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Apr 7

George Strait, Miranda Lambert & Keith Urban Big Winners at the 2014 ACM Awards

George Strait, Miranda Lambert & Keith Urban Big Winners at the 2014 ACM Awards

LAS VEGAS, NV – APRIL 06: Singer/songwriter George Strait poses in the press room with the Entertainer of the Year award during the 49th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Kempin/WireImage)

Winners have been announced for the 49th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, a star-studded ceremony broadcast LIVE April 6 on CBS from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  Fans named George Strait the Entertainer of the Year, the evening’s biggest honor and the second win of his career in that category. This year marked another record-breaking year with 1.5 million fan votes cast for Entertainer of the Year and New Artist of the Year categories combined, and also marked the first time online fan voting for these categories were open to fans in Australia and Canada.

The king of country music and newly-crowned Entertainer of the Year, George Strait, also participated in a special moment with Owner, President and General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones. During the telecast the two announced the 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS to be broadcast LIVE from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 8 p.m. live ET/delayed PT on CBS. It was also announced that Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan will return to co-host the show.

Merle Haggard was honored with the Crystal Milestone Award,which was presented by Garth Brooks and celebratedwith a tribute performance featuring Miranda Lambert and George Strait.

Jason Aldean won Male Vocalist of the Year,his second consecutive win in this category. He has won an overall total of 7 ACM Awards.

Miranda Lambert won for the fifth consecutive year as Female Vocalist of the Year, and is now the record holder for the most consecutive wins in that category. She is the leading female winner of the night, with a total of three trophies. Lambert also took the prize for Single Record of the Year for “Mama’s Broken Heart,” and Vocal Event of the Year for “We Were Us” with Keith Urban.

The Band Perry won their first Vocal Group of the Year award. This marks their third overall ACM win; they won the New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year award and New Artist of the Year in 2010. Continue Reading

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Posted at 10:20 am | Permalink
Apr 4

Take a Tour of Kimberly Schlapman’s New Kitchen

Take a Tour of Kimberly Schlapman's New Kitchen

Kimberly’s Simply Southern host Kimberly Schlapman recently gave Great American Country a tour of her new kitchen. Photo by Joe Hardwick.

When season 3 of Kimberly’s Simply Southern premieres Monday, April 7 at 4/3c, you’ll notice something different about the set. Little Big Town member Kimberly Schlapman is still the host — but unlike the first two seasons, she’s now filming the show in her own kitchen. Kimberly and her husband Stephen recently more than doubled the size of their kitchen, turning a former guest bedroom and bathroom into a gorgeous, “rustic meets calm” space. She invited us over to check it out.

See Kimberly’s Kitchen >>

“We’ve been in our house almost 8 years,” says Kimberly. “When we moved, we loved everything about it except for the kitchen. It was really, really small. We always knew we wanted to renovate and put a kitchen somewhere. Before, we called this area ‘Paw Paw’s Room’ because that’s where my parents stayed when they came to visit.

“My husband had the idea to put the kitchen there,” she continues. “He drew up the plans. We had to get an architect involved because we took out a load-bearing wall. We had to put columns in behind the cabinets to support the weight of the upstairs. But we knew what we wanted and we got a cabinet maker to help us with the logistics. And then we brought the cooking show producer in to say, ‘This is what we want – but where should we put the oven? Where should we put the stove?’ to help us know the best angle to shoot from. And the head camera man came over too, to help us decide where to put things.”

Take a Tour of Kimberly Schlapman's New Kitchen

Kimberly’s window herb garden, designed by her husband Stephen. Photo by Joe Hardwick.

When it comes to Kimberly’s favorite things about her new kitchen, the list is long but includes the thriving herb garden sitting in a sun-filled kitchen window (Stephen’s idea); the coffee maker she found on eBay; her “splurge” — an ice maker; the farm sink she always wanted; and pull-out pantry shelves. One must-have — a refrigerator hidden behind cabinet doors — is loved by everyone except Kimberly’s 6 1/2-year-old daughter, Daisy.

“It’s not magnetic so she can’t put her art up on the refrigerator,” says Kimberly. “I would’ve done something about it, like had one panel magnetic or something. On our old refrigerator, she had her artwork all over it. But I didn’t think about it; I just wanted cabinet doors on the refrigerator.  So she’s mad at me about that,” she laughs. “But I do love the hidden refrigerator!”

