Author Archives: maddensresort

About maddensresort

Located in Brainerd, MN, Madden's family resort celebrates our 82nd year of providing gracious hospitality to families, vacationers, golfers, and corporations in the beautiful Brainerd Lakes area of central Minnesota. Madden's offers more recreational offerings than any resort in the Midwest...truly something for everyone.

Happy Holidays from Madden’s

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!  All of us at Madden’s extend warm wishes for a holiday celebration filled with family, cheer and warm memories. We continue to be grateful to the families and friends that call Madden’s their ‘lake home’. We all look forward to seeing you  in the spring.

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Posted by on December 22, 2011 in Uncategorized


Cheers the New Year at Madden’s New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner

Before the clock strikes midnight and the champagne toasts begin, enjoy a decadent meal and savory wine at the Classic Grill at Madden’s on Gull Lake.

New Year’s Eve is a time to cherish your friends, family and yourself. Get away from the crowds and celebrate the night in an intimate setting overlooking the beautiful, snow-covered golf course.

Mingle with friends and other guests as social hour begins the night at 5:30. Dinner commences at 6:30 and will include seven delicious courses each paired, with a different wine provided by Wirtz Beverage and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.

The meal features a variety of options from lobster to tenderloin dressed up to please every taste bud and concludes with a heavenly combination of fruit and chocolate. As an extra bonus, a bottle of wine will be raffled off with each course!

This elegant dinner costs $120 per person. Please call (218) 829-2811 for reservations.

We hope to see you as you ring in the New Year on December 31!

New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner
The Classic Grill at Madden’s on Gull Lake
December 31, doors open 5:30 p.m., dinner being at 6:30 p.m.
Call (218) 829-2811 for reservations

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Posted by on December 7, 2011 in Food & Beverage, Madden's Events


Spread the Holiday Cheer with Madden’s

For the sportsman, foodie, a loved one or the whole extended family, a gift card to Madden’s on Gull Lake is the perfect gift that gives the chance to build lifelong memories on an unforgettable vacation.

If your loved one just can’t wait to get to Madden’s before the 2012 season starts in April, gift cards are accepted at The Classic Grill at Madden’s through December 31. In addition to lodging, it can be used at the spa, or to play golf or tennis.

Dad’s pretty tired of getting ties, mom has enough books on the shelf, your significant other doesn’t need more cologne or perfume, so think outside of the box and give a gift they will never expect, but truly appreciate.

Madden’s gift cards make the perfect stocking stuffer and can be purchased by visiting Gift card amounts range from $25 to $1,000.

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Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Family Time


Around the World with Chef Matias Pt: 1

Our resort may be closed for the winter season but things are just heating up at the Classic Grill. Our very own Chef Matias is preparing delicious weekly specials from around the world for guests to enjoy. Didn’t get to try last week’s Hawaiian-inspired dish? Don’t fret because Chef Matias is sharing his recipes to our readers through what we like to call the “Around the World with Chef Matias” editions of our blog.

Personally, we like to leave this for the pros like Matias but if you try this at home for your twist on a holiday dinner party, be sure to let us know how it turned out!

Hawaiian Wontons

12 oz. fully cooked smoked ham, chopped
1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts,drained and chopped
3 tablespoons green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 (14 ounce) package square wonton wrappers
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
4 slices of pineapple
Thai sweet chili sauce.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ham, water chestnuts, green onions, parsley, hard-cooked eggs, pepper, and oyster sauce. Set aside.
On a clean flat surface, such as a cutting board, lay out 4 to 6 wonton skins at a time.

Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture into the center of each one.
Keep a small bowl of water next to the work area to dip fingers in. Use wet fingers to moisten the corners of each wrapper. Quickly pinch all 4 corners together to seal in the filling. If it doesn’t hold, use more water.
Keep filled wontons covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying while the others are made.

Heat one inch of oil in a deep heavy skillet over medium-high heat, or heat recommended amount of oil in a deep-fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).
Fry wontons for a few minutes on each side, or until golden.
Remove to paper towels to absorb excess grease.

Serve with a slice of grilled pineapple and a side of Thai sweet chili sauce.

Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi served with sesame potato cakes and curried coconut cream

4 fillets of mahi mahi (6-8 ounces each)
1 cup lightly toasted coconut
½ cup of powder sugar
½ cup AP flour
½ to 1 cup coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil.

To make the batter, In a mixing bowl combine the sugar, flour, salt and pepper. Add coconut milk and mix well. The batter consistency should be similar to a pancake batter.

