Friday, January 6, 2012

Beef, Lamb and Chicken, Oh My!

Grass-fed beef and lamb and free-range chicken have earned a place for White Oak Pastures on many a regional restaurant menu and home dinner plate. These tender cuts are the culmination of long-term visions for sustainability and active stewardship by White Oak Pastures Owner Will Harris. Consider the big picture, and it's obvious why Harris will be inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans, and Chefs at the Southern Foodways Alliance Taste of the South, taking place January 12 - 15, at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn. The event, which also serves as a fundraiser for the Southern Foodways Alliance, is now in its eight year. The Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans, and Chefs fosters camaraderie and mentorship and honors the bounty of the South and the hands that grow, nurture and interpret its harvest. The organization's vision is to provide a forum for farmers, chefs and artisans to break bread and share knowledge while reinforcing the sustaining bridge between field and table. After five generations of Harris family farming, White Oak Pastures has become the largest certified organic farm in Georgia and is one of only two on-farm, USDA-inspected, grass-fed beef plants in the country. The farm is home to the largest solar-powered barn in the Southeast. The solar-thermal system generates energy for the processing plant -- which happens to be the only on-farm poultry processing facility in the states of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. Both the grass-fed beef and poultry plants are no-waste operations, meaning animal by-products are turned into organic fertilizer or compost for the farm's certified organic pastures.

Even if the Blackberry Farm event is not on your calendar, you can enjoy White Oak Pastures products at home. They are available at Whole Foods Markets and Publix supermarkets.

White Oak Pastures: 22775 Highway 27, Bluffton, GA; 229-641-2081.

[Photo Credit: Angie Mosier]

Our Appetizing Aperture of the Week

Resolutions are no fun if you can't have a sweet treat here and there -- we'd recommend saving that stolen moment for one of these dark chocolate doughnuts, available from Krispy Kreme in Columbus. 

It's Follow Friday; Meet Our Tweep of the Week @loveandoliveoil

Lindsay and Taylor Landis are a cute couple dealing with humidity in Nashville, Tenn. They run two small businesses by day and cook by night, having discovered cooking together brings them together. And besides, they get bored by leftovers so they're always cooking something new. Lindsay handles the prolific tweets (@loveandoliveoil). Follow her daily adventures. Save theirLove & Olive Oil blog link in your bookmark file for a lot of incredible edibles and even some giveaways.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Learn to roll your own (sushi)

The DishDid you make a resolution to learn something new in 2012? Did you vow to meet new people? You can check them both off your list by attending RA Sushi's first Sake and Sushi Social of the new year on Tuesday, January 10 at 7 p.m. This is a really fun way to get together with old friends or make some new ones. There are experts there to discuss sake-pairing basics and teach you how to roll your own sushi, plus you'll get a four-course sampling of fresh sushi and appetizers paired with fine sake. All for $35 per person or $60 per couple. Check out the photos from December's social on Facebook. Space is limited so give 'em a call 404-267-0114.

RA Sushi: 1080 Peachtree Street at 1010 Midtown; 404-267-0114.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

All Aboard the Health Train: 2012 Healthy Eating Roundup Makes Keeping Resolutions Easy

"Diet" can be a heavy word, and no one wants to hear such a downer in a city with so many fabulous eateries. Healthy eating is more about considering the effects of what you're ingesting -- how your lunch will benefit your body and all of its systems -- including those all-important taste buds. Really, if it's not tasty, why bother anyway?

Guilt-free "Skinnier Cocktails" at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar weigh in at 99 calories per glass and $9.95 each.  They're always on the bar menu to give you more options than diet sodas for a sassy but not sissy low-cal drink. Fresh fruits and juices knock sugary mixers out of the glass. Tickled Pink mixes Belvedere Vodka, Mionetto Prosecco, orange juice and raspberry. Bikinitini is a Florida beach trip in a glass with Grey Goose L'Orange Vodka, lemon juice, orange juice, Monin sugar-free syrup and soda water. The Stoli Bombshell fruits up Stoli Vanil Vodka with fresh raspberries, raspberry preserves and freshly squeezed lime juice. The Russian Prom Queen mixes fresh lime juice, cucumbers and blueberries with Stoli Blueberi Vodka. The Farmer's Daughter starts with Ketel One Vodka and adds strawberries, fresh basil leaves, lemon juice and cranberry juice. And finally, the Stiletto spikes fresh blackberries, lime and ginger with Hendrick's Gin.

