I am back from a two week vacation. We drove down to Tennessee to see my brother and his wife. They live right near the Smoky Mountains. There is so much to do in the Smoky Mountains. Millions of people visit there each year. There is a lot to do but I am picky about what my kids do there. I like to focus on local culture and learning with some wild fun thrown in. Its nice to have a mix of visiting and sight seeing.
We visited The Lost Sea Cave,
The Museum of Appalachia (pronounced apple-latch-a),
The Knoxville Zoo (a must for the kids) If you go make sure you take a bathing suit and towel because they have a little splash park now,
and the Visitor Center with WDVX where they had some live Blue Grass Music (you can check it out here).
|Count This Penny|
We also went swimming in the Tennessee River and walked around market square down town. We even did a little volunteer work at the Raptor Center in Clinton TN.
Tomato Head (they have a great blog with recipes!)and had this great pizza there. One of the best pizzas I have ever eaten. Thin crust in the middle, high on the sides, loaded with vegetables and cheese. The crust was very tender and delicious.
|fresh spinach, red onion, roma tomato, kalamata olive, banana pepper feta cheese, fresh oregano & organic baked tofu or andouille sausage|
This is the view from my brother and sister in laws place. That is Crepe Myrtle growing there. Just beautiful.
I went to take some close ups of the blooms and found a preying mantis on the flower- very cool. Don't they look wise for some reason?
PUMPKIN PANCAKESadapted from this recipe at Allrecipes.
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a bowl, mix together the coconut milk, water, pumpkin, egg, oil, brown sugar, and vinegar. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides. I turned down the heat as the griddle gets hotter, otherwise they cook too fast and you end up with brown on the outsides and uncooked in the middle. Any leftovers can be toasted in the toaster for a quick breakfast on another day.
More on our next state to visit coming up...