winter guest ranch Tag

Banana Crunch Muffins

As I was searching around for a healthy treat to send into school for a kiddo’s birthday, Chef Matt handed me this recipe. Our winter guest ranch guests enjoy these fresh from the over, sitting in front of the fireplace. Our summer guest ranch guests find these out on the breakfast ride most of the time. Enjoy!

Banana crunch muffins
Makes: 2 dozen
10 oz. – All Purpose Flour (roughly 2 cups)
1 tbsp. -baking powder
½ tsp. – salt
1- Egg
1 cup – sugar
2 oz. – butter melted
1 ¼ cups – sour cream
1 ½ cups – chopped bananas
¼ cup- granola
¼ – cup- toasted pecan pieces
1/8 cup- coarse sugar
1. Arrange 2 dozen muffin papers in a muffin tin and spray with baking spray
2. Mix together the melted butter, 1 tsp. – vanilla, sour cream, and eggs until homogeneous in a stand mixer. Add in the sugar mixing until all ingredients are blended
3. Sift together the dry ingredients, and add into the mix on low speed, then add in the bananas, granola, and pecans.
4. Scoop into greased muffin papers, sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake at 350 F until golden brown. Makes about 2 dozen

Depending on the size of the muffin tins and the oven muffins may take a little longer than it does for us so there really is not a specific time. How many you get will vary slightly also. I use a 2 0z. Cookie scoop for the size tins we have here at the dude ranch. I start out setting the timer for about 7 minutes, checking with a tooth pick when the tops brown up, and then baking longer if necessary.

If you want to tweak the recipe and make it your own you can use different kinds of extract, fruit or nut. Sometimes I will do the same recipe with fresh apricots and pistachios. The possibilities are endless.

Wild Blue Yonder- January 2011

Winter Guest Ranches- Wild Blue Yonder
By Gigi Ragland | January 1, 2011

Winter Guest Ranches

Escape the crowds packed into the mountain towns and ski hills at one of our select guest ranches in the Rockies. The horses may be boarded up for the season, but the snow adds a whole new dimension to the adventures available. Think backcountry or cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or even sledding through the near empty wilderness followed by savory meals served next to a roaring fire.

Clark, Colorado
31100 Seedhouse Rd, 970-879-3858

Buried deep inside the Routt National Forest, the Vista Verde morphs into a cross-country ski area each winter with 30 kilometers of groomed tracks, but it’s better known for backcountry skiing at “Hole in the Wall” a local’s favorite. Three square meals a day keep you fueled both day and night; moonlit cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or horseback rides are on the docket.

Feel like staying inside? At executive chef Matt Campbell’s weekly cooking class, guests enjoy one-on-one instruction preparing dishes such as salmon or lamb for the evening’s meal. Chef Campbell also hosts a weekly wine tasting for guests.

Granby, Colorado
3640 Hwy 125, 970-887-3344

Since opening in 1919, this legendary ranch and its five-star service has attracted generations of guests. And when the Colorado River valley’s blanketed with snow, the C Lazy U breaks out a buffet of winter activities to take advantage of its 8,200-acre spread of mountains, meadows and commanding views of the Continental Divide. There’s snow-cat skiing, pond skating, backcountry and cross-country skiing, tubing, sledding and snowshoeing.

Guests cozy up in their own cabins, but meet in the main lodge where chef John Adams creates and hones his “Colorado meets the Mediterranean” plates. A flavorful example: an appetizer of duck confit and Colorado goat cheese crostini.

Big Sky, Montana
750 Lone Mountain Ranch Rd, 406-995-4644

The 90 kilometers of cross-country ski trails that snake over and around the foothills of 11,166-foot Lone Peak have earned Lone Mountain the distinction of being called the best Nordic ski resort in the country. And that doesn’t even take into account the available backcountry ski touring available in nearby Yellowstone National Park.

The ranch’s success does owe much to the terrain, but its loyal guests also swear by chef Ian Troxler’s menu. Troxler believes in going straight to the source to get the best local products available. As a result, guests enjoy organic cheeses, naturally raised beef steaks, bison tenderloin, elk sausage, smoked rainbow trout, farm-raised pheasant and all manner of organic garden vegetables.

The epitome of a Lone Ranch meal is the North Fork Sleigh Ride Dinner where draft horses pull diners up to a log cabin lit by kerosene lamps and a dinner of prime rib cooked over a wood-fired stove awaits.

Clark, Colorado
54880 County Rd 129, 970-879-1780

Every winter, this Relais & Chateaux luxury dude ranch turns into a cross-country ski resort with 25 kilometers of groomed tracks spread over its 500 acres in the Elk River Valley. If that’s too tame, the ranch provides guided backcountry trips into the Routt National Forest next door.

Mountain splendor aside, what really sets Home Ranch apart are its 3- to 5-course gourmet meals ranging from filet mignon to lobster tails paired with fine wines designed by executive chef Clyde Nelson. Locals in nearby Steamboat Springs refer to Home Ranch as one of the finest “restaurants” in the area, one open only to guests.