Recipe: Asparagus and Spring Pea Risotto

Everything is coming up green in the Elk River Valley, so it’s only fitting that Chef Chol serves up a light recipe filled with seasonal greenery. This is a great one for entertaining, or just a yummy dish to relish at the end of a big day at work.

Asparagus and Spring Pea Risotto

• 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• 1 cup chopped yellow onion
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 5 cups (40 ounces) vegetable or chicken broth, divided (if your broth comes in 32-ounce containers, feel free to avoid opening another container by substituting 1 cup water for 1 cup broth in step 3)
• 1 1Ž2 cups carnaroli rice
• 1Ž2 cup dry white wine
• 1 big bunch of fresh asparagus spears (about 1 pound)
• 1 1Ž2 cups fresh English peas (about 8 ounces)
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
• 1 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• Zest and juice of 1Ž2 lemon, preferably organic (about 1Ž4 teaspoon zest and 1 tablespoon juice)
• Handful chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

• Make sure your oven rack is in the middle position and place another rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• Prepare the asparagus by snapping off the tough ends and discarding them, then slicing the spears diagonally into 1 1Ž2-inch long pieces. On a large, rimmed baking sheet, toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
• Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and rice and cook until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
• Deglaze with white wine and simmer until the wine is nearly gone. Add 4 cups broth (or 3 cups broth and 1 cup water), cover the pot, and bake for 15 minutes.
• Once the risotto has been in the oven for 5 minutes, transfer the asparagus to the lower rack of the oven. Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and take off the lid. Quickly dump the peas inside, cover the pot again and return it to the oven for another 10 minutes. (This will give the peas time to steam.)
• Remove the pot from the oven but leave the asparagus in for another 5 to 10 minutes, until tender and roasted to your liking. Remove the pot lid and add the remaining cup of broth, the Parmesan, butter, salt, a generous amount of pepper, and the zest and juice of half your lemon.
• Using a big spoon, stir gently for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. Stir in the roasted asparagus. Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide into bowls, and top with a generous sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley.

Chef’s Corner: Naan

This winter Chef Jason has been getting a little out of the box (not that he ever really spends much time in there) with the cooking class. One of the dishes they’ve been making is naan.  Then at dinner, the guests enjoy the naan served with an assortment of accompaniments that are also made in the class.

4 cups all-purpose flour or 2 cups all-purpose plus 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup hot water (but not boiling, just hot tap water)
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm milk
1 cup Greek yogurt
melted butter for brushing (may use olive oil)
fresh cilantro or other herbs for topping


In a medium-size bowl or 4-cup glass measuring cup, dissolve the sugar in the warm water (about 105 degree F). Add the dry yeast to the warm water and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Let it sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to froth and rise.

Add the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder to a large mixing bowl.

When the yeast is foamy and smells like bread, add the warm milk and yogurt. Pour the wet ingredients right into the middle of the dry and begin mixing the wet with dry using a wooden spatula. When the dough is about to come together, use your hands to finish mixing. As soon as it comes together, stop kneading. It should be sticky but should form a ball and be soft. Cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour (or, if not using right away overnight in the fridge).

When ready to cook, divide the dough into 8 equal balls and, using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into an oval shape. It should be about 6-8 inches long and about ¼ inch thick, but no thinner. Repeat this method with the rest of the dough.

Warm a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (you want a hot pan). Brush both sides of the naan with melted butter and if desired sprinkle on any spices you like, such as cumin and garlic. Place the naan on the hot skillet, cover with a lid and bake for 1 minute until you see bubbles starting to form. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side, until large toasted spots appear on the underside. Brush with a bit more butter if desired, then sprinkle with a little kosher salt, fresh cilantro (I used cilantro) or other herbs. Place the naan in a tea towel-lined dish. Repeat with the rest of the naans and serve.

These are best eaten fresh but will keep in a ziplock bag for a few days or in the freezer.


Recipe: Power Breakfast Bowl with Coconut Quinoa

Bowls are all the rage, and being the kind of place that is always up to speed on the latest and greatest (note sarcasm) our chefs wanted to share their new favorite power breakfast with you!

