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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

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Bed and breakfast recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Very light and airy Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

These lemon ricotta pancakes are light and airy with a little tang from the lemon.  Normally I would use buttermilk to make pancakes, but when you mix lemon juice with milk you end up with buttermilk so for this recipe, skip the buttermilk and use whole milk.  It is always a good idea to have your ingredients at room temperature so that everything mixes together and the batter doesn’t break.  Remove the eggs, ricotta and milk out of the refrigerator about an hour before you start making the pancakes.  I would suggest putting the ricotta in a strainer, to allow it to drain, while it is warming up.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 4 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup fresh Ricotta (strained)
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk (you could substitute skim or 1-2% if that is all you have on hand)
  • 6 tablespoons Butter (melted plus more for greasing pan)
  • 6 tablespoons Lemon Oil (see recipe below)
  • 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Powdered sugar for garnish

For the Lemon Oil:

  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon (washed and cut into small pieces)
  • Pinch of Salt

Directions for making the Lemon Oil:

Place ingredients in a blender (the whole lemon that has been cut into about 8 small pieces, skin and fruit but make sure the lemons were washed before you sliced it into pieces) and puree. Strain into a bowl, reserving pulp.

Directions for making the lemon ricotta pancakes:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.
  • In a second bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients (milk, eggs, ricotta, melted butter, lemon oil and vanilla).
  • Whisk the wet into the dry mix until fully incorporated. The batter is very light so you don’t have to whip it too much. There should be a few lumps.
  • Let the batter sit for about 8-10 minutes while griddle is preheating.
  • Add some butter to grease the preheated griddle. Pour a few tablespoons of batter (for silver dollar sized pancakes) or ladle about 1/4 cup (for regular sized pancakes) onto the hot griddle and cook until bubbles appear and a few pop.
  • Flip with a spatula and continue to cook on the second side until golden. You can keep these pancakes warm by placing them on the rack in the oven that has been preheated to 200 degrees or serve immediately.
  • Serve with maple syrup or a fruit syrup such as raspberry, strawberry or blueberry.   If you have fresh blueberries on hand you can add  cup of them to the batter.  They will provide a burst of sweetness that works well with the tang of the lemon.

Helpful Tip:

  • You can use the remaining pulp from the strained lemon oil is on chicken or fish so you won’t want to throw it out.

We hope you enjoy this recipe for lemon Ricotta Pancakes as much as the guests of The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in historic Lynchburg, Virginia. Of course it is much easier to have us do the cooking so feel free to call us at 434.846.1388 and book your next visit.  We look forward to seeing you in the near future.

 

Little Libraries in Lynchburg

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Little Library at the Community Market in downtown Lynchburg

Lynchburg, Virginia is one of the newest locations, in the United States, of the Little Free Library project.

In 2009, Todd Bol, a resident of Hudson, Wisconsin started the movement.  He built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former teacher and avid reader.  He filled it with books, put it on a post in his front yard with a sign FREE BOOKS and his friends and neighbors loved it.  He and his friends set a goal of 2,510 Little Free Libraries throughout the United States by January 2014.  They estimate that by year’s end there will be over 10,000 small structures promoting the slogan take a book, return a book, far surpassing their goal.

Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Little Library on the Blackwater Creek trail head.

Lynchburg has debuted four little libraries throughout the city.  They are located at the Community Market, Riverside Park, the Ed Page Entrance of the Blackwater Creek Trail and at WordWorks located on the roundabout on Fifth Street.  Books are selected by a “Steward.”  Depending on the Steward and little library location the books may follow a theme, for instance the Blackwater Creek library has several bird watching books.

The structures are also an interesting part of the Little Free Library project.  They are not just a utilitarian box but are built by hand in all shapes and sizes.  The structure at the Community Market looks like a barn, the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club modeled the structure at       after an Appalachian Trail shelter.  And the structure at WordWorks resembles a

The goal of the Little Free Library project is to share favorite books and to grant access to people who don’t have books, allowing them to stop and take a book.  For more information stop by and take a book or visit the website www.littlefreelibrary.org.

 

Estates and Consignments, a treasure hunter’s dream

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photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lynchburg

I’m looking for a new home. Come get me at Estate & Consignments

 

Located on 12th Street between Main and Commerce

Located on 12th Street between Main and Commerce

Estate and Consignments is always looking for a good home for one of their many treasures.  Let’s face it, we are all going to die and when we do, what happens to all our stuff.  When the children leave the nest and it is time to downsize we also have that same problem, what are we going to do with all the stuff that won’t fit into the new place.  Estate and Consignments is one of two companies in downtown Lynchburg that purchases these estates and then they try to find kind loving homes for these items.

An antique oak shaving stand.

An antique oak shaving stand.

You need to frequent Estate and Consignments regularly since they bring in one or two estates each week so you will never know what you will find there from week to week.  Prices are much lower that you would find if buying the stuff new and part of the fun is finding that treasure that you can’t live without.  If you are looking for a junk shop this isn’t the place.  Most items are in really great shape or gently worn.  From time to time you will find antiques.  There is usually a dozen sets of china and dining room suites as well as bedroom suites.

A number of our guests have visited Estate and Consignments and have walked away with some great pieces.  If you happen to be visiting Lynchburg and are staying with us (The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast), we have been known to store some large pieces until transportation can be arranged.  We happened to be there after the first of the year and fell in love with this antique sleigh (below), but unfortunately we don’t have a place to display it….Do you?

A great antique sleigh

A great antique sleigh

Estate and Consignments is located in a huge warehouse located at 139 12th Street in downtown Lynchburg between Main Street and Commerce Street.  Their phone number is:  (434) 528-3667.  They are open seven days a week!  Below is a photo of their warehouse (interior) and a couple of other pieces that caught my eye.

