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By Amy Poore


Have you started planning the Thanksgiving meal yet? Fall is definitely in the air, and both of these recipes will compliment your holiday table beautifully. The pear chutney is an aromatic delight, and a perfect pairing for your turkey, no matter how you prepare it. And for dessert, I suggest this scrumptious pumpkin Bundt cake with caramel drizzle. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and bon appétit!

Pear Chutney

  • 5 ripe pears, peeled and diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pears in 2 tbsp. hot olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes (or until tender). Transfer to a bowl; wipe Dutch oven clean. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Add raisins, garlic, and ginger; sauté 5 minutes. Add sugar, cinnamon, cloves and dried crushed red pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until spices are fragrant. Stir in vinegar and maple syrup, and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in pears; cook, stirring constantly, 3-5 minutes. Stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Caramel Drizzle

For the cake:

  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the drizzle:

  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

For the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin and sour cream in a large mixing bowl. Add flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt and stir in to combine. Pour into a greased and floured Bundt pan.

Bake for around 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Test it with a wooden pick to see if it comes out clean. Invert cake onto a cooling rack.

For the Caramel Drizzle:

Heat milk and brown sugar in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from stove and add butter and vanilla. Cool for five minutes and drizzle over cooled cake.

Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com


Photos: Amy Poore


Article sponsored by Interlinc Mortgage.

Find them on the web at: https://www.interlincmortgage.com


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If you are anything like me, you like to plan out your week so you can be best efficient with your time and money.  However, this does not always happen, especially when one needs to make a large meal for many guests.  So, this list of ingredients was put together to help you manage your time well over the Thanksgiving week. 


The meal:


Roast turkey

Homemade dressing

Cranberry sauce

Baked sweet potatoes

Green bean casserole

Cornbread or brown and serve rolls

Pickle and raw veggie tray

Pumpkin pie

Apple crisp


The Check-Your-Pantry List (buy if necessary):


•  Flour, about 4 cups

•  Sugar, about 2 cups

•  Brown sugar, 2-3 cups

•  Honey, 1 cup and maybe a little more

•  Thyme, dried, around 3 tsp

•  Lemon-pepper seasoning, around 2 tsp

•  Cooking oil, plain, a few tablespoons

•  Cooking spray

•  Pumpkin pie spice around 1 1/2 tsp

•  Salt and pepper

•  Cornmeal, 1 cup (if you’re making cornbread)

•  Baking powder, around 4 tsp (for cornbread)

•  Cinnamon, around 1 tsp

•  Oatmeal, around 1 cup

•  Vegetable or chicken bouillon, 4-5 tsp




•  Frozen Turkey, 10-12 lbs

•  Onions, around 3 lbs

•  Celery, 1 large bunch

•  Carrots, 1 lb

•  Garlic, 1 head, or 2 if you’re keen on it

•  French or Italian bread, sliced, 1 loaf

•  Eggs (you’ll need 7)

•  Butter, 1 lb

•  Cranberries, fresh, 2 bags

•  Sweet potatoes, large fresh, 1/2 = one serving, so as many as you need

•  Potatoes, large baking, if desired

•  Green beans, regular cut frozen, 2 one-pound packages

•  Mushrooms, 1 pound fresh or 2 8-oz cans

•  Milk, 1 quart

•  French fried onion rings, 1 can

•  Pumpkin, 1 15-oz can (plain pumpkin, not pie filling)

•  Prepared frozen pie crust (if you’re not making your own or lack a pie plate)

•  Evaporated milk, 1 12-oz can

•  Apples, tart baking, 2 pounds

•  Whipped cream, 1 spray can of the real stuff, or Vanilla ice cream

•  Veggie and pickle tray items: pickles, olives, pepperoncini, radishes, green onions, etc. to taste

•  Brown and serve rolls if you opt out of baking your own bread or cornbread

•  Green peas or other frozen veg if desired


And, do not forget the beverages of choice: beer, wine, juice, coffee, sweet tea…


Article sponsored by Bama Bed and Breakfast.

