Want a great tasting easy to make breakfast? Who doesn’t! Our spinach pesto egg bake is the dish that fits the bill. We just made these and our guests loved them. It doesn’t take a lot of prep time nor does it take a lot of ingredients but it delivers lots of flavor. Depending on the size of your family you can double or triple the recipe if you are having the entire family over for the holidays. Another idea would be to make extra spinach-pesto egg bakes and freeze them. The night before put one in the refrigerator and the next morning pop it in the microwave for a minute or so (or until hot). What a great way to get a good hearty breakfast. You probably couldn’t prepare a bowl of cold cereal that quickly! Pictured above is our spinach pesto egg bake with chicken and apple sausage and tomato slices with mozzarella cheese and basil leaves.
- 1/4 cup of pine nuts
- 1 cup frozen cut leaf spinach (14 oz pag thawed, squeezed to drain)
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 oz):
- 1/4 cup basil pesto
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (1 oz)
- Fresh basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray 4 (10 oz) custard cups or ramekins with cooking spray. Place cups on a cookie sheet with sides (so they don’t slide off the cookie sheet when removing from the oven).
- Toast the pine nuts (place the pine nuts in an ungreased heavy skillet and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes stirring frequently until nuts begin to brown, then stir constantly until light brown). Be careful not to burn the nuts.
- In a medium bowl, mix spinach, cottage cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, pesto and toasted nuts. Stir in the eggs (salt and pepper to taste) and milk until well blended. Divide the mixture evenly among the cups.
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until set. Cool two minutes then top with tomato and Parmesan cheese and garnish with basil.
In the interest of keeping this easy to make you can buy the basil pesto rather than making your own, which is easy to do especially if you have an herb garden and grow basil as we do. For those that want to be in control of what goes into your food I am providing our basil pesto recipe below:
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic (more of less depending on your preference)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste+
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese
- Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth and mix in the cheese OR
- If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw before use and stir the olive oil and cheese into the mixture.
This recipe is gluten free and vegetarian!
Just a reminder, you can find all of our recipes on our website, itemized by category. A new recipe is posted every month so bookmark that page and check back often to see whats cooking at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in historic Lynchburg, Virginia. If you don’t want to cook then come stay with us and we will serve you our four-course legendary breakfast each morning. Reservations can be made on-line or by calling 434.846.1388.
Kathy and I hope you enjoy our spinach pesto egg bake.
Having just celebrated Thanksgiving I thought I would tell everyone that the First Thanksgiving actually was celebrated in December. As children we all learned about the first Thanksgiving that occurred in Plymouth Massachusetts in 1621. Unfortunately this is not the first Thanksgiving.
On September 16, 1619, a group of 38 English colonists, headed by Captain John Woodlief, sailed from England aboard the Margaret. The colonists were sent by the London Company, which owned thousands of acres in the area now known as Virginia, and settled and supported Berkeley Plantation. They landed at Berkeley Hundred 10 weeks later, on December 4, 1619. In 1619 Berkeley Hundred was about 8,000 acres of land on the north bank of the James River near Herring Creek in an area known as Charles Cittie (sic). It was named for one of the original founders, Richard Berkeley, a member of the Berkeley family of Gloucestershire, England. It was about 20 miles upstream from Jamestown, where the first permanent settlement of the Colony of Virginia was established on May 14, 1607.
The group’s charter required that the day of arrival be observed as a “day of thanksgiving” to God. On that first day, Captain Woodlief held the service of thanksgiving after the weary travelers disembarked and immediately fell to their knees to thank God for their safe arrival. There were no Indians (native Americans) there to celebrate their arrival and there were no turkey dinners prepared. The Charter of Berkeley Plantation specified the thanksgiving service: “We ordained that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantation in the land of Virginia shall yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God”. The Thanksgiving at Berkeley Hundred occurred a year before the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth.
Berkeley Plantation, one of the first great estates in America, comprises about 1,000 acres today. Benjamin Harrison IV built on the estate, in 1726, what is believed to be the oldest three-story brick mansion in Virginia and is the ancestral home to two Presidents of the United States: William Henry Harrison (our ninth President), his grandson, and Benjamin Harrison (our 23rd President), his great-great-grandson.
Berkeley Plantation is located 18 miles west of Williamsburg and 35 miles east of Richmond. The house and grounds are open daily.. Check their website for more information.
When touring Berkeley Plantation there is a letter on display to President Kennedy informing the President that the first Thanksgiving actually happened a year before the Thanksgiving celebration in Massachusetts. The response to the letter came from Henry Kissinger which in part states the President is partial to Massachusetts and they will not be re-writing history to acknowledge the first Thanksgiving actually happened in Virginia.
Thanksgiving is next week and you probably haven’t you thought about what you will do with all that left over turkey? We have a white chicken chili recipe where you can substitute turkey for the chicken and have a turkey chili. This is a meal that we often serve when we have family and guest visiting that will warm you from the inside out.
I love Thanksgiving. It is a holiday where friends and family can gather and enjoy all the blessings we have. Of course the turkey dinner is always a big plus. If you are lucky you have enough to have leftovers you won’t have to cook for a couple of days. For some reason turkey leftovers tast just as good on Friday and Saturday. And who doesn’t like turkey sandwiches, but before you use up all the turkey you may want to make a hearty chili.