Power Breakfast Bowl with Coconut Quinoa, serves 4

1/2 cup quinoa
2 cups coconut milk
1/4 tsp sea salt
Cook quinoa in simmering milk until tender, do not strain. Let cool and hold overnight for the creamiest texture.
Almond crumble:
2 cups sliced, blanched almonds
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup egg white (about 2 whites)
Whisk maple syrup and egg white together until foamy. Toss almonds in mixture until coated. Bake in a 300 degree oven until toasty, stirring every 5 minutes. Watch carefully!! This will make enough for several bowls….but I make extra as it’s so easy to snack on.

1 or 2 ripe bananas, 1 Tbsp butter or olive oil
Toasted almond butter or nut butter of your choice
Almond Crumble
Cooked quinoa

Warm quinoa over low heat in a heavy sauce pot until hot. Can add more coconut milk or water to adjust texture as desired. Spoon cooked quinoa into serving bowls. In a hot non-stick or cast iron pan, saute bananas in thick slices until golden brown, about 1 minute. Divide between bowls. Spoon nut butter in the center and sprinkle with crumble. Serve immediately.

best gf cookies at the ranch

Chef’s Corner: Gluten Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

As the last days of the season wound down, these cookies were particularly tempting.  I had stayed away from the cookies most of the season, but there is just something about knowing they won’t be there much longer to tempt that creates a sense of urgency.  Nonetheless, when I finally buckled and went to get one, they were all gone.  Karma.

1/2 C. Vegetable Oil
2 C. Granulated Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla
3/4 C. Cocoa Powder – I use a very dark, 22% fat cocoa powder
4 Eggs
2 T. Half and Half (or coconut milk, almond milk, etc.)
2 1/2 C. Superfine Rice Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Guar or Xanthan Gum
Powdered Sugar, reserved

*This dough is prepared one day ahead and refrigerated. Don’t skip this step.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and either lightly grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
Combine all of the ingredients, except the eggs and the powdered sugar, and mix with an electric mixer until crumbly.
Add all four eggs and mix until fully incorporated. The dough will be very, very sticky.
After being in the fridge overnight, roll the dough into evenly sized balls and coat in the reserved powdered sugar. Space each ball of cookie dough evenly on the prepared cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Do not over bake.

luxury dude ranch cookie recipe

Chef’s Corner: Ginger Lace Cookies

If you’ve ever wondered why our pastry chef Melissa is so good, you need only dig into her family history to realize that she comes from a long line of talented bakers. This recipe from her great grandmother Formanek dates from the WWI era, hence no butter!

Melissa’s Grandma’s Ginger Lace Cookies

1 ½ cup shortening
2 cups sugar
½ cup molasses
2 eggs
4 cup flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Cream the first three ingredients together until uniform, about 30 seconds in a stand mixer. Don’t over beat. (Over beating makes very flat cookies) Add eggs, mix 30 seconds. Whisk the rest of the dry ingredients together. Add to the sugar mixture and mix just until combined. Mixture will be stiff. Form into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar, do not flatten. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes, until cookies crackle on top. That’s the “lace” design. Don’t overbake! They should not have dark edges. Let cool on the cookie sheet a few minutes, then transfer to a rack or paper towels to cool completely. These freeze well.

summer ranch recipe

Chef’s Corner: Chilled Corn Soup

Summer time is the perfect time of the year for chilled soups.  This summer, Chef Chol shares his recipe for Chilled Corn Soup, just in time for the Olathe corn to be coming into season.  Do you know the story about Olathe corn?  Corn isn’t a major crop in most of Colorado, but there is a small area in the state where it has been produced with renowned success.  Check out this article about Olathe corn from Food Republic, and then enjoy the recipe!

Chilled Corn Soup (8 servings)

• 6 ears corn, shucked
• 3 cups buttermilk
• ½ cup basil leaves, more for garnish
• 6 green onions, roughly chopped
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, more to taste
• 2 fat garlic cloves, roughly chopped
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Radish slices, for garnish
• Extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
• Chives, thinly sliced, for garnish

1. Slice kernels off corncobs (you should have 6 to 7 cups of kernels). Discard cobs and place kernels in a blender.
2. Add buttermilk, basil, scallions, lime juice, garlic, salt, and 1/2 cup ice cubes to the blender and purée until very smooth.
3. Strain mixture through a sieve, pressing down hard on the solids.  Discard the leftover solids.
4. Chill the soup 2 hours until ready to serve.
5. Serve soup garnished with radish slices, chives, and a drizzle of olive oil.

dude ranch receipes

Chef’s Corner: Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto (makes 2 servings)


4 ounces butter
½ yellow onion, minced
2 cups carnaroli rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 quart vegetable stock, simmering
½ pound mushrooms
2 ounces soy sauce
1 cup crème fraiche (or sour cream, or heavy cream)
4 ounces Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste


1. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan on medium high heat. Add onions and sauté until the onions are translucent.
2. Add the rice and cook while stirring until a nutty smell develops. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Reduce the heat to low.
3. Cook the wine down until nearly dry while slowly stirring the rice.
4. Slowly add the vegetable stock ½ cup at a time, while stirring the rice, waiting each time for the stock to nearly evaporate.
5. Meanwhile, in a separate sauté pan, sauté the mushrooms on high heat to sear slightly. Deglaze with soy sauce and immediately remove from the heat.
6. Check the rice for tenderness, season with salt and parmesan cheese, and finish by folding in the mushrooms and crème fraiche just before serving.
7. Risotto should be a bit loose and flow on the plate.

chocolate chip cookie recipe

Chef’s Corner: Chocolate Chip Cookies

The other day just for fun I put a photo of our cookie jar on Facebook to recognize National Cookie Day.  The response was trememdous, and there were requests for cookie recipes.  Since we already have our famous peanut butter cookie recipe posted, I asked the chefs for the next favorite recipe–their special chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookie (makes approx. 40 cookies)

1/2 pound butter, soft
1/2 pound shortening
2 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
18 ounces chocolate chips

1. Cream the butter and sugars with a mixer or by hand until smooth
2. add the egg and vanilla extract and scrape down the bowl, mix until incorporated, but do not over mix.
3. add the flour, salt and baking soda. Mix until just combined. Mix in the chocolate chips
4. Small ice cream scoop onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees, rotating after 5 minutes for a total of 10 minutes.


luxury ranch corn chowder recipe

Chef’s Corner: Corn Chowder

There’s a chill in the air, and a hearty soup is just the ticket on a cold day…..especially if you can eat it while sitting in front of a roaring fire with great friends!

Corn Chowder (makes 2 gallons)


4 ounces unsalted butter

1 ½ pound of bacon diced

2 large yellow onions, diced

4 carrots, peeled and diced

4 ribs of celery, cleaned and diced

15 small red potatoes, cleaned and diced

8 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups of corn kernels

1 cup all purpose flour

1 gallon whole milk

1 quart heavy cream

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup chopped parsley



  • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot melt butter and render bacon until crisp
  • Add onions, carrot, celery, garlic and corn and sauté until soft
  • Add flour and combine
  • Add milk, bay leaf and potatoes and simmer for forty-five minutes on medium-low heat while stirring to thicken
  • Season to taste and add parsley and serve

Chef’s tip:

When corn is in season, I’ll use whole ears (about 4-6 ears), cut the kernals off and throw the cobs in the chowder and then scrape the cobs into the chowder!

dude ranch food- broccoli salad recipe

Chef’s Corner: Broccoli Salad

Here’s a perfect one for a backyard cookout or a weekend picnic.  It’s a favorite summer lunch dish at the ranch, when everyone comes in hungry from their adventures out on the trails.

Broccoli Salad


2 heads of Broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces

½ pound bacon, cooked and chopped

1 small red onion, diced

¼ cup whole grain Dijon mustard

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ cup crème fraiche or sour cream

½ cup mayonnaise

1 ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste



  1. In a small bowl, combine the mustard, mayo, crème fraiche, sugar and salt and pepper and whisk together.
  2. In a larger bowl, combine remaining ingredients with mustard/mayo mixture and taste for seasoning, adjust. Enjoy!
best dude ranch granola recipe

Chef’s Corner: VVR Granola

The VVR Granola is one of my favorites.  Mixed with some fresh berries and yogurt….what a great way to start the day!  Ben might disagree with me and opt for bacon, potatoes, and eggs, but if you’re looking for a little bit of a lighter breakfast–give this one a try!

Makes about 6 cups


5 cups rolled oats

1 ½ cups nuts (your favorite!)

¾ cups egg whites

6 Tablespoons honey or maple syrup

¼ cup wheat germ

¼ cup flax seed

1 Tablespoon vanilla

1 ½ teaspoon salt

2 cups dried fruit (we use blueberries)



  1. Combine egg whites, sweetener, wheat germ, flax seed, vanilla and salt in a large bowl and whip until frothy. Add the oats and nuts and combine until well coated. Spread onto a sheet pan and bake at 325 degrees F. for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  3. After cooled, stir in dried fruit.
  4. Can keep up to two weeks in an air tight container.
  5. Enjoy!!!!
ranch waffle recipe

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese-Chive Waffles

Are you looking for something a bit different to jazz up your weekend breakfast?  Our ranch chefs recommend this recipe for Cheddar Cheese-Chive Waffles (makes 8 waffles).


1½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup rye flour

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/3 cup minced fresh chives

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, separated

1½ cups buttermilk

½ cup whole milk

2 ounces unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Mix together the flours, cheese, chives, baking powder, soda, nutmeg and salt into a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl whip the egg whites to soft, glossy peaks.
  4. In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, milk and melted butter.
  5. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and combine. Fold in the egg whites until incorporated.
  6. Make waffles!

Chef’s Corner: Cauliflower Pot Pie

While some of you already hear the birds singing and see the flowers blooming, we’re still cuddling up to fires in the fireplace and warm, cozy meals at night.  Here is a great winter recipe, for anyone who wants to relish a little bit more of that warmth before winter comes to an end.

Cauliflower Pot Pie (serves 2-4)

Ingredients for the filling:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound cauliflower

1 leek

1 carrot

½ pound mushrooms

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

4 tablespoons flour

2 cups soy milk

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons fresh tarragon

½ teaspoon fresh thyme

½ teaspoon fresh oregano

¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper


Ingredients for the biscuit topping:

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons olive oil/margarine

4-5 tablespoons water

1/3 cup olives, small dice



  1. Peel and clean all vegetables as necessary and dice into ½ inch pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and add the vegetables to sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the sherry vinegar to deglaze the pan.
  4. Turn the heat to medium and whisk in the flour, allow to cook for 7 minutes, do not brown the flour.
  5. Slowly whisk in the soy milk until thickened.
  6. Turn heat to low to simmer.
  7. Add the bay leaf, tarragon, thyme, oregano, mustard, salt and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and prepare the biscuit dough by combining the dry ingredients and then gently mixing in the wet ingredients, finish by folding in the olives.
  9. Transfer the cauliflower mixture to a small casserole dish (9”x12”), drop the biscuit dough on top and bake oven for 20 minutes, allow to cool slightly before eating.



sticky bun recipe from Vista Verde Ranch

Chef’s Corner: Maple Glazed Sticky Buns

The snow falling outside is wonderful to play in, but also makes us want to come inside and curl up in front of the fire with a yummy treat.  Well, here is a great option for that yummy treat, and a ranch favorite!  This recipe makes approximately 2 dozen rolls



Danish dough, one sheet, 17” x 25”

1 pound unsalted butter, whipped

1 Tblsp. Ground cinnamon

8 Tblsp. Granulated sugar

1 cup pecans, chopped

1 cup maple syrup

8 ounces melted butter



  1. If the dough is frozen, allow it to warm slightly, but not too much, if too soft it will be difficult to roll, if too frozen, it will crack!
  2. Whip the butter in a mixer with a paddle attachment until very soft and spreadable. Spread the butter evenly over the entire surface of the dough with a spatula.
  3. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle over the entire surface of the dough.
  4. Tightly roll the dough evenly into a log. Wrap the dough first in plastic wrap and then in foil. Refrigerate overnight to set up.
  5. The next day, combine the pecans, maple and melted butter in a bowl and spread on the bottom of a baking pan, Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator, remove the foil and plastic, and slice into 24 pieces. and arrange in the baking pan.
  6. Bake the rolls for 12 minutes, rotate the pans and bake another 12 minutes until done. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack.
  7. Turn out onto a platter to serve. Enjoy!


Chef’s Corner: Butternut Squash – Brown Butter Ravioli

When you’re playing like a dog outside on a cold and blustery day, a recipe like this just warms you up, especially if you’re sitting at a table next to a crackling fire.  Enjoy!

4 cups “00” flour (Caputo is a good brand you can order on
8 egg yolks
2 eggs
1 large butternut squash, halved and seeded
2 Tblsp. olive oil
2 Tblsp. Mascarpone cheese
2 ounces brown butter
Heavy cream to desired consistency
Salt and pepper to taste
The Rest:
1 shallot, sliced into rings and roasted
8 fried sage leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a kitchen aid mixer with paddle attachment, combine the flour and the eggs until well combined. You want the dough to be stiff so that it doesn’t stick when rolling out. You do want it to come together as a smooth ball of dough though. Add more egg if you need to get it to this stage, but the dough should not be wet. Err on the side of too dry.
2. Wrap the dough well and let it rest at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
3. Meanwhile, place the butternut squash halves on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven until the flesh is soft. Allow to cool slightly and peel while warm. Reserve some roasted squash for dicing and finishing the dish.
4. In the hopper of a blender or food processor, add the roasted squash, mascarpone cheese and brown butter and blend. The mixture will be dry and tough to move in the blender, add enough cream to get the mixture to move and puree until the right consistency is reached, similar to freshly whipped cream, but more dense. Season the puree with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate the puree until cool.
5. Set up your pasta machine (or you can roll by hand for a more rustic version) and begin rolling the pasta on setting 10. Continue to move down in settings while rolling the dough through until you reach setting 2.
6. Measure 13 inch pieces and cut, dust with flour to prevent sticking to each other and layer in a container until ready to use the pasta.
7. Lay the “top half” of the pasta over the ravioli mold and create the space for the ravioli filling. Fill the space you have just created with the pasta filling, spritz the dough with water so that the pasta will seal and fold the other half of dough up and over. Roll over the ravioli mold to cut out the individual ravioli and layer on a bed of semolina flour or cornmeal to keep from sticking.
8. When ready to cook the pasta, have a pot of salted water boiling on the stove, add the pasta for about a minute until cooked. Fresh pasta does not take as long to cook as dry pasta.
9. To finish the dish, warm the remaining ounce of brown butter in a sauté pan, toss with the remaining squash and the shallot. drain the ravioli into the sauté pan while adding a splash of the pasta water, the starch in the water will help to thicken the pan sauce. Toss all until coated with pan sauce, divide between 4 plates and garnish with fried sage. (Fried sage may seem unnecessary for the dish, but it does add a layer of texture, fragrance and taste to the dish).

Makes 24 ravioli

Chef’s Corner: Cornbread Panzanella Salad

Cornbread Panzanella Salad (makes 4 quarts)

Ingredients (corn bread): (by weight)

17 ounces eggs, beaten lightly

20 ounces sugar

22.5 ounces cornmeal

29 ounces flour

1 ounce baking powder

½ ounce salt

10 ounces vegetable oil

8.5 ounces unsalted butter, soft

1 ounce rosemary, chopped

42 ounces milk


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs and sugar together until the ribbon stage (when the whisk is lifted out of the mixture it will leave a risen “ribbon” of batter on the surface before sinking back into the rest of the batter, about 5 minutes on high)
3. Mix together the dry ingredients and the other wet ingredients separately.
4. With a rubber spatula, Scrape down the bowl of the mixer with the eggs and sugar.
5. Alternate adding wet and dry ingredients until all ingredients are combined.
6. Spread batter onto a greased 18 inch x 12 inch baking pan and bake for 8 minutes, rotate pan and then an additional 8 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

Ingredients (salad):

1 red bell pepper, small diced

1 Yellow bell pepper, small diced

2 Poblano peppers, small diced

1 large red onion, small diced

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

6 cloves garlic, minced

12 green onions, sliced thinly

2 tblsp each fresh Parsley, Sage, Marjoram, chopped

½ cup sherry vinegar

¼ cup maple syrup

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Cut the cooled cornbread into ½ inch squares and toast in the oven at 325 degrees F until brown and crouton-like, about 15 minutes.
2. Toss all ingredients in a large bowl and taste for seasoning.
3. Serve sooner rather than later.

Chef’s Corner: Kelli Balls

This recipe is named after Kelli, our fearless mountain biking and hiking guide. She loves these little snacks and doesn’t ever head out on the trail without them. Before you go out to conquer your next adventure, be sure to take the time to make these little power-packed energy balls. They’re delicious and provide the perfect boost of energy after a long day on the trail!


2 cups oats

½ cup wheat germ

1 cup wheat bran

¾-1 cup peanut butter

1 cup dried fruit (chopped dates or currants are great options)

1-1 ½ cups honey (go on the low side if you want them less sweet, high side if you want more sweet)

1-2 cups chocolate chips (same as above, base your measurement on your preference for sweetness)

1. Combine oats, germ, bran, fruit and peanut butter in mixing bowl
2. Start adding honey in stages until you reach proper consistency, tacky but not too sticky
3. Add chocolate
4. Scoop with small scoop and roll in oat powder
5. Freeze

Chef’s Corner: Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter cookies (gluten free): (makes about 45 cookies)



3 pounds peanut butter

2 pounds, 10 ounces granulated sugar

6 eggs



  1. Cream together the sugar and peanut butter until smooth.
  2. Add the eggs and combine until incorporated, do not over-mix.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Using an ice cream scoop of about 2 ounces, drop the cookie dough onto a baking sheet.  Create cross marks with a fork dipped in granulated sugar. Bake on middle rack for five minutes, rotate baking sheet front to back and bake an additional five minutes.

Chef’s Corner: Creek Side Trout

Cooking trout stream side (or lakeside) is easy to do if you plan ahead and bring the right equipment and ingredients.

Although our fishing program is catch and release only, if you find yourself with some fresh trout here is a great recipe!

To cook the trout you will need fire, either from a camp stove or campfire. You will also need a pan to fry the trout in. (Foil would work in a pinch, but tends to steam the fish rather than put a crisp skin on it.)

1 stick of butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup fine cornmeal

1 closeable plastic bag for flours

1 lemon

Salt and black pepper


Camp stove or campfire
1 light weight (titanium) camping fry pan
Matches or lighter
Utensils for turning and eating the trout


1. Catch delicious trout and clean the fish by slicing open the belly and removing the entrails. Rinse with stream water.
2. Heat the fry pan over the fire/stove, melt the half the butter until bubbling (save half butter for next batch).
3. Season the trout with salt and pepper and dredge trout in the flour/cornmeal mixture in the bag (like shake-n-bake).
4. Fry the trout in the butter. The butter will brown a bit, but this is what you want! Fry on one side about 5 minutes, then turn the trout and fry another 5 minutes and check for doneness.
5. Slice the lemon in half and squeeze a little juice onto the finished trout, and season again with salt and pepper. Yum!

The time you’ll want to fry the trout will vary depending on the size of the fish. Personally, I like to keep small brook trout, they taste best, cook up quickly, and you only need a few to make a good meal. If you’re working with a14 inch rainbow, you may need to be cut into smaller pieces or cook it longer.

Fresh, wild Rocky Mountain trout is a rare treat that is best enjoyed out of doors and with just enough seasoning to highlight the fish’s delicate flavor. What better way to enjoy it than near the sounds of water, taking in the crisp mountain air?

Chef’s Corner: Butternut Squash Soup

With the snow falling outside, and the fire in the fireplace, it’s perfect weather for soup.  Here’s one of those classic winter soup’s that we look forward to this time of year.

Butternut Squash Soup


2 large butternut squash

1 large yellow onion

3 ribs of celery

2 cloves of garlic

4 quarts of water

Salt to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds.

3. Rub the squash with olive oil and season with salt.

4. Place in oven for 45 minutes or until lightly caramelized and tender when pierced with a knife.

5. Let cool and peel skin off then dice and reserve.

6. Roughly chop onion and celery and crush garlic but leave whole.

7. Place all vegetables except butternut in an 8 qt pot with a light film of olive oil and sweat gently until translucent.

8. Add water and butternut and bring to a simmer.

9. Continue to simmer gently until all vegetables are tender.

10. When ready strain vegetables out and reserve cooking liquid.

11. Add vegetables to blender with enough cooking liquid to obtain desired consistency. Only fill half of the blender at a time and start on slow speed and move to fast so the soup will not explode out of the blender. Continue until all soup is blended and season with salt to taste.

Optional garnish-

Toasted pumpkin seeds, brown butter, sage, roasted mushrooms, croutons, or maple whipped cream.

Chef’s Corner: Applesauce Gingerbread Cake (and more)

Perfect for cold weather, a warm fire, and a cozy evening.  You can make the full dessert, or just enjoy the cake by itself!

