Saturday, July 18, 2015

The 2015 Tour of B&Bs: A Review

Reflection Lake B&B -on the deck
Have you ever had one of those lovely Sunday afternoons that you didn’t want to end?  That happened to me last Sunday.  The Anchorage Alaska Bed and Breakfast Association (AABBA) held a progressive dinner.  Bed and Breakfast hosts in our association contributed appetizers, main dishes, salads and desserts.  Three bed and breakfasts were selected to host the various ‘courses.’

The event started at 3:00 PM with appetizers at the home of a new AABBA member, Reflection Lake Bed and Breakfast.  Hosts Annie and Jason Zeng opened their entire home for us to enjoy and view.  Seeing the care and quality they have given to their home really makes me proud to have them join our association.  One of the loveliest parts of their home is a deck that goes from the dining room out towards the lake.  We had our appetizers while sitting, visiting and enjoying the peaceful surroundings and looking at reflections dancing on the lake.  Their guests enjoy this space surely as much as we did. 

Calla House B&B
Our next stop was at Sam Penney’s, Calla House Bed and Breakfast.  Sam has been an active member of AABBA for a very long time.  She is really skilled in the art of hosting.  Her home shows the same detail and attention and care Sam gives to her many guests.  The Calla House is set in a peaceful neighborhood with views out back.  Sitting on the swing outback, several members commented about the visiting birds who flew close to us while gathering their own choice bites from feeders – they added to the ambiance. Here we had salads and main dishes and lots of visiting.  There was plenty to eat and eat we did! 

Judy's A Touch of Class B&B
Our last stop was at Judy and Jim Powell’s, Judy’s A Touch of Class Bed and Breakfast.  Since dessert is my favorite, I was most happy to enter this large lovely home that has many Alaskan touches gathered over the many years the Powells have live in Alaska Their home backs up to a green belt area full of beautiful natural trees and vegetation. When you look out their back windows you forget you are still in the city. Their large dining room table quickly filled with pies and cakes brought by our members. A quick association meeting was held after we all filled our plates and settled into seats in Judy’s kitchen/family room area. Some people continued to go back to the dinning room table for seconds and thirds but who’s counting.  At the end of our meeting I noticed there was nothing left to eat … just empty pans and plates that looked licked clean.

During the meeting, people were encouraged to share thoughts, experiences and ideas for the future of our businesses.  Our biggest laughs came from people sharing some of the silly and not so silly things that has happened during the summer experience of hosting people from all over the world. When our meeting ended, people just stuck around and continued to visit. No one seemed in a hurry to get home.   All in all it was a lovely Sunday full of great food, conversations, and new ideas. 

I was asked to share the recipe for my Sourdough Carrot Cake.  This recipe comes from a recipe book called Simply Sourdough-The Alaska Way- by Kathy Doogan.

Sourdough Carrot Cake

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1 cup sourdough started
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon backing soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Anchorage Walkabout Town Hosts
Mix together oil and sugar. Add starter and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Fold in pineapple, carrots, nuts, coconut and vanilla.  Shift together flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon: add to the starter mixture and blend well.  Pour batter into greased and floured 9”x13” pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool and frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. 

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound confectioner’s sugar (3 1/2 to 4 cups)
1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Combine all ingredients, beating until smooth.

Bake, cool, frost, and enjoy!

Sandy is a member of AABBA and treated all guests to a taste of the Sourdough Carrot Cake.


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