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Rainbow trout season at Madison County Public Fishing Lake begins Friday, November 25, 2016. To fish for trout, anglers must have a $5 daily trout permit in addition to a valid fishing license. The lake will be open Friday through Sunday in December and January, but closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Madison County Lake is located 11 miles east of Huntsville in Gurley, Ala.

By Stan J. Griffin: November 14, 2016

A 51-3 victory over Mississippi State by Nick Saban's No. 1 Alabama football team this past weekend extended the Crimson Tide program's overall winning streak to 22 games, but most importantly improved UA to 10-0 overall and 7-0 in Southeastern Conference play.
Alabama played one of its most complete games of the season in romping past Dan Mullen's Bulldogs, and now the Crimson Tide stands only a handful of wins away from running the table and repeating as both SEC and College Football Playoff national champions.
Saban noted on Monday, though, that his team cannot afford to lose focus on its overall mission, which includes continuing to improve on a weekly basis. This includes its upcoming game on Saturday against Russ Huesman's Football Championship Subdivision Chattanooga Mocs of the Southern Conference.
The Tide and the Mocs (8-2 overall, 6-2 in SoCon play) meet at Bryant-Denny Stadium in a game scheduled for a 6 p.m. CT kickoff. The game will be televised by ESPN2.
"I think this week, you know with the ole Shawshank Redemption statement, you're either busy living or you're busy dying, really kind of means you're really not going to stay the same," said Saban. "So from our perspective, we're either going to get better or we're going to get worse, we're probably not going to stay the same. So we need each unit on the team, each group on the team, each individual on the team to take ownership and be responsible for the things they need to do to work this week and improve as a team."
He added that his team will be facing a talented Moc team that was ranked No. 7 in the FCS before falling at home this past weekend to Wofford.
"Chattanooga is a very well-coached team and (Huesman) has done a really good job there," said Saban. "They're 8-2 and one of the top teams in their division. They have 14 starters returning from last year's team. They basically do a really good job on offense with the quarterback run-type stuff, and their play action game which is difficult to defend. They really play hard on defense and special teams and this is a game that we need to focus on what we need to do technically to get better as a team and try to go out and play our best game and build on what we did in the last game."

By Stan J. Griffin: November 11, 2016

Avery Johnson's University of Alabama men's basketball team and Kristy Curry's Crimson Tide women's team opened the 2016-17 season with big victories on Friday in front of raucous crowds at Coleman Coliseum.
Johnson's team used a second-half surge to propel it past Cliff Ellis's Coastal Carolina Chanticleers 70-53 while Curry's squad had little difficulty in romping past the New Orleans Privateers 78-57.

The following are recaps of both Crimson Tide basketball victories Friday:

ALABAMA 70, COASTAL CAROLINA 53:
After a first half where Johnson's team was not on all cylinders and trailed by six at halftime, a second-half offensive and defensive surge by the Tide allowed it to take a fairly comfortable lead of 52-42 with just over 10 minutes left.
But as that advantage began to dwindle, with the visiting Chanticleers trimming the lead to 52-48 with just over seven minutes left, Alabama senior guard Corban Collins, in his first official game in a Crimson Tide uniform, halted that run by the visitors in big fashion.
He nailed a huge 3-pointer to propel the Tide on its own 8-0 spurt that built the lead back to 12 at 60-48, and Alabama coasted from there, building a lead of 19 points down the stretch before settling for the 17-point triumph.
Collins led the Crimson Tide with 15 points, which included three treys and a perfect 6-of-6 night from the free throw line. He also added three rebounds, three assists and two steals.
"It was kind of a tale of two halves," said Johnson. "We weren't very good in the first half and (the Chanticleers) had a lot to do with it. We were out of rhythm, we didn't rebound, and they obviously made some threes, but we changed the lineup at the start of the second half and put (graduate transfer) Bola (Olaniyan) in at four. We thought that gave us some more energy and brought Shannon (Hale) off the bench along with some of our other guys. It was a tale of two halves and we've got a lot of work to do, and a long way to go, but (Collins and redshirt freshman guard Dazon Ingram) they really compliment each other. They play well together, they get along well, and so I like the way both play on an off the ball. Both are terrific defenders, so we wouldn't be sitting here with a 17-point win if it wasn't for Dazon and Corban."
Ingram, who only played in seven games last season before missing the rest of the season due to injury, added 11 points, including three treys, four boards, five assists and a steal.
Alabama led 11-9 after a trey by Riley Norris, but Coastal Carolina scored the next eight points to build a 17-11 lead of its own.
At the 5:19 mark the lead was 24-16 for Ellis's team, and the closest the Tide could get the rest of the half was five points. Alabama trailed 33-27 at the intermission.
The Chanticleers hit a 3-point bomb to make the score 36-30 early in the second half, but Alabama scored 12 of the next 14 points to move in front 42-35. During this surge, the Tide turned up its defensive attack and the Chanticleers were unable to get off many quality shots.
Ellis noted after the game that Alabama's defense simply wore his team out in the second half.
Alabama's lead remained at around eight points or so, and two free throws by Hale made the score 52-42 at the 10:14 mark.
Coastal Carolina did not fold, scoring six in a row to make the score 52-48, but Collins hit the shot of the night, a trey at the 5:48 mark to make the score 55-48. This seemed to light a fire under the Tide and Alabama cruised after the Collins dagger.
Norris finished with 14 points and also made three from three-point range.
Alabama returns home on Tuesday, Nov. 15 to take on Dayton in Coleman Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 12:15 p.m. CT with the game airing  on ESPN2 as a part of the ESPN Tip-Off Marathon.

