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Short Term Rentals vs. a REAL B&B

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If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ve probably heard of companies which offer Short Term Rentals, a service that allows you to stay in someone’s apartment or home rather than booking a hotel (or bed and breakfast). But staying in an ACTUAL B&B still has several advantages to going the Short Term Rental route.

Here are just a 10 reasons to choose a Bed and Breakfast over a short-term rental:

10. You don’t have to worry about housekeeping.

Don’t want to worry about clean-up after you check out? Many short term rental properties require you to clean up after yourself. If you don’t want to be stuck with trash duty (or responsible for cleaning someone else’s kitchen), a B&B is the way to go.

Escape Room Bed9. You know you’ll be sleeping on a comfortable bed.

Want to avoid being surprised by an old, lumpy mattress? Book a room at a bed and breakfast, because short term rentals often provide less than luxurious beds.

 

8. Toilet paper and soap aren’t BYOB (bring your own bathroom supplies).

If you’ve never stayed in a short term rental, it might come as a shock to you that not all hosts provide their guests with these basic necessities. That’s not the kind of thing you want to worry about while you’re on vacation.

Sign-with-Wagon-Wheel-150x1507. You’ll learn about history.

Often, bed and breakfasts are housed in historic buildings, and The Stockade Bed and Breakfast is no exception! We’re on the National Register of Historic Places, taking our name from the Civil War stockade that was once located on the property.

Stockade-246. There’s a good chance your host will offer you some complimentary wine upon your arrival…

…Cheers!

 

5. You’re not on your own.

At a bed and breakfast, your innkeeper will help you make the most of your trip – whether through creating an itinerary for you, or helping you with directions, or even booking your dinner reservations.

4. You’ll still live like a local, without sacrificing hotel amenities.

If the experience of staying in a home rather than a boring hotel room appeals to you, but you still wouldn’t mind having access to a concierge (and fluffy bathrobes!), bed and breakfasts were designed with you in mind. Innkeepers have perfected the art of making you feel right at home, in their homes. Staying at a bed and breakfast is the only way to stay at a local’s house while also knowing that your host has met the professional standards of the hospitality industry.

3. Speaking of amenities…

Escape Room AmenitiesBed and Breakfasts offer amenities which are a delight to travelers. Want a cup of coffee in your room first thing, while still in your pajamas? Want a refrigerator to put that to-go box you brought home from that new restaurant you tried? Want to watch TV while you lay in bed? How about lounging in a plush robe, set out just for you? These and so many more surprises await you when you stay with us.

2. You’ll be waking up to a delicious homemade breakfast every morning!

We’re so good at breakfast that it’s half the name. Southern-style cheese grits, French omelets, hickory-smoked bacon, cornbread waffles, creme brûlée with fresh berry syrup and candied pecans… do we really need to say more?

1. You can rest assured that you’ll be making the most of your stay – and that you’ll want to come back.

Whether you’re traveling for business or going on vacation, you’ll want to know that your accommodations will be worth your hard-earned money. With Short Term Rentals, it can be difficult to know for sure what you’re getting into when you book your stay. At bed and breakfasts, you can rest assured knowing that quality lodgings are our specialty; we truly want our customers to leave happy, because we DEPEND on repeat business.

But if you’re still not convinced, you should just come stay at The Stockade Bed and Breakfast for a night, or more. Janice’s biscuits are as good as everyone says.

Vegan Scramble

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Vegan ScrambleVeganism has steadily been making its way into the mainstream in recent years, and data suggests that the number of vegans continues to grow rapidly. Far from a fad diet, veganism is a lifestyle choice; vegans do not consume any animal meat or byproducts (including eggs and milk), but many also steer clear of fur, silk, and soaps derived from animals. Whether you’re vegan for ethical, health, or environmental reasons, The Stockade is happy to accommodate you. Here’s one of our vegan breakfast options that our guests swear by:

Vegan Scramble

(4 to 6 servings)

  • 1/4 c. red bell pepper – chopped
  • 1/4 c. green bell pepper – chopped
  • 6 grape or cherry tomatoes – cut in half
  • 3 green onions – thinly sliced
  • 1 T. Fresh basil chopped
  • 2 c. packed fresh spinach
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 14-oz. package firm tofu – drained and crumbled
  • 1 T. flaxseeds (optional)
  • Salt, Pepper to taste

Combine peppers, tomatoes, onions, spinach and mushrooms with olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Saute over medium heat until wilted.

