When it comes to gift ideas, just say cheese!

Birmingham, the time is ripe for gift giving, and if you’re looking for something a little different, but with a personal touch—try artisan cheese.

It’s one of those gifts that offers so much variety, and that may be overwhelming to some. That’s where a local cheesemonger comes in handy. Good thing Birmingham is getting one soon, thanks to all the culinary delights coming to the Pizitz Food Hall!

Pizitz Food Hall by Bayer Properties
Pizitz Food Hall by Bayer Properties

Busy Corner Cheese will feature “farmstead and artisanal cheese and related specialty items,” as well as a knowledgeable staff. Continue reading “When it comes to gift ideas, just say cheese!”

Try these updated recipes for all that leftover turkey

While you are gearing up for the Iron Bowl tomorrow and wondering what you’ll eat, we have a suggestion.  Turkey!  You know you have it. You know you are going to eat it.  All that leftover turkey means so many recipe possibilities!

Good Gravy
In my family we have a turkey-sandwich making competition on the day after Thanksgiving. We take slices of bread and pile them high with our favorite concoctions: macaroni and cheese and gravy, dressing and cranberry sauce and gravy, green-bean casserole and mashed potatoes and cheese and gravy. All with turkey right on top. And more gravy. I cannot tell a lie.  We are gravy crazy.

Continue reading “Try these updated recipes for all that leftover turkey”

The new Western in Mountain Brook – a pleasant surprise

Western Market

After years of planning, in early October, the venerable Western Market on Culver Road, moved to its new home.

Perhaps, we were expecting the new Western Market in Mountain Brook to be much like the old one – a little cramped and small compared to most big box supermarkets. The old Western had that wonderful “neighborhood feel” without too many frills.

The new Western Market, which is located in the new Lane Parke development behind and near the old Western, is the exact opposite.  It is spacious and modern. It has an upstairs dining area, that will become a destination for friends, families and business people to meet. The murals and the signage are eye-popping.

Continue reading “The new Western in Mountain Brook – a pleasant surprise”

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.

Continue reading “Birmingham Originals restaurants – the perfect Black Friday gift (slideshow)”

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.

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
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.

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.

Support recycling, US soccer and local beer at Good People – November 15

American Outlaws Birmingham Chapter

Do you Recycle?  Love Soccer and Good People beer? Are you very patriotic and a big supporter of the US Men’s National Soccer Team?

Well, if you answered “yes” on all these questions, the Alabama Environmental Council and Good People Brewing are holding a special event for you.

Continue reading “Support recycling, US soccer and local beer at Good People – November 15”

Breweries are Becoming a Hot Commodity in Bham – District Brews Coming Soon

Since the rise of Avondale, Good People Brewing, and many more, Birmingham has not been the same. Attraction toward downtown continues to rise not only with consumers, but with new businesses being interested in our growth. 

Next brewery up, District Brewing Co. 


Continue reading “Breweries are Becoming a Hot Commodity in Bham – District Brews Coming Soon”

Travel Channel’s Delicious Destinations features Bham cuisine

Bizarre Foods comes to Bham

Where do you go for some soul food? The Travel Channel chose Birmingham to feature some go to southern cuisine. Earlier this year, TV host Andrew Zimmern’s filmed a segment in a few of our Bham hot spots. “Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations” will air tonight at 8pm CDT. You won’t want to miss it!

Continue reading “Travel Channel’s Delicious Destinations features Bham cuisine”

Woodlawn Cycle Cafe Named ‘Best Restaurant in Alabama’ by Yelp

Woodlawn Cycle Cafe
Retrieved from Instagram – @woodlawncyclecafe

Woodlawn Cycle Cafe has been named by Yelp as the Best Restaurant in Alabama!

According to USA Today, Yelp used an algorithm “combining users’ ratings and reviews – excluding chains” to find the best restaurant in each state.

We found some pretty good evidence as to why WCC was named the best…

Continue reading “Woodlawn Cycle Cafe Named ‘Best Restaurant in Alabama’ by Yelp”