ALABAMA 78, NEW ORLEANS 57 (WOMEN):
The Crimson Tide in its season-opener, making its official return to Coleman Coliseum, could not get its 3-point attack going Friday, hitting only 2 of 14 from the arc.
But one of those treys, by junior guard Hannah Cook, proved to be especially pivotal.
Alabama and New Orleans found themselves in a 17-17 deadlock after the first period of play, and with just over seven minutes left in the second quarter the Privateers were still giving Alabama all it wanted, leading 22-21 after a trey by standout shooter Randi Brown.
At the 6:56 mark, though, Cook hit the Tide's first 3-pointer of the night, and that seemed to breathe a good deal of life into a sputtering Tide team, propelling it to an 11-0 run that put UA up 32-22.
The Crimson Tide never tailed again after that, and Alabama outscored New Orleans 26-13 in that second quarter. That critical period proved to be a major difference between a Tide rout and perhaps a contest that was a bit closer.
"I thought there were three really good things that we did the second half, to be down 22 to 21 on the glass and then to out-rebound them 43 to 38, I thought we did a good job taking care of the basketball the second half, and then to have five players in double figures," said Curry. "I thought those were three categories that in the end really made a difference. It was ugly at times, but ugly counts and it was great to get those first-game jitters and the environment out of our system. It certainly was a good experience for us tonight.
"We were sputtering a little bit, but you know at the end of the day, I thought that we were rushing things a little bit and weren't settled on shots. Maybe again, that's just anxious and I didn't think that you could fault our effort as much as I was just trying to get them to slow down a little bit and let the game come to them and it was more a little bit of focus. It certainly wasn't a lack of effort."
Meo Knight led the Crimson Tide with 18 points, while Shaquera Wade added 16.
Joining Knight and Wade in double figures were freshmen Ashley Knight and Jordan Lewis with 12 points and 11 points, respectively, and junior Ashley Williams, who finished with 10. Lewis was the team’s leader in rebounds with eight to go along with four assists and four steals.
In addition to leading the team in points, Meoshonti Knight collected a game-best five steals and tied for Lewis with a game-high four assists.
Cook had seven points, along with three rebounds, two assists and a steal.
For the game, the Tide outscored New Orleans, 48-16, in the paint and 18-0 in fastbreak points. Alabama also won the battle of the boards, 43-38, and forced 22 Privateer turnovers.
Next up, the Tide hosts Mississippi Valley State on Monday, Nov. 14.
The game is slated to tip at 7 p.m. CT on SEC Network +.

Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications

Despite what parents may think, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has categorized corded window coverings as one of the top five hidden hazards in American homes with nearly one child dying every month due to strangulation and another child suffering each month from near strangulation.  “These figures are disturbing and parents need to be aware that these accidents can be prevented,” says Rob Leonard, a local entrepreneur and advocate for window cord safety.

By Stan J. Griffin: November 11, 2016

Photo by Stan J. Griffin

You will have to excuse University of Alabama men's basketball coach if he appeared to have an extra glow of excitement during a media session held at Coleman Coliseum Friday morning.
And it was even more of an enthusiastic demeanor than usual for the always-effervescent and typically-animated second-year Crimson Tide coach.
But there was certainly good reason for this.
Friday's press conference allowed Johnson the opportunity to discuss his budding program's Class of 2017 signee group, ranked No. 2 in the nation by Scout.com and Rivals.com, and a landmark five-man class that will rank as the highest one in the annals of Alabama men's basketball.
That class includes guards Herb Jones (Hale County High School), John Petty (Jemison High School in Huntsville) and Collin Sexton (Pebblebrook of Mableton, Ga.) and forwards Alex Reese (Pelham High School) and Galin Smith (Clinton High School, Miss.).  All five were rated as either four-star or five-star prospects, and all were Top 100 recruits nationally according to Rivals.com.
After thanking numerous individuals for their contributions to the class, including UA Director of Athletics Bill Battle, faculty members, Alabama football coach Nick Saban and members of his coaching staff among others, Johnson noted that the class represents an enormous milestone in the history of Crimson Tide basketball, and also sends a message regarding the mission of his program.
"This is the result of everybody pulling in the same direction and this is not about Avery Johnson. This is about a group of people that have the same vision, that have great communication, and at the end of the day, when we leave the room, we all agree upon the same thing," he said. "This is a big day for University of Alabama basketball, not just for our game tonight (against Coastal Carolina), but with this 2017 class, and sure, wherever we're ranked, it's a number one class in my mind. So wherever we're ranked nationally, that's great, but this is a huge day for us because when Coach Battle decides to hire me for this job, we talked about putting a fence around Alabama. That's what we said in our introductory press conference. And we've done that. We've signed the top three players in the state of Alabama.

