From the Lied Lodge Cookbook: Apple Pie Egg Rolls

It’s early September, and that means one thing at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska: apple season is here!

The earliest varieties of apples are ripe now — like Paula Reds — with many more of your favorite varieties ripening in the weeks ahead. Check out Arbor Day Farm’s Apple Variety Guide, updated for the 2015 apple harvest season, to see when your favorites are at the peak of freshness in our orchards. This year’s apple crop is shaping up to be a good one, according to Arbor Day Farm Orchard Manager Adam Howard. Nebraska’s cooler, wet weather earlier this spring has lead to a slightly earlier-than-normal harvest season this fall — but the quantity and quality of apples remains very good.

Chef Thomas

Chef Thomas

Also at Arbor Day Farm, the fully-renovated Lied Lodge & Conference Center appreciates having acres of orchard-fresh apples grown right on site — especially Executive Chef Thomas McKinney-Stehr. Chef Thomas finds new ways to incorporate these ripe, juicy apples into delicious menu items for his guests in the Timber Dining Room, Lied Lodge’s full-service award-winning restaurant.

Chef Thomas was kind enough to supply the following recipe for apple pie egg rolls (plus a caramel sauce for dipping) from his Lied Lodge cookbook. This sweet dessert is a nice alternative to a traditional apple pie, but still a great way to capture a classic fall season flavor.

Apple Pie Egg Rolls
6 ea Arbor Day Farm apples, peeled and diced
8 ea egg roll wrappers
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch ground cardamom
1 pinch nutmeg

Add diced apples to a hot pan and add sugar directly after. Cook over medium heat until sugar starts to brown. Add spices and butter and cook until thick. Allow mixture to cool and spoon into eggroll wrappers. To roll, place the wrapper so it looks like a diamond (rather than a square) and fold corners into the middle, pulling the bottom over the filling and tucking it in. Finish rolling so the eggroll stays tight and seal off the top corner with a little water. Lightly fry in 325 degree oil.

Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp butter
¼ cup heavy cream

Add sugar to a pan and cook over medium-high heat until sugar starts to turn amber. Swirl the pan rather than stir it or the sugar could crystalize. Once the sugar is a nice amber color, turn off heat and carefully and slowly add heavy cream and stir until incorporated. Mound with butter and allow to cool slightly.

To plate: cut eggrolls on a bias. Spoon caramel sauce into the bottom of a bowl and add 4 pieces of eggrolls. Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle. Serve immediately.

Bon appétit!

Apple Pie Egg Rolls

Vine Cutting at Lied Lodge & Conference Center

August 13th was a monumental day for the Arbor Day Foundation.LLCC_Vine Cutters 1 Nearly a year of top-to-bottom renovation came to an inspiring crescendo at the Vine-Cutting Ceremony for Lied Lodge & Conference Center in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

Nebraska Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse and U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry were in attendance, along with many of the partners who were so instrumental in making this $9 million renewal a reality. It was a time to celebrate not only our accomplishments but also the bright future ahead.

A special thank you goes out to all of our partners: Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Elements HospitDSC_9941ality, Classic Painting & Decorating, Inc., Pella Windows & Doors, Peter Kiewit Foundation, U.S. Forest Service, and Nebraska Forest Service, among many others in attendance.

In addition to our partners, we’d also like to recognize the hundreds of Lied Lodge and Arbor Day Farm team members who worked tirelessly throughout the past months and took on additional tasks and extraordinary efforts above and beyond their usual responsibilities. These team members are the true definition of dedication and serve as an inspiration to us all.

If you haven’t already, check out the photo gallery to see the complete renovation. Better yet, come see it for yourself!

Lied Lodge & Conference Center: A Fresh Face

Lied Lodge & Conference CenterAfter more than two decades of inspiring guests from around the world and sharing with them a passion for trees, conservation, and environmental stewardship, Lied Lodge & Conference Center was due for an update. Thanks to a shared vision with our long-time partners at Wyndham Vacation Ownership, we began a $9 million renovation project last year.

