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Asparagus Sourdough Strata

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Strata cooling after baking

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast‘s signature recipe for the month of April is this delicious, custardy dish made with spring’s fresh asparagus and tangy sourdough bread cubes.  Ideal when feeding a crowd this brunch dish is sure to delight your family and friends.  Just remember, you need to make it the night before you will serve it!  Visit us in Lynchburg, VA and you too will have a chance to enjoy our spring garden dish.

 

  • 1 loaf of sourdough bread, cubed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 9 ounces fresh asparagus, cut into sections
  • 8 ounces diced ham
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheese
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Gather everything you need to make strata

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a baking pan with parchment paper and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Toss bread cubes with the melted butter and spread evenly onto baking sheet.  Toast in oven about 10 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp.

Cook asparagus sections in rapidly boiling water for about 4 minutes, just until tender (they will continue cooking in the oven.)

Toss onion, asparagus, ham and 1 1/2 cups cheese with the bread cubes.  Spread mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish.

Mix everything in a large bowl

Mix together the eggs, half and half and salt; pour over bread mixture, pressing the bread gently into the liquid to cover.  Add  more half and half if there isn’t enough to come within 1/2 inch of the top of the bread cubes.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight, or at least 6 hours.

Put everything in pan and press down then add additional cheese

Remove strata from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Bake the strata uncovered in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.  A knife blade inserted in the center will come out clean.  Remove the strata from the oven and allow to set for 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 12-15

Notes–We plate our food rather than serving family style so we bake them in muffin pans.  Cooking time is about 10 minutes less this way.  Also make sure pan is sprayed with a cooking spray before adding ingredients.  This made 12 individual stratas.

Historic Garden Week in Lynchburg, Virginia

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April 21-28, 2012 is Historic Garden Week in Virginia.  On Tuesday, April 24, 2012 Lynchburg, Virginia is proud to host visitors to our city and locals to our Garden Day Tour.

Sponsored by The Lynchburg Garden Club and the Hillside Garden Club this year’s tour includes admission to 6 locations:  The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast at 404 Cabell Street, 301 Cabell Street, Point of Honor at 112 Cabell Street, 4935 Mountain Laurel Drive, 4924 Mountain Laurel Drive (all in Lynchburg) and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest at 1542 Bateman Bridge Road in Forest. 

The houses and gardens will be open for touring between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.  You may visit the properties in any order.  Contact the Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce at 434.847.1811 for information about purchasing tickets, in advance, to this day of nature and heritage.  Tickets may be purchased at each location on Garden Day.  

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast has limited availability should you wish to stay the night before or after the tour.  Call us at 434.846.1388 to inquire about your luxurious accomodations while celebrating Historic Garden Week in Virginia.

Old City Cemetery Daffodils

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Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lynchburg

Tombstone and Daffodils at The Old City Cemetery

The Old City Cemetery, Lynchurg, Viginia’s most visited tourist site, is a nature-lovers paradise.  The daffodils throughout the cemetery are just about finished blooming, due to our extremely mild winter and early spring.  The pictures included with this blog are from several grave sites throughout the cemetery.  Some daffoldils grace actual gravestones and plots, others are blooming where surely there is a grave below but the grave marker has long since disintegrated.

Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lynchburg

Graveyard iron fence with daffodil in background

Established in 1806 Old City Cemetery is one of the oldest public cemeteries in the United States that has been in continuous use since its founding.  Approximately 20,000 people are buried here, including over 2,200 Confederate soilders from 14 states.

www.thecarriagehouseinnbandb.com

Entrance to the Confederate Section of the Cemetery

Located at 401 Taylor Street the cemetery grounds are open daily from sunrise to sunset.  The visitor center is open daily between 11-3, or by appointment.  The five museums on the property can be accessed during the hours the cemetery is open through the use of prerecorded taped messages.

www.thecarriagehouseinnbandb.com

Graveyard fence

Visit soon to catch the last glimpse of the daffodils. Be on the lookout for our upcoming blog posts about other events and announcements of things to see in the cemetery in the months ahead.  The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast will be offering various specials and packages throughout the year which will include special events at the cemetery.  Call us at 434.846.1388, keep reviewing our blog or visit our website at www.TheCarriageHouseInnBandB.com for more details.

 

 

If the shoes fits….buy them!

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Find the perfect shoes at the 13th annual CASA shoe sale

Lynchburg Virginia hosts the 13th annual Heart and Sole shoe market on Saturday April 14th from 8:00am to 3:00pm.  This year, Friday the 13th of April could be your lucky day if you want to get in early for a special preview party from 5:30-8:00p.m (only a limited number of ticket holders will be admitted to the preview party).  There will be 10,000 pairs of shoes for you to purchase.  Need a new pair of pumps, wedges, flats or loafers then this is the sale for you.  Prices average between $5.00 and $25.00 per pair!  Of course, you have to purchase a ticket for $25.00 to get into this event, but the good news is proceeds go to charity to support CASA.  The sale will be held in the Armory at 1200 Church Street in downtown Lynchburg.

CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates and the proceeds from this huge sale benefit abused and neglected children.  To purchase your tickets or for more information please contact CASA of Central Virginia at (434) 528-2552, or e-mail jane@cvcasa.org.  If you are interested in volunteering for CASA  check out their website at www.cvcasa.org.

If you will be visiting Lynchburg to participate in this huge sale give us a call at 434.846.1388 to book your room or go on-line at www.TheCarriageHouseInnBandB.com.  The owners of Lynchburg’s premier bed and breakfast are proud to support this organization and all the great work they do.

Note:  The shoes in the above photos can be purchased from Zappos.com and will not be at the sale, but with over 10,000 pairs to choose from you are sure to find several pairs you just can’t live without.

 

Looney Toons

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Were you a fan of the Looney Toons as a kid?  Did you root for the Road Runner or Wiley E. Coyote?  Maybe Bugs Bunny was your favorite.

Lynchburg College’s latest exhibit at the Daura Gallery is more pop culture than fine art.  “What’s Up Doc? Chuck Jones and the Animation Art of Looney Toons” features animation and limited-edition engravings of characters from the iconic cartoon series.  The exhibit shows the development of your favorite characters through hand-painted animation cels.

The Daura Gallery is open Monday – Friday, 9 am until 4 pm.  This exhibit runs through April, 15, 2012.  For more information you can call 434.544.8343.

Visit, explore, enjoy and reminisce.  We had fun, you will too!

First Day of Spring!

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at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lynchburg Virginia

Saucer Magnolia

 

Today we celebrate the first day of spring, but to our bushes and trees, spring came several weeks ago.  We have a saucer magnolia tree next to our patio and it started blooming in February.  Yes, this tree is supposed to bloom in the closing days of winter or beginning of spring, but in years past the blooms appear one day and are typically gone a few days later when the frost causes all the blossoms to drop from the tree.

 

at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast Lynchburg, Virginia

Saucer Magnolia in full bloom

With the mild weather this year, the blossoms have lingered for over three weeks.  The aroma when opening the back door is unbelievable and as the blooms fall, making way for the leaves, we have a carpet of pink pedals covering the patio.  To say this has been a spectacular year in our back yard is an understatement.

In addition our Camilla bush is in full bloom and the 300 daffodil bulbs I planted last fall are also in full bloom.

Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lynchburg, VA

Camilla is in bloom

 

We will soon be putting in our garden and getting ready for Garden Day.  Yes, we our home will be on tour for Historic Garden Day next month.  Will keep you posted.  We are expecting over 1600 people (based on last year’s figures) to see our home on Garden Day.  Obviously they will be here to look at the house, not the gardens, although we are making some progress on getting the yard in shape.

We would love to welcome you to The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast this spring or summer so that you too may enjoy our restful patio or wraparound front porch.  Don’t you deserve some time to relax?