Something Special

Staying at a Wisconsin B&B during the holidays or for a winter getaway is wonderful in and of itself! Beautifully decorated Inns, the warmth of a fireplace, the scent of fresh baked cookies, and the sparkle of new fallen snow delight all the senses. When you add one of the many specials or packages offered by our member Inns, it is like gift-wrapping your holiday getaway into something magical.

 

Hidden Serenity Special

Gift Certificate from Hidden Serenity B&B, West Bend

First, we have this wonderful giveaway from Hidden Serenity B&B in West Bend: Purchase a $100 gift certificate or more to Hidden Serenity B&B and your name will be entered in their drawing for a chance to win a very special getaway package, valued at $1000.00! Contact them directly for all the details.

One of their most popular packages is called the Anniversary Bangarang Package, giving you all the pampering you deserve! It starts with a rejuvenating couple’s massage from a licensed massage therapist in their on-site mini spa. Delight in this package anytime, not just for your anniversary!

There's more to look at, so be sure to check out all their specials!

 

Holiday(10)

Christmas time at Hamiltion House B&B, Whitewater

Speaking of “gift-wrapping”, the Romantic Wrap Up by Hamilton House B&B will have you wandering Whitewater’s local boutiques to find that unique gift for everyone on your holiday shopping list. After your shopping, you can settle into a romantic evening of wine and wrapping supplied by Hamilton House by your private fireplace. Then you can enjoy having your Christmas shopping "All Wrapped up"!

 

Sheldon Room Stewart Inn

The Sheldon Room at Stewart Inn, Wausau

Beat the cold chill of this winter season and warm up with a complimentary 30 minute massage at Apex Wellness when you book a multi-night stay for the Winter Spa Getaway at the luxury Stewart Inn in Wausau.

 

Silver Star Inn

Hummingbird Haven at Silver Star B&B Inn, Spring Green

This Winter Getaway from the Silver Star B&B Inn in Spring Green offers a discount on your stay. Snowshoe their trails or just cuddle in front of the fieldstone fireplace with a glass of wine or cup of hot cocoa. Let your cares melt away!

 

Varsity Suite - Wine

Wine and Chocolates by the Varsity Suite fireplace at The Buckingham Inn, Madison

Treat yourself to a rejuvenating Madison getaway at The Buckingham Inn this holiday season for a 20% savings! Take in a winter concert or sporting event, shop unique stores nearby, or enjoy brisk walks through Madison’s historic university neighborhood.

Finally, you can check out all other specials and packages offered by WBBA member inns by visiting our website and searching “by specials and packages” under “Find An Inn”. Narrow your search by categories such as “holiday”, “last minute special”, and many more. We’re positive you’ll find just the right getaway to make your holidays and the winter season that much more… well, special!

 

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Easy Christmas Cookie Recipes

Let’s set aside pancake, omelette and pastry recipes for cookie recipes, shall we? We dug deep into our recipe archives for recipes that guests love best. The greatest part of this is that they’re easy! Delicious results ahead.

We all have our favorite Christmas cookie recipes, the ones that the kids and relatives insist you make every year. Add to that collection with these favorites. P.S. While Santa will surely love these as a late night snack, we do give you permission to eat these at breakfast too. After, all, we are the bed and breakfast association!

 

Extra Special Gingersnap Cookies

soft-gingersnap-cookies

Makes 4 Dozen

¾ cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
¼ cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and molasses and beat well. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Gradually add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture; mix well. Chill the dough and then roll into 1 ¼ inch balls. Dip in additional sugar and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 minutes, or until set and surface cracks. Cook on wire racks.

 

Santa’s Melt In Your Mouth Sugar Cookies

vanilla-sugar-cookies

Makes Approximately 4 Dozen

2 ¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter (no substitutions), softened
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Additional sugar to roll the cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. In large bowl, beat butter, powdered sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed about 2 minutes or until creamy. Reduce speed to low, beat in egg, then beat in oil and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture just until blended, occasionally scraping the bowl. Place some additional sugar in small bowl or saucer. Shape dough into ¾ inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Dip a glass with a cut design on bottom, or coarse side of meat mallet into sugar in bowl, use to flatten each ball into a 1 ½ inch ball. Bake 10-11 minutes until edges are golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Store cookies in tightly covered container. Please note: Frosting and sprinkles are always a good idea too!

 

Peanut Butter Cup Lovers Cookies
271187
Makes 40 Cookies

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup white sugar
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
40 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside. Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter, and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well. Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.

 

Chocolate Chip Bacon SurpriseP1240785x

¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ cup milk chocolate chips
½ semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped bacon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Melt butter in microwave in 10-second increments until fully dissolved. Combine all dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine, set aside. Cream butter and sugars 2 minutes until fully incorporated. Add eggs one at a time and mix until just combined. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Gradually fold in flour roughly one cup at a time until dough is slightly tacky. Add chips and bacon and mix with wooden spoon until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Bake cookies on lined baking sheet for 8-9 minutes, or until barely golden brown. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

 

Better Than Cereal Cookies
Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Banana-Breakfast-Cookies-IG

Makes Approximately 1 Dozen

½ cup rolled oats
½ cup applesauce or mashed banana
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup almond or cashew butter
1/16 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
2 ½ tablespoons freeze-dried raspberries
Optional 2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash the applesauce or banana with the nut butter until smooth, then stir in all other ingredients until well-combined. Shape into cookies and bake on a greased cookie sheet for around 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from sheet. Please note: These cookies really are a wonderful breakfast cookie!

 

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Recipes That Say Wisconsin

 

We usually feature a recipe or two with each newsletter, but with this installment we thought, why stop there when garden plots and farm fields are bursting with ingredients covering the full spectrum of flavors.

Sweet Treat from Blacksmith Inn On The Shore in Baileys Harbor: Pumpkin Pecan Muffins Ingredients 1 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon cloves 1 cup flour 1 egg 1/2 cup oil 1 cup canned pumpkin 1/4 cup chopped pecans 1/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325°F and grease or line 10 standard muffin cups. In a medium mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and flour. Mix in the egg, oil, and pumpkin. Fold in the pecans and raisins. Fill the prepared muffin cups 2/3 full and sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes.  

Savory Breakfast from Cream Pitcher B&B in Blue River: Eggs Taos Ingredients 1 large clove garlic, minced ½ onion, chopped ¼ cup butter ¼ cup flour 2 cups milk, heated 1 7-oz. can chopped green chilies ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper 10 eggs, whisked 2 avocados 8 flour tortillas 3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (and/or Cheddar) 1 cup sour cream 1 tomato, chopped or 1 cup salsa Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large skillet, sauté garlic and onion in butter over high heat. Stir in flour. Add heated milk and whisk constantly until thick. Add green chilies, salt and pepper. Remove sauce from heat and set aside. In a large skillet, scramble eggs, set aside. In a small bowl mash or slice avocados. Spoon 2 tablespoons sauce, ¹/8 of the eggs, and ¹/8 of the avocado on each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll up and place seam down in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Spoon remaining sauce over tortillas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot. To serve, top with sour cream and tomato or salsa.  

Sweet Breakfast from Red Forest B&B in Two Rivers: Baked German Apple Pancake Ingredients 3 eggs, separated 3 Tbsp flour 3 Tbsp milk Dash of salt 3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced ¼-inch thick ½ cup sugar 2 Tbsp butter 1 tsp cinnamon (Penzy’s is the best) Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a 9-inch ovenproof glass pie dish with deep sides in preheated oven. Beat egg whites until stiff. Mix flour, milk, salt and egg yolks in separate bowl with hand mixer. Then gently fold egg white mixture in. Sauté apples, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a skillet for 2–3 minutes until apples are well coated. Pour apples into heated glass pie dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the batter over apples slices. Bake for 20 minutes at 305°F until the pancake is brown and puffy. Remove from oven and loosen sides. Place a round plate over glass pie dish and flip over. Cut the pancake in wedges and serve with maple syrup and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  

Autumn Inspired Fruit from Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn in Belleville: Black Raspberry & Chambord Poached Pears Ingredients Black Raspberry Chambord Sauce (Can be prepared ahead—stores in fridge for weeks and can also be prepared without the alcohol) 2 cups fresh or frozen black raspberries ²/³ cup water + ¼ cup water to mix with cornstarch ½ cup sugar 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice 2 Tbsp Chambord (raspberry liqueur) 1 Tbsp cornstarch Place raspberries in a blender with the water to purée and then strain mixture over a small saucepan to remove the seeds. Add remaining ingredients to saucepan, except for the cornstarch, and bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring often to prevent sticking. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30–40 min. Stir cornstarch into the ¼ cup of water until completely dissolved and then add to the berry mixture. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens. Serve warm over cooked pears. Poached Pears 8 fresh firm pears 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice ½ cup sugar Using a large kettle with the capacity of covering the pears with water while cooking, add water and place on the stove. Core pears using an apple corer and peel completely. Use a knife to trim the bottoms if necessary so that the pears will stand upright when served. Bring the water, sugar and lemon juice to a boil and then turn down to low until pears are fully cooked—slightly firm, but tender enough to cut with a butter knife—approximately 45 minutes, depending on how firm the pears are to begin with. Test pear texture with a toothpick. Remove from heat and rinse with cold water. Drain and place in bowls—one per guest. Ladle 2–3 tablespoons of the Black Raspberry Chambord Sauce over the top. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and shaved Ghirardelli Chocolate, using approximately 1 tablespoon per serving.

