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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Organic Farming Classes in Eureka Springs

November 21st, 2009

We have many organic farmers around Eureka Springs, AR and Patrice Gros is one of them. Before I started growing my own basil here at 5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast I use to buy fresh basil from Patrice. For those interested in winter farming he is offering two classes you might be interested in.

On Saturday, December 5, 2009 he will have a Hands-On class for Low Cost Hoop-House Construction. Participants will learn to build an actual 100 foot hoop house, complete with plastic covering. The workshop starts at 10:00 am and finishes at 3:00 pm. Cost is $50 for an individual and includes a simple organic lunch and detailed information package.

On Saturday, December 19, 2009 Patrice will have a Hoop-House Year Round Production Overview. Participants will study a complete years plan for hoop-house production. The presentation will cover crop choices, time tables, income potential and costs. The workshop is from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm with a cost of $35.

Checkout the details at the Foundation Farm website.

5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Bed and Breakfast Sweet Treats Cookie Tour

November 15th, 2009

This will be the third year that a group of bed and breakfasts in Eureka Springs will be doing a cookie tour. The Alliance of Better Bed and Breakfasts in Eureka Springs, Arkansas will have eleven of their B&B members on the tour where people will be able to sample 22 different varieties of cookies, collect your favorite recipes, garner some holiday decorating ideas and enter a contest for a chance to win one of three $100 gift certificates valid at any of the Sweet Treats Cookie Tour participating members.

Checkout their website for more details.

Eureka Springs Winery is a prolific award winner

November 10th, 2009

A few years back Eureka Springs, Arkansas became the home of Keels Creek Winery and Art Gallery. Not only is their wine excellent, but the art they have at their location is also of high quality.

Recently Keels Creek Winery won the won a gold medal and Best of Show award at the 2009 Arkansas State Fair Commercial Wine Competition for their 2006 Chambourcin Their Vivant won a 1st place, gold medal in its category and their Sweet Spring won a bronze medal in its category at the same competition.

Those aren’t the only awards they have received. They have won Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals for a number of their wines. The next time you visit 5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast plan on going to their winery to taste some of their wines and enjoy the art they have for sale. We think you’ll really enjoy yourselves. I know we have.

5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast in Eureka Springs, AR

Food and Wine Weekend Breakfast at 5 Ojo Inn B&B

November 8th, 2009

If you’ve ever been to Eureka Springs, AR you know that we have more good restaurants than some large cities. Jan and I picked Eureka Springs to have our B&B because we were foodies in Dallas and we wanted to ensure we had some great dining experiences here for both ourselves and our guests at 5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast.

This year on November 12th through the 14th there will be a record eighteen restaurants and shops participating in the annual Eureka Springs Food and Wine Weekend.

Participating restaurants and businesses offer a wider variety of special events than in years past. You can attend wine tastings, eat some delectable dinners prepared by Eureka’s award winning chefs, enjoy special entrees, or attend educational seminars. Multi-course wine paired dinners have been expanded this year.

Here at 5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast we are talking about doing something special for that weekend. Any ideas?

A 5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast favorite chocolate dessert

November 4th, 2009

Here’s a recipe for one of our favorite chocolate desserts. Chocolate, my favorite vitamin. We know where there are some great chocolate desserts at restaurants in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Next time you are in town, stop by and we’ll point you to them.

Chocolate Amaretto Cake

—— Cake —–
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 box chocolate pudding mix (instant)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Amaretto
4 eggs
3/4 cup pecans; chopped
—— Sauce —–
1 stick Butter
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Water
2 oz Amaretto

—– Cake —–
Put all cake ingredients, except the pecans, in a bowl, and mix for 2
minutes with an electric mixer.
Place pecans in bottom of greased bundt pan.
Pour batter over the pecans.
Bake at 325°F for 1 hour.

—– Sauce —–
Boil all sauce ingredients for 1 minute.
Using a skewer, poke holes in the cake while it’s still hot.
Pour the sauce over the cake and let it soak in.
Cool for 20 minutes and remove the cake from the bundt pan.

