Author Archives: Debbie Spivey

About Debbie Spivey

Living the the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains with my soul mate. Life is good!

The Mountain Kitchen Has Renovated


Hi Everyone!

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

Categories: The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | 5 Comments

Still Under Construction



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 soon…


P.S. If you remove the construction equipment from the logo you get a preview of the revamped TMK Logo! 🙂


Categories: Worth The Blog | 18 Comments

Lettuce Not Forget Meatless Monday

10376175_10152895672186563_5254211548565381829_nNeed recipe ideas? Click HERE!


Categories: Meatless Monday Recipes | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

The 1st Meatless Monday of 2015

TheMountainKitchenLogo8MMAlthough 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 aims to reduce meat consumption by 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.

Meatless Monday Company Overview

  • Meatless Monday offers the information and recipes you need to start each week with healthy, environmentally friendly, meat-free alternatives.
  • By reviving the American tradition of Meatless Mondays, they are helping to improve our health as a nation and reduce our carbon footprint.
  • Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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

Categories: Meatless Monday Recipes | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

Working Behind the Scenes

IMG_20150104_105836_615Hi Everyone,

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! I hope to have it up running soon.

Until then this site will remain up and functioning. Thanks for your patience and support!


Categories: Worth The Blog | 12 Comments

May 2015 Be All You Dream It Can Be


Categories: Worth The Blog | Tags: , | 11 Comments

The Mountain Kitchen 2014 Review + A Very Exciting Announcement!

The 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!! 😀 😀

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. 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!


Debbie, David & HRH

Click here to see the complete report.

Categories: Worth The Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Taking Time Off…

MerryXmasHappyNYWe are going to shut down for the next two weeks to celebrate the holidays. We wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

See you soon…

Debbie, David & His Royal Highness


Categories: Worth The Blog | Tags: , , | 23 Comments


FFF WalnutsHere are 9 facts you may not have known about Walnuts:

  1. Walnuts are the oldest known tree food and date back to 10,000 BC.
  2. English walnuts (aka: Persian walnuts) originate in Central Asia. They were introduced to California in the 1700’s.
  3. Walnuts were used in salads way back in the 17th-19th centuries.
  4. California commercially supplies 99% of the U.S. California is now responsible for 3/4 of the world trade of walnuts.
  5. Walnuts are only harvested once a year, between September and November.
  6. The Greeks called walnuts karyon, meaning “head,” because the shell resembles a human skull and the walnut kernel itself looks like a brain!
  7. Walnuts have always been considered important for their medicinal properties, including curing bad breath, reducing inflammation, and healing wounds. Nutritional benefits of walnuts have become well-known, especially their omega-3 fatty acid content.
  8. Walnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  9. Walnuts may lower cholesterol, have antioxidant powers, provide stress relief and reduce blood pressure. Eating as few as six to seven walnuts a day could help scavenge almost all the disease causing free radicals from the human body.

So, candy these little dudes and have a feast, walnuts are good for you.

Get to know your food!


Categories: FOOD FACT FRIDAY | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Allow Me To Introduce Jose… Jose Jalapeno On the Deck

Jose-Jalapeno-on-the-deckThis 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!”

I totally pulled off a Jeff Dunham accent. If you know who I am talking about, he has a “Jose Jalapeno on a Stick“, although I am not sure his can reproduce like mine…

IMG_20140810_082645_776-1Given 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!IMG_20140810_082635_888-1 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!IMG_20140907_190011_200-1At 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.IMG_20141209_184816_285-1Jose is still a very happy little plant. When I brought him inside, he was still producing 8 gorgeous jalapeno chile peppers for me.IMG_20141123_090650_725-1Not 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.IMG_20141209_174307_638-1I 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.IMG_20141209_175652_214-1It 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?IMG_20141209_180839_920-1

IMG_20141209_184745_933-1Jose 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.IMG_20141209_184836_928-1Jose 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….










Categories: The Mountain Kitchen Recipes, Worth The Blog | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

David, Here’s Your “Meatball Sammitch”

Meatball Sammitches | The Mountain Kitchen

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:

Meatball Sammitches

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Meatball Sammitches | The Mountain KitchenIngredients:

The Meatballs

  • 1 1/2 cups diced day-old bread
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 pound ground beef (Chuck – 80/20)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese (Click HERE to make your own)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg

The Sauce

  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

The Sammitches

  • 4-6 Hoagie Rolls
  • 1-2 cups Mozzarella Cheese or Italian Cheese blend, shredded
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated for garnish

Meatball Sammitches | The Mountain KitchenDirections:

  1. Soak the bread in the milk in a medium bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, add the beef with the shallots, garlic, ricotta, parsley, basil, Parmesan, salt, and egg. After the bread has soaked up the milk, remove it from the bowl and ring out the remaining liquid, and discard (or give it to your cat). Mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Form the meat mixture into 2-inch balls using a scoop to mold each one uniformly. Place them on a broiling pan and bake them at 400 degrees F until golden on the outside (about 20-30 minutes).Meatball Sammitches | The Mountain Kitchen
  4. In a large dutch oven or enamel pot, prepare the sauce. Add crushed tomatoes, sauce and spices to the pot and bring to a simmer over low heat.
  5. When the meatballs are done add them to the sauce. Cover and simmer for no less than 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, slice hoagie rolls open, leaving a hinge. Bake the rolls at 325° for 10 minutes or until heated through.
  7. Remove bread from the oven. Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese onto the inside of the warmed hoagie roll; spoon 3-4 meatballs per roll, depending on the size of your rolls. Ladle over some sauce and top with more mozzarella cheese. Serve with extra sauce and Parmesan cheese if desired.Meatball Sammitches | The Mountain Kitchen

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.

Meatball Sammitches | The Mountain Kitchen

Perhaps it will be a while before David begs me for meatball sandwiches again. I can only hope….


Categories: Italian Inspired Dishes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Make Candied Walnuts

The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Make Candied Walnuts

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:

Candied Walnuts

  • Servings: 1 Cup Candied Walnuts
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Make Candied WalnutsIngredients:

  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup walnut halves


  1. Melt the butter into the water and honey inside a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat. The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Make Candied Walnuts
  2. When the butter has melted pour the mixture over the walnuts in a large bowl and toss the nuts to coat well.The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Make Candied Walnuts
  3. Add the nuts back into the pot and sir in brown sugar.The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Make Candied Walnuts
  4. Bring the mixture to a bowl over low heat stirring continuously, until golden brown and toasted, 5-7 minutes. You will notice that the mixture get very thick and most all of the liquid evaporates. The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Make Candied Walnuts
  5. Transfer to a piece of waxed paper to cool.The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Make 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.


Categories: The Mountain Kitchen Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Meatless Monday ~ Roasted Beet Salad

Meatless Monday ~ Roasted Beet Salad | The Mountain KitchenA 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.

Roasted Beet Salad

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Meatless Monday ~ Roasted Beet Salad | The Mountain KitchenIngredients:

  • 3-4 medium beets, washed and trimmed
  • red onions, sliced into this slices
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup candied walnuts, chopped (I made some candied walnuts and will share the recipe with you later this week!)
  • Balsamic Maple Cinnamon Dressing, (Recipe to follow. I also made this dressing for the BeetNut Tart)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wrap the beets in foil packets and roast in the oven until tender, about 1 hour.
  3. While the beets are roasting, prepare the dressing:

    Balsamic Maple Cinnamon Dressing Ingredients:

    • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 6 teaspoons pure maple syrup
    • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
    • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

    Dressing Directions:

    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.

  4. Check beets for doneness by poking a toothpick into them. It should pierce through without any resistance. When they are done, take them out of the oven and open the foil packets and let cool.Meatless Monday ~ Roasted Beet Salad | The Mountain Kitchen
  5. Once cool enough to handle, peel using a paper towel, then dice or slice them as desired. (This is similar to how I showed you how to make grilled beets)
  6. Add the beets, red onion and spinach into serving bowls, top with the goat cheese and walnuts and drizzle with dressing.

Meatless Monday ~ Roasted Beet Salad | The Mountain KitchenIf 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!


Categories: Meatless Monday Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

FOOD FACT FRIDAY ~ Pomegranates

FFF PomegranateHere are 13 facts you may not have known about Pomegranates:

  1. Pomegranates are one of the oldest fruits.
  2. In the Ancient Greek mythology, the pomegranate was also known as the “fruit of the dead”
  3. It was cultivated in Egypt around the time of Moses and existed very early in India.
  4. The pomegranate was brought to China around 100 BC.
  5. The pomegranate is a native fruit of the Middle East. Its name in Latin means “apple with many seeds,” but it actually looks somewhat like a petrified tomato.
  6. The Romans called the pomegranate a Punic apple because it arrived in Italy by way of Carthage (Punic). Its Latin name is Punica granatum (Carthage seeds).
  7. Spanish settlers brought the pomegranate to the U.S. in 1769 according to some sources.
  8. Pomegranates grown in the US are available from September to December. (So, this explains why the plethora I have seen in the stores lately.)
  9. The edible fruit is a berry and is between a lemon and a grapefruit in size, 5–12 cm in diameter with rounded hexagonal shape, and has thick reddish skin.
  10. A mature pomegranate is about the size of a large orange.
  11. Pomegranates will make a metallic sound when tapped when ripe.
  12. Pomegranates can be stored for two months in the refrigerator.
  13. Pomegranate juice has antioxidants, nutrients, and dietary fibers necessary for overall health and for preventing potential diseases. The entire fruit can be utilized for your health, including the pomegranate peels and pomegranate extract! Practically nothing is wasted when a pomegranate is used to its full potential. (Click HERE to learn about the health benefits. There are just too many to mention!)

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!


Categories: The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | 26 Comments

The Last Minute Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie | The Mountain KitchenI know, I know, Thanksgiving is over and you’re sick and tired of everything pumpkin, but I just had to share my first experience making pumpkin pie from scratch, well almost…

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):

Pumpkin Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Pumpkin Pie | The Mountain Kitchen



  • 1 medium sugar pumpkin (about 3 pounds)
  • Canola oil, for oiling pumpkin

Easy Pie Crust:

  • Store bought pie crust


  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.Pumpkin Pie | The Mountain Kitchen
  2. Remove the stem from the pumpkin and scrape out the insides, discarding the seeds.
  3. Cut the pumpkin in half and lay the pieces cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Rub canola oil all over the skin. Bake until fork-tender, about 1 hour. Let cool.Pumpkin Pie | The Mountain Kitchen Pumpkin Pie | The Mountain Kitchen
  4. Blind bake the pie crust according to package directions. Once the crust is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  5. Scoop out the pulp from the roasted pumpkin and puree in a food processor until smooth (you should have about 4 cups). Pumpkin Pie | The Mountain Kitchen
  6. Add the condensed milk, cream, cornstarch, molasses, canola oil, cinnamon, ginger, salt and eggs and combine thoroughly.
  7. Pour the filling into the crust and bake until the filling is set in the center, about 1 hour.Pumpkin Pie | The Mountain Kitchen
  8. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool for at least 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature or chilled.Pumpkin Pie | The Mountain Kitchen

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?


Categories: Sweet Tooth Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , | 25 Comments

Oh Shucks!

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain KitchenDavid 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.Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain KitchenGuess 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:

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain KitchenRaised 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…

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain Kitchen

Our main course, ribeye steaks. They’re not just any ribeye steaks. These were purchased from the only town store back where I grew up. The man and his wife that own the store have had fresh cut ribyes forever and a day. They are always tender and he always tells you “don’t burn em”. They can put some expensive restaurant steaks to shame!

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain Kitchen

Place the oysters in a preheated oven at 350 degrees and bake until you see the shells pop open, about 5-12 minutes.

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.Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain KitchenWe 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.

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain Kitchen

Chincoteague Oysters with a few splashes of Chipotle

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain KitchenNow, 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.

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain Kitchen

We even found a few with little crabs inside that we ate too

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain Kitchen

Ribeye Steaks done to perfection.

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain Kitchen

We split a potato and had some leftover collard greens that mama had sent home with us after Thanksgiving.

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!!


Categories: The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | 27 Comments

The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Filet a Whole Chicken Breast

KTT Peeling Ginger (2)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:

  1. Lay the chicken breast onto the cutting surface. The side where the skin was formerly should be facing down. IMG_4182-1
  2. Cut the breast in half.IMG_4183-1
  3. Make sure that the thicker end of the meat faces the knife hand. Flatten the meat with the other hand. Begin cutting horizontally through the midsection of the chicken breast half. Take caution while cutting, to avoid the hand that is holding the chicken meat down, to prevent injuring your fingers. IMG_4184-1Steady the knife to cut the fillets evenly and to the same thickness. Check your cutting progress at the halfway point to make sure that you are not cutting too high or too low.
  4. Once you trim the fat, you have 4 chicken fillets ready to use in your recipe.IMG_4186-1

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.


Categories: The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Meatless Monday ~ Red Pepper Love

Red Pepper and Spinach Linguine With Parmesan Cream Sauce | The Mountain Kitchen

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:

Red Pepper and Spinach Linguine With Parmesan Cream Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Red Pepper and Spinach Linguine With Parmesan Cream Sauce | The Mountain KitchenIngredients:

  • 1 pound linguine
  • 3 red peppers, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ – 1 cups of pasta water
  • 2 cups fresh spinach


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Cook according to package instructions.
  • Place the chopped red peppers onto a foiled lined baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange the red peppers in a single layer and roast in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. The peppers should  start to come blackened on the edges. Set aside until needed.Red Pepper and Spinach Linguine With Parmesan Cream Sauce | The Mountain Kitchen
  • Meanwhile, add butter to a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Do not brown! Sprinkle flour over the butter and garlic mixture.Red Pepper and Spinach Linguine With Parmesan Cream Sauce | The Mountain Kitchen
  • Whisk for one minute, then gradually whisk in milk. Allow to cream mixture to come to a slow boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes until slightly thickened.Red Pepper and Spinach Linguine With Parmesan Cream Sauce | The Mountain Kitchen
  • Turn the heat down to low. Stir in parmesan cheese.
  • Add the roasted red peppers to the Parmesan cream sauce.
  • When pasta is ready, remove from heat. Reserve at least 1 cup of the water. Drain the rest of the water out of the pasta, and return to the pot.
  • Add spinach and creamy roasted red pepper sauce to the pasta and toss with tongs or stir to coat. If the pasta and cream sauce is too tight and sticky, add a little of the pasta water to the mixture at a time. This will help you incorporate the pasta better. (You may not need it all. Discard the leftover water if not needed.)
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot! Red Pepper and Spinach Linguine With Parmesan Cream Sauce | The Mountain Kitchen Red Pepper and Spinach Linguine With Parmesan Cream Sauce | The Mountain Kitchen

This was pretty tasty according to David and even His Royal Highness liked it. Do-Againer!



Categories: Meatless Monday Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas On the Mountain


David and I got all our Christmas decorating done this weekend. I hiked up to the overlook to take some pictures of the outside decorations. I’m so glad I did, checkout this sunset I was able to watch while up there!

IMG_4370-1The colors of the sunsets are so vibrant this time of year because the air is chilly and there is no haze. After almost a week of cold gray dreariness, we were glad to spend some time this afternoon outside in the fresh air and sunshine. They say more bad weather is coming this week. Words like, sleet, freezing rain and snow are mentioned in the forecast. We’ll take it one day at a time. Besides if we moved up here to the mountain and did not see snow, we would be disappointed.

Good bye weekend…


Categories: Worth The Blog | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments


FOOD FACT FRIDAY ~ Bananas | The Mountain Kitchen

Here are 12 facts you may have not known about bananas:

  1. Most species of banana plant originated in Southeast Asia.
  2. Humans have grown bananas for thousands of years.
  3. Bananas are the fruit.
  4. Wild bananas grow with large, hard seeds.
  5. When rip they are usually long and curved with a soft inside covered by a yellow skin (peel).
  6. Bananas can be found in other colors, including red!!
  7. Banana plants are not trees, they are a type of herb.
  8. India is the leading producer of bananas.
  9. Bananas grow in large, hanging bunches.
  10. A row of bananas is sometimes called a ‘hand’, while a single banana is called a ‘finger’.
  11. Bananas contain around 75% water, but healthy water. They have high nutritional value and are a healthy snack.
  12. Bananas contain a lot of potassium, making them more radioactive than other fruits. You don’t need to worry though as this naturally occurring radiation has very little effect on the body.

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. 😦



Categories: FOOD FACT FRIDAY | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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