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It’s as Easy as Gravy! | Mom Thyme

Atlanta Eats | Mom Thyme

 

With Atlanta Eats celebrating all things breakfast this week, I thought what better time than now to share with you one of my very favorite breakfast recipes, Easy Sausage Gravy. While it tastes like an old family recipe that’s been passed down through generations of Southerners, it’s not, it’s a recipe I developed years ago and my family has loved it ever since! My favorite way to serve this Easy Sausage Gravy is over biscuits, but it’s also fantastic over grits, toast, or even last night’s leftover mashed potatoes.

Now, I’m aware that gravy has a reputation for being difficult to make, but, if you can measure flour, brown sausage in a skillet, boil milk, and whisk – trust me, you’ve got this covered! This super easy and super delicious sausage gravy is the perfect dish to whip up for family and friends on a leisurely Saturday morning (it goes great with College Gameday and a Bloody Mary or Mimosa!), or, whenever you have company in town that you just want to impress! Simply serve Easy Sausage Gravy alongside fresh baked biscuits, scrambled eggs, and fruit salad for a decadent meal your guests won’t soon forget. 

It’s important to note that while my family prefers Easy Sausage Gravy with traditional pork sausage, you can also use ground turkey breakfast sausage to reduce the fat and calories of this dish (as well as 2% reduced fat milk). Oh so easy and oh so delicious, this is one great breakfast recipe that you’ve definitely got to try! Enjoy!    

Easy Sausage Gravy

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 pound bulk pork breakfast sausage (hot or mild)

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk (whole or 2%)

Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage, breaking it up into little pieces with a spatula, and cook, stirring often, until well browned and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. 

Add the flour and cook until dissolved, about 1 minute. Stir in the milk and cook, whisking frequently, until the gravy is very thick and bubbly. Season with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Serve over freshly baked biscuits.  

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Atlanta Cheese Festival

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The 2nd Annual Atlanta Cheese Festival will take place Friday, October 3rd, 2014 at the beautiful Atlanta Botanical Garden.

The festival will feature over 100 of the most recognized cheese & artisan food producers from all over the world. All of the producers will be sampling their famous cheeses & products. For those guests that have CHEESE EUPHORIA, cheese & additional products will be available for purchase.  VIP ticket holders will have access to a beer & cheese pairing or a wine &cheese pairing symposium sponsored by The Institut du Fromage.

Local chefs will create their “perfect” grilled cheese and all ticket holders will have the opportunity to taste & vote for their favorite between 6:30 to 8:30 pm.  The victor of the Grilled Cheese Meltdown contest will be announced at 9PM. In the Edible Garden, local chefs and cheese producers will be providing cooking demonstrations and favorite cheese-centered recipes. To keep the celebration going, a favorite bluegrass band will provide sound with  the beautiful Atlanta Botanical Garden as the backdrop. Event is set up “Farmers Market” style so that attendees will be able to purchase products directly from the vendors. Cheese & Food producers will discontinue sampling and sale of cheese & products at 10 pm.

Tickets are available here.

Fidelity Small Business Spoghtlight

Tuesday’s Great Call | Alma Cocina

 

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Deciding on where to eat can be tough in a city as full of great spots as ours. That’s why, every Tuesday we’re making the call, and giving you the inside scoop. This week’s Great Call is Alma Cocina.

When You’re Going

If you live or work Downtown, you have to check out the ‘five5four’ happy hour. From 4-6, choose from five different $5 drinks and nibbles. Sip on a variety of margaritas, wine and draft beer while snacking on Carnitas Taquitos or Green Chorizo Tostadas.

Where You’re Sitting

Located in the 191 building on Peachtree, Alma is situated in the stunning lobby. So, if you’re headed there for happy hour, grab a table on their ‘patio’ that looks out into the building. Sip on your margarita as you watch accountants from Deloitte scrambling about.

What’s in Your Glass

Never underestimate the power of a great ice cube. Recently Alma premiered Tequila Cubes on their drink menu. Try the Plata, which pairs 2010 Single Estate Tequila Ocho, “Los Corrales”  with seasoned coconut water and fresh pineapple ice cube or the Reposado that pairs FGR Herradura “Double Reposado” with Granny Smith apple and jalapeno ice cube.

What’s On Your Plate

It may seem like low hanging fruit to rave about the guacamole at a Mexican restaurant, and a bit strange at one that embraces upper scale and traditional Mexican cuisine. However, the guacamole at Alma Cocina has everything it needs to elevate it; freshness and innovation. Every season, the topping of the guacamole changes and this is what sets it apart. Roasted butternut squash in the Fall, and crisp corn and chipotles in the Summer, all makes an appearance. And no judging if it becomes a daily indulgence.

For more info, check out Alma Cocina here.

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Zine

The city’s most authentic Asian noodle dishes and remarkable dim sum resides on the Casino level of The Palazzo. From acclaimed chef Simon To, recipient of the prestigious blue ribbon by the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and the genius behind the exclusive Paiza Club, ZINE melds traditional dishes with the exotic, simple with the extravagant in a comfortable, contemporary ambience.

Drawing from Cantonese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Szechuan and other Asian cooking styles, Chef Simon To has created a menu that’s equally tempting to both the casual and adventurous diner. From the Rare Filet Mignon Noodle Soup and Abalone and Chicken Congee to the Singapore-Style Pan-Fried Crab with Chili and Steamed Lobster in Garlic Sauce, every dish is a delectable transport to the most acclaimed kitchens of Asia.

Mario Batali

Raised in Seattle, Mario attended high school in Madrid and studied the golden age of Spanish theater at Rutgers University. Soon after graduating, Mario enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu in London, his first formal culinary training. But after a few short months, he withdrew to apprentice with London’s legendary chef Marco Pierre White. During three years of intense culinary training in the Northern Italian village of Borgo Capanne (population 200), Mario learned the essential skills to return to his native US eager to plant his orange-clad foot firmly on the checkered-tablecloth Italian restaurant establishment.

After having gained momentum on the New York restaurant scene at beloved neighborhood joints including Rocco’s and Po, Mario teamed up with Joe Bastianich to open Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca on Waverly Place in 1998. There he realized his cooking philosophy: use the best local ingredients as simply as possible and serve them with flourish and joy. As a Tuscan cooks in Chianti, as a Neapolitan cooks on the Amalfi coast, as a Sicilian cooks in Pantelleria, at Babbo Mario cooked as an Italian might in the Hudson Valley region.

Today, Mario is one of the most recognized and respected chefs worldwide. He and Joe have created a successful restaurant and culinary empire that spans New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Among his many accolades, Mario was named “Man of the Year” in the chef category by GQ Magazine in 1999. In 2002, he won the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: New York City” award, and in 2005 the James Beard Foundation awarded Mario the designation “Outstanding Chef of the Year.” Mario was also a recipient of the 2001 D’Artagnan Cervena “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America,” a prestigious food industry lifetime achievement award.

Mario is also the author of nine cookbooks including the James Beard Award Winning, Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes (ecco 2005); New York Times Bestseller Mario Batali Italian Grill (ecco 2007); andMolto Batali: Simple Family Meals form My Home to Yours (ecco 2011).

From Beer to Wine, Here’s What To Drink For Tailgating

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Cheers to football season! Here’s What You’re Drinking:

Between tailgates and cheering on your team with your friends, there are plenty of chances to enjoy a cold one during football season. If you wander the aisles of any beer store, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the choices. So we asked Kraig Torres of Hop City to give us some pointers on what to choose.

 

What  should we keep in mind when it comes to grilling out this Fall?

Ah, the art of grilling! Naturally your choice of grilled foods should dictate your beer and/or wine choice. That said, a great all-purpose fridge-buddy is the Victory Summer Love. It’s a biscuity golden ale up front that finishes with a haze of grassy citrus. It has just enough caramel to make it interesting and just enough hops to keep it above the crowded room full of summer seasonals. A summer favorite!

