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Pomegranate with Pears and Goat Cheese

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IMG_9947.1

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!

 

Ham and Egg Breakfast Casserole

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Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

The nice thing about this breakfast casserole is that it is simple to make and feeds a crowd.  Unlike cooking pancakes, waffles or omelets which takes a lot of time if you have a large family, other than a little prep-work, you stick it in the oven and in about 30 minutes you have a delicious meal.  The other great thing about this breakfast casserole is that you can double the recipe and serve one today and save the other one for up to three months in the freezer.

The above was served with lightly sauteed vine ripened tomatoes and zucchini and hash-brown potatoes.  A fresh basil leaf was cut up and put on top of the breakfast casserole. Our guests loved this recipe and so did we because of its simplicity.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb of fresh mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • dash of pepper and salt
  • 2 Cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • In a large sauce pan melt the butter, rough cut the mushrooms and saute them until tender add the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper the mushrooms. After cooking the combined ingredients let cool for a couple of minutes.  In a greased 13X9 baking dish spread the mushrooms evenly over the pan.
  • In a large bowl, add the cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, cubed ham and flour.  Mix ingredients well then spread evenly over the mushrooms.  Note:  The flour helps keep the ham and cheese from sticking together.  If you are on a gluten free diet you can skip this ingredient.
  • In another large bowl mix the eggs, cream, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper.  Once mixed pour over the ham and cheese mixture.
  • Bake the breakfast casserole in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole out of the oven.

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole out of the oven.

Freezing a breakfast casserole:

If you double the recipe and elect to freeze one, cover with a tight fitting plastic wrap the uncooked mixture (make sure it sits flat in the freezer until  frozen. Before cooking, remove from freezer 30 minutes before baking (do not thaw it).  Remove the plastic wrap and cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes, Uncover and bake for and additional 15-20 minutes.  Let stand before cutting and serving.

This would be a great dish to serve on Thanksgiving or Christmas morning when the entire family is visiting.  Also, it is a great way to use some of the left over ham.  If you want to serve a warm fruit dish consider the hot fruit compote that we wrote about earlier this month.

 

Hot Fruit Compote

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Hot Fruit Compote

Hot Fruit Compote

With Thanksgiving right around the corner I thought I would share our hot fruit compote recipe which is an easy to make fruit dish that works well when you have a large party to feed. I’m thinking about Thanksgiving or Christmas morning when you have a million other things to do and you don’t have a lot of extra time in the kitchen to think about cooking breakfast for the family that has gathered for the holidays. What makes the hot fruit compote a great dish (other than being super easy) is it is served warm on those cool fall/winter mornings. Obviously this time of year you don’t have many fresh fruit options so this one relies on canned fruit.  The optional ingredient, fresh cranberries, are available this time of year and add a little bit of tartness to the dish, plus it ties it into the season.  (Tip:  You can buy a bag of fresh cranberries and what you don’t use you can freeze so that you will have fresh cranberries throughout the year.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (15 1/4 ounces each) sliced pears–drained
  • 1 can (29 ounces) sliced peaches–drained
  • 1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • optional–two cups fresh whole cranberries

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine the pears, peaches, pineapple applesauce and cranberries.
  • Spray a 9X13 baking dish with a cooking spray and then pour the mixed ingredients (above) into the baking dish.
  • Spread the pie filling over the fruit and sprinkle with the brown sugar.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly.
  •  Serve warm.

We had a full house at the bed and breakfast last weekend and served this.  The guests loved it.  This can be cooked with an egg casserole at the same time in the oven so you can serve your family a filling warm breakfast that will satisfy them until Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

Another option for this hot fruit compote is to sprinkle a light streusel topping on it and turn this into a healthy desert.

I hope you and your family/guests enjoy this recipe.  Kathy and I hope each of you have a great holiday season and that next year will bring you peace and happiness.

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

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chocolate pumpkin muffins

chocolate pumpkin muffins

Fall is upon us, the nights are cooler, leaves are turning colors, pumpkins decorate many front porches, and Halloween is right around the corner so to celebrate this time of year we are baking our spicy chocolate pumpkin muffins.  We chose this recipe because it had pumpkin and chocolate in them, two of my favorite foods. Speaking of pumpkin, if you missed our pumpkin waffle recipe a couple years ago you may want to check it out as well!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs-room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs and vanilla then mix in the pumpkin.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt,nutmeg and cloves.  Mix into creamed mixture.  By had stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

This makes a dozen standard muffins or about 6 giant muffins.  (If making giant muffins you will need to increase cooking time.)

