Get outdoors and learn about winter ecology snowshoeing on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest January through March.
No experience is necessary and the Forest Service provides snowshoes. Participants should wear layered and insulated clothing, hats and gloves with sturdy, waterproof shoes or boots, hats and gloves. To offset the costs of the program a donation is requested.
Make reservations at (425) 434-6111. Trips for special events and school groups can be scheduled. Meet 15 minutes before your scheduled walk at the Snoqualmie Pass Visitor’s Center off I-90, exit 52. Office hours are Thursday-Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. A donation is suggested of $15 for adults, $10 for youth 16 and under, and $25 per person for the half-day hikes and photography outings.
Reservations are required for all programs.
• 90-Minute Trek
Sat., Sun.: 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. Learn about the winter ecosystem, wildlife and safety on this one-mile loop walk through opulent old-growth forest.
Group size 20
• Extended Hikes
Fri., Sat., Sun.: 9 a.m. Experience Commonwealth Basin in the winter surrounded by the Cascade crest peaks. Bring a lunch, a well-stocked day pack, extra clothing and water; you will be out from about 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
• Winter Photography Outings
Jan. 4, 18; Feb. 1, 15; March 1, 15, 29 – 9:30 a.m. Geared for photography enthusiasts of all abilities. Commonwealth Creek offers intriguing image possibilities with ice falls, cool vapors and swirling dark waters. Your guide will discuss light, composition and exposure. Bring lunch, this outing lasts four to five hours.
• "Kids in the Snow"
Starting Jan. 18, Saturdays, 1 p.m. Earn a Junior Ranger Snow membership and badge! Learn about winter tracking, how plants and animals survive through the winter and check out some hearty winter critters on this approximately 90-minute walk.
• Avalanche Awareness Walks
Jan. 11, 25; Feb. 8, 22; March 8, 22. Join the Northwest Avalanche Center and the Forest Service for six snowshoe walks where the focus is entirely Avalanche Awareness. Professionals from the Northwest Avalanche Center will be leading and presenting these walks this winter. Call for more details.
Make reservations, guided snowshoe walks every Saturday Jan. 4 - March 1 at Skykomish Ranger District, (360) 677-2414. Trips for special events and school groups can also be scheduled.
Meet at the Forest Service Guard Station by Parking Lot A at Stevens Pass. Sultan Shuttle offers transportation from Sultan to the resort.
Wesley Steeb was a sophomore in high school when she first watched the documentary "Invisible Children" about the human rights abuses inflicted by Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda.
The 2009 Cedar Park Christian School graduate and Woodinville native was so moved by the orphaned and abused children affected by the brutal army’s actions, that she knew she wanted to find a way to work in Uganda someday.
That someday came in June when Steeb, freshly graduated with a history degree from Michigan’s Hillsdale College, landed a job as an administrative assistant for the administrator at New Hope Uganda. She lives about two hours north of Kampala, Uganda.
"In Uganda, an orphan simply means that the child does not have a father. A lot of our kids actually do have a mother, or aunts or uncles that could care for them, but in the eyes of society they are orphans. They are without an identity. They are worthless," Steeb explained at a presentation she gave recently at Woodinville United Methodist Church while home on Christmas vacation.
New Hope takes the neediest of these orphaned children and places them into family groups of up to 22 children in their compound. A Ugandan mother and father raise the children with the help of many community members. "I’m attached to one of the families as an auntie," Steeb explained.
Steeb lives at the Kasana Children’s Centre. The compound includes housing, schools, farms and gardens. "Walking to work is one of my favorite times of the day. Seeing the kids, seeing the community and just getting to interact with them," Steeb said.
The organization’s mission is to raise the children as Ugandans. Most Ugandans are responsible for producing a large percentage of their own food. At New Hope, they learn how to raise and grow their own food. Depending on the family group in the compound, they raise about 50 percent of their own food themselves, Steeb explained.
New Hope also tries to work quickly for children who are under the age of two who come into the program to get them adopted or placed into foster care rather than having to live at New Hope. Their goal eventually is that no children over the age of two will be living at their facilities because they will be adopted or put into foster care.
Many of these children have physical disabilities or are mentally scarred from abuses they’ve suffered. Right now, both Ugandans and Westerners are adopting the children, according to Steeb, but they are advocating for more Ugandans to help their own country’s children.