By Stan J. Griffin: November 10, 2016

A 10-0 victory at then-No. 13 LSU this past weekend completed a grueling four-game Southeastern Conference gauntlet for Nick Saban's No. 1 University of Alabama football team that also included games against ranked opponents Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas A&M, with three of those pivotal league games away from the friendly confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium.
A bit earlier in the season it was assumed by many that if the Crimson Tide was able to make it through that quartet of SEC clashes undefeated, it would generally be smooth sailing for Alabama, at least until the Nov. 26 Iron Bowl showdown against archrival Auburn.
Not so fast.
Saban's team is now gearing up to host Dan Mullen's Mississippi State Bulldog team, a team coming off a huge 35-28 upset win over then-No. 4 Texas A&M last weekend in Starkville, and a team which has shown significant improvement over the past three weeks following a shaky 2-4 start.
Alabama (9-0 overall, 6-0 in SEC play) clashes with the Bulldogs (4-5 overall, 2-3 in league play) Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. CT and the contest will be televised by ESPN.
Saban said earlier this week that he knows the Bulldogs will certainly not be a pushover by any means for his top-ranked Crimson Tide squad.
"They have played better and better each and every week, and they're probably playing their best football of the season right now, pretty obvious with their win over Texas A&M how good they are playing right now," Saban said. "Their quarterback (sophomore Nick Fitzgerald) has done a really good job for them all year long and he's kind of the center of what they do in terms of how much he runs the ball and his effectiveness as a runner as well as being a very effective passer. (Senior) Fred Ross is a very good receiver and an outside threat that can create explosive plays for them and they've been able to run effectively, and defensively they create a lot of issues and problems in terms of negative plays and how aggressive they are and they're very well-coached and good special teams. (Mullen) has done a great job there for a lot of years and we've always had some really difficult games and that's what will be our expectation in this game."

THIS WEEK'S SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:

Mississippi State (4-5, 2-3 SEC) at Alabama (9-0, 6-0 SEC), Series: UA leads, 78-18-3, 11 a.m. CT • ESPN, Last: UA, 31-6 (2015 at Starkville), Tuscaloosa, Ala. • Bryant-Denny Stadium (101,821)

South Carolina (5-4, 3-4 SEC) at Florida (6-2, 4-2 SEC), Series: UF leads, 25-8-3, 11 a.m. CT • CBS, Last: UF, 25-8-3 (2015 at Columbia), Gainesville, Fla. • Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Steve Spurrier-Florida Field (88,548)

Kentucky (5-4, 4-3 SEC) at Tennessee (6-3, 2-3 SEC), Series: UT leads, 78-24-9, 11 a.m. CT • SEC Network, Last: UT, 52-21 (2015 at Lexington), Knoxville, Tenn. • Neyland Stadium (102,455)

Vanderbilt (4-5, 1-4 SEC) at Missouri (2-7, 0-5 SEC), Series: VU leads, 4-3-1, 2:30 p.m. CT • SEC Network,  Last: VU, 10-3 (2015 at Nashville),  Columbia, Mo. • Faurot Field / Memorial Stadium (71,168)    

Auburn (7-2, 5-1 SEC) at Georgia (5-4, 3-4), Series: UGA leads, 56-55-8, 2:30 p.m. CT • CBS, Last: UGA, 20-13 (2015 at Auburn), Athens, Ga. • Sanford Stadium (92,746)

LSU (5-3, 3-2 SEC) at Arkansas (6-3, 2-3 SEC), Series: LSU leads, 37-22-2, 6 p.m. CT • ESPN, Last: ARK, 31-14 (2015 at Baton Rouge), Fayetteville, Ark. • Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (72,000)    

Ole Miss (4-5, 1-4 SEC) at Texas A&M (7-2, 4-2 SEC), Series: TAMU leads, 6-2, 6:30 p.m. CT • SEC Network,  Last: UM, 23-3 (2015 at Oxford),  College Station, Texas • Kyle Field (102,512)

SEC FOOTBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:

OFFENSE:
Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State:
• Fitzgerald guided MSU to its first victory over a Top-5 ranked team since 2014, accounting for four touchdowns and 391 yards of total offense as the Bulldogs defeated No. 4 Texas

By Stan J. Griffin: November 8, 2016

A huge 10-0 road win by Nick Saban's Alabama football team Saturday against Southeastern Conference rival LSU allowed the Crimson Tide to remain in a familiar place in the second College Football Playoff selection committee poll, announced Tuesday night.
That being the No. 1 position.
Dabo Swinney's Clemson Tigers and Jim Harbaugh's Michigan Wolverines also remained in the same slots, at No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, but the big question of the night involved who would take over the No. 4 spot.
Last week in the first playoff poll of the season, the committee surprised many observers by putting a one-loss Texas A&M at No. 4 instead of the undefeated Washington Huskies.
And then Kevin Sumlin's Aggies promptly were stunned Saturday by Mississippi State in Starkville.
Washington, however, got the fourth spot in the new rankings, followed by Ohio State at No. 5, Louisville at No. 6 and Wisconsin at No. 7. The Buckeyes appear to have a stronger overall resume at this point than Washington, but the Huskies' unbeaten record apparently gave them the edge over Urban Meyer's team.

In the mood for a free frozen treat? Today, March 15, is your lucky day, then: This is Dairy Queen’s “Free Cone Day,” a day when participating DQ locations statewide are offering customers a free vanilla soft-serve cone. In turn, customers are urged to donate to Children’s of Alabama.

Great deal, right? Our area Dairy Queen locations are participating:

By Sherry Holmes

 

Getting a car loan is relatively easy, but there are a few things you need to know and do before you begin the actual loan process. Following these steps will help you get the best car loan possible.

 

First, you must understand the parts of a car loan.

 

·       The "term" is the length of your loan. The longer the loan, the more interest you will pay.

 

·       The "interest rate" is the percentage of the loan you will be charged on top of your loan.

 

·       The "down payment" is the amount of money you have to pay up front. The more you can pay up front, the lower your payments and interest will be.

               

Second, be sure to fix any creditor problems you might have. Some people might have a collection of only a few hundred dollars. By fixing this before you apply for a loan you will increase your credit score which could get you a lower interest rate. And of course, that means, ultimately, a lower monthly car payment. Who could argue with that?!

