cupcakes

6 Local Birmingham Eats

Support our lovely city of Birmingham by eating local!

Babalu

The best part about their food: locally grown! One of my favorite dishes involved their delicious grits that are grown in Wilsonville, AL, McEwen & Sons. They were the perfect amount of flavor underneath the Braised Beef Short Rib, which was also amazing. The portions are the exact right amount for full satiety without being too large.

beef

When you taste their food you can tell that it is made with care and fresh, fresh, fresh! Their food items are made daily and even their margaritas are made with fresh ingredients (I highly recommend their baba-rita).

marg

They are partnered with Jones Valley Teaching Farm, a non-profit organization, to promote the education on locally grown foods. Jones Valley Teaching Farm is dedicated to educating the young community on what these fresh foods can do for your body! They provide many opportunities to volunteer and get involved here.

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Sprout and Pour

Sprout & Pour has been around Alabama for some time at various farmers markets but has just opened a storefront in the heart of Edgewood!  Sprout & Pour is family owned and uses fresh and local produce to make their cold pressed juices and serves up whole food smoothies!  Many juicing techniques lose key nutrients in their methods, but Sprout & Pour utilizes a cold-pressed method that preserves the vital nutrients in the local produce they use to create their nutrient dense treats!!

Galley and Garden

The galley is the kitchen and the garden is the area for you to enjoy your delicious meal. The chef, James Boyce, originates from Huntsville and owns three successful restaurants there. The restaurant has only been open for a short time and already has stirred talk around the town. The menu features modern American-French style with southern influences. I recommend trying the Grilled Hearts of Romaine salad and Pan Roasted Gulf Mangrove Snapper.

Dreamcakes

Dreamcakes is a locally owned bakery in the heart of Edgewood!  This bakery shares the cupcake love by sending cupcake trucks around the city!!! The creative team at Dreamcakes are consistently impressive at serving up whimsical excitement throughout the year with cupcake flavors and festive treats!  For example, during a pit-stop in October, the Wednesday special was the Sorting Hat cupcake. The Sorting Hat is Harry Potter themed and underneath the chocolate dipped topping is a SURPRISE FLAVOR! Nothing gets me like a hidden surprise inside a delicious cupcake.  Besides cupcakes there are cakes, brownies, chocolate strawberries, macaroons, and oatmeal crème pies. The shop is quaint and in the perfect area to eat outside and walk around to shop locally afterwards.  NutriFocusRD urges everyone to experience this unique & delectable bakery!!!

cupcake

Oli.O

Another family owned operation, Oli.O sells fresh olive oils and balsamic vinegars. These oils are from all over the world including: Spain, Italy, South Africa, Australia, California, and more! The shop provides tastings so you can see which oil or vinegar your taste buds prefer! One of my favorite new things to test out in recipes is infused olive oils and Oli.O has some great varieties like: chipotle, cilantro and roasted onion, organic basil, organic butter, and more! If you check out their website, they provide some recipes for your everyday needs.

Hotbox

Hotbox is considered a “permanent food stand” in the courtyard of Parkside in Avondale. I love the Avondale area, especially on a warn day when you can grab a dish at surrounding restaurants and eat at Avondale Brewery. Hotbox would be perfect for that very idea! Their menu has so much variety I would not know how to describe it besides: my perfect menu. Spicy soba noodles, beets and bok choy, carnitas tostada, and pork belly drunken noodle are on the top of my list. My mouth is watering as I type…

Therese Bridges

Pumpkin & Cinnamon Chip Cupcakes

flower cupcake
flower cupcake

Hey all, its Therese again with another fall themed recipe. I hope you enjoyed my last recipe, I know I did. Sticking with my orange gourd vegetable theme, I decided to make pumpkin cinnamon cupcakes with whipped cream cheese frosting! I cannot express to you, through this post alone, just how amazing these cupcakes are… you will just have to make it yourself!

I based my whipped cream cheese recipe off of Living Better Together’s whipped cream cheese. I like to make each recipe my own by tweaking the recipe a bit so I added cinnamon to the whipped cream cheese.

After never hearing of their existence, before walking around Walmart, I decided to add cinnamon chips to my cupcake recipe. The rest of the recipe is based off reading around twenty various pumpkin cupcake recipes on Pinterest that were all basically the same ingredients, but to give props to a specific recipe (which really helped in teaching me how to bake the cupcakes): Tracey’s Culinary Adventures brown butter pumpkin cupcakes.

Sticking to the fall theme, I wanted to make a dish that would be great for the season… the season of football. Everyone loves their wings, dips, and beer but what about dessert? Dessert is our ultimate goal anyways… These cupcakes are perfect for tailgating with their festive, football baking cups. I decided to bring these cupcakes to the Alabama-Tennessee game in Knoxville this weekend. However, I taste-tested one with one of my lucky roommates this afternoon and they are MELT IN YOUR MOUTH DELICIOUS- the perfect mixture of salty and sweet.

I also purchased some frilly pink baking cups (mostly so I could take SUPER CUTE pictures) to display how pretty these desserts are! I am saving these cupcakes for our girls’ night in tonight for "TGIT" and red wine.

Pumpkin & Cinnamon Chip Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 15 cupcakes

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cinnamon Cupcakes

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • wine
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cinnamon chips
  • 2 large eggs

Whipped Cream Cheese Icing

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

For Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, line cupcake pan with baking liners
  2. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, pour into bowl and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cinnamon chips.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, brown sugar (be sure to pack down in measuring cup), granulated sugar, eggs, and add the butter. Once well mixed, add the dry ingredients to mix together.
  5. Divide the batter into the baking cups, inside cupcake pans, fill until about ½ or ¾ full.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (be sure to rotate the pans about 10 minutes in)
  7. Cool the cupcakes before adding the frosting

For Frosting

  1. Let the cream cheese soften by either setting out while baking cupcakes or soften in microwave (but not me-- I recommend microwaving for 30 seconds)
  2. Mix the cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar in medium bowl and whisk at medium speed (if you own an electric mixer)
  3. Add heavy whipping cream and whisk until the frosting forms peaks
  4. If the frosting is not thick enough, let sit in fridge for a bit and whip again
football
football

Food & Friends: Food's Social Aspect (Part 4)

Upon waking up on day 2 of our mini-Texas vacation, we walked to a unique, coffee “stop” just around the corner from our adorable abode.  Jo’s Hot Coffee (http://www.joscoffee.com/congress/jossouthcongress.htm) is located next to San Jose Hotel, a hip hotel tucked away in luscious greenery, in the funky district of south Austin.Jo’s menu did not include just your ordinary coffeehouse selections. Jo’s menu included fresh baked goods, hot & cold coffee beverages, deli-style sandwiches, side items (potato salad, coleslaw, fresh fruit, chips, and shredded green salad), beer, and cigarettes! Since it was breakfast time, I was focused mainly on the breakfast menu which included breakfast tacos (which seemed to be a popular menu item in Austin), fresh baked muffins, and homemade granola!

The main advertisement on their aluminum siding shack, bragged about an original specialty drink called “Iced Turbo”.  I decided I must go with their original creation to ensure I was experiencing Austin's food genre!  So I ordered a small “Iced Turbo” and picked up a bag of homemade granola.  Since Mike and I planned to nibble on each other’s food, he picked out a freshly baked blueberry muffin!  Both items were absolutely incredible, but the true essence of Jo’s was captured in the funky, eclectic environment that consisted of an aluminum shack, random outdoor tables, non-matching chairs, and the ambiance that encouraged friends to converse and people watch as the city of Austin begin to awaken!

On the way back to the house, we decided we better go ahead and pick up cupcakes from “Hey Cupcake” (www.heycupcake.com/) since they were closed the previous night when we wanted to pick up a few treats.  Just like Jo’s, Hey Cupcake was a small establishment, (it was actually a trailer) located on the side of South Congress Avenue.  By the looks of the trailor, you would never realized that located inside was an array of delicious, delectable, freshly baked cupcakes!  Their slogan: “Who You Callin Cupcake?”

As we began reading through the menu, the decision making process became more difficult with each menu item!  So I, the dietitian, make the final decision that a decision does not have to be made because I read a sign that states “The Dozen Deal: Buy 11 cupcakes and Get 1 Free” so that is exactly what I ordered.  I asked for two cupcakes of each flavor and agreed to a sampler party later on that evening with April, Zach, and Mike!  Our "dozen deal" flavors included: Vanilla Dream, Carrot Cake, Red Velvet, Pumpkinator, Michael Jackson, and Sweetberry!

 

After sampling a combination of the Pumpkinator, Sweetberry, Carrot Cake, and Red Velvet, I claimed the Pumpkinator (the Pumpkinator cupcake is the third cupcake from the top in the box on the right-hand side in the picture above) as the winner of my personal taste test. I have to admit that my cupcake taste buds are hard to win over since I am a Birmingahm local with unlimited access to Dreamcakes Bakery (www.dreamcakes-bakery.com)  in Homewood! Although "Hey Cupcake" put up a strong fight with the Sweetberry cupcake (equivalent to Dreamcakes Simply Strawberry cupcake), I still claim Dreamcakes as the champion of strawberry cupcake making!

With a cupcake sampler plate consumed, a tall glass of organic milk to wash it all down, and tired feet from walking the city of Austin all day, it was no doubt the perfect combination to get us all ready for bed!

Austin's laid back environment continues to intrigue me on our visit.  I think the following quote can really sum up the unique and inviting restaurant industry in Austin, Texas! It's good food without the haughty attitude!

"Never trust the food in a restaurant on top of the tallest building in town that spends a lot of time folding napkins."

~ Andy Rooney