Page 1

Complimentary March 2021

On the Cover


Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen Service You Can Count On

pages 21 - 28





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MacAdam Smith

MARCH 2021 FEATURES 10 • COVER STORY Conley Motorsports Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen Service You Can Count On


18 • BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Killians Quality Products and Service Our Customer Promise


Publisher mac@oasisluxuryhomes.com (484) 769-7445

Kathy Wheeler Design & Advertising Sales kathylivingmagazine@gmail.com (828) 238-3224

Sharon Simpson Advertising Director sharon@lncurrents.com (704) 677-9159

22 • Improving Your Home’s Design 24 • Sunrise Appliance Helping You Choose And Install The Right Appliances 26 • 2021 Pantone Colors Of The Year

Linda B. Wilson Advertising Sales lindalivingmagazine@gmail.com (704) 657-0237

IN THIS ISSUE 8 • Welcome To The March Issue

22 Hickory

LIVING 10225 Hickorywood Hill Ave., Unit A Huntersville, NC 28078 (484) 769-7445 HickoryLiving@gmail.com

www.HickoryLivingMagazine.com 4


29 • What’s Cooking?! Cranberry Strata Don Forrest Advertising Sales donlivingmagazine@gmail.com (828) 244-6538

Hickory Living reserves the right to deny any advertisement or listing. Submissions are welcome, but unsolicited materials are not guaranteed to be returned. Hickory Living assumes no responsibility or liability for the information, services, products, claims, statements, accuracy, or intended or unintended results of any advertiser, editorial contributors, company, professional corporation, business or service provider herein this publication. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kristie Darling • Kathy Wheeler

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Shane Greene Photography

The Law Office of Lyndon R. Helton and The Law Office of

Helton, Cody

Blair E. Cody, III have Merged.

& Associates, PLLC

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Pictured: Blair E. Cody, III (left) Lyndon R. Helton (right)

828-328-9966 827 Highland Ave. NE Hickory, NC (located near Lenoir-Rhyne University)

www.HeltonCody.com HICKORY LIVING • MARCH 2021






Welcome to the

March Issue By Kathy Wheeler


ith the first day of spring the 20th, March is a great time to start your spring cleaning. It’s still a little cold to work outdoors, but a perfect time to get organized and declutter. While you’re at it, dust your houseplants. The longer days and shorter nights of spring will stimulate their growth, and dust clogs their pores and hinders the photosynthesis process. It’s also a good time to repot and feed indoor plants. It is too early to plant annuals but you can plan your flower beds. I have found it helpful to create a book of what I plant and make notes of where I plant them and which ones do well in my gardens. The amount of light that each requires and where you plant it will affect their success. When you purchase annuals, many times they come with an information tag about optimal growing conditions. Put these in your book. For inspiration on plants and gardens, go to www.provenwinners.com and browse their plant selection. You can also sign up to receive their Gardener’s Idea Book and Winners Circle Newsletter. Settle8


©iStockphoto.com | nambitomo

myre Nursery’s website, www.settlemyrenursery.com, is a very good site to visit when looking for flowers, shrubs, and trees. Plus, they sell Proven Winners, and they’re local! If the weather allows, you can spend a day or so preparing your flower gardens and pots for the upcoming planting season. Replenish your pots by removing about half of the old soil and adding new potting soil. Plant summer bulbs, prune and fertilize your roses, add compost to gardens, and deadhead plants that bloom early. Daylight Savings time begins Sunday, March 14th. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward an hour the night before! We’ve spent so much time at home this past year, that I’m sure we have a list of things we want to update. Or, maybe we’re just tired of looking at the same decor and want to redecorate. This issue of Hickory Living will offer some articles to inspire you and professionals who offer services to assist you in remodeling. Your home is one of the larg-

est investments you will make in your lifetime. It pays to hire professionals when you are making changes. If well designed, your home will have space for your activities, as well as be comfortable and functional for your family. Curb appeal is important for any home whether we are selling it or just enjoying it. Check out our business spotlight on page 18 featuring Killian’s Hardware. They offer lawncare equipment and advice for home owners and professional landscapers alike. You will also find a full line of hardware, electrical, and plumbing to help with those home repairs. This month’s cover story features Conley Motorsports. In addition to our homes, automobiles are another major investment that we want to protect by hiring the best professional to maintain and repair them. Justin Conley is a factory trained master tech and has over 14 years of experience working on Porsche, Audi, and Volkswagens. Thank you for reading the March issue of Hickory Living magazine.



