Monday, July 23, 2012

Swim, Eat, Sleep, Repeat.

Our weekends, especially those that we spend camping, are a happy repetition of activities.  We load up the car & camper, head to the mountains, set up camp, eat, splash in the water, eat some more, make s'mores (still eating), sleep and then repeat it the next day. This a cycle that I am happy to do most weekends of the entire summer.  We set out this weekend to do just that, however, do to the fire restrictions had to modify our plans slightly.  I was really wanting to go up to our favorite camping's secluded and quiet and I was so excited.  But, with poor Montana burning up you can't have a campfire unless it's in a designated campground and that's not what we were wanting to do.  After the initial disappointment of this realization, I thought you gotta just make lemonade out of lemons and we'd make the best of it.  Matt suggested we still go up to our favorite spot, spend the day, have a picnic and then on the way back stay at my parents river house where we could have a fire and just camp there.  It was a good suggestion.

After the rough ride through the bumpy mountain road we arrived to the perfect camp spot, that as soon as the fire restrictions are lifted we will be returning to for longer then an afternoon.  The girls splashed in the stream, built a beautiful dam complete with wildflowers, took a little hike, had a picnic and just enjoyed the art of nothingness.  One of the reasons I love it so up here is there is no cell service.  You are completely disconnected from the world and it is blissful.

Then it was off to the river so we could actually have a campfire.  If you can't stay in the mountains, the river is a pretty good second place.  Everyone was tired from our day in the sun so after we filled our bellies with fish tacos and peach salsa (I made my mango salsa, but used peaches instead of mangoes....may be even better this way), had some s'mores and crashed out.  

The next day was hot.  Like very first thing in the morning hot.  A day best spent being in water more than out of it.  While I cooked breakfast Matt and the girls headed to where we would spend the majority of the day.

The water felt like bath water and the river low and calm.  We swam, ate breakfast, swam, ate lunch and then went in for a final swim.  Just as we were thinking of getting ready to head home, my parents showed up.  The perfect excuse to stay in the water for longer.  My mom said it best as we each sat in a chair, pushed into the river, beer in hand, the girls swimming back and forth between us..."this is rough."  Yea, we had it good.  Best part of leaving much later then planned?  Picking up pizza on the way home so I didn't have to cook.  (And a quiet ride home as two very tired crashed the minute they got in their seats)

I went back to cooking today now that we're home.  Dinner tonight was all about summer...
Here's the recipes...
Greek Pasta Salad:
-In a large bowl whisk together 2 cloves of minced garlic, juice of one lemon, 1/4 cup olive oil and s&p
-Add chopped tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese and orzo pasta (cooked, drained and rinsed in cold water)  I also added some fresh shelled peas  because we had them from our CSA share and they added some nice color
-Chill until ready to serve to let the flavors blend

Roasted Beets & Potatoes
I am not a beets fan, but we get a ton of them each year from our CSA share.  I finally found a way that I like them and everyone in my family gobbles them up this way (even my picky Ava eater)
-Chop potatoes and beets (remove skin) and make a layer of them on a sheet of oiled tin foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with some fresh herbs.  I usually use basil, sage and chives because that is what is growing at my house.  Add some minced garlic and chopped onion.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add a top layer of foil and tightly seal it.  Cook over a hot grill for 45 min-to 1 hour.  Oh, so good!

Hummus & Artichoke Sandwich
-Slice ciabatta bread and spread a nice layer of hummus on one side
-Layer with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, spinach and cheese (I used a sharp white cheddar) 

It was all very fresh, colorful and a fantastic summer meal.  This week is already in full swing.  We are having a fundraiser for my sister this week and I am in full on party planning mode.  I love throwing a party and this one is even sweeter because the end result will benefit my sis and her family.  More to come on this.

Enjoy your last week of July!!!  (Summer, you can slow down now please!)

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