The Jealous Crumpet

A sweet little blog

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Tis the season of good eatin’

38769165_500387043756234_7140208985856016384_n copyFoodies rejoice! Once again restaurant week is upon the city of Huntsville. From August 10 until the 19th restaurants across Madison County are offering their fare at promotional prices. Even the breweries are jumping into the fun with new brews. As part of the promotion for Restaurant Week, I got to sample some of the promotional dishes with the Resturant Week Blogger tour. This is my fourth year to participate (I missed last year because was visiting my in-laws in France! Lucky me!!) and I love it! I get to eat good food with lots of talented food bloggers. What’s not to love. Plus it’s nice because food bloggers don’t even notice the weird things I do like stand on a chair to photograph a piece of cheesecake or gush about how adorable that curl of lettuce it in a salad. Normal people just don’t understand, but food bloggers will offer to hold the reflector. Below: Bloggers doing their blog thang!But seriously how pretty is the salad below!!!!  This year I got to try the special dishes at two restaurants I’d never tried before: Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Keegan’s Public House.Let’s start with Ruth’s Chris. Great restaurants, but I find the name super confusing. Nine times out of ten I call it “Chris’s Ruth” or “that Ruth Steakplace” or “Ruth Christoper’s Resturant”. I digress. As I said before I’d never been, so I let me GPS lead the way. This was a mistake because it led me straight to the Publix Loading Dock. As I walked to the back of Publix I thought, “this is a weird place for a fancy steakhouse” and I was right because there was nothing but some confused employees and dumpsters back there. I eventually got there. It wasn’t confusing, but GPS was just a jerk.1y2b7594-e1533774057866.jpgI met an assortment of extremely talented bloggers and got to eating! Please check their blogs out as well. I know I will. the bitter socialite rocket city eats hvsfoodlifeWe got to try an assortment of dishes but my absolute favorite was the scallops!! I really wanted to try to Lobster Mac and Cheese, but I have an allergy, but dang it looked GOOOOOOD!!!!!Earlier in the day, I tried Keegan’s Public House. I did not get lost, so I was actually on time to this one.  The restaurant itself is really fun. It is located in the AL.COM building (shout out to all my journalist besties! You rock!! May the Fourth Estate Be With You!)There were different bloggers at this event and I got to meet Love at First Bite and Ihearthsv.comWe started out with the house chips with blue cheese.I ordered the Shepard’s Pie, which was everything you want comfort food to be: warm, tasty, the vegetables hidden at the bottom.  There was also a nice salad


Bloggers taking the shots of the dessert on the left. It’s amazing that it wasn’t melted by the end.

…and most importantly yummy, totally unhealthy, but oh so good dessert. It was Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Ice Cream and Whipped Cream on top. Yes, you read that right. It came with 4 spoons to prevent anyone from overeating and slipping into a food coma.


As you go into Restaurant Week make sure you tag all your local food pics on social media with #dinehsv to win prices and if not prices glory. There are also the most adorable gifs from your posts on Instagram. Just search for #dinehsv. 

So grab your forks and see y’all out and about from Aug 10th to the 19th!

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Aussie Night at Outback Steakhouse

1Y2B4084Outback Steakhouse is upping their steak game by unveiling a new center-cut sirloin.  I got invited to a VIP tasting event at Outback on Whitesburg to sample the new steak and east some of their tried and true fare (a blooming onion).  1Y2B4060I very rarely feel like a VIP, but I had a cool super-star moment at this event. Being Outback at dinnertime, there were many, many people waiting for tables. My husband and I walked up to the event (late as usual) and I was mentally preparing myself to wait. I told the host that I was there for the VIP Tasting and she ushered me to the back, no wait at all! The servers immediately started bringing us cocktails, appetizers, steaks, etc. I felt so much more important than I am.1Y2B4023There were also fellow ‘VIPs’ in attendance, including the illustrious Christy Jordan, super-star blogger and creator of Southern Plate, (sorry I didn’t get a photograph) and the amazing Bo Williams, duel blogger for Rocket City Mom and 6 3I tried to pay attention to the names of all the dishes but I wasn’t as good as I should have been.  If I have messed up a dish please let me know.

We started with drinks and bread. I like how Outback violently stabs their bread through the middle when they bring it to you. I’m not sure what that says about me, but when the bread isn’t stabbed I feel really let down.  1Then came shareable cocktails, which was a weird concept for me. Why would you share your cocktail. They were delicious though, despite the shareable issue.  I tried the strawberry peach sangria and my hubby went for a fresh fruit gin cocktail. Both were great, but I loved mine. I’d totally get it again.1Y2B4027Of course there were some blooming onions (did you know the blooming onion has its own wikipedia page #goals) and Aussie cheese fries.

We then got two types of steak: Center Cut Sirloin and Slow Roasted Steak. Both were lovely.4They also served Bacon Bourbon Salmon, which was to die for. 1Y2B4062We ended with Oreo Mousse, which unfortunately I couldn’t partake in because of current allergy issues, but it seemed like a hit.5Thank-you Outback for the invite! See you again soon!


Violet Sake and Vending Machines

2While I was visiting Kyoto I had the pleasure of staying at the Sakura Terrace.  There were many great amenities at the hotel, not the least was a free happy hour where guests got a free cocktail of choice each evening.

My plan was to try a different cocktail on each of our 4 nights at the hotel and on the very first night I got a violet sake cocktail. I LOVED it!! I’d never even thought of making a cocktail with sake, but it was delicious, perfectly balanced, refreshing and beautiful (I am a sucker for pretty libations).  123On the second night I got the violet sake again.  By the third night both my husband and I got the violet sake and by the end of the trip I had never branched out.  When we got back to the states I make it my mission to create my own violet sake.  4For months I played with various sakes, syrups and sodas to create the best possible drink.  It was a fun project and my husband especially enjoyed the position of official cocktail tester.  So here is the recipe!1Y2B2228 copy1 oz Monin Violet Syrup

2 oz Nigori Sake

3 oz La  Croix Lime flavored sparkling water

Mix syrup and sake. Add  water and ice and stir. Enjoy simple perfection!

You may have noticed the uniformed little ladies gripping the rim of the glass.  They were vending machine purchases.  One of the many things that I loved about Japan was the large amount of toy machines that contained the most bizarre little toys.  For 1 or 2 yen you could buy the craziest figurines and I bought many of them.  Far more than is acceptable for a full grown adult, but they were so interesting!! They had machines that sold nothing but old men sitting on benches, peeing dogs and even cute animals made into foods, such as a puppy made into a hamburger.  You can see what I’m talking about on the far right below. Untitled-11 I bough my flexible little ladies, a squat toilet, a woman serving sake, but the weirdest machine I bought is below!Untitled-1How weird is that!!! It is a baby head with an alien inside.  I didn’t have any coins when I spotted it so I dragged my husband into a cafe to get change so I could buy it! The best 2 yen I’ve ever spent!1


Old Wise Man Bourbon Cocktail

Old Wise Man Bourbon CocktailHere’s another exceptional cocktail from Chef Ryan Stone at The Bottle in Huntsville. I am a huge fan of bourbon cocktails, so I definitely recommend this libation. Make sure you also check out Chef Ryan’s Lily, My Love Gin Cocktail.

Old Wise Man

Recipe by Ryan Stone

2oz Sage-infused Old Forester Bourbon

0.5oz Peach Syrup

0.5oz Fresh Lemon Juice

2 dashes Peach Bitters

2 blackberries

In a mixing tin, add blackberries, peach syrup, and lemon juice. Muddle gently for 10 seconds. Add sage-infused Old Forester and peach bitters into the mixing tin, add ice to about the 3/4’s full line, and shake vigorously. Strain twice over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a speared blackberry and a sage leaf.



Zombie Cocktail: The Carl

Who is excited for premier of the 5th season of Walking Dead?

Who is excited for premier of the 5th season of Walking Dead?

Tomorrow (October 12th) is the premier of the 5th season of Walking Dead on AMC and to commemorate it, this week’s post is a recipe for a cocktail to drink while watching what I’m sure will be a very violent and stressful first episode of the season.  It is VERY strong so it will help calm your nerves.The carl cocktailThe Carl cocktail is a play on “The Zombie” cocktail, which I had the great pleasure of ‘testing’ yesterday.  The drink was created in the 1930s, so I was surprised that it would be called “The Zombie”, as I didn’t think zombies were all the rage 80 years ago, but after seeing how much rum and brandy went into this drink the name made so much sense.

