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Final Summer Cooking Schools: Blair House Inn

August 20th, 2013 by Lois Mahoney

Summer is winding down here in the Texas hill country. The Blair House Inn bed and breakfast is down to the final summer cooking schools. Our classes have been a big success this season and we want to finish up with a bang. Wimberley, TX weather has been pretty hot this year. Get out of the heat and join us in the kitchen for some professional level cooking techniques to impress friends and wow family. We can definitely teach an old dog some new tricks here at the Blair House Inn.

To become a truly skilled chef, French cuisine should be second nature. Chef Chris will teach the basics to a few staples of French cuisine. The French cooking class has been our highest attended school this summer. Come see why. Our new Farm-to-Table cooking class is a diamond in the rough at Blair House Inn. With more and more people trying to eat healthy, fresh and organic ingredients have become very popular. We will show you how to take those quality farmers market finds and turn them into a masterpiece. Sometimes, all that is needed to prepare an amazing dinner is to just get out of the way of your ingredients. That is what this cooking class teaches: quality and simplicity. Two things that is lacking in most cuisine these days. Let us help you become the chef you always wanted to be; sign up for one of the final summer cooking schools today. We hope to see you soon in the Wimberley, Texas hill country at Blair House Inn.

Final Summer Cooking Schools

September 9th – 11th: Classic French Cuisine

Learn the art of haute cuisine. Create exciting fare such as Shrimp Scampi, French Onion Soup, Coq au Vin, Steak au Poivre, and Beef Bourguignon. Learn the art of roasting carnard (duck) served with an orange sauce. Prepare delectable desserts like Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Coulis and Crème Caramel. The Chef will teach you basic French techniques that you can apply to all of your home cooking.

Farmers Market

September 23rd – 25th: New! Farm-to-Table Cuisine

A class dedicated to fresh seasonal ingredients, innovative dishes and local foods that showcase Hill Country produce and products. Learn to prepare locally produced foods with an emphasis on freshness, seasonality, local availability, and simple preparation such as Texas Pecan and Bourbon Pie or a Handmade Artisan Goat Cheese and Fresh Mint Salad.

Blair House Inn: Summer Events Calendar

June 13th, 2013 by Lois Mahoney

Summer Events

The Blair House Inn invites everyone to the Texas Hill Country for fun summer events. Many of the surrounding towns take advantage of summer weather by hosting amazing events for travelers hoping to have some fun. Here in Wimberley is three days of festivities for Fourth of July. There’s something for everyone. Check out what’s going on in the hill country and plan your visit to see us at the Blair House Inn.

Wimberley’s July Jubilee Summer Events Calendar July 3-6

Gates open Wednesday, July 3, at the VFW Rodeo Grounds. Mini Bull-riding and live music will highlight the evening. Festivities culminate with early fireworks over the Wimberley Valley skies. This inaugural night of the Jubilee will also feature arts and crafts vendors, food and beverage booths, and carnival games. July 4’s Jubilee activities will begin with the down-home charm of the Wimberley Parade winding through downtown Wimberley. At night, the action returns to VFW Rodeo Grounds for opening night of Wimberley’s popular VFW Rodeo. A CPRA sanctioned event, the rodeo attracts an average of 3,000 fans per evening. On July 5, activities continue with the second night of bronco riding, team-roping, barrel-racing, and bull-riding. After the rodeo, fans will be treated to live music from the Ranch Rock Band and a boot-scootin’ cowboy dance. July 6 events begin at Lions Field, with one of the most popular market days in the state. Wimberley Market Day attracts shoppers, bargain hunters, and treasure seekers from around the state. That evening, the VFW Rodeo will conclude with another night of livestock action.

San Marcos BigFest June 28-30

Big fest is a fundraising music festival for the Cheatham Street Warehouse Music Foundation, and a celebration of Big John Mills’ birthday. This year’s festival will be held June 28-30 in the historic Cheatham Street Warehouse. The place musicians such as George Strait, Todd Snider, and Randy Rogers got their start. Radio Free Texas will be broadcasting the event live. Don’t forget to check out the silent auction. Find a perfect gift for the music fan in your life.

