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Black Allergy Mama

An Allergy-Friendly Recipe and Lifestyle Blog

PRIESTERS PECANS

Priesters Pecans

Priesters Pecans is a family-owned company specializing in delicious old-fashioned, farm fresh gifts like pecan desserts, pecan candies, pecan pies, cakes, and bulk pecans. As pecan suppliers and candy makers for over 7 decades, our Gourmet Pecan Pies, Gift Tins, Baskets and Candies have delighted countless families.

Priesters Pecans is definitely a “must stop” when traveling in to Alabama. It’s  is located in Fort Deposit, Alabama about 35 miles south of Montgomery and is great rest stop to stretch your legs, let the dogs out (if traveling with pets) and take advantage of a clean restroom!

Priesters Pecans

Priesters Pecans was decked out and ready for the holidays during our visit. I could literally have spent all day and all my money in this place. There is a little something for everyone from the Auburn fans to the wine and candy lovers in your life. A great place to souvenir shop for your loved ones, there are some truly fun and unique gifts here.. but of course the true stars are the pecans!

 

Priesters Pecans

Priesters Pecans offers samples of each of their amazing flavored pecans and that certainly helped with making a choice–actually it made it harder. I will tell you that the Key Lime pecans are like nothing I have ever tasted. That sour from the lime, sweet from the sugar and salt from the pecan hit each spot on my tongue making for an awesome palate pleaser.

Priesters Pecans

Everything is perfectly placed at Priesters Pecans, making it hard to not want to touch stuff..but I’m always touching stuff, smelling stuff and eating stuff — obviously! The Jelly Beans were a little pricey (2.25 per 1/4lb) so I passed on those and got things that I can’t find at home like tropical necco wafers and soft, banana flavored now-n-laters …It’s the little things that make life special.

 

Priesters Pecans

Priesters Pecans also adds some education to your visit. They offer a tour of their gallery where you are able to see the pecans and many other items being made by the staff. Very clean candy cooking quarters. All the staff seemed to be buzzing busily about covering pecans, filling pies and piping divinity. It has to be weird to look up and see people watching you.

Priesters Pecans

The viewing gallery appears to be the longest hallway ever from this angle. With glass along the walls  you are allowed a sneak peak to the various kitchen areas. The walls are laced with history, from stories about the Pecans to the burning down of the factory in the 1996. 

In addition to the awesome “chotchkies” the best part is upstairs on the second floor where you can actually see all the pecans, cookies, pies and other delectable items being made.  Oh, that is also were the clearance section is!

Priesters Pecans

Such a great experience and an awesome place to take the kiddos, they will love the gallery tour. The workers will probably be more receptive to kids looking down at them from the glass than the two adults that were looking and waving at them during my visit.

Read more about the history of Priesters Pecans Here! Make sure to check out their gift section also..hint hint.

Houston’s 5th Annual Beer Fest – We want More!

 

 Beer Fest

Houston’s Beer Fest is for those folks who enjoy “chugging a cold one” then taking said “cold one” and smashing the can on one’s forehead.. I am possibly being over dramatic about the whole thing but something was a little off in my opinion.

First time attending the Houston Beer Fest and given that it was to rain all day, I was certain that this outdoor event would be cancelled. Well, the sun came out and things quickly heated up.. everything that is but the fest itself. I learned very quickly that if you really DIG beer.. not that watered down shit sold by Budweiser, but real, complex, flavorful beers.. this isn’t your event. People like you should only be at private, VIP beer tastings where you get to talk to the Brew Master and not somebody whose never tasted the beer of which they are sampling.

 Beer Fest

Although the assortment of beers were a 2 1/2 out of 5, the other vendors were awesome. Ben & Jerry’s was onsite sampling their two newest flavors Bourbon Pecan Pie and Bar-B-Que Peach. Both new flavors are outstanding but the one that should be the “official flavor of Texas” is Bourbon Pecan Pie, without question.

