There’s just something special about staying in a home away from home while you’re on vacation. We’ve been staying exclusively in VRBO’s since last year, and we always like to pick out a home that has a dining table that is perfect for a little soiree, and of course, it goes without saying that having a fabulous kitchen is another one of the necessities on our list.
Out of all of the places we’ve stayed, the newly remodeled home in Highlands, NC has been one of our favorites, and it was the perfect setting for our little lemon-inspired soiree with Italian fare.
We brought everything except for the fresh ingredients from home, including our paper plates and bread bowls from Sophistiplate, woven paper placemats from Hester & Cook, lemon table runner that we found by surprise at Home Goods, our new wooden serving board, and olive oil/balsamic dishes, and of course… our dutch oven from Le Creuset. Our place cards were real leaves from our Meyer Lemon tree, which currently has two baby lemons and a lot of leaves to spare.
Fresh Cut Bread, Modern Aged Balsamic/Herbed EVOO, Goat Butter and fresh herbs | Limoata Organic Italian Sparkling Drink by San Pellegrino
While we often pick up fresh bread from our local bakery, Breadsmith before heading out of town, we decided to pick up our bread and all of the fresh ingredients at the Ingles in Cashiers. The brand of goat butter that we found is truly delicious and was the first variety of goat butter that I was introduced to. The flavor profile that goat butter brings to something as simple as fresh bread or any of your favorite dishes is not to be missed.
Caprese Skewers with Cherry Tomatoes (and Mini Cherry Tomato Poppers), Fresh Mozzarella Balls, French Bread Chunks, and Hydroponic Basil
Feel Good Foodie // Yumna Jawad
- 12 ounces spaghetti (we used artisanal linguine!)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for serving)
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (we used shaved parmesan cheese)
- Optional: (grilled chicken)
Cook the spaghetti in a pot of salted water according to package instructions until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking pasta liquid.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add the cooking pasta liquid and parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a simmer.
Transfer the cooked spaghetti to the skillet with the pasta sauce and toss until well coated. Add grilled chicken (optional). Top with more fresh chopped parsley shaved parmesan.