Watermelon-Basil Feta Salad

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     This refreshing and unexpected take on watermelon is a cinch to prepare. The salad is delicious on its own or over some spinach. Tomato, cucumber, or black olives would be welcome additions. Watermelon-Basil Feta Salad Serves 1 Ingredients 1 c. watermelon, seeded 1 tbsp. crumbled feta thinly sliced red onion, soaked in icewater for 20 min. 2 tbsp. fresh basil, chiffonade Procedure Toss ingredients together in bowl. Serve...

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Bluemade

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      Summer can be tricky when it comes to drinking. When it’s blazing out, beer is the obvious choice, but maybe it makes you feel icky or you’re just tired of it. Wine’s heavy, and brown liquor will keep you a little too warm. The Bluemade may be just the ticket!       This drink is not too sweet, not too tipsy, and scales to your volume and taste needs quite easily. It’s probably a good fit for other flavored vodkas, too. Best of all, it’s ice cold, white, and a bit fizzy. Just looking at it will take your temperature down a few degrees. Have a couple and you won’t even care how hot it is -- but enjoy responsibly, on your porch, without driving, and watch the birds. Bluemade Ingredients Blueberry vodka (Not...

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Redneck Sushi

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     This recipe began as a bargan takeoff on those pretty pinwheels you can buy in the deli, but every time I take them anywhere, someone always asks, “Is that sushi?” Thus, I have dubbed it Redneck Sushi. Feel free to customize them to your taste and experiment with the spread and toppings. Redneck SushiMakes about 24 pieces Ingredients 4 oz lowfat (American Neufchatel) cream cheese at room temperature1 tbsp. Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce1 tbsp. chopped basila few shakes of your preferred hot sauce (Tabasco or Sriracha preferred)generous amount of freshly ground pepper1 tomatospinach leavesfive fajita-sized (6-8”) flour tortillas Procedure Combine cheese, sauces, basil, and pepper and mix well. Set aside for flavors to meld. Slice sides of tomato from core and slice sides into ⅓” strips. De-stem spinach leaves. Spread about a...

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Heavy Rebel Weekender

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     My introduction to Rockabilly culture was several years ago in Raleigh, and I thought it was kind of hokey, with throwback haircuts and clothes and back-to-basics rock and roll. And then I went to Heavy Rebel Weekender for the first time, and became a convert. This annual gathering of rockers and gearheads takes place every post-July 4th weekend in downtown Winston Salem, NC, and continues to grow every year, now in its 12th iteration.      This three day congregation of some of the most interesting folks you’ll meet is “church” to many of us. It’s a place where women’s 50s updos are appreciated, where low-brow art isn’t looked down upon, where rust on your car is a badge of honor (it means you actually DRIVE it), PBR flows freely, and independent music artists...

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Tallulah Falls Opry House

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     The last time I was at the Tallulah Falls Opry House was nearly ten years ago. As we drove from Blairsville over the mountains that stand like gentlemen guardians over Northeast Georgia, there was a lingering fear that the times had changed my favorite summer event beyond recognition. Not surprisingly, however, I was reassured the moment I smelled grilling hot dogs from the highway.      Now, as then, the herald fragrance carries with it the sense of community and family that the town of Tallulah Falls, Georgia has maintained against all odds for generations.      As all good things, Tallulah Falls’ Saturday night bluegrass jams started small. Mayor Carl Seamen had a fire pit on his property in the middle of town, and folks like fire pits. Where there’s a good fire pit,...

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