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Cantaloupe Cooler

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Cantaloupe Cooler

Cool and refreshing Cantaloupe Cooler

July is cantaloupe month in central Virginia.  They are ripe and ready for picking in our vegetable garden or at the Community Market in downtown Lynchburg.

To take advantage of the freshness of this gourd we are serving Cantaloupe Coolers as our fruit dish this month at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.  Yummy plus full of vitamins and minerals what’s not t love?  It’s an easy drink to make in just a few minutes.  Give it a try, or come stay with us and we’ll fix it for you!

Cantaloupe Cooler:

Puree 4 cups chopped cantaloupe, 1 cup coconut water, and 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice in a blender until smooth.  Pour over ice in a tall glass, garnish with a wedge of cantaloupe and a fresh mint sprig.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4.

Having trouble deciding what to cook for breakfast.  We have over 50 breakfast entrees (and a few favorites) posted on our website.  Click here to see our other recipes.

 

Paradise Chicken Salad in Pineapple Boats

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recipe for paradise chicken salad in pineapple boats

Paradise Chicken Salad in Pineapple boats

Recently we had a luncheon at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and the theme was “Tropical” so Kathy decided to make Paradise Chicken Salad in Pineapple Boats.  Basically you are making a chicken salad and serving it on the shell of the pineapple.  It makes a great presentation and it is quite tasty.  Typically we don’t serve lunch here at the bed and breakfast but we wanted to share this recipe with you in case you were having a brunch or luncheon party and wanted to try something different that makes a great visual statement.

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh pineapples
  • 2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chutney (we used a mango chuttney)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 medium banana, sliced
  • 1/3 cup salted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 11 oz. can mandarin orange segments, chilled and drained

Directions:

Select firm pineapples with fresh green leaves. To prepare pineapple boats, first remove any brown leaves from the top by pulling them out.  With a sharp knife, cut pineapple in half lengthwise through the green top.  Then cut in half again, making 4 pieces, each with a part of the green top.  Remove fruit from pineapple by cutting along curved edge with a sharp knife.  Cut away eyes and fibrous core from the fruit you just cut.  Cut fruit into chunks for salad.  Drain pineapple shells, upside down, and the fruit on paper towels.

Combine pineapple, chicken and celery in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, chutney and curry powder.  Cover each bowl and refrigerate.  Just before serving, drain any juice from fruit-chicken mixture.  Add banana and peanuts; toss lightly with mayonnaise mixture.  Fill pineapple boats.  Sprinkle each with coconut and garnish with orange segments.  Note:  Because some people may have an allergic reaction to peanuts we allowed each guest to sprinkle peanuts on their own serving.  Likewise, some people don’t like coconut so we had a bowl of coconut that our guests could sprinkle on their serving.

Serves 8.

When making our paradise chicken salad you can do a lot of the work the night before so that all you have to do the next morning/lunch is combine, assemble and serve.

The ladies at the luncheon loved the paradise chicken salad in pineapple boats and your guest will as well.  This time of year is the perfect time for something tropical.  If  you really want to get into the tropical theme serve this with a pina-colada!  For more recipes, check our recipe page on our website.  If you will be visiting the Lynchburg area give us a call at 434-846-1388 to make your reservation or you can book on-line.

 

Sausage and Black-Eyed Pea Hash

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Sausage and Black-eyed pea hash recipe

Sausage and black-eyed pea hash, a tasty breakfast

Our January signature dish for 2015 contains the ingredient black-eyed peas.  Black-eyed peas were introduced to the new world in the 17th century in Virginia.  In the United States eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is thought to bring prosperity in the new year.  A number of breakfast entrees feature some type of hash, but our Sausage and Black-Eyed Pea Hash is a healthy way to start your day and is packed with great taste and flavor.  If you are a vegetarian, leave out the sausage, if you are vegan you can also delete the egg and if you are gluten intolerant and tired of tasteless dishes then give this one a try.  Our sausage and black-eyed pea has is a well balanced meal on a plate.  Not only does this taste great, but it is simple to cook and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. Andouille sausage
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomato
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cubed
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cubed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 15 oz. can no-salt-added black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1.  Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add sausage; sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.  Add celery, tomato, bell pepper and squash; saute 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add water, thyme, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and black-eyed peas.  Simmer 2 minutes or until peas are thoroughly heated.  Remove pea mixture from pan; keep warm.  Wipe pan with paper towel.

