May 5th, Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico. In the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage and to celebrate we served Huevos Rancheros Tacos. One of the guests was gluten intolerant so we used a corn tortilla, but if you don’t have that restriction you can use any type of tortilla. Unlike most tacos you may be familiar with, you will need to use a knife and fork because when you break the soft egg yolk it oozes and coats the filling. Prep and cooking time is about 20 minutes and if you are preparing more than four of them it is almost a two person job to assemble them and serve them while they are still hot. Fortunately, I had my loyal assistant Kathy assembling them while I was cooking the dozen eggs. The below recipe serves 4 single tacos or if you have a hungry crowd you can give each person two tacos. Depending on your preference you can use pico de gallo OR salsa for the tacos. We used salsa because I didn’t know if our guests wanted onions for breakfast. Another alternative would be to put both on the table and let the person decide on the pico de gallo or salsa. You can purchase salsa and pico de gallo at the grocery store or you can make your own. Below is a recipe for pico de gallo. As a table centerpiece we placed a pinata on the table.
- 4 6 inch toritllas
- cooking spray
- 1/2 cup shredded reduced fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
- 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 large eggs
- black pepper to taste (eggs)
- 1/4 cup fresh pico de gallo OR
- 1/4 cup salsa
- 2 tablespoons Mexican Crema
- 1/2 ripe peeled avocado, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 4 lime wedges
- Preheat broiler to high.
- Arrange the tortillas on a baking sheet
- Lightly spray the tortillas with cooking spray
- Broil for two minutes then remove from oven
- Turn the tortillas over on baking sheet, top each with 2 tablespoons cheese and 2 tablespoons beans.
- Preheat large non-stick skillet on stove on medium high heat.
- Return tortillas to oven and broil for one minute or until cheese melts then remove from oven.
- Add oil to skillet, swirl to coat then crack eggs into skillet.
- Cook eggs two minutes uncovered then two minutes covered our until eggs are set.
- Place cooked egg in center of each tortilla and salt and pepper to taste.
- Top tacos evenly with pico de gallo OR salsa, crema, avocado and cilantro.
- Serve with a lime wedge.
Pico de Gallo Ingredients:
- 7/8 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/4 small white onion, finely chopped
- 1/8 cup cilantro leaf, chopped (or more to taste!)
- 1/2-5/8 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/4 tablespoon lime juice
- Salt to taste
After Easter what do you do with that left over ham? At The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we take great pride in our Legendary Breakfast and try to use seasonal, fresh or, holiday related ingredients when we come up with our signature dishes. This month’s recipe is a Ham and Cheese Frittata. We are using the left-over ham from Easter as the inspiration for our dish, but the nice thing about this recipe is that it gives you lots of flexibility to use other ingredients For example, if you don’t have ham you can use sausage (pre-cook the sausage and drain it first). We use a mild Italian sausage because it gives you a little more taste and flavor over a breakfast sausage. You could also make a bacon and cheese frittata. If there is a vegetarian in the family substitute the meat for fresh seasonal vegetables. Finally, if you want to make this and you don’t want to buy a ham just to make this breakfast just go to the deli in your supermarket and ask them to slice one piece of ham for you about 1/4 inch thick and you will have more than enough ham to make this dish. This recipe gives you lots of flexibility on the ingredients!
- 6 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons half-and-half
- 2 Tablespoons chopped scallions, both green and white portions
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup diced, thick slice ham
- 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
In a medium bowl beat eggs, half-and-half, scallions and pepper. Gently fold in ham and cheese.
Cook 3-5 minutes lifting edges occasionally to allow uncooked egg mixture to flow to bottom of skillet. After lifting edges and letting batter run to the pan, put pan into a preheated oven of 350 degrees for another 8-11 minutes until center is firm. Cut into 6 or 8 wedges.
Can be served warm or at room temperature.
This is a great recipe to try especially if you have a gluten free person in your family or have a gluten free person visiting!
March finds the wind blowing, the temperatures warming, the daffodils blooming and The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, in Lynchburg, VA, taking advantage of fresh spinach, along with artichokes, as our signature dish this month.
- 1 11-inch store-bought pie dough sheet
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 10-ounce package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- pinch cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon grated nitmeg
- 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Roll out pie dough and place into an 11-inch pie plate, crimping edges. Pierce dough with a fork several times. Bake in oven until slightly browned, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Turn oven down to 325 degrees.
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add butter, onion, spinach, artichoke hearts, cayenne and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until mixture is warm and fragrant. Remove from pan to a bowl and let cool.
In a large bowl combine chives, Dijon mustard, eggs, heavy cream, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and a large pinch of black pepper. Whisk together until well combined.
Add spinach-artichoke mixture to the pie shell, then pour egg mixture over top. Top with Cheddar cheese and bake until eggs are set, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven, cut into wedges and serve with a side of fresh spinach with broiled tomatoes.
