At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn
Perfect Tomato Side Dish Recipe from Asheville Bed and Breakfast 10 Feb 2017, 1:11 pm
Our guests are wowed with breakfast here at the inn. Frankly, most don’t even feel the need for reliance on an alarm clock as the enticing aroma of the morning breakfast muffin seems to induce not only the waking state but a euphoria for morning. We’ve been the breakfast chefs for most of the 18 years we’ve owned this inn and while we have retained some of the tried and true recipes that enjoy serious guest acclaim, we sometimes try to skyrocket out of our comfort zone.
We did that on this recipe which we serve as a side for eggs. It is both aesthetically pleasing and most importantly, totally yummy.
Tomato Muffin Tarts Set your oven to 400 degrees.
1 package of frozen puff pastry, thaw this partially
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
2 tsp. of kosher salt
1 tsp. of fresh ground pepper
10 oz. good quality, sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated. I know those little packages are so convenient but truly, find some good cheese and take a minute or two to grate it. You’ll be glad you did. The quality is far superior.
11 ozs. of multicolored cherry tomatoes. If you would prefer you can select any grand tomato of your choice and finely dice it. If you go this route though allow them to drain just a bit on a paper towel.
Fresh Basil chop finely
Unfold the entire partially frozen pastry sheet. Brush 1/4 cup of mayo on each pastry sheet; sprinkle each with pepper and salt working quickly. Cut each pastry sheet into 9 squares (each will be about 3″) gently pressing them into the muffin tins.
Sprinkle the grated cheese in each dividing equally. Repeat this same process for the tomatoes.
Make sure the oven is pre-heated and bake till golden brown. Let cool on wire racks for 5 minutes. Sprinkle a bit of basil. You’ll have them standing in the aisles! Pinky swear!
Growing Organic in Asheville 31 Jan 2017, 8:57 am
One of the many delights of owning a bed and breakfast in Asheville is the easy availability of locally grown, organic food. There are abundant resources in our town to procure regionally sourced organic produce. The North Asheville Tail Gate Market, Earth Fare, Whole Foods and also many local farms contribute to the healthy, sustainable, diverse and profuse offerings in our area. There have been other offshoot business opportunities taking advantage of the seemingly insatiable longings Asheville has for this product like Mother Earth Produce; basically a family owned, year round delivery service making regional and organic foods easily and affordably available to customers by collecting the offerings grown on local farms and delivering them.
Organic growers commit to no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and the utilization of crop rotation to further create a sustainably nutrient rich soil which results in good yield of crops. There are many farms in the Asheville area growing organic, likely inspired by the firm community support they have found in this area of North Carolina. Even the restaurants in this area patronize these businesses as farm to table dining experience is not the exception in Asheville~ but rather the rule with the proliferation of these establishments increasing daily.
Knowledge is power! Ashevillians have a yearly opportunity to gain the most up to date information available regarding the value of regionally sourced produce due to the sheer numbers of vendors in our area. Their commitment to sharing that knowledge and helping to provide current information to others is reflected in the Annual Organic Growers School Spring Conference. This year heralds the 24th year of this well attended event. Attendees may be local farmers, retirees deciding to create a personal garden or school kids interested in organic processes for a school project all converging together to learn all about the latest best practices in organic growing. Food growing classes, workshops on everything from raising chickens or goats to baking bread to vermicomposting (composting with the help of wiggly worm friends,) and more comprise only some of the learning opportunities available. Event: Organic Growers School Spring Conference Where: UNCA Campus Date: March 10 (pre-conference) March 11 and March 12, 2017. Cost: $129.00 for entire weekend. $99 for whole weekend if registered by midnight 1-31-2017. Registration is also available by the day. Contact for registering: Phone: 828-214-7833 or online is available at: organic growers school. org.
Our guests love the breakfasts we serve here at the inn. Breakfast service is always fresh, largely locally sourced and served around a community table rife with stimulating, jovial conversation, under glowing candles destined to create an experience that only an Asheville Bed and Breakfast can deliver. The use of organic, locally sourced food is no small part of that experience.
3 Fun Winter Things to Do in Asheville 19 Jan 2017, 11:26 am
Ok, I think I will commence this blog by saying that while I am concentrating on fun in cold weather, we moved here in 1999 and this is the wackiest, warmest winter I have ever encountered. We had a high of over 60 degrees yesterday and that has more been the exception than the rule.
