To start off the New Year, we decided to take a daytrip
to Providence Canyon State Park in Lumpkin, Georgia, just 45
minutes from Americus. We arrived in the early afternoon and
took the 3 mile hike. This is the perfect time of year to
enjoy the Little Grand Canyon of Georgia. The temperatures
are comfortable for hiking, there are no bugs and with the leaves
off the trees, the views of the canyon are
As you drive along the road to the interpretive center,
the overlooks give you a glimpse of the grandeur below. I had
no idea that Providence Canyon is considered one of the 7 Natural
Wonders of Georgia. Although the canyons were mentioned as
early as 1836, poor farming practices in the 19th century lead to
erosion causing the deep gullies.
Please click on the photos to see them full screen as a
slide show to really enjoy the vistas.
As you can see, the canyon floor had some water flowing,
but, it was easy to cross without too much clay getting into our
We had been told about the abandoned cars at
Providence Canyon, but, we were still a little surprised when we
saw them. It just seems odd to see them against the backdrop
of such incredible natural beauty.
So, the next time you come this way, plan some time to
make a day trip to Lumpkin to visit Providence Canyon State Park.
Remember to bring your hiking shoes or boots. There
really is plenty to see and do in SouthWest Georgia any time of
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast
Keep in touch with us through facebook. We'd love to hear from you.
Instead of cookies for Santa, how about chocolate mousse?
This one is dairy, egg and gluten free. And, most
importantly, it is delicious!
It only takes 2 ingredients and about 5 minutes (not counting
chilling time in the fridge).
You need 6 ounces of almond milk (I used the protein + fiber)
and 1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips.
Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and
microwave for 1 minute.
They will be slightly melted, but, look like this.
A quick stir to distribute the heat and they go back in the
Microwave for another 45 - 55 seconds and they look like
Stir for at least a minute and they will all be melted.
Add about half of the almond milk and stir.
It should look like this.
Add the rest of the almond milk and stir.
It will look like this.
Place some ice in a bowl (I used a pie pan) that the bowl of
chocolate will fit into.
Place the bowl of chocolate on top of the bowl of ice.
Using a hand mixer, blend the chocolate almond milk mixture
for about 5 minutes or until it is smooth and creamy.
It will look like this.
Using a spatula, stir the mousse scraping down the sides and
bottom of the bowl.
Scoop into dishes (or not). It should make 4 small
portions, but, I scooped it into 3 larger portions.
Doesn't this look amazingly delicious?
Now, go try this for yourself. Or, make it for Santa!
It's a great holiday treat that almost everyone can enjoy
because there is no gluten, no dairy and no eggs!
2 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse
6 oz almond milk
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- Place chips in microwaveable bowl and microwave for 1 minute.
Stir. Return bowl to microwave for 45 - 55 seconds.
Remove and stir until totally melted.
- Add some of the almond milk to the chocolate and stir
completely. Add the rest of the almond milk and stir until
- Prepare a larger bowl with a layer of ice. Place
chocolate almond milk bowl on top of ice.
- Using a hand mixer, blend the chocolate almond milk mixture
until it thickens to mousse consistency - 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir with a spatula scraping down sides and bottom of
- Spoon into dishes (or leave in bowl) and allow to chill for
about 2 hours.
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast
blog. We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and
a happy and healthy New Year!
Last week, we decided to take a daytrip to The Animal Park at
in Albany, Georgia, just 45 minutes from Americus.
We spent about 2 1/2 hours at the zoo and could easily have
spent the entire day, if we had visited when the Wiregrass Express
Train was running or the African Veldt Safari was operating (March
It was a very chilly day, but, the sun was shining.
We started our tour looking at the reptiles (all behind
glass). If you don't like snakes, scroll down a little!
This is a Burmese python named Nochaway.
This is a canebrake timber rattlesnake.
Check out this albino boxer turtle and a broad-headed
This is a green tree python.
This is a gray-banded kingsnake.
This is a pancake tortoise.
This little one was not marked, so, I have no idea what it
While we were there, they were feeding these frogs live
There are two snakes in this photo -
It finally warmed up a little and we headed towards the actual
zoo area and met this peacock.
The meerkats are absolutely adorable.
However, the peacock was very aggressive towards the meerkats
(in their enclosure which the peacock could easily enter and exit)
and we wished we could have intervened as we watched the peacock
We felt like this little guy was saying, "Somebody, please
Muckalee Swampland Station - looks like pea soup
Look a little closer and you see the alligators.
During "season" they feed the 'gators, but, not this time of
There were bald eagles.
This bobcat just looks like a really big housecat as it was
grooming itself in the sun.
The cheetahs were also soaking up the sun.
Then, there were the lemurs.
All of a sudden, it seemed, they appeared.
We watched as this brown one groomed the other one. They
are so cute!
Another lemur, sleeping.
The petting zoo animals were funny to watch. The pig
would grab some hay and then take it into the building you see.
The goat was just eating...
There was a Southern black rhinoceros.
It really was a gorgeous day.
The colobus monkeys were fascinating to watch.
Unfortunately for me, this is when my camera started to
This is Bogart, the bactrian camel.
Isn't he a handsome guy?
Did you know that red wolves were considered "extinct" in the
wild in 1980 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?
What I found fascinating is that although there have been
efforts to restore populations of red wolves to their native
habitat, interbreeding with coyotes has been recognized as "the
most significant and detrimental threat" to the wolves in North
Carolina. (according to the Chehaw website.
And, lastly, my favorite, the serval.
How can you not just love that face!
So, the next time you come this way, plan some time to make a
day trip to Albany to visit the Chehaw Wild Animal Park. If
you bring your bicycle, Chehaw has miles of groomed bike trails
throughout the park. They also have a BMX bicycle racing
track. There really is plenty to see and do in SouthWest
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed &
Keep in touch with us through facebook
. We'd love to hear from you.
With the holidays approaching, I thought
it might be a good time to remind you of a favorite recipe that I
shared four years ago - gluten free cheese muffins. They
taste like the cheddar cheese biscuits you get at Red Lobster, but,
since they are made with rice flour, those of us with gluten
intolerance can enjoy them. For those of you who can have
regular flour, you can use all purpose flour in place of the rice
flour. These are really wonderful right out of the oven or,
if you have leftovers, heated up for 5 minutes in a hot oven
(so the outside gets a little crusty). I've made these for
guests several times recently and everyone loves them.
I start with Bob's Red Mill Organic rice
Mix in some baking powder, salt and sugar. The original recipe
called for cayenne pepper. I use chipotle chili pepper.
In another bowl, place one egg and 1 cup of milk.
Whisk those together.
You can use any cheese, but, I prefer shredded sharp
Place the cheese in the bowl with the dry ingredients
and mix thoroughly.
Grease the pans with butter, shortening or spray them with PAM.
This recipe makes either 6 jumbo muffins or 12 standard
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
Stir until combined.
Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups.
Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden.
Let them cool a few minutes before removing from the pan.
If you like cheese biscuits, you will love these muffins. I
like to reheat them in the oven so the outside gets nice and crusty
and the inside is soft and cheesy. YUMMY!
GLUTEN FREE CHEESE MUFFIN
1 1/2 cups rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp chipotle chili pepper (if you use
cayenne instead, use much less!)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients in a large
Combine egg and milk in small bowl. Whisk
Grease a 6 cup jumbo muffin pan or 12 cup
regular muffin pan.
Add cheese to dry ingredients mixing
Add egg/milk mixture to cheese/flour and
Spoon evenly into prepared muffin
Bake 15 minutes for jumbo, 12 minutes for
regular or until golden brown.
Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes. Remove
from pan to cooling rack.
Thank you for your virtual visit to the Americus Garden
Inn Bed & Breakfast. We look forward to hosting your
visit to our area in the near future.
Here are some of my favorite photos from our garden this
|A lady butterfly in the butterfly bush
|An anole in the purple queen
|The very fragrant bloom of the banana shrub
|A green/bronze frog beside our pond
|Our resident bullfrog underneath the waterfall of the pond
|The canna lilies in bloom
|The state butterfly of Georgia - yellow tiger swallowtail
|Yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly - male
|Common whitetail dragonfly - female
|Common whitetail dragonfly - male
|The young fox that has been visiting our garden.
|A perfect gardenia blooming beside the porch
|A goldfinch in the echinacea
|A crab spider in the echinacea
|A gray hairstreak butterfly in the echinacea
|Whirling butterfly bush - gaura
|A gulf fritillary in the lantana
|A hackberry emperor butterfly on the red tip tree
|The fragrant flowers of the creeping jasmine
|One of my favorites - lespedeza
|In the lantana, a longtailed skipper
|Another fragrant bloom - magnolia
|A praying mantis saying hello
|A mockingbird almost ate this praying mantis for lunch.
|The flowers of the purple queen.
|A beautiful red spotted purple butterfly.
|A six spotted fishing spider in our pond.
|A sulphur butterfly resting in the garden
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed &
Breakfast online. We hope you'll come stay with us for a few
days and let us share our garden with you in person.
