier inns offering extensive amenities and top-rated guest reviews. Launched in October, 2009, the Diamond Collection was introduced to help travelers streamline their search for the country’s best inns. Farmers Guest House is the newest member of the Diamond Collection.

To qualify and maintain membership in the Diamond Collection, bed and breakfasts and inns must pass a comprehensive professional inspection measuring the property’s quality, service, hospitality, accommodations, food, amenities, and more. To qualify for membership, Diamond Collection properties all maintain top guest ratings and reviews on and offer a professional reservation experience, including extensive property photos and online reservations.  Additionally, Diamond Collection members provide the amenities that today’s travelers require, including private baths, free Internet service, luxury appointments and amenities, professional staffing, and flexible check-in/out times.

“Farmers Guest House is THE reason people visit Galena”, say Jim Miller of InnConcierge nationwide inspection services, the group that inspected Farmers Guest House for Diamond Collection.

“Vacation time is a valuable commodity these days” explained Gregory Sion, General Manager of “When planning a getaway, travelers want the assurance of knowing that they’ll be staying at a B&B or inn that meets the highest standards. Farmers Guest House is a perfect addition to this group of premier inns,” finished Sion.

bedandbreakfast com diamondAbout Farmers Guest House:

Farmers Guest House is recognized as the Standard for Relaxed Elegance in Galena, Illinois.

Situated in downtown historic, Galena, Illinois; Farmers Guest House is a unique country inn with relaxed elegance featuring 9 tastefully decorated guest rooms & suites. At Farmers Guest House you will find an intimate setting and exceptional service; all wrapped in the ambiance of Midwest hospitality at its best.


Founded in 1995, is highly recommended by The New York Times, Real Simple, Forbes, Travel & Leisure, USA TODAY and many others. To learn about over 10,000 other perfect choices for your next B&B getaway, visit, the leading online bed and breakfast directory and reservation network worldwide. A variety of search functions and extensive maps enable inngoers to find the perfect B&B. Travelers can make reservations online, purchase The Getaway Gift Card from, welcomed at over 4,000 B&Bs in the U.S. and Canada, read up-to-date trip reports on The Blog, read and write independent reviews, and post questions on expert-hosted message boards.


For more information on Farmers Guest House, visit  or call 815.777.3456 for reservations.

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.