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Good Life on the Gulf ATHOMETN.COM

2011 Travel Guide |Kitchen Makeovers At Home With Tennessee’s First Lady

contents january 2011



A view fit for a king and queen. To see the home, go to page 52

45 Good Life on the Gulf BEACH FRONT LIVING


Whether its a weekend of rest and relaxation with the girls or an adrenaline-pumping, cliff-hanging adventure with the boys, we have a trip to suit everyone’s taste. 44 AT HOME WITH FIRST LADY ANDREA CONTE Tennessee’s outgoing First Lady Andrea Conte speaks candidly about her time in office, children’s advocacy and her plans for the new year.

One family settles into their home away from home with a little help from interior designer Julie Couch.

52 A HAVEN BY THE SEA A builder creates the perfect retreat for his family of three. One visit to this beach home proves luxury and comfort can coexist perfectly by the sea. 57 KITCHEN MAKEOVERS New for 2011, At Home Tennessee brings you creative renovations, expert advice and must-have products for the home.

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contents january 2011












Travel can throw a wrench into some dieter ’s plans to lose weight. Dodge this common pitfall by setting realistic goals for eating and exercising while on vacation.

New for 2011, At Home Tennessee brings you creative renovations, expert advice and must-have products for the home.

Plan the perfect Super Bowl party with our expert in the kitchen, Jane Gaither.

TRAVEL 33 GRIFLFRIEND GETAWAYS Grab your friends and plan a trip to one of these fabulous hotels.

36 TRAVEL FOR THE ADVENTURER East Tennessee’s best spots for outdoor adventure.

38 DESTINATION FLORIDA Get your toes in the sand at one of these gorgeous Mediteranean-inspired destinations.

40 DESTINATION COLORADO For a wintery escape visit scenic Colorado. Ski, shop, hike or bike-have all you need to know to plan your next vacation.

42 BEST IN TRAVEL PRODUCTS Everything you need to travel in style. 8 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

74 GOOD EATS 62 EXPERT ADVICE Everything you need to know about renovating from expert Debbie Lee of Standard Kitchen and Bath in Knoxville.

64 KITCHEN PRODUCTS The best appliances, gadgets and accessories for your kitchen.

In honor of the new year, we’ve tracked down some of Tennessee’s most nutritional places to dine. Once you consider the options, keeping up with that new year ’s resolution will be a piece of cake!






Amaryllis offer long lasting color from winter to early spring. Find out what you need to know from the experts at the Garden District.

ENTERTAINING 78 SIP & SEE Baby showers are old news. Plan a Sip & See and keep the whole party happy!


January 2011 • Vol. 9 No. 10 PUBLISHER/EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Margaret Monger -


EDITORIAL CREATIVE DIRECTOR Nikki Aviotti Hodum - MANAGING EDITOR Hallie McKay- SOCIETY EDITOR Lesley Colvett - EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Lindsey Phillips Abernathy,, Aaron Dalton, Jane Gaither, Mandi Gaskin, Shana Lusk, Abbey Martin, Jordana White CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Sheila Goode INTERN Kelly Kriegshauser COLOR MANAGEMENT Charles Reynolds - WEB MASTER Donna Donald -



HOW TO REACH US 671 N. Ericson Rd., Suite 200, Cordova, TN 38018 TOLL FREE 877.684.4155, FAX 866.354.4886 WEBSITE BEAUTY INQUIRIES WEBSITE INQUIRIES At Home Tennessee does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. To inquire about freelance opportunities, send a letter, resume and three writing samples to - Lindsey Phillips Abernathy, Managing Editor, At Home Tennessee; 671 N. Ericson Rd., Suite 200, Cordova, TN 38018.

SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE Call 877.684.4155 or subscribe online at Annual subscription rate: $19.95. Single copy price: $4.99. At Home Tennessee is published 12 times a year. Postmaster: Send address changes to At Home Tennessee; 671 N. Ericson Rd., Suite 200, Cordova, TN 38018. We make every effort to correct factual mistakes or omissions in a timely and candid manner. Information can be forwarded to Lindsey Phillips Abernathy; At Home Tennessee; 671 N. Ericson Rd., Suite 200, Cordova, TN 38018 or by e-mail to

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publisher’s note

A Year in Snapshots


he past few weeks I have been working frantically on putting together a scrapbook for my son highlighting his 2010 football season. I had collected all the photographs and newspaper clippings throughout the year and put them in a large box until the end of the season. I started going through them smiling at the wins, catching my breath while watching him injured, smiling again looking at the headlines that we were going to state with a perfect record and then tears as I looked at the headlines and photos after we didn’t finish the year like we had hoped. Some of those photos I just wanted to leave out but they were necessary to tell the story of his journey and once all put together, the not-so-happy moments were forgotten as the sweeter memories took over. As the new year is here, it is very relevant to me how this scrapbooking task I took on related to the past year of my life. If only we would take the time to gather all the memories from the previous year, put them in a box and go through and sort, I think we would see that some of the pictures or memories we would like to forget or leave out are necessary to complete our “scrapbook” from 2010. Each year brings new challenges. Family members and close friends might get sick, road blocks might seem to pop up everywhere and sometimes the tunnels seem to hold no light in sight, but those aren’t the only images in our “scrapbook” for the year. There are images of milestone anniversary parties, birthday celebrations and fun times with family and friends at home and together on vacation. I hope you enjoy this issue of At Home Tennessee and while looking through our vacation section and homes, I hope it sparks you to plan some great memories with your family and friends in this new year. Maybe you will even start planning your own scrapbook for 2011. Just remember that although some images to be taken in 2011 you might rather leave out of your book, they are necessary to complete the journey and the happy snapshots wouldn’t appear nearly as beautiful without them. Happy New Year from all your friends from At Home Tennessee

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contributors’ page

Lesley Harris Colvett is pleased to rejoin At Home Tennessee magazine. Her 10year career in magazines began promptly after graduating from the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Journalism as editor of RSVP magazine, where she covered countless parties in Memphis. Most recently, she was one of the founders of by invitation Kansas City, a social magazine in Kansas City. Lesley is proud to bring social pages to Tennessee!

Stephanie Alexander is a wedding and event planner and owner of You’re Invited Events in Nashville. Stephanie specializes in social events throughout the state of Tennessee. Helping her clients carry out their vision and truly making each event unique is her passion. She earned an MBA from the University of Memphis and a BBA in marketing and Spanish, and her extensive business background allows her to approach each event with the client’s budget and timeline in mind. Stephanie is also an avid entertainer, chef and baker and loves expressing her creativity through do-it-yourself projects. You can learn more about Stephanie by visiting her website at or her blog at Becky Fox is a certified personal trainer, nutri-

Stephenie Ward is a registered dietitian who partners with clients of various medical and fitness backgrounds at Germantown Athletic Club. Her clinical experience includes pediatrics, cardiovascular disease, lifecycle changes, diabetes, obesity, eating disorders, osteoporosis and athletes desiring improved athletic performance. Outside of work, Stephenie enjoys training for triathlons, playing the violin, cooking and spending time with her family of five. 14 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

Photography by Mike Boatman

tion consultant and owner of the Knoxville-based personal training and boot camp company, Fox Fitness. Becky enjoys helping individuals lose fat and tone their bodies through fun, efficient and challenging workouts. She has written for various publications including the Knoxville News Sentinel. Becky is an Optimum Nutrition sponsored fitness model who can be seen on the covers of Power Systems and Magazine Blu. You can learn more about Becky by visiting foxfitness. com.

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Wardrobe Strategies for 1



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1. Cargo Jacket, Eddie Bauer; for stores 2. Women’s 5 Pocket Stretch Jean, Lands End; 1.800.963.4816 3. Knit Scarf, Ann Taylor Loft; for stores 4.Tooled Leather Belt, Eddie Bauer 5. Berkeley Bag, Cynthia Vincent; 6. Men’s Shetland Wool Shawl Collar Sweater, L.L. Bean; 7. Corduroy Pant, Patagonia; 1.800.638.6464 8. Shearling-lined boots, L.L.Bean; 9. Timex Originals 1900s Leather strap Watch, Timex; for stores. 20 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011


January’s Frosty Forecast 7





2 4

8 1. Women’s Downtown Loft Parka, Patagonia; 1.800.638.6464 2. Fleece Pant, Talbots; 1.800. 825.2687 for stores 3. Faux Fur Small Shoulder Bag, Michael Kors; 4. Devi Boot, Cynthia Vincent; 5. Men’s Eco Rain Shell, Patagonia 6. Corduroy Pant, Patagonia 7. Scarf and Gloves, L.L. Bean 8. Trail Model Hikers II Low Cut, L.L. Bean. January 2011 • | 21


Bobbi Brown’s Pretty Face Palette

emerginC’s Travel Set

Travel Size Beauty These portable products pack your beauty and grooming routine into a travel friendly size safe for the skies.

eos Hand Lotion

Clinique’s Expert Shave Kit

The Art of Shaving Coachman Clothiers 22 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

The Body Deli’s Mini Lux Edition 6 Piece kit

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Miss Understood At Home Tennessee columnist Mandi Gaskin tries to “Keep up with the Joneses” only to find that being perfect is overrated. TEXT Mandi Gaskin | PHOTOGRAPHY Amber Beckham


e all know those people. The ones who wake up the roosters to get their daily run in, who bake pies because “they love the aroma of warmth in their house,” or wrap their Christmas gifts with handcrafted paper created by at-risk youth in after school programs. Not only do I know of these people, I am friends with them. And I can’t help but feeling like every time I purchase store-bought brownies or send my kid to school in something that is not monogrammed (gasp!) I am doing the world an injustice and falling short of my duties as Mother and Wife of the Year. For instance, I watch my friend, let’s call her Stephanie*, as she works in the room that is dedicated to scrapbooking in her home. Stephanie documents every breath of her child’s life - from the first haircut to the first time she stuffs an English pea up her nose. When I proceed to tell her that I have yet to start a baby book for my little boy (he’s 15 months… and in my defense, I have a steel trap for a mind) she looks at me like I just told her that I like to kick puppies and crush the dreams of little children. Then there is my friend Caroline* who, when she is not harvesting her own eggs to teach her children valuable lessons about where their food comes from, likes to make her own jam from local berry farms and package it in cute berry jars (where do you even find those?) to give to her kids’ Sunday school teachers. She recently went on vacation with her family and came back with pictures that were straight out of a Pepperidge Farm commercial as they rolled through the countryside on bicycles adorned with vintage flower baskets and gobbled ice cream from a local store they happened upon while chasing fireflies. This conjured up memories from my most recent family vacation where the heat index was about three degrees above the burning flames of hell and caused all of us to stare at each other in utter disgust. Too hot to yell or be angry or even think clearly. At one point I felt sure that little Rinks was foaming at the mouth, but it just turned out to be sour milk. Perfect. Motivated by my friend’s inspirational vacation, I decided that we would have a delightful family outing as well, to show that we are the perfect American family. 24 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

