Tag Archives: Food

Family-Style Dining + Small Town Montana: a Perfect Thursday

If there are three things I love in life, they are small towns, butter and homemade rolls. (You guys, deep down I’m a really simple country girl…with a crazy love for butter.) So last week, when I had a friend in town visiting from the east coast, we decided to combine our mutual love of small town Montana with our love of food and take our maiden voyage to a place we’ve both been wanting to try: The Dinnerbell.

The Dinnerbell.

The Dinnerbell AKA homemade roll headquarters for Western Montana.

Located off Interstate 90 at the Gold Creek Exit (between Drummond and Garrison, Montana), The Dinnerbell is a deli and store that’s a fun stopping point when you’re traveling through Western Montana. But the best part—and what brought us here in the first place—is the home-cooked dinner they offer every Thursday.

Take a look…

Pretty sure this made-on-site jam and rolls will be in heaven.

Pretty sure this made-on-site jam and rolls will be in Heaven.

Prior to dinner here, I didn't like peach jam. And now? I love it.

Prior to dinner here, I didn’t like peach jam. And now? I love it.

The first Thursday dinner of the month: meatloaf.

The first Thursday dinner of the month: meatloaf.

These were by far the creamiest mashed potatoes I've ever had. Plus, they were delicious.

These were by far the creamiest mashed potatoes I’ve ever had. Plus, they were delicious.

Apparently I'm also a big fan of pie.

Apparently I’m also a big fan of pie.

Dinner was served completely family style, with help from the Sommer's family.

Dinner was served completely family style, with help from the Sommer’s family.

Dessert: cherry pie and peanut butter pie. PS: the peanut butter in the pie is HOMEMADE.

Dessert: cherry pie and peanut butter pie. PS: the peanut butter in the pie is HOMEMADE.

A few other things I loved about dinner in Gold Creek, Montana: they opened the meal with a prayer (The Dinnerbell is owned by Marion and Rhoda Sommer, a Mennonite couple), dinner is served family style and they end each meal with a hymn. Plus, their setting is beautiful. After dinner, we hung around on the lawn outside, visited and watched the sun go down.

Katie and Milo listening to the song at the end of the meal.

Katie and Milo listening to the song at the end of the meal.

The barn added to the ambiance of the evening.

The barn added to the ambiance of the evening.

Three friends + full bellies = a perfect Montana moment.

Three friends + full bellies = a perfect Montana moment.

The boys taking in the view.

The boys taking in the view.

A few things to note: 
-The Dinnerbell only serves dinner on Thursdays and reservations are required. Call 406.288.2579 to reserve your spot.
-Dinner starts promptly at 6 p.m.; be sure to arrive a few minutes early.
-On the first Thursday of the month, they feature meatloaf as their entree. The other Thursdays feature fried chicken.
-Cost: $13.50/adults (for ALL YOU CAN EAT).
-After dinner, be sure to check out their on-site store and deli. I left with a bag of rolls and a package of chocolate crinkle cookies (which, by the way, are delicious).
-Gold Creek is about a one-hour drive from Missoula, Helena and Butte.

As for me, if I ever go missing on Thursday nights you’ll more than likely be able to find me in Gold Creek, Montana. I’ll be the one eating all the rolls.

xo,
TT

A Culinary Feast in Whitefish, Montana

I think we know each other well enough by now for me to be totally honest with you. And the truth is that I LOVE FOOD. You see, I grew up in a big family (we’re talking around 65+ first cousins; that’s apparently how we do things in Montana) with a grandpa who’s greatest joy—besides his family—was feeding people.

My kind of party: cowboys, BBQ'd steaks + lots of people.

My kind of party: cowboys, BBQ’d steaks + lots of people.

Needless to say, I come by my love of food honestly…and genetically. I’ve also blogged about my food road trips over the years (you can check those out here) so you can imagine how excited I was to find out about a new food-focused event in one of Montana’s most charming towns, Whitefish. Launching this week is an event called Feast Whitefish.
Sidenote: any event with the name “Feast” in it gets an A+ in my book. 

