Tina Jackson Velina Jewelry at The Pantry in Birmingham

If you live in Birmingham, you must tune into the new Tuesday Tastemaker evening series at the Pantry in Crestline Village. Join the amazingly talented Tina Jackson, the designer of Velina Jewelry next week on Tuesday, November 12th at 6 p.m. Enjoy night out with the girls and shop this beautiful hand-crafted line of jewelry, enjoy a Craft Cocktail Tasting (I can’t wait to see what this is) and delicious food (of course) by the Pantry. 

6pm until…
Reservations are required, call 205-803-3585

Tina is a currently a graphic design and business student at Samford University, and owner/designer of VELINA, her own jewelry line business. A native of Toronto, Canada, she lived in Paris, France for three years, traveled throughout Europe, North America, and parts of Asia. She currently finds herself in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She also studied Art in New York City and Fashion Styling in Milan, Italy during her university career. In addition to being a student and running her own business, Tina works as a freelance graphic designer on the side.

Pepper Place Farmers Market This Saturday

Come see me tomorrow, Saturday, at the Pepper Place Farmers Market in downtown Birmingham. I will be there selling my book “400 Best Sandwich Recipes” with Bob Carlton of the Birmingham News as he showcases his new “Soon-to-be-Famous Pimiento Cheese”. We will be there from 7 to noon. Stop by and say hello, and try a Pimiento Cheese Sandwich on Big Sky Bread. Have a super weekend!

Only 1 of my cookbooks is currently available on Amazon this week, so come get a signed copy in person.

Cooking Demo & Book Signing at Charlie Thigpen’s Gallery

On Saturday, I had the incredible opportunity to partner with Charlie Thigpen’s Garden Gallery at our local farmers Pepper Place Market in Birmingham for a cooking demo and book singing featuring my new book,“400 Best Sandwich recipes: From Classics & Burgers to Wraps & Condiments”. It was such a great experience getting to speak alongside Charlie who is one of the most talented gardeners I have ever known. Charlie, and I worked together at Southern Living years ago, where he worked as a Garden Editor for over 29 years. His knowledge about gardening, fresh herbs and growing vegetables is unsurmountable. He spoke to the large crowd about purchasing and planting fresh herbs, and I showcased ways to use them in recipes from my new cookbook.

This is Charlie and I together before my demo as he was talking about his many types of herbs and basil he carries at his shop and garden as well as how to plant herbs in your garden and tips on keeping them vibrant.

This Tomato-Fresh Herb Crostini appetizer recipe was a hit. I made 250, and they were all gone before I turned around.

I must thank my daughter and her friend for selling more of my cookbooks and T-Shirts than I did. 🙂

And now: Here’s an interior tour of some of the cool things in Charlie Thigpen’s Garden Gallery located at 2805 2nd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233.

I admit it. I want everything in here!

This vase is so cool. There were so many that it’s hard to choose.

These are awesome. Great food props, gifts and decorating touches for the home.

I love these too.

Thanks so much to Cindy and Charlie Thigpen for a great event! It was such a beautiful day in Birmingham after a rough week of tornadoes here. As I am writing this, we still don’t have power. My heart goes out to everyone suffering from such a tragedy. I appreciate everyone for their support to the people of Alabama and for all of the sweet notes, emails and twitter and facebook messages checking on my family and me. Much love, Alison

Strawberry Cobbler

Cobblers are one of my all-time favorite desserts. When I was trying to decide on a recipe to feature for the February issue of the Birmingham Magazine, the first thing that came to mind was a warm succulent Strawberry Cobbler. I thought it would be different to add oats to the topping, making it lighter and healthier. The recipe worked perfectly on my first try during recipe testing (I love it when that happens). When my 3 kids said, “Mom, this is the best thing you have ever made.” I must admit, I agreed. Enjoy on Valentines, Mother’s Day or really anytime. It’s true comfort food, easy to prepare and so worth it.

Easy Valentine’s Day Brownies

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays for cooking every year because I usually teach a Kid’s Valentine Cooking Class and share my recipes with children. This year I have a great class scheduled along with a few television appearances lined up in Birmingham and Nashville preparing Valentine treats. These Valentine Brownies are just one of the recipes I will be making for the kids as well as television. This easy brownie recipe was shared to me by the editors of the Tables of Content Book from the Junior League of Birmingham (one of my must-have cookbooks). These are so easy, and you make them all in one saucepan. Use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter and decorate with your favorite icing. They are almost too simple to be so divine.

Great Valentine Ideas on Fashion Blog: Inspector Snew and Ingredients Inc.

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My niece, Meredith, is a very talented college student at the University of Alabama. She writes an incredible fashion blog called http://inspectorsnew.wordpress.com. I always get great fashion ideas from her blog. Last week I was honored to have my Gluten Free Cookies featured among her great Valentine gifts. Check out her blog and the incredible work of a college student and my cookies below.

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Layered Chicken Santa Fe Salad

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We love salads for supper, and anything Southwestern goes over great at my house. Layered Santa Fe Salad is a breeze. Purchase a rotisserie chicken from the grocery, or use leftover grilled chicken. Serve with salsa or, for kids, ranch dressing. In under 25 minutes, you will have a colorful dinner on the table that is so healthy, high in protein and low in fat.