Archive for November, 2013

Southeastern Arizona B and B Specials

November 30th, 2013 by Mike Hug

Southeastern Arizona B and B specials are found at Down By The River.

B and B pictureAre you looking for Southeastern Arizona B and B specials? I suggest that you take a look at Down By The River B and B. Our Cochise County B and B has partnered with local businesses to give you a little more for your dollar and add to your enjoyment when you stay with us.  Check out our Southeastern Arizona b and b specials  page on the website to find all the offers that we have and any requirements to use the discount.

flower pictureOne of the businesses whom we work with is Arnold’s Flowers in Benson. We use Arnold exclusively for our floral arrangements and our guests have always been thrilled with the results. We currently have two specials running that incorporate Arnold’s talent. One is for Valentine’s Day and another is for Mother’s Day. When you reserve a room for two nights, our Southeastern Arizona B and B will have fresh flowers placed in the room prior to you checking in. Surprise that special someone with this treat.

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Wings Over Willcox

November 24th, 2013 by Mike Hug

Wings Over Willcox 2014 is coming in January

Sand Hill Cranes returning pictureWings Over Willcox (WOW) is an annual event held in the middle of January every year. This year is the 21st time that the birding event has been held. The WOW event hosts various tours, seminars, contests and a banquet. There are over 60 different events taking place during the time frame. Birding tours and many chances for photography are available at different venues all over Cochise County. Twin Lakes, The Willcox Playa and White Water Draw are some of the locations that draw the birding tours. Children’s activities such as building bird nesting boxes are available. It is less than 2 months away from the start of WOW and already some of the more popular events are sold out with wait lists for them filling as you read this. Opportunities to get on a tour are still available but they are filling up fast. Too see what is available, click here on the link to the events page.   American Coot PictureA brochure of the entire experience is available online on the website so that you can download it and read it at your leisure.

I notice that there is one contest with Wings Over Wilcox which would be interesting for me. The contest is the Anniversary Challenge. This challenge is open to everyone and its aim is for entrants to find and list as many of the 100 birds that were seen in the Sulphur Springs Valley prior to 1900. Some of the birds were sighted back in the 1700s.  The list can be found on the website challenge page. A bird themed poetry and a Haiku contest is also on the agenda.

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Southeast Arizona Bird Migration

November 18th, 2013 by Mike Hug

Southeast Arizona Bird Migration is best in The San Pedro River Valley

Chipping Sparrow picture

LBJ aka Chipping Sparrow

Southeast Arizona Bird Migration along the San Pedro River reaches its peak in the fall and spring of the year. Some of the migratory birds end their southeast Arizona migration in areas of Cochise County in Southeastern Arizona. Down By The River B and B, the lodging hub of Cochise County, is a perfect spot to stay while you take your day trips to find that bird you need on your life list. There are many birds that spend the winter in Cochise County. The nice sunny days allow for you to spend time watching the birds instead of being bundled up next to a fire at the old homestead. In preparing this blog, I found a website that gives migration routes of birds and approximate times of the year that they migrate. There is some good information in this website and it gives you some general timing for your visit to see the our Southeast Arizona bird migration.

Ducts in Flight Picture

Northern Shoveler taking flight at Twin Lakes Birding Area

The Sandhill Cranes, Snow Geese, American Avocet, American Coots and a variety of Teals are just a few of the birds that spend the winter in locations around the county. There are lakes and ponds within a short driving distance that are sanctuaries for these birds. Besides the migratory birds that call Southeast Arizona home for the winter, we have the resident birds that live all year long in the area. Many visit our feeders during the day. This allows our guests to be very close so there is no need for that big lens to get that great picture.

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Arizona Wine Tasting

November 7th, 2013 by Mike Hug

The Arizona Wine Tasting – The Wine Challenge was held at Down By The River B and B

Arizona wine tasting was the name of the game at Down By The River B and B where the Wine Challenge at The River was held. The non-conventional Arizona wine tasting test was hoping to demonstrate that Arizona Wine could hold its own against other wines from outside of Arizona. Angie and I were convinced from our Arizona wine tasting ventures that the grapes grown and used for wine in Arizona were just as good if not better than other wines we have had. To find out we decided to have a blind taste test with our guests.

Wine set up for the Arizona Wine Tasting ChallengeAngie and I provided the Arizona wines that were chosen at the Willcox Wine Festival. From this Arizona Wine tasting we chose two wines that we rated the best. We also have our favorites from the Sonoita area and we did a comparison of those with the two that we had chosen from Willcox. Unlike official taste tests, we decided to allow the guest to bring any wine that they thought would be something that would be liked by all the other guests. The blind tasting guests turned their bottle over to Mike when they arrived. Mike transferred the wine to another bottle so that no one would visually know which wine they brought. The wine bottles were left opened and allowed to breathe for over 1 hour after the transfer to the new bottles. The bottles were labeled randomly for the tasting.

