A Trip Down South. Cibolo Creek Ranch… And recipes!

August 4, 2011 § 3 Comments

I would like to share a very special day with you.  Last Sunday my sister and Mom and I went to visit Cibolo Creek Ranch for a ‘tasting’.  Eris is getting married in November so we took a little trip down south of Marfa to get a feel for the food and accommodations.  Let me just say that I was Blown away.  This place has an amazing rich history that you can read about here.

Above you see a view of the first courtyard that you enter.  The first thing that struck me as we entered the property was a unblieveable sense of peace.  Oh, and the rock-work.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  My brain automatically pondered the tremendous amount of work that it took to build… then restore.  Guests are welcome to wander the property where Paula Cavness, our guide and event planner, said, ‘the doors are always open.’  The activities range from touring on site museums to 3 hour-long tours of the 30,000 acre property.  Read about the activities here.

The big dining room is very long and adorned with famous works of western art.  It can accommodate 50 people all at one super long table… can you imagine a wedding party dinner here?  Oh, we were giddy with excitement about the special memories that will be created!

Next Paula took us to the smaller dinning room, which is not small… and Eris was given an opportunity to taste the meals that she is considering for her wedding dinner.

This was the best salad I’ve ever tasted… IN.  My.  Whole.  Life.  Garden Salad with an Ancho Chili Dressing.  The dressing reminded me of a caesar dressing but with a depth of flavor a mile wide.  I’ve already pleaded with Paula to put the recipe on the website… I’ll keep you posted on that.

Paired with the Ancho Chili Garden Salad was a filet that had the BEST sauce I’ve ever tasted.  It was rich.  And smoky(cumin).  Aromatic.  And guess what?!  Here is the recipe for FILETE AL COMINO (Cumin Steak).  I am so making this.

A light and fresh garden salad with seasonal fruit paired with a Cilantro vinaigrette was our next offering.  I know.  I know.  You either love cilantro or think is will be the death of you… but this vinaigrette was airy and sweet with just a hint of cilantro.  It was beautiful.

If you’ve never had quail,… and think you probably wouldn’t like it, this would be the dish to change your mind.  I love when a dish stumps me… like I can’t figure out exactly how to describe it, much less replicate it.  It wasn’t bar-b-que’d but  it had a hint of smoke and a kiss of sweet.  I imagine that it was seared in a cast iron skillet as old as the fort.  It was the Best quail I’ve ever eaten.  Oh, and Lord have mercy on me… the TORTA DE MASA A LA TAPATIA, which is an Individual Masa Casserole, was a totally new culinary experience.  It was like eating a corn muffin~gordita~tortilla package with a savory pork stuffing.  It could be a meal in itself.  Yum.  City.  If your mouth is watering, don’t worry… Here are the recipes for both dishes.

Our last salad tasting was a Strawberry Garden Salad with a Berry Vinaigrette.  Perfectly dressed.

Then we tried the Grilled Salmon with Fresh Mango and Jalapeno Salsa.  The Salmon was paired with a saffron rice and Green Beans cooked to perfection.  My biggest challenge would be choosing which meal… in fact, I’ve already asked my sister if I can have two…

Let me take a moment to thank our gracious host, Michael Pugh.  Michael your sense of humor was enamouring and it was such a pleasure getting to know more about Cibolo Creek Ranch through your thoughtful presentation of both the food and the wines.  Can’t wait to see you in November!

I do have one major disappointment with our ‘tasting’… Where were the desserts????  I’ve heard about their famous Tres Leches Cake (recipe here) but there was no cake in sight.  I’m not sure if my sister told Paula that it wouldn’t be necessary to taste the cakes or what.  Maybe I’ll take it up with the management.  Or.  Just wait until November and let the anticipation swell.  I’m just saying that if the desserts are anything like the meals that we tasted… we are in for a big treat.  (note to Eris:  please order one of everything for me.  thank you.  love you.)

After the food we toured the rest of the Fort.  I took a bazillion pictures.  But I want to save some of the fun for the actual event.  Above you see the lake that is right outside the door of a slew of guest rooms.  Doesn’t this look like a picture perfect place to relax?  I could live here.  For real.
One last picture.  Cibolo Creek Ranch is an oasis in the desert.  It is a commitment of sorts to get there.  And once you arrive, you’re going to want to stay.  It’s one of those places that can truly change you… renew you.  Energize you.

My overall impression of Cibolo Creek Ranch is painted with a stroke of beauty, serenity… and familiarity.  It felt like coming home to a place that I’ve visited in my dreams.  I want to thank Paula Cavness for greeting us with love and making us feel like we were visiting her home.  She gave us a sense of complete confidence that Eris’s wedding will be an event to remember.  I.  Can’t.  Wait.  for November!  I’m excited about you getting married, too, Eris!

Do you have a special vacation place like this?  I’d love to hear about it.

Big,  Mj

PS.  I just realized that my Mom was almost speechless on the entire visit.  Holy Moly.  I guess she was blown away, too!

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§ 3 Responses to A Trip Down South. Cibolo Creek Ranch… And recipes!

  • Jason says:

    Wow! Are you certain you like this place?

    Very well-written article. It’s like you’re writing for Food & Wine.

    More pictures of the rockwork, please. Love you.

  • Awww, thanks, Honey! The rock-work was amazing. And so were the cottonwoods. Will you plant some please?

  • Can I be your date? Or make Jason the luckiest man on earth and he can escort us both? How delightful and wonderful and what a peaceful way to start the new chapter in your sister’s life. May God’s blessings reign down on her and may she love as loudly and profusely as you do.

    ~ RED

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