The Carriage House Inn B&B

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Caramel Apple Poke Cake

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Photo of finished Caramel Apple Poke Cake

Caramel Apple Poke Cake

This recipe is a great sweet to follow our savory breakfast entrées or as a delicious and different coffeecake dish.  Apples are still abundant in Central Virginia, even though our fall was very dry.  We like to serve local fruits and vegetables whenever possible to our guests so this dish fits that criteria very nicely.  And since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, why not impress your family and friends with this dish that works for breakfast or dessert?

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup apple butter (without pectin)
  • 3 cups finely chopped apple (3 medium)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 14-oz. can dulce de leche
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour two 8×4 or 9×5 loaf pans.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer 30 seconds.  Gradually add sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating until combined.  Scrape bowl; beat 2 minutes more.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each.  Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Add flour mixture and apple butter alternately, beating on low after each addition until well combined.  Fold in apples.  Divide batter evenly between pans, smooth tops.
  4. Bake about 40 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes.  Remove cakes from pans.  Place top sides up on wire racks.  Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke 1/4- to 1/2-inch holes three-fourths of the way through cakes about 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.
  5. Meanwhile, in a bowl gradually whisk milk into dulce de leche until smooth.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dulce de leche mixture for the whipped cream topper, and set aside an additional 1/2 cup.
  6. Slowly spread remaining 3/4 cup dulce de leche mixture over cakes, allowing mixture to seep into holes.  Let cool completely.  Meanwhile, in a chilled large bowl beat heavy cream, the 2 tablespoons reserved dulce de leche mixture and 1 teaspoon vanilla on medium until stiff peaks form.  Before serving, top cakes with whipped cream and drizzle with reserved 1/2 cup dulce de leche mixture.  Serves 16 generously.
Caramel Apple Poke Cake, poke holes into cake when cooling

Poke holes with a wooden spoon into the cake

Caramel Apple Poke Cake-spread the topping onto the cake

Make sure the dulce de leche topping goes into the holes.

Helpful Hints:

Room temperature eggs are easy!  Place your eggs into a stainless steel bowl.  Put the bowl into a larger pan filled with warm water, about an inch deep.  Stir the eggs periodically over the next two minutes.  Test the temperature of the eggs with your finger.  When they have reached room temperature they will not feel cool or warm.

Since the eggs have been combined, when adding to sugar mixture add about half of the room temperature eggs at a time.

I used Granny Smith apples, as we like them since they hold their shape and crunch when baking.

Downtown Holiday Market

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Picture of Christmas Card

The Holiday Market is opening soon. Don’t miss this year’s events.

Mark your calendar…..the Lynchburg, VA Holiday Market is back in 2019!

Saturday, November 2, 2019 is the day for you to shop, eat and have fun in downtown Lynchburg.  Over 100+ vendors and multiple food trucks will be found in the Urban Arts Garage, located at 1001 Commerce Street, starting at 8:00 AM.  The vendors, from Lynchburg and the area surrounding Lynchburg, will be presenting their handmade items and art work.  Get a head start on your holiday shopping and support the local non-profit Mission Empowerment.

Early Bird shoppers can purchase a ticket for $10.  Early Birds will be allowed into the venue between 8:00 until 10:00.  General admission tickets are $3 and allow you to shop between 10:00 until 3:00.  Tickets are currently available at www.hillcityhandmade.com.

Sedalia Center Chili Cook-Off

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Bowl of chili

Enjoy chili at the Sedalia Center Chili Cook-off

It’s that time of year again! The Sedalia Center Chili Cook-Off will be held on Saturday, October 19, 2019. This is the 23rd Annual Sedalia Center Chili Cook-Off.

Gates open at 11:30 AM and the tastings begin promptly at High Noon!  40-50 cooking teams will be competing for a variety of titles and prizes.  Winners will be selected for Best Chili 1st Place, 2nd Place, and 3rd Place along with Best Presentation and the most Popular Choice.

Bring a chair, your dancing shoes and come hungry, as you will sampling many different chilies.  Live entertainment performances will be provided by Rare Form, Pete Turpin and Mountain Run Band.  Local food and cold brew will be available for purchase.  Campers are welcome, either tent of RV.  Camping sites are either $15 or $30 per night.  Shower and restroom facilities are available.  Please note: no pets or coolers are allowed on the festival site.

Tickets are $10 in advance from lynchburgtickets.com and $15 at the gate.  Children under 12 are free.

Chili Cook-Off hours are 11:30 until 7:00.  The Sedalia Center is located at 1108 Sedalia School Road, Big Island VA.  For more information call 434.299.5080 or visit their website at www.sedailiacenter.org.

 

Apple and Brown Butter Blondies

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photo of Blondie with powdered sugar

Apple and Brown Butter Blondies

It’s that time again….time for fresh, crunchy, delicious apples from Virginia.  This month’s recipe features just that, apples.  And who would have thought you could make a Blondie “healthy” just by adding apples to the recipe?  As most of our readers know we serve a “sweet” dish as the final course of our 4-course savory breakfast.  We have served these Apple and Brown Butter Blondies to rave reviews, with guests asking for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced

Instructions:

  1.  Heat butter in a large skillet over medium eat until light brown, then pour into a large bowl.  Cover and chill 30 minutes, stirring once.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.  In another bowl, beat together browned butter, white sugar brown sugar and eggs with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.  Beat in the flour mixture until well combined.  Fold in apples, then spread batter evenly in prepared dish.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs clinging, about 45 minutes.  Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool.