Atlanta Smashburger locations dispel the myth that fast-casual dining paves a highway to the hips. Atlantans so love their veggie burgers that black bean veggie burger sales at area Smashburger restaurants nearly double the national Smashburger average!  Smashburger salads fill you up with fresh, crisp greens and toppings, and grilled chicken can be added to up the protein ante. The harvest salad features balsamic tomatoes, raisins, dried cranberries, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and blue cheese topped with balsamic vinaigrette. Create your own healthy grilled chicken sandwich by selecting a multigrain bun and choosing free toppings such as lettuce, tomato, red onion, kosher pickles and jalapeños along with a variety of sauces and mustards. Sweet potato smashfries and veggie frites add even more veggies to your plate.

Executive Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten fills bento boxes with vegetarian selections for Monday night diners at Spice Market, located inside the W Atlanta-Midtown. Even carnivores will find the multi-layered boxes plenty to please at $24 per person. See the vibrant veggie bento box on our blogarchive.

Book a vegetarian-focused table at Woodfire Grill, and the chefs will prepare a five-course chef's tasting vegetarian menu that the entire table will relish. The vegetarian dinner costs $70 per person, and everyone at the table must participate. A tasting included a first course of cucumber and cantaloupe noodles with grapefruit and mint emulsion; a second course of roasted hen of the woods and morel mushrooms, baby radish and turnips with brown butter, lemon zest and herbs; a third tasting course of chilled new potato and wild garlic leek soup; a fourth course of roasted local root vegetables, smoked squash puree and pickled cabbage salad; a main course of creamed escarole and rutabaga, spicy smoked apples, asparagus and Anson Mills farro; and dessert of strawberry shortcake with sour cream pound cake, rhubarb jam and strawberry whip.

Say "hola" to heart-healthy menu items at Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican Food. Three scrumptious selections have been certified as heart healthy by Medical City Heart. A generous Ensalada Especial heaps plates with mixed field greens, grape tomatoes, jicama, cucumbers, red onions and red cabbage and is served with citrus vinaigrette dressing. Go heartier by adding portobello mushroom or salmon. Increasing your intake of salmon for those healthy omega-3 fatty acids is easy when ordering flavorful mesquite-grilled salmon filet served with sautéed vegetables and fresh pineapple pico de gallo. Vegetable purists will find the grilled vegetable platter fills their wish dish with mesquite-grilled zucchini, yellow squash, portobello mushroom, red potatoes, and red and yellow onions served with roasted red and poblano peppers and a side of fresh pineapple pico de gallo.

At RA Sushi in Midtown, cradle a Skinny Cocktail in your hands and roll each potent sip across your tongue with pleasure. There are only 200 calories in a Lychee-teenie, Skinny Ninja or Thin Ginger ($8 each). 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Help Crown Decatur as the South's Tastiest Town

If you love the deliciousness of Decatur as much as we do, you'll want to show some favoritism. Decatur has been nominated as one of the South's Tastiest Towns in Southern Living magazine and it's time to cast your vote. Our favorite thing about Decatur? No.246 and Chef Drew Belline's Italian-inspired, locally driven menu. If you haven't already tasted Belline's cuisine for yourself, stop by the restaurant (located at 129 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue) for lunch or dinner and you'll find one more reason to love Decatur. Then cast your vote daily through January 31. Added bonus: voters are entered for a chance to win a $2,500 visit to the tasty town of their choice.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Skinny on RA Sushi's New Cocktails

Oh, RA Sushi, we love you!  Now we can eat your delicious and healthy sushi AND have a cocktail or two.  The energizing Midtown hub for Asian-fusion specialties is introducing three "Skinny Cocktails" at $8 each with, most importantly, fewer than 200 calories apiece. The Lychee-teenie gives the traditional martini cause to quiver, delivering Voli Vodka with the lightly sweet addition of Asian lychee fruit and Monin agave nectar. The Skinny Ninja sneaks in a stealth punch with Voli Lyte Vodka mixed with fresh flavors of yuzu, pink grapefruit, Monin agave nectar and shiso, a basil-minty Japanese herb. For berry gingery goodness, order the Thin Ginger, which muddles fresh strawberries, citrus and ginger with Voli Lemon Vodka and Monin agave nectar.  Act quickly because these "Skinny Cocktails" are only available January 1 through February 29.