Find them on the web at: www.bamabedandbreakfast.com


Anyone need some new dishes to enjoy at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner? Both of these dishes are perfect for the occasion. The Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash looks gorgeous, but it’s fairly simple to make and it takes just a few ingredients. And the Pear Cake offers a delicious alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving desserts (though certainly include them, too).

Enjoy the Thanksgiving holidays, and bon appétit!


Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 acorn squash
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut each squash in half lengthwise, scrap out and discard seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in 2 baking dishes.


Add 1/2 inch of water to each pan.

Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.

In a bowl, use a hand mixer (or stand) to beat the cream cheese, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy.


Stir in pecans, reserving a few for garnish.

Carefully remove squash from oven and place cut side up on baking sheet.

(Tip: I trim off a little of the bottom so they will lie flat.)

Season squash with salt and pepper, fill with cream cheese mixture and bake for 15-20 more minutes, until filling is lightly browned and squash is tender.

Sprinkle with cinnamon, brown sugar and reserved pecans.


Pear Cake

2 cans pear halves
1 package white cake mix
3 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
Confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain pears, reserving 1 can of syrup. Chop pears.

Mix cake mix, butter, eggs and reserved syrup on low for 30 seconds, increase to medium-high for 4 mins.

Pour batter into a greased and floured Bundt pan.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com.  

Photos: Amy Poore


Article sponsored by Willcutt Block.

Find them on the web at: http://www.willcuttblock.com


There are some amazing pumpkin spiced recipes out there, but with so many options,  it is hard to find the best ones.  So we put together a list of the top 5 pumpkin spiced foods in Alabama.  Mmmm!  Enjoy!


                                                                                                               Sponsored by: 

S’mores in a Skillet? Yes, Please

By Amy Poore


If your idea of a perfect fall evening involves hanging out in the backyard with friends and family cheering on your favorite teams and enjoying tasty treats, this is a recipe just for you. Did you know that you can make S’mores at home, without a campfire? Yep, you can. You can make them in a skillet! Enjoy this recipe – it is always a huge hit.


Happy fall, y’all, and bon appétit!


Skillet S'mores

1/2 Tablespoon melted butter
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
7-10 jumbo marshmallows, cut in half
Box of graham crackers

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Swirl butter around the bottom and sides of an 8 inch iron skillet.
Evenly spread chocolate chips in the bottom of skillet.
Arrange marshmallow halves on top of chocolate chips (cut side down).
Place on middle rack and back 6-10 minutes or until the tops of marshmallows are browned.
Let sit for five minutes; serve immediately with graham crackers.

*Caution - skillet and dip will be hot.

Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com.  

Photo: Amy Poore


Article sponsored by A Touch of Love.



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Cooking with venison (deer meat) can be challenging at first. Proper tenderizing and seasonings need to be added to enhance the flavor and cut down on the "gamey" taste that comes along with wild game. We first started cooking with venison as a way to cut costs at the grocery store meat department when prices started to skyrocket. I also found that I liked the fact that the meat was all natural, with no steroids or other additives. The following five recipes have become family favorites over the years.

Slow Cooker Venison Roast

3 pounds boneless venison roast

1 large onion, sliced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

½ cup Red Wine


Put cleaned meat in slow cooker and cover with onion. Sprinkle with soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and pepper. In a small bowl combine the soup mix and the soup; mix and pour mixture over venison. Add red wine after cooking for two hours. Cook on Low setting for 6 hours. Instead of adding carrots and potatoes to the roast, coat them with olive oil, season to taste, and roast them on a cooking sheet in the oven.


Cajun Sauce Piquante

2 lb. of venison strips

1/4 c. cooking oil

1/3 c. flour

1 lg. can tomato sauce

1 can tomato paste

1 pkg. fresh mushrooms, cleaned & sliced

4 ribs celery, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

3 or 4 onions, chopped

Parsley, chopped

1/2 c. white port wine

6 pack of 7-UP soda

Jalapeno pepper, chopped (to taste)

Salt & pepper



Make roux with oil and flour, add chopped vegetables, and cook until tender. Add all other ingredients, using the 7-UP instead of water as the sauce is cooking. Cook 6 or 7 hours, in crock pot, adding meat after 3 hours, so that it will be tender but not overdone. Serve over noodles or rice.


