Thursday, July 2, 2015

Montana Moments

Our trip back to visit family in Montana had many special times and the beautiful scenery certainly helped.  We all joined together one night in Glacier National Park.  We had a potluck in Apgar which is right on Lake McDonald.  Nobody ever tires of that view.  Another day my family and I headed to Whitefish, about seven miles from Columbia Falls, and visited Whitefish City Beach.  I love the view from there of Whitefish Mountain Resort and Whitefish Lake.  We had coffee at Montana Coffee Traders on Central Ave and I had to snap a shot of the cute building in downtown Whitefish.  The sunsets at my parents home were also nice and I was able to capture my aunt and uncle's trailer, who were also visiting, with the sunset and the moon.  It was memorable moments in a beautiful state. 

Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park.
Sunsets, the moon and camping, an essential part of summer. 
My parents backyard which was great for campfires and roating marshmallows for s'mores.  There's a reason the area is called Big Sky.  When the sky's clear, the stars area really something. 
Whitefish City Beach. 

Downtown Whitefish, Montana.

Three Forks Grille

While on our vacation in Montana my husband and I were able to leave the kids with Grandma and Grandpa and have a date night.  Hooray for us! The first restaurant we drove to and were looking forward to eating at, had moved to another town.  We were hungry and didn't feel like finding the place so we drove around Columbia Falls for a minute and just stumbled on Three Forks Grille on Nucleus Ave.  They've been there five years and I can't believe we've never noticed it.  It was the perfect place for our dinner out and we were very happy with the food, ambiance and the service. 

We each started with a drink.  He had a glass of Cabernet and I had a sparkling white from Spain.  Then it was time for food.  The bread and olive oil to start was a nice touch.  After listening to the special of the night, we ordered that.  It was a Duck Confit salad on bib lettuce and a chicken curry with rice.  My husband loved the salad and wouldn't stop oohing and ahhing over it.  It was really good and the duck was very tender.  We also shared the Watermelon Gazpacho which I couldn't stop complimenting either.  Finally I had the Antipasto which was Manchego cheese, Chorizo, Piquillo, Prosciutto San Danielle, Melon, House Made Ricotta and Caponata.  It was quite a collection of flavors and supposed to be shareable but my husband was working on the chicken.  We were soon full and didn't have room for dessert.  It was a nice and enjoyable dinner out, alone with my main man. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bigfork Village

These photos of Bigfork Village speak for themselves and gives the viewer an idea of the town.  Being from the Flathead Valley, Bigfork was always a favorite spot to chill in the summertime.  Hanging around Flathead Lake, boating and swimming and then strolling around the downtown area, also known as Bigfork Village, was always a special place for me. 

Bigfork, Montana: Pocketstone Cafe and Sweet Peaks Ice Cream

Bigfork is about twenty miles southeast of Columbia Falls and is on Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi.  I've always loved Bigfork Village, a downtown area with a Playhouse Theater, gift shops, galleries and restaurants.  We had lunch at Pocketstone CafĂ©, a bustling restaurant that's open for breakfast and lunch.  Not many places were open for lunch so there was a twenty minute wait for the four of us.  They were having an off day and gave me the wrong order.  Instead of steak, I got chicken strips.  But my boy's pancakes were decent and my husband's chicken fried steak was a generous portion and served with thick slices of homemade bread.  I would have complained about my order mess up but this girl was hungry.  After lunch, we shared a scoop of huckleberry ice cream from Sweet Peaks.  Sweet, creamy and dense, we were impressed by the quality of this homemade ice cream place.  They are a local chain with stores in Bigfork, Whitefish, Kalispell and Missoula. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Just Desserts: Summer Trip Edition

Nothing is sweeter than sharing and eating dessert with the ones you love.  And on vacation together? Even better.  This June my husband, my sons and I drove to Pullman, WA and Montana to visit family.  We stopped in Pullman to stay the night with my dear cousin and her family and then drove the rest of the way to Columbia Falls, MT the next day.  Trust me.  A nine hour drive with two little ones under the age of two?  No thanks.  We broke it up into two days of driving and we are a little saner because of it.  But back to dessert.  The trip was stressful at times and dessert made it better.  Just saying. 

A slice of Rhubarb Cake, gluten-free even, but you couldn't even tell.  This cake was super moist and tart from the rhubarb, picked fresh that day from my cousin's garden in Pullman. 

More rhubarb please.  My mom, bless her heart, had a strawberry rhubarb pie waiting for us when we arrived in Columbia Falls.   

And for breakfast on our first day-huckleberry banana bread.  Yes, it was as good as it looks. 
One night we celebrated my cousin's 9th birthday.  He's not into cake so he had ice cream, donuts and Oreo's for his guests.  Can't argue with that.  He blew out a candle on a donut which I though was cool and unique. 

Since it happened to be Father's Day during our visit, I picked up this cake from the local grocery store's bakery.  It was a white cake with yellow frosting.  One of my favorites. 

And more huckleberries!  My brother make Huckleberry Dessert, a favorite of our late Grandma's.  It tasted every bit as delicious as when she used to make it. 

A fruit tart I picked up one night for everyone to have for dessert.  It was light and fruity and had a thin layer of chocolate. 

My brother made homemade marshmallows!  How original and tasty, right?  He's very clever in the kitchen and they were incredible roasted over the campfire.  It was one of the best s'mores ever. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Georgetown Carnival

Summertime's in full effect here in Seattle and the weather's warm.  Every June, Georgetown holds its annual carnival.  They close the street and have multiple stages with live music, food trucks, street performers and much, much more.  I wanted a treat and a cold treat, at that.  The sun was beating down on me and I was parched.  Luckily in the distance I spotted ice cream.  And not just any old ice cream.  Vegan ice cream served from a VW Bus.  How unique and how original, let's get in line.  No, I didn't turn vegan but I wanted to try something new.  I got a cup of key lime pie and it didn't taste vegan at all.  I don't know what they put in it, but it tasted like dairy ice cream and soon it was gone.  It was fun to people watch and hear live music.  There was even a dunk tank and musicians to keep us all entertained.