These chocolate pumpkin muffins are very versatile.  We serve them when we have a savory breakfast.  They are also great snacks and can be served for dinner, especially at Thanksgiving.  They are sweet and moist and can also be served for desert or as a midnight snack.  Of course if you have a nut allergy you can eliminate the nuts.  If you are watching your weight you can eliminate the chocolate chips and substitute applesauce for half the butter.  If you want these to be healthier you can substitute half the flour with whole wheat flour.  Finally you can cut down on the calories by using a mini-muffin pan rather than the standard or giant muffin pans.  Remember to reduce the cook time if you use a mini-muffin pan.

Remember, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast posts a recipe once a month so you want to check back often so you don’t miss one of our monthly recipes!

 

Apple Pancakes with Applesauce Syrup

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A bed and breakfast recipe, Apple Pancakes

Apple Pancake with Applesauce Syrup

This month we are celebrating the start of fall with our Apple Pancakes.  Fall is here, the days and nights are a little cooler and the local orchards have a bumper crop of apples so we decided to feature apples in our September signature breakfast.  We took our ultimate buttermilk pancake recipe and substituted brown sugar for the white sugar, added apples that were peeled and diced into 1/4 inch cubes and created a great syrup out of applesauce.

Of course, if you don’t live close to an orchard or a farmer’s market you can pick up fresh apples at the supermarket.  I used granny smith apples because they hold up well when cooking and add have a tangy sweet crunch to the apple pancakes.

Below is the altered recipe:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 Tablespoons of brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups buttermilk–room temperature
  • 3 eggs–room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/2 medium sized granny smith apples, peeled and cubed into 1/4 inch pieces

First mix all your dry ingredients, (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt) in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the bowl.  Next, beat the eggs in a separate bowl then add the buttermilk and melted butter.  Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Add the cubed apples and gently fold until combined.  It is OK if the batter is lumpy.  If the batter is a little too thick you can add a little more milk but you don’t want the batter to be too soupy.

Preheat the griddle and pour about 1/4 cup onto a hot griddle. Flip the apple pancakes when you have bubbles that pop and don’t fill-in with wet batter.  Cook the flipped side until golden brown and then serve with maple syrup or Applesauce Syrup (below).

In keeping with celebrating the apple this month we made a thick applesauce syrup and topped the apple pancakes before we served them.  We hope you enjoy them as much as our guests did.

  • 2 cups chunky applesauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves

Mix the above ingredients in a medium sauce pan on low heat stirring constantly until mixture boils.  Remove from heat and serve over the apple pancakes.

Just a reminder that The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast posts a recipe to our blog each month.  There are now over 30 recipes on the blog!  We would love to serve you our legendary breakfast, but if you can’t make it to Lynchburg you can always try our recipes at home and let us know how you liked them!

 

Zucchini Muffins

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Hot Zucchini Muffins just out of the oven!

Hot Zucchini Muffins just out of the oven!

Zucchini Muffins make a wonderful breakfast treat but they can become a part of lunch, dinner or an afternoon snack.  Yes, we planted one zucchini plant in the garden this year and with a bumper crop of zucchinis we decided that our August recipe needed to use this often overlooked vegetable. The nice thing about zucchini is it really doesn’t taste like anything so you can use it in a variety of dishes and by altering the spices you can dictate how it will taste.

The first step is to grate two cups of zucchini, place it in a colander and it drain for at least an hour.  A zucchini is mostly water and you want to get rid of some of the water.  Just put a bowl  under the colander to collect the water.  We put ours in the refrigerator overnight and let it drain before we made these muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.

Directions:

Make sure you have let your grated zucchini drain.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt,nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar.  In a separate bowl combine the oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice.  Mix wet ingredients into dry, then add the nuts and fold in.  Bake in two standard muffin pans that have been sprayed with  a non-stick spray for about 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.  This makes 24 muffins.

Of course if you don’t want to go the muffin route, you can always do the traditional zucchini bread.  Following the same instructions above, this recipe will make 2 standard loafs but will need to cook for about an hour.  Alternately, you can make 5 mini loaf pans in about 45 minutes.

Zucchini Muffin

Zucchini Muffin

Every month, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lynchburg Virginia posts a recipe on our blog.  We try to use seasonal ingredients or tie the recipe into the time of year.   Please feel free to use these recipes and call them your own.  We enjoy creating new recipes or tweaking old ones.   Most of our recipes are breakfast related, after all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Thanks for all the comments you have sent us the past couple of years,

Mike and Kathy