Come play in our winter wonderland! by Brad Schmidt

Our winter wonderland!

Our winter wonderland!

March welcomed us with 3 more inches of snow this morning and more expected throughout the week!  Come join us in our winter paradise with snowshoe and back country x/c skiing trails right out the door, our amazing 1,700' sledding hill and Chef Ron's delicious cuisine!  Hurry as space is very limited for the season. 800-414-2378

Fun local skiing! by Brad Schmidt

Many MHL guests are enjoying our local winter sports club groomed trails in the valley before they arrive to our resort or when they depart before driving home.  Guests of course relish our backcountry trails and equipment inclusive in their visit while at Mountain Home Lodge, but have also had fun trying our two local trail systems in the valley for classic and skate skiing loops.  Equipment can be rented  if needed to enjoy these valley options if arriving to Leavenworth early before our snowcat whisks you up to our paradise 1,000' closer to Heaven!  

Enjoy this wintery soup... 3 Sisters Stew! by Brad Schmidt

Received another 6" of snow the other night... winter is gorgeous on the mountain!  Went out today and snowshoed with my mom.... saw dad out skiing on our way back home.  Everyone wanted to get outside and play today!  Now mom is busy making their dinner...Three Sisters Stew is perfect to enjoy fireside tonight!  Hope you can find to get out and enjoy nature too and perhaps try this delicious dinner.  Cheers - Millie 

THREE SISTERS STEW  -  Serves 8

Modified from recipe on NY Times Cooking that was originally adapted from cookbook: A Taste of Wyoming: Favorite Recipes from the Cowboy State, By Pamela Sinclair

I tweaked it further to create a delicious stew for a wintery night; serve with warm tortillas or cornbread.  Added condiments on the table to build your bowl upon: sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, thin sliced red cabbage, thin sliced radish and lime wedges. 

INGREDIENTS

    •    3/4 - 1 pound trimmed pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes

    •    2 teaspoon ground cumin

    •    Kosher salt, as needed

    •    Black pepper, as needed

    •    2 tablespoons canola oil

    •    1 large yellow onion, diced

    •    5 garlic cloves, minced

    •    4 cups chicken stock, low- sodium ( I used unsalted vegetable stock) 

    .        1/2 peeled butternut squash, 1-1 .5” cubes, about 1 1/2 c - 2c

  .        1 can (15-20 oz size) white hominy, drained

•    1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained

•    1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained

    •    1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes; use Rotele with chiles if you can or mexican style tomatoes and chop as needed

    •    1 (15-oz) can corn kernels, drained 

    •    1 (4-ounce) can roasted green chiles (or jalepenos if you like it spicy!) 

    •    ½ bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped  

  • Optional ( but recommended!):  1/3 c   1/2 & 1/2 for creamier base 

PREPARATION

    1    Season pork with cumin, salt and pepper. Set aside. Peel & chop squash & onion and open and drain cans.  Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add pork, in batches if necessary, and cook, turning as needed, until lightly browned on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer pork to a bowl and set aside.

    2    Add onion to pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until lightly colored, 2 to 3 minutes. Return pork to pan, along with stock and squash, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.

    3    Add beans, tomatoes, corn and chiles and cook, uncovered, over medium heat until stew has thickened, about 40 minutes. Add 1-2 tsp cornstarch slurry if needed to thicken.  Add cilantro and 1/2 & 1/2 if using, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with guests adding condiments to their bowls. 

Waiting to go snowshoeing 

Waiting to go snowshoeing 

Mountain Love! by Brad Schmidt

Ahhh... bliss!  Thank you Mary! 

Ahhh... bliss!  Thank you Mary! 

Well, my cat brother Jack came up on the deck today to get in on the action... free love from our MHL guests!  Cat sister Cracker missed out as Jack and I got all the pets and scratches!  #mountainlove 

Laughs with friends! by Brad Schmidt

Breaking trail with laughter and best pals! 

Breaking trail with laughter and best pals! 

Weekend warriors trekking and breaking trail on the Overlook Loop!  Great times with friends from OR sharing Mountain Home Lodge fun with their visiting pals from OH!  Friends for life! 

Happy New Year! by Brad Schmidt

Loving the snow!  Happy 2017!!

Loving the snow!  Happy 2017!!

Wishing everyone a fantastic 2017 ahead... may it be full of fun adventures, kindness and lots of laughter... oh, and a few dog lick's from your favorite canine! (or me.. Millie!) 

