Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Garden Treasures

A stroll through the garden revealed a treasure trove of blooms. These are some of our knockout roses. Remember to click the photos for a larger view.
The oakleaf hydrangea has begun to bloom.
A pomegranate blossom by the gazebo.
Stella d'oro daylilies in the side garden.
Crinum lilies in one of our planters.
One of several salvia varieties in the garden.
Whirling butterflies or guara.
Most of the oleander is full of buds, but, several blooms have appeared.
Happy returns daylilies on the path.
Creeping jasmine blooms near the entry point to the back garden. Wish I could share the incredible aroma with you!
The pond iris are almost finished blooming, but, these 2 beauties remain.
Hope you had a wonderful day, this Easter Sunday. Thanks for your virtual visit to the Americus Garden Inn. Come see us!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"Toad" Frogs Arrive in Americus

Last night we were a little concerned about the possibility of severe weather. (Remember to click the photos for a larger view!)We knew that there was 100% chance of rain. And, the possibility of strong winds and hail. When we started to hear the trilling sound of the "toad" frogs
and saw that our yard was covered in frogs
we knew, for sure, that there would be rain.
It is truly amazing that they know when to come to the "pond party".
When the sun came up this morning, I took these photos in our pond.
There is only one male still trilling loudly.
We are looking forward to the tadpoles helping with the algae in the pond. For us, the frogs are the true indicator that Spring has arrived.

Want to hear the frog "singing"? Check out our video on our facebook page at:

Have a Happy Day from Susan and Kim at the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Gluten Free Chocolate Coke Muffins - vegan recipe

If gluten free, chocolate and vegan recipes interest you, check out this recipe I have created. Some days, I really want to have something that tastes decadently delicious but does not contain the things that I can't have. So, I try to find and develop recipes that I can have that are gluten and soy free. This recipe was inspired by the idea that seltzer water is used in tempura batter.The recipe only makes 6 muffins. Through trial and error (I made about 6 batches of muffins before settling on this version), this batch came out the best. I tried using brown rice flour and it was not good.

The dry ingredients were sifted together - sugar, white rice flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum. Xanthan gum was the ingredient that made this recipe work. Just making sure that the lumps of cocoa have disappeared. Wet ingredients were measured right into a measuring cup - coffee, oil, vanilla, vinegar and Coke Zero 6 muffin tins were lined and ready Wet ingredients were poured over dry
and quickly incorporated.
Batter was evenly scooped into the 6 muffin liners.
20 minutes later (baked at 325 degrees)
Cooled on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.
Texture was perfect.
Here's a bite for you!
I thought they were delicious. Hope you do too! If you try this recipe, please let me know.


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup white rice flour
3 Tablespoons baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons oil
2 Tablespoons brewed coffee, cooled
3 oz Coke Zero 
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line 6 muffin cups with liners.
  2.  Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Measure wet ingredients into measuring cup. Do not stir. (You want to keep all that carbonation from the soda)
  4. Pour wet over dry and stir just until combined.
  5. Quickly spoon into prepared muffin pan.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool slightly and enjoy!

It is a gorgeous day here in Americus and there is lots to do. So, have a fabulous day and visit us again soon at the Americus Garden Inn.