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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

 

 

 

 

Shirred Eggs Florentine

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Shirred Eggs Florentine

Shirred Eggs Florentine

When serving our legendary 4-course breakfast at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, in Lynchburg VA, we alternate a sweet morning with a savory morning.  Thus, this month’s recipe showcases fresh spinach (from our garden), fresh eggs and cream (from the farm up the road) as it gets our guests ready for their day of outdoor activities i.e. hiking, biking, tubing or kayaking the James River.  Exploring historic sites i.e. Point of Honor, the National D-Day Memorial or Appomattox Courthouse National Park.  Indulging in wine tastings at one of 20 wineries within a half-hour drive.  Or just relaxing on the wraparound porch or patio with fish pond.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.IMG_8482.1
  • Spray 4 6-ounce ramekins with cooking spray.
  • Arrange spinach leaves, loosely, in ramekin, making a “nest” of spinach.  You need the spinach to fill the ramekin but enough space to allow the cream and eggs to cook into the “nest” without over flowing the ramekin.  Place ramekins on foil covered baking sheet.
  • In separate bowl break two large eggs.  Lightly salt and pepper.  Gently pour eggs into spinach “nest.”
  • Add about 1-2 tablespoons cream to the spinach & eggs.  Top with freshly shaved parmesan cheese, to taste

    Cook after everything has been added.

    Cook after everything has been added.

  • Bake in oven about 20 minutes, or until egg whites are set and yolks are semi-firm.  Carefully remove from oven and serve, in ramekin.
  • Remember to warn guests that the ramekin is HOT and not to hold the ramekin when eating contents
  • We serve this dish with hash brown sweet potatoes and roasted asparagus and tomatoes along with a corn muffin.

Enjoy in your own kitchen or visit us and request this breakfast dish when you make your reservation at 434.846.1388.

Blueberry Bread Pudding

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Blueberry Bread Pudding

Blueberry Bread Pudding

To celebrate summer our signature dish for the month of June is Blueberry Bread Pudding (or overnight blueberry French toast.)  Blueberries are an abundant summer fruit, are good for your health and memory and can be featured in recipes covering all courses of a meal from appetizers, salads, breads, main dishes and desserts.  We like to make this recipe when serving a full house at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast since it makes a large portion and must be prepared the night before, leaving time in the morning for last minute dishes.  We have only made this using fresh blueberries, but we may experiment with other sturdy berries or even frozen berries.  Enjoy!

Bread Pudding:

  • 12 slices white bread, cubed (1 inch cubes)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 12 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup cream

Blueberry Syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

Bread Pudding Preparation:

Arrange 1/2 bread cubes in a well-greased 13X9 baking dish.

Sprinkle cream cheese cubes and blueberries evenly over bread cubes.

Top with remaining bread cubes.

Mix together eggs, maple syrup, milk and cream.

Pour over bread cubes, compressing bread cubes to absorb egg mixture.  Cover pan with foil.  Let chill in refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Remove blueberry bread pudding from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes then bake covered with foil at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and continue cooking for another 30 minutes or until fluffy and golden brown.  Let sit 5 minutes before slicing.  Top with Blueberry Sauce.  Serves 8-12.

Blueberry Sauce Preparation:

Cook water, sugar and cornstarch, over low heat, until thickened.  Stir in blueberries and simmer 10 minutes.  Add butter and stir until melted.  Serve over Bread Pudding.  Can be made ahead.  Store in refrigerator for up to one week.

Huevos Ranceros Tacos Recipe

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Happy Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Arrange the tortillas on a baking sheet
  3. Lightly spray the tortillas with cooking spray
  4. Broil for two minutes then remove from oven
  5. Turn the tortillas over on baking sheet, top each with 2 tablespoons cheese and 2 tablespoons beans.
  6. Preheat large non-stick skillet on stove on medium high heat.
  7. Return tortillas to oven and broil for one minute or until cheese melts then remove from oven.
  8. Add oil to skillet, swirl to coat then crack eggs into skillet.
  9. Cook eggs two minutes uncovered then two minutes covered our until eggs are set.
  10. Place cooked egg in center of each tortilla and salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Top tacos evenly with pico de gallo OR salsa, crema, avocado and cilantro.
  12. 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

Directions:

Mix above ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for about an hour then serve.

 

Ham and Cheese Frittata

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a gluten free recipe

Ham and Cheese Frittata

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!

Combine all

Combine all

 

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.

IMG_8005.1In a 9 or 10-inch nonstick skillet with sloping sides heat oil over low heat.  Pour egg mixture into skillet.

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!

Artichoke and Spinach Quiche

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Artichoke and spinach quiche

 

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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.