Hiking in Montana – Hike #1

Hubby actually had to work on the 4th of July, so we ended up watching copious amounts of Doctor Who (how patriotic is that???) and had our bar-b-que when he finally got home. We didn’t even do fireworks, as by the time we had dinner the kids where more than ready for bed.

Instead, we decided to go on a hike the next day.

Because of where we live in Montana we have NUMEROUS choices. I am actually a little embarressed about how little we hike around here. We have lived in this area for 2 1/2 years and we have been on only a few hikes.

My brother and his wife visited last year with my parents (who all helped us paint our house, something I am seriously grateful for…) and we decided to go on a hike. I managed to pick one that was about 30 miles away in the middle of no where and way to difficult/longer than what we wanted.

Silly me. This trail head for the hike we went on last week was just about 6 miles from our house. It was also much easier and the kids LOVED it.

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 There was also a creek next to the hike that was GORGEOUS to look at. On the way up, it was cloudy so that kept us cool. On the way back the sun came out and you could see all the different colors of a simple mountain stream. I LOVED it. 

So did the kids:

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They mostly scared the crap out of me. That water was moving fast and I worried about them getting too far into it. 

This hike was actually more like 6-7 miles to a lake then 6-7 miles back, but we just went up a mile or so then back. People had created areas where you could get off the path and have a small fire or sit and eat lunch, so we hit up those areas for the kids to play. 

We are determined to check out a different hike every free weekend we have (emphasis on free, we are actually pretty busy right now….)

That way when family comes to visit we can pick a good hike to go on that isn’t 30 miles from our house and isn’t insanely hard. 

We like hikes next to water, then the kids can throw rocks in the water and wade out a bit to cool off. 

It is HOT around here. But I know that the cold will last a LOT longer than the hot, so I am just embracing it for now. I have a pretty good tan from going to the pool!

 

 

Bacon Asparagus Pasta

I like to plan my menus a month at a time (right before my monthly trip to Costco) and I usually drag my poor husband into the process. I ended up doing it at the last possible moment (in this case Sunday night at about 9:30pm, a half an hour past our bedtime). We were both cranky and tired after a long Sunday.

 

We always look through old monthly menus, various cookbooks and Pintrest. At the very end of the planning session (when we were both exhausted and starting to snip at each other) I stumbled across this recipe on Pintrest. I had some asparagus in the fridge and some bacon in the freezer, so I decided to give it a whirl. I decided to add a few ingredients and adjust the cooking process a bit. It was REALLY good.

 

I think I might end up eating the rest of that later tonight….maybe its a good thing Hubby is out of town again.

 

 

So this actually has been sitting in my fridge for about an hour or so, but it still looks DELICIOUS.
So this actually has been sitting in my fridge for about an hour or so, but it still looks DELICIOUS.

Bacon Asparagus Pasta

Original recipe link: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/5-ingredient-bacon-asparagus-pasta-recipe/

Ingredients

1/2 pound of linguine (I just used whole wheat spaghetti for this)

1/2 pound washed, trimmed asparagus cut into bite size pieces

1/2 pound bacon, cut into bite sized pieces (about 8 slices)

1 tomato, diced

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup chicken broth

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese (shredded)

Method

Boil the linguine according to the package direction.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet on medium high heat until crisp. When the bacon is done, use a slotted spoon to remove it to a plate off to the side. Leave as much of the bacon grease as POSSIBLE (yum). Add the asparagus and garlic and let cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. (you can omit the salt if you want, because the bacon will add a bunch of saltiness. I have some bacon from a butcher that isn’t NEARLY as salty as the stuff you get from store. In fact it is hardly salty at all. It is quite tasty!)

Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes and let cook for a few minutes. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice, deglazing the pan in the processes, and cook until the liquid reduces by about half.

Drain the pasta and add to the asparagus and chicken broth in the skillet. Add the bacon too. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and toss again. If you want, you can add some more red pepper flakes to taste.

 

This was really good. For someone who skipped lunch it was a hard not to eat the entire dish. I’m going to go polish it off while I watch “Royal Pains” on Netflix.

We have wild and crazy nights around here! At least the kids were worn out by going to the pool earlier today, so they won’t be around. Just me, my TV, name indexing and left over Bacon, Asparagus Pasta. Heaven.