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Birmingham Trip Tips

Birmingham Trip Tips

We talk to Chris Hastings about where to go when visiting the culinary hub of Alabama



We all love Southern food because it promises comfort and nostalgia, and there few places better to get it than Birmingham. This Alabama city has become one of the most popular culinary destinations for authentic Southern flavor. We caught up with Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club to learn more about the vibrant dining scene.

The culinary roots of Birmingham run deep. “It’s a mature food community,” says Hastings. Since the 1980's the food scene has exploded, with diverse offerings from food trucks, ethnic places, and fine dining restaurants. There is also an abundance of fresh ingredients from community gardens and farmers' markets.

Whether you’re in the mood for a quaint lunch spot, Southern-inspired Mexican, or Chinese, Hastings has recommendations for them all. And while the weather’s nice, Hasting suggests walking around 2nd Avenue and Homewood where there are any number of great finds.

For more of Hastings’ Birmingham picks, watch the video above and, if you’re in the mood for Southern-style seafood, make sure to stop by Hot and Hot Fish Club.

Recipe Summary

  • 5 quarts cold water
  • 2 ½ pounds honeycomb beef tripe
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 bunch fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or to taste

Combine water, tripe, vinegar, salt, vanilla, and bay leaf in a large stockpot over high heat. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that accumulates. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Transfer tripe to a plate and set aside to cool. Reserve 1 to 2 cups of the cooking liquid.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and onion cook and stir until pancetta is browned and onion is translucent, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir garlic into pancetta mixture cook and stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes.

Stir marinara sauce, 1 cup reserved tripe liquid, and red pepper flakes into the pancetta mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Cut tripe into 1-inch cubes and add to marinara-pancetta sauce stir to combine. If needed, add 1 cup of the reserved tripe liquid. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Mix garbanzo beans and mint into the sauce. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and serve.

36 Hours in Birmingham, Alabama

Explore the map and find things to do in Birmingham.

1) 4 P.M. Artsy Souvenir

A cluster of eclectic merchants enlivens Forest Park, a stately neighborhood of early-20th-century homes. The vibrant gift shop Naked Art champions local artisans by stocking objects like hand-thrown pottery and delicate watercolors of local landmarks. The gallery also features prints by the owner, Véronique Vanblaere, who was so enchanted by the city during her high school exchange year that she relocated from Belgium in 1996. On the third Friday of each month, the shop teams up with nearby businesses like the consignment store Zoe’s in Forest Park and the bistro Little Savannah for the offbeat Tour de Loo, which invites guests to visit bathrooms transformed by artists into installations that often stay up for a month.

2) 6 P.M. Grub Street

Avondale, which used to be an unremarkable district of automotive parts shops and service stations, is now a walkable enclave chockablock with well-regarded restaurants concentrated around 41st Street. Returning home after stints at Per Se and Momofuku Ssäm Bar, John Hall runs the wood-fired pizzeria Post Office Pies. For a more local flavor, try the excellent fried chicken that is brined in sweet tea and cooked to a succulent and crunchy perfection ($7.69) at Saw’s Soul Kitchen.

3) 8 P.M. Universal Appeal

By day Saturn is a mellow hangout of freelancers and graduate students typing away to a soundtrack that swings from Buddy Holly to the Pixies. In the evening, its vintage arcade games and space-age mod décor attract revelers who congregate for a varied roster of performances. On a given night you may catch a concert by an indie rock band, a vaudeville show by a local burlesque troupe or a raucous game of bingo led by a foul-mouthed host commandeering a restored 1960s board.

4) 9 A.M. Market Meal

Over a hundred farm stands, food stalls and craft sellers sprout each Saturday morning from April to December at the popular Market at Pepper Place in the parking lot of a handsome brick complex that used to house a Dr Pepper factory. Graze for blackberries, buttery poundcake (made with a recipe by a matriarch named Big Mama) and sheep’s milk dulce de leche. For a sit-down meal, head to OvenBird, whose cast iron hearth sends out Spanish-meets-Southern dishes like fried chicken with chorizo ($13) and a pork belly B.L.T. with piparra chile ($15).

