Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ohio Weekend Getaways include a Touch of Hollywood

Just a short drive from Holmes County, Ohio is a touch of Hollywood that many don't know about.    If you are looking for Ohio weekend getaways then check out Malabar Farm State Park.   Within the park is the Ohio home to Louis Bromfield, the conservationist and Pulitzer Prize winning novelist.  It was at that home where Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall married.
The weekend of June 1-3, 2012 there is a very special event at Malabar Farm. Two sons of Hollywood legends will visit to reminisce about their fathers, Humphrey Bogart and Tyrone Power.  Hear about the star's friendship, wedding, films, etc.  The weekend will include special activities, films, and memorabilia.  It will be held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so make it a 3-day weekend with visits to both Amish Country and Malabar Farm.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608 www.garden-gate.com
June 1-3
Stephen Bogart (son of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall) and Tyrone Power, Jr. (Son of 1940’s film legend Tyrone Power) look back at Hollywood, the friendship, wedding and film legacies of Louis Bromfield, Humphrey Bogart , Lauren Bacall and more. Special activities, classic films and memorabilia.
Ohio home of Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, screenwriter, and conservationist, Louis Bromfield

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Everybody Loves Raymond

When I moved from the big city to Holmes County, Ohio, one of the first people I met was an Amish friend by the name of Raymond.  He welcomed us with open arms to the community and I discovered that he was almost 80 years old.  He is a "walking-talking-encyclopedia"of Holmes County and the Amish.  I learned so many things from Raymond.  Just as our parents and grandparents see us living a different way than they were raised, the Amish are in the same situation.  I learned that Raymond did not care for progress in the Amish community just like our grandparents.  One situation that could have been embarrassing has come to be one that I now laugh about . . .
It was Christmas and one thing that I learned was that unlike the outside world the Amish do not give extravagant Christmas gifts and they keep Christ in Christmas.  I wanted to take my dear friend a gift and while I didn't want something extravagant I didn't want to look cheap either.  I knew that Raymond liked chocolate so I went to Coblentz Chocolate Company, a local business, and bought a box of chocolates plus I put together a plate of homemade Christmas cookies.  When I went to wish my friend a Merry Christmas and give him my gift I had a surprising response!  I had a finger pointed at me, and a raised voice tell me to take those chocolates right back home.  I was told that they were terrible, horrible chocolates.  Although I was almost speechless I managed to say that I had given these chocolates to many people and where they came from and told him how good they were.  He let me know that, "I've never actually had one".  I asked why he thought that they were terrible and horrible.  He explained that the "Coblentz" name were the first Amish in the area to "jump the fence" and become Mennonite.  He told me that he would not eat a chocolate made by a "Coblentz" even though the current owner was not the original person that "jumped the fence".  He did accept my homemade cookies and we had a wonderful visit but I did have to take my chocolates back home.
I was not offended by Raymond's actions because I understood how true he was to his Amish beliefs and his faith.  This reminded me so much of how our generation is different from our elders.  Today we remain friends and I will always cherish the wonderful stories and education that I have received from Raymond.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608 www.garden-gate.com

Friday, January 27, 2012

Amish Country Ohio Auctions

You may know about the seasonal benefit auctions in Ohio Amish Country but every week there are local auctions where you can observe livestock, hay, produce, etc., being auctioned off.

  • Monday and Friday auctions are in Sugarcreek
  • Tuesday auction are in Farmerstown
  • Wednesday auction is in Mt. Hope
  • Thursday auction is in Kidron
  • 2nd Saturday of the month is in Mt. Hope
The Sugarcreek auctions are located at 102 Buckeye St., SW, Sugarcreek, OH.  For more information call 330-852-2832.

The Farmerstown auctions are located at 2807 State Road 557, Baltic, OH  43804.  For more information call 330-897-6081.

In Mt. Hope you will find a flea market that opens around 7 a.m.  Hay, produce, and eggs go on sale at 10 am.  The livestock sale begins at 11:30 a.m. followed by a poultry sale at 1 p.m.  They are located across the street from Mrs. Yoder's Kitchen restaurant.  The 2012 schedule can be found on their website.

The Kidron, Ohio auction is the oldest livestock auction in Ohio. It is located across the street from Lehmans store.

Most of the auctions have great food, baked goods, produce and flea markets.


Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608 www.garden-gate.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Restaurants in Ohio Amish Country

One of the first things that people look for on their Amish Country vacation in Ohio is where to eat.   You probably expect to only find Amish home cooking but you may be surprised at all of the dining options in Holmes County, Ohio and the surrounding area.

