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February 2, 2019

Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Smoked Cheddar Cheese

2 Tbl Extra-virgin olive oil
1 Medium Onion, halved and thinly sliced
¾ Cup Apple cider
2 Lb Butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice (5 ¼ cups)
4½ Cups Chicken stock
½ Cup Heavy cream
Salt and pepper
2 Tbl Unsalted butter
1 Apple, cut into ½-inch dice
1/3 Cup Coarsely shredded smoked cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
Toasted pecans and oats for garnish

In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil. Add onion and cook until golden. Add the apple cider and cook until syrupy, about 3 minutes. Add the squash and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the squash is very tender, about 40 minutes.
In a blender, puree the soup in batches. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Heat a medium skillet. Add butter and diced apple and cook over high heat until the apple is tender and golden around the edges, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Garnish with cheddar and toasted pecans and oats.

Yield: 4 servings

Girls’ Getaway in the Smokies: Suggested Itinerary

Buckhorn Inn is a popular destination for sisters, girlfriends, and mothers and daughters to get away from it all and reconnect. Based on the input from guests, we offer an itinerary for a perfect three-night stay for you and your best gal pals!

DAY 1 Arrive and check into your room, suite, cottage or guest house. Stop by the sitting room for a fresh-baked cookie or brownie. Be sure to ask for some lettuce leaves in the office. Why? Because your next activity is to walk the beautiful Buckhorn Inn Nature Trail. You will go by Buckhorn Pond where you can give our resident swans, Bubble and Squeak, a tasty lettuce treat. The Trail will take you by our formal gardens, our raised-bed vegetable gardens, and beautiful views of the mountains. Maps of the trail are available in the office. At 7 pm please join us in the dining room for a delicious four-course dinner. Your meal will begin with a basket of freshly-baked warm bread and include soup, salad, entrée and a decadent dessert. Remember that calories don’t count on vacation, so you can feel free to indulge. You will then retire to your cozy accommodation with the rest of your getaway in front of you!

DAY 2 Meet in the dining room for a cooked-to-order breakfast. Your options will include a sweet entrée, like bananas foster French toast; a savory entrée like Southern Eggs Benedict; eggs cooked to order with a breakfast meat; a yogurt parfait; or cereal options. You will enjoy a fresh fruit cup and warm biscuits and coffee cake while you are pondering your decisions. Before you leave breakfast, be sure to ask for a sack lunch menu so that you can order one for tomorrow.

Today will be spent exploring the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community. In the morning you may want to visit Buie Pottery to admire beautiful pottery and stoneware pieces. You might then want to stop by the Highland Craft Gallery. Their shop is a celebration of traditional and contemporary artisan work in metal, fiber, wood, leather, glass, clay, and printmaking. They also offer fine art created by more than 60 regional artists. You will also want to see the work in the G Webb Gallery. There you will find original watercolors, limited edition lithographs, and giclees. By this time you might be ready for a bite of lunch. We recommend the Wild Plum Tearoom as a lovely spot. A newer establishment, The Split Rail, offers a good selection of sandwiches and salads. We are partial to their fish tacos. If you opt to go to 3 Jimmy’s, we recommend the Mediterranean grilled vegetable flat bread. After lunch you can browse through Alewine Pottery, Tim Weberding Woodworking, and many other shops on the Loop.

The Loop has many options for dinner. You might want to visit the Red Oak Bistro for wine and tapas to share. There also is the Rampant Lion which offers a large wine list, imported draft beers, and elegant cocktails along with small plates and celtic-inspired dinners. No matter which entrée you select, the roasted brussels sprouts are a fabulous side. Another good spot is Crystelle Creek where you can listen to the live piano music and enjoy a spinach feta dip while you review the menu. Let the staff at Crystelle know you are experiencing the Buckhorn Girls’ Getaway and you will get a 10% discount!

DAY 3 Don’t forget to pick up your sack lunches after breakfast. This morning you will be exploring the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Whether you choose to hike in the Greenbrier section, to drive the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, or to take a scenic drive to Cades Cove, you are sure to find a lovely spot to picnic. The afternoon is a perfect time to enjoy the serenity of the Buckhorn Inn. Perhaps you have booked in-room massages. Or maybe you would like to choose some movies from the library and have a film fest. Board and card games are a fun way to spend time together while you chat. Or perhaps you will spend the afternoon enjoying the silence and serenity of your private porch as you read books and enjoy companionship. Be sure to return to the main Inn building by 6:30 so you can enjoy a glass of wine or spiced tea in front of the fireplace or on the veranda before your last luxurious Buckhorn Inn dinner.

DAY 4 As you linger over breakfast, we know you will be making plans to return!

January 28, 2019

National Park Resumes Regular Operations

We are sharing this news from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP).

With the enactment of the continuing resolution, staff at GSMNP resumed regular operations beginning Saturday, January 26. Many basic services were accessible to visitors on weekends and holiday periods throughout the shutdown period using a combination of partner funds and revenue generated by recreation fees. Visitor centers are now accessible seven days a week and reservation services for the frontcountry and backcountry are fully operational.

The Park is a wonderful place to time in any season.

The Buckhorn Inn is only 1 1/2 miles from the entrance to the Greenbrier area of the Park.

Visitors may experience delayed openings this spring at some campgrounds, picnic areas, and seasonal roads due to a reduced timeline for seasonal staff hiring and project planning. An updated operating schedule will be posted on http://www.nps.gov/grsm as soon it is available.

Park Superintendent Thanks Community

“On behalf of the employees of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I want to express our heartfelt gratitude to our partners and communities for their unwavering support over the last five weeks,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “In addition to the monetary support offered by our partners to provide basic visitor services, we were moved by the number of people and organizations who stepped up to organize litter pickups and the outpouring of generosity expressed to our employees through meals and gift cards.”

All staff, including biologists, engineers, education rangers, and administrators have resumed work functions critical for year-round park operations. Employees are glad to be back at work protecting resources and assisting visitors in having a safe and enjoyable experience. If you are interested in helping take care of the park, please visit http://www.nps.gov/grsm/getinvolved/volunteer.htm  for more information on how to become a volunteer.

The GSMNP is a true treasure.  We are fortunate to have such a beautiful, unspoiled area to enjoy.  We applaud the staff for their year-round assistance in maintaining this natural resource.

January 21, 2019

Guests Share Experiences on TripAdvisor

We invite you to share your Buckhorn Inn experiences on TripAdvisor.  The Inn seem to have many guests who love the Inn as much as we do.  In this blog we are sharing a few of their recent reviews below.  All of them have awarded Buckhorn Inn five stars out of five!

Dinner Guest Review from TripAdvisor

epbodo writes:  Superb Mountain Getaway.  We return to the Buckhorn Inn as often as possible.  The location, a few miles outside of Gatlinburg, is perfect to avoid the tourist crowd and is convenient to many hiking and day-trip destinations.  The rooms are always clean and well-kept.  We usually eat dinner at the Buckhorn and we have never been left hungry or dissatisfied.  Staff is always ready to accommodate special requests.  The soups and desserts are extraordinary.  Lee and John and all of their helpers are gracious hosts.  To summarize in one short sentence:  We love the place.

Overnight Guest Reviews from TripAdvisor

Donna V writes:  Priceless!  Another lovely visit to the beloved Buckhorn!  This time with lifelong friends

We have received many positive guest reviews on TripAdvisor.

The view from Bebb House is spectacular.

who fell in love with the Inn too!  We stayed in the Bebb House for the first time and absolutely loved it!  It’s so charming and cozy with lots of room to accommodate two couples.  The full kitchen and two baths were perfect.  The view from the beautiful living area is breathtaking and my husband kept a warm fire going which we all enjoyed!  We dined in the Inn on Saturday evening and the prime rib was delicious!  Heidi is the ever welcoming hostess and took care of us so well!  Breakfast at the Buckhorn is always a treat with a sweet or savory choice each morning! 

We missed seeing John this visit but Lee informed us he was celebrating his birthday with friends and family.  The Mellors could not be more perfect as innkeepers!  We have been visiting the Inn for almost twenty years and always look forward to our next stay with anxious anticipation!

Fancydance wrote:  Girl trip.  We had a girlfriend getaway trip.  We are all critical care nurses, we work in a stressful environment.  This trip allowed us time to relax and unwind for a week.  Everyone was so kind and nice.  We stayed in the Bebb House which offered beautiful views.  The stay was relaxing.  The Inn offered us peace and quiet.  The staff always asked about our day, wanting to make sure we were pleased.  The answers were always yes.  Can’t wait to return next year.

If you enjoyed your trip to Buckhorn Inn, please provide a review on TripAdvisor to guide others new to the Inn.  http://www.tripadvisor.com

 

 

 

January 14, 2019

Gatlinburg Goes for World Record in Number of Scarecrows

Did you know that Gatlinburg is set to attempt a world record for having the most scarecrows in one display?  The record has been held since 2014 by an English city, Burton-upon-Trent, which is innkeeper John’s birthplace!  Cincinnati held the most recent U.S. record.  John also lived there.  If Gatlinburg succeeds, we think John could hold a world record for living in the most cities that held the record for scarecrows!  Sounds like we will have an exciting fall 2019!

The current world record is 3,812 scarecrows all in one display.

Will Gatlinburg be able to bring the record back to U.S. soil?

The Battle for the World Record

Burton-upon-Trent’s record is 3,812 scarecrows in one display.  Photos of their scarecrows can be seen at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-28956395.  The population of Burton is approximately 76,000.  The display was erected on the National Forest Adventure Farm.  According to the director, visitors brought many of the scarecrows.  Some even made them on-site.  In fact, guests added more than 100 scarecrows every day.  Seeing thousands of scarecrows in one place is a stunning visual.  Some of the mannequins had plain white cloth heads.  Meanwhile others bore the faces of celebrities.

Jim Downs, director of events at the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, says that local businesses are encouraged to purchase scarecrows.  Other ideas include having a scarecrow drive.  Individuals could make a scarecrow in exchange for a donation to a local charity.  Or residents could donate scarecrows.  The population of Gatlinburg is about 4,100.  Will being so much smaller than Burton impact our chances?  According to an article in the Knoxville News Sentinel, Gatlinburg began the effort in the fall of 2018.  Many local businesses displayed scarecrows and visitors were charmed.  For example, Anakeesta had about 35 scarecrows, and The Holler had nearly 60.  The two tallest scarecrows so far are 9-foot ones in downtown.  In 2019 the efforts will intensify.  The organizers feel that whether they ultimately succeed or not, they are doing something positive for the community.  For more information, contact Jim Downs at [email protected]  

January 7, 2019

Plenty of Winter Activities in our Area

Need a winter get-away?  While summer is the peak tourist season, our area offers plenty to see and do.  

Gatlinburg is gussied up through February for Winterfest.  Literally millions of lights and displays make the area glow.  This is a great time of year to stroll the downtown streets, admire the lights, and visit some of the shops and restaurants.  Because there are not the crowds of summer and fall, now is the time to visit some of the local indoor attractions.  You might want to check out Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, the new Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and the Guinness World of Records Museum.  The mild

Winter vistas are beautiful.

When the leaves are down the views go on forever.

seasonal weather also makes it a great time to visit Ober Gatlinburg.  The resort has eight ski trails with varying levels of difficulty for beginners, intermediate, and experienced skiers and snow boarders.  Certified instructors are available and an on-site shop rents skis and other equipment.  The view from Anakeesta goes on for miles!  Enjoy a meal or a snack, try your hand at zip-lining, or enjoy the treetop walk.

Winter Hiking

In this area about half the days in winter have high temperatures at more than 50 degrees F, making it very comfortable for hiking.  Fewer tourists means more quiet.  The absence of the leaves opens new vistas.  It is easy to spot the stone walls, chimneys, foundations, and other reminders of past residents of the area.  If there is snow on the ground, spotting and identifying animal tracks adds to the fun of your hike.  If the weather has been below freezing for a length of time, you will see frozen waterfalls, sparkling icicles, and azure blue skies.  Please note that as of today the federal government shutdown is still in force.  That means that for most national parks there will be no park-provided services such as restrooms, trash collection, facilities, or road maintenance.  For information go to the park website https://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.html.  Before you start out, be sure to check the weather in the area you intend to hike.  In addition to temperature and precipitation, wind is an important consideration.  Limbs blowing down create danger.  Our guests report that some of their favorite winter hiking trails are:  Rainbow Falls, Porters Creek, Max Patch, and Andrews Bald.  Please share some of your favorite hiking adventures!

 

December 10, 2018

Get on Board the Buckhorn Inn Belle!

Are you familiar with the Buckhorn Inn Belle?  For New Year’s Eve 2018 we will transform the Buckhorn Inn dining room into a Mississippi River steamboat gambling salon.  We look forward to welcoming our guests to our celebration of the year that was and the year that will be aboard the Buckhorn Inn Belle!  As we cruise down the Mississip, we promise not to make any bights in the bend too sharply and no gentlemen will be asked to back-and-belly any heavy freight.  Festive attire is encouraged for this night to remember.

The Buckhorn Inn Belle will be piloted by Sharon Mellor for the evening.

Our own Sharon Mellor will be in the pilot house for the evening.

The evening will begin at 6:00 pm with champagne, hors d’oeuvres and Ragtime and Dixieland piano.  Our house gambler, Two-Eyed Jack, will be on hand to deal you a hand of poker for prizes to both winners and losers.  Dinner, presented by Chef Frank Downs, will be served at 7:00 p.m.

Buckhorn Inn Belle Dinner Menu

Departing from Minneapolis

Wild Mushroom Gruyere Phyllo

Mediterranean Skewer with Anchovy Aioli

Arriving in Cairo

Shrimp and Lobster Ceviche with Cucumber, Chives and Frissee

Meet me in St. Louis

Argula, Prosciutto, and Beet Salad with Chevre and White Balsamic Herb Vinaigrette

Gettin’ the Memphis Blues

Seared Five Spice Duck Breast with Asian Slaw, Hoisin Sauce, and Micro Greens

Let’s Geaux to Baton Rouge

Horseradish-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with a Leek and Roasted Garlic Cream, Chateau Confit Herbed Potato, Hone-Glazed Baby Carrot, Minted Peas in a Tomato Cup

Arrival in N’Awlins, Dahlin’

Orange, Raspberry and Chocolate Cake with Crème Anglais, Fresh Berries, and Floral Garni

During dinner, watch out for any card sharps who may try sleight of hand at your table–we understand rounders may be about.  And remember that all Gamblers and Fancy Women must register with the captain before the steamboat leaves the dock!

 

December 3, 2018

We Are Looking Forward to the New Year

 

At Buckhorn Inn we will be spending the last evening of 2018 aboard the “Buckhorn Inn Belle”, dancing, dining, and toasting the year that was and the year that will be. What will be ahead of us in 2019?

The Chinese Zodiac year begins on February 5. We will be leaving the Year of the Dog and entering the Year of the Pig. Predictions say that this will be a year of good fortune and luck! The zodiac says that the Pig attracts success in all spheres of life and 2019 will be a time of joy, friendship, success, and love.
We will take that!

On the other hand, Nostradamus prophesized that we will be more open socially and extend our circle of friends this year. However, many parts of the United States may be subject to earthquakes and hurricanes in 2019.  Oh no!

We are hoping your new year will be warm and wonderful!

What will 2019 have in store?

Events Scheduled for the New Year

If, you are looking for sure things, rather than predictions and prophecies, we note that 2019 has been designated as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements by the United Nations General Assembly. During the next 12 months the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. Emperor Akihito of Japan will abdicate from his position. 

On the sports front the Cricket World Cup will be held in England and Wales, the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be held in France, the Pan American Games will be held in Lima Peru, and the 2019 Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan. The Super Bowl will be played at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.  In October climbing Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia will be banned. So if this has been on your bucket list and you have not done it yet, you are sadly out of luck. In December a solar eclipse will be visible from South Asia.

We are wishing you and yours much happiness!

November 28, 2018

Sunny Carrot-Ginger Soup

 

Wintertime is perfect for wrapping your hands around a warm mug of soup and sitting in front of a crackling fire. This soup is bright and sunny enough to lighten even the darkest winter day! The spiciness of the ginger plays well off the natural sweetness of the carrots for a creamy and delicious soup.

 

 

 

4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

6 cups chicken broth
8 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
¼ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon sugar
½ cup sour cream
Salt to taste
Additional sour cream and chopped chives for garnish

 

Sautee onion and ginger in butter until soft. Stir in the chicken broth and the carrots. Cover and cook over low heat about one hour or until the vegetables are very soft. Cool slightly and puree in batches in a blender or food processor. Return to a simmer and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and sugar. Stir in sour cream. Heat but do not allow to boil. Ladle into mugs or soup bowls and garnish each with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chives. Makes six servings.

November 12, 2018

Stay Toasty with Mugs of Something Warm

This cool and crisp weather makes it the perfect time to fill your Buckhorn Inn mugs with a warm beverage.  Coffee and hot tea are good ways to start the day but we have some other ideas to warm your hands and heart.

Your Buckhorn Inn mugs will hold a satisfying warm beverage.

Our orange Buckhorn Inn mugs are quite popular with guests.

Hot Chocolate

This “from scratch” recipe makes a superb hot chocolate.

2 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup cold water

3/4 cup sugar

Dash of salt

6 cups milk

Whipped cream

Cinnamon and/or chocolate sprinkles

Melt chocolate with water over direct heat, stirring constantly.  When creamy and smooth add sugar and salt.  Return to heat and cook four minutes longer.  Slowly add milk and heat until chocolate mixture and milk are well-blended and hot throughout.  Pour into mugs, top with whipped cream, and garnish with cinnamon and/or chocolate sprinkles.  Fills four large mugs.

Mugs Full of Mulled Cider

Served with a dash of nutmeg, mulled cider is wonderful to wake-up to on a chilly morning.  

1/2 teaspoon allspice

2 sticks cinnamon

6 whole cloves 

1 quart cider

1/3 cup brown sugar

Tie the whole spices in a cheesecloth bag.  Heat the cider and sugar.  Drop in the spice bag and let simmer until the cider is fragrant and spicy to your taste.  Top each serving with a sprinkle of nutmeg and a curl of orange peel.  This recipe is also refreshing served chilled during warm weather.  

Mulled Wine with Cranberries

This easy recipe comes to us from Real Simple magazine http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes.

1 1/2 cups cranberry juice cocktail

1/2 cup sugar

2 cinnamon sticks

2 pieces star anise

3 cups dry red wine (try a cabernet sauvignon)

1/2 cup fresh cranberries

Combine the cranberry juice cocktail, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir in the wine and cranberries and bring back to a simmer.  Serve warm with a few cranberries in each mug.

These are some of our favorites, but we would love to hear yours.  Please feel free to send us your warm-up recipes and we will share them on this blog.