Strawberries are at their peak during the month of May. Our signature dish this month takes advantage of the fresh strawberry crops found near Lynchburg, VA. Several local farms have “pick your own” fields, which we have taken advantage of (just picking over 33 pounds!), in order to have fresh strawberries for this soup and to make strawberry jam. Visit with us during May, mention you read this blog post and you’ll be treated to a jar of homemade strawberry jam to enjoy when you get home.
At The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we serve this soup as our fruit course during breakfast. It would be equally good at lunch or as a dinner appetizer.
Here’s the recipe for our soup: Process 3 cups of sliced fresh strawberries, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup Reisling, and 1/3 cup sugar in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, freshly ground pepper and sliced fresh strawberries. No matter what time of day you eat this soup, enjoy!
PS: if you don’t want to “pick your own” strawberries visit the Lynchburg Community Market on either Wednesday or Saturday to buy fresh strawberries from one of the vendors.
The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast‘s signature recipe for the month of April is this delicious, custardy dish made with spring’s fresh asparagus and tangy sourdough bread cubes. Ideal when feeding a crowd this brunch dish is sure to delight your family and friends. Just remember, you need to make it the night before you will serve it! Visit us in Lynchburg, VA and you too will have a chance to enjoy our spring garden dish.
- 1 loaf of sourdough bread, cubed
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 9 ounces fresh asparagus, cut into sections
- 8 ounces diced ham
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheese
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and grease a 9×13 baking dish.
Toss bread cubes with the melted butter and spread evenly onto baking sheet. Toast in oven about 10 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp.
Cook asparagus sections in rapidly boiling water for about 4 minutes, just until tender (they will continue cooking in the oven.)
Toss onion, asparagus, ham and 1 1/2 cups cheese with the bread cubes. Spread mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish.
Mix together the eggs, half and half and salt; pour over bread mixture, pressing the bread gently into the liquid to cover. Add more half and half if there isn’t enough to come within 1/2 inch of the top of the bread cubes. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight, or at least 6 hours.
Remove strata from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Bake the strata uncovered in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. A knife blade inserted in the center will come out clean. Remove the strata from the oven and allow to set for 15 minutes before serving.
Notes–We plate our food rather than serving family style so we bake them in muffin pans. Cooking time is about 10 minutes less this way. Also make sure pan is sprayed with a cooking spray before adding ingredients. This made 12 individual stratas.
Guests arriving to stay at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, in Lynchburg, VA, are greeted with home-made cookies in their room upon arrival. This month our welcome treat cookie is a brownie-like cookie that looks like it has been shattered. Filled with minty goodness they have been a big hit!
Chocolate-Mint Crackle Cookie
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon pure mint extract
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1. Melt chocolate in heatproof bowl by setting it over a pan of simmering water, (but not touching the heatproof bowl) stirring constantly. Add the mint to this mixture.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and cocoa in a small bowl.
3. Whisk together sugar, eggs and melted butter in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in melted chocolate and mint extract until smooth (from step 1 above) . Stir in flour mixture (from step 2 above). Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls using your palms, then roll into confectioners’ sugar to coat. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing each 1-inch apart. Bake until slightly firm in the center, about 15 minutes.
5. Let cool slightly on sheets set on wire racks. Transfer cookies to racks and let cool completely.
**Dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days or rolled into balls and frozen for up to 2 weeks. Roll in confectioners’ sugar just before baking.
***Store cookies in an air-tight container, at room temperature, for up to 3 days (but they won’t last that long!)
Happy Valentines Day! Chocolates and flowers are traditional gifts for Valentines day so if you really want to surprise that special someone give them a delicious chocolate waffle. This recipe uses yeast so it takes a little longer to prepare than most of our other recipes, but the wait is worth it!
Step 1, The Starter
- 1/2 cup of lukewarm milk (between 100-110 degrees F) Use whole milk or 2% milk.