So, if  there are sausages on the grill, what kind of beer should be in our glass?

I love to pair a spicy grilled sausage (can I hear it for a Delia’s Chicken Sausage?) with a similarly spicy Belgian-style Saison – Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is a favorite in this category

Nothing can beat a great brat on grill. What’s the best beer to cook them with?

If I go Brat, I tend to want to speak German…from a beer perspective. Weihenstephaner Hefe on a hot afternoon over a charcoal grill sizzling with Brats. Danke Schoen!

 Burgers and beer? What do you have for us?

Call me old-fashioned, but just like rock’n’roll doesn’t go out of style, neither does a big hoppy IPA when paired with a burger. I’m crazy about Green Flash West Coast IPA and a side of dill pickle…it’s more than a garnish!

 If there’s a Big Green Egg at the tailgate, what types of beer go with smoked meat?

Smoked meat needs a (pardon the pun) a beefy beer. My favorite “bacon” beer is the Stone Smoked Porter. It’s dark and chewy with just the right amount of smoked malt to stand up to the manliest of charcuterie.

 Beer isn’t for everyone. What about those who would rather go with vino?

When grilling, don’t forget that some of your friends might enjoy wine…and that Hop City is a fantastic wine store in addition to being your temple to all things beer. I love a great Rose for grilled foods. Check out Hogwash from Tuck Beckstoffer. It’s the ideal Rose for the grill

Speaking of wine, what type makes for the best sangria?

The easy answer: cheap wine. The Spanish take the wine they felt they could not serve as table wine, add fruit, and presto! a delicious drink. Don’t waste the good stuff…and don’t skimp on the fresh fruit!

Canned  beers are a necessity in many places. Can we still go the craft route with cans?

Canned beer is back…with a vengeance! Almost all of your local breweries here in ATL are already canning or planning to can in the very near future.

These are some great pairing! Now, we’re watching football all day long. What is a great session beer that will help us enjoy the whole day?

We have seen an onslaught of so-called “session IPA’s”, typically under 5%, still plenty of pine and citrus without the weight and booziness of a higher-gravity option. My favorite at the moment is Lagunitas Daytime IPA. It’s like hiking through a pine forest and sipping fresh spring water while chewing on a grapefruit rind. ‘Nuff said.

 

If you want more great beer recommendations, Kraig and the rest of the guys at Hop City can always help you out! Check out their segment from Atlanta Eats here:

 

 

The Quickest Way to Ruin a Tailgate | Mom Thyme

Atlanta Eats | Mom Thyme

 

Mustard. Mayonnaise. Ketchup. Barbecue Sauce. On a football weekend in the South, these are just a few of the condiments we’re all putting on our hotdogs, hamburgers, and BBQ while busy watching the big game. For me, I’ve never thought twice about pulling the bottles out of the refrigerator, plopping them down on the table, and telling everyone to dig right in. Until now…

I recently read a Consumer Reports article that listed the most commonly used condiments and how long you can safely keep them once opened. I’ll admit, I was a bit surprised by a few of their findings and, after quizzing many family and friends, realized that most of us don’t know (or think about!) these types of things. I did compare the Consumer Reports article with a few other websites and compiled the list below of everyone’s favorite condiments and their shelf life once opened:       

Barbecue sauce: 4 months 

Capers: 1 year (brined)

Chutney: 1 to 2 months

Horseradish (prepared): 3 to 4 months

Hot sauce: 5 years

Jams and jellies: 1 year

Ketchup, cocktail, or chili sauce: 6 months

Mayonnaise: 2-3 months after the “Use By” or “Best by” date

Mustard: 12 months

Olives: 1 year or date on the package (jarred or canned), 2-3 months (from the deli)

Pickles: 1 year

Relish: 1 year

Salad Dressing: 6-9 months (sold unrefrigerated), 6 months or date on package (sold refrigerated)

Salsa: 5-7 days (sold refrigerated), 1 month (sold unrefrigerated)

Soy Sauce: 2 years

Tartar Sauce: 6 months

Worcestershire sauce: 12 months

So, if you’re still using those same old bottles of ketchup, pickles, and BBQ sauce that you were last football season, it’s time to toss them! And, to always make sure that your condiments are within the safe range to eat, you can simply use a Sharpie and write down on the cap the date that you opened the jar or bottle. 

