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Holly Rancher: Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Christmas boots hang from the mantel at The Ranch at Rock Creek

There’s no one-size-fits-all way to celebrate the season; however, the instructions “Eat, Drink and Be Merry” might be the perfect recipe for a good holiday party and a “Holly Rancher” (someone who is celebrating the season in Ranch-inspired style). In anticipation of upcoming holidays at The Ranch, our culinary team has shared some recipes for winter comfort food. They believe that the key to a memorable celebration is putting a lot of care into what you serve and then taking the time to savor it. If you’re still searching for a holiday home base, only a few accommodations remain at The Ranch.

We hope you’ll enjoy these delicious recipes and use them to channel a country Christmas wherever you celebrate this year. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!



Eat Sweet Cream Biscuits

Chef Josh Drage shares his recipe for Sweet Cream Biscuits--a ranch favorite

Enjoy this delicious recipe for biscuits—great for breakfast, a snack or a holiday tea.

Sweet Cream Biscuits with Marmalade by Executive Chef Josh Drage 

Marmalade
2 mandarin oranges
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1. Peel the zest off of the mandarin orange with a vegetable peeler.
2. Stack the zest planks into a pile and thinly slice.
3. Trim the pith off of the exterior of the mandarin orange.
4. Cut the “supremes” out of the mandarin orange. The supremes are the sweet meat of the segments without the connective membrane.
5. With gloved hands squeeze the juice out of what remains of the orange.
6. Combine the supremes, juice, zest and sugar into a stainless steel sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmering for 15 minutes.
7. Transfer to vessel and let cool.
Sweet Cream Biscuits
3 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp. sugar
1 ½ tbsp. baking powder
6 oz. cold butter
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
1 egg  & ½ cup heavy cream whisked together (to brush across the top of each biscuit)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Sift dry ingredients together into a large broad bowl.
3. Using a pastry knife cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is broken down to small beads. Mix in heavy cream. Start with a fork and then use your hands to fold and lightly press.
4. Form into a rectangle shape on a flour-dusted work surface. Roll out to be about 1 inch thick.
5. Using a circle cutter cut out biscuits to the desired size and place on baking sheet with space in between each biscuit.
6. Brush the top of each biscuit with the egg cream mixture.
7. Bake for 7 minutes.
8. Rotate the baking sheet and place back in the oven. Bake for an additional five minutes or until golden brown and delicious.

Drink a Yule Mule

The Yule Mule is a twist on the Moscow Mule cocktail, and a part of our Holly Rancher celebration

Our new favorite drink is the Yule Mule—a holiday twist on the classic Moscow Mule. For the kids, we’ve also included a great way to doctor your hot cocoa mix into a Montana glamper’s fireside treat.

Yule Mule 

5 cranberries
10 rosemary needles+ a sprig for garnish
Splash of cranberry juice
1.5 oz. Quicksilver Vodka
Ginger beer
Extra sugar for cranberry garnish
1. Muddle two cranberries and 10 rosemary needles.
2. Add a splash of cranberry juice.
3. Pour in 1.5 oz. of your favorite Vodka. We suggest Quicksilver Vodka from Missoula’s Montgomery Distillery.
4. Pour mixture in a copper mug full of ice.
5. Top with ginger beer until full.
6. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and three sugar-coated cranberries.

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S’mores Hot Chocolate

Ghirardelli hot chocolate mix
Lifeline Farms organic milk
Melted chocolate
Graham cracker
1-2 Marshmallows

  1. Melt several ounces of decadent chocolate on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  2. Crush one graham cracker and put it on a small plate.
  3. Dip the rim of your hot cocoa mug into the bowl of chocolate. Then, roll the rim in the crushed graham cracker pieces.
  4. Heat Ghirardelli hot chocolate mix with organic milk according to package directions.
  5. While the milk or water is heating, roast a marshmallow in the fireplace or in the oven under the broiler. Be sure to turn them often for an even color.
  6. Pour cocoa into your coated mug and top with a roasted marshmallow. Enjoy immediately!

Be Merry!

A vintage Snow Cat complete with blankets and hot cocoa at The Ranch at Rock Creek

Most of our Ranch staff truly believes this is the most wonderful time of year. Fresh snow means plenty of time on the slopes and on the skating pond. Our holiday party will include skating, hockey and plenty of delicious food.

Winter celebrations at The Ranch at Rock Creek include fireside champagne and festive holiday cocktails

We hope you’ll come celebrate the snow with us this year. We have several specials that can help you make the most out of the winter months. But if winter travel isn’t in your future, pull up this picture of a snowy landscape on your computer screen, pinch your cheeks to get that snow-kissed look and enjoy a drink and a biscuit. Imagine the sun setting over the Sapphire Mountains as you sit by the fire, and you’ll know what it is to be a Holly Rancher. Happy Holidays!



Join the Ranch celebration by following us on Instagram, using the hashtags #hollyrancher and #yulemule. Enjoy other recipes from the Blog at Rock Creek, including Winter Warmers and New Year’s Cocktails. For more information on entertaining Ranch-style, pick up a copy of Relais & Châteaux’s new book, The Art of Entertaining.( The Ranch’s Winter Wilderness Celebration is featured!)