Ah, summer — the season of lazy pool days, spontaneous road trips and day drinking on patios. Unfortunately, we only have three months to fit in the aforementioned activities plus hundreds more. This year, we’re determined to make the most of June, July and August. So, come September, we have no regrets, only tan lines. To keep you on track this summer, we created the ultimate summer fun checklist. Follow along with us, and tell us how many items you checked off the list!
Photo courtesy of Starbucks
Southerners and iced-tea-lovers, today is your lucky day. Not only is June 10th National Iced Tea Day, but the entire month of June celebrates this refreshing summer drink. You couldn’t ask for a better excuse to brew a batch of your favorite tea.
In honor of the holiday, Teavana is giving out free 16-ounce cups of their Pineapple Berry Blue iced tea. The blend combines citrus, berry and floral flavors to make for a sweet, invigorating tea that’s perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up or al fresco luncheon.
Or take the DIY approach and make your own version of the Pineapple Berry Blue iced tea with Kimberly Schlapman‘s recipe for Blueberry Half and Half. Trying to cut down your sugar intake? The Little Big Town singer also has a great recipe for Skinny Southern Sweet Tea. Both drinks pair well with lazy summer afternoons spent on the porch swing.
Patriotic Panna Cotta Shooters
Now that it’s June and only a few weeks from the official start of summer, it’s time to kick off backyard barbecues and cookouts. Whether you are celebrating a graduation, the Fourth of July, a birthday or throwing a party ‘just because’, here are 5 fun ideas to spruce up your summer soiree. Continue Reading
My One Pan Nan recipe today is from a two-fold inspiration. I recently got a little package in the mail from one Carrie Underwood. She has a new workout clothing line called CALIA, and thanks to her, I’m the coolest-looking jogger on my road in these cute floral capris and matching headband!
Photo courtesy of Nan Kelley
She also sent a very clever infuser water bottle. Great idea…. Water on the go, and tasty water, to boot. So, it got me thinking — CMA Music Fest is right around the corner, with tens of thousands of folks in this city, and it’s going to be hot. You country music fans will need to stay hydrated, and NOT just from adult libations. Continue Reading
Memorial Day unofficially kicked off summer and left most of us longing for more long weekends and lazy days. With the official start of summer fast approaching, it’s time to think about vacation plans, if you haven’t already. Tropical destinations are always popular vacation spots, but camping can be as much of an escape as a beach trip, providing the perfect opportunity to get the whole family outdoors to explore and enjoy nature. Consider some of these top 10 family-friendly campsites for your next summer adventure.
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. Continue Reading
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
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.
Crawfish Music Festival
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.
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
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.
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, New York
Love vintage barns? Check out these stylish barn transformations »