2.  Return pan to medium heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Crack eggs into pan; cook 4 minutes or just until whites are set.  Remove from heat.  (We skipped this part and poached our eggs this morning, but frying an egg works great also.  Most people aren’t comfortable poaching an egg so a lot of our recipes we fry our eggs over easy instead of poaching them).

3.  Place about 1 cup pea mixture onto each of 4 plates; top each serving with one egg.  Sprinkle eggs evenly with black pepper.

Note:  also shown in the above photo are mushrooms.  One of the nice things about making our sausage and black-eyed pea hash is that if you have other ingredients in the kitchen you can add or substitute them.  There really isn’t a right or wrong way to make hash, the key is to make one that is flavorful and this one is.

This recipe serves 4 people.

For more recipes check out our recipe page on our website.  If you would rather have someone else do the cooking then give us a call at 434-846-1388 to make your reservation at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and enjoy our legendary breakfast each morning or you can book your stay on-line.

 

Spinach Pesto Egg Bake

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spinach pesto egg bake

Spinach Pesto Egg Bake

Want a great tasting easy to make breakfast?  Who doesn’t!  Our spinach pesto egg bake is the dish that fits the bill.  We just made these and our guests loved them.  It doesn’t take a lot of prep time nor does it take a lot of ingredients but it delivers lots of flavor.  Depending on the size of your family you can double or triple the recipe if you are having the entire family over for the holidays.  Another idea would be to make extra spinach-pesto egg bakes and freeze them.  The night before put one in the refrigerator and the next morning pop it in the microwave for a minute or so (or until hot).  What a great way to get a good hearty breakfast. You probably couldn’t prepare a bowl of cold cereal that quickly!  Pictured above is our spinach pesto egg bake with chicken and apple sausage and tomato slices with mozzarella cheese and basil leaves.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • 1 cup frozen cut leaf spinach (14 oz pag thawed, squeezed to drain)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 oz):
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (1 oz)
  • Fresh basil leaves

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly spray 4 (10 oz) custard cups or ramekins with cooking spray.  Place cups on a cookie sheet with sides (so they don’t slide off the cookie sheet when removing from the oven).
  • Toast the pine nuts (place the pine nuts in an ungreased heavy skillet and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes stirring frequently until nuts begin to brown, then stir constantly until light brown).  Be careful not to burn the nuts.
  • In a medium bowl, mix spinach, cottage cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, pesto and toasted nuts.  Stir in the eggs (salt and pepper to taste) and milk until well blended.  Divide the mixture evenly among the cups.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes or until set.  Cool two minutes then top with tomato and Parmesan cheese and garnish with basil.

In the interest of keeping this easy to make you can buy the basil pesto rather than making your own, which is easy to do especially if you have an herb garden and grow basil as we do.  For those that want to be in control of what goes into your food I am providing our basil pesto recipe below:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic (more of less depending on your preference)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
    2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste+
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

Directions:

  • Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  • If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth and mix in the cheese OR
  • If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw before use and stir the olive oil and cheese into the mixture.

This recipe is gluten free and vegetarian!

Just a reminder, you can find all of our recipes on our website, itemized by category.  A new recipe is posted every month so bookmark that page and check back often to see whats cooking at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in historic Lynchburg, Virginia.  If you don’t want to cook then come stay with us and we will serve you our four-course legendary breakfast each morning.  Reservations can be made on-line or by calling 434.846.1388.