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This Story Will Make You Crave a Wisconsin B&B Escape

    We really can’t help ourselves when it comes to fall and food. After all, Wisconsin is tops in cranberry production and cheesemaking, to say nothing of potatoes, corn, apples, beer, and more. So it seemed only right to dedicate a story to the cornucopia of innkeepers whose cooking talents are top-notch. While mere mortals may dabble in cooking and baking, our innkeepers are gods and goddesses of the kitchen. Which, of course, means an incredible food experience when you stay at a Wisconsin B&B. Here are some of our picks for “top chef.” [caption id="attachment_2676" align="aligncenter" width="384"] Bowman's Oak Hill Wild Rice Cranapple Bake[/caption] When innkeepers get together for a cook-off, you can be certain they will put their best foot forward. At Bowman's Oak Hill B&B in Wisconsin Dells, innkeeper Nancy Bowman was a grand prize winner for her Wild Rice Cranapple Bake. Here's what you need to do for this delicious breakfast treat: Number of Servings: 4 generous or 8 side dish sized portions Baking Time: 30 minutes Baking Temperature: 350°F Ingredient List: 1 ½ c. cooked Wild Rice ¾ c. raw oatmeal 2 large red apples ¾ c. dried Cranberries ½ c. raisins ½ T. cinnamon ½ c. chopped nuts (you can use either walnuts, pecans or a mixture of the two) 2 c. milk ¼ c. brown sugar ¼ tsp salt 2 T of butter Preparation: In large bowl Mix: rice, oatmeal, thinly sliced apples (Not peeled), cranberries, raisins, cinnamon and nuts. Heat in microwave oven until hot: Milk, brown sugar, salt and butter Mix into rice and fruit mixture. Put into buttered 2 qt. casserole. Cover and Bake @ 350°F for 30 minutes How served / presentation: Garnish with: A dollop of low fat vanilla yogurt and drizzle of pure Wisconsin Maple Syrup. For my meat lovers I add a side of sausage with whole grain English muffin. This recipe makes 4 generous servings or 8 side dishes to be served with an egg dish and sausage. [caption id="attachment_2709" align="aligncenter" width="399"] Dinning Area of Fountain Chateau B&B - Hustler[/caption] Suzanne Soltvedt of Fountain Chateau B&B in Hustler was also a winner in a cook-off for her Wild Rice Pancake, Cranberry Delight. This recipe may look long, but with homemade chutney, cran-raspberry syrup, and browned sage butter, it is well worth the time and care for this delicious delight: Number of Servings: 8 Necessary Utensils: 1 large sauce pan, 2 small saucepans, mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, strainer, grater, paring knife, griddle and small fry pan Ingredient List: Whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, eggs, honey, buttermilk, olive oil, orange zest and orange half. Water, sugar, cranberries, apples, vinegar, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves. Cran-raspberry juice, sugar, light Karo syrup. Unsalted butter, sage leaves, chicken broth Preparation: Pancakes: 1. In a large sauce pan place ½ cup wild rice in 2 cups boiling water and cover; cooks in about 45-55 minutes but check the water doesn’t cook dry. 2. To make the pancakes, place 2 cups whole wheat flour, 2 tsps. baking soda, ½  tsp baking powder, in mixing bowl.  Add 2 eggs, 2 tbls. Honey, 2 ½ cups buttermilk, 2 tbsp. Olive oil and mix 3. Add 1 ¼ cup cooled wild rice 4. Add the zest of one orange grated 5. Add 1 cup minced craisins or raisins or dried cherries Mix until moistened; place about ¼ cup of batter on hot griddle; turn when top bubbles. Continue until all the batter has been used. Chutney: 1 cup water ¾ cup sugar ½ tsp. Cinnamon ¼ tsp. Ginger ¼ tsp. Allspice 1/8 tsp. Cloves 1/2 cup vinegar ½ cup craisins or raisins 1-16 oz. Package of cranberries or 2 cups 1 cup apples, peeled, cored and diced Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes Cran-raspberry Syrup 1 ½ cup cran-raspberry juice 1 ½ sugar ¾  cup Karo syrup Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes Browned Sage Butter 5 T. Unsalted butter 15-18 sage leaves broken into small pieces ¼ c. low sodium chicken broth Heat the butter on high heat in a frying pan.  As soon as it gets hot, add the sage leaves and swirl to coat. Keep cooking until the butter turns brown and the sage leaves begin to turn brown. Immediately remove from the heat. Hollow out an orange half How served / presentation: Place two pancakes on plate Fill the hollowed out orange with chutney Fill a small pitcher with cran-raspberry syrup – serve on the plate Drizzle browned sage butter over pancake   [caption id="attachment_848" align="aligncenter" width="357"] Lindsay House B&B - Manawa[/caption] Owner of the Lindsay House B&B in Manawa, Judy Trull, was recently featured on Living With Amy with Fox 11 - she whipped up her recipes for Panetonne French Toast & Dreamscicle Scones. Take a peek at the recipes and the segments of the show below: Panetonne French Toast with Cinnamon Cream Syrup Dreamscicle Scones   Innkeepers at Jay Lee Inn in Elkhart Lake, Garden Gate B&B in Sturgeon Bay, and Hamilton House B&B in Whitewater have all had recipes published in the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast cookbook, as well as many other innkeepers across the state! Here's a sample of what they offer: [caption id="attachment_2695" align="aligncenter" width="366"] Jay Lee Inn - Elkhart Lake[/caption] Jay Lee Inn: Swedish Flop 1 cup butter, divided 2 cups flour, divided 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp water 1 tsp vanilla 1 cup flour - shouldn’t this be deleted? 3 eggs Chopped nuts and/or shredded coconut Confectioners’ Sugar Frosting: ¾ cup powdered sugar 1 heaping Tbsp butter 1 heaping Tbsp Crisco ½ tsp vanilla extract 2 Tbsp milk Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut ½ cup of the butter into 1 cup of flour and mix to make coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons water over the flour mixture and blend quickly with a fork. Roll or pat out dough into two long strips (about 10–12 inches) on an ungreased cookie sheet. Combine 1 cup water and the remaining ½ cup butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the vanilla. Remove from heat and beat in the remaining 1 cup flour, stirring by hand with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Spread the dough over the pastry strips and bake 55–60 minutes, or until lightly browned. (It will flop at this point.) Allow to cool slightly before drizzling with frosting. Sprinkle with your choice of nuts, coconut, or sprinkles. For the frosting: Mix together all ingredients, adding just 1 tablespoon of milk at first. Add additional milk to make frosting of desired consistency. [caption id="attachment_2696" align="aligncenter" width="377"] Garden Gate B&B - Sturgeon Bay[/caption] Garden Gate B&B: Brunch Strata 3 cups sliced mushrooms 3 cups chopped zucchini 2 cups fully cooked ham, cubed 1½ cups chopped onions 1½ cups chopped green peppers 2 garlic cloves, minced ¹/³ cup vegetable oil 3 8 oz. pkgs cream cheese, softened ½ cup half & half cream 12 eggs 4 cups day old bread, cubed 3 cups (12 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese 1 tsp salt ½ tsp pepper Sauté mushrooms, zucchini, ham, onions, green peppers and garlic in oil until vegetables are tender. Drain, pat dry and set aside. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and cream until smooth. Beat in eggs and stir in the bread, cheese, salt, pepper and vegetable mixture. Pour into 8 individual ramkin dishes. Bake uncovered at 350°F for 35–40 minutes or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. [caption id="attachment_2697" align="aligncenter" width="402"] Hamilton House B&B - Whitewater[/caption] Hamilton House B&B: Breakfast Meatloaf 1 lb. ground chicken 1 medium Granny Smith apple, grated 1 medium onion, grated 2 cups plain stuffing croutons (I like Pepperidge Farm) 2 large eggs Parsley, thyme, and rosemary Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray pie pan or loaf pan with cooking oil. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Press evenly into pan. Sprinkle top with parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Bake for 50–60 minutes until browned. Cut into wedges and serve— good warm or cold. Variation: Can be made with any combination of ground chicken, pork, or veal.   [caption id="attachment_2701" align="alignleft" width="283"] Old Rittenhouse Inn - Bayfield[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1920" align="alignright" width="178"] White Gull Inn - Fish Creek[/caption]               Did you know that many Wisconsin B&B have chefs on staff? Inns such as Old Rittenhouse Inn in Bayfield, where they showcase the regional harvest of the Bayfield Peninsula and offer cuisines that are organically grown and locally raised, or White Gull Inn in Fish Creek, where they use only the freshest of produce and other ingredients, preparing each meal carefully to order, are just a couple of examples of inns that showcase their top-notch culinary skills. Now, if all that has made you hungry, jump to our expanded recipe section in this enewsletter and get cookin’ yourself!   WBBA Seek the Unique

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Two Wheels Are Better Than Four

    The open road, a kaleidoscope of colors, mild temperatures, and an escape from the real world. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Bikes and B&Bs pair so nicely this time of year. Oh, and by bikes, we mean both bicycles and motorcycles. We have lots of fall getaway ideas for fans of two wheels. Wisconsin’s Harley-Davidson just celebrated its 115th anniversary with a huge bash in Milwaukee over Labor Day weekend, and it was a “wow” for motorcycle fans. Wisconsin is also a peddler’s dream and here’s the evidence: Trek Bicycles is tops with tons of cyclists – the company is headquartered in Waterloo. Wyatt Bicycles in La Crosse manufactures high-end aluminum adventure bikes – think mountain bikes and fat bikes. Based in Madison, one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the country, Pacific Cycle is the parent company of Schwinn and Mongoose. Waterford Precision Cycles and Gunnar Cycles are both in Waterford. And there’s Sotherland Custom Bicycles in Whitewater. So with that biking tutorial out of the way, here are free-wheeling ideas for those of you with fall wanderlust. Best Inns to Ride a Motorcycle To: For those that love the city, Hotel Ruby Marie in Madison is located across from the majestic Lake Monona, where the cool lake breeze will greet you on a ride. Hotel Ruby Marie is also within a short distance from Capitol Square, where you can sight-see around the beautiful Wisconsin State Capitol building. For those that love to trek outside of the city limits, Sheer Memories B&B in Muscoda sits on the rolling hills that overlook the beautiful valley of the Lower Wisconsin River. Perfect for fall color peeping! [caption id="attachment_1983" align="alignleft" width="282"] Justin Trails Resort in Sparta[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2620" align="alignright" width="287"] Pedal'rs Inn in Wales[/caption]                 B&Bs with Covered Spots to Store Your Motorcycle: Nestled in a quiet, peaceful coulee, Justin Trails Resort in Sparta, WI offers guests a relaxed country getaway in the heart of the Wisconsin Driftless Region. They also offer their garage space for bicycles and motorcycles as part of their services. Sparta is often dubbed as the "Bicycling Capital of America" and is nearby to the famous Elroy-Sparta State Trail. Inns with Best Proximity to Top State Bike Trails: Located just outside of Elkhorn, WI and across the road from sparkling Lauderdale Lakes, you'll find Ye Old Manor House and the nearby 19 mile White River State Trail. This scenic trail follows a former rail corridor and passes by numerous bridges, scenic vistas, quaint towns, farmlands and wetlands. Then there are the guests at Pedal'rs Inn in Wales, WI, who have access to the miles of connecting paved trails throughout the surrounding areas. Nearby to Pedal'rs Inn, the 52 mile Glacial Drumlin State Trail offers easy connections to Madison and Milwaukee. [caption id="attachment_2606" align="alignleft" width="294"] Motorcycling in Kettle Moraine State Forest[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2648" align="alignright" width="271"] Greenway House B&B in Green Lake[/caption]               B&Bs to Pair for Inn-to-Inn Bike Trips: Green Lake, WI is an area with numerous and wonderfully scenic trails for all levels of bicycle riders, so why not take a ride to stop & stay at Green Lake's beautiful inns? Angel Inn offers a breathtaking lake front view, so rent Tri-cycles, Cruisers, or a Tandem from them for a leisurely cruise. You can also follow the new bike path nearby to the Green Lake Conference Center. Miller's Daughter Bed & Breakfast has several trails located near the inn, including the 12 mile Mascoutin Valley State Trail which runs along the old Milwaukee railroad bed. Greenway House is a historic retreat in the heart of Green Lake and ideal for some downtown biking while McConnell Inn offers their knowledge of the many scenic back-country roads and nearby trails that are perfect for biking or motorcycling. [caption id="attachment_1280" align="aligncenter" width="370"] Owner of Eagle Centre House B&B & his Harley[/caption] Inns Where the Owners are Big Bicyclists Themselves: Eagle Centre House B&B in Eagle WI, where the owners and family love to ride the hills and rural roads of the Southern Kettle Moraine. The inn is located 3 miles from the forest headquarters. At Eagle Centre House, you are welcome to walk their 20 acres of kettles and moraines crested with towering oaks and lush with an abundance of native prairie plants and wildlife.

Take A Ride!

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Let the Leaf Peeping Commence

 

It’s next to impossible not to be happy during fall in Wisconsin. The colors are brilliant, the temperatures just right, and the home decorating possibilities endless. Take a peek at Wisconsin inns that are the stars of autumn, thanks to pretty country settings and Pinterest-worthy fall decor. Sure, most guests like to grab a shot of the B&B before they head back home, but some inns show up more often than others on Facebook and Instagram feeds during the fall because of their glorious settings. [caption id="attachment_2593" align="aligncenter" width="375"] Walnut Ridge Log Cabin Guest Houses surrounded by color in Platteville, WI[/caption] Take Walnut Ridge Log Cabin Guest Houses, for example, set in a grove of colorful trees that provide a brilliant backdrop for selfies. Walnut Ridge offers two private luxury romantic handcrafted log cabins in a country setting on 6 wooded acres. [caption id="attachment_2595" align="aligncenter" width="460"] Fall color view from At The Lake House, Lake Geneva WI[/caption] There’s At The Lake House on Lake Como, near Lake Geneva, the kind of place you’d expect to see on a postcard touting fall in Wisconsin. Their sumptuously appointed lakeside home was built with luxury and relaxation in mind. Each of the four ensuite guest rooms has its own lakeside patio or deck. [caption id="attachment_2636" align="aligncenter" width="299"] Pumpkins and cornstalks decorate Honeybee Inn, Horicon[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2619" align="aligncenter" width="444"] A lovely fall setting at Brayton B&B, Oshkosh[/caption] The inns of Brayton Bed & Breakfast in Oshkosh and Honeybee Inn in Horicon get top honors for their welcoming fall decor that guests are known to oohh and aahh over after they arrive. Deep tones surround the entire home of Brayton B&B while offering modern day ammenites with the feel of casual elegance. At Honeybee Inn, you are only blocks from Horicon Marsh, the birding mecca of the Midwest! [caption id="attachment_2598" align="aligncenter" width="405"] Fall "curbside" appeal at Bay Point Inn, Egg Harbor WI[/caption] When it comes to fall curb appeal, you have to love Bay Point Inn in Egg Harbor, with an exterior color palette featuring rich autumnal shades. Here, you will find spectacular water views punctuated with the islands of Green Bay and framed by pristine woodlands. Plan which B&B to visit and when with the help of the Travel Wisconsin fall color report.   WBBA Seek the Unique

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Ridiculously Good Rhubarb Recipes

  We rounded up a few rhubarb recipes that will have your mouth watering in no time. Technically a vegetable but legally a fruit, this spring/summer darling is a delight in pies, tarts and crumbles. Whether the star of a recipe or paired with berries, rhubarb is remarkably tasty. Don’t believe us? Try these recipes from our member innkeepers and you’ll be craving something rhubarb-y every year. [caption id="attachment_2529" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins[/caption] The first is a tasty treat from White Lace Inn, Sturgeon Bay, WI: Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins Ingredients: 3 cups flour ¾ cup white sugar 3 ¼ teaspoons baking powder 3 eggs ¾ cup milk ¼ cup oil ¼ cup sour cream 2 cups chopped rhubarb 1 cup chopped strawberries Chopped nuts, (optional) Directions: Preheat oven to 425°F and line muffin cups. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, oil, and sour cream. Add the creamed mixture to the dry ingredients and blend well. Fold in the rhubarb and strawberries. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling about ¾ of the way. Sprinkle additional sugar and chopped nuts over the tops of the muffins and bake 20 minutes.   [caption id="attachment_2530" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Rhubarb Coffee Cake[/caption] The next is a recipe from Angel Inn, Green Lake WI: Outrageous Coffee Cake Ingredients: 1 cup buttermilk ¼ - ½ cup melted butter 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 cups chopped rhubarb 2 ¾ cups flour 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup brown sugar ½ cup chopped pecans Topping: ½ cup butter ½ cup cream or half & half 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix together the buttermilk, melted butter, egg, and vanilla; stir in the rhubarb. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Spread the batter in the pan and sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans. Bake 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes away clean. Stir and heat the topping ingredients in a small saucepan. When the coffee cake comes out of the oven, poke deep holes over entire surface of the cake using a meat fork or skewer. Drizzle the warm sauce over the cake, cool, and serve.   WBBA Seek the Unique

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Meet the Innkeepers

  We have new innkeepers we’d like you to meet. One runs a breathtaking castle, another is near the deepest inland lake in the state, and yet another is nestled in the heart of the countryside. What they have in common is a passion for hospitality and introducing guests to the experiences the locals love. Joining the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association is no small thing. Our member inns are all inspected, licensed and insured, for starters. And each one offers a unique take on travel. Time to meet our newest members.   [caption id="attachment_2574" align="aligncenter" width="476"] Castle La Crosse Bed & Breakfast, La Crosse WI[/caption] New to the WBBA in March, Castle La Crosse Bed & Breakfast owners Billy Banes and Brandon Rigger opened up their home and a piece of La Crosse's history to guests in May 2017. Also known as Castle on Cass, this beautiful home was constructed in 1892 and features all of its original Richardson Romanesque details. Billy and Brandon both strive to find the freshest, most delicious and in-season ingredients for all of their made from scratch breakfasts. All entrees and dishes are made from local eggs and meat products provided by a local family-owned farm in Houston, MN and the surrounding area. Produce and other products are sourced seasonally from the La Crosse Farmers Market, Peoples Food Co-op and other community members.   [caption id="attachment_2576" align="aligncenter" width="619"] Miller's Daughter Bed & Breakfast, Green Lake, WI[/caption] Miller's Daughter Bed & Breakfast in Green Lake welcomed new owners Paula and Ross Bilodeau after they purchased the inn in April. This lovely inn was built in 1905 as a parsonage for the First Congregational Church. The inn was moved to its present location in 2002 to save it from demolition and lovingly renovated into the beautiful Green Lake inn it is today. The property is surrounded by majestic pine trees and the gardens burst with color throughout the summer to complement the peaceful setting. Miller's Daughter's philosophy is to keep things simple so that you can relax and take a break from the routine and stress of everyday life. Breakfasts are cooked using fresh ingredients, locally sourced and seasonal when possible. It is a pleasure for them to indulge their guests with delicious and creative combinations.   [caption id="attachment_2578" align="aligncenter" width="385"] Shane Acres Bed & Breakfast, Juneau WI[/caption] The WBBA's newest member, Shane Acres Bed & Breakfast in Juneau, holds a family based business that enjoys having company and that strives to make your stay a B&B experience like no other. Owners Richard Lowe and Jackie Shane offer something more than just a bed and breakfast, they offer a home away from home. Set on ten acres of rolling countryside, it's an escape from stress to a place where leisure comes naturally. Shane Acres is located nearby to many area attractions. Whether you love antique shopping, visiting breweries, golfing, or hiking, you'll find all your favorite activities just a stone's throw away from the comfortable, welcoming atmosphere that Richard and Jackie have to offer.  

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The Ultimate Road Trip

  Did you know it’s the 80th anniversary of The Great River Road, that ribbon of highway that hugs the Mississippi River? Now that you do, do make plans for a road trip to end all road trips. The GRR, for short, has loads of B&Bs along the way. The Great River Road may be turning 80 this year, but its ability to deliver an awesome scenic tour along the Mighty Mississippi never gets old. If you’re looking for an epic road trip, this is it. First, a little background. The route was formally established in 1938 by stringing together existing roads, auto tours and state trunks. It is Wisconsin’s only National Scenic Byway. There are 33 historic river towns along the 250-mile Wisconsin stretch, with some of those communities dating back to the 1600s. [caption id="attachment_2523" align="aligncenter" width="202"] Mississippi River Bluffs along The Great River Road[/caption] O.K., now on to a couple of recommendations on what to see and where to stay: Tritsch House B&B in Alma, WI is in an area that hugs the beautiful river banks of the Mississippi. The B&B itself is nestled into the river bluffs with wonderful views of the river. Nearby, you will find walking paths, rivers activities such as boating, fishing, canoe or kayaks, art galleries and wonderful shopping. Just imagine sitting out with a glass of wine while you watch the beautiful Alma sunset with that someone special. Another B&B you will find nearby to The Great River Road is Rainbow Ridge Farms located in Onalaska, WI, where you can relax in their turn-of-the-century farmhouse and 35 acre working hobby farm. As their guest, you are invited to feed animals, milk a goat, bottle feed a "kid", or collect eggs. In this area, you can enjoy antiquing, visiting Amish farmsteads, or participate in one of the area's many festivals like Oktoberfest, the Great River Folk Fest, Jazz Fest, Art Fair on the Green, and Riverfest. Some of the tallest bluffs along the Great River Road are located around La Crosse. La Crosse is the largest city you’ll pass through on your Great River Road journey. Castle La Crosse B&B and Four Gables B&B are the places to be if you're stopping to enjoy the variety of great restaurants, stores, museums and historic attractions that the city has to offer!   WBBA Seek the Unique

