Present at the Ranch

Rancho La Puerta's blog about healthy and happy living.

Category Archives: Classes

Joan Nathan Hands-On Cooking Class

Joan Nathan at Rancho La Puerta Collage 2

It was Christmas week at The Ranch, the air was crisp and colored lights were glittering around the grounds.  We joyfully boarded two full vans to take us to our magical cooking experience at La Cocina Que Canta, hosted by visiting chef Joan Nathan.

My fellow cooks were ecstatic about meeting Joan, one saying she was her favorite chef and that she had also signed up for the Wednesday night class.  When we arrived, we spent time in the garden at dusk with both Joan and our own Chef Denise Roa, picking organic veggies out of the rich soil for this Monday night feast.

Joan Nathan at Rancho La Puerta Collage

Everything was delicious (it always is!), but I have to say, since I have a weak spot for desserts, the Dates in Brown Butter with Date Molasses and Halva, served with Vanilla Ice Cream almost made me faint from happiness.  And although I mainly eat vegan/vegetarian at home, I could not pass up the Fish with Fennel and Preserved Lemon.

Joan Nathan at Rancho La Puerta Collage 4

The Menu

  • Fish with Fennel and Preserved Lemon
  • Crispy Rice
  • French Sorrel Soup
  • Winter Kale Salad with Avocado, Pomegranate, Grapefruit or Orange
  • Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash, Feta, and Pecans
  • Roasted Beets With Cumin And Cilantro
  • Spinach With Pine Nuts and Raisins
  • Dates in Brown Butter with Date Molasses and Halva, served with Vanilla Ice Cream

Joan Nathan at Rancho La Puerta Collage 3

If you missed Joan Nathan in 2014, don’t worry!  We’re pleased to have Joan back the week of April 18, 2015.  Book now to save your spot!

Joan Nathan will offer two hands-on culinary experiences, 3.5 hours each, during which you will enjoy preparing your own meal along with fellow cooks. Classes take place at La Cocina Que Canta, our culinary center on Tuesday and Thursday at 4pm. For more information and registration, please click here.


5 Health Tips for Modern Living

Five Health Tips for Modern Living

Even though we’re not being chased by saber tooth tigers in our modern age, we may be more stressed than our cave-dwelling ancestors.  According to Michael Brightwood, Registered Craniosacral Therapist (RCST®), who teaches The Ranch class, Promote Health, Reduce Stress and … Continue reading


yoga and writing 2

Yoga and Writing Class

Yoga and writing, two of my very favorite activities.  This popular class takes places annually at The Ranch.  It was taught in our beautiful Oaktree Pavilion by longtime Ranch yoga instructor, Phyllis Pilgram, and writer, Irene Borger. We started off with yoga stretches taught … Continue reading




Have you ever experienced GYROKINESIS® exercise? I tried it for the first time last week and I have to say I was blown away by how great I felt afterwards.  I’m glad I attended the class; before it started I … Continue reading


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