Sunday, February 2, 2014

Baked Pumpkin Spice French Toast with Cider-Maple Syrup

Is your mouth watering from just reading the title?  It should be!  This recipe can be made the night before and served to a hungry crowd.  As with most recipes we make, it's fairly simple and makes a sweet treat for a special occasion, such as breakfast at Tiffany's.

1 lb loaf French bread, diced into 1-inch cubes
8 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 1/2 cups pumpkin spice egg nog
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons cold butter

Spray sides and bottom of a 9X13 pan and set aside.  Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs together and add pumpkin puree.  Whisk until smooth.  Mix in pumpkin spice egg nog.  Add brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, salt and vanilla and whisk until combined.  Pour mixture over bread cubes and very gently toss until covered.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then toss again, making sure all bread cubes get covered in some of the egg mixture.  Place entire mixture in prepared 9X13 inch pan, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, white sugar, flour, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon.  Cut butter into small chunks and use fingers to crumble mixture together.  Cover, and place crumb topping in fridge overnight.

In the morning, take French toast pan out and set at room temperature while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Uncover pan and sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the top.  Bake for 45-55 minutes, until puffed and golden all over.  Remove and let cool for 10 minutes and then cut into squares and serve with butter and cider-maple syrup.

Cider-Maple Syrup
1 cup apple cider or juice
1 cup maple-flavor syrup 

In a small saucepan combine cider and syrup.  Bring to boiling over medium heat; reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened slightly (you should have about 1 cup of syrup).

Serve warm.  Cover and refrigerate the remaining syrup for up to 1 week.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Eagles et Cetera at DeGray Lake State Park

The 35th Annual Eagles et Cetera will be held Jan. 24-26, 2014.  The longest running eagle awareness event in Arkansas will be held at DeGray Lake State Park in Bismarck.  If you are a nature lover, or a bird watcher, or just like to have a good time, this is a "don't miss" event!

Tina PhillipsEagle tours will be offered at various times Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Weekend programs will include guided day and nighttime bird hikes, raptor rehabilitation, birding safaris, turkey calls, birds of prey and owls from the Little Rock Zoo, and even an opportunity to meet and greet live animals.  The whole weekend hasn't gone to the birds, though.  There will also be presentations on bears in Arkansas as well as bat conservation.

If you don't make it to any of the other programs, you MUST make reservations for the live falconry hunt on Friday at 2 p.m.  You'll take a boat ride to a nearby park area and join a falconer on a live hunt.  Participants will aid the hungry hawk by following and flushing game - and if you're lucky, you'll witness a successful hunt and meal by the hawk! 

Check the schedule for event times.  Most events are free, except for the eagle tours and owl adventure.  We recommend checking into our Bismarck, AR bed and breakfast on Thursday because you're not going to want to miss a single event.  Besides that, WE plan on being on the falconry hunt Friday afternoon!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Live Racing Season Opens in Hot Springs

Since 1905, Hot Springs has enjoyed  live thoroughbred racing at Oaklawn Park.  The 2014 season is now underway and will continue every Thursday through Sunday until April 12.  Martin Luther King Day (1/20) and President's Day (2/15) will feature special Monday racing.  This one-mile track boasts of the highest purse distributions in the country.  In 2014, Oaklawn will host 31 stakes races, and pay out $20 million in purses during the 57-day meet.  The season comes to a spectacular ending with the Racing Festival of the South April 5-12, and the $1 million Arkansas Derby on 4/12. 

This year, the horse racing network TVG will broadcast live from Hot Springs for the entire meet.  Over the years, Oaklawn has become one of the most important winter race locations in the country.  The three-year-old stakes program has produced much success.  Oaklawn-raced horses have won 10 Triple Crown races over the past 10 years.  Wagering is always available onsite, but this year Arkansas residents can also download OaklawnAnywhere to place bets from their phones, tablets, etc.

Gambling isn't the only reason to visit Oaklawn.  You can have just as much fun watching the horses and people as you can winning (or losing) with a long shot!  Admission is only $2.50 per person, and reserved grand stand seats are an additional $2.50 on weekdays, and $4.50 on Saturdays and Sundays.  The track also offers numerous food and beverage options, including "the best corned beef sandwich in the universe"!  Post times will be 1:30 p.m. on weekdays and Sundays and 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Some exceptions are  Super Bowl Sunday, February 2; and the two holiday Mondays, January 20 and February 17, when first post is 1 p.m.