Bandera Riverfest June 29

Come join the fun as Bandera Business Association holds its 16th annual RIVERFEST, June 29, on the banks of the beautiful Medina River. Mosey on over to the food booths where you will find the best picnic fare on the river! Plenty to choose from and lots of entertainment while you eat too! One of the featured events is our search for the best singer in the hill country. Get your vocal cords ready and select your music, competition will be fun! The winner will get to do some special singing appearances in and around Bandera! Browse through our excellent selection of Arts and Craft Booths, each selected from a juried show for their skill and craftsmanship, or venture into the information and exhibit area. Stroll through our Open Car Show and Swap meet. Teams of cookers will be doing their best riverside bar-b-cueing to win the coveted prize of Best Brisket Cooker. If all this isn’t enough, get ready for the “GREAT HILL COUNTRY ANYTHING THAT FLOATS REGATTA”! Don’t miss this infamous parade that will keep you laughing as the creative entries make their way down the Medina River.

New Braunfels Peddler Show August 9-11

The Peddler Show rolls into town August 9-11 featuring a brand new show custom built just for New Braunfels! Be inspired as you shop from an exclusive selection of talented designers, artisans, creators, and craftsmen from all over the country. Find unique merchandise for your home, health, wardrobe, and family all at the New Braunfels Civic Center! Come experience THE Perfect Street of Shops created just for New Braunfels!

San Marcos Summer Concerts in the Park Summer Events Calendar July 6 – August 8

Head out to San Marcos for the annual concert series. Their summer events calendar features live music every Thursday evening at San Marcos Plaza Park, June 6 through August 8 from 7:30 pm to 9:30pm. The 2013 concert series lineup includes: Terri Hendrix June 20; Those Nights June 27; San Marcos Summerfest July4; Soul Track Mind July 11; Brave Combo July 18; Walt Wilkins & the Mystiqueros July 25; Graybone August 1; and Two Tons of Steel August 8.

Barbeque Camp: Blair House Inn Cooking School

June 5th, 2013 by Lois Mahoney

Beef brisket

 

Blair House Inn invites you to summertime in the Texas hill country. Swimming in the river. Lounging by the pool. Cold drinks at sunset. Dinner with friends and relatives. And summer would not be summer without cooking some delicious BBQ. Would you like to learn some new techniques and recipes to send your next meal over the top? If you’re tired of the same old brisket and ribs, join us at the Blair House Inn Barbeque Camp, as featured on the Food Network, June 17th–19th. This is a class designed specifically to elevate standard barbeque to an art!

Learn the finest wood smoking with the Big Green Egg and grilling techniques, and try your hand at these lively recipes.  Dishes like Cedar Plank Wild King Salmon with Jerked Spice and Mango Salsa, St. Louis Style Baby Back Ribs with Cherry Coke Glaze, Beer Can Chicken, Texas Brisket, and Fredericksburg Peach Cobbler with Home-made Vanilla Ice Cream will add excitement to any cook-out. Be the star of the neighborhood!

Blair House Inn Texas Barbeque Camp, June 17th – 19th.

Only a few spots are still available for a unique experience with our trained chef. Book your spot today.

Texas Hill Country Kitchen VIDEO Series | Grasshopper Pie: Part 3

May 23rd, 2013 by Lois Mahoney

grasshopperPie

 

Check out our NEW video! Learn how to make a delicious Grasshopper Pie.

Do you love to cook or know someone who does? The Blair House Inn offers over 25 Cooking Schools per year. View the complete schedule on our website or click here.  For our guests that can’t get away during the week we offer 2-day Individual cooking seminars with our chef. Get your hands dirty in the kitchen with Chef Chris and help prepare a five-course gourmet dinner fit for a king! Bring home the recipes and enjoy with family and friends. Savor the flavor of the Hill Country at the Blair House Inn!

Texas Hill Country Kitchen VIDEO Series | Grasshopper Pie: Part 2

May 10th, 2013 by Lois Mahoney

grasshopperPie2

Check out our NEW video! Learn how to make a delicious Grasshopper Pie.

Interested in learning more? Do you love to cook or know someone who does? The Blair House Inn offers over 25 Cooking Schools per year varying in theme and are open to people of all skill levels. View the complete schedule on our website or click here.  For our guests that can’t get away during the week we offer 2-day Individual cooking seminars with our chef. Get your hands dirty in the kitchen with Chef Chris and help prepare a five-course gourmet dinner fit for a king! Bring home the recipes and enjoy with family and friends. Enjoy the Texas Hill Country at the Blair House Inn!

