Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Miscellaneous Happenings

January 7th, 2010 by Skyla Grimes

2010 has already been busy and we’re only a week into the new year.

First off, the weather has been a real downer with temperatures in the teens and single digits for at least a week.  And, we’re expecting some more snow this weekend (January 8 – 9). It’s a real challenge keeping this old house warm, but it forces me to be creative. The second floor is no problem since heat rises, but the first floor (thank goodness there’s only one guestroom on the first floor) is another story.  The pipes under the original house always seem to do okay, but the pipes under and in the kitchen never fare well.  Last winter we had 3 burst pipes. So far this year, I’ve seen one tiny pinprick leak in a pipe that’s been topped off. The next couple of days will see temperatures higher than freezing so it remains to be seen if there are any issues.

While the weather outside has been truly frightful, I’ve been keeping busy, taking down holiday decorations. I pace myself so it takes a good week to get everything down and packed away.  Everything outside is finished and all but the Parlor and two guestrooms have been packed away. I hope to get that completed today and tomorrow.

At the same time, I have been making some changes to two guestrooms: the Rose Room & the Magnolia Room.  As soon as the changes have been completed, I will update the room photos and descriptions.  The main changes involve switching the beds between these two rooms.  The king/twin beds that were in the Rose Room have been moved up to the Magnolia Room and the queen bed from that room has been moved downstairs to the Rose Room.  The main reasons for the switch are 1) the Rose Room is a handicap accessible room and the king/2 twin beds were just too high for someone in a wheelchair and 2) with a queen bed in the Rose Room, there is more floor space to maneuver around if a guest is in a wheelchair.  Also, with a the king bed in the Rose Room, it had to be configured such that is blocked off half of the built-in bookcase and I simply hated that.  Now with a queen bed, the bed can be moved to a different position and the bookcase can be used fully. It looks so much better. I’ve also been installing bedside wall sconces on both sides of the bed, changing the curtains into a roller shade on the door and adding a painted window to the transom above the door. Just small adjustments that make a big difference.

I should have photos of the room changes within the next week so check the Rooms Descriptions Page (under Rooms & Rates) to see what I’ve done.

Lastly, I’m working with a previous guest, Angela McKeller, to put together a fabulous culinary weekend during the weekend after Memorial Day. Angela won a recipe contest I had a few years ago and since then, she has written her own cookbook and hosted her own cooking show, among other things.  Angela lives in Atlanta so she will be coming to the Inn and working her magic for a few days. We’re still working on the details, but this will be an all-inclusive package with demonstrations, cooking classes, accommodations (if desired), and tie-ins to the Asheville community (possibly Biltmore or Asheville Food Tours). It is shaping up to be a fun time so definitely check back often for more details.

FREE Asheville Food Tour Tickets

December 2nd, 2009 by Skyla Grimes

We are offering FREE Asheville Food Tour tickets to our mid-week guests during December, January & February.

Guests who stay 3 or more nights (Mondays – Thursdays) in December and 2 or more nights (Mondays – Thursdays) in January or February will receive 2 FREE tickets to one of Asheville’s food tours. This $50 value keeps on giving because once you go on a food tour, you receive a 5-day passport to receive 10% off dining at any of the restaurants on the passport.

There are currently 3 different food tours and each tour has different restaurants. Tuesday tours visit Biltmore Village. Wednesdays and Fridays visit one set of restaurants in downtown Asheville and Thursdays and Saturdays visit a second set of restaurants in downtown Asheville.

Each tour only takes up to 12 people so it’s a good idea to schedule your tour early.  Please keep in mind that there is a minimum headcount requirement for a tour and it may be canceled due to low headcount, but it will not be canceled due to weather. Tours run rain or shine.

Once you make your room reservation at Blake House, I will ask you what tour you want and will make reservations for you. For reservations with at least 7 days notice, I will have your tickets for you when you arrive for check-in. For reservations under 7 days, you will receive your tickets/passport when you meet for your tour.

Check out the Asheville Food Tours website for additional information. I have been on the Biltmore Village Tour and can say firsthand that it is fabulous! We had so much food to sample between the 7 restaurants visited that we didn’t need dinner that night.  The downtown tours feature more restaurants so I recommend that you not miss this opportunity to sample a lot of the good food that Asheville has to offer.

Cooking with Tastefully Simple

October 25th, 2009 by Skyla Grimes

I recently became a Tastefully Simple Independent Consultant. I had purchased some products in the Spring and had been cooking with them throughout the Summer.  Some of the new breakfast dishes that I have introduced, using Tastefully Simple products, are:

  • Bacon, Bacon Tarts
  • Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Beer Bread Casserole
  • Raspberry & Cinnamon Pancakes
  • Spinach & Artichoke with Garlic, Garlic Eggs Benedict

In addition, on full nights and weekends, I’ve been having Tastefully Simple Happy Hours from 3-6 pm with samples of Tastefully Simple dips, chips, salsas, cheeseballs, beer bread, and wine & tea.  Guests are able to taste test products and can purchase them to take with them or I ship directly to them. In addition, guests who purchase Tastefully Simple products receive free recipes using the products.  Everyone seems to be enjoying the Happy Hours and are amazed at how tastey the products are. Guests can even purchase products and gift packages after leaving and have the products sent to you or to the gift recipient.

Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing products or in getting more information about Tastefully Simple and how it can really simplify your life.

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