After all the excitement at the track, you'll want to rest and relax at our Hot Springs Bed and Breakfast.  You can stash your day's winnings under our super comfortable mattresses, and the next morning, we'll fill you up on Breakfast at Tiffany's before you hit the town for another day of racing.  Make your reservations online or call us at 501-865-6060 to book your winning stay!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year's Eve in Hot Springs, AR

There's no better place to welcome the new year than in Hot Springs, Arkansas!  Whether you like big and loud crowds or small quiet getaways, our Hot Springs bed and breakfast can help you celebrate in style!  The "Undead or Alive Pub Crawl" starts at 6pm. Costumed participants will crawl to some of Hot Springs' finest drinking establishments from Fat Jack's to SteinHaus Keller.  Oaklawn's New Years Eve Party features gaming, cash drawings, live music, and a prime rib dinner.   The Arlington Hotel will feature the New Year's Eve Gala Dinner Dance or the Festival Party and Dance.

If you're looking for something quieter, consider Garvan Woodland Garden's "Holiday Lights".  Our "Unplug and Unwind" package includes two nights in the room of your choice, two tickets to Garvan Gardens, a spa basket full of locally made soaps, breakfast at Tiffany's each morning, and time to rest and relax.  You'll be recharged and ready to greet 2014 with gusto!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Christmas Tree Farm in Bismarck, Arkansas

Even though we are only 14 miles from Hot Springs, our hideaway is foreign to many locals.  However, when we tell them we're not far from the Christmas tree farm, they know exactly where we are!  McAlpine Christmas Tree Farm is just 8 miles from our bed and breakfast in Bismarck, AR.

In a picturesque setting at the foot of the Ouachita Mountains, you can choose your own Virginia Pine or Leyland Cypress tree.  Leyland Cypress are known for not shedding their needles, and cause little if any allergy problems.  You can cut your own (saws are provided), or McAlpine will cut it for you.  They will then shake the tree, tie it and then load it in your vehicle.  Wreaths and garlands are also available for purchase. McAlpine Christmas Tree Farm is open from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Eve from daylight to dark. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Fordyce Bathhouse has reopened

After undergoing renovations for over a year, the Fordyce Bathhouse has reopened.  The Fordyce has been Hot Springs National Park's visitor center and museum since 1989.  Considered to be the best on Bathhouse Row, the Fordyce originally opened in 1915.  In addition to the standard hydrotherapy treatments, it also offered a beauty shop, shoe shine stand, a music room, pool table, garden room and even a bowling alley - more services than any of the others.

Self guided tours allow visitors to view the splendor of the Fordyce in its earlier days.  Stained glass ceilings, marble walls and  a wood-paneled gym are some of the architectural highlights.   The tour also features some of the machines and equipment used for electrotherapy, chiropody, and mercury treatments.  Guided tours are offered at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily.  The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. 

Guests always ask us about "must see" things to do in Hot Springs National Park.  Start at the Fordyce with the tour and a short film about the baths.  After that, visit either the Buckstaff or Quapaw for an actual bath. Then have lunch at Superior Bathhouse Brewery & Distillery, and shop for National Park souvenirs at the Lamar or handmade gifts at the Hale Bathhouse. End your day by hiking the paths off the Grand Promenade behind Bathhouse Row - and if you're up to the challenge, hike up to the Hot Springs Mountain Tower for panoramic views of the area!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Make Ahead Thankgiving Breakfast Menu

The Thanksgiving dinner menu has been planned for days.  The turkey is thawing in the fridge, pies have been baked, and the relatives have begun to arrive.  Oh wait!  You have to serve them BREAKFAST, too??!!  You need advice from a breakfast expert, quick!  Calm down...remember that bed and breakfast in Arkansas you stayed at this summer?  Anyone who serves Breakfast at Tiffany's can surely help you with a breakfast menu:
Croissants a l'orange is a perfect make ahead breakfast recipe. Whip it up the night before, stick it in the oven in the morning, and your guests will be singing your praises.
Croissants a l'Orange
Courtesy Tiffany's Bed and Breakfast

6 croissants
9 oz jar orange marmalade
3 oz orange juice
5 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
mandarin orange sections

Cut croissants in half lengthwise and place bottom halves in buttered 12" X 9” oven proof dish. Thin marmalade with orange juice and spoon over each bottom half, saving a little to be used as a glaze.  Replace croissant tops.  Beat eggs, cream, and almond extract.  Pour over top of the croissants. Spoon some thinned marmalade over the top.  Soak overnight.  Remove from fridge 45 minutes before baking.   Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 25 minutes.  Serve hot, and garnish with strawberries and mandarin orange sections.

This recipe serves 6, but is easy to adjust for a large crowd or just a couple.  Add sausage links or bacon and a fresh fruit for a well rounded breakfast.  

If cooking and planning and relatives and festivities seem to be getting the best of you, we've got one more suggestion.  Treat yourself to a weekend getaway at Tiffany's Bed and Breakfast - as soon as possible!