As we made our way to the countryside trails the next weekend, I guided Ashley to the rental bikes that were reminiscent of Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure, complete with a bell and a seat for Rinks. Ashley took one look and said, “You have lost your mind if you think I am getting on that. Who do I look like, Dick Van Dyke?” I proceeded to tell him that Dick Van Dyke was not only a legend of small proportions, but also made leisure biking look very hip and cool; and I wasn’t even asking him to sing “Chim Chim Cheree” like I had originally planned! He wasn’t buying it. On to Plan B. Since Ashley was not willing to assist me on my journey to Mother of the Year, I had to take matters into my own hands. And that meant one thing: A trip to Hobby Lobby. Granted, walking through the endless aisles of paper, glitter, glue and cute little wooden frogs that I had no idea what to do with made me a little dizzy; I was going to make Rinks a book he would never forget. So I began throwing items in my basket like I was Naomi Campbell with her cell phone and at the end of my trip, I came home with… what, I am not sure… but whatever it was, I was going to make it into a masterpiece. With Rinks being a rowdy 15-month-old child, he wanted to help Mommy make his book, too. And, of course, letting my aspirations of being the Perfect Mother get the best of me, I decided it was a good idea. This has since been labeled the Glue-In-The-Hair incident in our house, which resulted in Rinks having a spiffy baby mullet. Exhausted, stressed, and now having a child that looks like he belongs in a Billy Ray Cyrus video, I decided to retire the dream. And now as I watch my perfect mom friends sew custom outfits for their children or feed the homeless with their leftover gourmet risotto, I smile. Because tonight we are having chicken nuggets straight from the freezer, and according to Rinks and his undying love for chicken nuggets, that makes me Mother of the Year. *Names have been changed to protect me from losing friends. Mandi is a writer, a wife and a mother. When she is not tending to her fresh herb garden, she is sitting on the couch letting the noodles burn on the stove because she is too busy watching “The Bachelor.”

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A Healthier You With so many products and plans on the market, it can be easy to get confused. Here to give you the skinny on what’s fact and what’s fiction is our expert nutritionist Stephenie Ward. TEXT Stephenie Ward, registered dietitian, LDN, Germantown Athletic Club

ice-cold water will not make you burn calories and lose more weight. More than a dozen studies show no correlation between dairy intake and weight loss or prevention of weight gain. Although all of these foods contribute to a healthy diet, they do not contribute alone to weight loss, nor does any food.

Diet Myths That Just Won’t Stop

Snacking, Especially Late in the Evening, Causes Weight Gain If done right, snacking will not make you fat even when you eat late at night. Again, it is the total amount of calories that matter. The times of day at which you eat them is irrelevant.

The Non-fat Diet Moderate amounts of fat in our diet can actually aid in weight loss. Fat helps to increase our feelings of satiety and certain types of fat provide desired antioxidants and vitamins. However, remember that one gram of fat contains nine calories, while one gram of protein or carbohydrates contains only four calories. High-fat foods’ calorie counts add up quickly, so it is easy to overeat.

Fruit Contains Excess Sugar Fruit is a healthy choice providing vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. This nutrient-rich food group should not be excluded from the diet. A medium-sized apple contains 14 grams of sugar and compares to a half cup of spaghetti sauce with meat which contains 11 grams of sugar. One cup of low-fat, fruit-flavored yogurt contains 47 grams of sugar.

The No Carb Diet No matter what food group you choose to cut out, you will lose weight by reducing your calorie intake. The problem is that you will possibly reduce your overall energy level and also reduce your nutrient intake especially if you cut out carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are a necessary part of a healthy diet. However, try to pick more whole grains - they provide more nutrients and fiber than simple carbs from processed ingredients.

What Really Works? Your best bet is to follow a good nutrition plan based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (www. and/or the Food Guide Pyramid (www. The key to an optimal healthy diet is to make sure you eat foods from all the food groups (fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals, meat and meat substitutes and dairy foods). No one food by itself is magic. Portion sizes and a balanced diet over time most affect nutritional status and your weight.

The Combination of Foods that You Eat is Important The combination of carbohydrates, fat and protein does not make any difference in weight loss. The actual formula to losing weight is simple: eat fewer calories than you expend. There is no “magic” combination of foods to speed up metabolism. Eating or Drinking Certain Foods Will Help You Lose Weight Eating foods like grapefruit or celery, or drinking 26 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

Cardio Blaster Workout


Cardio is a great way to burn calories and should be a part of everyone’s exercise program. If you are working out at home, sometimes it can be difficult to squeeze in your cardio this time of year because it gets dark early or you don’t have a cardio machine. But no worries! Incorporating these cardio-based exercises into any routine will definitely make you sweat and burn lots of calories. These moves can be done anywhere! Perform each activity for 1-2 minutes depending on your fitness level. They are also great to circuit into your strength training routine. TEXT Becky Fox | MODEL Becky Fox

Burpees Start in a standing position with feet together and hands by your side. Lower down into a squat placing hands on the floor. Quickly kick feet out behind you landing on your toes in a plank position. Jump feet quickly back in and then return to standing.

Lunge Hop Start with your right leg out in front of you and your left leg behind you on the ball of your foot. Lower straight down into a lunge position making sure the front knee doesn’t go past the toes. Quickly jump into the air bringing the left leg forward and right leg back landing in a lunge position. Keep repeating as fast as you can for the entire duration of the exercise.

Mountain Climber Start in a push-up position on the hands and toes. Bring left knee in towards the chest, tapping the toe on the floor. Jump and quickly switch legs so right leg bends in toward the chest and left leg is straight. Keep alternating legs as quickly as you can.

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Tools for the Traveler Whether for business or pleasure—most of us overeat while traveling. If you’re like many who plan to lose weight or be healthier this year, then you’ll want to know how to avoid this common dieter’s pitfall. TEXT Hallie McKay | PHOTOGRAPHY


acation is a weight watcher’s nightmare. Great restaurants, alcoholic drinks and time spent just relaxing are all pitfalls that can sabotage your diet. People can often feel isolated and deprived by strict meal plans and workout regimens, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

Have a Plan: If you’re headed for vacation, assess the obstacles and make decisions prior to departure so you have a plan of attack. By answering the tough questions now, you lessen the pull of temptation. Questions to go over include: will you have dessert every night, will you have seconds, and will you make exercise a priority? Do include some indulgences, however. It’s important not to keep your diet so restrictive that you forget you’re actually on vacation.

Exercise: “Cardio, cardio and more cardio,” says personal trainer Sonia Watkins who recommends choosing activities that will take you outside and allow you to enjoy the scenery. Time spent in a gym can feel stifling or like too much of a burden on your vacation. Taking your exercise outdoors can give your workout a sunny disposition. “If you feel comfortable in your surroundings go outside for a 28 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

walk or run, but I do suggest wearing a Road ID band when you are in a different city. A Road ID band has all your contact information in case of emergency.” For more aerobic activities, Watkins says, “Running hotel stairs is an excellent way to get the 30 minutes of cardio needed.” She recommends push ups, planks and lunges for some additional toning.

For the Career Traveler: Many of us can deal with a few days on vacation, but what if being on the road is a more routine part of your life? For many Americans, travel is commonplace. In this case, Watkins recommends following the above suggestions for cardio as well as taking along a few tools to help you stay in optimal shape. If there’s a chance you won’t have access to a gym, pack a few simple pieces of equipment for a full body workout. One of the best tools, says Watkins, is a jump rope. “It takes up little room and is an exercise that can be done right in your room.”Another good workout tool that travels well is the resistance band. “It takes up as much room as the jump rope and can be used for a variety of toning exercises,” says Watkins. In fact, you don’t even need a lesson from a trainer to use a resistance band; most come with instruc-


tions which include workouts for the biceps, shoulders, triceps and legs. Resistance bands come in different degrees of difficulty so be sure and test before buying. Finally, if you’re serious about keeping your physique on the road, Watkins recommends experienced exercisers checkout the TRX Suspension Training System. “The TRX is a great tool for core work, push ups and legs but be cautioned, it is not for the beginning exerciser,” Watkins warns. At a rather steep price of $189 it comes with an exercise chart and DVD and can be set up over any closed door.

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At Home Tennessee’s 2011 Travel Guide

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Getaway With the Girls What’s your dream girlfriend getaway? Read on to discover four affordable and very different experiences that are sure to please everyone in your crew. TEXT Lindsey Phillips Abernathy | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of the Hotel Monteleone, 21c Museum Hotel and the Rhett House Inn

Hotel Monteleone


ou don’t have to travel far and wide to experience a great weekend away with the girls. From Broadway shows in the Crescent City to eco-friendly excursions in Louisville, At Home Tennessee has tracked down unique packages to suit everyone’s interests.

For the Theatre-Goers As though a trip to New Orleans with a group of girlfriends isn’t entertaining enough, Hotel Monteleone, located in the French Quarter, has been named the official hotel of Broadway Across America for a second year and will be offering exclusive theatre packages as a result. The hotel’s Broadway Returns deal includes tickets to the current touring show as well as a variety of add-ons such as overnight accommodations and a pre-theatre, three-course dinner at the Hunt Room Grill featuring local favorites like gumbo and other seafood dishes. Diners can choose to enhance this add-on with parking at the hotel and transportation to the nearby Mahalia Jackson Theater. The 2011 Broadway Across America lineup includes shows like Monty Python’s Spamalot, the Color Purple, West Side Story and Shrek The Musical. Through the package, Monteleone guests also have the option to attend postshow cast parties such as cocktail receptions or, in the case of Shrek, a Shrek Trek event, says Andrea Thornton, director of sales and marketing at the hotel. Founded in 1866, Hotel Monteleone has been designated a literary landmark for its popularity among writers like Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner and Eudora Welty; the hotel has even made appearances in multiple literary works. The Monteleone is the largest full-service hotel in the French Quarter and features the rotating Carousel Bar, the Hunt Room Grill, Spa Aria and a rooftop pool among other amenities. Additional packages are available. Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 866-338-4684,

For the Environmentalists When 21c Museum Hotel founders Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson developed the concept for this luxury hotel, they based it on the idea that “daily exposure to art enriches life,” says Stephanie Greene, communications manager for Hotel. The 21c Museum is just that—9,000 square feet of exhibition space with rotating contemporary art exhibits existing alongside state-of-the-art accommodations with a focus on environmentally friendly practices. 21c Museum Hotel offers a variety of packages, however, for a unique weekend, book the hotel’s two-night Eco Immersion Package and respect Mother Earth in style. The customizable deal includes an “eco-adventure for two” through the hotel’s partner Green Earth and covers that day’s snacks, lunch and water. Choose from adventure options like spelunking, day hikes, canoeing or picnics. Fuel up for your adventure at Proof on Main, where Chef Michael Paley’s Italian and Southern inspired menu focuses also on sustainable and organic farming, even using products from Brown and Wilson’s sustainable bison company. The Eco- Immersion package includes breakfast for two and a $100 dinner credit to the restaurant, so prepare to sample fresh, environmentally conscious cuisine. The package also provides guests a 21c aluminum water bottle and carbon offset for the adventure outing through Green Earth. 21c Museum Hotel, 700 West Main Street, Louisville, Kentucky, 877.217.6400,

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travel Rhett House Inn

For the Southern Belles The Rhett House Inn, an Antebellum-style home with “Charleston green” shutters located in Beaufort, South Carolina’s historic district is the ultimate destination for a Southernthemed girls’ weekend. With complimentary champagne upon arrival, evening hors d’oeuvres, desserts and a full Southern breakfast menu packed with eggs, grits, bacon, sausage and biscuits, French toast and blueberry pancakes, it’s no wonder the Rhett House is such a popular getaway. For this excursion book the Ladies in the Lowcountry Package, a twonight stay including all of the regular amenities as well as spa service gift certificate and a $25 credit toward lunch downtown as well as gift bag for two filled with Sea Island Cookbooks, Rhett House Inn coffee mugs and bags of grits. When you’re not dining on the delicious or sipping a cocktail at the cash bar in the parlor, explore Beaufort, where you’ll find horse - drawn carriages, breathtaking architecture, fine dining, shopping and tons of historic sites and tours. Named one of the top 50 Adventure Towns in the U.S. by National Geographic, Beaufort is also a prime location for outdoor activities—don’t worry, Rhett House Inn has a popular package for that too, which includes a half-day inshore fishing charter and a two-hour 34 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

travel kayak tour for two. Rhett House Inn, 1009 Craven Street, Beaufort, South Carolina 29902, 888.480.9530,

For the Foodies The Alluvian, a luxury hotel located in the Mississippi Delta, is a prime spot for aspiring chefs to escape for the weekend and learn some tricks of their own in the kitchen, too. Throughout 2011 the nearby Viking Cooking School offers Culinary Weekends featuring notable chefs such as James Beard Foundation honoree Chris Hastings and Capital Grille’s Tyler Brown. One or two-night accommodation packages at the Alluvian are also available during these Culinary Weekends. If there’s not a Culinary Weekend going on, book the Great Escape Package and receive 20 percent off two cooking classes at the Viking Cooking School as well as a two-night stay at the Alluvian and two drinks at Giardina’s Restaurant. The package also covers two 60- minute classic massages at the rejuvenating Alluvian Spa as well as coupons for shopping on Howard Street, home of the Viking Cooking School and Retail Store as well as boutiques, an independent bookstore and a fine jewelry shop, among plenty of other shopping spots. Plan your trip around one of the cooking school’s Girls Night Out classes and prepare to learn the cuisine of the Caribbean or Miami’s Little Havana. Other 2011 classes include “Mastering French Cuisine,” a class inspired by Julie and Julia, “Bakeshop Basics” and “Foods of Italy.” For a full calendar of classes, visit The Alluvian, 318 Howard Street, Greenwood, Mississippi 38930 866-6005201,

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Adrenaline Rush These bold adventures are for outdoor lovers who love a thrill. TEXT Abbey Martin | PHOTOGRAPHY Courtesy of Gatlinburg Department of Tourism


utdoor enthusiasts need not hole up till summer to enjoy exercising in the open air. Mountain climbing, mountain biking and hiking are all great winter activities to get your blood pumping. Just be sure to bundle up and bring along a thermos of hot cocoa to keep out the cold.

Chimmney Tops

BIKE Concord Park, Knoxville Mountain biking is a sport that thrives on hairpin turns and sudden elevation changes. And, HIKE like any self-respecting mountain biking area, Chimmney Tops Trail Knoxville’s Concord Park is full of adrenalineThe Great Smoky Mountains is an obvious inducing trails. There are several different sinchoice when picking a location to hike in East gle-track paths to choose from and each is about Tennessee, but one hike in particular stands two to three miles long. The trails are clearest out in terms of beauty and individuality. The during the fall and winter months when the Chimney Tops trail finishes out at 4,840 feet and provides a 360-degree view of the park. But vegetation has receded. The beautiful landscape and rugged terrain make this location perfect for what is almost as interesting as the destination mountain bikers seeking a heart-pumping expeis the trail. This mostly uphill route is scattered with rocks, tree roots and the occasional trickling rience. spring. If not for the presence of other hikers, Winter is full of dreary, cloudy days, but on the one would almost feel as if they had discovered rare occasion that the sun does shine, do not the trail by chance. waste it indoors. Activities abound in Tennessee that will get your blood pumping enough to CLIMB keep you warm and are fun enough to keep you Clear Creek, Wartburg Rock climbing devotees and beginners alike can coming back for more. appease their need to ascend at the Clear Creek climbing area in Wartburg, Tennessee. These crags, located over the convergence of Clear Creek and the Obed River, are some of the most popular in the South for sport climbing. Clear Creek offers a wide variety of climbs in its three main climbing areas, North Clear, Middle Clear and South Clear. Although a 20-minute hike in, South Clear is the most popular area and offers both low and high-level climbs. An added plus of reaching the top of almost any route in South Clear is the fantastic view of the Obed River as it winds through the gorgeous woods of the Cumberland Plateau. 36 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

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The pool at Rosemary Beach

Destination: Florida Coast on down to one of these unique florida destinations where you can unwind amid calming waters and gorgeous architecture. TEXT Hallie McKay | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of Beaches of South Walton


he beaches of South Walton offer a host of accommodations, but for the design savvy there’s no better place than Alys Beach. Drawing architectural inspirations from Bermuda, Antigua and Guatemala, this intimate little beach town is the epitome of simplicity and grace. Dine at the Caliza Restaurant and enjoy fresh local seafood, grilled steaks, pasta, soups and a variety of salads prepared by executive chef Shayne Vaughn. Equally pleasant is the atmosphere as you dine. Caliza’s unique architectural features include arched colonnades, fountains and tropical gardens overlooking an eternity pool by candlelight. The Mediterranean town is conveniently located for quick access to a variety of shops, restaurants, art galleries and more by foot or bicycle. If you’re traveling with kids, take them to to the beach for Sand Odyssey where you can participate in sand sculpting lessons from master sand sculptor Mark Flynn. If playing in the sand isn’t for you, order a bike from 30 A Bike Rentals and they’ll deliver straight to your door. Just a short drive up the road another masterfully designed town awaits your discovery. The town of Rosemary Beach boasts a pleasant no traffic, no crowd atmosphere with charming pedestrian footpaths, open gardens and town amenities including the beach, swimming pools, the town square and tennis courts. Nothing is more than a five-minute walk in this charming, stress-free environment of a town. Residents and visitors can dine in their favorite restaurant or shop at a charming store without 38 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

ever using their car. Shoppers must check out The Savvy Seahorse. This home and lifestyle gift shop features accessories, frames, vases, artwork, gourmet gifts, cookbooks and numerous fun finds you’ll be sure to love. Other favorites include Shabby Slips, a design studio that specializes in custom fabric creations; Tracery, an exquisite full-service interior design and furnishings shop; and Willow, an upscale, contemporary boutique for clothing and accessories. While you’re here dine at the romantic neighborhood cafe Onano. This restaurant serves savory northern Italian cuisine and local seafood all within a minute’s walk from the beach.

Kayaking in the Gulf


The Little Man Ice Cream Shop in Denver

Destination: Colorado A world of scenic wonder and unending adventure awaits in the land of Colorado. TEXT Aaron Dalton | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of Aaron Dalton


hether you’re looking for a Spring Break getaway filled with big-city attractions, mountain adventures, historic resorts or all of the above, Colorado has got you covered.


With more than 160 shops including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Tiffany & Co., Burberry and Louis Vuitton, the Cherry Creek Shopping Center (http://www. can keep shopaholics occupied for days -[a] or at least until you reach your credit limit. Stay right across the street at the upscale J.W. Marriott where the in-house Second Home Kitchen + Bar restaurant wins raves from locals both for its food and its stylish see-andbe-seen atmosphere (http://www.secondhomedenver. com). As the name suggests, a creek runs through the Cherry Creek neighborhood, and alongside that creek you’ll find a nice bike path. Take a spin on it by using Denver’s new B-cycle bike sharing program. You can purchase a 24-hour B-cycle membership for just $5. Members can borrow bikes from B-cycle stations scattered around town. Return the bike to any B-cycle station within 30 minutes and the ride is free. Lengthy rides can become costly, but you can always stop by a station for a moment to dock the bike and then check it out again if you want to avoid a fee. If the system sounds complicated, just do your research on the helpful B-cycle website ( before your trip and you’ll feel much more comfortable using it when you get to town. Remember to ride safely, 40 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

especially if you venture off the path onto Denver’s streets. If you like contemporary avant-garde architecture, visit the Denver Art Museum and marvel at the 2006 addition by starchitect Daniel Libeskind ( Prefer the performing arts? The 12-acre Denver Performing Arts Complex (DPAC) includes 10 distinct performance spaces (http://www.artscomplex. com). Since DPAC has the second largest seating capacity of any arts complex in the world, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a seat. Colorado has a long history of cattle ranching, so don’t be surprised to find fierce competition for the title of Denver’s best steakhouse. One strong contender with plenty of character is the Buckhorn Exchange founded back in 1893 ( You’ll get that Old West feeling when you chow down on buffalo steak while sitting next to a stuffed bison. Then cap off your evening with a creamy treat from Little Man Ice Cream where the building looks like a giant milk can and the ever-changing menu includes inventive flavors like Root Beer, Espresso Fudge and Pumpkin Chip.

Vail There are plenty of good ski resorts near Denver, but Vail is in a class by itself ( The largest ski resort in North America has more than 5,000 skiable acres, nearly 3,500 feet of vertical drop from its peak to base areas and over 30 lifts, including a gondola. The gondola also provides summer fun for non-skiers, allowing you to hitch a quick ride to the top of the moun-

travel Left: Breathtaking alpine scenery in Colorado Springs. Bottom: A close encounter at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Colorado Springs

tain for spectacular views and a long downhill walk back to base. In an average year, Vail gets around 350 inches of snow, but last year the great snowblower in the sky dumped approximately 38 feet (over 450 inches) of powder on Vail. That makes for some sweet ski runs anytime between November and April. Beyond the beautiful mountain, Vail lives and breathes its classic ski town ambiance. The downtown core looks so clean and upscale that you’ll wonder whether Walt Disney designed it as a Middle European village for millionaires. At the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa (, we enjoyed the view from the creekside hot tub and the Colorado venison with picked cherries at the resort’s restaurant, Atwater on Gore Creek. Since you can get around Vail just fine using the town’s free bus service or a hotel shuttle, you might want to leave the rental car in Denver and find a car service or sharedride van. Alternatively, if you’re coming to Colorado just to ski, you can bypass Denver International Airport and fly into Eagle County Airport (http://www.eaglecounty. us/airport), which is much closer to Vail.

In the 1890s, American songwriter Katharine Lee Bates visited the countryside around Colorado Springs and was so inspired by the view from 14,115-foot high Pikes Peak that she wrote a poem that eventually was used as the lyrics to “America the Beautiful.” You just might be tempted to break into song yourself while hiking through the majestic red sandstone rock formations in the Garden of the Gods ( or simply admiring the alpine scenery from a lakeside rocking chair at the elegant 3,000-acre Broadmoor Resort ( complete with spa, pools, tennis courts and golf courses. LPGA fans take note: in 2011 the Broadmoor will host the prestigious United States Women’s Open Golf Championship for the third time. Golfing not your cup of tea? Perhaps you prefer gymnastics, weight lifting or wrestling. Tour the facilities where Olympians train and learn what it takes to go for the gold at the U.S. Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs ( Before you leave town, swing by the awesome Cheyenne Mountain Zoo ( to feed giraffes by hand and go nose-to-nose with mountain lions, lynx and other wild critters. Then take a drive back in time to the nearby gold mining town of Cripple Creek where you can take an old-fashioned locomotive ride (http:// past both abandoned mine shafts and one very active and very prosperous modern mining operation. Yep, there’s still gold in them thar hills!

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For the Beach Bum

Kate Spade Campbell Sunglasses

Men’s Serious Sweats Zip Hooded Jacket,

Kate Spade Metropolitan Striped Bow Tank

Tallulah & Hope Hero Kaftan in Sandgrouse Beige/Pink

Bag ‘n’ Noun Reversible Tote

Vonya Sandal Mall at Green Hills 615.292.9168

Men’s Light Gray and Navy Trend

Women’s All Over Control Slender Sweetheart Swim Suit

Point Breeze Bag Mall at Green Hills 615.292.9168 42| At Home Tennessee • January 2011

Mrs. Miniemergency kit for him and her

Boardwalk Striped Straw Hat Mall at Green Hills 615.292.9168

For the Weekend Warrior

Kona Mountain Bike

Women’s Backpack, Nalu 60 Rhododendron; Mast General Store

M Harvest Jacket, Patagonia; 1.800.638.6464

Wild Abundance Cook Book

Women’s Herringbone Jacket, Barbour; 603.673.1313 Blackbox Laptop Case

Boots, L.L. Bean Katahdin Iron Works Engineer Boots; for stores. Blankets, D.Bryant Archie Textiles;

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at home with

At Home With First Lady Andrea Conte PHOTOGRAPHY Courtesy of the Office of the Governor

(Below) The First Lady enjoys time with supporters during the 2007 “Andrea Walks” event in Memphis.

families, coordinating the team of professionals who investigate allegations of abuse, offering counseling to assure the child’s recovery, and reaching out to the community to help prevent victimization.


irst Lady of Tennessee Andrea Conte will begin a new chapter of her life when she hands the reins over to the new governor’s wife in January. From restoring and preserving the Tennessee Residence to raising awareness for child abuse, the First Lady has been quite busy over the past eight years. At Home Tennessee sat down with Ms. Conte to discuss some of her proudest accomplishments and what her future holds. At Home Tennessee: Since you’ve been First Lady, you’ve established multiple resources that assist children who have been victims to neglect and abuse. Tell us about your involvement with child advocacy and what prompted you to establish Child Advocacy Centers across Tennessee. Andrea Conte: As a long-time advocate for victims of crime, I’ve come to know many crime survivors across the state and became aware of the pervasiveness of sexual abuse of children. To my mind, there is nothing worse than a child victim. Child Advocacy Centers do tremendous work on behalf of children and

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AHT: You chose to do a walk across the state in order to promote your cause. Tell us about the “AndreaWalks” initiative and how it has helped to raise awareness. AC: The “AndreaWalks” statewide event helped raise awareness of the crime of child sexual abuse, highlighted the services needed for a child’s recovery and raised funds to help Child Advocacy Centers. It was a very rewarding effort, and since that time the number of Child Advocacy Centers in Tennessee has continued to grow and reach more children and families. AHT: In your opinion, what are some of the most effective tools a community has for raising awareness about child abuse? AC: It all starts with awareness of the problem, knowing how and when to report sexual abuse,

at home with strengthening the sources of help for child victims, and doing all we can to prevent the crime of child sexual abuse. Many centers conduct annual walks and engage the community – students and adults-in the work of Child Advocacy Centers. They have developed many staunch supporters as a result by presenting information on identifying possible signs of sexual abuse and emphasizing the community’s responsibility to report possible abuse. AHT: You’ve put in quite a few miles since you’ve been Tennessee’s First Lady. Any plans to hang up the sneakers after January? AC: I doubt it! I ran in my 25th marathon (26.2 miles) in December. AHT: What’s next for the Bredesen family? Will you stay in Nashville? AC: We have made our home in Nashville since 1975, and our plans are to stay put. As far as what lies ahead, we’re taking things one step at a time. AHT: Do you have any advice for Mrs. Haslam, who will be stepping into your shoes this year? AC: I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with Mrs. Haslam to discuss the operations of the Office of First Lady as well as the Tennessee Residence. She is intelligent, thoughtful, capable and caring. Any advice regarding initiatives I might offer her is very simple: “Do what makes sense for you.” January 2011 • | 45


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Beach Front Living Nashville decorater Julie Couch completely retools a Blue Mountain Beach condo in just one week! TEXT Jordana White | PHOTOGRAPHY Sheila Goode, Goode Green Photography

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The view outside the Waller condo


hree years ago, Brian and Christy Waller purchased a fully furnished condo in Blue Mountain Beach, Florida, a small town near Panama City. The place was intended to be both a get-away location for the Nashville couple and their three young children and a rental property for the months of the year when they were unable to travel. At first, the décor didn’t bother the Wallers: it wasn’t to their taste, but they weren’t there that often, anyway. After a while, however, they realized they were spending more time there than originally planned. Since the condo was becoming more of a second home, and, according to Christy, the décor “was dated and didn’t resemble our style at home,” they decided that they needed to update the look. Enter Julie Couch, owner of Julie Couch Interiors, the designer whom the Wallers had worked with on their Nashville home. While the Wallers wanted a fresh look for the condo, and wanted Couch to create a “clean, airy, beach feel,” they didn’t want to spend a fortune decorating a place that they rented out for several months at a time. Thus Couch was presented with a mission, according to Christy, to “de-clutter the apartment and make the most out of each piece of art, furniture and accessory.” As the revamped condo proves, Couch was more than up to the challenge. 48 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

The first thing Couch wanted to do was paint; as Christy says, “it’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for a place.” Couch chose only three SherwinWilliams colors for the corner condo: first, “Rainwash,” a delightfully airy blue, for the living room, hallways and one of the front bedrooms. The color was slightly more daring than Couch’s usual choice. “You can get away with a bit more color at the beach because the homes are so saturated with natural light,” she says. For the remaining rooms, Couch was more cautious, selecting “Softer-tan” and “Macadamia,” both of which offered nice, neutral bases. “I was ordering the paints to be used before I even got to the apartment,” Couch explains, “and I knew that these colors would go on the walls nicely without any strange undertones that would make us rethink the design once I got down to Florida.” Having the paint on the walls early was integral to the success of the project, since Couch only had one week on the ground to retool the entire condo. To further facilitate the speed of the project, Couch pre-ordered the larger pieces and had them shipped down prior to her arrival. She also travelled with a few smaller decorative items, so she would have them right at the start. Even with all the preplanning, Couch says the week was pretty intense. In some rooms, simply moving items around and adding in new accent pieces was enough to create a


Couch used a fresh coat of paint in SherwinWilliams “Rainwash” to lighten up bedrooms. January 2011 • | 49

feature pleasing design. In other areas, like the living room, that was simply not the case. Describing some of the worst décor, Christy laughs about the “vague Tommy Bahama” aura that had been created. Referring specifically to the living room, where every single piece of furniture was replaced, Couch jokes about the original décor: “Nothing says beach home like dark leather!” With her work cut out for her, Couch was able to accomplish a complete makeover in just that short week. She purchased new bedding for the entire condo, making sure everything was pretty (light and fresh), but also washable, since the Wallers did have renters using their place so often. Couch also replaced all the existing televisions with mounted flat screens, both to modernize the design and to save space in the apartment. One of the bedrooms had been furnished with only one bed; Couch replaced it and purchased a second to match. After that, it was simply a matter of editing the existing furniture and lighting and adding in special touches to make the apartment a true home. One key way Couch added interest was through her use of circles. In most homes, especially apartments, she finds that the architecture lacks interesting curvature. “Everything is a square or a rectangle,” she says. “Windows, doorways, framed artwork…if you want something that isn’t a hard edge or a 90- degree angle, you have to add it in.” In a more permanent residence, Couch might introduce those angles with a piece of three dimensional sculpture, but this being a part-time residence for the Wallers, she went in a different direction. “To create the whimsy and movement that gives a home 50 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

life, I used circular mirrors, oversized clocks and round tables in my décor.” Couch also used ingenuity when it came to wall art. Instead of spending a fortune on framed photographs, she purchased a book of photography by Sally Mann, a southern artist whose landscape photos brought in a slightly edgier aspect to the bright, beachy décor. Couch placed the images on white mats in white frames, and hung them around the living room television, brightening the area up and helping the photographs tie in to the space’s color palette. Thanks to Couch’s quick-as-lightening redesign, the Wallers now have a condo that meets their needs. Christy says, “When you open the door and walk in, it just feels like you’re on vacation. With three young children, the apartment had to be very casual. Julie made sure it could be truly lived in by our family but still feel appropriate for adults.” The true testament to having achieved that goal is reflected in the newly revamped living room, the Wallers’ favorite space. In that room, Christy says, “I’ve spent hours on the couch listening to the kids play and giggle, and I’ve curled up there with a good book and a great glass of wine. What could be better?”


