Farm to Table Cooking Class with Amy Pennington

One of my favorite things to do at the Ranch is attend cooking classes at our cooking school, La Cocina Que Canta.  Why, you ask?  Well, let me count the ways.  It’s incredibly beautiful inside the kitchen as well as out on the farm.  The first time I stepped foot into the Cocina during the Organic Breakfast Hike I was impressed by not only how gorgeous it was, but also warm and inviting.  And how it sort of feels like home.  I didn’t want to leave.  Then there’s the six acre organic farm, Rancho Tres Estrellas, which right now is blooming head to toe with flowers.  So, that being said, you can start to see why I love coming to the Cocina.  And I haven’t even gotten to the food yet.

If you can while you’re here, attend one of the cooking classes.  In some ways it’s a life changing experience even though it’s only about three hours.  There’s a lot that goes on!  First you learn from not only our amazing chef, Denise Roa, but also our guests chefs who come to share their stories and their approach to cooking.  Then comes the tour of the gardens where you’ll be able to pick vegetables for the recipes you’ll be cooking and then of course, is the actual cooking.  However, what makes each class so special is truly working together as a group to make a spectacular meal and sharing it together.  It’s really hard to describe how unique that is until you’ve actually done it.  By the time you leave class, you’ll all feel like old friends.

This class was no exception.  The ride back to the Ranch afterwards was filled with laughter and stories from people who had first met just a couple of hours earlier.  A lively group I must say!  And of course there was the food.  Amy, whose background specializes in urban farming (she has an amazing website by the way) came up with a menu that honestly, I would eat every day.  Completely up my ally.  Veggie heavy recipes that taste delicious and are super healthy.  My favorites were the Lettuce Bowls with Shrimp, the Sweet Potato Salad, the Sautéed Escarole, well actually, pretty much everything on the menu!


Lettuce Bowls with Clove Pickled Beets and Grilled Shrimp

Herbal Minestrone- Stock, Bean, Zucchini and a Handful of Herbs

Panzanella with Crushed Tomato and Pickled Red Onion

Barley + Sweet Potato Salad

Grated Cumin Carrots and Raisins

Sautéed Escarole with Smashed Garlic

Orange Slices with Orange Flower Water and Pistachios

Stay tuned for recipes we’ll be posting soon from the class!

Don’t forget about our Culinary Week, La Fiesta De La Cocina Que Canta with Deborah Madison, John Ash, Marie Simmons and Nani Steele!  September 28-October 5th!  Book by August 1, 2013, limited space available.

Announcing Fiesta De La Cocina Que Canta!

cooking class, la cocina que canta, rancho la puerta

A Food Enthusiast’s Special Week At Rancho La Puerta And Our Cooking School,
La Cocina Que Canta

September 28 – October 5, 2013

MadisonJoin famed cookbook author and chef Deborah Madison—along with esteemed chef/writers John AshMarie SimmonsNani Steele and our own Denise Roa—at our semi-annual Culinary Week this year!

In the future we’ll profile each of our chefs, but let’s talk a bit about Deborah Madison first. She evokes so much of what The Ranch “is about!”

First, have you ever been to GREENS in San Francisco’s Ft. Mason area for incredible vegetarian cuisine served literally “over the Bay?” Founding chef Deborah Madison has long since moved to a little town near Santa Fe, New Mexico, but her imprimatur—and creative genius—remains at Greens in force. It’s a don’t-miss experience in The City.

Deborah has been to the Ranch many times and her classes are thorough, intensely focused, and revolutionary for those of us who want a deeper command of delicious vegetarian cooking. Deborah’s latest book “Vegetable Literacy” delves into the most arcane and delicious secrets of vegetables. Did you know that kohlrabi leaves are edible? As well as broccoli leaves? Or that spinach is a “goosefoot?” This is an instant classic…deliciously so.

This year’s Culinary Week will feature hands-on classes with our guest chefs, plus a WINE COUNTRY TOUR, plus DINNER IN EL LUGAR DE NOS (Tecate’s hottest new restaurant), and more…

Culinary Week Package $495 per person + tax PLUS 10% off any available room*.

Call our experience planners
for more details.

*For this special discounted rate the Culinary Package & room must be booked by August 1, 2013. Space is limited.

Our New Summer Spa Package!


“Four for Three” 

Announcing The Ranch’s 

Summer Spa Package 

Four Treatments for only $329 + tax

June 15 – August 30, 2013

Enjoy four 50-minute or less treatments* of your choice this summer for approximately the price of THREE! (Actual savings vary, but can be up to $91 dollars)

Upgrade Option: Choose four treatments*, including all 80- and 90-minute treatments,  (TOTAL: $529+tax).

* Shorter treatments also eligible. This offer excludes Four Hand Massage, Cooking Classes, and Therapeutic Private Sessions (Watsu, Craniosacral, Chiropractic Service, Feldenkrais, and Acupuncture).

Spa services are limited to availability; guest will be guaranteed the number of treatments in their package, but not necessarily the specific treatments of their choosing. Spa package pricing is per person, for up to seven continuous days.

Some restrictions apply. Prices can change without notice. Mexican tax (11%) is not included in these prices.  

Dreams and Relationships with Veronica Tonay

Every time Veronica Tonay comes to the Ranch to speak about dreams, I have to go.  You see, I’m one of those people who has really vivid dreams.  Almost like I’m living a different life.  There have been times where I can’t remember if a conversation I had with someone happened in reality or in a dream.  I consider myself lucky to have such active dreams.  It used to be that my dreams exhausted me.  I would have so many in one night and they would seem so real, it felt like I wasn’t getting any sleep at all some nights!  Thankfully, I’ve learned how to curb that (thanks to some advice from Veronica) so now I can enjoy my dreams and get a good night’s sleep too.

The class I went to a couple of weeks ago was about dreams and relationships.  I was really excited about this one because my relationships are a huge part of my dreams.  They sometimes even affect my every day life!  You know how sometimes you wake up after a particularly vivid dream that had bad vibes (or good vibes for that matter) and you can’t get it out of your head?  It’s a strange phenomenon because we know it’s not real, however, sometimes dreams affect us like they are reality.  I could go on and on about dreams, they fascinate me.

What I found so interesting about Veronica’s class is often when we’re dreaming and we come across a really strong personality that seems scary or intrusive, it’s a way our subconscious lets us know that this is something we need to work on within us, often not in the other person.  For instance, dreams where we are being chased usually means that there is something in our consciousness which we find threatening.  Often those are our own thoughts that we create.  If you begin to write down your dreams in the morning, you may start to see a pattern which can help you resolve issues you might be having in your every day life.  Watch the pattern of interactions and watch how you respond if someone is being negative to you.  This may give you some insight into how you react to things.

If you’re interested in the dream world I highly recommend attending one of Veronica’s classes next time she’s here the week of September 7, 2013.  In the meantime, you can check out her book and articles at