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Category: Culinary


For the Family and the Foodie: Friday Breakfast Ride

Summer Breakfast Ride at The Ranch at Rock Creek

If you’ve never been given the nearly impossible task of trying to book an ideal family vacation, then we envy you. It’s hard to please everyone, especially when you throw in grandparents, teenagers and infants. When our luxury guest ranch began five years ago, we were thinking of those people who wanted more than a one-size-fits-all destination. With more than 30 different activities available throughout the year, (and that list is growing all the time), family ranch vacations in Montana can be a horseback riding vacation, a relaxing mountain retreat, an angler’s paradise or a romantic getaway at the same time. We have a plethora of activities that cater to individuals, small groups and kids’ preferences, but this week, we want to focus on some of the new features that turn a group experience, like dining, into an unforgettable family moment.

ranch-breakfast-ride

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Category: Culinary


Great Room Cocktails: Huckleberry Season

Huckleberry Bear Traps in the Great Room

Montanans take pleasure in foraging for seasonal ingredients. Guests who visited us in the spring might have enjoyed cuisine filled with flavorful morel mushrooms, gathered in the local forest. Now, the Flathead cherries have just been picked and huckleberry season is upon us. The recent heat wave means that the berries arrived early and will disappear fast thanks to foraging animals—bears and humans alike.

montana-huckleberries

If you’re on the hunt for these elusive berries and you find a berry-rich hill, it’s a good idea to pick as many as you possibly can. We suggest reserving some for fresh uses, while divvying up the majority between preserves and freezer containers so that the sweet grape-like smell can linger in your kitchen year-round.

huckleberry-recipes

There are several types of huckleberries, but the two types that grow in our region of the Rockies are the black huckleberry, or Vaccinium membranaceum, and the blue Cascade huckleberry, with the fitting name of Vaccinium deliciosum.

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Category: Culinary


What is Glamping?

Glamping, a Global Travel Trend

Over the past 10 years, glamping has moved up the ranks of the travel world. If you haven’t heard of it yet, here’s a primer on this growing trend. While it might seem like a silly word, these hybrid concepts are nothing new to the English language. (For example, “Automobile” combines the Greek word for self with Latin word for moveable.)

Glamping is the combination of the words “glamour” and “camping.” Although backpackers will scoff at the idea that camping can be upgraded, many people who have slept on the ground for a night or two might admit that they prefer some small luxuries, like a mattress, a shower or a delicious, filling meal prepared after a day of hiking.

luxury-glamping
A seating area in a canvas cabin at The Ranch at Rock Creek Read more…

Category: Culinary


Local Food: Lambing Season in Springhill

Living in the land of the cowboy, cattle and horses are often the stars of this blog. This week’s guest post allows us to feature Montana-raised lambs as well as Montana-made writer and photographer, Lynn Donaldson. The Ranch at Rock Creek’s Executive Chef Josh Drage drew our attention to this excellent story about lambing after Donaldson visited one of our producers, Willow Spring Ranch. Chef Drage invites local purveyors to attend our Autumn Harvest every year, so that we can appreciate the people whose hard work emboldens The Ranch’s delicious, locally sourced cuisine. This post illustrates the close relationship that most Montanans have with their food–whether it’s foraging for morels, hunting for elk or visiting the farms and ranches that produce our vegetables and stock. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to experience good food at its source. (Spoiler alert: This post contains images of birthing, so be prepared.)

 

Lambing Season in Springhill

montana-lambs

Last Tuesday, I interviewed Katy Harjes—who raises certified organic, grass fed and finished lamb with her husband Rich outside of Bozeman—for an upcoming post by Wyatt Nelson & myself about their annual Willow Spring Ranch Sheep Shearing Party. The Harjes’ are smack in the middle of lambing season, so Katy & I spoke on the phone between her walks to the pasture to check on laboring ewes and various bottle feedings. Though my family has attended a Willow Spring shearing, I mentioned that my kids had never bottle fed a baby animal. “Bring them out!” encouraged Katy, who is passionate about increasing awareness of sustainably grown, organic lamb and loves sharing hands-on ranch experiences with children. Read more…

Category: Culinary


Becoming a National Geographic Unique Lodge

 

Nat-Geo_cream

The National Geographic Society has been a leading global voice in photography, culture and story telling since 1888. Stacks of their iconic yellow-backed magazines offer a chance to travel the world from the comfort of your home, school or library.

This year, “Nat Geo” seeks to heighten world-class travel with their Unique Lodges of the World. This collection of unique vacation destinations is comprised of 24 properties on six continents, handpicked for world travelers who value an in-depth expedition over a passing glimpse. Read more…

Category: Culinary


Silver Dollar Saloon: Cocktails for the New Year

new-year-cocktails

Luck is a luxury few of us take for granted—whether you believe that luck comes by eating 12 grapes at midnight on New Year’s Eve or by a conscious decision to make your own luck in the coming year. Most cultures believe that the New Year should start by getting together with friends and family, and we agree that it’s only right to recognize that the earth’s revolution around the sun holds enough gravitas to warrant a special weekend of celebration and relaxation.


Cocktails From the Silver Dollar Saloon

At The Ranch at Rock Creek, we celebrate Midnight in Montana with a special dinner, live music, fireworks and plenty of libations in The Buckle Barn. Guests spend the day in the Granite Spa, downhill skiing at a powder-filled Discovery Ski Area or skating on the pond. The winter activities continue as long as the snow does, so we encourage winter travelers to check our special offers and President’s/Valentine’s Day weekend festivities.

craft-cocktail-recipes

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Category: Culinary


Winter Holidays & Hot Toddies

Our corner of Montana is ready for the winter holidays. We love the winter so much, we’re celebrating it with three curated specials.

Luxury private homes at The Ranch at Rock Creek are warm and cozy places to spend a winter vacation

December ushers in snowshoeing treks, UTV tours and sleigh rides. In between activities, there are opportunities to enjoy  our “winter warmers.” These hot drinks quench a cocktail-hour thirst, and they heat the body thoroughly, so you won’t miss a herd of migrating elk or a silvery sunset.

sleigh6_zpsa91fad5f Read more…

Category: Culinary


Montana Holidays: Autumn Harvest

autumn-harvest-montana

To ranch in the Rocky Mountains is to be governed by the four seasons. As some of our favorite Montana holidays, like Thanksgiving, approach, we continue to celebrate a warm fall and extended harvest season. Hundreds of local farms and ranches have been bringing in their herds and crops, under the gun of hard frosts and snowstorms.

Built on the premise of using 90 percent local ingredients, The Ranch at Rock Creek kitchens can’t help but celebrate the overflow of fresh fruits, vegetables and meat that are available by the truckload from our most trusted suppliers.

montana-harvest

Meanwhile, we had another reason to celebrate. This fall, The Ranch marked the completion of its 5,500 sq. ft. Buckle Barn. In late October, we celebrated these two occasions with an Autumn Harvest Weekend and Buckle Barn Grand Opening, where we invited guests, local purveyors and staff to break in the new space with a feast and dance that would make its namesake rodeo cowboy Buckles Standinger proud. Read more…

Category: Culinary


Western Food & French Savoir-Faire

Last Saturday, Granite County children participated in a celebration of gourmet Western food and global savoir-faire. They were part of France’s fourth annual “Fête de la Gastronomie” (Gastronomy Festival) from the stove-side comfort of The Ranch at Rock Creek’s Blue Canteen. As a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux association, we joined other international properties in celebrating locally sourced cuisine.

western-cuisine Read more…

Category: Culinary


Montana Made: Pintler Punch

The “A” in August must stand for “arid” because it’s the driest month on a Montana ranch resort. Ranchers don’t complain because the weather is ideal for cutting, raking and baling hay.

The Ranch grows and harvests hay for our herd of longhorn cattle and horses

Soon we’ll be celebrating our all-inclusive Autumn Harvest Weekend and thinking about the fall colors, but for now, steady hot temperatures have us thirsty, conjuring up visions of the watering hole. Just like the best dude ranch vacations, the summer cocktail is all about balance—between salty and sweet, bubbly and still.

When six o’clock rolls around, Ranch guests head to The Great Room in the Granite Lodge to relax after a day of horseback riding , archery or hiking Montana trails. Cocktail connoisseurs may wonder what the world’s only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star luxury guest ranch serves parched guests. Our bartenders craft drinks to taste, but we also offer seasonal drinks that use herbs from Chef Drage’s garden, syrupy stone fruit and foraged berries.

cowboy-cocktail

Here’s one of this year’s favorites—the Pintler Punch, named after the Pintler Mountain Range near The Ranch’s southern border. Read more…