We had expected 3 rooms to be at the Challenge but one room had to cancel at the last minute. So instead of 8 different samples to have during the test we had 6. We had each guest rate the wines from 1 to 9 for nose, finish and overall drinkability. The scores would be averaged and the highest rated wine would win. We had two California wines, two from South Australia and two from Arizona. The wines were all good with the food pairings that we had during the tasting.

Arizona Wine Tasting Challenge

The labels of the wines submitted to the Wine Challenge at The River.

The wines and their placement were as follows:

  1. 2010 Zarpara Origen, a blend from Kansas Settlement, Cochise County Arizona
  2. 2012 Molly Dooker Boxer Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia
  3. 2012 Molly Dooker Violinist Verdelho from McLaren Vale, South Australia
  4. 2011 Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay from Kenwood, Sonoma County
  5. 2010 Arizona Stronghold Nacise, a blend from Cochise County, Arizona
  6. 2012 Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena, Napa Valley

Prize winner picture

Alex Miller won the prize wine from Gallifant Cellars.

We actually picked the Nacise as the wine to beat when we picked the wines at the Willcox Wine Festival although we felt that Origen was a close second. Since the winner was Origen, which was our wine pick, we awarded the prize to Alex Miller who brought the Molly Dooker. The prize was a bottle 2009 Gallifant Cabernet Sauvignon. The other guests also received free wine tastings that were contributed to us by Coronado Winery, Zarpara Winery and Pillsbury Winery.

As I said this was just a fun time and not a scientific or professional tasting. We also regret that we couldn’t pick a wine from all the wineries in Arizona but could only choose two. We do want to thank everyone that helped us choose a wine for our Arizona Wine Tasting event. Many of the vintners gave us advice on what they thought would be the best one to choose. We wish to thank Terry and Jacque with Coronado, Mark and Rhona with Zarpara and Bonnie Lee and Sam from Pillsbury for the tasting passes. We want to thank the winemakers and owners of Carlson Creek, Charron, Coronado, Dos Cabezas, Flying Leap, Golden Rule, Keeling Schaefer, Kief Joshua, Lightning Ridge, Lawrence Dunham, Page Springs, Pillsbury, Sand Reckoner, Wilhelm and especially Arizona Stronghold and Zarpara for guiding us with wine recommendations. We also want to give a special thanks to Irlyn and Gavin Gallifant with Gallifant Cellars for the prize wine that was used in The Challenge at The River.

Angie and I look forward to doing The Wine Challenge again in the future. Go to our Facebook  page (and then LIKE us) because we place the information about events there a couple of weeks before it goes up on our website.

Wine Challenge Nominees picture

The wines that we has as nominees for the wine tasting were all wonderful

Southeastern Arizona BnB Recipe

November 3rd, 2013 by Mike Hug

Spinach Tomato Quiche with Caramelized Onions from our Southeastern Arizona BnB Recipe Collection

Our delicious Southeastern Arizona BnB recipes come in handy when we have a diverse group of guests. Many times we have had guests who have dietary restrictions and we want to provide a great breakfast that will meet their requirements. Sometimes we need to do separate dishes for them while at other times we are able to accomplish the meal using one recipe. We recently served a breakfast where we had a guest who was on a gluten free diet, a vegetarian, a diabetic and a guest with no restrictions. The spinach quiche recipe is a staple on our menu list and this dish worked for everyone. We can use a crust that is gluten free or we can eliminate the crust in some cases. Even though the dish doesn’t call for meat or cheese, you can add bacon or Mozzarella to the recipe and it will become a different breakfast when served. This recipe is very versatile and allows you to experiment to meet the dietary restrictions of our guests.

Tomato Spinach Quiche PictureWe are asked by guests for our Southeastern Arizona BnB recipes and we gladly give them out. At times we post recipes on our blog so that guests can find them later when they get home. All of our recipes are designed for larger groups but the recipe can be reduced for use in smaller size dishes and ramekins. The cooking time will vary so that variable needs to be watched. We serve this quiche with different side dishes including French toast, pancakes or waffles. We love to play with combinations. Check back on our blog for other Southeastern Arizona BnB recipes from our kitchen at Down By The River B and B, The Lodging Hub of Cochise County.

Ingredients

4 large eggs
3/4 of a medium onion
2 1/2 Roma Tomatoes
1 1/2cups fresh spinach leaves
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 Tbsp ground rosemary
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
Butter
Pastry shell (optional)
1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese (optional)
1/4 cup bacon cooked & crumpled (optional)

Directions
Grease an 8” baking dish and bake pastry shell. If you don’t use the crust just grease the dish.
Julienne Onion and sauté in butter over low heat until browned
Thinly slice the tomatoes deseed and set aside
In a bowl combine eggs, heavy cream and spices – Mix well
On the pie shell place the caramelized onion
Place the spinach over the top of the onion
Place bacon over the spinach (optional)
Pour the egg mixture over the top of the spinach and onions
Top with the tomato slices
Top the tomatoes with the Mozzarella Cheese (optional)

Bake at 350 F for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown

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