Pro Tips for Packing the Perfect Picnic

Are you dreaming of summer already? We sure are. And this year, we’re going all-out for al fresco, starting with a Chicago-style picnic in a Montana-size park.

Join us on June 16 for our Montana Long Table: Artisanal Picnic, and you’ll have a chance to chat and dine with illustrious Windy City chefs known for their Chicago dogs and gourmet sausages, honey butter fried chicken and hand-crafted pies.

But you don’t have to travel far to enjoy an epic picnic. Let Paws Up Executive Chef Sunny Jin share some inspiring thoughts on dining outside during those dreamy months ahead:

What do you love about eating outside?

The greatest advantage to eating outside is the wholeness of the experience. It allows us to focus on what’s important, and I believe that simply to mean being present and enjoying the moment in front of us.

What are a few of your favorite things to take on a picnic? 

I’m big on variety and small bites. That doesn’t mean extravagance and significant labor. My choices usually consist of cured meats, pickles, olives, cheeses, whole fruits and the best bread I can find. Every region has local favorites of each item, so an assortment is easy to come by.

Other than food, what else might you take? 

My picnic spots are usually at places where cell service and paved roads are absent. That creates a place with less exposure to human contact, so I carry along a book on plant identification. I’m still amazed what I’m able to find now that my eyes have adjusted to the edible surfaces around all of us.

If you were planning a leisurely rafting trip, what would be on the menu? 

Being respectful and observant of fire bans, regulations and conservation should always come first. It would be a bummer to pack for a riverside BBQ, and then come to find that fires are not permissible. I love to grill as much as the next person and would if the opportunity were there. However, to be safe, I try to stick to cold, no-fuss items that travel well. 

Chef Sunny Jin’s Rafting Trip Menu:

Chilled Prime Rib Wraps with Watercress, Pickled Goat Horn Peppers and Cucumber-Horseradish Slaw

Roasted Eggplant Panzanella with Chorizo, Toybox Tomatoes, Chèvre and Banyuls Vinaigrette

Fresh Fruit Bites with Wildflower Honey and Greek Yogurt

Homemade Jerky: My freezer is always stocked with experimental jerky made from earlier hunting and fishing trips.

Dill Pickle Chips: We all have our vices.

Ice Cold IPA: Some have more vices than others.

8 Best Pie Tips from Pie Expert Kate McDermott

Making great pies isn’t about the recipe—it’s about techniques. Join us at The Resort at Paws Up for Cookbook Live: Art of the Pie, held at Paws Up on November 3–6, 2017. Cookbook Live is a brand-new culinary series that features chefs bringing their acclaimed cookbooks to life through interactive demonstrations, hands-on classes, receptions and world-class meals. For our November Cookbook Live session, author and “pie whisperer” Kate McDermott will walk you through the steps for mixing, rolling and baking perfectly flaky pie crusts every time. Her hands-on classes will help you master essential pie-making skills that all bakers should know. McDermott’s cookbook, Art of the Pie, was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2017. Below is a preview of some amazing pie tips from the book and much more.

What are some of your top pie tips?

  • To avoid filling spilling over, fill the pie pan about 1/2 inch below the rim.
  • Place the pie it in the lowest part of the oven (if that is where your heating element is) or on a preheated cookie sheet or even a pizza stone to give the bottom crust a blast of heat. This can help with avoiding the dreaded soggy bottom!
  • If your pie is burned on the top, try lightly scraping it off with a paring knife and brushing the crumbs away much like you would do with burnt toast.
  • A little ice cream or dollop of whipped cream can camouflage a burn.
  • And if all else fails, get out the lasagna pan, turn your fruit pie into it, stir lightly to even it out and you will have the best crumble in the world. No one needs to know that you planned something different.
  • “Don’t overwork the dough” . . . words that we’ve all heard before might also be translated to “stop before you think you are done.” When flour and water are mixed together, they make gluten. The more it is mixed, the tougher the dough. Work the dough lightly, and just enough, so it comes together.
  • For best flavor, use fresh spices.
  • Clean your oven before embarking on your holiday baking so as not to get a blast of smoke from a preheated oven!

