Eat and Listen: Zac Brown Band


I can barely go two weeks without throwing on Zac Brown Band’s The Foundation. It’s such a catchy album, with a song for pretty much every mood you could possibly be in. Whether it’s the mention of fried chicken and cold beer or the excessive use of the fiddle, I just can’t get enough. I swear it has nothing to do with the fact that my husband was mistaken for Zac Brown by fans at a recent Jimmy Buffett concert.

While listening to the album the other day, I came up with an Eat and Listen meal that I think is perfect for autumn. There’s a salad bursting with crisp, fall flavors and a sausage skillet dish that will be sure to have you licking your chops. And let’s not forget about the ZBB-inspired beer cocktail to add the finishing touch!

Bon appétit, friends.

Life Is Good Today Beer and Cider Cocktail

“Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand…”


½ pint of beer (lager or stout works best)

½ pint of hard cider

Dash of blackcurrant syrup (optional)


Pour cider then beer into a pint glass. Top with the syrup, if using. If you have a steady hand and are using stout beer, try the “back of spoon” method. Pour cider into pint glass and slowly pour beer over back of spoon, which pours beer down edge of glass and lets it rest on top of cider. It makes for both a tasty and pretty drink!

Whatever It Is Apple Cranberry Salad

“She’s got whatever it is. It blows me away…”


¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream

1 tbsp sugar

3 apples, chopped

½ cup chopped walnuts

¼ cup dried cranberries

1 stalk celery, sliced thinly

6 lettuce leaves (leaf lettuce is best, but head lettuce will do the trick)


Mix mayonnaise, sour cream and sugar in large bowl. Add apples, walnuts, cranberries and celery, stirring until evenly mixed. Refrigerate for 2 hours, then serve over lettuce leaves.

Highway 20 Ride Spicy Sausage Pasta Skillet

“I count the days and the miles back home to you…”


1 tbsp olive oil

14 oz smoked sausage, sliced into ¼” rounds

1 cup onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups chicken broth

1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel

½ cup heavy cream

8 oz penne, uncooked

Pepper, to taste

1 ¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Sliced scallions, for garnish


Heat oil in oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and onion, cooking until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30-45 seconds. Stir in broth, Ro-Tel, cream, pasta and pepper. Bring to a boil then cover, reducing heat to medium-low. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. While pasta is cooking, preheat broiler. When pasta is tender, remove skillet from heat and stir in 1 cup of cheese. Top with scallions and rest of cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted, about 2 ½-3 minutes.

Image Source: CMA, BigStock