No corner was left unturned. Guest rooms, hallways, conference rooms, The Timber Dining Room, the lobby, the spa . . . it was all remodeled with granite, custom tile, and all-new, specially designed furniture and carpet. Even the Olympic-sized pool got a fresh coat of paint!

Lied Lodge Guest RoomOur friends at Wyndham Vacation Ownership asked their construction partners to join them in generously donating time, material, and professional services to help us refurbish Lied Lodge from top to bottom. They also introduced us to Elements Hospitality, a long-time Wyndham partner that coordinated this massive undertaking.

It was a labor of love for all involved, and we can’t wait for you to experience it for yourself! Check out the photo gallery to see the complete renovation.

Arbor Day Foundation Leads 2nd Annual Alpha Kappa Alpha Training Session

DSC_0073Walking in to the room, anyone would have thought they had been friends for years. There was laughing, joking and a lot of posing for pictures. No one would have guessed they had all met the night before at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Neb.

In mid-October nine Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority members gathered at Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City, Neb. to train for their year-long internship with Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus USA® program. During the course of the weekend they learned more than how to increase tree awareness and sustainability efforts on their campuses, they formed lifelong connections to each other and the environment.

“This opportunity for fellowship with like-minded sisters is great,” Mueni Loko Rudd from Houston-Tillotson University said. “Learning together helps to better prepare us to achieve our goals.”

The Arbor Day Foundation partnered with AKA in 2012. AKA’s mission is “service to all mankind.” Tree Campus USA recognition requires a tree care plan, service-learning projects and Arbor Day observances. By working with Tree Campus USA, AKA members said they work to improve sustainability efforts and make the planet a better place.

“It’s an opportunity for undergraduate members of Alpha Kappa Alpha to participate in our economic sustainability initiatives and economic stewardship,” AKA President Carolyn House Steward said. “And it’s an opportunity to show others the great work that Alpha Kappa Alpha women do.”

The ambassadors came from different regions around the country, each offering a unique perspective on how trees affect their campus. From Alanna Tremble at Wayne State University in Detroit to Tayler Bolton at the University of Oklahoma, to Tori Williams at the University of California – Irvine, trees hold varying significance.

“Being located in the inner-city, trees are important because they make the campus look nice on top of providing clean air,” Tremble said.DSC_0025

Beautification is also important on Williams’ campus. While there is already a park with trees on campus, Williams said she believes there is a need for more trees on campus to distinguish it from other California schools.

“We’re part of the UC (University of California) system, but we have a park, which is something others don’t have,” said Williams. “So having trees shows something different that we offer when people come to visit.”

While beautification holds some significance for Bolton, shade is key on her campus, located in the heat of Oklahoma.

“Trees are so important because they make us want to be on campus,” Bolton said. “They provide shade. When it’s nice outside we’ll have class under trees sometimes.”

At the training in Nebraska City, the women were taken through the Tree Adventure, an interactive experience to learn about trees and their positive effects on the environment, and learned more about different types of trees, their importance in the environment and how to teach others about trees.

This walk through the Tree Adventure trails included using their senses to connect with nature. Lauren Sandoval, Trees Atlanta education coordinator, led the walk. She encouraged the women to stop and feel the bark of trees and listen to the sounds of rustling leaves, singing birds and walnuts falling. They also stopped and tried to sketch what they saw.

“Taking a moment to sketch was something that was very natural,” Selena Gaddy from Georgia Southern University said. “It’s about appreciating the beauty we overlook day to day.”

Many of the ambassadors expressed an interest in bringing a similar experience back to their own campuses to connect students to the nature around them.

The hike concluded with lunch, apple picking and a tree-planting demonstration. For most of the ambassadors this was their first tree planting and offered them an opportunity to learn how to do it properly and share that with their campuses.

These nine ambassadors will take everything they learned in Nebraska City back to their campus and cultivate dedication to trees that will continue past their year-long internship.DSC_0039

“They can make a difference by getting others interested in environmental stewardship,” Stewart said. “I hope that it is going to be a lifelong learning experience for them.”