Officially kicking off with a distillers fest on Saturday, May 14, the dinner series portion of Feast Whitefish will be held nightly from Sunday, May 15 – Friday, May 20.

Cheers! Photo: Feast Whitefish

Cheers! Photo: Feast Whitefish

And besides the fact that Whitefish has one of the best dining scenes in Western Montana, this event will bring 20 chefs from the region together to create a series of dinners at the town’s top restaurants. On the agenda: Truby’s Restaurant & Bar, Logan’s Grill at Grouse Mountain Lodge, Latitude 48, Whitefish Lake Restaurant, The Boat Club at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake and Cafe Kandahar. You can check out the full rundown (and learn where to purchase tickets) here.

Happy feasting!

xo,
TT

A Delicious Visit to Cafe Kandahar in Whitefish, Montana

I’ve got a confession to make: this past weekend I ate an 11-course meal. And let me tell you, that is a lot of food. Luckily for me, they were 11 of the tastiest dishes I’ve ever had the pleasure of sending across my palate. But these weren’t just any 11 dishes; each was prepared by Chef Andy Blanton (a multi-time James Beard semifinalist) at Cafe Kandahar, his restaurant inside Kandahar Lodge on Big Mountain in Whitefish, Montana.

Chef Andy inside his kitchen in Whitefish.

Chef Andy at his kitchen in Whitefish.

From the moment I stepped inside his restaurant on Saturday night, I knew we were in for a delightful evening. No detail went unnoticed and his staff is some of the best (if not the best) in Montana. But instead of telling you about his mouth-watering dishes, I thought I’d show you.
Warning: viewing these images may cause you to book a trip to Whitefish, Montana ASAP. 

Yellowstone caviar, white truffles and huckleberries?! Yes, please.

Included on the menu: Yellowstone caviar, white truffles and huckleberries.

Quail egg. (I was skeptical, but loved it.)

Quail egg. In one word: delightful.

Halibut lox. (Not my personal favorite, but the crème fraiche sorbet was tasty).

Halibut lox.

Dungeness crab. (No words for how tasty this was.)

Dungeness crab. No words for how tasty this was.

Sablefish. (SO GOOD).

Sablefish. SO good!

Forest mushrooms. (One word: divine).

Forest mushrooms. This girl loved this dish.

Alba White Truffle Risotto. (This dish literally melted in my mouth).

Alba white truffle risotto. This dish literally melted in my mouth.

Foie gras torchon. (Put huckleberry on anything and I'll eat it. But for real, this foie gras was decadent).

Foie gras torchon. PS: put huckleberry on anything and I’ll eat it. But for real, this foie gras was decadent.

Yak carpaccio. (The tomato jam: yum).

Yak carpaccio.

Buffalo tenderloin.

Buffalo tenderloin.

Pork belly confit. (My favorite thing on the menu).

Pork belly confit. Hands down, my favorite dish of the night (though it was close).

Washington rack of lamb.

Washington rack of lamb.

Ending the night: a dessert sampler that included crème brûlée, a huckleberry tart and chocolate.

Me + huckleberries = two Montana BFFs.

Me + huckleberries = two Montana BFFs.

If you plan on dining at Cafe Kandahar, here are a few things to keep in mind:
-Cafe Kandahar is open during summer and winter. Their seasons run from mid-December through the end of March and mid-June through the end of September.
-To ensure a table, make a reservation.
-The Snug Bar (located in the lobby of Kandahar Lodge) is also owned by Cafe Kandahar and serves up tapas and small plates.
-Plan to spend the night at Kandahar Lodge. Sidenote: it was nice to have direct access to my room after dinner. 

Happy dining,
TT

Brunch at West Glacier’s Belton Chalet

Truth time: I’ve never been a big brunch girl. To me, breakfast and lunch have always been two separate and distinct meals that weren’t meant to be combined. Plus, I’m the kind of person who can’t possibly eat lunch without already having eaten breakfast (weird, I know). All of this was true until I laid my eyes on the brunch menu at the Belton Chalet in West Glacier, Montana.

