Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa Comes to Willett Way in Americus

'Twas the night before Christmas eve and it seemed that every child in Americus had come to Willett Way Wonderland to see Santa Claus. You haven't experienced Christmas in Americus if you haven't paid a visit to Willett Way. Please click on the first photo so you can view the photos as a slide show. Enjoy the photos and have a very Merry Christmas.

Love, Peace and Joy,
Kim and Susan Egelseer
Americus Garden Inn

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Lights in Americus 2011

Every community has a special place to see the Christmas lights each year. Here in Americus there are two places to see elaborate light displays - Willett Way Wonderland and Gradyland. Since we had never heard of Gradyland, we decided to check it out. From what we read, they have been doing this for quite a few years. Here are the photos I took for you to enjoy.
Click on the first photo so you can see the photos as a slide show!

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog. We wish our Jewish friends a Happy Chanukah and our Christian friends a Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Super Easy Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Muffins

For most of us, finding gluten free recipes and products that actually deliver on texture and flavor is difficult. Since so many people with gluten intolerance also have other dietary restrictions, I am always on the lookout for recipes that can be made without eggs or dairy products. I was aware of this recipe using a traditional cake mix as a healthier version of a chocolate treat. So, I decided to try it using a gluten free cake mix.

There are only 2 ingredients in this recipe - pumpkin and chocolate cake mix.

Since I am soy intolerant, I do not use the nonstick sprays. I prefer to use paper liners. I didn't want to waste the whole package of cake mix (if the recipe was NOT good) or a whole can of pumpkin, so I divided the box of mix in half.
I added half the can of pumpkin. This is just pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix.

It easily came together with a rubber spatula, although the batter was thick.
I decided to add a handful of chocolate chips. There goes the 2 ingredient recipe! I just couldn't help myself. The more chocolate the better...

I mixed the chips into the batter.

And the batter looked absolutely perfect.
I used a small scoop to ensure even muffins and it worked out to be 10 small muffins. I always fill the empty muffin cups about 1/4 full of water.

They baked at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. The package directions for regular cupcakes said it would be about 22 - 24 minutes. But, using the toothpick test, they needed more time.

I let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and moved them to the cooling rack.

I got a cup of our Americus Garden Inn Signature blend coffee in my Deneen pottery collector's mug to taste test the muffins.

They looked beautiful on the inside, but, I felt they were missing something.Powdered sugar! Now they look special.
These muffins were better with the sugar dusted over the tops. And, they were tastier once they cooled. I would have thought that the chocolate chips would add more flavor warm, but, the pumpkin flavor mellowed once they cooled and the chips added an extra textural component.

So, don't be afraid of entertaining your gluten free friends. Have a gluten free cake mix handy along with a can of pumpkin and you can treat them to something special in no time.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We're open through the holidays and we'd love to see you at the Americus Garden Inn.