 

Texas Hill Country Kitchen VIDEO Series | Grasshopper Pie: Part 1

May 8th, 2013 by Lois Mahoney

video

Check out our new video! Join us in our Hill Country kitchen with our Assistant Kasi. Learn to make a delicious Grasshopper Pie!

Stay tuned for more videos from the Blair House Inn kitchen!

Are you interested in joining us for a Cooking School? View the full schedule on our website or call for more details, 512-847-1111.

 

Cooking with Fresh Herbs in the Texas Hill Country

March 6th, 2013 by Lois Mahoney

Basil vs. Caterpillar (time-lapse)

Fresh herbs can add an abundance of flavor to any dish.  Utilizing the freshness will give any dish an impact that no dried herb can emulate.  At the Blair House we grow them all summer long, picking off what we need for our dishes, making pesto, and preserving them for use during the winter.

When working with fresh herbs, some people get stuck on how exactly to go about using them.  In our Cooking with Fresh Herbs class we will address multiple techniques on utilizing a wide range of herbs.  We will address how to plant and maintain your own garden in the region you live in.

Here are a few techniques for chopping herbs to add to your dishes, as well as how you can save any extra herbs for use later on. happy mother´s day

Washing Herbs – Herbs are plants, and like most plants, they are exposed to nature.  We will show you how to properly harvest, wash, and dry to ensure a healthy practice with cooking.

Removing Stems – When working with herbs such as parsley, dill, and sage, removing the main stem or stalk is the most important part.  For rosemary, thyme, and herbs with a woody stalk you will want to strip the leaves at their base to avoid any bitterness.  You will learn  how to determine what process to use with which herbs.

Chopping Herbs – Each herbs have different methods of chopping to utilize the most impact of flavor and presentation for your dishes.

Preserving & Drying – Extra chopped herbs can easily be preserved by freezing in ice cube trays, covering with a teaspoon of water and frozen.  Frozen herb-sickles can be added to soups or dishes as they are heating for a fresh burst of flavor in winter months.  Drying herbs at the end of the growing season can be utilized for months after summer has passed.

Our next Fresh Herbed cooking school is April 1 – 3 and there is still available space.  Call or follow this link to book your reservation.

Texas Hill Country: Last Minute Holiday Getaway!

December 16th, 2012 by Lois Mahoney

Wanted: Reindeer, must fly

Celebrate Christmas this season  in the Texas Hill Country. The Hill Country is abound with a variety of festive events. Some places have a white Christmas, but in the Hill Country we have a light Christmas. Between the months of November and January the hills are illuminated in a multi-colored glow, its an electrical extravagance that’s so contagious it has spread through out the Hill Country’s many small towns and now forms the Trail of Lights. The Emily Ann Theatre in Wimberley is a proud participant in the Trail of Lights. Enjoy hot chocolate as you walk the trail. You won’t want to miss the chance to see some of the areas best lights this season. If you are still not feeling festive enough you can enjoy the 2012 Holiday Wine Trail. Take part in the self-guided Holiday Wine Trail and enjoy the Hill Country’s vineyards and tasting rooms that will be cloaked in lights, warmth and holiday fun.

 

The Blair House will be decked out in lights and holly in celebration of the season. This weekend is your last chance to enjoy the Blair House’s annual Olde English Christmas Dinner. Can you hear the sleigh bells and smell of Christmas delights yet? Pack your bags and head to the Hill Country for a truly joyous celebration this Christmas.

 

Are you looking for that last minute gift idea? Give the gift of respite and relaxation to some you love or even to yourself this holiday season. The Blair House offers gift certificate for accommodations, day spa services, Saturday evening dinners, and more! Call to purchase, 512-847-1111 or go online. Last minute gift certificates purchases can be emailed.

 

We look forward sharing the warmth and joy of the season with you in the Texas Hill Country. Happy Holidays for the Blair House Staff!

Hill Country Bed and Breakfast: Celebrate the Holidays in the Heart of Texas

November 27th, 2012 by Lois Mahoney

Christmas is coming..

‘Tis the season to indulge in life’s many delights. Pack your bags and head to the Hill Country for the holidays. As the heat starts to wane and the signs of cooler weather arrive our thoughts turn to the upcoming holidays and the planning begins.

The Hill Country is abound with a variety of festive events. Some places have a white Christmas, but in the Hill Country we have a light Christmas. Between the months of November and January the hills are illuminated in a multi-colored glow, its an electrical extravagance that’s so contagious it has spread through out the Hill Country’s many small towns and now forms the Trail of Lights. The Emily Ann Theatre in Wimberley is a proud participant in the Trail of Lights. Enjoy hot chocolate as you walk the trail. If you are still not feeling festive enough you can enjoy the 2012 Holiday Wine Trail. Take part in the self-guided Holiday Wine Trail and enjoy the Hill Country’s vineyards and tasting rooms that will be cloaked in lights, warmth and holiday fun. Wrapping up the season

The Hill Country will be aglow in festivities this December. The Wimberley Winter’s Eve Festival  on the Square will take place on  December 8th. Shops will be open late, enjoy live music, food and vendors until 10 PM on Saturday.

The Blair House Inn will be decked out with lights and holly in celebration of the season.

Join us for our Olde English Saturday Evening Dinner served the first four Saturdays of December. Click the link to view the dinner menu.

Don’t miss out on our January Vintner Dinner series, enjoy a five course gourmet dinner paired with Texas Hill Country wines.

Hooray! The 2013 Cooking School Schedule is here. We are excited to announce several new classes. Be sure to see the full schedule on our website.

We look forward to sharing the warmth and joy of the season with you.

Texas Romantic Getaways: A Foodie’s Paradise

November 21st, 2012 by Lois Mahoney

Starved rock fireplace

Search no more, the Texas Hill Country is the perfect Texas romantic getaway. The holidays are fast approaching and I bet you are looking for that unique “something” for that special person in your life. This is the perfect time to plan a Texas Hill Country vacation and attend one of our renowned Cooking Schools. Enjoy three days of hands-on time in the kitchen. Eat, drink, and learn; our Chef will guide through one of many themed group classes. Not sure when you want to come, purchase a gift certificate and choose your dates later.

Are you looking for something a little more intimate? Book a two day cooking school, class size is limited to two people. Enjoy some one-on-one time with the Chef helping him prepare the Saturday Evening Dinner for our guests at theInn. The Blair House Inn is the perfect post-holiday retreat. Come and relax with on our 22 acres, book a full body massage, and afterward cuddle up to the fireplace in your room.  Enjoy a romantic getaway, some fun in the kitchen, and the beauty of the Texas Hill Country.

Pomegranate

We are excited to announce 3 New cooking schooling schools which include American Classic Cuisine, Mediterranean Seafood Cuisine and Farm-to-Table Cuisine.  If you have already attended a cooking school, don’t let that stop you from coming again. We are always adding recipes and creating ways to take the everyday recipe to the next level.  You can see our full class description and register online.  www.blairhouseinn.com

 

New! American Classic – Celebrate Presidents Day with the American Classics! Combining flavors fromAmerica’s melting pot with traditional techniques this class  focuses on preparing the favorites of American fine dining; Old World peasant dishes made from luxury American ingredients. This class will feature such dishes as Oysters Rockefeller with Pernod, Beef Wellington with Wild Mushroom Perigueux Sauce, and New York Style Caramel Swirl Cheesecake.

New! Farm-to-Table Cuisine – A class dedicated to fresh seasonal ingredients, innovative dishes and local foods that showcase Hill Country produce and products. Learn to prepare locally produced foods with an emphasis on freshness, seasonality and local availability.

New! Mediterranean Seafood Cuisine – If you can’t make it to theMediterranean this summer, let Blair House take you on a culinary tour of the region from theStrait ofGibraltar toCypress with plenty of tasty stops along the way! You will prepare Risotto, Hummus, Pita Bread, Pasta, Fruits de Mer in Puff Pastry, Calamari, Fresh Fish Filet with Tomato Herb Sauce, Baklava, Classic Greek Salad, Focaccia, Polenta and Crema Catalana. This class offers a variety of seafood dishes. These are just a sampling of what you have to look forward to on your journey.

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