I had a blast this holiday season with lots of old and new friends to play with on the snowy trails.  It is pretty awesome here on the mountain right now with great snow and a super fast sledding hill thanks to Dad's grooming!  Here's a shot of my vacation fun and of course Mom wants to post a recipe... (she cuts into my blog all the time!).  This recipe is one "my humans" love on a chilly night and it comes together within an hour for a delicious wintertime dinner to enjoy by the crackling fire!  

SMOKEY MINESTRONE WITH TORTELLINI AND FRESH PESTO 

From Food52 blog                                                              Serves 4-6

From Food 52 food blog comes an easy weeknight dinner idea for a cold winter night... 

2 slices preservative-free bacon, chopped 

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided 

1 leek, chopped

3 carrots, chopped 

1 large onion, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

1 potato, chopped 

1 can (15 oz+/-) chickpeas

3-6 garlic cloves, to taste 

1 cup kale, chopped 

1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes

4 c chicken or vegetable stock

1 9-ounce package all-natural cheese tortellini

1 cup fresh basil or parsley leaves

2 tablespoons pine nuts

parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar for topping at service 

With an hour to dinner, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large pot and add the chopped bacon, stirring until they begin to brown. Add 2 more tablespoons of oil and add the chopped onion, garlic and leek. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. After it's softened, add the chopped carrots, zucchini, celery, and potato. Stir for another minute or two, and then add in the stock, chickpeas, and tomatoes, crushing them with your hands as you go. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.

Take a whiff of the delicious aromas now swirling around your kitchen, and set to work whipping up the pesto. First, toast the pine nuts. Then, chop the fresh basil or parsley—then, chop it some more. You want it to be very fine. Add in the pine nuts and garlic and chop them too.

Once the soup has simmered for 30 to 40 minutes, add the chopped kale and the tortellini. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the tortellini is done, but not soggy, and serve immediately. Garnish with a spoonful of the pesto, a sprinkle of Parmesan, and a few drops of balsamic vinegar, if you have some handy, and buon appetito!

Delicious GF Chocolate Snowdrop Cookies! by Brad Schmidt

You won't believe these deliciously dense, brownie like cookies are GF!  That's right, no flour or substitutions adding a funky taste to these treats.  Egg whites are the leavening trick.  Bake up a batch for a special GF friend, but don't be surprised when non-GF friends are smiling ear to ear when eating these too!  

From NY Times cooking.com                                 Makes 2 dozen 

The batter comes together fast, although it will seem like the egg whites can’t possibly provide enough moisture. Just keep stirring with a strong spoon and a very thick batter will quickly materialize.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups/300 grams confectioners’ sugar

¾ cup/90 grams dark cocoa powder

½ teaspoon/6 grams kosher salt

5 ounces/135 grams 72 percent chocolate, preferably with nibs, chopped

1 ½ cups/135 grams chopped, toasted pecans

4 large egg whites, room temperature

½ cup/100 grams sugar cubes, crushed, for the tops

PREPARATION

1.  Heat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together sugar, cocoa and salt. Stir in chocolate and pecans. Add egg whites and stir just until incorporated. (Do not overmix.) You can use a stand mixer on low or a sturdy spoon and a large bowl.

2.  Crush sugar cubes and place in a shallow bowl. Using a small ice cream scoop or a melon baller, spoon up dough to create a scoop about the size of a golf ball. Lightly dip the top of the cookie into the sugar and then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.

3.  Bake until cookie tops are dry and crackled, about 12 to 15 minutes. Rotate sheets if using more than 1 at a time. The cookies should be dry and crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside and capped with a nice sprinkling of chunky sugar.

4.  Transfer sheets to wire racks and let cookies cool completely. Can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.

 

A great holiday bar cookie... MHL's NW Pecan Treats! by Brad Schmidt

NW Pecan Bars!

NW Pecan Bars!

A special cookie to enjoy at your holiday parties is a yummy treat the Lodge highlights in their fresh baked repertoire.  We were honored to have this same recipe featured in "Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Cookies Special Holiday 2005 Issue"!  We thought you might enjoy making a batch this month to share in your home!  

Ingredients:

3 c all purpose flour, we use pastry flour for a finer crust 

2 c granulated sugar, divided

1/2 tsp salt

1c + 3 Tbsp butter, divided

4 eggs, slightly beaten

1 1/2 c dark corn syrup

1 3/4 tsp pure vanilla

1/3 c dried NW cherries

2 1/2 c chopped pecans

 

Directions:

STEP 1:

* Preheat oven to 350.  Grease well the sides and bottom of a 15x10x1” baking pan with butter. 

* In a large bowl combine flour, 1/2 c sugar &  the salt.

*With a pastry blender (or 2 knives will work held crisscross) cut in 1 c. butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

*Press crustmixture firmly and evenly into the prepared baking pan.

*Bake 20 minutes.

STEP 2:

*Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the remaining 3 Tbsp butter.

*In large bowl stir eggs, corn syrup, remaining1 1/2 c sugar, butter and vanilla until blended.  

*Stir in pecans and cherries until blended. 

*Spread evenly over the hot crust.  

*Bake 25 minutes or until set.  

*Cool.  Cut into bars.  We like to cut on the diagonal for diamond bars.  Store in the refrigerator.

 

The Perfect Olive Oil Cake! by Brad Schmidt

Perfect Italian Olive Oil Cake

Perfect Italian Olive Oil Cake

Well, autumn is waning here in the Cascades as November approaches.  Temperatures are dropping with lows at night dipping into the 30’s now and then.  Stoke up the fire and invite friends over for a casual dinner fireside!  Serve this amazing Olive Oil Cake with whipped marscapone to complete a perfect late fall evening!  

From blog Food52                                                                                                                   Original recipe from Maialino Restaurant in New York City.   This recipe has a crackling crust and olive oil rich pudding like middle! 

We like to serve it at the lodge with marscapone whipped cream on the side! 

Ingredients:

2    cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4    cups sugar

1 1/2    teaspoons kosher salt

1/2    teaspoon baking soda

1/2    teaspoon baking powder

1 1/3    cups extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/4    cups whole milk(orunsweetened almond milk)

3    large eggs

1 1/2    tablespoons grated orange zest

1/4    cup fresh orange juice

1/4    cup Grand Marnier (or more oj, orange zest and 1 tsp vanilla) 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Heat the oven to 350° F. Oil, butter, or spray a 9-inch cake pan that is at least 2 inches deep with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. (If your cake pan is less than 2 inches deep, divide between 2 pans and start checking for doneness at 30 minutes.) 

2.  In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder. In another bowl, whisk the olive oil, milk, eggs, orange zest and juice and Grand Marnier. Add the dry ingredients; whisk until just combined. 

3.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, until the top is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes. 

4.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely, 2 hours.  

Optional:  Decorate with powdered sugar stencil and/or serve with sweetened vanilla whipped cream with added marscapone to make a decadent addition! 

 

Perfect for the chill in the air... Hungarian Mushroom Soup! by Brad Schmidt

First dusting of snow on the Stuart range in our front yard! 

First dusting of snow on the Stuart range in our front yard! 

With the fresh snow on the Cascade peaks out front, we are enjoying creating delicious soups to ward off the dropping night temperatures for our family dinners.  This is an old favorite of ours Kathy's mom shared with the lodge eons ago.  It is easy to put together and makes a perfect quick meal with warm rustic bread and a field greens and kale salad with autumn pears and our honey balsamic vinaigrette.  A warm orchard apple and cinnamon fruit crisp with vanilla bean ice-cream finishes off a perfect supper by the roaring fire!  Try it with your family... 

Hungarian Mushroom Soup    Serves 4-6

From the cookbook “Black Butte Ranch Cookbook”                                                                      

12 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced

2 c chopped onion

2 Tbsp butter

2 c chicken broth

1 - 2 tsp dill weed

1 Tbsp Hungarian paprika

1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce

2 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp flour

1 c milk

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 c sour cream

1 tsp salt

fresh ground pepper

1/4 c chopped fresh parsley

Instructions: 

1.  In saucepan, saute mushrooms and onion in 2 Tbsp of the butter.  

2.  Add broth, dill weed, paprika and tamari.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

3.  Melt remaining butter in large saucepan and whisk in flour.  Cooka few minutes.  Add milk slowlyand cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thick.  

4.  Stir in the mushroom mixture and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.  

5.  Add lemon juice and sour cream.   Salt & pepper to taste.  Garnish with fresh parsley.

Don't laugh! ( too hard...) by Brad Schmidt

Okay, go ahead.... get your giggles out.  I am wearing "the cone of shame"!  I was playing too wild on the trails and cut my hind leg and had to go to the vets for antibiotics and cleanup.  Then he unkindly told mom I had to wear this thing to stop me from licking my cut.  It not only looks ridiculous on a mountain dog, it is uncomfortable and driving me crazy I can not scratch my itchy sore as it heals!  Thankfully I am healing quickly and should be cone free by the weekend!  LOTS of bear action on the trails as well as elk.  Fall is in the air with bluebird skies and nights in the 40's.  Love this time of the year!  Come on over and play!!! ( I'll ditch the cone, promise!) Love Millie 

Christmas on the Mountain?! by Brad Schmidt

Come play in the snow this Christmas with Millie!  

Come play in the snow this Christmas with Millie!  

NEWS FLASH!!!  Christmas at Mountain Home Lodge has just become available due to a cancellation from the group that has taken the holiday here for over 15 years with the retirement of the group coordinator.  

This opens up a 3-night minimum visit with arrival on Friday December 23rd and departure on Monday the 26th.  There are a few rooms still available after that if you wanted to extend your visit a few more days.  

Currently all 10 rooms and 2 cabins are available so this also provides the opportunity for booking the entire resort if you wanted to plan the ultimate family Christmas with your family and friends! Group capacity is 24-28 dependent upon room configurations.  

Check out a winter visit at http://www.mthome.com/winter-transportation/ or give us a call. 

The holidays will be here before we know it and why not make yours very special with a gift trip to the lodge and come play with me in the snow!   Cheers - Millie 

Cherries! by Brad Schmidt

We have Bings, Queen Anne and Pie cherry trees in our orchard!  

We have Bings, Queen Anne and Pie cherry trees in our orchard!  

Our organic orchard trees are bursting with cherries this year!  Carlos has picked 3 huge boxes for everyone to enjoy.  Chef Ron has made a delicious cherry sauce for his creamy cheesecake and morning pancakes and he pitted a ton for Kathy to make jam with!  We have lots more so who knows what they will think of next!  

A strawberry moon kicks off Summer Solstice and Chef Ron's Summer menus! by Brad Schmidt

Summer soup shots! 

Summer soup shots! 

Summer "officially" started this week with the celebration of Summer Solstice and here at the Lodge Chef Ron debuted his new summer menus highlighting the delicious fresh produce from the lodge gardens and orchards as well as wonderful local growers.  Browse our dining section (http://www.mthome.com/menus/) for sample summer dinner menus.  Lodging guests will enjoy new breakfast items such as our Huevos Rancheros eggs benedict, zucchini chocolate chip muffins and blueberry buttermilk cornmeal pancakes with whipped honey butter.  Evening appetizers may include new items like grilled crostini with local chèvre, rosemary, grilled peach and prosciutto or Argentinian chimmichurri steak crostini or watermelon, feta and arugula salad with balsamic reduction or perhaps burger sliders on pretzel buns with balsamic grilled onions and lodge made chipotle ketchup!  Mmmm.. loving summer!  Come on over and feast with us! 

"Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountaindays ..." by Brad Schmidt

Overlooking the grandeur of the forest at Colchuck Lake here in the alpine wilderness!

Overlooking the grandeur of the forest at Colchuck Lake here in the alpine wilderness!

John Muir sums it up best... "Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountaindays, inciting at once to work and rest! Days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God.  Nevermore, however weary should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day, whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever." 

Silly pals! by Brad Schmidt

life is best with laughter.... 

life is best with laughter.... 

My buddies Todd & Sheila were here this weekend and I caught them being silly on the swing in the upper meadow!  We had fun exploring the many varieties of wildflowers in the meadow and trails with Sheila's camera.  Thanks for playing with me... Love, Millie 

1st 2016 MHL Guest hike into the Enchantments! by Brad Schmidt

The birthday boy at Colchuck! 

The birthday boy at Colchuck! 

Brrrr... it was a little cold, but the water of glacier fed Colchuck Lake was a welcome treat to our weekend guests toes after their hike in this weekend.  No dogs allowed in the Alpine Wilderness so I stayed back and hiked our MHL trails with other guests, but I am awed at the beauty of this special birthday weekend hike C & E enjoyed!  Bark, bark congrats!  Love, Millie V.