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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lemon Curd - Who doesn't love it?

Lemon Curd - what can I say about it?  It is one of those versatile ingredients that most people don't think about using.  You can spread it on toast or muffins for breakfast, use it in pastries with fruit, add it to whipped cream for an easy dessert, or use it in a white wine sauce to serve with fish.  Of course there are many more ways to use Lemon Curd but these are some of my favorites.

Here at Foxfield Inn we use Lemon Curd frequently combined with whipped cream to make a Lemon Chiffon Mousse served with fresh strawberries, raspberries or blueberries (or even mixed fruit).  A small 2-ounce serving is just the right size to finish breakfast.

We adapted a recipe from Fine Cooking (by Janie Hibler, June 1, 2006) to get a more flavorful curd.

3 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 - 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (depending on the strength of the juice flavor; & yup, you gotta taste it)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
zest from two large lemons

Whisk the eggs in a medium size bowl.  Set aside.

Combine the sugar, lemon juice and butter in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until the butter has melted, stir frequently as this helps the butter melt faster.

Remove the pan from the heat.  Gradually add to the eggs while continuously whisking - so that the eggs don't cook from the heat of the lemon-butter mixture.  Return mixture to the saucepan.

Cook over medium  heat, whisking continuously, until the mixture reaches 160F and coats the back of a
spoon.  If you used the larger amount of lemon juice you may need to take the mixture to 165F for it to coat the back of the spoon.

Remove the curd from the heat and strain into a heatproof container (I like to use a 4-cup measuring cup) to remove any cooked egg.  Let cool slightly and press plastic wrap on the surface of the curd - prevents a skin from forming.  Refrigerate until complete cooled.


Dan & Kathryn Bundy, your innkeepers at Foxfield Inn, a Charlottesville bed and breakfast

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Top 7 Places to Eat Outside in Charlottesville

The weather is warming and restaurants around town are opening their patios and shade umbrellas for your al fresco dining enjoyment. So come on and unpack your bags at Foxfield Inn and head out for some good food and great views in Charlottesville this spring.

Settle in for a relaxing afternoon at Blue Mountain .
Blue Mountain Brewery
For a casual afternoon, it's hard to beat Blue Mountain Brewery's expansive patio. Share a pizza and sample their seasonal brews at one of the most popular local breweries. Breathe in the mountain air and enjoy the mountain view--we promise you'll return refreshed.

Devil's Backbone Brewing Company
Nestled in the valley beneath the Devil's Backbone rock formation, this brewery has a large covered patio with plenty of outdoor seating. A perfect stop after a hike.

Downtown Mall
Enjoy people watching while having lunch on the Downtown Mall.
There are dozens of places to eat outside on Charlottesville's Historic Downtown Mall. Some places request that you see the hostess inside to be seated outside, while others have the host stationed near their patio seating. To be at the heart of people-watching, we recommend Zo Ca Lo, Petit Pois, Blue Light Grill, or Citizen Burger Bar. If you want to be outside with a bit more intimacy, we suggest C&O - request a table at their Covered Patio or the Terrace.

There's something about eating tapas outside that makes the experience feel truly authentic. At Mas, this means dining beneath sunny yellow umbrellas and sharing a pitcher of sangria served from a traditional pitcher. Pick a few small plates to share, and savor the evening in the Belmont neighborhood.

Fry's Spring Station
Part of the charm of Fry's Spring Station (aside from their tasty pizza, of course) is the fact that it is a converted auto garage. If the patio is full, ask the staff to open the huge garage doors to make even an indoor dining experience feel fresh.

Travinia even has heaters & firepits for cold weather enjoyment.
Maya's patio is charming, and we're convinced that Southern food tastes best when enjoyed outdoors. Their creative menu now features gluten-free options, and you don't want to miss $12 Tuesdays.

Located in the new Stonefield Shopping Center, this Travinia location offers a classy patio seating area with comfy chairs and fire pits. Get your fill of great Italian food and savor your wine in style. A great stop before or after catching a movie at the Regal Stadium/IMAX theater next door!

And there you have it. Where are you most looking forward to eating outside in Charlottesville this spring? Let us know how we at Foxfield Inn can help you make the most of your visit. (And check our recommendations for upcoming events in April here).

Your Innkeepers,
Dan & Kathryn Bundy
Foxfield Inn | A Charlottesville, VA Bed and Breakfast

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What to Do in Charlottesville - April 2014

Spring is arriving here at Foxfield Inn, and Charlottesville itself is coming alive. April is chock-full of exciting events that celebrate nature, the outdoors, and the human spirit. If your travels bring you to Charlottesville this spring, here are some great events to add to your itinerary.

The first of our spring bulbs are ready for April!

Events at Monticello
Thomas Jefferson's home is open for tours year-round. But be sure to take advantage of the wonderful staff and resources they have by attending one of their spring workshops!
4/5 Spring Bird Walk
4/5 Cultivating Unusual Vegetables and Mushrooms
4/10, 4/12, 4/17, 4/19, 4/24 Spring Wildflower Walk
4/11 Founder's Day and Jefferson' Birthday Celebration
4/17 Spring Arboretum Walk 
4/26-30 Historic Garden Week
4/28 TOM Talk with Thomas Woltz
4/29 Fruit and Vegetable Gardens at Monticello talk and tour

City Market Opens
beginning Saturday, April 5, 7 A.M. - Noon
The City Market is the place to be on Saturday mornings. Pick up a cup of coffee and a fresh donut or pastry and wander the stalls for fresh produce, flowers, and unique artisan items and gifts.

Big Woods Walk at Montpelier
Saturday, April 6 (2pm)
James Madison was one of our country's early environmentalists. Take a walk through the woods at his home to understand why while admiring some of the region's largest oaks, beeches, and poplars on a gently rolling and incredibly peaceful walk.

Foodies Over Fifty at Clifton Inn
April 6-30 (6-8:30)
Enjoy the chef's seasonal tasting menu for 50% off if you're over the age of fifty! 10-12 courses feature local ingredients in creative dishes. A perfect date night spot.

Tom Tom Founders Festival
April 9-13
This annual festival for music, arts, and entrepreneurial innovation features concerts, lectures and discussions, demonstrations, exhibits, parties, and more. Check out the full schedule of events here to find what speaks to you.

Monticello Cup Awards
Thursday, April 10, 6 P.M.
Music, mingling, and honoring the best of the best of our region's wines and vineyards. Tickets for this black tie-optional event can be purchased online here.

Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Festival
Saturday, April 12, 1-5 P.M.
Sample wines from 25 local wineries while enjoying live music at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion on the Downtown Mall. This is an extremely popular event, so we recommend purchasing tickets online in advance here.

Fridays After Five
beginning April 18, 5:30-8:30 P.M.
Catch a free concert at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion on the Downtown Mall before your dinner date. A popular event with townies, the Fridays After Five Concert Series brings free, live entertainment with concessions available to purchase.

Foxfield Races
Saturday, April 26, gates open at 9 A.M.
One of the most well-attended social events of the season, the Foxfield Races signals to many the official start of spring. Pack a cooler of snack and drink, don your sun hats and seersucker suits, and cheer on the steeplechase. Check the event website here for detailed information about tickets and parking.


Historic Garden Week
April 26-May 3
This annual event offers open-house access to historical gardens big and small across the state. Don't miss spring at its peak. Check the schedule of events for sites to visit in our area.

We're looking forward to seeing you at Foxfield Inn in April! Let us know what events you'll be adding to your itinerary and how else we can make your visit special.

Your Innkeepers,
Dan & Kathryn Bundy
Foxfield Inn | A Charlottesville, VA Bed and Breakfast

Monday, March 3, 2014

Storm Titan & Breakfast Pizza!

Foxfield Inn - backyard
When I heard that Winter Storm Titan was heading our way I was not very happy as I was supposed travel north to visit family.  Unfortunately I would have had to drive right through it's path and with the wintry mix of sleet, ice and snow I decided to stay home.  The other unfortunate bit is that by staying home I get to help Dan shovel snow again.  Oh well.