This recipe is great all year round, but during the winter months this will warm you up and satisfy your appetite. Another great thing about this recipe is there is very little cooking, just throw the ingredients into a crock pot and 8 hours later dinner is served! Typically we use a rotisserie chicken that we buy at the supermarket when making this, but if you have leftover turkey then substitute the turkey for the chicken
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced (or combination of colored peppers)
- 4 cans cannelloni or great northern beans, rinsed, drained
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
- 1 can diced, mild chilis, drained
- 12 oz package white shoepeg corn, frozen
- 1 rotisserie chicken or 4 poached chicken breasts, shredded
- Saute onions, garlic and green pepper in oil until translucent and soft. Add 1 cans beans and 1/2 cup chicken stock.
- Puree in pan or transfer to and blend until smooth.
- Place pureed mixture into the bottom of a 6 cup crock pot. Add all remaining ingredients, stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Do not be tempted to lift the lid of the crock pot during cooking, doing so will increase cooking time.
We usually serve this in a bowl over whole grain rice or quinoa. Enjoy!
This frame house was built in 1873 by Renny and Mary Dawson. It was one of the first houses constructed during the building boom on Daniel’s Hill following its annexation to the city in 1870. Mr. Dawson owned a tobacco box factory located nearby in the Upper basin (present-day site of Griffin Pipe).
The house is typical of the Victorian era but displays a number of architectural refinements that point to a knowledgeable architect or builder. Although the Cabell Street front is only two bays wide, the façade is divided into two equal planes that stand at right angles to each other. Both bays are covered by gables adorned with vergeboards with carved trim.
The tiny front porch occupied the space formed by the re-entrant of the façade. Embellished with octagonal columns and pilasters the porch is polygonal in plan. The unusually located front door-almost hidden from Cabell Street-comes into view as you approach the front porch. This door and all of the windows are topped by shallow rectangular pediments.
Among the noteworthy architectural features of the interior are the original curved wooden handrail of the staircase and the fireplace mantels found in each room.
The Daniels Hill neighborhood is on the National Historic Register and the neighborhood has many homes of historic significance. The neighborhood was established when the plantation, once owned by Dr. George Cabell, was carved up into lots and sold to individuals as the City of Lynchburg was growing.
Liberty University opened a new entrance onto their campus last May with the completion of their new tunnel that goes under the Norfolk-Southern railroad tracks.. What made this project unique and interesting, at least from my point of view, is how the tunnel was constructed. The tunnels were prefabricated and shipped to the site. Each tunnel is a large concrete box weighing 4.2 million pounds and measuring 26 feet tall, 32 feet wide and 130 feet long.
A large concrete pad was constructed and these massive concrete boxes were positioned on the pad on the Liberty University side of the tracks. The boxes were pulled and pushed through the soil until they broke through the other side. On the “other side” of the tracks the ground was reinforced with steel and concrete and holes were drilled through to the Liberty University campus side and cables were run through and connected to the concrete boxes that would be pulled through. The boxes were equipped with cutting edges to aid in the process. When pulling with the cables wasn’t sufficient to move these giant boxes they were also pushed.
As the boxes were being pushed and pulled, excavating equipment was in the box to remove the earth as it made its way under the railroad tracks. This is the first time that this type of tunnel construction had been done in North America. During the entire process, engineers from Norfolk-Southern were on site to ensure the earth below the tracks was solid so that trains passing overhead wouldn’t derail.
After breaking through to the other side (Wards Road), pavement was put down and the tunnel was opened for traffic just in time for Liberty University’s 2013 graduation. Since its opening the entrances on both sides have undergone some cosmetic improvements such as bricking the walls, landscaping, adding lighting and putting in a pedestrian walkway.
Today, driving through the tunnels one would never think about how they got here, but I found it very interesting to watch the process. To most it is just a tunnel but to me, it is a project that demonstrated man’s ability to think outside the box in problem solving. Next time you drive by the tunnel imagine what it took to drag/pull a 4.2 million pound box of concrete through the earth. While the tunnel will never be a tourist attraction in Lynchburg or for Liberty University, the story about how it got here is worth remembering.
Recently the tunnel construction project was named best Small Project (under $10 million) in the MidAtlantic region, consisting of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia by Engineering News-Record (ENR) MidAtlantic, a magazine and website for construction industry professionals.
There are many things to do and see during your stay at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, but if you drive by the tunnel perhaps now you can appreciate the story of “The Tunnel” as we now call it.
Old City Cemetery is presenting a service in their chapel on October 31st from 5:30-6:30 p. m. This All Hallows Eve Service will be preformed by local Episcopal clergy and will be based on legitimate bible passages that have been chosen for their Hallowed theme. The service is non denominational and is open to the public and promises to be positive and uplifting.
On All Hallows Eve many Christian denominations encourage abstinence from meat. In the Northern Hemisphere Halloween comes in the wake of the yearly apple harvest. Candy, caramel or taffy apples are common Halloween treats.
There is no charge to attend this event which will be held in the Cemetery Chapel at the Old City Cemetery which is located at 401 Taylor Street, Lynchburg, VA 24501. For more information call the Cemetery office at 434.847.1465 or visit their website, www.gravegarden.org.
Unlike the candlelight tours of the grounds of Old City Cemetery, this event while educational will not be talking about the residents. There are events throughout the year so check their website on a regular basis. Guest of The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast find the Old City Cemetery to be an interesting place to visit so if you haven’t been there you won’t want to miss this opportunity to become acquainted with on of the City’s most interesting spots.
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