The nice thing about this breakfast casserole is that it is simple to make and feeds a crowd. Unlike cooking pancakes, waffles or omelets which takes a lot of time if you have a large family, other than a little prep-work, you stick it in the oven and in about 30 minutes you have a delicious meal. The other great thing about this breakfast casserole is that you can double the recipe and serve one today and save the other one for up to three months in the freezer.
The above was served with lightly sauteed vine ripened tomatoes and zucchini and hash-brown potatoes. A fresh basil leaf was cut up and put on top of the breakfast casserole. Our guests loved this recipe and so did we because of its simplicity.
- 1/2 lb of fresh mushrooms
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- dash of pepper and salt
- 2 Cups of grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup diced ham
- 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
- 12 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large sauce pan melt the butter, rough cut the mushrooms and saute them until tender add the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper the mushrooms. After cooking the combined ingredients let cool for a couple of minutes. In a greased 13X9 baking dish spread the mushrooms evenly over the pan.
- In a large bowl, add the cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, cubed ham and flour. Mix ingredients well then spread evenly over the mushrooms. Note: The flour helps keep the ham and cheese from sticking together. If you are on a gluten free diet you can skip this ingredient.
- In another large bowl mix the eggs, cream, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Once mixed pour over the ham and cheese mixture.
- Bake the breakfast casserole in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
Freezing a breakfast casserole:
If you double the recipe and elect to freeze one, cover with a tight fitting plastic wrap the uncooked mixture (make sure it sits flat in the freezer until frozen. Before cooking, remove from freezer 30 minutes before baking (do not thaw it). Remove the plastic wrap and cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes, Uncover and bake for and additional 15-20 minutes. Let stand before cutting and serving.
This would be a great dish to serve on Thanksgiving or Christmas morning when the entire family is visiting. Also, it is a great way to use some of the left over ham. If you want to serve a warm fruit dish consider the hot fruit compote that we wrote about earlier this month.
It’s only fitting to write about Monument Terrace on Veteran’ Day. Everyday, Monument Terrace pays tribute to those Lynchburg residents who gave their lives defending our freedoms. Today, November 11th, Veterans Day there will be a ceremony at the foot of Monument Terrace allowing us reflect on the freedoms we enjoy and the costs of those freedoms.
There wasn’t always a Monument Terrace; originally it was a dirt path that connected Court House Hill (site of the original court house, now the Lynchburg Museum) to what is now 9th Street. In 1882 August Forsberg designed stone steps, a plaza and a fountain to be placed at the base (now Church and 9th Street). In 1883 five volunteer fireman lost their lives and statue of a fireman was placed on top of a fountain with water pouring from the nozzle of his hose. That statue stood there until 1924.
Today’s Monument Terrace was completed in 1925 and it was intended to be a monument to those who fought and lost their lives in the first World War (1917-1918). Since then other monuments have been constructed to honor those local heroes from other wars. There are 132 steps taking you from Church Street to Court Street. Along the way there are 10 landings and 11 markers and monuments along the terrace. Eight of the markers are devoted to military service and three commemorate civic milestones. Today there are monuments to honor those who lost their lives in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Additionally there is a POW-MIA Monument and a Purple Heart Monument.
In addition to these monuments, every Friday since 2001 from noon-1:00 a group of citizens gather at the foot of Monument Terrace to demonstrate openly their support for the men and women who serve the United States in its military services.
In the event you are unable to visit Monument Terrace I have posted a few photos below of some of the monuments.
I started with the Vietnam Memorial because I wanted to honor those troops who were not well respected when they returned from the war.
The Korean War is the forgotten war. Lynchburg like lots of towns and cities across this nation lost troops in this far off place.
It was only after we had World War II that this memorial was called a memorial to those who died in World War I. Let’s hope we never see another World War! This monument is at the foot of Monument Terrace at the intersection of 9th Street and Church Street.
A tribute to “The Greatest Generation.” Unfortunately the memorial had to be on two different walls due to the high number of causalities. The National D-Day Memorial is just 20 minutes west of Lynchburg and is also a must see to those who fought on the Beaches of Normandy towards the end of World War II.
Unfortunately, The Spanish American War is just a foot note in many history books. Monument Terrace pays tribute to those Americans that fought in this war.
For those of you who haven’t visited the Lynchburg area, we are only 20 minutes from Appomattox Courthouse where the country was reunited almost 149 years ago. It is worth the trip to visit this national park.
The origin of the Purple Heart Medal dates back to the American Revolution. The medal that is used today is given to those wounded or killed in time of war and was established in 1932. Unfortunately, it is estimated that more than 1.7 million medals have been given out since 1932.
This monument is to honor those that were held as a Prisoner of War (POW) or those that never returned from the war, Missing in Action (MIA).
I hope that all of us takes a moment to remember our Armed Forces, both current and past. Veteran’s Day is more than just a day off or a time to go shopping at the mall. If you have a reason to visit Central Virginia, I would hope you carve out time to visit Monument Terrace, The Old City Cemetery, The National D-Day Memorial, Appomattox Courthouse and the Museum of the Confederacy. There are many other interesting places to visit and things to do, but on this Veteran’s Day lets focus on these venues. Today at 10:30am there will be a ceremony at the base of Monument Terrace. Church Street will be closed during the event.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner I thought I would share our hot fruit compote recipe which is an easy to make fruit dish that works well when you have a large party to feed. I’m thinking about Thanksgiving or Christmas morning when you have a million other things to do and you don’t have a lot of extra time in the kitchen to think about cooking breakfast for the family that has gathered for the holidays. What makes the hot fruit compote a great dish (other than being super easy) is it is served warm on those cool fall/winter mornings. Obviously this time of year you don’t have many fresh fruit options so this one relies on canned fruit. The optional ingredient, fresh cranberries, are available this time of year and add a little bit of tartness to the dish, plus it ties it into the season. (Tip: You can buy a bag of fresh cranberries and what you don’t use you can freeze so that you will have fresh cranberries throughout the year.)
- 2 cans (15 1/4 ounces each) sliced pears–drained
- 1 can (29 ounces) sliced peaches–drained
- 1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened pineapple chunks, drained
- 1 jar (16 ounces) unsweetened applesauce
- 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- optional–two cups fresh whole cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the pears, peaches, pineapple applesauce and cranberries.
- Spray a 9X13 baking dish with a cooking spray and then pour the mixed ingredients (above) into the baking dish.
- Spread the pie filling over the fruit and sprinkle with the brown sugar.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly.
- Serve warm.
We had a full house at the bed and breakfast last weekend and served this. The guests loved it. This can be cooked with an egg casserole at the same time in the oven so you can serve your family a filling warm breakfast that will satisfy them until Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
Another option for this hot fruit compote is to sprinkle a light streusel topping on it and turn this into a healthy desert.
I hope you and your family/guests enjoy this recipe. Kathy and I hope each of you have a great holiday season and that next year will bring you peace and happiness.
It’s almost here, Halloween, the second most commercialized holiday in the United States. In preparation for Halloween Old City Cemetery had candle light tours of the cemetery the past two weekends, our neighborhood, Daniels Hill, had a ghost walk and this past Saturday was the third annual Zombie walk through downtown. But here are a few fun facts that you may not have known:
We hope you have a great Halloween in a couple of days….Will you be dressing up for the occasion?
Photos above are from The Chive blog of September 9, 2013, “30 Interesting facts about Halloween”.
Fall is upon us, the nights are cooler, leaves are turning colors, pumpkins decorate many front porches, and Halloween is right around the corner so to celebrate this time of year we are baking our spicy chocolate pumpkin muffins. We chose this recipe because it had pumpkin and chocolate in them, two of my favorite foods. Speaking of pumpkin, if you missed our pumpkin waffle recipe a couple years ago you may want to check it out as well!
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs-room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup of canned pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla then mix in the pumpkin.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt,nutmeg and cloves. Mix into creamed mixture. By had stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full. Bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
This makes a dozen standard muffins or about 6 giant muffins. (If making giant muffins you will need to increase cooking time.)
These chocolate pumpkin muffins are very versatile. We serve them when we have a savory breakfast. They are also great snacks and can be served for dinner, especially at Thanksgiving. They are sweet and moist and can also be served for desert or as a midnight snack. Of course if you have a nut allergy you can eliminate the nuts. If you are watching your weight you can eliminate the chocolate chips and substitute applesauce for half the butter. If you want these to be healthier you can substitute half the flour with whole wheat flour. Finally you can cut down on the calories by using a mini-muffin pan rather than the standard or giant muffin pans. Remember to reduce the cook time if you use a mini-muffin pan.
Remember, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast posts a recipe once a month so you want to check back often so you don’t miss one of our monthly recipes!
See the fall colors by air in a hot air balloon! The Lynchburg area is a colorful area in the fall. The brilliant fall colors can be seen while driving the windy mountain roads, hiking the many trails trails, kayaking down the James River, strolling the paved walking paths of the Blackwater Creek Trail system or by air in a hot air balloon.
Kathy and I took such a trip last winter. While it was too late to see the fall colors we enjoyed the peacefulness of floating above the trees, seeing the deer run through the forest and the quietness of flight (except when the gas valve was opened to keep the hot air balloon afloat). If you would like to indulge yourself and do something very special then consider booking your flight on your next visit to The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast. The company that offers hot air balloon flights is Freedom Flights (click their name to be linked to their website where you can book a flight or purchase a gift certificate).
What you need to know about taking a hot air balloon ride is that Freedom Flights will cancel the flight if the winds are too high or if the weather is too bad. Obviously they are concerned with your safety so check the weather forecast before you book your flight. Currently they are running a $50.00 off per person special through November 10, 2013 so don’t delay in purchasing your tickets or gift certificate. The other interesting thing is that you will never know what you will see on these trips. The wind takes you where it wants to so each trip is different.
If soaring above the tree tops in a hot air balloon is not for you then there are plenty of other opportunities to enjoy the fall colors. Here are links to a couple of hikes that we have taken that should be spectacular when the fall colors are at their peak.
High Bridge Trail is a park on an old rail road line. This is a very flat and easy walk where you will walk over a very long bridge and see the fall colors from above.
Crabtree Falls is a moderate hike through the woods and up a mountain along water falls. This takes you on a nice drive where you will also see lots of colors. Don’t forget to stop at Woodson’s Mill and Bold Rock Hard Cider when you go to Crabtree Falls.
Falling Water Cascades is an easy walk. You will be driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway and will see some great colors.
Disclaimer: The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast or the innkeepers have NO affiliation with this or any other hot air balloon company. For insurance purposes we are unable to recommend this company, however we had a great time when we went on our hot air balloon trip and would do it again, Call us at 434-846-1388 to book your reservation at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and if you would like a balloon trip, click on the above link to purchase your tickets.
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