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 package instant yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
Combine the starter ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Make sure the milk is not to hot (the hot will kill the yeast) or too cold (they won’t do their job). Put the bowl aside for at least 20-30 minutes while making the rest of the batter.
Step 2, The Batter
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup of chocolate mocha baking cocoa-can use all purpose cocoa if desired
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup of natural sugar (Turbinado)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 3 room temperature eggs
- 1 stick of unsalted butter (melted) that has cooled down, but not re-hardened
- 2/3 cup of mini chocolate chips. If using regular chocolate chips coarsely chop them. If available use dark chocolate chips.
In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, wheat germ, cocoa, salt and natural sugar).
After the starter has sat for 20-30 minutes add the ROOM TEMPERATURE eggs, melted butter and vanilla to the starter and gently mix. Next, add the dry ingredients, the chocolate chips and natural sugar gently mixing until ingredients are combined. Tightly cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for a couple hours. This batter can be stored overnight in the refrigerator.
After batter has sat for a couple hours, lightly stir the batter and scoop the appropriate amount onto a hot waffle iron that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray. NOTE: If batter was refrigerated overnight, remove batter and let it come to room temperature (about 90 minutes on the kitchen counter). Then lightly stir the batter and cook per the waffle iron’s instructions.
Hot waffles can be served with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, strawberries and/or raspberries. This is also great with a strawberry or raspberry syrup. Sprinkle a couple of chocolate chips on the plate as garnish. Enjoy!
Your mother was right, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and when staying at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, an award winning bed and breakfast in Lynchburg Virginia, we try to make your breakfasts memorable.
The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, in Lynchburg Virginia, proudly presents it’s signature recipe for the month of January. Filled with antioxidants but at the same time decadently delicious this breakfast is good for you and a treat!
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 large sweet potato, roasted and cooled
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Candied Pecans: recipe follows
Toasted Coconut: recipe follows
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Separate eggs. Beat egg whites until foamy and soft peaks form.In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg yolks and melted butter. Gently fold egg whites into wet mixture. Add wet mixture to the dry. Peel and mash sweet potato, in a separate bowl, add honey, cinnamon and nutmeg, mix well. Gently fold sweet potato mixture into the pancake batter. Let batter stand at least 1 hour (or you can make it a day ahead).
Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add batter by the ladleful and cook the pancakes, in batches, until golden brown on each side. Serve immediately garnished with candied pecans and toasted coconut.
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add all ingredients and cook until the pecans are lightly browned and caramelized, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, store in an airtight container.
- 1 cup sweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut onto sheet pan, with sides. Place in oven for about 3-4 minutes, turn coconut. Return to oven for additional 3-4 minutes, watching carefully so coconut does not burn. Coconut will be lightly browned. Store in airtight container.
Makes 24 3 1/2-inch pancakes.
We hope you enjoy this recipe from the kitchen of Lynchburg’s award winning bed and breakfast, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast. Our last guest that had this said it was the best pancake she ever had! If you hate to cook breakfast give us a call and reserve a room. We would love to serve you our legendary breakfast each morning of your stay.
The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast is please to share our signature breakfast entree, for the month of December, Gingerbread Waffles. Served with a Spiced Pear & Cranberry Compote this dish is reminiscent of December tastes and scents. This is a great recipe to surprise your family with on Christmas morning!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 cup root beer (can use a regular beer if desired)
- zest of one orange
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Combine flour, salt, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a large bowl. Mix together molasses, root beer, beaten egg and oil in a medium bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, adding additional root beer if necessary. Place waffle batter into preheated, greased waffle iron, per manufacturer instructions. Serve with Spiced Pears & Cranberry Compote (recipe follows.) Makes 4 Belgian waffles.
Spiced Pears & Cranberry Compote
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 pears, peeled, sliced and cut into large pieces
- dash of ground cinnamon, cloves & ginger
Place orange juice, pear pieces, spices and cranberries into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer and continue heating until cranberries burst (about 2-3 minutes.) Add maple syrup and let simmer another two minutes. Keep warm until waffles are ready for serving.
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