Take a Tour of Kimberly Schlapman's New Kitchen

Throughout the kitchen you’ll find pieces of pottery made by Kimberly’s father. Photo by Joe Hardwick.

In addition to the new favorites, Kimberly’s kitchen is a home for her many family heirlooms and treasured flea market finds. She’s especially sentimental about several homemade pieces, including pottery made by her father and a dining room bench made by Stephen.

“I would so much rather have something that someone that I know and love made than go to the store,” says Kimberly.

Spilling out of every cabinet door are stories — tales of her vintage finds and dishes lovingly passed down by previous generations. For Kimberly, the new kitchen is a showcase not only for the new season of Kimberly’s Simply Southern, but for the many happy memories of growing up cooking with her family — and the perfect setting for the memories yet to be made.

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Posted at 3:50 pm | Permalink
Apr 3

One Pan Nan: Nan Kelley’s Recipe for Dutch Chicken

One Pan Nan: Nan Kelley Shares Her Recipes with Great American Country

Photo courtesy of Nan Kelley.

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” — and now that’s also the name of her new cookbook [get it HERE!]. We asked Nan to share some of her recipes with us. This week, Nan shares her recipe for Dutch Chicken. Check back every other week for a new one!

“This dish is one we have at our house at least once or twice a month,” says Nan. “It is the easiest, tastiest, one-pan wonder ever and chances are you have everything already in your pantry. If you have a slow cooker, this is going to become a family favorite. If you don’t, what are you waiting on? My slow cooker is the one appliance/gadget I can’t and won’t live without. Load it up in the morning and when you get home from work, dinner is ready and you only have one pan to clean. This recipe doesn’t even require that long of a cooking time. It’s really versatile too, because you can serve it several ways–over rice, with tortilla chips as a hearty dip or my favorite way–in tortilla bowls with lettuce as a south-of the-border salad with jalapenos on the side! Whatever way you serve it, you’re gonna love it–so simple, but so tasty!”

One Pan Nan: Get Nan Kelley's Recipe for Dutch Chicken

Photo by Karen Dearing.

Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts (you can use frozen; just allow for a bit longer cooking time)
1 jar of salsa
2 cans of black beans (drained & rinsed)
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 can of kernel corn (drained)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 can of diced green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese

 

One Pan Nan: Nan Kelley's Recipe for Dutch Chicken

Photo by Karen Dearing.

Directions:
In a slow cooker, place the 3 chicken breasts, then pour all remaining ingredients (except the cream cheese) on top. Do not stir. Put the lid on; turn the slow cooker up to high and cook for Continue Reading

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Posted at 1:33 pm | Permalink
Apr 2

Exclusive: Sarah Darling’s Wedding Diary — Food, Spirits & Fun

Exclusive: Sarah Darling's Wedding Diary -- Bachelorette Bliss

Sarah Darling tries on a beautiful wedding dress. Is it “the one”? Follow this Great American Country blog series to find out which one she chose for the big day! Photo by Sara Kauss Photography.

Sarah Darling and James Muriel tied the knot in a secret spur-of-the-moment ceremony back in April 2013 — but they’re still planning a big Nashville wedding in May 2014 to celebrate with family and friends! Sarah’s sharing her personal wedding diary exclusively with Great American Country. She’ll take us along on the whole journey, from the dress to the flowers to the big day. Check back every other Wednesday for a new post from Sarah!

Food:
Only two months now until the wedding. I’m actually starting to feel like I’m ahead of everything. At this point it’s about reconnecting with all of my vendors. Let’s start with food! James and I both are foodies, so creating a fun menu for the
wedding that fits us both was important. For those who are reading this for the first time, James is British. With that, comes different traditions. When I think of Tennessee, I think of barbeque pulled pork. When I think of London, I think Yorkshire puddings. We’ve decided to incorporate traditional British fare with a twist of down-home southern. We’ve also chosen family style for serving, which is completely different! It’s also a good way to allow guests to meet one another.Choosing the dessert was one of my favorite parts. You will soon see what we chose!

