La Crosse, Wisconsin is known for its state parks, dynamite bike trails and cruises on the mighty Mississippi. And for being the most romantic city in America. This sweet honor was bestowed by Redbox, the movie rental company, based on the number of romantic comedy DVD rentals from the city. Looking for a La Crosse B&B getaway that has romance written all over it? Try the Wilson Schoolhouse Inn, an old school house that rents to one party only, so you’ll have the entire inn to yourself. The Four Gables B&B is on the National Register of Historic Places, with suites furnished with couples in mind. In nearby Onalaska, the Lumber Baron Inn, also on the National Register, will make you feel like the royal newlyweds with their afternoon high tea, plus all the bedrooms have views of Lake Onalaska. We’re thinking a B&B weekend in La Crosse could be a great anniversary gift to the one you love, hint, hint.
Archive for April, 2012
We have an especially soft spot for Earth Day (it’s April 22) here in Wisconsin. Maybe it’s because the force behind the first Earth Day was Wisconsin’s own Senator Gaylord Nelson. Or because of our state’s proud farming heritage (you can even stay at a B&B on a working farm) and abundant natural resources. Here at the Wisconsin B&B Association, we have another reason to support Earth Day in a big way – it’s because B&Bs were among the first tourism businesses in the state to step up and be Travel Green Wisconsin certified when the voluntary certification program launched some five years ago, and our lodging segment remains a pioneer yet today in the state’s green movement. If you’re looking for a B&B getaway that will allow your eco-conscience to rest easy without giving up the amenities you love, then choose from any of our Travel Green Wisconsin certified inns. You’ll have nearly 40 to choose from! Happy Earth Day everyone.
While many of our guests were reaping the benefits of the record-breaking warm temperatures in March, like being able to play golf earlier than usual or hop on the bike for a round-trip exercise boost, the maple syrup producers were hard at work, tapping the trees weeks earlier than usual. Thought you’d like to know that Wisconsin ranks No. 4 in maple syrup production, just behind Vermont, New York and Maine. Will maple syrup yields be down because of this wild weather? There’s a good chance of that. But do not fret, our innkeepers are on top of this, and will make sure pancakes and waffles get their share of maple-y goodness. Plus, there’s always the fruit topping alternative once the orchards and farms start producing here, which could be earlier than you think! Here’s a recipe from Brayton B&B in Oshkosh for Crème Brulee French Toast with Streusel Topping, served with strawberry jam, no maple syrup required.
Crème Brulee French Toast with Streusel Topping
Plan ahead as this dish needs to refrigerate overnight; Makes 4 Servings
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons corn syrup
1 loaf cinnamon bread
5 large eggs
1 ½ cups half & half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup brown sugar
½ stick butter
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup chopped pecans
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup to a boil. Stir frequently. Pour the mixture into an 8×8 inch baking dish. Layer the bread over the glaze, 2-4 slices high, making them fit the pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half & half, and vanilla until combined. Pour over the bread, cover, and chill overnight.
The following morning: Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together the crumb topping; sprinkle over the baked French toast. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve with strawberry jam.
The Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association has put out seven editions of its cookbook and each time it has sold out. So thought you’d be pleased to know we’re whipping up edition No. 8. This one will have a real emphasis on signature recipes – the ones guests ask for all the time. And it will cover everything from soup to nuts or, more accurately, breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Right now it’s looking like we’ll have our new cookbook in time for holiday giving and entertaining. Until then, enjoy the top vote getters in our statewide recipe cook-offs from years past.
Forget snow. Record high temperatures for the third week of March – we’re talking high 70s to low 80s! – have been set all over the state, from Wausau to Green Bay to Stevens Point to Oshkosh. According to meteorologists, we can thank the jet stream for the mild readings. How wonderfully odd to see people out biking, hiking and even golfing. A great number of the state’s golf courses opened early, so if you’re itching to tee up a combo golf/B&B getaway, you’re in luck. Many of our more rural member inns have excellent hiking trails on their own acreage or state and county park trails nearby. Dare we predict that summer is just around the corner?