Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy New Year, Happy New You?

Happy New Year, Happy New You? 

2013 was wild. Between college graduations, big birthdays, starting new jobs and going to a show or three every month, there is no telling why this blog was somewhat forgotten. 2014 certainly will not be the year I vow to do monthly juice cleanses, jog everyday, or travel outside the country regularly. Instead, the goal is to blog once a month. 

Now, back to the core of what we do well. 

2014 was welcomed in with style. We headed down to Atlanta for two nights at the Tabernacle with Sound Tribe (STS9). Turns out that was a wise move since Murph announced a leave of absence from the band just a few days ago. What a lousy message I woke up to. Naturally, there were tickets purchased for an STS9 show in February that are useless now. 

We will be keeping our eyes open for upcoming festivals and shows to fill the Tribe Vibe hole. 

Speaking of Atlanta, if you're looking for an American IPA to keep you warm this winter be sure to check out the Hoplanta by Redbrick Brewing Company. It has a good mouth feel, pours about a 1-inch head, isn't terribly complex but it's good for a few drinks with friends. 

FOTOS: The Fotographer bought the Phoodie a new lens for the holidays. He's trying desperately to help me catch up to his skill level. I doubt that will happen anytime soon but I've certainly enjoyed trying.

Do not continue reading if you made a New Year's resolution involving weight loss or healthy eating. If not, read on. Over the holidays I received truffle salt and truffle oil. With that, the search was on for the perfect recipe. While I wouldn't consider this the perfect recipe, I did come across a delicious truffle mac and cheese that we devoured in a single sitting. That polar vortex turned us into hungry bears preparing for hibernation. 

I began with the recipe from I Am A Food Blog and developed it from there.  
Truffle Mac and Cheese
  • 1 1/3 cups macaroni
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, warmed
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 block cream cheese
  • freshly ground pepper
Cook the macaroni according to the package. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, reduce the wine over high heat until thick, syrupy and reduced in volume to about 2 tablespoons. Drain the pasta, place in a bowl and toss with truffle oil.
Add the chicken stock to the reduced wine and adjust the heat to medium. Mix together the parmesan and flour so that the flour coats the Parmesan. Add to the wine-stock mixture and stir until the cheese has been melted and mixture thickens slightly. Add the pasta and cream cheese and stir until the cream cheese is completely melted. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and enjoy immediately.

I added pepperoncinis, chopped grape tomatoes, and truffle salt to the final product.

Happy 2014 and may your resolutions inspire and never restrict. 

Safe Travels, Good Vibes, and Full Bellies to All
-The Phoodie & Fotographer

Monday, September 30, 2013

Flexing His Foto Muscle & Our Trip To The Mountains

When it comes to the photography, there's no telling what you will find here. Here is a taste of some of the variety you can expect. The images below were shot with either a Nikon D80 35 mm camera or a Minolta SR-T 101.  For those of you not familiar with photography, both of these cameras are film. The images were photographed, processed, and printed by the lovely Hunter. He certainly enjoys the convenience of digital but the many hours we spent in the dark room helped develop a sincere appreciation for the modern convenience of digital. With that said, enjoy.

This past weekend was spent in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. While there, we enjoyed a feast of yummy food and even went on a mini mycological expedition. We found these three beautiful specimen. Can anyone name these species? We are fairly certain the first one is Trametes Versicolor.

Trametes Versicolor

Not sure what this one is

Can anyone identify this one?
Aside from hunting mushrooms, Ginseng root, and arrowheads, we spent a good majority of the weekend engaging in my very favorite activity: Cooking. 

The menu for the weekend included delicious pumpkin fluff, spicy breakfast casserole, a campfire meal, and fall chicken salad. As promised, check out a few of the weekend's recipes below. 

Fall Chicken Salad


2 pounds cooked chicken breast chopped 
1/4 cup walnuts 
1/4 cup dried cranberries 
1/2 to 1 cup Fage Greek yogurt
Salt and Pepper to taste 

Mix all ingredients and serve on whole grain bread with lettuce and heirloom tomato. This is a great recipe for any novice cook and perfect for any make-ahead meal. 

Pumpkin Fluff


1 large tub whipped topping
1 large package instant vanilla pudding 
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pie filling) 
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice

Mix all ingredients and serve with ginger snaps, vanilla wafers, or apples. This yummy snack looks great when served in a hollowed-out pumpkin. I use the light whipped topping and sugar-free pudding. 

Spicy Breakfast Casserole 


8 large eggs
1 cup shredded cheese of choice 
3 cups cubed fresh bread 
1 pound browned spicy breakfast sausage 
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup fresh jalapenos 
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste 

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Begin by sauteing onions and jalapenos over medium heat with olive oil. Cook until onions are translucent. Transfer onions and jalapenos to a large mixing bowl. Then scramble eggs and add to onions and jalapenos. Mix the remaining ingredients in bowl until everything is well coated with egg. Pour the mix into a greased 9X13 inch pan. At this point you can either cover this with foil and refrigerate until the morning or begin the baking process now. Either way, begin by baking for 25 minutes and check the consistency. When you have achieved your preferred level of crispiness, remove from oven, and serve immediately. 

Enjoy the photos and quick recipes! 

Safe Travels, Good Vibes, and Full Bellies to All
-The Phoodie & Fotographer

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Welcome Fine People

Welcome to the Phoodie and the Fotographer blog. This is the new home of Chelsea and Hunter. I'm Chelsea, the Phoodie and the one that loves to write. Hunter is the Fotographer and a real lover of the great outdoors. We are both located in beautiful Eastern Tennessee just outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It's a little slice of heaven we get to enjoy daily.

Enjoying a delicious meal in Turks and Caicos at Coco Bistro

Our adventures seem to take us all over the southeast and we certainly enjoy good food, great brews, photography, and whole lot of adventure. Music gets its own sentence since it's usually the main reason we travel. We decided these adventures needed to be documented and have opted to share it with all you fine people.

Curious what you might find here in the future? How does this sound?

  • Delicious recipes and photos/videos to show you how to accomplish them (we love delicious food!)
  • Photography and videos (Photography is Hunter's specialty but I attempt it.)
  • Restaurant reviews, suggestions, and of course pictures (As lovers of food we love checking out local establishments whenever we head out of town AND local breweries)
  • Stories of our travels (Over the past year we traveled to Turks and Caicos, Atlanta, GA  and Asheville, NC multiple times, Ithaca, NY, Washington, DC, Putnam Hall, FL and traveled all over Connecticut)
  • Upcoming events across the US and abroad (The upcoming travels and events we will be at)
  • And whatever you request 

Looking forward to taking you along as we take on the world!

Safe Travels, Good Vibes, and Fully Bellies to All

 - The Phoodie and the Fotographer