Helpful Hints:

  • It took about 25 minutes for the butter to melt and brown, when cooking on low.
  • I added the dry ingredients mixture little by little into the wet ingredients when combining the two.
  • Serve the blondies topped with confectioners’ sugar or drizzle with caramel sauce.

 

Late Night Bites

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As many of our faithful blog followers know we routinely promote and support our downtown restaurants.  First of all we believe in supporting local, small businesses.  Secondly the food is delicious, from many of our local farmers and perhaps not routine or run-of-the-mill.

So where do you go in Lynchburg for a late night snack or light dinner?  Where can you go for more than just a drink?  Maybe someplace with music, dancing or entertainment?  We have done some research and have provided you with a partial list below of some Late Night Bites places within walking distance of The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.

Interior mural at Benny's

Got the munchies? You can buy pizza by the slice.

Benny Scarpetta’s is famous for it’s 28-inch pizza.  Now maybe at midnight you don’t want (or need) a 28-inch pizza.  The good news is you can by their pizza by the slice.  The thin and crispy crust is the perfect base to the slightly sweet sauce and the 5-cheese blend.  In addition to the cheese pizza they offer pepperoni, sausage and a monthly meat or veggie special.  The dining room is a bit funky, and can be loud, but there’s a small patio out front.  Serving a variety of drinks this is a great place for a late night snack.

exterior photo of 5th and Federal Restaurant

Enjoy BBQ at 5th and Federal

Fifth and Federal is the go-to place for good barbecue, wings and whiskey.  Most weekends live music plays on the front patio, with a wraparound fire pit.  Their food is delicious, the drinks unique and the ambiance is fantastic.  Known for their southern fare, BBQ in particular, their Vermont cheddar is also wonderful.  Plenty of parking next door in the old Adams Motors building.

Exterior photo of Jimmy on the James at night

Jimmy on the James

Jimmy’s on the James is now considered a Lynchburg staple for the late night crowd.  Where else can you get a hand squeezed, freshly shaken martinis?  Live music weekly for a change of pace.  Since this restaurant is just behind the Academy Center of the Arts you can experience a perfect evening out with a show followed by snacks and beverages.

Exterior of The Texas Inn

The Texas Inn, also knows as The T Room is open for your late night bites.

The Texas Inn is always an option if you want to experience, an experience in Lynchburg.  Also known as the “T Room” it has been a staple of the late night dining scene forever.  We have had guests stay with us who grew up in Lynchburg, returned for an event, reunion or to see family and they almost always stop at the T Room on their way back to the bed and breakfast.  Known for their cheesy western: a burger topped with  an egg, cheese and relish it’s a great snack if you’re not having blood work done the following day!

Exterior of the Water Dog

A good watering hole with 30+ types of beer.

The Water Dog is one of Lynchburg’s newer downtown dining and late night spots.  Their go-to menu item is the chilled oysters along with an ice cold beer.  Their beer battered pickle spears are made in house and fried to order.  Dip them in the spicy aioli served along side and you’ll return again and again.  On a pleasant evening they have a fabulous patio overlooking Riverfront Park, which oftentimes has live music.

These are just a few of the many downtown spots that will tempt you “after hours” with their food and drinks.  Be on the lookout for a future blog when we have more to tempt you with.

 

Peaks of Otter and Thomas Jefferson

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Photo of sharp top mountain (Peaks of Otter)

Peaks of Otter, Sharp Top Mountain

Are you intrigued by Thomas Jefferson and his never quenched quest of knowledge?  Then you might want to spend Sunday, September 15, 2019 at Peaks of Otter in Bedford County.

Thomas Jefferson” and National Park Service rangers will guide guests to tour the scenic mountain peak of Sharp Top.  Thomas Jefferson will provide his unique perspective on the cultural and natural histories the mountain holds.  The tour, via shuttle bus, begins at 2:00 and will last about 2.5 hours.  Space is limited therefore reservations are required 1.866.387.9905.  A shuttle bus fee does apply, price to be determined later.

Following the tour you can extend your time at Peaks of Otter Lodge and join Thomas Jefferson for dinner at the lodge.  Starting at about 5:00, Jack Gary, the Director of Archaeology at Colonial Williamsburg will speak about Jefferson’s 1815 hike of the Peaks of Otter to take measurements, his calculations and discovery.  Following his lecture you will retire to the dining room to enjoy a special dinner.  The menu includes:

  • Peanut Soup
  • Artisan Greens Salad
  • Pan-fried Rainbow Trout with Parsnip-Carrot Puree and Fried Round Potatoes
  • Profiterole
  • Coffee and Tea

The cost of the lecture and dinner is $73 per person plus taxes.

A conversation with Jefferson, tour, dinner and overnight stay package on the night of September 15, 2019 is available.  The all-inclusive package is $315, plus applicable taxes, for 2 people.  Reservations are required, as space is limited.  Call 866.387.9905 for additional information and to book your tickets.

Mike and I will be joining the tour and will stay for dinner.  We have never hiked to Sharp Top, and since it is an extensive hike the shuttle bus sounds good to me!  We will hope to see you there.