Located in West Glacier, the historic Belton Chalet is located just outside Glacier National Park's west entrance.

Located in West Glacier, the historic Belton Chalet is located just outside Glacier National Park’s west entrance.

Hello there, gorgeous.

Hello lover.

Last week, before setting out on a snowshoe excursion in Glacier National Park (you can read more about that herewith my girlfriends, we decided to stop at the Belton Chalet for brunch. And we were not disappointed. Between the four of us, we dined on the crispy tortilla tower (which was amazing), roasted apple bacon griddlecakes, tamales (the special that day) and jumbo cinnamon roll french toast.

Um, yum.

Um, yum.

They also have a bloody mary bar on Sunday mornings.

The Bloody Mary Bar is open for business on Sundays.

These adorable cottages, located on-site, are available for overnight stays year-round.

These adorable cottages, located on-site, are available for overnight stays year-round.

Needless to say, we left with full and totally satisfied.

If you plan to venture to Glacier National Park this winter and want to brunch at the Belton Chalet, here are a few things to note:
-The Belton is open for brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. through March 21, 2016.
-Do yourself (and the world) a favor and order the jumbo cinnamon roll french toast. It’s that good.
-Their on-site cottages, Lewis and Clark, as well as the Adobe House are available for overnight accommodations year-round. Plus, they have a few winter getaway packages that include lodge rooms (check those out here). 
-If dinner is more your speed, the Belton is open Fridays and Saturdays from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m., now through March 21, 2016.

Happy brunching!
TT

Eating My Way Through Montana’s Glacier Country

For the past few weeks, I’ve been out and about traveling around Western Montana and soaking in plenty of fall moments in Glacier Country. During my time on the road, I’ve been seeing stunning scenery and have been having lots of fun adventures. I’ve also been eating all the food everywhere. And I’ll tell you what, you guys…it’s been delicious.

Without further ado, please let me introduce you to some of my favorite treats, as well as some of my top places to stuff my face to dine in Montana.

1. Huckleberry Ice Cream. (Or Any Locally Made Ice Cream, Really) 
If you know me (or if you’re a steady reader of this blog), you know I love ice cream, especially Big Dipper in Missoula (I may be obsessed with their Co-Co Nuts). My other love: huckleberry ice cream from Sweet Peaks in Whitefish. After dinner recently at Latitude 48, I ordered a “small” dish of huckleberry ice cream. Don’t worry, I ate it all.

Huckleberry ice cream at Latitude 48 in Whitefish.

Huckleberry ice cream at Latitude 48 in Whitefish.

My beloved Co-Co Nuts.

My beloved Co-Co Nuts.

2. Pie for Breakfast. 
If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to start a day off on the right foot, it’s pie for breakfast. My top pick: Loula’s in Whitefish.

Peach raspberry pie.

Loula’s peach raspberry pie.

3. Base Camp Cafe. 
This cozy, adorable cafe is one of my favorite breakfast spots in the Flathead Valley. But, after eating lunch their recently, it’s now one of my top picks for lunch.
Sidenote: for breakfast, try the Matterhorn waffles. 

To find this gem, turn north off Highway 2 and onto Nucleus Avenue (basically main street) in Columbia Falls.

To find this gem, turn north off Highway 2 and onto Nucleus Avenue (basically main street) in Columbia Falls.

The name of this dish: dos tacos.

The name of this dish: dos tacos.

4. The Polebridge Mercantile’s Baked Goods. 
Some places are worth driving down a gravel road for and The Polebridge Mercantile is one of them. While all of the merc’s baked goods are delicious (that’s not an exaggeration, they’re literally all that good), their huckleberry macaroons are something I could eat everyday.

My favorite.

My favorite.

5. Steak Fry at Flathead Lake Lodge. 
Truth time: I’ve been wanting to go to the steak fry at Flathead Lake Lodge for a long time. And earlier this month, my mouth-watering dream came true. We headed up to the cookout location in old-fashioned fire trucks and were greeted with the delicious smell of steaks being cooked over an open BBQ.

This scene is a Montana girl's food dream come true.

This scene is a Montana girl’s dream come true.

6. The Huckleberry Triple Threat. 
Earlier this month, I was traveling with some friends and we stopped into Glacier Highland in West Glacier to grab a bite. As we were all obsessed with huckleberry everything, this is what we ordered: a huckleberry shake, huckleberry soda and the just created (thanks to my friend Carrie) huckleberry float, made with huckleberry ice cream and huckleberry soda.

Huckleberry heaven.

Huckleberry heaven.

7. Lamb Lollipops. 
Last winter, Chef Adam (AKA my foodie crush) made lamb lollipops as a special appetizer for a dinner event at the Izaak Walton Inn. And…they were amazing. In fact, I loved them so much that I pestered him every time I saw him to put them on the menu because I knew other people deserved to have that goodness in their mouths. And, I’m happy to report, that lamb lollipops are now a staple on his appetizer menu.

The lamb lollipops (shown here in the middle of the dish) are one of my favorite apps in Montana.

The lamb lollipops (shown here in the middle of the dish) are one of the best appetizers in Montana.

8. Donuts from WindMill Village Bakery. 
These donuts, from the Windmill Village Bakery in Ravalli, are THE BEST.

Fresh, warm donuts.

Fresh, warm donuts.

9. Chips + Salsa. (Yep, in Montana) 
Chips and salsa will forever be one of my favorite snacks. And while perhaps salsa isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of food in Montana, Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant in East Glacier Park is one of the best places to get them.

Yum!

Yum!

10. Chocolate + Caramels. 
If you can’t tell by now, I’m a sweets girl. My favorite place to scoop up fresh chocolate: The Sweet Palace in Philipsburg. Not only is the shop itself adorable, but it’s this candy lover’s dream destination.
Sidenote: if you haven’t tried their sea salt caramels, stop what you’re doing (right now) and go try them.

Trying really hard to not rip into these chocolates.

Trying really hard to not rip into these chocolates.

Your turn…where are your top food picks in Western Montana’s Glacier Country?

xo,
TT

A Montana Food Tour

You guys, if there are two things I love, they are Montana and food. I come by my love of both honestly. After all, when you grow up in Montana at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and when you have a grandpa who was constantly cooking in the backroom of my family’s general store and regularly asked if I wanted to “taste something good,” you’re bound to fall in love with both food and Big Sky Country. Sidenote: Much to my grandpa’s dismay, I didn’t think everything he made was as delicious as he did. 

Earlier this month, I was able to combine those two loves on a road trip that took me and a few friends on a foodie tour through Western Montana, with stops at some of the state’s tastiest dining establishments. We started our trip in Bozeman, where we checked into our adorable rooms at The Lark in downtown. (Honestly, I cannot say enough good things about this hotel. It’s now my #1 pick for hotels in Bozeman). After settling in, we headed out to Victory Taco (located in the hotel’s parking lot) to fill our tummies on tacos and ice cream.

My room at The Lark. Things I loved: the barnwood door, the ridiculously soft sheets and the hand-painted murals above the bed.

My room at The Lark. Things I loved: the barnwood door, the ridiculously soft sheets and the hand-painted murals above the bed.

Tacos happen to be my favorite thing to eat. Also, be sure you try their guacamole. I think it's a little piece of heaven here on earth.

Tacos happen to be my favorite thing to eat. Also, be sure you try their guacamole. I think it’s a little piece of heaven here on earth.

Truth.

Truth.

Happiness is freshly toasted coconut ice cream.

Happiness is freshly toasted coconut ice cream.

After spending the night in Bozeman, we traveled north to Montana’s most funky city—Butte. Honestly, this Montana girl has not spent that much time in Butte and…I LOVED it. We arrived in Butte in time for lunch, which was a pork chop sandwich at The Freeway Tavern, before hopping on a trolley tour. The tour gave an in-depth look at Butte and I’m now determined to spend more time there. Sidenote: That pork chop sandwich was so good that I’m still thinking about it. 

