Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chick Pea Recipe from your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

 It is no April Fool's joke that most of us could do with more vegetable protein in our diet and less animal.  There is not one doubt in our mind that as spring brings the beautiful weather it is known for more time will be spent out of doors and this Chick Pea recipe from your Asheville Bed and Breakfast will become one of your favorites.  It can be made 24 hours ahead of time making it as convenient as it is healthy.  We sincerely hope you'll enjoy it.  We'd also like to give you license to be as experimental with it as we have been and if you come up with a new addition that is awesome, please share it with us.

Chickpea Salad:

A 15-15.5 oz. can of Chick Peas. (We use Bush's because of their favorable consistency.

2 T. of fresh chopped  basil

2 T. of fresh chopped Italian Parsley

2 T. of fresh lemon juice

4 tsp. of EVOO

1 garlic clove pressed

1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan/reggiano cheese

This is optional but provides a bit of crunch and some extra flavor. We love-1/3 cup of chopped shallots. 

Coarse Kosher salt

Rinse chick peas and allow to drain.  Mix with chopped fresh basil, Italian parsley, fresh lemon juice, EVOO and pressed garlic in medium bowl.  Add the cheese tossing gently to blend thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover and refrigerate.  Can be served cold or at room temperature.  We like it room temperature to cool.

We hope you enjoy it.  Coriander is awesome in this recipe (1/2 tsp.) as a variation. Also the addition of broccoli slaw if you are of the mind. 
Bon Appetit!

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Asheville Is No Georgia Peach

Our bed and breakfast as well as the entire city of Asheville is courting the city of Atlanta.  Now, Asheville is no Georgia peach but is a shining star of Western North Carolina.  When I read about our awesome and always hard working Convention and Visitor's Bureau hatching a marketing strategy with Atlanta as its target....It made perfect sense. With its 5 million citizens and close proximity to Asheville they have all the criteria necessary to make our mountain jewel a perfect "drive to" location. Taking nothing away from being affordable...We Are Awesome to boot.

Most of us look forward with eager anticipation and a great expectation to the getaway we have worked all year long to bring in to focus.  The economy being what it is, more than a few of us are having to be "real" about what that vacation will look like this year.  With rising air fare, none existent or shrunken bonuses for those of us lucky enough to still be employed all of this will have far reaching effect on what we are able to book for vacation.

Reasons to choose Asheville:

I feel qualified to help point out these things because, after all, we chose Asheville. It was not happenstance...but truly a choice and listed below are just some of the reasons behind our choice.  Not a small number of the considerations are those cogent to an unforgettable vacation as well. 

1.  Asheville is a small town with big town pleasures.  We have numerous Community theaters, Asheville Opera, Asheville Symphony, movie theaters galore and a music venue for every possible preference. 

2.  The state of our natural beauty is OUTSTANDING.  There are hiking trails, walking and biking trails and vistas that are unsurpassed in beauty and in total honesty there are scenes of sheer magnificence I've seen here that will remain with me always.  The Blue Ridge Mountains are noted for their bluish color when seen from a distance; hence the name.  It is said that it comes from a substance released by the trees here. The name "Smoky" is attributed to the natural, low lying fog that often hangs over the range and is visualized as large smoke plumes from a distance. Both of these natural phenomenon bring about an opportunity to view scenery that appears surrealistic in presentation and wondrous in memory. A not to be overlooked or under appreciated element .... This gift is FREE.  Find your tennies and you're off.

3.  No matter what is available when you get to a place... one thing is for sure.  The people in any circumstance can either make an occasion or event a wonderful treasured memory or a nightmare.  Asheville is a polite place.  Its citizens are friendly.  One of the first times I left our inn after arriving here... in the midst of a gorgeous and warm summer day, I confess I was jaywalking in my attempt to cross the street.  In some cities, those driving vehicles during this occurrence would ...A. Run you over.  B.  Start screaming expletives.  C.  Start waving the middle finger of their dominate hand to make sure you are in awareness of both your error and their displeasure.  Here, in this place, the man stopped his car and waved me through.  I was so blown away by this that I turned right around and as he noted my approach to the driver window he began lowering the window.  I said, "I am so sorry and thank you for being so polite."  He responded, "Hey, it's so beautiful today isn't it?  Aren't we lucky to live here?"  I concurred and moved along.  That moment became the definition of Asheville for me.