What is your ultimate baking tip?

It really helps to keep the ingredients for the pastry crust well-chilled. I put my flour in the freezer and sometimes grate frozen butter to ensure it doesn’t melt. Butter starts melting at 59ºF and cold fats are essential for a flaky crust. If my hands feel hot, I hold ice cubes for a minute until they cool down.

Which pies do you make for Thanksgiving?

Pumpkin pie and pear cranberry walnut pie.


Can you tell me how you became a pie expert?

From the time I was a little girl, I loved to bake. In the afternoons after school, I would come home and while my mom taught piano lessons, I would get out the mixing bowl and spoons to make cookies, cakes and bread. Some of these first attempts were disasters but many turned out to be pretty good and kept me interested in baking.

Those years of learning and experimenting later served me well in baking for my young family. We lived “out,” had a big garden and in the kitchen was a wonderful six-burner stove with an oven that could fit six loaves of bread at a time! I loved getting up early to bake for my family.

For a while in the late 1990s, my son Duncan and I lived on a blueberry u-pick farm on the north Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. There was no shortage of berries there. I made blueberry pie, blackberry pie and raspberry pie and combined all the berries to make triple-berry pie.

In 2005, pie became a passion and a two-year exploration of crust ensued. There was lots of experimentation with different flours and fats, ratios and recipes. The dough that we make in my Art of the Pie® workshops is the culmination of much that was learned along the way.

How many years have you been baking pies?

I’m a lifelong baker. But I got seriously bit by the pie-making bug in the mid-1990s.

Do you have plans for another cookbook?

Kate’s Can-Do Cookbook: Easy as Pie Recipes for Everyday Cooking will be published in Fall 2018 by the Countryman Press/W.W. Norton. Photos once again by Andrew Scrivani. 

Why do you love to come to Paws Up?

I love the rustic elegance of Paws Up. Montana is truly Big PIE Country.

Possibly the World’s Most Uplifting Countdown

Make a resolution to finally have the New Year’s Eve of your wildest dreams. No crowds, no traffic. Join us for a weekend filled with wintery outdoor adventures like snowmobiling, horseback riding, snow tubing, cross-country skiing and skijoring (to name a few). Then get cozy inside with movie nights, shopping and bowl game watching. And when it’s time to ring in the new year, you can celebrate in spectacular fashion right here at The Resort. You’ll find a dazzling night that begins with an elegant, five-course dinner and ends with fire dancers, fireworks and a live performance by American Idol’s Crystal Bowersox. After you retire to your private vacation home and wake up to a lavish breakfast buffet, you’re looking at an ideal welcome to 2018.

Our vast menu of activities provides opportunities to do things you love, as well as things you’ve always wanted to try.


Paws Up’s Featured Entertainment

“Crystal has ‘a voice like dirt and diamonds.’ Her music is intended to bring a positive message of love and light to the world—things that folks will be able to take with them on their own journey, so that they, too, can feel truly alive.”

— from

Crystal Bowersox will provide the music for Paws Up’s extravagant end-of-the-year celebration. She will perform with her trio for all New Year’s Eve revelers to enjoy. Crystal Bowersox’s emotive folk-rock-country style catapulted her from the cramped coffeehouses and cavernous subway tunnels of Chicago to millions of homes across the United States when she placed second on Season 9 of American Idol. Along with her old soul of a voice, her carefree style and “don’t mess with me” attitude set her apart from the other contestants and landed the self-taught songstress performances with Joe Cocker, Harry Connick, Jr. and Alanis Morissette.

This Year Between Christmas and New Years, the Holidays Are Even Sweeter at Paws Up.

Because we like to do everything right, down to the last little detail, we’ve arranged for our very own Sugar Plum Fairy to make a visit this winter. Chef Mindy Segal of Chicago’s ever-popular HotChocolate restaurant will be providing heavenly cupfuls of her signature dessert. Stop by the fully stocked HotChocolate Bar for an assortment of concoctions. Winner of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef and author of Cookie Love, Segal will also be leading cookie-making classes* and creating a featured dessert. As if you needed any other reason to visit during this magical time of year.

