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Holiday Splendor and Specials at California B&Bs

Best B&B Holiday Cookie and Dessert Recipes

CABBI Cookbook Recipe: Classic Beef Burgundy Stew

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cabbi Bookmark and ShareNovember 2011

Holiday Specials at California B&Bs

Holiday Splendor and
Specials at California B&Bs

Nestle into the warmth of the holidays with a stay at a California bed and breakfast inn. California inns are welcoming travelers with crackling fires, festive decor and an array of holiday specials and events. 

Stay at the Bavarian-inspired Hofsas House in Carmel and enjoy discounted rates and family fun with the inn’s “Holidays are Where the Heart Is” package.  Kids can decorate ginger bread houses while adults sip award-winning local wines. Package rates start at $179 per night for a spacious room with two queen beds or $239 per night for a two-bedroom, two-bath family suite (excluding taxes). The package includes a gingerbread house making kit, a bottle of Ventana Vineyards wine and a cheese tray upon arrival.  Packages must be reserved 72 hours in advance and are subject to availability.   Offer valid through December 31, 2011 with a minimum of a one night stay.  Use booking code HHHoliday.

For a magical touch of the holidays, join the Country Inn Bed & Breakfast in Fort Bragg for the 23rd Candlelight Inn Tour, December 8-11, 2011. Each evening of the tour, the inns of Mendocino, Fort Bragg, Little River/Albion, and Elk open their doors with spectacular holiday decorations, treats, and carolers to share the splendor of the season. The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens will be joining in the festivities, hosting the Festival of Lights, December 2-11.  The Country Inn Bed & Breakfast’s Holiday Magic package includes a three night stay at the inn and two tickets for the four-day tour.  Rates are $255 for non-fireplace rooms and $345 for fireplace rooms.

Celebrate holidays with the Mount View Hotel & Spa in Calistoga as the inn celebrates its 100th year.  Now through April 30, 2012, guests can stay two nights and receive the third night free.  In addition to the third free night, the special includes a Cabernet Passport for complimentary tastings at seven Napa Valley wineries, a Mount View souvenir and breakfast in bed.  The free night will be applied to the lowest nightly rate.

Toast the holidays in style with Carmel Country Inn’s “Celebrate the Season” special.  Book a deluxe king suite or king studio and the inn will treat guests to a complimentary sweet and bubbly “inn-dulgence” (split of champagne and chocolate truffles) upon arrival to enjoy in front of the fireplace or the whirlpool tub.  Excludes November 21-12, 2011, December 21-23, 2011, December 25-29, 2011 January 1, 2012, February 7-11, and February 13- 14, 2012.

Chelsea Garden Inn and Brannan Cottage Inn are both offering Winter in the Wineries Passport specials in association with the Calistoga Chamber of Commerce’s winery passport program.  The passport provides complimentary wine tastings at up to 18 award-winning wineries, discounts at Calistoga restaurants and 10 percent off all room rates at the Chelsea Garden Inn and Brannan Cottage Inn.  The passport savings are valid December 2, 2011 – February 5, 2012. 

Decked out for the holidays, several Napa inns will serve wine, food, and live entertainment for the Napa B&B Holiday Tour December 3, from 3 to 7 p.m.  Participating inns include Arbor Guest House, Beazley House, Candlelight Inn, Churchill Manor, Hennessey House, Napa Inn and Old World Inn.  Shuttles are available. Tickets are $55 and may be purchased at

martine innIn Pacific Grove, the Christmas at the Inns tour features 10 inns decorated in their Victorian holiday finest.  One of the participants, the Martine Inn, provides overnight guests with two complimentary tour tickets (a $40 value). The inn is one of the highlights of the tour, featuring decorated trees in every guest room.  They also trim a large tree in the library and put up a traditional porch tree decorated with Monterey Peninsula historic building miniatures made by the docents of the Monterey History Art Association. The tour runs November 29 -30, 2011 from 6 to 9 p.m.

For a last minute Thanksgiving holiday getaway, the 1906 Lodge at Coronado Beach is offering a $30 discount per night on its Winchester or Author’s Study rooms in the historic lodge. The $179 per night rate is the inn’s lowest rate of the year.  The offer is valid November 20 through December 1, 2011 and requires a two night minimum stay.  The rate includes complimentary breakfast, evening wine and snacks, underground parking, and wireless Internet.

cookbook recipe

Sorensen's Resort

sorensenClassic Beef Burgundy Stew
Makes 8 Servings

2 pounds beef stew meat, trimmed and cubed
1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup butter
3 teaspoons coarse black pepper
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons fresh, chopped garlic, divided
1 1/2quarts beef broth
1 quart Burgundy wine
2 bay leaves
1 1/2tablespoons Knorrs beef base, divided
3 carrots, peeled and julienne sliced
1 small bunch celery, julienne sliced
3-4 medium white or red potatoes, quartered
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water

In a medium skillet over high heat, sauté stew meat and onions in the butter and olive oil until meat is nicely browned. Add salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the garlic to the meat mixture. In a large stew pot, combine beef broth, wine and bay leaves and cook over medium heat until it reaches a boil. Lower heat to simmer and add meat mixture, remaining garlic and 1 tablespoon of beef base. Stir thoroughly, cover and cook for 1 hour, or until meat is tender. Add carrots, celery and potatoes and cook for another 35-40 minutes. In the last 20 minutes of cooking, add dried herbs and mushrooms. Adjust seasonings to taste and add the remaining beef base, if needed.

Dissolve the cornstarch in water and add slowly to the stew to thicken. Stir for approximately 5 minutes. Serve hot with rustic bread and salad of butter lettuce, shallots, Stilton cheese and simple vinaigrette. Leftover stew is great over wide egg noodles.cookbook

Sorensen's Resort
A resort for all seasons in the Sierra Nevadas, Sorensen's Resort offers boundless opportunities for cross-country skiing, backpacking, hiking, fishing, bicycling and relaxing.

For more delicious recipes from CABBI-member inns, order our CABBI Cookbook online or peruse recipe collections in our Online Recipe Box.

holiday cookies

Best B&B Holiday Cookie & Dessert Recipes

California bed and breakfast innkeepers offer up their signature cookie and dessert recipes for the holidays. Just click the links below for the recipes.

Coconut-Cranberry Chews are Doug and Judy Cook’s favorite holiday cookie, but the innkeepers of the Chelsea Garden Inn in Calistoga warn that these gooey cookies featuring dried cranberries and coconut with a hint of orange are habit warming.  You’ll want to make them all year long. 

The Ballard Inn has had the same chef for the past eight years. Florina not only prepares some of the finest breakfasts in Santa Barbara County, but she’s also responsible for making the inn’s famously delicious bed turn-down cookies. The Chewy Chocolate Cookies is one of the staff and guests’ favorites. It's the perfect cookie to enjoy on a cold day by the fireplace with a warm cup of coffee.

The innkeepers at the Lakeport English Inn, Karan and Hugh Mackey, warn that their Dingle Dangle Gingerbread Squares "are so addicting that it is essential to make only one batch." But once you taste the combination of candied ginger and walnuts with old-fashioned rolled oats, you’ll want to make the second batch.

While sugar plum fairies dance in heads of children, Santa will be gobbling down the Sweet Dream Cookies from Foothill House B&B in Napa Valley.  These irresistible morsels are made with hints of cinnamon, ginger, and chocolate chips.

The flavors of orange and chocolate are a holiday classic, but Old Monterey Inn adds cream cheese to the mix with chocolate chips and orange liqueur to create their scrumptious Cream Cheese Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies.  You’ll have to hide these from yourself to keep from eating them all in one setting.

Dunbar House, 1880’s Death by Chocolate Cookies pack in two whole packages of semi-sweet baking chocolate.  The dense chocolate morsels are divine.

The Arnold Black Bear Inn’s signature cookies--Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk--are the chef’s favorite.  One taste of the dark chocolate melting with banana, oats, and a hint of cinnamon, and they’ll become your favorite, too.

In Santa Barbara, Secret Garden Inn and Cottages’ favorite holiday dessert is Pumpkin Bread Pudding. The festive flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger combine to create the perfect winter dessert--especially when served with a dollop of whipped cream or caramel sauce.

Stephanie McCaffrey of the McCaffrey House Bed & Breakfast Inn in Twain Harte shared a super simple recipe for Pumpkin Dessert that is sure to be a hit.  The recipe calls for just five ingredients: pumpkin pie mix, condensed sweet milk, eggs, butter, a yellow cake mix.