 

Third, shop around. Go to different banks and see what they can offer you as far as a loan. You might be surprised at the offers you get.

 

Fourth, be sure you can afford your payments. Many first-time car buyers don't factor in things like gas, insurance and maintenance expenses when they get a car loan. And ask any car owner: These factors can add up really quickly. You don’t want to start out with a new set of wheels and a massive mound of debt!

 

Article sponsored by Nationwide.

Find them on the web at: http://www.nationwide.com

 

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By Tori Linville

 

Apple has come a long way from its origin in Steve Jobs’ parent’s garage. As a leader in consumer electronics, computer software and online services, the company has become a worldwide brand. As of February 10, Apple was reported to be worth over $700 billion.

 

So what makes Apple so successful?

 

The easy answer lies with its line of personal computers available for purchase. The software for Apple computers is also updated so often, discouraging viruses and ensuring overall software quality and function. Let’s look at the two most popular models:

 

MacBook Air 13 inch

 

 

The 13 inch LED-backlit display isn’t too small, but it isn’t too big. This formula worked for Goldilocks, and it works for most consumers who prefer something in the middle. It’s 12 hour battery life is also appealing for those who have charger issues.

 

The processor options come in two options, 1.6 or 2.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core models. The model has up to 512 GB of flash storage, perfect for storing important documents. Plus, the two pound laptop helps to feel like you’re not carrying around a brick.

 

MacBook Pro 13 inch

 

 

This model offers more in terms of storage, up to 1 terabyte (TB) of flash storage. It does weigh a measly pound more and has only ten hours of battery life.

 

A recently developed function that the MacBook Pros offer is retina display, offering a sharper image resolution and pleasing look to the screen that doesn’t appear in competitor models.

 

The MacBook Pro comes with three processor options, from 2.7 to 2.9 or event 3.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core models.

 

Mac Mini

 

 

Perhaps the cheapest model of computer Apple sells is the Mac mini. The computer doesn’t come with its own display, but has up to 1 TB of storage and has a 3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor.

 

These are just a few of the laptops Apple has available, and is only a taste into the world that Apple has created since its inception. The extensive lines of iPhones, iPads, and most recently, televisions, all look to create a sleek look while providing a quality experience that has consumers coming back for more.

 

Article sponsored by Alabama Power.

Find them on the web at: http://alabamapower.com

 

 

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By Sheena Gregg

 

As a self-proclaimed foodie, Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays. However, as a registered dietitian, Thanksgiving can also prove problematic for my clients trying to keep their waistline in check. With a little strategy, Thanksgiving can be both a delicious and nutritious event with friends, family, and football. Here’s a few of my top tips for enjoying your favorite family dishes while staying in check with your health goals.

Don’t Show Up on an Empty Stomach

Though it seems like tradition to “save up your appetite” for the family function, this isn’t always ideal if you’re trying to watch your weight. If your family get together is at lunch time, consider having a light and balanced breakfast to keep your appetite level in check by the time lunch rolls around. Having a small snack or meal a few hours before your gathering can help curb your appetite enough to avoid large portion sizes but also enjoy your holiday favorites in moderate portions.

Eat the Healthiest Foods First

Beware of starting your celebration with mindless munching of refined carbohydrates like chips, crackers, or bread. These foods offer little satisfaction and are typically loaded with calories. Instead, choose to first eat dishes featuring non-starchy veggies to slow down digestion with fewer calories. Protein foods can also be helpful with helping you feel full sooner.

Take Time to Savor Your Meal

If you’re interested in enjoying your holiday favorites in smaller portions, consider eating at a slower pace. It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes for your brain and stomach to register that you’ve eaten and provide the sensation of fullness. Often times, we eat so quickly that we’ve already got the next bite of food ready to go on our fork before we’ve even swallowed our first bite of food. Consider putting the fork down between each bite or taking a sip of water or other low calorie beverage to create natural pauses during your meal.

Be a Healthy Host or Hostess

Thanksgiving is infamous for casseroles and dishes with multiple mystery ingredients that often involve copious amounts of butter, cream, and salt. If you are a host or hostess wanting to provide healthy options to your guests, variety is key. Instead of having all starch-based sides, consider having colorful salads or other vegetables prepared with heart healthy fats such as olive oil. Fresh fruit salads made with Greek yogurt or sugar-free pudding can offer a sweet alternative for someone trying to watch his or her weight.

No matter the menu, Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season can be a great time for catching up with friends and family. It can also be the perfect time to find recipe twists on holiday classics! 

Sheena Gregg is a registered dietitian and local “Filipino Foodie.” Follow her adventures at www.afilipinofoodie.com

 

Article sponsored by Bradford Health.

Find them on the web at: https://bradfordhealth.com

 

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By Derek Osborn

 

A monthly editorial piece of masterful opinionated writing (insert joke here) regarding life and times in the big town of Tuscaloosa coupled with the musings of a guy nicknamed “Oz.” 

 

Thinking of escaping the cold winter months by traveling to an exotic locale specializing in fru-fru drinks and men in thongs? Happen to be looking for tips from a native Tuscaloosan who, on average, travels outside of the United States once every ten years or so?

 

You’re in luck! Your local faux-tourism specialist has got you covered. And for this edition of LoO, my indiscretions are most definitely your gain.

 

For our 10th anniversary, the missus and I decided to fly off to the tropical paradise of the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana, to be exact. 