4.  Diversity:  Asheville is a caring place as I've mentioned and we bring that to everything in the city.  There are elders, there are families, there are the "well-heeled" and the "no heels", the very well educated and the wise country folk, the artsy-music makers and the industry folks and all of those can be found together roaming the perimeter of downtown each bringing their own special gifts and each valued for their contribution.

5.  UNCA:  In every location I have ever made a home there was a college.  The presence of a college brings a freshness, a vitality and perspective that seems absent if there isn't one.

6. Culinary Destination:  Located in Asheville is every possible kind of cuisine your taste buds are yearning for. Reach for the stars and you will find more than you bargained for here.  Nepalese, Thai, American Southern, Mediterranean, Pizza (gourmet and other), Bar B Q, Indian, Cuban, Italian and American Continental. Some of the most innovative cuisine around can be found in Asheville.    

7. Vibrant Art Community:  Every possible kind of medium is grasped by some Asheville artist.  Fiber, canvas, wood, acrylic, oil, glass, porcelain, clay, metal...Other.  These people are so artsy they can make sticks look good.  Thus far, in my near 12 year tenure here, I have met a hand surgeon now perfecting  his skills on wood and the results were breathtaking.  A Nurse anesthetist currently working as a potter and re-inventing her life breathing  all her hopes into her newest creation.  People seem to reinvent themselves here discarding  previous perceptions of themselves and venturing forward "where no man has gone before."

8. A Bit Slower Pace:  Note the usage of the word: Bit.  Asheville is alive, vibrant and enthusiastic but it is slow enough to foster community, conviviality and a bit of time to breathe.

9. If you are a connoisseur of fine drinking beer....We actually beat out Portland, Oregon for that title in 2010 and are hoping for the same result this year.  Folks, this is not guzzling beer but the finest of the fine crafted by masters of the hops.

10.  In Eric Weiner's book, The Geography of Bliss he lists Asheville as America's Happiest City.  I second this motion.

So Atlanta, and all points....We're waiting for you and while Asheville is no Georgia peach....It is a shining, magically awesome getaway. We'd love to show you our Asheville at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast Inn.

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wine Tour, An Asheville Bed and Breakfast Guest Favorite

Wine, it's formulation, flavor, bouquet and taste seems to have taken the country by storm making the Wine Tour, an Asheville Bed and Breakfast Guest Favorite. We have owned our inn for 12 years this June and we are constantly searching for unique experiences for our guests.  Starting a few years back, we partnered with a company called Travels in Wine Tours after being sold on the sheer spirit of joie de vivre of the owners.  A chat with Kimberlee quickly convinced me on what a fun, out of the box experience this would be for our guests.

Not only are tour takers provided with opportunities to actually see and walk through breath-taking vineyards but also enjoy tasting the wine at each of three locations. It provides an upclose opportunity to explore the vineyards learning more than you likely knew about wine making from the actual winemakers who will escort you "behind the scenes" to learn how your favorite wine is made.

Tours run Wednesday-Sunday and depart at 10:15 a.m. in Asheville allowing you a chauffeured ride offering up not only the opportunity to tour 3 wineries escorted by a certified sommelier but also a panoramic view of the mountains of Western North Carolina to boot.  The duration of the tour is six hours give or take a bit of time and will also include a very tasty North Carolina Bar B Q lunch.  All tasting fees are included in tour price and the tastings will include various varietals grown regionally.

 We have packages for this tour online and would love to assist you in scheduling one.  So, rest, rejuvenate, leave the driving and directions to others and just take it all in.  

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Better Way to stay in Asheville or Any Place Else

I always appreciate business situations in which each business is able to lay their offerings on the table clearly, be understood totally, fairly judged and equitably chosen or rejected.  It then becomes up to the customer to chose what will render their best result the case of the lodging business; A Better Way to Stay in Asheville or any place else.  Unfortunately, sometimes that doesn't happen and both parties lose out due to a lack of understanding.

A recent posting on Craig's List here in Asheville prompted me to discuss this issue with the current president of our state bed and breakfast organization, NCBBI.  Some of the latter, very humorous content of this blog is a gift from Bob.  Basically the ad encouraged you to make contact with an individual who can assist you in "avoiding the high price of a bed and breakfast" by offering you one of their rooms.

