Here is an awesome recipe we discovered recently in a Texas B&B cookbook. We served it for the first time over New Year’s weekend and it was fantastic! Try it this winter for a special Sunday morning breakfast.
French Baked Pancake
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temp, plus 3 tb butter, melted
4 tb sugar
3 eggs plus 2 eggs
2 cups flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.25 cups milk
3 cups small curd cottage cheese
1 tsp salt
1 21-ounce can blueberry pie filling
3/4 cup blueberry syrup (about 1/2 of a 12-ounce bottle)
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tb powdered sugar
grated zest of 1 orange, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the 1 stick of butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add 3 eggs; beat well. Combine flour and baking powder. Mix flour mixture and milk alternately into butter mixture. Pour 1/2 batter in pan.
Mix cottage cheese, 2 eggs, the 3 tbs melted butter and salt in a medium bowl. Spread over the batter in the pan. Top with remaining batter. Bake for 60 minutes or until golden brown.
Mix and heat blueberry pie filling and syrup together in a saucepan to make a blueberry sauce. Mix sour cream, vanilla and powdered sugar together in a small bowl to make a sour cream sauce.
Cut baked pancake into squares. Serve with blueberry sauce and a dollop of sour cream sauce.
Winter is here and I’ve always loved this time of the year because it’s quiet. Our regular home back in Richardson, TX, was like that, too. It’s as if the world was suddenly at peace after the intense hustle and bustle of summer – the constant going, going, going. You could curl up with a good book in front of a roaring fireplace, often times with a blanket of snow outside to really deaden all the outside noise, and the world would leave you alone. There was no more secure place in the world.
Winter in Eureka Springs, AR, is like that. And life is like that at the Bridgeford House. We have had guests that have gotten snowed in that have told us that it was one of the best vacations of their lives. (Of course, we can’t guarantee it will snow while you’re here, but the cold winter chill outside still keeps us cozy as kittens inside). A good bed and breakfast can provide you that home away from home – without the hard work and clean up! A good pampering can set anybody right and allow them the the rest and peace to go back and face the world.
We love doing that for you here. Several of our rooms have fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. All of them have a coffee pot and microwave right in your room, for hot tea, cocoa or popcorn – all provided for you at your complementary (yes, that means “free of charge”!) refreshment station (including a refrigerator) – right in your room! Home-baked sweets are provided for you each afternoon, so all you have to do is wait for it to be delivered! A hot, 4-course breakfast each morning will pretty much fill you up so that you don’t even need to go out for lunch if you don’t want to. Our parlor is full of games, puzzles and movies to play on your personal TVs in your room.
And don’t let anyone tell you Eureka closes up for the winter – there is always stuff open! Most of the shops stay open all winter long (with shorter hours), there are always restaurants and local pubs that are open, as well – what do you think we locals do in the wintertime? We still have to eat and we still like to get out and have a good time. Trust me, there are still lots of spas that will provide relaxing massages. If the trolleys aren’t running that particular day, you know we’re just a few minutes walk to downtown. And when the leaves are gone from our forest of trees – a whole new world opens up! Get out there and hike through our little mountains and neighborhoods that are right here in the historic district. You’ll see stuff you never see in the summertime.
Believe it or not, 2012 is almost here! 2011′s been tough on a lot of folks, so 2012 needs to come in with a lot of optimism and good cheer. Come spend it with us at the Bridgeford House, our Arkansas bed and breakfast!
Celebrate New Year's in Eureka Springs!
We will be here to take care of you! On Saturday, New Year’s Eve, we’ll have hot hors d’oeuvres and wine available from 5 p.m to 8 p.m., while visiting with the innkeepers and other guests. We’ll provide hats and noise-makers for you to take to parties downtown. Breakfast Sunday morning will be set for 9:30, rather than 9:00, with Mimosas for those folks still celebrating the arrival of 2012. And we’ll extend checkout on Sunday until 12:00, rather than 11:00, so your first day of the new year won’t have to be a rush! What more could you ask for? A two-night minimum is required, so that you have plenty of time to celebrate the coming of the new year.
There is usually lots of parties going on in Eureka Springs, with the majority of them being walkable from our inn. There are usually parties at the Pied Piper, Chelsea’s, Eureka Live, Rowdy Beaver and I can’t imagine our newest venue, the Voulez-Vous Lounge, won’t be having something outrageous – they’re great fun! And there’s always a great 60-70s type party usually at the convention center, behind the Inn of the Ozarks. If you want something quieter, no problem, most restaurants will all be open for a nice dinner out.
So come have fun and let your worries go – toast in the New Year in Eureka Springs, AR!
