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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

 

Planting a Butterfly Garden

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Monarch butterfly feeding on a pink plantThere are few things more calming than sitting still and watching nature. Now that winter is over, Baton Rouge and South Louisiana will soon see the migration of the butterfly as it returns from its winter home in Mexico. Now is the time to plant a butterfly garden to attract these lovely creatures. “Flutterby: Butterfly” will be held through April 10, 2016, at Collonnade Gallery at LSU, featuring these extraordinary insects.

A growing number of Louisiana gardeners are planting butterfly plants to create a natural habitat that attracts these magical creatures. Growing butterfly plants in pots or in the ground around patios is a great hobby for homeowners as well as bed and breakfasts innkeepers who decorate their landscapes with these plants to the delight of their guests.

The life cycle of a butterfly is a truly fascinating occurrence. Beginning life as a caterpillar, these insects develop into beautiful and delicate butterflies. Once a butterfly, before winter, they must migrate south from many areas in the U.S., mostly to Mexico but also to Florida and California. How can a small, delicate butterfly travel that many miles?

The flight of butterflies, which has been occurring for thousands of years, is the longest known distance insect migration on earth. The beautiful monarch butterfly tends to be very popular and is easily recognizable. They have an extraordinary sense which helps them avoid large bodies of water and tall mountains, even though none of them have ever traveled that way before. One of the most amazing things about the monarchs flight from Canada to Mexico is that they fly south in a 50-mile wide distance between Eagle Pass, Texas and Del Rio, Texas. To save energy, they take advantage of thermal waves in the sky. They end their migration to roost in evergreen trees in only a dozen specific high mountain peaks in the Sierra Madre mountain rage in Central Mexico. Then, after several months, they return north, east and west where the females lay hundreds of eggs. Those eggs develop into caterpillars, then as pupa in its chrysalis, then finally emerge as a butterfly. This process takes about 4 weeks.

The only source of food for the monarch butterfly is the milkweed plant, poisonous to many animals but not to the monarch. Gulf fritillary or passion butterflies like passion vine or maypop. Your local nursery should be able to help you choose plants that will work in your garden or around your patio.

Want to learn more about butterflies and get started planting your butterfly garden? Read Butterfly Gardening for Louisianians by the LSU Ag Center.

Sunday Morning Eye Opener Casserole

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  • 1-12 oz. package of seasoned croutonsSundayMorningCasserole
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 c. half and half
  • 4 oz. Rotel tomatoes
  • 1½ c. grated cheese
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • ¾ c. red and green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 stick butter
  • Tony Chachere’s seasoning
  • ½ tsp. basil
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • pie crust (optional)

Preheat oven to 350º.

Butter 9″ x 13″ casserole. Spray casserole dish with Pam cooking spray and sprinkle croutons in. Sauté green onions, bell peppers in butter until soft. Pour over croutons. Cover with cheese. Mix eggs, half and half, Rotel tomatoes, seasoning, and spices together. Pour mixture in casserole dish. Sprinkle top with chopped parsley and paprika. Bake at 350º for approximately 45 minutes or until done.

Optional: Casserole may be poured into a pie crust, as in photo above. Bake pie shell for a few minutes before adding mixture, then back as directed above.

Chicken

 

This is our most versatile dish and should be prepared to fit each cooks’ taste. Feel free to add sautéed spinach, cooked asparagus, or even enjoy this dish without the croutons! Make it your own!

 

 

Marmalade Bread

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Marmalade Bread2 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking soda
1½ c. orange marmalade
1 egg
¾ c. orange juice
¼ c. oil
1 c. pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350º.
In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Reserve ¼ cup of the marmalade and set aside. In a separate bowl mix together 1¼ cups marmalade, egg, oil, and juice. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Stir in the nuts. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350º for 50 to 60 minutes.

When done, cool briefly and then remove the bread from the pan.  Place the bread in a baking dish, glaze with the reserved marmalade and return to oven for 1 minute.  Place on a rack and cool completely before slicing.  This bread will be easier to slice if you chill it beforehand.

This recipe comes from my fellow B&B owner Sally Crochet of Crochet House Bed & Breakfast in Houma.

St. Patrick’s Day – Another Reason for a Parade!

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(Photo by Blake Panepinto)Don’t forget to wear green on March 17th.  It’s St. Patrick’s Day (also known as St. Patty’s Day)!

All across America, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on or around March 17th each year. Baton Rouge’s Parade is called “Wearin’ of the Green” and will take place on March 12, 2016. As in all cities, celebrations include displays of the color green, drinking, eating, religious observances and numerous parades. But few people know where the tradition began, or why.

St. Patrick was born in the 4th century and became one of the most successful Christian missionaries in Ireland. However, the first recorded St. Patrick’s Day parade was not held in Ireland. There is some dispute as to whether it was held in New York City or in Boston, but definitely not in Ireland. The celebration became popular due to the dramatic increase in Irish immigrants to the StPatrickDayParadeU.S. in the mid-19th century. Today, millions of Irish-Americans, and even those bearing no Irish ancestry at all, celebrate this day in America with parades, parties and other celebrations. Why March 17th? That date is thought to be the date of St. Patrick’s death.

Along with the celebration of that day comes the wearing of green. Traditionally those of Irish ancestry who are caught not wearing green are pinched, but “watch out”! – these days, anyone not wearing green is subject to being pinched. Green clothes, green hair, green drinks, streets painted green and even rivers dyed green are part of what has become a tradition of this day. Besides the color green, the shamrock is a symbol that goes along with this day’s celebration. Legend has it that St. Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Christian Holy Trinity, but there is no real evidence of that.

A classic St. Patrick’s Day meal is corned beef and cabbage, however, that meal is more American than Irish. The most affordable meat for poor Irish Americans in the 19th century was corned beef. And cabbage, being a spring vegetable, was cheap, which explains why that meal came to be part of the tradition of the day.

The world’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day parades are held in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Boulder, Colorado where they are less than a block long. The New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the longest parade in the world.

Need more information on the Baton Rouge parade? Click here.