RanchSeeker Blog

Running Reins Ranch THE Place to Be This Summer

7/6/2016 3:05:50 PM

For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Running Reins Ranch, located in Red Deer County, Alberta is the ideal choice for a vacation. Just 90 minutes northeast of Calgary this Canadian guest ranch is the perfect place for horse-minded people to kick back and relax after a fun day spent enjoying one of the many activities available for guests. The ranch sits on 160 acres on the banks of the Red Deer River and is surrounded by hundreds of acres of crown land. There are countless beautiful trails to explore around the property down to the shore of the River.


Since the ranch is only open throughout the warmer months (May-September) guests find the climate during the day perfect for riding, fishing, hiking and swimming. Warm evenings lend themselves to roasting marshmallows around a flickering campfire or stargazing into a night sky devoid of any unnatural light. Don’t forget to bring an inner tube or a floating raft with you so that you can cruise down the river on the four hour float trip that can be arranged with the ranch’s staff!


Bring your own horse or ride one of Running Rein Ranch’s horses. Be sure to contact the ranch in advance to check availability and ride times.  For those who bring their own horses there are kilometers and kilometers of riding trails to explore. Many of the trails lead to the river where you can try your hand at fishing or cool off in the river while taking in the beautiful scenery around you. Camp with your horses! Each site has stalls for your horses, enough room to park several vehicles, your living quarters’ horse trailer or plain horse trailer and each site has at least one two- person Teepee for your enjoyment. If you require a larger Teepee check ask about the larger Teepee sites.


In addition to the regular Teepees there are romantic honeymoon Teepees as well as cozy cabins. If you have never stayed in a Teepee you are in for a huge treat! With over 50 equestrian campsites that in most cases are 100’ by 100’ and all of them include a corral, picnic table and fire pit you and your horses are sure to feel right at home!


Cozy Teepee accommodations

Stay for a few days or longer regardless of how long you can get away for you and your family or friends are bound to have a great time!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation today!

Happy Trails!

White Stallion Ranch’s Peanut Butter Bar Recipe

6/29/2016 2:54:52 PM

Visit the White Stallion Ranch an authentic western guest ranch nestled at the base of the beautiful Tucson Mountains on 3,000 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert. In the meantime enjoy this yummy recipe for Peanut Butter Bars provided by their chef.


Peanut Butter Bars

Preheat oven 350 degrees (300 convection oven)

¾ c. shortening

¾ c. peanut butter

1 c. brown sugar

1c white sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 ¼ c. flour

1 ¼ c. oatmeal

¾ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

Cream the shortening, peanut butter, sugar, egg and vanilla well.  Mix together the flour, oatmeal, soda and salt.  Beat the flour mixture into the creamed mixture.  Spread the dough by hand over sprayed and floured 9”x13” baking pan.  Bake 25 minutes until still chewy.  Immediately sprinkle on the chocolate chips and spread over the bars when melted.

Topping

1 c. powdered sugar

½ c. peanut butter

1 c. chocolate chips

2-4 Tbs. Milk, as needed

Beat topping ingredients well, using enough milk to get a creamy consistency, then swirl over the chocolate.  Cut and serve.

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

Happy Trails!


Sundance Guest Ranch’s Summer Berry Salad with ‘Liquid Gold’ Dressing

6/24/2016 2:49:55 PM

The kind folks over at Sundance Guest Ranch have provided us with one of their treasured recipes to share on Ranchseeker. Sundance Guest Ranch, located in British Columbia, offers an all-inclusive package with accommodations, meals and about 5 hours of riding each day through some of the most spectacular countryside in the province. The ranch is almost as famous for the food that they serve their guests as it is for their horses!

Prepare this delicious light summer salad for your family brought to you by the ranch’s very own Chef Lauren Chimilar and let us know how it turns out.


Summer Berry Salad with ‘Liquid Gold’ Dressing:

 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup water

4-6 garlic cloves

3/4 cup nutritional flake yeast

1.5 cup vegetable oil

*Blend the first 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor. Slowly add oil while still blending*

*The salad uses a fresh artisan lettuce blend, goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, sweet yellow peppers, cucumber, blackberries and raspberries*

Don’t miss out on the “Health Wellness and Lifestyle” episode that airs on Joy TV in Canada in July where this delightful salad will be featured on the show.

Happy Trails!

White Stallion Ranch Becomes a Member of Historic Hotels of America

6/15/2016 2:41:42 PM

RanchSeeker would like to congratulate the White Stallion Ranch and share the following press release:

Tucson, AZ – June 2, 2016    White Stallion Ranch was selected for membership by Historic Hotels of America in May.  To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old;  been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance.   These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America.


Historic Hotels of America

Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America was founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

White Stallion Ranch was established as a cattle ranch in 1939.  It has been owned and operated by the True family for 50 years as a Guest Ranch, and has been ranked the #1 hotel in Tucson on TripAdvisor for 5 consecutive years.

The True Family and their staff provide the personal touch and hospitality of a traditional dude ranch, carefully blended with the service and amenities of a fine resort.  The Ranch caters to: individual travelers, couples, families and small meetings and retreats looking for exceptional service, a warm, welcoming atmosphere and unique western adventures.

Video - https://youtu.be/OlJHqXIZ1TA

White Stallion Ranch’s Full American Plan Rates include lodging, meals and daily activities.  The Ranch offers horseback riding, tennis, hiking, evening entertainment, swimming pool, redwood hot tub, game room, movie theatre, petting zoo, gift shop and speciality rides with meals and snacks in desert settings. Rock climbing with a certified guide (gear provided) and Massage therapy are available on property for an addition fee.

Happy Trails!

His Best Father’s Day at a Dude Ranch

6/8/2016 2:38:22 PM

Father’s Day started in the early 20th century in the United States to celebrate fatherhood and to complement Mother’s Day. It was first celebrated on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA by Sonora Smart Dodd. She and her siblings were raised by her father as a single parent so she thought that father’s should rightfully have their own day of celebration as well. She proposed the idea to her pastor and the clergyman agreed and the first Father’s Day sermon was given on June 19, 1910.

Now Father’s Day is celebrated around the world and is on June 19, 2016 this year which is just around the corner. Have you decided how you would like to honour your father yet? If you would like to get your dad something different this year besides a tie, socks, dinner or clothing, how about an experience he will remember for a lifetime. Spend some quality time with him at a dude ranch. If your dad is an avid fisherman, hiker, outdoorsman then it’s the perfect choice. Even if he is not, who wouldn’t enjoy relaxing in the beauty of Mother Nature.

Here are some dude ranch vacation specials that are made just for Dad.

Coffee Creek Ranch

This northern California ranch is offering a huge 50% off for Father’s Day week (June 18-24, 2016). At this price you can take Dad, Grandpa, Uncle and more! It’s a stunning ranch located on 367 acres along Coffee Creek which is an excellent stream for fly fishing trout. There is also spectacular hiking in the nearby Trinity Alps. This is an all-inclusive dude ranch so once you are there you won’t need to worry about anything except having fun!


YD Guest Ranch

YD Guest Ranch in British Columbia is celebrated around the world for its rich history, rustic elegance, and legendary cuisine. High above the Village of Ashcroft, this newly renovated ranch now has glamping accommodations. For Father’s Day they are offering for the entire month of June all bookings with Dad include free meals. Also, if you want to send Dad on a memorable adventure with 3 of his buddies, they are featuring a Guys Getaway special. The Guys Getaway features a 2 night stay in an authentic tipi, archery lessons, ATV tour, horseback tour and all meals for $2000. This package is definitely a steal and something your Dad would love.


 Echo Valley Ranch

Echo Valley Ranch is a luxury guest ranch also located in British Columbia. They have a Canada Day special available which is perfect for history buffs. Take a journey through time back to the Cariboo Gold Rush and also enjoy a Canada Day celebration. Echo Valley Ranch has 2 world class spas so you can treat your Dad to some relaxing spa treatments . Gourmet farm to table meals are also included.


These are a few Father’s Day specials but you can always visit any dude ranch that is convenient for your family. Please view our list of dude ranches for one near you.

Happy Trails

A Taste of the Old West at Arizona's White Stallion Ranch!

6/2/2016 2:33:41 PM

The following article appeared in  Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s 6th edition.

Are you looking for a stress-free vacation far from the madding crowd? If so, the White Stallion Ranch is the ideal place.  Situated between Phoenix and Tucson this charming, informal ranch is easily accessible from Arizona’s two major airports. Steeped in the history of cowboy country and the location of many a Hollywood movie, this authentic guest ranch imparts that true Old West feeling to its guests. Located at the foot of the Tucson mountain range and directly adjacent to the Saguaro National Park, guests enjoy wide-open spaces, beautiful scenery and breathtaking sunsets. The White Stallion Ranch is a working ranch and open year round, which means that guests can choose to fill their days with the various ranch activities or simply kick back and relax….. either way you will enjoy exceptional hospitality and all the creature comforts of a top resort.