 Beer Fest

There’s one snow cone truck in particular that’s a Houston favorite and can be spotted at nearly every festival in the city. Friohana  Shaved Ice was on site serving up their super fluffy snow balls. I only get the Mango with Chile and Chamoy. It’s perfect for a hot and humid day. We happily sat on the curb and  ate it ALL in under 1 minute. {Pats on back}

 Beer Fest

It was quickly determined that where there’s beer there’s weed and you could smell it in the air.. ESPECIALLY during Riff Raff’s Saturday set and Scarface’s Sunday set.  Luckily, Swisher Sweets was on deck giving away free cigars and cups to keep the party going. Being the adventurous souls we are we quickly ventured over to grab some and to take selfies!

 Beer Fest

After an uneventful evening of mediocre beers, Riff Raff throwing pizzas into the crowd, soggy grass, horrible 5-star security and mosquitoes.. all I wanted to do was go home and take a shower.. but FIRST I had to get a foot long corn dog!

 Beer Fest

It hit the spot and made everything much better.. to top it off my “G” bought us a funnel cake. As we ate that hot, sweet, crunchy yet soft, deep-fried “carb devil” we were at peace and ready to come back to do it all over again on day 2!

11th Annual Wine & Food Week – Woodlands

The 11th Annual Wine & Food Week – Woodlands took place recently at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center and was a huge success. I attended two of the scheduled events Sips, Suds & Tacos and The Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting and Chef Showcase. Both were jam packed with delicious food, wines and righteous beers.

Sip, Suds and Tacos

11th Annual Wine & Food Week – Woodlands kicked off with Sip, Suds and Tacos was a fun filled event where over 300 guests meandered from booth to booth for samples of over 60+ craft beers, assorted varietals of wine and of course0… tacos!  This “taco take down challenge”  consisted of  10 chefs battling it out for the coveted Taco Takedown Trophy. The tacos were tasty, but for the most part very similar with the corn tortillas, meat and cheese. This years Taco Take Down Champ was Chef Scott Varnedoe of Restaurant IPO (Baton Rouge). He Wowed the judges with his unique take on the classic crunchy taco. The winning taco was super complex and the flavors were off the charts! I was able to snag one on my way out the door. It was good and the crunch from a hard taco shell was very necessary at that point.

 

The winning taco was a mix of rare seared Ahi tuna, Salmon, Asian poached shrimp and goat cheese miso, served in a crispy-crunchy 5 spice, house made tortilla shell and topped with pan fried peanuts, candied sesame, pickled mustard seed and collard green kimchi!! Talk about a mouth full. The added flavor from spices like curry, cinnamon, cumin and 5 spice were present throughout each bite!  In speaking with Sous Chef Sara this item was once on the IPO menu but was served in a glass..ceviche style. DELICIOUS!

Wine and Food Week
Chef Ja’Nel Witt

The Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting  and Chef Showcase

The Finale event for 11th Annual Wine & Food Week – Woodlands week has been dubbed one of the most spectacular culinary events in the country, that may be a bit of an over statement but it was a lot of fun!! The Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting  and Chef Showcase was the epitome of chic, from the decadent desserts and food stations to the robust wines and runway fashion.

Wine and Food Week
Eculent, Kemah Tx

I have a huge sweet tooth and was immediately drawn to the dessert stations.  Eculent located in Kemah, served a “Pig in a Cloud”   that totally stole the show. Their seared pork belly coated in smoked mesquite cotton candy, paired with a kimchi shooter was more than delicious.  Of course the Macarons from Macaron By Patisse were perfect.. I could’ve eaten them all night.  Make sure to check out their website for details regarding their new location and summer grand opening.

Wine and Food Week

Chef Shannen Tune of Craft Burger Food Truck, located inside of Hotel Derek, did his thing with his play on America’s favorite treat the twinkie. Chef Tune’s Foie Gras twinkie didn’t just taste great but as guests consumed more of his savory/sweet deliciousness his plating turned into a work of art! It was simply beautiful. There are a handful of chefs who produce ART.. Chef Tune is one to watch!