 

One of our traditions when traveling to exotic locales is to pick up a local rent-a-wagon and go exploring beyond the safe havens of the resorts and the traditional tourist traps. This is fun and spontaneous but can also be ill advised at times, depending on the “State of the Island” (in all sincerity, you should always check travel advisories for your desired destination).

 

The following are tips based on the unplanned Dominican adventure we experienced after attempting to, and eventually succeeding, in the rental of the aforementioned wagon. 

 

Know a little of the native tongue: You don't have to go full-fledged Rosetta Stone, but it does help to have some knowledge of common phrases without staring at the Griswold translator handbook while attempting to get directions “to…a…beach.”

 

Know the exchange rate of the local currency vs. the U.S Dollar: When you stop to fill up and the amount you owe at the pump is 2,088.79, don’t freak out. We’re dealing in pesos, and in the Dominican that equates to about $46.

 

Notify your credit card company that you will be traveling outside of the U.S.: Because when the gas station runs your credit card and it declines the sale for fear of a fraudulent transaction, things can get really shady fast if you only have $40 in your pocket.

 

Notify your debit card company that you will be traveling outside of the U.S.: Because when the ATM runs your debit card and your bank declines the request for fear of a fraudulent transaction, things can get out of hand quick if you still only have $40 in your pocket.

 

Be prepared to drive fast: While there are traffic laws in place, there is very little enforcement, and the local driving culture could be related to that of the Autobahn combined with total disregard of common road signs. Oh, and because we shorted the gas station 272.45 pesos. And because of the security guard wielding a loaded shotgun.

 

To be fair, we warned our rental car agent and the gas station attendant that we only had $40. Their response? “No comprende.”

 

I tweet insignificant things @ozborn34.          

 

Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Lynn, and daughters Savannah and Anica. 

 

Article sponsored by Hudson Poole.

Find them on the web at: http://www.hudsonpoole.com

 

By Amy Poore

 

Have you started planning the Thanksgiving meal yet? Fall is definitely in the air, and both of these recipes will compliment your holiday table beautifully. The pear chutney is an aromatic delight, and a perfect pairing for your turkey, no matter how you prepare it. And for dessert, I suggest this scrumptious pumpkin Bundt cake with caramel drizzle. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and bon appétit!

Pear Chutney

  • 5 ripe pears, peeled and diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pears in 2 tbsp. hot olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes (or until tender). Transfer to a bowl; wipe Dutch oven clean. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Add raisins, garlic, and ginger; sauté 5 minutes. Add sugar, cinnamon, cloves and dried crushed red pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until spices are fragrant. Stir in vinegar and maple syrup, and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in pears; cook, stirring constantly, 3-5 minutes. Stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Caramel Drizzle

For the cake:

  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the drizzle:

  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

For the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin and sour cream in a large mixing bowl. Add flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt and stir in to combine. Pour into a greased and floured Bundt pan.

Bake for around 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Test it with a wooden pick to see if it comes out clean. Invert cake onto a cooling rack.

For the Caramel Drizzle:

Heat milk and brown sugar in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from stove and add butter and vanilla. Cool for five minutes and drizzle over cooled cake.

Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com

 

Photos: Amy Poore

 

Article sponsored by Interlinc Mortgage.

Find them on the web at: https://www.interlincmortgage.com

 

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If you are anything like me, you like to plan out your week so you can be best efficient with your time and money.  However, this does not always happen, especially when one needs to make a large meal for many guests.  So, this list of ingredients was put together to help you manage your time well over the Thanksgiving week. 

 

The meal:

 

Roast turkey

Homemade dressing

Cranberry sauce

Baked sweet potatoes

Green bean casserole

Cornbread or brown and serve rolls

Pickle and raw veggie tray

Pumpkin pie

Apple crisp

 

The Check-Your-Pantry List (buy if necessary):

 

•  Flour, about 4 cups

•  Sugar, about 2 cups

•  Brown sugar, 2-3 cups

•  Honey, 1 cup and maybe a little more

•  Thyme, dried, around 3 tsp

•  Lemon-pepper seasoning, around 2 tsp

•  Cooking oil, plain, a few tablespoons

•  Cooking spray

•  Pumpkin pie spice around 1 1/2 tsp

•  Salt and pepper

•  Cornmeal, 1 cup (if you’re making cornbread)

•  Baking powder, around 4 tsp (for cornbread)

•  Cinnamon, around 1 tsp

•  Oatmeal, around 1 cup

•  Vegetable or chicken bouillon, 4-5 tsp

 

Groceries:

 

•  Frozen Turkey, 10-12 lbs

•  Onions, around 3 lbs

•  Celery, 1 large bunch

•  Carrots, 1 lb

•  Garlic, 1 head, or 2 if you’re keen on it

•  French or Italian bread, sliced, 1 loaf

•  Eggs (you’ll need 7)

•  Butter, 1 lb

•  Cranberries, fresh, 2 bags

•  Sweet potatoes, large fresh, 1/2 = one serving, so as many as you need

•  Potatoes, large baking, if desired

•  Green beans, regular cut frozen, 2 one-pound packages

•  Mushrooms, 1 pound fresh or 2 8-oz cans

•  Milk, 1 quart

•  French fried onion rings, 1 can

•  Pumpkin, 1 15-oz can (plain pumpkin, not pie filling)

•  Prepared frozen pie crust (if you’re not making your own or lack a pie plate)

•  Evaporated milk, 1 12-oz can

•  Apples, tart baking, 2 pounds

•  Whipped cream, 1 spray can of the real stuff, or Vanilla ice cream

•  Veggie and pickle tray items: pickles, olives, pepperoncini, radishes, green onions, etc. to taste

•  Brown and serve rolls if you opt out of baking your own bread or cornbread

•  Green peas or other frozen veg if desired

 

And, do not forget the beverages of choice: beer, wine, juice, coffee, sweet tea…

 

Article sponsored by Bama Bed and Breakfast.