(Opposite) Couch used simple accessories like shells and flowers for creative displays. (This page) The guest bedroom receieved new bedding and a fresh coat of paint in Sherwin-Williams “Softer Tan.” January 2011 • | 51


An interior designer implements cozy decorating ideas and simple color schemes to turn this grand Tuscanstyle home into a relaxing getaway the whole family can enjoy 52 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011


Haven by the Sea TEXT Hallie McKay | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of Kevin Hyneman


onstructed in 2008 for a builder and his family, this majestic beach home serves as a destination for leisure getaways several times throughout the year. With three floors, four bedrooms and four baths, the coastal cottage look wasn’t quite going to cut it. The homeowner wanted a style that was reflective of the family’s personal tastes, yet maintained elements of the laid-back beach setting. With a little help from an interior decorator, the home’s interiors were outfitted with style fit for a king and queen. The spacious first floor guest room is a suite unto its own. Decorated with custom furnishings and safari-inspired textiles, the luxurious interior is a sight matched only by its ocean view backdrop. Guests sleep comfortably in a canopy frame bed rivaling that of the third-floor master suite. To ensure they had room for all their guests, the family placed additional bunk beds in an adjacent room with pocket doors that also open to the patio and pool area.

Nearly every room possess an open-air quality that seems to seamlessly incorporate the outdoors into living areas. Even the color scheme seems to represent sand, shells and other elements of the beach. Located on the second floor, the living room is decorated with appealing simplicity. Calming colors of cream, beige and brown convey focus to the pristine ocean landscape. Plush patio furniture and muted neutrals in the major living areas represent the decorator’s ability to communicate a relaxed atmosphere. However, while muted tones dictate a level of serenity, they can also turn living spaces into dull, uninspired rooms if not balanced correctly. For family members’ personal bedrooms,the designer gave traditional beige a kick with dramatic color contrasts and plush velvets. For the teenage children’s bedrooms, the look is grown-up, yet fun. The first room off the living room features a beautiful, tufted silk headboard and footboard. The velvet bedspread and curtains are unJanuary 2011 • | 53

Vibrant color schemes and plush textures give guest rooms a unique personality that sets it apart from the rest of the house.

54 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011


(Above) The first floor guest room consists of sliding patio doors that open unto the patio and pool area. (Below) The patio and infinity pool offer breathtaking views of the ocean.

expected uses of texture for a beach-front home, however, the softness conveys a sense of comfort that is synonymous with the overall theme of the home. The second bedroom is full of dramatic color. The high-contrast black and white color give it an old-Hollywood glamour that’s fun for any teenage girl. The third floor master suite is equally as impressive with luxurious silk curtains and a personal balcony for private lounging. A visit to one family’s home away from home proves that luxury and comfort can coexist perfectly by the sea.

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feature design

A Recipe for Success Stylish upgrades paired with functional design make these two homes a standout in kitchen renovation.

Opening Up For this Nashville couple, creating the kitchen of their dreams involved making vast renovations to the layout by knocking down a wall between the kitchen and den. TEXT Stacy Sullivan-Karrels | PHOTOGRAPHY Jason Reusch



his Franklin home sits atop a hill, on over an acre of wooded land, in a true Gatlinburg-like setting. Homeowners Rebecca and Kendall White say that deer are a daily sighting all year long. It is a traditional colonial-style home built in 1978, but when you walk into the kitchen, time fast-forwards to 2011. Kendall’s parents purchased the home in 1994 when they moved from Houston. Soon after the couple married in 2008 they bought the home and took the first step toward putting their personal mark on it. Chris Veal, who owns Whitestone Enterprises and specializes in kitchens and baths, has worked in construction and design for many years. Even though the couple had a very clear vision of what they wanted, Chris walked them through the process, guided decisions and was completely hands-on during the entire renovation. Chris says that when he first met with the couple they hit it off instantly and he “got” their vision. So they decided to take the next step in January 2011 • | 57


“By expanding the kitchen into the den, we were able to add a small island and make the kitchen comfortable for multipl people to be in there working or prepping,” -Chris Veal, Whitestone Enterprises. their relationship and knock out the wall of the family room! “By expanding the kitchen into the den, we were able to add a small island and make the kitchen comfortable for multiple people to be in there working or prepping,” says Chris Veal of Whitestone Enterprises. The island features a walnut butcher block top and custom cabinets that allow for additional workspace as well as storage. All of the cabinets are a custom design by Brent Lenthall of Rightwise in Nashville. “On this particular project, the homeowner had a specific look and finish they wanted so we were able to narrow down what appealed most to them and incorporate those elements into the cabinets,” says Brent. The tradition of family gatherings continues in the updated kitchen/family room which were previously 300 square feet each but now combined provide 1,000 square feet of usable space. Rebecca says that they are working down their wish list for the, check!

(Above) Homeowners replaced old appliances with new ones from the Viking Professional Series. (Right) A Thompson Traders Kitchen Farm Sink with Apron greatly improves the updated look of the room.

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Current Appeal When this East Tennessee couple decided it was time to upgrade their traditional kitchen for state-of-the-art design, they consulted a team of experienced professionals to transform their visions into reality. TEXT Hallie McKay | PHOTOGRAPHY Courtesy of Four Seasons Metal



o begin the project, the coupleconsulted the experts at Standard Kitchen and Bath[a] in Knoxville. The homeowners met with kitchen planner Debbie Lee to create a kitchen that combined style with functionality. Together, they discussed ideas and came up with a plan that would achieve three major goals: improve traffic flow in the kitchen, increase workspace, and upgrade existing contractor-grade cabinets and countertops. Updating the room would also involve replacing an outdated green and white color scheme with neutral tones and rich accents in shades of brown. The new look would be warm and inviting, and aptly suited for any family or social gathering. “Designing the project involved looking at the room from an entirely different point of view,” says Lee. When asked how she typically begins a design project she replied, “I erase any preconceived idea of how the kitchen is and start thinking about how it should be.” With functionality being a primary goal, Lee began with the repositioning of major appliances. To assist with the project, she enlisted the help of Eddie Sanford of GES Custom Remodel. “The appliance placement was happenstance and awkward,” said Sanford. “Relocating appliances required a bit of electrical work and adjustments to the hardwood flooring,” he added. Among the biggest changes to the kitchen’s layout was the repositioning of the refrigerator to an opposite wall to make it more accessible from both the 60 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

sink and cooking area. The move also allowed room to expand the main cooking area with entirely new cabinetry, spacious countertops, a top-of-the-line cooktop and custom hood. “Since this [area] is the first thing you see when you enter, I knew the hood would become a focal point,” says Lee. The hood, which came from Four Seasons Metal in Knoxville was a custom design by Curtis Guignard. Hoods have become a popular trend in recent years that not only dramatically affect the appearance of a kitchen, but also increase efficiency by keeping odors and grease particles at bay. “Not only is it essential for the daily activities in the kitchen, but it is a work of art that can add character to any kitchen,” says Guignard. The oak leaf copper design with patina finish achieves the upgrade the homeowners sought, while adding visual interest to the room. Even with a team of experts close-by, the homeowners remained actively involved in the renovation process by hand-selecting the materials from John Beretta Tile to design the back splash in the kitchen and breakfast area. The Mouser cabinetry in burnished white finish

design and cherry and russet finish were installed by Thomas Howarth of Quality Improvements, a sub-contractor through GES Remodeling. The cabinets’ design allows major appliances to be concealed, thus creating a fresh and open feel to the overall room. In addition, the varying light and dark finishes of cabinetry allow major elements of the kitchen like appliances, island and breakfast area to balance one another. The newly-renovated breakfast area seamlessly flows into the main kitchen space through the help of a repeating title design and darker cabinetry. Here, homeowners were able to add storage space with additional cabinets and pull-out drawers. The homeowners also gained more space with the new kitchen island in a similar dark wood. “The new island allows for two cooks in the kitchen now,” says Eddie Sanford. For the counters, a white marble and granite countertop from Monument Valley in Sweetwater was selected.The new countertops perfectly complement both the creamcolored cabinetry in the main room and the darker wood of the island and adjacent breakfast area. The look is all together amazing. Post renovation, the homeowners are equipped with a stylish, top-of-the-line kitchen perfectly designed to receive family and guests alike.

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Expert Advice Debbie Lee of Standard Kitchen and Bath in Knoxville

At Home Tennessee: When planning an extensive renovation, where should a homeowner expect to spend the majority of their budget? Debbie Lee: It depends on the goals of the homeowner, but typically it’s the cabinets and countertops. AHT: How many design schemes should a homeowner expect to receive from a kitchen planner? DL: As a designer, you may consult several layouts before you come to a solution, but generally you only present one for the homeowner. The goal is to find the plan that is the most aesthetically pleasing yet meets the homeowner’s functional requirements as well. AHT: What are common mistakes people make when remodeling this important room? DL: Trying to design it themselves. Many people spend hours on planning before they even arrive. This makes it harder for them to visualize new ideas because they have spent so much time on their own ideas that just don’t work. It is better to start collaborating with a kitchen designer from the beginning. We listen to your 62 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

ideas about style and function and figure out a way to incorporate everything you need and want in a way that not only works for you, but also fits your budget. AHT: What can a homeowner do in their kitchen to maximize the resale value of their home? DL: When redesigning the kitchen it’s important that you don’t fall victim to of - the - moment trends and instead stay focused on a design that exhibits timeless style. AHT: Do you prefer a range or a cooktop and wall ovens? DL: It depends on the space. My best space saver is a slide - in range and an oven/microwave combination. It gives you two ovens and allows you space to do a decorative hood over the range instead of the microwave.

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Kitchen Products All the must-have products to keep your kitchen stylish and up to date.

Double Boiler

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Pilar Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet with Touch20 Technology

Iomoi plate in Navy zig zag

Rejuvination Lighting Willis Elite Collection 14-Cup Food Processor

Viking Grill 64 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

Melamine Measuring Cups & Spoons,

January 2011 • | 65


Amaryllis as a Cut Flower TEXT The Garden District | PHOTOGRAPHY Courtesy of The Garden District

Tips for arranging with amaryllis: •When placing in oasis insert a long stake into the hollow stem (a bamboo shish kabob skewer works) to prevent the stem from collapsing from the weight of the opening blossoms. •When using tight, unopened stems in an arangement remember the fully open blossoms can be quite large, so leave space around each stem in your design.


ver the past 10 years, a great array of varieties of fresh-cut amaryllis has become available from the Dutch flower markets. Cut amaryllis is one of the longest lasting cut flowers and each stem can produce blossoms for up to two weeks- we believe a cut stem of amaryllis lasts as long as an uncut stem left on the bulb. Many people think of amaryllis solely as a holiday flower, but because of the availability and the array of colors -- coral, green, white, pink, salmon, etc.-- it is a perfect flower to consider from winter into early spring. A tall glass container of apricot colored amaryllis and blooming quince branches is a striking arrangement for any home, traditional or modern. Quality stems do tend to be more expensive per stem than other flowers, but considering their vase life, they are quite worth their value.

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•Keep the container full of water; amaryllis love to drink and making sure they have plenty of fresh, clean water will assure your arrangement will last as long as possible. •Keep your design simple. Amaryllis are so visually dramatic – let them shine.

home and garden

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Good Eats

In honor of the new year, we’ve tracked down some of Tennessee’s most nutritional places to dine. Once you consider the options, keeping up with that new year ’s resolution will be a piece of cake!



Café Eclectic

Fuji yama

This chic, Euro-like café has two locations in Memphis and has made quite a name for itself there. With a menu ranging from delicious soups and salads to creative paninis and wraps, almost everything on the menu is a healthy treat. Health nuts love the Fresh Brie and Pear Panini and the Black Bean Wrap. Live music frequently entertains guests, and the drive-thru window is convenient for a healthy meal to go. Open: Monday - Saturday 6:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m., Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Harbortown: 11 Harbortown Sq.Memphis, TN, 901.590.4645 Midtown: 603 N. McLean Blvd., Memphis, TN, 901.725.1718

When it comes to healthy cuisine sashimi is about as good as it gets. California Rolls and other non-fried options on their menu are excellent choices for a light dinner or lunch. Just stay away from rolls with creamy sauces, these are typically mayonnaise based and loaded with calories. Open: Monday - Friday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Sunday 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 10 Stonebridge, Jackson, TN 731.664.8889

Miss Cordelia’s Located in Harbor Town near downtown Memphis, Miss Cordelia’s Grocery and Deli serves up some of the freshest sandwiches and salads around. Try the Vicki’s Veggie Delight sandwich with hummus or one of the specials on their nightly dinner menu. This deli is a great spot for a light lunch after a walk by the river. Open: Monday - Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. 737 Harbor Bend Road, Memphis, TN, 901.526.4772

Napa Café Inside this small, classic bistro you’re sure to find something that will satisfy your taste buds. A favorite is the Napa Café Pear and Walnut Salad. However, their extensive menu offers several fish and chicken entrees that tend to be on the lighter side. Open: Lunch Monday- Friday 11:00am- 2:00pm; Dinner Monday- Thursday 5:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m., Friday 5:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m., Saturday 5:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m. 5101 Sanderlin, Suite 122, Memphis, TN, 901.683.0441

The Trolley Stop Market The Trolley Stop Market is farmer owned and operated and serves only the freshest, locally grown products for every meal. Their creative pizzas with light toppings like spinach, garlic and tomato, keep customers coming back for more. Located near downtown Memphis, this tasty restaurant offers daily lunch and dinner specials as well as a delivery service. Open: Monday - Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. 704 Madison Ave. Memphis, TN, 901.526.1361 74 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

Penny Hill This local diner has a wide-ranging menu with the option to have any of their delicious sandwiches made into a pita or wrap. For the healthy eater, a perfect low-cal meal is the Waist Watcher, a grilled chicken sandwich loaded with veggies. Open: MondayFriday 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m-3 pm. 131 East Jackson Street, Union City, TN, 731.884.2184

Smoothie King Delicious flavors team up with solid nutrition when you add an enhancer to your order. Start your day off right with a multivitamin loaded smoothie from Smoothie King. It contains all the B-Complex vitamins to help improve the health of cardiovascular system, nervous system, hair, skin, and nails and assist in converting food into energy. It also contains valuable antioxidants along with other nutrients to support immune function and protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. Open: Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 241 Stonebridge Blvd Ste A, Jackson, Tn, 731.664.8486

The Baker’s Rack This restaurant is an excellent choice when looking for a filling meal, some delicious baked goods, or just a friendly atmosphere. The Baker’s Rack offers many fresh entrees priced at under $10. We recommend the Pan Seared Ahi Tuna. The Baker’s Rack is open Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 205 East Lafayette Street, Jackson, TN, 731.424.6163

NASHVILLE Calypso Café Whether you’re stopping in for a quick bite or just ordering take-out, their five locations are sufficient evidence you won’t be disappointed. Their creative menu of Caribbean flavors offer salads, sandwiches and mouth-watering rotisserie chicken entrees in barbecue, Jamaican and jerk flavors. Calypso is fast, fresh and an affordable option any time of the day. Open: Monday through Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. 2424 Elliston Pl., Nashville, Tn , 615.321.3878

Sunset Grill The Sunset Grill is celebrating their 20th anniversary of serving fine wines and a variety of outstanding meals where you can order anything from eggs and bacon to meatloaf. The Sunset Grill also offers quesadillas, crab cakes, tuna and much more so there are meals offered for anyone to enjoy. The Sunset Grill opens at 11:00 a.m. for lunch and stays open for late night specials, which

food end at 12:00 a.m. on Monday through Thursday and do not end until 1:30 a.m. on weekends. 2001 Belcourt, 21st Avenue Hillsborough Village, 615.386.3663

The Wild Cow Restaurant This restaurant serves vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free produce for a meal that is both nutritious and delicious. Their internationally inspired menu includes speciality desserts such as cream cheese and german chocolate brownies along with sandwiches like the Wild Reuben (tofu or tempeh, sauerkraut, carrots, homemade Thousand Isalnd dressing and Swiss cheese) and Raw Lettuce Wrap (lettuce stuffed with sundried-tomato-walnut-pate, sprouts with fresh fruit and raw cashew dipping sauce). They also serve complete entrees which are nothing short of spectacular for the dinner crowd. Nearly everything is made from scratch, so you know you are eating only the freshest produce available. In addition to being an organic, cruelty-free eatery, the Wild Cow also supports local charities with monthly promotions. Open: Sunday and Monday 11:00 a.m. 9:00 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. 1896 Eastland Avenue, Nashville, Tn 615.262.2717

Tayst Tayst is the first and only green certified restaurant in the Nashville area. With a comfortable, rustic ambiance, Tayst creates a warm dining experience with nothing but locally grown and farmed ingredients in their dishes. Enjoy the Veggie entrée made with vegetables grown at a local, non-pesticide farm, or the grass-fed steak. Better yet, pair your wholesome meal with the perfect wine from their extensive menu. Open Tuesday-Thursday, 5 -10 pm; Friday-Saturday, 5 -11 pm. 2100 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN, 615.383-.1953

The Picnic Café A renowned place for “ladies who lunch,” this charming café offers light menu options that anyone can appreciate. Their chicken salad, pimento cheese, fruit salad, tea punch and delicious soups are some of the “must-try” items for lunch. In addition to light menu options, The Picnic Cafe offers a wonderful atmosphere where customers can sit outside on the patio and socialize while they enjoy their meal. The Picnic Café is open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and offers indoor or outdoor seating in the Hill Center at Belle Meade. 4320 Harding Pike, Hill Center at Belle Meade, 615.297.5398

KNOXVILLE Trio At Trio you can get creative by designing your own custom salad bowl from over 30 fresh ingredients including blackened shrimp, roast chicken and marinated portabello mushrooms. Top it off with one of their homemade dressings-- made from scratch daily. Equally healthy entrees, like the Alaskan Salmon or Out of the Garden Pasta, are additional options for dinner. 13 Market Square, Knoxville, Tn, 865.246.2270

The Tomato Head This popular pizza place in Market Square offers fresh ingredients along with several vegetarian and vegan options to make each dining experience as healthy as possible. 12 Market Square, Knoxville, Tn, 865.637.4067 211 W. Broadway, Maryville, Tn , 865.981.1054

The Tomato Head The Sunspot The Sunspot is consistently voted among the best vegetarian restaurants in local polls. However, The Sunspot has something for everyone. Their diverse menu offers such delicious items as the Jerk Spiced Tuna Salad, the Roasted Pork Burrito and the Solar Flare Veggie Burger and all come dishes come with their famous tomatillo salsa and chips. You’ll be hardpressed to find another place that serves excellent food for both vegetarians and carnivores. The Sunspot is open until 2:00 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 1909 Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville 865.637.4663

Veg-O-Rama This healthy haunt is a favorite among vegetarians and nonvegetarians alike. Their eclectic menu features local and organic produce in the form of comfort-style food like the chili dog and philly cheese steak in addition to wildly popular items like the tofu Reuben sandwich and veggie burger. Soups, sauces, marinades, salad dressings, desserts and juices are all made from scratch using quality ingredients. As the only full-service vegJanuary 2011 • | 75

food etarian restaurant and bar in Knoxville, Veg-O-Rama is a popular site any time of the day. Open Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. 1204 N Central St., Knoxville, Tn, 865.540.8346

CHATTANOOGA 212 Market Street This green certified eatery is an icon of the revitalized downtown Chattanooga area. Open since 1992, the owners of 212 Market Street have maintained a consistent dedication to quality ingredients with seasonal menus that use only the freshest, local and hormone-free produce available. Food allergies and the nutritional chemistry of each dish are considered under a knowledgable staff and registered dietitian. Favorites include the Spinach Salad, Summer Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad and the Filet Mignon. 212 Market Street, Chattanooga, Tn

Bluegrass Grill This is the place for quality food that won’t break the bank. Bluegrass Grill is a full-service restaurant with an emphasis on breakfast. Their whole-wheat biscuits are handmade daily for a taste that is out of this world. Hearty breakfast dishes include their famous potatoes sauteed in garlic and onion. Menu options give you a choice of sides that include everything from apple smoked bacon to Chorizo (meat or soy). More popular favorites include homemade granola and the Mediterranean frittata made with Feta cheese, tomatoes, Kalamata and spices. For lunch, The Bluegrass Grill serves up salads made with fresh local lettuce, homemade soups including a vegetarian black bean chili, and several choices of deli sandwiches. Whatever you’re in the mood for, rest assured The Bluegrass Grill can satisfy your craving. Open until 2:00p.m. 55 E Main Street, Chattanooga, Tn 76 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

food 423.752.4020

Greenlife Grocery Although a bit pricey, you’ll find only the freshest produce at Greenlife Grocery. Stop by for lunch and have the deli make a custom sandwich to your specifications. They also offer a delicious hot bar with theme sections of speciality prepared foods. While there, shop from a wide array of locally grown, produce. You’ll also find sushi-grade tuna and an impressive selection of cheese and spices. Check out the cooking lessons on the upper level for a fun weekend activity. Open: Monday Sunday 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. 301 Manufacturers Rd, Chattanooga, Tn, 423.267.1960

Mojo Burritos With Several locations in Chattanooga Mojo Burrito is a Tex-Mex dining establishment serving healthy, original recipes that are suitable for those on a diet. Create your own burritos and tacos with endless fillings or try the Lily Bowl to cut the calories of the tortilla shell while still enjoying the delicious burrito taste. Open seven days a week 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. 10:00 p.m.

The Good Dog The Good Dog take the classic American hot dog and create a variety of ways to serve it. The best part about it is that you can turn any of the beef hot dogs on the menu into veggie dogs. That way, you can still indulge in a good dog without feeling guilty about the calories! The Good Dog is a certified green restaurant as they use recycled materials for their funky, friendly decor. Get the whole family on board— Wednesday nights kids under 12 eat free! Open 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. daily, and 11:00- 10:00 p.m. on Fridays with live music on Friday nights from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 34 Frazier Avenue, Chattanooga, TN, 423.475.6175

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Cupcakes and Cocktails Celebrate new life with a “Sip & See” gathering. Our expert party planner Stephanie Alexander creates a fun concept for welcoming the new baby of the home. TEXT Stephanie Alexander, You’re Invited Events | PHOTOGRAPHY Summer Harris Hancock



riends and family following Southern tradition typically like to come visit the new mother and child within two to three weeks after they arrive home from the hospital. Receiving numerous guests can prove stressful for a new mother, however, so it’s a good idea to host one gathering that allows guests to view the baby and socialize. Typically, a brunch or late-afternoon tea is held to celebrate a new baby; however, don’t be afraid to have fun! Incorporate cocktails’ or a Girls’ Night Out into your event. For this particular Sip and See, Stephanie Alexander of You’re Invited in Nashville gives her unique spin on post-baby social entertaining. Cupcakes and Cocktails-- the name says it all. “We knew we wanted to have a fun cocktail, so I started with a delicious punch recipe which we named after the new baby.” With the help of good friend Summer Hancock, the girls came up with “Landry’s Lemonade” which they served from a tasteful glass beverage dispenser adorned in pink ribbon.“We also served Cupcake brand

wines at the party to keep with the cupcake theme,” adds Stephanie. On the menu were miniature gourmet cupcakes from Dulce Desserts in Nashville (www. 615.321.8700) in four different flavors including chocolate with raspberry buttercream, vanilla with vanilla buttercream, caramel filled and their signature cherry almond. “Everyone raved about these delectable little treats!” says Stephanie. Indeed, fluffy icing and moist cake took center stage with an equally impressive serving display. The centerpiece was a three-tier, wrought-iron cupcake stand which the hostess decorated with accents of pink tulle. Dainty details in decoration and vibrant hues of pink celebrated the new lady of the house, while a signature drink and Girls’ Night Out after-party were perfectly suited for mother. Planning a Sip and See is easy when you know what you’re doing. Read on to discover how our expert party planner Stephanie organized the occasion. January 2011 • | 79



On the Menu: Hors d’oeuvres: Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches Assortment of Dipping Sauces Buffalo Chicken Dip with Celery Sticks & Chips


To keep with the pink and brown theme, Stephanie filled several glass containers and votive holders with coffee beans and tea lights.

Dulce Desserts Gourmet Cupcakes

Beverages: Landry’s Lemonade The centerpiece was a three-tier, wrought-iron cupcake stand which the hostess decorated with accents of pink tulle.


Customize: Stephanie consulted LisaMarie Designs for monogrammed cupcake toppers to match the design on the invitations.

80 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

Stephanie used vintage doll dresses to decorate windows.

Antique silver baby cups look darling hung from the chandelier. The elegant cups are attached with pink ribbon and accompanied by pink boas and an embellished initial. “I hung a pearl “L” in honor of little Landry,” says Stephanie.


Party Planning Tips: • If you are hosting a party with friends, make sure to take inventory of what you have before going to the store. My girlfriends and I have loads of dishes, wine glasses, shower decorations, etc. that we all share. Whenever we host parties, we share what we have to prevent having to buy so much. • Serve one signature drink instead of offering a full bar, and make sure to give it a creative name. • Repurpose and reuse -- you can recreate various items with only a little can of spray paint. I have several wooden boxes that I use for parties and spray paint them to match my theme. For the Sip & See, I spray painted two boxes light pink and filled them with coffee beans to hold the rolls for the pork tenderloin. These boxes have held marshmallow pops, cookie pops, and various other goodies for a list of parties. To find these useful “party pantry” items, scour flea markets and estate sales. You’ll be able to repurpose these inexpensive containers again and again. I always have my eye out for fun display pieces and containers. Remember, spray paint is the easiest and least expensive way to change up an item!

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Recipes: Landry’s Lemonade 1 can of pink lemonade concentrate, thawed 3 12-oz. bottles Bud Light Lime beer 1 C. vodka 1. Mix together and add ice.

Buffalo Chicken Dip 12 oz. cooked chicken, shredded (I used Tyson’s southwest chicken strips) 2 (8oz.) packages of cream cheese 1 C. shredded cheddar cheese 1 C. Ranch dressing Few dashes of Tabasco or Frank’s Hot Sauce (add more if you want a really spicy hot dip) 1. Mix together chicken and hot sauce. Let sit for 30 minutes. 2. Beat cream cheese and Ranch dressing. 3. Spread mixture into pie plate sprayed with Pam. 4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Add cheddar to top and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with celery sticks, tortilla chips and/or Frito Scoops.

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 3/4 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs 3/4 cup buttermilk 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 82 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

3/4 cup warm water 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract Mint Buttercream 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. 2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 3. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, water, and peppermint extract, and beat with a mixer on low speed until smooth. 4. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. 5. Let cupcakes cool in tins on wire racks for 10 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to racks, and let cool.

Mint Buttercream adapted from Martha Stewart 3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 9 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract 1. Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. 2. Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed, about 5 minutes total. 3. After every 2 additions, raise speed to high, and beat 10 seconds to aerate the frosting. 4. Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Add peppermint Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth, about 10 minutes, before using. Cook’s note: For a girly touch, add a small amount of red food coloring to the icing to turn it pink!


Picking Up Cupcakes Order cupcakes from a local shop near you MemphisGiGi’s Cupcakes 4709 Poplar Avenue Memphis, Tn 38117 901.888.22536 JacksonHaliHannigans 1032- M Vann Drive Jackson, TN 38305 731.736.2525 NashvilleCandy Cakes 615.519.1774 ChattanoogaWhipped Cupcakes 149 River Street in Coolige Park Chattanooga, TN 423.305.7755 KnoxvilleSugaree’s Bakery 866-Sugaree Do you have a recipe everyone loves? Send us your favorite recipes and pictures and you might end up in At Home Tennessee! Mail your submissions to 671 N. Ericson, Suite 200 Cordova, TN 38018 or email them to January 2011 • | 83


We Interrupt this Marriage to Bring You Football Season TEXT Jane Gaither, Gourmet Gadget Gal


epending on your New Year’s resolution, it may be desirable - even necessary – to incorporate some celery into your upcoming Super Bowl party. You are probably still holding fast to your resolve to wear the soles off those blindingly white athletic shoes and snack exclusively on baby carrots. The beginning of the year is the season for fresh starts, fresh snow, fireside chats and America’s heralded and junk food laden favorite Sunday – The Super Bowl. Football season at our house has been in full swing now for five months. It starts in August with the boys returning to pads and practices in 95-degree heat and crescendos around Thanksgiving with high emotions about school state championships, college bowl game positions and feelings of either elation or despair about how the Titans’ season looks. I am a gal in a house surrounded by guys. My husband has spent every winter night at home since 1998 wearing his UT National Champions sweatshirt and our oldest son’s first sentence was “tackle him.” I happily watch football games live and on TV but I must confess that they make about as much sense to me as a Spanish soap opera. I get the gist, but the nuances are lost. I have yet to figure out why after they complete the coin toss they fight so hard to get a quarter back? I do enjoy the social aspects of football – tailgating, get-togethers and post-game celebrations are a foodie’s delight. I love throwing parties and feeding people and The Super Bowl comes at a point in the year when entertaining is easy. There’s no reason to decorate, pull out the fine china or serve a fancy dinner. Everyone is satisfied with pizza or chili or fondue. Fondue, you ask? For a Super Bowl party? Fondue is easily one of the most people-pleasing party foods you can make at home with simple ingredients. It is a hot dish with many variations that allow the cook to present an attractive and tasty offering without a

84 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

lot of fuss. To my mind it is much more festive than a football-shaped chip bowl. Cheese fondue only takes about 10 minutes to make. Most recipes are straightforward. You sauté some garlic in a little butter, fish out the garlic, add a little wine or vermouth mixed with cornstarch to keep the cheese from separating and stir until all the cheese is melted. The useful thing about my fondue pot from Emile Henry is that I can cook directly in it and not have to move the fondue from a saucepan into another pot. This fondue pot is actually made of clay that can be used over an open flame and can also be used later as a casserole dish for my oven. I guess it follows that a country that knows food so well would make beautiful and useful cooking equipment, too. My recipe for fondue though, is not French. It is a twist on a pure, old-fashioned Tennessee favorite – pimento cheese. We keep pimento cheese on hand all summer as it goes especially well with homegrown tomatoes, but in the winter those jars of diced pimentos are pushed to the back of the pantry shelf. Around mid-January, I start to long for a taste of summer. A juicy, ripe peach and some freshly buttered corn on the cob are the sugar plum fairies that dance around inside my head. A real homegrown tomato sliced and topped with homemade pimento cheese and crisp bacon? Neither love nor money can bring that in the wintertime. Pimento cheese fondue stands in as a winter counterpart with the familiar flavors of summer melted over an open flame. I spice my pimento cheese fondue with hot sauce to give it a nice bite and accompany it with pumpernickel bread, summer sausage, soft baked pretzels and, yes, celery. And as a bonus, while the fellows are rejoicing in victory or moaning in defeat, the chef can be “cleaning up the kitchen” and scarfing up those last delicious chewy bits of cheese. There’s a lot to be said for football season, especially when it’s over!


Sautee tomatoes and garlic in melted butter until the liquid starts to evaporate.

Pimento Cheese Fondue Jane Gaither, Gourmet Gadget Gal Ingredients: 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter 2 small tomatoes, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, smashed but whole 1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish 1 teaspoon hot sauce 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce a few grinds of black pepper 5 Tablespoons dry vermouth 2 Tablespoons cornstarch 5 cups shredded cheddar cheese 4 strips of crisply fried bacon, crumbled

Add cornstarch and vermouth mixture to the fondue pot and stir until it begins to thicken.

1. Heat Emile Henry Fondue Pot over medium heat and melt butter. 2. Add tomatoes and garlic. Stir occasionally until liquid is nearly evaporated. 3. Add pimentos, horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire and pepper. 4. In small bowl, stir together vermouth and cornstarch until mixed. Add to fondue pot and stir. 5. After one minute remove garlic and discard. 6. Add cheddar cheese 1 cup at a time and stir until each cup is melted. 7. Remove from heat and place on the base over lighted burner. Keep ame to medium low.

Add cheese by cupful and stir until smooth. Continue stirring until melted; The added cornstarch and vermouth keep the cheese from separating and the fondue smooth.

8. Sprinkle bacon on top of fondue. Serve with cubes of French bread, pumpernickel bread, soft pretzels, carrots, celery, summer sausage or anything else you might enjoy.

January 2011 • | 85


January 2011 December 31-January 1 New Year’s Eve Sleep in the Deep Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga 423.267.FISH(3474),

January 9 Knoxville Symphony Orchestra All Beethoven Bijou Theatre, 865.291.3310

Through January 30 Memphis Zoo on Ice 901.333.6500,

January 10-14 (PreK-8th grade) January 17-21 (1st-12th grade) Homeschool Academy 2011 Memphis Zoo, Memphis 901.333.6765,

Through January 30 Trolley of Lights Gatlinburg, 865.436.0535 Through January 23 The Birth of Impressionism Masterpieces from the Musée D’Orsay Frist Center, Nashville January 2 Russian National Ballet Theatre-Les Sylphides and Romeo & Juliet Germantown Performing Arts Centre, Main Stage 901.751.7500,

January 13 - 14 Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Symphonie Fantastique Tivoli Theatre 423.267.8583 January 13 & 15 Peter Cetera Nashville Symphony 1 Symphony Place 37021 615.687.6400,

January 21 Jazz in the Box- Tamir Hendelman Germantown Performing Arts Centre, Black Box Theatre 901.751.7500, January 22 Peanut Butter & Jam Sessions - TimeFor Three Germantown Performing Arts Centre, Black Box Theatre 901.751.7500, January 22 IRIS Orchestra - Time For Three Germantown Performing Arts Centre, Main Stage, 901.751.7500, January 23 Rhapsody in Boop Germantown Performing Arts Centre, Main Stage, 901.751.7500,

January 15th Winter Garden Seminar Warrior’s Path State Park Kingsport 423.239.6786

January 25-30 Shrek The Musical Jackson Hall, Nashville 615.782.4095,

January 8 Elvis Birthday Concert Memphis Symphony 901.537.2525

January 15th Bill Cosby Jackson Hall, Nashville 615.782.4095,

January 25 First Annual Veteran Owned Business Vendor Day and Veteran Job Fair Rothchilds Conference Center 865.690.0103

January 8 Architecture Tour Frist Center, Nashville 901.537.2525

January 15th Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Day Civil Rights Museum Memphis, 901.521.9699

January 28 - 29 Lone Star Rodeo Hyder-Burks Agriculture Pavilion Cookeville, 270. 269. 6000

January 8-February 26 Meet a Penguin at the Tennessee Aquarium Chattanooga 800.262.0695,

January 17th Martin Luther King Day Celebration Civil Rights Museum Memphis, 901.521.9699

February 2 Chattanooga Chuck’s Forecast at the Tennessee Aquarium Chattanooga, 800.262.0695

January 6 - 9 Nashville Boat & Sport Show 502.957.1666

January 9 Knoxville Premier Bridal Show Knoxville Convention Center 865.531.3941

86 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

January 18 ArtSavvy-Rhapsody in Boop Germantown Performing Arts Centre, Green Room 901.751.7665,

February 3 Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo Germantown Performing Arts Centre, Main Stage, 901.751.7500,

88 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

sources 46 Quick Turn Around Interior Designer-Julie Couch, Julie Couch Interiors, 615.293.6604 , 52 Haven by the Sea Katie Powell- Beautiful Lights, Mitzi Goodin 57 A Recipe for Success Makeover One: Four Seasons Metal, Knoxville, 865.219.9886 Debbie Lee- Standard Kitchens and Bath, Knoxville, 865.694.0068 GES Remodel LLC, Knoxville, 865.805.5714 John Beretta Tile, Knoxville, 865.523.0762 White’s Marbleworks, Sweetwater, 423.337.2138 Integrity Tile, Knoxville, 865.740.8585 Makeover Two: Whitestone Enterprises, LLC, Franklin, 615.533.6508, Rightwise Fine Cabinetry and Design, Thompson’s Station, 615.390.4317 78 Sip and See Event Planner—You’re Invited Events, Nashville, 615.353.5520

January 2011 • | 89

book review

Interview with Author Kristin Luna At Home Tennessee: What part of Tennessee did you grow up in? Kristin Luna: I grew up in Middle Tennessee, in Tullahoma. I left for college and spent my first two years at Sewanee: University of the South, then transferred to UT for the journalism portion of my degree. I moved the day after I graduated to New York City for my magazine caree. I’ve now lived in Arizona, Scotland, Holland and Denmark, but reside in San Francisco with my husband and our Tennessee-born Maltese.

Discovering Tennessee TEXT Shana Raley Lusk | PHOTO courtesy of Globe Pequot Press


s anyone familiar with our beautiful state knows, Tennessee is full of hidden treasures and pleasant surprises. Fortunately for travelers and natives alike, Kristin Luna makes the path to finding those well-kept secrets an effortless one in her new book “Tennessee Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities, & Other Offbeat Stuff.” The book is carefully organized by the three grand divisions of the state, making it a must have for sightseers in any or all parts of Tennessee. Within each section, Luna highlights interesting or unusual attractions complete with driving directions and contact information. From the haunted Orpheum Theatre in Memphis to Knoxville’s vibrant Market Square, this book guides readers through the state one roadside stop at a time. Many rural areas of the state are covered as well. Luna highlights local festivals and activities of special interest, such as the Strawberry Festival in downtown Dayton and the Tennessee Renaissance Festival in Franklin. From museums to coffee shops, this guide will point you in the direction of the very best from one end of the state to the other. Intriguing Tennessee facts and other tidbits of information are also sprinkled throughout. Luna’s witty style coupled with the book’s neat arrangement make this a fast and enjoyable read for anyone looking to explore the curiosities of the Volunteer State. With this book in hand, travelers are sure to make many lasting memories discovering all that Tennessee has to offer.

90 | At Home Tennessee • January 2011

AHT: What inspired you to write this book? KL: I’ve written guidebooks for Frommer’s for the past five years, and my editor saw a job post for a writer of a first edition guide to Tennessee and thought it perfect for me. I applied, was given some samples to write and landed the gig a few weeks later. AHT: How long did it take to write the book? KL: A first edition is a pretty lengthy process. I was officially hired in September 2009, and my full manuscript was due in April. So I researched, wrote the copy and took the majority of photos during that period. After that, there were a couple of query rounds, which required me to re-read and revise the copy as needed. I read the final version in September, and it was out in bookstores in November. So start to finish, about 14 months. AHT: What was the best memory/experience that you had during the process of traveling throughout the state? KL: Getting to do so many of the things that as a resident you write off as touristy and never think about doing. For example, I’d never been to Dollywood-I always expected it to be some cheesy theme park, but it was an absolute blast. And as all my trips to Memphis in the past have been to visit family, I really enjoyed getting to tour the historic sites like the Civil Rights Museum and Sun Studios, as well as visit Elvis’ old haunts like the Arcade and the Peanut Shoppe. AHT: If you had to narrow it down to one place, which was your favorite? KL: I think it’s hard to pinpoint one spot, as Tennessee is so diverse. I grew up 15 minutes from Lynchburg, and I find it such a quaint and charming town and a wonderful place to visit for people from big cities. Dining family style at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House is a real trip, and a tour of the Jack Daniel Distillery is fascinating. Similarly, Jonesborough, the state’s most historic spot, has a really great old-town feel and an adorable downtown area. But overall, I’m a city girl at heart and really love the creative energy and abundance of things to do in Nashville. And I finished my journalism degree at University of Tennessee so I’m quite partial to Knoxville, as well. AHT: In your opinion, what is the one must-have food to be found in Tennessee? KL: Barbecue! Every time I’m back home visiting, I cram as many visits in to barbecue joints as my stomach allows. AHT: What is the number one must-see attraction that you would recommend? KL: Bonnaroo has become such a big deal in this state, so I think every resident should experience it once. As far as permanent attractions go, the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga is one of the best in the nation and has an impressive exhibit of freshwater life--something not overly common in aquariums. AHT: Do you have any plans to write additional books about exploring Tennessee? KL: I would love to. I feel like I only scratched the surface with this one. I’m sure there’s so much great stuff that I left out and would love to explore at a later date, but with a limited time frame and budget, not to mention word count for the book, you get in what you can.

January 2011  

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