Sunday, September 14, 2014

George Takei headlines Hot Springs Documentary Film Fest

To Be Takei, a Star's Trek for Life, Liberty, and Love,  will close out the 23rd Annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.  Held October 10-19, 2014, at the Arlington Hotel and the Low Key Arts Building, this year's festival promises an outstanding list of films and celebrity guest appearances.  George Takei will be in attendance for the screening and question & answer session  following the film, which will close out the festival on Sunday.

Opening night begins with the traditional popcorn and champagne reception at 5:30 pm at the Arlington Hotel, followed by Glen Campbell:  I'll Be Me.  Chronicling his Alzheimer's diagnosis and final tour of the Arkansas native, the film will be followed by a Q&A session and live performances by Campbell's family. 

Other celebrities in attendance this year will be Arkansas-born Academy Award nominated actress Tess Harper, Olympic champion Greg Louganis (attending the screening for a film of his life, Back on Board), Arkansas native and actress Joey Lauren Adams (from Chasing Amy), and actor/director Luke Wilson will present his mockumentary, Satellite Beach.  

Tickets and passes can be purchased in advance at the Hot Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce or online.  During the festival there will be a box office open in the Arlington Hotel.  General admission passes to one event are $5, and day passes are available for $20.  Various other ticket prices and passes are available, so refer to the festival website for special requirements. 

The Hot Springs festival is the longest running documentary film festival in the U.S. and is now a Documentary Short Subject category qualifier for the Academy Awards.  The full festival schedule will be announced soon.  After a busy day of viewing films, you'll be rested and relaxed with a peaceful getaway in The Ouachita.  With a plush king-sized bed and a large en-suite bath, it will provide the rest and relaxation you need for a weekend of rubbing elbows with celebrities.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Come to Jazz Fest 2014 - Sept. 16-21 in Hot Springs

The 23rd Annual Jazz Fest will feature special guest artist Ray Blue, from New York City.  The saxophonist, composer and educator will be featured in the Classical Jazz Explosion on Friday as well as  Jazz in the Streets on Saturday. 

Jazz Fest is presented by the Hot Springs Jazz Society, and features Arkansas jazz musicians.  While some concerts are free, tickets for the full event can be purchased online for $75, or single concert tickets can also be purchased (prices vary for each performance).

Guitar-rama opens the festival on Tuesday night at the Arlington Hotel with 6 different guitarists from all different genres of music.  Explore the history of jazz at a free concert, "Jazz 101" at the Garland County Library at 6pm on Wednesday.  Quapaw Baths & Spa will host Shirley Chauvin's S'Wonderful on Thursday.  Friday's concert, "Classical Jazz Explosion" starts at 7pm at the Five Star Theater.  The popular outdoor concert, "Jazz in the Streets" begins at 11am on Saturday on Broadway Street and ends with the first ever Dancing in the Streets at 4pm.  Sunday begins with a Jazz Mass at St. Luke's Episcopal Church at 10:45am, and ends with Jazz After Church at 2:30pm at First United Methodist Church. 

After a full day of jazz, you'll want to come back & rest up in our comfy beds before you begin your next day of exploring music in Hot Springs!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Trace Adkins Headlines The 2014 Hot Springs Rally

The Hot Springs Rally will be held September 4-6, 2014.  It is an open motorcycle rally, so all bikers and non-bikers are welcome. Country star Trace Adkins will headline Saturday's concert at 8pm in Summit Arena.

Thursday starts off with a pre-rally parking lot party and free meal to all registrants at Fat Jack's on Central Ave.  Two poker runs will be held on Friday and Saturday.  Friday's activities also include bingo, two presentations of  "Why We Ride:  The Movie", and of course, the parade of bikes down Central Avenue!  After the parade, "Eliminator" (a ZZ Top tribute band) will be in concert at Summit Arena at 7:30 p.m.  A vendor mall will be held in the convention center Thursday through Saturday.  Saturday's events also include an antique motorcycle show in Hill Wheatley Plaza, field events, and the bike show that will be open to the public from 1:30pm - 4pm. 

All access weekend passes are available for $50, and rally only passes can be purchased for $35.  Day passes for Friday are $10, and Saturday day passes are $35, which include concert admission.  Passes can be purchased in the Hot Springs Convention Center Thursday through Saturday until they are sold out. 

Hot Springs will be full of bikes rumbling through town all weekend!  If you're riding, we have covered bike parking available and plenty of room for trailers.  If you want to see the bikes, but don't care to hear them all night long, spend the weekend with us, and let the peacefulness surround you!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Recipe for Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was a little nervous about sharing a trade secret straight from Mrs. Fields' kitchen.  But I've met Mrs. Fields (back in my hotel days),  and I don't think she'd mind.  Then I did a quick internet search.  Apparently there are a LOT of versions of Mrs. Fields' cookies out there!  So I'm not going to promise that this is THE Mrs. Fields recipe, but I will promise that it is a GREAT chocolate chip cookie recipe!

Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 c. butter
2 c. white sugar
2 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 c. flour
5 c. oatmeal (measure into blender & grind until fine)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cardamom
24 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 oz. Hershey bar (grated)
3 c. coarsely chopped walnuts

Cream the butter and both sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom.  Add chocolate chips, grated chocolate, and walnuts.  Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.  Makes 112 cookies.

Unless you've got an industrial sized mixer, I suggest cutting this recipe in half.  Use a  food processor to grate the chocolate bar and to chop the nuts.  Instead of rolling into balls, I simply used my large cookie scoop to keep the size more uniform.  I also like to freeze a batch after they've been rolled.  Then I can pull out as many as I need and have a fresh plate waiting for guests as they check in to our bed and breakfast!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Overnight French toast casserole

Guests have been asking for my French toast with strawberry sauce recipe, so while strawberries are in season, I thought I should share.  This is a great recipe to prepare the night before - especially if you are serving breakfast to a large group (makes 10 servings).

Make-Ahead French Toast with Strawberry Sauce

1 (16 oz.) Challah bread loaf, cubed  (or substitute any bread you have on hand)
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, cubed
6 eggs
4 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup

Strawberry Sauce:
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1 (10 oz) jar strawberry preserves

Arrange half of bread in a lightly greased 13 X 9 inch pan.  Sprinkle with cheese pieces and top with remaining bread.
Whisk together eggs, half-and-half, butter, and maple syrup; pour over bread mixture, pressing bread cubes to absorb egg mixture.
Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.
Bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.
Uncover and bake 20 more minutes.

Strawberry Sauce:
Heat sliced strawberries and strawberry preserves in a saucepan over low heat, and serve over toast.

You can easily adapt the sauce and use any fruit that's in season, such as blueberries or raspberries - just use your imagination!

You can also serve a variation of this recipe for just two people.  Take 4 slices of Texas toast, and dip in a batter of eggs & milk.  Toast one side of each slice on a griddle, then spread cream cheese on each toasted side.  Put two cream cheese sides together, and toast the other sides of the "sandwich".  Then serve with the strawberry sauce.

There is one final way to enjoy this recipe, which we highly recommend.  Spend the night with us and we'll serve you Breakfast at Tiffany's!  No preparation, no cleanup, just sweet enjoyment!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hot Springs Gallery Walk 25th Anniversary Aug. 1-3, 2014

On the first Friday of every month, Hot Springs' fine art galleries stay open late for Gallery Walk.  2014 marks the 25th Anniversary of this tradition, and as usual, Hot Springs has found a way to celebrate!  Not only will the galleries be open late on the first Friday, but they are turning this into a 3-day event!

The celebration will start Friday, August 1, with receptions at all downtown galleries from 5-9pm.  Many of the galleries have special exhibitions planned for this weekend, including "Art and Architecture in the Spa" at Alison Parsons Gallery; live music and interpretive painting at Legacy Fine Art Gallery; and Valerie Hanks Goetz will exhibit and demonstrate her horse hair and pine needle basket weaving techniques at the American Art Gallery.

Galleries will be open for regular business hours on Saturday, August 2, with numerous special events planned:  Steve Griffith will present "Travel and Painting:  Two Passions Combined" at Justus Fine Art Gallery; a photography presentation at Taylor Bellott Nature Gallery; and Chinese brush painting at the Artists' Workshop Gallery.

On Sunday, August 3, there will be an afternoon tea,  trunk show, and special sale at Legacy Fine Art Gallery, a "Paws in Prison" fundraiser at Gallery Central, and other galleries will be open special hours as well. Most galleries are located in the Historic Downtown Area of Hot Springs.  Check the schedule for times and addresses of each gallery.  We'd love to have you stay with us on this special weekend and discover why Hot Springs is the 4th Best Art Town in America!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Fireworks in Hot Springs AR

Celebrate July 4th one day early in Oaklawn's infield on Thursday, July 3, 2014.  Gates will open at 4pm with live entertainment, a beer garden, food and beverage vendors and a mist zone.  In addition, there will be a kid zone and rock wall, along with exhibits by the Mid-America Science Museum, Arkansas Virtual Academy, and the Audubon Society.

Admission and parking in Oaklawn's north lot is free. Bring your lawnchairs or blankets and arrive early to get a good seat.  You won't want to miss the headliner, Downday, who take the stage at 7:45pm.  Arkansas' own Downday sings a mix of southern rock and country.  They have just released their second album, entitled "After All These Years".

The spectacular fireworks are set to begin at 9:15pm with the Air National Guard Band of the Southwest providing the musical soundtrack.  Book now at Tiffany's Bed and Breakfast, just 14 miles from Hot Springs.