For additional information and tips on keeping your favorite foods and beverages safe and tasty, be sure to check out www.stilltasty.com. This is a fantastic website that lists the shelf life of thousands of items and also answers many common questions you might have about food storage. Enjoy! 

Information courtesy of Consumer Reports www.consumerreports.org and Still Tasty www.stilltasty.com. Picture courtesy of www.food.com

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Whole Hawg Happenin

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The Whole Hawg Happenin’ BBQ and Music Fest is an annual food and music festival focusing on the great BBQ of the South. This family-friendly event is now being held on the Marietta Square and will include:

  • Free admission and free parking
  • Tasty BBQ and a variety of other foods. Tastes of BBQ will range from $.50 – $5.00 from the best of metro Atlanta’s restaurants
  • Food demonstrations
  • Beer Garden
  • Large Kids Corner featuring fun activities
  • Live Entertainment by Lauren St. Jane, Roger Hurricane Wilson and the Walker School Band


Cobb Restaurant Week

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This event showcases Cobb’s restaurants with special dining promotions of three-course dinners for $15, $25 and $35 per person, plus tip, plus tax*.

Many of Cobb’s finest dining establishments were selected to take part in this fabulous food event. There are no passes to buy, coupons to carry or cards to punch. You simply attend the restaurant of your choice during Cobb Restaurant Week and select from a special three-course dinner menu, for $15, $25 and $35 per person, plus tip, plus tax

For a full list of participating restaurants, go here


Atlanta Arts Festival

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The 8th annual Atlanta Arts Festival will be held in Piedmont Park September 13-14, 2014.

The Atlanta Arts Festival is a multi-day, outdoor festival with an emphasis on the visual arts. Set in historic Piedmont Park, this festival fills the fall time art festival void in the City of Atlanta. Bringing together outstanding artists from all over the country with the large and enthusiastic art buying community of the Atlanta area, the Festival will feature more than 200 of the country’s finest painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metal craftspeople, glass blowers and more! This Festival will also offer visitors the opportunity to view artist demonstrations, enjoy live entertainment, participate in hands on arts activities, and enjoy festival foods and beverages. 

For a schedule and other info, go here.


Cut Steakhouse

The critically acclaimed, award-winning CUT by Wolfgang Puck has become widely recognized as one of the most popular and finest restaurants in America, Singapore, London and Dubai.

CUT delivers innovation at every level through its unique culinary, service and design combination. The restaurant presents a contemporary twist on the classic steak restaurant through global influences and Wolfgang’s philosophy of offering only the finest and freshest ingredients.

From prime dry- and wet-aged beef to shellfish and sautéed and roasted whole fresh fish, CUT provides broad appeal. In addition to the restaurant’s renowned signature cuts of beef, guests also can enjoy an extensive array of entrees including the Kobe-Style Beef Short Ribs “Indian Spiced,” slowly cooked for eight hours; Sautéed Dover Sole “À La Meunière” with Preserved Lemon; and Whole Roasted Loup De Mer with Moroccan Charmoula.

Accompanying the entrees is a large selection of house-made sauces including CUT’s Argentinean Chimichurri and Shallot-Red Wine Bordelaise, as well as side dishes such as the popular Creamed Spinach with Fried Organic Egg and the Soft Polenta with Parmesan.

A carefully crafted wine list offers an extensive international list of more than 500 selections focusing mainly on wines from the United States, France, Italy, Spain and Australia. In addition to an emphasis on robust red wines, the list also features a strong selection of white wines.

