Birmingham Originals restaurants – the perfect Black Friday gift (slideshow)

Birmingham Originals - Continental Bakery/Chez Lulu
Birmingham Originals – Continental Bakery/Chez Lulu

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Do you want to finish all your Black Friday gift shopping on one website?

Try this out.

The Birmingham Originals is a group of  local restaurants that have banded together to promote and develop locally owned and operated restaurants, each with its own unique flavor and flair, to propel Birmingham’s robust food scene.

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A Guide to the Magic City’s Startup & Revitalization Organizations – (Part 2 of 5)

We can attribute Birmingham’s growth to many different factors in today’s economy, but the two leading forces are the immense amount of startups and revitalization of our communities/districts within city limits.


Part 2 – Innovation Depot

BhamNow talked with Devon Laney, CEO of the Depot

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Patagonia’s own “doorbuster” sale on Black Friday. Give 100% for the Planet

Photo by Garrett Grove
Photo by Garrett Grove

Rebel against Black Friday madness – Patagonia 100% for the Planet

 

Black Friday.  The kickoff of the holiday retail season. It can be madness.

At storefronts across America, people literally wait outside in long lines for hours to rush into retail stores immediately when the establishment opens at daybreak to purchase the latest electronic game or the hottest trendy toy.  These type of events are often called “Doorbuster” sales.

In lieu of all the Black Friday madness, yesterday, Patagonia, one of the most successful and popular outdoor sustainable clothing companies in the U.S. announced its own special kind of Black Friday “Doorbuster” sale.

Patagonia is giving 100% of their sales on Black Friday to grassroots organizations working in local communities for the environment.

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A Guide to the Magic City’s Startup & Revitalization Organizations – (Part 1 of 5)

We can attribute Birmingham’s growth to many different factors in today’s economy, but the two leading forces are the immense amount of startups and revitalization of our communities/districts within city limits.

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Part 1 –1MillionCupsBHM

BhamNow talked with Scott Phillips, Organizer of 1MC

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Try a fun day trip to one of Alabama’s orchards

“Johnny Apple Seed” is my favorite blessing, even though it’s a simple child’s song. Above is composer and songwriter Michele Brourman giving it a mature upgrade, but I still love to hear kids sing it before sharing a meal.

alabama-apples

The short and sweet tune reminds me of attending Camp Sumatanga in Gallant, Alabama, where we would sing “Johnny Appleseed” before every meal.

There is a spiritual connection between food and nature, and I can thank the Methodist church for opening my eyes (and stomach) to the sweet message found its lyrics. I feel this same connection when visiting our state’s farmers and witnessing the fruits of their labor. One of my favorite ways to rekindle this connection is with a trip to purchase apples from an Alabama apple farm!

The state has handful of apple orchards, some where you can even pick your own apples. While the picking season ends at the end of October, the orchards below continue to sell the fruits of their labor until they run out.

Photo courtesy of Crow Mountain Orchard
Photo courtesy of Crow Mountain Orchard

Crow Mountain Orchard
6236 County Road 39 Fackler, AL 35746
256-437-9254
Crow Mountain Orchard, while not open for tours, boasts over 20 varieties of apples that they sell to the public. From Ginger Golds to Pippins, along with more common ones like Gala and Golden Delicious, Crow Mountain apples can also be purchased at seven different farmer’s markets.

Photo courtesy of Scott's Orchard
Photo courtesy of Scott’s Orchard

Scott’s Orchard
2163 Scott Road, Hazel Green, AL 35750
(256) 828-4563
Scott’s Orchard is the largest apple orchard in Tennessee, but they are technically located in Alabama. Confused? Don’t be! The 150-acre farm stretches across the state line. They serve apples, peaches, cider, apple and peach cider slushies, vegetables, honey and molasses.

Steele’s Orchard
1695 Co Rd 1141, Cullman, AL 35057
Phone: (256) 734-5249

Steele’s Orchard is located in Cullman, and they give tours of the orchards (unlike most) in addition to selling apples and apple goods on site. Steele’s Orchard has a gift shop and bakery that’s open through December, selling everything from southern fried pies to apple-wood chips for barbecuing.

Now, what to do with all those apples after your day trip? My personal favorite is this healthy breakfast muffin, made with candied ginger and whole-wheat flour. You can also find this recipe on the Bham Now Facebook page.

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Apple Ginger Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. chopped candied ginger (available at asian markets)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. small-diced apples
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 eggTopping:
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. candied ginger, chopped finely

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups In large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking soda and salt; blend well.In medium bowl, combine apples, oil, and egg; blend well and Add to Your dry ingredients; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. don’t over mix! Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Walking paths, light shows coming to Vulcan Park

kiwanis-club-vulcan-graphicA $4 million, three-part project is underway for Vulcan Park, thanks to the Kiwanis Club. To celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary in 2017, a grand-scale makeover is in the works.

The “big changes” include:

  • A makeover for the North side of the park, improving the paths and the walking trails, as well as other parts in need of an upgrade.
  • The creation of Kiwanis Centennial Park, a meeting an event space. This part of the improvement project will also include walking steps from the north side of the park directly up to Vulcan itself.
  • A two-mile jogging and biking trail is planned for the second phase of the project. It will extend Vulcan Trail to Green Springs Highway, as a part of the planned 750 miles of Birmingham’s Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System.
  • The last phase of the project includes the installation of a multicolored light show for Vulcan, like in the rendering below.

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1MillionCups Birmingham – Nov. 16, 2016

Recently, BhamNow has become the media provider for 1MillionCups Bham, which holds weekly presentations featuring local entrepreneurs in the early stages of business.

This is not a source of funding, but to allow the entrepreneur(s) to sharpen up presentation skills, receive feedback from others, and to possibly meet an investor along the way.

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Alabama river groups plea for water plan: “Our rivers are drying up”

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Alabama is in the midst of one of the most devastating droughts in our history.  For a generation, the Alabama Rivers Alliance (ARA) and watershed groups have called on state officials to create a statewide water management plan to address issues such as drought emergencies.

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