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Live It Up at Live Concerts

  Foodies book vacations around a destination’s authentic food offerings. Exercise enthusiasts map their road trips around triathlons and marathons. History devotees head to reenactments. Music lovers fill up their summer calendar with live concerts. Let’s make this the summer of music getaways in Wisconsin. You may be surprised at the line-ups! Hand it to Wisconsin to host every kind of music genre around – jazz to rock, indie to folk, up-and-comers to today’s biggest headliners. Seems we just love a good party with good tunes. If music is your thing, here’s a Billboard-esque rundown of top concerts in Wisconsin this summer and suggestions on where to stay after the final curtain call. [caption id="attachment_2500" align="aligncenter" width="304"] Waterfest, Oshkosh WI[/caption] June 15-16: Metro Jam, Manitowoc. This free music fest features performers across nearly every genre. Westport B&B and Red Forest B&B offer impeccable accommodations not far from the festival. Thursdays, June 21-August 23: Waterfest live concert series, Oshkosh. Soak up the atmosphere at the outdoor amphitheater, then stay at the Brayton B&B, where it captures the best aspects of a B&B: wonderfully inviting rooms, tantalizing food, and the personal touch of Innkeepers that happily serve as concierge during your stay. July 6-7: Eaux Claires Fest, Eau Claire. This indie music and arts festival is getting lots of national attention. The Otter Creek Inn offers one acre of wooded beauty located within city limits and is abound with flowers in the summer, while the nearby Inn on Lake Wissota is famous for being tucked away in the pine-filled shores of this picturesque lake. August 2-5: Mile of Music, Appleton. After all that walking at this free, 100% original music festival featuring emerging artists, you can walk to and rest up at Franklin Street Inn, where Victorian Charm with Modern Comfort give you the experience of comfort and elegance when you sleep. August 17-18: Big Bull Falls Blues Fest, Wausau. Stewart Inn is fit for music celebrities, where it offers unmatched charm and amenities in a beautiful arts & crafts mansion. [caption id="attachment_2502" align="alignleft" width="300"] Big Bull Falls Blues Fest, Wausau WI[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2503" align="alignright" width="240"] Eaux Claires Fest, Eau Claire WI[/caption]               August 24-26: Great River Road Folk Festival, La Crosse. Four Gables B&B and Castle La Crosse offer very unique overnight experiences - Four Gables B&B is a lovely Victorian Queen Anne home listed on the National Register and tastefully furnished with antiques. Castle La Crosse, also designed in the Queen Anne form, is a grand bed and breakfast featuring numerous bedrooms, beautiful leaded and stained-glass windows, a library, and a music room. September 28: Kilbourn City Live, Wisconsin Dells. Hear up-and-comers before they hit it big, then head to peaceful Bowman’s Oak Hill B&B to enjoy 8 acres of park like setting and 23 acres of woods to wander. You will have the opportunity to rest, reflect, relax and be renewed both in body and spirit during your stay.  

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How Do You Define Well-being?

  Have you taken stock of your well-being lately? Basic human needs like being in nature, knowing where your food comes from, getting a good night’s sleep, and making time for the people most important in your life can often be addressed with a B&B getaway. Transformative travel is next-gen wellness travel. It’s a getaway that helps you reset and recharge. And it isn’t about an age as much an attitude about what’s important in life, addressing all aspects of a person’s life – exercise, meditation, healthy food, relaxation, unplugging, preventative care, even the goal of using up your vacation days. In Wisconsin, a number of B&Bs really get transformative travel and the power that little moments have to put guests on the path they’ve always longed for. [caption id="attachment_2536" align="alignright" width="358"] Forest Therapy for all seasons at Inn at Wawanissee Point[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2546" align="alignleft" width="212"] The Crystal River by Apple Tree Lane B&B[/caption]                       At Apple Tree Lane B&B, it’s their interpretation of the Japanese practice of “forest bathing” that has guests flocking there in the warm weather months. Lest you think forest bathing is walking through the woods barefoot or taking a dip in a lake – although it can be those – it is so much more. The practice of slowing down to connect with nature in an immersive, mindful way can boost mood and reduce stress. Apple Tree Lane B&B's location by the river lets one get accustomed to this practice. Also nearby to the inn, the Waupaca segment of the Ice Age Trail starts within Hartman Creek State Park, running north of the park to Indian Valley Road, and south of the park through the Emmons Creek Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Area. The segment is part of the 1,000-mile National Scenic Ice Age Hiking and Skiing Trail. Another pristine place to forest bathe in solitude is the Inn at Wawanissee Point's 42-acre wooded sanctuary adjacent Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area, both nestled atop the Baraboo Range, ancient quartzite bluffs topped with 55,000 acres of oak, maple and basswood forest, the largest tract of its kind remaining in the upper Midwest. Their 3 miles of private trails are secluded, groomed just enough for easy walking, meander mature forest intertwined by a stream, and intersect their small, restored prairie, with meditation benches, stumps and boulders for quiet reflection. Nature power-melts away tension here. Other B&Bs where you can untether from technology and get back out in nature include Country Comfort B&B and Sheer Memories B&B, with miles of hiking trails right on these properties. Country Comfort is located right on the Red Cedar River and Trail with nearby Hoffman Hills Hiking Trails adding another place for forest bathing while in Menominee. Sheer Memories is located on the rolling hills of Southwestern Wisconsin overlooking the Wisconsin River Valley with trails, gardens, fields, and woods, and where breathtaking views lend itself to a peaceful retreat. [caption id="attachment_2542" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Farm fresh ingredients[/caption] Mindful eating is another aspect of transformative travel. At Parkview B&B, the innkeepers take pride in preparing delicious, creative, homemade breakfasts while using seasonal, fresh, local, & quality ingredients. The Altemus Corners B&B lets you enjoy fresh produce and berries for a full breakfast including fresh farm fruit (berries and melons) juices, coffee and tea. Lazy Cloud B&B has restorative spa treatments right at the inn. Franklin Street Inn hosts experiences in a Group Art Workshop like no other in the area and is another path to well-being for many. They will allow each participant to create a unique painting of their own. Seasonally, these are conducted in their lovely garden area. Artha Sustainable Living Center includes a guided meditation option in one of its packages. When it comes to a restful night’s sleep, you’d be hard pressed to find anything as dream-inducing as the beds at Ye Olde Manor House and Grapevine Log Cabins. Plus the quiet, rural atmosphere at both properties lends itself to falling asleep and staying asleep. Lots of ideas to be well!   WBBA Seek the Unique

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Oh My, Morel Mushrooms!

Pretty? Maybe not, but morel mushrooms sure are delicious and should be incorporated into your breakfast recipes.

Morel mushroom hunting in Wisconsin in the spring is like a secret society, with mushroom aficionados reluctant to share their hunting spots. However, our innkeepers are always happy to share their recipes, and so we reached out to our members for their favorite morel mushroom recipes. If you’ve never tasted a morel mushroom, you’re in for a treat with this recipe for Eggs Benedict with Morel Mushrooms and Asparagus from Sweet Autumn Inn in Lake Mills. Ingredients: 1 T. Olive oil 1 Large shallot, finely diced 1 Clove garlic, finely diced 1/2 t. fresh thyme, chopped 1 T butter 8 oz. morel mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on size 1/4 C white wine or broth 1/2 C heavy cream Salt & pepper to taste 12 spears asparagus, lightly sauteed or blanched 4 poached eggs 4 slices of multi grain bread, lightly toasted Directions: Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, add the shallot and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the butter and let it melt. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their moisture, about 3-5 minutes. Add the wind or broth, deglaze the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cream and simmer until it thickens, about 2-3 minutes and reduce the heat to low. Poach the eggs in your favorite method. To Plate: Place piece of toast on the plate, top with the asparagus, poached eggs and creamy mushroom sauce. This recipe will make enough to serve four. Not a morel mushroom hunter? You could also try this recipe for Oven Baked Mushrooms from Pedal'rs Inn in Wales.

An open faced breakfast sandwich on a grilled ciabatta roll with roasted bacon, poached egg topped with chocolate bacon gravy and a side of oven roasted mushrooms from Pedal'rs Inn.

Ingredients: 2 T of unsalted butter 16 oz of sliced porcini mushrooms 2 tsp Of Worcestershire sauce 1/2 tsp Fresh ground black pepper 1 T of flour 1/4 cup sour cream Shredded Swiss cheese Directions: Preheat oven 325. In a sauté pan, melt butter on medium high heat. When butter begins to sizzle place mushrooms in pan. Sauté mushrooms until edges start to brown. Do not let them go until all the juice rendered. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and black pepper. Remove from heat and sprinkle with flour. Stir mushrooms covering with flour. Return to medium heat and add in sour cream being sure to pull in pan scrapings. Pour into individual tart pans or 8x8 oven safe serving dish. Top with Swiss cheese and place in oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm. Serves 4. Added Tip: When traveling to Wisconsin B&Bs in the spring, ask the innkeeper about local farmers’ markets, where you may be able to snag some morels, plus other spring favorites like asparagus and rhubarb. You’ll never leave empty-handed at the state’s largest farmers’ market which happens every Saturday on the Capitol Square in Madison. Who knows, you might even run into innkeepers from The Buckingham Inn, The Livingston Inn,  and Hotel Ruby Marie when you’re there!

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Favorite Spring Cleaning Hacks Innkeepers Use

  As you’d expect, B&B owners know a thing or two about cleaning. So we asked our member innkeepers for their favorite hacks for sprucing up and refreshing around the home. It’s our ode to spring cleaning. Innkeepers wear a lot of hats – host, chef, concierge, gardener, bookkeeper – but around spring cleaning time, the title that may be worn a bit more than the others is that of housekeeper. Let’s just say they are wizards at spring cleaning. Here are some creative ways to tackle this annual ritual straight from the pros. 1. "You know when your sandstone coasters get those marks from your coffee mugs or wine glasses that just wont wash off?  You feel like you should get rid of those coasters that have protected your fine furniture.  But... you love your coasters.  Well, simply pour a bit of hydrogen peroxide on them and the stains rinse right out! Wa La!"   2. "If you want to remove carpet stains (and anything off a mattress as well), try Hydrogen Peroxide and Blue Dawn Dish Soap mixed together. Use 1 part Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (the original blue kind), 2 parts Hydrogen Peroxide, mix together and pour directly on the stain."   3. "To take years of paint off of things like hinges and doorknobs: Line a crockpot with a zip lock bag and put them in with water. Turn it on low and let it soak for an hour. When you take them out, the paint just peels off! So much easier than scraping and no chemicals!"   4. "There is a product from Shaklee called Scour Off Paste. I have used the product on my tempered glass on my wood burning stove. Over the years, I have tried everything to get the soot off that glass from the fire and nothing worked. This works easily, quickly, and completely. It also works to remove stains other cleansers can't and is great for cleaning tubs, ovens, sinks, and tiles too."                       5. "Use a lemon piece to scrub your wooden cutting boards: Cut a lemon in half, squeeze some of the juice over the board, pour some salt over the board and use the lemon to scrub!"   6. "When dusting your ceiling fan just put an old pillowcase over each blade and slide it off. This will trap the dirt instead of just moving it around."   7. "You know those fuzzy seeds from trees like cottonwoods and plants like dandelions that float around and attach themselves to your screens? De-fuzz your screen door and window screens by running a lint roller over each side!"   8. "For small stains and water marks on microfiber couches, try a white sponge, white bristle brush, rubbing alcohol, and a spray bottle. Saturate the stains on the couch by spraying with rubbing alcohol and scrub, scrub, scrub with that sponge. Once it dries, you'll notice it feels hard. That's what the bristle brush is for! Small circular motions with the brush will fluff up the couch like new again."   Happy cleaning!   WBBA Seek the Unique

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Hygge Makes Us Happy

  Hygge is hot right now. It’s a Danish word for cozy, comfortable and content, and it’s showing up in home décor and travel trends. See how some Wisconsin B&Bs are interpreting the simple pleasures of hygge. If Pinterest is any indication of trends – and it is – hygge is big. How to hygge, you ask? Create a cozy atmosphere, be present in the moment, partake of simple pleasures, slow down, be thankful, embrace harmony, and carve out time and space for friends. Count us in! For us, this Danish word, pronounced "hue-guh", really boils down to “contentment.” And here are inns that have been serving up hygge long before it became a thing:  

Real tea and coffee: Lindsay House B&B, Manawa

[caption id="attachment_2356" align="aligncenter" width="363"] French pressed coffee, comfort, and a good book on the porch at Lindsay House B&B[/caption]  

Candles at breakfast: Garden Gate B&B, Sturgeon Bay

[caption id="attachment_2361" align="aligncenter" width="431"] Candlelight and pleasant conversation await you with breakfast at Garden Gate B&B[/caption]  

Freshly baked pastries: The Livingston Inn, Madison

[caption id="attachment_2354" align="aligncenter" width="276"] This homemade pistachio breakfast ring is just one of many delicious pastries from The Livingston Inn[/caption]  

A sprig or two of fresh flowers from the garden: Red Forest B&B, Two Rivers

[caption id="attachment_2342" align="aligncenter" width="320"] Enjoy your refreshments outdoors in the beautiful garden area at Red Forest B&B[/caption]  

Less-is-more home décor: At The Lake House, Lake Geneva

[caption id="attachment_2341" align="aligncenter" width="277"] At The Lake House offers modern simplicity to feel right at home[/caption]  

A reading sanctuary: Castle La Crosse B&B, La Crosse

[caption id="attachment_2344" align="aligncenter" width="444"] Pick out a book and set yourself up in a quiet spot by the window at the Castle La Crosse B&B library[/caption]  

Conversation nooks: 1810 Emerson House B&B, Beloit

[caption id="attachment_2338" align="aligncenter" width="387"] A quiet corner for your enjoyment at 1810 Emerson House[/caption]  

Crackling fireplace: Honeybee Inn B&B, Horicon

[caption id="attachment_1621" align="aligncenter" width="457"] Bask in the warmth of the fireplace in the Queen Bee Victorian room at the Honeybee Inn[/caption]  

Hiking path with picnic spots: Lake Orchard Farm Retreat, Sheboygan

[caption id="attachment_2363" align="aligncenter" width="449"] Rolling fields, natural woods, fruit orchards and a Lake Michigan view greet you on the trails around Lake Orchard Farm Retreat[/caption]   WBBA Seek the Unique

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Sustainable Travel Leap

  Looking for ways to tread lightly on the earth when you travel? Try green-certified independent inns to start, and then ask the innkeepers for recommendations on locally owned shops and restaurants. Spring always seems like the ideal time to talk about eco-lodging, what with Mother Nature waking from winter slumber, delicate plants and edibles poking through the once ice-crackled earth, and travelers eager to inhale the fresh air and exhale wind-chill hangovers.     Here in Wisconsin, we have a voluntary certification program called “Travel Green Wisconsin,” and we’re proud to say the Wisconsin B&B Association was a pioneer in this movement to promote eco-friendly travel. Among the many inns that are certified are Lake Ripley Lodge B&B in Cambridge with their new rain gardens boasting Native Wisconsin wildflowers, and Crystal River Inn in Waupaca, who serve food from their garden, harvest local wild fruit, and make all their jellies and jams. [caption id="attachment_2315" align="alignleft" width="260"] Lake Ripley Lodge B&B[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2316" align="alignright" width="263"] View from Crystal River Inn[/caption]                 Going above and beyond what Travel Green Wisconsin requires are Pinehurst Inn B&B in Bayfield, which was named one of the “Top 10 Eco-friendly Inns” by BedandBreakfast.com and received the 2014 Wisconsin Governor’s Stewardship Award, and Artha Sustainable Living Center in Amherst, where guests appreciate local, organic food and are welcome to attend the yoga studio’s weekly classes. You can find a more complete list of travel green certified inns on our website. [caption id="attachment_1394" align="alignleft" width="300"] Pinehurst Inn[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1395" align="alignright" width="268"] Artha Sustainable Living Center[/caption]                 But the Wisconsin B&B Association’s commitment to the environment doesn’t stop there. We’re also proponents of “conscious travel,” with innkeepers always happy to suggest ideas for shopping local, dining at locally owned restaurants, and visiting attractions that preserve the history and culture of the community. We’re all in this together!

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Where the Rapids Are

  If you prefer lazy rivers over whitewater rapids, then this story isn’t for you. However, if you love an adrenaline rush, try rafting in the spring when the waters are high. Adventure travel has a cousin and it is achievement travel. If rushing through whitewater rapids is on your to-accomplish list, then Wisconsin’s Peshtigo and Wolf rivers should both be on your radar. Spring is the time, when some rapids reach Class IV status. Translation: Look out for rocks and drops, and sharp maneuvers may be needed. [caption id="attachment_2257" align="aligncenter" width="427"] Peshtigo River riffles[/caption] The Peshtigo River State Forest offers 25 miles of river and more than 9,000 acres of forest, making it a natural gem of Marinette County. Here’s a little tidbit: It was established in 2001, making it Wisconsin’s newest state forest. And here’s why it should be on every paddler’s list: It is the Midwest’s longest continuous whitewater rapids. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the short Roaring Rapids section of the Peshtigo River, Farm Dam Landing to Boat Landing #12, is for skilled paddlers only. [caption id="attachment_2256" align="aligncenter" width="432"] Dalles of Wolf River[/caption] The Wolf River is another waterway that earns “premier” status among paddlers. Its path tracks 240 miles north to south, from Forest County to Winnebago County. A super-rugged 37-mile upper stretch between Lily and Big Smokey Falls is not for rookies. [caption id="attachment_1922" align="alignright" width="330"] Eagle Harbor Inn[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1920" align="alignleft" width="262"] White Gull Inn[/caption]                     After a wild day on either river, head to a peaceful B&B in the adjacent Door County, separated from Forest and Marinette counties by another body of water, Green Bay. Enjoy White Gull Inn in Fish Creek, a historic coastal village with a natural harbor that separates it from Peninsula State Park , and Eagle Harbor Inn, who are proud to be part of the landscape of picturesque Ephraim. You can also find a complete list of Door County Inns on the WBBA website.   WBBA Seek the Unique

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Decadent A.M. Recipe

  [caption id="attachment_1707" align="aligncenter" width="374"] Snow-covered Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn[/caption] Red is the color of the season, which makes this recipe from Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn for Cherry Berry Breakfast Scones with Berry Honey Butter a picture-perfect choice for a holiday breakfast.   Cherry Berry Breakfast Scones Ingredients for 12 scones: 2 cups flour 1/2 cup sugar 2 level Tbsp baking powder 1 tsp salt 2/3 cup dried Door County cherries and berries 1 stick cold butter, cut into small pieces 1 1/4 cups cold heavy whipping cream 2 large eggs Mint leaves, garnish   Berry Honey Butter 1 stick butter 2 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam 1 Tbsp honey   Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the dried cherries and berries. Cut in the stick of cold butter with a pastry cutter or knife until coarsely blended. In a separate, smaller bowl, stir together the whipping cream and eggs. Pour the cream and egg mixture on top of the flour mixture. Use a large fork to gently fold and stir in the liquid until it is formed into dough. Do not over stir. Divide the dough into two equal parts and place on a floured counter space. Gently shape each part into a large ball and flatten into a circle, about 1-inch thick. Take a sharp knife and cut the dough into 6 equal pie-shaped wedges. Place each scone on a floured baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and bake for another 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve immediately with the berry honey butter. For the berry honey butter: Blend butter, jam and honey together with a fork, then whip with a small wire whisk until smooth. If butter is too hard to work with, soften it on the defrost setting in the microwave for a few seconds so it will be easier to work with. If it gets too soft, just chill it a bit.  

Meet Our New Member Inns for 2017

  Joining the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association takes more than pretty curb appeal and private baths. Meet the new member inns for 2017 and find out what it takes to make the list. Did You Know: B&Bs join the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association only after they’ve passed a detailed inspection. Needless to say, not every inn makes the cut. Plus, every inn in our membership is licensed and insured. We bring good tidings of inns that have joined the Wisconsin B&B Association during 2017: [caption id="attachment_2188" align="aligncenter" width="328"] An Evening at the Stewart Inn[/caption] Joining the WBBA earlier this year, the Stewart Inn is a beautifully restored and comfortably furnished 1906 Prairie style mansion designed by George Maher, one of the founders of the American Arts and Crafts movement. Featuring original chandeliers, sconces, decorative fireplaces and stained glass windows, the Stewart Inn is among the world’s most intact examples of George Maher’s architecture. [caption id="attachment_2221" align="aligncenter" width="369"] Pinehurst Inn B&B[/caption] The Pinehurst Inn B&B in Bayfield joined the WBBA with its Northwoods charm and Southern hospitality. Located on over three wooded acres, there is something for everyone year-round, such as hiking or biking the many trails in the area and kayaking the sea caves, or snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on the picturesque trails, downhill skiing and tubing on Mount Ashwabay just minutes from the Inn, or walking on frozen Lake Superior to enjoy the ice caves. [caption id="attachment_2222" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Silver Star B&B Inn - Fireplace[/caption] Also joining the WBBA in 2017, the Silver Star B&B Inn in Spring Green. Located in the unique driftless area of southwestern Wisconsin, an area that somehow escaped the past two great "Ice Ages", Silver Star B&B Inn is situated on a beautiful 20 acre setting. Unique raised bed gardens not only provide a visual floral feast in the height of summer, but may also provide the fruits and vegetables served to you at breakfast. [caption id="attachment_2219" align="aligncenter" width="380"] Lazy Cloud B&B Hayloft[/caption] Finally, the Lazy Cloud B&B in Lake Geneva. With its rich history, this small country inn has all the privacy and luxury of the finest Lake Geneva hotels and all the personal attention and amenities of a Bed and Breakfast. You are sure to be in for a magical, enchanted evening when staying at the Lazy Cloud B&B with their many romantic packages. They provide the place and the romantic atmosphere - you provide the love, laughter and celebration of your relationship! WBBA Seek the Unique

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Ski by Candlelight, Bike in the Snow

  Here in Wisconsin, we love all four seasons, and that includes the frosty offerings of winter. Candlelight cross-country ski events are a peaceful way to embrace the snow, while fat biking on frozen lakes produces a more adrenaline-spiking high.

As antidote to the hustle and the bustle of the season, try a candlelight cross-country ski in Wisconsin. The Department of Natural Resources maintains a master list of those events going on around the state into March: http://dnr.wi.gov/calendar/events/parks/index.asp?caudience=Candlelight.

Let’s take a quick look at January gatherings: [caption id="attachment_2184" align="alignleft" width="271"] Bowman's Oak Hill Garden Cottage Bed[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2190" align="alignright" width="300"] Country Comfort at Valley Springs Farm[/caption]                 The Jan. 6 ski, hike and snowshoe at Mirror Lake State Park near Wisconsin Dells is sure to be serene just like the setting itself. Spend the night at Bowman’s Oak Hill B&B or Valley Springs Farm B&B to continue the quiet vibe. [caption id="attachment_1621" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Getaway at the Honeybee Inn[/caption] On Jan. 20 there’s a candlelight hike at the Horicon Marsh in Horicon, a natural treasure in the state. There will be candlelit trails, a roaring bonfire, owl talks, and crafts. Reserve a suite at the Honeybee Inn B&B and be enveloped in luxury. The breakfasts are phenomenal too. [caption id="attachment_2188" align="aligncenter" width="300"] An Evening at the Stewart Inn[/caption] Then, on Jan. 27, Rib Mountain State Park in Wausau hosts a candlelight snowshoe hike. After being inspired by the natural beauty of the park, you’ll be inspired by the stunning workmanship of the Stewart Inn arts & crafts mansion. Now, if you’re into biking in the warm weather months and looking for a way to extend your season, give fat tire biking a whirl. Cruise on soft snowy terrain or take to frozen lakes for a twist on two-wheeling. [caption id="attachment_2111" align="alignright" width="284"] Fat Tire Winter Biking[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2186" align="alignleft" width="285"] Snowshoe Group with Bay Point Inn[/caption]                 In Newport State Park on the Door County peninsula, the two-mile bike trail loop provides scenery and a workout. Relax after your ride at Bay Point Inn in Egg Harbor, where the accommodations will remind you of a European vacation villa on the water. [caption id="attachment_2192" align="aligncenter" width="371"] Crystal River Inn Winter Night[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2191" align="alignright" width="291"] Winter Lights with Green Fountain Inn[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2182" align="alignleft" width="300"] Apple Tree Lane B&B Through the Snow-Covered Trees[/caption]                   The third annual Fat Tire Bike Race in Waupaca is set for January 27, coinciding with their annual Pond Hockey Classic tournament which runs all weekend. Whether a rider or spectator, there’s a room waiting for you at Crystal River Inn B&B, an 1853 farmstead set on the banks of the Crystal River that is Travel Green Wisconsin certified. Nearby inns also include Apple Tree Lane B&B, where the elegant parlor's cozy wood stove invites you to sit a spell around her warmth, and the Green Fountain Inn, with decor and furnishings reminiscent of the grandeur of the 1920s.  

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Holiday Events Full of Simple Joys

  [caption id="attachment_427" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Simple Holiday Enjoyments[/caption] If you’re in need of ideas that will put you in the holiday spirit without having to endure massive amounts of commercialization or hefty price tags, then you’ll want to read on. Getting in the holiday spirit needn’t come with an over-the-top price tag or extravagant commitment of time and energy. We asked member inns to submit ideas for holiday doings that we would all do well to experience at least once and the ideas are magical. [caption id="attachment_2123" align="alignright" width="264"] Westport B&B Wine and Roses[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2119" align="alignleft" width="254"] Red Forest Inn Breakfast by Candlelight[/caption]           In the Manitowoc area, the “Lights of Lincoln Park” is a beautiful drive-through light show to benefit the local zoo and it’s just $5 per car and runs through Dec. 23. Stay at the beautiful Westport Bed & Breakfast in Manitowoc or the equally beautiful Red Forest B&B in neighboring Two Rivers where you can warm up during their evening wine and cheese hour. [caption id="attachment_2114" align="alignleft" width="271"] Winter at Inn at Wawanissee Point[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2120" align="alignright" width="274"] Ringling House in the Winter[/caption]                   Take in a classic holiday movie at the historic Al Ringling Theatre in downtown Baraboo – “Holiday Inn” is playing Dec. 20 and “It’s a Wonderful Life” is playing Dec. 22. Ticket price is just $7. This theatre is considered one of America’s prettiest playhouses. Stay at the Ringling House B&B, the original estate of local son Charles Ringling, one of the founders of the Ringling Brothers Circus. This 1901 Colonial Revival Home is on the National Register of Historic Places. The breathtaking views that Inn at Wawanissee Point features are also not far from these holiday events. [caption id="attachment_2110" align="aligncenter" width="191"] The London Room of Astor House[/caption] In Green Bay, marvel at the more than 40 decorated trees on display at the National Railroad Museum during their annual Festival of Trees event now through Jan. 7. Admission is just $5. Then retreat to the Astor House B&B where there are five distinctly decorated rooms – ask for the London Room with fireplace. [caption id="attachment_2116" align="alignright" width="205"] Justin Trails Resort Winter Lights[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1672" align="alignleft" width="191"] Grapevine Log Cabins in Sparta[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2122" align="aligncenter" width="143"] Westby House Inn Christmas[/caption]   The community of Sparta has its traditional German holiday market known as a Kriskindlemarkt Dec. 8-9 with authentic German food, horse-drawn carriage rides, and artisan vendors. Then cozy up in one of the three log cabins at Grapevine Log Cabins, where towering pines set the holiday scene naturally. You can also find Justin Trails Resort, which offers cross-country ski and snowshow rentals along with two sledding hills for your outdoor winter fun, and Westby House Inn, where there is something for every vacationer to enjoy, in the Sparta area. [caption id="attachment_2121" align="alignright" width="164"] Sweet Autumn Inn at Christmas[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2113" align="alignleft" width="248"] Fargo Mansion Staircase[/caption]               In Lake Mills, get last-minute Christmas shopping done at their annual Winter Market, Dec. 9 where crafters, growers and artists present their treasures. Sweet Autumn Inn will be your spot for the night, where you’ll wake up to a full breakfast feast courtesy of innkeeper Teri Nelson. The beautiful Fargo Mansion Inn is also in Lake Mills, where you can "relax, unwind, and make yourself at home". [caption id="attachment_2112" align="alignleft" width="153"] Eagle Centre House Kitchen[/caption]   The Old World Christmas event at Old World Wisconsin in Eagle, running the first two weekends of December, comes highly recommended by Eagle Centre House B&B. This “living museum” state historic site will be decked with holiday greenery and there will be horse-drawn rides plus wassail to warm the soul.     [caption id="attachment_2115" align="alignright" width="300"] Inn On Lake Wissota Christmas[/caption] In Chippewa Falls, the Christmas Village in Irvine Park running through Jan. 1 is a display of life-size Christmas scenes reminiscent of the Victorian era. Stay at the Inn On Lake Wissota where visions of sugar plums will surely dance in your heads as you sleep peacefully at this quiet inn tucked away on the shore of the lake. Otter Creek Inn lies in nearby Eau Claire, WI on a one-acre wooded lot that simply glistens with the winter snows. [caption id="attachment_2117" align="alignright" width="300"] Snow-covered Otter Creek Inn[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2108" align="alignleft" width="199"] Hidden Serenity Sleigh Ride[/caption]                   Take a sleigh ride through the woods lit up by thousands of twinkling lights when you book the horse-drawn sleigh ride package at Hidden Serenity B&B in West Bend. Available on a dozen dates in December and January. [caption id="attachment_2118" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Phipps Inn Winter Evening[/caption] The Phipps Inn B&B in Hudson, an elegant Victorian mansion, always opens its first floor for tours on the first Friday in December when the Octagon House Museum across the street holds its Victorian Christmas Night from 6-8 pm. Expect a magical night.  

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Holiday Gift Cards Are In!

  Let’s be honest, the idea of “one size fits all” is more myth than reality, except, that is, when it comes to the holiday gift card offered by the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association. It’s ready to order now!   [caption id="attachment_2094" align="aligncenter" width="440"] Sure to be a favorite gift, the WBBA Gift Card arrives with the WBBA rack card.[/caption]   This year’s Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association holiday gift card is redeemable at all member locations across the state. Gift-givers may purchase in any dollar amount, while gift recipients will be pleased to know the card does not expire for five years and has no yearly decrease in value if it is not redeemed. B&B fans who find this gift card tucked in their stocking will also sleep easy knowing all inns of the Wisconsin B&B Association are inspected, insured and licensed. Plus, all these B&Bs fulfill both parts of the designation, meaning a welcome night’s sleep in a comfortable bed and a wonderful breakfast. Purchase the gift card online at www.WisconsinBandB.com or by calling the B&B Association at 715-942-8180. When you order from our website, it's easy to order one, two, or even three cards in one order and you decide whether they get sent to you to give or if you'd like to them to go straight to each of the recipients. Here, the world’s only “one size fits all” gift that actually does fit all of the travel-loving friends and family members on your holiday shopping list.   WBBA Seek the Unique

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A Celiac Friendly Breakfast Recipe in Honor of Celiac Awareness Month

We hear more and more how gluten can be detrimental to our health, so many folks have either cut back or eliminated the amount of gluten they consume on a daily basis.  But did you know that folks with Celiac Disease need to completely eliminate gluten from their diet?  For those who suffer from Celiac Disease removing gluten from their diet is essential, but, for those who don't have the disease, be careful, breads and pasta provide plenty of vitamins, minerals and fiber we require to maintain a well-balanced diet. May is Celiac Awareness month, and in honor of that, we have an easy Celiac Friendly recipe that is so delicious all your friends and family will enjoy it. [caption id="attachment_1840" align="aligncenter" width="300"]WI Cheese Oven Omelet WI Cheese Oven Omelet[/caption]

  8 eggs                                                            ¼ cup sliced or chopped mushrooms ½ cup sour cream                                     1¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese 6-8 pre-cooked sausage links                 2 Tablespoons chopped onion [caption id="attachment_1842" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Mushrooms, onions and sausage links A sample of the fresh ingredients used for the Wisconsin Cheese Oven Omelet[/caption] Preheat oven to 325°F.  Spray a 9” square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Sprinkle the mushrooms and onion in the bottom of the dish.   Beat eggs, sour cream, milk and one cup of cheese.  Pour into baking dish.  Top with remaining cheese.  Bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes away clean.   Variations and tips:

  • Substitute chopped ham for the sausage and Swiss cheese for the cheddar cheese
  • Have some folks who don’t like mushrooms? Instead of adding the mushrooms to the omelet, sauteé them in butter and serve on the side to those who enjoy them.
  • This recipe is a wonderful basic baked omelet recipe, it’s fun to experiment with any combination of fresh veggies and breakfast meats you enjoy.
  • This is an easy recipe to cut in half, just bake in a glass bread pan for two servings.

  Serves 4-8 As you can see, it's not difficult to cook a Celiac Friendly recipe.  Yet, the Innkeepers of the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association know it can be difficult for folks with dietary restrictions such as Celiac Disease to dine out.  There is always the worry of how the food is really prepared, fearing a flare-up if even a small morsel of gluten is ingested, making travel more of a hassle than what it may be worth.  We want to assure you many of our  innkeepers are experienced in preparing Gluten Free breakfast dishes and it is our goal to provide you with a unique experience.  This recipe is a wonderful example of how we can accommodate people with dietary restrictions without setting them apart from the rest of the group.  If you are thinking about spending time at one of the WBBA member inns, don't hesitate to call the innkeeper and have a conversation about your dietary issues and to be sure the innkeeper is able to meet your dietary requirements.  WBBA innkeepers are in the business because they love hospitality and they love taking care of their guests.  As a reminder, all WBBA members are licensed, inspected and insured.  So rest assured, you will get a good night's sleep when you stay at a WBBA B&B, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated the next morning.  Are you ready to Seek the Unique? We hope to see you soon!WBBA Seek the Unique  

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Tangy rhubarb coffee cake renews our faith that warm weather will be arriving soon. Rhubarb Coffee Cake (courtesy of Miller’s Daughter B&B in Green Lake) [caption id="attachment_1821" align="alignnone" width="300"] Rhubarb Coffee Cake[/caption] ½ cup shortening 1 ½ cups sugar 1 cup buttermilk ½ teaspoon salt 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 3 cups rhubarb, cut fine Zest from 1 orange ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)   Topping ½ cup brown sugar ½ cup chopped walnuts 1 teaspoon cinnamon   Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix together the shortening, sugar, and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, sift together the salt, flour, and baking soda. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture until well combined. Fold the rhubarb, orange zest, and walnuts.  Pour the batter into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the batter. Bake 35-40 minutes Stay as a local every time to book a Wisconsin B&B. Plus you’ll sleep easy knowing all our member inns are inspected, insured and licensed. Are you ready to Seek the Unique?WBBA Seek the Unique

Spring Into New Recipes

[caption id="attachment_1818" align="alignnone" width="300"]Veggie Pie Veggie Pie[/caption]   After months of cold, many are craving early spring vegetables, so we thought you might like this recipe for veggie pie. Bountiful Vegetable Pie (courtesy of Apple Tree Lane B&B in Waupaca)   1 lg. red onion, thinly sliced 4 medium yellow squash, cut into ¼-inch slices 2 medium zucchini, cut into ¼ -inch slices 1 red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch strips 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch strips 1 green bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch strips 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced 4 garlic cloves, minced ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 6 eggs ¼ cup heavy cream 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper 10 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded 8 oz. cream cheese, cubed 2 cups dry French bread cubes (try rosemary/parmesan for even more flavor) Chopped scallions to taste   Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 10” spring foam pan. Sauté the onion, squash, zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms and garlic in the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender-crisp. Whisk the eggs, heavy cream, salt and pepper in a bowl until blended.  Stir in the Swiss cheese, cream cheese and bread cubes. Add the sautéed vegetables to the egg mixture and mix well. Spoon the egg mixture into the spring form pan, packing tightly.  Place the spring form pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour or until firm to the touch, puffed and golden brown.  Cover with foil if needed to prevent over browning. Sprinkle with scallions and cut into wedges.  Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled. Delicious and a nice presentation. Note: Try spring vegetables like asparagus, ramps and spinach. Serve with sausage and muffin on the side. Tangy rhubarb coffee cake renews our faith that warm weather will be arriving soon. Rhubarb Coffee Cake (courtesy of Miller’s Daughter B&B in Green Lake) [caption id="attachment_1821" align="alignnone" width="300"] Rhubarb Coffee Cake[/caption] ½ cup shortening 1 ½ cups sugar 1 cup buttermilk ½ teaspoon salt 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 3 cups rhubarb, cut fine Zest from 1 orange ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional) Topping ½ cup brown sugar ½ cup chopped walnuts 1 teaspoon cinnamon Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix together the shortening, sugar, and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, sift together the salt, flour, and baking soda. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture until well combined. Fold the rhubarb, orange zest, and walnuts.  Pour the batter into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the batter. Bake 35-40 minutes These recipes are just a couple of examples of the unique breakfast dishes the member inns of the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association love to share with their guests.  Thanks to the Apple Tree Lane B&B in Waupaca for sharing this delectable breakfast dish, perfect for feeding a group of friends or family, and to Miller's Daughter B&B in Green Lake for the rhubarb coffee cake recipe that will satisfy a crowd.  We always like to remind our readers that all WBBA members are licensed, inspected and insured.  So rest assured, you will get a good night's sleep when you stay at a WBBA B&B, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated the next morning.  Are you ready to Seek the Unique?WBBA Seek the Unique  

Biking is the new Golf - You Heard it from Wisconsin B&Bs

[caption id="attachment_1675" align="alignright" width="300"]Parkview B&B in Reedsburg Parkview B&B in Reedsburg[/caption] Are you more interested in wheeling along than walking along? You're not alone. Cycling is now being referred to as the new golf. Here in Wisconsin we have a great rails-to-trails bike system, 117 designated Rustic Roads spanning 669 miles through 59 counties,  plus lots of opportunities to log miles in state and county parks.  Wisconsin has some pretty awesome city cycling too. Take Madison, for example. They have a bike-share program, and commuter bike trails, with several connecting to excellent state trails, for those yearning for a longer-distance ride.  Of course, golf is pretty spectacular here too. The U.S. Open is coming to Wisconsin next year and that's after the state hosted the PGA last year.  We're so glad spring is here and we have a hunch we're not alone. Wisconsin is one of the top bicycling destinations in the U.S. and we're not making that up. Just ask the League of American Bicyclists - they are the ones doing the rankings. Old railroad beds converted to bike trails, including the famous Elroy-Sparta trail, have helped put Wisconsin on the national bike map in a big way. [caption id="attachment_1672" align="alignleft" width="300"]Grapevine Log Cabins in Sparta Grapevine Log Cabins in Sparta[/caption]     If you'd like to map out an extended weekend itinerary that allows you to bike during the day and pull in to B&Bs at dusk, consider one of your stops at Fountain Chateau B&B in Hustler.   The beautiful Omaha Bike Trail (originally the Omaha Railroad), connects right next door, where you can  bike all the way to the Elroy-Sparta Trail and the 400 State Park Trail. The Grapevine Log Cabins is almost within earshot of the Elroy-Sparta bike trail, a short 1 ½ miles, where it meets the La Crosse River Trail, and Justin Trails Resort tells their guests to make sure they don't miss the trail's 875' tunnel - it's awesome. [caption id="attachment_1674" align="alignright" width="300"]Justin Trails Resort in Sparta Justin Trails Resort in Sparta[/caption]             [caption id="attachment_1679" align="alignleft" width="300"]Pleasant View B&B in Chippewa Falls Pleasant View B&B in Chippewa Falls[/caption] Folks who visit Pleasant View B&B can access the Old Abe Bike Trail less than 1/2 mile away, one of 12 paved bike trails in Wisconsin, Another rail trail, Old Abe follows the Chippewa River from Chippewa Falls to Cornell, connecting Lake Wissota and Brunet Island state parks. A future addition will connect the trail with the Chippewa and Red Cedar state trails, creating a network of more than 70 miles of connected trails in the Chippewa Valley. Innkeepers who bike themselves include Heidi and Tom at the Buckingham Inn in Madison, so you'd be in great company at their B&B.  The inn provides free passes for Madison's city bike-share program for a quick ride to restaurants, the Capitol, and other Madison area attractions.   [caption id="attachment_1676" align="alignright" width="300"]Pedal'rs Inn B&B Pedal'rs Inn B&B[/caption]   We couldn't talk bicycling without mentioning the Pedal'rs Inn B&B in Wales, a bicycling inspired inn, where you can pick up the scenic Glacial Drumlin State Trail. Located just a short drive north of Milwaukee, is Hidden Serenity B&B in West Bend and the Eisenbahn, a "rails to trails" project, where you get the beauty of biking in the Kettle Moraine without the steep hills.  Many B&Bs offer relaxing massages at their inns, so inquire, just in case you need to pamper yourself after your day's ride. [caption id="attachment_1678" align="alignnone" width="300"]Hidden Serenity B&B Hidden Serenity B&B[/caption] We don't want to leave out the golfers, so here's a fun fact: There are three Hurdzan Fry-designed courses in Wisconsin and they're all public courses: Erin Hills, near Hartford, site of the 2017 U.S. Open, is just 6 miles from the Westphal Mansion Inn B&B, a restored 1913 mansion. [caption id="attachment_1669" align="alignright" width="250"]Bowman's Oak Hill B&B in Wis Dells Bowman's Oak Hill B&B in Wis Dells[/caption] Get in a few rounds before the pros descend next year; Wild Rock, the quarry course in Wisconsin Dells, chiseled around and through a former quarry, is for the golfer who embraces a challenge.  After a day on the course relax in this cottage nestled near the edge of the woods at Bowman's Oak Hill B&B; or Troy Burne, in Hudson, just 30 minutes from St. Paul and only 15 minutes from the premier Queen Anne Victorian Phipps Inn.  For more B&B options near these courses, just search by city on our website.   [caption id="attachment_1677" align="alignnone" width="280"]Phipps Inn in Hudson Phipps Inn in Hudson[/caption]

What were you doing 30 years ago?

