Looking for new ways to help your young child become a better eater? How about putting them to work in the kitchen?

A child's life is full of firsts. First steps, first words, first tooth and for parents who enjoy eating out we can add a child's first meals at a restaurant. For preschoolers, ages 3 to 5, the meals may be small but there are big lessons to learn about lifelong healthy dining habits.

In a continued response to the persistent concern of food insecurity in the lives of citizens in West Alabama, the 2019 Tuscaloosa Can! event will feature over 20 school teams creating large sculptures made from canned food items. After the structures are built, the creations remain on display to the public as a giant art exhibition. At the end of the viewing, all food is donated to the West Alabama Food Bank.

Shelton State Community College Community Education is offering a one-night-only course, “Chocolate: Your Holiday How-to,” on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on the College’s Fredd Campus. 

With the New Year comes resolutions. This year, one of my goals is to work toward investing my time, rather than merely spending it, in all endeavors! As a working mom, I have learned that meal prepping on a Sunday is beneficial for my family and gives me more time to invest in other areas during the work and school week. 

“Shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo; pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp …”  

Sure, this might be straight out of the movie Forrest Gump, where “shrimp is the fruit of the sea,” but one local business is trying to make this a reality in landlocked West Alabama. Since the end of 2016, the families involved with Sumter County Shrimp have dedicated themselves to digging ponds, drilling wells, and investing in equipment needed to grow shrimp in this area.  

The West Alabama Food and Wine Festival will host its 5th Annual event this Thursday, April 27, at Tuscaloosa RiverMarket to benefit the West Alabama Red Cross. The festival features small plates by 16 popular restaurants, including the highly anticipated Central Mesa created by the same owners as The Avenue Pub. A variety of wines will be available, and two local breweries will also be serving samples.

While it doesn’t always feel like winter in the South, the 11th Annual Great Tuscaloosa Chili Cookoff gives people a chance to cozy up to a bowl and play pretend. The family-friendly event will be held in the Bryant Conference Center on Saturday, Feb. 13 with doors opening at 10:30 a.m. 

Held by The Exchange Club of Tuscaloosa, the Cookoff raises funds for the club’s service projects within the region. It’s part of the reason Glen Smith, the Cookoff’s chairman, said he enjoys his role in the event.  

There’s a new chef in town. NorthRiver Yacht Club has announced that Trey Aitken is their new food and beverage director.

Aitken brings over 20 years of experience as owner, chef, and consultant in a variety of local and regional fine dining restaurants to NorthRiver.

This time of year in the south, there aren't many cooks that don't have access to venison(deer meat), either from the hunter in the family or friends.  However, cooking with venison can be challenging at first. Proper tenderizing and seasonings need to be added to enhance the flavor and cut down on the "gamey" taste that comes along with wild game. We first started cooking with venison as a way to cut costs at the grocery store meat department when prices started to skyrocket. I also found that I liked the fact that the meat was all natural, with no steroids or other additives. The following five recipes have become family favorites over the years.

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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