I could get used to a view like this while cooking supper.
A few weeks after celebrating the 1-year birthday of this blog, I celebrated my own 40th birthday. I chose to celebrate it doing some of my favorite things in the world... going on a good, long road trip; planting myself in gorgeous scenery (mountains + openness = the best); lots of outdoors time; and quality time with some of the people I love most in the world and who I never have to wonder whether or not they love me. I have this thing where I feel a need to mark milestones by doing things that I want to set a tone for the future... and this time around it was all about simplicity, beauty, reinvigoration, and meaningful connections.
I rented a house in Paradise Valley, between Livingston, Montana and the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park and took Slim, Curly, and my best friend with me. It was a great home base for exploring the national park and the surrounding area, and each night we got to come back to our "Montana home" (as Curly called it) to comfort, a home-cooked meal, and amazing views through the gigantic windows along the backside of the house and from the back porch.
|Hotel Murray, which houses 2nd Street Bistro|
I had seen 2nd Street Bistro featured on No Reservations, and the local ingredients and old-school comfort food just seemed right up my alley... especially on a trip that was all about indulging in my comfort zone.
I started out with a salad of shaved endive, bleu cheese, walnuts, and a champagne vinaigrette... just lovely, lovely, lovely. I will definitely be attempting to recreate this one for my enjoyment at home.
Slim and Curly both ordered a pizza, which according to the menu was "kid-sized," but I think by that they meant it was actually the same size as their whole body. Sorry Texas, but everything is actually bigger in Montana (and Alaska... and also Greece). We packed it up and had cold pizza for breakfast the next day—because it was too tasty to let go to waste—and cold pizza for breakfast is a delicacy, after all.
And since I was in Montana with grass-fed cattle grazing all around me, I had to go for a steak as my entree. Local mashed potatoes and green beans came alongside it, and both were so flavorful and just simply and well-prepared (especially those green beans!), the steak was tender and had tons of flavor... but I have to confess I thought the sauce Robert overwhelmed it a bit. A little less of the sauce would have allowed me to really enjoy the flavor of the steak, but regardless, it was a great cut of meat and a well above average meal (and fun... my kids are seriously entertaining, I will brag on them for that).
The owners of the house we rented had left a homemade apple pie in the freezer for my birthday, so we finished off the evening with that bit of deliciousness... and sparklers... and later one of the best displays of the Milky Way I've seen in a long, long time.