on the cover

Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen Service You Can Count On By Kristie Darling

Trust, training, and experience might be the most important considerations when choosing an auto mechanic to work on your car. If you own a Porsche, Audi, or Volkswagen, these factors play a most important role. These foreign models require knowledgeable and experienced certified technicians who know these cars inside and out. No matter if yours is a workhorse that gets you where you’re going, or a cherished, restored treasure, you need to have it maintained and serviced by someone who really knows their stuff. 10


At Conley Motorsports, you have that in spades with Justin Conley and his top-notch team. “I hear this all the time—nobody knows how to work on my car— and I know from experience that if you take your car to someone who’s expertise isn’t brand specific, it’s likely you’ll end up with more problems,” Justin told me. His skill and interest in these particular models are based in years of training and enthusiasm for Porsche, Audi, and Volkswagen. Plus, Justin knows the value of providing exceptional customer service.

“We service a lot of cars, and the truth is, I can save people money who don’t take their repairs to a specialist,” Justin explained. “We’re brutally honest, and we would never recommend work that isn’t necessary—there’s no point in selling you something you don’t need. We know these engines from top to bottom, and we don’t miss something critical that needs to be done. For me, honesty and integrity with every customer ensures that I can make a decent living, sleep good at night, and keep the doors open.” KEEPING YOUR CAR UP TO SPEED Quality mechanical work and regular maintenance are key to preserving the heritage of your vehicle. Justin specializes in these German brands, and he will not steer you wrong. He opened Conley Motorsports in Hickory because he realized that good mechanics for these models are few and far between. “Our customers know that I’m a technician first. They are enthusiasts themselves, and they understand that specialized knowledge is critical.” With over twelve years’ experience under his belt prior to opening Conley Motorsports two years ago, Justin worked as shop foreman at a local Volkswagen and Porsche dealership. There he was trained as a factory certified master technician—his entire career has been focused on Porsches, Audis, and Volkswagens. Along with two Volkswagen factorytrained technicians who work for him, their extensive training in these particular brands ensures quality workmanship. UNDER THE HOOD From diagnostic testing to find out why your check engine light has come on, to regular maintenance like an oil change, annual checkup, spark plugs, tires, and filters, Conley Motorsports is where you want to take your ailing car.All levels


On the cover–Justin Conley, owner of Conley Motorsports. Photo by Shane Greene Photography. Opposite page–The Conley Motorsports Team is committed to its customers. Photo by Shane Greene Photography. Above–Justin is finishing the assembly of a Porsche 911 air-cooled engine in the designated clean engine room. Photo provided by Conley Motorsports.



of service and repairs, as well as performance updates like software, exhaust, turbo, suspension…anything performance related…they can do. They’re an authorized dealer for Cobb Tuning, ECS Tuning, Eurodyne, and Motul Oil. “If it’s a Porsche, Audi, or Volkswagen, we can fix it,” said Luke Buckner, shop foreman. “Our factory diagnostic equipment is state-of-the-art. Engine replacement, transmission service, no matter, we get it done right the first time—we guarantee all our work.” “I’m too impatient to do body work,” Justin said with a smile, “so I have good working relationships with several shops where my customers can get quality bodywork. Some restoration projects can take months, even years, as owners and collectors know. We can get the mechanical work done here at the same time the body is being restored by excellent craftsmen we recommend. You’ll be back in business as quick as possible.” Communication is critical. To keep customers in the loop about their service job, Justin’s team uses TekMetric, software that allows them to send photos, texts, and emails of the work in progress. “Our customers are critical in the decisions that are made about their car. This new tool keeps us in touch throughout the process.” Justin keeps car owners up to date on their regular maintenance to help prevent costly repairs down the road. “We want our customers to understand everything that’s going on with their car, so we’ll spend the time necessary to explain the diagnostics as well as the repairs that are needed. We don’t want anyone to leave here with questions or to be surprised when the bill comes. We’re competitively priced, upfront, and honest from the get-go.”

Photos, above:

• Technician Seth Privette performing routine maintenance. • Luke Butner, shop foreman, assembling a 911 gearbox. • Haley Johnson, receptionist, is devoted to answering every call to provide swift and friendly service. Above photos by Shane Greene Photography. 12


WALKING THE WALK The three German makes that Justin specializes in are not just foreign made—they’re high-performance sports cars. They require fine-tuning, preventive maintenance, and quite a bit of hands-on TLC to give you the performance they are known for. Justin currently owns two Volkswagens and one Porsche himself. “In the shop, we’re all enthusiasts, we’re not just some guys working on your car,” he said. “We all drive these cars, and we love them. We want them to give all the performance you demand from your investment—we’ll keep your car running like new…or better.”

AND, THERE’S RACING Racing is Justin’s backstory—it gives some insight into what he’s all about. “I was into competition and riding motor bikes in high school, and I’m still into racing,” Justin shared. “My training included NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville where I got manufacturer’s specific experience in these high-performance race cars. We’ve built a couple of cars that we race through Conley Motorsports, and we build track cars for other teams. When we’re not racing, we’re supporting other drivers in the pit. It’s exciting either way.” A BIT OF HISTORY When Justin decided to open Conley Motorsports, it was primarily because he wanted a full-service shop where he could call the shots and make his own decisions. “I believed things could be run better, more openly and honestly, with customer service as the top priority,” Justin explained. “I’m a very driven person. I wanted the next challenge, and that’s to say, I wanted my shop to outperform the rest. I think we’ve got that here.” Justin’s business ownership plan also allows him more freedom and quality time with his family. He’s his own boss. Justin and his wife Kaycee, who is a dental assistant, have three children. Bentley is eight, Blake is five, and Briley is three. When I asked him what’s their favorite thing to do, he had only one answer for all his kids: race dirt bikes. For three-year-old Briley, Justin loves riding her around on the four-wheeler. Needless to say, they have a track at home.


Left–Customer waiting area with free amenities. Photo by Shane Greene Photography. Right–The shop area has a full house performing all your Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche needs. Photo provided by Conley Motorsports.

When you call to talk about your car, you’ll start by speaking with receptionist Haley Johnson. She’ll get you going. When you bring your car in for service or to pick it up, you’ll be very pleased with the comfortable waiting room, coffee on the side. Take a peek into the shop area—it’s organized, clean, well-managed. “We’re getting lots of repeat customers, and our reputation for quality workmanship and great customer service is spreading,” Justin said. “Our loyal customers have been giving us rave reviews. We’re grateful for everyone who trusts us to work on these special cars.” Everything about Justin’s business is what you want in an auto repair shop. Excellent repairs, service you can count on, and attentive customer care are what you get at Conley Motorsports, each and every time.

Conley Motorsports 2351 US Highway 70 SW Hickory, North Carolina 828-855-2744 conleymotorsport.com HICKORY LIVING •MARCH 2021




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business spotlight


Left, Third and fourth generation of Killians, Whitney Kirby, Susan Killian Kirby, Sharon Killian Radke and Jennifer Gott. Killians has been family-owned and operated for 68 years. Opposite page The Killians Team Killian’s managers keep the business running smoothly. Art Meadows––Warehouse Derek Willis––Sales Howard Mourglea––Parts Scott Miller––Service John Valencia––Hardware

Quality Products and Service Our Customer Promise By Kristie Darling | Photos by Shane Greene

Any family-owned business that spans four generations is doing a lot right! Killians is a 68-year-old Hickory treasure. The hardware business was founded as a feed mill by Emory Killian in 1953. “Our grandfather started it, my father Elmer expanded it, and our family has lovingly grown Killians to meet our community’s needs,” said Susan Kirby. Susan Kirby and Sharon Radke are co-owners and third generation owners. Their daughters, Jennifer and Whitney, are fulltime at the Hardware. They’ve learned how things are done, and their input keeps the store moving forward for a new generation. RELATIONSHIPS ARE EVERYTHING “After all these years, we want to thank every one of our customers—new and old, homeowners and landscapers,” Sharon Radke shared. “We’re so appreciative of your business and your continued support. Serving the friends we’ve made through this business is what we’re all about.” 18


