Celebrate National Ice Cream Day — and later, National Cheesecake Day — with homemade treats.
There’s something life-affirming about the mountain vistas at 9,000 feet above sea level. It’s difficult to be upset about anything. (Never mind the thinner air.) But that’s what you get at Elk Mountain Ranch, remotely located in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and just two hours from Denver and Colorado Springs. The views in question are the largest collection of peaks over 14,000 feet in the Lower 48. The town in which the resort ranch is located, Buena Vista is called the Whitewater Capital of Colorado and the area is surrounded by San Isabel National Forest. It’s about a Rocky Mountain high one can get.
Activities include taking advantage of the aforementioned whitewater, archery, trap shooting, mountain biking, trail riding, fishing, kids’ activities, and loads more.
All the comforts of home are also available at Elk Mountain Ranch, including intimacy. The resort ranch maxes out at 30 guests. But the eats are decidedly ranch. The dining program homemade meals in the main lodge as well as trail-ride cookouts of the champagne-brunch and lunch varieties, among other options.
To give you a nibble of what awaits you at Elk Mountain Ranch and to celebrate National Ice Cream Day, July 15, we give you recipes for ice cream and Denver cheesecake.
7 cups whipping cream
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 13-ounce cans evaporated milk
In large bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour into ice cream maker. Surround ice cream maker with ice and rock salt. Churn until thick. Pour into storage container. Thoroughly add in crushed Oreo cookies. Freeze.
(Yields 2 pans, 14 pieces per pan)
2½ pounds cream cheese
1¾ cups white sugar
3 tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon peel, grated
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
Beat cream cheese. Add sugar, flour, salt, lemon peel and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Then add cream. Beat again and set aside.
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup butter
½ cup white sugar
Combine above 3 ingredients. Divide in ½ and press mixture into greased spring-form pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Place ½ cream mixture in each pan. Cover pans with aluminum foil. Place pans in a water bath and bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 200 degrees and bake for 70 – 80 more minutes (until firm). Remove foil and cover each pan with a metal bowl until cool. Refrigerate and cut when chilled. Can be baked a day ahead.
For more information on Elk Mountain Ranch or to make reservations, visit the resort’s website. Images courtesy Elk Mountain Ranch.
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