Monday, April 20, 2015

Musical Monday: New Love from Big Ears

Guys, I don't know where time has gone the last 3-4 weeks. Big Ears happened. Easter celebrations happened. Rythm & Blooms happened. Now, now normal life is happening again. My head has been spinning! I think warmer weather brings a busier lifestyle. I'm doing my best to combat it.

Ok...now, Musical Monday! As I said, I've been to two music festivals in the past month. They were equally lovely. I enjoyed Big Ears a lot more than I thought I would. The classical music influences were just beautiful. Max Richter's work was quite beautiful. And the Kronos Quartet was great musicians in residence. I did walk away with a new favorite vocalist. And I want to be her friend. I want to share this Grammy winner's voice with you if you are like me and living under a rock.


You may have heard of the Carolina Chocolate Drops. This is Rhiannon's band. Equally fantastic. Rhiannon has just released a new record and her tour for that started at Big Ears. So lucky.



Don't worry. I'll tell you all about my favs from R&B next week!! 

-Alison

Friday, April 17, 2015

TGIF: Thank Goodness I Found Bird Beauty





We have a bird feeder right outside of our kitchen window. Watching birds keeps us entertained while we have breakfast on the weekends, and keeps our cats entertained pretty much all the time! I love the beautiful colorings of so many of the birds. We mostly have cardinals-a little family lives in one of our trees. Nests and birdcages are beautiful objects to contain birds, though I certainly think it's best when those birds fly free. 

-Laurie

Monday, April 13, 2015

Breakfast Quiche Casserole



Last week I began a journey back to healthy eating. The fitness studio I go to has a challenge for 6 weeks and it’s also 8 weeks of Bikini Series at Tone It Up. So, I’m packing in the workouts and cutting out the carbs! I made a healthier version of one of my favorite breakfast casseroles so that I could indulge in a healthy way in the mornings. 

Jimmy Dean Crumbled turkey sausage (already cooked)
1 cup shredded cheese
4 eggs
3/4 cup coconut milk
Salt and pepper
3-4 Sweet peppers, chopped

Spread the turkey sausage on the bottom of your casserole dish then sprinkle with shredded cheese. Chop up sweet peppers and sprinkle on top of cheese. Mix 4 eggs with 3/4 cup coconut milk and season with salt and pepper. Spread over meat/cheese mixture. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

-Laurie

PS-Sorry for the lack of posts recently!

Friday, April 3, 2015

First Friday: The Salvage Shop



This month I'm sharing a project (that I'm really excited about) spearheaded by one of our past First Friday artists, Beth Meadows. I mention in Beth's First Friday piece how invested she is in the community and the building of community for artists and creatives. This is just another example of the work Beth does here in Knoxville. 

There is no Q & A today as Beth is in the throngs of restoration and preparation. But, I do want to share their campaign and encourage you to invest in your community. 

The Knox Heritage Foundation is committed to preserving and restoring historic property and pieces here in Knoxville and the Salvage Program is another way Knox Heritage preserves. The Salvage Program takes, well, salvaged materials from local individuals and sells them to the public. In turn the Program sends funds back to Knox Heritage so it is able to continue with it's mission. This Salvage Program is the whole vision of the organization. Preserve. Restore. Transform. 

Recently Beth envisioned a new storefront that would allow for rentable space for artists and craftsmen. The space has been found in an area of Knoxville that is slowly being revitalized. As you can imagine the space needs a little bit of a facelift and encouragement. I've gotten to see the work progress over the last few months and Beth and other generous volunteers have worked tirelessly to bring this vision to fruition. I am so thankful to Beth for dreaming big and to Knox Heritage for allowing her to do so! 

I am writing today to ask for your help in funding the completion of this project. There are 5 days left in their giving campaign and they are about $5,000 away from their goal. And depending on how much you give you can get some pretty sweet things in return! Who wouldn't want to throw a huge bash in a cool space for only $1,000!? Getting married or hosting a corporate event? This is the place to be!!


-Alison

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Get out there! Rhythm N' Blooms 2015



Festival season has arrived! And Knoxville knows how to host a great music festival or two. I know I recently talked about Big Ears and now I'm sharing about Rhythm N' Blooms (April 10-12)...yes, they are both music festivals. However, they are both very different than the other.

Rhythm N' Blooms is part of the Dogwood Arts Festival that takes place every year and is a pre-cursor to the Market Square event. And there are a lot of Tennessee artists performing in the festival this year as well as some big names like The Decemberists. We even have some friends coming in from Nashville to enjoy the awesome lineup of this year's festival! So check out this little preview from last year's festival and come join me next weekend at Rhythm N' Blooms!

Brief artist list:
Drive-By Truckers
The Apache Relay
Alanna Royale 
Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes

-Alison

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Calendar


Happy April! Hopefully April won't bring us too many showers. How beautiful is this stormy picture from Alison though?
Download your April calendar here

-Laurie & Alison
Photo by Alison McQuain Photography

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Spring Pasta



I finally had a small to-do list this weekend and was able to enjoy preparing a meal with pasta as the star. I haven’t had pasta in a really long time and reserve it for a treat. I love pasta with just olive oil rather than a sauce so that you can really taste the flavor of your ingredients. We paired this with some merlot, ciabatta bread, olive oil for dipping with seasoning, olives and a balsamic salad. It was so good and exactly what I had been craving all day. This was also the first time I cooked artichokes. I always love them in pasta so I wanted to try it fresh rather than from a jar. I’m not sure I will always go to the trouble of doing that, but it was fun to experiment with. 

Ingredients:
1 Artichoke
1 Chicken Breast
1 Lemon Wedge
1 Tbs olive oil & 1 Tbs herbs
Red Pepper, julienned
Sundried tomatoes
Olives, pitted
Mozarella, cut into tiny pieces and tossed with a few drops of balsamic
Parmesan shreds
Pasta, whatever you prefer

Start with your artichoke. Cut off the pointed in with a sharp knife. Snip off the tip of each “scale” on the artichoke. Cut in half, scoop out the fuzzy middle until the cavity is empty. Rub your lemon wedge on all the tips you cut off. Steam both halves of the artichoke for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place red peppers in a bag with vegetable oil and a little bit of red wine and balsamic. Shake it up to mix in the liquid, then spread peppers out on a baking sheet and bake at 450 for about 45 minutes or until roasting spots appear. Season your chicken lightly with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and a little bit of olive oil. Put the chicken on the grill for about 10-15 minutes while your artichoke steams. Take artichoke out of steamer and brush the mix of 1 Tbs olive oil and herbs onto the steamed artichoke. Transfer to the grill when you flip your chicken to the other side. 
Boil your pasta of choice. I don’t have a clue what mine was since it was a tri-color pasta and the packaging was all in Italian! Drain pasta and mix together the rest of your ingredients-mozarella, olives, sundried tomatoes and red peppers. 
When you take your chicken and artichoke off the grill, chop them up and mix in with the rest of your ingredients. Add in your pasta and toss with olive oil and parmesan.

-Laurie


 

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