WHAT’S IN STORE Killians is a shopping destination of choice. The store is best known for quality mowers and lawn equipment with an extensive selection of Toro, Cub Cadet, Husqvarna, Stihl, and Echo products. Their showroom amazes homeowners and professional landscapers alike. In addition to mowers, they have everything you need from pluggers, blowers, trimmers, and spreaders to grass seed, lime, and fertilizers. You’ll find the best selection of 60V battery products. And for the gardener, look for tillers, sprayers, and garden seed. Need pressure washers, generators, propane, chainsaws, and log splitters? Killians has it! In addition, they offer full lines of hardware, electrical, and plumbing. “We’ve expanded and updated our Hardware Department and inventory considerably,” Sharon said. EQUIPMENT, PARTS & SERVICE The biggest part of Killians’ business is outdoor power equipment, parts, and service. They stand behind everything they sell—the best equipment and products in the Unifour area…the same for on-site service. “Each department works together to improve what we do. We have the most diversified, strongest team of employees ever, and we’re bilingual, striving to reach and serve our entire community. It’s exciting.” Sharon explained that Killians’ Parts Department is #1 in the Southeast, stocking over $1 million in parts inventory. “These days, our online Parts Department sells worldwide.”

Killians’ Service Department repairs almost all brands and has 90+ years of combined experience. “When you buy from us, you get preferential treatment. We now have drive-through equipment servicing. You schedule an appointment with our service department and wait while your equipment is being repaired. We can do this because we have such a large inventory of parts,” Susan said. “I started with a couple Toro mowers 28-years-ago,” said customer Tony Whisnant. “I’ve bought enough equipment over the years that I know I’ll get everything I need in terms of parts or service for that purchase for as long as I own it. The folks at Killians don’t just sell you something…they go out of their way to give me quick turnaround that my landscaping

business requires. They once traded out a part they had so I could get back to my job…nobody else does that.” IT’S SPRING! March and April—we’re getting ready to bring our lawns and gardens to life. “This is the best time to buy,” Sharon said. “Our most competitive pricing and best financing options are now. And we’re ready to serve you just as we’ve served generations.”

To learn more, please contact Sharon or Susan 828-256-2147 contactus@killiansinc.com www.killiansinc.com




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esign plays a role in all aspects of our lives. Good design solves problems and makes day to day living easier, while the artistic side of design creates an atmosphere that evokes emotion in the people it touches. I can’t think of a better way to utilize both sides of design than in our homes. When it’s done well, home design combines both functionality and a pleasing esthetic to make us feel comfortable, productive, and inspired. We don’t always notice

Photos: ©iStockphoto.com | hikesterson | Hikesterson | Peter_visual


how it affects us when it’s done right, but we will notice when it isn’t working. Even though the effects may be subtle, poor design will be felt in our lives every day. On the following pages, you will find advice to make your home a place where you’ll want to spend quality time and professionals to help you with your home projects or assist you in finding a home that better suits your needs.



Improving Your Home’s Design By Kathy Wheeler

©iStockphoto.com | Scovad

If 2020 taught us anything, it revealed what wasn’t working for us in our homes. We certainly spent a lot of time indoors and probably have a list of things that need to be redecorated, refurbished, replaced, or remodeled. If the remodel is too extensive, it may be time to find a new home that functions better for your family, or time to redesign some of your rooms to fit your activities. I believe 2021 will be all about comfort, function, and colors that make us feel good. Our homes need to reflect our personality, style, and inspire a long sigh of relief when we walk through the door.

FUNCTION We have a limited amount of square footage and everything we bring into our home needs a place to live. One too many pieces of furniture can make a room feel cluttered, where as, open spaces allow you to breathe. Less is more when it comes to furniture and accessories. Consider the activities that take place in your home and designate a 22


location for them to happen. With more children learning from home, maybe a guest bedroom would be better used as a classroom or a home office, instead of cluttering up the dining table.

