“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!


Eat Sweet Cream Biscuits

Orange marmalade on a wooden boards with biscuits

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 

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

Copper cup with berries and pine tree leaves

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.

S’mores Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate with marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers around the cup

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!

Chef holding a pan of potatos

Most of our Ranch staff truly believes this is the most wonderful time of year. Our local ski hill, Discovery Ski Area has already opened for the 2018-19 winter season, and all guests enjoy unlimited all-inclusive downhill skiing and snowboarding. Fresh snow means plenty of time on the slopes and on the skating pond.

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.

Join the Ranch celebration by following us on Instagram. Enjoy other recipes from the Blog at Rock Creek, including Winter Warmers and New Year’s Cocktails.