Another must stop destination: Headframe Spirits in uptown Butte.

Another must stop destination: Headframe Spirits in uptown Butte.

The trolley tour was a great way to cover a lot of ground in Butte, America.

The trolley tour was a great way to cover a lot of ground and our guide gave great insight and history into this once wild city.

After Butte, we ventured to one of my favorite Montana towns, Philipsburg, via Montana Highway 1. After mining for sapphires (where I found my biggest sapphire to date – a 3.6 carat stone!) at The Sapphire Gallery, we headed over to the Philipsburg Brewery where we hung out with locals, loaded up on chocolate caramels at The Sweet Palace and had a tasty dinner at The Silver Mill.

My precious. ;)

My precious. 😉

Cheers!

Cheers!

I'll give you two guesses at my favorite store in Philipburg.

I’ll give you two guesses as to which store is my favorite in Philipsburg.

The next stop on our food adventure through Montana was Superior for a BBQ lunch along the Clark Fork River with Rugg’s Outfitting. After our afternoon outside, we headed for Paradise and Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort. (You can read more about my love for Quinn’s here). 

Locally raised beef burgers paired perfectly with beer from Montana's newest brewery, Dunluce Brewing in Superior.

Locally raised beef burgers paired perfectly with beer from Montana’s newest brewery, Dunluce Brewing in Superior.

My Montana cowgirl attire includes a baseball hat and an Irish bandanna from Butte.

My Montana cowgirl attire includes a baseball hat and an Irish bandanna from Butte.

Our two-hour trail ride went through meadows, along a river and around a mountain lake.

Our two-hour trail ride went through meadows, along a river and around a mountain lake.

Kicking back at my creekside cabin.

Kicking back at my creekside cabin at Quinn’s Hot Springs.

These two were the perfect ending to a prime rib dinner.

These two were the perfect ending to a prime rib dinner.

Any stay at Quinn's requires a soak in the hot springs.

Any stay at Quinn’s requires a soak in the hot springs.

On the last day of our trip, we decided to head to Missoula in time to visit the farmers markets before our afternoon kayaking adventure on the Clark Fork River with Montana River Guides

Our float along the Clark Fork was gorgeous.

Our float along the Clark Fork was gorgeous.

Before dinner, we hydrated at Plonk in downtown.

Before dinner, we hydrated at Plonk in downtown.

Big Dipper (and this guy and his Montana tattoo) were a perfect end to the evening.

Big Dipper (and this guy and his Montana tattoo) were a perfect end to the evening.

My traveling companies. Miss you, girls!

My traveling companions. Miss you, girls!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I better go hike a mountain (or seven).

xo,
TT

PS: Where are YOUR favorite places to eat in Montana?

Visiting Montana’s Flathead Valley

*Hey you Montana lovers! Are you ready for part three of our road trip through Glacier Country? If I know you like I think I do, y’all are totally ready. Read on…

After our first two stops in Missoula and the Seeley-Swan Valley, our group of six continued our journey north to our next destination: Montana’s Flathead Valley. The Flathead is one of the state’s largest valleys and is home to a ton of recreational opportunities (like sailing on Flathead Lake, zip lining at Whitefish Mountain Resort or hiking in Jewel Basin), as well as cutesy small towns.

As we only had one day and two nights in the Flathead Valley, we knew we needed to maximize our time and soak up the personality of this corner of Montana.

