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At the Bed and Breakfast

Fresh Fruit Tart

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Our fresh fruit tart recipe is a bed and breakfast favorite

Easy to make Fresh Fruit Tart

This is a great time of year to make our fresh fruit tart because you can buy, grwo or pick lots of fresh fruits.  There is no right or wrong way to make this when it comes to choosing fruits.  Use what you like or what is fresh then be creative with the design.  We have served our fresh fruit tart as a breakfast fruit course, for desert for an evening dinner or we have taken it to a pot-luck dinner engagement.  It is versatile and colorful and always gets lots of comments.  It is also super easy to make, especially if you cheat like we do and use a refrigerated pie crust.  If you are a great baker then make your own crust, but if you don’t have the time to make the crust this is an easy alternative.  We hope you enjoy this colorful treat that can be made year round, but is especially good when the fruit is fresh.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box

Filling:

  • 2/3 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1 box (4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix

Topping:

  • 1 cup strawberries, halved
  • 2 kiwifruit, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 450°F.  Make pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell, using a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.  Bake 9-11 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

2.  In medium bowl, mix filling ingredients with wire whisk until well blended.  Pour into cooled baked shell.  Arrange strawberries, kiwifruit and blueberries on filling.

3.  In small microwavable bowl, microwave marmalade uncovered on High 5-10 seconds or until melted.  Brush over fruit.  Refrigerate about 1 hour or until set before serving.  Cover and refrigerate any remaining tart.

Serves 6-8.

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast posts one recipe per month on our blog so keep checking to see our latest recipes.  Once they are posted we add them to our recipe page on our website so if you are looking for something special we would suggest checking our website where all our recipes are categorized.  The recipe page is:  www.thecarriagehouseinnbandb.com/ recipes.  We currently have over 40 recipes listed, most, like our fresh fruit tart are breakfast recipes but not always.  The orange marmalade that is brushed onto the fruit adds a little gloss.  You can’t screw this one up and if you are having a party it makes a great dish and is a great conversation piece.  Put it on the table whole and slice it in front of your guests!

Visiting Lynchburg?  Call The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast to book your room.  With back to school, parents weekends, wine festivals and soon the fall leave colors, we will be booking our rooms so don’t miss out and plan early.  Call 434.846.1388 NOW to make your reservation or book online.

Zucchini Pancakes

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Zucchini Pancakes

Zucchini Pancakes served at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast with maple syrup.

It’s that time of year, the garden was planted this spring and now things are starting to get ripe.  If you have ever grown zucchini the question that comes to mind is what do you do with all those zucchinis.   After you have given your neighbors several zucchinis and you have made zucchini bread why not try making zucchini pancakes!  (If you didn’t plant a garden check with the neighbors, chances are they did and they have zucchinis to give away.  As a last resort you can purchase one from the grocery store.)  These zucchini pancakes are a great way to get people to eat vegetables, especially for breakfast!  The recipe will serve 4 people so if you have a larger group you will need to double the recipe. As a point of reference, we used about 1/3 of the zucchini in the picture below to get the 2 cups of shredded zucchini. Note, the seeds typically will not be shred so they are easy to pick out.  The above photo was my test batch and I ended up eating all of them!

zucchini pancakes

Garden grown zucchini will become zucchini pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups finely shredded fresh zucchini
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil plus more for griddle
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup melted butter/margarine (for rub)

Directions:

  • Preheat the griddle to 400-425 degrees F  If you are using a heavy duty frying pan, preheat the pan to medium high heat.
  • Preheat the oven to 200-250 degrees F
  • Wash the zucchini before shredding
  • Using a fine shredder shred the zucchini until you have 2 cups (DO NOT PEEL the zucchini and–Do not drain the mixture)
  • Beat the eggs in a large bowl then add the shredded zucchini and mix
  • Add the flour, sugar, salt, olive oil, cinnamon,vanilla and baking powder and mix ingredients again
  • Note, you are NOT adding milk or buttermilk.  The fresh zucchini and eggs provide enough liquid
  • Because you are using high heat  put oil on the griddle or pan, not butter as it will burn.
  • Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of batter onto the griddle or pan (this is less than a normal pancake)
  • Cook until bubbles on the top of the pancake almost stop (about 1 1/2 minutes) then flip over and cook for another 1-1 1/2 minutes or until golden brown and done.
  • Brush each pancake with the melted butter and place in a warm (200-250 degree) oven until the remainder of the batter is used then serve immediately
  • Serve with your choice of syrups or jams or eat them plain.

