Friday, May 27, 2011

The Summer Pantry- Fine Provisions by Gatewood Hall

It’s the official kick-off of summer and with that we are rolling out something fun at GH! Welcome to The Summer Pantry- Fine Provisions by Gatewood Hall.

We love gracious entertaining! Summertime in the north Georgia Mountains is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors, friends and family in our beautiful part of the world. Some people find entertaining effortless it just comes naturally but, others find it daunting and often overwhelming. It concerns us because those that fall into the second group often say forget it because they feel it is just too much hassle, especially in the summer when they’d rather be out having fun instead of worrying about “party details”. That is where we at GH come in with The Summer Pantry.

The Summer Pantry at Gatewood Hall Gracious Home is a great corner of our store where we will stock some wonderful, fine provisions that are unique, special and most of all VERSATILE and EASY! These provisions include wonderful gourmet food items that can dress up anything from cream cheese to your favorite dish, great books on entertaining, beautiful napkins and accessories, to the perfect CD for the soundtrack of your get-togethers.

As I said I love to entertain, I know that I am my mother’s son because she has always loved to entertain and decorate. (My parent’s home is always in season, they especially love this time of year decorating their lake home getaway in North Carolina. I am telling you from Memorial Day to Independence Day and into the fall, everything…even down to the boat dock and boat house will be “all done up” and this is a place where wonderful memories have been made!) But sometimes mom and I tend to get carried away with details, we keep adding to the menu, or stressing over that one extra “thing”…(ask Shawn about the time I bought a baby grand, player piano the day before a holiday party for 80 guests…It did turn out to be a hit albeit, a bit expensive however, I love that piano to this day). This extra stress can be dangerous when entertaining because it can take all of the joy and spontaneity out of your event.

We are also fortunate because we have some friends who are great at entertaining. We can tell you one in particular can pull together a fabulous dinner party for 10 people in an hour! (We are talking Sunday evening, at his second home in Cherry Log Mountain…just on a whim!). Again, this is where the Summer Pantry idea came from. What we have come to learn is that if you have a well-stocked pantry with the right provisions great entertaining can be easy for anyone. So for this wonderful summer season we at GH will be sharing and posting ideas and tips as well as new products and recipes for your personal summer pantry. In the store we will be offering more weekend tastings and maybe even a mini-workshop event and some block parties to get you inspired! If you have some great ideas or tips that you’d like to share we’d love to hear from you! In the end our goal is that we want to help you be able not only to relax and enjoy your time in the mountains but, also be able to create some wonderful memories with your family and friends with some easy and gracious entertaining.

Have a wonderful Memorial holiday as we remember all of those who have fought for our freedom in this wonderful country. Come in and see us this weekend and check out “The Summer Pantry”.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Check Out Our Friends New Business: The Wild Deal is Launched

Some friends of ours recently started a new business called The Wild Deal that we think is awesome. The concept is really great and we thought it would really appeal to many folks in our area. It is also great timing for graduation or Father’s day gift ideas.

The Wild Deal was launched by a small group of family and friends with a love for the outdoors. Some of them obsess about fishing, some obsess about hunting, and others just enjoy anything physically challenging and potentially dangerous in the realm of outdoor adventure. Being outdoors has always helped these folks escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The Wild Deal was created with the intent of helping others escape to the outdoors in an affordable fashion. The hope is that the great deals they bring to people, will help them be able to escape more often, or maybe even allow someone to really escape for the first time.

Select your territory and choose from deals like rafting on the Nantahala River, or deep sea fishing in Florida. There are even some side deals for gear and equipment. The Wild Deal obtains incredible discounts in the fields of Hunting, Fishing, and Outdoor Adventure and makes these discounts available to you through the use of a collective buying business model. Because they bring a large volume of customers to retailers and guide services, the retailers and guide services in turn save time and money on marketing, and are willing to pass the savings on to you.

The core value at The Wild Deal is quality. They only deal with guide services and suppliers that provide quality experiences and quality products. There's no risk involved for you or the retailers and guides. It's a win-win for everyone. It's well worth it to them to sell their quality products and services at a discount, if it introduces them to a lot of new customers. And, it's definitely worth it for you - just check out the deals and please share this info with your friends and family too!

The email is

or their website is

you can even follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Fannin County Chamber is AWESOME!!

Our Fannin County Chamber ROCKS! We were asked to participate in an event that was held this past Thursday night to host several travel writers from across the US and Canada. The media marketplace event was called "A Little Taste of the Georgia Mountains", and we were honored to be asked to participate! We were paired with a restaurant and ours happened to be one of our favorite's Blue Ridge Brewery (Woo Hoo!)

Shawn, Brenda, Becky and Chrissy had the store all spruced up for our guests! I have to say I think our little town looked awesome! All of the merchants had really stepped up and put in some hard work to get camera ready for our guests.

One off our favorite artists and friends Lynn Kemp came to hang out with us show off her fabulous "Made It!" jewelry line with our visitors. They raved about her wonderful collection, we even sold a few pieces that night!

Oh man- you would not believe the spread that Blue Ridge Brewery put out! Lamb chop lollipops with herbed couscous, spinach pizzas, hummus triangles, Polina's famous open face egg salad with pepperoncini, charcuterie samplers (one of my ultimate favorites), their outrageous chocolate pie and of course some of Pat's very special beers! Without question team BRB BROUGHT IT!! Our guests were blown away...I saw one of them taking a photo of the lamb chop plate!! Shawn, Becky and I were very polite until all of the visitors had been through but let's just say when the last guest left our store "we helped clean up!!" and it was pure heaven!! Pat, Polina, Sandy and Beverly we are proud to have been teamed up with you, thanks for all of the hard work, and fun time!