Our time in the valley included…

A morning hike on The Whitefish TrailLocated a short drive from downtown Whitefish, The Whitefish Trail currently has 26+ miles of trails (as well as seven trailheads) that are prime launching points for hiking or biking the trail. We opted for one of the newest sections of the trail: the Woods Lake Loop. Not only was the hike gorgeous, but it also provided us with a view of Whitefish Lake. IMG_9209IMG_9205IMG_9208

Basking in the gorgeousness of The Lodge at Whitefish LakeWith its stunning location on the shore of Whitefish Lake, the lodge is one of the top places to stay in Whitefish. Plus, during the summer months you can dine on their deck, quench your thirst at the tiki bar or rent your water toy of choice (mine is a jet ski) for playing on Whitefish Lake. IMG_9193IMG_9217

Eating, eating and eating. While you may not think that Montana is a place to find tasty food, think again my friends. We filled (as in FILLED) our tummies on delectable meals at Tupelo Grille (hands down, my favorite place for dinner in Whitefish), Base Camp Cafe in Columbia Falls (LOVE their breakfast), Loula’s Cafe in Whitefish, Three Forks Grille in Columbia Falls and Sweet Peaks Ice Cream in Whitefish. *Side note: Judging from the photos below, I only eat sweets.IMG_9196IMG_9223IMG_9231IMG_9220

Catching our beauty rest (and stunning sunsets) at Meadow Lake Resort. Located in Columbia Falls and a stone’s throw from Glacier National Park, Meadow Lake is my idea of Montana perfection. It’s set back off the main highway, but is still so easy to get to. (Literally two minutes north of Highway 2). Plus, the rooms, grounds and views are pretty much perfect.  IMG_9230 IMG_9225

Your turn: What’s on your “must do” list in the Flathead Valley?

xo,
TT

PS: For photos from our road trip through Western Montana, check out hashtag #mt6pack on twitter and instagram.

A (Montana) Valentine’s Getaway for Your Love

Well, the holiday that you’ve all been waiting for is (nearly) here: Valentine’s Day! While there is much discussion over the intense love and hate relationship with the holiday itself, this messy-haired girl has always been a fan of it. And while it’s a day that’s commercially deemed for lovers, it’s so much more than that.

Valentine's Day is a day to tell your sunshine you love them.

Valentine’s Day is a day to tell your sunshine you love them.

It’s a day to tell your mama and/or your papa that you love them. It’s a day when you can send your best friend those earrings she’s been eyeing just because you love her! It’s a day when you (meaning me) can take the garbage out so your (meaning my) husband doesn’t have to. It’s a day that’s meant to celebrate love, no matter what and with no strings attached.

This year, as luck would have it, Valentine’s Day is on a Friday. Which means that if you want to, you can basically celebrate it the whole weekend! And for those of you choosing to do so, I’ve rounded up some of my top Valentine’s Day (or Valentine’s Weekend) recommendations in Western Montana’s Glacier Country.

Whitefish, Montana
Let’s face it: Whitefish is one of the most romantic towns in the West. It has an absolutely charming downtown, wonderful restaurants and cozy accommodations. If you’re looking to “woo” someone, this is the place to do it. Plus, they have a lot of choices when it comes to romantic settings. This girl recommends dinner at The Boat Club at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, Cafe Kandahar at Kandahar Lodge or Tupelo Grille in downtown.

Downtown Whitefish. Photo: Donnie Sexton

Downtown Whitefish. Photo: Donnie Sexton

And as icing on your Valentine’s Day sugar cookie, check out the Romantic Rendezvous Package at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake and Montana Romance Package from Good Medicine Lodge.

Glacier National Park
If I was a betting gal, I’d bet that your sugar hasn’t experienced winter in Glacier National Park. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to to introduce him or her to this gorgeous place with an intimate weekend at the Belton Chalet in West Glacier. After a day of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the park, settle in for an cozy stay at the historic lodge as part of their Sweetheart Package, complete with dinner and champagne.

Fireside at West Glacier's Belton Chalet.

Fireside at West Glacier’s Belton Chalet.

A Cozy Cabin in the Woods
If you’re looking for a cozy cabin in the woods, check out Double Arrow Lodge in Seeley Lake. Double Arrow has a Valentine’s Package that features a special menu at on-site Season’s Restaurant, as well as champagne upon arrival. Plus, it also happens to be located in one of the most picture perfect settings in Montana.

One of the snowy sun-kissed views from Double Arrow Lodge.

One of the snowy sun-kissed views from Double Arrow Lodge.

