This is the last posting for this blog space. Our kitchen had too many gadgets and needed more cabinet space. Please visit us at our NEW Site:
Thanks so much for stopping by to see us. We hope your hungry!
Debbie, David & Ashes
Debbie, David & Ashes
I sure hope you haven’t given up hope on us and the new site we talked about!
Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have not had the time to work on the new site like I planned and it is taking a lot longer than anticipated. My hope was to have it up and running by our 2nd Year Blog Anniversary on February 1st. I am not sure right now, but it may still happen and I will do my best.
I have been trying to keep up with all the fellow blog postings made each day. I enjoy all of your posts and it makes me miss posting on a regular basis even more. David and I have tried a couple of new recipes I will share, but since I have been working on the new site, we have doing repeat meals from a lot of the recipes I have shared. And don’t worry, we are still meatless on Monday. Just this past Monday we enjoyed the Puff Pastry Veggie Pizza I shared a while back. Yummy! ;)
Thanks so much for your patience! I can’t wait to introduce TheMountainKitchen.com soon…
P.S. If you remove the construction equipment from the logo you get a preview of the revamped TMK Logo! :)
Although I am busy working on the new website, I couldn’t let the first Meatless Monday of 2015 go unnoticed. David and I have been going Meatless on Monday for two years now. That’s 104 days a year that we didn’t eat meat. At first, we started doing it as a challenge for me to be more creative with meal ideas during the week. But then it became more than that.
In September of 2013, The Mountain Kitchen was invited to become an official Meatless Monday “Blogger on Board” and joined the growing ranks of bloggers spreading the word about the healthy Meatless Monday Movement. I was excited at the opportunity, but really needed to study up on what Meatless Monday really was all about. After better familiarizing myself with the movement, I was even more excited to become a “Blogger on Board”. Here’s why:
The Meatless Monday Mission
Meatless Monday Company Overview
So not only was I getting the challenge to get out of the rut of the same old meals every week, but I was also doing something that would be healthy for David and me, while helping the planet.
That’s our Meatless Monday Story. Why not start your Meatless Mondays today?!?
For my Meatless Monday recipes, click HERE
For more information about going Meatless go to MeatlessMonday.com
Most of you already know that on New Years Eve I announced that I am working on a new website. I want to start 2015 fresh with a more pleasurable viewing experience.
I want to take a minute to let you all know that the new site is slowly taking shape. It is taking me a lot longer to get it up and running than I expected. There is a lot to learn about a self hosted site and with the new template I have to stop almost every time I get ready to do something to learn how to set it up. I don’t want to rush the process too much and I am taking my time. I am sorry to say that the blog posting schedule I normally keep will be postponed until the new site is up. I want to focus all my time and energy towards making the new site function well. I am excited about http://www.themountainkitchen.com! I hope to have it up running soon.
Until then this site will remain up and functioning. Thanks for your patience and support!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 88,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.
I can hardly believe how fast this year has gone by!! It seems like only yesterday, when I started this blog in February of 2013 with terrible smoker’s flu and a passion for food. I really didn’t know I was going to like blogging so much. Writing this blog has been a great experience. It has given me some great opportunities, and most importantly it has given me some pretty great friendships. I expect to make so many new friends. I love communicating with people of different walks of life all over the world. Sharing experiences with others and then learning from them and their experiences.
We would like to personally thank each and every one of you who have stopped by to visit us at The Mountain Kitchen. That is what makes all of this so worthwhile. It is you! You, the person that took 5 minutes out of their day just to see what kind of crazy meals David and I made, what His Royal Highness has been up to, our life here up on the Blue Ridge or to read the crazy stories like the one about the bear and the goat.