We also sampled Girl & Fig Mostarda and our newest gourmet goodie from Atlanta, Georgia Hot Squeeze...our guests loved them!! (If you haven't tried them yet you are missing out!)

We had these stickers made up! Because we love our town, and we love our Chamber! Great job Jan, Elaine, Jode, Donna and the volunteers that made this special event happen! You all did a great job shining a light on our corner of the world, the event was so professional yet casual and gracious! THANK YOU, we appreciate all that you do!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hot Squeeze Arrives at Gatewood Hall!

At Gatewood Hall we are always on the search for new products! A few weeks ago one of our wonderful guests told me about a gourmet product that was created and made in Atlanta. I love Georgia products so I was interested…I quickly did some research and hooked up with Sue Sullivan the creator of a product called Hot Squeeze Sweet Heat Chipotle Sauce. Once I heard her story I knew that I wanted to try the product and meet her. So this past weekend I received my sample and started on my research (and you thought I was off being lazy on Saturday!) I am so happy that I looked into this because I love Sue’s products and after having the pleasure of meeting her I am excited to be a part of her adventure to get her product in the hand of everyone. It is clear that she is a passionate entrepreneur who is proud of her creation and wants to share it with folks and I just love that about her! I want to share Sue’s story and tell you about her two sauces!

Before Hot Squeeze, Sue Sullivan was a caterer in Atlanta, Georgia she began catering when her children were babies as a way to be a stay-at-home mom. Sue’s husband, who at that time worked for CNN, hired Sue for her first film production catering job. The business grew and grew and by the time her children were teenagers, she had taken on a business partner, renovated a commercial kitchen in her home and was working full time catering film production lunches.

Hot Squeeze began innocently enough as a chipotle glaze for a pork tenderloin served at one of those lunches. It was an instant hit, so she tried the glaze over grilled salmon and flank steak. Then she started using it in recipes for black bean chili, stews, and mashed sweet potatoes. It became a signature ingredient in her catering menus and a staple on their tables. Sue and her partner soon found that clients poured it on everything—meats, vegetables and even on salads, soon it had to be available at every lunch they served.

Word about the delicious sauce spread within the industry and film crews from all over the US, when on assignment in Atlanta, began to request catering from the “two women with the incredible sauce,” and they soon became known as the “Chipotle Sisters.” Clients begged them to bottle the sauce so that they could buy it at home.

For years Sue’s clients continued to tell her that she should bottle the sauce, and for years she would look at them like they were crazy — She was busy enough running a catering company and as she says she had no clue how to bottle a sauce.

As a self-proclaimed workout-aholic, Sue tells the story that her spin class instructor always asks that the group share their New Year's resolutions. In 2006, she told her class that she was finally going to get Hot Squeeze into a bottle. It took her 10 months to actually do this! She said that she asked a lot of questions, researched everything, and then took a leap of faith, but in October of 2006 the first run of 500 cases of Hot Squeeze was produced. (Sue says she felt a little like Lucy in the candy factory when she saw those first bottles come off the assembly line!)
So what exactly is Hot Squeeze Sweet Heat Chipotle? Well it is a very versatile sauce with personality. It's smoky (because of the chipotle, a smoked jalapeno pepper). It's spicy, it's sweet, it's sassy and it's sexy all in one bottle!

Use it as a condiment, like a steak sauce. But it’s not just for steak—it jazzes up everything on your plate from meat, fish, potatoes, to vegetables and even salad.

Use it as a finishing glaze. Let’s say you’ve just grilled up some salmon. Squeeze on the Hot Squeeze and watch as it coats the fish with a sexy glaze that tastes as great as it looks. Tired of baked chicken? Transform it into something exceptional with a little Hot Squeeze! Some say it’s got Asian nuances, others think southwestern and still others think barbecue. Once you realize how good Hot Squeeze is on food, try using it in recipes for chili, black beans, vegetable casseroles and soups, it adds that extra zip. Mix it with mayonnaise for a sandwich spread or add it to vinaigrettes for a new twist on salad dressings Hot Squeeze can be used as a stir-fry sauce and a bbq sauce. Hot Squeeze can be drizzled over goat cheese or cream cheese for an easy appetizer or used as a dip for egg rolls or meatballs.

Sue’s newest creation is Hot Squeeze Orange Ginger Zing (OGZ) It’s got a bold burst of orange and fresh ginger and just a little bit of zing. Like Chipotle Sweet Heat, this sauce was created to do everything! I used it on shrimp this week and served it with brown rice and it was outrageous. It tasted like a gourmet recipe that I had worked on for hours! Sue said people have even used OGZ on cheesecakes and ice-cream. And the great news is that we all know that Ginger is really good for you!

Both of the Hot Squeeze flavors puts an end to condiment clutter because you can clear out all those other bottles of sauce. With Hot Squeeze you’ve got it all—sauce, marinade, dressing, glaze—in one bottle! I’m already addicted. I LOVE THIS STUFF!! It is a sassy, all-purpose sauce that is good for you, too! All natural, fat free, low sodium, kosher and shelf stable. Each flavor has endless uses in your recipes and at your table…come try it this weekend…I promise you are going to be addicted too!

You know it is addiction when you are at one of the new "trendy & fancy" gourmet burger places in Atlanta and you are enjoying what once was your favorite turkey burger and you think to yourself..."Darn, do I have that sample bottle of Hot Squeeze in my car? it would be awesome on this!" Yep- I seriously did that!!