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Category: Culinary


A Ranch Christmas: Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

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

“Eat, Drink and Be Merry” might be the perfect recipe for a good holiday party. It’s certainly how we like to celebrate the season. In anticipation of hosting and sponsoring the Granite County Festival of Trees in just a few weeks’ time, our culinary team has shared some winter comfort food recipes. 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 can’t join us at The Ranch for Christmas or New Year’s, we hope you’ll enjoy these delicious recipes and use them to channel a country Christmas wherever you celebrate this year. Happy Holidays!

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Category: Culinary


Wonderment: Autumn Harvest Celebration with LeAnn Rimes

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As with each of The Ranch’s seasonal celebrations, such as Thanksgiving and Midnight in Montana, our staff anticipated that this year’s Autumn Harvest Celebration would be a memorable gathering of friends and family. As always, guests would experience grand luxury, Western adventure and the finest Ranch cuisine.

And, for months, we were all excited to welcome special guest, Grammy Award-winning vocalist LeAnn Rimes, for she would be treating everyone to a live acoustic performance on Saturday night. Read more…

Category: Culinary


For the Family and the Foodie: Cowboy Breakfast

Summer Cowboy Breakfast 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. 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 features that turn a group experience, like dining, into an unforgettable family moment.

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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 tried 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 chef cooking them 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

 

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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

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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 bucket list special offers. All our winter specials include downhill skiing and snowboarding and a complimentary 4th night.

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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.

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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.

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