Spirits:
As you know, weddings are a cause for celebrating — with all kinds of fun spirits! We’ve decided on two signature cocktails and beer and wine. Basically each cocktail represents our favorite drinks! James chose something called a Pimms Cup. It’s a traditional British drink that is refreshing in the summertime. I encourage you to Google it right now! It may be your new favorite. It will be served in a mason jar with the vintage striped straws that have become quite popular. It will be a hit.

My drink is on the more feminine side. It’s champagne with a spash of St. Germain and a twist of lemon. I always think it’s fun when you choose beer and wine that is local. For example, we have wonderful breweries here such as Yazoo and
Jackalope. Also, Kix Brooks has a beautiful winery outside of Nashville called Arrington Vineyards.

 

Exclusive: Sarah Darling's Wedding Diary -- Food, Spirits & Fun

Photo courtesy of Sarah Darling.

Accessories:
We are coming down to the wire on putting our bridal party together. James had a tough choice of going with a vintage style suit for his wardrobe or doing a traditional morning suit. You may have seen these on Downton Abbey. It’s the reason I fell in love with him in the first place. When I think of British men, it’s the sexy accent, top hats, and styled clothing. Need I say more?

I decided to incorporate some gorgeous belts from Anthropologie to my bridesmaid dresses. I’m into mismatching pieces! Every girl will have Continue Reading

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Posted at 2:29 pm | Permalink
Apr 1

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Get Krystal’s Recipe for Orange Whipped Cream

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Get Krystal's Recipe for Candy Popcorn

Krystal Keith photo courtesy of Show Dog-Universal.

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.” [Get it here!] But did you know she’s also super talented in the kitchen? Krystal’s been creating delicious meals from family recipes for years and featuring them in her blog, The Barnyard Bistro. But now she’s sharing some of them exclusively with Great American Country! Check back with us every Tuesday for a new recipe from Krystal.

“I am a freak for whipped cream,” says Krystal. “The subtle sweetness and light airy texture is the perfect compliment to the tart flavor of berries. I love taking something simple and kicking it up a notch. I have been experimenting with adding yummy flavors into my icings (like the Caramel Buttercream I shared a couple weeks back) and whipped cream, like this orange flavored whipped cream. It’s like Dreamsicle dip!

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Get Krystal's Recipe for Orange Whipped Cream

Photo by Krystal Keith.

Ingredients:
3/4c whipping cream
1/2 tsp orange flavor extract
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:
Keep your cream in the fridge until the very last second to ensure it is ice cold. Use your whip attachment on a stand or hand mixer and whip the heavy cream until it thickens and starts to hold its form when pulled to a peak. Add in Continue Reading

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Posted at 1:49 pm | Permalink
Mar 25

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Get Krystal’s Recipe for Candy Popcorn

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Get Krystal's Recipe for Candy Popcorn

Krystal Keith photo courtesy of Show Dog-Universal.

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.” [Get it here!] But did you know she’s also super talented in the kitchen? Krystal’s been creating delicious meals from family recipes for years and featuring them in her blog, The Barnyard Bistro. But now she’s sharing some of them exclusively with Great American Country! Check back with us every Tuesday for a new recipe from Krystal.

“This is one of my favorite movie night snacks,” says Krystal. “My household might as well buy popcorn kernels in bulk with the amount of popcorn we go through. My great-grandmother bought me an old fashioned popcorn machine for Christmas a few years back and it has a permanent place on my counter top because we use it almost nightly. I love switching the salty snack up and turning it into a sweet treat.”

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Get Krystal's Recipe for Candy Popcorn

Photo by Krystal Keith

Ingredients:
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1 Tbsp coconut oil (other oils will work, I just like the hint of coconut you get with this oil)
2 blocks vanilla almond bark
sprinkles

Directions:
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot with a lid (the lid is very important!). Once the oil is hot, add kernels and cover with the lid. Once you start hearing pops, gently shake the pot back and forth, as well as side to side, to help turn and rotate the kernels. Continue shaking every 15 seconds or so until the pops stop. Immediately remove popcorn from the pot and let cool completely.

While the popcorn is cooling, heat the 2 blocks of vanilla almond bark for Continue Reading

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Posted at 1:23 pm | Permalink
Mar 20

One Pan Nan: Nan Kelley’s Recipe for Greek Chicken & Rice

One Pan Nan: Nan Kelley Shares Her Recipes with Great American Country

Photo courtesy of Nan Kelley.

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” — and now that’s also the name of her new cookbook [get it HERE!]. We asked Nan to share some of her recipes with us. This week, Nan shares her recipe for Greek Chicken and Rice. Check back every other week for a new one!

“I love every thing about this dish!” says Nan. “First and foremost, true one pan cooking for fast one pan clean up. Greek food is one of my favorites and anything with rice in it. Growing up so close to New Orleans with the creole/cajun influence, rice was our starch staple instead of potatoes. Feta cheese is always in my fridge and I didn’t even mind the black olives… and I actually don’t like olives. The feta and the olives add that perfect amount of saltiness. I served this with warmed pita bread (sprinkled with olive oil and salt) and hummus. This makes a lot of food so make sure you cook with a large enough pan/skillet (with a lid) and enjoy the leftovers the next day.”

One Pan Nan: Nan Kelley's Recipe for Greek Chicken & Rice

Photo by Nan Kelley.

Ingredients:
8 skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup long-grain rice
1 cup chicken broth
1 28-ounce large can of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (may use dried)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (may use dried)
12 black premium olives, pitted & chopped
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

One Pan Nan: Nan Kelley's Recipe for Greek Chicken & Rice

Photo by Nan Kelley.

Directions:
Heat oil in a large skillet/sauce pan. Brown chicken thighs in oil for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from skillet when done. To the same skillet, add the onion, rice and 1/4 cup of the chicken broth. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes or until the onion is softened. Pour in the remaining broth, add the tomatoes (and the juice) and the herbs. Return the chicken thighs to the pans, pushing them down into the rice mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or so or until the chicken has cooked completely. Stir in the olives to the pan and sprinkle feta cheese on each individual serving. Garnish with fresh oregano sprigs if available.

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Posted at 3:24 pm | Permalink
Mar 20

New Season of Kimberly’s Simply Southern Premieres on Great American Country April 7

New Season of Kimberly's Simply Southern Premieres on Great American Country April 7

Kimberly Schlapman photo courtesy of Sandbox Entertainment.

Kimberly’s Simply Southern, the sizzling one-of-a-kind cooking show featuring TASTE Award-winning host Kimberly Schlapman–a founding member of Grammy-winning band Little Big Town–heats up this spring with a third season featuring 13 new episodes from Kimberly’s newly-renovated kitchen. Kimberly’s Simply Southern premieres Monday, April 7, 2014 at 4p ET/PT on Great American Country.

The new season spotlights Kimberly’s lifelong passion for making sumptuous yet simple homecooked recipes with her family and friends back home, using local culinary finds from all corners of the country. In each episode of the hit series, Kimberly hops off the tour bus while on the road with her platinum-selling, award-winning country band to discover America’s best local foods, ingredients, culinary customs and treasures.

Photos from Kimberly’s Simply Southern >>

Once back in her Nashville kitchen, Kimberly is joined by family and celebrity guests to create authentic Southern cuisine combining her traditional family recipes with the ingredients and cooking techniques she has learned during her travels. Among Kimberly’s friends who stop by to chat, chop and chow down in season three are Amy Grant, Jewel, Wynonna Judd, Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, Billy Currington, Kix Brooks and Keifer and Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square. Kimberly’s closest family and friends return in season three, as well, including her husband, Steve, their daughter, Daisy Pearl, and her fellow bandmates from Little Big Town: Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, and Phillip Sweet.

“It’s so hard to believe that this will be the third season of Kimberly’s Simply Southern,” exclaimed Schlapman. “It seems like just yesterday that we kicked it all off with some lobster fishing and a celebration with Little Big Town! I’ve had so much fun these last two years! Season three is even more exciting for me because I got to film it in my new kitchen, and I was able to cook with people I’ve admired for a long time. I learned a ton along the way and can’t wait to share my latest adventures and new recipes with everybody.”

“Kimberly’s passion for exploring and celebrating everything America has to offer makes her a natural fit for Great American Country,” said Suzanne Gordon, vice president of programming for Great American Country. “Our audiences love the opportunity to see her in the field hunting for ingredients, learning about regional foods, then cooking in the kitchen. This series combines the best of both worlds.”