White Stallion Ranch

Built in the 1900’s this historic ranch started out as a cattle ranch with its original property constructed of Mexican adobe bricks made from straw and mud. Today, guests can still see a small part of the original adobe on display in the dining room, the first structure to be built at the ranch.  In 1965, Allen and Cynthia True from Colorado decided to make The White Stallion Ranch their home and now 51 years later guests are greeted by third-generation Trues who continue to welcome people into their home. Over the years, the True family have maintained the traditions of the Old West by preserving many of the original buildings; however, Russel and Michael (Cynthia and Allen’s boys) have added many modern amenities and established one of the largest privately owned herds of cattle and horses in Arizona.

Movie buffs will love White Stallion Ranch’s extensive Hollywood history. The list of movies that have been filmed here throughout the years starting from 1939 until 2014 is truly impressive. In the earlier years the ranch was often used as a backdrop in Western feature films and later, as a location for the television series, The High Chaparral (1968-72). The ranch has been featured in 27 Hollywood films which include Confessions of a Dangerous Mind filmed in 2002 starring everyone’s favourite actor George Clooney with co-star Sam Rockwell.  If Western movies are your ‘thing’ don’t hesitate to ask the staff for the complete list of movies shot at the ranch and they just might throw in some juicy insider gossip!

A dude ranch vacation is not complete without the opportunity to experience an authentic western rodeo.  Every Wednesday afternoon (weather permitting) the ranch’s wranglers, family and friends take part in an exhibition rodeo that for almost 50 years has been a tradition at White Stallion Ranch. Guests can watch riders compete in team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping and sometimes bulldogging. If these terms are unfamiliar don’t worry since from your seat in the bleachers you will hear and see first-hand what a rodeo is all about and gain a better understanding of the cowboy way of life. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon and soak up some Old West culture.


Photo Credit: Steve LoRicco

Aside from Wednesday afternoon rodeos, White Stallion Ranch offers lots of fun and interesting activities for guests to partake in such as hiking, rock climbing as well as a diverse children’s program for younger guests. Riding enthusiasts will appreciate the varied scenic trails and wide choice of rides available every day of the week except on Sundays when the horses rest.   Horse lovers can choose from mountain rides, slow, fast or all day, as well as a hay ride and team cattle penning. Each rider is carefully matched with a horse suited to their specific riding experience for the duration of the stay. For those wishing to improve their riding skills, classes are available for $20/hour, payable to one of the friendly wranglers at the ranch, who will gladly help and assist guests  to gain more confidence in the saddle.

In addition to the daily rides, the ranch also offers two unique riding opportunities for guests over the age of 21. These rides, available seasonally, are the perfect way to get to know your fellow guests in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. The “Wine & Cheese Ride” takes guests to a secluded area of the ranch surrounded by mountains and stunning scenery where an assortment of cheeses, crackers and bread are paired with a unique selection of wines. While you and your fellow guests sample different cheeses and wines, your horse waits patiently a short distance away. For those who prefer drinking a ‘cold one’ the ranch offers a “Beer & Cheetos” ride. Picnic tables are set up in a special spot in the desert where guests can snack on a childhood favourite, brightly-coloured orange Cheetos, washed down by ice-cold beers. Both rides are a wonderful way to make new friends or enjoy the company of old ones.


White Stallion Ranch

At the end of the day retire into one of the ranch’s 41 guest rooms or a 4 bedroom Hacienda ideal for larger groups or families. You’ll feel right at home in one of the spacious rooms all of which feature a private patio with views of either the cactus gardens, mountains or corrals. Some suites include gas fireplaces or whirlpool bathtubs and all the rooms have hair dryers, mini-refrigerators and personal safes. When you’re not off exploring the area by horseback there is a rec room & movie theatre, gift shop, heated pool & hot tub, sports courts, fitness center, bar, and a fun petting zoo for kids and adults alike.

Currently celebrating 51 years of western hospitality the True family invite you to reconnect with nature, family and friends while engaging in a variety of fun outdoor activities and enjoying the breathtaking scenery that has brought Hollywood filmmakers to the White Stallion Ranch for over 70 years.

So don’t forget to bring your camera along and your sense of adventure too!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

Happy Trails!

