Judging Kick’n Chick’n Wingfest for Magic Moments

It was such a busy weekend for me, and I had to share. A few months ago I was asked to be one of the judges for the 2nd annual Kick’n Chick’n Wingfest right next to Soho Square in Birmingham. This festival is a benefit for Magic Moments which is a charity that grants all kinds of wishes for all kinds of kids, specifically those who have life-threatening or life-altering medical conditions that substantially limit one or more major life activities. Eighteen restaurants in Birmingham compete to battle their “hot” wings and “alternative” wings. Seven judges and myself had to critique and judge each wing on its appearance, texture, tenderness, spicy, flavor and overall experience. I was so excited to sit next to and meet in person the amazing, John-Brian Hopkins of “Foodimentary” as well as meet so many fun, talented other judges from The Birmingham News, Birmingham Magazine and a few other Birmingham talents. The event was highly successful with unexpected huge crowds on a beautiful Saturday in Birmingham. Adults as well as kids looked like they were having a blast.

The winners are:

Overall Winner: Michael’s Steak and Seafood

Best Kickn Hot Chickn went to Baumhowers

Best Kickn Alternative Chickn went to Sweet Bones

Best Finger Lickn Chickn ( Peoples choice) went to Baumhowers

Shake Your Tail Feather (best dressed booth) went to Mellow Mushroom for the 2nd year in a row

Raise the Bar (Most Money Raised) went to Pizza Hut!

Fantastic Appetizer: Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini

Before fig season comes to an end, I wanted to share this incredibly delicious Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini appetizer recipe. It’s so easy to prepare and tastes out of this world. You can make these anytime of the year. Just substitute dried figs for fresh ones. The combination of flavors, orange, figs, honey and pepper, pair wonderfully with the goat cheese.

Note: The incredible platter in this picture can be found at Earthborne Pottery.

Super Foods Salad: Watermelon and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad

I wanted to make a great Labor Day salad, but wanted to include my favorite “super foods”. I tossed some fresh arugula with watermelon, blueberries, walnuts and goat cheese (I love Belle Chevre) and drizzled it with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. There you have it. Not only is this so beautiful to serve, but so healthy and incredibly delicious.  Great for Labor Day or any day!

Healthy Valentine Gift: Gluten-Free Valentine Cookies: 5 Days Left To Order

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There’s only five days left to order Gluten-Free Valentine Cookies. They have been the rage and so popular! I’m so happy that everyone is so excited, and the response is so positive. If you want to try them, (and you live in Birmingham), head to Max’s Deli in the Collonade. They’re selling my cookies like “hotcakes”. Click on the link on the main page to right to order your cookies today. Thanks, Alison

Three Ingredient: Chocolate Snickers Milkshakes

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My oldest son, Alec, had to write a paper at school about his favorite candy bar. He picked Snickers. We bought so many that I can’t even give them away. The other night I suggested making Snickers Milkshakes so we tried them with vanilla ice cream. Tonight, we made them with chocolate, my weakness. With only 3 ingredients, you can’t get any better with either. They’re delicious!

Awesome Blueberry Muffins with a Secret Ingredient: Blueberry Banana Muffins

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I’m always looking for a great Blueberry Muffin recipe. These have a secret ingredient, bananas. This recipe for Blueberry-Banana Muffins is awesome and even better than original blueberry muffins. My daughter and I made these this afternoon when she was sick.  Making these together and then tasting them, perked her up in no time. Enjoy these for breakfast, a snack or light dessert.

Healthy and Flavorful Stuffed Baked Potatoes

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Sometime it feels like sides dishes get left out, and people ask me all the time for side dish ideas. These Stuffed Potatoes are low-fat and easy to make. The touch of Greek Yogurt and Gruyere add great flavor and texture. They go perfect with meat, fish or pork, and best of all, the kids love them. See me on Thursday 11:30 central time on NBC 13 “Daytime Alabama” making a few of my favorite side dish recipes.

Three Ingredient Easy Treats: Chocolate Turtle Candies

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One of my subscribers from Florida, Melanie, asked me to make these delicious treats and put them up on my blog. I wasn’t familiar with this recipe or idea, but some people are. If you haven’t ever seen this, you will love it. They are only 3 ingredients, and everyone loves them. I taught a private cooking lesson today for an amazing and adorable second grader, and she even said, “What a great party idea!”

Simple 5 Ingredient Creative Appetizer: Dirty Martini Cheese Ball

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My martini of choice is a Chopin Vodka or Ketel One Dirty Martini slightly dirty with blue cheese-stuffed olives (Satterfields or Flemming’s make the best in Birmingham). This recipe reminds me a lot of my favorite cocktail, hence its name: Dirty Martini Cheese Ball. Even my son, Zachary, who loves blue cheese and olives, begs me to make this. It’s great for a party, and it’s so simple. Just mold it together, let it chill for about 4 hours and then roll in nuts. It’s a sure hit, so cheers!

Alison Lewis and Paula Deen In Chicago at International Housewares Show

I had so much fun in Chicago over the past few days at the Chicago Housewares Show. I saw so many new kitchen gadget items that I can’t wait to share with you in my blog and store on this site.  While in Chicago, I had the opportunity to meet Paula Deen, who was so friendly and sweet. I thought I would share one of my favorite candy recipes of hers that my kids love, and who wouldn’t?