Season the mahi mahi with salt and pepper. Coat the fillets with the coconut batter only from the top side. Cover the battered side with coconut flakes and cook in a hot sautee pan with olive oil cooking the coconut side first. When the crust looks golden brown flip and finish to cook on medium heat until desired temperature.

Sesame Potato Cakes

3 Idaho potatoes
¼ cup carrots, julienne
¼ cup zucchini, julienne
¼ cup white onion, julienne
2 Tbsp. Sour cream
1 ½ tsp. Black sesame seeds
1 ½ tsp. White toasted sesame seeds
Salt and pepper

Bake the potatoes at 400 F. until lightly soft in the center. You can check this by piercing the potatoes with a skewer. Let it cool down for a few minutes until there are easy to handle. Peel them and grate them. Reserve. In a sautee pan cook the vegetables until tender. Let it cool down for ten minutes. In a mixing bowl combine the potatoes, vegetables, sour cream, sesame seeds, salt and pepper. Form four patties and cook them in a pan with olive oil until golden brown from both sides.

Curried coconut and pineapple cream

1 cup coconut milk
¾ cups heavy cream
½ cup pineapple juice
½ cup white wine
1 tsp. Red curry paste
salt and pepper.

In a sauce pan reduce the white wine to half. Add the curry paste and cook for one minute. Add the pineapple juice, coconut cream and heavy cream and let it reduce to half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


In a dinner plate place the sesame and potato cake in the center. Put the coconut crusted mahi mahi on top and coat the fish with the curried pineapple cream. Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh chopped parsley.
Liliko’I Mousse Napoleons ) hawaiian passion fruit mousse towers)

Macademia nut Phyllo dough crisps

4 sheets phyllo dough
4 tbsp melted butter
6 tbsp. Granulated sugar
4 tbsp. Chopped macademia nuts

Pre heat your oven at 375 F. Please handle the phyllo dough according the directions on the package. Brush a sheet of phyllo dough with butter. Sprinkle granulated sugar and chopped macademias on top. Place the second sheet of dough on top and repeat the procedure. Do this four times. Cut the dough in 4 inches squares and bake on a sheet tray for 5 to 6 minutes or until the dough is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool down. Keep in adry place.

Passion fruit mousse

¼ oz of gelatin (1 envelope)
7 oz passion fruit puree
2 egg whites
4 oz. Sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks

Sprinkle the gelatin over the passion fruit puree. Mix well and warm the puree on the stove until the gelatin dissolves. Bring it down to room temperature. Whip the egg whites to a soft peak and gently add the sugar. Whip them again until stiff. Fold egg whites into the passion fruit mixture, then fold into the whipped heavy cream. Reserve in the fridge.


In a dessert plate place one crispy dough square. Add a spoon of mousse. Add a second crispy dough and repeat the procedure three times. Serve with a mint leaf and chopped macademia nuts.

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Posted by on November 23, 2011 in Uncategorized


2011 Gingerbread House Luncheon at Madden’s

Whether we like it or not, the holidays are right around the corner. Soon it will be time to put up the tree, haul out the holly, and deck the halls. Decorating your own house might sound like drudgery, so why not enjoy decorating a gingerbread house instead?

Madden’s invites the entire family to enjoy a Gingerbread House Luncheon on Sunday, November 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Classic Grill.

After enjoying a delicious lunch, choose from an entire buffet of candy and decorations to create a scrumptious gingerbread house. Chef Bob has been building gingerbread houses for more than 10 years, and he will be in attendance to offer his decorating expertise.

The luncheon costs $45 and includes lunch for two and a gingerbread house to decorate. Add another person to your table for $10. Please call (800) 642-5363 for reservations.

We hope to see you on November 27 amidst the candy, gingerbread and holiday spirit!

Gingerbread House Luncheon
The Classic Grill at Madden’s on Gull Lake
November 27, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Call (800) 642-5363 for reservations.


Posted by on November 14, 2011 in Madden's Events


Choosing a Minnesota Wedding Venue

So here I am, recently engaged and I want to pick the perfect wedding venue. I don’t know about you other engaged ladies (and gentlemen), but I have a million things on my list of making my perfect wedding. I’m one of those girls who has dreamed of her wedding since she was little. I remember one summer when I was in junior high, my cousin and I bought a giant bridal magazine. As we paged through with wide eyes, we cut out all of the dresses, rings, shoes, accessories, and decorations we wanted for our wedding… someday in the far future!

