Breakfast & Recipes

Dinsmore House Bed and Breakfast guests enjoy a full breakfast each morning before they venture into Charlottesville, Virginia and beyond. Served from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and until 9:30 a.m. on weekends, guests can choose to eat on the breakfast porch, in the dining room or on the back deck. Everyday our menu includes fresh fruit, our very own delicious “Dinsmore blend” gourmet coffee, assorted teas, orange juice and thick-cut bacon. A hot dish accompanies the meal and varies daily. A sample of our main dishes includes:

  • Spinach and Gruyere Strata
  • Torta Rustica (our signature dish)
  • Pecan Crusted French Toast
  • Gingerbread and Pumpkin Pancakes
  • Eggs Dinsmore (our variation on Eggs Benedict)
  • Creme Brulee French Toast
  • Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
  • Eggs Benedict
  • New Belgium Waffles
  • Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

Our goal is to energize you for your day ahead. If you have any special dietary needs, please let us know when you make your room reservation, and we can accommodate your needs each morning.

Recipes:

Dinsmore House Torta Rustica

  • 1 pound puff pastry

The Filling:

  • One dozen large eggs
  • Boursin cheese (1/2 to 3/4 container)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 6 large red bell peppers, roasted and laid flat to cool
  • Spinach
  • 10 oz Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz smoked ham, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water and a pinch of salt for egg wash.

Prepare crust:
– Generously butter bottom and sides of a 9″ springform pan.
– Cut off 1/4 of puff pastry and set aside.
– Roll out remaining puff pastry to 1/4 inch thick, place in bottom of the pan (dough should come up the sides of the pan, leaving 1 inch overhang at the top). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
– Roll out the smaller piece of pastry until it is 1/4 inch thick.
– Cut out a 9 inch circle of dough to place on top of the torta and place it aside. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Prepare filling:
– Whisk eggs, Boursin cheese, salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl.
– Melt butter in large skillet over low heat and pour in egg mixture.
– Slowly and loosely scramble eggs, stirring gently but constantly.
– Place cooked eggs aside and let cool.

Retrieve springform pan from refrigerator and layer the ingredients in the following order:
– 1/4 of the swiss cheese,
– half the eggs (discard any liquid that may have accumulated on the plate),
– half the spinach,
– 1/4 of the cheese,
– half the ham,
– all the roasted red peppers (laid out flat).
– Continue layering in the reverse order with the remaining ham, 1/4 of the cheese, spinach, eggs, and last 1/4 of the cheese. Make sure to spread the ingredients all the way to the edge of the pan.

Prepare the egg wash:
– Whisk 1 large egg with 1 Tbsp water and a pinch of salt.

Fold the excess pastry over the top of the filling and brush the edge of the crust you’ve created with egg wash. Retrieve the smaller pasty circle from the refrigerator and place over the top of the filling. Gently push the top crust down the sides of the pan, pressing and sealing the top crust to the bottom crust. Brush exposed crust with egg wash.

Cut a small hole in the top of the crust to vent.

Bake in a 425-degree oven for about an hour, or until crust is puffed and golden brown.

Pecan Crusted French Toast

Cut loaf of french bread into 1 inch slices and cover the bottom of an 8×10 greased baking dish with bread. Press bread together so no gaps can be seen. Place a 2nd layer of 1 inch slices on top of primary layer in 8×10 baking dish.

Combine the following ingredients in a bowl and pour evenly over bread in 8×10 dish:

  • 8 Large Eggs
  • 2 Cups half and half
  • 1 Cup whole milk
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • ¼ t cinnamon
  • ¼ t nutmeg

Place baking dish in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight. Blend the following ingredients in a mixing bowl:

  • 2 sticks of softened butter
  • 1 Cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Cup of chopped pecans
  • 2 T light corn syrup
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ½ t nutmeg

Spread mixture evenly over bread, so that no bread is visible. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.

Makes 8 large servings.

Peach Creme Brulee French Toast

Makes 5 to 10 servings. Must be refrigerated overnight before baking.

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 10 (1 inch thick) slices of bread
  • large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups of half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon triple sec
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb fresh or frozen peeled, sliced peaches
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup peach brandy

Spray a 15×10-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup, stirring until smooth; pour into baking dish. Place bread slices a atop the butter mixture.

Whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, triple sec and salt. Pour over the bread and cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees, let French toast sit at room temp for 30 minutes, then bake for 30-35 minutes. While French toast is baking, put peach slices in a bowl. Add white sugar and peach brandy; stir to combine.

Place 1-2 pieces of French toast on each plate, brown sugar side up. Spoon peaches over the top of each serving.

Spinach and Gruyere Strata

Active time: 30 Minutes, Must be refrigerated overnight before baking.

  • 1 (10 oz) package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess liquid
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped onion (1 large)
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 8 cups cubed French bread (1/2 lb)
  • 6 oz coarsely grated Gruyere cheese (2 cups)
  • 2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
  • 2 ¾ cups milk
  • 9 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Butter

Using a large, heavy skillet, melt butter over medium heat and saute onion 4 to 5 minutes or until soft. Add ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, and nutmeg; cook while stirring for 1 minute. Stir in spinach, and then remove from heat.

In a buttered 3-quart baking dish, evenly layer 1/3 of the bread cubes, spinach mixture, and cheese. Repeat layering two additional times, ending with the cheese on top.

Whisk together milk, eggs, mustard and remaining salt and pepper in a large bowl; pour evenly over strata. Make sure the bread is thoroughly soaked with egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours.

Remove strata from refrigerator and let stand for 30 minutes before baking. Move oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered on until puffed and golden brown: 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings.