Our mountain paradise awaits... by Brad Schmidt

"Truly it may be said that the outside of a mountain is good for the inside of a man."  ~ George Wherry, Alpine Notes and the Climbing Foot, 1896

Renew your spirt.  Seek the beauty of nature.  Surround your being in calm stillness.   Join us at MHL this winter.   Wishing you peace this Christmas season and joy in the new year.  Brad & Kathy Schmidt 

Renew your spirt.  Seek the beauty of nature.  Surround your being in calm stillness.  

Join us at MHL this winter.  

Wishing you peace this Christmas season and joy in the new year.  Brad & Kathy Schmidt 

Santa Claus is coming to town... by Brad Schmidt

Meet Clarisse... one of Santa's winter does at the Lodge!  

Meet Clarisse... one of Santa's winter does at the Lodge!  

Welcome December and the Christmas Lighting Festival in Leavenworth these first 3 weekends of the month.  The village is exploding with lights and tourists while the pristine start to winter up on the mountain welcomes our holiday MHL guests!  We have had a little over a foot of snow this season and now await the next round of snow forecasted for the weekend ahead.  Bring it on as we are ready!  Santa's reindeer are currently relaxing here on the mountain too as they prepare for their big debut on the 24th.  Thought you might enjoy seeing this daily visitor as she and her pals sneak in to nab some of the winter bird seed in the feeders!   It's looking like a fabulous winter on the mountain and we hope you can join in the fun!  Space is very limited at this late date for 2018... check the accurate availability calendar online or ring us at 800-414-2378 to assist.  We can also prepare a wonderful  gift certificate for you to ease shopping for that very special someone!  Cheers!  

We are ready for winter...bring it on! by Brad Schmidt

Inspector Cracker checking the woodpile....

Inspector Cracker checking the woodpile....

Ritz inspects stability... rated A+!

Ritz inspects stability... rated A+!

We have enjoyed a little over 5" of snow to kick off the arrival of an early winter these past few weeks.  Looks like the lodge is ready too....fuels have been delivered, pool closed, meadow mowed in anticipation for a speedy sledding hill, wine cellar and pantry stocked and 3+ cords of great wood delivered and stacked for many a warm fire this winter!  The wood has passed the chief inspectors... Cracker & our newest family member Ritz!  All is in order!  Space is limited for the 2017/2018 winter season so make your reservation soon! #Ready4Snow

Welcome Autumn! by Brad Schmidt

Thank you Mother Nature!

Thank you Mother Nature!

Temperatures are dropping and Mother Nature has her paints out and is busy creating another masterpiece ... Fall!  Check out this gorgeous afternoon yesterday shared from our guest T from our meadow trailhead... simply breathtaking!  Crisp days, cold nights and ever changing skies make for great hiking, climbing, bouldering and mountain biking weather.  The lakes are glass and the last of sun filled days make the paddle boarding and kayaking Lake Wenatchee a treat!  Pack your bag and head over the next 6 weeks before winter arrives!   Looking forward to trekking with you... Love,  Millie Vanilli 

Renew your mind, spirit and body with a return to Nature... by Brad Schmidt

Guests shared this amazing view at local Eight Mile Lake... come explore the Cascades and renew!

Guests shared this amazing view at local Eight Mile Lake... come explore the Cascades and renew!

"I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees.  The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets.  It has given me blessed release from care and worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day.  it has been a return to the primitive and the peaceful.  Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear a coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me - I am happy." - Hamlin Garland, February 1899 (!!!- yes 118 years ago "the city life" took a toll... the remedy, to return to Nature! Give it a try today!) 

 

Bailey Bear! by Brad Schmidt

Bailey Bear!! 

Bailey Bear!! 

This season we have seen more bears on the mountain.  A kind spring guest just shared this great photo of a bear we have named "Bailey" she took when visiting in May.  With the heat of summer most bears are now down at the river on the valley floor, but a few are spotted on the trails each week usually eating wild berries or invading our fruit trees in the orchard!  No cheery jam this year as Bailey and his/her pals took more than their fair share!  Mom says I better get better on my barking duty so she can harvest the plums and apples to come! Will do as I love to chase all my forest friends to show them who is boss of the mountain!  Ha ha!! Love Millie 

Breakfast time! by Brad Schmidt

Morning sunshine! 

Morning sunshine! 

Another beautiful morning!  The guests awoke to the fragrant aromas of Chef's delicious blueberry buttermilk pancakes with fresh berry syrup & country pork sausage this morning which also brought the teenager bear down from  the woods for his/her breakfast cleaning up the fallen seeds at the bird feeders.  Our guest Sheila captured this great photo of a resident hummer enjoying breakfast too!  Life is grand!   

Springtime! by Brad Schmidt

Spring on the mountain is officially here!  The wildflowers are spectacular this year!  The Cascades are still snowcapped, but with the expected heat wave this next week we are sure to see some drastic melting.  The river rafting will be fantastic!  Our hiking and mtn, biking trails are in great condition and everyone is anxious to get outside and play!  Check your calendar and see if you can carve a few days over in the sunshine to enjoy Mountain Home Lodge!  

Here is a delicious lemon pound cake you may want to try that we are enjoying this spring... great at breakfast or for dessert with fresh strawberries and whipped cream!  

Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake from blog"Once Upon a Chef"- Jennifer Segal 

Best made a day ahead..

Ingredients: 

For the Cake

        3 c all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with a knife, plus more for the pan

        1/2 teaspoon baking soda

        1/2 teaspoon salt

        2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

        2-1/4 cups granulated sugar

        3 large eggs

        1 cup buttermilk (low fat is fine)

        2 Tbsp grated lemon zest, packed (note: you'll need 4-5 large lemons for the entire recipe)

        2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

For the Syrup

        1/3 cup water

        1/3 cup granulated sugar

        2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the Glaze

        1 cup confectioners' sugar

        2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

        1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, packed

        1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

        Preheat the oven to 325°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and dust with flour.

n a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

        In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beaters), cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.

        In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice.

        With the mixer on low speed, beat in one-quarter of the flour mixture, then one-third of the buttermilk mixture. Beat in another quarter of the flour, then another third of the milk mixture. Repeat with another quarter of the flour and the remaining milk mixture. Finally, beat in the remaining flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and give a quick mix to make sure all of the ingredients are well incorporated.

        Spoon the thick batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth with a rubber spatula. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

        Cool the cake in the pan for ten minutes on a rack.

        Meanwhile, make the syrup. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.

        Invert the warm cake onto a rack. Slip a large piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil under the rack to catch all the drips from the syrup and glaze. Gradually brush the hot syrup over the cake, letting it soak in (a little syrup will drip off, but try not to rush so that most of it is absorbed). Allow the cake to cool completely, about one hour.

        When the cake is cool, make the glaze. Combine the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and melted butter in a medium bowl, mixing with a fork until smooth. Add more confectioners' sugar or lemon juice as necessary to make a thick but pourable glaze (it should be the consistency of thick honey). Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drizzle down the sides.

        

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.