5) 11 A.M. On a Roll

Check out a flashy green Zyp bicycle from a bike-share kiosk next to Pepper Place ($6 for unlimited rides of up to 45 minutes each within a 24-hour period). Then explore the expansive grounds of Sloss Furnaces, which manufactured pig iron from 1882 for nearly a century. Now a National Historic Landmark building with a ruddy patina, this interpretive museum is not only a site for concerts and metal forging classes, but also a symbol of the city’s industrial foundation and green evolution.

Sloss Furnaces, opened in 1882, is now a site for concerts and metalworking classes. Credit Robert Rausch for The New York Times

6) 11:45 A.M. Rail to Trail

A pleasant 1.5-mile ride, which includes zipping down an abandoned railroad reborn in 2016 as the Rotary Trail, will lead you to Railroad Park. This 19-acre green lung, molded largely with materials reclaimed from the site where warehouses once occupied the heart of the city, has become a communal garden with ponds, streams, hills and a skate park. Dock your bike and join the joggers and stroller-pushers on the three-quarter-mile loop path to admire the skyline.

7) 12:30 P.M. Out of the Park

The intimate (and free) Negro Southern League Museum views baseball through a distinctively local lens. As you browse the memorabilia, interactive displays and uniforms of players like the pitcher Satchel Paige, you’ll learn not only about how the sport has evolved, but also about how the United States changed in the 20th century, causing the league to rise and fall.

8) 1:30 P.M. Global Aspirations

Once deserted after business hours, downtown has made a dazzling comeback in the last decade, with lofts occupying historic buildings along First and Second Avenues North. Catering to the young professionals who flock here, the Pizitz Food Hall opened in February with globally minded dining spots like Eli’s Jerusalem Grill, which pairs a shawarma pocket ($7.79) with sweet tea, and Lichita’s, which scoops out Mexican-style (eggless) ice cream made with local fruits, all centered on a bar serving milkshakes and cocktails. Drop by Yellowhammer Creative, brimming with covetable dish towels, retro-style posters and T-shirts reading “It’s nice to have you in Birmingham.”

In the Kelly Ingram Park, there are statues of the four African-American girls killed in the 1963 church bombing. Credit Robert Rausch for The New York Times

9) 3 P.M. ‘Yearning for Freedom’

Designated a national monument by President Barack Obama during his last days in office, the Birmingham Civil Rights District consists of sites like the A. G. Gaston Motel, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. met with activists, and the 16th Street Baptist Church, where a 1963 bombing killed four girls and injured many other congregants. Today the Romanesque church remains a thriving place of worship that testifies to the community’s resilience. Tour the adjacent Birmingham Civil Rights Institute ($15), which chronicles African-Americans’ continuing struggles through photographs, multimedia and objects like the bars of the cell where Dr. King wrote the “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” At the eerily quiet Kelly Ingram Park across the street are a number of sculptures, including a police dog lunging at a boy and three pastors kneeling in prayer.

10) 7 P.M. Points Well Taken

Spend your Saturday evening in Five Points South, where the idyllic neighborhood of Highland Park collides with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The dynamic neighborhood is home to convivial gastro pubs as well as James Beard winners like Frank Stitt, who runs two French-accented restaurants, Highlands Bar & Grill and Chez Fonfon, side by side, and Chris and Idie Hastings, whose Hot and Hot Fish Club serves plates like rabbit roulade with crawfish and rice grits ($36). Afterward, sip a dessertlike martini at the intimate Blue Monkey Lounge or rock out with the town’s good-hearted revelers to live music at Marty’s PM, which stays open until 6 a.m.

11) 10 A.M. Treks With Tales

Red Mountain, a ridge named for its rust-colored hematite ores, was once the force behind Birmingham’s prosperity. Until the 1,500-acre grounds opened as the nonprofit Red Mountain Park in 2011, the ridge lay untouched after mining ceased in 1962. Today you can explore its 15-mile trail system that threads together panoramic views, tree houses and former mines. To enrich your hike, download the free TravelStoryGPS app to listen to former miners, park rangers and other interviewees share stories about life in Alabama’s Appalachia region. When you reach the trail’s northeastern terminus at Grace’s Gap Overlook, the Magic City’s silhouette will rise in the distance like an illusion.