Valentine’s day is right around the corner and what could be more romantic than waking up and being served breakfast in bed. Not just any breakfast, but chocolate waffles! We re-worked last years recipe and made these waffles a little lighter. You can serve these waffles with strawberries or raspberries or you can make a strawberry or raspberry syrup.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup good cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup of black coffee
- 1 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the waffle iron per manufactures instructions. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. In another bowl combine the buttermilk, eggs, coffee canola oil and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients mixing until combined (small lumps in the batter is fine). Spray the waffle iron with non-stick spray to avoid the waffles from sticking to the griddle. Ladle batter onto the griddle and cook per manufacture’s instructions until done. Remove and serve with sliced strawberries or raspberries and syrup. Hint: If you are making numerous waffles place the cooked waffle in a preheated 200 degree oven on the oven rack and continue making additional waffles. The warm oven will hold the waffles for 30-45 minutes.
Guys, if this sounds like too much work, then pick up the phone and make a reservation for you and your valentine at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast. Ladies, if you don’t think your guy is into cooking just forward this blog post to him and he might get the hint . This is our signature dish for February so don’t worry if you can’t be here on Valentine’s Day, we serve it all month long. We don’t serve breakfast in bed but we will make this a memorable stay.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all from Kathy and Mike at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in historic Lynchburg Virginia!
If you have been following our blogs you know by now that The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast tries to come up with a signature dish each month that is representative of the time of the year, season or uses a food item that is seasonal. Not much grows in Lynchburg in January but oranges are in season this time of year so we set out to use oranges in January’s breakfast. We started by altering our Ultimate Buttermilk Pancake recipe by changing the milk (not the buttermilk) to orange juice and adding about a tablespoon of orange zest to the batter. The altered recipe is below.
- 3 Cups all-purpose flour
- 3 Tablespoons of granulated sugar (white)
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 Cups buttermilk-room temperature
- 3 eggs-room temperature
- 1/2 fresh orange juice-room temperature
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
Sift the dry ingredients together in one bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt). In a second bowl whisk together the wet ingredients (buttermilk, eggs, orange juice, orange zest and melted butter). Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to make the pancakes.
Heat a griddle or frying pan to medium heat.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix using a fork or wooden spoon. Mix until just blended together (it will be lumpy). Do NOT over blend the mixture. Using a scoop (I use an ice cream scoop) pour the batter onto the griddle or frying pan. Brown on both sides and serve with Orange Raspberry Syrup (below). This recipe should serve twelve people. If you are making them in batches you can preheat the oven to 200 degrees and store the cooked pancakes in the oven on the shelf until you have cooked all of them and are ready to serve them (will keep well in the oven for 30-45 minutes).
Orange Raspberry Syrup
The orange raspberry syrup adds a sweet and tangy taste and will wake up your taste buds – a great way to start your morning.
- 3 cups fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (white sugar)
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup rinsed and dried raspberries
Make a simple syrup by combining the orange juice, sugar and orange zest in a saucepan. Bring to a full boil stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the mixture to a low boil, in the uncovered saucepan, let it reduce by half (20-30 minutes). Add the butter and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Add the corn starch and stir continuously until dissolved and you have s syrup-like consistency. Add the raspberries and remove from the heat. Let it cool slightly (about 10 minutes) before serving.
I hope you don’t think we serve clam chowder for breakfast! We don’t, but this recipe is so good I wanted to share it with you. During the cold winter months a bowl of hot soup is very comforting. This is a great dish to make for the family or invite friends and neighbors on those chilly winter nights. We will sometimes make three or four different types of soup and have the neighborhood over for a soup and salad night. The neighbors bring the bread and salads and we provide the soup. This one is always a favorite, best of all, it is quick and easy to make. If you are ever staying at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast during one of our soup and salad nights this will become one of your favorite dishes also.
- 6 (6.5 ounce) cans of chopped NOT minced clams
- 1 cup minced onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 cups cubed potatoes (cubed 1/2 inch)
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 1/2 sticks butter
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1 quart half and half cream
- 3 strips thick bacon
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet. When the bacon is done, remove bacon and set aside and leave the bacon grease in skillet.
- Add the onions, carrots, celery and potatoes to the bacon grease and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. While that is cooking, open the 6 cans of diced clams separating the clams from the clam juice. After the vegetables have cooked for about 5 minutes add the clam juice and continue to cook for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Add the half and half and corn starch. Stir constantly until thick and smooth (about 15-20 minutes).
- Add the vegetables to the cream and continue to stir until combined and hot (don’t bring to boil). When the mixture is hot, add the clams. Don’t cook clams too long or they will be tough and chewy. When clams are heated through (1-2 minutes) stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with a crusty bread and salad. Crumple the bacon into small pieces and add bacon on top of the chowder in the bowls. Enjoy!
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