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Summer Edition 2019

Inside  Olshen pool features many amenities  Nunn’s lake home echoes mountain retreat  Dawkins’ log cabin features room for all in seven bedrooms

MUSKOGEE muskogeephoenix.com Green Country Living



Summer Edition 2019

Green Country Living




Summer Edition 2019 Issue 52






62 Featured Homes


6 Newton

54 Beyond the Listing

Family Airbnbs Eufaula lakeside home.


Nunn Retired architects design, build dream home.

26 Dawkins Cabin offers large-scale retreat.


Olshen Family’s turns dream pool into reality with help of contractor.


Williams Home built with family in mind.

Publisher Dale Brendel Editor Elizabeth Ridenour Contributing editor Angela Jackson Layout & Design Josh Cagle WRITERS Wendy Burton, Melony Carey, Heather Ezell, Chesley Oxendine, Travis Sloat, Cathy Spaulding PHOTOGRAPHERS Melony Carey, Von Castor, Mandy Corbell, Angela Jackson, Chesley Oxendine, Cathy Spaulding ADVERTISING Director Marci Diaz Apple ADVERTISING SALES Krysta Aich, Kris Hight, Angela Jackson, Therese Lewis Green Country Living is published by the Muskogee Phoenix. Contents of the magazine are by the Muskogee Phoenix. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior consent of the Muskogee Phoenix. Green Country Living, P.O. Box 1968, Muskogee OK 74402. email eridenour@muskogeephoenix.com - Editorial: (918) 684-2929 Advertising and distribution: (918) 684-2804

On the Cover

Luxury home sleeps 27.

Summer Edition 2019

62 Art of the Matter Potter makes mugs, vases, flats.

68 Scene & Be Seen Chat, have fun, relax and smile because you’re on camera.

Olshen family pool glows at night.

74 Cook’s Pantry Eufaula business owner shares love of cooking.

78 Wonderful Wine Drinks to keep cool, have fun during summer months

InsIde  Olshen pool features many amenities  Nunn’s lake home echoes mountain retreat  Dawkins’ log cabin features room for all in seven bedrooms

Photo by Mandy Corbell

MUSKOGEE muskogeephoenix.com Green Country Living


Summer Edition 2019


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Fe at u r e d Hom e Ne w ton


Summer Edition 2019

The deck at the Newton’s Airbnb home gives the renter a lakeside view and, on certain evenings, an earful of live music.

Lakeside lodgings Family rents out Lake Eufaula home to vacationers


ou don’t have to travel far to find a wellfurnished, lakeside home on Airbnb. All it takes is a short drive to Lake Eufaula, and the Newton family has one set up for you. Lynn Newton said she

got the idea to put the house up on the homesharing website from a friend. “A friend of ours Airbnbs their home in Austin,” she said. “She told us this would be a great house, so we started doing it in February.”

By Travis Sloat • Photos by Mandy Corbell

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Ne w ton Renters get more than their fair share of deck space, with plenty of room to play games and have fun.

For those not in the latest loops of Internet home rental services, Airbnb is an online service where you can rent out homes all over the globe for an agreed upon fee before booking. The converse side of that is the ability to rent out your home to those seeking a place to vacation, which is exactly what the Newtons have taken advantage of with their 3,700-square-foot home, which sits just across from Eufaula Cove Marina. Robert Newton, long-time coach in the Eufaula and Owasso areas, said the house was one of the first built in the area. “It was built in 1968,” he said. “The guy that built it was named Al Johnson. He raced horses, and he had quite a bit of money. It has 6-inch walls, and all of the rock was imported from Europe. We have four bedrooms and two baths.” The rock house looks deceptively diminutive when you approach it from the front door. Modestly placed in the middle of two lots, it looks comfortably

Beveled glass and rock greet renters as they come in the front door.

The Newton home is filled with quirky art and inspirational quotes.


Summer Edition 2019

At nearly 4,000 square feet, the home runs parallel to the lake, maximizing the amount of views it offers.

ABOVE: A concrete slab and several chairs let the renter get closer to the lake and the music.

RIGHT: The home is full of windows in the rear, offering views from the deck or indoors.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Ne w ton

LEFT: The downstairs bar gives renters a chance to belly up and order a drink.

ABOVE: The dining area of the Newton home provides plenty of natural light, and of course, a view of Lake Eufaula.

low to the ground, and the full driveway with a three-car garage give you the impression that a small family could retire here comfortably. It’s when you step inside that you realize how wrong you are. Lynn said they routinely rent to large parties, and you don’t have to look far to see the space is there. The living area is wide and open, and plenty of windows surround the space, making the entire area appear even larger than it already is. To the right is a long, narrow hall, as well as a spiral staircase twisting down and out of sight.


Summer Edition 2019

The round kitchen area offers plenty of space for the chefs in your group.

The guy that built it was named Al Johnson. He raced horses, and he had quite a bit of money. It has 6-inch walls, and all of the rock was imported from Europe. — Robert Newton

Maroon linen wallpaper lines the hall, upon which Robert has several Native American prints by artists Jerome and

Johnny Tiger. Both ends of the hallway sport large bedrooms, with the master bed and bath parked squarely in the middle. The master bath features a recessed tub and shower, something unique to the home and a throwback to the ‘60s, when it was built. “It’s a little different,” Robert said. The home has two decks, one upstairs and one downstairs, both having ample amounts of seating, and also giving the guests the chance to choose shade or sunshine. The lake is visible from both, and not only that, but the renters will have the ability to hear live music played

A wide open living area is essential for those who bring large families or groups, and both the upstairs and downstairs living areas fit the bill.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Ne w ton

The master bedroom, like most rooms in the house, is well lit and spacious.

From friends’ retreats to “ graduation parties, everyone

we’ve talked to has said they love the place and the location. — Lynn Newton


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The downstairs living area doubles as a game room and gives renters a chance to play some indoor games if the weather isn’t cooperating. A spiral staircase transitions the top floor of the Newton home to the bottom.

ABOVE: The game room features a fullsize pool table, and plenty of seating.

RIGHT: It also features a fireplace.

on the weekends, as Katt Daddy’s bar is just across the water. Just to the left of the living area is the kitchen, done in white tones and unique for a reason you can see immediately — it’s round. The cabinetry has been tailored to fit into the round space, all of it original to the home, and all in perfect working order. Robert said the kitchen design is “something of the past.” “It took a pretty good builder to do things like the cabinets and the drawers,” he said. When you take the spiral staircase downstairs, a sprawling expanse of expertly decorated space greets you. As your feet touch the large ceramic tiles, your eyes are drawn to twinkling lights draped along the wall, which provide an intimate ambience, and there is plenty of sunlight coming in because the back of the house is above ground. The pool table stands front and center, and it’s plain to see this isn’t a table thrown

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Ne w ton

ABOVE: The bathrooms are large, and the upstairs bathroom features a recessed tub. LEFT: Guest rooms in the Newton home are comfortably furnished and give renters a chance for a moment of seclusion if needed.

into a cramped room, making some shots impossible because you can’t get your stick far enough back. Next to the pool table is a bar, and just past that is a laundry room. A large seating area gives several good points of view for the immense television, and a poker table gives more seating options for the card players in


Summer Edition 2019

your group. Another bedroom sits at the far back of the downstairs room, and it includes a wall made mostly of windows, just in case your vacation crew has an early riser or two. Lynn said the house was originally bought for their daughter, who was up for a job she didn’t get. Through a series of unfortunate events, they’ve managed

to turn the house into a dream vacation for those who want to retreat to the lake without retreating out of state. “We keep hearing that people don’t even have to leave the house to have fun,” she said. “From friends’ retreats to graduation parties, everyone we’ve talked to has said they love the place and the location.”

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F e a t u r e d H o m e N u nn

Lake home, atmosphere Transplants design perfect retirement, entertaining space


hough career and home were in other states, so were long, snowy winters. So while Ellis and Sharon Nunn worked at their successful architecture business in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, they chose to build a vacation lake home in

Oklahoma that also would become a peaceful oasis in their retirement. It isn’t a surprise they chose Oklahoma, considering Ellis was stationed at Tinker Air Force Base during the Vietnam War, and soon fell in love with the state’s much milder temperatures.

By Wendy Burton • Photos by Mandy Corbell


Summer Edition 2019

Ellis and Sharon Nunn, who owned a successful architecture firm in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, brought their mountain-style design to Oklahoma for their second home near Lake Eufaula.

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F e a t u r e d H o m e N u nn

The back of the Nunn’s two-story home features large decks to enjoy the lake view year-round. Sharon and Ellis Nunn love the warm weather in Oklahoma, so they chose to build a second home near Lake Eufaula to enjoy in their retirement.

The back deck is a perfect lounging area for friendly gettogethers when the weather is beautiful and often affords the couple a view of wildlife, too.

“It’s pretty much warm here six months of the year in Oklahoma,” Sharon said. “Which is perfect for us. We can enjoy the outdoors as much as we like here. But if we long for colder weather, we can visit our second home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.” Located on the east side of Lake Eufaula, their Oklahoma abode reflects their love of the outdoors and their years of experience designing multimillion dollar mountain-style retreats from Wyoming


Summer Edition 2019

It was a lot of fun “ to put together all the

mountain decorations in an Oklahoma lake home. — Sharon Nunn

all the way to Argentina. “It was a lot of fun to put together all the mountain decorations in an

Oklahoma lake home,” Sharon said. “Almost everything in our home came from either Jackson Hole or the surrounding area.” The house isn’t as enormous as the homes they’re well-known for creating in the past. Ellis designed it as a perfect retirement and entertaining space, with three guest bedrooms to be able to accommodate plenty of friends, an open floor plan, and rolling lawns covered in mature oaks all the way down to the

The view off the back of the Nunn family’s property is all water, trees and blue skies.

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F e a t u r e d H o m e N u nn

ABOVE: The landing above the living room offers an expansive view of the family’s comfortable living room area. The rock in the 28-foot high fireplace was handselected by the couple.

The couple uses abundant mountain, fishing and hunting themes throughout their decor.


Summer Edition 2019

BELOW: The wood throughout the house is knotty pine, including the staircase, window frames and cabinetry. The floors are reclaimed hickory.

LEFT: The kitchen features knotty pine cabinets, a kitchen island and a breakfast bar with granite countertops.

BELOW: The Nunns utilized ample windows throughout the design to afford views of the lake from nearly every room in the house.

The Nunns’ love of the mountain-retreat style is included in the entertaining areas.

water’s edge. The 3,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bath home sits on an acre of land and is designed in a rustic, mountain-style inside, but built to withstand Oklahoma weather extremes on the outside. “It has a steel and stone exterior, with pre-finished, rolled-steel siding so the woodpeckers and squirrels can’t chew on it, hail won’t damage it and you don’t have to paint it,” Ellis said. “And all the exterior walls are 2-by-6 build to allow for more insulation.” So when guests enter the home, they

We hand-selected the “ stone for our fireplaces from southeastern Oklahoma. ” — Ellis Nunn

may be surprised to find themselves feeling much like they’re visiting a mountain retreat, replete with stone, knotty pine and mountain-style decor throughout. The main entrance opens onto a twostory living area with a soaring ceiling,

28-foot rock fireplace, and large windows offering gorgeous views of the lake outside their back door. “We hand-selected the stone for our fireplaces from southeastern Oklahoma,” Ellis said. “The stone is dry-stacked, meaning there is no visible mortar.” The couple has decorated with natural wood furniture, deer antler accessories, fishing poles hanging on the walls, and colorful rugs on the reclaimed hickory floors made from a 100-year-old barn. The large, comfortable living room is open to the kitchen area, with a breakfast

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F e a t u r e d H o m e N u nn

The master bath includes more knotty pine cabinetry, a walk-in shower and luxurious garden tub.

The master bedroom continues the mountain-style decor and features access to a large, upstairs deck.


Summer Edition 2019

The master bath is spacious and well-lit by generous windows.

bar featuring a farmhouse sink, builtin butcher block, granite countertops and ample storage. Stainless-steel appliances, a roomy kitchen island, underthe-counter ice maker, wine rack, double-oven and six-burner gas range make it a perfect place to whip up a meal for guests any time. All of the cabinetry in the home, including built-ins on either side of the fireplace, are made from knotty pine, made in Idaho. “The kitchen granite came from a factory back east and had to be unloaded by our heat and air people. Obviously it was the first time they ever volunteered to do something like that,” Sharon said, and laughed. “The aluminum-clad wood windows took the installer twice as long as usual because they were very, very heavy.” Each bathroom in the home is unique, something Sharon wanted, she said. The guest bath downstairs has a hand-painted Kohler sink with Mallard ducks, plaid wallpaper, tumbled marble tile on the counters and plenty of wood

ABOVE: One guest room highlights Sharon Nunn’s love of horses. BELOW: A second guest room includes a spacious, attached bathroom and another large, upstairs deck.

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F e a t u r e d H o m e N u nn trim and cabinetry. Upstairs, the master bath features a walk-in shower, walk-in closet, double vanity and spacious Jacuzzi tub for relaxing next to a window with a view. In fact, almost every room in the house has a view of the lake, Ellis said, something that was done by design, along with the three decks across the back, one lower and two upper. Guest rooms feature natural log beds and different themes, from cowboys to airplanes, and the master is no exception. Ellis also has a hobby room where he can work on model airplanes and where he displays memorabilia from his military days, exotic travels and architecture career. “Deciding to build a home here has been one of the best decisions of our lives,” Sharon said. “But living and working in Jackson Hole enabled us to build a mountainhome atmosphere here in Oklahoma, which was a lot of fun to create.”


Summer Edition 2019

Ellis Nunn’s hobby room is a comfortable place, filled with memorabilia.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Daw k ins

Massive windows and a row of chairs give Dawkins’ visitors a spectacular view of Lake Eufaula. The Dawkins host more than 40 “close friends” for Independence Day fun.


Summer Edition 2019


hosts Big fun for visitors Lake Eufaula log cabin built with entertainment focus


erry and Rosie Dawkins’ Lake Eufaula log cabin is big enough to house Mickey Mouse and friends, plus Snow White and all Seven Dwarfs. The retreat features six bathrooms and seven bedrooms. Rosie Dawkins said she gives each bunk and each bedroom a Disney character name so she’ll know where each visitor is sleeping.

By Cathy Spaulding Photos by Mandy Corbell

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Daw k ins Jerry and Rosie Dawkins’ Lake Eufaula retreat stretches wide on their property.

The playground set features a deck for lake viewing and a twisty slide.

Back porch diners can enjoy a quiet sunset by the lake.

Jerry Dawkins said they designed the house for entertaining. “We have family retreats here. We’ve had weddings here,” he said. “It was more for family get-togethers, church retreats.” They also host a Fourth of July celebration for family and really close friends — “usually about 43,” Rosie said. The Dawkins, who live in Oklahoma City, wanted a lakeside retreat. They chose Eufaula because it is closer to OKC than Lake Tenkiller. They built the house in three different sections. The main house was built in 2000,


Summer Edition 2019

the barn in 2003. The two buildings were tied together in 2015. Wyoming architect Ellis Nunn, who specializes in log structures, designed the remodeling, Jerry said. When we looked at combining the two buildings together with the part in the middle, my son sent a deal out to different log builders to see who could do it,” Jerry said. “Only one we got a response from was Ellis Nunn, and he built the Bass Pro Shops and he built Jimmy Stewart’s house. He never built anything under $5 million.” It turns out that Nunn has a place on

Lake Eufaula and was more than happy to oblige. A row of red rocking chairs greet visitors from a broad front porch. The front lawn features a tree swing and a hammock. A row of Adirondack chairs and rockers on a side patio look onto the lake. The side patio also features a fire pit, hot tub and children’s playground. Inside, the main living area reaches two stories with a steep, vaulted ceiling. Thick beams and logs offer support. Visitors can view the lake through two stories of windows. A nook under the stairs features a

mini soda fountain filled with Coke, Dr. Pepper, or other soft drinks, A beer keg and tap fits inside a closet. Rosie said she especially enjoys the island kitchen with a dark granite countertop. A computerized TV monitor over the sink allows Rosie to check on people outside or in other rooms. A dining area features a round table with a lazy Susan in the middle. A bay window gives a multi-angle view of the lake. Baskets brimming with snacks are on the counter. Visitors can play foosball, pinball, air ABOVE: The Dawkins’ game room features foosball, air hockey and old-style pinball. BELOW: Jerry and Rosie Dawkins enjoy sharing their Lake Eufaula retreat with family and friends.

Only one we got a “ response from was Ellis

Nunn, and he built the Bass Pro Shops and he built Jimmy Stewart’s house. He never built anything under $5 million. —Jerry Dawkins

hockey, video games or videos in a game room. A “cold pantry” off the game room features a double-size refrigerator, a freezer and a restaurant-style ice machine. The first floor also features a guest bedroom and the Dawkins’ bedroom. Rosie said they don’t have a master suite. The Dawkins built a knotty pine paneled piazza between the house and barn. Lake breezes can pass through screen doors on each side. One side has a garage door opening. The other has a broad, four-part sliding door, almost as wide as the room.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Daw k ins

An open air “piazza” features an outdoor kitchen, complete with a Saber grille and snowcone machine.

ABOVE: The Dawkins’ retreat has seven bedrooms, most packed with bunkbeds named for Disney characters. RIGHT: The “Snow White” room features a bed tucked into a dormer.

Skis, wakeboards, paddleboards and ropes, plus dozens of life vests of various sizes, hang along one wall. An outdoor kitchen, with a Saber grill lines the other wall. The grill features a griddle, flame grill and hot plate. Jerry said he likes to cook hot dogs, burgers and bacon out there. Cushioned stools surround a bar made of wood and concrete with stone veneer. Rosie said the wood pattern on the bar’s countertop resembles a water ski. “The most important thing in here is the snow cone machine,” she said.


Summer Edition 2019

During fall, visitors watch football on a big movie screen that lowers from the ceiling. A projector is mounted on the ceiling. “The kids can watch movies out here,” Rosie said. A family of wooden bears huddles by the stairs leading to the second floor. The bannisters are made of pine logs that are way too ruddy for sliding. The Seven Dwarfs’ room, of course, features seven bunks, each with a dwarf ’s name. The Snow White room features a full-sized bed tucked into a dormer. The Dawkins’ grandchildren sleep in the

“It’s a Small World,” room. Built-in steps lead to each bed. Each bed has its own light and fan. Even more bunkbeds are in a room over the barn. A second-floor gathering area features a double chaise lounge, a church pew and wicker seats. There’s also an antique nut and bolt case, a hexagonal set of tiny wooden drawers. Each drawer has a ceramic knob and a number designating the size of nut or bolt inside. Rosie said they found the case at a hardware store. The room opens onto the gazebo’s

ABOVE: A round dining table features a lazy Susan in the center.

A balcony and a bay window give the dining area a sense of space.

LEFT; A cold pantry features a double refrigerator and freezer.

A second-floor gathering place focuses on viewing the lake.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Daw k ins

Thick wood beams and log walls make the living room feel cozy, while twostories of windows add natural light.

second floor, where Adirondack lounge chairs look onto the lake. All the main windows look toward the north, the lake. In the distance, “Crocodile Island” pokes in from the west. Rosie said people like to ski on that side because it’s protected from the wind. The property also features a dock. Jerry


Summer Edition 2019

said an eagle likes to roost in a nearby dead tree each in January and February. A sandy beach reaches toward the west. Rosie said visitors play volleyball or soccer, even enjoy inflatable bounce houses, on a grassy expanse between the lake and house. “We have four shower heads for kids to wash their feet, muck and whatever off,” she

said. “They think it’s fun.” She said she loves the retreat because it’s a place “all our kids love to come to, so we’re always together.” Jerry added, “This is our magnet.” “That’s why we always make everything for the kids,” he said. “So they want to come here.”

The kitchen offers lots of space for the Dawkins’ visitors to serve themselves.

RIGHT: A cubby under the stairs features wine racks, a soda fountain and (inside the cabinet) a beer keg.

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Fort Gibson O k l a h o m a ’ s O l d e s t To w n

Rich In History


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Fort Gibson O k l a h o m a ’ s O l d e s t To w n

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Ol shen

Cooling off



Family builds luxurious pool to relax with family, friends


arm laughter, cheerful voices and tinkling splashes punctuate the hot, June air around Michelle and Dr. Andrew Olshen’s poolside gathering as the couple relaxes in the shade and talks about their

mutual vision of inevitably hot Oklahoma weather. “It’s hot six months of the year here,” says Michelle, who like Andrew is a New Jersey transplant. “We wanted to have a great place to have friends over, relax, cool down in the pool, have a few drinks.”

By Wendy Burton • Photos by Mandy Corbell


Summer Edition 2019

The Olshen family’s beautiful pool area began with a can of spray paint, which became a beautiful oasis for family and friends.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Ol shen Fiesta Pools designed a water feature for the Olshen’s pool, which Michelle accented with tiny flowers planted here and there.

So two years ago, Andrew took the first step in seeing the family’s, including their 13-year-old daughter Breyanna Ullmann’s, dreams come to fruition. “I called Fiesta Pools in Tulsa,” he says. “They had installed a pool at a former home of mine in Honor Heights, and I was extremely happy with their work.” Then the couple begin looking for a

was too big of a project “forItrenovators and too small for house builders. ” — Andrew Olshen

contractor to do the rest: a large brick garage (Andrew makes his own beer) and covered patio. The couple plans to also add an air-conditioned lounge area and bathroom in the future. “We call it the ‘Barage,’” Michelle says. “It’s for beer, boats and bikes,” Andrew says.


Summer Edition 2019

Dr. Andrew Olshen, left, Michelle Olshen and daughter wanted a perfect outdoor entertaining spot for family and friends to spend time together.

One of the Olshen family’s guests cuddles their puppy while dipping his toes in the water.

The search for a contractor, however, proved difficult. “It was too big of a project for renovators and too small for house builders,” Andrew says. “Fortunately, the people at Fiesta Pools helped us find Emmons Construction.” Planning the pool proved a little difficult, given the family’s yard features 30-feet of retaining wall that had to be taken into consideration. “The pool contractor handed me a can of spray paint,” Michelle says. So Michelle sprayed out her dream, free-form pool. “And he said, ‘Oh. Maybe not that.’ But he did help us get the right design,” Andrew says, laughing. The pool turned out beautifully, with a tanning ledge and umbrella on one end and 5 1/2-foot depth on the other, a rock garden Michelle added colorful succulents to here and there, and a waterfall. They chose CoolDeck, a composite decking that looks remarkably like real pebbles to surround the pool and for

The family’s pool features a shallow end with a tanning deck for those looking to soak up the sun, and a colorful umbrella for shade nearby.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Ol shen

The outdoor lounge area features wicker furniture and a hidden fire pit.

ABOVE: Michelle Olshen has tucked whimsical sculptures around her garden.

RIGHT: Michelle Olshen served a Caprese salad, hummus and pita chips, chips and salsa and her signature Bitter Betty for the family’s guests.

ABOVE: The lounge chairs and umbrellas around the pool area came from Wayfair. RIGHT: Michelle Olshen included a “New Jersey birdhouse” in honor of her and her husband’s roots.


Summer Edition 2019

the shady entertaining area. Jim Alshi of Fort Gibson did the landscaping, filling gardens with green shrubbery, silvery trees and vibrant flowers. Michelle added whimsical statues of frolicking kittens, butterflies and even a flamingo wearing shades among the plants and flowers, giving the family’s yard a personal touch. They placed comfy loungers and umbrellas around

The family’s guests gather around the outdoor bar for drinks and snacks when they aren’t splashing in the pool.

She loves flowers and will “ pretty much place them on every surface that doesn’t move. ” — Andrew Olshen

the deck, featuring chocolate-brown wicker and vivid, turquoise cushions. Under the patio overhang is a large seating area on one side with the same vibrant colors and a hidden fire pit in the center by Jack Wills in Tulsa. The other side is clearly the center of every party, featuring an outdoor bar and stools where all the visitors definitely gather when not in the pool. All of the furniture came from Wayfair, Michelle says, with the umbrellas, throw pillows and a brightly-hued rag rug purchased at At Home in Tulsa.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Ol shen

One of the challenges of putting a pool in the Olshen’s backyard included the steep drop on the back of the property.


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Michelle Olshen loves flowers and uses them abundantly in her outdoor decor.

Pots of flowers are featured everywhere, thanks to Michelle, Andrew says. “She loves flowers and will pretty much place them on every surface that doesn’t move,” he said. With all the right amenities in place, the family only has to add a few things to commence their summer fun: snacks, drinks and friends. “Today we made a Caprese salad, hummus and pita chips, and chips and salsa,” Michelle said. “Oh and I made my signature drink — a Bitter Betty.” The frozen concoction of citrus vodka, limoncello and sour mix, along with the snacks are clearly a hit, as their guests gather around the bar, clearly having a good time. “We wanted a place where whenever anybody calls and says, ‘Hey. What are you doing? Can we come over?’ we could say, ‘Come on over!’” Michelle says. “We love to entertain and it’s just a great place to do it.”

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Wil li a ms

Lovingly family built for

Couple builds house perfect for gatherings, plans further improvements


amily is everything; everything else is just ... everything else, proclaims a sign in the home of Paula and Rick Williams, a family who has made it through some truly terrible times but has kept their faith and spirit intact. Their home, perched high above the Arkansas

River with a breathtaking view of eagles’ nests, farmers’ fields and blue skies, is a testament to their faith and love of family. Paula and Rick relocated to Muskogee from Arkansas for their jobs with Georgia-Pacific. When they first arrived, they put all their belongings in storage from the home where they raised three children.

By Wendy Burton • Photos by Mandy Corbell


Summer Edition 2019

Paula and Rick Williams’ home, perched high above the Arkansas River, is a haven for friends and family.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Wil li a ms Paula and Rick Williams enjoy their back deck overlooking the Arkansas River.

“We didn’t have much, two lawn chairs and a mattress for a while,” Rick said, and laughed. “But that’s okay.” “We were. We were okay,” Paula said. The couple lost their oldest son, Drew, six years ago, and wanted a home their remaining children and grandchildren could fall in love with, too. “When our son died, it just about killed us, too,” Paula said. “So I just know, I just know that family is so important and you can never take it for granted.” So they found the lot on a ridge above the river, decided to build a home and contacted Louie Slape to bring the dream to fruition. The house, which they moved into in January 2018, is perfect for family gatherings, with plans to make it even more so, they said. The 2,800-square-foot house has two

Eagles sometimes land in the trees close to the home’s back deck.

So I just know, I just “know that family is so

important and you can never take it for granted. — Paula Williams

bedrooms and two bathrooms downstairs, two bedrooms and one bathroom upstairs, enormous picture windows, a grand front porch, and a deck with an amazing view. The design is entirely custom. Louie Slape and his son Isaac took the couples’ ideas, even photos from Pinterest, and gave them exactly what their hearts desired, Paula said. Elevated 257 feet above the normal river level, the view is what attracted the couple the most. “I sometimes ask myself how we got so lucky to find this spot,” Paula said. “We feel so blessed.” That elevation and the sharp drop down on the back of the property could have put a stop to their dreams, but Slape took a look and proclaimed it attainable, Rick said. The home has become a haven for the family and for plenty of friends. Rick’s mother enjoys a mother-in-law suite on the ground floor. She spends plenty of time


Summer Edition 2019

The front porch is a shady haven for enjoying lemonade on a warm day.

The Williams’ 2,800-square-foot home features four bedrooms, three bathrooms and plenty of entertaining space.

The living area features vaulted ceilings.

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Fe at u r e d Hom e Wil li a ms on the front porch with views of beautiful landscaping by Garrett Fore, and other times on the back deck enjoying the view of untouched nature, depending on the time of day, Rick said. The couple’s son is a campus minister and has brought groups of college students for a visit, a retreat of sorts. At Christmas, Rick walked down their street and invited all the neighbors over for a get-together — and they all came. They’ve built their little granddaughter a playroom of her own under the stairs.

“It all makes me so happy,” Paula said. The two-story home features a grand entrance with a wide and gently-sloped hardwood staircase. The space opens onto the living room that has a cathedral ceiling. The living room is open to the kitchen and dining room and features windows and glass doors all along the back wall. There’s a gas fireplace, built-in shelving and plenty of comfortable furniture — even lounge chairs that swivel so guests can turn and take in the view from a comfortable spot.

Decorated in light colors — mostly gray and cream, a touch of robin egg blue — the space is light and airy, uncluttered and comfortable. The flooring through most of the home is hand-scraped hickory, though the upstairs rooms have carpet, and a hall, laundry room and mud room all feature recycled brick floors in a herringbone pattern. Slape provided cabinetry throughout made to the couple’s exacting detail, with ceiling-high cabinets, drawers for pots and pans, a slide-out spice cabinet, and a kitchen

The well-organized, oversized pantry is connected to the garage for easy grocery unloading.


Summer Edition 2019

The arched doorway into the pantry is a favorite feature.

The couple chose an open floor plan for the main living areas.

ABOVE: The home’s entryway is bright and welcoming. RIGHT: The dining room table was built from reclaimed wood by Bill and his son. Green Country Living


Fe at u r e d Hom e Wil li a ms island with farmhouse sink and quartzite countertops. A side-by-side refrigerator with drawer-style freezer, underthe-counter ice maker, built in double oven, and a pot-filling faucet right over the gas range makes cooking and entertaining simple. The enormous pantry has a garage entrance to make bringing in groceries easier, and lots of drawers and shelving for storage. Paula said her daughter Lindsay helped her with everything from the lighting to the floors, and with decorating. Before the building even started they went to Architectural Salvage by Ri-Jo in Mena, Arkansas, and found doors they loved and were determined to incorporate into their design. One, with a charming arched top, was turned into a sliding door. It was dated from 19101925 and came out of a house in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Paula


Summer Edition 2019

said. “Louie even built the arched doorway to match, and I just love that detail,” she said. Doors into the couple’s master bath came from Pine Bluff, as well, and the 7-foot-high doors from the 1880s at first didn’t seem possible to use, but Slape made it work, Rick said. The kitchen table is built by Rick and his son, Pierce. The 1912 wood came from the home of the 26th governor of Arkansas, Thomas McRae, Rick said. Other special touches include a wicker couch with cushions over 100 years old that belonged to Paula’s great-grandmother. She had the cushions recovered at Thayer Upholstery, and then, because the piece is so important to her, screened in a portion of the back deck to create a weather-protected, mosquitofree space for the family to enjoy and where the couch can

ABOVE: One guest room features dormer windows. BELOW: The master bedroom is a peaceful oasis.

ABOVE: The couple’s master bath includes a large, walk-in shower and his-and-her walk-in closets. BELOW: The master bath also features a luxurious free-standing tub.

be used with no fear of water damage. A mahogany hutch in the dining room was custom made in South America, another piece that Paula loves dearly. Much of the art hanging on the walls commemorates much-loved family trips and much-loved family — including an angel painting done by a dear friend who had also lost a son. In the corner, she painted “D” with a tiny heart. A watercolor of the son they lost holds pride of place, too, painted by another dear friend. Rick and Paula are happy with their lovely home but said they plan to do even more. There will be a zipline someday and a treehouse for the grandkids. They’re even considering turning one guest room into a bunkroom of sorts

for those grandkids. They’d like to terrace and landscape the back of the property, and Rick has already had a foundation put in for what he says will be a shop with “a man room, a place to store hunting gear, a back porch with a grill and storage upstairs.” “Some people ask if building the house wasn’t too stressful,” Rick, who wrote the family’s favorite Bible scriptures above every door in the home before the walls were painted, said. “But I tell you, it really wasn’t. Plus, Paula battled breast cancer about a year after our son passed, so no, this wasn’t that stressful.” “It’s true, but we’re good, and that’s what losing a son will do to you. I feel like God blessed us with this home,” Paula said. “I just feel so blessed.”

The second guest room upstairs includes a daybed and plenty of space for grandkids to play. Green Country Living


Fe at u r e d Hom e Wil li a ms




Summer Edition 2019



Green Country Living


Beyond The Listing

F E A T U R E S »» ADDRESS: 428 Falcon Drive, Eufaula. »» ASKING PRICE: $399,000. »» SQUARE FOOTAGE: 4,024 square feet. »» BEDROOMS: 4. »» BATHROOMS: 4. »» HEATING AND COOLING: Forced air heat/central air. »» APPLIANCES: Dishwasher, dryer, 54

Summer Edition 2019

range / oven, refrigerator, washer. »» FLOORS: Carpet, hardwood, laminate, tile. »» OTHER FEATURES: Lake views; 1.44 acres; master suite with fireplace, sunroom, large walk-in closet, bathroom with jetted tub, double vanity and a separate shower; two dining areas, large utility room, an additional sunroom, and the

living space has a woodburning fireplace; breezeway attaches the main home to the oversized 3 car garage with upstairs apartment. Garage has three overhead doors on the front and one overhead door on the back; two boat slips, one of which has a lift; 2 miles off U.S. 69. »» INFORMATION: Keller Williams Realtor Lynn Newton, (918) 852-9622.

The home for sale on Falcon Drive sprawls across more than an acre, features a pond, and slip access to the largest man-made lake in Oklahoma, Lake Eufaula.

S p r aw l i n g h o m e

sleeps27 4,000-square-foot Falcon Drive house sports apartment and three-car garage


hen you turn onto Falcon Drive from Oklahoma 9 East, the first thought that comes to mind isn’t luxury homes, but good fishing spots. The former thought returns quickly though, and one of the first homes you see sits at 428 Falcon Drive.

The 4,000-square-foot home rests comfortably on 1.4 acres, most of which you traverse before arriving at the front door. A shared pond can be overlooked from the front porch, and a three-car garage with a fullyfurnished apartment gives ample space for parking as well as additional guests.

By Travis Sloat • Photos by Mandy Corbell

Green Country Living


Beyond The Listing Willie Bright, former neighbor of the property, said she and her husband thought the neighborhood and the home were great places to live. “The owners will come down and bring tons of people, and everyone is comfortable,” Bright said. “She hosted so many New Year’s parties, Fourth of July parties, all of them. They’ll bring their Sunday school group, their family, and there are so many sleeping options.” Lynn Newton, the Realtor the property is listed with, said she’s been told the house will comfortably sleep 27 people. Walking in the beveled-glass front doors, a formal dining area sits immediately to the right, and stairs to the second floor are on the left. Rounded archways transition you from room to room, and the living area is a cozy place to gather with a view out of the back of the home that is anything but cozy. Natural light pours through the wall that seems to be made entirely of glass, and the lake and tree line can be seen beyond. However, if the sunlight ever becomes too much, there are sun-dampening shades which can be drawn down to provide a cooler, albeit less panoramic experience. Newton said the home was well appointed, but the future owner may want to paint the interior a cooler color than its current pale yellow. “All of the treatments are very well


Summer Edition 2019

LEFT: This view from the pond in front of the home shows the potential buyer just how expansive it is, offering space enough to sleep 27 people.

BELOW: The home comes with two slips in this private dock, giving access to store boats and fish.

The living area in the home sacrifices some size in order to accommodate the spaciousness of other rooms, but it is furnished with a fireplace and plenty of seating.

done,” she said. “There is canned lighting, hardwood flooring, and the baseboards are larger than you’d normally expect. They spent a lot of time on some of the little things, which makes it luxurious.” Just off the living area, a breakfast nook and sunroom give guests the opportunity to pop in for a bite to eat before curling up on the couch to read or nap in the natural light. The kitchen is spacious and features granite countertops and a fixed island, all of which give the new owner the opportunity to provide meals and snacks for the many visitors they’re sure to have. “It’s a nice shape,” Newton said about the kitchen. “It would be fun to cook in here.” Leaving the kitchen transitions you from hardwood to ceramic tile floors, a laundry room, and a half bath. Walking back through the living area and to the other side of the bottom floor will get you to the master bedroom and bathroom, both of which are enormous. The master bedroom has a fireplace and provides access to another sunroom as well as the veranda. The bathroom includes a walk-in shower and closet, an offset lavatory, and a full-size whirlpool tub with

A breakfast area is bathed in natural light.

Green Country Living


Beyond The Listing

windows allowing even more natural light into the room. Taking the stairs to the top floor showcases the efficient use of space, and houses the majority of the guest sleeping arrangements. Closets are tucked under the sloping eaves, and guest bedrooms feature sleeping arrangements bur-

good crappie “There’s fishing here, and we have good water all the time.

— Lynn Newton

rowed into spaces normally reserved for unused furniture. “These are really neat,” Newton said, referring to the extra sleeping space. “It’s such a fun place for a family to stay.” Pale yellows and greens make up the majority of the top floor, but one thing that is carried


Summer Edition 2019

ABOVE: The dining room gives a different view than the breakfast area, but is still very well-lit and roomy.

RIGHT” After passing through the beveled glass front doors, the home still keeps some of its space hidden from view. But step through the hall, and it is revealed.

The kitchen sports granite countertops and a fixed island, which allows the buyer plenty of room to prepare meals for those they entertain.

A large master bathroom is, like most rooms in the house, well-lit, and it offers a standalone tub and separate shower.

ABOVE: The master bedroom sports a fireplace and an offset reading room that will sleep a few people in a pinch.

LEFT: The reading room just off the master bedroom is comfortable and can give the reader as much or as little light as they need.

over from the first floor is plenty of light, with windows placed so strategically that one begins to wonder if light switches were even necessary. A Jack-and-Jill bathroom splits the two bedrooms on the north side of the upper floor, and on the south side there is another guest bedroom with its own bath. Sloping eaves again make for spare bedroom, closet, and sleeping spaces, with each efficiently yet roomily considered. Stepping out of the north door onto the patio, the lake beckons, only a short gravel road separating the new owner from the dock below and the slips therein. When it comes to those amenities, Bright had only good things to say about the dock and the slips included

Green Country Living


Beyond The Listing

The walk-in closets in the home are expansive and make very efficient use of design space.


Summer Edition 2019

with the home. “There’s good crappie fishing here, and we have good water all the time,” she said. “The way the dock is made, it never gets too much or too little water.” However, the three-car garage also awaits, which looks deceptively empty upon first glance. Walking up the stairs however, you can see the efficiency used in the main home has carried over into the fully-furnished apartment which also sleeps several. The living area is ample and is tied to the dining room and kitchen. Just off of the living area is the bedroom, which features a full-size walk-in closet. Newton said the entire area would make a great “man cave.” “Or you could have a family come stay and never actually be in the main house,” she said. “The whole house is absolutely gorgeous. Someone is going to love living here.” Those interested in purchasing the home can find the listing with KellerWilliams Realty, under Lynn Newton. In addition to the main home, a fully furnished and livable apartment also is included.

Green Country Living


A r t o f T h e M a tt e r


Summer Edition 2019

Eufaula potter Bob Carder blows into one of his pieces — a clay nest of working horns all connected to one mouthpiece.

Molded by hand Eufaula potter shares creativity, craftsmanship


ob Carder carefully lifts one of his pottery pieces — a complex set of horns twisting around each other — off the table, and places his lips against a rudimentary mouthpiece. When he blows, the

resulting blare erupts from all of the horns at once. It’s not a perfect sound, but the fact that it works at all is a show of Carder’s craftsmanship. “People love this one,” Carder says, placing the piece back on the table. “They love that it actually works.”

By Chesley Oxendine

Green Country Living


A r t Of t he M at t e r The horns sit among a set of other pieces Carder has laid out across a table in his workshop: flat plates textured and colored to look like landscapes, glazed mugs, ornate platters. A kiln full of plates and bowls sits near the back of the shop, while a well-used clay mixer sits near the front. On every shelf rests a piece of pottery, a bucket of paint, or a textbook about pottery. It’s obvious the workshop is dedicated almost wholly to that particular craft. Carder stops by one shelf to admire a set of mugs featuring exaggerated hats, noses and mustaches. He grins as he picks one up to examine it. “These remind me of the fishermen I see around Lake Eufaula,” he jokes. Other pieces stem from Carder’s days as a student, like the pitcher he produces from another shelf elsewhere in the workshop. It’s a piece that shouldn’t have survived, Carder


Summer Edition 2019

Many of Carder’s pieces, like this vase, are on display at the Eufaula Area Arts Council Space on Main Street.

Carder’s work spans multiple forms, including everything from platters and bowls to more abstract work, like landscape flats and horns.

said, after his teacher — famed Italian potter Angelo Garzio — demanded he destroy it and 20 other pitchers he’d crafted. They weren’t good, Garzio had said. “I ended up keeping it,” Carder says, regarding the pitcher’s uneven lip and smooth, pale surface. “I didn’t want to throw it away.” Carder cites Garzio as one of the many influences that brought him to his love of working with clay. “He was an absolute master. He’s had a huge, just huge influence on me and

is a great way “Teaching to make money while you make a living. ” — Bob Carder

everything I’ve done in my life,” Carder said. Others included his time in the Air Force as an air-to-air missile technician, which allowed him to see how pottery was done in other countries, like Korea

and Japan. “There was one place in Korea that let me see their whole operation,” Carder said. “It was incredible.” Carder’s career moved from the military to teaching, where he taught pottery in high school and community college classes for 10 years. “Teaching is a great way to make money while you make a living,” Carder said. “You teach during the week and go to art shows on the weekends.” After his teaching career, a job selling chemicals brought him back to

Green Country Living


A r t Of t he M at t e r

Carder inspects a newer piece in progress on a shelf in his workshop. Many of Carder’s pieces have unusual textures, such as the wheat on the Oklahoma mug, the fish scales on this mirror, the rough sides of this vase, or the “wood” on these landscape flats.


Summer Edition 2019

Carder stacks some of his finished works inside a recently acquired kiln in his backyard workshop.

Oklahoma, where he retired. Carder now lives in Eufaula. As a matter of fact, the Eufaula Area Arts Council’s space serves as one of Carder’s primary outlets for selling his work. The little space on Main Street has an entire section devoted to Carder’s work. A mirror hangs surrounded by iridescent, twisting “tentacles” and a flat textured to resemble fish scales. A mug that reads “Oklahoma,” with a sprig of textured wheat, sits on a nearby shelf. Carder picks up one of his pieces and examines it: a glossy vase with carefully cut-out sections near the top. “This was a good one,” he says, and places it back down.

LEFT AND ABOVE: Carder doesn’t work with clay exclusively; inside an office in his home hang two watercolor paintings.

Green Country Living


Scene & Be Seen

Symphony in the park Event featured music from Broadway musicals, jazz pieces and Dixieland at Honor Heights Park. There was also famous American marches and standard ballads. Photos by Cathy Spaulding


Summer Edition 2019

Scene & Be Seen

Salvation army Fashion Show Proceeds for the style show, silent auction and luncheon aimed to make things better for Muskogee County youth. Photos by Chesley Oxendine

Kelly B. Todd’s Night in the Tropics A Night in the Tropics marked ninth year of fundraiser. Proceeds benefited local and area children with special needs. Photos by Cathy Spaulding


Summer Edition 2019

Scene & Be Seen

Women’s leadership Conference The event, in its 15th year, was designed to uplift and keep young women climbing the business ladder. Photos by Cathy Spaulding


Summer Edition 2019

Party in the Park Muskogee Rotary Club ‘turns wine into water’ at fundraiser to provide clean drinking water in developing countries where water is unavailable or unclean. Photos by Cathy Spaulding

Green Country Living


Scene & Be Seen

The Gallery Ribbon Cutting, Open house The Gallery, A Custom Portrait and Commercial Photography Studio, is a space shared by three photography businesses: Mandy Lynn Portrait Artist, Kimberly Smith and Tony Corbell. Photos by Mandy Corbell

On The Menu Guide To Area Restaurants


Summer Edition 2019

On The Menu Guide To Area Restaurants

Green Country Living


Food & Drink Cook’s Pantry

‘Baking something special’


ufaula businessman After completing college, Andy Andy Stinebrickner worked for a corporation in rural knows his way around Louisiana. His two teenage daughthe kitchen. His first ters needed something to do, so job in high school was at Dunkin’ Andy and his wife purchased a SubDonuts in his hometown of way franchise where the girls Beaumont, Texas. Such was his worked part-time through high love for baking that when he got The Cook’s Pantry school. In addition to enjoying out of the Air Force in 1976 he cooking, Andy loved being an Melony Carey talked his parents into staking entrepreneur. He pursued an him in his first business, a bakery where his MBA at Centenary College in Shreveport Italian grandmother put the finishing touches and focused on entrepreneurship. His mason his baking education. His motto, “Baking ter’s thesis was, of course, how to start a bakSomething Special.” ery from the ground up.

Photos by Angela Jackson & Melony Carey


Summer Edition 2019

Andy enjoys cooking and entertaining for family, friends, and groups. Here he toasts with wife, Dianne, and friends Annette and Glenna.

“The fun of the business aspect is starting it,” Andy said. “I enjoy the challenge of problem solving. As for the cooking, it’s how I show my love for people.” While employed as a human resources manager, Andy had many opportunities to entertain and reward crews for safety and production records. He did everything from grilling steaks and having crawfish boils to steaming tamales. “Having the management cook was a way to let employees know we appreciated them,” Andy said. “I made sure we cooked quality meals for our people. Rib-eyes, Cornish game hens for 1,800 employees. That was a service that made people feel valued.” Today, cooking is not a money-making proposition for Andy. On the contrary, because of his generous and philanthropic outlook, he can often be found cooking for large community events, such as the artists’ brunch during the Lake Eufaula Arts Festival held in October. Area restaurants and organizations, such as the Stuffed Olive or VFW, supply the commercial kitchen for Andy’s volunteer cooking. The foundation for Andy’s culinary fervor stems from his large, close-knit Italian family. Sunday gatherings at his grandfather’s home were mandatory. Family traditions and connections were made while the men of the family played cards, the ladies visited, and the cousins played together. Traditional foods were served, and how-to was passed down by word of mouth and demonstrations. “I can remember my grandma’s pasta drying everywhere on the kitchen cabinets,” Andy reminisced. “We did not really cook with recipes, but with traditional knowledge of the comfort foods of Southern Italy.” Andy has tried to carry on that same tradition with his children and grandchildren while working around today’s busy atmosphere. “My kids got older, and the challenge to meet on Sunday and share the week over great food became a victim of work schedules and the distance they had to move to find good jobs,” Andy said. “Having said all that, we do enjoy getting together, always in the kitchen, to cook good food and enjoy family.” Here, Andy shares some of his traditional recipes from Southern Italy with readers. A n t i pa s t o T r a y 8 ounces Asiago, thinly sliced 8 ounces provolone, thinly sliced 8 ounces Parmesan, cubed 6 ounces sliced prosciutto 8 oz. small mozzarella balls 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper 6 ounces salami, thinly sliced 3 ounces pepperoni, thinly sliced 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained 1 cup assorted olives 1/2 cup peppadew peppers 1/2 cup marcona almonds Thinly sliced homemade Italian or ciabatta bread Basil leaves for garnish

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Food & Drink Cook’s Pantry

Andy is always “baking something special,” his tagline from his bakery days. Traditional Italian cream cake provides a sweet ending to a fabulous meal.

Arrange cheeses, vegetables and bread on a large platter. Place the mozzarella in a small dish and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with red pepper flakes; place on platter. Place olives and almonds in small bowls on platter. Andy says this course is imperative in Italian dining to whet the appetite.

T h r e e C h e e s e M a n i c ot t i 1 package manicotti pasta 16 ounces ricotta cheese 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided 6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded 2 tablespoons sour cream 1/3 cup dried seasoned bread crumbs 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped Salt and pepper to taste 2 cups spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.


Summer Edition 2019

The spread at Andy’s house includes traditional foods starting with the antipasto platter and progressing on to salad, homemade Italian sausage, manicotti, and whole baked fish.

Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente, drain. In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, bread crumbs, parsley and salt and pepper to taste; mix well. In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, spray dish with non-stick cooking spray and cover bottom of dish with a thin film of spaghetti sauce. Fill each manicotti with cheese mixture and place in dish; cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top of sauce. Bake in preheated oven uncovered for 40 minutes; serve. Pesce al Forno 1 or 2 whole fish (allow 1 pound of fish per person), cleaned and scaled Fresh herbs and seasonings of choice, e.g. lemon wedges, sliced garlic, sprigs of fresh thyme, sprigs of fresh rosemary, fresh parsley

Olive oil for brushing

Preheat your oven to 420 degrees. Rinse fish inside and out and pat dry. Salt the cavity of the fish and slip a little of the herbs into slits in the fish. Rub the fish with olive oil and salt them, then lay them in a roasting pan large enough for them to lie flat, and not touching. If you are using rosemary, slip a sprig under each fish, then lay another on top, together with several thin slices of lemon and some garlic, if you’re using it. Sprinkle all with oil. Check the thickness of the fish and put them into the oven. Roast for about 10 minutes per inch of thickness; the fish will be done when the eyes are completely white and the flesh near the backbone is no longer translucent but flakes easily when prodded with a toothpick. You will probably want to turn the fish (gently) once about half-way through the roasting time. Andy notes that fish is not served as a main course, but rather as an accompaniment to the meal.

ABOVE: Andy places the basil garnish on his manicotti. His grandmother taught him to bake traditional Italian breads using unwritten recipes passed down for generations. LEFT: Pesce al forno is a traditional method of cooking a whole fish to be shared with guests. The whole rosemary combined with lemons and olive oil bring out the flavors.

H o m e ma d e I t a l i a n C r e am C a k e 1 stick salted butter, softened to room temperature 1/2 cup vegetable shortening 2 cups sugar 5 egg yolks 1 cup buttermilk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut 1 cup chopped pecans 5 beaten egg whites

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl mix together butter, shortening and sugar until smooth. Add in egg yolks one at a time, mixing with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer after each egg, until blended. In a small bowl mix together buttermilk, vanilla extract and baking soda. Add 1/2 a cup of flour at a time, and 1/4 of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat this process until all the flour and buttermilk are blended. Gently stir in the pecans, sweetened coconut, and beaten egg whites, until well blended. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Reduce heat to 225 degrees and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely. Frost with the following recipe.


1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter, softened 1 8 oz. block cream cheese, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 16 oz. box powdered sugar Shredded sweetened coconut and chopped pecans, for topping

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, stir together butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and 1/4 of the box of powdered sugar. Mix on high until smooth and add more powdered sugar. Continue this process until the box is empty and frosting is completely smooth. Frost the cooled cake and top with coconut and pecans. Refrigerate leftovers.

Green Country Living


Food & Drink Wonderful Wine

Sippin' Wonderful Wine


Heather Ezell

ummertime and the living is easy. The days are longer and warmer; the overall pace of life is slower and more relaxed. From childhood on we look forward to the dog days of summer to play, eat, drink and savor. As we move into adulthood, some of us prefer to pop corks over popsicles, although it doesn't have to be mutually exclusive. Frozen grown-up cocktails can keep you cool. However, if vino is your go-to, there are some outstanding options to quench your thirst.

Photos by Von Castor 78

Summer Edition 2019

Enjoying the sunshine calls for beverages that are light, cool and refreshing.

Green Country Living


Food & Drink Wonderful Wine Lounging in the pool. Clockwise: Randa Schell, Diane Walker, Jeff Walker, Scotty Schell, Presley Schell.


Summer Edition 2019

Occasions as well as food often dictate what is best to drink.

When the temps rise, why should kids have all of the fun? Unwrap a chilled treat for them and (with a tiny bit of prep) enjoy a frozen concoction of your own. Many classic cocktails can be prepared as usual (without ice) in a batch and divided into molds. Freeze for several hours and voila'! Sa l t y D o g Makes 4 24 oz. grapefruit juice 6 oz. vodka 2 tsp. salt

Mix together and pour into popsicle mold. Freeze for several hours.

Tom Collins Makes 4 8 oz. gin 4 oz. lemon juice 4 tsp. sugar 12 oz. club soda 4 lemon slices

Stir together the first four ingredients. Drop one lemon slice in each mold, top with mixture and freeze. Occasions as well as food often dictate what is best to drink. Floating down the river, lounging in the pool, kicking back on a patio enjoying the sunshine and conversation call for beverages that are light, cool and refreshing, as well as ones that

enhance the flavors of the season. Vinho Verde is one such example. Hailing from Portugal, this warm weather white is low in alcohol, high in acidity, a bit spritzy and a delight to drink. As a light bodied wine with high acidity, this goes well with salads of all kinds, especially those with a vinegar-based dressings, fish, fried food and chilling out. Fresh herbs and vegetables right out of the garden or the farmers market call out for Sauvignon Blanc. This distinct white has green, grassy notes along with citrus. Produced in many places around the globe, the most well known Sauv Blanc comes from Bordeaux and the Loire Valley in France as well as New Zealand,

Green Country Living


Food & Drink Wonderful Wine

LEFT: Frozen grown-up cocktails can keep you cool. Clockwise: Jeff Walker, Scotty Schell, Randa Schell, Diane Walker.

where it has a unique palatable pungency in addition to the typical flavors. Green foods like zucchini, peppers, peas, cucumbers, celery, herbs of all sorts-basil, dill cilantro and chives all mirror the green notes often found. Hard-to-pair foods such as asparagus, artichokes and lemon shine alongside this wine. Likewise chicken, fish and salad couple nicely. Another alternative is rose', also known as rose', rosado, rosato and weissherbst. It is produced in a myriad of styles all over the world. This drink screams Summer! It marries well with everything from hot dogs to shrimp and olives to fruit. It might just be the epitome of a perfect picnic wine. For heartier outdoor cooking there are a couple of standout choices that will take your meal to the next level. Zinfandel which is full of jammy, spicy and berry flavors is a natural match to barbecue and smoked meats. Next, Syrah aka Shiraz, is a "manly" wine with the savoriness of pepper, iron, smoke, black olive, leather, coffee and game. It is absolutely brilliant with grilled meats of all types. These two reds are essential to your summer shindig. Summer and all its glory begs to be relished. Whether poolside or on patios, backyard barbecues, picnics in the park, grilling, chilling, floating, swimming: wherever your indoor or outdoor activities find you, eat, drink, enjoy. Cheers!


Summer Edition 2019

BOTTOM: For heartier outdoor cooking, Syrah aka Shiraz, is a "manly" wine.

Green Country Living



Summer Edition 2019

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Green Country Living — Summer Edition 2019  

• Olshen pool features many amenities • Nunn’s lake home echoes mountain retreat • Dawkins’ log cabin features room for all in seven bedroom...

Green Country Living — Summer Edition 2019  

• Olshen pool features many amenities • Nunn’s lake home echoes mountain retreat • Dawkins’ log cabin features room for all in seven bedroom...