  • Mrs. Yoders Kitchen in Mt. Hope offers some of the best home cooking in the County.  Be sure to save room for pie.  They are located at the corner of State Route 241 and County Road 77.
  • Millers Dutch Kitchen in Baltic is a close 2nd to Mrs. Yoders Kitchen.  They are best known for their fried or broasted chicken.   They are located just off of State Route 93 about 6 miles south of State Route 39 in the heart of Baltic.
  • The Inn at Honey Run on County Road 203 has a restaurant called Tarragon.  It is a good choice for special occasions because they offer fine dining.  They are located between Berlin and Millersburg.
  • Bags Sports Pub offers good food in a casual atmosphere with a golf decor.  You will find everything from burgers on a pretzel bun to a broiled salmon salad to BBQ ribs and steaks.  For the beer lover they have approximately 100 beers to choose from!  They are located on Main Street/State Route 39 in the village of Millersburg.
  • Chalet in the Valley is near Charm.    They are owned by the Guggisberg family that has a cheese factory across the street.  Their specialty is Swiss cooking with things like Wiener Schnitzel and Smothered Chicken.  If you like fondue be sure to try theirs!  They are located on State Route 557 about 2 miles south of State Route 39.
  • The Dutch Hospitality Corporation operates 3 restaurants in Amish Country:  Der Dutchman (Walnut Creek), Dutch Valley Restaurant (Sugarcreek/Dover), and Farmstead Restaurant (Berlin).  They are best know of Amish-style cooking.
  • Boyd & Wurthmann is on Main Street in Berlin and is the choice for those people that like a hometown diner.  The restaurant is smaller and not big on decor but they offer Amish home cooking on the menu.  
  • Fast Food:  Head south on State Route 83/US 62 in Millersburg and you will run across Subway, Wendys, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Chengs Chinese Gourmet

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608 www.garden-gate.com

Monday, January 23, 2012

Funky Ohio Wines

You've heard of Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Merlot, but there are some really funky names for some Ohio Wines.  Don't let the names keep you away because the flavors are delicious.  When you  travel in Northeast Ohio be sure to check out these wines:

  1. Hanky Panky.  A sweet catawba wine from Maize Valley Winery
  2. Foreplay.  A fruity wine made with different berries from Al-Bi Winery
  3. Pirates Pour.  A berry flavored Chambourcin from Winery at Versailles
  4. Big Red Pecker.  Dry Merlot from Maize Valley Winery
  5. White Lies.  Sweet wine from Winery at Wolf Creek
  6. Wine Dog Red.  Red currant and pomegranite sweet red from Winery at Perennial Vineyards
  7. Mad Cow.  Intense grape flavors from Maize Valley Winery
  8. Space Cowboy.  Fruity peach wine from Winery at Wolf Creek
  9. Old Dusty Miller.  Semi-sweet wine from Breitenbach Winery
  10. Red Neck Red.  Sweet red wine from Maize Valley Winery.
There are fun flavors in Ohio wines today.  At Al-Bi Winery you can sample American Red Watermelon Wine.  The Winery at Wolf Creek has Pinot Colada which tastes very much like a Pina Colada cocktail.  If you like the flavor of apples be sure to check out Original Sin from Winery at Wolf Creek.  If you want to avoid traveling to several wineries to try all of these wines you can visit a wine tasting showroom.  Gateway Place on US 62 in Wilmot lets you sample 40 or more kinds of these wines.  If you are in the Sugarceek, Ohio area stop in Heinis Gourmet Market to sample many of these wines.  Stop in on a Saturday afternoon and find musical entertainment to enjoy with your wine.  If you want to have a designated driver to sample Ohio wines then check out the wine tours offered by Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast in Millersburg, Ohio.

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608 www.garden-gate.com

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Carol' Top 5 Picks for Ohio Cheese

If you have ever traveled to Holmes County, Ohio, you know that this Amish area is famous for Ohio Cheese.   Almost every tourist that visits Amish Country goes home with some kind of cheese.  Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast owner, Carol Steffey, is sharing her five favorite cheeses in the area:


  1. Guggisberg Cheese:  Baby Swiss. This cheese is so smooth and that it will melt in your mouth.  It is great to snack of with a glass of your favorite wine or to enhance the flavor of a sandwich.
  2. Walnut Creek Cheese:  Smoked Swiss Cheese.  If you don't like sharp or strong cheese but you want something with a full body flavor this is your cheese.  My favorite way to eat it is on crackers but it is also very good in an omelette.
  3. Pearl Valley Cheese: Emmentaler.  This cheese has a bold, nutty flavor and is part of the Swiss cheese family.  We love to use this in our breakfast dishes at the bed and breakfast to add some extra flavor. 
  4. Broad Run Cheese: Smokey Sharp Cheddar.  Words like smokey and sharp may suggest a very strong cheese, but it is just right.  It puts a burst of flavor in your mouth and is great by itself or on crackers.
  5. Heini's Bunker Hill Cheese:  Vegetable Cream Cheese Spread.  You can sample about 50 kinds of cheese at this cheese factory and they are all good.  This unique spread is full of flavors!  For a quick appetizer, spread it on a slice of ham or turkey and roll it up.  Slice it like pinwheels and enjoy.
There are so many flavors to choose from with Ohio Cheese that you could try a different one every week and still barely tap the surface.  When you visit Holmes County, and the surrounding area, if you should find a cheese factory that doesn't have samples sitting out just ask for a sample.  They are happy to oblige.