Interestingly enough, most of the things I picked out then, like purple bridesmaid dresses, are the same things that I want now. But now there’s an even bigger picture. Like picking a venue both parent’s like, figuring out how we will budget for the giant affair, learning how much to tip on this and that, selecting a hair dresser, where to buy the dress, and the list goes on.

I’ve sent out like a hundred inquires to venues all over because I realized I had no idea where I wanted my life changing event to take place at. Part of me wants a gorgeous church wedding with an all white reception to follow. Picture starched white linens, calla lilies, and hydrangea.

And then there is the side of me that is addicted to purple. Picture majestic royal purple wedding. Maybe a light pink accent? Okay, I know that doesn’t go with the majestic theme, but oh well! It’s my wedding right?

As you can see I still have no idea what I want. Even after all these years! Lucky for me, I’ve still got plenty of time to plan! What I do know is I want is a venue who will work with me; from day one of planning to the night of my big event. I want a venue I can depend on. An on-site event planner? Yes please! A complimentary tasting of my menu before hand? Necessary! Not having to worry about tipping everyone who lifts a finger? Wouldn’t that be nice!

As a Madden’s employee, I’ll admit, I am a little biased. I love this place! Beautiful views. Wonderful service. Exceptional dining. I can’t think of a better place. My close friend Sarah just took over our weddings at Madden’s meaning she’ll be with you each step in the planning process; meeting in person for tastings and planning, over the phone meetings to iron out details, emails, and of course she’ll be there behind the scenes on your big day. Sarah is recently married and totally in tune with the wedding industry. She can connect you with many local vendors for everything you need from flowers to a DJ to photography.

Now, I’ll be honest with you. I haven’t chosen my venue yet. You see I am still teetering between my home state of Minnesota and my fiance’s home state of Florida. But I will give you a lead if you are looking for a Minnesota wedding. Madden’s on Gull Lake is fabulous. Period.

What you need to know to get started planning:

1. Visit Madden’s wedding page:
2. Submit an inquiry by clicking the link at the bottom of the page. (Make sure you fill in as much of the form as you can. It will help Sarah respond more quickly)
3. Sarah will email you with all of the basics so you can see how Madden’s can make your big day perfect.

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Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Madden's Events


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Madden’s Golf Course Maintenance Sustainability Program

Our program was started out of a desire to promote bent grass vs. annual bluegrass on our golf courses. Bentgrass is a grass that requries less inputs from fertilizer, water and pesticides and is hardier in times of weather related stresses. It also provides a firmer more consistant playing surface than annual bluegrass.

The bent grasses originated in the sandy seaside of Scotland where golf began. The grasses grew and thrived in this sterile sandy environment where crops would not thrive. This fact is a big part of the changing paradigm of growing a crop versus creating a surface to play on.

Our program does not go to the extent of starvation programs that are common in Scotland where both climate and golfer’s expectations and perception allow for brown golf courses. We strive to reach a happy medium where we can still provide a green golf course, but one that is lean and promotes bentgrass over annual bluegrass.

We accomplish this primarily through the use of iron sulfate to provide green color. This in combination with judicial use of fertilizer and pesticides coupled with growth regulators helps us accomplish our goal of growing the grass very slowly. As we grow the grass more slowly we have less issues with thatch and organic matter development which translates into less inputs from pesticides and cultural practices such as mowing, core aerification, pesticide and water usage. A very important aspect of this program requires us to reduce compaction through the monthly use of “solid tining” and “venting” which can be accomplished with minimal disruption to the playing surface.

So far we have seen a dramatic increase in bentgrass populations on our East and West course greens where we went from 30-70% annual bluegrass to almost 90% bent grass. The Classic being newer was seeded to bentgrass and had much less annual bluegrass to deal with but we were starting to see encroachment. We have been able to stem the tide and are keeping it at around 5-10% of the population.

Allowing natural fescues to grow on our golf courses reduces inputs like mowing and fertilizing

Our fertilizer and pesticide budget has been reduced by about 25%, but more importantly we are growing a healthier turf with far less inputs that  provides a superior surface to play on.

This year we have also initiated a program on our Pine Beach East golf course to bring back some of the fescues on mounds and out of play rough areas that is more in keeping with the original golf course built back in the 1920’s. Although a bit controversial to the crowd that like to see everything manicured on a golf course the majority of players have loved the “look” of the wispy fescues and have commented that they provide a nice contrast and definition to the golf course. It has allowed us to take about 6 acres out of our regular maintenance of mowing, fertilizing and watering.

Scott, Director of Golf at Madden’s


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