The Jealous Crumpet

A sweet little blog

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Florence Restaurant Week #FRW2015

Florence Main Street

I was invited to participate in Florence’s Restaurant Week 2015.  Wonderful local food (for free), great people, and the chance to spend the weekend in one of my favorite cities. Yes please!

Florence is near and dear to my heart as it is home to my alma mater, UNA. I both studied and taught journalism and photography at the university. I have many wonderful memories of the city, which has great restaurants, fun festivals, and supports an impressive music and arts community.

This year, 14 restaurants are participating in the Florence Main Street sponsored charity event.  Each restaurant will offer specials for participants. As part of the event, patrons that eat at one of the restaurants will have the opportunity to vote for one of their five favorite charities.  At the end of restaurant week, the charity that has received the most votes will receive $5000, generously donated by McDaniel Window & Door.

On Wednesday, I attended the kickoff for restaurant week at Singin’ River Brewery and got to sample food from all of the restaurants.  Everything was delicious and it made me super excited about this weekend.  I also got to meet my fellow bloggers: Eve and Roger from Friday Date Night and my blogger BBF Christi Britten Williams (we were photojournalism friends at UNA) from Dirt Plate.  Make sure you check out their posts this week as well.  1Y2B6654

Below are the participating restaurants of the event.  Make sure you check my blog next week for lots of photos from the 5 restaurants I’m covering this weekend.  I’m seriously regretting making an appointment with a personal trainer on Monday.  😦

Singin’ River Brewing CompanyUntitled-14

City Hardware and Ricatoni’s Italian GrillUntitled-10

Rivertown Coffee Co.Untitled-11


Imagine That BakeryUntitled-6

Sperry’s RestaurantUntitled-13

Wildwood TavernUntitled-9

FloBama DowntownUntitled-3

Bookmarks Coffee ShopUntitled-8



The Pie FactoryUntitled-4

On The RocksUntitled-5


Girl Scout Cookie Challenge: Thin Mint Covered Pears

together2Tis the season, Girl Scout Cookie Season that is.  It’s similar to Christmas in that you have to shell out funds every time you walk into a retailer, grocery store, gas station, etc. etc. but instead of shoving a dollar into a red bucket for a half-hearted ‘thanks’ you shell out $3.50, but you also get cookies…  and you make some kids happy, but seriously it is really about the cookies.

I don’t have kids of my own, so I feel very comfortable disappointing children.  I’ll give money to charities that I feel are worthy, but just because a cute face is peering up at me I’m not going part with my cash so some 8-year-old can go to Europe.  And there is no way I am letting a kid wash my car for charity.  As I child/teen I participated in these fund-raisers and I can tell you we did a terrible job washing cars, and honestly probably damaged some in the process.

But Girl Scout cookies are amazing, so if I make some child happy by purchasing cookies that I want anyways, that is an added bonus.thinmintsIn fact, the Girl Scouts is a great organization, and I have many friends that still talk fondly of their days as a scout.  The Girl Scout’s mission is to “builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.”  How can you argue with that.  Plus most of the cookie sales (after they pay the bakers) goes back  into the organization, and the cookies themselves are kosher, with no trans fats, and conflict free cocoa.For this post I again paired up with Dirt Plate to create a recipe using Girl Scout cookies.  Dirt Plate has 2 daughters in the Girl Scout origination, and they have been selling cookies like crazy.  So to celebrate the winding down of cookie mania we are both cooking with cookies.  “Cooking with Cookies”, now that would be an awesome blog.  Someone out there start that.  I just want credit for coming up with the name.  (emoticon winkey face)thinmints2

Christi of Dirt Plate out did herself this week with beautiful Thin Mint Muffins.  I will definitely will be trying her recipe out this weekend.  Go check her recipe out for yourselves.pears1I’m partial to thin mints, especially frozen (yum), so I made thin mint chocolate covered pears.  I thought pears were a nice change from apples, which I did last week.  Plus pears with chocolate are delicious!pears

In my caramel apple post I totally forgot to buy craft sticks, so I had to cut branches out a tree mid-way through the recipe, but it turned out pretty nice.  I thought I would try it again with the pears.  This time I was able to get a branch with a little leaf on it which was an added bonus.  The incredibly easy recipe below.cookies

Thin Mint Chocolate Covered Pears

4 cleaned branches from a nonpoisonous tree OR 4 craft sticks

3 Pears

1 (7 oz) tub dipping chocolate (Baker’s)

Peppermint Extract-You can also make your own extract with a recipe from Dirt Plate.  Check it out!

15 Thin Mints-Throughly crushed

Insert cleaned branched into the stem end of each pear.  Melt the dipping chocolate per its instructions and after it is melted add 6 drops of peppermint extract and mix into the chocolate.  Immediately dip pear into the chocolate for a nice even coat.  (As you can tell from the photographs I did not get a nice even coat, but a thick lumpy coat. It still tastes good, but it isn’t as pretty).  While the chocolate is still melty roll in the crushed Thin Mints.  Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and let cool thoroughly.

Enjoy knowing you made a girl scout happy, unless you don’t like children and then just enjoy!Untitled-1

For other fruits on sticks and Girl Scout Cookie inspired recipes check out my: Samoa Caramel Apples.


Girl Scout Cookie Inspired: Samoa Caramel Apples


You will love these as much as your dentist will hate them!