Drain and rinse tofu. Crumble by squeezing the tofu through your fingers. Add to skillet along with flaxseeds and toss to heat through.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

NOTE: You can add whatever vegetables you want to use.  I like to add fresh sliced avocado and garnish with basil from the garden on the plate.

Bon Appetit!

 

Runaway Bride

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Elopement CeremonySo you’ve met the guy or gal of your dreams and it’s time to start your “Happily Ever After!” Sometimes, the most romantic and practical thing you can do for your relationship is to be a Runaway Bride and “Just Simply Elope”! Not everyone needs an entire day to marry and move the relationship into the next phase. Elopement may be the answer. It honestly is a display of love in its truest form.

With that in mind, The Stockade Bed and Breakfast offers an Elopement Package as part of its wedding packages. Our Elopement Package is inclusive of what most brides and grooms want as part of their event. Keep it simple or enhance the event by making it as elegant as you desire. You can choose to add on a Romance Package, Rose Petal Turn-Down Service or Wine and Hors d’oeuvres. Our elopement package includes a 1-night stay, though more nights can be added. If you wish, we will arrange for a photographer to capture all the memories of your event for an additional cost.

ElopementWedCakeThe success of a recent elopement ceremony held at The Stockade is evident in this review by the bride: “Elopement at The Stockade Bed and Breakfast: We had a small elopement ceremony at The Stockade on June 2016! I did not want to plan anything myself so I contacted Janice, the innkeeper. She took care of scheduling everything for us… Cake, pictures, minister, etc. It was more than we could ask for. Everything was beautiful!!! We stayed in The Rex room which was huge and more inviting than expected. The staff is so friendly and the breakfast was excellent! My husband and I can’t wait to go back and stay again. It was an amazing experience… Highly recommend to anyone.”

The reasons people elope are many – less stress, less expense, less family drama, the feeling that the marriage is the important part, not the ceremony. Even those who decide to have a big wedding often think, at some point in the planning, “Why didn’t we just elope???” Check out our Elopement Package to determine if this is right for you and if you’re ready to be a Runaway Bride.  Give The Stockade a call to book your special romantic elopement wedding today!

 

Scrumptious Peach Pancakes

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Stack of Peach Pancakes photo courtesy of bhg.comINGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup peeled fresh peaches, chopped

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping:
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Mix together

DIRECTIONS:
Mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in large bowl.
In another bowl, combine egg and milk
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and beat until smooth
Add melted butter
Add peaches and mix well.

Cook on ungreased, hot griddle.

Serve hot with more butter and Cinnamon-Sugar Topping.

Tourism Around the Globe

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Tomas Rey, Janice DeLerno, Mike Prejean

Tomas Rey, Janice DeLerno, Mike Prejean

New Orleans was the host city to IPW (International Pow Wow), the largest international travel show in the USA. Delegates from over 70 countries and more than 500 members of the international press descended upon the Crescent City to do business with domestic properties and travel-related businesses. Indeed, this show promoted Tourism Around the Globe. The annual conference is produced by the U.S. Travel Association.

Claudette-Janice

Claudette Pitre and Janice Delerno

Appointments with tour operators, destination marketing specialists and journalists are set with booth participants every 20 minutes to gather information for doing business with the group tour and FIT (Foreign Individual Traveler) travelers from foreign companies. It is sort of like “speed dating” to see if there is a good match for a business relationship.

KimmieCarlos

Houmas House Staff

Besides the showroom floor, there is the media center, after-hour events, parties, meet and greets and more networking. Louisiana and New Orleans industry partners rose to the occasion to put on an outstanding IPW show which was enjoyed by locals as well as nationalists worldwide.

