December Mountain Moments 2019

December Mountain Moments 2019

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Happy New Year! Today I’m sharing our December Mountain Moments. I also want to take a moment to reflect on the year 2019 before welcoming all of the exciting things 2020 may have in store.


This year marked the six-year anniversary of The Mountain Kitchen and it’s been quite an exciting one.

My goal this year was to be more present here on the blog. I have tried to get back into writing a little more, which isn’t always easy. Blogging is not my full-time job and unfortunately, time is not my friend. I thank you for your understanding.

You can go see the most popular recipes were from this year in yesterday’s post, The Top 10 Recipes of 2019.

In 2019, we shared 75 new recipes with you. From smoked meats such as smoked duck, bacon-wrapped hickory smoked pork loin, and smoked pork belly burnt ends, to healthy Meatless Monday dishes like mushroom spinach soup or summer chowder, to the best cheesecake ever with caramel sauce or German Chocolate Cake.


The Mountain Kitchen was officially established as a business in May 2019, becoming The Mountain Kitchen, LLC. It is one step closer to my ultimate goal – turning this website into a full-time job. I have always dreamed of doing work I truly love; work that gives me “purpose“.

More than anything today, I want to thank you for another year together. I cannot tell you what it means to have your encouragement and support. Your faithful readership, your willingness to try our recipes, your emails and comments mean so very much to us.

I don’t get the opportunity often enough to say thank you. So from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for allowing us into your homes and supporting us to do what we love to do. It means more than you could ever know.


David and I are excited to announce the purchase of a new Texas Original Pit Luling Offset Smoker!!

This massive pit is a beast!! This classic offset smoker is hand-forged, made entirely of 1/4-inch steel for superior heat management. The rugged construction features steel wagon wheels, stay cool spring handles, a pot warmer on the firebox, heavy-duty log grate, and a firebox clean-out tool.

We chose an upgraded edition with two 3″ temperature gauges, second-level full slid out cooking grate, convection heat plate, charcoal grate for cooking chamber and chrome temp probe port, with a lid counterweight.

This meat smoking locomotive was shipped factory direct to Front Royal, Virginia via Freightliner. Unfortunately, we did not know that until the day of the delivery when the truck driver called to announce his arrival. He said he was looking at his GPS and wanted to know if he could get an 18-wheeler up to our house…

There is no way in hell an 18-wheeler could get up to our house. Even if it did, it probably could not get back out. It was a long afternoon, but by the end of the day, we had a 550-pound smoker in the back of our Dodge Ram and didn’t even know how the hell we were going to get it out!

Thankfully, our neighbor was generous enough to stop by and offload the smoker for us with his tractor. I’m not sure how we would have gotten it out of the back of the truck. I guess we would have had to start a food truck business instead.

David has already fired that bad boy up. There is a bit of a learning curve with an offset smoker. It takes less charcoal and more wood to get consistent heat. I know David will figure it out.

The smoked turkey, Bone-In Frenched Pork Loin and St. Louis Style rib slab he smoked last weekend were AMAZING! Yes, I actually ate one of his ribs… DEVINE!

We are excited to bring more smoked food recipes to you in 2020! Stay tuned…



Based on reader interest, we have decided to bid farewell to Field Trip Friday posts. Perhaps we will bring them back in the future.

If you want to take a look at our 2019 Field Trip Friday posts, [CLICK HERE]. We would also like your feedback. Please comment at the end of this post.


Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends (Meat Candy)

tossing smoked pork belly burnt ends in sauce on grill


“My kids informed me I’m no longer allowed to buy crackers. Used my pasta machine to roll them out super thin. The thinner the better we discovered after baking up a few sample crackers. Thanks for the recipe, will definitely be adding to the recipe box.”

Keri C. (Comment & 5-Star rating on Homemade Saltine Crackers)

“I have been looking for this recipe for a few years. I lost the recipe card a while back and have try Google search, but it gives me different ones. I’m so happy I tried again today. I’m making it today. Thanks for sharing.”

Doris (Comment Cheesy Rice Stuffed Pork Chops)

“This filling looks absolutely amazing and would well on a great steak or burger or in a veggie dish…drooling with delight.”

Vernon (Comment on Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomato Ravioli With Lemon Butter Sauce {Meatless Monday Recipe )


This wonton soup is made of dumplings filled with a mixture of seasoned ground pork, soy sauce, rice vinegar and ginger, gently simmered in ginger broth. |

Wonton Soup

This wonton soup is made of dumplings filled with a mixture of seasoned ground pork, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and ginger, gently simmered in ginger broth.

Start the new year out on the right foot. We invite you to participate in Meatless Monday. Try one of these winter salads! |

3 MUST TRY Winter Salads

Start the new year out on the right foot. We invite you to participate in Meatless Monday. Try one of these 3 MUST TRY winter salads TODAY!


Christmas Cactus reminds me of my grandmama. She used to have one in her drafty, dim-lit living room. I remember admiring its beauty and have never really forgotten about it.

I purchased a cactus probably 6 or 7 years ago with blooms on it. After the blooms died, that was it! It didn’t grow or bloom until this year when I finally figured out the right lighting for it.

This year it bloomed for the first time since I bought it! It only had one bloom, but one bloom is better than no blooms at all, right? Hopefully next year it will do even better. I’m already setting goals for 2020 and this is one of them!


2019 Mountain Views

The prettiest mountain views since I started Mountain Moments in May 2019.

That’s all of the December Mountain Moments. As we say goodbye to another year, we are excited to see what lies ahead in 2020.

Thanks for reading this blog and trying our recipes. May 2020 be filled with health and happiness!

From David and I at The Mountain Kitchen, Happy New Year!

Love y’all!

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The Mountain Kitchen
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