A Romantic Luxury Inn for Couples in Stowe Vermont

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Corned Beef Hash = Trendy Breakfast Recipe!

Hash is a dish consisting of diced or chopped meat, potatoes, and spices that are mixed together and then cooked either alone or with other ingredients such as onions. The name is derived from the French verb hacher (to chop). Corned beef hash became especially popular in some countries including in Britain and France during and after World War II as rationing limited the availability of fresh meat.

Although the exact beginnings of corned beef are unknown, it most likely came about when people began preserving meat through salt-curing.

Corned Beef Hash Recipe

Evidence of its legacy is apparent in numerous cultures, including Ancient Europe and the Middle East. The word corn derives from Old English, and is used to describe any small hard particles or grains. In the case of “corned beef”, the word may refer to the coarse granular salts used to cure the beef. (Wikipedia)

Hash has recently made a comeback as more than just a dish for leftovers or breakfasts of last resort.


High-end restaurants now offer sophisticated hashes and the first cookbook dedicated exclusively to a wide variety of hashes – Hashcapades — was self-published in 2012. (Wikipedia) Evidence for the revival of Hash can be found in almost any city in some very trendy restaurants: Sweet potato hash with crab at the Blue Water Grill in New York. Smoked Salmon Hash at Brix Tavern in Portland, Oregon; Haggis Hash Deluxe in Edinburgh; Roasted Sweet Potato Hash at Julians in Providence; or Smoked Brisket Cornbread Hash at Smoke Restaurant in Dallas. Hashcapades is also a blog.

At Stone Hill Inn we favor a Corned Beef Hash offering whose success results both from the meat selection and the meat preparation. Flavor is key but tender beef is the first priority. We like to start with about a three pound cut of corned beef which is more than enough to feed a full house of guests at breakfast (18 people) when combined with another entrée (e.g., Crème Brulee French Toast) at Stone Hill.

We begin with a recipe from the Williams-Sonoma kitchen library: Breakfasts & Brunches.
This is a 1997 Weldon Owen Inc. production.
Then we make some changes!!

Ingredients (We’ve doubled the ingredients since they are based on 1.5 pounds of beef and we are using 3 pounds.)

2.5 lb Yukon Gold or other waxy yellow potatoes; unpealed cut into ½”(12mm) cubes . We actually use more potatoes than this — we like to have an equal number of potato cubes as we have cubes of prepared corned beef.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large mild yellow onion, cut into ½” dice. We also like to add another small yellow onion.
2 green pepper (capsicum); seeded, deribbed and cut into ½” squares. We like to also add on or two yellow peppers.
2/3 cup (160 ml) milk
1 cup (40gm) finely chopped fresh parsley, plus sprigs for garnish
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
4 tablespoons (2 fl oz -60ml) vegetable oil

The Magic. The preparation of the meat begins with the instructions on the package, but primarily we place the meat in a deep container on the stove and fill with water until the meat is completely covered. We bring this to a boil and then turn down to simmer for about three hours. Then we let the meat sit in the bath until cool, allowing it to continue to absorb flavors from the water. Wrap the meat and put in the refrigerator so it is ready for the final stages of CBH production. Don’t throw away this water – keep covered and you will use it to cook the potatoes in the morning.

Begin. Next morning: retrieve the beef from the fridge, trim off excess fat and begin to cube into ½” dice. Set aside.

Get the potatoes cooking. Place in a large saucepan with lightly salted cold water to cover. (We like to use the cold water remaining in the pot that cooked the beef for more flavor– you won’t need salt). Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until just tender enough to pierce with a fork. About 5-7 minutes. Do not overcook.
Meanwhile, in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and bell peppers and sauté until onion is tender-crisp: about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

Mix. Drain the potatoes and place in a bowl. Add the onion and bell peppers; set the frying pan aside and do not wash. Now add the corned beef, milk, chopped parsley and chives. Toss to mix well, taking care not to mash the potato pieces. Season to taste with salt and ground pepper and toss again. Heat the vegetable oil in the reserved frying pan over medium heat; add the hash mixture and blend. Set aside.

To the Tables! You’re ready to take orders from the guests. Scoop out enough of the hash mixture for one serving and place into a small frying pan with some light vegetable oil. As this begins to warm, prepare the egg(s) that you will place on top of the reheated hash. We like the eggs Sunnyside up for looks and because the broken yolk mixes and adds flavor to the overall hash dish. However, any egg preparation will work. Just before adding the eggs, we like to sprinkle a small amount of freshly shredded sharp cheddar on top of the hash.

How we pitch it. This morning we are serving Corned Beef Hash. We take corned beef and cook it completely covered in water for three hours and then let it cool while still in the water to absorb all the flavors. We place the beef in the fridge overnight and in the morning we trim and cut into small cubes. Then we begin adding all the vegetables until it is a warm, fresh, flavorful mixture! Usually we serve it with one or two eggs right on top of the hash.

March – a magical time in Stowe, Vermont

March. It’s a magical time in Stowe and it starts this Sunday.

First of all: March average high temperature is 28 degrees – well above what we’ve been experiencing in February – perfect for “Spring” skiing (Spring and 28 degrees? We’re strong in Vermont)!

Stowe Vermont March SnowSnow? Already this year in Jan and Feb we’ve had more snow (135”) than in any of the last four years. This March? Last year was the biggest in over the last five years (73”). Overall March snowfall during last five years has been 207” while January has only been 199”. Look for more snow this March!!

So, it’s full speed ahead for winter sports. But there is much more taking place in Stowe during March!


Military Day Sunday March 29: Show your active duty Military ID and get a 15% discount at our Stone Hill Inn Bed and Breakfast for two or more nights. You can also get a stunning rate for skiing of only $77 for one adult for one day.


Trapp Lager Ski Marathon Saturday March 14: this will be a 25 or 50 kilometer classic ski marathon—part of the Swix new England Marathon Series. Live music, good, and Austrian style lager after the race!   (Must register by Wednesday March 11. (Call 1-800-826-7000 for questions) Racers that want to stay at Stone Hill Inn enjoy a 10% discount on lodging for two or more nights.


vermont dog sleddingDogsledding at Eden Mills continues all March: Jim and his Unchained Gang continue to gain favorable press because of the wonderful way Jim develops and nurtures his dogs. These loving hearties can’t wait to run and enjoy the exercise! Jim’s March schedule provides tours three times a day: 10:00; 12:30 and 3:00 throughout March.


This event is included in the Stone Hill Inn “Save $150 Activity Credit promotion” that runs throughout all of March. Guests that stay for at least three nights during the month of March are entitled to save $150 off the price of 15 different events that are listed on the Stone Hill Inn website.


Stowe VT food and wine MarchIn the Food and Wine category there will be several wine tastings during March:

March 4: Zinfandels from California

March 7: Loire Chenin Blanc

March 11: California Cabernet Sauvignons

March 14: Portuguese Reds

March 18: South of France Reds

March 21: Rhone Style Whites from California


snowshoeing in vermontNordicStyle Relay for Life Saturday March 21: Beginning at 6:00pm Cancer Survivors and their Caregivers take the first lap of the evening with teams joining in. Continuing during the evening at least one member from each team will be on the track as the NordicStyle Relay for Life continues. Form your own team or join another – Nordic ski, snowshoe, or walk the oval or enjoy one of the torch lit trails as money is raised to Capture a [cancer] Cure!


TRIP Dance Company Friday and Saturday March 20 & 21: 7:00pm at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center. Stowe’s own TRIP Dance Company was recently awarded New York City Dance Alliance’s (NYCDA) most coveted “Critic’s Choice Award” for its original jazz number, “Mein Herr.” The 34 TRIP dancers from Stowe and other local areas are ages 9-18. This is the 13th year for TRIP.


Chocolate Making VermontChocolate Dipping Experience continues all of March. Like the smell of freshly made chocolate?  Think you could manage to dip your hands in warm chocolate for an hour?  When its over you each walk away with about a pound of handmade chocolate. This event is also included in the Stone Hill Inn “Save $150 Activity Credit” promotion referenced above.


Lauren Fox in Canyon Folkies: Over the Hills & Under the Covers March 7, 7:00pm Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center. Beginning in the mid-sixties in Laurel canyon (CA), Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, The Byrds, the Mamas & the Papas, the Eagles, and Crosby Stills all lived, created and collaborated there. Lauren’s performance of these “Canyon Folkies: Over the Hills & Under the Covers,” at Metropolitan Room, NYC, received critical acclaim from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.  She has performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater & Carnegie Hall, and is the 2012 recipient of the MAC and Bistro Award for Debut Artist, as well as the 2013 recipient of a Nightlife Award for Outstanding Cabaret Performer.


Stowe VT MusicFreeze a Peach: A Vermont Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band: Friday March 6, 9:00pm. The Rusty Nail. (A local bar/grille/entertainment) A Vermont-grown all-star band plays tribute to the Allman Brothers – two sets.


