Friday, July 31, 2015

The Lawn Chair Concert Series

Local artist shared their musical talent at the Campbell Station Park during The Lawn Chair Concert Series, the first of what I hope to be many more.  Helen, Don, Stone and I gathered our lawn chairs, some tying them onto their bikes while others slung them over their shoulder as we peddled to the concert.  As we arrived, many had already set up their chairs in the shade.  We quickly picked our spot right up front, knowing the sun would eventually drop below the trees .   Three bands performed throughout the evening, with featured artists Roger Alan Wade and Kelsey's Woods.  First band up was Sparkle Motion, followed by Roger Allen Wade and The Last Band.  As the sun set, Kelsey's Woods took the stage as children began hula hooping. When the last song was played numerous adults jumped up and began to dance to the beat of the music.  Stone and Helen were among them.  
This was a wonderful evening, the location was perfect.  Each one of the bands was talented, energetic and emotional.  I look forward to more evenings like this in the future in our little suburb Farragut.

 Sparkle Motion

 Don and Helen

 Roger Allen Wade and The Last Band

 Roger Allen Wade and The Last Band
Roger Allen Wade's Grandchildren

My Man Stone

 Dave Kennedy-Russ Torbet

 Dave Kennedy-Russ Torbet

 Austin Stepp

 Dave Kennedy-Russ Torbet

 Stevie Jones

 Russ Torbet

 Dave Kennedy

Kelsey's Wood 

The Last Dance
Helen and Stone

Kelsey's Woods in action.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Cherry Almond Cake


Cherry Almond Cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice
16 maraschino cherries, finely chopped
4 large egg whites, beaten
4 sticks butter, softened
8 cups powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
4 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
few drops of red food coloring, optional
For decorating:
Maraschino cherries, drained and dried
Sliced almonds
Cake Instructions:
1.  Sift together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the softened butter, milk and cherry juice.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Fold in the chopped cherries.
2.  Whip egg whites until stiff, and fold into above and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
3.  Spray three 7" baking pans with baking spray.  Divide the batter between the cake pans.
4.  Bake at 350' for 20-30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when you touch the center of it.  
5.  Allow the cakes to sit for 5 minutes, the remove them from the pans to a wire rack to cool completely.
Frosting Instructions:
6.  In a stand mixer bowl, with the mixer on medium speed, whip the butter for 2-3 minutes until it is almost white in color.  Add in the powdered sugar, cherry juice, heavy cream and almond extract.  Add a drop or two of red food coloring if you'd like the cake to be a little pinker.  Beat on low speed again for 2-3 minutes.
7.  Once the cakes are cool, place one cake on a cake plate.  Put a layer of frosting, then add next layer, then another layer of frosting.  Lastly add third layer.  Using a knife, spread frosting on the top and sides of the cake, covering it completely and getting the frosting as smooth as possible.
8.  Using the Wilton tip #21 decorate with buttercream and pipe simple stars around the bottom and top edges of the cake.
9.  Place the drained and paper towel dried maraschino cherries on the top of the cake in a placement that you would like.  Place almond slices around the cherry, sticking them into the buttercream so they look like flower petals around the cherry.  Adapted from:
10.  Refrigerate the cake until serving.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Garlic Shrimp With Blistered Tomatoes

Need a quick easy dinner using up tomatoes and parsley from your garden?  This is not only tasty, but it comes together fast.  

Garlic Shrimp With Blistered Tomatoes
Garlic Shrimp With Blistered Tomatoes
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 small shallot, chopped
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 pounds large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cups chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
1/2 cup white wine
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 pound of your favorite pasta, cooked according to package instructions
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
Place the tomatoes, shallot, and garlic in a bowl and spoon the olive oil over them.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to combine.  Place in the skillet and shake the skillet to spread everything out.  Let mixture cook for about 15 minutes or until tomatoes start to blister.
Stir in the shrimp, parsley, white wine and lemon juice.  Cook until the shrimp are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Serve warm over your favorite pasta.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley for garnish.  Recipe slightly altered from:
Serve with crusty bread.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Watts Bar Lake

Sun, rain, sun, rain.  The weather wouldn't make up its mind.  Finally the clouds went away, while the sun stayed along with the humidity while Captain Denny, (Don) drove us around the lake. 

 Captain Denny

Its nothing more relaxing that kicking back, soaking up the rays.
 Helen The Bathing Beauty


Interesting Facts regarding Watts Bar Dam and Lake:
The construction of Watts Bar Dam began on July 1, 1939, and was completed in less that three years.  
The filling of the Watts Bar Lake began three weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Watts Bar Lake, located on the Tennessee Rivers is one of the largest lakes in the south.

 Watts Bar Lake

Standup paddleboarding originated in Hawaii.

Standup Paddleboarding
 Helen and I

Standup Paddleboarding
 Going For A Swim

 Under Control

Standup Paddleboarding
Water Boy

It just isn't right bringing the day to an end without a couple of games of Mahjong.  The guys would disagree, but they played anyway. 



Helen, the mahjong queen, winning all but one game!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

National Ice Cream Day

 National Ice Cream Month is celebrated each year in July and National Ice Cream Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in the United States.  The celebrations were originated by joint resolution 298, which was sponsored by Senator Walter Dee Huddleston of Kentucky on May 17, 1984.  The resolution proclaimed the month of July 1984 as "National Ice Cream Month" and July 15, 1984 as "National Ice Cream Day".  It was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on July 9, 1984 with Presidential Proclamation 5219.
Even though the resolution only mentioned a specific month and day in 1984, the celebrations have held up in the years since, publicized by ice cream manufactures.
With all this being said, it doesn't have to be a particular holiday for me to eat ice cream.  I could consume it every day, all year round.  Occasionally you just have to set the diet aside.  Besides its good for you, other than all the calories and sugar.  How many times growing up did your mama say, "drink your milk"?  I remember once when I was a child, we were on vacation and for breakfast I wanted ice cream.  My mama's initial response was NO!  I proceeded to explain that it was good for you because of the milk.  I ended up having that ice cream for breakfast, but only because we were on vacation.  No one had to sign a law for me, I just needed my mama's approval.  I guess when you think of it, its kind of the same thing.

Whopper Ice Cream
Whopper Ice Cream
This recipe states without the whoppers it makes 14 1/2 cup servings.  Seriously, who eats only a half a cup?  Not anyone in my house hold.  
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/8 cups granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
15 ounces whoppers, (the original malted milk balls) chopped into fourths.
Chocolate Sauce (optional)
Chop whoppers and place in a bowl and set into the freezer until ready to use.   In a medium mixing bowl, mix xanthan gum and granulated sugar together.  Then add milk and mix until the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.  Turn on your ice-cream mixer and pour the mixture into the freezer bowl and let mix until it begins to thickened, about 20 minutes.   Scoop in chopped whoppers, let continue to thicken for a bit.  Transfer to an airtight container and place in the freezer for about 2 hours to thicken.  When ready to serve, scoop ice cream into dish and drizzle with chocolate sauce if you like.
tomorrow we can eat vegetables, but today is for ice cream

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My Birthday In Savannah

Spanish moss, humidity, cobblestone streets, and southern hospitality are only a few ways to describe Savannah, which happens to be the oldest city in Georgia. It's also the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts, and fictional writer Flannery O'Connor.  It's home to many historical buildings and the Toronto Sun ranked Leopold's Ice-Cream number 5 in the world.

The Cathedral Of St. John The Baptist.

Independent Presbyterian Church
Independent Presbyterian Church was location for a scene in the Tom Hanks movie, Forrest Gump.

Jones Street
Jones Street

Forsyth Park
Forsyth Park sits on 30 acres in the historic district.

James has been making palm roses and crosses for so long that he can even make them blind folded.

Palm Rose
Palm Rose

River Street , Savannah GA
River Street, the heart of Savannah's Historic District.

River Street

Savannah City Hall
Savannah City Hall

Colonial Park Cemetery
Colonial Park Cemetery was establish in 1750.  Revolutionary war veterans are buried here.  
Among those are Declaration of Independence signee Joseph Clay.


Bonaventure Cemetery

Grave site of Johnny Mercer, the famous American Song writer.
The grave site of Johnny Mercer, the famous American song writer.


The Savannah Historic Theatre
The Savannah Historic Theatre 

Savannah Live

Michelle Meece

Huxsie Scott

Steven Dobson-Michael Zaller-Matthew Meece

Michael Zaller

Pirates House
The Pirates House (est. 1753) is the oldest bar in the state of Georgia.

The decor in Leopold's takes you back in time.

Mint Chocolate Chip & Coconut Ice-Cream with sprinkles.

Leopold's Ice Cream
Since 1919

Tybee Island
 Tybee Island

Tybee Island
 Girl Scouts learning to fish with a net.

 I think I would be long gone before it became category 1, let along category 5.

The Crab Shack
Lunch at The Crab Shack

 My lunch, raw on the half shell.

Tybee Island Light
Tybee Island Light