Bear Creek kicked my ass today.
Today was the first time, ever, in about six tries in two years that I managed to hike and run to Bear Creek.
It was a three hour ordeal with three thousand foot altitude gain.
It honestly would not have been so bad if I had a proper breakfast or brought snacks but I was really not hiking that I would make it as far as Bear Creek today, a 7.2 mile round trip hike.
Instead of a smoothie or a big pre hike omelet I had two left over potato pancakes.
Mile five coming back up endless switch backs I was cursing myself and those two damn meager potato pancakes I had inhaled four hours earlier.
I was also dreaming of the moment I would return home and make this Sage Pesto Mac N Cheese with Butternut Squash and all kinds of cheese.
Yes dreams of squash and cheese were racing through my mind like a goat and dust flavoured contact high as I tried to just put one foot in front of the other fighting my way through the steep switchbacks and dreaming of my goat cheese reward.
1 cup butter nut squash, roasted in a 375 oven for 40 minutes and cut into bite size pieces
8 sage leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup fontina cheese. shredded, plus 1/4 reserved cup fontina
1/2 cup milk
1 tab flour
1 tsp garlic salt
2 sage leaves, chopped
2 cups macaroni
In a food processor combine the 8 sage leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan and garlic cloves. Slowly drizzle in olive oil.
In a sauce pan heat the milk. Add the garlic salt, 2 sage leaves and slowly whisk in the flour. Add the cheese until just combined.
Boil the macaroni according to directions on the package.
In a large baking dish, layer the cooked squash, macaroni, pesto, clumps of goat cheese and the cheese sauce. Sprinkle 1/4 cup reserved feta on top of the Mac and Cheese and bake for thirty minutes at 375.