I had been wanting to experiment with making a Breakfast Pizza but hadn't had time.  While waiting for the snow to stop and the shoveling to begin I thought this would be a good time to start the Pizza experiment.  After all, I had a couple of small pizza rounds in the refrigerator, some left over herb-roasted tomatoes and we always have bacon & eggs on

I started by making the sauce from the tomatoes - not very hard as most of the work was already done.  Yesterday the grape tomatoes had been lightly covered with olive oil, some chopped basil, salt & pepper.  Then they were baked at 350F for 20 minutes.  So all I had to do today was take them out of the refrigerator, warm then up on the stove, mash slightly and adjust the seasoning for this purpose.  As it turned out all I needed to add was a bit of oregano.

I lightly oiled the pizza rounds with a nice olive oil and spread the tomato sauce over the round.  You do need to make a well in the sauce so that when you put the egg on it doesn't run off the pizza (learned this on the first one!).  Top with a farm-fresh egg from Timbercreek Organics farm and some cooked, diced bacon.  Last put your favorite cheese on top - I used a mixture of mozzarella and Parmesan.  Bake it at 425F for 12-14 minutes until the cheese is lightly golden and the egg yolk just set.

See the egg yolk just peeking through?
This was a great breakfast treat.  In fact I was going to take a picture after we cut the pizza into slices but we got eating them and didn't remember until they were all gone. 

OK, next time I'll take a better photo!
The one change I would make to what I did today is to increase the amount of bacon and dice it in larger pieces.  This might be the one occasion when thick slice bacon doesn't work and thin sliced is required. More experimenting required.

Experimenting sure can be flavorful fun!  Now to go shovel.


Dan & Kathryn Bundy, Your Innkeepers
Foxfield Inn, Charlottesville VA

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Things to do in Charlottesville - March 2014

Spring is just around the corner, and we at Foxfield Inn are just itching to get outside. Luckily, the month of March offers plenty of interesting things to do. If your travels bring you to Charlottesville in March, here are some great events to add to your itinerary.

Monticello is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Charlottesville. But did you know, beyond the fascinating tour of Mr. Jefferson's home and grounds, Monticello also hosts informative workshops of seasonal interest? See what is offered during your upcoming trip to take full advantage of the resources of their knowledgeable staff.

March 1, 8 P.M.
Catch the University's talented drama program in their final performance of Museum by Tina Howe. The performances are held at UVa's Ruth Caplin Theater, a short drive from the inn.

March 4, 5 P.M.
Devil's Backbone is one of the most popular breweries in our area, and this spring they are doing Mardi Gras right: crawfish, po'boys, gumbo, oysters, and king cake. Live jazz beginning at 6, and costumes are welcome.

March 9, 2-4 P.M.
Jonathan Wheeler and Katell Griaud are Trump Winery's winemakers, and you can meet them during an afternoon of wine tasting at the winery. Ask questions, get a bottle signed for a souvenir, and savor their award-winning creations.

March 15, 7 P.M.
With St. Patrick's Day approaching, if you have any Irish heritage in you (and even if you don't), this performance will be spectacular. Featuring some of the world's top Irish step dancers and musicians, this concert promises to leave you spellbound.

March 20, 5:30-8 P.M.
For a fun date night, why not try a mosaics class? Bring your own snacks and drinks and leave with your own handmade mirror, flower pot, or tray. Sign up early to reserve your space.

March 21, 7:30-10 P.M.
Is square dancing a dying art? The folks at Grand Squares of Nelson don't think so. You can join them at Rockfish River Elementary School for a fun evening swinging your partner.

March 19-23
This highly popular festival draws authors, poets, book lovers, and literary enthusiasts together in a celebration of all things book. Most events are free and are held at various locations around town, but be sure to check the schedule online to determine which events require tickets.

March 29 - April 6, 10 A.M. - 7 P.M. daily
To cap off a month of literary goodness, browse the Friends of the Library Book Sale at the Gordon Avenue Library. Donated and gently used books, records, CDs, and more are available for extremely discounted prices, and all proceeds benefit our local library system.

We're looking forward to seeing you at Foxfield Inn in March! Let us know how else we can make your stay special.

Your Innkeepers,
Dan and Kathryn Bundy
Foxfield Inn | A Charlottesville, VA Bed and Breakfast

Friday, February 7, 2014

Top Independent Booksellers in Charlottesville

Calling all bookworms! Charlottesville has an impressive selection of independent booksellers. Whether you're looking for something new, used, or rare, or simply want to browse and get lost in a sea of books, be sure to explore these inviting nooks on your next visit.

One of our favorites on the Downtown Mall, New Dominion is a bright space with tall ceilings. Browse dozens of tidy shelves or attend a reading in the mezzanine. 

Daedalus Bookshop
If you recall your Greek mythology, you may remember the story of Daedalus who built the labyrinth to contain the Minotaur. True to its literary roots, Daedalus Book Shop is especially enchanting for its three floors of labyrinth-like shelves. There is so much to explore here - perfect for a leisurely or rainy day.

Read It Again, Sam
Another Downtown Mall stop, Read It Again, Sam carries new and gently used books in great condition in a wide array of topics. Be sure to check the sale carts outside the store for a bargain - maybe something to read on your drive or flight back home?

Over the Moon is Crozet's local bookseller. They carry a beautiful selection of unique and popular books. You can also browse this cozy space for local artisan jewelry, wood carvings, and more. The staff has great recommendations to help you find your new favorite book, and would be a great stop on your way back to Foxfield Inn from your afternoon winery tours.

Blue Whale Books is a standout for its unique collection of used and rare books, prints, and maps. A fabulous place to browse while you wait for your dinner reservation on the Downtown Mall.

True to its name, The Quest Bookshop reminds us that our human experience is indeed a journey. With extensive spiritual, religion, and well-being selections there is much to explore here. The Quest also has a creative display of crystals, stones, jewelry, and greeting cards for all occasions. Be sure to ask the friendly staff about their Books Behind Bars program which provides literature and educational material to people in prison.

Whether you want to linger in the store all day, stop in to pick up some light reading, or just admire the window displays, Charlottesville's independent bookstores are a bibliophile's dream. But you don't have to take our word for it. Come explore them for yourself, and let us know how else we at Foxfield Inn can make your visit to Charlottesville special.

P.S. The Virginia Festival of the Book is coming up March 19-23. These stores (and other locations) will be flooded with signings, talks, and events. Check the full details here!

Your Innkeepers,
Dan and Kathryn Bundy
Foxfield Inn | A Charlottesville, VA Bed and Breakfast

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Citrus Salads, Part 2 - Citrus Salad with Basil Yogurt

Okay - I know I said I would publish two citrus salads in January and I only issued one.  Well, I actually did develop the second one I just didn't get around to posting it.  This recipe was inspired by a dish that Diane MacPherson serves at the Foster Harris House in Washington VA.

Citrus Salad with Basil Yogurt
Serves 4

1 pink or red grapefruit
2 navel oranges
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup basil leaves, packed
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon minced crystallized ginger

Peel grapefruit and oranges, remove as much of the pith as possible.  Break the fruit into sections.  Slice each section into bite size pieces.  Transfer fruit and any juices to a large bowl.  Slightly warm the honey in a small bowl in the microwave so that it is pourable (in my microwave this takes about 10 seconds).  Stir cinnamon, ginger and orange juice into the honey.  Pour over the fruit.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

While the fruit salad is chilling, add the yogurt, basil leaves and honey to a small processor or blender.  Puree the mixture until the basil is reduced to small pieces.  Cover and chill.

Spoon the fruit into glasses or bowls and top with yogurt.  Sprinkle crystallized on top and serve.  Garnish with a sprig of basil if desired.

Hope you enjoy!

Your Innkeepers,
Dan and Kathryn Bundy
Foxfield Inn | A Charlottesville, VA Bed & Breakfast