Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Walk Through History Along the Asheville Urban Trail in Downtown Asheville North Carolina

If you enjoy history, architecture and a bit of structure for a walk through Asheville's Historic Downtown, print the Asheville Urban Trail Map and Guide and take it with you while you enjoy and explore Asheville's vibrant downtown.  

The Urban Trail is a little less than 2 miles long and may be a self-guided or guided tour (for more information about obtaining a local Ashevillian guide, visit the Asheville Visitor's Center  on Montford and Hill St, or call 828 258 6101).  Often called Asheville's "museum without walls," the Urban trail was an idea that came to fruition through interested citizens who were invested and passionate about revitilizing downtown - which was, in the eighties in great disrepair with most businesses closed and boarded up.  

There are thirty stations along the downtown walk, each with a plaque illuminating an important and interesting history point about Asheville's downtown history and development.  Bronze sculptures and other art works may also be found at each station.  Asheville's unique people and various historic events are highlighted along the tour.  

For lodging options in the area, call Vacation-In-Asheville for an Asheville Cabin or Asheville Vacation Rental, or stay at Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast - ideally located about 2 miles south of Pack Square, a popular starting point for the Urban Trail.  Reservation and information offices  are open 9am - 7pm daily, call 828 994-2627, 866 858-0863, toll free, or visit our website at, email,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time Saving Muffin Recipe at Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast, Asheville, NC

I'm always looking for ways to save time, and this Muffin Recipe we use at Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast in Asheville, NC is a great little time saver.  By making the muffins ahead of time and freezing the unbaked muffins, we are able to pop them into the oven for a freshly baked option that includes great time savings in the early morning.... something we often need at our busy little inn here in Asheville North Carolina!

Michelle's Muffin Mix

Makes 24 Muffins

Dry ingredients:
3 cups flour
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar

Wet ingredients:
2 eggs beaten
*1 and 1/2 cups fruit or vegetable filling - your choice
1 cup nuts, seeds or raisins/craisins (optional)
1/2 cup canola oil

*Some of our favorite combinations are strawberry-peach, pumpkin-raisin-sunflower seed, grated zucchini-carrot and orange-cranberry.  But, anything will work!  Seasons of the year lend themselves to certain combinations.  Have fun trying various and unlimited options.

Prepare muffin tins with paper muffin liners.
In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center of the dry mixture.
In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients.  Stir into the dry mixture (well) until just moistened (batter should be lumpy).
Spoon the batter into the paper liners to 2/3 full.

Make ahead freezer option:  Freeze the muffins unbaked for 1 hour in the muffin pan, then place the frozen uncooked muffins (in liners) into a large zip lock bag.  When you are ready to bake the muffins, place the frozen muffins back into a muffin pan and bake frozen at 350 degrees F. for 20 min.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool on a wire rack.  Serve warm topped with butter and jam!

Or (!), if wanting to bake right away, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes.

And if cooking isn't your gig, make a reservation and stay with us at Oakland Cottage B&B in Asheville, NC and we might just serve some up for breakfast!  Reservation offices are open 9am-7pm daily, 828 994 2627, 866 858 0863, toll free,