Driving Notes

The Official Blog of WNZR's Afternoon Drive



Cherry Month Who Knew!

When it comes to fruits that remind me of summer, cherries almost always take the cake. They are sweet and never fail to take me back to a warm summers day, by the pool.

Today on the Drive, we got in the WNZR Time Machine and went to summer of 2018 courtesy of the fruit that we know and love as the cherry.

Here are some fun facts about this delicious superfruit…

  • There are more than 1,000 varieties of cherries in the United States, but fewer than 10 are produced commercially.
  • There are normally about 44 cherries to a pound.
  • In an average crop year, a sweet cherry tree will produce 800 cherries.
  • Despite the short fruiting season, Americans consume an average of 1.5 pounds of cherries each year.
  • Washington grows an estimated 62 percent of the nation’s sweet cherries.
  • Between Washington, Oregon and California, these three states produce 94 percent of America’s sweet cherries.
  • Michigan grows well over half of the country’s tart cherries, which are mostly used for cooking. (Still just as delicious).
  • Brian Krause set the record for cherry pit spitting at an annual contest in Eau Claire, Michigan in 2004, spitting the pit 93 feet. That same day, Krause spat a pit more than 100 feet in the freestyle competition, which allows for a running start.

Well, now that you know some fun facts about the fruit, you’re probably asking, what are cherries good for? Look no further for an answer.

  • Tart cherries have very high antioxidant activity. The activity is actually better than vitamin E and comparable to commercially available antioxidant products.
  • Sweet cherries contain fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, and anthocyanin, each of which may help play a role in cancer prevention.
  • Tart cherries are anti-inflammatory and may help lower your risk of gout attacks and reduce pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis
  • Consuming tart cherry may help increase your melatonin levels and improve your sleep
  • Sweet cherries have a low glycemic index of 22 — lower than apricots (57), grapes (46), peaches (42), blueberries (40) or plums (39). This makes them a better snack than many other fruits, especially for diabetics.
  • Cherries are very high in potassium, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the risk of hypertension.

It wouldn’t be the Afternoon Drive without sharing some recipies, now would it?
Let’s give you a whole 4 course meal with cherries, shall we?

Perhaps we start the meal with a salad? Maybe three?
Orzo Salad with Mustard Greens and Cherries. Yes please.
Goat cheese goes great with cherries. Let’s put that on a salad.
Goat Cheese, Cherries and Pistachio Salad.
One final salad…
Spinach Salad with a Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette

For an appetizer? Let’s start with some meatballs.
Tart Cherry Glazed Spicy Meatballs. 
Another appetizer? Don’t mind if I do. How about one for Game Day?
Instant Pot Tart Cherry Chicken Wings. (I’m drooling).
One more? Sure. Can’t say no to bread, right?
Here’s a Baguette stuffed with Brie and Cherries. 

Okay. Main Course. Here we go.
Cocoa Cherry Pork? SIGN ME UP.
More main courses? Okay. You asked for it.
We have to have a meal from the mayor of Flavor Town.
Guy Fieri’s Cherry Bomb Chops. (I’m drooling again).
I’ll eat anything with the word ‘sassy’ in it.
Pork Burgers with Sassy Barbecue Sauce.

OH we can’t forget the drinks.
How about a Cherry Limeade from the Pioneer Woman herself?
Another? Okay. How about a healthy alternative?
You can’t go wrong with a Frozen Fruit Smoothie showcasing cherries.

Dessert. Can’t have a meal without dessert. Right?
A Black Forrest Trifle from my girl Katie Lee.
Ever wanted to use big cooking words like ‘compote’? Here’s your chance…
Nectarine-Cherry Compote. Oh Yes.

And delicious fruits aside, we come together as a country with heavy hearts for various reasons today. We turn on the TV and can’t watch for five minutes without hearing bad news after bad news. Whatever reason your heart is heavy today, we have hope.
The devil is on the prowl. He is active in our world maybe stronger than ever right now. We as Christians are called to put on the full armor of God so that we can take our stand against the schemes of the devil. We are called to stand on the front-lines and fight as a community against this darkness. We can stand on the front-lines UNAFRAID because we know that God is standing right there by us, and He has given us the strength, the courage and the power to fight this.

We looked at the song ‘Whom Shall I Fear’ from Chris Tomlin today.
It was a song that’s been in the back of my mind since this weekend, and just some of the lyrics seem so applicable to us right now.

Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light

Darkness is filling the night. It is. But it cannot hide the light.
God is the light. We are the light. We cannot be hidden.
We need to be a nation that is ON FIRE for Christ that NO DARKNESS can hide.
We can do that when we remember the next thing Chris Tomlin says…
God is crushing the enemy beneath our feet.

God goes before us. There are countless scriptures that tell us that.
God is standing behind us.

Our strength is found in the name of Jesus
For it is His name alone that can save.
He is delivering us.
He is the victory.

Here are the lyrics from the bridge that give me chills. Ah.

And nothing formed against me shall stand. 
He’s telling us that WE are protected.
God is holding the whole world in His hands.
Sometimes God is silent, and it’s hard. It’s so hard.
But we can hold on to His promises.
Tomlin says that line 5 times in the bridge. It’s so important.And this song isn’t just something Chris Tomlin wrote.
It’s based off the most powerful chapter in scripture. Romans 8.
Romans 8:31 says “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” and that should be more than enough send the devil running far in the other direction.

It’s far and away time for our country to have a “War Room” moment.
A Priscilla Shirer moment.
Jesus is the Lord of our house. There is no room for the devil anymore.
We need to stand up, and shout if we need to. Telling the devil to take his lies, and his schemes, and his accusations, and to get out IN. JESUS’. NAME.

Here’s the scene, if you haven’t seen it. So incredibly powerful.

It’s time we stand up and take back what is rightfully ours in Christ. 

Thanks for listening!


Prepping for Christmas – Who Knew Wednesday

Christmas is my favorite time of the year and I’m ready to celebrate it with you!

I’m such a reindeer dork – or ‘reindork’ if you will. I found so many Christmas reindeer crafts and recipies, and, wow, they just make me smile. I’m so excited to share them!
Click the links below to learn how to make them!

Reindeer Rice Krispy Treats
Reindeer Gift Wrap
Reindeer Paper Balls
Popsicle Stick Reindeer
Candy Cane Reindeer
Pinecone Reindeer

I, of course, had to share some more Christmas crafts and recipies.
Check them out here.

One for our furry friends
An edible plate!?
Christmas Light Cookies
Christmas Light Finger-Paint
Poke-a-Tree game!
A Snowman Candle Ornament
Christmas Slime!

And Hannah talked about how to prepare for Christmas, and how to do Christmas on a budget! Check it out!
Christmas on a budget
The ultimate Christmas Checklist

Thanks for listening!

A Cupcake Who-Knew!

Cupcakes are an amazing dessert food. How do we know? Well, they have a national day dedicated to them, so we’re celebrating Cupcake day here on the Afternoon Drive!

(Also, also, also, the 48th Dove Awards happened last night! If you missed it and would like to see who won, check it out here)!

Click here to see the cutest little infographic ever about cupcakes. (Seriously).

The earliest description of what is now often called a cupcake was in 1796, when a recipe for “a light cake to bake in small cups” was written in American Cookery by Amelia Simmons. The earliest documentation of the term cupcake itself was in “Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and *Sweetmeats” in 1828 in Eliza Leslie’s Receipts cookbook.

noun – archaic
plural noun: sweetmeats
  1. an item of confectionery or sweet food.

In the early 19th century, there were two different uses for the term cup cake or cupcake. In previous centuries, before muffin tins were widely available, the cakes were often baked in individual pottery cups, ramekins, or molds and took their name from the cups they were baked in.

Variants of the Cupcake…

  • A cake in a mug
    The technique uses a mug as its cooking vessel and can be done in a microwave.
  • A cake in a jar
    The baker uses a glass jar instead of muffin tins or cupcake liners.
  • A butterfly cake (also called fairy cake for its fairy-like “wings”).
    The top of the cake is cut off or carved out with a spoon, and cut in half. Then, a sweet filling is spread into the hole. Finally, the two cut halves are stuck into the butter cream to resemble butterfly wings.
    (Here’s a picture so you can see how it looks).
  • A cake ball
    An individual portion of cake, round like a chocolate truffle, that is coated in chocolate.
  • A gourmet cupcake
    A somewhat recent variant of cupcake. Gourmet cupcakes are large and filled cupcakes, based around a variety of flavor themes.

Now, it wouldn’t be the Afternoon Drive if we talked about a food and didn’t share a lot of recipes for it now would it? So here you go!

Whip out the torch for this one!
This one is Lilly’s favorite.
Starbucks, but in cupcake form.
These cupcakes take you back elementary school.
Disney, but in cupcake form.
Christmas in a cupcake.
These cupcakes are perfect for fall! (Or for whenever).
Here’s literally 30 more recipes from our friends at Food Network.

Also, it wouldn’t be the Afternoon Drive if we didn’t share some fun facts…

  • Cupcakes were actually originally called “Number Cakes” or “1234 Cakes” because it was an easy way to remember portions…One cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, four eggs, one cup of milk, and one spoonful of soda.
  • The first “cupcake only” bakery is Sprinkles Cupcakes, opened in 2005. They make over 25,000 cupcakes a day from 11 locations.
  • The world’s largest cupcake weighed over 1,200 lbs and had over 2 million calories.
  • 13% of brides decide to serve cupcakes at their wedding as opposed to the traditional wedding cake.


Our word of the Day is…..


verb    muh-LYNE

Definition- to utter injuriously misleading or false reports about: speak evil of
Examples-  The tech guru recalls how as a high schooler he was often maligned or simply ignored by the popular kids in his school.

Thanks for listening!
– Lilly


Cooking Day Mystery Monday!

Welcoming you back from a longgggg weekend, but let me tell you, it was a good one!

Today on the Afternoon Drive, we recapped Sonfest 2017, and we were so thrilled to be a part of such an incredible event! If you’d like to see pictures and videos from Sonfest, be sure to check out our Facebook page at WNZR 90.9 FM!

Also, today is Cooking Day, and if you know me at all, you know I love to cook, and I also love to eat. This celebration was established to honor and commemorate the joys of home cooking. Often taken for granted or deemed a time-consuming chore, cooking is a part of life we carry out daily to make food more flavorful and presentable, to exchange ideas and traditions, and to express our affection for one another. National Cooking Day’s purpose is to encourage and inspire everyone to discover and experience something new and enjoyable in the kitchen while preparing something extraordinary and delicious for loved ones.
So, because cooking can be a laborious task, I shared a few, simple, one pan meals to make with little preparation and super easy clean up!

Beef Tenderloin

Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon 

Balsamic Chicken

Baked Cod and Chorizo

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Shrimp Boil

Turkey and Bean Chili

Congratulations to Heather from Howard who won our Mystery Monday Trivia!
Our question was: What is the most expensive spice?
The answer? Saffron. At $5,000 per pound!

Thanks for listening!


Ice Cream Sandwich Who Knew!

Summer is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a staple summer treat! That’s right! The ice cream sandwich!
Here are some fun facts about the amazing summer snack…

  • Although ice cream sandwiches were made by hand and distributed by New York street vendors in the early 1940s, it wasn’t until 1945 that the first ice cream sandwiches were mass produced.
  • The current version was invented in 1945 by Jerry Newberg when he was selling ice cream at Forbes Field, in Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Pictures from the Jersey Shore circa 1905 “On the beach, Atlantic City”, show Ice Cream sandwiches were popular at 1c each.
  • August 2nd is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.
  • The Coolhaus food truck empire has taken ice cream sandwiches to a new level. You can buy one of their pre-packaged ice cream sandwiches, pints of ice cream, or hand-dipped ice cream bars at one of 4,000+ markets ranging from Whole Foods to Kroger and Safeway, in all 50 states
  • The ice cream sandwich ranks as the second best-selling ice cream novelty in America.
  • The average number of ice cream sandwiches eaten per second nationally is 48.
  • If all the ice cream sandwiches made last year were placed end to end, they would circle Earth 3 1/2 times.
  • The 30-44 age group buys the most ice cream sandwiches.
  • The eastern seaboard consumes almost 50 percent of all ice cream sandwiches.
  • The ice cream sandwich is so American it is sold at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

    Here’s a recipe for ice cream sandwiches from the Food Network…

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (1-pint) containers ice cream (any flavor)

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl, beat the butter, shortening, and sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, beating until smooth. With a spoon, stir in the flour mixture, stirring just until you have a smooth dough.
    3. Using a 2 tablespoon cookie dough scoop, drop 6 mounds of dough on each baking sheet, leaving a couple inches between each cookie. Bake until the cookies are firm around the edges and soft in the middle, about 15 minutes. (For even baking, rotate the pans from top to bottom and back to front halfway through baking.) Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.
    4. Meanwhile, turn the ice cream pints on their sides and use a serrated knife to slice through the containers, cutting each into 3 even rounds. Place the ice cream disks on a baking sheet and freeze until ready to assemble the sandwiches.
    5. To assemble, peel the cardboard from the ice cream disks and sandwich each disk between 2 cookies. Serve the sandwiches immediately, or wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze up to 1 week.

    Image result for cut ice cream pint
    Cut your pints like this, getting perfect portions for ice cream sandwiches!

    Also, we’re celebrating August First Friday here in downtown Mt. Vernon THIS FRIDAY! Be sure to stop by and see us, and register for our prize basket!
    Our special Clean Up, Dress Up and Checkup” prize basket for the family features
    · An entire house cleaning from Carefree Cleaning Company. Amy Kessler gives you 4 hours of house cleaning! (Valued at $100)!
    · A certificate for 1 individual comprehensive eye exam with Amazing Eyes Family Vision! (Valued at $135)
    · Two $15.00 gift certificates for Premier Designs Jewelry with Amberly Frye (one for you and one for a friend)
    · Plus WNZR goodies including chip clips, hand fans, cups, Frisbees, guitar flyswatters and more! The prize package is valued at over $265.00!

    First Friday events are from 6 to 9pm in downtown Mount Vernon. The family-friendly activities include magician Jimmy Burcham, corn hole, a classic car cruise-in and music from Project Round Table on the public square stage.
    Other activities include:
    – TaVaci Select Performers followed by the Uncorrections will provide music at the South Stage – MVNU’s Buchwald Plaza Gazebo.
    – A presentation for the winner of the local Guns vs. Hoses Blood Drive for the American Red Cross. This competition is between our local police and fire departments.
    – The American Red Cross will host a bloodmobile at City Hall.
    – A Hidden in Plain Sight event with KSAAT (Knox Substance Abuse Action Team) will take place at the Elks Lodge.
    – “Outside” – an exhibition by the Creative Art of Women (CAW) will be at MVNU’s Schnormeier Gallery. In this exhibition, CAW explores the external forces and exterior surfaces that make up the world- whether structural, anatomical, or metaphysical. Each artist wrestled with the theme of “OUTSIDE” through her own lens resulting in a diverse view of what makes up the world outside ourselves.
    – Food vendors on the square

    Thanks for listening!

Game Time Tuesday – July 7th

It was Game Time Tuesday on today’s Afternoon Drive!

We played Buzzword and Song Poetry. Our Buzzword was “body” and Evelyn from Mount Vernon quickly called in and won a Ginny Owens CD.

We also played song poetry with these lyrics:

     I won’t fear what tomorrow brings

     With each morning I’ll rise and sing

     My God’s love will lead me through

We didn’t have a Song Poetry winner, but those lyrics belong to Rend Collective’s My Lighthouse. You can check out that song here.

We talked about Chocolate Day and Global Forgiveness Day, which are both today. The best way to celebrate would be to combine the two and send a delicious chocolate treat to someone you need to forgive.

Our Word of the Day was nostrum, a noun meaning a questionable remedy or scheme. You can read more about that here.

We told you our Big Blue Crew will be going on the road THIS Saturday, July 11th for Christmas in July. Miriam Hayslett and Annabelle Harray will be traveling to different collection points throughout Mount Vernon from 10 am – 12 pm to give you live updates on what is happening. Click here to see what items are needed most and the complete list of collection sites.

Joe also shared some recipes for a couple different casseroles he made for our summer staff, and I highly recommend trying both of them. Here they are:

Crock Pot Bread Breakfast Casserole

10 eggs
2.5 cups of milk
8-10 slices of buns or bread, broken into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups cheddar jack cheese
2 cups diced ham (or crumbled sausage or bacon)
FYI – 1/2 cup of green pepper and/or onion is also optional in the recipe

1. Prep the Crock Pot with cooking spray
2. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt and pepper; blend until mixed together
3. Layer the bottom of the pot with half of the bread, then layer in half (1 cup) of the ham, then half of the cheese
4. Put the rest of the bread in the pot, then layer in the rest of the ham and cheese
5. Pour the egg mixture over everything
6. Put the lid on the Crock Pot; cook on low for a minimum of 4 hours

French Toast Casserole

8 eggs

2.5 cups milk

10 slices of buns or bread, broken into bite-sized pieces

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

handful of additional brown sugar to sprinkle over the top before baking

1. Prep a 9×13 pan with cooking spray

2. Mix the brown sugar and butter in a stove top pan, mixing until blended and syrupy

3. Combine eggs, milk and vanilla in a bowl; whisk until blended

3. Layer the bottom of the pan with the hot brown sugar/butter mix

4. Put the bread across the pan evenly, about 1 1/2-2 inches high

5. Pour the egg mixture over everything; make sure all bread is coated

6. Sprinkle cinnamon over the mixture

7. Cover and put in the fridge overnight

8. Next morning, uncover, sprinkle brown sugar over the top

9. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes

10. Serve with syrup if desired

Have fun trying out these recipes and have a terrific Tuesday evening!


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