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

OdetteUntitled-2

Imagine That BakeryUntitled-6

Sperry’s RestaurantUntitled-13

Wildwood TavernUntitled-9

FloBama DowntownUntitled-3

Bookmarks Coffee ShopUntitled-8

Trowbridge’sUntitled-7

LegendsUntitled-12

The Pie FactoryUntitled-4

On The RocksUntitled-5


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Sweet Tea Snow Cream

We don’t often get snow in Alabama, so it is an epic event when we eventually get some.  Everyone is outside, making snowmen and forts, sledding on sheet pans and cardboard, having snowball fights, and of course making snow cream.  But rather than make the tradition snow cream, I made snow cream with a southern twist: sweet tea!  I used Peaches and Cream Tea from the amazing Piper & Leaf and it was delicious.  You can purchase it at the link above and I highly recommend that you do!Untitled-2The only snag I ran into was placing a bowl outside to catch clean snow and then forgetting about it.  At first I thought someone had stolen my bowl, but then I realized I just had to dig it out from the snow.  At least I had plenty to work with!

My bowl 5 minutes after putting it out vs my bowl 2 hours after putting it out.

My bowl 5 minutes after putting it out vs my bowl 2 hours after putting it out.

To make the Sweet Tea Snow Cream I just added cold tea, heavy cream, and raw sugar to fresh snow.  It was so tasted I made a second batch as soon as I ate the first one.
Sweet Tea Snow CreamAlso check out my post for traditional Snow Cream.  Includes photos of gnomes!

 

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Tea Brewing 101: Piper and Leaf

Tea Brewing 101 at Piper and Leaf Tea.

Tea Brewing 101 at Piper and Leaf Tea.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending a tea brewing class with a local tea house, Piper & Leaf Artisan Tea Bar.  We learned the art and subtleties of tea brewing in a causal setting with other passionate tea drinkers.Piper and LeafWhile sweet, cold tea is guzzled throughout Alabama as a slight reprieve to our hot, sticky summers, coffee and, the less healthy option, Coke Cola rein supreme when it comes to a daily pick-me-up.  But recently tea houses have started popping up around Huntsville and we are discovering what the rest of the world knew centuries ago: the magic of tea.  Piper & Leaf has done an exceptional job to bring delicious tea to our community and has all of us flocking to buy their brew.  When I learned about their tea brewing class I signed up right away, which was good, because it filled up quickly. Tea Brewing 101While I won’t give away any of the classes secrets (you’ll have to sign up for the next session) I will say that we learned 5 different brewing techniques.  I especially enjoyed brewing concentrated tea in the french press, and though I own a french press, it never occurred to me to brew tea in it.  So obvious!

Brewing Tea in a French Press

Brewing Tea in a French Press

There were lots of people in the class and it was nice to be able to chat with people about their love to tea.  People were excited to be there learning new things, which is always nice.  Piper and Leaf Brewing ClassI took the class with a friend, Kami, who as a true southerner with deep dixie roots was skilled in the art of reading tea leaves, a skill she learned from her grandmother.  Kami instructed me to drink most of my tea, leaving a tiny bit of liquid in the bottom.  She then had me place my cup upside down on a plate, turn the cup clockwise three times and then lift up my mug for inspection.

As Kami looked into the cup, a roadmap to my future, she raised her eyebrows.

“Don’t say a baby!” I said, reading a look on her face.

Kami said nothing.

“Dangit Kami!” I fussed.

Every time I get my tea leaves read the reader sees a freakin baby.  I can barely handle my houseplants let alone a baby!

After a long pause Kami said, “I don’t see a baby, but I do see a toy dinosaur.  That could mean lots of things.” But I am not convinced.  I think it means a kid in the house playing with toy dinosaurs.

Kami showed the woman across our table my cup for a second opinion and she also sees a toy dinosaur.

Then Kami says, “Oh there it is, I see a baby right here.”  The woman also sees a baby, but I just see a bunch of flakes in a random pattern.  You can be the judge.  Here is a photo of the ‘baby’ Kami and the other lady saw in my tea leaves.

On the right photograph in the back lower part of the cup is where Kami says my future baby is appearing in my tea leaves.

On the right photograph in the back lower part of the cup is where Kami says my future baby is appearing in my tea leaves.

It was a good thing I was in a tea house because after the shocking news that I may be having a future spawn I needed a calming cup of tea to relax.  Piper & Leaf has numerous flavors, with lots of ingredients produced by local farmers. Piper and Leaf Tea

After the class Piper & Leaf sent us home with their delicious Peaches and Cream tea, so we could go home and practice what we had learned.  Though the class was supposed to end at 9:00 we all stood around chatting and I didn’t head to my car until almost 10:00 (on a work night, how irresponsible!).Piper and LeafPlease check out Piper & Leaf.  Happy Brewing!

Brewing Tea


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Cooking with Craft Beer: Porter Braised Brisket Sandwich

Mmmmmm! Brisket is way better than Campbell's soup to stay warm.

Mmmmmm! Brisket is way better than Campbell’s soup to stay warm.

So this week every state in the US hit freezing level temperatures. Even Hawaii! Brrrrrr!

In southern states we are ill-equipped to deal with frigid weather, so people are pretty miserable.  Not Buffalo, New York, 7 feet of snow miserable, but still cold enough to complain loudly about it to whomever will listen.  To help us all get through what promises to be a chilly winter here is a recipe for a delicious and more importantly warm sandwich: the Porter Braised Brisket Sandwich.  It is made with craft beer, so you can sip on the leftovers and get toasty.

Singin' River Brewing Company

Singin’ River Brewing Company

This recipe was created by the super-talented Lily Plauché.  The recipe was originally posted in a craft beer article in NoAla magazine.

Singin' River Brewing Company

Singin’ River Brewing Company

The recipe features beer from Florence, Alabama brewery: Singin River Brewing.  The brewery was super fun, with excellent beer and super stylish decor.  It is an hour and a half drive for me, but well worth the trip.feature3

Porter Braised Brisket Sandwiches

Recipe by Lily Plauché

Serves: 8

The main purpose of the beer in this recipe is to tenderize the meat while providing another layer of flavor. Use the meat for these sandwiches, in quesadillas, or serve as a stew over potatoes or rice.

4 pounds beef brisket, trimmed, cut into 3-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 cup Singin’ River Porter

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 cups beef broth

8 sandwich buns

Slaw

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Sprinkle brisket with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add half of brisket, browning on all sides. Remove brisket and set aside. Brown remaining half of brisket in Dutch oven; remove and set aside.

2. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the pot; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add beer, stirring to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in tomato paste and broth. Return brisket to the pot, nestling it nicely into the liquid. Cover and bake until brisket is very tender and can easily be shredded with a fork, about 3 hours.

3. Shred brisket with 2 forks; serve the meat on buns topped with slaw.

Stay Warm!

Stay Warm with Beer!

Stay Warm with Beer!

 

 

 


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Porter Brownie Sundaes: Brew Stooges Brewery

This recipe has a porter brownie AND porter ice cream.  It is delicious!!!

This recipe has a porter brownie AND porter ice cream. It is delicious!!!

Several months ago, I wrote and photograph a story about the craft beer industry in Huntsville for Huntsville No’Ala Magazine.  My favorite recipe (created by the uber-talented Lily Plauché) is this one: The Porter Brownie Sundae with Porter Ice Cream.  Amazing!

Also amazing is the Brew Stooges Brewery itself.  The brewers are super fun, super nice and the beer is delicious.  If you live in the North Alabama area you definitely need to pay a visit to their tap-room, which is opened 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays unless otherwise posted.

Brew Stooges Beer

Knucklehead Brownie Sundaes

Recipes by Lily Plauché

Serves: 8 (you will have brownies left over, which isn’t usually a problem)

For the brownies:

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter

16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped, divided

1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Brew Stooges Knucklehead Porter beer

½ cup chopped pecans

  1.  Heat oven to 350F.Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2.  In a medium pot, melt butter and 12 ounces chocolate over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Let cool slightly.
  3.  Whisk sugar and eggs into melted chocolate mixture. Whisk in beer. Stir in flour mixture just until combined. Stir in remaining 6 ounces chopped chocolate and pecans. Pour batter into a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool on a wire rack.

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Porter Ice Cream

¾ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups whipping cream

6 large egg yolks

1 ½ cups Brew Stooges Knucklehead Porter beer

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. In a medium pot, whisk together sugar, salt, and cream. Heat over medium heat just until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk 1 cup hot cream into egg yolks. Whisk egg mixture back into pot with remaining cream. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat until mixture thickens slightly and reaches 160F (do not boil). Pour mixture through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl; whisk in porter and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Pour chilled custard into bowl of an ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon ice cream into a container and freeze 4 hours or until firm.3stooges2