Posts Tagged ‘bed and breakfast inns’

12 more favorite B&B recipes using Michigan apples

October 18th, 2013 by linda

We’re sharing more apple recipes from our new Michigan Bed and Breakfast Cookbook as a salute to this year’s bountiful crop of Michigan apples. If these free samples make your mouth water, here’s how to get the book.

What are the best apples for cooking? As evidenced by the B&B apple recipes in our book, Granny Smiths are a go-to apple, perhaps because they

Michigan apples

The makings of a great breakfast entree

hold their shape, are available year-round, and possess a predictable tartness and consistency. But fall is the time to find and try other great Michigan apples for baking, such as Cortland, Ida Red, Jonagold, Northern Spy, Paula Red, and Rome.

When you click on one of the following recipes, you also can read more about the Michigan B&B where it is served.

For cooks with no time or refrigerator space for make-ahead breakfast recipes, a Baked Cinnamon Apple French Toast served at Chelsea House Victorian Inn, Chelsea, is prepared the same morning it’s served. The dish includes cream cheese and milk, but the innkeepers tell how it can be made dairy-free and gluten-free, too.

The Inn at Orchard Road, Holland, offers an Apple Dumplings recipe that you make ahead, freeze as 10 individual entrees, and bake as needed.

Caramel Apple Strata, a favorite of guests at Glen Arbor Bed and Breakfast, celebrates the happy marriage of tart apples, pecans and caramel.

Change up the tastes with a savory apple recipe. Try the Apple-Bacon Egg Bake submitted by the innkeepers at Wind in the Pines B&B, Traverse City. In addition to the ingredients named in the title, the recipe incorporates hash browns, onion, cheddar and sour cream.

Michigan Bed and Breakfast Cookbook

Our new cookbook

Three Michigan bed and breakfasts make variations on a cake, each using similar ingredients but in different proportions. At Crimson Cottage Inn the Woods, Holland, an old family recipe for German Apple Cake uses Granny Smith apples and is served at breakfast. Karen Way of Pentwater Abbey B&B serves her German Apple Cake as a dessert and prefers using Jonagolds in it. Jan Rochefort of Hankerd Inn, Pleasant Lake, says her Jewish Apple Cake fills the kitchen with an enticing aroma as it bakes. (Too bad this isn’t a scratch-and-sniff blog.)

Try these other great apple recipes for breakfast and beyond:

  • An Apple Coffee Cake recipe (Hexagon House B&B, Pentwater) that makes two loaves. Freeze one for later, the innkeepers suggest.
  • Moist and tasty Gluten-Free Apple Muffins (Historic Webster House, Bay City). You won’t miss the wheat flour, we promise.
  • Apple Dapple Cake (A Country Place B&B, South Haven), prepared in a tube pan. Love the name.
  • An Apple Butter (Butler Bed and Breakfast, Lexington) that blends whatever apples you have on hand.
  • Hot Spiced Cider (Sandtown Farmhouse B&B, Engadine) to warm up a cold winter evening.

The innkeepers at Sandtown B&B use apples grown right on their own farm. Fortunately for the rest of us, the perfect Michigan apples for this recipe and the others in this post are as close as your farmers market or locally-sourced grocery.

Did you miss the other apple recipes from the cookbook that we shared on our website? Click here.

Sandy WhiteGuest blogger Sandy White, innkeeper at Adventure Inn Bed and Breakfast, near Port Huron, said she gained five pounds earlier this year while editing recipes for the book as co-chair of the project.

South Haven, Michigan B&Bs Welcome You to Blueberry Festival!

August 4th, 2011 by linda

Get your fill of Michigan-grown blueberries at the 48th National Blueberry Festival in South Haven, August 11-14. This Lake Michigan harbor community is surrounded by so many blueberry plantations, it’s called the World’s Highbush Blueberry Capitol.

The Indians called the blueberry "star fruit" because of the perfect little star at the base of each berry. Today, blueberries are prized as a "super food" with exceptional vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. And are they yummy!

One of just 40 blueberry festivals in the U.S., some 50,000 visitors are expected over the four days to enjoy blueberry pancakes, enter the blueberry cook-off, visit the art show, enjoy the parade and non-stop entertainment — and, of course, bask in the sun on sugar sand beaches and splash among the waves that tickle the shoreline of the only Great Lake that lies totally within the USA.

At the end of the day, South Haven’s Bed and Breakfast Inns will open their doors to those lucky enough to have made reservations. If you want to be among the fortunate, visit all the South Haven-area B&Bs that are members of the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association and reserve your pampering stay today.

Click here to find out about upcoming festivals and fairs as well as welcoming B&Bs in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Watch the Lake to Lake blog daily for new “fairs, festivals and B&Bs” advisories.

Guests Wax Passionate Over Michigan Bed and Breakfasts: Can you imagine quotes like these about a chain motel?

July 7th, 2011 by linda

View from The Toy Box, Adventure Inn B&B
The Toy Box is one of two “rooms with a view” at Adventure Inn.

“What a FANTASTIC room!” That’s what Julie and Dave said about their guest room at Adventure Inn B&B in North Lakeport, a short drive from their home in Novi — but a world away. The inn sits smack on a Lake Huron beach and their room — the Toy Box — offers a panoramic view of the lake’s famous “Blue Water.”

What they loved most, they said, was “how warmly we were welcomed into Sandy and Nicholas’ home. They were always asking if there was anything else they could do to make our stay more enjoyable…. there was NOTHING…. it was enjoyable from the time we drove up until the time we sadly left.”

Some bed and breakfast guests like how innkeepers remember and cater to their personal preferences. Elaine of Ann Arbor used the word “fabulous” to describe her stay at Arcadia House B&B along the Lake Michigan shoreline. What blew her away was, during a previous stay, she had commented that she likes really strong coffee.

“What was waiting for me every morning during this stay? A pot of “turbo” coffee alongside the regular pot for less caffeine-dependent individuals.”

Those are just two of the guest comments that made their way to the burgeoning guest evaluation survey files in the Lake to Lake association office, plucked willy nilly from among members whose inn names start with “A.”

Apprentice Innkeepers
Canine Hosts & Apprentice Innkeepers Tucker and Chips help welcome guests to Bellaire B&B 

“B” is for Bellaire Bed and Breakfast. How do Jim and Dave stack up as innkeepers? According to Joanne of Mt. Pleasant, they are “superb!”

“These innkeepers set a pace and standard other B&Bs should strive for. They and their staff make us feel welcome and appreciated. They have created a very special “oasis” in an area we love to visit.”

The “C’s” yielded an “amazing” for The Cobb House in Perry. Nate from Rochester said, “Our room is great! From the 19th century decor to the early 20th centruy pictures, books, huge bed, great sitting room and plenty of comfort, we could not go wrong. I liked learning about the history of the house during our stay.”

“C” is also for Carrier Ridge Lodge B&B in Scottville, where Rachel and Alan spent time all the way from West Allis, Wisconsin. They described it as a “lovely log cabin in a natural setting” — yet only a few miles from the beaches, shopping and restaurants in nearby Ludington.

“Tom and Lorraine were gracious, kind, helpful and accommodating. We felt very special with all the wonderful “extras” they provided for my birthday getaway. We will definitely return to this B&B.”

Ruth and Ole vanGoor
Ruth and Ole vanGoor are innkeepers at Dapple-Gray B&B on the Keewanaw Peninsula.

The “D’s” include Dapple-Gray B&B in Copper Harbor, way up north in the Keewenaw area of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Jean from Grand Haven got to stay in this spacious, contemporary log-cabin home home overlooking Lake Superior — almost as if she was an invited friend of the family.

“I could hear Lake Superior’s waves — so soothing,” she said. Jean called the location “breath taking” and “special.” She praised innkeepers Ruth and Ole for graciously accommodating her early departure with a breakfast that was full and delicious despite the hour.

Not a single Lake-to-Lake-member B&B starts with an “E.” Moving on to the “F’s,” Heather of Grosse Ile fell in love with Frankenmuth B&B, also known as Bender Haus.

“Bev and Elden made us feel at home the second we walked in the door. And our room was quiet, clean and beautifully decorated.

“I love B&Bs and will always choose them over hotels,” Heather explained. “They are quieter and cozier and, I think, much friendlier.”

Gould Farm Guest Room with Twin Beds
Gould Farm B&B’s twin beds were perfect for a dad and his daughter on a cross-country bicycle trip.

Innkeepers Judy and Lynn at Gould Farm B&B in Clare offered the perfect stopover for a father and daughter enjoying a cross-country bicycle trip.

“Twin beds are rare and exactly what we were looking for. The accommodations were spacious and the innkeepers went out of their way to make our bike trip a success. And we loved the homemade applesauce and breakfast all made with ingredients from local farms. It was great.”

Come back and visit the Lake to Lake blog next week when we take a stab at guest survey files starting with the letter “H.” How do you predict the Hotel Montcalm B&B will stack  up against a chain lodging? I’m sure you’re catching the drift!

Discover why B&Bs are “a better way to stay” — and why B&B’s that are members of the Michigan Lake to Lake Association are the BEST way to stay. Explore our online catalog of members! Each is as “fabulous,” “fantastic” and “amazing” as these B&Bs. Each is regularly inspected for more than a hundred standards of quality by third-part professionals to guarantee that as members, they live up to every one of these adjectives.







Innkeepers Debunk First of Five Myths About Bed and Breakfast Inns

February 28th, 2011 by linda

Here in Michigan, bed and breakfast innkeepers have taken on the task of debunking five misconceptions people have about B&Bs. The first myth is that B&B decor is cookie-cutter, limited to lace doilies, paisley wallpaper, antiques and patchwork quilts. It sounds lovely to me.  But it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

You won’t find any doilies at  The Kalamazoo House, whose owners Laurel and Terry Parrott have outfitted their Victorian-era home with all the modern amenities that today’s travelers demand. At this downtown Kalamazoo inn, all the guestrooms feature flat-screen HDTVs and DVDs. The decor is an eclectic mix of antiques and more modern furniture, all chosen with comfort and function in mind.

Traditional meets contemporary at Dewey Lake Inn.

You will find lace doilies at Dewey Lake Manor in Brooklyn — two of them to be exact. You’ll also find gas-fired fireplaces in every room, private baths and free WiFi. 

A young first-time B&B guest checked in last Friday, Innkeeper Barb Phillips recalled. She called her mother to say, “You would like this. It’s my kind of place.” A second first timer checking in about the same time exclaimed in surprise, “This is nice!”

Dewey Lake Manor is similar to The State Street Inn in Harbor Beach. As Innkeeper Janice Duerr says, “Sure, you can find a lace doily or two, antique furniture and handmade quilts.  But you can also enjoy a guest room with a fireplace and flat screen TV, WiFi, 24-hour coffee, tea and microwave popcorn. A ‘bottomless’ cookie jar is conveniently located in the dining room and each guest room is stocked with bottled water and snacks.”

Comfortable, contemporary and clutter-free common room at Prairieside Suites.

If two doilies are sufficient to deter you from a B&B stay, take a look at Prairieside Suites Luxury B&B in Grandville. Here, each room is decorated after a different part of the world. Innkeeper, owner and designer Cheri Antozak invites  your to enjoy the Tuscan Villa, Southern Mansion, Spanish Hacienda, French Riviera and English Cottage suites. Each allergy-free spa room has a clean, sophisticated decor with modern furnishings, flat screen TVs with more than 100 cable channels and luxury amenities.

Still not convinced? At Crimson Cottage Inn the Woods, Kathy and Michael Henry built their home in Holland  in 2005 as a B&B.

Big windows offer views of the woods at Crimson Cottage Inn the Woods.

“We created a more contemporary environment that fits our lifestyle,” Kathy said, “using relaxed, comfortable and touchable furnishings. Lots of windows with unobstructed views of the surrounding trees and pond were part of our planning.”

Lou and Paula Meeuwenberg built The Sheridan House B&B in Fremont in 2001. While there are some family and Civil War pieces, there is no wallpaper or patchwork quilts. The decor has a southwestern flair with a number of original western paintings, a Saguaro Cactus lamp, large baths and a wet bar. Each room has pillow-top mattresses, 32″ flat-panel cable TV and individual heat controls. The entire inn is air conditioned.

When Cindy and Jay Ruzak designed the Grey Hare Inn B&B on Old Mission Point to be reminiscent of a rustic farmhouse in Tuscany or Provence, they purposely stayed away from lace doily-type decor.

The Bistro at the Grey Hare Inn B&B near Traverse City.

“Sometimes, I’ve referred to our sense of style as Amish eclectic and casually elegant,” said Cindy. “Our decor is designed to be uncluttered, as many Victorian styles can be, with natural stone and wood elements throughout. We want guests to feel they can use the amenities without fear of breaking something and yet feel elegantly pampered at the same time.”

Pucci enjoys the contemporary, limited-edition rugs made in New Zealand, focal points of four rooms at Adventure Inn.

With tongue in cheek, Sandy White of Adventure Inn in North Lakeport said her decorating philosophy “is guided by the question, ‘How much am I willing to dust?’ since cleanliness is the most basic of guest expectations.” The result is a clutter-free environment that still has plenty of eye food.

Cathy Russell of White Swan Inn in Whitehall used her own blog to help debunk the lace doily myth. You can read it here.

In Lexington,  Captain’s Quarters Inn owner Pat Cutler recognizes that B&Bs are all very different, whether it be decor, location or inn-keepers’ personalities and guests’ wants and desires.

“On the rare occasion when sometime comes to my B&B for a tour and I sense it isn’t just what they want, I tell them there are five other B&Bs in Lexington and suggest they go see them all. We give them a walking map with the other B&B’s marked and a Lake to Lake pamphlet so they can see there are not only different types of B&Bs, but different locations as well. ”

Well said, Pat. The fact is that no two B&Bs are alike. Each is unique. From antique to contemporary, from countryside to cityscape, from woods to water, you will find the only truly identical thread linking bed and breakfast inns is their hospitality, their cleanliness, their comfort and their attention to safety.

B&B Lovers: When Did You Ever Describe a Hotel Stay As…..

February 23rd, 2011 by linda

….Fun. Local. Historic. Amazing. Memorable. Crafty. Delicious. Outdoorsy. Countryside. Adventurous. Personal. Breathtaking?

I was just watching a video made by and for innkeepers by the international inkeeping asssociation, PAII.  It begged the question. While the 25,000 independently-owned bed and breakfast inns across North America are all too often overshadowed by large chain hotels and motels, the fact is that few of their guests have ever used any of these words to describe their stays.

Innkeepers: Chime in with your comments. Tell us where you fit with these descriptive words.

Off the top of my head and inside it, I see The Kalamazoo House, a member of this Michigan B&B Association, snuggled in the heart of the downtown that made “I Got a Gal….” famous. If you want motels, they are nearly all out by the interstate where no one really lives. The Kalamazoo House is…. well…. local, historic, memorable and a whole lot more.

I envision  Adventure Inn in North Lakeport, hugging the Lake Huron shoreline, as an adventure in contemporary elegance with stunning views of the bluest blue water I’ve ever seen. Countryside is found at At Willow Pond in Fenwick, north of Grand Rapids, where the resident hens lay your morning eggs and you can cath your dinner in their trout pond. And believe it or not, you can pet the llamas at Topliff’s Tara, a working llama ranch in Williamston.

Crafty would be the the lovingly-restored 1912 Arts and Crafts bungalow in Whitehall, called The Coca Cottage B&B for its delicious “all things chocolate” theme. Outdoorsy defines Wind in the Pines in Traverse City, a contemporary “up north” log cabin home. Dapple-Gray, Big Bay Point and Pinewood Lodge B&Bs are all breathtakingly perched over memorable views of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula.  And of course there’s Chateau Chantal on Old Mission Peninsula with its aerie-like views of both the east and west arms of Grand Traverse Bay.

Then there are all the inns and all the adjectives I’ve left out, including 120 more member B&Bs, all unique in their own right  — not to mention the word, “delicious,” which is the other half of the bed and breakfast equation — and the word “personal,” which is the essence of B&B hospitality.  There’s not enough room in this blog. You’ll have to explore their merits for yourseves and apply your own descriptive words.  It’s easy.  Just visit our website by clicking here.

ML2L Innkeepers: tell us about yourselves in the comment section below.  Who’s delicious? Adventurous? Historic? Personal?

Readers: what adjectives would you use to describe your B&B experience?