Polar Bear Claws Candy Demo at KaTom with Barbara Tenney

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It was the last holiday candy demo of 2018 at KaTom so I was looking forward to the Polar Bear Claws at KaTom with local celebrity chef, Barbara Tenney. I was running a few minutes late, but was lucky to find a seat at the counter with some more Tenney fans. Here is a pictorial tour of the Polar Bear Claws demo.

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First of all, you can buy Polar Bear Claws, but they are a little pricey. However, you can follow a recipe and make it yourself more economically.

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You can find a bag of caramel bits at Wal-mart or other food stores. I had never seen them before, but noted how much quicker they may melt in a pan. This is a good tip.

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Melt white chocolate wafers rather than chocolate itself because you will not need to use paraffin in the recipe.

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Melt the caramel and peanuts for the main part of the candy.

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Make the candy orbs.

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Next, dip into the white chocolate mixture.

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We added crushed peanuts on top and it added a salty, savory flavor. I usually do not like white chocolate, but these Polar Bear Claws were very good! Someone said that the taste reminded them of a Zero Bar.

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Voila!

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Today’s coffee selection was Capuccino. Very good too!

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Hands on helpers are always welcome in the Saturday KaTom kitchen.

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We have enjoyed the candy demos and making new friends. These are Barbara Tenney’s new fans. It was sweet fun!

I would like to see more demos in January and February. Maybe breakfast or brunch items? Soups and more! KaTom cooking classes are a fun way to be out and about in Sevierville. 

The Sweetest Thing! Caramels Demo by Barbara Tenney at KaTom.

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One of my favorite candies as a child was found in a bag of Kraft Caramels. I loved the brown ones and would search for the few chocolate ones hiding within. However, those caramels seemed a little hard and stuck to the teeth. The ones that we had last Saturday were too soft to imagine and had a wonderful buttery flavor. The caramels may have been my favorite holiday demo of them all.

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I arrived just in time to catch the demo from the beginning.

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The candy thermometer at work.

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We were ready to see how to make this candy favorite.

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The mixture starts out this color.

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When it is almost ready to pour, the mixture becomes this rich…caramel color.

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Parchment paper lining the pan is a must. Even then, be sure to butter it quite well so it will release from the pan when finished.

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Voila!

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Because the candy was so warm and soft, it was easy to cut into large bites.

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You can buy pretty wrappers from cooking supply stores to add the final touch.

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This cooking demo was kid approved!

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Some shoppers also got to try a sample caramel. They agreed it was some of the best that they had ever had.

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The nice bags made our samples look holiday ready. We took several samples home!

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Always get your picture with the celebrity chef!

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The last holiday cooking demo will be this Saturday with Barbara Tenney creating Polar Bear Claws. I am not exactly sure what they are yet, but I am positive that they will be wonderful. Arrive at 11:00 to see the whole demonstration. It is a great (free) way to get out and about in Sevierville. 

Save me a seat at the counter!

 

Truffles in the making! Barbara Tenney at KaTom.

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I had always thought that candy truffles were difficult to make—but I was wrong. The cooking demo at KaTom on Saturday proved that they could be one of the more easy holiday candies. Even better, you can make a variety of flavors. Here is how it went…

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First, there was some excitement due to an incoming weather system and the possibility of snow, a holiday surprise to come later on Sunday evening.

We looked up truffle prices online and found that this candy can be quite pricey.

 

Consequently, it can be a good idea to make your own truffles.

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The recipe is straightforward and not too difficult.

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We approve of this ingredient!

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Necessary if you want the best truffles possible.

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I arrived at the best part—scraping the chocolate mix to create the individual candies.

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Line up the candies on parchment paper before applying the coating.

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We also enjoy this ingredient.

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Time for a coffee break!

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Yes, they were wonderful with such rich flavor.

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Some of us volunteered to help with the coatings: powdered sugar, cocoa, or pecans.

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Holiday ready!

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I will say that the first bite transported me to another place. Divine!

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Voila!

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We were invited to take some samples home from the truffles demonstration so this was my reward for the drive out to KaTom. They will keep in the fridge for weeks.

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Barbara had a young fan in attendance who really enjoys cooking. I predict that Lillie may be on the Food Network some day. We enjoyed spending the session with her and her grandmother. These demos are great for children who enjoy cooking and food preparation.

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Always get your picture with the cook!

Look out for next week…

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The demo will be homemade caramels! Save me a place at the counter!

Holiday Cooking Demo at KaTom: Barbara Tenney’s Peanut Butter Fudge

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December Saturdays at KaTom will offer some holiday treats from Barbara Tenney. Tomorrow will be Divinity. Last week, some friends and I went to see the Peanut Butter Fudge demo. Here are the tips that I learned for this treat.

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First, you must always get a photo with the featured chef/ celebrity cook while at a KaTom demo. Melinda and Millie enjoyed the event and talking with Barbara. Melinda requested her birthday cake be made by Barbara last August and it was noteworthy. That would have been a great blog story !  For the record, Melinda and I have been ‘Barbara fans’ for years.

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First, I will admit to having tried fudge, usually on vacations in Charleston or other places. The fudge is usually thick and grainy and so sweet that it makes your teeth hurt. This was not that kind of fudge.

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Tip #1    One secret (that I never knew before) for the best peanut butter fudge is to use  ‘pure cane granulated’sugar.

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Tip #2   You really must use a candy thermometer.

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Barbara prefers Skippy peanut butter for her recipes.

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A good hand mixer can make a big difference in the smoothness of the fudge.

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Almost done!

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Voila!

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If you are lucky, you may get a little sample bag of the product to go. I am going to give mine to Sophia the next time that I see her.

I must say that it was the VERY BEST Fudge that I have EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. Bravo, Barbara!

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Coffee fanatics all, Melinda, Millie, and I enjoyed the coffee machine in the back. Pack a couple of dollars to try the coffee, if you like.

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Millie waiting for her latte. I wish that I had one of these machines at my workplace.

IMG_0317There are lots of things to browse in the KaTom store. You don’t just have to be a chef to go there.

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I was admiring the largest strainer that I have ever seen in my life! For the family who loves french fries.

If you are in the area, come to KaTom tomorrow and see the Divinity and try it—Barbara style. I know that it will be the best.

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It is a festive way to be out and about in Sevierville. Save us a seat at the counter!

Holiday Demos Begin at KaTom for 2018

Local cooking expert/celebrity, Barbara Tenney, gave a holiday treats demo at KaTom last Saturday. The demonstrations are kind of like ‘mini-classes.’ She will be conducting these informal demos on several Saturdays leading up to Christmas. Sophia and I slipped into the one last Saturday on how to make Peanut Brittle—and it was divine! Here is what you need to know.

  1. The demos typically last from 11:00-1:00 so you can drop in and enjoy it.
  2. The holiday treats demos are informal, so just walk in and sit at the counter to get a good view and ask questions.
  3. I try to arrive close to 11:00 so I can linger and not be in a hurry.
  4. Barbara Tenney will make the treats in front of you so there will lots of opportunities to talk and ask questions.
  5. You get a copy of the recipe.
  6. You get to sample the recipe.
  7. In some cases, you may get to take home a sample.
  8. There is a cool sale room in KaTom where you can find some kitchen treasures for super low prices.
  9. You can browse the store afterward. There are a lot of gift ideas for the holidays. I am going back to shop again for Christmas gifts.
  10. The coffee machine!

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We observed this recipe for peanut brittle and it was excellent.

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A secret: you have to use Spanish peanuts. No other kind will be as good.

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Candy thermometers are a must to get it perfect.

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You must butter a granite counter first, then pour the hot batter out to pull. It cools quickly so work fast.

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Use gloves to pull the batter as it will still be super hot. Barbara said that thinness is key to good brittle. Break it apart.

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Almost ready!

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Voila! The finished product.

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My sample bag of peanut brittle! I shared with colleagues at work yesterday.

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I want this coffee machine!

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KaTom is ready for the holidays.

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Here are the upcoming dates for holiday treats demonstrations:

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Save me a seat at the counter!

The Flavors of Fall: A Special Barbara Tenney Cooking Class at KaTom

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It is always a pleasure to see Barbara Tenney at a KaTom cooking class, but the flavors of fall are calling as the temps drop now. The menu looked perfect so I made a reservation and had a seat waiting for me last week. The evening did not disappoint. Here is what we enjoyed at the “Perfect Pork and Pumpkins Cooking Demo.”

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Here is a screenshot of the menu. It was a collection of the best fall flavors.

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Barbara Tenney made a wonderful Butternut Squash and Apple Chowder. It only had a few tablespoons of butter. The soup was rich and thick from the vegetables and apple. It was fabulous and I am ready to make this myself.

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Voila!

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My table mates were from Dandridge and Morristown. I was sitting by Faye Andrews, one of my favorite seat mates for these events. She said that it is easy enough to cook an entree, but you really have to know what you are doing to cook a good side dish. I agree and this side dish was excellent.

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Our table was front and center so the view was the best. The overhead projection helps as well. I like KaTom’s state of the art demonstration kitchen. You always learn something new and enjoy every moment.

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I would never have thought to use a stuffing with these ingredients—but now prefer them.

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The main course and side dish were excellent. It was a good idea to bring a ‘to-go’ box because the portions were generous.

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Of course, dessert was the piece de resistance!

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The question of the evening was this: Does a crack in the top of the cheesecake bother you? Everyone at our table said ” not at all!”

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This was the best pumpkin pie that I have ever had anywhere. My advice to you is always to use a ginger snap crust. Heavenly! We were applauding.

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One must shop a little before leaving so here are a couple of treasures that I found…

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Go Vols!

IMG_8597I was looking at these champagne glasses in the sale room. They were only $1 each! Barbara walked by and said that they would also be good for serving a dessert, such as strawberries and cream, etc. I bought them at once. Count the glasses and you may guess who will be invited to have this dessert sometime soon. (A friend will get this embedded mystery.)

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The sun had set so I hurried toward the car to be on my way.

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KaTom is an excellent place to shop and educate oneself on food and food preparation. If Barbara Tenney is there then it is an event that should not be missed. She is not only a renowned cook in East Tennessee, but she is one of my favorite people.  It is one of my favorite things to do when out and about in Sevierville. 

 

 

Grilling at KaTom with Randall Jolley and Barbara Tenney

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I get excited when I see the announcement pictured above because it means there is going to be a lesson and dinner at KaTom. This one involved one of my favorite cooks in East Tennessee, Barbara Tenney. Supported by master griller, Randall Jolley, this dinner was especially enjoyable. Here is the menu for the class on May 9th:

Menu

Mandarin Pasta Spinach Salad with Teriyaki Dressing

Firecracker Chicken

Gordon’s Marinated Asparagus with Pecans

Banana Pudding with Meringue

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Randall Jolley and Barbara Tenney are ready to begin. Take your seats, please!

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Randall begins with a lesson on the Firecracker sauce. I found it exactly as I like it, but with a little bit of ‘heat.’ You can see the overhead mirror and video screen. Consequently, every seat is a good one for these cooking classes.

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We went outside to see the grill and the sauce. The grill was on sale for a great price too.

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We were all ‘foodies’ at this demo and were happy to go outside to see the tools for master grilling.

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A view from the overhead screen of Barbara in action.

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After eating this wonderful dish, I had to go to the store and buy more asparagus for home. It was fabulous! The sauce complimented the food without overpowering it. In addition, I had not thought of adding pecans to asparagus, but it added a nice crunch and nutty flavor to the dish. Classes like this are good in that they expand my thinking as a cook.

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It was the ideal plate for a spring or summer dinner. Salad, veggie, and protein. Perfect!

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I love to watch people make meringue and bake it. We could not wait to try the banana pudding.

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This was fabulosity!

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Yes, we agreed that it was probably the best banana pudding that we had ever tasted. Divine!

I was lucky to be seated at a table with some Morristown fans of Barbara Tenney. What fun they were! It is always a pleasure to sit near Faye Andrews at a KaTom class as well. I have been lucky to sit with her several times now. I saw other friends from Morristown, the Lynches, who happen to live across the street from my sister. I was hoping to run into them again. Other attendees were from Knoxville and Alcoa.

KaTom cooking demos are truly a fun time and one of my favorite ways to get out and out in Sevierville. Follow them on Facebook to see events or call them to receive email updates for classes.      https://www.facebook.com/KaTomRestaurantSupply/

Here are the next events on the KaTom calendar:

June 5th Warren Weiss from Knox Mason

June 20th  Neil Green from All Occasions Catering

 

Save me a seat at the table!

 

A Special Valentine Dinner by Barbara Tenney at KaTom

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When I saw that the dinner was by Barbara Tenney,  I called and reserved a spot immediately. What better way to experience a gourmet Valentine dinner than with local celebrity chef, Barbara Tenney. It was a fabulous dinner with a surprise at the end. Here is how it went…

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I found my place at a front table with some people from Dandridge and Knoxville. I saw the bag and got rather excited because I had seen Barbara’s Facebook post from the day before and hoped that it would be for our dinner that evening.

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Barbara Tenney, pictured left, is introduced by Laura, a manager at KaTom. Notice the TV projection overhead from which to see the stovetop action.

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Tenderloin is prepared for the oven. It was sear- roasted beef tenderloin with cognac-peppercorn cream sauce. Yes, it was as good as that sounds!

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Table settings are always a delight at KaTom events.

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Prepping the smashed potatoes. A view from above.

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The first course: green salad with roasted pears and blue cheese. Divine!

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Smashed potatoes with horseradish crème fraîche. You can’t overdo horseradish, in my opinion.

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The meal was served with a sign of the holiday. What a nice touch!

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Barbara displays the raspberry chocolate puffs before putting them into the oven at 425°  for 18-20 minutes.

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Warm from the oven and served with raspberry sauce.

