colorado cooking class Tag

Cooking Class with Matt and Pat

I just walked by the kitchen and overhead Frieda and Julie chatting and laughing with Chef Matt during cooking class. So I had to grab the camera and take a quick shot.

They were working on pulled pork nachos that had a mango salsa, roasted jalapeno and cumin bbq sauce and a little Manchengo cheese mixed in there too. While they were busy prepping and cooking they were enjoying a little sip of Nuits-Saint-Georges Pinot Noir with Chef Pat. Ahhh, life is good here at Vista Verde Ranch.

Now they’ve moved on to learning how to properly use kitchen knives. Hmmm….Chefs, maybe you should have worked on that BEFORE you started drinking the wine?

Horses and Hope

My friend has raised three great kids and has always loved the mountains and horses. She is struggling physically (menieres disease) and financially and lives in a dark basement apartment on a 40 acre ranch, on the eastern plains of Colorado, in order to afford keeping her two horses. The horses are her one connection to a better life she once had and provide her with the "mental therapy" she needs to sustain in her struggles. She can barely afford hay for the guys, let alone her rent.

While I’ve been helping her with things like food, hay and gas money, she would really like a get away. Financially I’m struggling as I try to help get a start up company off the ground and keep one kid in college and another finishing her senior year of high school. She has talked of getting away for a long weekend but financially it is impossible for her to do. A vacation has not been a part of her life for some time now. I would like to help her achieve that.

When I saw this contest and the fact that it had her love of horses, a ranch and the mountains I couldn’t help but think that this would be a trip that would lift her spirits and provide a renewed hope for her in 2013.

I imagine her stay as one that would allow her to be pampered a lot. She would sleep in without the worries of feeding the horses or mucking out the corral and shed they share.

She would rise and get a filling breakfast and head out to the horses. Her days would be filled with trail rides and being with the horses. I will warn you though, she would probably ask if she could help in the feeding or grooming of the horses as she loves them so much.

She might then head back to the lodge and spend the afternoon reading, napping and enjoying the beautiful scenery of the property on a snow shoe hike or another ride. She would return to the lodge and I would pay for her to get a massage after a session with your yoga instructor. She enjoys yoga and massages and finds it helps in her battle with fibromyalgia.

She would then enjoy a fabulous dinner in your dining room and would probably sign up for a cooking class with the chef. She rarely cooks anymore since she lives alone but this is another passion that could be renewed in her.

I hope you select her as you will be providing a great woman a chance to start the new year by being inspired to "fight the good fight" and giving her the gift of renewed hope.

Name: Jim Dickson
City: Highlands Ranch
State: CO

You know you’re spoiled when….

You know you’re spoiled when you get to go to work with your mom at the premier (sorry, the writer is biased) Colorado luxury guest ranch. Then, while she is busy with work, you get to go into the kitchen to make play-dough and Chef Rob happens to show up and helps you make gourmet play-dough, not just the regular old kind, in your own private cooking class. And then you get to color it and play with it and then put all your dishes in a special industrial sized dishwasher and watch it whoosh and make exciting noises before you head to the staff room to meet up with your mom for a hot lunch prepared by Chef Brandon. Oh, and the dessert today was Macerated berries with homemade Bundt cake. OK folks, it isn’t like this every day at the ranch during the off-season, but these cute girls scored this morning!
This afternoon? Maybe a quick horseback ride in the indoor arena, because it’s just a little chilly outside and we’re all kind of spoiled now with that arena!

The magic of a Colorado honeymoon

As I watch the honeymoon couples come through the ranch, it makes me excited about how we are helping start off a marriage.  Typically, they are exhausted when they walk in the door.  Months of planning, stress from the wedding and the emotional ride of committing your life to another person have overloaded them.  As they walk into the Lodge, you can see the tension still there.  It typically isn't until the step foot into their Colorado honeymoon cabin that I see them start to take that deep breath.  We call it the Vista Verde sigh.  Letting it all go, leaving it all behind.

Once they have enjoyed a dinner with our other guests, gotten a chance to plan out their next day's activities and have had a good night sleep in their romantic mountain getaway cabin, suddenly we are looking at new people.  They are now diving into the experience.  Sharing laughter and pushing their limits on a ski or horseback ride make them lighten up, have fun together, and seal the deal on leaving the rest behind.

A romantic Colorado getaway is all a couple needs to bring them closer together, make some lasting memories, and start them off right when they return home.  We love being a part of so many honeymoon vacations, and look forward to helping more couples start off their marriage the right way- with laugther and fun!