Find them on the web at: www.bamabedandbreakfast.com

 

                                                  Sponsored by: 

 

If you are anything like me, you like to plan out your week so you can be best efficient with your time and money.  However, this does not always happen, especially when one needs to make a large meal for many guests.  So, this list of ingredients was put together to help you manage your time well over the Thanksgiving week. 

 

The meal:

 

Roast turkey

Homemade dressing

Cranberry sauce

Baked sweet potatoes

Green bean casserole

Cornbread or brown and serve rolls

Pickle and raw veggie tray

Pumpkin pie

Apple crisp

 

The Check-Your-Pantry List (buy if necessary):

 

•  Flour, about 4 cups

•  Sugar, about 2 cups

•  Brown sugar, 2-3 cups

•  Honey, 1 cup and maybe a little more

•  Thyme, dried, around 3 tsp

•  Lemon-pepper seasoning, around 2 tsp

•  Cooking oil, plain, a few tablespoons

•  Cooking spray

•  Pumpkin pie spice around 1 1/2 tsp

•  Salt and pepper

•  Cornmeal, 1 cup (if you’re making cornbread)

•  Baking powder, around 4 tsp (for cornbread)

•  Cinnamon, around 1 tsp

•  Oatmeal, around 1 cup

•  Vegetable or chicken bouillon, 4-5 tsp

 

Groceries:

 

•  Frozen Turkey, 10-12 lbs

•  Onions, around 3 lbs

•  Celery, 1 large bunch

•  Carrots, 1 lb

•  Garlic, 1 head, or 2 if you’re keen on it

•  French or Italian bread, sliced, 1 loaf

•  Eggs (you’ll need 7)

•  Butter, 1 lb

•  Cranberries, fresh, 2 bags

•  Sweet potatoes, large fresh, 1/2 = one serving, so as many as you need

•  Potatoes, large baking, if desired

•  Green beans, regular cut frozen, 2 one-pound packages

•  Mushrooms, 1 pound fresh or 2 8-oz cans

•  Milk, 1 quart

•  French fried onion rings, 1 can

•  Pumpkin, 1 15-oz can (plain pumpkin, not pie filling)

•  Prepared frozen pie crust (if you’re not making your own or lack a pie plate)

•  Evaporated milk, 1 12-oz can

•  Apples, tart baking, 2 pounds

•  Whipped cream, 1 spray can of the real stuff, or Vanilla ice cream

•  Veggie and pickle tray items: pickles, olives, pepperoncini, radishes, green onions, etc. to taste

•  Brown and serve rolls if you opt out of baking your own bread or cornbread

•  Green peas or other frozen veg if desired

 

And, do not forget the beverages of choice: beer, wine, juice, coffee, sweet tea…

 

Article sponsored by Bama Bed and Breakfast.

Find them on the web at: www.bamabedandbreakfast.com

 

                                                                           Sponsored by: 

By Chloe Monte

 

Remember the family that would keep the Christmas tree up all year?  Remember them?  You know the ones!  They were the eccentric family on the block whose sanity you questioned.  You asked yourself, “How could someone have such a continuous celebration spirit?  Does that not take away the essence of what Christmas is?  And what is December 25th to them if July 25th is identical?”  Ultimately, you resigned these thoughts to conclude, “To each his own.  If it makes them happy, then go for it!” 

 

What we, the categorical Christmas celebrators, did not realize was that they were ahead of their time!  They were innovative while we were naysayers.  They were trendy before there was an entire zeitgeist industry.  That’s right, they were simply living in the future! 

 

I write this article from the year 2050.  And in this year, we celebrate Christmas all year round.   We live in a perpetual state of green and red.  Stores have created, to continue increasing sales, virtual environments where you are taken back to your happiest Christmas memory via retail time machines and invented ornaments that give you boosts of endorphins whenever you touch them so to classically condition your opinion toward Christmas and excessive spending. 

 

Also, Christmas is no longer called Christmas.  A decade ago, Congress, after realizing the entire United States economy was built on Christmas revenue and any dip in Christmas revenue would cause a collapse to our economy, decided to call the holiday in perpetuity “Thanksgivmas”.  As well, there has been talk about enacting a flat tax that would automatically deduct 30% of our paycheck every month so to be put toward the Thanksgivmas economy to prevent any dips in consumption.  

 

Families no longer receive December 25th off as a vacation holiday, either.  December 25th no longer means anything; it’s just another Thanskgivmas day.  And what has happened to Black Friday, you ask?  Stores have created sections called the Black Daily where deals are had in rotation.    

 

Where did we go wrong?  How did this begin?  I’ll tell you how it began.  It began when we started trampling one another on Black Friday for a TV that is now obsolete and worth nothing!  That’s right, we are to blame!  The temptation was laid in front of us and we fell for it, Christmas tree hook, garland, and bulb.   

 

But this does not have to be your future.  You can change your habits now!

 

You can use this time to volunteer.  You can spend more time with family and friends.  You can go outside and enjoy the fresh air.  You can take up a painting class or travel.   Do anything but buy Christmas ornaments on October 1st

  

Take back Thanksgivmas season and let Christmas be Christmas and Thanksgiving be Thanksgiving. 