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608 www.garden-gate.com

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Scenery Added to Murder Mystery Weekend in Ohio

When guests book a murder mystery weekend in Ohio at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast they often ask the same question of the innkeepers: "Where do we do the murder mystery?"
The owners are always looking for new props or scene setters to enhance the mystery.  On January 7, 2012 guests went to "New York's Little Italy" to feast on Italian food while solving a murder.  Each guest played a suspect.  Carol Steffey, one of the owners of the bed and breakfast, enjoys scouting out stores to find the right scenery.  After breakfast, Carol starts converting the Breakfast Room at the B&B in to the scene of the "murder".  When guests return in the evening to participate in the murder mystery the room has a whole different feel.  This Ohio bed and breakfast offers murder mystery weekends about month throughout the winter and spring months.  They can even set up a mystery weekend package for friends that want to take over the entire B&B.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608 www.garden-gate.com

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bed and Breakfast Inn of Ohio Shares Easy Appetizer Recipe

At our bed and breakfast Inn of Ohio we recently hosted a murder mystery with a Mediterranean theme.  We found a really delicious appetizer that kept with the theme and was easy to make.

Mediterranean Crescent Pinwheels
   Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
1 can of refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 lb. thin sliced ham
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 t. pepper
1 T. olive oil
6 T. chopped fresh basil

Divide the crescent rolls in to 4 rectangles and press the seams together.  Gently spread the rectangles to make them larger.  Place 3-4 slices of ham on each rectangle.
Meanwhile combine the feta, pepper, olive oil.  Sprinkle over the ham on each rectangle.
Top with chopped basil.
Start with the short side of the rectangles and roll up, pinching the end to seal.  Cut each roll in to 5 slices and place on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 375 for 15 minutes until golden brown.
Bon Appetite!

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608 www.garden-gate.com

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tantalizing Tastes & Tunes at Ohio Amish Country Getaway

The new year has arrived and in just a few months Mothers Day will be upon us.  An Ohio Amish Country getaway is offering some tantalizing tastes and tunes Mothers Day weekend.  Guests staying at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast will indulge in one of the most gourmet dinners that they have ever experienced.  Master Chef, Kent Welsh, who has catered Emmy and Grammy awards, will prepare a meal that will tantalize your taste buds.  After dinner they will gather around the campfire at this Ohio bed and breakfast to hear some tunes.  This performance is no sing-along but a professional performance by acoustic, finger-style guitar artist, Bud Preston.  Preston has produced an original CD of songs that were inspired from Amish Country called 'Welcome'.  He is soon to publish a 2nd CD with songs inspired by the history of Ohio's Erie Canal.  There will be free time to take Mom around Amish Country on Saturday and do some shopping, wine tasting, or pick up a box of chocolates.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608 www.garden-gate.com

Friday, January 13, 2012

New Year Came in with a Bang ... Murder

Guests who decided to travel to Ohio Amish Country this past New Years Eve found a whole new meaning to bringing in the New Year "with a bang".  The people that stayed at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast were part of a murder mystery package.  Each guest played a suspect in a role as a crew member on a cruise ship that was in the Mediterranean.  The "Captain" announced the murder and then it was mayhem because everyone had a motive.  As the crew sat around the "Captains Table" they indulged in a Mediterranean meal.    By the time the champagne toast came at midnight the murder was solved and everyone had a Happy New Year.



Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608 www.garden-gate.com

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wine & Dine My Valentine

Photo Courtesy of Ravens Glenn Winery
If you are looking for a romantic bed and breakfast in Ohio to wine and dine your special Valentine this year then you will want to check out Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast.   This is the only bed and breakfast to in Ohio to own a tour bus and take their guests on tours.  Since Valentines Day 2012 falls on a Tuesday they have put together a Wine & Dine: Wine Tasting Weekend just prior to Valentines Day.  You and your sweetheart will get to sample Ohio wines, taste Ohio cheeses, tour a winery, and savor a 5-course dinner that includes 5 wines!   One of the nicest features is the designated driver so you don't have to worry about how much wine you consume.  For more information on this Valentines package check out their website.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608 www.garden-gate.com

Monday, January 9, 2012

Marriage & Murder: Valentines Weekend

Who would put "marriage" and "murder" in the same sentence when talking about Valentines Day?  One of the romantic places in Ohio's Amish Country has done just that.  Since Valentines Day falls on a Tuesday in 2012, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast has put together a weekend murder mystery with a romantic, wedding theme.  What could be more romantic than reliving your own marriage with a wedding themed package.  Guests will dress in wedding clothes as if they are coming to a real wedding, the only twist is that there will be a "murder" at this wedding.  All of the guests must work together to solve the mystery during a "wedding reception" where they can indulge in a meal.   Details for this February 17-19, 2012 package can be found on their website.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608 www.garden-gate.com