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Or, add a drizzle of Ghirardelli chocolate. Bon appetit!

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My wish came true because the gift bags held a home-made chocolate covered marshmallow. A special Valentine to take home from Barbara Tenney’s kitchen. What a great gift!

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For dessert, we got to create a coffee from the best machine in Sevier County. It made the best latte!

KaTom has more cooking demos planned for the spring so go onto their Facebook page and click ‘events’ on the left menu to see upcoming sessions. It is always a pleasure to anything by my favorite celebrity cook, Barbara Tenney.  I wait expectantly for more. It is, as always, a fabulous way to get out and about in Sevierville. 

 

A Year in Review: Out and About Sevierville 2017

It is time to take one last look back at 2017. According to Google Analytics, the second year of this blog found 67 stories and 6,732 views. It was seen by people in 52 countries. The top five after the United States: Canada, China, Mexico, Philippines, and Ireland. With all that production, it is appropriate to take one quick look back over the shoulder before stepping into 2018.  Here is a look at 2017. Our little town was pretty busy!

If I were to give awards to story topics, then this is how it would follow…

MY Favorite Stories

My favorite stories? There was a 3- way- tie. These three stories were fun because they were especially creative and involved collaboration with D.B. Photography, and others. If you missed them, click the link and take a look.

  1. The Most Instagram-Worthy Spots in Downtown Sevierville  https://outandaboutinsevierville.com/2017/10/08/the-most-instagram-worthy-spots-in-downtown-sevierville/

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2.    I am dreaming of… a Mural in Downtown Sevierville  https://outandaboutinsevierville.com/2017/11/26/i-am-dreaming-of-a-mural-in-downtown-sevierville/

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3.    Formal Treasures, From the Heart   https://outandaboutinsevierville.com/2017/02/20/formal-treasures-from-the-heart/

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This is the info for the blog photographer.

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As for other stories during the year…

Biggest surprise: the immensity of the Sheriff’s Office Spooktacular Event for Halloween. There must have been thousands of people there!

Fun, but the most out of my comfort zone were Sims Barbershop, the SCHS Turkey Chase 5 K, and flying high at Sevier Air.

My favorite new event: the United Way Progressive Dinner.

Most relaxing story: Oak Haven Spa.

Best sources of consistent blog stories 

1 Sevierville Commons Arts Council

2. Sevierville Commons Farmers Market

‘I am rooting for you’ award

Bloomingtails Thrift Boutique. Go visit this wonderful little place full of treasures. Proceeds go to Pets Without Parents.

Unique fun for ladies

Ladies Derby Hat Social

I would like to spend more time

at Charlotte’s Creative on Bruce Street

Celebrity Surprise

Running into Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund at the Dolly Statue

And so many more things. I leave 2017 here with pictures that best capture the year while out and about in Sevierville. The photos start from last January and end with this month.

( View on desktop for better view of mosaic photo presentation.)

See you in 2018!

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas with Barbara Tenney on Saturday at KaTom

 

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My favorite cook in East Tennessee is Barbara Tenney. I am a ‘groupie’ and have followed her for years. The Saturday Christmas treat demos at KaTom Chef Supplies are not to be missed. This Saturday will be her last presentation for the holidays so drop by sometime between 11:00-1:00 p.m. to see, taste, and to learn about the last Christmas treat of 2017—almond cookies made with a press.

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I visited the day of the fruitcake cookies and can tell you that they were fabulous.

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These cookies are even more special because of the wonderful dried fruit that goes into the recipe. The cookie was not overly sweet either so that it allowed balance with the sweetness of the fruit.

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Here is a recipe card for the Fruitcake Cookies.

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Festive tables.

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I tried the Hot Toddy cookies last week and they were excellent. The shortbread cookie that served as a base for the recipe was wonderfully sweet with a subtle orange flavor that came from the zest of the fruit. There are not just for Ole Miss fans.   😉

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I asked about the pan to shape the cookies and Barbara showed me that you could use just a simple one like this one.

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This is a ‘cook’s point of view’ from behind the KaTom demonstration counter. You can see what a beautiful store it is! You don’t have to be a chef to shop here. All kinds of shoppers drop by to browse.

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Barbara took me into the back showroom and we got a latte. This is my dream machine!

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I had never noticed this sale corner and was amazed. I ended up finding several gifts here and some things for my own kitchen. There were a lot of things under $5 in this area. Barbara said that there are new things in this sale area every time that she visits so make sure you check it out.

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I always try to get a picture with the chef before I leave KaTom and this one is my favorite: Barbara Tenney. If you get a chance, drop by and see her for a few minutes this Saturday. It is one of my favorite December things to do while out and about in Sevierville. 

Save me a seat at the counter!