The Carl CocktailSince season 4 of the Walking Dead was the first season that I wasn’t actively rooting for Carl to be zombified I figured I’d name the cocktail after him.

The recipe was created by the always talented chef and food stylist Victoria Cox.  Enjoy the recipe, but be warned this is a strong cocktail, so don’t drink it too early in the episode or you’re likely to forget what is going on.  The traditional Zombie Cocktail is also called the Skull Crusher if that gives you any idea what you are in for.

the carl cocktailThe Carl Cocktail Aka The Zombie Apocalypse 

by Victoria Cox

2 oz light rum

1 oz dark rum

½ oz brandy

1 oz pineapple juice

1 oz blood orange juice (they sell this bottled in produce/refrigerated juice section at publix)

1 oz lemon juice

Optional garnishes: Maraschino cherry, lemon slices, pineapple slices, mint sprig

 Combine first 6 ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice; cover and shake 15 seconds. Pour into an ice-filled glass. Garnish as desired.

*Optional pyrotechnics:

½ oz high proof rum (150 or higher)

Hollowed out lemon peel

*this is cool and would be cool with your brain ice cube. Cut a lemon in quarters. Hollow out one quarter (scrape out flesh) to create a “boat.” Float on top of drink. Pour ½ oz (or small amount) of high proof rum into lemon boat. With a long handled match or lighter- be careful- ignite the rum in the lemon boat atop your cocktail.

WARNING: Do I really need to do a warning about playing with fire and alcohol? Don’t be a moron when you are combining fire and flammable substances.  I had a fire extinguisher handy during this shoot, just in case things went terribly wrong.  Also notice that the glass is cracked in the photographs, that was not intended.  It took quite a while to get my shot right so the flame was lit far too long (15 minutes) and it cracked the glass.  Don’t let your glass get too hot.  

Also: AMC-I borrowed some of your photos from your website, which as a photographer I never do, but it seemed fitting with the premier and all, but I can remove anything if that is a problem.  6



Bacon (yes, bacon) Old Fashioned

Bacon Old FashionI have been completely remiss in blogging the last two weeks, but I refuse to let another non-blogging day go by.

Recently I had the pleasure to photograph (and sample) several amazing drinks and dishes at local restaurant, Below the Radar.  The restaurant is currently about to start brewing beer on their premises, which is very exciting for the hop heads of Huntsville, Alabama.

Craft Beer at Below the Radar

Craft Beer at Below the Radar

They also rolled out their spring menu, and North Alabama folk, it is great so go today.  All of the food was excellent, but the tofu stir-fry dish was amazing.  Even the most die-hard carnivore will love it.


Left-The amazing Tofu Stir-Fry Right-The same dish an embarrassingly short time later

But the star of the show was the Bacon Old-Fashioned created by Bar Manager Chase Shelton.  Chase was kind enough to share his recipe with me.  Untitled-2

The Bacon Old-Fashioned 
Recipe by Chase Shelton
Bacon bourbon:
Find the smokiest bacon you can find….I prefer Benton’s or Nueske’s, both of which can be ordered online. Well worth the investment!
-Take the slab bacon and cut it into half inch cubes
-Render all the fat from the bacon in a skillet
-Drain fat into a large jar or other glass container that requires a lid
(the amount will have to be trial and error. I used about two pounds and produced about a cup of fat. Depending on the cut and fattyness of the bacon, results may vary)
-once the bacon fat is in the jar add a liter bottle of your favorite bourbon (we used pritchard’s Tennessee whiskey)
-Whisk the fat and bourbon together and place lid on container
-place the container in the refrigerator and allow to set overnight
-the next day, the fat will have rose to the top and the liquor will be on the bottom
-with a large spoon or spatula, cut around the fat and scoop it out
-strain liquor through 2 coffee filters to remove any excess particles. Once it looks clear again your ready to enjoy
Maple Simple Syrup 
-take grade (a or b) maple syrup and mix 1:1 with boiling water. I use kirklands maple syrup from Costco
Bacon old fashioned
2oz bacon bourbon
3/4oz maple simple syrup
2 dashes angostura bitters
Splash soda
Garnish with a piece of the rendered bacon and an orange twist
Note: cut orange twist wide and long so that you can squeeze the essential oils over the glass once complete.
If you would like to get more recipes pick up a copy of Huntsville Event magazine or visit their website.