Americus Garden Inn

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

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

Dragonfly Photography at Americus Garden Inn 27 Jul 2014, 12:10 pm

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 might be.

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 clearly.

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 male.

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 for me.

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 prior photo.

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 person!
Love,
Susan


Cold Brewed Coffee on a Hot Day 30 Jun 2014, 7:36 am

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 coffee!

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.If you look up cold-brew coffee recipes, you will find that 1/3 cup beans
coarsely ground
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 through.

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 milk.

Of course, you could use regular milk or soy milk.
I added a little Splenda, Kim added some Hershey's syrup to his.


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 day.

Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter Cookies - gluten free, flour free 23 Apr 2014, 12:24 pm

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 from King 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.
Love,
Susan


  • 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

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a mixer on medium, combine the Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter, brown sugar and baking soda.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla, and blend until the dough comes together.  Stir in chocolate chips..
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Pumpkin Almond Flour Waffles - gluten free, dairy free and egg free 2 Apr 2014, 8:44 am


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.
Love,
Susan



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

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk wet ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Mix wet ingredients into dry just until moistened.  Add a little more water if batter is too thick.
  4. Bake in waffle iron.


Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins with chocolate chips - gluten free, wheat free 17 Mar 2014, 12:32 pm

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffin - gluten free
For those of you who can have gluten free oats, here is a recipe for you.  Pumpkin combined with oatmeal and mini chocolate chips to create a very moist breakfast or snack muffin.  I made this recipe with an egg for the larger batch of 12 muffins.  But, when I divided the recipe to make just 4 muffins, I omitted the egg and they came out fine.   Try it!  Let me know how you like it.
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast blog.  Hope you'll come stay with us soon.
Love,
Susan

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins - wheat free, gluten free
Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins - gluten free, wheat free

2 cups gluten free rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray or line with paper liners. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, 1 egg, maple syrup, vanilla extract and milk. 
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together oats, baking powder, seasonings and salt.  Add chocolate chips.
  4. Mix dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture just until combined.
  5. Let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes to allow the oats to absorb the liquid.
  6. Divide the batter equally into the prepared muffin pans.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes and until the center of each oatmeal muffin is set. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

(For small batch, 4 muffins, divide all ingredients by 4 and omit egg.)


Whole Wheat Cornmeal Blueberry Pancakes - egg free recipe 4 Mar 2014, 7:31 am


Whole Wheat Cornmeal Blueberry Pancakes
I am always looking for recipes that can be easily adjusted or modified for special needs and small batches.  When I have one or two guests for breakfast, I don't want to use a recipe for twenty.  So, I love recipes like this one.  Whole wheat (whole grains), cornmeal and blueberries with no added sugar, no eggs, and the milk can be replaced with almond, soy or coconut milk for a vegan option.  And, they actually taste good, too!

A couple of notes about this recipe, the batter is very thin, but, the pancakes puff up nicely, as you can see.  I used frozen blueberries and placed 8 - 9 berries on each pancake immediately after pouring the batter on the hot griddle.  I prefer to make sure every pancake has the same number of berries.  Lastly, I did use butter to grease the griddle.  If there was not enough butter on the griddle, they did stick.

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog.  Please let me know how this recipe works for you.
Love,
Susan

Whole Wheat Cornmeal Blueberry Pancakes

Whole Wheat Cornmeal Pancakes - egg free recipe (can be vegan)
Yield:  12 pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (can use almond, soy or coconut milk for vegan version)
1/2 cup water (can use orange juice or some lemon juice for a variation)

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (8 - 9 berries per pancake)

  1. Mix together the whole wheat flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl, combine milk and water. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Batter will be quite liquid.
  3. Let batter sit for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken.
  4. Ladle onto buttered griddle set to medium heat. Quickly, place 8 - 9 blueberries on each pancake.  Flip when bubbly on top, golden brown, and edges are slightly dry.
  5. Enjoy with some fresh maple syrup.

Gluten Free Brownie Muffin Tops - vegan and grain free 23 Feb 2014, 1:07 pm

Brownie Muffin Tops - Gluten Free
 Sometimes, I just want to have something fudgy and full of chocolate.  That is when I start experimenting to see if I can satisfy my craving.  I've been playing with this combination of ingredients and I'm ready to share the results.  Kim and I both loved the flavor of these muffin tops.  He would have liked them to be baked a little longer so they were not so fudgy.  I liked them this way.  You know how some people like the edges of the brownie and some like the middle?  You now know which of us likes which.
Fudgy Brownie Muffin Tops - gluten free and vegan
This recipe made just 6 muffin tops which I made using a jumbo muffin pan with regular paper liners.  For "garnish", I used 3 Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips per muffin top.  If you let them cool for a while and set, they will be more like traditional brownies.  But, if you are like me and you can't wait, they will be softer and more gooey.  There are no grains, no dairy and no eggs in this recipe.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Gluten Free Brownie Muffin Tops

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast.  Hope you'll come back, soon.
  Love, 
 Susan