10 Reasons to Celebrate Christmas at Paws Up

This holiday season, leave behind the hustle and bustle for something truly magical: Christmastime in Montana. At The Resort at Paws Up, you’re in for a warm and adventurous holiday weekend. We have elves to take care of everything. Here are 10 reasons to spend Christmas at Paws Up in pictures and words.

  1. You get to experience a picture-perfect backdrop of snow-covered mountains.
  2. You’ll rock around your very own decorated tree.
  3. You’ll receive a surprise personal visit from Santa, right in your cozy luxury home with gifts and all.
  4. You’ll experience bonfires with s’mores and downhill snow tubing with a snowmobile chauffeur, followed by hot apple cider.
  5. You’ll participate in a gingerbread house decorating contest.
  6. You’ll enjoy quality family time with bingo game nights and more.
  7. You’ll warm up with indoor activities such as holiday crafts, movie nights and plenty of shopping at our Wilderness Outpost.
  8. You’ll experience a family broomball game on the Paws Up ice skating rink.
  9. You’ll enjoy the best Montana Christmas brunch and a glittering Christmas dinner with live music.
  10. You’ll end each day soaking in a soothing hot tub and then relax by your roaring fireplace.

Enough said? Contact our live chat on now for more information.

Kick off the holidays with something spectacular

This Thanksgiving, create new traditions with a family vacation to The Resort at Paws Up. With an abundance of activities to choose from, there’s something on the menu for everyone. Get cozy inside with family movie nights and football and parade viewing parties, or satisfy your appetite for outdoor adventure with horseback riding, ATV rides, hayrides, touch football, bird watching and more.

Of course, we haven’t forgotten the feast itself. For Thanksgiving dinner, you and yours can sit down to a spectacular spread at Pomp or opt to have a private, plentiful meal brought to your home, which will be whisked away when you’re done. That’s just one portion of a weekend filled with sumptuous, locally sourced fare brought to you by our world-renowned Executive Chef Ben Jones.

We sincerely hope you’ll join us for an unforgettable Thanksgiving weekend at The Resort at Paws Up. We’ll take care of everything—you just make the memories.

Along with five-star cuisine, you’ll enjoy exquisite vintage wine all weekend long from our featured vintner, Rombauer Vineyards. Established in 1980, Rombauer Vineyards is a family-owned and operated business with deep roots in food and wine. Owner KR Rombauer is a great-nephew of The Joy of Cooking author Irma Rombauer, and his ancestors originated from the winegrowing region of Rheingau, Germany, where wine is considered an essential complement to a meal. This rich history has led to an award-winning selection of wines that will make for an ideal pairing for your
Thanksgiving weekend.

Paws Up welcomes Dan Dubuque as the special musical guest for our Thanksgiving celebration. A solo acoustic guitarist, Dubuque is known for his unique approach to the Weissenborn, a slide guitar that’s played lap-style. Dubuque often adds percussive effects, playing the guitar like a drum while infusing every song with his free-sounding style.

Blackberry Smash Recipe

Blackberry Smash

At The Resort at Paws Up there are countless ways to get outside and get active. But after all that horseback riding, ATV touring and hiking, there’s no better way to cool down than with a fresh cocktail. Our bartending team gets inspired by the local, seasonal ingredients and Montana-made spirits. This Blackberry Smash recipe is just one of our many favorite cocktails which we wanted to share with you so you can create a little slice of Paws Up at home.

Blackberry Smash


A handful of blackberries

The juice of half a lemon

3/4 oz thyme simple syrup

1 3/4 oz Willie’s Distillery’s Big Horn Bourbon

Club soda


  1. Muddle blackberries, lemon juice and thyme simple syrup. Add ice and bourbon, and shake well. Strain into a Collins glass, ll with ice and top with soda. Garnish with blackberries and thyme sprig.

cocktails at the Resort at Paws Up

My Top 5 Favorite Fall Events at Paws Up

The resort at paws up

by Katy Richardson, Paws Up Reservations Specialist

Montanans take summer seriously. This is partly due to long days of guaranteed sun and a culture that highly values the great outdoors, but, regardless, summer days in Montana are very active. We fill our time with revved-up, hair-raising adventure, taking advantage of the crystal-clear rivers that offer white water thrills, the open fields begging to be explored and the untamed beauty of mountain summits that beckon us to climb a little higher. We challenge ourselves to go higher, travel farther and get in as much as we can—every day!

fall at The resort at paws up

We take summer seriously, and, maybe as a result, we take in the fall season more slowly and thoughtfully. Ask around, and the locals will tell you that fall is also a favorite season in Montana. Every day begets a subtle change—a tamarack changing color, a meadow shifting from green to gold, a gentle slowing of the Blackfoot River—until the entire landscape has gone golden. Fish are jumping. The air is crisp, and people have an urge to cozy up and spend time together. This lends itself well to couples’ trips, culinary events and evenings around a fire. Of course, this doesn’t mean the adventure stops come autumn. We always have amazing things to explore here at Paws Up. The coming of fall simply means our guests might be more inclined to ease back in their saddles, pause on the trigger and savor a moment. We have many diverse events going on throughout the fall season. Here are my Top 5 Favorite Fall Events at Paws Up:

 Cowboy experience at the resort at paws up

  1. Cowboy Experience (October 26­–29, 2017)

Paws Up is pleased to continue our partnership with the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame to create an incredible weekend straight out of your favorite Western. The hall of famers will lead workshops and demonstrations, gallop on trail rides and share their favorite campfire stories. We end every night with an incredible gourmet meal featuring fine whiskey from three different distillers. And you’re guaranteed to rub elbows with the cowboys and cowgirls who show you the ropes throughout the day.

art of the pie at the resort at paws up

  1. Cookbook Live Presents: Art of the Pie (November 3–6, 2017)

There’s a reason why we continually invite Kate McDermott back to Paws Up every year: she’s a master at what she does. And, even better, she’s a master who’s willing to share her secrets, just like she does in her highly praised cookbook Art of the Pie. McDermott will guide you through making perfect, flaky fresh pies, just in time for you to show off to friends and family at Thanksgiving.

 AdrenZen Fall

  1. AdrenZen: Fall (October 20–23, 2017)

Combining exhilarating wilderness adventures with 37,000 acres of meditative space makes Paws Up the perfect location for a wellness weekend. With two guest instructors—celebrity yogi Kristin McGee and fitness and lifestyle expert Idalis Velazquez—you’re sure to burn calories, push yourself and get centered, all in a safe, fun environment. And with all of that exercise, you’ll need to keep your energy up. That’s where Executive Chef Ben Jones and cookbook author Alison Lewis come in. Jones will satisfy your appetite with gourmet food, healthy cocktails and private culinary instruction. Lewis will also be providing hands-on workshops with recipes from her latest cookbook, 200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes. Adrenaline and Zen—we’ve got them both here.

 The resort at paws up thanksgiving

  1. Thanksgiving (November 22–26, 2017)

Thanksgiving is all about coming together with the people you love, sharing memories over a beautiful meal. So, bring your loved ones to The Resort at Paws Up, and we’ll take care of everything else. We’ll baste the turkey and make sure the pies don’t burn, while you watch the big game, view the parade on TV, play a game of touch football or go on hayride. And, of course, the food will incredible. Executive Chef Ben Jones will create gourmet, upscale options, as well as Thanksgiving favorites, and even share some dishes from the Jones family recipe book. Oh, and we’ll do the dishes too.