 Brunswick Stew

3 lb. deer meat chunks (best to chop a roast into cubes)

1 cup chicken broth

2 cans of corn

½ pound dry lima beans, cooked and mashed

2 large cans of tomatoes or tomato juice

1 cup ketchup

¼ cup Tabasco sauce

2 red peppers

Black pepper to taste

2 tbsp vinegar

Salt to taste

1 onion, chopped fine





Brown meat in skillet, don't overcook. Add chicken broth. Mix all other ingredients together in large pot. Cook 3-5 hours on stovetop, checking meat often to make sure you don't overcook it.


Venison Chili Mac

3 lbs. ground deer meat

2 med. onions, chopped

2 fresh tomatoes, chopped

2 16 oz. Cans tomato sauce

1 can tomato puree

1 tsp. honey

2 tsp. mustard

1/2 c. ketchup

1 can beer

2 cans red kidney beans, drained

2 packs chili seasoning

2 tsp. chili powder

Pepper to taste

Elbow macaroni



In large skillet, brown deer, 1 chopped onion, 1 pack of chili seasoning, and 1/2 can tomato sauce. Pepper to taste. Put in large pot or crock pot, and stir in chopped onion, chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato puree, honey, mustard, catsup, beer, beans, chili seasoning, chili powder, and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, simmer covered for around 1 hour or to desired consistency. If using the crock pot, set on low and cook for 6 hours. Stir occasionally. Add cooked macaroni just before serving. Great served with cornbread.


Deer Meat Stroganoff

1 lb. deer steak

1 tsp. flour

2 tbsp. butter

1 1/2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms

1/2 c. chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. flour

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp. instant beef bouillon

1 c. dairy sour cream

2 tbsp. dry white wine

Hot cooked noodles



When meat is still partially frozen, thinly slice across the grain into bite-size strips. Combine 1 tablespoon flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Coat meat with flour mixture. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in skillet and brown meat quickly on both sides. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic, and sauté 3-4 minutes. Remove meat and mushroom mixture from pan. Add 2 tablespoons butter to pan drippings, stir in 2 tablespoons flour. Add tomato paste, bouillon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in 1 1/4 cups water. Cook and stir until bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute longer. Combine sour cream and remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Return meat and mushroom mixture to skillet. Stir in sour cream mixture and wine. Heat through, but do not boil. Serve over noodles. Serves 4.


These are just a few of my family's favorites. One of the best ways to find out which way you like your venison is by trial and error. However, there are a few tips that novice venison cooks need to know. Do not overcook venison. Venison is leaner than beef; therefore, it requires extra tenderizing prior to cooking. Spices are your friends. Without seasoning, venison meat will have an aftertaste and taste "gamey." Try some of your favorite beef or chicken recipes using venison. This way you know your family likes the beef version, by swapping out the beef for venison, see if your family still loves the dish. Using venison is a great way to save on the grocery bill. I know I have saved a lot of money and removed harmful food additives at the same time. So, do not be afraid to experiment and have fun cooking.


Article sponsored by Med Center.

Find them on the web at: www.medcenterurgentcare.com


                                                                                                                                      Sponsored by: 

By Amy Poore


Whether you’re attending a tailgating party on the Quad or hosting a backyard gathering at home, this is a recipe that is sure to please any football fan. The Mini Pimento Cheese Ball Bites are perfect for tailgate gatherings, and the prep time is super quick. You can make the pimento cheese well ahead of time.


Bon appétit!


Mini Pimento Cheese Ball Bites


8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated

1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained

18 ounces bacon, cooked until crisp and finely diced 

1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped

1 jalapeños, minced (seeds & membranes removed)

Pretzel sticks


Start by making the pimento cheese ahead of time.


With a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese until smooth, add in mayonnaise and continue to beat until it's all incorporated and smooth.


