The Jealous Crumpet

A sweet little blog


3 Comments

Day 3: Beignet Cafe #dinehsv

Beignet CafeThis week I’ve been participating in a food blog tour to kick off Huntsville’s Restaurant Week. Fellow bloggers and I visited three restaurants and got the inside scoop about what specials they would be offering from August 12th until the 21st.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, but what a sweet end it was. The last day of the food tour found us at Beignet Cafe. I recently went on a trip to New Orleans, so I came into Beignet Cafe wondering if they could match the culinary delights I’d experience in The Big Easy and boy did they ever. The food was equal, if not superior, to the Cajun cuisine I’d experienced several weeks earlier.12The restaurant itself is really cute, with simple, but cheery decor. Live flowers adorn every table and french signage gives the cafe an authentic NOLA feel. 9Of course, we started the proper way with sugar laden, warm and oh so wonderful beignets and full cups of Café du Monde, chicory coffee. At this point it had started raining, but that only added to the comforting effect of our soft pastry starter.

I did not made a good wardrobe choice that morning and was wear a black shirt, which was covered in sugar after my first bite. It was worth it! 2All of the bloggers order different dishes so we could try lots of items. I started with a cup of gumbo. It was excellent, with pieces of chicken, seafood, vegetables and the perfect level of spices.1For my entrée I had the Dirty Grits, which were covered in chunks of andouille sausage and chicken, cooked in Cajun seasoning. It was a perfect comfort food, spicy, but pleasant with creamy grits and savory toppings.5There was also a gorgeous Strawberry Feta Salad topped with blackened chicken and balsamic vinaigrette.6The Egg Bake with fresh fruits looked delicious, but I forgot to sample that. It seemed like a hit though. You could get three varieties of Egg Bakes: Veggie, Classic or Meat.

I might not have eaten the Egg Bake, but I did get a photograph of it. You know you have your priorities out of order when it is more important for you to photograph you meal than eat it. #photographerproblems

I might not have eaten the Egg Bake, but I did get a photograph of it. You know you have your priorities out of order when it is more important to photograph of a meal than eat it. (eye roll) #photographerproblems

We were all quite content, but owner Denise had one more surprise for us: Tres Leche Bread Pudding. One word: Heavenly.

I always wondered why Southerners loved bread pudding so much, because honestly bread pudding kind of sounds unappetizing. The first time I heard about it I envisioned chocolate Jello on top of Wonder bread. Yuck! But this Yankee admits she was wrong (again) and that Tres Leche Bread Pudding is delicious and decadent. Bread PuddingThank-you to Denise and the wonderful staff at Beignet Cafe for hosting us bloggers on this last day of the blog tour!!7And thank-you to the CBV for inviting me to the 2016 Food Blog Tour. As usually it was a great experience.8Make sure you check out my fellow bloggers posts about Beignet Cafe.

Katie Actually: http://www.katieactually.com/beignet-cafe/

Sweet T Makes Three: http://www.sweettmakesthree.com/places-to-eat-in-huntsville-alabama/

Rocket City Mom: http://www.rocketcitymom.com/huntsvilles-beignet-cafe/
14

 


6 Comments

Harry Potter Inspired Acid Pops

1As any true Harry Potter fan knows July 31st is Harry’s birthday. He’ll be 36 years old this year. Now don’t you feel older.

Harry and his buddies were frequenters of the candy shop Honeyduke’s, where they would by Chocolate Frogs, Fizzing Whizzbees, Cockroach Clusters and Acid Pops. To celebrate Harry’s birthday I created my version of Acid Pops.

4

Acid Pops

1/2 cup Light Corn Syrup

1 cup Sugar

1/2 cup Water

5 drops Lemon Extract

5 drops Green Food Coloring

3 packs Pop Rocks 

Step one: Take your wand, flick and clearly state “Accio Acid Pop ingredients”.  For muggles just collect your ingredients. 

Step two: In a medium sauce pan combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Heat on high, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Step three: Prep your lollipop mold by spraying a small amount of oil in the area they candy will touch.

Step four: Boil the ingredients until the temperature reaches 300°F and remove from heat.

Step five: Add extract and food coloring and stir.

Step six: Carefully spoon the melted sugar mixture in the mold, immediately place the sticks in the candy and pour Pop Rocks onto the hardening lolli. Beware they Pop Rocks may shoot wildly around the room when they hit the hot sugar.  Don’t put your face near the candy to hear the snapping of the Pop Rocks as you could lose any eye. I learned this one the hard way.

3

After 20 minutes the candy should be cool enough to enjoy.  The Pop Rocks do lose there snap after time, so you want to enjoy them the same day.

Happy Birthday Harry!!2

 

 


2 Comments

New Menu at BRAVO Cucina Italiana

2To be honest, blogging can be a lot of work and often I wonder if it is worth the effort. And just when I decide maybe I don’t want to do it anymore I get invited to a dinner or tasting and I decide I like it again.

