Okoboji Innkeeper Featured in Iowa Cookbook -- Purchase it at the Clay County Fair
The Iowa Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers Association has released a new cookbook titled "Discover Iowa: Cooking with Iowa wines, meats and other Iowa products," Okoboji Country Inn recipes are included.
"I don't make a decision about what to cook until the people have gotten here, because I like to talk to them and get a feel about who they are and what they like to eat," said Muilenburg, a seasoned cook with over 10 years of experience cooking for and serving the public.
If visitors seem adventurous, she might whip up a Rhubarb-Custard Pie to go along with their breakfast dish. But if it seems they are more traditional, Muilenburg sticks to the basics.
Whatever Muilenburg is doing, it appears to be working. Guests to the West Okoboji bed and breakfast continually ask her and her daughter, Ann Muilenburg, for her recipes -- whether for her carrot muffins or her brunch strata. So this year when the Iowa Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers Association called upon her for her favorite recipes, Donna began compiling her favorite recipes to be included in a new cookbook called "Discover Iowa: Cooking with Iowa Wines, Meats and other Iowa products."
Running a bed and breakfast in a small Iowa resort area seemed a natural avenue for the Muilenburgs. After all, Donna had spent over 10 years as cooking for Annabelle’s Tea Room located inside her upscale gift shop – The Wash House. Her daughter Ann was a natural when it came to merchandising at the Gift Shop and working with customers at all levels.
"Through a series of circumstances that fell into place, we were able to buy a historic building nearby," Donna said.
While most people may picture an ornate Victorian home when they think of bed and breakfasts, the Muilenburgs knew they wanted something different, something that went better with their restored 3-story building, which was originally the City of Milford’s hospital, that was converted into The Wash House. They opted for a century old farmhouse that was built in the late 1800’s on a hilltop with a view of Spirit Lake, as well as East and West Lake Okoboji. They chose it for its historical past and its simple elegance.
In addition to the three-story gift shop known as The Wash House, the Okoboji Country Inn complex also offers cozy dining for up to two-dozen guest in Annabelle's Tea Room, and serves as home to innkeeper Donna Muilenburg, her husband (and groundskeeper) Earl, and their daughter Ann, who helps manage the property.
Okoboji Country Inn can accommodate as many as 6-12 guests, meaning there is plenty of cooking to be done. Every morning, guests receive a homemade gourmet breakfast. They are then treated to this exciting breakfast in the cozy dining room in Annabelle’s Tea Room, as The Wash House is just a few steps away from the front door of the Inn.
Donna, who has enjoyed cooking since childhood, said “it is exciting to be included in this new cookbook.” She added, "I hope this will encourage some other people to try cooking more exotic dishes and be creative with even the most simple of dishes."
We have been thrilled to offer the cookbook for sale at The Wash House and really pleased the author of the cookbook, Amelia Painter, stops by on a regular basis to sign copies. According to Ann Muilenburg, “Copies will also be offered for sale at our booth for the Clay Country Fair in Spencer this year as well as at the Booth for the Iowa Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers Association. (The Clay County Fair is the second largest agricultural exposition in North America with excess of 300,000 visitors over a 9-day period.)
More information about the Okoboji Country Inn (1704 Terrace Park Blvd, West Okoboji) can be found at http://www.okobojicountryinn.com
The cookbook can be purchased at the fair, but also online at Amazon.com or on the Web site of the Iowa Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers Association located at www.iabedandbreakfast.com.
Iowa Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers Associ
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