Ok, for all those folks out there who have loved the Mediterranean Egg Casserole that we have served up lately and have requested the recipe but haven’t received, my apologies, I tend to be a bit of a rebel and a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal when it comes to cooking at times, a bit more of an eyeballer than a level teaspoon type of person.
HOWEVER, I have some time today to sit down and really think about what goes into that scrumptious breakfast and share it with all of you. As most of you know we make a real effort here at the Inn to accommodate everyone’s dietary needs. Occasionally we have a few guests in house that are unable to eat dairy and generally we can scramble up some eggs for breakfast for them since most of our egg casseroles do have milk and cheese in them. One weekend I was faced with about half an Inn of guests not able to eat dairy and well honestly that is a lot of folks to scramble eggs for in our small kitchen on a busy Sunday so I needed to come up with an alternative and hence the Mediterranean Egg Casserole was created! It was a hit, whew, and I figured if it was a hit without dairy just think how much better it would be with cheese, for those of us able to eat it of course. So it has been a work in progress and I think we have come up with a winner.
Originally I had put the kalamata olives in the casserole but noticed a few plates returning with them pushed to the side, they are a fairly strong olive which some don’t like so for a while I left them out. I also noticed that the feta seemed to get lost taste wise baked into the casserole so eventually those two ended up as a garnish which guests could choose to have or not to have and the tomato sauce? Well again that is my “ let’s see if this works” attitude and low and behold it worked! So please enjoy the recipe, which is great to make ahead for large gatherings such as holiday brunches and for a family get together. For me a recipe is framework…you can add and subtract and embellish to your hearts desire.
Innkeeper Bath Street Inn
Mediterranean Egg Casserole
Topped with a tomato sauce ( we use the Trader Joes vodka tomato sauce) but I have made my own as well. Crumbled feta cheese and chopped kalamata olives.
This will make a dish that can serve 18-24 people. Coat a baking dish with non stick spray and bake for about 90 minutes 325-350. It is ready when a knife is pulled out clean.
We put this together the night before and put it into a cold oven in the morning and then turn the oven on.
Can be made dairy free by omitting cheese, doubling spinach and substituting water for milk~just as tasty!
The Santa Barbara Natural History Museum recently opened its newest photography exhibit, Arctic Sanctuary. The US Fish and Wildlife Service's nation-wide traveling exhibit celebrates the 50th anniversary of the creation of ANWR, the 19+ million acre Arctic Natural Wildlife Refuge in Northeast Alaska. The exhibit is filled with stunning images by naturalist photographer Jeff Jones. Jones has been a pioneer in landscape wilderness photography in the Arctic and is no stranger to ANWR, having hiked to remote areas of the Sanctuary for years to capture the beauty of this seldom seen natural world. The museum bookstore carries the accompanying book filled with photos and essays about this unique and precious place.
The Arctic Sanctuary Exhibit runs through January 8th, 2012; entrance is included in the price of admission to the Museum, $10 for adults. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
If you've come to the museum as part of a getaway to Santa Barbara consider our fine bed and breakfast for your accommodation. We'd love to see you.
Remember that Lotusland closes on November 15th for three months, so if you are planning to visit the gardens, jump on it now. Something is always in bloom every week of the year in several of the 13 themed gardens that comprise the 37 acre estate. October blooms in Lotusland's Fern Garden include the Cashmere Bouquet and the Freddie Begonia by Rudy Ziesenhenne. November brings the fruits of the persimmon trees in the Deciduous Orchard Garden and pomegranates at the entrance to the Cactus Garden. The tours cost $35 per adult and are docent led. They take about 2 hours of pretty constant walking, so good shoes are a must. Reservations are required, no drop ins accepted. Phone 805-969-9990 to book a Lotusland tour.
If you are planning a trip to visit Lotusland and need a fine Santa Barbara Bed and Breakfast, we'd be happy to talk with you. Call us at 805-682-9680 or book online, your preference.
Santa Barbara's annual food festival, epicure.sb, is in full swing and Opal Restaurant has come up with a winning autumn Prix-Fixe menu. Long a favorite of Santa Barbarans, Opal has consistently imaginative and fresh foods to satisfy and delight foodies of all kinds and descriptions. The epicure.sb menu is a three course meal, starting with a salad of gourmet greens and followed by a grilled Kurobata Pork Loin on Butternut Squash Risotto and assorted veggies. The desert is a Pumpkin Cheesecake. Marie and I and our friend Jennifer opted to pair the dinner with wine and had a wonderful meal. (Richard, one of the owners of Opal, is a wine aficionado and their cellar has won a Wine Spectator award, so you know you're in good hands with their selections/recommendations.) The Kurobata Pork, we were told, is the king of porkers in Japan; they get massages and the best food. It was delicious. The risotto was the best risotto I've had and went a long ways to helping me understand the mysterious hold this rice dish has on millions. The wines were a light white for the salad, a tasty pinor noir for the pork and an ice wine from nearby Ojai for the dessert. We ate dinner outside on one of the sidewalk tables, the air became crisp as evening wore on and we felt we truly were celebrating autumn. Reminded me it was time to get the pumpkin pancakes on our breakfast menu. Epicure.sb ends on October 31st, so make the most of it! Opal's phone number is 805-966-9676
And, if you are looking for a fine Santa Barbara bed and breakfast for a getaway, please give us a call; we'd love to have you. We are an easy 6 blocks from Opal Restaurant.
The Santa Barbara Art Museum has a new and unique installation of the early cubist works of Picasso and Braque this Fall. Great educational aids accompany this exhibition, making it your best opportunity to get a handle on what these guys were about. We also celebrate the third annual epicuresb festival, a month long food and wine extravaganza. We decided to combine the two and invite you to nurture your imagination, artistic sensibility and sweet tooth at the Bath Street Inn with our new package Picasso and Tea. We suspect that Picasso preferred something stronger, but we make a great afternoon tea, so we'll lead with our strength. The package includes a ten percent discount for any available room all nights of your stay during the month of October, 2011. Our guests will also receive 2 complimentary tickets to the Santa Barbara Art Museum. Return to the Inn after your trip to the Museum for afternoon tea in the parlor featuring delicious cakes and cookies & over 20 different teas. Epicuresb Brochures detail daily events, lectures, demonstrations, food and wine festivals and special dinner menus. October and Santa Barbara are a must for a food lover's vacation. The Picasso and Tea package may not be combined with other offers.
Marie and I recently had the pleasure of visiting Sevtap winery in Solvang. Their motto is Drink Good Wine. Simple, direct. One of the newer wineries in town on Copenhagen Drive, we were greeted by mellow lighting and live guitar music, a seamless blend that started as flamenco and merged into classic soft rock. The tasting room has recently expanded and plans are to continue with live music in the afternoon and evenings on the weekends. The summer music was guitar on Fridays, Saturdays acoustical harp and soft percussion; Sundays for flamenco. Fridays and Saturdays, the tasting room is open til 9 which is nice for those of us who get a late start and can't make it to the wine country much before 4 pm when many of the wineries are getting ready for the last pour of the day. The wines were pleasant, the atmosphere very congenial and I would do another tasting without hesitation. Check with them to see what the plans are for live music and events in the fall and winter.
Disclaimer here for the oenophiles: we drink wine for pleasure and since I can't remember the taste of a wine from one day to the next there I'm incapable of having a deep wine discussion. Art Sevtap, the owner and winemaker, has been making wine for the public for only a few years having come to the realization that it was his passion by working in a variety of other wine related occupations while making wine for his own consumption. Like many Santa Barbara County vintners, he sources the grapes; his first wines were from San Luis Obispo County; but as of 2010 are his grapes are now from Santa Barbara County. Has a nice Sauvignon Blanc from Happy Valley vineyards, the unfiltered Rose was quite pleasant and it was good to see dessert wines on the menu.
~ A Votre Sante,
Santa Barbara has such a great art scene year round but one of the highlights has to be the Art Walk at the Natural History Museum. This art exhibition takes place outdoors and indoors in various galleries throughout the Museum. Walk along tiled corridors and courtyards and peek into transformed spaces, or stroll along the Museum grounds by Mission Creek as you browse and shop for fine art, jewelry, pottery, fashion and more. Enjoy art works by over 200 artists all centered on the theme of Parks and Landmarks of Santa Barbara County. The Walk this year is held on Saturday and Sunday, September 24th and 25th. Pause to listen to live music or perhaps sit down and enjoy a glass of wine or a bite of lunch. Admission is $11.00 for non-members. The event is presented by the Museum League and is one of most fun of the Museum's fund raisers.
If you're coming up from out of town and are looking for fine Santa Barbara bed and breakfast accommodation, we still have a few rooms available at the Inn. Give us a call; we'll be happy to talk with you.
See you at the Art Walk~
Summer is officially here with the opening of the outdoor amphitheater in Solvang. The Solvang Festival Theatre production by the PCPA Theaterfest is Alfred Hitchcock's 39 Steps starting June 16th; it will run until July 3rd to be followed by the musical Hairspray. 39 Steps is a Tony winner from Broadway, keeping most of the multiple twists and turns of Hitchcock's famous film and adding a generous dollop of farce. Marie and Deborah are film buffs and we know this film inside and out and still love it. And as good as the play is sure to be, what excites me is the prospect of having a leisurely day in the Solvang area, visiting a winery or two and picnicking, maybe tasting olives and finally ending up in the magic of the Solvang Festival Theatre. I love the the transition from a sunny day into the twilight in the Valley and then the cold settling in as the lights come up. Hot apple cider, tucked up in blankets and a fantasy to transport one, this is the good life. The theatre is dark on Mondays and Tuesdays.
If you are looking for fine accommodation in Santa Barbara, we welcome you to the Bath Street Inn; rooms are available for this production.
Well, the Music Academy of the West is gearing up for another wonderful year. For eight weeks in the summer, from June 20th to the 13th of August, Santa Barbara is the home of a group of exceptionally gifted classically trained young musicians from around the world. Here on a full scholarship, they work intensively with faculty, guest artists and each other in one of five different programs: instrumental, solo piano, collaborative piano, vocal piano and voice. And we get to see and hear them learn and perform in over a hundred events and recitals in the Music Festival! Many are free.
With five different guest conductors, the orchestral offerings are particularly strong this year. Choose from the intimate chamber orchestra pieces to Beethoven's Fourth. Maybe Strauss, Stravinsky, or Mahler has more appeal. The first orchestral event is June 25th. Key opera and vocal events this year are the Opera Showcase, July 16 and 18; the Marilyn Horn Song Competition July 23rd and Rossini's Barber of Seville; performances August 5th and 7th at the Granada.
Tip for locals and visiting parents: Try attending a MasterClass on your favorite instrument, piano, brass, string, percussion or wind. Watching the students learn can open up a whole new way of listening and learning for you. Many are free, others have a minimal charge.
If a fine Santa Barbara Bed and Breakfast sounds like the accommodation you need while visiting the Festival, give us a call, we'd love to see you. 800-341-2284.
This is a great summer for photography fans to visit Santa Barbara museums and galleries; not only do we have First Thursday every month which typically includes the exhibitions of current students of the Brooks Institute of Photography, but the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Maritime Museum have installed new exhibitions running through mid September. The focus of the Art Museum's exhibition is portraiture: called New Faces of the Collection, you'll see 27 contemporary pieces, some larger than life, including Grant Mudford's, Renee Petropoulos, pictured here. The Maritime Museum exhibition, called Sea of Light, celebrates the return to diving and the world of underwater photography by local photographer Richard Salas, a Brooks grad. of the '70s. Taken during 5 years of recent diving in the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary, you'll see vibrant photos of undersea beauty: an entire ecosystem in all its complexity and elegance. Both exhibitions are free with general admission to the museum
If you need a place to stay in your travels and are looking for casual elegance and Victorian charm in a Santa Barbara bed and breakfast check us out, we'd love to see you.
I Madonnari is one of my favorite Santa Barbara festivals. This year I Madonnari, the Italian Street Painting Festival, celebrates its 25th anniversary. (The term I Madonnari comes from medieval itinerant artists who would recreate cathedral paintings at festivals and holy days, the most venerated image being the Virgin Mary, or Madonna) As always, it is held over the Memorial Day holiday at the Old Mission, the pavements of which are divided into 200 squares of "blank canvas" which have been purchased by local merchants to benefit the Children's Creative Project. Chalk artists from near and far choose their squares and paint a wonderful tapestry of color, whimsy and beauty. The artists will begin on Saturday, the 28th and almost all of the works will be completed by Sunday afternoon for judging. This year we'll also have live music and an Italian market featuring Italian cuisine and other goodies. How lovely to take a cool evening stroll around the Mission, watch the artists at work, and admire their paintings. Free.
So, come to the festival, enjoy Santa Barbara, and if you need a great place to stay, ask for availability at our Victorian Santa Barbara bed and breakfast.
Deborah Gentry, Innkeeper Bath Street Inn
Jerry Seinfeld, arguably America's most popular comedian, is playing at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara for one performance only on April 15th at 7p.m. A legend in stand-up comedy, it has been several years since he has been on tour and we're glad to see he's back, doing what he loves. Tickets are still available as of this posting.
If you are looking for gracious hospitality in Santa Barbara accommodation for the concert we'd love to see you. The Bath Street Inn Bed and Breakfast is six blocks from the Arlington venue in a quiet residential neighborhood. Stay the night, wake to birdsong and have Saturday to explore Santa Barbara.
Deborah Gentry, Innkeeper Bath Street Inn
Well, it's over and we had a great time at our beer tasting event last night. Warm (we had a fire going in the fireplace) and dry, listening to the rain outside and a little Irish music, we sampled 3 local beers all of them from award winning breweries: Island's Hefeweisen, Telegraph's White Belgian Ale and Firestone Walker's Oatmeal Stout. The quality of the beer, chosen by Nate Galeano, our beer expert, and his presentations about them, made it fun and informative. Our international offerings included Estrella's Daura (gluten free award winner) and Smithwick's by Guinness. Learned that craft beers (as in microbrewery) should mostly be consumed within 3-6 months of bottling and that seasonality matters (eg Firestone's Oatmeal Stout is a winter oriented brew). So if you like it, buy it now. Almost made me want to get a home brew kit (flashback to my early twenties - scary!) I can't wait to see what we'll have in the Summer when we bring Nate back (popular request).
Casual Elegance, Gracious Hospitality (with the occasional twist) in Santa Barbara Accommodation.
We are happy to announce that Green Star Coffee has won the Bath Street Inn coffee tasting marathon. We heard that Green Star uses the best 3% of coffee beans in the world, is locally owned, Certified Organic and Fair Trade and knew we had to try it. Why did we decide to switch? It is unusual for us to have our tastes converge unanimously, but neither Marie, Deborah or Marti have been coffee drinkers on a regular basis for some time. When we noticed that we were no longer getting compliments on the coffee we were serving, we realized it was time for a change and the coffee tasting began. We had several goals in mind. First and foremost was the flavor that comes from great quality: we were tasting for that "ah" that comes when you get a totally satisfying sip of coffee. We needed coffee with superior body and flavor, not so strong that our guests' hair would stand on end or stomachs start to talk back either - had to be smooth and low impact. Quietly memorable. Third, we wanted to promote local business, organic farming practices and Fair Trade. Our local vendors included Santa Barbara's own Green Star Coffee, Caribbean Coffee, Santa Barbara Roasting Company, nearby Ventura's Brazuka Coffee (Local, Organic and Fair Trade) and California based Peet's Coffee. It was a tough decision, came down in the end to Brazuka and Green Star. But, with one voice, all three innkeepers declared Green Star's Morning Star blend our choice. Made a believer out of Deborah who has missed coffee for years...
Great coffee, just one more reason to visit the Inn when you're looking for wonderful accommodation, great food and gracious hospitality in Santa Barbara.
In keeping with Irish tradition, we are going to continue the St. Patrick's Day festivities with our own version of a St. Patrick's Day Special. Our special will be held on Saturday, March 19th, from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Stay Friday and Saturday and be our guests at a specialty beer tasting at the Inn, with our compliments, presided over by the capable Nate Galeano, whose passion for beer has led him to work at Firestone Walker Brewery. Although it's a couple of days late for the actual St. Patrick's Day, (the 17th) we'll honor the patron saint of Ireland by sampling local brews; I think we will conclude with something from Ireland (I am in the dark here.) On a parallel note, I'm happy to report that the Santa Barbara micro-breweries are alive and well: Firestone, Island, Telegraph, Santa Barbara Brewery and the Brewhouse to name the most familiar. Which will WE be tasting???
We still have rooms for the St. Patrick's Weekend, so it's not too late to make time for something special and fun in Santa Barbara.
Now this is a Valentine's Day Special for the true procrastinator -just four days left until Valentine's Day weekend. Join us for a special, enchanting evening of romance - the Romance of Chocolate and Port - a complimentary event for our Valentine's guests. We'll taste at least 8 different chocolates and 4 different ports. Saturday the 12th from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Discover their seductive charms for yourself and see how they stir your passionate heart.. Two night minimum stay, some fireplace and jacuzzi rooms still available. It's not too late to be your honey's hero.