We served zucchini pancakes this past weekend and they were a big hit so we promised the guests that we would post this recipe on the blog this week.  If you have a vegetarian in the family this is also a great recipe that the whole family can enjoy.  If you have a picky eater, don’t tell them these are zucchini pancakes, just call them pancakes!

We hope you enjoy this unique recipe and if you don’t feel like making them for yourself, you can book a room at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and ask that we prepare them for you.  We should have zucchinis from our garden for the next several weeks!

404 Cabell Street, The Watt’s House

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Lynchburg VA, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

This 1878 Italianate mansion is the largest and finest Italianate mansion in the Daniel’s Hill Historic District and is the largest Italianate home in the city of Lynchburg.

I

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

The Watts House, circa 1878

n the spring of 1875, Richard Thomas Watts purchased the two lots on Daniel’s Hill for the sum of $2,150.00, onto which he erected his residence.  Designed by R.C. Burkholder it was built between 1875 and 1878.

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Richard Thomas (R.T.) Watts

Watts enlisted in the Civil War as a private in Company A, Second Virginia Cavalry until he was promoted to take on the responsibility of adjutant with White’s Battalion.  In May 1864, he was wounded at the battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse and taken prisoner, then sent to Fort Delaware for the remainder of the war.  Upon returning home he started a partnership with his brother, James W. Watts, and brother-in-law, George M. Jones, to form one of the first wholesale houses in the city: Jones, Watts, & Co. Hardware.  In 1874 he married Emma T. Hurt, sold the company in 1887 and moved onto others interests, including coal mining and real estate investments.  R.T. and Emma had eleven children, with only five growing to adulthood.  R.T. died in 1910 bequeathing the house and lot to Emma, who died unexpectedly in 1911.  As she died without a will, her five children agreed that the youngest, Mary, would receive the house and lot.  In 1920 Mary married John Williams James, from Culpeper.  In 1928 they sold the property to Lena Fore who furnished rooms to travelers between 1938 and 1939, when the property was known as the Cabell and D Street Tourist Home.

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast is also the Watt's House

Enjoy the front porch of the Watt’s House

One of Daniels Hill’s most ornate mansions, the red brick Italianate was enlarged over the years.  The front porch addition, made popular at the end of the 19th century by Queen Victoria, terminates at the north end of the porte-cohere´.  The elaborate carriage house was constructed about 1909.  Surrounded by an iron fence with brick pillars, the house gives passersby a sense of dignity and opulence.

The original brick house was trimmed with three bay windows and with two small porches facing Cabell Street.  Six outbuildings dotted the property, which consists of 1.5 acres, along with two large frame structures fronting D Street.  By 1902 the Cabell Street façade of the main house had been renovated and the Queen Anne-style porch features, seen today, had been added.  Both the exterior and interior walls are constructed of three courses of brick.  The floor plan features a sweeping staircase in the entry foyer, two parlors, a library, 5 bedrooms and 4 full baths (that are original to the house) with wonderful claw footed tubs.  A living space for a servant can be found above the kitchen.  When the house was built each room had a fireplace, originally coal-burning, as this is how the house was heated.  About 1900 steam radiators were added, which have since been converted to hot water radiators.  Several of the original gas lighting fixtures remain in the house.  Rounded Romanesque arches frame windows and doors.  Pediments, scrolled brackets, pilasters, overhanging eaves and pillars were common on Italianate homes.

Mike and Kathy purchased the home in 2003.  Working weekly, 3-4 days per week, for almost five years the property has been restored to it’s former glory.  Except for the addition of central air conditioning and Wi-Fi the house is much as it was when R.T. and Emma raised their family here.  Most of the doors, window casings, light fixtures, mantels, plumbing fixtures and baseboards are original to the house as are the wainscoting in the foyer, dining room and library.