Notes: Will stay moist for 3-4 days. Good with whipped cream on top.

5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast, Eureka Springs, AR

To bee or not to bee, how sweet it is

October 10th, 2009

This week we harvested some honey from our bee hives. I know, we’re a little late, but 5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast keeps us busy and luckily the bees were patient with us. It was our first harvest in the two years we’ve had bees and it was pretty exciting.

Trying to take away one of the ‘supers’ (a box on top of the hive where the bees store their honey) was like telling your kids you are going to take away their favorite toy. A lot of buzzing and flying around but the good thing is that honey bees are actually pretty passive. It didn’t take us to long to get the super off and hidden away from the bees.

Using a borrowed honey extractor we were able to get about 5 quarts of honey bottled and capped. It ended up with a nice dark amber color with a fairly robust flavor. A little stronger than clover honey but not as strong as some wild flower honeys we’ve had. We tried a little on some of our breakfast biscuits and it was sweet and extremely tasty. Next year we may have to follow the bees to see what flowers in Eureka Springs, AR they are getting their nectar from.

Does it save money harvesting your own honey? No, but that’s not why we are doing this. Jan became interested in honey bees when she read about colony collapse disorder. We just wanted to become involved in some small way and in doing so we end up with some of the fruits of our (or should I say the bee’s) labor. It’s a fascinating hobby which we’d be glad to share with anyone interested.

Bakin’ Bacon, the secret to cooking large quantities of bacon

June 23rd, 2009

>We’ve had many guests ask us about our bacon and they are usually surprised when we say that we bake our bacon. I thought I’d tell you why we do it and how we do it.

First, I have to tell you that I wanted to call this article “425 degrees from Kevin Bacon”. I thought about it for a little while and decided that probably no one would know what I was referring to because I guess it doesn’t make a lot of sense. So, Bakin’ Bacon won.

Cooking bacon on the stove top takes up burner space and creates a lot of splatter from the grease. It also takes up time because cooking upwards of 50 pieces of bacon means you’d be cooking in batches.

The solution is to use sheet pans so all the bacon cooks at the same time with minimal time and effort required.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line the sheet pan with foil and spread the bacon out on the pan. If there’s room, just line them up next to each other. If you have lots of bacon you can twist the bacon which allows you to put more bacon in the pan. It’s alright to have them touching each other.

As for cooking times, it depends. Depends on the thickness and whether you have twisted the bacon or not. We use thick cut bacon and it takes about 30 minutes to cook a sheet pan full of bacon which are not twisted. Twisted bacon can take a little longer to cook, especially if the sheet pan is packed full. We also turn the bacon once after about 15 minutes. As an FYI, once in a while we don’t have time to turn the bacon and it still comes out just fine. If you use thin cut bacon watch very closely because it cooks fast.

If you have any questions about baking bacon just let us know.

P.S. I’m sure 5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast could be linked to Kevin Bacon within 425 degrees. (Does anyone remember the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game?).

Richard
5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast, Eureka Springs, AR

When the blues make you happy!

June 17th, 2009

We’re experiencing the blues and couldn’t be happier. Why, because it’s the time of year when, assuming Mother Nature has been good to us, fresh blueberries are ripe for picking in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Every year we visit Ashley’s Blueberry Farm where Ashley grows organic blueberries. We pick up anywhere from 15 to 20 gallons of fresh, right off the vine blueberries. They are the plumpest, best tasting blueberries we have tasted. We’ve tried some from other states in our recipes, and these have always tasted better.

If you have a chance, pickup some fresh blueberries from the store. Lay them out in a layer on a pan and freeze them. Once frozen, put them in a Ziplock bag getting out as much air as possible. When you want to use some blueberries, take what you need out of the bag and seal it back up. Rinse the blueberries well and use them in a recipe like our Blueberries and Cream (see below). We’ve found that blueberries keep well for about 1 year.

