Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Historic Elkmont Part 1

One hundred years ago the logging community of Elkmont in the Smoky Mountains became a vacation resort for the elite from Knoxville. Lured by hunting and fishing opportunities, the Appalachian Clubhouse was established and the Wonderland Hotel was constructed in this beautiful valley.
Plots were sold and the wealthy built cottages and cabins along the scenic Little River and Jakes Creek aka Millionaire's Row,Society Hill and Daisy Town.
The Little River Railroad offered non-stop train service from Knoxville to Elkmont on a daily basis.
In 1934 when the Great Smoky Mountain National Park was formed, the owners of these cottages were given a cash settlement or a life lease after which the cottages would be removed and the area restored to it's natural habitat. All but two leases expired in 1992 and many of the structures have deteriorated over the years, many beyond repair and the hotel collapsed in 2005.
In 1994 Elkmont was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, saving the cottages from destruction.
In recent years a debate has ensued over the fate of these structures. Some wanted them all removed, others wanted them restored. In 2009 the National Park Service decided to restore 19 of the 74 buildings.
We had hiked in this area previously and noticed a few of the cottages, especially those along the Little River Trail and wondered about them. I did some research and found out many of them are slated for removal so last year we decided to go back and get some pictures before they are torn down. We found many cabins along Jakes Creek we had not seen previously. I don't know which ones are being kept and which ones are being removed.  It's sad to see so many being torn down.  I feel this is part of the history of the Park just like Cades Cove is, just a later time frame.

I don't know all the names to these cabins and I'm not sure in which area they were but I think this one was on Millionaire's Row. There is something about this rustic cottage that really appeals to me.

 I only got a few pictures in this area and I'm saving the best one for last. It will get it's own post.
 Weeds have taken over around some of the cottages and I wasn't going to risk getting poison ivy so I only took pictures where we could easily get to.

I love these moss covered rock walls. Must have been built well to still be standing after all these years. 

The Little River....Wouldn't it be nice to have this behind your house? I can imagine kids spending their summers playing and fishing in these streams.

A little trailside waterfall on the Little River Trail.

If I remember correctly the rest of these cottages are on Society Hill except for the last one.

A few roses still bloom among the overgrown weeds. Someone probably had a beautiful garden here at one time.

The Jeffords Cabin

The W.Arnett Cabin. This was one of the nicer ones on Society Hill. Will it stay or go?? Hope this one stays.

The Levi Trentham log cabin. This cabin originally was located on up Jakes Creek and was moved here in 1932 to be used as a guest house. By the looks of this I would say this one is being restored.

The Cain Cabin

This was a children's playhouse built in 1921 known as "Adamless Eden." I'm sure there's a story behind that name. Perhaps "no boys allowed?"

The Sneed Cabin. This one looked like some work was being done on it so I assume it's staying.

The Higdon Cabin

I wish I had a photo of the Appalachian Club House. I'm not sure why I didn't get one. I vaguely remember seeing a lot of equipment around that area and restoration had begun on it. I think there might have been chain link fence around it and we just couldn't get close enough, but to date that building has been completed.Appalachian Clubhouse photo from the Mountain Press.
To be continued.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Baked Cranberry Apple Oatmeal

After stuffing myself like a turkey the last few days, I was ready for a healthy, nutritious breakfast this morning.
 This recipe is so versatile.You could make it with blueberries or raisins or whatever you like. I did a fresh peach and cranberry that was really good.
This is so much better than just plain cooked oatmeal and it smells so good while it's baking.
 You won't believe how delicious this is!

Baked Cranberry Apple Oatmeal

3 cups milk, plus more for serving if desired
 4-5 Tbsp brown sugar or to taste
 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
 1 teaspoon cinnamon
 1 teaspoon vanilla
 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
 1 large apple peeled and chopped
 3/4 cup dried cranberries
 1/2 cups chopped pecans optional
You could substitute blueberries or raisins for the dried cranberries if you like.
Preheat oven to 350.
Bring the milk,brown sugar,butter,cinnamon and vanilla just to a boil.
Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, mix together the oats, apple, cranberries and nuts if you are using them. I don't put nuts in mine.
Pour the milk mixture over the oatmeal mixture and stir to combine.
Pour into a greased 9 or 10 inch pan.
Sprinkle a little more cinnamon on top and bake uncovered 30-35 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the oatmeal is tender.
Serve with milk and brown sugar.
Note: I use less sugar in mine when I'm making it and put it on top when I eat it.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cranberry Salad

I always make the cranberry salad for my husbands side of the family for Thanksgiving. I tried different recipes over the years but after finding this one it is now my go to recipe.
I love the citrusy zing in this salad by adding orange juice concentrate. Plus that's so much easier than having to section an orange.
  Sometimes I will even add a box of orange jello instead of all red to bring out that orange flavor that I love even more.
Unlike a lot of cranberry salad recipes this one doesn't have pineapple in it, but if you like pineapple in yours go ahead and add a can.

Cranberry Salad

3 boxes (3oz) red jello. I like strawberry but any red is fine.
3 cups boiling water
1 12oz can orange juice concentrate
1 12oz package cranberries chopped
4-5 apples peeled and chopped or shredded
1-1/2 cups sugar
optional: 1 can crushed pineapple
optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans
In a bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in concentrate. Set this in refrigerator until it starts to gel.
Meanwhile combine chopped cranberries, apples and sugar. Add crushed pineapple and pecans if you are using them.
After jello mixture has started to gel add the cranberry mixture to it.
Pour into serving dish and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
I always serve this with real whipped cream on the side.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Easy Apple Dumpling

I love recipes that are super quick and easy and taste as good (or better) than recipes made from scratch that take hours to prepare. This is a recipe like that. This comes from the Pioneer Woman and I knew when I saw it, I was going to make them sometime.
But....I kept looking at all that butter in the recipe and Mt.Dew???  and told myself  "don't go there".
In the back of my mind I knew someday I was going to give in, just to satisfy my curiosity. This week I finally caved in and made them.
Am I ever glad I did. These are D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!!!