I want you to know that I really haven’t taken the past two weeks off from this blog as mentioned in my last post. I have been working behind the scenes and
I am excited to announce that The Mountain Kitchen has officially purchased a domain!! :D :D
During this time, I ask for your patience. All the technical aspects of setting up a website is making me dust off all the computer skills I have and forcing me to learn new software and so many new things. (All of you fellow bloggers know what I am talking about.) I hope to have our new site up and running soon, but again it will take some time. http://www.themountainkitchen.com will be up as soon as I can get it ready to introduce to the world. Although, picking out a theme would sure speed up the process… You never know how indecisive you can be until given endless options!
When I get the site ready, our wish for you is the same as it has always been. We hope you get a good laugh, learn something new and find something good to eat while you are here. Then take it with you and share it with others. May 2015 be all you wish it to be.
Thanks for visiting & come back again soon!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Debbie, David & HRH
See you soon…
Debbie, David & His Royal Highness
So, candy these little dudes and have a feast, walnuts are good for you.
Get to know your food!
This past summer (I can’t believe I am already referring to it in past tense. Where does time go?), David and I were browsing the produce in the garden department at a store. I spotted a Jalapeno plant and decided I was taking this guy home. I showed it to David and said:
“Look! We can have a Jose Jalapeno On The Deck!”
Given our new found love of Jalapenos, I was hoping to enjoy some from Jose, from a plant I actually knew. I planted Jose in a large terracotta pot and placed him outside on the deck. There he would be happy because during the summer we get about 8 hours of sunlight. Jalapenos like sunlight and they like water.
After about two weeks or so, Jose was looking a little yellow, but he was beginning to produce some jalapenos!I couldn’t understand why he had turned so yellow. He looked sick, bless his heart. David told me countless times to give him some food, give him some food, GIVE HIM SOME FOOD! I finally broke down and decided I would feed him, what could it hurt? Poor little guy had the prettiest little pepper, but his leaves were so unhappy. It must be hard work producing jalapenos. I mixed up some plant food and gave him a good dousing of the mineral enriched water along with some other plants I had growing on the deck for the summer. About a week later, Jose was starting to green up! He also began producing new leaves, blooms and his jalapenos got larger. David was right, Jose was hungry!At the first threat of frost I decided to bring Jose in. When I wrote about peppers for FOOD FACT FRIDAY. I learned that peppers do not really have a growing season and can grow year round. I brought him inside and placed him in the warmth and light of the deck door, safe from frost and frigid air, snow and ice that was to come.Jose is still a very happy little plant. When I brought him inside, he was still producing 8 gorgeous jalapeno chile peppers for me.Not wanting Jose’s hard work and efforts to produce these fine peppers for us go to waste, I decided I would celebrate the harvest by making Jalapeno Poppers. These little jalapenos were small, but made the cutest bite-sized jalapeno poppers. Some only requiring about a 1/4 of a slice of bacon.I used the same recipe I used for the ones we did on the grill this summer. It only took about 2 tablespoons of both the cream cheese and cheddar to stuff into the slices.It was almost tedious, but I made them work. Look how cute they were, all tucked in with their bacon blankies around them… Aren’t they just the cutest things you have ever seen?
Jose Jalapeno On The Deck still resides inside the deck door. He sits in his pot beside a basil plant that I brought to life from a sprig from the produce department I purchased at the grocery store. Yes, you heard me. I actually rooted a sprig from the grocery store. If I had to name the basil I think I would call him “The little basil plant that could”. The day I planted him in the pot, he almost cooked in the hot summer sun. Luckily he came around after a good watering.Jose is still producing a couple of peppers for me. However, he has had some bloom drops. I believe it is due to the lack of pollination and no bees to assist him. I see a few more blooms forming. I am keeping an watchful eye. This time I am going to see if I can help him out by using a little brush to pollinate the blooms. Stay tuned….
Have you ever eaten a meatball sandwich before? It never really has appealed to me at all. It looks so messy and the bread had to be soggy from the sauce poured onto it… I tried one last week for the first time. You know what? It was GOOD!
Ever since I made the Killer Meatballs, David has been practically begging me to make them for meatball sandwiches. Having not been too keen about the whole meatball sandwich idea, I drug my feet. After he suggested “make us some meatball sammitches” for the hundredth time, I decided I would make the damn sandwich to shut him up! I mean really, just because I made him a meatball sandwich, didn’t mean I had to eat one. I could just pour them over some good old fashioned pasta instead. So last week, David got his “meatball sammitch”. Here’s how I made them:
So it turns out, I do like meatball sandwiches, I just had to make them myself. It also turned out that we had some meatballs and sauce left over and decided to finish it off on top of some fettuccine the next day for supper. So, I not only got a tasty sandwich, but I also got my pasta.
Perhaps it will be a while before David begs me for meatball sandwiches again. I can only hope….
I forgot to buy walnuts for the beet salad I had planned for Meatless Monday last week. I usually buy some honey roasted walnut halves from Wally World (Walmart). They sell them in their salad/granola section near the produce for a pretty good price. The thing is I can’t seem to find them anywhere else. I don’t like to go into Walmart unless I really have to, but the other day going to Walmart was way too inconvenient and I could not find any sweetened walnuts of any kind, anywhere else. I decided that I would make my own daggum walnuts and candy them the best way I knew how. I bought some plain walnut halves and went home to figure out how I could candy them myself, while the beets for my salad were roasting in the oven.
The candied walnuts I made turned out a lot more candied than what I was buying and so much better! Here’s how I made my candied walnuts:
Next time you cannot find a product you normally buy, try to figure out a way to make whatever it is yourself. You may even surprise yourself at how much better you make it.
You could use any nuts you prefer. They would make a great Christmas gift for the nut lover in your life. You could also do batches of each kind of nut you wanted and give a sampler.
A lot of people do not like beets. I have always liked beets, especially with vinegar, salt and fresh cracked black pepper on them. I grew up eating them poured over cabbage boiled with a ham hock. My mama and daddy grew them in their garden and my mama would can them so we could enjoy them all year long. I never realized how much better fresh beets or home canned beets were until I got out on my own. The canned beets in the grocery stores have NOTHING on the taste of a fresh roasted beet. In fact, David did not eat them until he met me and learned to eat them like I grew up eating them with vinegar, salt and pepper.
For Meatless Monday last week, I made a roasted beet salad. I kept coming across recipes for them, so I decided to make my own version. Here’s how I made my Roasted Beet Salad.
Put all the ingredients into a glass jar or bottle (you could also whisk together in a small bowl). Seal and shake well to mix. Shake well before using.
If you do not think you like beets, then maybe you should revisit them and try some fresh roasted. They are really yummy and they are really good for you! I hope this recipe is a way to get you to try something good and healthy!
I had never even heard of a pomegranate, until I met David Spivey. He always talks about how he would eat them off a neighbors bush, long before they started talking about how healthy they are. I’ll never forget the time he tried to juice one in our kitchen in Virginia Beach. The white cabinets and ceiling had juice spots all over them. He’s so messy! ;)
Do you eat pomegranates? Do you like them?
Get to know your food!
It has been two years since I had a pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and it seems that every time I went into our local farmers’ market those little pie pumpkins would taunt me every time. Well, I broke down and bought one of those little dudes and took him home to make a pie. I used a Nancy Fuller recipe. She has a show that I record called “Farmhouse Rules”. It is a fairly new show, so if you haven’t seen it check it out. She’s a hoot!
Here’s how I made pumpkin pie from scratch, minus the damned crust (After my latest experience with pastry dough, I am not ready for that again, yet):
Easy Pie Crust:
I know that dumping pumpkin out of the can is easy, but roasting a pumpkin to prepare for this pie really was simple. This recipe was great! The pie came out velvety smooth and cooked to perfection. Of course, my sweet husband doesn’t like it. I ended up sending some to my step-son who thought is was pretty good too. Turns out pumpkins are good to eat and not just good for rolling down hills. ;)
Do you like pumpkin pie? Have you ever made it from scratch?
David and I have been wanting some oysters all season. The other day we decided to pay a visit to our local seafood shop. We cleaned the snow off the car that had accumulated the day before Thanksgiving and headed to see if we could find an oyster.Guess what we saw in the display case just as soon as we walked into the seafood shop? Yep, oysters. The lady behind the counter said these oysters were Chincoteague Oysters from Virginia’s Eastern Shore. They were a little expensive, but we wanted them bad enough to make the splurge. We got two dozen and she was nice enough to give us a couple extra just in case any were bad.
I decided to do some research about the Chincoteague Oysters. Here is what I found out:
Raised on the Atlantic side of Virginia’s eastern shore, Chincoteague Oysters are a full flavored oyster that pack an extremely salty punch. This distinctive briny flavor is washed away to reveal a sweet buttery finish with the ocean oyster flavor. These oysters are the original “salt” oysters that Virginia is known for. Chincoteague oysters predate the earliest settlements along the Chesapeake. The knowledge of harvesting and cooking oysters passed on from native tribes probably helped America’s first settlers through their first hard winters. Traditionally the oysters of this region were harvested from the ocean floor by day boats using hand tongs. That was later replaced by more recent aquaculture method of seeding the oysters in cages for protection from damage. Chincoteague Bay was the first area in Maryland to embrace aquaculture on a widespread basis in place of wild harvesting, beginning shortly after the Civil War. The clear, salty Atlantic water pours through Chincoteague Inlet and provides local oysters an excellent environment for growth and giving them a distinctive, sweet and salty flavor. Other oysters are brought in and left to take on the salinity of the bay for a few weeks and sold as Chincoteague oysters. These “mock” Chincoteague oysters have the familiar high briny flavor but not much more taste beyond that.
We took the oysters home and we would have them as an appetizer for our Saturday night steak. Yep, we would be eating high on the hog that night…
Oysters need to be kept extremely cold, so what better way to keep them cold, but then to put them outside in the cold on our snow covered deck?!?! They would sit there very happy until later that evening when we were ready for them. David and I like oysters best steamed open. Normally, we would just throw these bad boys up on the grill and let them pop open that way, but since David was going to cook steaks, he didn’t want the high heat of the charcoal to die down too much, since that is what seals in the juices of the steaks.We decided to place them on some foil lined baking sheets and bake them open in the oven.Most people probably use cocktail sauce or tartar sauce, maybe even a little lemon juice to go along with their oysters. That is a perfectly fine way to eat oysters, but David and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Smoked Chipotle Tobasco Sauce.
Now, were not promised anything to plug this sauce, but I am here to tell you, this sauce is so good with the saltiness of the oysters it’ll almost make you want to slap your mama!! Yeah, that good… If you love steamed oysters, then definitely give this a try the next time you have some. YUM, YUM, YUM! Yes, we also tried some Sriracha, but it just didn’t taste as good as the chipotle sauce.
Thank goodness we had only planned for the oysters to be an appetizer. Even though all 26 oysters opened, these were disappointingly small. Oh shucks!!
On Tuesdays, one of my favorite grocery stores has whole, boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale. I like to plan chicken meals around this day so that I can get the fresh chicken for a bargain. Since I shared the two sun dried tomato pesto chicken recipes last week, I wanted to show you how easy it is to fillet whole chicken breasts. Filleting chicken breast makes for more even cooking and keeps you from having to cut the chicken into portions once it is cooked so that you do not have to worry about loosing the juiciness of the chicken. Here’s how you cut the fillets:
I hope this helps you make your chicken go a little farther in your kitchen and perhaps saves you a dollar or two at the store.
My new found love for red peppers led me to this recipe I adapted from Lovely Little Kitchen. This pasta dish is creamy and so flavorful you won’t believe it. Here’s how I made Red Pepper and Spinach Linguine With Parmesan Cream Sauce:
Oddly enough, I have had some very nauseating experiences after eating bananas since I was a young teen. I believe that it is the only food I am allergic to. Makes me sad, because I really do like them. :(