I never reached full-fledged girl scout status, but for a couple of years I was a brownie with a bad attitude.  I liked the crafts (who doesn’t love making Christmas ornaments out of tuna cans) and hanging out with fellow brownies, but I HATED the uniform.  Actually I hated two specific parts of the uniform: the brown, elastic-waisted, polyester pants (I mean come on, we were 6 not 60) and the felt beanie.  Thank-fully I had the fashion option to wear the polyester jumper, rather than pants, but I was obligated to wear an inane beanie at various Brownie functions, which at six-years old was a devastating experience.  I was a bit of a diva then.  I hated it so much that after a year of enduring a brown, felt bowl on my head, I begged my mother to let me retire from brownies.  Alas, she was a co-leader and there was  no way she was going to suffer through selling cookies, organizing crafts and going to weekly meetings without me suffering as well.  So for another year I endured the mud-colored skullcap and my mother enduring me whining and complaining about it. Here is a photo of me sulking before a parade, and yes, I’m sulking because I have to wear the beanie.  Bless my parents for having to deal with such a drama queen.blogpic46 I actually think Girl Scouts is an amazing organization.  Don’t be a diva ladies, you will miss out like I did.  Right now is Girl Scout cookie season, so I have paired up with DirtPlate to create a post about Girl Scout Cookies.1Y2B4725My favorite cookie then and now is Samoa cookie.  It has everything wonderful in it: caramel, chocolate, coconut, and deliciousness.  I used the Samoa as my inspiration for caramel apples.  They were almost as amazing as the cookie.togetherGirl Scout Inspired Samoa Caramel Apples

5 wooden craft sticks or you can be like me, forget to buy the sticks and have to cut branches out of your tree in the front yard.  Looks cool, but make sure you don’t pick a poisonous tree.  

4 medium apples, washed and dried  

Cooking spray  1 (11 oz) bag caramel bits (Kraft)  

2 tablespoons whipping cream  

1 (7 oz) tub dipping chocolate (Baker’s)  

1/2 cup toasted coconut (toast coconut by spreading flaked coconut on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 6-8 minutes. It burns quickly {seriously, it can burn in 5 to 10 seconds so watch it closely} let cool)

Insert wooden craft sticks into stem end of each apple. Line baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper; spray paper with cooking spray. Place caramel bits and cream in a medium saucepan. Cook on medium-low heat 3 minutes or until completely melted, stirring constantly. Dip apples into melted caramel, spooning caramel over apples. Allow excess caramel to drip off. Place apples onto prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate 1 hour. Melt dipping chocolate according to package directions; drizzle chocolate over apples. Immediately sprinkle with toasted coconut.1Y2B4746Recipe Options 

Options-Mix the coconut into the hot caramel and then dip in chocolate once caramel is cooled.


Each recipe options look different, but they all taste amazing.

Options-Dip the caramel apple in the chocolate, then sprinkle with toasted coconut.


Behind the Scenes


When you have a limited budget, just make your set out of cardboard. 🙂



Roasted Butternut Squash Pie: 3 Ingredient Challenge

Butternut Squash Pie

So for this week’s post I was challenged by the talent blogger, Christi, of to create a recipe using 3 seasonal ingredients.  Christi would do the same for her blog and post on the same day.   It was a bit like a small-scale version of The Iron Chef minus time constraints.

At a local farm we were able to get a variety of winter squashes, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Perfect for desserts or, in Dirt Plate’s case, healthy eating.

The 3 Ingredients: Cinnamon, Winter Squash, Nutmeg

The 3 Ingredients: Cinnamon, Winter Squash, Nutmeg

Screw Cake, Let Them Eat Pie!

Screw Cake, Let Them Eat Pie!

I’m not usually a fan of pumpkin pie, so I was not thrilled with the prospect of a squash pie, but it was AMAZING!!  I am a huge fan of this recipe.



Dirt Plate created a beautiful roasted winter squash pecan salad with goat cheese.  Yum!!  I know what I am making with my extra butternut squash.  Get the recipe at:

This was the shot right before I dropped a piece of camera equipment on the pie and ended the photography for the day.

This was the shot right before I dropped a piece of camera equipment on the pie and ended the photography for the day.


Working with sugar requires patience and when that fails lots of swearing.

Working with sugar requires patience and when that fails lots of swearing.

Confession: See the lovely ‘pie’ written is sugar, that was a complete disaster to do.  I had a plan to create an ornate pattern in sugar.  I saw it on Pinterest (damn you pinterest) and thought it looked SO easy. False!  If I dumped a cup of sugar directly on top of the pie I could not have done a worse job.  I used too much sugar, the pie was sticky, my pattern was too ornate, etc etc.  Sugar was everywhere, on the counter, on the floor, in my hair somehow.  I should have taken photos, but I was too busy swearing and cursing the day that I ever discovered Pinterest.  I managed to clean up the plague of sugar, simplify my pattern to ‘pie’ and get a half decent decoration.  

Recipe below.

This sugar spoon will NOT help you create ANYTHING!!

This sugar spoon will NOT help you create ANYTHING!!

Roasted Butternut Squash Pie

1 ½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed

6 tablespoons butter, melted, divided

1 ½ cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (about 12 crackers)

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

3 large eggs

¾ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup whipping cream

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Garnishes: whipped cream, nutmeg

1. Heat oven to 425F. Place squash on a baking sheet; toss with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Bake 15-20 minutes or until squash is tender. Let cool.

2. Reduce oven temperature to 350F. In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar. Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter, stirring until crumbs are moistened. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.

3. Place squash in a food processor and process until smooth, about 60 seconds. Add eggs, brown sugar, cream, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon; process until smooth. Pour filling into crust. Bake at 350F until set, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Chill 3 hours or overnight. Serve with whipped cream and a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg.

Too Late!

Too Late!

Bon appetite