What’s Happening at Willis Graves – With Recipes!

Hello To All My Friends!

I hope this letter finds you healthy, happy and venturing out to family gatherings, your favorite local restaurant, or spending a few relaxing days away from the hustle and bustle of life.

I’m so excited to get the inn ready for what promises to be a very busy summer for us. We’re always making updates and adding visual and culinary surprises for you. This year is no exception. In this letter I’ll share what’s new around here and give you some delicious new recipes I’ve been testing. (Be sure to read ‘til the end – there’s a surprise down there!)

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Early Summer

Early summer is one of my favorite times of year here in Burlington, KY. It is so incredibly lush and green. Everywhere you turn, there’s something new to experience – tress that were covered with buds yesterday are bursting with fresh color today. And the birds – they are so back! Their delightful chirping and the mews of their newborn babies is filling the air with the song.

And, a feeling of freshness is permeating everything, inside and out. During the day, the temperature is warm and just right for strolling around the property or sitting quietly in a garden nook with a book. Evenings are comfortably cool – ideal for lounging around the fire pit in a sweater while you enjoy a glass of wine or a mug of coffee, and, of course, s’mores.

The Property

Every year I head to the nursery with a grand plan in my head. But, inevitably, after I wander around for a few hours, I come back to the inn with entirely different colors and blooms than I planned. I’m sure it will be the same this year. I always post photos on Facebook of our gardens – people love to see what we’re up to. If you haven’t followed us yet, click the link at the bottom of this letter.

Meanwhile, I hope my green thumb still works because I decided to put in a small rose garden. The local farmers give me lots of great advice, and I try to remember all the little tricks they teach me. It’s a lot like how I love to teach people little cooking tips. Which reminds me, cooking classes are returning! (Wait…now I’m way off topic because that isn’t until November! I just can’t help myself – it always go back to my love of food.)

This time of year, we plant tons and tons of pansies. Their colors are spectacular. And, it feels so good to come up the driveway to be greeted by them. Eventually, the pansies will go away and they’ll be replace more heat-resistant flowers. Stay tuned!

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I cannot wait to see folks again enjoying sumptuous breakfast in our dining room or al fresco on our lovely porches. We are just as delighted to serve you breakfast in your room, too. Breakfast in the room has become very popular with our guests. I wonder if it’s because people sleep so well here that they have a hard time getting up and out!

I have expanded the breakfast me and added more delectable choices. I’ve been playing around with overnight oats recently. If overnight oats doesn’t seem exciting, how does Apple Crisp Overnight Oats or Orange Dreamsicle Overnight Oats sound to you? Those are two of the combinations I’ve come up with. They’re both dreamy. (Recipes below.)

I love overnight oats recipes because they’re so simple to make, are very adaptable, refreshing and healthy-ish. Notice the -ish? While full-fat yogurt gives them a luxurious creamy texture, you can substitute with low-fat, too. Or just leave the yogurt out – it will still be yummy. Just be sure to add more liquid. You can substitute non-dairy nut or oat milk, sweetened or not, too. Add dried cranberries, shredded coconut, fresh berries, or whatever you have on hand.

Both recipes will hold up to five days in the fridge. Make a batch, and you’re all set for the week! Here you go:

Apple Crisp Overnight Oats

2 Servings


· 2/3 cup rolled oats (not instant)
· 2 tablespoons chia seeds
· 1 teaspoon apple pie spice or cinnamon
· ¾ cup vanilla almond milk or your favorite non-dairy milk
· ¼ cup vanilla yogurt (full or low fat)
· 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
· 1 tablespoon lemon zest
· 1 small apple, cored and chopped
· A pinch of salt
· 3 tablespoons granola or mixed chopped nuts


Put the granola or nuts to the side. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl until they’re well blended. Cover and allow to sit in the refrigerator overnight. Serve cold with the granola or nuts on top.

Orange Dreamsicle Overnight Oats

1 Serving


· ½ cup rolled oats (not instant)
· 1/3 cup milk of your choice (I use oat milk with 4 grams of sugar for this one)
· ¼ cup vanilla yogurt (full or low fat)
· ¼ tsp vanilla extract
· 1 teaspoon chia seeds
· A pinch of salt
· 1 orange – peeled and segments removed over a bowl to catch the juice (I like to use a zester and put some of the orange zest in, as well)


Except for the orange, combine the ingredients in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Then, gently stir in the orange segments. Cover and allow to sit in the refrigerator overnight. Serve cold.

Note: I discovered that individual mason jars with lids are perfect for overnight oats. Try it!

More Recipes


It’s been quite a year. But as my Dad always says, “This too shall pass….” And, perhaps it has. For those of you who have heard about, or perhaps even met my Dad, you may be shocked to learn that he will become 105-years old on August 9th! Imagine all he has seen and been through in his long life. If there is anyone wiser than my Dad, I need to meet them!

Dad has spent three of his birthdays here at the inn so far, and I hope to get him back here again this year.

If you have made it this far in this letter and you’re thinking about a visit, tell me you’ve read it when you book your reservation. I’ll leave six of my famous dark chocolate-covered strawberries in the room for you.

Book your reservation here.

I look forward to seeing you real soon,

Your Favorite Innkeeper.


Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast