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May 12, 2011

Guests Say Re-Entering the Real World Can Be Tough

Recently received in our mailbox from Jane and Bob:  Re-entering the real world after being pampered at Buckhorn is an adjustment.  Thank you for another delightful visit.  We don’t need a second home in the mountains; Buckhorn is it and you take care of it for us.  We never tire of the view of Le Conte, the charm of the gardens, the multiple shades of green and the wildflowers.  The service and food are both excellent.  We are looking forward to our next trip.

Peonies Enliven Buckhorn Gardens

Peonies are my favorite cultivated flower.  And thanks to Buckhorn Inn regulars Kitty and Neil Taylor who suggested them we have several beautiful varieties–all in bloom right now.  Photograph courtesy of Buckhorn Inn regulars Billie Bethel and Walter Sina.

Cosby in the Park: A Celebration of Culture and Heritage–May 21

This annual event showcases mountain music, demonstrations, crafts, nature walks, talks, and more.   Join this celebration of culture and heritage on May 21 from 10-5 at Cosby Campground, a short, traffic-free drive from Buckhorn Inn.



May 11, 2011

Attention to Detail and Afternoon Snacks Please Guests

Recently received in our mailbox:  We wanted to write and let you know how much we enjoyed our stay at your inn.  Your attention to detail did not go unnoticed and made our visit even that more special.  We especially enjoyed the afternoon snacks.  We eagerly awaited their arrival daily and were never disappointed.  I was impressed with the sliced melon at breakfast which was divided into bite-sized pieces–perfect.  Thanks again to both you and your staff for all your efforts and hard work.  We plan to vsit again.

First Class Fine Arts Festival May 14-15


Combine fine art, a gorgeous mountain backdrop, diversity in creativity from across the nation and what do you have?  The Seventh Annual Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival!  Set at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this event showcases artists at the top of their fields.  Participating exhibitors are chosen by jury in 16 categories ranging from ceramics and glass to watercolor and woodworking; $10,000 in prizes and purchase vouchers is at stake.  For artists, the festival is a prestige event. For visitors, it’s a guaranteed opportunity to enjoy the best in fine art, a fantastic free children activity program, listening to music, and gazing at the nearby mountains.  



May 10, 2011

Tomato Bisque

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced bacon (about 1/2 ounce)
1 Spanish onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups chicken broth,  homemade or low-sodium canned
1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes (with liquid), roughly chopped
3 parsley sprigs
3 fresj thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 teaspoo n kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

 

Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crisp and most of the fat has rendered, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Lower the heat to medium, add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes.

Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the pot. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

When the soup  base is cool, remove and discard the herb bundle. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Using a sieve over a large bowl, strain the tomato puree. Return the puree to the pot and reheat over medium heat.

Whisk the heavy cream and salt into the soup and season with pepper to taste. Divide among warm soup bowls and serve immediately.

Corn Chowder

In a stock pot, sauté until tender:
3 ribs diced celery
1 diced onion
2 diced carrots
3 cloves minced garlic
¼ cup butter
 
Add:
2 qts chicken stock
2 cups diced potatoes
4 cups fresh corn sliced off the cob
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
1 tbl parsley
1 tsp black pepper
salt to taste
 

Soft boil potatoes until tender.   Thicken potatoes slightly with butter and flour roux.  Add 2 cups of heavy whipping cream.  Correct seasonings.  Serve garnished with shredded cheddar cheese and diced scallions.  Yield:  10 servings

Southern Minestrone Soup

 1      Tbl    Olive Oil
2                 Onions, chopped
1                 Carrot, chopped
1                 Stalk celery, chopped
2                 Cloves garlic, chopped
6      Cps   Water (more if needed)
¼              Medium head green cabbage, chopped
1      Can   Crushed tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
¼     LB    Green beans, trimmed and cut into ½ inch pieces
¼     LB    Fresh okra, stems trimmed, halved lengthwise
1                 Yellow squash, chopped
1                  Zucchini, chopped
2      Tbl     Chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
2      Tbl     Chopped fresh basil
½   Tsp     Red pepper flakes
½   Cup     Elbow macaroni               
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper as needed              
Olive oil for drizzling               
Parmesan Cheese for garnish


In heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil and then add onions, carrots, celery and cook until the onions are golden.   Add garlic and cook about one more minute.  Add 4 cups of the water and the cabbages.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until the mixture is flavorful and well combined—a bout 30 minutes.  Add tomatoes, bens, okra, squash, zucchini, parsley, basil and pepper flakes.  Add more water to cover by about 1 inch.  Simmer until vegetables are just tender, about 20 minutes.  Add pasta and more water if needed.  Simmer until pasta is tender, about another 10 minutes.  Adjust  seasonings.  When serving, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with grated cheese.