As stated by the Lynchburg Historical Foundation “this house is a fine example of preserving the past for the future”.

 

 

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast Recipes

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Recipes from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast Recipes.

As you know, for the past three years, we post a recipe to our blog monthly.  Many of you have asked us for our recipes and we are happy to give them to you or you can search through the blog and try to find them, but as we post more items to our blog it gets harder and harder to find specific recipes so we have just created a new page on our website that lists all of our recipes and links you to each one.  They are listed by categories making it easier to find a specif recipe or a group of recipes.  You will want to bookmark that page and refer to it regularly as we will be adding at least one new recipe each month.  For those of you who have stayed with us, now you have access to our bed and breakfast recipes and for those of you who haven’t yet stayed, now you’ll know what you are missing.

Here is the new page for:  The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast Recipes.

If you are planning to visit the Lynchburg area we would live to have you as our guest.  We typically can meet most dietary restrictions so let us know in advance and we will try to create something special for you.  While looking through our bed and breakfast recipes, if you see something you would like to have on your next visit here let us know and we will be happy to accommodate you.  Reservations can be made by calling us at 434.846.1388 or you can book your room on line.

Again, the link to the page with all of our recipes is:  The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast Recipes.  Don’t forget to bookmark this page as we will be adding more recipes in the near future.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day!

Valentine’s Day is just 10 days away and the search for someone special or something special for your special someone can sometimes be challenging.  Today, finding that special person to share your life with is much easier with technology.  There are many dating sites where both men and women put in their ideas about the perfect match and before you know it, you have a list of prospects, but what did we do before computers?  Many of us found our special person by chance, others were introduced by friends and others resorted to the media.  Newspapers and magazines publish “personal” ads whereby the readers can respond to someones request.   These personal ads have been around for quite some time.  During the Civil War two such ads (with poems) ran in Lynchburg’s  Daily Virginian,

February 19, 1863

Wife wanted-I am anxious to marry-have sufficiency to take care of a wife–have been in service for eighteen months, but am now exempt for the war, have heretofore surrendered to no Arms, but am now willing to surrender to a Woman’s.

 I want a handsome, gentle wife,
To share the joys and sweets of life,
I’m neither old, ugly nor cross
I’ll give up the pants and won’t be boss
Address immediately, Volunteer, Howardsville, Albemarle co., Va.”
 

February 26, 1863

“Husband Wanted.  A Lady of Lynchburg who is tired of living in maiden style and would be willing to become ‘Boss’ proposes the ‘Volunteer’ will come up and make himself known.  He must be tall, handsome, good, intelligent, rich and elegant, otherwise he might as well stay where he is, as there are any number of that sort here already.-

She will make a gentle wife,
Will share the joys of life,
Is beautiful – not cross
Will take the pants and Will be the Boss,
He must give her all she wants
Not use her ill – or harass with taunts.
Must love her as a good man should,
She will love him, as only a woman could.”
 

If you are looking for a special getaway with that special person we invite you to stay at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lynchburg.  Like the above ads/poems this home was built in the same era and you can enjoy your our grand mansion or carriage house which is elegantly restored having many of the original elements of the home when it was built.  To make your celebration even more special, we will include a chilled bottle of Prosecco, when you mention this blog post when making your reservation.  In February we will be making our famous Chocolate Waffles.  This is the third year for our chocolate waffles and this year’s recipe (look for it in a later post this month) promises to be the best yet!

Kathy and I wish all you you a Happy Valentine’s Day and wish this day be filled with joy and happiness.

 

 

 

I would never stay at a bed and breakfast!

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This is NOT Breakfast at a bed and breakfast

This is NOT Breakfast at a bed and breakfast

As we were getting ready to open our bed and breakfast in the fall of 2007 we were doing some market research on what type of guest would stay at bed and breakfast.  We posed the question to my brother-in-law who, at the time, traveled quite a bit for his job, “What would a business traveler look for when staying at a bed and breakfast?”   His response was simple and direct, “I would never stay at a bed and breakfast!”   I wasn’t prepared for that answer but I continued asking him why he wouldn’t stay at a bed and breakfast and he proceeded to tell me his reasons.