JaniceJune

Janice Delerno and June Fallo

The Stockade Bed and Breakfast was represented by Janice DeLerno at the Visit Baton Rouge booth, a shared partner booth with numerous travel partners in surrounding parishes. The synergy was palpable among the partners with leads to complement each other’s properties.

DegasHouse

Degas House Staff and Janice Delerno

The Louisiana Office of Tourism and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau took center stage for the tradeshow, and sponsored the opening and closing receptions. Individual events were sponsored by various organizations on open nights in and around New Orleans. The Grand Finale, Taste & Tunes of Louisiana, was over the top with live music, food from around the state, street performers, artists and fireworks on the Mississippi River. It was truly a spectacular night.

Louisiana tourism partners enjoyed visiting and strengthening business relationships to further market Louisiana to the rest of the world.

Several members of the Louisiana Bed and Breakfast Association along with its partners in tourism, were in attendance:

A Chateau on the Bayou Bed and Breakfast, Raceland, Louisiana
Houmas House Bed and Breakfast, Darrow, Louisiana
Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana
Degas House, New Orleans, Louisiana
The Stockade Bed and Breakfast, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
New Orleans Plantation Country
Vernon Parish Tourism, Leesville, Louisiana
Lafourche Parish Tourism Commission, Raceland, Louisiana
Visit Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

VernonTourismParnters

Vernon Parish Tourist Commission

Lafourche Parish Tourist Commission

Jesse Lambert etc

Houmas House Plantation

Kinfolk-Brass-Band

Kinfolk Brass Band

Sisters

Janice & Jacqueline, Sisters

 

Car Cruizin’ the Mighty Mississippi River

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Oo-ee, oo-ee baby, Won’t ya’ let me take you on a LAND cruise? Remember Frankie Ford’s hit song “Sea Cruise” from the 1950’s?  Well, we’ve put our special twist which we call CAR CRUIZIN’ on this famous oldie. Here’s a way to cruise the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Memphis Bridge over the Mississippi River at Sunset(by land) and never set foot in a boat. This route will take you to majestic plantations, Civil War sites and leave you free to explore each cities’ food, music, culture and history along the way.

Begin in New Orleans. The Moon Walk promenade along the Mississippi River offers a spectacular view of the Mighty Mississippi. Stay in the Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast or Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast while you explore the city. Both of these bed and breakfasts are on the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar line and offer an easy way to navigate the city.

When you have thoroughly explored all that New Orleans has to offer (frankly, that’s impossible), travel along the River Road which will offer views of the Mississippi all along the way. Choose either side of the river to view and tour splendid plantations. Or, if you’re pressed for time, you can take I-10 West to Baton Rouge, the capitol city of Louisiana. This view of the Mississippi in Baton Stockade nightRouge is just as spectacular as in New Orleans. The USS Kidd, a 2,050 ton Fletcher-class destroyer, is permanently docked on the river close to both state capitals, old and new. Downtown shopping, historical venues and dining are plentiful in the downtown area. Stay at The Stockade Bed and Breakfast for 2 nights and receive a 10% discount per room per night. Hike the nature trail at the Bluebonnet Swamp which is just 2 miles from The Stockade. Book now and select one of the balcony rooms at The Stockade overlooking the bluffs.

Next, take US Highway 61 to St. Francisville, Louisiana. Established in 1809, this town offers historic antebellum home tours, unique shops, churches and breathtaking parks. Stay at The Barrow Inn or ShadeTree Inn and enjoy delicious breakfasts or choose from many other accommodations available. Have lunch at the quaint Magnolia Café near the town center.

NatchezPlantationPUS Highway 61 North will take you to Natchez, Mississippi, your next stop along the land cruise. Enjoy the spectacular view of the Mississippi River from its high bluffs. Founded in 1716, and first inhabited by Natchez Indians and French Settlers, it is the oldest town on the Mississippi River. It will be difficult to choose which one of the many plantations to visit – or visit all of them. For the finest in Southern Hospitality and Fine Dining, stay at the Devereaux Shields House Bed and Breakfast or one of the other fine bed and breakfasts in Natchez.

Your next stop along the river will be Vicksburg, Mississippi, once again on the route of Highway 61.  This town was described as “Key to the South” by Abraham Lincoln and blends Southern culture with exciting modern-day attractions. Civil War history abounds and you will certainly enjoy its museums, shops and fine dining.

Leaving the state of Mississippi via US Highway 61/278, your next stop along the Mississippi River will be Helena, Arkansas. Built in 1833, Helena’s restoration with boutiques, unique shops and music venues is sure to please.

Black silouette of Elvis Presley against Mississippi RiverFinally, traveling again on US Highway 61, your Mississippi River journey ends in Memphis, Tennessee, birthplace of “rock and roll”. This musical city was home to The King himself, Elvis Presley, and you can enjoy a self-guided tour of Graceland Mansion. Beale Street is another popular tourist destination and offers many unforgettable musical experiences.

From Memphis, you can continue along the Mississippi River, all the way up to its Headwaters at Lake Itasca in Minnesota. Or, since you’ll be in the middle of the country, you can go in any direction that may interest you.

 

Gardening Tips for the Summer

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HydrangeasThe Stockade garden is bursting with beautiful flowers. Love gardening? Hate what summer does to your plants? When facing hot weather or a drought, these simple gardening tips for the summer will help preserve your garden.

Start by choosing the right spot for the plants that you will grow. If the plants are shade-loving, putting them in direct sunlight will bring many challenges for you and ultimately, the plants may die. On the other hand, if the plants require direct sunlight to grow and flower, be sure the spot you choose is best for the plant so it will thrive and produce beautiful blossoms.

First, choose hardy plants that are heat-resistant or those with an extensive root system. Annuals vary from heat-lovers to heat-haters, so it’s best to match the plant to the place. While it may be Begoniastempting to choose annuals for their incredible bloom, it may not be worth the trouble it will take to try to keep them alive. Some plants tolerate heat better than others. Your local nursery can give you advice or you can do the research yourself on the internet about what’s best for your particular garden. Perennials are an investment in a garden that will last more than one growing season. Those that bloom mid to late summer are especially adaptable to the heat, while cool-weather perennials that bloom in the spring and early summer have a more difficult time with heat. Many plants now have a USDA heat zone rating.

Before planting, fertilize the soil well using organic compost and other fertilizers. When planting, Hibiscus2create a moat around each plant so that when the leaves drip, they will drip into this area and funnel the water back to the roots. When planting seeds, keep a small ditch over the channel of seeds so that the water can soak into the soil to reach the seeds rather than run off to another area, leaving the seeds dry.

Continue to fertilize the plants, following the instructions for the particular fertilizer, but do not over-fertilize. The plant will get many of its nutrients from the soil. Fertilizing correctly will not only give plants a boost but will help them in times of stress.

FloweringShrubIf the heat is really intense, consider using shade cloths available at many garden and home stores. You can even use old sheets or sheer curtains. While it may not give you the look you want, it may protect those plants that you have put so much effort into growing.

Use mulch. Mulch protects the soil from the sun and helps it to retain moisture. There are many types of mulch from which to choose, or you can make your own with newspaper or cardboard.

Water frequently, particularly in areas where the temperature is above 90 degrees. Make sure the root ball gets water. The soil should be wet 6” down. Instead of guessing, use a trowel and check the depth of wet soil. Keep your garden weeded as weeds will compete with plants for water and nutrients.

MagnoliasIf there is brick, concrete or stone near your plants, remember that they will absorb the heat and continue to produce heat after the sun has gone down. Plants in these areas will require even more attention.

While it may take some experimenting to find the correct plant for the area and the appropriate watering and fertilizing for the plants, the work is gratifying when it produces the look you want.

Come stay with us and visit our garden!

Nutella Cookies

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Stack of brown cookies with Nutella jar in background
• 1 c. Nutella
• ½ c. flour
• 2 tbsp. brown sugar
• 1 egg
• Course sea salt

 


Preheat oven to 350˚.

Combine Nutella, flour, brown sugar, and egg into a bowl. Use a hand mixer to blend well. The dough will be very stiff. If you like it softer, add more Nutella. If it’s too soft, add flour. Once everything is mixed in evenly, roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Spread them about 2 inches apart on an ungreased pan. You may want to flatten them just a little with a cup to get a nice cookie shape.

Bake them at 350˚ for 8-12 minutes. The cookies will come out savory. They should be cracking slightly on the top to signify when they are cooked through. Once they cool, sprinkle a tad of the sea salt on for garnish.

This was inspired by another of our employees. This cookie has a brownie-like texture that will blow your mind, especially if you love Nutella.

Shopping Locally and the Farm-to-Table Concept

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Vendor selling okra, red and yellow bell peppers to shoppers under a tentShopping for farm-fresh produce in Baton Rouge just got easier with the Red Stick Farmer’s Market. The concept of “Farm-to-Table” is becoming increasingly popular as local markets pop up across the country. Have you considered the difference in taste and texture, for example, between canned asparagus, spinach and beets, compared to when they are fresh? No wonder the farm-to-table concept has caught on!

“Farm-to-table” is defined as purchasing locally-grown food directly from the source, i.e. local farmers. According to the Farm to Table Concept there are many benefits to this way of shopping for produce because it takes less time and fewer hands to get the produce from the farm to the table. The obvious benefits are that the produce tastes fresher, lasts longer and supports local farmers. The not-so-obvious benefits, as pointed out by South Source, are that this process is good for the environment.

Since the produce doesn’t have to travel long distances to get to the supermarket, local food can be grown to be healthy and tasty without the farmer having to worry about growing foods that are resilient to long travel. In order to get fruits and vegetables into supermarkets, the produce can be transported as much as 1,500 miles. Eighteen wheelers burn about 500 gallons of diesel to travel this distance. Additionally, many fruits and vegetables are imported from other countries. To keep food from spoiling during these trips, some of the produce must be picked before it is ripe. The produce must ripen during travel. According to South Source, the U.S. Department of Agriculture states that this causes the produce to lack some of the nutrients that would be present in produce from a local farmer.

Many bed and breakfasts are getting into the act by growing some of the fruits, vegetables and herbs they use in their meals. Restaurants are doing the same thing, growing organic foods that taste fresh with no preservatives.

Today, farm-to-school, or more correctly phrased, farm-to-cafeteria is becoming popular around the country. Students are provided with healthy locally grown food and some of the schools are teaching students to grow their own vegetables. Programs exist in the school to encourage nutrition education activities designed to teach children to eat healthy for life.

Try produce you’ve never tasted fresh before. If you live in or around Baton Rouge, check the schedule for the Red Stick Farmer’s Market. Otherwise, there are plenty of markets around the country with produce for you to enjoy, possibly right in your own area.

 

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

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Several strawberries with stems which have been dipped in chocolate

2 pints strawberries
1 lb. of candy making chocolate (milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white)
1
 tsp. Paramount Crystals
Finely chopped and toasted almonds, pecans or pistachios (optional)
Baking sheet, covered with sheet of waxed paper

 

Before starting, make sure berries are clean and very dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt candy-making chocolate in microwave on high for 2 minutes; stir, and continue to heat for 1 more minute. Remove from microwave and stir. There will still be lumps, but make sure you do not overheat. As soon as the chocolate is smooth, add the Paramount Crystals and stir.

Holding berry by stem, dip into chocolate and cover about ¾ of the berry. Then dip tip of berry into nuts if desired and place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Repeat with remaining strawberries, chocolate and nuts.

For double dipped berries: After first coating is set, dip into contrasting chocolate, leaving part of the first coating exposed.

3 strawberries dipped in milk and white chocolate, decorated with a chocolate drizzleTo drizzle strawberries with chocolate for decorating: Lay berries close together on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Place melted chocolate in decorator bag or plastic bag. While squeezing gently, move back and forth over berries. For a fine drizzle of chocolate, the chocolate needs to be rather thin. Use more Paramount crystals, if necessary. For a real “gourmet looking” fine drizzle, hold the bag higher up rather than just above the berries. The line of chocolate will thin out even more.

Refrigerate