Allow me to transport you to my garden for a quick
butterfly tour. If you were here, these are the things I
would be sharing with you. Please understand that our garden
is private and exclusive for registered guests only.
(If you want to see larger photos, just click on
In the butterfly bush, there are lots of silver spotted
skippers, like this one.
|Silver Spotted Skipper at Americus Garden Inn
Another brown butterfly, a duskywing has just appeared.
Check out the beautiful design on those wings.
|Duskywing at Americus Garden Inn
No, that is not a bee or a butterfly. It is a bee
mimic, a hummingbird moth, also known as a clearwing hummingbird
|Clearwing hummingbird moth at Americus Garden Inn
It looks like a couple of skippers have found each
other. Notice the slight color variation - one is male and
one is female. Love is in the air.
|Skippers at Americus Garden Inn
Look at those huge eye spots on the wings of the buckeye
butterfly. They are so incredibly vibrant.
|Buckeye butterfly at Americus Garden Inn
A gulf fritillary butterfly on the purple queen.
Wow! The orange really stands out against the
|Gulf Fritillary at Americus Garden Inn
Another buckeye with its wings totally open.
Absolutely gorgeous! I love this photo. It is
exactly as I saw it.
|Buckeye Butterfly at Americus Garden Inn
Another gulf fritillary. There were so many of
them. They do not look real, they are so incredibly
|Gulf fritillary butterfly at Americus Garden Inn
This sleepy orange butterfly was not very cooperative,
so, this is the best photo I could get.
|Sleepy Orange at Americus Garden Inn
A duskywing on the salvia. So easy to miss these
|Duskywing at Americus Garden Inn
Do you hear that? It's a cicada on the bald
|Cicada at Americus Garden Inn
A little brown skipper hanging upside down on the
lespedeza. I love the word - lespedeza.
|Brown skipper at Americus Garden Inn
Did you notice that small bluish white butterfly?
It is an azure butterfly. It just landed on the
lespedeza and it appears to be depositing eggs.
|Azure butterfly at Americus Garden Inn
Can you see it? Take a closer look.
|lynx spider at Americus Garden Inn
Let's take a closer look at the green lynx spider hiding
in the black-eyed susans waiting to jump out an catch a
|green lynx spider at Americus Garden Inn
A longtailed skipper just landed in the butterfly
|Longtailed skipper at Americus Garden Inn
Another buckeye makes an appearance.
|buckeye butterfly at Americus Garden Inn
A dragonfly has decided to join us on the tour and is
posing for photos.
|dragonfly at Americus Garden Inn
The silver spotted skippers are almost always hanging
upside down, like this one in the abelia.
|silver spotted skipper at Americus Garden Inn
Another hummingbird moth is in the abelia.
|clearwing hummingbird moth at Americus Garden Inn
A red spotted purple landed on the river rock of the
pond. I placed my hand next to it and it climbed onto my
|red spotted purple at Americus Garden Inn
Imagine your hand next to mine, sharing this magic
|red spotted purple butterfly at Americus Garden Inn
Thank you so much for allowing me to share my garden, at
the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast, with you. Come
stay with us for a couple of days. It would be my pleasure to
share this with you in person.
I've had so many people ask me how I get such great photos of
the dragonflies. I am going to share all of the photos I took
on one walk today around the garden of 3 different dragonflies.
You can tell me which photo you like the best. This
first one, I really liked the way the green, blue and amber were
highlighted by the purple queen foliage.
This is the first photo of this skimmer I took, not knowing
how long I would have to take another photo or two. Not a
great angle, but, it gave me some idea of what kind of dragonfly it
A slightly closer shot and you can see the amber spots.
This angle highlights that a chunk of wing is missing.
Here, you can see the wing spots or "stigma" very
The dragonfly stayed still long enough for me to continue
taking photos from several different angles.
This shot shows the tip of the abdomen, indicating this is a
I just love the iridescent wings.
Once I saw this photo, I knew what this is.
This is a spot-winged glider.
Did you know that dragonflies can move their wings
independently from one another?
Last photo before it took off.
As I walked by the pond, this dragonfly put on a little show
Notice that this dragonfly is in the opposite position of the
glider above, meaning the abdomen is in the air.
There was a lot of glare and I wasn't sure if the incredible
blue of the abdomen and the green eyes would come out.
Notice the piece of wing that is missing, the wing spots
(stigma) and the slight amber color on the forewings.
This is the angle that almost everyone sees Goofy.
The colors really pop in this shot.
Although this is closer, the colors are not as vibrant as the
This is the best one of this dragonfly, in my opinion.
What do you think?
Thank you so much for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog
and allowing me to take you on a dragonfly photo session.
When you come stay with us, I'd love to do this with you in
This is a repost of a recipe that was recently requested by
one of our guests.
I love coffee. I've loved it since I was a little girl.
I need coffee. It's too hot for coffee. Well, it's too hot for HOT
Let me start out by thanking my sister-in-law, Susan, for reminding
me how to make cold-brew coffee. For those of you old enough to
remember when "sun tea" was popular, we used to put tea bags in
cold water in a pitcher and set it outside in the sun to brew. This
recipe is similar, but, it is for coffee. Of course, I start out
with our signature blend coffee from Cafe Campesino, Americus
Garden Inn Signature Blend freshly roasted beans.
you look up cold-brew coffee recipes, you will find that 1/3 cup
mixed with 12 ounces of cold water
are the perfect proportions.
Mix together and cover.
Let it sit at room temperature overnight or for at least 8 hours. I
find that if you put it outside, in this heat, it takes as little
as 4 hours.
A quick stir and prepare to filter your brew. I use a metal
strainer along with a paper coffee filter.
Pour the coffee mixture slowly to allow the liquid to drip
You can see all that coffee goodness.
Gently press the liquid through the strainer.
As you can see, we have 12 ounces of cold brewed coffee. This
stuff is super strong and does need to be diluted which makes it
ideal for iced coffee.
I decided to make mine with equal parts coffee and almond
Of course, you could use regular milk or soy milk.
I added a little Splenda, Kim added some Hershey's syrup to
Now, doesn't that look refreshing? Try the recipe for yourself and
see how easy it is to make. You could put it in the blender with
some ice cream and make your own frappuccino, too!
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog. Have a great
|Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter Cookies
Usually, when I decide to make peanut butter cookies, I use my
gluten-free recipe and, of course, I add chocolate chips. I
was thinking of using the chocolate hazelnut spread, but, when I
went to WalMart, this product jumped out at me - Peanut Butter
& Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams.
|Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter Cookies
I used the Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie recipe
Arthur Flour and used the Dark Chocolate Dreams for the peanut
butter. And, yes, I did add the mini-chocolate chips. The
result? Well, here's a bite for you!
|Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn. Hope you'll
visit again soon.
- Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter Cookies
- Adapted from Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
- Yield: 18 cookies
- 1 cup Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment
- Using a mixer on medium, combine the Dark Chocolate Dreams
peanut butter, brown sugar and baking soda.
- Add the egg and vanilla, and blend until the dough comes
together. Stir in chocolate chips..
- Scoop a Tablespoon of dough per cookie, roll into a ball, then,
flatten the top slightly. Leave a little room in between
cookies as they do spread a little.
- Bake for 8 - 10 minutes - tops will be slightly
crinkled. You do not want the edges
to brown. Allow to cool on the
pan. They will be soft, at first,
so let them set up before devouring.
This is my new favorite recipe. It is gluten free, dairy
free, egg free. I have been using pumpkin, but, you can use
applesauce or banana. I do not use pumpkin pie spice for
these and you cannot taste pumpkin. All you can taste is
DELICIOUSNESS! I found the recipe on The Daily Dietribe
. Please visit the
original recipe to read all of the tips and suggestions for making
gluten free, vegan waffles and pancakes. Iris has taken the
time to clearly and precisely explain what works and what does not.
Almond flour is very expensive and she has already done the
experimenting for all of the rest of us.
So, I've taken her recipe, which is really a formula, and I am
sharing my adaptation. The best way to enjoy these waffles is
to allow them to cool and then toast them in the toaster. The
recipe makes 8 waffles. I keep them in the refrigerator for a
quick and easy meal or snack. Hope you'll enjoy it, too.
One more thing, although they are incredible with honey, they
are delicious plain.
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn.
Pumpkin Almond Flour Waffles
Yield: 8 waffles
1 1/4 cups almond flour
1/2 cup corn starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tablespoons oil
1/2 cup water
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Whisk wet ingredients in a small bowl.
- Mix wet ingredients into dry just until moistened. Add a
little more water if batter is too thick.
- Bake in waffle iron.