Montana Master Chefs 

  1. Montana Master Chefs: Rising All-Stars (September 21–24, 2017)

This is the culinary event that started them all at Paws Up. There’s a reason Montana Master Chefs is at the top of my list. It encompasses so much of what I love about being on property at Paws Up in the fall: gorgeous September views, exhilarating activities, an incredible community feel and, of course, amazing, out-of-this-world meals. This year is extra special in that we’re featuring rising all-stars. These chefs may not be household names quite yet, but, when they are, you’ll be able to say you dined with them. And, rather than sampling their delicious dishes in a crowded restaurant, you’ll get to experience these masters at their craft in an intimate setting, while they tell you about their food on a personal level. This event is upscale without pretense and is exactly what Paws Up is about.

fall at the resort at paws up

Fall Culinary Offerings at The Resort at Paws Up

Montana Master Chefs at The Resort at Paws up

From James Beard Award winners to Bravo Top Chef stars, we have been featuring a steady stream of highly esteemed chefs for our unique culinary weekends. The Resort invites guests to dine on cutting-edge cuisine from a select group of gastronomic geniuses during Montana Master Chefs: Rising All-Stars and the launch of Live Life Love Food with Paws Up’s own Executive Chef Ben Jones. Guests will have the opportunity to experience menus that have foodies clamoring for a chance to try. The events include exquisite wine, chef workshops, live music, wilderness adventures, spa treatments and more—all set under a never-ending Montana Big Sky.

culinary events at the resort at paws up

Montana Master Chefs: Rising All-Stars, September 21–24: As part of the weekend event, guests can partake in a myriad of wilderness adventures like horseback riding, river rafting or fly-fishing and will enjoy one-on-one interaction with some of the finest chefs, distillers and winemakers in the U.S. Montana Master Chefs 2017 will also feature cooking demonstrations and multicourse dinners prepared by up-and-coming all-stars in the culinary world including Chef Michael Corvino of Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room (Kansas City), Chef Kevin Gillespie of Gunshow and Revival (Atlanta), Chef Annie Pettry of Decca (Louisville), Chef Garrison Price of Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria (New York), Chef Amanda Rockman of South Congress Hotel (Austin) and Paws Up’s own Executive Chef Ben Jones. The chefs will also duke it out in a lighthearted (read: highly competitive) Master Chef Cook-Off Challenge.

food and wine at the resort at paws up

Paws Up is proud to welcome Montana’s Whitefish Handcrafted Spirits as the featured distiller and the celebrated California vintners Kosta Browne Winery, Melville Winery and Steele Wines to provide tastings and pairings throughout the weekend. Among the many highlights will be nightly private concerts by Cory Branan, a punk-influenced country artist from Memphis; John Floridis, a talented Missoula guitarist, singer-songwriter and composer and Ali Solomon, a captivating singer and cover artist also from nearby Missoula. Chef Ben Jones

Live Life Love Food, October 20–23: For a delicious course on how to incorporate exhilaration (Adrenalin) and renewal (Zen) into your everyday life, join us for our first-ever Live Life Love Food daily exercises. As a complement to AdrenZen: Fall wellness weekend, Paws Up Executive Chef Ben Jones shares the philosophy behind his cooking—and his life. Watch firsthand as he mixes, twists and lifts his way through this brand-new weekend event. Guests will gain new insights into using food as nourishment and experience the dual health benefits of energizing activities and a ranch-based diet. They will learn how to translate locally sourced ingredients into artistic creations on the plate. Basic training has never tasted so good.

homemade Kombucha

The weekend will feature a hands-on “clean eating” cooking class with Jones, a tour of the greenhouse, early-morning workouts alongside Jones, world-class dinners and more.

For reservations, please call 877-588-6783. The Resort at Paws Up is also on Facebook, Instagram (@theresortatpawsup) and Twitter (@Paws_Up).The Resort at Paws up


Meet our Fall Wellness Expert Kristin McGee

Kristin mcgee at the resort at paws up

Meet AdrenZen: Fall Yoga Expert Kristin McGee

Kristin McGee is a nationally recognized celebrity yoga and Pilates teacher, speaker and “mompreneur.” She is the author of Chair Yoga: Sit, Stretch and Strengthen Your Way to a Happier, Healthier YouHer unparalleled knowledge of fitness and health has established McGee as a sought-after trainer with a continuous roster of high-profile celebrities, including Emilia Clarke, Tina Fey, Bethenny Frankel, Savannah Guthrie, Steve Martin, LeAnn Rimes and Christine Taylor.

Join McGee at The Resort at Paws Up’s event AdrenZen: Fall on October 20–23, 2017. You will flow through many postures and learn simple chair poses to take with you wherever you go, so yoga can be a part of your daily life even if you’re stuck sitting down.

Kristin McGee

Try these four moves to boost your happiness and lift your spirits.

High Altar Pose: Lift your arms up overhead, interlace the fingers, invert the palms and lift the corners of your mouth in to a smile. You’ll feel your lungs inflate as you lift out of your lower back. Get an immediate rush of energy in to your body and notice how much better your body and brain feel. Hold for 3–5 deep breaths.

Hands Clasped Behind the Back Arch: Backbends are the antidepressants of yoga. When we slouch forward we get depressed. Our posture determines our mood. Use this pose to open your heart and lift yourself up mentally. Sit toward the edge of your seat, clasp your hands behind your back and lift your chest upward toward the ceiling. Hold this pose for 5–8 breaths.

Assisted Neck Stretch: We carry a ton of tension and stress in our neck and shoulders. Use this stretch to release the issues in your tissues. Place one hand over your head on the opposite ear. Gently let the head fall to the side as you stretch the neck and top of shoulder. Hold for 5 breaths and then switch sides.

Forward Fold: Finally, end with a forward fold to bring oxygen to the brain and stretch the entire back body. When you fold forward, you let the spine release and relax. Hold for 5–8 breaths before coming back up to sit and then notice how much happier and refreshed you feel.

Yoga Expert Kristin Mcgee 

A Q&A with Kristin McGee

What is your favorite thing about yoga?

Yoga makes me feel amazing. When I link my mind and body and tap into my breath, I am happier and healthier and I have more energy.

What is your style of teaching?

I teach an alignment-based flow. I also incorporate some of my Pilates background as well.

Why did you decide to write the Chair Yoga book?

Too many of us are stuck in our seats all day, so it’s important to find ways to do yoga anywhere and yoga in a chair.

What are you most looking forward to about coming to Paws Up?

Meeting new people in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I can’t wait to breathe in the mountain air and do yoga in a peaceful, incredible surrounding.

What advice would you give to someone who has never tried yoga before?

Get on the mat and listen to your breath. Your breath will be your guide and your body and mind will start to open and grow in so many ways. There is no judgment and no rush to do anything. You can just BE and start to move from an organic place inside of you. Honestly you will LOVE it.

chair yoga book

16 New Paws Up Finds


At The Resort at Paws Up, the start of summer means it is time to enjoy slower mornings, longer days (and more sunsets) and new memory-making adventures. The beginning of the season also signals the time for new merchandise to find their way to our Wilderness Outpost store. Enjoy one of those slower mornings with coffee in our rustic-chic Paws Up mugs, and take in a ranch sunset wearing some of our sharp new logo apparel that will ward off an evening chill. These fine finds are sure to brighten your summer and make you long to come back to The Resort at Paws Up. Call 406-244-7374 to purchase any of these items.

(above) Paws Up Metal Mug $25

Paws Up Swell Bottles

Swell Water Bottle 17 ounce $45; 25 ounce $55


Mesh Back Cap $35 Premium Sueded Cotton Hoodie $65


Paws Up Money Clip $40

Paws Up Wine Glasses

Logo Metal Wine Cup $35

the resort at paws up pillows

Logo Pillow $125


Last Best Place Hat $35


Paws Up Kids Tees $25


French Terry Logo Pant $85 Logo Camo Joggers $95

Montana Wild Huckleberry Jam $12

The Resort at Paws Up clothing

Love Paws Up Hoodie $59; Cap $36


Logo Browning Clipback Knife $75


Suede Brim Paws Up Cap $35 Trucker Cap $35


Paws Up Luggage Tag $35

The Resort at paws up wine glasses

Paws Up Wine Glass Set $45



Logo Mule Mug $40