Kathy and I hope you enjoy our spinach pesto egg bake.

White Chicken Chili or Turkey Chili

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Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

White Chicken Chili

Thanksgiving is next week and you probably haven’t you thought about what you will do with all that left over turkey?  We have a white chicken chili recipe where you can substitute turkey for the chicken and have a turkey chili. This is a meal that we often serve when we have family and guest visiting that will warm you from the inside out.

I love Thanksgiving.  It is a holiday where friends and family can gather and enjoy all the blessings we have.  Of course the turkey dinner is always a big plus.  If you are lucky you have enough to have leftovers you won’t have to cook for a couple of days.  For some reason turkey leftovers tast just as good on Friday and Saturday.  And who doesn’t like turkey sandwiches, but before you use up all the turkey you may want to make a hearty chili.

This recipe is great all year round, but during the winter months this will warm you up and satisfy your appetite.  Another great thing about this recipe is there is very little cooking, just throw the ingredients into a crock pot and 8 hours later dinner is served!  Typically we use a rotisserie chicken that we buy at the supermarket when making this, but if you have leftover turkey then substitute the turkey for the chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced (or combination of colored peppers)
  • 4 cans cannelloni or great northern beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 1 can diced, mild chilis, drained
  • 12 oz package white shoepeg corn, frozen
  • 1 rotisserie chicken or 4 poached chicken breasts, shredded

Instructions:

  • Saute onions, garlic and green pepper in oil until translucent and soft. Add 1 cans beans and 1/2 cup chicken stock.
  • Puree in pan or transfer to and blend until smooth.
  • Place pureed mixture into the bottom of a 6 cup crock pot.  Add all remaining ingredients, stir to combine.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.  Do not be tempted to lift the lid of the crock pot during cooking, doing so will increase cooking time.

We usually serve this in a bowl over whole grain rice or quinoa.  Enjoy!

Chilled Peach Soup

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Peach Soup at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lynchburg

Chilled Peach Soup, a summertime favorite

The peaches this summer are fresh and ready for picking at the farms just north of The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast or at the Lynchburg Community Market.  If possible we like to use local, fresh fruits and vegetables, when preparing our 4-course legendary breakfasts.  We serve our Chilled Peach Soup as our fruit course.  During the warmer summer months, having a bowl of our chilled peach soup is very refreshing.  The recipe for our chilled peach soup couldn’t be any easier (its only 4 ingredients!), so go to your local farmer’s market or fruit stand by the road, get some peaches and enjoy this refreshing soup–for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 2 peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup plain vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

Directions:

Place all ingredients into a blender.  Blend for approximately 1 minute, or until well combined and smooth.  If mixture seems too thick add a bit more orange juice.  Chill for at least 1 hour.  Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a fresh mint leaf or a sprinkling of nutmeg.  You can substitute plain yogurt for Greek yogurt to make it a little more healthy.

Peach Smoothie–A bonus recipe:

For a great twist, our chilled peach soup can become a great smoothie.  After peeling and removing he pit, slice the peaches into 6-8 pieces and place in the freezer for an hour or more.  Using the ingredients and directions above, blend until smooth, pour into a chilled glass and enjoy.  This is especially great on those hot summer afternoons.  It is also a great way to get fruit into your diet, and who doesn’t love a good smoothie!

Unfortunately, not everyone lives near a farm or farmer’s market.  While we have never used frozen peaches for chilled peach soup, I don’t see any reason that wouldn’t work.  At the local big box store you can purchase a bag of frozen peaches at a reasonable price.  To make the soup thaw the peaches for 20-30 minutes and follow the instructions above.  I wouldn’t recommend using canned peaches because of all the sugar that is added in the canning process and any leaching of chemicals from the can..

Serves 2.

To aid our customers, we publish our recipes in our blog and then we move them to our bed and breakfast recipe page on our web site.  Just click the link and you have access to dozens of recipes that are separated by categories.