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Chocolate-Mint Crackle Cookie Recipe

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Chocolate Mint Crackle Cookie

 

Guests arriving to stay at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, in Lynchburg, VA, are greeted with home-made cookies in their room upon arrival.  This month our welcome treat cookie is a brownie-like cookie that looks like it has been shattered.  Filled with minty goodness they have been a big hit!

Chocolate-Mint Crackle Cookie

  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure mint extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

 

1.  Melt chocolate in heatproof bowl by setting it over a pan of simmering water, (but not touching the heatproof bowl) stirring constantly.  Add the mint to this mixture.

2.  Whisk together flour, baking powder and cocoa in a small bowl.

3.  Whisk together sugar, eggs and melted butter in a medium bowl.  Gradually whisk in melted chocolate and mint extract until smooth (from step 1 above) .  Stir in flour mixture (from step 2 above).  Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.

4.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Roll tablespoons of dough into balls using your palms, then roll into confectioners’ sugar to coat.  Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing each 1-inch apart.  Bake until slightly firm in the center, about 15 minutes.

5.  Let cool slightly on sheets set on wire racks.  Transfer cookies to racks and let cool completely.

**Dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days or rolled into balls and frozen for up to 2 weeks.  Roll in confectioners’ sugar just before baking.

***Store cookies in an air-tight container, at room temperature, for up to 3 days (but they won’t last that long!)

Enjoy!!

 

Empty Bowls

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This past Saturday the Academy of Fine Arts presented it’s third annual “Empty Bowls” event .

Empty Bowl events take place all over the country and always benefit hunger programs.

Our Empty Bowls event supports the Daily Bread.  Located in downtown Lynchburg, VA, the Daily Bread was founded in 1982 to help those in need by providing one meal at a time.  365 days a year they serve lunch between 10:50-12:20 to approximately 160 guests.  Their mission is to “provide a free, nutritous meal every single day of the year” through donations of food, cash and time by volunteers.

The Academy of Fine Arts conducts bowl making sessions in it’s pottery studio each January and February.  Individuals, groups, co-workers, clubs and organizations come together to learn how to craft a bowl from clay.  Then in early March the bowls are sold (you get to take yours home) after being filled with delicious soups accompanied by fresh-made breads and desserts at the Empty Bowls event.  Participating restaurants this year included Market on Main, Bedford Avenue Meats, Lorraine Bakery, Catalano’s Delicatessen among others.  All proceeds from this event benefit the Daily Bread in it’s mission to feed Lynchburg’s hungry.

If you would like to participate in 2013, by contributing a bowl or just eating delicious soup in a hand-made bowl please visit The Academy of Fine Arts web site at www.AcademyFineArts.com for more details.

Hearth Cooking @ Point of Honor

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Cooking in an open heath at Point of Honor

Historic Point of Honor, in Lynchburg, VA hosted a “hearth cooking class” this past Friday.  This seasonal demonstration presented regional recipes and cooking techniques from the early 19th century using an open hearth and brick ovens in a reconstructed plantation kitchen, sited where the origianl once stood.  The bill of fare included roasted chicken, stewed and boiled vegetables, baked and fried foods and  a unique dessert.  Participants were able to assist and watch Rachel as she literally cooked over a “stove.”

Point of Honor is located 3 blocks from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in historic Daniels Hill.  Completed in 1815 by Dr. George Cabell this Federal-style mansion has been carefully restored to preserve the classical designs of the early 19th century.  Named after duels that legend says took place on this fine point of land, Point of Honor has been home to many of Lynchburg’s remarkable citizens.

The mansion is part of the Lynchburg Museum system and is open daily.  An additional “hearth cooking class” will be held on Friday March 23, 2012 between 11:00am-2:00pm.  Advance registration is required.  Call Point of Honor at 434.455.4424 for more details or to reserve your space.

Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast Lynchburg VA

Point of Honor Cooking Class

Lynchburg’s Red Dress Run

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photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast Lynchburg Virginia

The Red Dress Runners

If you ever wanted to party like there was no tomorrow and enjoy a drink or two, or three or four or… then the Seven Hills Hash House Harriers is an organization that you need to look into. They call themselves a drinking club with a running problem. I guess if you want to work off that extra beer or justify drinking an extra beer a three mile run through Lynchburg is a good place to start. This past Saturday, 11 February 2012, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast was one of their refreshment stops on their jog through the city. This was their 17th annual Valentine’s Red Dress Run.

photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.

She said, "I really like your dress."

My experience as being a pit stop for the joggers is this is a group of guys and gals that enjoy having fun and sharing their enthusiasm with folks along the run. After all, why would you spend the coldest day of the year running around town in not much more than a red dress? Yes, girls aren’t the only ones that want to have fun which was very evident by the guys in their red dresses.

I see two guys with great legs.

The Seven Hills Hash House Harriers, as they are officially known, was started in June 1992 and meets every Wednesday and often on Sundays. For more information on the club you can check out their website at: www.7h4hash.com. The organization has clubs around the globe and several of the runners I met were from out of town. Hard to believe that there is a drinking club in conservative Lynchburg. I know this isn’t for everyone, but you’ve got to admire their fun loving attitude.

Cheers!

