𝐆𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭 𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞𝐬 | 𝐆𝐑𝟖 𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐞𝐬 😎| 𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐡 𝐃𝐚𝐤𝐨𝐭𝐚

Marked one off the travel bucket list this week. Mount Rushmore is everything I heard it would be, and more. MUCH more.

I don’t know if it’s because what our country and countrymen are going through (and have BEEN through) but it was quite the emotional experience for me.

Mount Rushmore

Got some good close-ups too:

And some extreme closeups:

Washington
Jefferson
Roosevelt
Lincoln
Me doing a live video in front of the monument 😎

The Meaning of Mount Rushmore

The four American Presidents carved into the granite of Mount Rushmore were chosen by the sculptor to commemorate the founding, growth, preservation, and development of the United States. They symbolize the principles of liberty and freedom on which the nation was founded. George Washington signifies the struggle for independence and the birth of the Republic; Thomas Jefferson the territorial expansion of the country; Abraham Lincoln the permanent union of the States, and equality for all citizens, and Theodore Roosevelt, the 20th century role of the United States in world affairs and the rights of common man.

You’ll find the details of how the monument came to be in the gallery/museum/theatre across from Mount Rushmore
What’s used to protect and maintain
Gutzon Borglum the artist, at work
Part 1
Part 2
Your first look will most likely be from the Highway leading up to the monument … it’s positively THRILLING
There’s currently construction 🚧
but the construction won’t affect your enjoyment

Well, I did my best to bring the Mount Rushmore experience TO you. Have you been? Are you planning to go? My family and I cannot wait to go back. There is SO much to see & do in South Dakota!

the obligatory selfie 😉
our happy girl 😍
that’s our Airstream being photobombed by George 😎

Hosta shoots 🌱- Who knew they were edible?!

I ran across a link to this article on a cooking forum. It describes in great detail everything you’ll need to know about serving hosta shoots as a side dish. Even if you’re not interested in cooking hosta shoots yourself, it’s a good read.

But first, the recipe:

Pan Seared Hosta Shoots with Ramp Butter

★★★★★

TO TRY

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces fresh hosta shoots as young and tightly coiled as possible, cleaned, rinsed and dried if needed

cooking oil, 1 tablespoon

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

3 Tbsp Ramp butter *see note

1/4 cup dry white wine chicken or vegetable stock can be substituted

Dash of fresh lemon juice for finishing

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil in a saute pan or cast iron skillet until lightly smoking.

Add the shoots and cook quickly, allowing them to brown lightly, keeping the heat at medium-high. Brown them on both sides.

When the shoots are browned deglaze the pan with the wine, add the ramp butter and melt.

Remove the pan from the heat and swirl it, turning the hostas over in the sauce that forms.

Taste the sauce and season with a pinch of salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Add the dash of lemon juice.

Transfer the hostas to a plate, mounding them up into a pyramid to hold heat if you can. Spoon the sauce over the mound of hosta shoots and serve.

Hosta Shoots

RAMP LEAF BUTTER recipe here:

Ramp Leaf Butter

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

When it’s half gone and not yet frosted, I’d say that’s a ringing endorsement 😂

It reminds me of a blueberry muffin recipe I make in the way it’s assembled, but the glaze is much like, if not exactly like, my favorite Lemon Bundt Cake.

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

★★★★★

Baked goods, Cakes

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE:

1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, packed (see note)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 cups + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with a knife

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup blueberries (if using frozen blueberries, do not defrost)

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

FOR THE GLAZE:

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, packed

1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

Begin by zesting the lemons.

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Let sit for at least 10 minutes while you proceed with the recipe. (It will curdle; that’s okay.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining teaspoon of flour. Set both aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beaters), combine the butter and sugar.

Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

With the mixer on low speed, beat in a third of the flour mixture.

Next, beat in half of the milk mixture.

Beat in another third of the flour mixture, then the remaining milk mixture, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix briefly to make sure the batter is evenly combined.

Add the flour-dusted blueberries to the batter and, using a spatula, fold until evenly combined.

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a tester comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

When the cake is cool, transfer it to a serving platter and make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

Add more confectioners’ sugar or lemon juice as necessary to make a thick but pourable glaze (it should be a little thicker than you’d think, about the consistency of molasses or honey).

Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.

Let the glaze set for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Slice with a serrated knife. The cake will keep on the countertop for up to 3 days; store in a covered container or wrap in plastic wrap.

Wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving. (Add the glaze after the cake is thawed.)

NOTES

Note: You’ll need 2 large lemons for the entire recipe. Be sure to zest them before you juice them.

Couldn’t wait for the glaze …

Grilled Vegetable Orzo Pasta Salad


Grilled Vegetable Orzo Pasta Salad

★★★★★

Healthy, Make Ahead, Pasta, Salads, Side dish

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo pasta, wheat or gluten-free

1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes

1 clove minced garlic

extra virgin olive oil spray

1 small red onion, quartered

1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 4 pieces

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 4 pieces

1 large, 10 ounce zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds

kosher salt

black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped basil

DIRECTIONS

Cook orzo in salted water according to package directions; drain and rinse under cold water, transfer to a large bowl and combine with tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of the oil and garlic.

Meanwhile spray the onions, bell peppers and zucchini with olive oil; season with 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper, to taste.

Grill vegetables on a grill basket over oiled grates, covered, (or broil 4 inches from flame) 10-12 minutes or until lightly charred and tender, turning halfway.

Set aside on a cutting board to cool slightly, then dice into 1/2-inch pieces.

Toss with the remaining olive oil and vinegar and top with chopped basil.

NUTRITION

267 Cals 6.5 Protein 39.5 Carbs 9 Fats
Serving: 11/3 cups, Calories: 267kcal, Carbohydrates: 39.5g, Protein: 6.5g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 6mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4.5g Blue Smart Points: 7 Green Smart Points: 7 Purple Smart Points: 7