Start by wrapping a wedge of apple in a crescent roll starting at the wide end.

It should look like this. Put them in a 9x13 inch pan.

Melt butter, add sugar, barely stir then add vanilla. You don't want your sugar dissolved.
Pour this over your dumplings then pour your Mt. Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake.
It's that easy!!
Serve with ice cream.

Apple Dumplings

2 large baking apples or 3 medium. Granny Smith recommended.
2  cans Crescent Rolls (8count)
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cup sugar....I use a little less if I'm using a sweeter apple than Granny Smith.
1 teas vanilla
Cinnamon to taste
1 can Mt.Dew Soda
Peel and core apples. Cut large apples into 8 wedges or medium into 6 so you have at least 16 slices. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll starting at wide end.
Place in a 9x13 greased pan.
Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, then pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mt. Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Broccoli Corn Chowder with Bacon

I'm always on the lookout for new soup recipes to try and had a few pinned on pinterest for a while.
I had some broccoli I needed to use so this weekend I decided to make this one.
This one comes from Martha Stewart and I did make a few adaptions to the recipe and also added cheese. You can leave that out if you don't care for cheese in your soup. 

Broccoli Corn Chowder with Bacon

5 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 tsp finely minced garlic or to taste
1/3 cup flour
3 cans (14.5oz) chicken broth
2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 head broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
1 package (10oz)  frozen corn kernels
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried parsley or 1 Tbsp fresh minced
1 cup milk
2 cups shedded cheddar cheese. Reserve some for garnishing
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot cook bacon until crisp. Let bacon drain on paper towels. Cook onion and garlic in the bacon grease until it starts to soften.
Add flour, stirring constantly 30 seconds. Add broth and potatoes, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.   Add broccoli, corn, milk, thyme, and parsley. Cook until broccoli is tender about 8-10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Simmer on low heat.  Stir in cheese at the end. Don't let it boil after the cheese has been added.
Serve topped with bacon and additional cheese.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Corn and Bean Salsa

My family loves salsa and I especially love corn and bean salsa. This salsa is so delicious considering how easy it is to make.
 You can easily adapt the ingredients in this recipe to what you have on hand or to taste. I'm sure frozen corn could be used and I want to try fresh corn next year. Why didn't I think of that when it was in season??
 This keeps well for several days and I think it gets better after the flavors have blended a day or two.
It's very addictive!!!

Corn and Bean Salsa 
Drain and Rinse:
1 can white corn
1 can yellow corn
1 can black beans
1 can blackeyed peas
Dice:1 green pepper
1/2 of a red onion
1 jalapeno or hot pepper finely chopped
Mix together:
1/2 cup sugar (I use a little less)
1/4 cup dried cilantro (I use parsley)
3 Tbsp hot sauce or to taste. (I like Franks Red Hot)
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup oil
salt and pepper to taste.
Make this sweet or hot to your own liking.
Pour this over the rest of the ingredients. I think this is best if you let the flavors blend overnight.

Monday, November 7, 2011

What a difference a week makes!

I guess all good things come to an end and so it is with the fall leaf color. It was such a pretty year for them here in Serenity Cove. They just don't last long enough!! But then maybe if they did we wouldn't appreciate their beauty as much.

I love to see the contrast of pine trees against the brilliant fall colors. 

These pictures were taken about a week ago and by yesterday it looked like this.....

This is the same tree that's in the first photo. 

The area in the fourth photo.

You have to love Japanese Maples. They are slow growers so they are great in places you don't want a tall tree. This one has been here for 10 years and has spread out more than it has grown in height. I want to add more cultivars of these trees.

 Hydrangea and Summer Wine Ninebark. I can't believe how gorgeous these hydrangeas were this fall. I love it with the ninebark behind it. If you don't have a ninebark you want to get one!! They are easy to take care of and I love the colors on them. I want to get Coppertina next year if I can find one. It gets it's name from the bark which peels off revealing a new layer of bark.

I still have a few flowers in bloom due to the mild weather we have been having. I'll take this weather all winter please!!!


The Blaze Climbing Rose also keeps blooming and I saw some new buds on this today.

You had better run and hide.... You know what season it is!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ham and Cheese Sticky Buns

These sandwiches are "kicked up a notch" from your ordinary Ham and Cheese and they are so simple and easy to make.The sauce is what puts them over the top and gives them so much flavor.
These can be made ahead of time if you like and refrigerated.  Add the sauce just before baking.
So the next time you are planning a party or just need a quick easy meal give these a try.

Ham and Cheese Sticky Buns

1 dozen dinner rolls
1 lb. sliced ham
1 lb. sliced swiss or provolone cheese 
1 stick butter, melted
1 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1-2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. mustard
Cut through dinner rolls lengthwise without taking them apart and place the bottom half in a greased 9x13 pan.
Layer ham and cheese on bottom halves and cover with the top halves.
Heat sauce ingredients together. Pour sauce over rolls.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20-30 min. or heated through and cheese has melted.
 If you like them crispier take foil off the last 5 minutes.
Note: You can make these with the rolls taken apart as well. Place them close together in the pan.