Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Vacation Food

This is overdue.

I am overdue.

In every way but the way you're thinking.

I don't know, the leaves outside are just blowing my dang MIND. Half the trees are bald and the other half are just luscious. There's no other word for them, and I don't say that lightly, because the world "luscious" always makes me feel like a creeper.

So, as far as my delay on telling you all about what we ate on our BYOF vacay, I blame the foliage. (classic scapegoat)

(Guys - I'm feeling wonky right feels like this could get really off course really quickly. This is just a warning. I'm in that mood. I'll do my best.)

I'll cut to the chase, for our trip to the TN mountains last week, because of its realllllly remote location, we had to bring all of our food with us.

And though I do love to cook, I'm not used to cooking on location. A big part of the appeal of vacationing for me is eating most meals out, so this was going to require some planning on my part, along with a shift in my perspective.

Fortunately, the trip fell soon after I handed in my manuscript, so I was theoretically able to do things again like "think" and "plan".

Unfortunately: distracting foliage. (see above)

As it all played out, I spent 4 days in South Carolina, speaking at Allume, then returned home on Sunday, took a 4 hour nap, and when I fully came to, it was Monday, my kids were all home on Fall Break, and I had three full days worth of meals to plan and cook.

I did shopping on Monday and a bit of cooking that night, then cooked my fool brains out on Tuesday, before we hit the road around 4pm. (So many 4's!)

Since I already had food on every flat surface of the kitchen, I doubled all of the main dish recipes and walked three dishes over to my neighbor, who just gave birth to the cutest little guy on her kitchen floor a couple of weeks ago.

But that's another story for another day. 

For now, the story is: Scattered Blogger Wonders Why She Can't Live in the Mountains of Tennessee 

Can you believe how dreamy this little house in the hills is? All the white space did something to me. It rearranged my sensibilities. There's nothing like a bare, beautiful room to make a person feel like they're taking a nap whilst being fully (mostly?) awake. 

The white space combined with copious amounts of distracting, beautiful foliage eased us into a place where we happily did things like piece together puzzles, paint lots of pictures, read books, and play board games.

But I'm supposed to be talking about the food.

The night before we left for TN, I spent a couple late night hours making loads of breakfast burritos, with scrambled eggs, spicy sausage, cheese, avocado, and pickled jalapenos. Half of them also had black beans.

These burritos met a sad end, but I'm not sure I can talk about it yet.

I also baked this cake, because it's pumpkin cake fused with chocolate cheesecake, and I can't think of a reason in the world not to eat this every week.

I also made:
Teresa's homemade Mac and Cheese. It's my go-to, and if you don't believe me, just read the comments on her post.

Stuffed Pepper Soup - An old fave, and I apologize about the picture. Viva, 2009! (what.)

Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup from Damn Delicious. SO good. So, so, so. Lemon makes everything happier!

When we arrived, Edie-Girl was waiting for us with a big pot of her famous tortellini soup.
She also had warm rosemary bread, a batch of my salsa, and a killer salad with kale and shaved brussels sprouts. (soulmate!!)

We grabbed milk and eggs on our way to the house and had French toast with strawberries on morning.

We also took cereal, fruit, and some snacks, like Takis (Fuego flavor HOLY ADDICTIVE YUM), Salt & Vinegar potato chips, peanut butter, nuts, and popcorn.

On our last night, we had planned a fancy "happy hour", in which we brought out all of our finger foods (peppers, hummus, cheese and summer sausage, roasted peas, fig crisps, baguette, and two kinds of olives) and had San Pellegrino in wine glasses.

It all sounds pretty dreamy, but for the real story, you can just read this.

If I could do it over again, I would in a heartbeat.
It was definitely a bit of work on the front end, but the expense was minimal (no eating out!) and all it required of me was to warm something delicious up.

I guess it's official, I was made for the mountains.

Soup Forever,
Flower Patch Mountaingirl

PS - Speaking of soups, do you have one I need to try? Love you forever if you link it in the comments.


  1. a Minnesota favorite! I usually substitute leftover turkey or chicken, my carrots are chunks, not grated, I add green pepper and never have sherry in the house! LOVE this with great bread.

  2. - except I add the dill at the beginning AND end (dill is my love language) and I sometimes add a little kielbasa at the end too if I want it to fill my babies' bellies for longer. This is the easiest soup and is authentic - my husband's Babcia even gave it her seal of approval!

  3. Our new fav, easy and so much better than Campbells! SO MUCH BETTER! Tonight I am making it for Bible Study with Ina's grilled cheese croutons.

  4. stunning landscape, precious house, delicious food. got it. thank you! NOW...more about this baby born in the kitchen, please ma'am!

  5. Made this last night and we really, really liked in will DEF make it again. Of course I made some modifications and didn't add as much cinnamon or cloves....and browned the meat and threw everything in the crock pot and let it simmer all day. AND topped it with Mozzarella cheese! But, it was excellent!

  6. Roasted peas? Did you make these? I'm intrigued! Also check out I'm currently addicted to her avocado beet toast. .

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  8. Edies' Tortellini Soup is one of my favorites. This is another,, made with grilled cheese. Yummy!

  9. Pioneer Woman's Baked Potato Soup is my go to!!

  10. My husband's Tortilla Soup is the best soup I have ever eaten! I don't have the recipe. It is in his head. Invite us BOTH to your house for a visit and I promise to have a huge container of this soup safely strapped in the back seat waiting to be eaten by you and your people. I fry up corn tortillas and the extras would be perfect with your salsa..... I know this because I speak from experience. :o) XOXOX

    1. Im on a mission to find a good recipe for tortilla soup!
      You have failed me. :)
      Guess you'd better come over...

    2. :O)
      I will see if I can sweet talk the hubs into giving me enough info to turn his process into a recipe..... Stay tuned.

  11. I haven't made the Mac in years, Farmgirl! I think you've just motivated me to bust it on out again. I just made the very, very best white chicken chili - non spicy. Let me know if that sounds like something you want to try and I'll send you the recipe.

  12. we are obsessed with this ( recipe for mexican chicken corn chowder at my house. i have a feeling you will like it. i don't really think it's THAT spicy, but what do i know. my whole family loves it. my sister made it at her house for sister dinner last night, but she left the tomatoes out because she is clinically insane. its so good. make it.

  13. Probably made this more than any other dish last fall / winter. We are not vegetarians, so I use chicken broth and add chicken to it. Otherwise, I follow the recipe as is. So very good.

  14. This. Trust me. :)

  15. Since we both like the Lemon Chicken Orzo and the Stuffed Pepper, I have to share my other favs... Copycat Zuppa Toscana (, Dijon Chicken Stew (, Loaded Baked Potato (, Tastes Like Lasagna (, Meatball Stone (, and Fireside Veggie ( Forever yours in soup... ;)

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