Adjacent to the restaurant’s main dining room is an energetic upscale bar and lounge showcasing exclusive custom cocktails, classic drinks and a smaller menu called “Rough Cuts” featuring CUT’s popular appetizers.

Sad Cam Newton, SEC Champs And The Only Side To Order At A Steakhouse | An Extra Large Steak’s 7 Things

7 Things I'm Sure Of | Atlanta Eats

 

Things you can be sure about this football season:

-Julio Jones, if he stays healthy, will break the single season receiving yards number in Falcons history.

-Todd Gurley jerseys will be worn in every elementary school around Georgia.

-Cam Newton will be complaining about his receivers by Week 4.

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-Les Miles will do something in the 4th quarter of a game to make the Tiger fans blow up New Orleans talk radio.

-I will try 3 new BBQ places around Atlanta.

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-Sandra Golden will make me laugh out loud at least twice a show.

-Vanderbilt fans will shed more than a few tears over the exit of James Franklin.

-Wes Welker will get hit over the middle and stand up and walk to the wrong sideline.

-Lamar Holmes will be replaced as Falcons right tackle.

-Paul Johnson will actually beat Clemson this year.

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-Mike Vick will watch Geno Smith play quarterback and wonder, “How is this guy playing quarterback ahead of me.”

-Bill Belichick will watch a Nick Saban press conference and think about how much he likes his demeanor.

-Creamed spinach will be the “go to” side item for every steak house I go to this Fall.

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-Gator fans will break Twitter over Will Muschamp’s Gator offense.

-Johnny Manziel will start a game in Week 6 and go 13-30 with 2 picks and a TD run.

-I will eat a Crabcake Eggs Benedict on a Sunday and be damn proud of it.

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-I will root really hard for Bruce Arians and the Cardinals to do well.

-Georgia/Auburn will play one of the most fun SEC title games in history.

Cameli’s Pizza

We love a laid-back pizza joint. We also love a gourmet pie. Which is why we really love Cameli’s. With a Little Italy attitude and a made-fresh-daily flavor, Cameli’s pizzas, calzones, pastas, and paninis give us a little taste of everything we love about pizza.

Owned by brothers Joe and George Cameli, this place uses only fresh herbs and vegetables in its meals…and a lot of them! Their list of pizza toppings is more than extensive. It’s extreme.

Almost as extreme as their Infamous Monster Slice. Which is a huuuuuge slice of a 28” pie, sauced and topped as you wish.

Yeah, extreme.

Cameli’s pizza dough and breads are made fresh daily, their calzones have a unique twist you won’t want to miss, and customer service is the cherry – errrr, pepperoni – on top. Swing in for lunch, dinner, or late-night noshing!

Chai Pani

The building that used to house The Watershed in Decatur, which stood empty for months, is the new home of Chai Pani. Serving up a variety of mindblasting (their word) dishes, Meherwan and Molly Irani have brought Bombay street food to West Ponce.

Chef Meherwan has created a menu packed with exotic flavors from all over India’s culinary and geographic landscape, with dishes ranging from small plates (chaat) to Indian hand food, to crepes (uttapam), and traditional entrees (thalis).

The brightness of Watershed’s decor has made way for vibrant Bollywood colors, street murals, Tata truck decor pieces, and beautiful photographs that capture the simple beauty of everyday Indian life.

Rosebud

The menu is full of local flavor. The tables are full of local folks. And the music? It’s juuuust a little bit too loud. Yes, Rosebud is a little bit country and a little bit rock n’ roll…and a lotta bit everything we love.

Located in Morningside, just outside of Virginia Highlands, Rosebud focuses on serving fantastic food – prepared fresh with local and sustainable ingredients – in an environment that would make Jerry Garcia proud. The restaurant is, after all, named after his famed Irwin guitar…

But an homage to a rock legend and a list of local ingredients does not a delicious meal make. It’s owner and chef Ron Eyester’s unique vision that gives Rosebud that certain we-don’t-know-what. His Southern spin on classic American dishes has made Rosebud a celebrated lunch, dinner, and brunch hot spot. And when Ron isn’t spittin’ fire in the kitchen, he’s spittin’ fire on Twitter as @TheAngryChef, making restaurants safer one tweet at a time.