- Antiquing: Whether searching for a just the perfect piece of furniture or the rug of your dreams~ You may find yourself hooked up in Asheville. Tabacco Barn: Located at 75 Swannanoa Road, this space is huge and if perusing is in your blood, you’ll feel like a kid in candy store. 77,000 square feet covered by over 75 vendors can offer a really nice variety of selections to choose from opportunizing your chances to find “the perfect thing.” From furniture to glassware and everything in between, your options are very nearly endless. In days of old this building was used to host tobacco auctions. It’s a very fun several hours. Please remember that save a few overhead heaters it can get cold in this place. Dress in comfortable shoes for the concrete floor and appropriate outerwear. Sweeten Creek Antiques & Collectibles, LLC: Can be found at 115 Sweeten Creek Road. 125 Vendors. A large space makes this a really fun haunt, but not a quick haunt as each vendor does not restrict to one type of item. To make the best of this space, sufficient “ambling” time will serve you best. Screen Door: 115 Fairview Road. I love garden art and books are my passion so this place serves me well. Garden art I’ve seen here could take the form of a lovely, aged concrete piece or a blazingly fun and really colorful metal sculpture. The books are endless. Gardening, poetry, architecture are the primary topics. Great selection of kid’s books. 25,000 square feet and several hundred vendors make this place fun, fanciful and right up my alley.
- A Food Tour: Asheville Food Tours~This food tour was initially begun by fellow innkeepers. Much of the allure of visiting Asheville is that we are blessed with gifted, creative chefs inspired by local food availability who strove to become the food mecca folks now actually plan a visit to enjoy. We have become! Food tours are generally 3.5 hours in length. As they are walking tours, please wear comfortable footwear. Dressing in layers aids in your comfort as you travel from one dining establishment to the other. The locations on the tour have been hand selected to sustain both diversity and interest. There are several kinds of tours so pick the one that best suits your passion. Costs begin at $50, are largely non-refundable, some may require the ability to climb stairs. Eating Asheville: Another option. Ticket pricing $54-69 pp contingent upon the tour chosen. This company offers several and all tours promise at least one James Beard Restaurant experience per tour. For my non-foodie souls this award is akin to the Oscars in culinary land.
- The Great Outdoors: As you may remember, I started this blog stating that we have had a way warmer than average winter. That said, even in the dead of winter, sometimes a bit of time in nature can bring a spring to your step and a brightness to your mood. NC Arboretum: Located a 20 minute car ride from our inn, a great local treasure stands proud. Also, if perhaps there’s a bit of snow, you don’t deal with snow but would still like to spend some time outside, this is your place. Great trails of variant degrees of difficulty are all over the property. Both cafe and easy bathroom access a plus. Botanical Gardens at Asheville is right at the corner of Broadway and W.T. Weaver, a mere 5 minute walk from our inn and a veritable joyful space. Trails, water features, clearly marked plant specimens and ease of access as it nearly combines with the Broadway Greenway, one of many greenways, the city of Asheville builds and supports throughout our city. This list would make for a great Asheville experience and you have all my best wishes to make Wintertime 2016 Asheville visit a memory you keep forever.
Great Music in Asheville January 2017 2 Jan 2017, 6:08 am
Those of us for whom music provides a soul experience are sure to find some really great music opportunities available in Asheville during January 2017.
On January 14, 2017 lovers of the “big band” era can take a trip down memory lane creating a return to their heyday as the 2017 Big Band Weekend kicks off in Asheville showcasing AndrewThielen’s” Big Band sound. With your favorite dance partner in tow, your dancing shoes at the ready this venue will have you sashaying about the dance floor. We are happy to help you enjoy this very special event located only 10 minutes from our inn. Events available Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
If you are more a little bit more Paul McCartney than Bennie Goodman in style~ no worries. The theme song of the very special city of Asheville is “any way you like it.” We have something for everyone. Enter the Orange Peel Social Aid and Pleasure Club as they present: Abbey Road Live at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday January 14, 2017. Within walking distance of At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn. Tickets available online starting at $12. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.
For those of us needing a bit of soul soothing as we enter 2017, Asheville again delivers. How about a peaceful musical float down the Rhine as Asheville Symphony’s director, Daniel Meyer, delivers an emotional musical journey marked by selections of Brahm, Haydn and Schumann. Within easy walking distance of our inn and guaranteed to be a magical evening. Tickets: Purchased online per Ticketmaster for Asheville’ U.S. Cellular Center $22-$62.
On this same day, Salvage Station on Riverside Drive presents: The Chuck Lictenberger Collection from 8-11:00 p.m. Whether you are in the grooz with jazz, instrumental or vocal….you’ll find it here for FREE. Cost containment can be a good thing when the Merry Christmas credit card bills start fa-la-la-ing to your mailbox.
Music brings inspiration, hope, joy and a balm to all that might be bugging you. We’d love to host your Asheville visit as you recuperate from the holiday chaos and move into the business of living in 2017.
Four Fun Christmas Activities in Asheville 2016 17 Dec 2016, 6:01 am
Asheville has firmly established itself as a “go to” destination. Some of the draws here would include but not be limited to: superb biking and hiking, craft breweries, a vibrant art scene, inspired cuisine, Biltmore House, most especially at this time of the year, the enchantment of Candlelight Christmas reigns supreme. All those are are still here but for purposes of this blog, the concentration is Christmastime. If you find yourself in Asheville for a few days during the season you can’t go wrong with the following suggestions.
- Candlelight Christmas: Every year in November-early January, Biltmore Estate opens the house to host visitors from all over the world for Candlelight Christmas. In short, after the regular house tour closes at 5:00 p.m., the candles come on bringing the glowing magic of Candlelight Christmas to this stately home. Musicality in every form you can imagine from cellists, to flutists, to seasonal choral components combine to ensure that the spirit of the holidays reside in your heart. It is unforgettable and sure to become a family tradition.
- Grove Arcade: Located in downtown Asheville, this historic building, always a phenomenal haunt housing some really awesome local retail and dining opportunities, undergoes a transformation transporting this space into a serene winter wonderland. Beautiful decorations, great shopping opportunities, sparkly lights, impromtu visits by our lauded Asheville choral group, tastings and Gingerbread House touring make this a great place to spend a holiday afternoon.
- Lake Julian: Their 16th year of Festival of Lights going on through December 23 and a bargain at $5 a car (20% of this year’s fee goes to Special Olympics. It’s a drive through experience and one of this innkeeper’s favorite Christmas memories. Lake Julian took this project on shortly after we purchased our inn and we’ve gone every year. Christmas scenes of every kind from a deer feeding elf, to carolers. No chaos, no screaming music and syncopated lighting~ just beautiful twinkly lights allowing your sincere appreciation of the season.
- I have always loved theatre. It’s a gift I often offer myself during the holiday season. Take in a play. Support the arts. Asheville Community Theatre: Snowbound and Santaland Diaries. Flat Rock Playhouse: A Christmas Carol located in nearby Flat Rock, (30 mins away from our inn.) My personal favorite from North Carolina Stage Company: All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914. Concealed within this play is the true meaning of the season. I hope you find as much value in it as I did.
Our inn, as is our custom, will be closed on the evenings of December 23, 24 and 25 allowing us and our employees time for family. We look forward to hosting you this wintertime and hope you find the true meaning of the season in your heart. Merry, Merry Christmas and the Best of 2017 are our holiday wishes for you all.
My Favorite Christmas Light Display In Asheville 1 Dec 2016, 10:23 am
We moved to Asheville, North Carolina in June of 1999 when At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn became our new career and this inn became our new home. Though we were very excited by our new life’s path, we’d also left friends of a lifetime, had no family in the area and felt a bit at loose ends.
Before we even had turned around it seemed, Christmas was approaching and as was our custom, one evening we decided to go see the Christmas lights available in our new community. Asheville of 1999 presented a very different landscape from Asheville 2016. Save the lovely homes in our historic area, many of which were beautifully decorated, there were few options for enjoying the holiday lights customarily seen during Christmas.
During a shopping trip to our local grocery store I struck up a conversation with a lady in the check out line hoping she might prove a good resource for somewhere we might go to see Christmas lights. She asked if I knew were Lake Julian was. Actually, I did as they also put on quite a 4th of July display which we’d taken part in right after moving here. She loved the Christmas lights there and suggested we go and see what we thought.
Lake Julian is a family facility for recreation, much of it located on the banks of the 300 acre Lake Julian in Arden. The quiet, peace and serene presence of water coupled with the over 50 light displays, so well done by this group was right up this girls alley. No strobe lights, no screaming in your ears music coinciding to the frenetic flashing of lights. If this is what you are looking for….drive on. If however, you are looking for a quiet night, serene, lake front atmosphere, beautiful lights, family atmosphere, cost contained admission ($5 a car) and the “feel good” of knowing that 20% of the proceeds goes directly to Buncombe county for various charitable endeavors~ Please check this light display out. It is my very favorite and I will be in line with a child’s glow in my eyes as together we celebrate their 16th year.
Asheville North Carolina Lights Up Christmas 21 Nov 2016, 11:16 am
Our guests arriving for holiday fun in Asheville in the aftermath of “leaf season” seem to have holiday lights right at the top of their holiday agenda. We arrived in Asheville in 1999 and at that time the only real recommendation to be made in response to that question would have been Biltmore House. We’ve come a long way baby!
Number 1: New this year, in conjunction with another event I will cover in a bit, hosted by the NC Arboretum, is Winter Lights Downtown. At Pack Square, located at the center of town in the city of Asheville, 8 beautifully lit trees will be displayed shining bright their message of holiday cheer. Really pretty and just a great Christmas present to guests and locals alike as they enjoy our downtown area.
Number 2: Winter Lights NC Arboretum: The NC Arboretum lights up the holiday season with one of my very favorite light displays in our entire area. From now through January 1, 2017 they will have over half a million lights artistically displayed throughout their gardens guaranteed to deliver to all but the hardest of hearts the real meaning of the Christmas spirit. I have provided in this blog a link to last year’s blog I did on this event. Go to this event, it’s so awesome. This is an up close and personal encounter as the event is enjoyed in our cool, crisp mountain air walking about the arboretum. Fire pits dotted throughout providing a perfect place to warm your hands while enjoying some hot cocoa or a smore before continuing on the trails. Cost is approximately $18/pp including all fees. Hours: 6-10 p.m.
Number 3: Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland: A cacophony of lights and music streak through the night with the gusto of Rudolph leading his reindeer pack. Not for the faint of heart nor those with a sensitivity to photophobic elements. Designed to drive your car through as the hundreds of thousands of lights wink and blink to the tunes of your favorite Christmas music. All the way live, a sure kid favorite. $25 a vehicle will provide access to both the drive-though element as well as admission to Santa’s village where pizza, smores, cocoa and other Santa treats can be purchased.
Number 4: Biltmore Estate Candlelight Christmas: Every year from early November till January’s first few days are spent, Biltmore Estate offers the child in all of us the opportunity to tour the house all decked out in Christmas finery and lit by candles. When the day is done and evening time arrives at this grand home, Candlelight Christmas makes its sparkling debut. To add to the magic of the indoor splendor, musicians playing (flutes, cello, dulcimers, harp and some of the finest voices the angels have ever heard) transport you to the very best of Christmas. In the Main Banquet Hall, the primary Christmas tree (35′ of hand decorated,awesome wonder) keeps company with the 69 other trees lavishly decorated displayed throughout the house. More poinsettias and garland than you have likely ever seen all in one place couple to make this experience one you will never forget. Candlelight Christmas at Biltmore can be enjoyed as a solo event or packaged with more options for enjoying the house. We are happy to arrange your tour as part of your stay with us.
Veterans Day Post from our Asheville Bed and Breakfast 11 Nov 2016, 1:05 pm
When I entered the United States Air Force in 1970 I was a girl of 18. I was not frivolous nor, I felt, really in need of further discipline. That isn’t the way the military saw it. Our collection of females stood on the same parade field as our male counterparts as we were drilled and marched into a well oiled machine capable of maintaining military bearing at all times even in the blistering heat of San Antonio, Tx. I worked as an Administrative Specialist and many of the young men I met in San Antonio, Tx., Biloxi, Mississippi and Davis Mothan, in Tucson, Az. I knew only transiently as they became some of the 2.7 million troops that served in that war until it’s conclusion in 1973. While I was pushing paper, they were toting guns.
It had been slightly over 5 years from that day in March of 1965 when the first of what would later become 2.7 million troops hit the ground in Da Nang, Vietnam when I entered the service. For myself and my fellow WAF’S, the war seemed very real. Though the draft was in full swing, a full two thirds of the men that served in Vietnam volunteered for service. One out of every ten of those men became a casualty statistic. Further, due to the introduction of helicopters to modern warfare, they saw more action than their contemporaries in WWII. 58,148 of them died there; 304,000 were wounded; a 300% increase from those serving in WWII. Though there were more amputations and life threatening wounds, thanks to the same helicopters that increased their “action days” if they lived an hour after their encounter, they were likely to survive these wounds.