It's 1984 ...new Innkeeper Wendy J. Porterfield is opening the doors to the first guests at the Washington House Inn located in historic Cedarburg Wisconsin.  WHI is celebrating their 30th Anniversary on September 14th with an open house from 3-5 PM - and you're invited! Wendy says: "Anyone attending will receive our new hot off the presses 30th Anniversary cookbook and here is a preview of a bit of the Inn's history ." Guests can choose from 2 styles of lux accommodations: rustic French Country rooms with exposed stone walls & beams, plank wood floors, and fireplaces, or the more polished Victorian rooms dressed with fine antiques, brass and marble fixtures and whirlpools ... 35 rooms total.  Evening Wine & Cheese features Cedarburg wines & Wisconsin cheeses, and it's just a 3-block walk to the Cedar Creek Settlement for fine dining & gallery shopping.  And in the morning, savor the creativity of the inn's 3 bakers at the bountiful breakfast.  Happy Anniversary to WHI from WBBA! [caption id="attachment_1514" align="alignleft" width="250"]Exposed stone walls hints at the Washington House Inn's 150 year history as the first hotel in Cedarburg. As additions of cream city brick were made to the wood frame structure, the hotel operated continuously. Exposed stone walls hints at the Washington House Inn's 150 year history as the first hotel in Cedarburg. As additions of cream city brick were made to the wood frame structure, the hotel operated continuously.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1515" align="alignright" width="300"]A deluxe buffet breakfast indeed - and this is just a peek at the choices! A deluxe buffet breakfast indeed - and this is just a peek at the choices![/caption]

B&B Getaway Giveaway continues: Week 6

While reading about B&Bs is fun, winning a complimentary stay is better: enter our Facebook contest http://a.pgtb.me/qVSz88 20 minutes North of Milwaukee in downtown historic Cedarburg is the Stagecoach Inn, a restored 1853 stagecoach hotel. Today’s guests enjoy whirlpool tubs, wifi, cable TV and more. Their pub, chocolate shop, and daily wine social make it almost unnecessary to leave the inn, but do take a stroll to local shops, restaurants, winery, and the Cedar Creek Settlement. Travel west to Reedsburg’s Parkview B&B for crisp line-dried linens, a sumptuous breakfast … it’s true: the only thing they overlook is the park!  Innkeepers Tom, an avid gardener & Donna, a former Home-Ec teacher team to create masterful breakfasts and snacks like Orange Craisin Pistachio Biscott. [caption id="attachment_1441" align="aligncenter" width="250"]Stagecoach Inn in Cedarburg Stagecoach Inn in Cedarburg[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1442" align="aligncenter" width="220"]Beerntsens' Candies Beerntsens' Candies[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_1443" align="aligncenter" width="220"]During the evenings, the Pub is a pleasant gathering place where guests can enjoy wine from the Cedar Creek Winery and other house specialty drinks. During the evenings, the Pub is a pleasant gathering place where guests can enjoy wine from the Cedar Creek Winery and other house specialty drinks.[/caption]

Warm up with us – Week 5 B&B Getaway Giveaway

It just gets better: this week, 3 B&B's are awarding 2-night stays in our facebook contest.  The 3 inns serve up generous amounts of hospitality and history, balanced with modern amenities and cultural venues. The Lamppost Inn of Fort Atkinson, where you can dress the part in vintage clothes, is a few blocks from the Fireside Theatre.  Eagle Centre House B&B (Eagle), an authentic replica of an 1846 Greek Revival stagecoach inn, pairs the warmth of wood-burning stoves & fireplaces with the comfort of air-conditioning…it’s near Old World Wisconsin Outdoor Living History Museum.  Pedal’rs Inn (Wales) is where innkeeper Dee’s award-winning breakfast (yes – in our Innkeeper Cook-off!) starts your day of biking or visiting Lunt & Fontaine’s Ten Chimneys estate.   Lamppost Inn dress-upEagle Centre House exterior  Pedal'rs Inn bed chamber 4

Wisconsin ‘Grown’ Aluminum Trees

People who remember them don't necessarily miss them and most young people have seen them only on TV in “A Charlie Brown Christmas”… the Evergleam aluminum Christmas tree! Wisconsin – known for its lumberjack history and woodsy vibe – was also home to the Aluminum Specialty Company of Manitowoc, manufacturer of over a million silver trees from 1955 – 1972. Laugh – or cringe - if you must; sold originally for $10-$20, the trees are now are worth hundreds – and the rare pink tree is valued at $1500. Is anyone running up to the attic about now? If you find this treasure, it will be light – the trees were designed to be light enough for women to lift the boxes containing the tree, stand, and colored light wheel. How considerate. We can’t promise that you’ll see shiny-ever-changing-colors aluminum trees at our 140 B&Bs, but feel free to look.  And, the Wisconsin Historical Museum on the Capitol Square in Madison now has an exhibit – due to its popularity, this is the 4th time Evergleam trees have been featured.  Shine on! [caption id="attachment_1335" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Blue ... red...green... shimmering aluminum tree. 60% of America's aluminum trees were produced in Wisconsin! Blue ... red...green... shimmering aluminum tree. 60% of America's aluminum trees were produced in Wisconsin![/caption]

GET REAL…BUTTER!

We’ve just heard the news that butter is back! This is good news for our tastebuds, local dairy farmers, and our health.  While butter is a fat – a natural saturated fat - the artificial substitutes like ‘partially-hydrogenated oil’ aka transfats are now officially branded by the FDA as no longer generally recognized as safe. The freshly baked (no preservatives necessary), locally sourced, bursting with natural flavor breakfasts found at our B&Bs start your Wisconsin day tastefully.  Blueberry French Toast Bake delights guests at Riverview B&B in Neshkoro – we’re sharing the recipe (found also on page 149 in the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Cookbook) with you. Butter is back … for some of us, it never left …   [caption id="attachment_1327" align="aligncenter" width="637"]It may be cold outside, but its (French) toasty inside at Riverview B&B. Neshkoro is just 10 miles east of 39/51 on Hwy E, using the Westfield exit. It may be cold outside, but its (French) toasty inside at Riverview B&B. Neshkoro is just 10 miles east of 39/51 on Hwy E, using the Westfield exit.[/caption]

DEAR HUNTERS

Wisconsin's deer hunting season is here - why not ensure a warm welcome home from your dear with a WBBA gift certificate?  140 Bed & Breakfasts throughout the state ensure that whatever destination you choose, the B&B accommodations are sure to be an upgrade from deer camp. Your thoughtful sentiment, printed right on the gift certificate, make this gift personal and individual - never 'last minute'. Ordering is easy - use the Gift Certificate Secure Order form or give us a call at 715-539-9222. Your gift certificate will arrive in just a few days. [caption id="attachment_1294" align="aligncenter" width="309"]Dear Camp at Country Comfort in Menomonie melts your cares away with onsite massage packages. Dear Camp at Country Comfort in Menomonie melts your cares away with onsite massage packages.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1295" align="aligncenter" width="477"]You're not likely to mistake The Thorp House Inn & Cottages in Door County's Fish Creek with deer camp accommodations. This Thorp House B&B guest room, with its massive walnut bed, has, just out of sight, a dressing room with a double whirlpool ... soothing! You're not likely to mistake The Thorp House Inn & Cottages in Door County's Fish Creek for deer camp accommodations. This Thorp House B&B guest room, with its massive walnut bed, has, just out of sight, a dressing room with a double whirlpool ... soothing![/caption]

Take A Hike … On the Ice Age Trail

The Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin is a thousand-mile hiking trail highlighting our world-renowned Ice Age heritage and scenic beauty. Perhaps you’ve hiked portions of it - it has multiple access points and traverses a wide variety of landscapes. How about hiking the ENTIRE 1000 miles in one trip?  Ok then – how about reading about it?  Melanie McManus (a freelance writer specializing in travel & fitness) is doing just that – hiking/running the entire trail, starting in St. Croix Falls … bears, dogs, bogs, and more.  After most 30 mile segments (give or take) she is re-energizing at WBBA member B&Bs.  Read about her trek at http://epiciceagetrail.blogspot.com/   To launch your own adventure, visit http://www.iceagetrail.org/trail-map-and-current-conditions. Ice Age Trail map  

Holidays with the In-Laws…Not So Fast

Sure, you may love your in-laws, but do you want to spend every waking hour of the holidays with them?  It’s OK to reply no. On the other hand, you may really like the comfy feeling you get staying at their home and the idea of a made-from-scratch breakfast.  Wisconsin B&Bs give you the best of both worlds – all the amenities with none of the drama.  Speaking of amenities, why not stay at a B&B with on-site spa services or its own gift shop or an indoor pool, just to up the escape factor?  There, problem solved and everyone is guaranteed good memories of the 2012 holiday season. [caption id="attachment_896" align="alignright" width="300"] There just might be something as de-stressing as a dip in a pool ...a massage! Innkeeper Loren (certified massage therapist) at Country Comfort provides on-site massage services. Here's what one guest commented: "I highly recommend assisted stretching and massage on a consistent basis for any athlete. Loren's services are truly great. He is a caring professional who strives to provide the best therapeutic care for his clients." -Beth[/caption] [caption id="attachment_895" align="alignleft" width="270"] What's better than an indoor heated pool to de-stress and burn off a few calories? Ye Olde Manor House in Elkhorn invites you to do just that, whether the view to the outside is swirling snowflakes or blooming flowers.[/caption]

Common Traits of Wisconsin Innkeepers

  [caption id="attachment_884" align="alignright" width="71"] Cookies - YES! Cookie cutter - NEVER![/caption]   Every B&B in Wisconsin is unique, and so too are its innkeepers.  Yet it seems there are some commonalities when it comes to innkeeper personality traits.  Many are corporate runaways who gave up an office job for a career in hospitality.  Lots of innkeepers will tell you they always dreamed of owning a B&B.  Most are accomplished home chefs, although modest about their talent – they let the food do the talking.  They’re businesspeople who recognize running a B&B requires creativity, authenticity, a love of the hospitality trade, and some accounting and marketing skills as well.  Oh, and being handy with tools doesn’t hurt either!  They’re historians, community cheerleaders and shopping insiders.  In other words, they’re artisans.  So, if you like to support entrepreneurs who eschew cookie cutter for one-of-a-kind (which often includes killer chocolate chip cookies, by the way), then B&B travel might be right up your alley. Click here to start exploring.

Class A Baseball in Wisconsin

[caption id="attachment_628" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Janesville's Scarlette House, is in the heart of the Court House Hill Neighborood - the entire area is on the National Register. And, 25% of Wisconsin'sNational Register homes are in Janesville. Walk to antique shops and restaurants ... and of course, make the Scarlette House your home-base for taking in Beloit Snapper games!"][/caption] Our Milwaukee Brewers are beloved here in Wisconsin, but we also have an affinity for the Class ‘A’ clubs – namely the Appleton Timber Rattlers (the Class A affiliate of the Brewers) and the Beloit Snappers (the Class A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins).  Their games are not only a bargain, they’re great fun and you get to see the stars of tomorrow.   For Rattlers’ games, stay at The Roost B&B or Franklin Street Inn.  If you’re taking in a Snappers’ game, try the Scarlett House in nearby Janesville.
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