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Blog > Pigeon Forge News 2015
All the kids are home and you've got a full house-- yep, it's summer break! The pool is opening and everyone is in and out all the time doing fun, summer activities.  With all the running around you're going to be doing, you're going to need some refreshments and cool you off to keep energized.

Here are our top favorite recipes for summer:

Southern Sweet Iced Tea
  • Ingredients:
    • 6 regular tea bags
    • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 cups boiling water
    • 1 ½- 2 cups sugar
    • 6 cups cold water
  • Directions:
    • In a large glass measuring cup place the tea bags and add the baking soda.
    • Pour the boiling water over the tea bags.
    • Cover and steep for 15 minutes.
    • Take out the tea bags and do not squeeze them.
    • Pour the tea mixture into a 2-quart pitcher; add sugar.
    • Stir Until the sugar is disolved.
    • Add in the cold water.
    • Let cool; chill in refrigerator and serve over ice.
Summer Corn and Bean Dip
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. veg. oil
  • 1/4 c. white vinegar
  • Heat til sugar dissolves (just beyond boiling)
  • Set aside and let cool.
  • 2 cans Blackeyed Peas (drain and rinse)
  • 1 can white Shoepeg Corn (drained)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 purple onion
  • (All cut up very small. ) (Don't do in food processor it makes it runny.
  • Mix all and pour the liquid mixture over it.

Classic Deviled Eggs
  • Ingredients:
    • 6 eggs
    • ¼ cup mayonnaise
    • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Smoked Spanish paprika OR our personal favorite, bacon bits, for garnish
  • Directions:    
    • Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with enough water that there are 1 ½ inches of water above the eggs.  Heat on high until water begins to boil, then cover, turn the heat on low, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and leave covered for 14 minutes, then rinse under cold water continuously for 1 minute.
    • Crack eggs shells and carefully peel under cool running water.  Gently dry with paper towels. Slice the egg in half lengthwise, removing yolks to a medium bowl, and placing the whites on a serving platter.  Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork.  Add mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
    • Evenly disperse heaping teaspoons of the yolk mixture into the egg whites.  Sprinkle paprika or bacon bits and serve.
  • Recipe from Mary Nolan.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad
  • Ingredients:
    • 1 pound of dried fusili/rotini pasta (or whichever pasta shape you like- bowties work well to)
    • 1 large cucumber, diced
    • 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
    • ½ red onion, diced
    • 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
    • 1 ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
    • 5 ounces hard salami, sliced into ½ -inch thick rounds and then quartered
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
    • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Direction:
    • Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box then drain well and place in a large bowl.
    • Add the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, olives, feta, and hard salami on top.
    • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
    • Pour over pasta mixture and toss well to coat.
    • Place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours (6 works best).
    • Serve chilled.

Pesto Grilled Shrimp:
  • Ingredients:
    • ½ cup basil, packed
    • 1 small clove garlic
    • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
    • 2 tablespoons parmesan, grated
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon lemon joice
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Directions:
    • Pulse the basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender until smooth.
    • Marinate shrimp in the pesto for at least 20 minutes, up to overnight, in the fridge.
    • Skewer the shrimp and grill over medium-high heat until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Heirloom Tomato Pie
  • Ingredients:
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
    • ¾ teaspoon fine salt
    • 1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½ – inch pieces
    • ¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons shredded manchego cheese
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 ¼ pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes Kosher slat
    • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    • ¼ cup mayonnaise
    • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
    • Freshly ground pepper
  • Directions:
    • Make the crust: Pulse the flour, cornmeal and fine salt in a food processor to combine. Add the butter and 3 tablespoons manchego; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with pea-size bits of butter. Drizzle in 4 tablespoons ice water and pulse until the dough comes together; add 1 more tablespoon ice water if necessary. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.
    • Put the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll into a 13-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate. Fold the overhang under itself and crimp the edges. Pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    • Line the crust with foil, then fill with dried beans. Bake until the edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking until golden all over, 10 to 15 more minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
    • Make the filling: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Meanwhile, thinly slice the tomatoes; toss with 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a colander. Let drain, gently tossing occasionally, about 30 minutes.
    • Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Combine the remaining 3/4 cup manchego, the mozzarella, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons each chives and parsley, the thyme, 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper, and the sauteed onion in a bowl. Spread in the crust. Arrange the tomatoes on top. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with pepper. Bake until the tomatoes are browned, about 50 minutes. Top with the remaining 1 tablespoon each chives and parsley.
  • Recipe from Food Network Magazine.

Whether you're cooking from a long day poolside or getting ready for big family and friends cookout, all of these recipes are great for any summer occasion! These recipes and more can be found on our Pinterest page. If you have more summer recipes, please share with us!

Get outside and get to cooking to make the most of this summer!
Posted: 5/22/2015 1:37:22 PM by Jessica Bookstaff Doppelt | with 0 comments

What do you think of when you think of moonshine? Probably multiple images pop into your head of backwoods stills and hillbillies carting it around the Appalachians. The rich tradition of moonshine dates back to the American Revolution and is still alive today.

But there are some things you probably don’t know!

Here is a list of 5 things you probably don’t know about moonshine:

  1. During the Prohibition, moonshine was also referred to as Mountain Dew.

  2. The term “moonshine” comes from the early British settlers. They used this terminology to describe things that were done at night. The nickname stuck to describe illegal activities that had to be under the cover of nightfall.

  3. Back in the bootlegging time period of the ‘20s, boys, like Cooter and Hoss, rigged their cars to be like a Nascar so they could outrun the cops while making their moonshine deliveries. Hence, Nascar was created.

  4. By marking the side of the moonshine bottle with “XXX,” this signified that it had been distilled three times. In other words, it was basically pure alcohol.

  5. Moonshine is not aged. Technically if moonshine were aged, it would almost be whiskey.

Moonshine has thick roots here in the Great Smoky Mountains. Next time you’re here visiting, make sure and try a sip and see what all the fuss is about!

Posted: 5/21/2015 6:03:25 PM by Jessica Bookstaff Doppelt | with 0 comments

Are you wanting to finally have that family reunion this year that you've been talking about for years? Or do you want to get together with a group of friends you haven't seen in a while?

Regardless of the occasion, The Great Smoky Mountains are the perfect location for a big group vacation!

Is your group on budget? Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas have so many different options to accommodate any budget to make sure you have a memorable adventure!

Here is a list of easy ways to plan a budget-friendly group vacation:

  • Go with people with the same mindset.
    • If some of the people in your group are known to be heavy spenders, make sure they are aware not everyone in the group is going to be dropping a lot of cash during the trip.  
    • Make sure everyone is on the same page!
  • Determine a budget beforehand.
    • Be realistic and set a budget everyone is comfortable with.  This will require discussions between all the group members before the trip takes place.
  • Split costs and look for deals!
    • Budget your costs as a group and look for group deals.  
    • There are countless cabin rentals in Pigeon Forge that cater to large groups for a great price!
    • Also, fill out our group form, which compiles a list of the best options for you, to make sure you know what is available.
  • Make your own food instead of going out to eat.
    • You can splurge maybe a couple nights but for the most part cook together and enjoy each others company!  Cooking can make the best memories!
    • Almost all the cabins in Pigeon Forge have full kitchens, which is perfect to plan budget-friendly meals!
  • Plan for free activities.
    • The Great Smoky Mountains are known for their beautiful views and scenery.  How else are you going to see these besides hiking?
    • There are ample amounts of hiking trails for all levels and free activities for all ages.

At the end of the day, it's all about enjoying the time you have with the people you came with! Plan and budget beforehand to make sure everyone is of the same mindset and you are sure to have a wonderful vacation here in the Smokies!
Posted: 5/21/2015 2:04:55 PM by Jessica Bookstaff Doppelt | with 0 comments

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Our stay was just what we needed. As always Pigeon Forge was perfect, with all the outdoor activities like hiking and biking to spending our nights watching the great shows! We always feel like it's home away from home. Wish we could have stayed longer!

Ann Hazelwood - Macon, GA

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