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Recipes

My Best Clam Chowder

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recipe, gluten free

My best Clam Chowder

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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
Directions:
  1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet.  When the bacon is done, remove bacon and set aside and leave the bacon grease in skillet.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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!

 

 

 

 

Cranberry Breakfast Panini

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Cranberry Breakfast Panini

 

Thanksgiving is almost here.  Since we will all have leftover food items in our refrigerators and pantries, why not use extra cranberry sauce and cranberries, as we do at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast’s, in our November signature dish?  We have been serving this all month but it would make a delicious breakfast Thanksgiving morning or as a treat on Friday before heading out to shop.

Cranberry Breakfast Panini

  • 1 loaf challah or french bread
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • zest of one orange
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or cream

 

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil.  Add cranberries and boil for about 3-4 minutes.  The cranberries will pop as they expand.  Drain the cranberries and do a rough chop of them, leaving large pieces of cranberries.  Next combine the cream cheese, sugar and cranberries together in a small bowl.   Put a liberal amount of this mixture on a piece of bread then add another piece of bread on top (like making a sandwich).  Beat eggs, orange zest, vanilla extract and milk together in a large, shallow flat bottom bowl.  Dip both sides of the stuffed bread into egg mixture.  Brush melted butter on both sides of panini press.  Place coated bread in press, heat 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Slice panini on the diagonal, dust with confectioners’ sugar and arrange on plate.  Serve with Cranberry Syrup.  Makes 4-6 servings.  Note:  you won’t use the entire bag of fresh cranberries in this recipe so put the bag of leftover cranberries in the freezer.  They freeze well and can be used throughout the winter in other recipes for cakes, muffins and breads.  Besides, this is the only time of year you can buy fresh cranberries in this area.

Cranberry Syrup

  • 1/2 cup whole cranberry sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • dash nutmeg
  • dash cinnamon

 

In small saucepan melt cranberry sauce and butter.  Add maple syrup and spices.  Stir to combine.  Keep warm until ready to serve.

We wish you and yours a happy and filling Thanksgiving and hope to see you on your next visit to Lynchburg, Virginia.

The Ultimate Buttermilk Pancake

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Blueberry Buttermilk Pancake with blueberry syrup

What makes this pancake so great?  For starters, it’s easy to make and it tastes really great!  Beyond that, it is very versatile.   The pancake holds up as a plain buttermilk pancake, but if you want to do something different, turn it into a blueberry pancake by tossing in some fresh blueberries.  Making it for the kids or someone with a sweet tooth?  Toss in some chocolate chips and have a chocolate chip pancake.  Add a quarter cup of cocoa mix and some dark chocolate chips that have been chopped into smaller pieces and you have a great chocolate pancake that you can top with raspberries and have a great Valentine’s Day breakfast.    Looking for something a little more savory?  Cook up some bacon and break it up into little pieces and add it to the batter.  Serve these with eggs as your bacon and eggs breakfast (the pancakes take the place of toast).  You could do the same thing with adding some cooked sausage to the batter.  With all these options you can use one batter and produce a dozen different pancakes to satisfy all your picky eaters.

Make the batter as follows and start experimenting by adding other ingredients to the batter:

  • 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 cup whole milk (can substitute skim milk or 1 or 2% fat milk)-room temperature
  • 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, whole milk 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 on the griddle or frying pan.  Brown on both sides and serve with butter and maple syrup.  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).

We have had several return guests ask us to make these pancakes for them again.  Yes, they are that good!

Pictured above is our buttermilk pancake.  When the batter is on the griddle we tossed some fresh blueberries in the batter.  The hot fresh blueberries burst with flavor when eating them.  Then we tossed a few blueberries on the plate as garnish.  The pancake is served with homemade blueberry syrup.

Blueberry Syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 oz (1/2 package of frozen blueberries)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

 

In a saucepan combine water and sugar and bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the blueberries and return mixture to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes more.  Combine the cornstarch with a little water and add to the sauce a little at a time stirring the sauce until it is thickened to the desired consistency.

Guests at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast enjoy our legendary breakfast each morning and each month we post one of our recipes so you too can enjoy our delicious breakfast at home.  If you have any ideas for a great breakfast or an old family recipe you would like to share please send it to us.

 

 

 

 

German Pancake

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German Pear Pancake in a 5 inch skillet

At the Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we try to use fresh seasonal ingredients for our legendary breakfast whenever possible.    German pancakes are traditionally made with apples and this time of year apples are plentiful, but so are pears so this past week we picked up some freshly picked pears at the farmers market and substituted pears for apples in this recipe.   The directions below will make one large German pancake in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or three pancakes in  5-6 inch cast iron skillets.  We prefer to plate our food in the kitchen which is why we use the smaller cast-iron skillets but if you are making this for your family I would use the larger skillet and serve it family style at the table.  The large skillet serves 4-5.   These pancakes are light and fluffy as they come out of the oven and will deflate a little by the time you cut it.  Make sure you have pot holders to remove the skillet from the oven and place the hot pan on an appropriate cutting board or trivet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large firm-ripe pear, pealed, cored and cut into 1/8 inch slices
  • 1 large lemon, finely grated to yield 1/2 Tablespoon of zest and squeezed to yield 2 Tablespoons of juice
  • 4 room temperature large eggs
  • 3/4 cup room temperature whole milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into three equal slices
  • Confectioners’ sugar for garnish (optional)

 

Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees

In a medium bowl toss the pear slices with the lemon juice and set aside.

In a large bowl beat the eggs with an electric hand mixer on high speed until the eggs are frothy (3-4 minutes)  Next add the milk, sugar, vanilla, salt and lemon zest and mix on low until combined.  Finally, sift the flour into the bowl and mix on low until combined (no need to mix out the lumps or you may be over working the flour).

Heat your skillet(s) on the stove on medium heat for a couple of minutes to get the skillet HOT.  You could also place the skillet in the oven while it is preheating instead of heating it on the stove.  Add the butter to the skillet(s) then add the pear slices and sprinkle with the cinnamon. Turn the pears over and layer on the bottom of the skillet(s).  Next pour the batter over the pears (equal amounts if using the smaller skillets) and place in the oven for about 20 minutes.   Remove from oven  and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.

Note the cast-iron skillet must be well seasoned to avoid the fruit and pancake from sticking.  A cast-iron skillet holds the heat better and will give you a more even brown bottom color on the pancake.   Finding a cast-iron skillet at a yard sale or thrift store usually means it has been well seasoned.  Again, feel free to use apples (the more traditional version) instead of pears.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

Peach Pancakes

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Delicious Peach Pancakes

Peaches are in season and we try to use fresh and local ingredients when we prepare our legendary breakfasts.  This year peaches the peaches are especially good.  To make a peach pancake you need to remove the pit from the peach.  To do this, take a paring knife and cut from the top of the peach to the bottom and continue around the pit until you are back where you started.  The pit should be the only thing holding the peach together.  Next take the peach in both hands and twist the sides in opposite directions until one half of the peach has separated from the pit.    Carefully cut the pit out of the other half, using a spoon to get under the pit.

After you have separated the peach from the pit, you need to peel the skin off the peach, then slice the peach into 1/4 inch slices.  You could peel the skin off before removing the pit, but it is easier to separate the halves before the skin is removed.

Next make the pancake batter.  I use a buttermilk recipe that is easy and quick.

  • Three large ripe peaches
  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons of granulated sugar (white)
  • 1 Tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 Cups of buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1/3 cup of melted unsalted butter

Sift the dry ingredients together into a bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt).  In a second bowl whisk together the wet ingredients (buttermilk, eggs, whole milk and melted butter).  Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.

Heat a griddle or frying pan to medium heat.  Put a little butter on the griddle/fry pan and place a peach slice on the griddle.  This step is important.  If you don’t butter the griddle/fry pan the peach will stick when you go to flip the pancake.

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 over the peach.  Brown on both sides and serve with butter and maple syrup.  This recipe should serve twelve people.  If you are making them in batches you can preheat the oven to 200 degrees and store the pancakes in the oven until you have cooked all of them and are ready to serve them.

The warm juicy peach adds sweetness to the pancake.  I’m sure you will enjoy these as much as our guests do.

Have a great breakfast recipe?  We are always looking for something special to serve our guests.  Send us an email with your recipe and we may publish it on our blog.  If you will be visiting the Lynchburg area, consider staying at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.  We were recently named as one of the Top 10 Bed and Breakfasts in the United States by BedandBreakfast.com.

 

 

 

Cool and refreshing watermelon

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Cool and refreshing breakfast fruit

Summer is here and what would summer be without watermelon?  We serve this as a fruit course during the month of July.  It is the perfect fruit, juicy and refreshing on a hot summer day.  The sauce is a tangy, gingery sauce.  The chopped pistachios give the dish great contrast in both tastes and textures.  It is sweet and salty,  juicy and crunchy.  It couldn’t be easier to make!

Start by cubing one-inch squares of fresh seedless watermelon that has been chilled, pour the sauce over the cubes and sprinkle with some chopped pistachios and serve!

The sauce:

  • Stir together:
  • 6 oz of Greek yogurt (can use plain yogurt as a substitute)
  • 2 Tablespoons of honey
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated ginger

 Serving suggestions:  This can be served on a plate or in a bowl.  If you are having a large gathering you can hollow out the watermelon and serve from the hollowed watermelon rind.

This dish is very versatile.  Serve it as a breakfast fruit, a refreshing dessert or as a fruit salad.  It has been a hit with our guests and I’m confident you will love it too.

On Saturday we got some great fresh peaches from the farmer’s market and in about a week our black berries will be ready to pick.  This is the time of year to enjoy all the fresh fruit that is available locally!   We will be posting other recipes using fresh fruits and vegetables so keep checking our blog.