5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast
Blueberries and cream
(Serves 1)

1/2 banana; sliced
1/8 cup half and half
1 teaspoon Sugar
vanilla; (to taste)
seasonal fruits
3 tablespoons blueberries

This recipe is for one serving of Blueberries and Cream. For more servings,
scale the recipe accordingly.

Cut the banana into pieces and put into serving cup.

Mix the half and half, sugar and vanilla (the amount depends on how much of
a vanilla taste you want; experiment until it is to your liking. We use
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon). Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Cut the seasonal fruit into appropriate pieces and arrange on the plate
where you have placed the serving cup.

Just before serving, add the blueberries to the serving cup. More or less
blueberries can be used, depending on your taste. (Adding the blueberries
to far ahead of serving will cause the liquid to take on a bluish tinge).

Enjoy…..Richard and Jan

A Foodies Path to Heaven

June 8th, 2009

What started out as a welcome home trip to a restaurant, ended up taking this foodie to a heavenly place.

Jan returned from her week long trip after visiting our granddaughter and I wanted to get out so we could talk about all the cute things Emma did. Ok, maybe a 5 day old baby can’t really do much but eat, sleep and take care of business (I’m sure you know what I mean). Anyway, it was a good excuse to get out and sample what the tourists do in Eureka Springs, Arkansas and oh what a meal we had.

We headed to Casa Colina because I knew they were having a Spare Rib dinner with a Mexican Barbecue sauce and it just sounded like something I’d like to try. We started with a Guacamole appetizer with pineapple salsa that was finished with a drizzle of raspberry sauce. While Jan loves guacamole I can take it or leave it, but the combination of the pineapple and raspberry was a very interesting and tasty twist on this appetizer and we went through two baskets of tortilla chips scooping the appetizer off of the plate.

The main entry came and it looked delectable. There was a pile of spare ribs with a Mexican barbecue sauce, fresh roasted corn on the cob and black beans topped with a little cheese. My stomach started to growl not so silently. I started with the corn which was roasted to perfection and seasoned with lime juice and just a touch of red pepper. It was perhaps the best corn I’ve ever tasted. The tartness of the lime against the sweetness of the corn gave the corn a very satisfying flavor.

The spare ribs were tender and the sauce had just enough spiciness to it to make it interesting but not overwhelming. They were too good to save for lunch, so I ate them all right then and there.

I’ve always liked black beans over the re-fried beans you normally get at most Mexican restaurants and these worked well with the spare ribs.

After the meal Joe, who owns the restaurant with his wife Dani, asked if we’d mind trying a Mojito he was thinking of serving at the restaurant. “Sure, why not”, we said. Neither of us had every tried a Mojito and found that the lime, mint and rum drink that Joe served tasted like limeade, well, except with a little more kick. The drink was refreshing although we thought the mint leaves shouldn’t be blended with the drink because they get caught in the straw.

Casa Colina is one of the restaurants we include in our packages offered at 5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast. It’s well worth a try.

…Richard

Farm Fresh Produce

May 20th, 2009

The other day I was at our graphic designers when someone showed up with a bag of what appeared to be produce. Of course, my curiosity got the better of me and I asked her what they were delivering. Yes, it was a personal question, but it’s a small town and I guess we tend to get involved with each others business.

She explained that the local farmers in and around Eureka Springs, AR will deliver a bag of seasonal goodies once a week from their gardens during May through September for only $15. They had delivered to her a bag of field greens, a bag of spinach, loaf of bread, a dozen eggs, a jar of jam and a bunch of green onions. Wow, fresh right off the farm and delivered to your door. Reminded me of the milkman who delivered milk to our house when we were growing up (ok, yes, I’m that old).

We thought this would be something great for our inn (5 Ojo Inn Bed and Breakfast) and what we didn’t use at the inn we would use for our own personal cooking. This week we received a bag of field greens, loaf of bread, carton of strawberries, bunch of mint, a dozen eggs and some broccoli (which we had tonight…fresh is so much better than store bought). They also included some menus and tomorrow we’re going to try Mustard Dill Carrots.

Go to a farmers market near you and check if some of them have a similar program. You get some great food and you help out the local farmers.

Happy Eating…Richard

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