Last weekend I was invited to be a leader for a high school girls retreat in Park City, Utah. I was a bit unsure about it at first as I thought back to what it was like to a be a high school girl and how I would be surrounded by lots of them for 3 solid days. Then I thought about how much it meant to me when any older girl spent time with me and how much I was impacted by a select few older women in my life so, I decided to go! I was in charge of leading two hikes over the weekend, one longer hike and one sunrise hike. Another friend of mine was in charge of cooking- I was glad to not be in charge of feeding 20 ‘starving’ and picky teenage girls. She did a great job cooking while I learned a lot about cooking for a large group and got some really great recipes to try out! She is a gourmet cook and enjoys food and talking about food as I do. We had three gourmet meals a day and ironically at the end of the retreat a few girls commented that they were ‘starving’ between meals- I can’t believe how much teenagers eat…did I eat that much?? My favorite meal that she made was a grilled peach salad with smoked proscuito, sauteed chicken, goat cheese, and pecans, in a honey vinaigrette dressing. A few other signature dishes over the weekend included chicken enchiladas, french toast, and sausage ragu over polenta (most of the girls had never heard of polenta before). Besides meals we swam in the pool, listened to a speaker talk about the trials of being a teenager, learned Michael Jackson dances, played lots of catch phrase, and then of course we also hikes (or some did.) I must say that I was surprised at the lack of enthusiasm about hiking. Only a few girls wanted to come and those who came didn’t much care for the hike. I promise I wasn’t a hard core hiker drill sarget either…I took them on two pretty easy hikes. I guess Utah teenage girls don’t like hiking?! But overall I would say that they enjoyed the weekend and hopefully didn’t end up hating me for taking them hiking. So, I will leave you with a recipe from the weekend and directions to hike Iron Canyon in Park City (hikers beware…don’t take your teenage girls on this hike or any for that matter!). The hike up Iron Canyon is one of most beautiful in Park City and overlooks Historic Main Street as well as the whole city and all of the ski resorts.
Grilled Peach and Prociutto Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans
serves 4 (unless your serving very hungry teenagers)
1 head of Romaine lettuce
a few handfuls of Arugula
1 cup pecans
3 peaches sliced and grilled
Sauteed Chicken cut into strips
1/6 lb of Prosciutto or about 10 strips (Tony Caputos has great smoked prosciutto)
3/4 cup Goat Cheese
1/4 cup Olive Oil
3 TB Balsamic Vinegar
2 TB Honey
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chop lettuce and mix in Arugula. Saute chicken in olive oil and seasoning of your choice (oregano, basil, or just salt and pepper). Slice chicken into long strips and set aside. Place prosciutto on skillet and cook on med heat for 2-3 minutes or just before it gets crispy then into small into pieces and set aside. Grill or saute peaches (if you saute them just heat olive oil over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes/ if grilling grill until barley blackened and and not mushy.) Toss pecans, chicken, peaches, prosciutto and goat cheese in with lettuce. Whisk olive oil with balsamic vinegar, honey and salt and pepper then drizzle over salad. Serve with warm bread.
Beautiful photos by Dana Snyder
Directions: Iron Canyon is right off of hwy 224 and Park Avenue as you’re coming into Park City. If you are coming into Park City from Salt Lake on hwy 224 take a right onto Pay Day Drive which will continue onto Iron Mountain Drive. Here is a map of where to park for Iron Canyon. There are signs along Iron Canyon Drive telling you where you can and cannot park.
Distance: The hike to the top takes about an hour. Total round trip hike 1.5 hours.
The reward: Beautiful views of Park City, the ski resorts, plus lots of butterflies and foliage along the way.
For more hikes around Park City go to Mountain Trails Online. They have a great interactive map and all of the latest information for hiking in the area.