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May 20

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Roasted Tomato Crostini

Krystal Keith's Roasted Tomato Crostini

Photo courtesy of Krystal Keith.

These are outrageous! So much flavor, so much texture, so incredibly delicious. These little crostini are a perfect afternoon snack, appetizer for your family dinner or hors d’oeuvre at your dinner party. I am always tempted to hide these little guys for my own personal snacks and find something else to serve my guests (I would never….or would I?) These take minimal work and minimal ingredients, and they pack a powerful — and elegant — punch in each little bite. 

Roasted Tomato Crostini

Ingredients

1 12-inch baguette (sourdough, French or Italian)
2 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled, roasted and mashed into a paste*
1 cup ricotta cheese
4-6 medium basil leaves, cut into ribbons 
olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes in a small baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30-45 minutes until the skins of the tomatoes start to brown.

You can roast the garlic at the same time. Peel and place the cloves in a piece of foil, add a drizzle of olive oil, fold up the foil and place it in the oven to roast with the tomatoes. When both are done, remove from oven and let the garlic cool. Use a fork to mash the cloves into a paste.

Set oven to broil and slice the baguette at an angle in 1/2-inch thick slices. Broil the crostini slices until they reach a light golden brown. Mix the roasted garlic paste and some salt and pepper into the ricotta cheese, spread onto each crostini, top with roasted tomatoes and garnish with a few ribbons of basil.

*Note:  If you don’t want to take the time to roast the garlic, you can buy a tube of garlic paste at most grocery stores and sauté one tablespoon of it in a skillet for a minute or two to cook off that raw garlic flavor.

You may know Krystal Keith as the singer of the sweet father/daughter wedding dance song, “Daddy Dance With Me,” which she wrote for her own wedding as a surprise for dad Toby Keith. Or maybe you know her from her official debut single, “Get Your Redneck On.” She’s also super talented in the kitchen and has been creating delicious meals from family recipes for years and featuring them in her blog, The Barnyard Bistro. Every week she shares her favorites exclusively with Great American Country.

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May 19

Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman Releases Cookbook

Kimberly Schlapman's Cookbook

Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman is known for her voice, but she is also an incredible cook! Kimberly has hosted her own cooking show, Kimberly’s Simply Southern, on Great American Country, showcasing her favorite recipes and cooking with friends. She recently released her first cookbook, Oh Gussie!, to share not only her recipes, but also some of her favorite memories.

Kimberly’s Simply Southern recipes »

“I’ve been cooking as long as I’ve been singing, which is simply as long as I can remember” she wrote in the book’s introduction. “Singing in church and sitting counterside helping my mama and grandmothers cook taught me a lot about life. Those ladies were at the door of anyone around who had a birth or a death in their family, got a promotion, lost a job, or just broke a bone – with some kind of casserole or cake in hand and with me and my little sister in tow.” 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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Mar 30

Hunt for Americana Photo Contest: Winners Announced!

At Great American Country, we are total suckers for vintage Americana. Whether it’s a roadside motel from years past, a cross-country trip in a retro RV or an old Patsy Cline album, it just doesn’t get any better than the classic pieces of American culture that take us back to the good ol’ days.

Inspired by this fascination with historical America, we started the Hunt for Americana photo contest with Popular Photography magazine a few months back to find out what American nostalgia looks like to all of you.

Hunt for Americana Photo Contest Winners

We asked our fans to submit their own images of iconic Americana and had a panel of judges evaluate the submissions based on skill, adherence to theme, composition, color and nostalgia factor. And… the results are in!

Below are the four regional Grand Prize winners that we selected to receive a 1-year freelance, $5,000 contract and a 5-year subscription to Popular Photography magazine, but you can see all of the finalists HERE »

Grand Prize Winner – Northeast Region

Red Barn by Bruce Martin

“Red Barn” by Bruce Martin, New York

Love vintage barns? Check out these stylish barn transformations »

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Mar 27

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Bananas Foster Pancakes

Krystal Keith's Bananas Foster Pancakes

Photo courtesy of Krystal Keith.

This is one of my favorite indulgent breakfasts. It combines one of my favorite breakfast foods, pancakes, with one of my all-time favorite desserts, Bananas Foster. If you haven’t ordered Bananas Foster at a restaurant, go ahead and put it on your foodie bucket list because it is a must! Bananas sautéed in brown sugar, butter and rum. They light the mixture on fire, which is always fun, and serve it over vanilla ice cream. Sounds like the perfect topping for pancakes, too, huh? I also thought so. 

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Mar 25

It’s International Waffle Day!

International Waffle Day
As the wise, inspirational Leslie Knope once said, “We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles and work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter but work is third.” Since today is International Waffle Day, it only seems appropriate to remember and repeat her words. Wherever you are and whatever you do today, at least make sure to eat a fluffy, warm waffle.

Waffle Day originated in Sweden due to confusion over similarly pronounced words Våffeldagen, meaning “waffle,” and vårfrudagen meaning “Our Lady’s Day.” March 25 traditionally celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation, a Christian holiday when Mary the mother of Jesus learned she would bear a son. Swedes also celebrate the beginning of spring on March 25. So, the Swedish people simply combined the holidays, celebrating Our Lady’s Day and the start of spring by eating waffles.

Parks and Recreation - More Waffles

Now, who’s thinking breakfast for dinner featuring waffles? Check out Ree Drummond’s homemade waffle recipe from the Pioneer Woman.

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Mar 17

Traditional Irish Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day

Holidays provide the perfect excuse to try (and perfect) new recipes. This St. Patrick’s Day, experiment with Irish cuisine by making these traditional, and not-so-traditional recipes. From shepherd’s pie to colcannon to Guinness-inspired desserts, we’ve rounded up the best treats, sides and hearty main dishes from the Emerald Isle.

Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick's Day

Photo courtesy FoodNetwork.com.

Soda Bread – If you go to Ireland wanting authentic Irish soda bread, don’t be surprised when the baker hands you a loaf without caraway seeds, butter or raisins. Only the American-Irish versions include those add-ins. Serve as a side or an appetizer with Irish butter. Get the recipe here »
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Mar 4

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Green Chile Refried Beans

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Green Chile Refried Beans

Photo courtesy of Krystal Keith.

Y’all that know me, know that I love, love, love Hatch Valley green chiles. My family puts them in everything including eggs, mashed potatoes, soups…. Don’t be surprised if I bring out a Hatch green chile ice cream at some point! But one of the most classic Mexican side dishes is the perfect place for these flavorful chiles.

This is my absolute favorite side dish when I’m serving Mexican food. Forget plain-old canned refried beans. Ten minutes of prep time and a few hours in a Crock-Pot and you have a healthy, homemade side of refried beans that will knock your socks off. And, as a bonus, you get to bag it up and store it in the freezer for the next few times you need refried beans as a side dish.

How to Video: Growing Chile Peppers » Continue Reading

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Mar 3

7 Recipes for Outdoorsmen

Knowing where your food came from is rare these days. We often purchase groceries without giving a second thought to the process that went into getting the food. Sourcing your own meat and fish can be a healthier, more sustainable option, and it’s easy to do if you already love to hunt and fish. Whether you have a freezer full of meat you haven’t decided how to prepare, or you have a hunting trip coming up, we’ve shared some delicious recipes for you to prepare with your wild game and fish.

Wild Game Chili

Photo courtesy FoodNetwork.com

Wild Game Chili
Use ground moose to give this classic dish a unique twist. Whip up a pan of cornbread, and you have a hearty, delicious meal. Get the recipe here »

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