I think this statement is patently wrong.  It is wrong on so many levels; so many in fact that I will address them individually.

1.  Who ran the ad on Craig's list?  You have no reputation, no history on this individual. They have not been vetted in any manner by a business community or others as their activity in selling these rooms is not legal.
2.  Likely this location has not had to stand up to any of the inspections every licensed bed and breakfast stands up to:  fire, building, health department.  It also likely has no insurance whatsoever to protect anyone in case of injury, fire or accident.  It is not registered as lodging and pays no taxes at all.  Occupants of these offerings are subject to potential danger.
3.  A vacation for most of us is many things:  Not an every day occurrence, looked forward to with the eagerness of childhood faith and time away we really need to gain our footing, find our center and return from blessedly energized, rested & thoroughly sated with a good feeling. Bed and breakfasts all around the country and the world are part of this endeavor every day doing all in their power to bring this hoped for experience to their guests.

Generally these things are not accomplished by the following (many of them from our funny and right on Bob!)

1.  Your dreamed about location for your much needed R&R is likely not on an interstate highway where no one really actually lives.
2.  You finally get to your destination, walking in with eager anticipation as disappointment floods over you when in viewing your room your first thought is...Oh Gosh, not this again. Haven't I seen seen some variation of all of this before?  
3.  Breakfast does not bring about a "top of the mornin' feeling" when you find the "taste that never changes, heat-me/eat-me"  buffet or a cold bowl of cereal as a creative second option.
4.  A warm and cozy feeling generating a spring in your step just thinking about it is likely not engendered when you would never be heard describing your lodging as local, crafty, historic, delicious, outdoorsy, personal, a memorable experience, like staying with friends, educational, breathtaking or many of the other kind, and dearly cherished thoughts departing guests tell every innkeeper across our country and the world at the end of their stay in our homes.  

So, think about it.  You work hard.  Too hard.  Don't you deserve a vacation that is special and someone personally as dedicated as you are to helping it become everything it can be?  We think so, we're innkeepers! 

Patti and Gary Wiles, Innkeepers

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Inn launches Explore Biltmore-Part VI

The purpose of this series of blogs continues to be fulfilled as our Asheville Bed and Breakfast Inn launches Explore Biltmore-Part VI with the big enchilada tour given the moniker of Premium Biltmore House Tour.  It is Biltmore on steroids coupling a private tour of the mansion and the Estate.

Due to the intensity, completeness and private nature of this tour Biltmore schedules them only with a two day advance notice. It will be conducted by your personal tour guide and will provide a much deeper knowledge of this fine home's history, architecture and more.  Delving into the grist of life at Biltmore Estate in the grand days in which the Vanderbilt's made this mansion their home.  History was made at Biltmore both outside and inside America's largest privately owned Estate and this tour reveals much of that. Further, due to the exclusive and private nature of this tour, it can be tailored to your personal focus of interest.  
Cost: $150.00.   

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Monday, March 21, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Inn launches Explore Biltmore-Part VII

 It is our hope that this Biltmore series has offered help in determining which of these tours would most fit your interests as you explore Biltmore Estate.  For the time being, this will be the last blog your Inn launches Explore Biltmore-Part VII.

Many of our guests through the years have taken advantage of most of these tours.  We have heard reviews of them- each and every one.  Some laudable and some less so but nearly without exception there appears to be widespread appreciation of the Rooftop Tour both among our own guests and also in general popularity at the Estate.

This tour begins with ascending the most lovely cantilevered staircase in the round at Biltmore.  From there, you are led past the ropes prohibiting entrance to the normal mansion tourers down a long hallway off which "rooms not on the regular tour" are offered for viewing.  A favorite point of interest seems to be the upper balcony of Vanderbilt's 4th floor observatory offering phenomenal views of the expanse of property that defines Biltmore Estate.

Another treat....anyone touring the Estate has noted the gargoyles providing local and tourist alike with wonderful photo ops but no view from the ground can offer the likes of which you are able to appreciate when standing right next to these winged wonders.  One young woman was relating her experience with photographing the gargoyles and rest of the fine and very intricate carvings adorning the upper aspects of the building and she recounted the following, "those gargoyles were so amazing and lifelike, particularly about the eyes,  that they almost gave you pause about getting closer to photograph them...but I risked it."

So, if you don't mind heights, enjoy being far from the maddening crowds with the wind blowing wild about the rooftops offering up an unobstructed, vast, majestic view of the Estate( not available to regular ticket holders) and are not afraid of winged, sharp toothed creatures housing eyes that look a bit too real for comfort....Go on...Book the Rooftop Tour. Soar with the gargoyles, we dare you!

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Inn launches Explore Biltmore-Part V

To commence our Asheville Bed and Breakfast Inn launches Explore Biltmore-Part V blog,  I will use the words: Red wine and Chocolate. Now, suffice to say that anything that starts out with those two words could not possibly be bad.  Alas, the introduction to Biltmore's newest village-Antler Hill.  It is viewed as a bridge to connect the Biltmore beginnings to the present.

You will lack for nothing when visiting this area of the Estate.  Edith Vanderbilt's 1913 Steven-Duryea Model C-Six is on exhibit at the winery. It it offered for viewing as the only car George Vanderbilt purchased remaining in the Estate's collection.  Old cars are always fun to view again providing us a visual on what was and what is..maybe also some fodder for the mind on what is "yet to be" in the world of automobiles.
Also, if you are a certain age (21 in North Carolina)  in the winery you can attend a Red wine and Chocolate tasting. Tickets: $15.00 pp.   Many of my guests here At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn are both fascinated with wine and enjoy chocolate so the coupling of these two delectable treats are a tour de force for the palate.

Antler Village also provides a variety of dining experiences:  The Bistro, Cedric's Tavern and Arbor Grill can find you enjoying a wonderful sandwich to a full course meal of impeccable seafood or steak if you'd prefer.
Trot to The Creamery if your sweet tooth is calling and you want to "scream for ice cream."

After a bite, feel free to explore the rest of Antler Village, named after Antler Hill the "fine high ridge"-- current home to Inn on Biltmore Estate.  Previous to this usage, during the Civil War and into the 1930's this ridge was the home of Antler Hall, a residence and get together center for many of the families on the Estate.
Lastly, take a stroll around the Village Green where live entertainment offers a fun place to gather and enjoy the music of the day.

Put your boogie shoes on and dance like no one's watching!

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Asheville celebrates Festival of Flowers at Biltmore Estate

In just a bit of time as the last gasp of winter leaves our mountains and the first blush of true spring favors us with its presence; plan to be in Western North Carolina. If flowers are your bag, you must not miss this yearly tribute to flowers as Asheville celebrates Festival of Flowers at Biltmore Estate, starting April 2 and running through May 15, 2011.

April will breathe into life thousands of tulips in every color imaginable from shades of pink, purple, orange, yellow and white found both in the walled garden and all about the Estate. They unfurl their glory first making quite the show and heralding the way for their worthy contemporaries a bit later on in May- azaleas, iris and peony with displays that defy description.

While the flowers are the real show stoppers, there will also be special menus on the Estate, Ask the gardener stations, daily seminars at A Gardener's Place, wine specially formulated to celebrate this yearly event and music to stir the senses to enhance the appreciation of this color extravaganza.

This year Easter will occur during Festival of Flowers and the egg hunt on Easter sunday morning, April 24, 2011 will take place on the front lawn of Biltmore at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
There will also be a Grape stomp at Antler Village so if that old episode of I Love Lucy has long been in your head....Make it real and head for Biltmore Estate.  No one will believe you when you relate that tale...Go ahead, take out your cell phone and take your own picture....It's the only hope you have of making them believers!   

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Perfect for Picnic Cookie Recipe

The anticipation of spring finally coming to town is nearly killing me. Today, I was thinking of the glory of spring picnics and our Asheville Bed and Breakfast perfect for picnic cookie recipe. It has been a very cold winter and for an outdoor lover...a long period of time to have the out of doors seem so foreboding.
Sometimes our guests want to get up close and personal with the "more than beautiful scenery" Asheville has to offer with a trip to the forest, a waterfall or just to the North Carolina Arboretum.  We are happy to help with that! A tradition of that picnic basket is At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn's Crispy Oatmeal Cookies.  Get outside, enjoy the lush scenery this area has to offer and plan a picnic of your own. Until you are able to make the trip to Asheville and stay with us you are more than happy to borrow any of our recipes.

At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn's Crispy Oatmeal Cookies: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

3 1/4 cups oats ( don't use quick cook/instant)
1 cup butter
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 vanilla bean sliced and scraped
1 tsp. salt
1 T. saigon cinnamon
1 T. baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour (all purpose or whole wheat) your choice; both work

Cream butter with all sugars.  Add salt, spice, vanilla scrapings, soda.  Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in oats and nuts.  Next flour.  Mix well but do not over mix. Roll into logs in plastic wrap.  Chill in refrigerator for a few hours.  Slice the chilled dough from 1/4"-1/2" inch rounds.  Place on Silpat or parchment paper to bake.  Bake 7 mins...Turn pan around and bake 5 mins. more.  Check for doneness.  May want to bake a bit more contingent upon your oven.  They should be light brown and crispy.

In these days of everyone trying to be more mindful of their spending there is much to say about picnics.  They encourage exercise and activity, are conducive to conversation, spark an enjoyment of all the beauty nature provides every day we make the time to see it, they are much more economical than a movie and blessedly, save the lunch you would likely eat anyway...they are free. Can't beat that!  

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Inn launches Explore Biltmore-Part IV

Your innkeepers are Irish and so it should come as no surprise we are "lovers of the land."  We continue through our Asheville Bed and Breakfast Inn launches Explore Biltmore-Part IV series called Legacy of the Land Tour.

Biltmore Estate is an awesome structure by anyone's evaluation but to me the land conservancy aspect of the Estate has always held a special place in my heart.  Much of the land purchased for use of Biltmore Estate had already been cleared for farming and timber.  Instruction had been given to take down the less viable or damaged trees clearing way for the care, maintenance and long term health of the others. Efforts were made to revitalize over farmed areas and 300 white pine were also planted.  A trained forester was hired in 1892, Gifford Pinchot and he implemented a plan that included all of the following:  tree identification, thinning weaker trees to enhance stability of others, recording growth conditions and also a timber per acre count.  Later in his career, after his tenure at Biltmore Estate, he sojourned north to D.C. where he became head of the Division of Forestry; later known as U. S. Forest Service.  His successor, Dr. Carl A. Schenck,  took over in 1895 in charge of the forest acres- which at that time numbered 100,000 acres.  He established Biltmore Forest School the very first school of its kind in the United States.  In the 15 years it was operation it educated more than 300 students many of whom went on to service as the first generation of American foresters.

In 1914, Edith Vanderbilt sold approximately 86,700 acres of forested mountain land on the Estate to the federal government the first addition to the formation of Pisgah Forest.  In 1968, The Cradle of Forestry, was named in America by an act of Congress and was formed accessing 6,500 acres of Pisgah.

The Legacy of the Land Tour is offered with motorcoach transportation designed to explore areas of this land customarily not accessible to guests.  Tour takers will be treated to more history of the land, structural edifices on the property and also former residences.  The cost is $19.00 in addition to your Biltmore Estate Day Pass.
This tour is sure to bring a great experience to anyone enjoying forests, conservancy, gardeners and  lovers of nature.

At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn is minute by comparison but our garden is nearly a 12 year plan and we would be delighted to show it to you during your with us in Asheville. 

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Inn Sends Chocolate Fix Recipe

Let us say that for the most part you make conscious, healthy decisions regarding your diet on a routine basis. This behavior is commendable and will likely be instrumental in your living a longer and better life but for the moments of complete desperation, when nothing else but chocolate will do your Asheville Bed and Breakfast sends Chocolate Fix recipe.

Before going to the recipe I seek to offer some true health benefits of chocolate. Chocolate's origin is plant based and in keeping with that, it provides many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. One of those benefits are  flavanoids, which act as antioxidants.  Flavanoids also help reduce blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide.  Dark chocolate has 8 times more flavanoids than strawberries.  Anyone ever reading a beauty magazine has heard the term; Free Radicals.  These contribute to aging and also play a less understood part in heart disease.  Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.
This recipe is not a salad but does have some redeeming virtues and I mean, after all, in stressful, needing comfort moments have you ever heard one person say, "I need a tossed salad with a squeeze of lemon."  Neither have I....Hence the Chocolate Fix Recipe.  I hope you love it. 