I know we haven’t even seen Halloween yet, but our thoughts are already turning to Christmas and the wonderful holiday look and feel that Eureka Springs has. The very first weekend in December is always the most exciting of the winter weekends. On Friday night, December 2nd, will be the Eureka Springs Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce. While we are a small town, we really know how to put on a parade and our Christmas parade is one of the best. Beautiful floats, costumes, twinkling lights throughout the area and lots of townspeople out enjoying our beautiful town. Shops will be open late and the “Living Windows” will be featured from 3 – 6, where you can see costumed characters take over the downtown windows before the parade – pure magic!
On Saturday, December 3rd, will be the 29th annual Candlelight Tour of Homes, put on by the Preservation Society. Always one of the most popular events of the season, each year will showcase a different historic neighborhood. Ticket holders can tour inside the beautifully decorated 19th century private homes in that neighborhood and the event is widely attended. The tour is from 3 – 8 p.m. and tickets go on sale on November 1st.
One of the best restaurants in Eureka Springs is the Gaskins Cabin Steak House – about 3 miles north of Eureka on Hwy 23. This authentic log cabin was built in 1864 by a well-known bear hunter and one of the area’s earliest settlers, John Gaskins. He lived there with his wife and 11 children! (We can imagine “time out” for those kids – threaten ‘em with a bear!)
Gaskins Cabin was a gathering place. The Gaskins family always welcomed train-travelers. After they unloaded from the Gaskins Switch train depot, visitors would relax in the Gaskins’ home while waiting for family and friends to pick them up and take them to their final destinations. Here, the guest would eat, drink, and share stories of their lives, becoming extended family to the Gaskins. We love this philosophy – just like ours!
Now, 140 years later, Gaskins Cabin is the oldest standing property in Carroll County, and it is still a gathering place.
Examples of some of their menu items are Classic Escargot, Atlantic Salmon, Shrimp Scampi and Deep Fried Shrimp. Their steak choices include Filet Mignon, Prime Rib, and Boneless Rib Eye. You will be asked what color you want the center to be and it will be exactly that when you receive it! They also have a great wine list and phenomenal desserts – we bet you can bring dessert back to your room if you’re too full of steak; we have utensils for you in your room for just such an occasion.
Okay, we admit that this is one of the very few places you really can’t walk to from Bridgeford House Bed & Breakfast, but it’s well worth the short drive. And no charge for parking there, either!
Here at our inn we love to have a good time and we love for our guests to have a great time! If you’ve attended any of our Murder Mystery weekends, you know we love a good clue hunt. So we decided to extend some treasure hunting for other parts of the year, too, in our all-new Geocache Poker Run weekends! The first one is scheduled for September 23rd & 24th, 2011. It’s just for fun, no extra cost to guests, you don’t have to participate if you don’t want to – but why the heck not?
Not sure what Geocaching is? Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices. We did lots of geocaches around town a couple weeks ago when two of our grandsons were visiting. They had a blast! Here in Eureka Springs, we’ll add on a little bit of extra fun – the treasure you are hunting for is a winning poker hand! For guests that come and stay with us for Friday and Saturday night of that weekend, we will hide 7 poker caches around town (with a small clue for each and its GPS coordinates) – you go find them! For each cache found, each room will take one sealed envelope with a poker card inside. Collect 7 sealed envelopes per room and at breakfast Sunday morning, each room will open their envelopes and make the best poker hand with the cards that they have. The winner wins a free night at the Bridgeford House B&B on a future stay!
We hope to do these weekends several times a year, so watch our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter and join us for some cheap fun!
One of the many fun things to do in Eureka Springs is ride the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway. The collection of vintage rolling stock at ES&NA is one of the Ozarks’ largest, and all the authentic railroad memorabilia is there to re-create the turn-of-the-century era and give modern visitors a taste of how it was when rail service brought the first visitors to Eureka Springs in 1883. (Our original Murder Mystery story is based on the arrival of the railroad in Eureka Springs and it’s being offered to folks that want to come have a wildly fun weekend on August 26th & 27th.)
One of the nicest ways to experience this nostalgic 4-1/2 mile journey out in the beautiful Ozark mountains is to take either a lunch or dinner train. The lunch train departs at 12 noon, May through October, and gives you a main choice of beef stroganoff, chicken salad with fresh fruit, or a hot deli sandwich. The dinner train departs at 5:00 and gives you a main choice of baked chicken breast (“Chicken Eurekan”), Chef’s prime rib (“The Conductor”) or Rainbow Trout Almondine (“The City of New Orleans”). Great sides accompany both lunch and dinner – you do need to call ahead and make a reservation and let them know which choice you would like. The food is quite good and you eat while the train is chugging out into the woods – really makes you feel as if you have gone back in time! There is a special dessert that you have to see to believe.
The railroad’s season runs from April through October (with a limited schedule in April). Great time to come out and hop on is in the fall when the leaves are changing! Bring your camera.
We’re not far from the railroad here at the Bridgeford House B&B and we can hear the train whistle quite often. Now that brings back neat childhood memories!
When Jeff and I left Richardson, TX, nine years ago, it was to head to paradise here in Eureka Springs, AR – which took a while to find.
We had certain criteria we were looking for:
#1 – it had to be within a short day’s drive back to Dallas and our kids (and therefore was a short day’s drive from there and several other large cities for guests to travel easily).
#2 – it had to be near a lake. At the time we had a small sailboat and we needed a place to park it. Beaver Lake is one of the most gorgeous (and not crowded) lakes you could possibly find.
#3 – it had to have green mountains (we loved Colorado, too, but those mountains are not nearly as green, plus it’s MUCH more expensive there). Arkansas has some of the most beautiful scenery you will find in the entire country.
#4 – it had to be a small town (we had, after all, been living near 7 million of our closest friends, being in one of the largest cities in the country – that gets old!). We wanted the small town to have culture and things to do and to not feel like a “hick” town. Eureka is #12 in “American Style Magazine’s 2011 Top Arts Destinations for Small Cities” (and at only a little over 2200 people, “city” is rather a misnomer).
#5 – we wanted plenty of good restaurants to choose from (and we were just thinking about our own stomachs here, but it works great for our guests, too). We have around 100 restaurants in the general area to pick from and right in town there are only three chain fast-food places; all the rest are local owners. You need to come for enough days just to make sure you make all the rounds.
#6 – we wanted to be near a “metropolitan” area so that whatever Eureka didn’t have, we could find close by. We are within an hour’s drive of Fayetteville, Rogers and Bentonville (home of Wal-Mart headquarters). We are also within an hour’s drive of Branson, MO, which has top entertainment and new places to eat (still thinking of our own stomachs here) and we are within 2-1/2 hours drive of Tulsa, Ok, and an international airport.
#7 – to be near a university, in case we wanted or needed to continue with some education. Of course Fayetteville is the home of the Arkansas Razorbacks and the University of Arkansas – you can’t get any better than that! (Woo pig sooie!!!!)
#8 – we wanted to feel safe (Dallas – remember???). I often tell guests that you could walk around town at 2 a.m. in the morning and not have to worry about anything more dangerous than being accosted by a deer or tripping over our rolling sidewalks.
#9 – a place where tourists would want to visit. Well, there’s a reason so many folks come to visit here, all twelve months of the year. Besides 1-8 above, we have one of the largest historic districts in the country. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Eureka Springs as a “Distinctive Destination”. The entire downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. and
#10 – Something that wasn’t “cookie cutter”. Suburbs all look alike – come to Eureka to get a different perspective. You will not leave the same person!
For those of you that aren’t lucky enough to move here, check out what it’s like just to visit.
If you have never been to the Historic Distict in Eureka Springs, AR, before to shop, one of the first places you have to visit is Zarks Fine Design Gallery. They represent over 125 local, regional, and national artists, and features the finest collection of American art glass in the Midwest. At Zarks the main focus is on American blown art glass, fine silver and gold jewelry, along with sculpture and two-dimensional works. In addition, the gallery is the showcase for the work of the Studio. Spring Street Pottery Studio, established in 1970, is one of the oldest working artist studios in Eureka.
The gallery has a comfortable and inviting ambiance and strives to provide unique, high quality work tastefully displayed and presented by a friendly and knowledgeable staff (including one rather large and fine cat named Leo, seen in the photo above.) You can read more about Leo on their website.
As with just about everything here in downtown Eureka Springs, we are close enough to walk to this fabulous shop – some of the most gorgeous glassware you could find anywhere. Make sure you visit them next time you’re here and let them know that we sent you down there to say “meow” to Leo.
Simply put, we love to do weddings. We may not be able to do the large weddings that Thorncrown Chapel or the Crescent Hotel can do, but we can do them special. If it’s just you and your soul mate, or if you have just a few friends and family that would like to join you on your special day, please come tie the knot here at the Bridgeford House Bed and Breakfast.
We have a lovely stone sunken garden where we do the majority of our weddings. Trickling waterfalls between goldfish ponds adds to the music, an abundance of flowers and ferns adds to your bridal bouquet, and the ease and loveliness of our special ceremonies will create memories that will last forever.
We happily add champagne or sparkling juice, and a lovely (and scrumptious) wedding cake for a small, intimate reception. Bridal flowers and groom boutonnieres can be provided, plus additional package items can be added if you choose to spend your honeymoon here as well, to make your special day unforgettable.
In the off-season, we really look forward to helping couples start their lives together – it lets sunshine into the cold season! We have a lovely Victorian parlor that provides a cozy, historic atmosphere to your nuptials.
Traditional wedding music is available and we can supply a professional photographer for a small fee or will take photos with your camera for free.
Whatever season you choose, how ever many loved ones join you, or if it’s just an intimate wedding for the two of you, we simply love to do weddings.