Chocolate Waffle Recipe

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Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast Lynchburg Virginia

Chocolate Waffle with strawberries and whipped cream

Happy Valentines Day!  Chocolates and flowers are traditional gifts for Valentines day so if you really want to surprise that special someone give them a delicious chocolate waffle.  This recipe uses yeast so it takes a little longer to prepare than most of our other recipes, but the wait is worth it!

Step 1, The Starter

  • 1/2 cup of lukewarm milk (between 100-110 degrees F)  Use whole milk or 2% milk.
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 package instant yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)

Combine the starter ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Make sure the milk is not to hot (the hot will kill the yeast) or too cold (they won’t do their job).   Put the bowl aside for at least 20-30 minutes while making the rest of the batter.

Step 2, The Batter

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate mocha baking cocoa-can use all purpose cocoa if desired
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup of natural sugar (Turbinado)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 3 room temperature eggs
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (melted) that has cooled down, but not re-hardened
  • 2/3 cup of mini chocolate chips.  If using regular chocolate chips coarsely chop them.  If available use dark chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, wheat germ, cocoa, salt and natural sugar).

After the starter has sat for 20-30 minutes add the ROOM TEMPERATURE eggs, melted butter and vanilla to the starter and gently mix.  Next, add the dry ingredients, the chocolate chips and natural sugar gently mixing until ingredients are combined.  Tightly cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for a couple hours.  This batter can be stored overnight in the refrigerator.

After batter has sat for a couple hours, lightly stir the batter and scoop the appropriate amount onto a hot waffle iron that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray.  NOTE:  If batter was refrigerated overnight, remove batter and let it come to room temperature (about 90 minutes on the kitchen counter).  Then lightly stir the batter and cook per the waffle iron’s instructions.

Hot waffles can be served with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, strawberries and/or raspberries.  This is also great with a strawberry or raspberry syrup.  Sprinkle a couple of chocolate chips on the plate as garnish.  Enjoy!

Your mother was right, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and when staying at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, an award winning bed and breakfast in Lynchburg Virginia, we try to make your breakfasts memorable.

 

Civil War hospital to be razed

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The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lynchburg Virginia

Miller Tobacco Warehouse circa 1845 in Lynchburg Virginia

Prior to the Civil War, Lynchburg, also know as the City of Seven Hills, was a bustling little city on the James River.  Several railroad lines passed through the city as well as the city’s canal system made Lynchburg a transportation hub in its day.  Being a transportation hub made it easy for the tobacco farmers, lumber barons and factory owners to transport their products to market.  As the anti-slavery movement started gaining momentum the economy of Lynchburg was changing from agricultural to manufacturing.  The riverfront and downtown saw massive tobacco warehouses, often four or more stories tall taking up the better part of a city block, as well as huge brick factories and foundries supporting the local economy.  The population of Lynchburg was approximately 6,853 and enjoyed a good standard of living.  Local doctors working from their store front offices made house calls to keep the population healthy as there were no hospitals in town.

Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lynchburg, Virginia

Used as a Civil War Hospital and Morgue

When the Civil War broke out, Lynchburg’s population dropped by about a quarter as many of the able-bodied men enlisted in the Confederate Army.  Those that remained behind ran the factories and worked the fields.  Train loads of food, clothing, ammunition and supplies left the docks and trains of Lynchburg.  As war raged on, the boxcars returned to Lynchburg full of wounded soldiers, both Union and Confederate.  Prior to the Civil War, the wounded were treated on the battlefield.  Due to the extensive network of railroads throughout the South, the wounded during the Civil War were transported to hospital cities.  Lynchburg went from a city with no hospitals to a city with 32 hospitals.  19 of the huge tobacco barns were converted to hospitals as were other factories and warehouses.  The few doctors that were in Lynchburg were assisted by the remaining townspeople, mostly women, who oversaw the care and treatment of the wounded.  At any given time during the Civil War, the hospitals were treating 3,000-4,000 soldiers.  Unfortunately, many of them never made it back to the battlefield or home as we didn’t have the lifesaving technologies we have today.

Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lynchburg Virginia

Rear wall collapsed on a Civil War Hospital in Lynchburg Virginia

Today, only two of these tobacco warehouses stand and soon there may be only one.  Over the decades most of them were torn down.  The Miller Building, circa 1845, on Dunbar Street was a tobacco warehouse which operated as a hospital and morgue during the Civil War.  For the last several years it has been vacant and as water leaked through the roof the building became unstable.  Last week a four story section of the exterior wall collapsed.  The owners of the building would love to save this part of history but have indicated they don’t have the financial resources to restore the building and may be forced to tear it down if they can’t figure out a way to save it.

Lynchburg and the surrounding area if full of history.  On your next visit to the area plan on staying at the Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in downtown Lynchburg.  The home was built by Richard Thomas (R. T.) Watts who served in the Civil War.  R. T.’s horse was shot out from under him near Fredericksburg, Virginia  during the battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse.  He was captured and spent the rest of the war in a POW camp in Delaware.  After the war he returned to Lynchburg and built this fine home.  Rather than just visiting historical sites, plan on spending the night in one of them.  For reservations call:  434-846-1388 or visit our website:  http://www.TheCarriageHouseInnBandB.com

 

 

Statistical information for this blog was taken from “A Prototype of a Confederate Hospital Center in Lynchburg Virginia” by Peter Houck.