Bittersweet Chocolate Souffles:
1/2 cup plus 3 T. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
2 T. all purpose flour
2/3 cup plus 2 T. whole milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (spoon this into cup and level for measure)
2 large egg yolks
1 vanilla bean split and scraped with sharp knife -contents in the bowl.
4 large egg whites
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate ( not more than 61% cacao) chop fine

Butter 8 custard cups and dust with sugar.
Complete coat even to top edge.

In saucepan put: 1/2 cup sugar, flour,salt.  Whisk. Pour 2/3 cup milk (reserving the last bit) into the sauce pan to form a thick paste. (about 2-3 T.) Stir this over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around edge of the pan.  Continue cooking and don't forget to stir constantly.  Once it begins to thicken stir about 2 more minutes.  Transfer this mixture to large bowl.  Add cocoa powder, remaining milk, egg yolks and vanilla grist.
Stir until smooth thick paste forms.  
Use electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in medium bowl until soft peaks form.  Add 1/4 of whites to chocolate mixture; fold to blend.  Add remaining beaten egg whites and chopped chocolate folding just until whites are blended into batter. 
Divide batter among prepared Ramekin; place on baking sheet.  If you are doing these for the next day you will now Cover & chill.
 If it is for today: Proceed to the following.

Position rack in bottom of pre-heated oven to 375 degrees. Bake until rises above custard cup and toothpick inserted in center comes out with thick batter attached.  12-15 mins.Using spoon make small well in top of each custard cup.  Put one dollop Orange Blossom Cream in each well.

Orange Blossom Cream:
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1 1/2 T. sugar
1 tsp. very finely grated orange peel
3/4 tsp. orange-flower water

Put all ingredients in bowl large enough to whip.  Beat with electric mixer until peaks form.  Can be made ahead and whisked before use. 

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Friday, March 11, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast, The beauty of stained glass

In the years before we purchased our Asheville Bed and Breakfast, The beauty of stained glass was something we sought to create ourselves.  We had a thriving, all consuming hobby and sometimes actually took commissions from friends who enjoyed our work.  I favored the construction of smaller pieces and Gary took on the big enchiladas (20" X 24" -would have been its completed size; not framed).  Note the usage of the words, would have been.  We purchased our inn in 1999 and it morphed into such a production that the term:  hobby is not a known experience for us any longer.

That said, we know from our experience in this craft that there are many admirers of the art, color, form, texture and sheer beauty of stained glass work.  This summer in Antler Hill Village at Biltmore Estate they are offering an exhibition of 45 stained glass lamps created by the giant in this medium, Louis Comfort Tiffany. His translation of such beauty into the functionality of lamps was inspired by his belief that art and usefulness could coexist.  When viewing these lamps I am sure you will concur. 

The exhibition will be available for viewing from July 1 through October 23, 2011 and will cover nearly every aspect of how the lamps were made from tools to materials. 

Very much in the Biltmore tradition of Flower Carpet where some element of design present within the house is the inspiration made real in the Flower carpet of any year...Elements of the design found in these 45 Tiffany lamps on exhibition will also be the muse for special landscaping to capture those designs all about the flower beds, walled garden and even house flowers on display at Biltmore. You will have quite the game analyzing the lamps and then seeking to locate the spot of their translation about the property. 

We have a game like that in our Lion's Den room in which we have guests staying in that room count the lions they find.  Interestingly, many do not find them all but they all have a great time trying. 

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Stimulus Package at your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

 Most of the smart money folks would tag the beginning of our most recent recession as December 2007 making this contraction already the longest since 1982.  Whether that date coincides with your evaluation of things or not....either way we think you can see the benefit of a stimulus package at your Asheville Bed and Breakfast. 

Despite the fact that folks may need to be a bit more careful about their financial choices than is their custom there are some things to figure into the mix when deciding on accommodations.
While upon an initial pass, accommodations at anyone's bed and breakfast may appear to be more expensive than alternative lodging,  I believe that if you compare apples to apples you may pause to re-consider your initial impression.

