Friday, November 17, 2017


While we were in Tennessee last week, we planned to spend some of our free morning time (Dollywood Theme Park didn't open until 2 pm during the week) checking out some of the antique shops. We were all interested in going to see what we could see, but Leon, Janice's husband, and I were looking for particular things; Leon - canning jars and me - cookbooks, of course. I found a few really good ones when we vacationed in Virginia last year and this time was no different.

One of the cookbooks I found was from Louise Durman who was the Food Editor of the Knoxville News - Sentinel. Louise Durman's Desserts was dated 1976. Wednesday afternoon I decided to make French Apple Wedges using some of the apples we had picked up at our son and his family's house a week or so before we left on our trip. While it sounded kinda like a cake, it was made in a pie plate. That meant it wouldn't make a lot and then be tempting for me to eat a lot.

The recipe was really easy. I didn't even have to use my electric mixer. That's always nice. Since the recipe only called for 1/2 cup of flour, I figured using whole wheat pastry flour wouldn't make too much of a difference in the taste. I also liked that it only used 1/2 cup sugar and no oil of any type. My pie plate is glass so I also reduced the oven temperature by 25 degrees. In my oven I added an extra 3 minutes to the cooking time. I wanted to make sure the center was cooked.

Well, the results were delicious. The "cake" was so moist and full of nuts.


2      eggs
1/2   cup flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2   cup sugar
1      teaspoon baking powder
1/2   teaspoon cinnamon
1/2   teaspoon nutmeg
1/4   teaspoon salt
2      teaspoons vanilla
1      cup finely chopped nuts
2      cups finely chopped peeled apples
ice cream or whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (325 degrees F if using a glass pie plate.

Beat eggs until light.

Sift dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt) in a different bowl. (I sifted them twice.)

Add vanilla to beaten eggs and then flour mixture.
Add nuts and
Mix well.

Pour into an ungreased nine-inch pie plate.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. (I baked mine for 33 minutes.)

Cool on a wire rack.

Serve with ice cream or whipped topping.

Serves 6 to 8. 

I will be trying a number of recipes from this cookbook I know. Hope you will check back with me in the near future.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Yesterday I shared with you my day pictures of Dollywood and today my night pictures of the park. You are in for a treat! The park was breathtaking with all of the colorful lights. (I was glad my phone took such good pictures.)

We hadn't planned on staying for the Parade of Many Colors, but the last show we attended on our last night, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, ended at 7:15. We thought we would step into the Chasing Rainbows Museum, to see Dolly's story, and when we stepped out people were lined up along the "street" waiting for the parade. So we decided we might as well stay and watch the parade.

We were glad we stayed for the parade. Even though the temperature were low, we didn't feel that cold.

If you missed the post showing the park in the daytime, you can check it out here.

We also went to Ashville, NC to the Biltmore Estate. It was decorated for Christmas. You can check that post out here. It is beautifully decorated.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


We were fortunate that our traveling friends, Janice and Leon, wanted to get season passes for Dollywood so that we could visit the theme park in a more leisurely fashion and not try to cram everything  in one day. Since we were mainly interested in going to the shows, there is no way we could have seen them all in one day. We were there when the park reopened for Christmas at Dollywood (Nov 4 - Jan 7) and also for their reduced hours...Sat & Sun - 11 am to 9 pm, closed on Mon, and then Tues - Fri - 2 pm to 9 pm. The park will close the first of Jan and then reopen in Mar (I think they said). With the park not opening until 2 o'clock, that meant we could do/go somewhere else in the morning. (FYI, the season pass was available for half price of a day price ticket when you bought a day pass and was good for the whole next year. Janice also received four free day passes for the spring and four free day passes for the fall. Very good deal.)

In this first post on Dollywood, I thought I would share daytime pictures. It is so beautiful at night with all the lights and I have lots of pictures of them, but you need to see what the park "looks" like during the day.

I almost forgot to pass on a tip if you plan to go to the park and would rather not pay for the parking at the park. We drove to Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge and for 50 cents each rode the trolley to the park. We had to wait at the most about 15 minutes for the trolley and saved quite a bit for parking.

At the Showstreet Palace Theater we saw the show It's a Wonderful Life...(a very good condensed 65-minute version of the movie)

We ate a late mid-afternoon lunch at Aunt Granny's All You Can Eat Holiday Buffet...

A fantastic 20 minute show, Appalachian Christmas, at the Back Porch Theater... 

In the Dreamsong Theater we saw Dolly Parton's (55-min show) My People. Dolly's brother and his daughter, first cousin and her husband, and another niece were performers. Dolly was there interacting with the program by means of film. Very talented family...

Dolly's niece...

Dolly's cousin with one of the other singers...

Dolly's tour bus from 1984 - 2007...

Front Porch Cafe where we ate dinner one night...

Replica of Dolly's childhood home...

We counted 10 bald eagles in the exhibit.  If you look hard, you can see some of them in the picture...

I told him he didn't look like my granddaddy who was the village blacksmith in my hometown, but I wanted to take a picture of him. Too bad I couldn't share the smell of the blacksmith shop with you...

Some of the fall colors still visible behind the track for the Dollywood Express Train...

One of the days we were there was on Sunday. We attended a worship service at the Robert F. Thomas Chapel Sunday evening. Dr. Thomas carried the good news of medicine and the Gospel to the folks in East Tennessee. He also was the country doctor who delivered Dolly. Dollywood and Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO are the only two theme parks that have a worship service. (We did not learn of the tragedy at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, TX until after we got back to the resort that evening.)

Another day we rode the Dollywood Express Train...Here is the engine with pictures I took along the ride...

This can only be seen when on the train...

Looks like the park is going to be expanded....


After we got off the train...

The Kingdom Heirs: The Heart of Christmas show (40 min). Janice and Leon had attended their show 30 years ago when they visited the park and were anxious to see them again...

Another show we enjoyed, Christmas in the Smokies, at the Celebrity Theater...a truly delightful show...

Another really enjoyable show we saw was 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (45 min) at the Pines Theater. (Didn't get a picture.) The only show we didn't see was O'Holy Night which was a 20-min show at the Valley Theater, an outdoor theater. By the end of our week, it had turned colder and we didn't want to stay outside that long since we had not brought very warm clothes with us.

Tomorrow I will share Dollywood at night. You don't want to miss it.

You can catch the pictures of the fall colors we saw in our trek across the mountains to Cherokee, NC here.

If you missed seeing Christmas at the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, NC, you have to check it out here.