Americus Garden Inn

504 Rees Park, Americus, Georgia 31709
Innkeeper(s): Mr. and Mrs. Kim and Susan Egelseer

Gluten Free Oatmeal Banana Muffins (wheat free, flour free) Recipe 9 Jul 2015, 4:51 pm




Today, there are so many people on gluten free diets.  For those who can enjoy oats, here is a recipe that uses exclusively oats.  No wheat, corn, rice or other flour is used.  The recipe makes 8 muffins and can be doubled.  Here are the ingredients you'll need (the chocolate chips are optional).  I did not have "gluten free" oats, but, no one had Celiac disease when I experimented and regular oats were okay to use. 

You could simply put all the ingredients into the food processor and blend at one time.  But, I chose to use my immersion blender and the chopping attachment for this small batch recipe.  I measured the oats into the chopping cup.

Added the sugar.

Baking powder was next.

Baking soda.

Cinnamon was last.

All the dry ingredients are in the chopping container. 

I blended until it looked about right.

This looked perfect, to me.

Now for the wet ingredients.  I broke a banana into pieces into the immersion blender cup along with one egg.

Added Greek yogurt

and some vanilla extract.

Everything is ready to be blended.

Immersion blender was perfect for this task.

Looks perfectly blended.

The oven was preheated to 400 degrees.


Combine the dry ingredients with the wet.

Blend with the immersion blender.


Here is the volume of batter once everything is mixed together.


This recipe makes 8 muffins.  I've made it twice.  You can either use foil liners or you can spray the muffin tins with non-stick spray.  However, if you use the chocolate chips for garnish, as I did, if you do not use the foil liners, the chips sink into the batter.  They stayed on top using the liners.


1/4 cup of batter per muffin.


I carefully placed 6 chocolate chips on top of each muffin and filled the empty muffin cups 1/4 full of water.


The timer was set for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, they were not quite done.  I gave them another 3 minutes,

Looks like 8 beautiful muffins to me.

A closer look


I allowed them to cool for about 10 minutes before serving them.  Everyone liked them!


Gluten Free Oatmeal Banana Muffins (wheat free, flour free)

1 ¼ cups old fashioned oats (gluten free, if needed)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 large egg
1 large ripe banana
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
48 chocolate chips (optional)

1.      Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.      Line 8 muffin cups with foil liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
3.      Measure dry ingredients into food processor or chopping bowl of food processor.  Blend or chop until oats are finely ground.
4.      Blend egg, banana, Greek yogurt and vanilla extract together with immersion blender.
5.      Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and blend until smooth.  
6.      Divide batter into prepared muffin cups.  Garnish with chocolate chips, if using.
7.      Bake at 400°F for 15 - 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

NOTE:  You can simply put all ingredients (not the chocolate chips) into a food processor to blend.  I was experimenting and wanted to how the ingredients looked at each step.

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog.  Let me know if you what you think of this recipe.  Hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we do.  
Love,
Susan

Refreshing, Chilled Watermelon Soup 29 Apr 2015, 2:58 pm


April has been a crazy, busy month for us.  I'm not complaining.  I'm merely stating a fact.  No daytripping for us.  But, I did try a new recipe that I'd like to share with you.

Have you ever bought a watermelon and after eating it for a few days you wonder what to do with the rest of the melon?  Well, here's an idea - chilled watermelon soup.  When I made it, Kim and I both said the same thing on the first taste.  "Refreshing!"

It is incredibly simple to make.   Cut up some watermelon and put it in the blender with some honey, ginger, fresh mint, fresh lime juice and apple juice.  Blend for just a second or two.  Let the flavors meld for a little while in the fridge.  Serve plain or with a dollop of yogurt.  I chose to pipe the yogurt into a heart shape and added a strawberry and fresh mint leaf for garnish. 

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast blog.  We hope you'll come stay with us, soon.

Love,
Susan


Chilled Watermelon Soup (from Southern Living July 2003)
The recipe says it yields 4 cups of soup - when I made it, it came out to 3 cups of soup)
  • 4 cups seeded watermelon cubes
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt

Process first 5 ingredients and honey, if desired, in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Cover and chill 1 hour. Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of yogurt.


Daytripping from Americus - Massee Lane Gardens - Home of the American Camellia Society 28 Mar 2015, 4:54 pm

What a wonderful way to spend a beautiful Spring day - a visit to Massee Lane Gardens, Home of the American Camellia Society in nearby Fort Valley.  Less than an hour away from Americus, there is always something blooming at Massee Lane Gardens.