 

Article sponsored by Youth for Christ Tuscaloosa.

Find them on the web at: www.tuscaloosayfc.org

 

 

                                                                             Sponsored by: 

By Marlena Rice

 

Fall is finally here: We are all “Roll Tide” – ing, enjoying our riding boots and jeans, and already stressing over who will be hosting Christmas dinner - let alone Thanksgiving dinner. As a mother and a wife, I would especially like to note that I am truly always thankful for my son, my husband, my family, my job, and a multitude of other things. I am really just tickled pink all the time when I think about how God has blessed me. However, today I would like to share with you a list of all the things I am thankful for that only mothers would understand.

 

This Thanksgiving, and all throughout the year:

 

·       I am thankful for the kind lady who works at Chick-fil-a, who remembers me and says, “It’s good to see you, you haven’t been here in a while.” Which leads me to be thankful that I am on time for work that particular morning, despite the fact that I was late the day before, and likely to be running late the next.

·       I am thankful for the fact that my two year old finally believes me when I say that bugs will crawl on his butt if he keeps giving me a hard time getting his underwear/pullups back on as we potty train.

·       I am thankful for the logistics coordinator of the new neighborhood Wal-Mart, who strategically placed a miniature toy aisle with mini racecars in direct view of the meat section (because once we take 30 minutes to pick out yet another car, or two, I am then able to quickly pick up the four items we initially came to buy).

·       I am thankful for my boss, who didn’t make me show him the photograph on my iPhone that details why I was late for work. The situation involved a child in a car seat, covered in the morning’s milk and an unseen prayer that an air freshener would just fall into the backseat like a smoke bomb.

·       I am thankful for Ben and Jerry, for making ice-cream concoctions that are so outrageous (and delicious) that when the family is sitting down to watch television in the evenings no one wants “just a bite.”

·       I am thankful for the couch. The one that handles the weight of all three of us, and our huge Great Dane as he leans against to sit at our feet. You have endured baby shoes, spilled milk, spilled chicken noodle soup, the dreaded orange Cheetos powder smears, and everything else that has once left my kitchen or dining room table. And you’ve endured a family that has to sit all but smack right on each other on your cushions while we argue about what to watch on one of multiple televisions in our home.

 

Happy Holidays, and be Thankful!

 

Marlena Rice is a local mom and author. Her new book, “Pacifiers, Flatbeds and Barn Wood Thingamajigs, a 'Come to Jesus Guide' for the New, Southern Mom,” will be available on Amazon.com this fall. Follow Marlena on Instagram at marlena_rice.

 

Photo: Marlena Rice

 

Caption: Beaux William is in the holiday spirit. He’s thankful for pumpkins, obviously.

 

Article sponsored by Med Center North.

Find them on the web at: www.medcenterurgentcare.com

 

 

Courtesy of Crimson Magazine

By Stan J. Griffin: November 16, 2015

As the No. 2 Alabama football team steps away from conference play this week for a Saturday battle against Big South Conference opponent Charleston Southern, a member of the Football Championship Subdivision, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban acknowledged Monday that much of the emphasis of this week, as per usual, is improvement in his own team from its last game, a 31-6 win over Mississippi State on Saturday.

"We got off to a little bit of a slow start (against the Bulldogs) in the game and just didn't seem to have the energy, especially offensively, to pay attention to detail and get the kind of execution we needed against a very good defensive team," he said. "We played a lot better in the second half and made some big, explosive plays that made a big difference in the game. Defensively, we did a good job of affecting the quarterback (sacking MSU quarterback Dak Prescott nine times) and played well in the red zone. That was probably the difference in the game. We probably didn't tackle as well in space as we'd like to, and we gave up a few big plays that we probably shouldn't have. Those are things that we definitely need to work on and try to fix."

Saban noted that senior tailback Kenyan Drake, who sustained a fractured arm during Saturday's game, had successful surgery Monday and will likely be out at least a couple of week.


"Then (after that period where he cannot play), it will be, how functional can he be at this position with what he has," he said, also noting that freshman defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick is day-to-day in terms of practice this week, and he will be questionable for Saturday's game.

Fitzpatrick suffered a sprained knee against MSU, and he and Drake both suffered their injuries during second quarter play against the Bulldogs.

This week's contest marks the last game in Bryant-Denny Stadium for Alabama's seniors, and Saban spoke about that fact, and praised the senior players for their representation of UA both on and off the field.
"It's the last game for a lot of our seniors who have had a great career here and contributed and had a lot of success, and I certainly hope that our fans will show the kind of appreciation that we all should have for what their hard work, and their blood, sweat and tears have contributed to the program over the last four or five years," he said. "A lot of good people and a lot of successful guys, and guys that are going to be successful in life. They've been great ambassadors for the University of Alabama and this program. We're just very thankful for them for what they've contributed."

In terms of Saturday's 3 p.m. game (SEC Network) against Charleston Southern, Saban said third-year coach Jamey Chadwell will bring in a very talented Buccaneer team.
"Charleston Southern is 9 and 1, and probably one of the best teams in their FCS division, and they're ranked in the Top 10 in almost every current category, and one of the top defenses in that league, as well as very productive offensively," he said. "A different style of offense than we've played against, a lot of option and split back and a lot of options that we have not played against and their quarterback Austin Brown does a really good job. He's a very athletic guy who can run as well as he is a good passer. So this is going to be a challenging game for us from a preparation standpoint. Their defense has created a lot of negative plays and very quick. They play a 3-4 and they do a good job in their pressure package in creating negative plays, so this is a good team that we're playing, and hopefully our players will have the kind of respect they need to go out and play good, positive and winning football against them."

He said there are similarities between Charleston Southern and the Georgia Southern team that Alabama played in 2011, in terms of the Buccaneer option offense. But he added that Georgia Southern ran more of a Georgia Tech-style true option offense, and that Charleston Southern presents more multiple formations which create adjustment issues for an opposing defense relative to remaining sound on the option.

When asked about the play of junior defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, who was a key  part of Alabama's effective pass rush against MSU Saturday, Saban began his response with a lighthearted reference to the inadvertent hit that he took from the 6-foot-3, 283-pound lineman before that game started, leading to a noticeable abrasion on the coach's cheek.

"The first thing is knocking the hell out of the coach," he said, drawing a big chorus of laughter from the assembled media. "Jonathan was a really good high school on-the-edge pass rush guy, very, very good. I think he has gotten bigger and developed a lot of strength to where now he can rush off the edge, but he's a really effective inside rusher because he's gotten bigger and stronger. Certainly he plays the run a lot better and he's athletic and he can still move. I think that's the biggest difference, he just gotten, each year he's been here, a little bigger and stronger. He's always been very athletic and great first-step quickness. He does a great job of using his hands and moving his feet, which is critical in being a good pass rusher."

Asked about the process that goes into the scheduling of non-conference tilts against opponents such as Charleston Southern, the Tide coach said Alabama is sometimes limited in terms of its option when trying to assemble a schedule.

"We don't have a lot of choices," said Saban. "It's not like when you go into a restaurant and you get the menu and say, 'OK, we can play these 24 different teams, which one do we want to play?' Most of the time we're bargaining and begging to get anybody to play us, and so we don't always have a lot of choice, and especially lately where since we went to 14 teams in the league, it put the SEC schedule back a little bit in terms of when we got it so (the Tide was forced to fill in their schedule as well as it could), so those things have been challenges for us in scheduling, and we're going to continue to do the best we can in trying to get the best opponents, but we always don't have a lot of choice."

Alabama junior running back Derrick Henry and Allen earned SEC Player of the Week recognition following the win at Starkville Saturday, the league office announced on Monday.
Henry was named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time this season after rushing for 204 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries against the Bulldogs. He has rushed for more than 200 yards in consecutive games and three of the past four overall, with each coming against teams ranked in the top-20 nationally. Henry broke free for touchdown runs of 74 and 65 yards to extend his school record of consecutive games with a rushing touchdown to 15, the longest such streak by an SEC player in the last 20 seasons.

In his first season as the team’s starting running back, Henry has amassed 1,474 yards and 19 touchdowns on 240 carries for a 6.1 yard average. He is currently the national leader in rushing touchdowns and ranks second overall in yards rushing. The junior tailback has performed his best in the Tide’s six games against ranked opponents, averaging 178.7 yards per game (1,072 yards) and scoring 12 touchdowns.    

Allen was recognized as the Southeastern Conference Defensive Lineman of the Week after a dominant performance in Starkville. The junior defensive end finished the day with seven tackles, including three tackles for loss (-17 yards), to go along with three sacks, one forced fumble, and a quarterback hurry. Allen is the first Alabama player to record three sacks in a game since Courtney Upshaw did it against Auburn in 2010. The Alabama defense collectively totaled nine sacks, representing the most by any unit in a single game under head coach Nick Saban.  

In addition to those honors, Saban and his coaching staff recognized ten Crimson Tide standouts as players of the week following the win against MSU.

Henry, Cam Robinson and ArDarius Stewart were the honorees on offense, while  Allen, Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster represented the defense. Kenyan Drake, Adam Griffith, Cyrus Jones and Bradley Sylve made the special teams list.

It was announced by the SEC Monday that the Nov. 28 Iron Bowl contest between Alabama and Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium will begin at 2:30 p.m., with CBS televising the game.

Courtesy of Crimson Magazine

 

 

Anyone need some new dishes to enjoy at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner? Both of these dishes are perfect for the occasion. The Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash looks gorgeous, but it’s fairly simple to make and it takes just a few ingredients. And the Pear Cake offers a delicious alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving desserts (though certainly include them, too).

Enjoy the Thanksgiving holidays, and bon appétit!

 

Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 acorn squash
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Salt
Pepper
Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Cut each squash in half lengthwise, scrap out and discard seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in 2 baking dishes.

 

Add 1/2 inch of water to each pan.


Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.


In a bowl, use a hand mixer (or stand) to beat the cream cheese, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

 

Stir in pecans, reserving a few for garnish.


Carefully remove squash from oven and place cut side up on baking sheet.

(Tip: I trim off a little of the bottom so they will lie flat.)


Season squash with salt and pepper, fill with cream cheese mixture and bake for 15-20 more minutes, until filling is lightly browned and squash is tender.


Sprinkle with cinnamon, brown sugar and reserved pecans.

 

Pear Cake

2 cans pear halves
1 package white cake mix
3 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
Confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Drain pears, reserving 1 can of syrup. Chop pears.


Mix cake mix, butter, eggs and reserved syrup on low for 30 seconds, increase to medium-high for 4 mins.


Pour batter into a greased and floured Bundt pan.


Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.


Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com.  

Photos: Amy Poore

 

Article sponsored by Willcutt Block.

Find them on the web at: http://www.willcuttblock.com

 

 

 

 

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