In the new season premiering April 7, Kimberly gets hands on with some bees at a world-famous honey farm in Georgia; learns the secrets behind one of Nashville’s signature dishes, the spicy hot chicken, while also competing in a fiery eat-off; sets sail to fish Miami’s blue waters; goes shrimping in the Louisiana bayou; churns an apple cider in a Connecticut forest; learns the art of making sheep cheese, and much more.

Kimberly’s varied and authentic experiences inspire new twists and flavors in her dishes, including honey baked ham, Georgia caviar, blackened Mahi Mahi, cornbread muffins with Cajun butter, apple cider cake with apple cider caramel sauce, biscuit-topped beef stew, jerk chicken, homemade salted caramel ice cream, hot cheese bread, and fried green tomatoes with barbecue buttermilk.

Critics and fans alike adore the Great American Country series and its charming host. Following the successful second season of Kimberly’s Simply Southern, host Kimberly Schlapman was named “Best Home Chef in a Series” by the TASTE AWARDS (also known as the TASTY Awards), which recognizes excellence in culinary and lifestyle programs, series and films across platforms including television, mobile, theaters, radio and the internet.

Kimberly’s Simply Southern is produced by Al Roker Entertainment for Great American Country. For recipes and more information, log on to GACTV.com/simplysouthern.

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Posted at 10:12 am | Permalink
Mar 19

Exclusive: Sarah Darling’s Wedding Diary — It’s All in the Details

Exclusive: Sarah Darling's Wedding Diary -- Bachelorette Bliss

Sarah Darling tries on a beautiful wedding dress. Is it “the one”? Follow this Great American Country blog series to find out which one she chose for the big day! Photo by Sara Kauss Photography.

Sarah Darling and James Muriel tied the knot in a secret spur-of-the-moment ceremony back in April 2013 — but they’re still planning a big Nashville wedding in May 2014 to celebrate with family and friends! Sarah’s sharing her personal wedding diary exclusively with Great American Country. She’ll take us along on the whole journey, from the dress to the flowers to the big day. Check back every other Wednesday for a new post from Sarah!

Designer Wedding:
Welcome back to my blog series! I am getting really excited for the big day. I have come to the most exciting part of planning – designing all the fabulous details for my wedding! From the fabulous farm tables to sweet mason jars with wildflowers, you can’t leave anything out. So I decided to sit down with wedding designer Trina Chaney-Hoo from The Planning Company to get ideas. They are a successful company based out of Florida and do the most beautiful weddings you’ve ever seen. She met with me and my two BFFs and we talked ideas.

Exclusive: Sarah Darling's Wedding Diary -- It's All in the Details

Sarah Darling (center) and friend Jenn Bostic (right) meet with wedding designer Trina Chaney-Hoo (left). Photo by Sara Kauss Photography.

A good designer knows his or her client. Trina had done her research before I arrived. I looked at an iPad full of amazing ideas that were totally me. One of my favorites involved mason jars with daises and lemons. Such a cute idea! Having a great designer will help bring your visions to life.

See Sarah’s Wedding Diary Photo Gallery >> Continue Reading

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Posted at 8:16 am | Permalink
Mar 18

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Get Krystal’s Recipe for Black Eyed Peas

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Krystal's Recipe for Caramel Buttercream

Krystal Keith photo courtesy of Show Dog-Universal.

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.” [Get it here!] But did you know she’s also super talented in the kitchen? Krystal’s been creating delicious meals from family recipes for years and featuring them in her blog, The Barnyard Bistro. But now she’s sharing some of them exclusively with Great American Country! Check back with us every Tuesday for a new recipe from Krystal.

“I love this twist on black eyed peas,” says Krystal. “There is so much flavor packed into this dish and the hot sauce adds a subtle tangy kick that catches you pleasantly off-guard. If you are looking for a fresh take on the southern staple, this is definitely one to try.”

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Get Krystal's Recipe for Black Eyed Peas

Photo by Krystal Keith.

Ingredients:
1 cup dried black-eyed peas
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp Tapatio hot sauce
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:
Soak the peas in water overnight (I soak my peas – some say it isn’t necessary); drain and rinse. In a medium saucepan, Continue Reading

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Posted at 2:28 pm | Permalink