Sunday, December 19, 2010

HOLIDAYS AT THE INN

hand made santa with red and white santa out fit and white flowing beard holding a burlap bag filled with peppermints with a big bowl of mandms sitting on the counter nearby I can't believe that there is just one more week before Christmas Day and then a short week until New Years! This coming week will be packed with shopping and visiting with family, friends and guests. Many of our guests during the holidays have been coming for many years. We look forward to seeing them and catching up on their lives and travels during the last year. And the parlor is filled with guests playing cards and talking over wine and liqueurs.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

SOMETHING TO DRIVE THE COLD WINTER AWAY

a two tiered tea tray with assorted cookies on the top layer and assorted savory tea sandwiches on the bottom layer and a tea pot with pink material tea cozy sitting on the table next to it and a tea cup in the front of both The weather outside so far this December is unusually cold and blustery! But the Inn is toasty warm and festively decorated and ready to welcome our winter guests. Recently while visiting my daughter Emilie out in their new home in Camus, Washington we had a special tea at the Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland. The weather was frightful there too! And it was such a nice break from our shopping to sit for awhile in this beautiful 1912 hotel. We decided it would be just as nice to have a afternoon tea at Woodhaven. So during the months of December and January we are going to have a complimentary afternoon tea for our guests each Saturday from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. We'll serve some traditional tea sandwiches and scones with clotted cream, and three different dessert items. Also we will have great choices of tea from England and Elmwood Inn. A couple of years ago I found this CD by Lorenna McKennitt called "To Drive the Cold Winter Away" I have it playing right now and it gave me the idea for this post.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

COMMERCIAL FOR THE SUPER BOWL FILMED AT WOODHAVEN

a young woman working to make a commercial for doritos in our dining room a young man dressed as Darcy in pride and prejudice in our dining room Just this past week the Inn was the location for a filming of a super bowl commercial. A very talented group of college students used our dining room to produce a short commercial for Doritos. It was a take off on Pride and Prejudice and just hilarious! They then submitted the finished spot for the competition that the sponsors for the super bowl host for amateurs each year. You can take a look at all the hopefuls at www.crashthesuperbowl.com If you want to take a peak at the one filmed here type in Darcy's Doritos and it will play for you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

BREEDERS CUP RACES THIS WEEKEND AT CHURCHILL DOWNS

6 horses leaving the starting gate in one of the breeders cup races at churchill downs all brown but one gray three people standing inside and looking out over a foggy twin spire at churchill downs Churchill Downs Race Track in Louisville will be the place to be this Friday and Saturday if you are a horse racing fan. The Breeders Cup brings in the top horses in the country for two days of great horse racing. This competition has been held at Churchill Downs more than any other race track in the country and attracts the largest crowds. The unbeaten filly, Zenyatta, arrived yesterday at the track and is a heavy favorite. This year Churchill has a huge new light system in place for night racing. There will be special night racing days and other fun events at the track during the meet. For more information and details about these events just go to Churchill Downs website. The Fall Meet runs October 31 through November 28. The Inn at Woodhaven is just 8 miles from the track too.

Friday, October 29, 2010

EVENTS AT THE FILSON HISTORICAL SOCIETY IN NOVEMBER

a portrait of a smiling lady from the 1850s with long curls in her hair and a jacket with white fur down the front This month the Filson is having a series of lectures and exhibits all centered around the theme of Kentucky and Ohio River Valley portraits from 1802 - 1920. The "Lessons in Likeness Events" include: November 11 Opening of the Filson Portrait Exhibit 5:15 p.m. Reception Lecture by Estill Curtis Pennington author of " Lessons in Likeness" Guided audio tours of the exhibit will be available November 12 through March 31. The Filson has been collecting, preserving and telling the stories of Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley history and culture since 1884. Thousands of people visit the Filson annually to conduct research, attend programs and lectures or tour the Ferguson mansion and Museuum. Visit their website at www.filsonhistorical.org or give them a call at 502-635-5083 for more information about special events.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

DAY TRIP TO HUBERS ORCHARD

a lady in red jacket and red cap making donuts for sale at hubers orchard a table with a display of different apples for sale at huber orchard people outside around a huge balloon scarcrow people outside around a big table piled high with orange pumkins and a big white barn in the background Just a 30 minute country drive from Louisville and Woodhaven is a you-pick-it farm called Hubers. I have been going for many years and taking friends and family for a nice drive and lunch. This time of the year you can pick your pumkin out in the field or take the easy route and choose from the abundant selection they have ready to go. Other goodies include fresh apple cider, caramel apples, homemade fruit pies, apple butter.... and my favorite warm pumpkin doughnuts! They also have a hay ride out to the apple and pumkin patches and lots of old trackers for the kids to sit on.

