He Calls Me “The Blonde Italian”

Hi, my name is Debbie Spivey. I am the author and photographer here at my blog I call “The Mountain Kitchen”, a blog that shares delicious homemade recipes, with clean food ingredients, including grilling recipes by my husband David, and a place where I reminisce about life and tell stories about mountain life. I am a Melanoma Survivor and also share my experience with skin cancer with others to help raise awareness for this deadly disease.

I grew up a farmer’s daughter so deep in the country that the roads have no lines on them. I now live on the side of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, with my husband and love of my life, David.

I have always loved to cook. As a child, I watched both of my parents cook and never turned the television away from the great Julia Child or Justin Wilson when they were on PBS. I didn’t realize how much I was absorbing. Inspired by something I saw, (long before Food Network or the Cooking Channel existed) I would go outside and have my own cooking show right there in the backyard. I would steal vegetables out of my parent’s garden to incorporate into my recipes that mostly consisted of mud. Believe me, my mud battered hydrangea leaves were the best-fried fish around. Especially those mud pies I used to make.

I have been torturing people for years by uploading pictures of finished dishes to social networking sites. I want to share my dishes with others, but I’m afraid that a lot of people have hidden me or deleted me for posting pictures of food all the time. That’s why I have decided to become a… Wait for it… “FOOD BLOGGER”!! Yeah, I know, oh, another one of those right?!… I like being able to keep some kind of journal about what I do in the kitchen and our life on the mountain.

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 did not expect to make so many new friends. I love communicating with people from different walks of life all over the world. Sharing experiences with others and then learning from them and their experiences.

I get asked all the time where I find the recipes that I cook. My answer is always the same. I find almost all of my recipes online or in magazines, but I almost always put my own spin on them, usually taking out anything processed and making them as natural as possible. I love food and this makes it easy for me to become inspired to cook and want to cook.

My blog is designed to get readers to laugh, learn something new and find something good to cook and eat. We are Meatless on Monday, we grill often and occasionally I bake. There is always something good to eat and a story to go along with the food. In our mountain kitchen, you never know what is going to happen.

My favorite cuisine to make is Italian. Yes, all those wonderful ewwy gooey cheesy, pastas covered in tomato sauce. It’s truly my comfort food. I guess that’s why David calls me “The Blonde Italian”.  I don’t have a single drop of Italian blood in me. I only can assume, my passion for Italian cuisine comes out in the taste of the dishes I make.

Thank you for stopping by to visit us at The Mountain Kitchen. Your visits are 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, and our life here up on the Blue Ridge or to read the crazy stories like the one about bears and goats.

Our wish for you is that you get a good laugh, learn something new and find something good to eat while you are here. Then take it and share it with the ones you love.

Thanks for your visit. Please come back soon!

62 thoughts on “He Calls Me “The Blonde Italian””

  • I appreciate so much the recipes. I love to cook and have learned to try your spice recipes. I love them. I just bought a smoker and have started making each of your spices,and labeled the dates to each. I also have bought a mortis and pestle too. I love your cancer story. I lost my son to colon cancer at 22 years old. He was my only son. With being deeply sadden over our loss I found giving to Saint Jude, and cooking I am trying to keep busy. I am a nurturer . I have a passion for cooking. I have bought spice books to learn the history and origins. I make extracts of every kind . Just made lemon extract .
    I wanted to thank you so much for your web site. You have given your blessing to me and I thank you and your wonderful husband for that. I live in Sanford North Carolina. We live to enjoy the blessing of our lord..

    • Hans, what a very thoughtful and heartfelt comment. I’m so happy you find joy in what we do. Thank you for reminding me why we do this. I’m sorry for the loss of your son. I cannot imagine your pain. God bless you! Thank you for this. It means a lot! Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

  • I accidently found your website while searching for something different to cook in the smoker. Love the recipies and we are going to try the smoked chuck roast next week. I’ll definitely try more.

      • What an inspiring person you are. I look forward to trying your fruitcake recipe. Are your recipes reducable for one or two people?
        Bless you and may you keep well.
        I am a redheaded Italian 😊

      • Hi Margaret! So nice to “meet” you! Yes, most of these recipes can be reduced. Mostly my husband and I cook for just the two of us, but we do plan for leftovers most of the time. In the recipe card at the end of each post, you will see a blue number for servings. If you click it, you can drag it to reduce or increase. I hope this helps! Thank you so much for taking the time to write and for the kind words! Best ~ Debbie

  • Love your story and recipes. Heartfelt and so inspiring. My husband and I live in a modest brick home in upstate NY. We live simple lives, homesteading, gardening and lots of love.

  • Looking for just a simple recipe I found your site. I only planned to see the recipe I was looking for but ended up browsing your entire site. The recipes are fun and useful. Your blog on that nasty “M” word is a breath of fresh air. So many people think that it won’t happen to me as a survivor myself I understand what you went through. From the first moment you hear the c word your life changes. Now you work every day to win the war being thrown at you. Simple things like sunscreen being readily available become so important. But smile keep your dermatology appointments follow their advice and you can win. I’ve beaten “M” 3 times as well as multiple other skin cancers. I laugh about my many scars telling people they prove I am winning my war one battle at a time. As long as bloggers like you keep spreading the message we can help to save others from the same fate.

    • Hi Linda! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your very kind words. It really means a lot to me! I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with the “M” word. Our battle scars are definitely proof of our strength and courage. I wear mine proudly too! I hope you will come back from time to time to find something good to eat. ~ Debbie

  • Thanks for all your effort in creating this wonderful blog. It’s interesting and I love grilling and smoking feed pork fish vegetables I don’t think there’s any better tasting food than that that’s cooked on the grill slowly smoked hmmmm.

  • Very nice web site. Informative and Simply written for us “non-cooks”!? I can’t wait to see you kids again at the watering hole! I was quite touched by the “My Melanoma Story” Kudos’s to you! Some of the recipes were very “tasty sounding”. Can’t wait to try some of them and “Pass Judgement” on them,,,, I have a few of my own that I would like to share .with you and your “fans”!!! See you at “The Gap”

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