Meatloaf Sandwiches and Southern Wings | Best Things We Ate This Week

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At Atlanta Eats, we…well…eat. A lot. And each week, we’re sharing the dishes that stand out the most.

If you want to show off your culinary prowess, be sure to tag us on Twitter at @AtlantaEatsTV and use #BestThingIAte. If we choose your submission, you’ll win dinner for 2 at one of our favorite places in town!

Meatloaf Sandwich at Joy Cafe

 

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Duck Sliders at Article 14

 

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Southern Style Wings at Bellwood’s

 

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Brunch at Muss & Turner’s

 

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Calzone at Antico

 

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Pack It Up! It’s Back To School Time | Mom Thyme

Atlanta Eats | Mom Thyme

 

As a parent whose little boy officially started school last week, I was super surprised to read the results of a study conducted by the University of Texas in Austin in which researchers tested the temperatures of foods in more than 700 packed lunches of children attending day care. The researchers found that 98% of the lunches were not as cold or hot as they should be for safe eating, EVEN when they were packed in an insulated lunch box or stored in a hot thermos. 

This study immediately hit home with me because my son’s new classroom does not have a refrigerator for the students and packing a nutritious (and safe!) lunch for him is a top priority for me. Since first discovering this study, I’ve been doing a little research on my own and have found some really fantastic tips for keeping school lunches healthy and safe: 

COLD FOODS

When you can, freeze itBefore you head to bed, take your child’s milk, juice or water and put it in the freezer. It can then serve as a second ice pack and help keep other foods cold. You can also do this with other foods as such as yogurt or soft cheeses. 

Keep it coldIf you’re sending a whole apple or an orange, which normally don’t need to be refrigerated, put it in anyway to get cold. This will help keep the overall temperature of the lunch box lower.

Make sure it’s insulatedWhen shopping for a lunch box, don’t base your selection on decoration alone. Choose one that’s well insulated and roomy enough to hold all of your items. There are many more options of these available than in years past and they can really make a difference in the temperature of the foods.

Double up on the ice packs – Always use an ice pack or cold source. If you have room, try to use more than one. Remember that a frozen beverage (such as a juice box or bottle of water) can also help.

Test it yourself - If you’d like to do a test run and test the temperature of your child’s lunch, you can use a refrigerator thermometer to get a reading. You can find them at your hardware store or where appliances are sold.

HOT FOODS

Heat up the thermos first - When cold weather hits, children sometimes like hot foods as part of their lunch. The best way to ensure that foods stay at 140 degrees or higher is to pour boiling water into the thermos in the morning, letting it sit for several minutes. Then pour the hot food into the container.

Not just for kids - And, the rules for packaging lunches don’t just apply to children. When taking leftovers and other items to work, don’t forget your own ice packs. You may need to schedule a trip to the store to buy some extras so that everyone in the family can eat safe healthy meals.

Let me know, do you have any additional tips for packing healthy and safe lunches for your kids? 

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Information regarding study at University of Texas in Arlington and tips courtesy of www.cnn.com. Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

The Atlanta Meatball Festival

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The first annual Atlanta Meatball Festival is heading to town on September 14th. Join restaurants such as No 246, St. Cecilia and more as they compete to make the best meatball in town!  Each dish will be voted on by judges and attendees with the top three going head to head at this year’s Taste of Atlanta on October 25.

It all goes down from 2-6 at the Belle Isle Square next to Cibo e Beve in Sandy Springs. The festival will benefit Open Hand.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased here.


 

The Porter Turns 6

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This weekend, The Porter turns 6! They will have an amazing lineup on draft, and some great food specials. The first 100 people in the door will get a special metal tankard just for the event. The party will be going all day, but we recommend getting there early.

If you have ever been to a Porter celebration, you know this is one birthday party you cannot miss!

Check out The Porter on Atlanta Eats: