News And Notes
Apr 17

Spring Festivals in Bloom

Knoxville Dogwood Festival

Photo courtesy of CelebrateKnoxville.com.

Spring should be officially titled the “season of festivals” due to the number of outdoor events that take place during its three-month stretch. The days last longer; people stay out later; music plays louder; the drinks taste better. Yes, spring has sprung in all its glory. Most of us look for excuses to get outside, eat good food and saunter with no agenda. Festivals lend themselves to this leisurely lifestyle quite well.

And while it seems like music festivals get all the attention this time of year, cities are also putting their region’s seasonal blooms on display with parades, contests and street fairs. Below are just a few of the festivals that celebrate the best of spring’s flora.
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Apr 17

Miranda Has Two Weeks at No. 1 on Top 20

MIranda Lambert - Little Red Wagon Video

Miranda pairs up with her favorite canine costar in “Little Red Wagon.” An avid dog lover, she is the founder of MuttNation Foundation to end animal cruelty, and href=”http://blog.gactv.com/?p=61397″>Redemption Ranch, a no-kill shelter in her home state of Oklahoma.

Miranda Lambert makes it two weeks at No. 1 on Top 20 Country Countdown with “Little Red Wagon,” but she had some serious competition! Carrie Underwood remained at No. 2 with “Little Toy Guns,” while Lambert’s husband, Blake Shelton, made it to the list with “Sangria,” coming in at No. 3. Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr also debuted new videos on this week’s countdown.

Top 20 Photo Gallery »

Want to re-watch some of your favorite interviews? Get Top 20 online extrasincluding videos and photos. You can also cast your votes and take a look at the current chart to see where your favorite videos land.

This Week’s Chart

  1. Miranda Lambert – “Little Red Wagon”
  2. Carrie Underwood – “Little Toy Guns”
  3. Blake Shelton – “Sangria”
  4. The Swon Brothers – “Pray For You”
  5. Cole Swindell – “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey”
  6. Chris Young – “Lonely Eyes”
  7. Reba McEntire – “Going Out Like That”
  8. Maddie & Tae – “Fly”
  9. Luke Bryan – “Spring Breakdown”
  10. Eric Paslay – “She Don’t Love You” Continue Reading

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Apr 17

Spring Travel: 7 Savory Festivals

Music festivals aren’t the only noteworthy events to add to your travel itinerary this spring. All across the U.S., you can find celebrations that highlight local cuisine and will satisfy any foodie’s palate. From fresh strawberries in Virginia Beach to buttery biscuits in Knoxville, Tenn., we’ve rounded up the best (and most outrageous) spring food festivals to add to your road-trip bucket list.

International Biscuit Festival

Crawfish Music Festival
Biloxi, Mississippi
April 16-19, April 23-26
Spanning two weekends, this event brings nearly 40,000 guests to the Magnolia State to enjoy live music and a whole lot of crawfish — or mudbugs, as locals would call them. If you can, try to make it for the festival’s second weekend to watch the Crawfish Cook-Off and taste all of the delicious creations.
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Apr 16

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Italian Breakfast Pasta

Italian Breakfast Pasta Recipe

Photo courtesy of Krystal Keith.

Who doesn’t love a fancy brunch? This dish is one of my favorites. OK, I say that about a lot of my dishes…so, I guess I have a lot of favorites…but this one ranks pretty high on the list. I love to serve this to overnight guests because it is always so unexpected.

The rich, flavorful yolk creates the perfect sauce for the fettuccini, and the spinach, pancetta and roasted peppers are the perfect complement to the dish. This is the ultimate comfort food brunch, so I highly recommend you host one and serve this dish. You and your guests will definitely not be disappointed. Continue Reading

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Apr 14

5 Surprising Places To Visit in Alabama

Have you considered Alabama for your next family vacation? From its white sand beaches to art galleries, Alabama is filled with a rich history and charm, as well as art, culture and natural beauty. Here are 5 places to visit in the Yellowhammer State.

Birmingham. The revitalized downtown area embodies the area’s progressive mindset. Railroad Park, built in 2010, offers running and bike paths, fitness classes, concerts, picnic spaces and skateboarding ramps. Four-legged friends are also welcome.

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

Photo courtesy of the Alabama Tourism Department.

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. Located in the tiny town of Leeds, a few miles outside of Birmingham, this museum houses more than 1,200 vintage and modern motorcycles, vintage racecars and the largest collection of Lotus cars in the world.  Bikes range from a 1902 model to current-year production, representing 20 countries and 200 different manufacturers. Continue Reading

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Apr 13

Salvage Dawgs Premieres April 20

Black Dog Salvage

Mike Whiteside and Robert Kulp, Co-owners of Black Dog Salvage

Premiering next Monday, April 20 at 10/9c, Great American Country’s new series, Salvage Dawgs, goes inside the world of shrewd negotiations as Robert Kulp and Mike Whiteside bid on and rescue condemned property. 

The duo are co-owners of Black Dawg Salvage, one of the premier architectural salvage companies in the country, and their goal is to secure pieces of America’s past before they are lost forever. Continue Reading

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Apr 10

Miranda Lambert Takes Over at No. 1 on Top 20

MIranda Lambert - Little Red Wagon Video

Miranda pairs up with her favorite canine costar in “Little Red Wagon.” An avid dog lover, she is the founder of MuttNation Foundation to end animal cruelty, and Redemption Ranch, a no-kill shelter in her home state of Oklahoma.

Miranda Lambert drove her little red wagon to No. 1 on Top 20 Country Countdown! She took over the top spot from Carrie Underwood this week with her new video, “Little Red Wagon,” bumping  Underwood’s “Little Toy Guns” to No. 2. Chris Young rounded out the Top 3 with “Lonely Eyes” and Keith Urban and Eric Church’s “Raise ‘Em Up” debuted on the countdown, coming in at No. 20.

Top 20 Photo Gallery »

Want to re-watch some of your favorite interviews? Get Top 20 online extrasincluding videos and photos. You can also cast your votes and take a look at the current chart to see where your favorite videos land.

This Week’s Chart

  1. Miranda Lambert – “Little Red Wagon”
  2. Carrie Underwood – “Little Toy Guns”
  3. Chris Young – “Lonely Eyes”
  4. Cole Swindell – “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey”
  5. The Swon Brothers – “Pray For You”
  6. Jason Aldean – “Just Gettin’ Started”
  7. Josh Turner – “Lay Low”
  8. Reba McEntire – “Going Out Like That”
  9. Maddie & Tae – “Fly”
  10. Luke Bryan – “Spring Breakdown” Continue Reading

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Posted at 4:33 pm | Permalink
Apr 9

Annual Disc Dogs Tournament Begins This Weekend in Atlanta

Disc Dogs Southern Nationals Qualifier Tournament

Photo courtesy of Atlanta Dogwood Festival

Saturday, April 11 marks the start of the 24th annual Disc Dogs Southern National qualifiers tournament in Atlanta. Since 1991, dogs across the country have traveled to this event to compete for a spot in the Disc Dog World Finals.

Considered one of the most prestigious canine sporting events in the South, the tournament is just one of many events taking place this weekend at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival.

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Posted at 12:53 pm | Permalink
Apr 9

What Is Your Celebrity Music Festival Style?

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival kicks off this weekend, marking the beginning of festival season. Celebrities like Kate Bosworth, Diane Kruger, Katy Perry and Alessandra Ambrosio flock to Indio, Calif., for a weekend (or two) of musical performances, pool parties and to show off their enviable festival style.

If you’re headed to Coachella this weekend or the next, chances are you’ve researched music festival fashion quite a bit. So, to make your searching easier, we broke down festival style into five categories. Just choose the celebrity whose style most speaks to you, and, voila! You found your Coachella outfit inspiration.

Bohemian

Music Festival Fashion: Bohemian

Photo courtesy of Popsugar.

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Apr 8

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Scones

Nan Kelley's Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Scones

Photo courtesy of Nan Kelley.

The scone is one of my favorite baked goods — not surprising because, for this Mississippi girl, it’s a close kin to a southern staple, the biscuit. Plus, they’re really easy to make. You don’t need to let the dough rise, you don’t need a mixer, you can put them together quickly and tailor them with whatever you like — blueberries, currants, cranberries.

Scones can be savory or sweet, and the Brits typically like them at traditional tea time, plain, served with a little clotted cream and jam. In this case, I’m liking them with peanut butter and chocolate. Before now, I had not done this proven, winning combination in a scone, and I love how it turned out! However you like ‘em, pour yourself a cup of coffee or hot tea, sit back with a good friend or a good book and enjoy!

Nan Kelley’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Scones

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can (5.33 ounces) evaporated milk
1 egg
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (natural)
1/2 stick cold butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Glaze:
1 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter (natural)
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk

Directions:
In a small mixing bowl, add evaporated milk, egg and peanut butter, and whisk together until peanut butter is smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Drop butter pieces into the large bowl and use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut them into the dry mixture until crumbly. (This will take a couple of minutes.) Add peanut butter mixture to the large bowl and mix with a spatula. Add chocolate chips and mix until incorporated, moistened and dough starts to form.

Transfer dough and any flour bits to a well-floured flat surface and knead gently 5 or 6 times to form dough. Press dough ball into a circle about the size of a 9-inch cake pan, about 1 inch thick. Cut dough circle into 8 wedge-shaped pieces. Lay each piece on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Do not over bake.

Remove from cooking sheet immediately and cool on rack.

Glaze: 
In a small bowl, blend peanut butter, powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle desired amount onto each warm scone and serve.

Every week on Top 20 Country Countdown our host, Nan Kelley, counts down your favorite videos — but when she’s away from the studio, she’s likely to be found in her kitchen, creating healthy, delicious meals. Nan likes to keep it simple, cooking entire meals using only one pan. Her husband, Charlie, lovingly gave her the nickname “One Pan Nan,” which is also the name of her cookbook [get it HERE]. Check back every other week for a new recipe.

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