On this Veterans Day, I would like to offer a crisp and honored salute to all that have served our country at great peril to themselves; some never to see their homeland and families again. May it come to be that war becomes our very last option~ undertaken only when all else fails and our republic demands it to survive. May God Bless the United States of America and keep her safe from all perils both foreign and domestic in whatever form they manifest. May we passionately seek a way- as penned in that beautiful old gospel spiritual- finally be free to sing Ain’t Gonna Study War No More.
How I Became an Asheville Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper 3 3 Nov 2016, 10:47 am
Having chosen Asheville, N.C. as our new home we set about looking at bed and breakfasts in our area. We made appointments with some of the inns we knew to be available. One in Weaverville and a few in Asheville that our real estate contact had mentioned being for sale. He was not with us as we made our sojourn through the city we would later call home.
I have always had a love of all things old. I can hear my husband laughing when I say that. Not really sure what is behind that for me. Suffice to say that my Mom, always a lover of home, hearth, furnishings and all the elements that go in to the art of homemaking gloried in that pursuit and had real interest in it. She would carefully explain the wood a piece of furniture was comprised of and proceed to dissect each and every element of the piece down to its construction, ease of use, finish, period, style and the like. Often in these discussions, my thoughts lent themselves to the more personal aspects of the piece in question. Who had owned this piece of furniture? For what purpose had they purchased it and for whom? Was it a family piece? What treasures had this dresser held for its owner and the like. I transferred these same queries to homes I’ve explored over the years, ripe with curiosity about the lives, triumphs, disappointments, joys and challenges faced by all its occupants over the years.
On a lovely Autumn day in 1999 we found ourselves driving through the Montford Historic District of the city of Asheville. No one seems to have an answer for the chosen name of Montford but rarely will one find the rich, varied architectural history expressed here; Queen Anne, Victorian, Neoclassical and castle like structures abound. Most of this lovely collection of homes were constructed between 1890-1920 by the middle class and many decades later quickly selected as prime retirement homes for lawyers, doctors and business men dedicated to the loving rehabilitation of their former glory. All this in an effort to preserve the history of these grand old dames the likes of which will never be built again.
Back to the story folks, because heaven knows, you can’t make
this stuff up. We are on Cumberland Avenue, clearly lost when we
note this young man pulling his garbage cans down to the road.
As we cruise by, I roll down the window and say,
“Excuse me, we’ve been told there are a few bed and breakfasts in the area for sale. You wouldn’t know which ones they are would you?” He said, “Well, I can show you one right now. Pull up the driveway and park in the back. Walk up to the house and I’ll show you this one.” Eight months later, we owned At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn and our bright new journey began.
How I Became an Asheville Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper 2 25 Oct 2016, 12:03 pm
In finishing the last segment of this blog, I left you with our skills inventory completed. Based on our responses, it seemed that between both my skill set and Gary’s, we were ideally suited to an occupation dealing with people in a helping way. We were also lovers of beautiful surroundings, the concept of home, cooking and Gary is a whiz at fixing nearly anything. We began to narrow down our business pursuits to small, casual dining or accommodations. Neither of us entertained the idea of a hotel. Next stop on the journey…..Where?
Location, Location Location! Business is a very different animal than working for others. It would be entirely feasible to have developed the very best X in the world, perfectly run, beautifully orchestrated and ideally imagined. However, if the business is service in nature~all this would be for naught if there are insufficient numbers of people to patronize the glories of what you’ve accomplished.
We wanted the location we selected to be both personally
pleasing as well as economically awesome.
We both really enjoyed North Carolina. The state offers the joys of all four seasons. All without the exaggerations of excessive snow that we thought might prove personally exhaustive as well as a shot in the foot to a business that requires people being able to access the business location. Location has many facets, climate is only one of them. The second, equally important, is what those in business call “the draw.” An apt definition of that term would be “what does your location offer the people you are trying to attract to your business?” We entertained several areas of North Carolina. We looked at Cary, N.C., Winston Salem, N.C. & Wilmington, N.C. areas of the state at the same time we looked at Asheville, N.C.
I was a hard critic. I had raised my child in Port Saint Lucie, Fl., worked as a nurse there for more than 20 years. We had friends of a lifetime there. It wasn’t that we’d really chosen the place but it held our history and hence our hearts, in the palm of it’s hand. It’s hard to select another location for an undertaking of this kind. At least it was until the electric door of Asheville Regional Airport opened ushering my exit to the expanive panorama of an awesomely beautiful mountain landscape in full fall color. It is said that Asheville claims it’s own. I believe that because on that very day while Gary was securing our luggage at baggage claim, the city of Asheville reached out, gently took my hand and welcomed me home.