12) 1 P.M. Next Act

Get a preview of what’s to come in Birmingham with a stop in the Woodlawn neighborhood. The close-knit community is experiencing a resurgence led by businesses like the concept store Open Shop and the clothing and home accessory supplier Club Duquette popping up alongside recording studios and an old-time barbershop. Before leaving for the airport just two miles north, fortify yourself at Woodlawn Cycle Cafe with a cold brew, an oxtail empanada and a buttery brioche stuffed with bacon and Harvest Roots kimchi, made in Alabama.

Birmingham safety can depend largely on where you go. Though it isn’t a dangerous city overall, you’ll want to know which areas of Birmingham to avoid and which neighborhoods are safest.

In southeast Birmingham, the suburb of Mosely was recently deemed the U.K.’s best destination for city living, and many of the city’s other suburbs are quite pleasant and free from danger as well, including Bournville (the home of Cadbury World, which is well worth visiting), Halesowen, Harborne, and Sutton Coldfield.

It’s predictable that some of the suburbs would be peaceful, but is Birmingham’s City Centre safe? Though much of it is beautiful and packed with places of interest, Central Birmingham (or just “Town,” as Brummies call it), does suffer from the city’s most concentrated crime rate, particularly in Ladywood, Dale End, the Bullring and Grand Central shopping area (especially along New Street), the Chinese Quarter, and on Broad Street near Cineworld, according to a crime map on The Complete University Guide.

Those places have major tourist attractions, so instead of avoiding them completely, travelers should simply keep their wits about them and be alert and aware of the dangers.

However, there are places that should be considered no-go areas in Birmingham. These neighborhoods are plagued by gang violence (more on that below) and include Lozells, Handsworth, and Balsall Heath. It’s also worth noting that Birmingham’s two streets with the highest crime rates are Spring Hill (just west of the Jewellery Quarter and north of Ladywood) and Devonwood Way, just north of the Longbridge Town Centre.


10 Simple Tips to Stress Less in the Kitchen

Let&aposs be honest. Cooking can be stressful, even for the most honed cooks. Menu planning, grocery shopping, onion chopping — not to mention picky eaters to please and stacks of dishes to wash. Some days, it&aposs enough to make anyone want to order takeout.

Help is on the way! We asked home cooks to share their secrets for taking the hassle out of cooking. See how well their tips work for you — and relax.

1. Simplify your menus.

"I like to cook by the vehicle method," says Larr Kelly of Leesburg, Virginia. Choose a base like pasta or rice, leafy greens, or a baked potato. That&aposs your vehicle for the toppings of your choice. "I might do pesto and pasta one night, or a grilled salmon fillet over a salad on another," he says. Stock up on a variety of vehicles and toppings, and boom! Dinner planning for the week is done, no stress required.

2. Make a list, and check it twice.

Planning a big meal? Once you&aposve figured out your menu, check your grocery list twice (don&apost assume you still have almond flavoring in the back of the spice rack. Check.). Same goes for recipes: Read them twice — out loud if you need to. "Sometimes even if I think I&aposve read it, I find out mid-recipe I&aposve skimmed over important steps I&aposm not prepared for,&apos" says Emma Herr of Birmingham, Alabama.

3. Give yourself enough time.

Feeling rushed ups stress and the chance to make mistakes. Work ahead as much as you can: Chop veggies the night before, and store them in the fridge. Set the table early — or better yet, ask someone else to. If a recipe has lots of new steps, double the prep time. And don&apost forget to build in a few minutes to relax before guests arrive.

4. Gather your tools and ingredients.

The French have a name for it: mise en place, or everything in its place. You don&apost want to waste time digging through drawers for the immersion blender right when you need it.

5. Clean as you go.

By far, this was our cooks&apos top tip. Keeping up with the dishes frees up work space and saves you from feeling overwhelmed later. Start with a clean sink and an empty dishwasher. Then do a quick clean-up between recipe steps. Put the cookies in the oven, then wipe down sticky counters. Scrub a pot while you wait for the pasta water to boil. Your goal is to take care of most of the prep dishes so all that&aposs left is what&aposs on the table. Oven pans get to soak overnight.

Drew: Critical Safety Tips for Small Holiday Gatherings and Celebrations

Fall and winter ushers in a majority of America’s most popular holidays. These consecutive holidays occur over a short span of several weeks. These holidays include typically Kwanzaa, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas Eve/Christmas, and New Year’s Eve/New Year. Associated with these holidays are gatherings with family and friends which include a smorgasbord of various foods and spirits. In years past, food offerings, preparation and display were one of the host/hostess’ greatest concern and focus. Holiday cookbooks and magazine articles about traditional holiday recipes have been extremely popular.
This year there is a new uninvited guest in town. One who travels worldwide – coronavirus COVID-19. This new uninvited guest has drastically altered the concerns and focus for all host/hostess as well as guests. This uninvited guest has been a true game changer.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is worsening, so holiday plans must be modified to help reduce the risk for families, friends, and the community at large. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes small household gatherings are an important contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases.
So, will families and friends have an opportunity to gather and celebrate the different holidays is a major question and concern for many. To help with this major decision, the CDC, along with the Mayo Clinic with locations across the country, have offered some COVID safety tips/suggestions to practice for those who desire to proceed with hosting or attending a holiday gathering.

This week’s article will share some holiday safety tips/suggestions provided by these two organizations. Their primary intent is to help identify how one can limit the risk of infection with the COVID-19 virus and protect others when hosting or attending an in-person holiday gathering.
Note these safety tips below are not guarantees, merely celebratory safety tips/suggestions. They are not to replace or supplement any state, local, territorial, or tribal health laws, rules, and regulations with which all gatherings must comply. The holiday gathering COVID-19 safety tips/suggestions are:

Make Gatherings Small
• All gatherings should be small. Check the COVID-19 rate in your area to help determine if you should host or attend a gathering as well as the gathering size. It is recommended small indoor gatherings should consist of 10 people or less and outdoor gatherings should consist of a maximum of 25 people.
• Small gatherings with those living in the same household pose the lowest risks.
• Limit the number of attendees as much as possible from different households.
• Your guests should always remain six feet apart and should avoid any direct contact. This includes shaking hands, hugs, or other forms of greetings.
• The length of your event is important. Longer events pose greater risks. Keep your event short.

Gathering Location
• If possible, host your gathering outdoors rather than indoors. Even outdoor gatherings require guests to wear a mask when they are not eating or drinking.
• If hosting outdoors, set up outdoor seating under a pop-up open tent versus a tent with walls. It is important for the air to circulate. When setting up your seating, practice social distancing in the arrangement.
• If hosting indoors, increase your ventilation as much as possible by opening windows and doors to the extent that it is safe and feasible based upon the weather. Use all exhaust fans including those in your kitchen and bathrooms. You want air to circulate.
• Avoid hosting a gathering in crowded, poorly ventilated spaces with persons who are not in your household.

Mask and Other COVID-19 Safety Measures
• Require ALL guests ages 2 and older to wear masks. The masks should cover their mouth and nose. Guests from different households should always practice social distancing of six feet or more. Provide a plastic zip bag with the guest’s name. This should be used for them to store their mask when they are not eating or drinking.
• It is alright to send out your COVID-19 safety measures to your guests prior to your holiday gathering. It should include that all guests must wear masks which cover both their mouth and nose except when eating or drinking, practice social distancing with those outside their households and also make them aware that if any of the following applies such as experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive, been exposed or waiting on their COVID-19 test results, you suggest they not attend this year. Remember you can always reach out to them virtually to share in the celebration.
• Wear a mask while preparing food for or serving food to others who do not live in your household.
• A single person should serve the food. This person should wear disposable gloves and change them, as necessary.
• Limit the number of guests entering the food areas.
• Avoid potluck gatherings this year.
• Use single-use options or designate one person to serve shareable items such as salad dressings, plates and utensils, condiments, etc. Serve individual beverages in cans or bottles rather than those in liquid containers that require ice and cups.
• Make sure everyone washes their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after preparing, serving, and eating food and after taking trash out. Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Over the next few weeks, the safety articles will explore further safety holiday safety tips to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. This is a time Keeping an Eye on Safety is critical. Small gatherings and celebrations can be enjoyed while taking the necessary COVID-19 safety steps to protect everyone.

What is Katlama?

Many have heard of a katlama while others simply have not. Those who have never had one are well and truly missing out.

So, what is katlama? This is for those who have never heard of it. First and foremost, a katlama is fried, just to warn those who are on strict diets.

Chefs make a katlama from fairly simple ingredients such as dough and the filling of your choice. However, the most popular filling in Birmingham is minced meat.

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It is a round, flaky pastry with spicy minced meat inside it. One katlama is usually cut into four triangular pieces and is shared.

Chicken, fish, vegetable and even plain katlamas are also enjoyed but very rarely. Many Desi people eat a katlama with their breakfast on a Sunday in the UK.

Desi people typically enjoy katlama with a red chilli sauce with sliced onions in it. Here is a quick recipe on how to make this delicious sauce:


  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • ½ chopped onion
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 10 dried red chillis
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup water


  1. Simply place all of the ingredients excluding the chopped onion into a blender jug and blend well.
  2. Stop the blender once it has created a liquid-like consistency.
  3. Pour the sauce into a bowl and mix in your chopped onions.
  4. Your sauce is ready to be accompanied by your katlama!

Healthy Eating Tips

Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Eat Right with MyPlate

Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your bowl. Foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean protein foods contain the nutrients you need without too many calories. Over the day, include foods from all the food groups. Try the following tips to "Get Your Plate in Shape."

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.

  • Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables plus beans and peas. Fresh, frozen and canned vegetables all count. Choose "reduced sodium" or "no-salt-added" canned vegetables.
  • Add fruit to meals and snacks. Buy fruits that are dried, frozen or canned in water or 100% juice, as well as fresh fruits.

Make at least half your grains whole.

  • Choose 100% whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, pasta and brown rice.
  • Check the ingredients list on food packages to find whole-grain foods.

Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk.

  • Fat-free and low-fat milk have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and calories.
  • If you are lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk or a calcium-fortified soy beverage.

Vary your protein choices.

  • Eat a variety of foods from the protein food group each week, such as seafood, nuts and beans, as well as lean meat, poultry and eggs.
  • Twice a week, make seafood the protein on your plate.
  • Keep meat and poultry portions small and lean.

Cut back on sodium and empty calories from solid fats and added sugars.

  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Select fruit for dessert. Eat sugary desserts less often. Choose 100% fruit juice instead of fruit-flavored drinks.
  • Look out for salt (sodium) in foods you buy. Compare sodium in foods and choose those with lower numbers. Add spices or herbs to season food without adding salt.
  • Make major sources of saturated fats such as desserts, pizza, cheese, sausages and hot dogs occasional choices, not every day foods.
  • Select lean cuts of meat or poultry and fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese.
  • Switch from solid fats to oils when preparing food.

Enjoy your food but eat less.

Bison Stew


Mirepoix (chopped onions, carrots, celery)

6-8 cups of beef broth/stock or water


Braise 2 lbs of Buffalo meat (1 inch cubes) with half an onion (fine chop), in a warmed stock pot with 3-4 tbsp. olive oil

Spice 1 tbsp. garlic powder, 2 tbsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp. turmeric, and 3-4 bay leaves

After browned, add Mirepoix (chopped onions, carrots, celery), and can of diced tomatoes

Add 2 cups of water or stock/broth and simmer on medium-low heat for 30-45 mins or until tender. (Stir occasionally, more water or stick/broth may needed) times will vary with size of meat and location

When meat is tender add 6-8 cups of beef broth/stock or water, bring back to boil 6-8 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces or bigger

Cook an additional 15-20 minutes until potatoes are fork tender

Remove from heat and let stand for 10-15 minutes, serve

Scrumptious Recipes

Discover a small sample of Simply Good Kitchen's recipes! We know you won't be able to resist their wonderful, charming taste.

Aunt B's Piecrust Makes two 9-inch pie shells or one double crust. Key to success: For a perfect piecrust, it is very important that all ingredients are ice cold when the crust is assembled.


2 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
1 cup Cold unsalted butter, diced 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon White vinegar
1 large Egg
1/4 cup ice water

  1. Measure all ingredients and place in refrigerator one hour to overnight to chill.
  2. Place flour sugar, and salt into the workbowl of a food processor. Using the metal blade, pulse three times to mix all of the dry ingredients. Next, add diced cold butter and pulse 15 times at one-second intervals. Mixture will resemble coarse cornmeal.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, ice water, and egg. Pour mixture through the feed tube of the food processor in a slow steady stream, pulsing continuously. Pulse only until the dough just starts to come together, about 30 pulses. Mixture will be crumbly in appearance. If mixture sees a bit dry add one more Tablespoon of ice cold water, pulse a few more times.
  4. Remove dough from bowl and divide in half. Shape each half into a disc. Wrap in plastic and refridgerate for 10 minutes before rolling. This allows the gluten strands in the dough to relax.

TIPS: The addition of vinegar to the dough weakens the protein strands and makes the crust a bit more tender. Also, it's important to pulse the dough rather than run the food processor continuously while mixing. A food processor that runs continuously creates too much heat and friction, causing the butter to separate.

Simply Good Apple Daddy

Who doesn't love Apple Daddy? It's incredibly easy to make and a wonderful way to enjoy apples. Try this Apple Daddy dessert recipe, then go to our Facebook page and tell us how you liked it! It serves six with leftovers.


Topping Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt (Diamond Crystal)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, Chilled, and Diced (1/2" Cubes)

Apple Filling

  • 8 Apples, Peeled and Cored (We Prefer Combinations such as Granny Smith with Royal Gala or Macintosh)
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider or Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

To Prepare Topping

  1. Place flour, salt, sugar and diced butter into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 15 times at one-second intervals to combine. Topping will resemble fine cornmeal. Reserve.

To Prepare Filling

  1. In a large bowl, toss apples, cider, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon. Pour apple mixture into the prepared glass baking dish and distribute reserved topping evenly over the top.
  2. Place into the preheated oven on the middle rack and bake for one hour. Apple daddy will be light golden on the top and a little bubbly around the edges. Let rest one hour before serving. Serve with brown sugar cinnamon ice cream.

Food Fact

Using a combination of apple varieties gives the dish a mixture of textures and levels of sweetness.

Simply Good Kitchen's Red Wine Vinaigrette

Note that we love "O" Vinegars &mdash however, if you have a favorite, feel free to use any red wine vinegar in this recipe.


  • 1/4 Cup "O Vinegar" Cabernet
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt (Diamond Crystal)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, Minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic, Minced


Simply Good Kitchen Homemade Hummus

Do you love hummus? It's very easy to make and requires only a few ingredients. We know you'll enjoy this homemade hummus recipe from the chefs at Simply Good Kitchen. This recipe yields 3 cups.


  • 1 Can Chickpeas (20-ounce) Drained and Rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons Tahini (sesame seed) Paste
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
  • 1 Whole Lemon, Juiced
  • 2 Teaspoons Garlic, Peeled, Approximately 2 Cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt (Diamond Crystal)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil, Plus 2 Tablespoons Extra if Needed


  1. Place all of the ingredients into the work bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth, about one minute. If hummus seems too thick, add additional olive oil. Hummus may be prepared up to 5 days in advance.

Food Fact

The word "hummus" means "chickpea" in both Arabic and Hebrew.

Angel Food Cake

This recipe serves 6 (with leftovers).


  • 14 Extra Large Egg Whites
  • 1 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt (Diamond Crystal)
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste or Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest


  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg. DO NOT COAT the 10-inch tube pan with anything. It must be dry and grease-free for the cake to stay tall.
  2. Place the egg whites, cream of tartar, sugar and kosher salt in the dry, grease-free bowl of a stand mixer with whip attachment. Whip on high speed until whites form soft peaks. This could take up to 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the whipped whites to a large bowl. Sift half of the flour over the whites. Using a large wire whisk, lift and tap the whites until folded in completely. Repeat with the other half of the flour, vanilla bean paste and lemon zest.
  4. Gently pour the batter into an angel food cake pan (10-inch tube pan) and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and invert to cool. Once cooled, remove from the pan. Serve with your choice of fresh fruit.

Cook's Note

Egg whites have a very long shelf life (6 months). In addition, egg whites that have been frozen and thawed will whip up without a problem. One egg white is equal to one ounce by weight or volume. So, if you have a container of egg whites and need 14 of them, they will measure 1 3/4 cups or 14 ounces. This cake will keep up to 10 days in the refrigerator. A well-wrapped cake can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Food Fact

Although angel food cake makes a sweet ending to any Thai meal, it is actually an American dessert. This cake seems to trace its roots to southeastern Pennsylvania, where thrifty Pennsylvania cooks may have created it as a way to use the extra egg whites left over from making egg noodles. The first published recipes for this cake started to appear in the 1870s, shortly after the invention of the rotary egg beater - a welcome tool for beating all those egg whites!