Red Horse Mountain Ranch

5/30/2016 2:17:26 PM

Red Horse Mountain Ranch is one of Idaho’s best kept secrets .Located on 300,000 scenic acres, the ranch is a 1.5 hour drive from the Spokane International Airport, near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Red Horse Mountain Ranch is somewhere you can go no matter who you are vacationing with. They surely are the ranch for everyone. They offer all-inclusive week long ranch vacations from June through October, family all-inclusive ranch vacations from June through August and couples dude ranch vacations in September and October. They have glorious reviews so you can be assured that this ranch creates top quality vacations and memories.


Family Time & Kids Program

Family dude ranch vacations at Red Horse Mountain Ranch provide plenty of opportunities for family time, delicious healthy food, and lots of healthy outdoor adventure. The all- inclusive package includes 5 full days of guided actives, meals & drinks, accommodations, evening entertainment, and other ranch amenities. Kids will be entertained by the many activities available as well as the Kids Program (ages 3-11) while Mom and Dad can have a bit of time to themselves. With the Kids’ Program, parents can choose to sign up for the adult adventures during their week and know their children will be well cared for and have their own adventures at a child’s pace. But, if it’s family time you are searching for, most activities can be done with your children at their pace with your guides and wranglers. Playing safe is their mission.Don’t be surprised when your kids don’t want to leave!


Adult Weeks

If you would like some adult time, head to Red Horse Mountain Ranch during their adult weeks. Have at your disposal all of their outdoor activities-horseback riding, challenge course, zip lines, mountain biking, bike tours on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene, 3D Archery, Sporting Clays, Horseback lessons, hiking, kayaking tours, guided lake fishing, & other self- guided activities. Alternatively, you can just sit back and relax. At Red Horse Mountain Ranch you can do as little or as much as you like and then end each day at the lodge with some festive conversation in the evening.


Special Weeks

Wine Tasting Weeks are part of the all- inclusive ranch vacations for couples during the fall season. Explore over 30 regional wines paired with chef prepared meals. Also enjoy their wide range of guided adventures and even have your own horse and saddle for the week. Another popular week is Girls Getaway Week. Whether you have a mother-daughter vacation, high school reunion, sisters vacation or a stagette everyone will enjoy themselves at Red Horse Mountain Ranch.

Rustic & Elegant Accommodations

Variety is what Red Horse Mountain Ranch is about. Just as they have a large variety of activities, they also have a large variety of lodging to choose from with each being very comfortable and elegant. Choose from several lodging options ranging from one-bedroom suites to four-bedroom log cabins. Each accommodations offer families private bathrooms, spacious bedrooms and private decks with gorgeous views of the ranch.


So if you are looking for a destination where you and your vacation companions will have a fun and memorable time, look no further than Red Horse Mountain Ranch.

Happy Trails

Authentic Texas Style Peach Cobbler

5/20/2016 4:13:03 PM

Cobblers are as all American as you can get. Early settlers found themselves unable to make their beloved puddings due to the lack of ingredients and cooking equipment available. Most of the time there were at camp and only had a fire to cook with. They then improvised with local ingredients to create their version of a “pudding” with a stewed fruit base covered with a batter or biscuit base. Some variations have a bottom and top crust. Most of the time cobblers were made in dutch ovens over an open fire.

Actually, using fresh fruit to make a cobbler isn’t exactly what you’d call “authentic”. The fact is that the first cobblers didn’t contain anything fresh, they were simply “cobbled” together from odds and ends by Western trail cooks. For the people living and working West of the Mississippi fruit mostly came either dried, preserved in syrup, or in some cases canned.

There are many types of fruit that you can use for cobblers but peach is a classic. There’s just something about peaches. Maybe it's the velvety skin that makes them seem so impossibly delectable. A ripe peach when bitten into has a tender "give" to it, followed by a rush of incredibly sweet and flavorful juice that is about as close to being decadent, without being chocolate, as you can get. We owe it to ourselves to enjoy peaches during their summer prime in as many ways as possible. And one of the best, most time-honored ways to enjoy peaches is in a peach cobbler.

texas peach cobbler

This version of the peach cobbler dessert tops a biscuit like base with a juicy fruit topping. The batter goes into the dish first, then rises up through the fruit as it bakes. Your family will love this and they can reheat it and eat it throughout the day.

INGREDIENTS

Filling
4 cups peaches (ripe, sliced and peeled)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons sugar

Batter
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Directions

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel the peaches. It’s best to use fresh peaches but you can also use canned and frozen peaches in a pinch or if peaches are out of season. Ripe peaches are easier to peel. When you press your thumb against the peach you should be able to feel the peach’s flesh move beneath the skin. If they are too hard you will have to peel them with a pairing knife (or wait for them to ripen).