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With so many beautiful displays I missed getting the name of this vendor but it was simply exquisite as well. If you happen to know who this belongs too, please let me know so that I may tag it! 

Wine and Food Week

 

To learn more about Wine & Food week and how you can participate next year click here. There is also information on how you can volunteer. I personally can’t wait until next years event!

Custom Cakes, Pies, Cookies and Much More at Not Jus’ Donuts

Not Jus’ Donuts is a family owned bakery located in the heart of the historic 3rd Ward. This sweet shop may appear modest but the delectable treats that await you behind their doors are magnificent and made with love. The Houston community has responded in kind for over 15 years.

In 2014 Not Jus’ Donuts was featured on Bakery Boss, A TLC reality show where Cake Boss Buddy Valastro, helps struggling family bakeries get back on their feet! This publicity could not have come at a more perfect time, as the bakery was currently experiencing a slump in sales and customer traffic. With Buddy’s help, Not Jus’ Donuts was able to continue sharing their famous cakes, cookies and pies with their loyal customers.

As most of these recipes have been passed down from some 5 to 6 generations, you’ll be hard pressed to find flavor like this any place else. From the richness of their famous butter cake to the uber moist pound cake, Momma Jackson is showing out in the kitchen.

Courtesy Photo

When I bit into the lemon pecan pie at Not Jus’ Donuts I was transported back in time to my childhood,  where I watched my grandmother bring the entire neighborhood to the table using the simplest ingredients.

At Not Jus’ Donuts there is no waiting! You walk right up to the clear display cases lined with fresh bundt cakes, cookies, cake balls and pies both sliced and whole. They also have daily specials where you can get things like Myrtle’s Peach Cobbler or house made donuts and coffee.

I absolutely love everything, so the fact that Not Jus’ Donuts is also super affordable makes my life a lot easier. Actually, I wish they were more expensive so I wouldn’t be so easily inclined to get “one of everything”..but I digress. Sometimes a girls just needs one of everything!!!

Their lemon cake, German chocolate cake and ranger cookies are my current comfort sweets. The cookies come packaged by the half dozen for roughly $3 -$5 dollars. When I want to butter up to my husband or convince my parents of something, my bribes usually come from here!

In addition to the individually packaged, per person cakes they also make custom cakes for birthdays, weddings, parties.. you name it they make it. Should you not have any interest in waiting to indulge Not Jus’ Donuts has a little seating area for you to hang out, watch some TV and eat!

Make sure to mark your calendars as Not Jus’ Donuts will start serving breakfast on May 2nd at 6 am. This is so perfect for me as I pass them everyday. Looks like I need to re-activate my gym membership!

Click to add a blog post for Not Jus' Donuts Bakery on Zomato

Regular Hours

Tuesday – Friday
9am – 6pm

Saturday 8am – 3pm

Closed Sunday and Monday

Craft Brew Battle: Beers to drink NOW!

Deacon Baldy's
Beer Flights

It’s no secret that I am a HUGE craft beer buff with a particular passion for Stouts, Scotch Style Ales, Triple IPA’s and Nitro’s (Pecan Porter – current fave).. So I make it a mission whenever traveling to pick up some craft beers from the area and compare them to my favorite Texas staples. While traveling the country I have picked up some pretty good brews and some that I couldn’t stomach to even finish. If you like heavy, bodiful, deliciously bold beers…Check out what you should be drinking now!

Beer Notes:

  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV):  is a standard measure of how much alcohol (ethanol) is contained in an alcoholic beverage (expressed as a percentage of total volume)

  • International Bitterness Units (IBU): This is a measurement of the concentration of bitter hop acids in the beer in parts-per-million.

TEXAS FAVORITES

 

Founders “Dirty Bastard” – ABV 8.5% – 50 IBU’s – Grand Rapids, MI

I have no shame in stating that this is my favorite beer. It’s complex, deep and rich with hints of oak, smoke and peat. Not too much peat like Laphroaig Single Malt Whisky but just enough to know he’s there.  Founders also has a “Devil Dancer” that is quite righteous as well with 12% ABV and 112 IBU’s..

Brooklyn Brewery ” Black & Chocolate Imperial Stout” – ABV 10% – 51 IBU’s

Oh me oh my! This smooth as silk chocolate stout is EVERYTHING I have ever longed for in a beer. My husband thought it was reminiscent of Guinness beer, but oddly I’ve never tried that. Too mainstream for me. If you are looking for hops here then keep walking.. there is no carbonation here, only the taste of smooth milk chocolate, coffee and caramel on your tongue. This “boozy beer” is one to try, at least once.

Independence Brewing “Convict Hill” – ABV 8% – 55 IBU’s – Austin, TX

This was my first taste of what is referred to as an “Oatmeal Stout” in the beer world. When I first heard of such a thing of course I thought it was a beer that tasted like Oatmeal, but not quite. It actually gets its name because oats are added to the barley, hops, wheat and yeast mash.. leaving the beer creamy, rich and robust! It tastes like chocolate.. so try it with some!

Independence Brewing happens to be my favorite Texas brewery! They produce some really good stuff.

Independence Brewing “Bootlegger Brown” – ABV 5.5% – 32 IBU’s – Austin, TX

This brown ale is slowly but surely working its way closer to the top of my favorites list with its chocolate body and super smooth finish. I do notice that Ale’s make me burp more than stouts, it’s obviously due to the carbonation but it always catches me off guard because I rarely drink carbonated beverages. This beer goes great with everything. I had it with BBQ and it paired well with the sauce and smoke of the meat!

No Label Brewery “Elda M.” – ABV 6.89% –  25 IBU’s – Houston, TX

I am taking a guess that the “M” stands for Milk as this is a milk stout. It’s smooth & creamy with a hint of coffee. It’s not overly filling like most beers can be and is best served warm. I totally didn’t drink it warm and must go get some more to try it in its “preferred” state. Elda M. is one of the best locally brewed beers that I have tried from No Label.. but now that I have been “schooled” to the fact that I have been drinking it wrong we shall see how I feel after a proper re-taste-test.

 

ALABAMA SHAKES

National Beer Day
MY favorite Alabama Craft beers.

Blue Pants Brewery “English Barleywine” – ABV 13% – Madison, AL

This is what the Blue Pants Brewery has to say about their barley wine: “A traditional English Barleywine with caramel sweet, toasty, malt, black cherry, and black currant flavors derived not from specialty malts, but from a five hour boil, Northern Brewer hops, and a flavorful English ale yeast. With traditional barleywine low carbonation levels, these flavors will develop across the palate with every sip. Aged one year in red wine barrels to add notes of sherry, toasty oak, and lightly spicy tannins. Grab a second bottle for aging.”

Here is what I say: “Gross.” I was so excited about this! Not only do I love craft beer but I love red wine. When I read that barley wines are aged in red wine barrels I was like “hell yea,” but then I tasted it and was like “aw hell naw!” My palette was looking for something else. I wasn’t expecting this heavy, flat, “winey-beer.” I was totally caught off guard and couldn’t finish it. I was forced to commit a cardinal sin and pour it down the drain.

Blue Pants Brewery “Weedy’s Double Knee” – ABV 8.7% – Madison, AL

This Double India Pale Ale provided me with a one-way ticket to “burp city”, good lord! It was almost so carbonated that I didn’t want another sip but I pushed through it. It’s super hoppy and tastes like a fresh cut lawn might. I would suggest it as a summer beer. I would even suggest in the place of champagne for those with an aversion to champs.

Blue Pants Brewery “Tuxedo” – ABV 7.0% – Madison, AL

This is classified as a “cascadian dark ale” so it’s still a little “hoppy” but it’s smoother and more flavorful than the Pale Ale. If you like a little hops and dark beer this would be a great choice if you can find it.

Straight to Ale Brewery “Brother Joseph” – ABV 8.0% – Huntsville, AL

Cans just make the beer taste better in my opinion. Not sure why but they seem so much colder and crisp in a can. “Brother Joseph” was my first Alabama craft and it definitely hit the spot.  This Belgian dubbel was rich, malty with a little kick and hints of dark fruit at the end. It was truly amazing which is why I bought almost every other Straight to Ale canned Craft I could find.

Straight to Ale Brewery “Monkeynaut IPA” – ABV 7.5% – 70 IBU’s

Citrusy. Malty. Crispy. Bitter. Good. The highest IBU”s of all the beers tasted but it wasn’t SUPER bitter..the malt flavor just lingers on the tongue a bit longer than the other beers.

Straight to Ale Brewery “Lily Flagg” – ABV 5% – 50 IBU’s

This Milk Stout is named after a prized Huntsville, AL cow who was was honored as one of the world’s best butterfat producers in 1892. With traces of chocolate, rich malt, caramel and coffee your mouth will be overjoyed. This was one great, canned milk stout. Rich with flavor and malt really holds its own and pairs well with dark chocolate..

I hope you enjoyed this little beer rundown and are able to stop in and grab a bottle or two over the holidays..your family will thank you. Who doesn’t love a craft beer chick!

 

Craft beer

 

 

Magpie Cafe | Places to visit in Baton Rouge, LA

During a recent road trip to Alabama, my mother and I visited Magpie Cafe. We’d initially read about this quaint little espresso coffee bar on yelp. Magpie Cafe features seasonal, locally-sourced, organic baked goods and lunch offerings. They also offer free WiFi! We highly suggest you add it to your list of places to visit in Baton Rouge, LA.

Magpie is a popular hangout for LSU students. The free WiFi and their local and organic sweet treats, chocolate bars and juices are an easy draw.

I get my sweet tooth from my mom. I can always count on her to get “dessert for the road”. So when she returned to the table with a cookie, I wasn’t surprised.  But what did surprise me was when she returned to our table with a Paleo cookie. I laughed as she bit into it, knowing she had not a clue what “Paleo” meant. It wasn’t until hours later that she realized Paleo wasn’t a flavor, or baking method but a diet. HILARIOUS!!

In addition to coffee, other items like fancy chocolates, organic oat bars, coffee cakes and cookies can be found along the self-service counter. The Askinosie Chocolate was new to me. I’d never heard of it before and in doing a bit of research, learned that Askinosie sources their cocoa beans from farmers in the Philippines, Ecuador, Tanzania and the Amazon. Paying the cocoa farmers significantly above the per-ton Fair Trade market price for their cocoa beans. In addition to the pay rate Askinosie profit shares with these farmers. At the end of the selling cycle the farmers are paid directly in cash! That is a great story and led me to purchasing a few bars.

Learn more by watching the video below. 

Askinosie Chocolate Bars

THE FOOD

You won’t find any printed menus at Magpie Cafe. Just chalkboards lined with the daily lunch and breakfast specials. All of the food items are made fresh in house, and once they’re gone they’re gone. The line was a bit long, but I quickly realized that there were only two ladies taking food orders and serving, and one barista fulfilling all the coffee orders. They were feverishly working to ensure everyone received their order in good time.We ordered the white bean salad and the house panini.  The salad was fresh and perfectly dressed with a house made citrus vinaigrette. The ham and apple butter panini was off the chain. The avocado was my own addition. I am known for carrying avocados in my purse.

Magpie also offers fresh seasonal coffees and teas. I had to try their pumpkin spiced latte and hibiscus tea. Both were better than what you’d get at Starbucks!

CLOSING

We highly suggest Magpie Cafe during your next trip down I-10 from Houston. The coffee is great and the service is even better. It’s an awesome place to stretch your legs and full your bag with their delicious assortment of seasonal, locally-sourced, organic baked goods.