’Tis the Season at Willis Graves

Golly, I cannot believe another year is almost over! I wanted to be sure to send you some warm holiday wishes from the inn…

Like many folks, the holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the lights, the wreaths, the possibility of a snowfall, and all the festivities. Dinners with loved ones, cozying up to a good fire and doing good deeds for those in need – bring me joy.

I adore all the seasons here in Burlington, Kentucky, and winter is no exception. It’s so comforting to put on a bulky sweater and go for a walk. Or just sit in front of the fire reading or dozing – it doesn’t get much better than that!

But relaxing isn’t the only pleasure this area offers in the winter months. There’s a gorgeous park just a few steps from the inn, and literally, next door is a spectacular holiday light display. Believe it or not, just a 20-min drive away, there’s a fantastic ski and snowboard park, too.

Take Advantage Of Our Cozy Holiday Gift Certificate Sale
20% Off Through 12/31/21!


Willis Graves gift certificates are a wonderful way to share your love of the inn with the special people in your life. Or give them to yourself! For the entire month of December, when you buy a $100 gift certificate, you’ll pay only $80.

If you want to buy a gift certificate for someone you care about, we will email it to you and you can email it to the recipient. Or we can email it directly to the recipient so it will be in their email box.

Prefer “snail mail”? We’re happy to send the gift certificate by U.S. mail directly to the recipient for you. But be sure to order early, so it gets to them on time!

To purchase a gift certificate, please call me at the inn at 859-689-5096.

(Note: Gift certificates purchased during the Cozy Holiday Gift Certificate Sale cannot be used for previously-made reservations.)

Willis Graves Inn Is Dressed-Up For The Holidays!


Our beautiful property is again festooned in lights, garlands and wreaths on the outside. Inside, all our common areas are graced with festive adornments, particularly the dining room and kitchen. It’s so beautiful here during the holidays that we don’t take anything down until sometime in February.

Make Your Reservation Online

Call at 859-689-5096

Check Out The Wonderful Activities & Experiences
Our Area Offers In The Winter…

Idlewild Park – Source: http://www.eqa-ippc.com/

Here are a few favorites – tested and approved by my family – and me!:

  • Idlewild Park is only half a mile away from the inn and is a truly idyllic spot. It is 290 acres of lovely wooded paths, vast open areas and heavenly wetlands. After a hearty Willis Graves breakfast, it’s the perfect way to stretch your legs and burn off some calories.
  • Lite Up The Fair is one of the area’s top drive-through light shows, and it’s literally next door to the inn! Open every night through January 1st.
  • Ark Encounter and Creation Museum are the area’s most popular attractions and are both fantastic ways to spend a day. Especially during the holidays.
  • Perfect North is an alpine skiing resort with 23 trails, a quick 20-minute drive from the inn. You can ski or tube to your heart’s content then spend the night in luxury at the inn.

Now You Can Enjoy A Yummy Hot Meal Right In Your Room…

We rolled out our Crockpot Meals menu in September and they’re a big hit with guests. At the end of an active winter day (or a day spent doing nothing), enjoy a comforting Crockpot meal in your room. Check out the menu here.

Our Lavender Apothecary Baskets are a big hit with guests, too. Imagine luxuriating with lavender-scented body and bath products, then sliding into bed enveloped by triple spa linen sheets and the perfect down comforter. For more information, link here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Have I enticed you to stay with us this winter? If so, please make your reservation as soon as possible:

Make Your Reservation Online

Call at 859-689-5096

The Latest News About My Dad…

My dad has become a regular topic in my newsletters lately! And, at 105-years old, Dad’s quite a celebrity wherever he goes (and he’s enjoying every minute of it!). I was able to sneak away from the inn with my boys and some dear friends to join him for Thanksgiving this year.Thanksgiving is the best food day of the year as far as I’m concerned. I don’t count calories and enjoy every morsel.

I hope this Thanksgiving, you, too, were able to spend time with people you love. Here are a couple of photos I thought you’d enjoy:

Two Tummy-Warming Winter Recipes For You

As much as we love fall flavors here at the inn, we have bidden them farewell to make room for delectable winter menu items. They’ll warm your tummy – and your soul! Every year when the temperatures take a dip, I find myself craving these two recipes:

Recipe #1: Ginger Snap Cookies

Yield: Approximately three dozen


For The Dough

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or 300g – a more accurate way to measure flour if you have a scale)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar – packed
  • 3/4 cup butter – softened
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

For Rolling

  • 1/4 cup sugar (granulated or sanding)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon


For The Batter

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  1. Sift into a large bowl: the flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, and cloves. Give them a good whisk to be sure the spices are well-distributed. Set aside.
  1. Cream the butter, sugar and molasses in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or use an electric hand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy – about 7 minutes on medium-high speed. This step ensures a great texture.
  1. While mixing on low, add the egg first, then add the vanilla. Scrape the bowl down and mix again at medium speed until the ingredients are entirely distributed. This, too, adds more volume, which helps the texture of the cookies.
  1. Add the flour mixture. Mix on low to medium-low until just combined. Scrape bowl down one last time and use a spatula to fold in any remaining flour. Don’t overmix here; just gently incorporate the dry ingredients. Mixing for a longer time at a higher speed will cause you’re your Ginger Snaps to come out tough.
  2. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and spread it out on a plate.
  3. Use a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon and portion out 1-1/2 to 2-inch balls. Roll each into a ball in clean palms, then roll them in the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

To Bake

  1. Place the balls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 2-inches apart. Bake at 350F for 12 to 13-minutes. You want the cookies’ edges to be set but the centers to be slightly underdone because they will continue to bake after being removed from the oven.
  2. Let your delicious Ginger Snap Cookies set for 3 to 4-minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
  3. Warning! Once you start eating these…you may never stop.

Recipe #2: My Favorite White Chicken Chili With All The Fixin’s

This scrumptious chili is hearty, warming, creamy, perfectly comforting and makes a simple yet utterly delicious dinner. I love it as an alternative to traditional beef chili. There are tons of spices in the ingredients, which make the flavor amazingly complex, but you can add, substitute or increase the amounts without affecting the outcome.

Yield: About eight cups. Serves four hungry folks as a meal or six to eight as a starter.


  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2-4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (7 oz.) cans diced green chilies
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1-1/4 cup frozen or fresh corn
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans cannellini beans
  • 2-1/2 cups shredded cooked rotisserie or left-over chicken, or 2 pounds chicken breasts poached in chicken broth, then shredded. Save broth for your chili.
  • 1 lime quartered
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
  • Tortilla chips or strips, Monterrey Jack cheese, and sour cream (for serving)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 4 minutes or translucent. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds longer.
  1. Add chicken broth, green chilies, cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander, chili powder and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  1. Saving 1 cup of the canned bean liquid, drain and rinse the beans in a fine-mesh strainer or colander. Set the liquid aside. Transfer one cup of beans and 1/4 cup of broth from soup to a food processor and puree until the mixture is nearly smooth. (This part you can also do with a potato masher if you don’t have a food processor).
  1. Add cream cheese to soup along with corn, whole beans, cilantro and pureed beans; stir well. Simmer 5-10 minutes longer. Then stir in the cooked chicken.
  1. Serve with Monterrey Jack cheese, sour cream, more cilantro, and tortilla chips if desired.

I hope you enjoy these delicious recipes as much as we do.

Please come visit us this holiday season. I promise you a stay you will always remember. You can book your stay online by clicking here. Or, if you have questions, need suggestions, or just want to book your reservation with me directly, free to call 859-689-5096.


If you enjoyed this newsletter, forward it to a friend!

Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast