Monday, May 14, 2012

The Smoky Mountains

The Smoky Mountains are one of my favorite places on Earth! For whatever reason, when I'm there... I forget about all my worries, and focus on what's really important. It's a retreat for me! Ashlynn and I got to spend "almost" the entire week there last week. We hiked, went "junkin'," and ate... and ate. Needless to say, our detox starts today, it may or may not involve kale, and water... and Amazing Grass.

I've mentioned Nany's cabin before. The only thing that was missing from this trip was HER! She was out of town while we were there, and it just wasn't the same without her there!

We love Nany's Cabin. We slept in. We cooked breakfast... and cookies... and sticky buns! ...that's what we love about vacation. There's nothing wrong with a little indulgence every now and then. It's all about a healthy balance.

Let me tell you a little about Nany's Cabin...

It's got this rustic charm that's hard to describe. She keeps all these tins in her kitchen that she stores grits, coffee filters, oatmeal... just like they did back in the day, and like I've said before, I think our grandparents were on to something that we are soon forgetting!

This is where breakfast was served. My cousin always calls it a Smoky Mountain Breakfast. My definition of a Smoky Mountain Breakfast is biscuits, topped with syrup AND PEANUT BUTTER, eggs, grits, and bacon... and Mayfield Chocolate Milk! It's a tradition. Plain and simple.

Meet Britney (hopefully I spelled that right). She's the guard cat around the cabin, and when she kills something, she wants to make sure she gives evidence she's doing her job! So, she brings it right up to the cabin to show you. Not the best sight at 6:00 am when she wakes you up to be fed... but productive nonetheless.

Another tradition while we're there is to always eat at Pancake Pantry: one of the best pancake houses, if not the best, in the Smoky Mountains. There's a trick to this... You have to get there early. If you don't make it by 9:00, the line to get in will be down the block, and around the corner. Trust me.

We also went on a hike to Andrew's Bald. It was a real easy hike... only about 4 miles. And the views were breathtaking.

If you've never hiked the Smokies... do it! There's something about getting away from all the noise. You can think more clearly.

I mentioned Sticky Buns. That post is coming soon! You take Rhodes Rolls, cover them in sugar and cinnamon, and let them rise over night, and then bake them the next morning. I originally got this recipe from Nany... and tweaked it just a little.

Before I close out this blog post, we have to get something off our chest. We're addicted to these deep fried potato chips. They are out of this world good... and when paired with this buttermilk ranch, it's all we can do not to eat the whole plate. I'm also working on a healthier version of this... the trick is getting the texture right. Stay tuned!

Did I mention we graduated? It was a huge moment in both of our lives. We're very blessed, and we're excited for what's in store over the next few months. God's doing big things in our lives, and we can't wait to share!

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