Friday, February 27, 2009

From Our Kitchen to Yours: Meat Loaf with Piquant Sauce

When we were married, a friend gave us a copy of an AAUW (The American Association of University Women) Cookbook from 1976. It includes recipes from the Hamilton, Ohio branch.

After all these years, I still use this little cookbook and one of our favorite dishes is the meat loaf recipe. According to the original source, member Linda Baker, it was a family favorite of theirs for 18 years before the cookbook was published.

Meat Loaf with Piquant Sauce

2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 beaten eggs
1/4 cup grated onion
1/2 teaspoon sage
dash pepper

3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup catsup
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon dry mustard

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Soak the bread in milk. Add all but the meat and mix well. Add the meat and shape into a loaf. Combine sauce ingredients and cover the meat loaf with the sauce. Cover and bake 1 hour. Uncover and bake another 15 to 20 minutes.

Yield: 4 to 5 servings.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

From Our Kitchen to Yours: Sun-dried Tomato and Fontina Risotto

Each morning we enjoy sharing our favorite breakfast creations with guests, but sometimes we try new recipes at home with family and friends. From time to time, we’ll share these recipes with you on our blog. Even though we are unable to recreate them for guests since we are only allowed to serve breakfast, you might enjoy trying them in your own kitchen.

For a relatively easy weeknight dinner, I tried a risotto recipe found in the cookbook Risotto: More than 100 Recipes for the Classic Rice Dish of Northern Italy by Judith Barrett and Norma Wasserman. While making the risotto, I baked chicken and asparagus in the oven. The risotto was a stand-out side dish to accompany the chicken and asparagus. The sun-dried tomatoes and Fontina cheese create a unique depth of flavor. It is a nice comfort food for cold, winter evenings.

Sun-dried Tomato and Fontina Risotto
Modified from Risotto: More than 100 Recipes for the Classic Rice Dish of Northern Italy

4 cups (1 box) chicken broth
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup dry white wine or sherry
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup finely minced onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/3 cup coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (that were packed in oil)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 ounces Fontina cheese, rind removed, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Bring the broth to a steady simmer in a saucepan on top of the stove.

Heat the butter and oil in a heavy 4-quart casserole over moderate heat. Add the onion and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, until it begins to soften, being careful not to brown it.

Next add rice and stir for 1 minute using a wooden spoon, making sure all the grains are well coated. Add the wine and stir until it is completely absorbed. Begin to add the simmering broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently. Wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste after the rice has been cooking for 10 minutes. Continue to add the broth, 1/2 cup at a time stirring frequently, reserving about 1/4 cup to add at the end. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

After approximately 18 minutes, when the rice is tender but still firm, add the reserved 1/4 cup broth, Fontina, parsley, and Parmesan and stir vigorously until the cheeses are melted and combined with the rice. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings.


The asparagus preparation was quick: simply toss fresh asparagus in olive oil, coarse salt, black pepper, and dried rosemary. Place in a casserole dish and broil until desired doneness; it can burn easily when broiling so you will want to keep an eye on it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Belated Valentine’s Day Celebrations

Were you unable to celebrate Valentine’s Day last weekend? It’s never too late to surprise your loved one with a special getaway.

This month Kentucky Monthly magazine featured our inn and Tousey House Tavern as a “match made in heaven” in Burlington. Tousey House is a beautifully restored restaurant that serves upscale Southern cuisine; it is located just around the bend from our inn.

When you book a stay at our bed and breakfast, details such as triple sheeting, down comforters, extra pillows, and plush robes and towels are already in place when you arrive. We have several a la carte options available to add romance to your stay. Consider ordering chocolate-covered strawberries or scheduling an in-room massage in one of our suites or the retreat when you make your reservation.

Feel free to bring wine or champagne to toast your belated Valentine’s celebration, we’ll have glasses and a corkscrew ready and waiting for you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


In an effort to keep our past and future guests informed, we decided to start a blog. Join us as we chronicle life at Burlington’s Willis Graves B&B Inn. We’ll keep you informed about upcoming area events, specials and packages, tricks of the trade that might be useful for you at home, and we’ll even share a recipe or two along the way. For more detailed information, feel free to browse our main website ( to learn about our accommodations and make a reservation.

We hope to see you soon!