REFRESHING YOUR DECOR Are you tired of looking at the same old stuff? Maybe your décor is outdated and it’s time to replace some of it. Updated, modern light fixtures can go a long way. Rearranging rooms and even moving furniture to a different location in your home can breathe new life into your spaces. Furniture doesn’t have to be used as its intended purpose. A sofa table works fine as a laptop desk. Try using and refurbishing what you have before bringing in new pieces. Here are some inexpensive DIY projects and ideas to refresh what you already have.

FURNITURE AND CABINETS If you don’t like the finish on your furniture or cabinets, consider painting them and changing the hardware. There are paint products that require no

sanding or priming. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Heirloom Traditions All-InOne Paint are brands that cover stained pieces. BB Frosch Paint Transformer is a product that you add to your own paint. A deglosser may be required and Heirloom Traditions has one. For upholstered furniture, update the fabric. You can purchase slip covers, or if you sew, you can make your own. For those pieces that you really love, invest in having them professionally reupholstered. It’s expensive to do, so check prices before making the commitment. It may cost less to replace them with something new. If you have furniture that is uncomfortable, get rid of it!

ACCESSORIES I am NOT a minimalist and I love accessories, but I have to be mindful not to go overboard. Surrounding myself with things I love doesn’t always work for everyone in my household. Show some restraint on the decorative pillows! If you have too many, they become a chore

to deal with and inhibit the use of the furniture. However, updating accessories can change the style of a room and its color pallet. Comfy pillows, throws, drapes, bedding, and rugs add texture, color, and warmth to a room and make it feel inviting, as well as artwork, plants, and lamps. Some inexpensive updates you can make are changing pillow covers. Outdated lamps can be spray painted, and the shades can be replaced with drum shades. I’ve even added a missing color to a painting so it coordinates. Do this at your own risk! Hey, when you can’t find what you are looking for, paint something you already have. Try your hand at live plants instead of artificial. Plants serve an esthetic purpose, as well as improve our health. Studies have shown that houseplants increase focus and reduce sickness. When we breathe, we take in oxygen and

release carbon dioxide. During photosynthesis, most plants do the opposite. Plants purify the air, release humidity, and in quantity can remove up to 87% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a home. Philodendron, spider plants, and dragon trees are easy to care for and make great house plants! For more information on the benefit of plants, visit https://www.bioadvanced.com/ articles/5-benefits-houseplants.

ACCENT WALL One way to change things up that doesn’t require any floor space is designing an accent wall. Paint, wallpaper, moldings, tile, shiplap, and even drapes can create a backdrop that adds character and interest to a room.

HIRING PROFESSIONALS A good interior designer can offer you an objective opinion and reimagine your space. They can simplify the redecorating process by helping you visualize the

room before purchasing items. Designers have their thumb on current trends, so your redesign doesn’t go out of style quickly. They have access to upholsterers, painters, and other needed subcontractors, as well as fabrics that are for the trade only. A good designer can also mediate between couples who have different styles to reach a compromise. I am all about DIY projects, but some projects are better left to the professionals. If you are looking to remove walls, build an addition, or a major remodel, it’s always good to hire a contractor to pull the necessary permits, keep the structure safe, and protect your investment. Start spring with a new beginning and fresh outlook. With some creative thinking and rearranging, you can transform your home into a place that provides comfort, functionality, and an environment that suits all the activities you enjoy!



Sunrise Appliance

Helping You Choose and Install The Right Appliances Pictured, one of Sunrise Appliance’s favorite projects. The Sunrise team worked with their client to help choose and install appliances for a remodel. Above, gas range by La Cornue. This company assembles their product in France and the range adds a European flair. Right, a Jenn-Air built-in microwave and a smart Wi-Fi laundry room package.

The kitchen may be the heart of a home, but top-grade appliances are what make a home work for you. This recent project by Sunrise Appliance is a good example of how those appliances can be both beautiful, complementing the surrounding décor, as well as functional. “We recently had the privilege of installing appliances for Lindsey Regan Thorne, a beauty and lifestyle blogger in Charlotte, North Carolina,” said Charlynn Bowman, owner of Sunrise Appliance. “Lindsey came to us in need of appliances for her home renovation. We helped her through the entire process of picking appliances, delivering them, and installing them in her home.” 24


This fun project included both laundry and kitchen appliances. Lindsey upgraded her laundry room with a smart washer and dryer set from GE, tying together the light, airy atmosphere of the room and giving practical functionality with its Wi-Fi capabilities. In the kitchen, they installed a Jenn-Air built-in microwave, seamlessly integrating into the under-counter cabinetry of the island. “Our favorite piece from this install, the La Cornue range in the color Roquefort, complements her kitchen so well with its enameled steel doors and polished brass trim. The range features five gas burners and two electric convection ovens with side-swing doors. We had so much fun working with Lindsey

to help make her dream home a reality!” explained Charlynn. “Let us help you next! We’re ready to guide you to the products that fit your lifestyle.” You can find Lindsey on Instagram @ lindseyreganthorne and Sunrise Appliance @sunriseappliancehomestore.

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Pantone Colors Of the Year I llu min at in g an d Ult imat e Gra y

The trend for 2021 is colors that make you feel good! Yellow is one of those colors that makes you feel happy and energetic...think sunshine! Too much can be overwhelming, but splashes of it is just right, and grounding it with gray can be the perfect combination.

Left, a sofa table makes the perfect laptop desk and the office chair and potted plant add that pop of yellow. The chair was purchased on Amazon and the pot was painted. The file box was a DIY build with handles added and painted gray. Below, you can bring in a lot of color with bedding. This gray and yellow quilt was purchased from Overstock, paired with a dark gray striped rug from Target. Right, the chair was second-hand, reupholstered in Belgium linen, and the yellow throw was an inexpensive Kirkland’s find. The pillow is a DIY made from remnant fabric. 26


Pottery is another great way to add color! A T.J. Maxx find with a topiary ball of greenery.

828.855.1055 Each OfficE is indEpEndEntly OwnEd & OpEratEd

Trae Stokes Realtor®/Owner 828.312.1996

Amanda Stokes Realtor®/Owner 828.234.9553

Wendy Flynn Realtor®/Broker 828.238.2345

3244 Springs Rd NE Hickory, NC 28601

Sandi Dingler Realtor®/Broker 828.612.2399

Claudia Vargas Realtor®/Broker 828.302.1456

Danielle Stone Realtor®/Broker 828.446.6683

Sarah Moretz Realtor®/Broker 828.234.2659

Dale Sharpe Realtor®/Broker 828.612.7248

Josh Ritchie Realtor®/Broker 828.469.8411

David Berry Realtor®/Broker 828.639.4533

Kamie Pitts Realtor®/Broker 704.883.2938

Tuffer Howell Realtor®/Broker 828.261.6373

Ashley Carmichael Realtor®/Broker 704.351.1938

Cory Klassett Realtor®/Broker 828.446.4589 HICKORY LIVING • MARCH 2021




What's Cooking?! Cranberry Strata

Nothing is better than a perfectly planned brunch. This delicious recipe is easy to make with only a handful of ingredients and just a few simple steps. Make the night before; bake it the next morning for a gooey, creamy, melt-inyour-mouth strata just in time for brunch!

Cranberry Strata 8 cups crusty French

bread cubed

1 package (18 ounces)

cream cheese

½ cup dried cranberries 6 eggs 2 ¼ cups milk 1/3 cup maple syrup, plus

additional, for serving

and chill for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

(optional) ½ teaspoon ground

cinnamon or nutmeg

Heat oven to 350° F. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes.


In greased, 2-quart, 8” X 8” baking dish, arrange about 4 cups of French bread pieces. Cut cream cheese into 8-10 slices and arrange over bread chunks. Sprinkle cranberries over bread chunks. Top with remaining bread pieces.

In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, milk and 1/3 cup maple syrup. Pour over bread. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon or nutmeg. With back of a spoon or spatula, lightly press down to saturate bread with egg mixture. Cover

Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve warm and top with additional maple syrup, if desired.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Culinary.net. Find more recipes, visit Culinary.net. HICKORY LIVING • MARCH 2021








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Hickory Living March 21  

Welcome to Hickory Living Magazine online. We invite you to read the March 2021 issue featuring Conley Motorsports. Our advertisers make it...

Hickory Living March 21  

Welcome to Hickory Living Magazine online. We invite you to read the March 2021 issue featuring Conley Motorsports. Our advertisers make it...

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