News And Notes
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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Apr 5

Top Country Wedding Songs

It is officially spring, which means it is also wedding season.

We love weddings at Great American Country, especially rustic, country-themed soirées. We also love music, so if you and your honey are planning your special day, here are a few of our choices for Top Wedding Songs to accompany the ceremony and reception.
Top Country Wedding Songs

Play up the fairy tale element by playing Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” as guests arrive for the church or other ceremony. Looking for something more sentimental? Kip Moore’s “Hey Pretty Girl” will tug on the heartstrings of your family and friends, or keep things lively with Trisha Yearwood’s “She’s In Love With The Boy.”

Photo Gallery: Country Stars Tie The Knot »

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Apr 3

Carrie Underwood Goes Two Weeks at No. 1 on Top 20

Carrie Underwood's Little Toy Guns is No. 1

Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/carrieunderwood.

Carrie Underwood made it two weeks straight at No. 1 with her ne video, “Little Toy Guns,” on Top 20 Country Countdown! Chris Young and Jason Aldean rounded out the Top 3, with new videos making their countdown debuts from Tim McGraw, Sam Hunt, and Kelsea Ballerini. Plus, host Nan Kelley paid a visit to beautiful Gatlinburg, Tenn., for a Spring Break getaway where she went for a swim with stingrays, munched on flapjacks, and more!

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

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Apr 3

RV Nation Saturday Night Marathon

RV Nation Marathon

Do you ever wonder what goes into building those gigantic, luxury, window-tinted tour buses that roll down the highway en route to the next city? Tune in to the Great American Country RV Nation Marathon this weekend to find out.

Starting at 7/6c on Saturday, April 4, this unique series goes behind the scenes of the design and construction process for some of the most elaborate and behemoth recreational vehicles on the market.

Kicking off the first of eight back-to-back episodes is a one-of-a-kind, two-story RV built for producer Simon Cowell. Then, it’s off to the Talladega Speedway for the unveiling of a custom vehicle assembled from the ground up.

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Apr 2

6 Unique Ways To Decorate Easter Eggs

Kids love to decorate Easter eggs, but who says it has to be kids-only? Adults can get in on the fun, too. Take your egg dyeing and decorating to the next level.

Marbleized Easter Eggs

Photo courtesy of HGTV.com.

Marbleized Eggs. These eggs might look like they take hours, but they are actually quite easy. Just add a bit of olive oil to the PAAS or other dye solution of your choice and follow the dye instructions. You’ll have a basket of eggs that look like they took you all night.
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Apr 2

Last-Minute, Affordable Easter Basket Ideas

Easter is three days away. So, if you haven’t filled Easter baskets yet, you might want to pay attention to these last-minute ideas. We get it, though. Thinking of unique, non-candy fillers is tricky, especially when teenagers are in the picture. The best rule-of-thumb? Keep it simple. Kids, teens, spouses, etc., will appreciate a small gift that speaks to their interests. Check out our ideas below!

Easter Basket Ideas
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Apr 1

5 Must-Visit Destinations in Arkansas

Arkansas may not be the first place that comes to mind when planning a family vacation, but the Natural State has a whole lot to offer. With six national parks, 2.5 million acres of national forests, seven national scenic byways and more than 600,000 acres of lakes, there is truly something for everyone. Here are five destinations you won’t want to miss.

Johnny Cash's Boyhood Home in Arkansas
Johnny Cash’s Boyhood Home — Johnny Cash’s father, Ray Cash, was given 20 acres of land and a five-bedroom building in Dyess, Arkansas, as part of President Roosevelt’s administration in 1935. The singer’s fans can now visit his  boyhood home, featured in the movie Walk The Line, and view photographs and other memorabilia inside the restored structure. The site is owned by Arkansas State University, which also hosts the Johnny Cash Music Festival to support the restoration and raise funds for a Johnny Cash scholarship.

8 Scenic Train Rides Across the U.S. »

Take A Cross-Country Road Trip »

Hot Springs — Designated as a National Reserve in 1832 and admitted to the National Park System in 1921, Hot Springs offers its therapeutic waters to visitors from around the world. The popular Bathhouse Row features a collection of bathhouses and gardens anchored on the healing, thermal springs. 

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Mar 31

Pretty Easter Tablescape Ideas

Creating a festive Easter centerpiece requires less effort than baking a carrot cake or assembling deviled eggs. A simple arrangement of tulips, moss and bunny figurines elevates a plain dining table instantly. It really doesn’t take much besides some colorful blooms and decorated eggs to make a fresh, spring tablescape. Take a look at some of these Easter table designs for inspiration!

Minimalist, Sweet Pea and Hyacinth Easter Centerpiece

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart.

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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 29

Summer Music Festival Outfit Inspiration

A typical music festival outfit looks something like this: flower crown, crop top, high-waisted jean shorts, mirrored sunglasses. But why not switch it up this year? The ’70s are back in a big way for spring (and fall), so tap into those groovy vibes with platform sandals, crochet tanks and mini skirts. After all, there’s no better time to try out a trend than at a music festival. Get inspired by our summery outfit picks below, and let us know which music festivals you’re attending this year!

Summer Music Festival Fashion

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