My latest food-venture was at Bravo! Cucina Italiana with fellow food blogger C.C. Fridlin. We attended a tasting of the restaurant’s new menu, which included a wine pairing.
4We started with Zucchini & Eggplant Fritti with lemon aioli and pomodoro sauce. Yum! I’m sort of allergic to eggplant, my throat and mouth itches, but dang I love it, so I ate some anyways. I actually preferred the zucchini with this dish, so I minimized the allergic reaction. The first wine of the evening was 19 Crimes, which paired nicely with the appetizers.
11I had the pleasure of dinning with Maddie, a spunky 5 year-old with a yen for lemons. Seriously, this girl loves raw lemons, she ate them by the bowl full and still wanted more! She is also very adventurous, tasting a bit from each dish. I know a lot of adults that could learn eating lessons from this young lady.BravoOur second appetizer, Ricotta & Ciabatta, was heavenly. I’m a huge fan of dishes that you assemble at the table. I know it’s weird, but I love it!5Next came the Antipasti Salad, which had a nice, tangy red wine vinaigrette. It is also gluten free, which can be hard to find sometimes.
6Next came the wine wines and Spicy Shrimp & Clam Linguine. I honestly feel terrible for people that can’t eat seafood because this dish was divine. It had a nice slow burn that crept up on you at the end of the bite.
7Next came the Linguine Carbonara! It was perfect for summer, creamy with hints of white wine. You can also add a sunny side up egg to it for a dollar. What a deal!
9Haricot vert (green beens) framed the Grilled Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese. The chicken was tender and cooked to perfection, but the veggie-holic in me especially liked the green beans.
8At this point I was pretty full, but the food was so good that I kept on eating. I really enjoyed Decoy’s Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a nice pairing with the Bravo! Ribeye. The steak was wonderful, but I went crazy for the polenta and balsamic roasted mushrooms. I’m salivating just remembering it.
10The last entree of the evening was Citrus Marinated Chicken, which was skewered thighs on a bed of orzo and vegetables.  Since it was thigh meat it was especially rich and flavorful.
12Maddie was quite excited when dessert came. See her patiently waiting with her spooned posed for attack! I don’t blame her as it was a delicious: a warm butter blondie, topped with vanilla bean gelato, cookie butter caramel and sugared pretzels. There were but a few crumbs left by the time we were finished.
13Everything was nice and it is good to know that Bravo’s talented team is always working to update their menu. It is worth mentioning that the staff was truly spectacular. They were prompt, friendly and very informed about every dish.
15There was very little food left by the time we were finished. It was all very good. Thank-you Huntsville Bravo and Tiffany Jordan for inviting me!! Thank-you also to C.C. Fridln for keeping up with all of the plate names. You are so much more organized than I am! Please visit C.C.s post here.
14


1 Comment

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 BoWilliams.com. 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!


6 Comments

Prohibition Tunnel and Pecans Galore

Untitled-1Several weeks ago, I read a newspaper article about a prohibition-era hidden tunnel underneath a pecan shop in Decatur, AL. I knew as soon as I read the article I knew I had to investigate. I trekked out the Tennessee Valley Pecan Co. and popped into the shop.5The shop itself it well worth the trip, even without the secret booze den. The pecan company sells a large variety of the most delicious pecans, coffee, and Piper & Leaf teas.  1Y2B2875The shop is adorable with many squirrel themed products. I also learned that there are numerous types of pecans.  Who knew?! 2I ordered a coffee and some dark chocolate pecans and asked to see the secret tunnel.  3Owner David Armistead was very obliging and explained to me how they found the tunnel, a bit of its history and what was down there. 7He showed me to the tunnel which they left exposed with a piece of plexiglass over the top.  Through the hole you can see the scary rickety ladder, whiskey crates, and remaining prohibition debris. 10David kindly invited me to come back on a different day to go down into the tunnel.  I’ll admit it was a pretty scary hole to go into.  I was glad I had been working out because if I was any wider I would not have fit in.  6It was super thrilling and a bit scary.  We found old beer bottles, whiskey boxes and even pecan shells.8It was also an adventure to get myself, camera, and tripod down this very steep ladder. 9

4


2 Comments

Eating In London:Westminster Arms

Untitled-1

Mary Poppins has been digitally added to this photograph in order to create a more accurate view of the London skyline.

Over the Christmas holidays my husband, my sister-in-law and I jetted away for a whirlwind, two day trip to London. We were going to spend several days in the city, but (London Fun Fact) the trains shut down on Christmas Eve Eve (Dec. 23rd) so we shortened the trip.

Since we only had two days we hit the highlights and stuck to the most stereotypically touristy parts of London: Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, fish and chips, tea, etc., but it was still immensely fun.