To peel fresh, ripe peaches bring a pot of water to boil. Submerge peaches completely in boiling water for approximately one minute (less if they are really soft) then immediately dunk them in a bowl full of ice water. Remove peaches and cut a small X at the bottom of each and use these points as starting points for pulling the peels off. Peel and slice the peaches, place in a medium bowl.

If using canned peaches drain them and place them in the bowl. For frozen peaches, thaw and place in the bowl.

2.) Prepare filling by combining peaches, sugar, lemon juice & vanilla. Set aside.

3.)Prepare the batter by placing butter in an 8 inch square baking dish. Place dish over hot water for 5 minutes or until butter melts.

4.)Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Combine milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla together and add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter over butter and spread evenly. Do not stir the mixture

5.)Spoon the peach mixture over the  batter, gently pressing the peaches into batter.

6.)Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar, and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until crust is golden.

How To Plan a Memorable Family Reunion in 7 Easy Steps

5/15/2016 11:30:13 PM

Previously in history, our extended family was our community. Now, our extended family is often widely scattered around the world, and our community is composed mostly of strangers. We may be lucky enough to create special friendships with some strangers but those relationships won’t all be like family. Because relatives share a history and hold a permanent connection to us, we should try a little harder to maintain a good and close relationship.

family reunion

Planning a family can be a large undertaking but it is very worth it. Even if it’s only once every year or every couple of years, it’s beneficial to stay in touch with family members near and far. There is nothing like the bonds of family and the memories that are made are irreplaceable. Because there will be multiple generations in one place it is a perfect opportunity for storytelling. It is especially important for seniors to have the opportunity to share their stories with the younger generation. One of the developmental stages of adulthood is engaging in storytelling and reminiscing. Also, by learning more about your family, you will learn more about yourself as well!

If you are planning or thinking of planning an upcoming family reunion, here are some tips to make the experience easier for you and others.

1. Create a Family Reunion Planning Committee

Now “committee” can refer to one person and if the family reunion being planned is small (25 persons or less) one person can handle the planning. If you are planning a larger family reunion then you can increase the number of people on the committee. The size of the committee will also depend on the venue, lodging and activities being planned. If you are planning a family reunion at an all-inclusive resort, many of these things are taken care of so the committee can be smaller. Be sure to delegate tasks to people in the committee so that everything gets done on time. You might also want to create a reunion website to keep everyone informed and get them excited about the event.

plan a family reunion

2. Decide on the guest list.

Ideally you should try to invite everyone that you can but if you have financial or space constraints then decide how far out on the family tree you want to go. Then be sure to invite everyone included to that distance as to not hurt any feelings.  For example, you could only include up to first cousins or extend it out to second or third cousins. Start with your closest relatives and work your way out on the ancestral tree. Then stop when you've reached your limit.

3. Decide on Type of Family Reunion

Family reunions can be as simple as gathering people together for a picnic in the park or as elaborate as going on a cruise in a faraway country. When deciding on what type or family reunion some things you might need to consider are:

Interests of the family members

If most guests are the outdoorsy types then a dinner out in a fancy restaurant in the city won’t be the best choice. Of course people have different interests and you may not be able to satisfy everyone but try to make the majority happy.

How frequent are the family reunions

If the reunions occur frequently there isn’t a need to go all out every year as it could get costly for all of the guests. Therefore, an annual picnic or BBQ in the park would suffice. However, if it is a once in a decade event then it’s the perfect opportunity to splurge a bit more.

Size of the guest list

Some venues are more suited to certain party numbers while others are more flexible and can suit a range of party numbers

Budget Constraints

Some family members might need to stick to a certain budget so keep that in consideration when deciding on a family reunion type.

If you are unsure about any of these questions, a good idea is to conduct a survey with family members to get some ideas of what is preferred.

4. Pick a Date

When picking a date for your family reunion be sure to allow plenty of lead time for people to plan and save up if there are any travel costs. Many of your relatives may have families so giving them lots of advance notice will increase your chances they will be able to attend. Those with school aged children are bound by the school schedule so keep that in mind as well. If possible, try to give at least 6 months’ notice.

family reunion

The reunion length will depend on how far people have to travel. The shorter the distance the shorter the time can be. If people are traveling a distance, it won’t be worthwhile for them to come so far to only stay for a day.

5. Decide on a Reunion Location

There are many places you can host a reunion and the number of guests you are expecting, the distance they are traveling and budget will have a big influence on it. For smaller groups you can hold the reunion at a restaurant, park or someone’s home. For the outdoor enthusiasts a camping trip might be the perfect fit. For larger groups you may want to consider a park, campground, a nice resort, or maybe even a theme park. Whatever you select, be sure there is an activity for everyone to participate in and that there is sufficient lodging, if travel is required. Also,be sensitive to the financial situations of your attending family members. You don’t want to plan a reunion that hardly anyone can afford

6. Create a Budget

Once you know your family reunion type and location you can get started on creating the budget. Create a list of all the expenses you anticipate to incur so you can forecast what your costs will be. Then you must decide on how you plan on recouping these costs. Most commonly people either charge an admission to attend the family reunion or conduct some fundraising such as holding an auction or a raffle. If people are aware that the proceeds will be going to fund the reunion they will participate in the fun. If you are planning the family reunion at an all-inclusive resort, the costs will simply be the cost of the stay and travel Some resorts may give you a volume discount so don’t be shy to ask.

7. Decide on Activities

How many activities and how structured your family reunion will be is entirely up to you. Go with what works best for the guests but be sure to have plenty of activities to keep the kids busy. Some families fund future get-togethers with silent auctions, bake sales and other fund-raising activities built into the reunion day's events. During a multiday event, people may want to explore their surroundings, so compile a list of cultural and shopping destinations in the area.

Family Reunions on a Dude Ranch

For small and large groups, a dude ranch is a good option for many reasons. Because many dude ranches are all -inclusive not one person gets stuck bearing the whole burden of organizing and planning activities. There is no need to worry about entertaining everyone as there are so many activities available for young and old alike. The beauty of a dude ranch you can do as little or as much as you like. Your guests will have the opportunity to seek adventure together or just relax and chit chat on the deck. Also, you don’t have to worry about meals because it’s all taken care of at the dude ranch.

dude ranch family reunion

By holding a family reunion at a dude ranch, the financial awkwardness is removed since each family pays up front for everything. Because group decision making is at a minimum, a lot of potential friction is eliminated. People are not going to have to decide about where to eat, what to do for fun, and who’s in charge. Depending on the size of your group and the dude ranch, you   may be able to book the entire ranch just for your reunion. Lastly, you just can’t beat the hospitality of a dude ranch. They treat their guests like family so you will feel like you are staying with family.

We hope these tips will inspire you to plan a family reunion soon.

Happy Trails!

Priceless Cowboy Caviar Recipe

5/5/2016 4:31:50 PM

If you are in Texas you might be lucky enough to try a regional treat called “Cowboy Caviar”. Surprisingly enough, it doesn’t contain any caviar at all. It’s actually a black-eyed bean salad that is marinated in Italian dressing. Athens, Texas is, after all, the black-eyed pea capital of the world. It can be eaten with a spoon or even better yet do what the locals do and scoop it up with a tortilla chip. Texans like their "caviar" year round and serve it at barbecues and other informal gatherings.

Historically speaking, black-eyed peas were frequently eaten on New Year’s Eve in Texas and in other southern states. Some people, owing to a curious mix of tradition and superstition, still believe that the consumption of black-eyed peas consumed on the 31st of December will bring luck and prosperity throughout the coming year.

Interesting enough, however; “Cowboy Caviar” wasn’t created by a Texan but rather by a Yankee. Helen Corbitt, who was the head chef at Nieman Marcus at the time, was tasked to create an all-Texan menu that would include black-eyed peas. She had a personal disdain for the legume so this wasn’t an easy task and since she was unable to find an existing recipe that met her high standards she created her own.

The original recipe consisted of black-eyed peas and onions which are then marinated in a vinaigrette dressing. Since then, “Cowboy Caviar” has evolved into lots of different variations many of which also include black beans. This dip makes the perfect side dish, appetizer, or snack and is a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet!

Ingredients:

Salad:
3/4 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
2 green onions, chopped or 1/2 cup of chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (any color will do)
1 chopped jalapeño (jarred or fresh)
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 ripe avocado cubed
1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained well
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained well

Dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Tortilla chips

Directions:

1.)Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.

2.)Mix the salad ingredients together in a large bowl

3.)Pour dressing into the salad bowl and toss. Refrigerate an hour before serving to allow the flavours to blend.

So the next time that you are looking for something different to serve your guests consider preparing a bowl of “Cowboy Caviar” and be sure to tell them all about this delicious, healthy dish’s interesting history.

cowboy caviar

Happy Trails!

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