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

Classic Passover Mandel Bread

Every year my sister, Julie, and sister-in-law, Debby, make the best Mandel Bread for Passover. If you haven’t tried Mandel Bread before, it’s very similar to biscotti. It is a great Passover dessert, afternoon snack or perfect for breakfast served with coffee or tea. I will warn you that it is also super addictive, so once you start, you almost can’t stop eating it. You can make it with or without chocolate chips, but this version with lemon juice and almond extract is wonderful.

My New Cookbook “400 Best Sandwich Recipes from Classics & Burgers to Wraps & Condiments”

When my cookbook Publisher, Robert Rose Books, said that my book will be here on “March 29th,” they meant it. It arrived exactly on that date, and I am so excited to announce the release of “400 Best Sandwich Recipes from Classics & Burgers to Wraps and Condiments”. This is the go-to book on sandwiches with something for everyone. It includes 400 recipes. Yes, I really said, “400”! You will enjoy sandwich recipes for every meal and occasion including appetizers, breakfast, lunch as well as burgers, wraps, international, regional U.S, grilled cheese, condiments and more. I call it the “bible” of sandwiches, and it’s been well received so far. When I spoke at a conference a few months ago, I realized that I have been developing recipes professionally for over 17 years (wow, now that shows my age), so I am so excited about my first internationally published cookbook. Thanks to my wonderful subscribers, followers, family and friends for your awesome and incredible support. I hope you will check out my book, and let me know what you think.

Super Bowl Appetizer and Party Tips: Brie with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil

One week from today is the Super Bowl, one of the most fun sporting events of the year. I filmed a Super Bowl television cooking segment for NBC “Daytime Alabama” which will air next week, making four easy appetizers. This 5 ingredient recipe for Brie with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil is a cinch, taking only 20 minutes to prepare. Here are some of my favorite Super Bowl tips for hosting your upcoming party.

Super Bowl Hosting Tips:

-Think “green” and make it easy. Send out E Invites or call or Facebook your friends

-Set up as many televisions as possible if you’re having a large party

-Plan simple and easy food to put out and refill. Also, think about servings foods that are easy to pick up and eat in your lap.

-Have one room planned for television watchers and another for those who just want to talk (okay…some of us women)

-If you’re inviting guests with children, have video games, movies, coloring pages, crayons and puzzles to keep them busy

-Offer healthy foods: such as serve fresh fruit and vegetables with hummus

-Have plenty of beverages and a variety for everyone

-Ask guests to pitch in and bring food (give them a task)

-Have a “faux betting pool” set up and a few prizes for the winners