At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn all of the following are included in your stay:

A three course breakfast will be provided using only the freshest of ingredients and served in  courses sure to delight.  This breakfast is included in your room rate and there are no gratuities expected at the end of the meal.  Further, modifications according to dietary restrictions, can be accommodated joyfully with adequate notice. Your breakfast will be perfection, plentiful and served in clean, casually elegant surroundings sure to impress.

Off street parking is provided at no extra charge.

Concierge services of a rather extensive nature are part of the service you will receive here.

Free WIFI available throughout property.

No ancillary telephone charges for local calls

Top notch amenities inclusive of luxurious bathrobes.

Afternoon snacks available.

Complimentary hot beverages always available.

To sweeten the pot even further allow us to introduce you to our At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Stimulus Package.  We sincerely hope you get to take advantage of this special.  Sometimes, a few days away can make all the difference in how we view our circumstances and all of us can use a bit of a break at this point. Now, all good things must come to an end and this package's life cycle is nearly complete so don't delay.   

 Stimulus Package At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn: Ends March 31.  Asheville North Carolina has been recommended by Foder'sTravel Guide in their 2011 List.   Do your bit for America's  economy by seizing your own Stimulus Package. Times have been trying as of late and a bit of rest and relaxation is in order.  We want to help your economic profile, so stay two nights mid- week at this winter's already discounted prices and we'll discount the 3rd night 30%. Ends March 31, 2011. Phone reservations only 888-743-2557.

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Monday, March 7, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Offers A Winter Soup

Heaven only knows this year, in particular, I will not cry for winter's demise.  While I will not miss winter, having had a reasonably dreadful winter season in Asheville this year, our Asheville Bed and Breakfast offers a winter soup as a sort of farewell to the food of the winter season and one we know you will love.

Broccoli Soup:

3 T. unsalted butter
3 cups well washed chopped leeks (white and pale green aspects only)
6 T. chopped Thyme (divided)
1 1/4 cups broccoli crowns, chopped  (about 8 cups)
4 cups (more if you like) chicken or vegetable broth.

Melt butter in large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the leeks and 4 tsp. of thyme.  Reduce heat to allow for cooking until leeks soften a bit.  Transfer 1/2 cup of leeks to small bowl and reserve.  Add the broccoli  and 4 cups of broth and boil.  Cover while gently boiling until the veggies are tender. Cool off slightly and either pour in food processor to blend or use immersion blender.  I prefer the latter... as sometimes unless you have the time to let the soup get really cool, the heat can build up in the food processor creating a big mess. Depending upon the consistency you enjoy in soup you can add a bit more broth or cream it up with some sour cream.  Season with salt pepper and a bit of coriander.  Ladle up in bowls; sprinkle with 2 tsps. of chopped thyme and the leeks you have in reserve. 

This soup is so delectable as well as scathingly healthy...Why it could even have you looking forward to winter again.      NOT!

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast, More on Wine

In our last blog we talked about some wineries in the immediate area that could be enjoyed in day trips from our home.  In this blog our Asheville Bed and Breakfast, More on Wine is the topic.  In discussion with our guests here at the inn,  it became apparent that while guests may enjoy many different varieties of wine they generally have a "go to" wine. Thought it useful to take a few of the wineries listed in the last blog and provide a list of the wines they specialize in at that winery and in that way assist people in choosing the day trip they would most enjoy.

1.  Biltmore Estate:  Obviously, Biltmore Winery is the closest to At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn. Their vineyard is in a valley adjacent to the French Broad River. No matter who you talk to in the wine business every single one of them site weather as the "wild card." Asheville is customarily reasonably reliable as the surrounding mountains offer a diversion of some of the harsher elements.  Now, this year, all bets were off of that I am sure.   Biltmore varieties include Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. All grapes are picked by hand, with a harvest averaging 250 tons of grapes annually. Your Biltmore Estate Day Pass includes both a tour of the winery as well as complimentary tasting.

2.  Rockhouse:  2 styles of Chardonnay.  One a barrel-fermented blend and rounding out the assortment; a Native Yeast Chardonnay.  A Viognier, their classic Rhone and all their white wines are whole-cluster pressed and aged sur lie in French oak barrels  Red wines Bordeaux varietals would encompass Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

3.  South Creek:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Maestro, Chardonnay and Chardonnay Reserve.

4.  Owl's Eye Vineyard:  Chardonnay, South Mountain Scarlett (dry red blend of Merlot, Malbec, Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc), Chambourcin, Blackberry and "Pink Eye" Rose'.

For all you little wine folks looking for a more adventurous, boots on the ground day than a visit to our local source, The Wine Guy for his expertise in choosing a fine bottle of wine for the evening, this should provide all the information you need to make your best "day tour" selection.
Hopefully it will lead you to the winery that would provide the variety of wine you most enjoy to drink.  No sense in going out on a day trip and coming home empty grape-ed.  What kind of fun would that be? 

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Customized Wine Tour from your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

There is a great deal of guest interest in wine, its history, horticulture and of course, the joys associated with tasting the rendering of the grape at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast.  Unbelievably enough, there are 100 wineries in this state but the purpose of this blog is to assist our guests in a customized, self guided wine tour from your Asheville Bed and Breakfast listing a sampling of some of the wineries that are proximal to the inn and could be accessed in day trips.  Happy Touring!  Wear your tennies troops because grapes are a plant and they grown in dirt.  While the tasting could be done in heels, likely for the wineries where touring the field is permitted, these heels will not create a "happy camper" experience. 

I am going to begin with the closest to Asheville and move out in distance from there:

Biltmore Estate: Asheville  3 miles

Green Creek Winery:  Columbus NC 30 miles

Rockhouse Vineyards: Tryon, NC 33 miles

South Creek Vineyards:  Nebo, NC  56 miles

Lake James Cellars: Glen Alpine NC  61 miles

Owl's Eye Vineyard: Shelby NC  72 miles

Woodmill Winery:  Vale NC  80 miles

Banner Elk Winery: Banner Elk  86 miles

Baker Buffalo Creek:  Lawndale NC  87 miles

Now, if you are feeling less than adventurous and are looking for something a bit more instructive and guided...
Well, stay tuned for the next Blog on Wine in which I showcase a tour we are involved with coupling our Asheville Bed and Breakfast with another local business offering this very service. It has been very well received by our guests and I think you will be excited about it too. 

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Asheville North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Guests Explore Wine History

When tourists seek the Napa Valley, well, everyone knows that a wine tour will likely be part of the picture.  Asheville North Carolina Bed and Breakfasts guests explore wine too.  While only 2% of visitors to our state participate in a winery tour or tasting according to the Division of Tourism's visitor profile, it seems to me there is a great deal of guest interest in this topic.

Our state has an interesting wine history dating all the way back to Sir Walter Raleigh.  1835, Medoc Vineyard stands as North Carlina's first commercial winery.  It was a national leader in the our nations muscadine wine production for several years.  Wine production thrived in North Carolina in the 1800's culminating in being a recognized leader in wine producing states with 25 operational  wineries at the turn of the century.

Prohibition, stopped this progress in its tracks hitting the industry hard with North Carolina being the first state to enact statewide prohibition of alcoholic beverages.  Also serving the distinction of being the first state in the union to enact prohibition by direct vote of the electorate thus delaying any further initiative in this
area until the early 1970's.  In 1972, the state legislation in their efforts to re-start this initiative, passed a preferential state excise tax specifically designed to foster this endeavor again.
Further inducements included the reduction in the fees levied on wineries in the form of license fees dropped from $1,000 to a far more beneficial $100.00.  Just as the creators of these legislative efforts had hoped wineries began opening throughout North Carolina.

However, all these incentives were lost in 1985 and by 1986 six wineries remained in the state.  Enter: North Carolina Wine and Grape Council with a mission statement to encourage "economic viability and opportunity for growers and processors through education, marketing and research."

At this writing, the state of North Carolina due to the variant geography of the region, climate and soil grows every kind of grape inclusive of vinifera, French-American hybrids, labruscas and muscadines.  It pursues 2 main thrusts: Native Muscadine Grapes and European Vinifera grapes.

All you lovers of the grape, stay tuned for the next Blog on wine in which I will explore some of the vineyards in the state and their particular sub- specialties.  We have an awesome opportunity here At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn for an escorted day tour of North Carolina Wineries and Vineyards.   

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast