It is here: The Inn On First Cookbook is available to purchase

Ten years in the making, tested and edited by a diligent crew of people who have loved and supported me.  With more than 380 pages there are  90+ breakfast recipes available for you to make at home.  Over 200 recipes total for you to play with in your kitchen.  From basics like homemade granola, date nut rolls, and chocolate chunk cookies, to more innovative creations like the corndog omelet, homemade egg noodles, and bacon-stuffed steamed buns.  This is a softbound copy, 8.5″ x 11″ format, available in black and white or full color.  For digital subscribers, you can order the digital full color version through Kindle.

For a limited time, through the end of April 2017, you can order from CreateSpace and receive a 15% discount on either copy.  The discount codes will not work with Amazon.

CreateSpace.com:
Color Edition: https://www.createspace.com/5993290 ($55)
15% off list price discount code: 46832CKM

Black and White Edition: https://www.createspace.com/6890063 ($27.00)
15% off list price discount code: LMJRH7P6

Amazon.com:
Color Edition: A Napa Valley Breakfast Book ($55)

Black and White Edition: A Napa Valley Breakfast Book ($27.00)

Also available on digital Kindle Format: ($9.99, or $1.99 if you also order the softbound color copy)

My thanks to all the many guests who were willing to let me play, experiment, and who continue to give me the joy of creating new innovations for breakfasts.

2017 and The Inn On First

What new things are coming to The Inn On First for this year. As the best Napa Valley bed and breakfast inn, new breakfasts, of course!  I’ve just completed testing on a new recipe for a Prosciutto-Ricotta Cake with Poached Eggs, what I will call Cindy’s Ricotta Cake (as it was a guest, Cindy Weatherman, who gave me the idea for the breakfast).  It has opened up a realm of new possibilities in terms of flavor profiles: Italian style (with parmesan, prosciutto, served with basil oil and topped with honey roasted tomatoes), Mexican style (with pepper jack cheese, chorizo sausage, roasted red pepper, and homemade salsa), and American style (with bacon, chive, cheddar cheese and homemade creme fraiche), and much more.  Expect to see this recipe and more during 2017.

My cookbook is almost ready.  We are working on the cover, trying to decide which of over 90 breakfast recipe photos to put on the cover.  Should it be the pancakes oozing with chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries on top?  Or maybe the bird’s nest with salad greens, topped with pommes frites and a poached egg?  Or what about biscuits with a black cherry compote with a poached egg and prosciutto?  Ah, decision, decisions.  An email will be coming out soon with all the details.  The book will be available in black and white (less expensive) and color.

We are adding some new services this year: mobile nail, make-up, and hair services.  Want to have your nails touched up?  Or would you like to splurge and have someone do your makeup and fix your hair for a nice dinner?  We will bring in a Nail Tech or Cosmetologist to take care of your needs.  We are currently building those packages and will soon make them available on our website.

We have some new restaurants in town, such as Corner and the CIA at the Oxbow, and many new tasting rooms.  We will be visiting and reviewing each of these in hopes of guiding our guests to the best of all experiences present in downtown Napa.  We also have a new Jazz club, Blue Note, which is receiving rave reviews for both the music and the food, and there are some new offerings at Silo’s Music Club that we will be reviewing as well.

2017 is opening up right now.  Our rains have mostly come and gone and there is a new day shining ahead of us.  Why, even our boys are putting their COOL on as the clouds dissipate and the vines start growing here in the Napa Valley.  It’s a great time to come to the Valley, especially during the week; fewer people, more personalized service.

Christmas at The Inn On First

The holidays are magical here at The Inn On First in Napa, California, a luxury bed and breakfast inn.  Our own innkeeper, Jamie Cherry, pays attention to every little detail in decorating for the holidays.  I’m responsible for the lights on the tree, help decorate the trees, but he is pretty much responsible for everything else.  Attached is a video that shows you a bit of what Christmas is like here for us.  Wishing you and your families/friends a  happy holiday.

 

 

The Inn On First Remote Organic Garden…TFL’s got nothing on us!

Okay, so maybe The French Laundry Garden is a bit more spacious and they have incredible chefs creating magnificent food for all 3 restaurants, but we are really proud of our own Napa Garden, compliments of Toni’s backyard with Rick’s assistance (our own Mr. Home Improvement/Contractor/WineMaker/now Gardener), who are graciously permitting us to grow so many things remotely and to come and pick what we need once a week.  From green onions, to tomatoes, peppers, melons, and so much more.

Boy are we happy campers tonight as we pulled away with all these luscious tomatoes!  What shall we do, what shall we do?

Breakfast awaits.Garden Abundance

Former priest, currently Napa chef/innkeeper, now author

NAPA, Calif. — Former priest, now Napa innkeeper and author Jim Gunther announces the nationwide release of his new spiritual book, “Let It Go Deep.” This book was co-authored by the late Dr. Juanita Meller.

Leaving formal ministry Jim Gunther found himself floundering outside of the Catholic Church.  First as a trained chef, then a software quality assurance engineer, and finally as innkeeper and chef in Napa.  Through it all he continued to ask the deeper question about who God is and what was required of him now that he no longer had a formal ministerial role to fulfill.  How does one find faith outside the church community and continue to be of service to God’s people?  With the help of his mentor, Juanita Meller, he was able to find the answers he needed.

This book is a call to remember that those who seek intimacy with God are promised this: “He who seeks shall find; to him who knocks, I will open.” The spiritual journey of those seekers reveals the incredible power that is offered to people as they surrender and become willing to go deeper, thus receiving the fullness of inner healing and intimacy with Christ.

Through baptism, people receive the grace of a hunger for more experiences of God’s love. It is a cry to go deeper — a call to simply surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit. This results in healing of body, mind and soul — leading to wholeness, which is holiness. “Let It Go Deep” reflects the journey of all those who seek a deeper relationship with God and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is available through bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore, or by visiting barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com.

Gunther is a director of spiritual practice in Napa, California, assisting individuals to find and to pursue their spiritual path. With a master’s degree in divinity and Scripture, he brings a deep biblical understanding to his work as well as an integrated approach between Christianity and other spiritual practices. Gunther is currently the co-owner of the Inn on First in Napa, California, with his husband and three dogs.

Meller was an active teacher of Scripture and spirituality in her parish. She served as a spiritual renewal conference coordinator, a pilgrimage organizer and leader. After her husband’s death, she took postgraduate education and earned a degree in relational psychology at 68 years old. She was certified as an NACC hospital chaplain at age 60 and served for 10 years. Meller was a certified spiritual director for 25 years. All these experiences were reflected in her writings.

Death reminds us to celebrate in the NOW

I know our blog should be about all the great things that are happening right now, but sometimes we need to stop and acknowledge that there is a hard part of our lives as well.  We had a lot of grief in our lives these past few weeks at The Inn On First. Jim’s friend of 38 years, Teresa Bulone East Dominic; Jim’s spiritual mentor, co-author, and dear friend, Juanita Meller; and today Jamie Cherry’s oldest sister, Mary Beth, who had been actively dying from cancer this past year. These are all people who have helped form and shape who we are in our lives today, and we give thanks to them and the growth they inspired within us.

It’s not that our grief paralyzes us.  As a friend of mine said recently: “It is hard until it isn’t.”  And some days it isn’t hard at all, and those are the days we celebrate these magnificent lives that have impacted us over the years.  Our grief turns to gratitude as we remember them.  Our service to our guests continues to deepen, and our love for our guests and each other continues to grow because of those who have loved us well, especially these individuals who have been important anchors in our lives.  Thanks to all the wonderful guests who have been so supportive of us during this time of surrender.  Our call is clear: celebrate the NOW for tomorrow we may not be here.

Shoe Donations for November and December

The Inn On First is participating in Soles4Souls project this winter.  We encourage both locals and guests to consider dropping off their gently used shoes for donation.  We have a collection bin on the front porch.  Hoping all of you will consider taking a second look at your closet and participating in this collection.
Napa Valley Shoe Drive
We are helping collect shoes for Soles4Souls, Inc. through a valley-wide shoe drive organized by local teens and Humanitas Wines. Donate shoes you no longer need in order to help fight poverty, both in America and in developing countries around the world, through Soles4Souls’ redistribution and micro-enterprise programs. Our goal is to collect 25,000 pairs of shoes by December 31st. We can do this, Napa!
And here’s the Soles4Souls website, for videos and more info: https://soles4souls.org

#1 Inn on Yelp for Napa awarded the #2 slot for Best B&B in America!

Yelp* users have named us the #1 Bed & Breakfast in Napa and the #2 Best Inn in America!

For years we have been working hard to provide great food and great service to our guests.  Yelpers, those who post reviews for Yelp.com, have been generous in their praise for all of our hard work and for that we are ever so grateful.  They have made us #1 for Napa B&B’s for 8 years running and now they have propelled us into the national spotlight by rating us the #2 Best B&B in America!  How cool is that!  Thanks to all who have been part of The Inn On First family and making us a successful lodging property in the Napa Valley.  Read all about it here»

 

Want to be part of a Napa Travel-log Series?

B & B and Me. Napa Valley: still need more participants for a Travel-log show.  Extending the show through the Fall.

This is NOT a reality show.  Some of you have said you would have applied had you known it was more of a Travel-log series where a production crew will follow couples as they enjoy their stay at this stylish B & B and as they explore the Napa Valley.   We are trying to showcase the inn and the greatness of Napa Valley.  The cameras are not with you all the time.  They meet you at breakfast to capture your thoughts about breakfast.  They will meet you at a winery where you talk about your experience of the wine.  They will meet you at your restaurant for dinner and showcase the food that is prepared.  The show is slated to be witty, informative, creative and fun!

WHO SHOULD APPLY?
Everyone, of course!  You all have stories to share about yourselves, your relationship, or even why you have chosen Napa Valley as your destination spot for that special occasion.  The production company would love to see diversity of every sort (race, culture, religion, sex, age, et al.).

HOW TO APPLY?
Simply make a reservation (or maybe you already have one!) at the Inn on First for a midweek stay (holidays excluded) in the Fall/Winter.  Then email the producers a half page of why you should be chosen, send it to info@bandbandme.com.