Sunday, December 13, 2009

Festive Recipe for Eggnog French Toast




We added a new recipe for french toast to the breakfast menu for the month of December. It is soooo easy and very festive.
We use the same Great Harvest Farmhouse White bread that we use in our caramel french toast recipe, but if you can't find that in your town just use a good quality bread.

One loaf Great Harvest Farmhouse White Bread - sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
4 jumbo eggs
2 1/2 cups quality eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons Bourbon (optional)
cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter for griddle
2 cups heavy cream whipped to soft peaks

powdered sugar to garnish
raspberries to garnish
mint leaves to garnish

In large bowl mix the eggs, eggnog, vanilla and bourbon well. Soak each slice of bread until well coated and place on cookie sheet. Heat griddle to medium high and then coat with butter. Add your bread slices and sprinkle each with cinnamon. When one side is golden brown flip each piece and cook until other side is also golden brown. Keep warm in 100 degree oven until ready to serve.
We cut each slice on the diagonal. Then place two or three slices on each plate. Dust with powdered sugar, garnish with the whipped cream and raspberries and serve with maple syrup.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter Welcome


This is the perfect time of the year to visit with us at Woodhaven. The decorations are glowing in every room. Shopping at the malls and boutiques and art galleries is at it's best. The rooms are cosy and the whirlpools, steamshowers and fireplaces are great for relaxing after the fun of a busy day shopping.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Inn Decorated for the Holidays









We have been busy little bees just decorating non stop to dress the Inn in it's holiday finery. Since we are a Victorian era inn we tend to go overboard or as my sister says "encrusted". Each year there are many new additions to display along with the special ones collected over 61 years.
The 11 foot tall tree takes the most time and energy...and at least 500 ornaments! Theresa, Laurel and I spent two full days just on the ornaments. (No one wants to string the 1800 lights so I end up doing it)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October at the Inn



This fall has been beautiful in Louisville with colorful foliage everywhere and warm sunny days. It's a great month to travel into town to visit friends and family and see the trees along the way.
While the days are still warm we have finally started a long awaited renovation on the back porch of the Main House. All the railing is being replaced with a replica of the original on the front of the house. Now it will all match! Probably doesn't make much difference to my guests but it sure makes me a happy camper!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Haunted Happenings in Louisville!


October brings out the ghostly happenings around town. There are great walking tours and haunted house tours. One of the best places to tour...and you can actually go year round...is Waverly. It used to be a tuberculosis hospital, and as you can imagine many people passed away in the building. It is supposed to have paranormal activity all over the huge Gothic building. The Ghost Hunters show even filmed a Halloween night special there!
These pictures were taken at a night tour. I've never had the little spots happen on my digital camera before and it was not raining....so what could it be?
The owners hope to renovate it and turn it into a wonderful five star hotel someday....but in the meantime you can see it at it's spookiest!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cool nights and S'mores on the front porch


Now that the nights have begun to cool we have set up a little station on the front porch where the guests can make their own s'more. Good news.... you don't have to build a fire! Just light the candle and toast your marshmallow. Take a choice of Hershey chocolate bar or a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Gooey and So Good!
Spend the day shopping at craft fairs or the antique shops, and then dine at one of Louisville's fine local restaurants. Or visit the beautiful parks around town to see the spectacular fall colors and enjoy a picnic lunch. The Science Museum has a great Titanic exhibit and Churchill Downs fall meet will open this month.
Much, much more to do in town...just ask us for suggestions.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

KENTUCKY STATE FAIR






The state fair was fabulous this year! So many things to do, see and eat that there never seems to be enough time. And we had fair weather with temperatures in the 70's and 80's. We arrived early one day and immediately headed through the critter barns to see our favorites and on out to the amazing booths full of every imaginable good thing to eat. Who cares if it is only 10:30 in the morning...corn dogs are calling!

The three of us managed to sample cinnamon and sugar coated elephant ears, peanut butter and chocolate fudge, jalapeno and regular corn dogs, chicken pita sandwiches, and the best ever corn on the cob. This is not 1/100th of the possible items to eat out there...

Other areas are full of midway rides, and farm produce, and the baking competitions. ( definitely will make you hungry viewing all those blue ribbon pies and cakes!)

We loved the Ugly Lamp Competition from Lynn's Paradise Cafe and the Roster Crowing Contest. I am happy to say I managed to get past the bunnies without buying one this year!