Add Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic salt, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Once again, beat until evenly mixed throughout, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go.


Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate overnight or for at least four hours.


Once chilled, combine bacon, pecans, and jalapeños in bowl.


Remove pimento cheese from refrigerator, scoop out a tablespoon and roll into balls. Roll each ball in the bacon mixture, pressing it into cheese.


Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and chill.


When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator and stick pretzel stick into top center of ball.


Note: This can also be made into one large cheese ball and served with pretzel chips or crackers.


Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com.  

Photo: Amy Poore



Article sponsored by Lakeside Dental

Find them on the web at: http://www.lakesidedentalsmiles.com


By Sheena Gregg


In my mind, everybody’s got a little bit of a sweet tooth. Whether its cake, ice cream, pies, or something else, we’ve all got that one sweet treat that we wouldn’t mind having to end a memorable dinner. In Tuscaloosa, desserts are as much of a bragging right as barbecue. So if you’re visiting us to see the Tide roll, take note of these delectable treats!

That Cheesecake by Tammy Smith, Southern Ale House 
Just as the name indicates, That Cheesecake by Tammy Smith has people all over town talking. Currently available on the dessert menu at Southern Ale House and at the Tuscaloosa River Market sold by Ms. Tammy herself, this white chocolate cheesecake will remind you how perfect desserts can really be.

White Chocolate Bread Pudding, DePalma’s Italian Café
The white chocolate bread pudding at DePalma’s is a Tuscaloosa classic. It’s the stuff dreams are made of, seriously. Rich, warm flavors with the savory sweetness of white chocolate and drizzled chocolate convince diners that bread pudding should be its own food group.

Strawberry Cake, Edgar’s Bakery and Café
Defying all boundaries of amazingness, Edgar’s strawberry cake is legendary. With strawberry-infused cake layers and a rich, refreshing strawberry cream cheese icing, it’s no wonder this cake is known across the state.

Chocolate Soufflé, The Side by Side Restaurant
Calling all chocolate lovers to one of the most perfect desserts in town: Warm, rich chocolate flavors beautifully paired with delectable whipped cream remind us that dessert is always worth the calories. This chocolate soufflé is perfect after dinner or as a treat with a nice hot cup of coffee.

Beet Cremeaux, Epiphany Farm to Table New American Cuisine
If you’re wanting something a little different in your dessert repertoire, Epiphany’s Beet Cremeaux is for you. The earthy flavors of the beet pairs magically with sweetened condensed milk and an espresso-based sauce topped with pistachios.

Dessert Sampler, Cypress Inn
If you’re obsessed with desserts yet on the indecisive side, the Cypress Inn Dessert Sampler has you covered. Peanut butter pie, cheese pie, Mississippi mud cake, and whiskey bread pudding made with savory yeast rolls are a winning combination. Great to share with a sweetie, friends, or enjoy all on your own!

Kozy Kreamer, Kozy’s Restaurant
Proving that an adult beverage can serve as dessert, the Kozy Kreamer is a tasty end to dinner. Made with brandy, Kahlua, crème de cocoa, Bailey’s, and vanilla ice cream, this beverage is probably the most delicious way you can cool off during these hot summer nights.

Photos: Sheena Gregg


Article sponsored by Tuscaloosa Tourism Veterans.


Find them on the web at: http://visittuscaloosa.com


By Sheena Gregg


Ahhh…tis the season of pumpkin spice in the coffee world! If you’re anything like me, fall brings on cravings for great coffee. In a town that runs on caffeine, Tuscaloosa locals have plenty to choose from in the coffee arena. Here are a few places to put on your radar this season, especially if you’re visiting Tuscaloosa for a weekend Bama game!

Nehemiah’s Coffee House

Since its opening in June 2012, Nehemiah’s has cultivated a sense of community among Forest Lake residents. Patrons will find the atmosphere inviting and cozy while also providing ample space for listening to live music, playing a board game, or sitting down for a cup of joe while reading the morning paper. Serving up Seattle’s Best coffee, I was pleased with the variety of beverages that are available, including the tasty peppermint white mocha that is sure to warm you up and make your taste buds do a happy dance.

Regular monthly events and drink specials can be found at www.facebook.com/nehemiahscoffeehouse and @NehemiahsCoffee on Twitter. Be sure to also check www.flbc.us/Nehemiahs for more information on the history of Nehemiah’s.

 Heritage House Coffee & Tea

Many may know Heritage House as the first coffee house in Tuscaloosa with a history that began over 20 years ago. Now located off of Towncenter Boulevard in Northport, the shop provides ample space for relaxing, studying, or conducting a business meeting in the private conference room. Visitors can agree that the vast variety of flavored coffees offered sets Heritage House apart from others in Tuscaloosa. If coffee isn’t your thing, assorted green, black, and loose leaf teas are offered to relax yourself. My personal Heritage House recommendation is the Toffee Coffee latte that provides a sweet smooth texture with just the right amount of caffeine.

For more information on Heritage House, visit www.facebook.com/HeritageHouseTuscaloosa or www.heritagehousecoffee.com.

Edelweiss German Bakery and Coffee Shop

If you’re in the mood for authentic German breads and pastries, Edelweiss is sure to make you smile. Since 2007, the shop has provided a variety of European specialties to complement the various coffee drinks that are served up each day. If the large display case of pretzels, cakes, and pastries doesn’t catch your eye, classic German sandwiches and dishes will fill you up for breakfast and lunch. My personal favorite is the apple strudel garnished with powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream. Edelweiss is located in Temerson Square and open for breakfast and lunch daily.

Photos: Sheena Gregg


Article sponsored by Tuscaloosa Tourism Black Warrior.

Find them on the web at: http://visittuscaloosa.com



By Tori Linville


The best game days are marked by the football and the food. If your last tailgate wasn’t one that your taste buds remember, it’s time for a change. Revamp your table with these classic dip recipes on us.


The Perfect Guac


(photo/recipe: gimmesomeoven.com)


What you’ll need:


3 ripe avacados

1 minced jalapeno (stem and seeds removed)

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1 tbsp. lime juice

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped

1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt

dash of cumin
(optional/: 1 roma tomato, cored and chopped)


What you’ll make:


Mash together ingredients. If you’re adding tomatoes, stir those in at the end. Cover with plastic wrap so that the wrap directly touches the guacamole, and refrigerate.


The Best Bean Dip



(photo/recipe: the-girl-who-ate-everything.com)


What you’ll need:


1 can refried beans

1 cup picante sauce

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

3/4 cup sour cream

1 pckg. cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

tortilla chips


What you’ll make:

In a bowl, combine first eight ingredients and serve with chips and salsa.


Ways to cook it:

Slow cooker: cover and cook on high for two hours

Oven: bake dip at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes

Microwave: heat in bowl for five to eight minutes


Mississippi Sin Dip


(picture/recipe: amandajeanbrown.com)


What you’ll need:

1 loaf French bread (Italian loaf)

1 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1 1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar

1/2 cup chopped smoked ham or prosciutto

1/3 cup green onion, chopped fine

4 oz. can of chopped green chilies, undrained

1/4 cup jalapeno pepper, chopped fine

couple shakes of Worcestershire sauce


What you’ll make:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the bread by cutting off the top of the bread 1/2 inch deep. Hollow out the bread, leaving about a one inch shell. Set top aside and cut inside bread into cubes for toasting and dipping later. Mix all ingredients in mixer until blended.

Place a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap around the whole loaf onto a baking sheet. Pour cheese mixture into hollowed-out bread. Sprinkle top with meat if desired. Return the top piece of bread to close the bread bowl.

Wrap completely in foil and place baking sheet in oven. Bake for one hour.



Article sponsored by the following: South’s Finest Meat’s, Nationwide, and Fincher & Ozment.

Find South’s Finest Meat’s on the web at:  http://southsfinestmeats.com

Find Nationwide on the web at:  http://www.nationwide.com

Find Fincher & Ozment on the web at:  http://www.fincherandozment.com

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