Question: The Rainbow Ranch in Big Sky, Mont., is as wonderful as its name indicates. The ranch provided my family with a memorable vacation, and the food was excellent. Will they share the recipe for the Gorgonzola Walnut Shortbread, which was a favorite of mine?

- Jo Ann Goss,Brigham City, Utah

Answer: Get away from life in the fast lane with a visit to Big Sky country in the great Montana outdoors, where snow-capped mountains, lush grasslands dotted with wildflowers and cool woods and waters are warmed under a blanket of dazzling blue sky. Invigorating mountain air and majestic scenery seem to beseech guests at Big Sky's Rainbow Ranch to participate in any number of outdoor activities, but for many visitors, it's all about fishing. Anglers bide time, waiting to grab a rod and reel, toss waders in the car and experience blue-ribbon fly-fishing at one of five trout streams within driving distance of Big Sky. The Gallatin River, practically at Big Sky's front door, is where the Robert Redford movie "A River Runs Through It" was filmed.

First-time visitors to Big Sky, which is in the heart of Montana, about one hour south of Bozeman on the way to Yellowstone Park, are awed by the majesty of their surroundings. They quickly succumb to "Montana Magic."

Kim Cameron, executive chef at the Rainbow Ranch Lodge, and her husband, Paul, are partners in creating an exceptional dining and lodging experience that was previously hard to find in Big Sky. In addition to hospitality in the tradition of the Old West and luxurious accommodations, they provide gourmet fare such as a fresh catch of pan-fried Rainbow Trout, Sesame-Crusted Sal-mon with an Avocado-Lime But-ter and Grilled Rib Eye Steak. Crispy rounds of Gorgonzola Walnut Shortbread - Gorgonzola is a mild, semi-soft, rich and creamy Italian cheese with blue streaks - complement meals.


4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese

5 tablespoons butter

1 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon caraway seed

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

In work bowl or food processor, combine Gorgonzola cheese, but-ter, flour, salt and caraway seeds. Blend until the dough forms a ball. Add nuts and process until just combined. Dough may be rolled out on a lightly floured board to 1/4-inch thickness and cut into rounds, or if dough is too soft to work, place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap, form into a cylindrical log and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, remove dough from plastic wrap, and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Place rounds on ungreased baking sheet and bake in preheated 350-degree oven 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Yields 11/2 dozen shortbread rounds.