Monday, October 4, 2010

CAPRIOLE FARM OPEN HOUSE

a white sheet grazing in a green field On October 10 Capriole Farm, in Greenville Indiana, will host it's annual Fall Open House. This is a wonderful chance to visit the farm where some of the best goat cheese in the US is produced. You can tour the farm and see the goats and even sample Judy Schad's award winning cheeses. It is just a short drive from the Inn to the farm in southern Indiana. Take a picnic or better yet plan on partaking of some fabulous barbecue prepared by Louisville's top chef, Dean Corbett who is the owner of Equus and Corbett's restaurants.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

THE 2010 WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES HAVE BEGUN

a man riding a black five gated horse in the championship at the state fair rolling horse farm land with white fences and green grass The 2010 World Equestrian Games are now happening in Lexington, Kentucky. This is the first time they have ever been held outside of Europe and Kentucky is proud to be the first US venue. And what a beautiful place to have the games - right in the midst of Kentucky horse country! If you live anywhere near you should go. I'm having a hard time deciding what to go see as there are so many interesting events. It is only an hour drive from the Inn and the weather is going to be great during the games. The opening ceremony was last Saturday night and it was spectacular. If you missed it you can still see it by going to this site, www.USEFnetwork.com There are also some pretty funny guys from Great Britan with a behind the scenes show on that same site. We Kentuckians claim to be the Horse Capital of the World and this event is one more world class horse sporting event to add to our long list. The Games are an Olympic style event that lasts 16 days with opening and closing ceremonies, daily equine exhibits and and competitions for eight world championships. Competitors have come from 58 countries to participate in the vaulting, which is like gymnastics on horseback; dressage, which tests a horse's obedience to the rider's smallest commands; jumping, where horses and riders complete an obstacle course; driving, which involves four horses leading a carriage through dressage and a marathon course; and reining, where riders guide horses through patterns including 360 degree spins and a 100 mile endurance race. When you purchase a ticket to any of the competitive events then you that allows you to visit the other areas in the park. So you are able to see the Equine Village, the Alltech Experience Pavilion and the Kentucky Experience area. Live music, horse exhibitions and food are available at all these areas. To get tickets go to www.ticketmaster.com or call them at 1-888-934-2010.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

September Happenings

SNEAK PEEK AT THE KENTUCKY DERBY MUSEUMa photo of secretariat and his owner with a sunrise and the twin spires behind them The movie "Secretariat" is coming out this month but you can get some inside information starting this Thursday September 23 if you visit the Kentucky Derby Museums new exhibit: "Secretariat: Big Red's Journey to the Silver Screen." The exhibit features props, costumes and behind the scenes footage and interviews from the movie. Also historical footage and artifacts from the horses life, as well as a dress up area where you can try on fashions from the Secretariat era. The exhibit runs through March 27 at the Kentucky Derby Museum. ANTIQUES AT LOCUST GROVE a display of lots of sterling silver items set out on a table at an antique sale ANTIQUE MARKET AT LOCUST GROVE Head over to Locust Grove Historic Home next Sunday, September 26 for the Fall antique show. Booths full of American country antiques, silver, porcelain, jewelery, and art will be overflowing on the grounds of the historic 1790's home. The hours are from 10a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but come early for the best finds. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children and include a tour of the house. LOUISVILLE IDEA FESTIVALthe entrance to the idea festival in downtown louisville The Idea Festival returns to Louisville September 29 through October 2, 2010. This festival brings together some of the most original, daring and visionary thinkers and performers in the world for five days full of discussion, performance and innovation. Some of the speakers include Philippe Petit who walked the high wire between the twin towers, Louisville's own Tori Murden McClure who will talk about her experiences while crossing the Atlantic solo in a rowboat and Saffire author or "Push" which was made into the award winning film "Precious". Events are held at the Kentucky Center for the Arts and a schedule and tickets are available at www.ideafestival.com or you can call 1-866-966-4607.

