NOTHING BEATS THE NORTH CAROLINA MOUNTAINS IN OCTOBER


One of my favorite times of year in the mountains is October.  We try to spend 2 weeks in the mountains every fall.   The air is crisp, the leaves are turning and the fires in the hearth at night encourage great dinners, nice wine and games of Spades or Darts!  Football is in full swing and Saturdays are spent watching one’s favorite team (in my case, The Tennessee Volunteers.)

 

When we first arrived there was very little color change.  We drove a section of The Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped at several spots for views and hikes.

Devil’s Courthouse…what the Devil is going on?

Devil's Courthouse on Blue Ridge Parkway photo by Kathy Miller

Looking Glass Mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Looking Glass Mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Many of you know I recently had hip replacement surgery…and I was so excited to be able to hike in the mountains just 8 weeks post op.  Here I am after my first mountain hike…my hip is looking good!  Hip Hip Hooray!

Me after hiking with a new hip photo by Kathy Miller

This view from grand old Whiteside Mountain was spectacular.  The low clouds in the distance looked like the ocean.

View from Whiteside Mountain photo by Kathy Miller

View to Chimney Top, Rock Mountain into Panthertown and the Blue Ridge in the far distance photo by Kathy Miller

Colors of Fall photo by Kathy Miller

Leaves and patterns photo by Kathy Miller

In Panthertown looking to Black Rock Mountain photo by Kathy Miller

After hiking great trails there is nothing better than coming home to a good meal.  This year James and Carrie brought friend Blair and we had some great fun.  Blair and Carrie cooked dinner for us one night and I think you will like this recipe for Shrimp and Champagne Pasta.

October mountain dinner photo by Kathy Miller

SHRIMP AND CHAMPAGNE PASTA

Shrimp and Champagne Pasta photo by Kathy Miller

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 2 shallots, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 cups champagne
  • 2 plum tomatoes, small dice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1 lb. linguine pasta

Instructions

  1. In a large saute pan, saute the mushrooms and shallots in 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the minced garlic the last minute or so.
  3. Remove the mushrooms and set aside.
  4. Add the champagne to the pan and bring to a boil. Once the champagne reaches a boil, add the tomatoes and reduce the champagne until there is about 1/2 cup liquid left in the pan.
  5. Add the heavy cream and turn the heat to a low simmer. Return the mushrooms and shrimp to the pan. Heat until shrimp turn pink.  In the meantime, cook the linguine pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, and toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil and a touch of salt and freshly cracked pepper. Add the pasta liquid to the cream sauce. This will help loosen the sauce a bit. Toss the pasta in the cream sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley.

Notes

Our test run omitted the mushrooms out of guest preference...but we are sure the mushrooms would be perfect.   The sweet and tanginess of the champagne gives the cream sauce a twist and lots of flavor.

Blair Sheffield via KathyMillerTime
Recipe Adapted From Jill McCoy for Austin Food Magazine

KathyMillerTime

Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

Great meals are always a part of fall in the mountains.  We enjoyed our dinner at Canyon Kitchen in Lonesome Valley, Sapphire, NC…always a special treat…

Canyon Kitchen in Lonesome Valley, Cashiers, NC photo by Kathy Miller

We tested a few more recipes while spending time in the mountains.  Watch for 2 Cheese rolls just in time for the Florida/Georgia game…coming next week.

Come celebrate with me.  I’ll save you a seat at the table.

 

12 Comments

  • Pat Troxel says:

    Kathy,
    So glad you are doing so well after your hip replacement! I had a hip replacement in 2009 and know what a relief it was to be rid of the pain! I know all of you are having a great time in Cashiers! I can’t wait to try the Shrimp and Champagne recipe!
    Love to you and Dave,
    Pat

  • Kathy Miller says:

    Did not know you had a hip replacement Pat…and yes it feels like new! Hope all is well with you and hope to see you next time you’re in
    Amelia.

  • Liz Hynson says:

    Kathy,
    I loved seeing the fall pictures in the mountains, especially since I was not able to get up there. So beautiful. It is so awesome your back hiking. Makes the mountains all the more special.
    Liz

    • Kathy Miller says:

      Know you will miss being here this fall. The leaves are spectacular right now. They were still green when we got here and boom….they changed almost overnight. Glad to be hiking again. I’ve done the Art Loeb Trail on Blue Ridge Parkway, Granny Burrells, Little Green Mountain, Balck Rock Mountain, and a gentler hike in Panthertown and of course White Side Mountain.

  • Joanne Astor says:

    I loved your beautiful pictures of a special area in the mountains. I’m so glad you’re having a good time and are able to hike some of your favorite spots. The leaves are just beginning to change in Flat Rock. How lucky we are to experience such a wonderful part of southeast! Joanne

    • Kathy Miller says:

      Loving the colors and the hikes…the only thing missing was lunch with you and Rick…Will have to do it the next time we both are in the mountains. See you soon though. We are lucky to have both, the mountains and the ocean…

    • Kathymillertime says:

      I am sorry we could not meet up this October! Football calls though and know you are off to see FSU play. Remember fondly our trip to Ole Miss for the tailgate!🧡🤠🍊🏈😘

    • KathyMillerTime says:

      so sorry we missed each other this October but know you are off to see FSU play! Love football time of the year. October is the best month of the year 🧡🤠🍊❤️🏈⚾️🎃☠️👻👀

  • RuthAnne Hicks says:

    Beautiful photos Kathy! Glad your hip is doing well. You are an inspiration! 😊. The recipe looks amazing…I’m trying it.

    • Kathy Miller says:

      Thanks RuthAnne! I always think of you at Florida/Georgia time….coming soon….I’ll have an apricot goat cheese roll for Florida and a cranberry goat cheese roll for Georgia on my upcoming post. Both are simple to make and very good. Loved the shrimp pasta…especially since I had Blair preparing it for us. Love the cook!

  • Laura Huffman says:

    I love your pictures! I’m sorry we missed the fall colors this year, and of course I am sorry our timing didn’t work to see you in Cashiers. I’m glad your hip is doing so well! XO

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