Warehouse full of treasures!

Warehouse full of treasures!

One of many dining rooms

One of many dining rooms

You need to see all this stuff!

You need to see all this stuff!

We will be featuring a different downtown merchant on our blog every 6-8 weeks so keep reading as we have some fantastic shops with more and more opening all the time.  It is very exciting to be in Lynchburg as the downtown area is becoming a destination, much as it was from the 1800′s through the 1960′s.

 

VCCA-a local retreat for artists from around the world.

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Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lynchburg

Normandy style barn at VCCA houses 22 artist studios

The Virginia Center for Creative Arts (VCCA) is located off RT 29 on property owned by Sweet Briar College, known as Mt. San Angelo Estate.  It is a sanctuary where artists can find serenity, light, space and privacy to work for hours, days or weeks on their creative works in private studios cradled on 400 acres of rolling farmland.  If you have ever tired to write that great American novel, or paint a masterpiece or sculpt a piece of clay, marble or wood into art or compose a song or opera you know the distractions of life often get in the way and that project gets delayed or remains unfinished.

The VCCA offers its artist residents, Fellows, a comfortable, private bedroom, three meals a day, and a private studio. While there the artist has a quiet light filled studio to work in but has the ability to share thoughts and ideas with over 20 other artists.    The results speak for themselves, VCCA residents have won a Pulitzer Prize, written many NY Times best sellers, had movies made and have had their art shown at top galleries around the world.

To get a fellowship at VCCA you must apply and be accepted.  The application process can be found on their website.  

During the Civil War, estate owner Elizabeth Mosby traveled to Europe and brought back architect Thomas Eastlock from England to create the original 1870 Italianate villa.  Upon her death the estate then known as Mount Saint Angelo went to her brother and upon his death the estate was transferred to Elizabeth Mosby’s Sister, Indiana Fletcher Williams, the founder of Sweet Briar College (founded in 1901).  In 1909 the house was remodeled into a Georgian Revival mansion.  In the 1920s a 13,000 square foot Normandy-style barn complex was built which now houses the artist studios. The name was changed to  Mount San Angelo in the 1930′s.  In 1968 Sweet Briar College purchased the property and in the fall of 1977 Sweet Briar College agreed to lease the facility to VCCA.  On July 17th 1979 the mansion was destroyed by fire.  At the time there were fifty six VCCA Fellows in residence.  Over the next two years Fellows lived and worked in the barn complex.

Today the residence hall, completed in 1981, can house up to 22 Fellows.  The Studio Barn complex (built in 1932) is just a short walk from the residence hall and houses 22 studios, 3 kitchens an exhibition hall and sculpture gardens.

Pick up truck sculpture on the grounds of VCCA.

Pick up truck sculpture on the grounds of VCCA.

From time to time VCCU has an open house where the public is invited to visit the property and grounds and mingle with the artists.  Last October during their open house I met several interesting artists that were from Europe and the United States.  The VCCA is a creative space for writers, artists and composers from across the nation and around the world.  It is also a great place to visit when they host their annual open house!

If you are looking for a quiet place to relax and get creative and you aren’t accepted as a Fellow at VCCA then we invite you to check into The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and take advantage of our quiet 1878 mansion or 1910 carriage house.  It may be the place that inspires your creative energies.

VCCA is having an open house Sunday January 19th, 2014 from 2:00-4:00PM.  Tour open studios and visit with working writers, composers and artists.  If you are interested in the arts this is a must see.

 

 

Pomegranate with Pears and Goat Cheese

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Pomegranate with Pears and Goat Cheese

A simple yet elegant dish that can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert or a midnight snack with Prosecco on New Year’s Eve.  At The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, in Lynchburg, VA, we have served this as our fruit course, during our legendary 4-course breakfast.  This recipe only takes minutes to make and is delicious.  The other nice thing about this recipe is there is NO cooking and minimal cleanup.  A couple years ago we planted  pomegranate trees and we now serve our own pomegranates.  Here is a link for step by step instructions on how to get the seeds, also know as arils out of the fruit.  The nice thing about the arils is you can freeze them and enjoy them for months.  You still might be able to find some pomegranates in the produce section at your grocery store.

How to freeze pomegranate seeds

Once you have de-seeded your pomegranate, make sure the seeds are dry. Arrange them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place in freezer for 2 hours or until frozen. Once frozen, put them into a freezer bag or container and store them in the freezer.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, about 1/2 cup
  • 4 firm-ripe pears, Bartlett or Bosc, halved lengthwise
  • honey, for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, from 1/2 of a large pomegranate

Instructions:

Stir goat cheese in a small bowl until smooth.  Core pear halves with a melon baller and fill each cavity with 1 Tablespoon cheese.  (Pears can then be sliced again into smaller wedges.)  Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Of course if you can find local honey that is a big bonus as local honey helps you with allergies you might have from local sources.  The Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg has several beehives and they sell their honey.  It is appropriately called, Died and gone to heaven honey.

We hope you enjoy Pomegranate with Pears and Goat Cheese as much as our guests did!

 

Santa has come to Town!

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The Lynchburg Museum is proud to announce the “Santa has come to town!”

The museum has recently acquired the mechanical Santa that once greeter shoppers to the downtown Leggett’s Department Store.  The 5 foot tall Santa would watch over the shoppers from a display at the store’s entrance.  The mechanized figure could turn and wave to the shoppers while his reindeer bobbed up and down as though in flight (quite a feat for store figures in the 50′s & 60′s.)

Santa can be viewed until January 31, 2014 at the Lynchburg Museum, in downtown Lynchburg, VA, at 901 Court Street.  Museum hours are Monday – Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 12-4.  Entrance fees run between $3.00-$6.00.  Entrance fees are waived on First Fridays between 5:00-8:00 pm.