When we visited, the peach trees were in bloom on the way to the gardens.


Peach blossoms look very similar to the plum blossoms in our own garden.


The camellias were in full bloom.  Please click the photos to see them full size as a slide show.












In the Japanese garden, there is a beautiful, relaxing koi pond.



Beauty is everywhere.


The daffodils were also in bloom.




I was amazed at the variety of camellias.





We took a stroll around the large pond


and saw some frogs.


There are many varieties of flowering trees and shrubs, as you can see.



There are quite a few different gardens to explore.


This sculpture reminded me of my Dad.


With all the camellias in bloom, I almost missed the forsythias.


I love the variegated camellias.


Another interesting sculpture in one of the gardens.



I love the way this photo came out.  It truly conveys the feeling you have as you wander.


There are so many red and pink varieties, the white ones really stand out.








I love snowdrops.





We wandered the gardens so long that we only had a couple of minutes to explore the porcelain collection.  It gives us a great excuse to visit again, soon.


Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog.  We hope you'll come visit us in person and enjoy all the wonderful opportunities our area has to offer.

February Flowers in Americus Georgia 5 Feb 2015, 1:59 pm

A Beautiful February Stroll in Americus Georgia

I decided to take a short walk to see what was blooming in our neighborhood.  As I entered Oak Grove Cemetery, which is just 1/4 mile from our door, I realized I had hit the jackpot.  Please click on the photos and enjoy the scenery.



























Thank you for joining me on this virtual floral tour.  It's even better in person.  We'd love to see you, so, come visit us at Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast.

Daytripping from Americus - A Wonderful Day at Providence Canyon, Lumpkin, Georgia 3 Jan 2015, 1:25 pm

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 spectacular.


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 shoes.




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 year.
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast blog.
Keep in touch with us through facebook.  We'd love to hear from you.
Love,
Susan

2 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse for Santa- Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Egg Free 24 Dec 2014, 3:00 am

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.

Microwave for another 45 - 55 seconds and they look like this.


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!

Merry Christmas!
Love,
Susan

2 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

6 oz almond milk
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  1. 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.
  2. Add some of the almond milk to the chocolate and stir completely.  Add the rest of the almond milk and stir until completely combined.
  3. Prepare a larger bowl with a layer of ice.  Place chocolate almond milk bowl on top of ice.
  4. 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 bowl.
  5. Spoon into dishes (or leave in bowl) and allow to chill for about 2 hours.
  6. ENJOY!

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!

Daytripping from Americus - A Wonderful Day at Chehaw Zoo in Albany, Georgia 21 Dec 2014, 9:17 am

Last week, we decided to take a daytrip to The Animal Park at Chehaw 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 - November).  


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 skink.


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 is.


While we were there, they were feeding these frogs live crickets.


There are two snakes in this photo - 


ratsnakes.


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 bully them.


We felt like this little guy was saying, "Somebody, please help us!"


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 year.


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 malfunction.


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 Georgia.

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast blog.
Keep in touch with us through facebook.  We'd love to hear from you.

Love,
Susan

Gluten Free Cheese Muffins 3 Nov 2014, 12:05 pm

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 flour.
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 cheddar.
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 muffins.
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 RECIPE
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 cheese
1 egg
1 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Combine egg and milk in small bowl. Whisk well.
  4. Grease a 6 cup jumbo muffin pan or 12 cup regular muffin pan.
  5. Add cheese to dry ingredients mixing well.
  6. Add egg/milk mixture to cheese/flour and mix well.
  7. Spoon evenly into prepared muffin pan.
  8. Bake 15 minutes for jumbo, 12 minutes for regular or until golden brown.
  9. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack.
  10. Enjoy!
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.
Love,
Susan

September Garden Highlights from Americus Garden Inn 29 Sep 2014, 4:59 pm

Here are some of my favorite photos from our garden this month:

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

Black Tiger Swallowtail

The state butterfly of Georgia - yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly (female)

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

Mexican petunias

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.
Love,
Susan

An August Afternoon Butterfly Tour in Americus 31 Aug 2014, 9:40 am

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 them.)
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 moth.
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 purple.
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 colorful.
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 brown beauties.
Duskywing at Americus Garden Inn
Do you hear that?  It's a cicada on the bald cypress tree.
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 meal.
green lynx spider at Americus Garden Inn
A longtailed skipper just landed in the butterfly bush.
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 hand.
red spotted purple at Americus Garden Inn
Imagine your hand next to mine, sharing this magic moment.
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.
Love,
Susan