Many of my guests attend and compete in the Grand National Five Gated Horse Championship, others come for the great concerts held each night.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fun Time at the Street Rod Nationals


The first weekend in August each year brings one of Louisville's coolest conventions to town. Over 21,000 colorful amazing cars congregate at the Fairgrounds. From the air it looks like a huge bowl of m&ms! Participants drive the cars from all over the US.

Louisville has one of the largest indoor facilities in the country, which leaves plenty of air-conditioned areas for the vendors to set up. Anything you would need to restore one of these cars is at this gathering. The public is welcome to attend and walk around the cars as well.

One year our whole parking lot was full of these incredible cars...this year only one had the car here. Quite a few of our guests have been coming for many years. Sometimes we even get a ride!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kentucky State Parks



Kentucky has many fantastic state parks in areas with lakes and rivers and beautiful mountain views. This summer several guests have stayed here at Woodhaven on their way to Lake Cumberland, Shakertown and Cumberland Falls. Cumberland Falls has one of only two moon bows in the world. On a recent visit I took this picture of my grandchildren on a rafting trip to the falls and then down the Cumberland river. Most of the state parks also have horseback riding and swimming pools and great trails for hiking.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jane Austen Festival at Locust Grove Historic

The Jane Austen Festival at Locust Grove Historic Home is held each July. It runs for three days with classes and displays of period clothing and books. There are only four similar festivals in the world.
The weather this year was perfect with fluffy clouds and cool temperatures each day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SUMMER GARDENING



This summer the Louisville area has had an abundance of rain and so the gardens here at the Inn are very lush. One clematis vine grows a foot a day! It is an old fashioned variety named "bridal veil". It blooms in late August with hundreds of tiny sweet smelling flowers.
We use a fertilizer made here in Louisville named Monty's Joy Juice for all the potted plantings. I think it is working...take a look at those cabbages!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Great Farmer's Markets in Louisville


Many farmer's markets are open during the summer months all around Louisville. One of the best - the St. Matthews market - is just around the corner from us at Beargrass Christian Church. It is held each Saturday from 8am to noon and offers amazing fresh farm products and beautiful baked goods and flowers and even local crafts.

Recently we found local strawberries, heirloom speckled lettuce, buffalo sausage, Kenny's cheeses and great multi colored cage free chicken eggs. It's so nice to have this option for locally grown and raised organic foods....and an extra treat for the guests.

The Dreamcatcher Farm breakfast ribeye steaks are going over great with the guests.
Coming up this weekend we are going to offer little organic fried chicken breasts. This may sound odd for a breakfast choice, but my grandmother said they used to have it all the time on the farm....we'll see how it goes!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Breakfast at the Inn



We love to fix breakfast here at the Inn and have a menu with many options. Each day of the week we start with continental offerings of 4 juices, assorted pastries, yogurts, a huge bowl of organic fruit with whipped cream and granola. Then guests choose from our menu of eggs cooked to order, Great Harvest toast, English muffins, biscuits ( with or without homemade sausage gravy ) and bacon, sausage. Plus other options of pancakes with blueberries or dark chocolate... and last but not least a very caramelly french toast.
Daily specials added to our menu include Weisenberger Mill stone ground grits, quiches and our breakfast pie. On the weekends we serve wonderful little breakfast ribeye steaks from Dreamcatcher Farm. Farm raised just east of Louisville and grass fed and finished, we find them and other organic products at the farmers market around the corner from us.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

KENTUCKY DERBY 2009


What a fabulous Derby 2009 we had! The weather was iffy a few days but did improve enough for the Great Balloon Race to go off the Saturday before and our Derby guests to wear all their finery without getting rained on. A couple of us even had the 50 to 1 odds winner of the Derby ...Mine that Bird.
The excitement builds for two weeks before the Derby. First the fireworks display is always scheduled for two Saturdays before the Derby. It is the biggest fireworks display in the country and attracts fans from all over the world to the backs of the Ohio river in Louisville. This year the weather was gorgeous and over 700,000 set along the river to watch the fireworks and the air show.
Then the next weekend the hot air balloon race goes off ...weather permitting. In years past they have traveled so low over the Inn that we could hear the burners fire in the balloons.
Great huge hat boxes arrive the Monday before Derby and the guests start coming on Tuesday. Many people don't realize that you can go out to the track early in the week and watch the horses train each morning. It really gives you a special feeling to stand on the rail, watch the sunrise and the horses gallop around the track.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Break for my California and Kentucky Grandchildren


Last week two of my four grandchildren visited - one from San Francisco, California and one from Berea, Kentucky. We hit a bunch of their favorite spots such as Schimphs Candy store in Jeffersonville just across the Ohio River from Louisville. They have been in business for 80 years and have a fabulous museum and area where visitors can watch them make the candy. Then of course, everyone loves to pick some to take home. We had dessert first and then off to the world's largest White Castle hamburger restaurant for some cheeseburgers. (better known as sliders here in Kentucky) After these two stops we drove to the reservoir to walk the Mayor's Mile around this fabulous early 1900's Gothic design building. Next day children, grandchildren and the old innkeeper (that being me) drove down to Lake Cumberland to a little piece of land that the family owns. It is truly rough! Usually myself and my sister stay at a bed and breakfast nearby but the kids convinced us to try the cabin with them this year. It was great fun...out house and all! We even were able to watch a movie by rigging a laptop and displaying it on the cabin front. The weather was perfect and did not turn rainy until the day we left to come back to normal life.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Porch sitting weather


We had beautifull weather last weekend and the guests were able to sit on the porches and visit. A group of 9 women met in Louisville for a little reunion and stayed in three of our rooms. They enjoyed cocktails and appetisers on the front porch before going to the Melting Pot of dinner.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hot Brown Sundays at Woodhaven


I love Hot Browns! It's a marvelous combination of roasted turkey breast atop a piece of toast and then covered with a rich Mornay sauce and finished with two crisscrossed pieces of crispy bacon. It comes hot and bubbly from the oven on a special plate made just for it from Louisville Stoneware.

The original recipe was created by Chef Fred K. Schmidt at the historic Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville in the late 1920s. My family would go on Sundays and sit around a huge round table in the English Grill and all of us ordered the Hot Brown.
There are many variations of the original recipe used in this area. It's even been on a segment of the Food Chanel as a throw down with Bobby Flay. The recipe I use is very close to the original I remember, and took me many years and many tries to get it right!

Now any guest who stays at Woodhaven on Saturday night can try a Hot Brown.
Starting this Sunday March 8 our guests will be able to choose from our regular breakfast menu or a later menu that includes a Hot Brown. Plus they can sleep a little later! Hot Browns will be served from 10:30am to 11:30am.

Yum! I hope there are left overs!

***Here's the recipe if you would like to try it at home. You don't have to have the Louisville Stoneware plate. You can use any oven safe dish with high enough sides for the sauce.

HOT BROWN

1 stick butter
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon salt
dash of red pepper
dash of nutmeg
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 slices quality white bread with crust trimmed off, toasted
1 turkey breast, cooked and sliced
extra Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
8 slices of quality bacon. cooked thoroughly but not yet crisp

Melt the butter in an large saucepan, add onions, and saute for approximately 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and blend using a wire whisk. Add the milk and whisk until blended and smooth. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes or until the sauce is thick and smooth. Stir in the salt, red pepper, and nutmeg. Cool slightly.

Blend the egg yolks and cream. Add a little of the slightly cooled sauce to the egg yolk mixture and blend. Add this mixture to the saucepan. add the Parmesan cheese and stir to blend. This can be made the day before and refrigerated.

to assemble the sandwich, place toast in the center of an ovenproof serving dish. top with turkey slices to cover. Cover completely with the sauce. Sprinkle cheese over all. Repeat process using 3 additional plates. Broil at 400 degrees until bubbly and golden brown. Cut a second slice of toast diagonally and put the tip side to the edge of each plate. Crisscross two slices of bacon over each plate.

Yield: 4 servings

Friday, February 27, 2009

Spring is Coming soon


The birds are singing, and the daffodils have sprung 3 inches out of the soil in the gardens. The sun is warm and the days noticeably longer...can spring be far away?
Sure hope it will be here soon. Louisville is ready for a beautiful spring ...we deserve it after the ice storm we had in January.
We can't wait to visit the garden centers to buy annuals. Everyone in Louisville just has to have everything planted in time for the Kentucky Derby. That means all is planted and ready to go by the first Saturday in May. This year it falls on May 2nd., but the festivities start two weeks before with Thunder Over Louisville. It's the biggest fireworks display in the United States and draws over 500,000 people to watch the air show and fireworks at the rivers edge.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Setting up Woodhaven's blog


Finally, we have a blog set up. Cindy McDavid is a wizard at anything that has to do with computer knowledge. So she came over from Lexington and Nancy Swartzel joined us from her bed and breakfast in northern Kentucky. She has been working with Cindy on her own blog for her bed and breakfast - Willis Graves. The three of us had a great time setting up my new blog.

Much note taking later it was ready. Then we took some time off and headed to a nice dinner at J Alexanders. They have great salads and super good cocktails.