Friday, July 25, 2014

100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die #GSOBFoodie

Photo courtesy of #GSOBFoodie
This is a little ... offbeat. So bear with me a sec, and it will come into focus.

This about an exhibit called The Art of Alabama Food Exhibit that is based on a list of 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die.

The exhibit has been on display in New York, Atlanta, New Orleans, Birmingham and is now in Orange Beach, Alabama. It features 36 photos of the foods listed.

Obviously, I'm not in Alabama - or any of those other places either - but I have friends participating. So I was asked to help promote the exhibit and participate in a Twitter party where YOU could win stuff from the exhibit and the restaurants. See how much I like you?

The prizes include goodies from restaurants on the 100 Dishes list. These could include things like special bottled sauces or Tervis tumblers, as well as Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism swag. I'm not sure exactly what, but surprises are fun, right?

So, join me at the Twitter Party:

When: Friday, July 25, 2014
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., central time zone
Official Hashtag: #GSOBFoodie

If you're in the neighborhood, the exhibit is at The Compleat Studio, The Wharf in Orange Beach. Beside the photo exhibit, there are food tastings from local culinary festivals (including the National Shrimp Festival), cook book signing and ice sculpting.

Bloggers participating in the Twitter party (beside me) are:

Jay Ducote from Bite & Booze (He's at the event! Lucky him!)
Susan Benton, 30A Eats
Milisa Armstrong from Miss in the Kitchen
Heather Scholten from Farmgirl Gourmet

More about Gulf Shores and Orange Beach:

100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die:

LA Caviar and Cheeseburger in Paradise: Lulu’s @LuLusHomeport
WipeOut Burger: The Hangout @thehangoutGS
Royal Red Shrimp: King Neptune’s @KingNeptunes
Farmer’s Omelet and Mexican Garbage Nachos: Tacky Jack’s @TackyJacks1
Grouper Ponchartrain: Shipp’s Harbour Grill
Sea Bass Wrapped in Banana Leaves: Cosmo’s Restaurant
Shrimp & Grits: Ginny Lane Bar & Grill
Mango Salsa Grilled Chicken Salad: The Southern Grind @TheSouthrnGrind 
Smoked Mullet: Bimini Bob’s @Bimini_Bobs

This is not a sponsored post - I just thought you might be interested. I received swag for my participation the Twitter party, but mostly I'm doing it to help out some friends.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gadgets: Zoku Quick Pop Maker

Realistically, you can make ice pops in paper cups with wooden skewers for handles, but that's probably not as fun - or as trendy - as using a Zoku quick pop maker. They come in sizes to make one, two, or three pops at a time.

I tested the single quick pop maker ($25.99), but the instructions said they all work the same way.

The ice pop maker goes into the freezer, just like an ice cream maker bowl or those ice packs you stuff into your cooler. When you're ready to make the ice pops, you take the ice pop maker out of the freezer, put the chosen liquid into the mold, insert one of the provided plastic sticks, and wait.

It takes about five minutes for the liquid to freeze, depending on what, exactly, you're freezing and how many pops you've made in the same mold. You can freeze up to three ice pops in a single mold before you need to shove it back into the freezer, and each one takes a little longer to freeze. If you've got three kids, you might want to get the ice pop maker that freezes three at a time, because otherwise the last kid is going to be waiting a long time.

There are some limitations as to what you can freeze - plain water will stick. Although why you'd use this for ice, I don't know. The mixture needs to have the right consistency, but that still leaves plenty of options. My favorite was root beer. The carbonation affected the way it froze, leaving interesting streaks of color in the pops.

While this is no doubt marketed for families with kids, you can also freeze some adult beverages into ice pops, as long as the alcohol content isn't so high that it thwarts freezing. But at worst, you're scooping a slushy out of the ice pop maker. And that's not really so bad.

The instructions talk about customizing the ice pops with slices of fruit or by layering different flavors, or sucking out the center of the pop before it's completely frozen so you can fill it with a different flavor. There are also add-on kits for customizing and decorating the pops. I'm not nearly that crafty, but it could be a lot of fun for kids to make their own special pops with fruit and juices.

Since this doesn't have any moving parts, it should last for quite a long time unless it's dropped or abused; it's not dishwasher safe. There are replacement parts available if you happen to lose the extra parts.

The product was supplied for the purpose of a review on Serious Eats; this was previously published on Serious Eats.

Just so you know, Gadgets posts will be changing a bit. I've been re-posting my reviews from Serious Eats, but the column there will be much different. However, I love reviewing kitchen gadgets, so I'll continue doing reviews. They might be different ... and they might be posted somewhere else. We'll see ...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Baileys Ice Cream - a guest post at Cravings of a Lunatic #BoozyDesserts

Ah, Baileys Irish Cream ... how I love you. It's such a lovely dessert cocktail, all on its own. Chill and serve.

But ... I can't leave a good thing alone, so I churned some Baileys into a batch of ice cream.

And then I used MORE Baileys to make a caramel sauce.

Yes, I'm wild and crazy.

And then, because I have no decency, I sent the whole shebang over to Kim at Cravings of a Lunatic to use as a guest post.

Well, okay, I didn't email her the actual ice cream. Just words and photos.

So, gawk at this photo of the caramel sauce. Ooooh, thick caramel sauce, ready for drizzling. Or for eating right off the spoon. We don't want to talk about how many times I did that.

And then take a closer look at this ice cream layered with caramel. Pretty ice cream, flavored with Baileys, along with a deeper-flavored caramel with Baileys. It's a match made in ... uh ... a glass.

And then when you're done gawking, go visit Kim for the recipe. Because I know you want to make it!
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