They also have a classroom, called Treasures Class, for special needs children in the community. "People with disabilities are very ostracized. They are separated even if their mental faculties are fine. If you’re physically deformed in any way, you’re shunned from society," Steeb said. New Hope is trying to reverse that practice, and they are starting to see the community’s perception of these children change.
Steeb spent the first five months in Uganda as a student in the New Hope Institute of Childcare and Family. Part of the organization’s ministry is to train missionaries both within their own culture and cross-culturally, Steeb said. "Every single day was an exposure to ‘worldviews’," she said.
A good example she gave was the popularity of owl images in the United States. One of the daughters of a missionary family was wearing a T-shirt with an owl image. However, in Uganda an owl, especially one sitting in a tree, means someone in your family is going to die in your house that night. Discussions then focused on whether or not that perception was true.
In her short time there so far, Steeb has experienced the rainy season. "It pours! Everything shuts down, and the red dirt roads turn to mud and then you’re slipping and sliding for the rest of the day," she said.
She’s also had to deal with snakes. There are cobras and even a black mamba, the deadliest snake in the world, living in the woods behind her house.
That doesn’t seem to bother her, though, because to her the main reason why she’s there is to interact with and mentor the girls. There is one young girl there that Steeb just knows is the reason why God brought her there to help. She is slowly opening up to Steeb about how people hurt her. "It has been a really special gift to see her opening up. She’s been a tremendous gift," Steeb said, adding, "I can’t wait to get to know her more."
One lesson Steeb says she’s learned with the kids is that she has to open her heart in order for them to eventually open theirs to her. So, she shares with the children some of her struggles with moving to Uganda or living as an ex-pat and having visa issues. "It’s to show we’re family and family needs to know what is going on," she explained.
New Hope also had a four-month art therapy program to help the children work through issues. Steeb said even the 17-year-olds would stay at the table and draw and participate and work through different issues through art.
Steeb talked at length about the beauty of the country. "It’s beautiful there. I never cease to be amazed by just the beauty I get to see every day on the walk to work and how it changes," she said.
When she returns in mid-January, she’ll be handling more of the communications side of what New Hope does, including writing New Hope’s newsletter that goes out to their supporters and the community and doing more with the website. But, she’s really there also for the kids and is looking forward to seeing how her relationships with the children in her family group will grow.
Steeb is committed to stay at Hew Hope Uganda for two more years, coming home only at Christmas.
To learn more about Steeb’s experiences, read her blog, wesleyjeansteeb.wordpress.com.
For more information about New Hope Uganda, and how you can help their mission, visit newhopeuganda.org.
Courtesy photo. Wesley Steeb with one of the young children living at New Hope Uganda. Steeb, who grew up in Woodinville, moved to Uganda in June. Home for a month-long Christmas break, she gave a presentation recently in Woodinville abouther experiences in Uganda.
A few weeks ago, I asked some local "celebrities" if they’d be willing to share a family favorite holiday recipe with readers. The quotes are mine, because if you were to ask them, they would probably say they don’t like to think of themselves as a celebrity, but rather as someone whose body of work in the community and in their profession speaks for itself. Enjoy!
Mojo Marinated Cuban Pork Roast
Growing up in Cuba, Julio Ortiz never celebrated Christmas. Fidel Castro declared Cuba an atheist nation in 1962, and Christmas was removed from the list of Cuban holidays in 1969.
"Cuban authorities banned Christmas trees, lights, nativity scenes, and decorations, except in tourist locations like hotels," wrote Ortiz, owner of The Twisted Cuban Café in Woodinville, in an email.
New Year’s Eve was the real day of celebration for Cuban families. Families would save the little money they had to buy meat and sometimes a whole pig to roast.
The day would be filled with music and food in celebration of the coming year. Cuban authorities allowed the celebration because the day coincided with the success of the revolution and deemed it to be a celebration of the revolution and not the New Year.
Ortiz left Cuba in 1997, just before Fidel Castro restored the Christmas holiday, in honor of Pope John Paul II’s visit to the country.
Ortiz shares his mother’s recipe for Cuban Pork Roast, a dish he enjoyed with his family on December 31, which also was his mother’s birthday.
Begin this recipe the night before you wish to serve it.
12-15 lb. pork shoulder
15 garlic cloves
2 c. orange juice
1 ½ c. lime juice
2 Tb cumin
1 t. dried basil
1 t. dried cilantro
1 t. black pepper
1 large onion, diced
2 ½ c. white cooking wine
1 t. salt
Using a sharp knife, poke holes in pork shoulder and insert garlic; rub with salt.
Mix remaining ingredients in a large, sealable plastic bag. Place roast in bag and marinate overnight (turning to coat several times).
Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove roast from marinade, reserving marinade.
Place roast in a roasting pan, and pour three-fourths of the marinade over the meat.
Cover and bake in oven for 5-6 hours, removing and basting several times with the remaining marinade during the baking process. Serve with rice and black beans.
Ron Upshaw’s Posole
Ron Upshaw moved to the Woodinville area earlier this year. If you’re a regular listener of KIRO Radio, you know that Upshaw is part of the "Ron & Don Show" which airs from 3-7 p.m. weekdays. Both he and his co-host, Don O’Neill, grew up in New Mexico. "This is a holiday staple in New Mexico where I grew up… and it’s good and super easy to make," Upshaw wrote in an email accompanying the recipe. "I usually eat it with a flour tortilla and cold beer."
1 - 1.5 lbs of pork loin, cut into cubes
1 large white onion, chopped small
4 - 5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cans of white or yellow hominy, drained
2 cans of red enchilada sauce
2 bay leaves
1 quart beef, chicken, or veggie stock (any will work)
Must get Queso Fresco, the best cheese with this
Fresh cilantro, optional
Salt and pepper to taste
Salt and pepper the pork then brown the cubes in a bit of olive oil in a frying pan, then put in a crockpot. In the same pan using the drippings, sauté the onions for 4-5 minutes.
Add the minced garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add the onions and garlic to the crockpot, along with the drained hominy, enchilada sauce, stock, bay leaves and a few Tbs of Mexican spices to crock.
Cook on low for at least 5 hours, 9 hours is better. Ladle the posole into bowls, then put the Queso Fresco and chopped cilantro on at the last minute, adding hot sauce if you want it hotter.
* Mexican spices, ranging from mild to spicy, are usually found in a little bag in the ethnic aisle of most supermarkets.
A video of Upshaw making Posole and offering suggested modifications depending on how spicy to make it is on You Tube, titled, "R & D TV: 2/23/2009."
Black Forest Ham Quiche
Amy Lawrence is the owner and chef of Village Eatery & Tea Company in Country Village, and the author of Twelve Teas to Remember. Ten years ago, when she was so busy running a previous tea room in California, she found herself bringing home a frozen quiche to serve for Christmas breakfast. It’s since become a tradition in her family.
"I make the quiche weeks ahead of time and freeze it. The night before Christmas I put it in the refrigerator so it will thaw overnight. On Christmas morning, I get up early and bake scones, and then I make a giant pot of tea (the only time that pot is used) and reheat the quiche. We sit around the tree, open presents, eat quiche and scones and drink tea all morning. It’s one of my favorite times of the year," she wrote in an email.
2 c. of black forest ham, shredded
2 c. Jarlsberg cheese (or any Swiss will do), shredded
1½ c. milk
1½ c. whipping cream
2 T. flour
½ c. red onion, caramelized (brown chopped red onion in butter until golden brown)
2 T. fresh rosemary chopped to garnish on the top
2 9-inch pie shells
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake shells for about 10 minutes until almost done, but not yet brown. Cool. In a large mixer, mix together eggs, milk, cream and flour.
For each quiche sprinkle a small handful of cheese over the bottom of half-baked crust. This is to prevent the bottom from getting soggy from the onion layer.
Divide and spread about half of the caramelized onions between the two crusts. On top of onion layer, add 1 c. ham, then 2 c. of shredded cheese.
Place foil around the pie crusts. (Do not remove during baking). Carefully pour egg mixture over cheese, ham and onion layers. Fill just to top of crust. Sprinkle rosemary on top.
Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Then increase heat to 400°F and bake for 15-25 more minutes or until completely set (some ovens may take much longer). If the cheese starts to brown too quickly before the quiche is set, cover entire quiche with tented foil. Quiche is done when it doesn’t jiggle anymore. Look carefully or insert a knife to check as cheese may be set, but underneath may not be done.
Enjoy one and freeze the other. To reheat, thaw completely in refrigerator the night before. Cut into 8 pieces before reheating in oven. By cutting the quiche cold, you will be able to get nice exact cuts. Reheat until warm.
This recipe makes two quiches. From: Twelve Teas to Remember by Amy Lawrence.
Bobby Moore’s Turkey and Potato Bread Pudding
"Thinking back through my holiday memories as a child growing up in Texas, brings back memories of Christmas time which meant playing football in the street and Grandma Moore’s home cooking.
"My grandmother was a simple cook that had one secret ingredient ‘love.’ I tried for years to master G mom’s oyster stuffing and could never come close," Barking Frog’s executive chef Bobby Moore wrote in an email describing why he chose to share his Turkey and Potato Bread Pudding recipe.
"As I became more proficient in the kitchen, meaning after I graduated from culinary school, my creativity led me to making the stuffing like hers with love and replacing the oysters with confit turkey leg and sometimes Italian sausage. Over the years as most cooks went away from stuffing the turkey I decided to make the stuffing in little 4-ounce foil tins so the stuffing would stay moist and it was more composed ... meaning it makes more room on the plate for cranberry sauce.... Maybe next year I’ll share my cranberry sauce recipe with you!" Moore wrote.
1 loaf potato bread, medium dice
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4 c. heavy cream
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 whole eggs
2 turkey legs (confit or roasted), meat removed & diced
1/3 c. chopped herbs (parsley, chive & thyme)
Salt & pepper
Sauté the onions in a sauté pan in a little canola oil or clarified butter (ghee) until caramelized. Whip cream and eggs together. Combine all ingredients and mix together. Spoon into 4" ramekins that have been greased with cooking spray or butter.
Bake for 20 minutes in a 350°F oven. Preferably, remove from ramekins before serving.
Written by Author, Radio Host & Radio Network Owner, Healing Practitioner & Awareness/Clarity Coach, Sue Lundquist
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Photo by Briana Gerdeman. Bobby Moore, executive chef of Barking Frog, teaches the audience to make agro dolce, a chutney-like condiment, at a Holiday Boot Camp entertaining class at Willows Lodge. Are you intimidated by the thought of making roux, sweating and deglazing vegetables or chopping ingredients in a Robot Coupe?
Barking Frog executive chef Bobby Moore explained all that and more at last week’s Holiday Boot Camp, the first of three free entertaining classes at Willows Lodge hotel this December.
The series of classes, now in its fifth year, are a tradition for many people. Kirsten Andresen, a representative for Willows Lodge, said they’re designed to help people who are hosting a holiday party or family event for the first time.
"If you’ve never done the holidays before, what do you do? Where do you start?" Andresen explained.
The first class focused on appetizers — braised lamb shank with agro dolce, cauliflower tempura with white cheddar fondue and crab and shrimp fritters.
"I try to think of items that are easy to make for the home cook but also high end — and things you can eat in one bite," Moore said.
The cauliflower, for example, is a plated appetizer at the Barking Frog, but for Holiday Boot Camp, Moore made it into a bite-sized treat.
He peppered his demonstration with tricks of the trade — such as the best order in which to cook the three appetizers and possible substitutions — and made elegant recipes easy to understand by comparing them to comfort foods.
"It’s not much different, really, than making a mac and cheese sauce," he said of the white cheddar fondue that accompanies the cauliflower. Blending halibut, crab and shrimp for the fritters is just like making meatballs, he said.
And his enthusiasm showed when he talked about the ingredients and techniques he uses.
"I’m using some really fun cheese tonight," he said — a goat’s milk cheese called Grand Ewe. He added later, "This is the cheese of the moment for me. I’m really loving this cheese."
Aspiring cooks have two more chances to learn the recipes of Willows Lodge. This week, pastry chef Matt Kelley will teach a holiday desserts class that covers spiced hot chocolate with candy cane macaroons and eggnog cake with rum-whipped ganache. Next week, Wine Director Matt Davis will share recipes for holiday cocktails. All classes are held on Wednesdays at 5:30 in the Fireside lounge.
Holiday Boot Camp also gives guests a chance to do some holiday shopping. Products from Woodinville Lavender and SaltWorks are for sale, as well as Road Toad Seasoning, a blend that Moore has been using at Barking Frog for years.