Fudgy Brownie Muffin Tops - gluten free, dairy free, egg free - small batch

1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond flour
1 heaping Tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons dark chocolate chips
18 Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare 6 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Combine wet ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Combine dry ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a separate bowl.  Mix in 2 Tablespoons of chips.
  4. Mix dry ingredients into wet just until combined.
  5. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups (about a heaping Tablespoon per muffin top)
  6. Place 3 Ghirardelli chips on top of each muffin top.
  7. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes.  They will still look moist but edges will be firming up.  If you want them less gooey, bake them to desired consistency.
  8. Remove from oven but allow to cool in the muffin pan until set.  Try to resist the urge to eat them right out of the oven.  They really are better when allowed to cool.
  9. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Scones with Chocolate Chips and Pepitas 10 Feb 2014, 1:26 pm


I was looking for a new recipe to use some of the leftover pumpkin I had from making some pumpkin muffins and stumbled upon a recipe from King Arthur flour for Harvest Pumpkin Scones.  In my usual style, I had to "play" with the recipe.  I added whole wheat flour, used chocolate chips and pepitas.  Pepitas are pumpkin seeds, so, I thought they would make a great crunchy addition.

A half recipe yielded 8 scones.  The recipe said it made 6, but, I thought they would be too large.  The scones I usually make are cream scones which are light, and they melt in your mouth.  These scones were more traditional in texture, that is, they were drier and more dense.  I think some apple butter might have been the perfect condiment.

The aroma in the kitchen was incredible and the scones really were picture perfect.
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn online. Hope you'll come back soon!
Love,
Susan


Pumpkin Scones adapted from Harvest Pumpkin Scones by King Arthur Flour

2 cups All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup cold butter (cut into little pieces)
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds - I used salted)
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
2 large eggs
coarse white sparkling sugar, for topping

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  2. Cut in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it's OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.
  3. Stir in the chips and pepitas.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs till smooth.
  5. Add the pumpkin/egg to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment
  7. On a floured board, pat half the dough into a circle 1/2" - 3/4" thick.
  8. Using a serrated knife, cut the circle into 8 wedges.  Place wedges on parchment lined baking sheet.
  9. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Wedges should have a little space between them.
  10. Place in the freezer overnight, uncovered.
  11. In the morning, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  12. Take pan out of the freezer.  Place any extra scones in a ziploc freezer bag for another day.
  13. Spread out the desired number of frozen scones on a parchment lined baking pan.
  14. Brush the top of each wedge with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar.
  15. Bake the scones for 22 to 25 minutes, or until they're golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, with no wet crumbs. 
Visit King Arthur Flour for the original recipe



Chocolate Swirl Biscuits 29 Jan 2014, 6:39 am

Chocolate Swirl Biscuits
 What do you do when the weather turns nasty?  Well, I look for new recipes to try.  Last year, I made chocolate babka, which was out of this world decadently delicious.  Yesterday, I found this recipe for chocolate swirled biscuits and decided to give it a try.

Let me share my modifications to the recipe:  First of all, I used the food processor to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.  The dry ingredients with the butter were refrigerated overnight in a bowl. Then, I used the food processor to grind the chocolate chips.   In the morning, I finished the recipe.

The dough came together easily and I put wax paper down to make rolling up the dough easier.  That was a huge mistake!  Even though I floured the wax paper, the dough stuck like glue to the paper.  I tried to roll the dough as thin as possible to have a really beautiful swirl.  Next time, I will heavily flour the surface before rolling out the dough.

I did the optional topping of the egg wash and sprinkled the tops with sparkling sugar.  Kim tasted one and said it was a little dry.  So, I quickly mixed together some confectioners' sugar and milk with a drop of vanilla and poured the glaze over the top.  Next time, I'll forget about the egg wash and sparkling sugar and just do the glaze over the top.

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast.  Come back again, soon.
Love,
Susan
Chocolate Swirl Biscuits

Chocolate Swirl Biscuits  found on Bakerella
Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup whole milk
Filling
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
4 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
Topping (optional)
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon whole milk
sugar for sprinkling
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until blended.
  • Using fingers or a pastry blender, work butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly.
  • Add milk and stir with a fork until a loose, sticky dough forms.
  • Turn dough out on a floured work surface. Flour your hands and form dough into a ball. Then gently knead it several times (8-10).
  • Flour surface and hands more as necessary and use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough into a 13X11 inch rectangle.
  • Position the long side of the dough in front of you.
  • For the filling, spread softened butter over surface of dough. Sprinkle with sugar and cover with chopped chocolate.
  • Roll the dough up in a jelly roll fashion and cut the roll into 10-12 equal sections.
  • Place cut sections on parchment covered baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  • Add topping if desired. Mix egg yolk and milk together and brush on tops. Then sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake for about 18 minutes or until biscuits are golden and puffed up.
  • Serve warm with butter.
Recipe originally from Deep Dark Chocolate by Sara Perry