Montana Land

I’m from the land of many many trees. Trees that hide what is beyond them. I never realized just how much I missed trees until you move to a barren land!
But. If you allow yourself to, you get used to it. And start seeing the beauty in being able to see for miles and miles.
And then when you go back to tree land, you almost, Almost feel claustrophobic and keep wondering what is ‘beyond those trees’.

Today, and hopefully like most days, I took the pack of dogs for a walk through the pastures.
There was a skiff of snow on the ground, it was just cool enough that I didn’t get all sweaty walking, and not so cold that I froze!
For some reason, it just seemed extra pretty out there today. Was so glad I brought my camera/phone! I like to not have it with me, but Every time I don’t bring my phone, I miss a good photo op! Sorry for the photo dump here. The lighting was changing all so quickly and everything just looked extra beautiful!

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i had a hard time getting him to stay on the ledge!

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The dogs loooooove going on walks! They love all the sage brush and yucca plants and cracks and holes in the rocks where they Know the rabbits hide!
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I planned the walk accordingly and the sun was just going down when we were heading back. Pictures never do justice of just how the rugged rock edges were glowing!

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Just about back and she got a goat head in her foot. If you don’t know what they are, consider yourself lucky! They are the seed pod of a bad weed. About the size of a pea, maybe a little smaller, but with thorns surrounding it. SO nasty!
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Freshly Made-Cheeseburger Soup

Another soup that got the male smith word of approval!

I really don’t follow a recipe to perfection. For this one, I didn’t do any hamburger buns, did 2 slices of bacon, cooked the onions, carrot, garlic and celery salt instead of chopped celery, gross, in the bacon grease, yum, used 1lb of ground beef because who measures ground beef by the ounce, didn’t use worcestershire, chopped the carrots rather than grated, didn’t measure the potatoes which weren’t russets, didn’t measure the cheese and that’s about it, haha!!

Cheeseburger Soup

  • 3 hamburger buns, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk, or more, as needed
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat and set aside.
  • Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, celery, carrots and Worcestershire. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in potatoes.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in ground beef, cheese, salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with croutons, bacon and chives, if desired.
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