First, he didn’t want to be in a stranger’s house.  He thought it would be like visiting his mother or aunt but only worse because they were a stranger and when he was traveling he wanted some peace and quiet.  He didn’t want to be in someone’s guest room, you know, that room in the house with the old uncomfortable furniture.  Obviously if you made the bed too comfortable house guests might never leave.  Or, perhaps he would be staying in the kid’s room that is away at school or has moved out, but mom and dad kept the room the way it was in high school.  Even worse than staying in a stranger’s house would be the requirement to eat breakfast and speak with strangers.  Out of all his excuses I found this one to be the strangest comment he made because Jeff is not afraid to talk to strangers, is quite intelligent and can carry on a conversation.

Ok, maybe he isn’t our target market.  I assumed our target market was someone traveling away from home needing a safe and comfortable place to stay while away from his/her family.  A place that isn’t as sterile or impersonal as a hotel.  A place where you are fed a great breakfast before you head off to work or meeting, then it hit me.  Before we decided to open a bed and breakfast, I too would have never stayed at a bed and breakfast either.  It just wasn’t on my radar.  When I traveled to a conference or convention I stayed at a hotel, preferably a Marriott because I wanted to get those loyalty points, much the same way as I tried to fly on United.  The thing about Marriott, the rooms in Washington, DC weren’t much different than the rooms in San Francisco, same bed, same decor.  You knew before you got there what to expect.  It’s kind of like flying.  You know the lines are long, getting through security is always a pain, the seats are small the food…well, no one flies for the food and so on.   I chose Marriott and United out of some sort of loyalty and since I had never stayed at a bed and breakfast there was no loyalty, They just weren’t on my radar.

After stepping back and thinking about it from Jeff’s point of view I understood the challenge that was ahead of me.  If very few people have ever stayed at a bed and breakfast then how am I going to get them to change their thinking so that they will consider a stay at a bed and breakfast?  Our rooms are much nicer than a hotel, our food is much better than the breakfast buffet at the hotel; our amenities are much nicer…  I know, I sound like a parent; my kid is smarter, faster, prettier than…

Well, it’s been six years since we opened and Jeff still hasn’t stayed at a bed and breakfast while traveling for business but I have stayed in lots of them since we decided to become innkeepers.  There have been some really great ones and then there have been some that…..let’s just say that will be a future blog post.   We do have some very loyal business travelers that wouldn’t consider staying any place but here, but still the vast majority of business travelers don’t stay at a bed and breakfast.  Having said that, I will be publishing more posts about our industry so that the next time you are traveling you will at least consider a stay at a bed and breakfast and if your travels ever bring you to Lynchburg, Virginia you will want to stay at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.

This blog is the start of a new approach to marketing.  Before I would stand up and tell you how great we (I mean my bed and breakfast) are, all the awards we have won, all the wonderful experiences our guests have had…and because you are polite you would listen and then go about your day and the next time you traveled you guessed it, you wouldn’t think about staying in a bed and breakfast, you would just go online and book your hotel room.  My new marketing approach is trying to get people to start thinking about bed and breakfasts, hopefully mine, but if not mine than someone else’s.

I know change is hard and the fear of the unknown may be what’s holding you back or probably, you like me 6+ years ago it wasn’t on your radar.

Before I close, I would love to know your thoughts.  Would you consider a stay at a bed and breakfast?  Have you stayed at a bed and breakfast?  When you travel, does it even cross your mind about staying at one?

Hey, they aren’t (most of the time) scary places.  Here is a link to a video (its less than one minute) of our bed and breakfast.  I just wanted those who have never stayed at one or even knows about them to be able to peek inside one of one of them.  It’s like going to the beach and dipping your toe in the water before you take the plunge.   After watching the video is a bed and breakfast option on your radar?   Please be brutally honest…I think getting the word out about bed and breakfasts is going to be a big job…I just want to know how big of a job I am undertaking.

Please shoot me an email with your thoughts and comments:  mike@TheCarriageHouseInnBandB.com