Missoula, Montana
I may be partial to this city (since my husband is from here), but Missoula continues to woo me in terms of its dining options and idyllic romantic settings. If I was trying to charm the socks off someone, I’d take them to Missoula’s snow-dusted, historic and cute downtown, before catching live music or grabbing a bite to eat at Red Bird Wine Bar (try the champagne fondue), Biga Pizza (um, hello Flathead cherry pizza) or Plonk. Other personal favorites include Finn & Porter and Mustard Seed (try the chocolate mousse).

Hello, boo.

Hello, boo.

And if you really want to impress your love, book a stay at The Gibson Mansion Bed and Breakfast, specifically with their Romance Package or by adding an in-room massage treatment to your stay.

No matter where you are or who you love, may your Valentine’s Day be filled with love and kindheartedness.

xo,
TT

PS: You can find even more travel deals and coupons here and here.

A Montana Girl’s Love Letter to 2013

Well, another year has come and gone. And to be honest, I can hardly believe it! It’s like the older I get, the faster time seems to go. (Side note: I’m beginning to sound like my mama!)

While time continues to sprint away from me, I can say with much satisfaction that 2013 was a wonderful year…one I’ll remember fondly. From start to finish, it was full of adventures, celebrations and spectacular Montana moments.

Here’s a look back at some of my favorite moments of 2013…

January, February & March

Winter beauty in the barrow pit.

Winter beauty in the barrow pit.

Exploring one of my new favorite places--Kerr Dam in Polson.

Visiting one of my new favorite places–Kerr Dam in Polson.

Exploring the Swan Mountains.

Exploring the Swan Mountains.

Dog sledding (my first time!) on Swan Lake.

Dog sledding (my first time!) on Swan Lake.

April, May & June

Marveling at the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

Marveling at the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

Visiting my hometown. Go Elks!

Visiting my hometown. Go Elks!

Celebrating the 80s with these lovely ladies.

Celebrating the 80s with these lovely ladies.

Soaking up the beauty of Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge.

Soaking up the beauty of Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge.

Meeting this sweet nephew.

Meeting this sweet nephew.

My favorite view...in May.

Having my breath taken away by the Mission Mountains in St. Ignatius.

Hiking to Avalanche Lake in the rain.

Hiking to Avalanche Lake in the rain.

Striking our best "Bridesmaids" pose at a perfect summer wedding.

Striking our best “Bridesmaids” pose at a perfect summer wedding.

Taking in a small town rodeo.

Taking in a small town rodeo.

July, August & September

Catching the sunset at Placid Lake.

Catching the sunset at Placid Lake.

Eating as many Flathead and Rainier cherries as possible.

Eating as many Flathead and Rainier cherries as possible.

Visiting Waterton Lakes National Park with my baby brother.

Visiting Waterton Lakes National Park with my baby brother.

Celebrating a Missoula wedding.

Celebrating a Missoula wedding.

Soaking up the grandeur of Glacier National Park.

Soaking up the grandeur of Glacier National Park.

October, November & December

Exploring a Montana backroad.

Exploring a Montana backroad.

Spending time on the Blackfeet Nation.

Spending time on the Blackfeet Nation.

Kissing my newest nephew as much as possible.

Kissing my newest nephew as much as possible.

Taking in a bird's eye view of Western Montana.

Taking in a bird’s eye view of Western Montana.

Welcoming winter.

Welcoming winter.

My first rod.

My first fly rod.

Ending the year in St. John, with my 406 hat.

Ending the year in St. John, complete with my Montana-lovin’ 406 hat.

As for 2014? I can’t wait to see what this year brings.

Wishing you all love, joy and happiness as you journey through 2014.

xo,
TT

May in Montana: Farmers Markets

The arrival of May means one thing in Montana. The season of farmers markets is upon us. And this girl is a firm believer in the fact that strolling through a local farmers market is one of the best ways to experience a community’s culture and some of the best of what they have to offer.

Sidetrack time: Last summer I was able to visit a friend in Mexico City. We hit all of the highlights of the city and I loved each and every moment that was spent there. But I’ll never forget the morning we spent at a local market. The smells and the energy, combined with an insightful look at the city’s culture, introduced me to a side of the city that I hope I never forget.

Dancers in Mexico City.

Dancers in Mexico City.

 

While I may be overly sentimental, I’m holding firm to the belief that local markets are a fantastic way to immerse yourself into a destination’s culture. And the farmers markets that are found throughout Western Montana’s Glacier Country are no exception. Leisurely strolling through a market on a sunny Montana day will give you a pleasant and fresh look at what makes each community so special.

Bigfork Farmers Market
Wednesdays (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.) and Saturdays (9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) – June to October
Embracing all things local, this market provides products grown or made in Montana, including produce, plants, flowers, baked goodies, jams, jellies and hand-crafted arts and crafts.

Columbia Falls Farmers Market
Thursdays (5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) – mid-June to mid-September at Pinewood Park
This small town market combines live music with a family friendly atmosphere, as well as local arts and crafts, tasty food and produce.

Darby Farmers Market
Tuesdays (12 p.m. – 6 p.m.) – May to October at S. Main Street Park
Soak up small town charm and snag fresh produce, jams, soaps and crafts.

Eureka Farmers Market
Wednesdays (4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.) – May to September at Riverside Park
A hotbed of local talent and goodies, this market features produce, bedding, baked goods and arts and crafts from local Tobacco Valley artists.

It's farmers market time in Eureka, Montana.

It’s farmers market time in Eureka, Montana.

Hamilton Farmers Market
Saturdays (9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) – May  to October at Bedford, Second and Third streets
With more than 150 vendors all from Ravalli County, this lively market includes fresh organic produce, locally raised beef, alpaca wool, jewelry and locally harvested wood furniture.

Hand-woven baskets. Photo: Donnie Sexton

Hand-woven baskets. Photo: Donnie Sexton

Kalispell Farmers Market
Saturdays (9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) – May to October at Flathead Valley Community College
One of the oldest markets in the state, the Kalispell Farmers Market boasts a variety of goodies, including arts and crafts, meat and eggs, native plants, iron works, woven rugs, woodwork, handspun yarns, photograph and fresh produce.

Libby Farmers Market
Thursdays (12 p.m. – 5 p.m.) – May to September at Libby Chamber of Commerce
This market features live music entertainment, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, crafts and baked goods.

Missoula Markets
Tuesdays (5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.) – July & August; Saturdays (8 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – May to October at North Higgins and under the Higgins Street Bridge
An integral part of summer in Missoula, farmers markets feature fresh local produce, baked goods, organic dairy products, locally brewed coffee, flowers and crafts. An added bonus: The People’s Market is just up the street and is held every Saturday through the summer.

Live music in Missoula.

Live music in Missoula.

Polson Farmers Market
Fridays (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – mid-May to October
Located at the southern end of Flathead Lake, this market offers fresh farm produce, flowers, wood crafts, jewelry, photography and soap products.

Stevensville Farmers Market
Saturdays (May to October)
Located in the heart of downtown, the Stevensville market features local goods.

Seeley Lake Farmers Market
Sundays (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) – June to September
This outdoor market features locally grown produce, as well as artists and local food vendors.

Thompson Falls Farmers Market
Saturdays (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) – June to September at Rose Garden Park
This community market is known for its locally grown produce, craft items and baked goods, as well as handicrafts created by local area artists that include paintings, leatherwork, pottery and quilts.

West Glacier Farmers Market
Fridays (3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.) – June to Labor Day 
This quaint afternoon market showcases local products from farmers and artisans. Bonus: It’s steps away from the west entrance of Glacier National Park.

Whitefish Farmers Market
Tuesdays (5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) – May to September at Central Avenue & Depot Park
One of the liveliest markets in the region, the Whitefish Farmers Market features live music, fresh herbs and spices, food vendors, produce and locally made arts and crafts.

The Whitefish market features a different musician each week.

The Whitefish market features a different musician each week.

xo
TT