Tag Archive: Gemma Ptolemy


juice and sodas

Here is the update for the Foodie Challenge for the month of August. I decided to do the drinks challenge this month as shown above.
 
1. Attend at least one local food festival. (2 – April, 2 – May)
 
2. Try 3 food trucks.
 
3. Celebrate Pi Day on 3/14 with pie from a local bakery. (March)
 
4. Sample 10 new to you dishes from our list of 100 things to eat. (1 – January, 1 – February, 1 – May, 2 – July)
 
5. Take a cooking class and learn to make a new dish.
 
6. Buy produce at a local farmer’s market. (1 – May)
 
7. Take a food tour. (January)
 
8. Try 5 new to you restaurants. Not sure where to start? Let Huntsville Eats help you find something tasty. (3 – February, 1 – April, 3 – May, 1 – June, 2 – July)
 
9. Try one of our local dives.
 
10. Eat something you’ve never had before. If you usually stick to meat and potatoes, branch out to Greek, Indian, Vietnamese, or Thai. If you are a more adventurous sort, try tongue, alligator, or kimchi. (kimchi – January, crawfish – April, potstickers – July)
 
11. Try drinks at a local juice bar and/or local specialized soda.

I tried some cold pressed juice at The Juicery that I really liked. It is expensive so it’s not something I would do every day.  It was $9 for 500 mL of juice. Since it isn’t pasteurized it is only good for about 4 days. I got to sample 3 juices before I bought one.   I also tried Pure Sodaworks soda but I didn’t like it.

12. Give the gift of local food. Or a gift certificate to a favorite local restaurant.

Here is the update for the Foodie Challenge for the months of June and July. The last 2 months have been busy. I traveled home for July 4th and I got a new job at my same employer this month. I did manage to work on the foodie challenge.
 
1. Attend at least one local food festival. (2 – April, 2 – May)
 
2. Try 3 food trucks.
 
3. Celebrate Pi Day on 3/14 with pie from a local bakery. (March)
 
4. Sample 10 new to you dishes from our list of 100 things to eat. (1 – January, 1 – February, 1 – May, 2 – July)

For July, I had firecracker shrimp (Grille 29) and chicken tenders (Tenders!).

5. Take a cooking class and learn to make a new dish.
 
6. Buy produce at a local farmer’s market. (1 – May)
 
7. Take a food tour. (January)
 
8. Try 5 new to you restaurants. Not sure where to start? Let Huntsville Eats help you find something tasty. (3 – February, 1 – April, 3 – May, 1 – June, 2 – July)

In the last 2 months I have tried a few new places in and out of Huntsville: Potstickers, Grille 29, Tenders!. All the food was good so I’ll go back to all of them for sure.

9. Try one of our local dives.
 
10. Eat something you’ve never had before. If you usually stick to meat and potatoes, branch out to Greek, Indian, Vietnamese, or Thai. If you are a more adventurous sort, try tongue, alligator, or kimchi. (kimchi – January, crawfish – April, potstickers – July)

I had tried these spinach and shrimp potstickers at a restaurant called Potstickers. It’s like a Chinese dumpling. It was really good. I almost didn’t get them but I’m glad I did.

11. Try drinks at a local juice bar and/or local specialized soda.
 
12. Give the gift of local food. Or a gift certificate to a favorite local restaurant.

strawberries
Here is the update for the Foodie Challenge for the month of May. I tried a few new restaurants.
 
1. Attend at least one local food festival. (2 – April)

I went to 2 Strawberry Festivals (Cullman and Moulton). They had random vendors there. The strawberries were good. I don’t think I would attend again now that I have gone.

2. Try 3 food trucks.
 
3. Celebrate Pi Day on 3/14 with pie from a local bakery. (March)
 
4. Sample 10 new to you dishes from our list of 100 things to eat. (1 – February)

I looked through the 2015 and 2016 lists and I found Spicy Chocolate Gelato from Sam & Greg's Pizzeria Gelateria. I had that on my food tour and that was good. I’m not fan of chocolate so I had it mixed with something else. Also, I had fried catfish from Little Libby’s which was really good.

5. Take a cooking class and learn to make a new dish.
 
6. Buy produce at a local farmer’s market.

I bought strawberries at the Strawberry Festival at Cullman Farmers Market – Festhalle.

7. Take a food tour. (January)
 
8. Try 5 new to you restaurants. Not sure where to start? Let Huntsville Eats help you find something tasty. (3 – February, 1 – April)

Tried another not good pizza place and this time one on the best pizza list. In the end of this month, I had some good pizza from Marco’s Pizza. I’m starting to think they don’t have good pizza here.  
 
I went to a work dinner at Phuket Thai Restaurant. I got to try several different foods which were all good. I’ll definitely go there again.

9. Try one of our local dives.
 
10. Eat something you’ve never had before. If you usually stick to meat and potatoes, branch out to Greek, Indian, Vietnamese, or Thai. If you are a more adventurous sort, try tongue, alligator, or kimchi. (kimchi – January, crawfish – April)
 
11. Try drinks at a local juice bar and/or local specialized soda.
 
12. Give the gift of local food. Or a gift certificate to a favorite local restaurant.

I found this recipe for Hot & Sweet Chicken Drumsticks. I always eat chicken thighs so I used that instead. It lists any hot sauce so of course I used Sriracha. From the picture on the site, it didn’t seem like there was a lot of sauce. I scaled up the sauce by 1.5X but it wasn’t needed. I really liked it. I think next time I will go back to less sauce and try a different type of preserve. They used apricot but I’m thinking of trying cherry or something berry like. I added enough Sriracha to make it really hot. I had never cooked with preserves before. It took a while for them to melt.
 


 
Ingredients:
 
6 Chicken Thighs (skin, bone-in)
0.375 cup lite soy sauce (50% Less Sodium)
2 teaspoons black pepper
1.5 cup Apricot Preserves
0.75 cup ketchup
4 teaspoons garlic powder
0.25 cup Sriracha
 
 
Procedure:
 
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix all ingredients except chicken in a sauce pan
3. Heat over medium heat until the preserves are melted
4. Put chicken in a non-stick foil lined pan
5. Pour the sauce over chicken
6. Bake chicken for 40 min

Crawfish Boil(1)

Here is the update for the Foodie Challenge for the month of April. A did a couple of festivals this month.
 
1. Attend at least one local food festival.

This month I went to 2 festivals. The first was a buffalo wings festival called, Battle of the Buffalo. It’s run by a frat to raise money for a cancer charity. The organization seemed ok. I thought I would get some kind of program to let me know what restaurants were there but nope. Buying a ticket gets you a certain number of raffle type tickets. 1 ticket gets you a drink. The other tickets are for wings. Each ticket gets you 2 wings at a restaurant booth. I got there early and by time I was ready to leave, about 1.5 hr later, at least 1 restaurant was out of wings. A lot of the wings were dry but I think they were trying to keep them warm and may have overcooked. In general, it was good. I may go back next year.
 
I also went to the Heads-N-Tails Crawfish Boil. This is the first time I have had crawfish. Here they sell it by the pound. I got 1 pound and a half pound of shrimp. It was much smaller than I thought it would be. There were only 3 food booths and a few vendors selling random things. A band was playing as well. Again, I got there early because I saw reviews of people complaining that they run out of crawfish early. I made the good decision to take some containers with me. I got my food, put it in the containers, and went home to eat my food. I found out that crawfish is just ok. It is a lot of work to eat for an ok taste.  I’m not sure if I would go back.

2. Try 3 food trucks.
 
3. Celebrate Pi Day on 3/14 with pie from a local bakery. (March)
 
4. Sample 10 new to you dishes from our list of 100 things to eat. (1 – February)
 
5. Take a cooking class and learn to make a new dish.
 
6. Buy produce at a local farmer’s market.
 
7. Take a food tour. (January)
 
8. Try 5 new to you restaurants. Not sure where to start? Let Huntsville Eats help you find something tasty. (3 – February)

I’m on a mission to find good non-chain pizza. I ended up at a place that was a chain that I didn’t know about and the pizza was not good.

9. Try one of our local dives.
 
10. Eat something you’ve never had before. If you usually stick to meat and potatoes, branch out to Greek, Indian, Vietnamese, or Thai. If you are a more adventurous sort, try tongue, alligator, or kimchi. (kimchi – January)

I had crawfish.

11. Try drinks at a local juice bar and/or local specialized soda.
 
12. Give the gift of local food. Or a gift certificate to a favorite local restaurant.

I did a weekend trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee. I went to several locations. It was nice that all the places were near each other.   When I purchased the tickets there was a discount to buy 3 tickets at once. The Lookout Mountain attractions were together (Ruby Falls, Rock City, Incline) and so were the Tennessee Aquarium (Aquarium, IMAX Theater, River Gorge Explorer) tickets.
 

 
Ruby Falls was the best part of the trip. This is an underground waterfall (see video) that you have to walk through caves to get to. I was surprised how many people were wearing sandals to walk around in a cave with random areas of dripping water. Several people were slipping. Also people had children that obviously didn’t know how to be careful walking.
 
 
IMG_2118Rock City was a cool attraction. I almost didn’t go because it seemed like a lot of walking. At the top of the walking trail, you get to a cliff where you can see 7 states. There were 2 bridges to cross between parts of the rocks. One was a solid bridge and the other was a swinging one. You can picture it as one of those bridges in movies that either breaks off at one end or one of the planks break. The worst part about my trip here was that there was a school field trip going on (on a Saturday). Kids were running around getting yelled at by teachers and/or parents.
 
 
I was most disappointed by the Incline on Lookout Mountain. Now, I have been on an incline train before in Colorado Springs (https://docptolemysays.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/mini-vacation-and-fight-masters). I did this after Rock City and Ruby Falls, which are also on Lookout Mountain. What I didn’t know is that by driving to those 2 places I was at the top of the mountain. I followed the signs to the Incline station thinking it was the bottom station described on the website. You can imagine my surprise when I got on the world’s steepest incline train and it started to go downwards. At the bottom station, there was tons of parking that did not exists at the top. I spent 15+ minutes looking for a parking spot. There was a good little ice cream shop, Clumpies, at the bottom. The ride back up the “mountain” was where you really felt the 73% incline.
 
 
20160327_120556River Gorge Explorer was a boat trip that took a couple hours. I couldn’t hear much of what the tour guide was saying. I like ferries so in general it was nice. It rained randomly but that didn’t bother me. Again, there were screaming children. The Tennessee Aquarium was alright. It was split into 2 sections: freshwater and saltwater.   A lot of the same fish were in different tanks. I did get to touch a stingray. I enjoyed the IMAX Theater. For some reason, the movie was narrated by Jim Carrey.

Food challenge - March

Here is the update for the Foodie Challenge for the month of March. All I did this month was pie for Pi Day.
 
1. Attend at least one local food festival.
 
2. Try 3 food trucks.
 
3. Celebrate Pi Day on 3/14 with pie from a local bakery.

I had a piece of pecan pie from a local restaurant and I was not impressed with it.

4. Sample 10 new to you dishes from our list of 100 things to eat. (1 – February)
 
5. Take a cooking class and learn to make a new dish.
 
6. Buy produce at a local farmer’s market.
 
7. Take a food tour. (January)
 
8. Try 5 new to you restaurants. Not sure where to start? Let Huntsville Eats help you find something tasty. (3 – February)
 
9. Try one of our local dives.
 
10. Eat something you’ve never had before. If you usually stick to meat and potatoes, branch out to Greek, Indian, Vietnamese, or Thai. If you are a more adventurous sort, try tongue, alligator, or kimchi. (kimchi – January)
 
11. Try drinks at a local juice bar and/or local specialized soda.
 
12. Give the gift of local food. Or a gift certificate to a favorite local restaurant.

Bday 2016Today is my birthday. This is the first one in at least 5 years that I have been able to have a Carvel Ice Cream Cake. The last place I lived didn’t have them anywhere. It was the only cake I would have on my birthdays growing up since I don’t really like regular cake. I’m going to have a great meal today (steak!) and tomorrow (shrimp & rice). I won’t do much this weekend as a reward. Also Once Upon A Time is coming back on Sunday and I can’t wait. Below are my updates for the Foodie Challenge for the month of February.
 
 
 
 

  1. Attend at least one local food festival.
  2.  

  3. Try 3 food trucks.
  4.  

  5. Celebrate Pi Day on 3/14 with pie from a local bakery.
  6.  

  7. Sample 10 new to you dishes from our list of 100 things to eat.
I tried hot wings from Beauregard’s twice this month. It was on the 100 things to eat from 2015 so I think it still counts.
  1. Take a cooking class and learn to make a new dish.
  2.  

  3. Buy produce at a local farmer’s market.
  4.  

  5. Take a food tour. (January)
  6.  

  7. Try 5 new to you restaurants. Not sure where to start? Let Huntsville Eats help you find something tasty.
I went to 3 new restaurants this month (including Beauregard's). That was the only one I liked. I went back to one of the places I was at during the food tour but was disappointed.
  1. Try one of our local dives.
  2.  

  3. Eat something you’ve never had before. If you usually stick to meat and potatoes, branch out to Greek, Indian, Vietnamese, or Thai. If you are a more adventurous sort, try tongue, alligator, or kimchi.
I had Kimchi on the food tour. I figure that should count for this list, but I will do another one on my own as well. (January)
  1. Try drinks at a local juice bar and/or local specialized soda.
  2.  

  3. Give the gift of local food. Or a gift certificate to a favorite local restaurant.

foodchallenge

I wrote about doing this in a previous post but I realized this was big enough to be its own thing. The original site for the Foodie Challenge is here. There are 12 things to be done once a month for the year. I’ll probably just try to do all the things. I may do a few things in one month. I have already finished number 7 at the end of January. Number 3 is specific to March (Pi Day) and I have posted things about that before. I’ll keep updating and listing the places I have gone. Since I am new to the area I thought it would be a good way to see what food is around. Plus, I like food. Number 11 I changed because it was alcohol related and I don’t drink. The author of the post suggested alternatives for me.
 
 
1. Attend at least one local food festival.
 
2. Try 3 food trucks.
 
3. Celebrate Pi Day on 3/14 with pie from a local bakery.
 
4. Sample 10 new to you dishes from our list of 100 things to eat.
 
5. Take a cooking class and learn to make a new dish.
 
6. Buy produce at a local farmer’s market.
 
7. Take a food tour.
 

I went on a food tour from The Downtown Dish (Huntsville). Their twitter page isn’t very active but they are on Facebook. I really liked it. I got more food than I have gotten on other tours and they actually let you sit in the restaurants. It is definitely worth the money.

 
8. Try 5 new to you restaurants. Not sure where to start? Let Huntsville Eats help you find something tasty.
 
9. Try one of our local dives.
 
10. Eat something you’ve never had before. If you usually stick to meat and potatoes, branch out to Greek, Indian, Vietnamese, or Thai. If you are a more adventurous sort, try tongue, alligator, or kimchi.
 
11. Try drinks at a local juice bar and/or local specialized soda.
 
12. Give the gift of local food. Or a gift certificate to a favorite local restaurant.

Monthly Updates – January 2016

FoodTourScene
 
The weather here, in Alabama, has been warm and cold. People keep telling me that it is unseasonably warm. We even had snow one day. I thought the South was supposed to be warm all the time. I don’t want to have to see snow. I’ve been continuing to work on my goals: https://docptolemysays.wordpress.com/2016/01/02/new-year-goals-and-plans-2016/.
 
I purchased my Rosetta Stone to work on my French. I finished installing it today. I’ll be starting the lessons tomorrow. I got all my doctors picked out and scheduled. I had put that off too long. It’s a pain to do that when moving to a new place. I have been doing more things outside the house. I went to a jewelry decorating event hosted by Salt-Light ART. I got 2 pairs of earrings, ring, and a pendant. I also painted a picture there.
 
I found this list for a Foodie Challenge. It is a list of 12 things to do in the area that are food related throughout the year. I’m going try to do all these. I even commented on it to get suggestions for non-alcoholic options. There was a response about juice and soda locations. II already accomplished number 7 (Take a food tour). I did a 2.5 hour walking food tour with Heather (The Downtown Dish). It was a good tour. I have been on a few tours elsewhere and I got a bit more food on this one. There was also a history part to the tour which was nice. There are definitely a few places I went to that I will eat at again.

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