Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Super Healthy Smoothie

Google the word Smoothie and youll get dozens of pages of website listings claiming to have just the information you need to start a new healthy lifestyle. Although the Smoothie has been around for decades, over the past couple years it has really taken off in popularity. You see the ingredients front and center at all the grocery and big box stores. From Chia Seeds to Protein Powder, suddenly these things that we were not all that familiar with are anywhere you shop.

A few months ago we were staying with friends and I was introduced to this delicious new breakfast habit that now I cannot seem to live without. For one thing, it was so easy. Most of the ingredients came right out of the freezer, adding in any fresh produce ripe and ready to use from the counter. If you didnt use the counter produce in time, cut and freeze it for another day’s Smoothie. Even the kale was chopped and frozen. Freezing all these ingredients was a new idea to me, but it is the key to making the daily creation of your Smoothie so simple and easy. Of course, you need a Magic Bullet for ease of preparing your single servings each day. 

There are books and websites that will provide you with hundreds of recipes and nutrition information on the endless supply of ingredients you can use, but you will also want something you love to taste. Here is the recipe that I currently use each morning:

    Fill the Bullet with about 2-3 of chopped frozen kale
    Add about 2 of water
    Two handfuls of assorted frozen (or fresh) berries: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries
    One half fresh (or frozen) sliced banana
    One teaspoon of PB2 powder
    One teaspoon of Chia seeds
    One teaspoons of Flax seeds
    Blend and drink. Makes one large glass of delicious. I like my Smoothies kind thick so I use a little less water than some might.

The only ingredient on my current list that can over ripen are the bananas. If I dont use all the bananas in time, I slice them and freeze for another day. Now Im a newbie at this so I anticipate my recipe will be changing regularly over time as I explore this new drink. I adopted this one I use from my friend. I have since collected many other ingredients in my freezer that I occasionally use, such as pineapple, peaches, and mango. I would imagine the development of the perfect Smoothie can kind of take many years.

I love a habit that is so effortless to maintain and at the same time tastes so good. You also feel good about doing it. What could be a better start to your day than a handful of kale and berries? Now dont just settle for my recipe, do some experimenting on your own. You definitely want to create something that you look forward to drinking. When you explore the various recipes out there, you’ll see that some are obviously meal substitutes drinks, while others are designed to simply add more fruits and vegetables to your day. Protein powder or other high-protein ingredients such as whole milk, eggs, yogurt, or seeds help keep you satisfied for longer periods of time.

Another friend recently told me about some superfoods that she adds to her Smoothie. I thought I would give some of them a try. One is Maca, which claims to provide energy and increase memory retention. Another is Acai, which is loaded with antioxidants. One other she currently uses are Goji Berries, which helps eyesight, boosts the immune system, and promotes longevity. Do these special ingredients really work? I cannot say for sure. My friend swears by them and reports an obvious change when she is eating them. In doing my own research, numerous books and websites also claim these ingredients to be extremely beneficial. But that is the beauty of the Smoothie. Ill try these out and see what I think. If I do not feel any benefit, Ill try something else. The wonderful thing is that you feel good about the journey and you learn about taking better care of yourself.

Other foods that are commonly used in smoothies are cucumber, avocado, apple, coconut, jicama, celery, spinach, beets, almond milk, orange, yogurt - the list goes on and on. So go ahead, google Smoothie and see what you find. Head to your local grocery store and explore the produce department in a whole new way. If you end up loving this habit half as much as I do, youll be starting out your days with a refreshing custom-blend Smoothie.

-Christine Schiltz
Owner & Catering Director
Lake Elmo Inn Event Center

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Cocktails

We love our specialty drinks over at the Lake Elmo Inn and are constantly changing our list depending on the season.  We've decided to feature five breezy summer drinks for you to try and help you beat the heat this summer. ENJOY!

This cocktail puts a delicious twist on a summer classic, the Mojito. There's just something about adding fresh berries to any drink that screams refreshment.

Berry Mojito

2oz Bacardi Wolf Berry Rum
Blueberries & Raspberries
Soda Water
Dash of Simple Syrup

Did you know that America’s new favorite wine varietal makes a deliciously sweet cocktail ingredient? Give your peachy White Moscato wine a twist with this fabulous recipe!


 Blood Orange Puree
Garnish with Berries

What's better than sitting out on a patio with a martini in hand... Very little in our minds.  Especially with one of these!

Yoko Lime Martini 

 Cucumber & Lime
2oz Rain Organic Cucumber Vodka
2oz Sweet & Sour
Garnish with a Cucumber

Looking for an after dinner cocktail? This martini is the perfect choice for a chocolaty liquid dessert.

Chocolate Martini 

 2oz Godiva White Chocolate
1oz Stoli Vanil
1oz Kahlua
Garnish with a Chocolate Stick

Our signature Let It Rain cocktail has  super-cooling cucumbers and even a dash of pepper to keep you on your toes.

Let It Rain 

 1 1/2 oz Rain Organic Cucumber Vodka
3/4 oz St. Germain
Lime & Cucumber
Simple Syrup
Soda Water
Black Pepper
Garnish with Cucumber

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

1881 Hereford Beef

With grilling season now in full swing, we thought it was appropriate to write a little something about the Hereford 1881 brand of steaks that we serve at the Lake Elmo Inn. 

Hereford cattle have long enjoyed a reputation for producing truly great tasting beef. It started when innovative farmers in early 19th century America began importing the red-bodied, white-faced cattle from Herefordshire, England to breed to their dairy based stock in order to “beef up” the quality of future generations of cattle.

In 1881, Hereford breeders formed the American Hereford Association (AHA) to protect the genetic purity of the breed and to promote its use by farmers and ranchers throughout the country. The first association of its kind, the AHA has been tracking the lineages of Hereford cattle ever since, registering animals long before the American Kennel Club, the American Quarter Horse Association or any other cattle breed association.

The Certified Hereford Beef program began as a marketing initiative of the AHA in 1994. Based on the findings of over three years of Colorado State University research that proved the superior eating quality and consistency of Hereford Beef, the three-fold mission of the program was, and continues to be:
1) To provide consumers with consistently tender, juicy and flavorful beef products
2) To enhance the marketing opportunities of food industry distributors, retailers and restaurateurs
3) To increase the demand for commercial Hereford influenced cattle

The concept behind Certified Hereford Beef was simple; give consumers a superior product at a competitive price. The program would do so by harvesting only Midwest, corn-fed Hereford and specific Hereford crossbred cattle, genetically proven to produce better tasting beef.
From the early 1990s to the present time Certified Hereford (CHB) has continued to excel as a branded beef product.

The beef that we serve at the Lake Elmo Inn is the 1881 Hereford Beef.  This type of beef makes up the top 5% of the Hereford line, making it truly unique.

1881 Omaha Hereford Beef
      USDA Certified Program
Hereford & Angus Black Baldy Beef
Meets Specifications for Both:
Black Angus Beef
Certified Hereford Beef
British Influence Only
No Dairy Influence
No Brahman Influence
No Continental Influence
Ribeye Size 10-16 inches only
Grade A Maturity Requirements
Marbling Requiremnts
Top Choice or Higher
Marbling Score – Modest 0 and Higher
                   Medium to Fine Marbling                        Texture

Only a select number of restaurants in Minnesota offer the 1881 Hereford Line and we are proud to be one of them.  The world’s finest beef for consistently superior taste & tenderness!