Heart Healthy Breakfast Options

our breakfast fruit bowl piled high with oranges and rasperries and stawberries a plate with oatmeal and orange juice on the side in a glass and dried cranberries and blueberries on the side in bowls a plate with egg whites, chicken sausages, red and blue berries and whole wheat toast Many of our guests are looking for a breakfast that is heart healthy. We have several appetizing options for them. A wonderful bowl overflowing with organic berries and toppings of granola and muesli starts things off. Then they have a choice of organic hot oatmeal served with dried cranberries, blueberries and cherries or Natures Path cereals with soy milk. We always have egg white options: either scrambled or with fresh vegetables folded into a light healthy omelet. Finish off with Great Harvest whole wheat toast and organic chicken sausage seasoned with sage.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Great Last Minute Deal at the Inn

Three Beautiful Houses One Great Place to Stay And a Fabulous Breakfast! Hello out there to all you bargain hunters! Tonight - Friday the 10th of September - you can have any room that is open for half off. If you can't make it tonight keep watching my blog and facebook for future great deals!plate with bacon and eggs and wheat toast our yellow gothic revival main house with blue sky and purple azaleas in front yard

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

STREET ROD NATIONALS

red street rod sitting in front of the yellow main house with our guest sitting in the front seat of the car holding our maltese phoeble The biggest gathering of street rod enthusiasts in the nation just held the national convention here last weekend. Over 10,000 incredible cars cruised into town from all over the US and many other countries. I have been to view the spectacle and it is just one super gorgeous car after another! We are lucky to have a few here at the Inn. This year Ziggy from Omaha came for the 12th year in a row and brought his shiny red Ford truck across country. Phoebe ( our little Maltese) loves him...I swear she would go right home to Omaha with him!

THE KENTUCKY STATE FAIR

a ride at the state fair with people swinging way out in the air on seats the rooster crowing contest poster with a brown rooster with red top knot and yellow beak The Kentucky State Fair begins August 19 and runs through August 29 at the Fairgrounds. The Fairgrounds is one of the largest facilities in the US with a huge amount of space inside air conditioned buildings and a great midway full of rides and fair food. Visit the barns to see goats, pigs, chickens, sheep,rabbits, cows and lamas. Buy some honey from the state honey producers. Watch baby chicks hatch each day, the Purnell pigs race and a sheep dog herding competition. Compare the tiny stitches in the quilts and the fabulous photographers work and drool over all the baked goods. Forget about the diet for one day and indulge in the best corn dogs, grilled fresh corn, turkey legs and Kentucky Proud beef, pork and homemade ice cream. Take in the World Championship Five Gated Hours Show or a concert by Tim McGraw or the Oak Ridge Boys. For more information or to buy tickets check the web site at www.kystatefair.org

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A DAY TRIP FROM WOODHAVEN

three people standing under the sign for wallace station restauant with white wood building in the background Just one hour east off the inn is one of the most beautiful scenic highways I have ever seen. It is called Old Frankfort Pike and it is a very old road bordered by stone fences and horse farms on both sides. From the Inn you just take Interstate 64 East to the Versailles exit. Then a short 1/2 mile later you turn left onto Old Frankfort Pike and travel the two lane highway through incredible Kentucky horse country. ( I would have a picture of the drive but we were hard pressed to see the road because of a terrific summer thunder storm!) About 7 miles along in the middle of fields there is a restaurant called Wallace Station. It's very quaint looking on the outside and inside with lots of booths and a kind of old country store feel. The food is great and the restaurant has been featured on the Food Network's "Diners, Driveins and Dives". The host of the show, Guy Fieri visited and tried the fried chicken and the Big Brown hamburger which he declared one of the the top five he has sampled on his trips around the country. I love the show and have watched him eat a lot of hamburgers...so that compliment is great...or money as her would say! We sampled that fabulous hamburger and another sandwich with their homemade wheat bread, great slabs of brie cheese and country ham. It was twice the size of a regular sandwich so plan on taking some home. So you could drive over and take a tour of nearby Woodford Reserve Bourbon Distillery and then take the Frankfort Pike to have lunch at Wallace Station and even tour a horse farm or two and return by dinner time to the Inn at Woodhaven. my daughter jessica eating a huge rueben sandwich at wallace station

Monday, July 19, 2010

A PUMPKIN VINE SHOWED UP ALONG THE FRONT STEPS

close up of a orange puplin bloom on a green vine two orange pumpkins on a green vine tiny new orange pumkins on with lots of big green pumkin leaves on the vine around them This year several pumpkin vines have appeared in the yard. The one along the front walk is incredible. It has wrapped itself around the hedge on both sides and now has two great looking pumpkins. They won't last long as we have a family of squirrels who love pumpkin seeds....which may be who planted the seeds in the first place! They are a variety called a Cinderella pumpkin and turn a reddish orange when full grown. They are also very good for cooking. You can also pick the flowers and dip them in a batter and fry until crispy. We haven't tried that yet.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

little white dog phoebe on a red pillow on the floor with chairs and table next to her Phoebe loves helping us! The Derby Room gets a new look. a woman standing on a ladder hanging a tassel on the end of the curtain rod a man sitting on the top of a ladder hanging a curtain with a woman standing handing him a curtain It took all five of us to hang the new drapes in the Derby Room! All of us are experts in our normal areas of work but handy with a drill we are not...in fact none of us had used one before. It probably took triple the amount of time that a handy person could have completed that task in...and it certainly was funny to watch us. But we did have fun and the finished product looks great. We especially liked the curtain rods from the Pottery Barn catalog. They allow the drapes to slide across the whole wall of windows.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

SUMMER SPECIALS FROM THE KITCHEN

Party in Your Mouth French Toast ingredients for out french toast, eggs in a bowl, milk, butter, cinnamon, vanilla bread all on the counter nine slices of bread cooking on the griddle with cinnamon on toplaurlaurel demostrating the finished french toast on a plate with whiped cream and berries We always have out caramel french toast....or the guests are disappointed. But we also sometimes do this french toast as well. We love it and it makes a super showy presentation on the plate. We use a challah bread loave from a local Great Harvest Bakery. Slice it about 1/2 inch thick, then dip in a mixture of 5 eggs, 1 and 1/2cups of milk with a teaspoon of bourbon barrel vanilla extract. Next pan saute on a hot griddle that has some butter sizzling on it. Sprinkle a little cinnamon over each slice as it cooks, then flip and cook the other side until just golden. You can keep it warm in a 100 degree oven. To assemble lather some Nutella on each slice, top with a sliced marshmallow and sliced banana. Warm in the oven set at 350 now until those marshmallows start to brown. Serve with whipped cream and tiny chocolate chips as a garnish. The guests also use our maple syrup on this! Fried Green Tomatoes Laurel dipping the bread in a bowl of whipped eggs Green Tomatoes are plentiful at our neighborhood farmers market right now so we are cooking up fried green tomatoes for breakfast. Amazing enough they are fabulous with eggs and bacon and grits. A layer of creamy grits, a fried green tomato and poached egg is yummy too. We dip them in a egg wash and then a mixture of flour, bread crumbs and salt, pepper and dill to taste and fry in vegetable oil until golden and crispy.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summertime Events at Locust Grove Historic Home

two of my guests dressed in jane austen era atire going to the ball one man with a black top hat and one woman with a feather fan both standing on our staircase Third Annual Jane Austen Festival July 10 and 11 The Regency Period comes alive at Locust Grove with lectures, demonstrations of dueling and fencing, and a four course tea each day. Also, there is a regency emporium where you can purchase period clothing. Edward Maeder who created the fantastic bonnets and turbans for the PBS documantary on Dolley Madison will be on hand as well. the green lawn at locust grove and a white tent set up at the far end Antiques Fair June 27 The annual Antiques Market features dealers from all over the Midwest and South. The lawn around the house is full of booths featuring American Country and formal furniture, jewelry, silver, china and gardening antiques. The admission of $6 includes a tour of the historic house museum and out buildings.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

GETTING AWAY FROM THE INN

me and my daughter out at lunch in san francisco Getting away from the inn is not easy. You can't just shut the door and say gone fishing! At least I can't because the Inn needs to be running and income flowing whilst I am away. You have to leave someone in charge to take over the tasks that you would normally handle. In my case the means someone needs to be able to cook breakfast, answer the phone and emails for reservations, check in and check out guests, make electronic deposits, shop for the food items we serve ...and be prepared to handle any plumbing etc problems that might crop up! I've been very lucky to find two marvelous inn sitters to take over when I leave. Just recently I left the Inn in the hands of Laurel Shuffitt, who has been working for me as assistant innkeeper for 2 years now. She will be leaving for Florida in a few weeks and wanted to get experience as innkeeper before she left. And off I went to visit my daughter Emilie, my son in law John and my granddaughter Madison in San Francisco. Since they are soon to move to Washington State, this visit we tried to fit in some new excursions and also repeat our favorites. CAVALLO POINT I love the Golden Gate Bridge and the area around it. A couple of years ago I saw an article about a new inn opening up at the old Fort Baker which is located on the northern edge of the bridge. You cross the bridge and immediately you are in this serene area with spectacular views of San Francisco! Now called Cavallo Point, the Lodge is the Bay Areas first historic national park lodge. The overnight accommodations are in faithfully restored officer's quarters that were built in 1901. We loved the fact that it is a property that emphasizes green practices, using local produce in the restaurant, native plantings of ornamentals and grasses ( we especially loved the grass!) and water conserving toilets. cavallo point near san francisco with green flowing grass and blue sky and large green treetwmy daughter laying in the grass NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAINmy dauhgter and granddaughter looking through the window into the kitchen area of the wine train my daughter, son in law and granddaughter and me sitting in a booth on the wine train in wine country in california Another great trip while in the San Fransisco area is the Napa Valley Wine Train. It only takes one hour to get from San Francisco to Napa. The train runs from Napa north passing many of the regions best wineries. My family and I took the Sunday lunch outing and we loved it. All the cars are 1920's vintage dining cars that you can walk through to a wine tasting bar at the back. Mid way is the kitchen where the staff prepares the four course gourmet lunch. It's a leisurely 3 hour trek with beautiful vineyards on both sides and an excellent and knowledgable staff to help you select wines to accompany the food.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

KENTUCKY BEER CHEESE

a pan of baked cheese grits using beer cheesemWe had some guests with us this past weekend that brought us a sample of this wonderful beer cheese that there family has been making since the 1930's. In fact the Allmans are supposed to be the first to make and serve it at there restaurant near the Kentucky river in Boonesborough Kentucky. It's a concoction of aged cheddar cheese, garlic, and beer. The cheese spread is very smooth and would be a great snack with crackers and pretzels. We made cheese grits this past weekend that turned out great. Baked cheese grits are a specialty in this area. Every recipe used to use a Kraft garlic cheese log. It was only available regionally...I've had to transport some to relatives in Detroit and San Francisco before! But last year Kraft discontinued making this cheese, so finally I have a substitute....and one that is local too. Beer cheese is so popular that there is even a festival in Winchester Kentucky each year. This year it is going to be held the weekend of June 11 and 12. You can find more information at www.beercheesefestival.com

Friday, May 28, 2010

SUMMERTIME IS A GREAT TIME FOR WINE AND CHEESE

a sample plate of different cheeses and fruits with stawberries and grapes and crackers The weather is fine and the gardens and porches are waiting. Just perfect for a relaxing break with a little wine and a great cheese tray. Bring your own wine and cheese or let us fix a festive plate of wonderful local cheeses and your choice of wine.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

FAVORITE RECIPES FROM DERBY 2010

6 derby pies sitting on the counter to cool This pie recipe is so easy and yummy! I can turn out 5 or 6 pies at a time. They freeze well too. There are many versions in Louisville but this is the one we have been making since 1970. May Day Pie 1 (9 inch ) unbaked pie shell 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans 3/4 cup white sugar 3/4 cup white corn syrup 3 eggs, slightly beaten 1/2 stick butter, melted 1 teaspoon vanille extract 1/4 cup bourbon, optional Layer chocolate chips in bottom of pie shell and layer pecans on top. In a medium bowl, mix sugar, white corn syrup, and eggs until well blended. Add melted butter, vanilla extract, and bourbon and blend again. Pour mixture over chocolate chips and pecans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until almost set. Pie will become firm as it cools. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. our crab salad with lettuce tomatoes and crab This salad idea came from a picture I saw of a dinner at the White House. We called it "Crab Parfait" and it was very easy to assemble. We picked the little young bibb lettuce and the red oak leaf lettuce from our garden too. The bottom layer is the lettuce, then a layer of heirloom tomatoes - we used the baby assorted heirloom tomatoes and sliced them. Next a layer of homemade quacamole. You can make this a day ahead of time and cover with plastic wrap so that it touches the quacamole and then it will not turn brown. Last layer is a generous portion of cooked blue crab meat. You can use any salad dressing you prefer, but we liked the fresh basil olive oil that we drizzeled over the salad.