I felt a little bad writing all about how much I love Missoula last time so I thought it appropriate to give Bozeman some love. We get to live in an incredibly beautiful place with a fantastic community that I sometimes take for granted because I've grown up here. This week we took full advantage of this sweet little city and all its summer splendor that it has to offer. The weather is what makes summer so glorious here…mid 80's almost everyday, we made sure to spend more waking hours outside than inside because of this. So here's some Bozeman love from the last few days...
Once a week there is a Farmer's Market here at a local park. We went for the first time this year and it just made summer feel more official. There's live music, lots of food, local produce and artist selling their creations. And, of course the ice cream truck is there much to the girls delight. It always draws so many people to it and you are sure to run into someone you know. We chowed on fresh pizza made right in front of us and cooked in their wood oven, noodles with fresh veggies and to top it all off the most delicious cookie sandwich I have ever had. Chocolate cookies on each side with a light cream frosting filling…oh so good. The girls totally missed out by getting ice cream sandwiches from the ice cream truck, too bad for them.
We hit another Bozeman summer tradition this week with Music on Main. Once a week they close down a couple blocks of our downtown and it fills with street vendors, people and an outdoor stage for a local band to play. There are activities and ice cream for the kids and cold beer for the adults.
We haven't gone to this much in the last few summers because the girls were a little too young. This year they enjoyed it a lot more. We danced to the music, met up with Amy & Chad and their family and ran into old friends.
We definitely plan on going to more of these as the summer continues. This particular day we also got to go swimming. For my little fish this is about as good as it gets. Last summer Amy found a secret swimming place that we went to and with hot weather in the forecast we suited up the kids and headed for our first swim of the season.
Unfortunetly it seems as if our spot got discovered because we didn't exactly have the pool to ourselves. However…this didn't matter, we splashed and played and swam the afternoon away. I love that my best friend is a teacher…that means in the summer we get to have lots of playdates with the kids without that pesky work thing getting in the way.
Earlier this week the girls and I decided to get a little creative and add a little color to our backyard. Matt had to replace one of our fence posts and because the rest of the fence is over 8 years old, this new one really stuck out. I thought…why not make it stick out even more? We grabbed some paint, split the post into three sections and each of us went to town.
Each girl had a very clear idea of what they wanted their part to represent (myself included). We wanted it to be summer things that make us happyI think it turned out beautiful and it makes me smile everytime I look at it.
Here are other things that are making me smile this week…
1. Afternoon snacks with cousins on the front porch
2. Extra smiles for cherries being a part of those snacks
3. Ice Cream every night for dessert
4. Decorating our whole driveway with vibrant chalk colors
5. Seeing my sister smile. She has her good days & bad days, but through all of this she is keeping a positive attitude and proves what a strong chick she is
6. Watching donations coming in for her benefit…we've been getting big donations, small donations, some from people we know & some that we'll never know where they came from. What it means to me is that people are good & kind and that makes me smile
7. New swimming pool for the backyard & watching my little fish splash around in it all afternon. It was a little cold even with the 86-degree temperatures, but we all got in. The girls kept daring me to get in further and further and then laughing hysterically when I exclaimed dramatically how cold it was.
8. Fresh veggies!!! This is our second year doing a CSA with a local farm and I LOVE it. (Madison Meadowlark CSA) We got our first share this week and it's like getting presents once a week. It helps stretch my cooking imagination when I have things I don't normally get at the store. Things like rainbow chard, beets, leeks and white radishes (I didn't even know there were white radishes!!) Last night, inspired by the veggies I made a beautiful blackened salmon salad and I twisted my spinach pie recipe to use the rainbow chard. Totally different taste, but still so good….
Like I said before, Bozeman is a great place to live and it deserved a little love from me. As I sit here outside on this beautiful June day I know we live someplace special…we just have to remember to take advantage of all it has. Especially this time of year, because it doesn't last long. This weekend we are sticking around town. We've been gone or camping or at the river the last few weekends and I'm looking forward to a bit of nothing. Just low key plans of bar-b-q's with friends and neighbors, maybe some hiking and just enjoying our own backyard.
Rainbow Chard Pies
1. Make the dough like you would from my spinach pie recipe
2. Finely chop rainbow or swiss chard and 1 or 2 leeks and a little onion. Mix with some fresh shredded parmesean cheese, fresh chopped basil & rosemary. Add some olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well.
3. Fill and cook just like spinach pies. So good.
Blackened Salmon Salad
1. In a small bowl combine-1 tbls paprika, 1 tbls onion powder, 1/2 tbls cayenne pepper (more or less to taste), 1 tsp oregeno, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp thyme and some s&p
2. Brush salmon with olive oil and sprinkle the above mixture on both sides
3. Cook on a hot skillet (I do this outside because it gets smokey) just a couple minutes on each side until it is blackened. If you want it cooked a little more...finish on a hot grill or in the oven...you don't want to scorch the outside too much!
4. Serve over a bed of fresh greens & veggies...we did tomatoes, red & yellow peppers, snap peas, white radishes & shredded cheese. Top with your favorite dressing. (I like balsamic vinaigrette for this. I like balsamic vinaigrette on ANYTHING)
Salmon this way is also delicious on a sandwich!!