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!
- 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)
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!
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 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.
- 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.
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.
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
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.
- 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
- 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.
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!
- 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
- 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.
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
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