Comedian Jimmy Tingle Saturday March 14, 7:30pm, Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center. From 60 Minutes II and MSNBC, comedian and commentator Jimmy Tingle captures the sweet spot between Jon Stewart and jay Leno. His topical yet timeless comedy is as insightful as hilarious. He regularly appears on the Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central and many other networks. Clean, funny, intelligent humor for all audiences.


Vermont Nordic SkiingBackcountry Skiing Challenge continues all of March. Stowe offers miles of high and low elevation backcountry ski touring.  Explore the scenic Sky Top Ridge – test your telemark on the Steeple, the Bruce, Tear Drop, Underhill trail.  Your mountain guides will show you the real reason why people call Stowe The Ski Capital of The East! Tours last between 4 and 6 hours. We can provide a 20% equipment rental discount for guests of Stone Hill Inn, if needed. Must be in good shape and have reasonable skiing skills (Alpine or Nordic). This event is also included in the Stone Hill Inn “Save $150 Activity Credit” promotion referenced above.


March. And you thought winter was over!!


Dog Sledding :: Stowe, VT

“Ready , hike.”


No.  Dog sledding.

Know much about dog sledding?  Neither did I.

Wanna go?  It sounds like fun but, if you are like me, you would first be concerned about the dogs.  You wonder about the discipline that must be applied to these creatures to get them to pull several hundred pounds in numbing cold for hours.  Perhaps you have seen pictures of dogs chained to their outside dog house when they aren’t running (very common), or you’re just concerned about the amount of time that they must remain outside – particularly in the winter!

Not at Eden Dog Sledding in Eden Mills, Vermont.  Jim Blair, in addition to being owner, musher and a national and international sled vermont dog sled tourdog racing champion, is recognized as a do-it-my-way innovator when it comes to the care and training of these Alaskan Huskies.  Jim calls them the Unchained Gang, because he has learned that letting teams of dogs live and play together (in enclosed areas) is good for their health, their disposition and makes them fun with the guests.  It takes time to learn which dogs like to be with which, but Jim thinks its well worth the effort.

Preparation for your ride.  Guests spend their first hour with Jim learning about the Alaskan Husky breed, the principles of the Unchained Gang, and why he believes in them.  Also during this hour you will meet each dog personally and then hitch them to your sled.

Barking dogs — they want to go!  They’re calling Jim to get on the trail.  Off you go!  You spend your next hour folded together under a thick blanket in one of Jim’s sleds.  Jim has over a 100 gorgeous acres and more than 10 miles of trails. (He grooms them every day; summer and winter.)  Snow is flying, dogs are barking, you can smell the freshness of unspoiled Vermont all around you!  If you love natural beauty and vistas, you’re having a stunning experience!

Once you have returned you help Jim feed the dogs and unhitch them.  Later you feed them treats.   Inside the large cabin Jim’s sister has a cup of hot chocolate and baked goods for you.  You note that there are several couches near the fireplace.   All the seats are taken by the parents of the dogs that just took you on your ride.  They don’t control the trails anymore; they control the couches!  Your team of dogs passes through on their way to one of the fenced areas where they can play.  Jim comments on the typical comments he hears from past guests:  “I’ll never forget this.”  “I love the dogs!”  “The dogs couldn’t have been more affectionate.”  “They seem never to tire and love the whole experience.”  We hear the same comments when they come back to Stone Hill!

Vermont Sled Dog toursThe dogs aren’t really tired.

This has just been a warm-up run for most Alaskan Huskies.  “When it comes down to sheer capacity for prolonged exercise,” says Ken Hinchcliff, an Australian veterinary physiologist who’s done more research on sled dogs than any other scientist, “there is no other animal, including humans, that comes close to competing.”  (Feb 15, 2010; Outside magazine).  Peak sled dogs have a VO2 max of 200 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute.  (VO2 is a measure of oxygen consumption that reflects aerobic physical fitness and sustained endurance.)  Bicyclist Lance Armstrong (Tour de France winner) maxed at about 85.  Peak sled dogs when running as part of a team can run sub-four minute miles for 60 or 70 miles.  (Perhaps not every sled dog, but even the “ordinary” dogs have exceptional endurance by human standards!  When in peak condition the best of the sled dogs can increase the size of their heart by 50%)

Sled dogs are much more efficient than we are.  “On the level of genes and regulatory proteins, we’re surprisingly close [to sled dogs].”  Research competed by Hinchcliff and others reveals that – “sled dogs aren’t’ just extreme in their aerobic capacity; they possess a variety of souped-up systems.”  Sled dog muscle cells contain about 70 percent more energy-producing mitochondria than that of human cells.   Secondly, sled dogs don’t sweat; they dissipate heat through paws, noses, and tongues.  “Our human system of evaporative cooling may cool us off, but it costs us water, electrolytes, sugars and proteins.  Sled dogs conserve theirs by relying on a cool environment. “Lastly, human muscle relies on the burning of glucose (stored glycogen in muscles), but it burns HOT, so it is only good for short spurts.  Sled dogs burn fats which contain twice the caloric density vs carbohydrates and fats burn much “cooler,” so dogs can sustain muscle use for a much longer period of time.   Sled dogs, when training for big races, are often fed a diet that contains up to 60% fats.

“In other words, the human strategy for using energy becomes unsustainable much more quickly.  Even at slower paces, as in a marathon, we use up the muscles’ stores of glycogen in about three hours.  After a day’s rest, we’re still depleted.  Sled dogs just keep on going. “

Jim has been working with six different generations of dogs at his Eden Mills headquarters.  His concern for the dogs and the quality of the overall experience at Eden Dogsledding is why we like working with the Unchained Gang and why they are the number one event that we list among 15 different activities in guests can participate where Stone Hill Inn will pay the first $150 of the total fee!


Book 3+ nights at our Stowe bed and breakfast and enjoy a $150 activity credit towards any of our great winter packages, including:

The promotion lasts until March 15, and you must complete an event to take advantage of the $150 Activity Credit.  Please call (802) 253-6282 to book this special offer! 


Luxurious Gardens

Having survived Minnesota for 23 years, I promised myself when we moved back to PA that I would avoid residences with climates that dominate your life; i.e. a six-month winter.  Besides the emotional “stir-craziness,” they impose upon its denizens, they are especially hard on the golf game.  Not that golf needs to be the center of existence, but when you visit old friends that live in Florida or San Diego and try to compete with their year-round play, you often come out on the short end of the contest.

Today, I still enjoy golf, but two things have changed:  (1)Despite my promise, I have returned to a very NORTHERN climate, so I’m back on the six-month program; and (2) in my aging years I’ve found something I enjoy as much and often more than golf:  gardening.  Having passed the Penn State gardening course back in 2007, a little knowledge has encouraged me to literally ‘dig in,’ such that I often find myself losing track of time while getting my hands dirty!  I love it!  That’s what this note is about.  So, let’s talk gardening.

Stowe, Vermont –  Zone 4.  This is a definite contrast to PA — Zone 6 — where a mild climate allows you to grow darn near anything. After almost three years I’m still learning Vermont plants, and surprising to me, (given 20 below winters with six to ten feet of snow each year) many are striking.  As an example, this plant (pictured), is one that I find to be exquisite – one of the most spectacular that I’ve ever seen (short of some of the Longwood Garden orchids located just outside of Philly).

Zone 4 Gardening

This is currently blooming in our gardens.   Each of our guest rooms has a sliding glass door that allows them to walk directly into the back yard and explore the perennial gardens along with the man-made, 80’ path of streaming water lined by blooming flowers that ends with a three foot drop into a small pond.  

The objective of these gardens is to mirror the luxury found throughout the inn and its guest rooms.  Plus, the gardens provide locations where beauty overcomes everyday concerns, thus, naturally encouraging romance!  Yea!


Do you know this plant?  Isn’t it beautiful?  It is part of a small genus of flowering plants in the Iris family, Iridaceae. It is native to the grasslands of the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. They can be evergreen or deciduous perennials that grow from basal underground corms.  Ours are deciduous.  Do you know its name?  Let me know if you think you can identify it.

We have many noteworthy plants in the gardens.  Gooseneck Loosestife (white) is very stunning but it is nearly invasive (the purple version of Loosestrife had been declared an outlaw in MN because it is so invasive and loves water — MN has 10,000 lakes!)  Because their blooms last a long time we will occasionally use the white Loosestrife among the daily flowers that adorn the dining room tables for breakfast.  However, because it’s so aggressive and has taken over too much territory, this Fall I will dig several hundred of these plants.  Hopefully some will find a home with other gardeners.

No doubt you’re aware of Heliopsis helianthoides?  Me neither.  Stone Hill was the first time I had ever seen them.  Early bloomers, they light up the garden with a blanket of at least a hundred square feet with brilliant yellow flowers.  They last for about two weeks and when not blooming are comfortable taking over new territory in the garden via rhizomes.   They aren’t cutting flowers.

Rudbeckia looks like daisies; also called coneflowers or black-eyed-susans.  We’ve got a bunch of them – and in groups of several hundred they are impressive – a sea of joy and energy.  About 2-3 feet in height, yellow-gold and they last for weeks.  We often use them in the dining room.

There’s tons more, but you get the idea.  Try to imagine the luxury of enjoying Baptisa, Euporbia, Lysimachia,  Weigela  and a dozen other species that make the gardens at Stone Hill Inn a delightful romantic encounter!   Oh you can bring your gloves if you want!

Stowe Hot Air Balloon Festival July 11-13, 2014

Stowe Hot Air Balloon Festival

After a Spring of wonderful weather we head into Summer and the many festivals that dot the Stowe calendar. First up – the 28th annual hot-air balloon festival held less than a mile from our Stowe bed and breakfast –  the Stone Hill Inn. Over 25 of these beautiful creatures will paint the sky with vibrant colors from July 11-13. A wonderful photography venue but better yet – you can go for a ride!

Ballooning, as you probably know, is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. The first flight was a two-person journey on November 21, 1783 from Paris, France! (Wikipedia)

We’ve arranged for several of our guests to go hot-air ballooning this Spring using our local balloon provider Jeff Snyder and his Above Reality balloon company. A recent couple celebrated their honeymoon by ascending 1,600 feet and traveling over 11 miles. Weather is always a factor and Jeff, designer and builder of balloons, is very conservative. He suggests not betting on only ONE day, but have at least two or three days from which to choose in order to be more assured of getting weather needed for a flight.

According to Jeff, very few say that they are afraid once they are in the air. He says that it’s because unlike a cliff, there are no edges to look over when you are in a balloon. We had a chance to experience a taste of ballooning two weeks ago – 75 feet up from in one of Jeff’s tethered balloons. Quiet, soft, fresh perspective. Looking for a great way to celebrate life together! Come!

Honeymoon in Vermont : Two Couples Celebrate at Stone Hill Inn

At Stone Hill Inn we love celebrating special occasions! Pictured below are Annabel and Jamie, who arrived Friday May 16 to celebrate their honeymoon in Vermont. Dominic and Stephanie from Ottawa enjoyed their honeymoon at Stone Hill Inn just a few days earlier.

Jamie is in the retail business and loves animals. Annabel loves to paint and is also an actress and will be in two pictures soon to be released. The first picture stars Cameron Diaz; the second stars Denzel Washington!

These bring the total number of honeymoons celebrated so far at Stone Hill Inn in 2014 to eight! If you are considering a honeymoon in Vermont, be sure to check out our Vermont Honeymoon Package, which can be customized to your wishes.

Best wishes to all our newlyweds!

Vermont Honeymoons

Select Registry – Vacation of a Lifetime

Yesterday Montreal denizens, Michael and Sossi honored our Stowe bed and breakfast as their third stop on a one year tour (gratis!) of all Select Registry properties. They have a year to stay at as many locations as they want, each for one night – a Vacation of a Lifetime!!

Select Registry WinnersThey are one of three couples chosen at random among those who either have opened a rewards account or have stayed at a Select Registry property during 2013. The more nights you stay during the year, the more chances you have of being selected.

Michael is a retired police officer from the Provincial police where after being an investigator he now is credit director (F&I) for the past 8 yrs in a major automobile dealership in Montreal. Sossi worked for almost 25 years in the travel industry; even owning and operating her own travel agency. An extraordinary program and it was such fun to be with them even if only for a day!

Spring. At Last!

Gardens at Stowe VT InnThe Garden Awakes. Undaunted, despite a winter for the record books, the Geraniums and Day Lilies emerge (picture) and soon will begin to add texture and beauty to the garden! Spring! We’ve removed several hundred pounds of sand from our driveway and parking lot (we have it hauled away for reuse), captured dozens of renegade branches that have escaped their trees, begun serious weeding and pruning, completed our normal, April “deep cleaning” of each guest room & shampooed rugs throughout our Stowe inn (yea Tony!). We’ve painted the interior trim around windows and doors, initiated a major change for the West Branch room, completed plans for a new exterior lighting system, and commissioned a new landscape plan for the front of the inn. Strategic mulching today and window washing, and opening the “Back Porch” with new rattan furniture, are on the agenda for tomorrow. Today we’re deciding about painting the inn! Temperatures in the 60’s this week.