Applesauce Gingerbread Cake


½ C. Sugar

¼ C. Butter

1 Egg

½ C. Applesauce

1 C. Molasses

2 ½ C. All Purpose Flour

1 ½ teaspoons Baking Soda

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Ginger

½ teaspoon Ground Cloves

½ teaspoon Salt

1 C. Warm Milk


1. Preheat oven to 350*F.

2. Cream together butter and sugar in stand mixer.

3. Beat in eggs, applesauce, and molasses.

4. In separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Slowly add to wet mixture.

5. Mix in warmed milk.

6. Bake in greased and floured 9×9 pan.


Crème Brulee


1 Quart Heavy Cream

1 T. Vanilla Bean Paste

½ C. Sugar

6 Large Egg Yolks


1. In medium saucepan, heat cream and vanilla to steady boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool, ~15 minutes.

2. In mixing bowl, whisk yolk and sugar until combined and color begins to lighten. Slowly add cream mixture, one ladle at a time, stirring continuously.

3. Portion mixture into ramekins and place in a deep cake pan or roasting pan.

4. Pour hot water into cake pan until liquid reaches halfway up ramekins.

5. Bake at 325* until custard is just set. About 45-50 minutes.

6. Cool at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Spiced Sugar topping (For Crème Crust)


½ c. Sugar

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

½ teaspoon Nutmeg

¼ teaspoon Allspice

¼ teaspoon Cloves


1. Combine ingredients in small bowl and sprinkle lightly over cooled Crème Brulee.

2. Torch or place under broiler briefly, until just browned.


Toffee Sauce


¾ C. + 1T. Brown Sugar

6 T. Butter

1 T. Molasses

1 T. Corn Syrup

2/3 C. Heavy Cream


1. Combine sugar, butter, molasses, and corn syrup in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter is melted and mixture is bubbly.

2. Meanwhile, heat cream in separate saucepan.

3. Add hot cream slowly to sugar mixture. Whisk continuously.

4. Continue to cook, 3-5 minutes. Cool until slightly thickened. Serve.


Chef’s Corner: Maple Glazed Sticky Buns

Maple glazed sticky buns

(makes approx. 2 dozen rolls)


Danish dough, one sheet, 17″ x 25″

1 pound unsalted butter, whipped

1 Tblsp. Ground cinnamon

8 Tblsp. Granulated sugar

1 cup pecans, chopped

1 cup maple syrup

8 ounces melted butter


  1. If the dough is frozen, allow it to warm slightly, but not too much, if too soft it will be difficult to roll, if too frozen, it will crack!
  2. Whip the butter in a mixer with a paddle attachment until very soft and spreadable. Spread the butter evenly over the entire surface of the dough with a spatula.
  3. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle over the entire surface of the dough.
  4. Tightly roll the dough evenly into a log. Wrap the dough first in plastic wrap and then in foil. Refrigerate overnight to set up.
  5. The next day, combine the pecans, maple and melted butter in a bowl and spread on the bottom of a baking pan, Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator, remove the foil and plastic, and slice into 24 pieces. and arrange in the baking pan.
  6. Bake the rolls for 12 minutes, rotate the pans and bake another 12 minutes until done. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack.
  7. Turn out onto a platter to serve. Enjoy!

Chef’s Corner: Blueberry Cornmeal Upside-down Cake

Blueberry Cornmeal Upside-down cake (2 – 9” cast iron pans)

Ingredients (cake batter):

      1 ½ cups cornmeal

      3 cups flour

      1 tablespoon baking powder

      1 teaspoon salt

      1 pound butter, soft

      3 cups granulated sugar

      8 eggs, room temperature

      1 tablespoon vanilla extract

      1 ½ cups sour cream

Procedure (cake batter):

      1. Mix together the dry ingredients and set aside.

      2. In the Hobart mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.

      3. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.

      4. Add the vanilla and sour cream and combine until smooth.

      5. Add the dry ingredients and combine until incorporated. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Ingredients (Berries):

      4 ounces butter, divided

      1 cup brown sugar, divided

      6 cups fresh blueberries, divided

Procedure (berries):

1.  Melt half the butter in each of the cast iron pans, add the brown sugar and cook until it bubbles together.

2.  Divide the blueberries into each pan and remove from the stove. Top with half of the cornmeal batter and place on a sheet pan and then in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes.

3. Allow to cool slightly for about 15 minutes, run a knife around the outer edge and invert the cake onto a cutting board for slicing. Top with vanilla whipped cream.