Monday, January 27, 2014

Groundhog Day in and Around Asheville, NC

Ground Hog Day in Asheville?  Anything going on for our furry friends this February 2nd, 2014?  You bet!  Family fun for sure and a couple of options to consider if you want to celebrate Groundhog Day with groundhogs during your visit to Asheville.  It's always fun to get into the spirit of this peculiar little holiday.

Annually for the past nine years, Chimney Rock Park has brought out Grady the Groundhog to check out his shadow and predict spring.  You can even vote now on your prediction - shadow or not?  I have voted and I'm voting for no shadow,  mainly because I am always ready for spring!!  Chimney Rock Park is about 25 miles south of Downtown Asheville and you can see Grady step out on Sunday February 2nd around noon.  Enjoy Groundhog Day festivities at the park between 11am and 1pm (weather permitting).  And as always, Chimney Rock Park has trails, waterfalls and amazing views to take in as well.
The Western NC Nature Center is another great place to celebrate Groundhog Day this year - with Nibbles the groundhog - at 2:00 pm February 2nd.  Enjoy a whimsical presentation by Carlton Burke about Groundhogs or "Whistle Pigs," as they are often called here in the Western NC Mountains.   Learn about the folklore and history of Groundhog day.  And at the Nature Center, there are many other animals, walks and sights to see.  The otters are always a favorite and if the weather is a bit cold, the reptile center is indoors.

"Prickles" at Oakland Cottage B&B
If you need a place to stay Groundhog weekend, Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast is a wonderful family friendly B&B, with it's own backyard groundhog, Prickles.  So, if you stay with us at Oakland Cottage, you might even have a sighting right in the own backyard.  Give us a call if we can help you with a reservation, 9am to 7pm daily, 828 994 2627.  Enjoy the weekend and Groundhog Day!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Oven Omelet Recipe Courtesy of Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast, Asheville, NC

I rather enjoy baking this "oven omelet."  It's quite easy to be creative, and as is with baking, once in the oven, I can tend to other things (as long as I watch the clock and don't get sidetracked by my guests!!).  And, with the tomato's placed in a pinwheel design, I think it looks rather pretty!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
Makes 6 servings

  • 9 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, half and half or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper/ spices to taste
  • Onion flakes or 1 tablespoon chopped onions
  • Sauteed or marinated vegetables (mushroom, spinach, 3 thin tomato slices, halved)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Canadian bacon, sausage or crumbled bacon - optional side

Marinate (or sauté) vegetables of choice with olive oil, onion flakes and spices to taste (I like to add a teaspoon or two of bacon grease and lime juice, and I prefer to marinate over night, but it's not required).  My usual vegetable choices are mushroom, spinach, onion and tomato.  Asparagus is great to use as well - anything goes, really!  Liberally grease an 8X8" baking dish or 10" round quiche dish with melted butter.  Place the marinated or sautéd vegetables in the baking dish and spread them evenly.  Add pre-cooked meat if you desire, or keep it vegetarian (leave out bacon grease for your vegetarians, of course!). 

Beat the eggs with the one cup of dairy mixture, whatever mix you end up choosing.  I really enjoy using 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt instead of the sour cream.  Cheeses may be added, and/or a few tablespoons of cottage cheese for flavor, but there are so many other cheesy egg dishes, I like to keep this one "un-cheesy" for variety and a less heavy option.  Pour the egg mixture into the baking dish on top of the vegetables.  Place the halved tomato slices pinwheel style and floating on top of the egg mixture.    Once baked, the tomato's will look very pretty this way!  Get creative with the design of your tomato's or other veggies you might use. 

Bake at 325 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes, until top is firm and golden brown.  Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes, cut into 6 pieces.  Enjoy!

We serve this dish at Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast quite often.  So you might enjoy this oven omelet if you stay with us!  Our reservation offices are open 9am to 7pm daily, 828 994 2627, or book directly online with us!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Valentine's Day Bed and Breakfast Package at Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast

From February 7th through February 17th, check out Asheville Valentine's Day lodging packages at Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast and beat the winter blues!  The Valentine's Day Package at our inn includes:

  • A two night stay at Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast for two guests
  • Breakfast each morning in the dining room (or served to your room, by request)
  • Two Biltmore Estate tickets, good for two consecutive days of entry to the house, access to the 8,000 acres of trails, grounds and gardens, Conservatory with Orchid and Palm collections, Winery, wine tasting and tour, Antler Hill Farm and Village
  • Bouquet of a dozen roses in your room for your arrival
Valentine's Day Package Costs:
  • King Bedrooms (Magnolia Suite #6 or Garden Room #5) - $380
  • Queen Suite (Dogwood Suite #3) - $350
  • Queen Bedrooms (Rose Room #7, Little Garden Room #4) - $340
  • Double Bedroom (Rose Room #8) - $330

Extra guests are welcome (although perhaps not quite so romantic!).  If you are traveling with an extra guest and/or pet, inquire about additional ticket and room fees.

Add 11% taxes to all totals.

AND/ OR Sign up to win a Valentine's Day Weekend Package (click here) at your bed and breakfast of choice!

In the middle of the cold of Winter, it's time for romance.  It's time to get-away.  It's time to eat amazing Asheville local food.  It's time to drink Asheville craft beer.  It's time to see the Biltmore Estate.  It's time to see a show.  It's time for Valentines Day weekend in Asheville, NC!

Valentine's Day Weekend in Asheville.  It's time to get out o the house and have some fun!  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January 21st through 27th, 2014 Asheville Restaurant Week, Warm up in Asheville this Winter!

Eat your way out of the winter blues!!! This coming week, from January 21st to 27th, 2014 will be Asheville Restaurant Week.  A GREAT WAY to pamper yourself and warm up with food, beverage and great company!  And all in the fabulous little town of Asheville, North Carolina.  The "farm to table" concept and practice is embraced by Asheville Restaurants, the local community as well as our beloved tourist community.  There's a reason the small town of Asheville has made the top ten list for food and wine destinations in the US.  We have over 250 independent restaurants, well over a dozen tailgate markets (maybe twice that), and of course, we can't forget the craft beer industry that just keeps on growing and growing.

Besides eating and drinking in the downtown area of Asheville, be sure and get out a bit to visit one or many of the small farms.  Explore the Asheville Cheese Trail of the area.  Check out the Asheville Ale Trail  and visit our breweries and tasting rooms.  Saturdays at 2pm, take the French Broad Chocolate Factory tour.  Hickory Nut Gap Farm is always a treat to visit.  Be sure and visit Asheville this upcoming week and enjoy food food food!  Not to mention the charm and atmosphere of our outlying farms.

For more information and ticket details regarding schedules and pricing for Asheville Restaurant Week, be sure and visit the website (click here).

And if you're looking for a place to stay, call Vacation In Asheville, Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast and Vacation Rentals in the Asheville Area, for your lodging needs, 9am to 7pm daily, 828 994 2627.  Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast is centrally located between the historic downtown Asheville, Biltmore Village and the Biltmore Estate, River Arts District and West Asheville areas.  Vacation Rentals are located throughout Buncombe county, all within 6 miles of Asheville City limits or closer.