Now let’s be honest, Great Britain isn’t exactly known for their culinary prowess. True they have tea, scones, and fish and chips, all of which are lovely, but they also have a mysterious, slightly scary, tar-like substance called Marmite, which I’ve gathered you eat on toast (Is it like jam or closer to peanut butter?) and Stargazy Pie, which maybe delicious, but honestly just looks terrifying. (Are you supposed to eat the fish heads?) My point being, I had very mixed expectations when it came to English cuisine.

Baked_stargazy_pie

By Krista – Baked Stargazy Pie Uploaded by Diadoco, CC by 2.0

I am happy to report that most of the dishes were wonderfully delicious and I would eat them again.  That being said, I played it pretty safe and avoided the fish head pies and jellied eels (look it up).

2

A view of what my husband was convinced was London Bridge, but was in fact not London Bridge. It was London Bridge adjacent.

In the morning went sightseeing, shot the obligatory photo at Big Ben, toured Westminster Abbey with an audio recording by Jeremy Irons (fancy), complained about the pesky tourists (Wow, Americans are SO loud! Sorry rest of the world), and in general enjoyed this wonderful, exciting city.

When we finally decided to stop for lunch we had no plan, so we picked the first interesting place we across: Westminster Arms. Apparently we picked well because in addition to being frequented by politicians and journalists, it has also been visited by Desmond Tutu, Angelina Jolie and Bill Clinton. All of this I learned after I got back to the States.Untitled-1We walked downstairs to the crowded restaurant portion of the pub and I fully expected to be turned away or a long wait.

“Are you here to eat?” asked a man brusquely.  He definitely seemed like the owner, so from henceforth I will refer to him as such.

“Yes” I answered.  I reined in my Americanness and said it with polite, deference rather than the exuberant, enthusiasm I’m used to in the States. Polite, deference would never fly at T.G.I.Fridays. They waitstaff would harass you until you faked absolute bliss to be eating artichoke dip. Being an American can be exhausting, who wants to be that upbeat and energetic all the time.

The owner walked up to a table filled with pint sipping patrons and said to the people “These people are eating, you need to leave.”

My husband and I were shocked, but the people seemed to take it in stride, got up and headed upstairs so we could take their table.  I guess it is tavern protocol.

I ordered the most tourist dish possible, fish and chips, which was more for the mashed peas than the fish and chips. I’ve tasted canned Mushy, which I wasn’t a fan off, but it made me want to try the real stuff. As I suspected, real mushy peas are delicious! Of course the fish and chips were also wonderful. 9My husband went for the second most touristy dish, bangers and mash, which was also quite good. I’d like to visit again and try something less obvious, but overall everything was well-cooked and plated.   Untitled-1a The tavern itself was nice with booths, tables and a bar at the front. Everything was covered in wood and complimented with appropriate art and decor.

The ladies’ toilets were also an adventure.  There was a sink with two facets: one for hot water and one for cold water, but none for comfortable temperature water.  I’ve been told this is fairly common in Great Britain, but this was the only sink I encountered like this, granted I was only there for 2 days.IMG_2737The restroom also had charming wall art to keep you entertained during your visit. IMG_2736I’m not sure what ‘cor scrummy’ means but I take it to mean something good.  ‘Sexy’ maybe, ‘tasty’, it’s possible.  If anyone knows please feel free to educate me.


7 Comments

Stay Warm with Chicory

ChicorySee how happy I am to be about to drink my chicory. Sadly moments after this photo was taken I slipped and dumped the entire contents on the ground. I should have taken a photo of that, but I was too busy cursing and my husband was too busy laughing, so alas, there is no photographic evidence.

Though Alabama didn’t get the massive piles of snow that the rest of the of the East Coast received, it get enough to make winter official.snowI lived much of my childhood in New England, so any bit of snow makes me nostalgic and wistful for a simpler time. I love bundling up in heavy socks and sweaters that I almost never get to wear and crunching through the fresh snow, savoring the moment and knowing that tomorrow it will most likely be gone and year before I see it again.8After fun in the snow I like to drink a hot cup of coffee, but as part of my 2016 initiative to be healthier I have been trying to cut my caffeine intake down. Happily I discovered the delights of chicory, which is caffeine free and quite delicious. chicoryChicory is a blue flowered plant whose root has a similar flavor to roasted coffee beans.  There are lots of claims of medicinal uses, such as improving calcium absorption and bone mineral density, as well as helping with weight loss. I just started drinking it, but I let you know if I increase bones and decrease fat.  It is also used in flavoring beers, especially stouts, which is probably another reason I like it.4I started drinking Pero, which has barley (containing important dietary fibers), rye (with several markers of blood sugar control) and chicory. I can’t really say if I’m feeling healthier, but I enjoy it nevertheless.1I also got to break in my new tea-cup, which I’ve been dying to use. The cup and saucer were my souvenir from a recent trip to Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. It’s a gruesome homage to Romeo and Juliet, depicting a pierced heart and the quote, “For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” So dark, I love it!6So stay warm everyone and enjoy a cup of Pero. 2