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Culinary Atlanta – Two Urban Licks

When one thinks of culinary Atlanta, one imagines traditional Southern cuisine: shrimp and grits, pit barbecue, turnip greens with fatback, and pecan pie. But that is a narrow representation of Atlanta’s diverse culinary offerings. Culinary Atlanta also offers a wide variety of more urban, modern cuisine. Some of these offerings include new variations on old favorites, while other dishes reflect the diverse cultures of an ever changing population.

One restaurant that has received much deserved attention is Two Urban Licks (820 Ralph McGill Blvd, Atlanta, Ga 30306; 404-522-4622). Since its opening in 2004, this revamped warehouse has been nominated for several awards, including Best Place to Take an Out of Towner. Chef Scott Serpas’ salmon chips have also been featured on ABCs daytime talk show, The View. The restaurant is noted for “fiery American cooking,” live blues performances, and small plates perfect for sharing or for enjoying solo. The unique wine wall, which stands 26 feet tall, holds over 40 stainless steel barrels and dispenses wine through a gravity-flow pouring system. Fruit- infused cocktails also hang from the rafters, adding an interesting flare. In addition to the main dining room, guests can dine in the courtyard or the patio. “This bluesy high-end grill is the ultimate hidden-in-plain-sight jewel.” (Conde Nast Traveler Hot List)

The menu features savory entrees that reflect traditional Southern ingredients and recipes, but within an updated twist. The popular salmon chips are loaded with short smoked salmon, chipotle cream cheese, capers, and red onion. Another highlight is executive chef Cameron Thompson’s fried chicken served with grilled corn slaw and chipotle honey mustard. Fried green tomatoes are dressed up with shrimp tarter sauce. The seafood lover will enjoy pan seared snapper served with a sweet potato purée, bell pepper confit, and basil vinaigrette. Also popular are the bronzed scallops with Gouda grits, smoked tomato broth, and Pico de Gallo.

Diners who enjoy the traditional tastes of culinary Atlanta will relish the peach cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream or the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Executive pastry chef Jonathan St. Hilaire shows his playful side with his wide assortment of cupcakes and ice cream. Other crowd pleasers are the banana chocolate bread pudding soaked in vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate mousse.

Whether dining with a friend or an entire party, Two Urban Licks is a great option for anyone who wants a hip and updated taste of traditional culinary Atlanta. Continue reading

An Overview of Pork Recipes

Pork is one of the most commonly used meats, being eaten throughout the world. In fact, there is supporting evidence that the use of pigs for meat dates back to 5000 BC. Part of the reason pork recipes are so common through the world is the wide range of things that can be done with meat. From a breakfast sausage to a cured ham, pork is used in almost every setting.

Accounting for almost 40% of all meat eaten throughout the world, the amount is looking to increase going into the future. It is expected that the increase of urbanization and rising levels of income will only lead to more consumption of the meat. In Asian culture especially, pork recipes are especially common as cows are frequently used for work. Pig farms are easier to maintain and the meat is regarded as tastier and better smelling among these cultures.

Different pork recipes will call for different cuts of pork to be used. As with beef, the different cuts do vary in taste. It is advised to use what the pork recipe calls for, however those who have experimented with the different types should feel free to use what they please. The head is often used to make stock and soups. Spare ribs are perhaps the most popular type and are often found in barbeques throughout the United States and world. Other cuts are the shoulder blades, loin, side and legs. Pork is actually a very efficient meat, as almost the entire animal can be used to some degree. As a result there is very little waste after the pig is butchered.

Pork is very high in vitamin B1. It is also quite lean, having the leanest meat out of most of the domesticated animals. The flip side however is that it is high in cholesterol and saturated fat. Although it is treated as a red meat alongside beef, a campaign was run to get the public to think of it as a healthy alternative to other white meats. This was very successful in helping the rates of consumption of pork to rise in recent years.

Despite the high number of people eating the meat worldwide, some cultures do not call upon pork recipes in their cooking. These include people belonging to the religions of Islam and Judaism who believes that eating the meat goes against their religious teachings. For those that eat the meat however, there is no shortage of online pork recipes that will show how to make a delicious meal out of it. Continue reading

Loving Lentils – Health Benefits and Healthy Recipes

Lentils are an excellent source of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein with virtually no fat. The high folate content in lentils helps to lower the amino acid homocysteine, which is known to cause damage to artery walls and is considered a serious risk factor for heart disease. The magnesium in lentils also provide cardiovascular benefits, as magnesium improves the flow of blood, nutrients, and oxygen throughout the body. Studies show magnesium deficiencies are associated with heart attack and immediately following a heart attack, a lack of sufficient magnesium promotes free radical injury to the heart.

Lentils are rich in dietary fiber, both the soluble and insoluble type. Research studies have shown that insoluble fiber not only helps to increase stool bulk and prevent constipation, but also helps prevent digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. A study involving 10,000 Americans published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as lentils, helps to prevent heart disease. The high fiber content in lentils keeps blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal and helps to lower cholesterol. If you have insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes, legumes like lentils can really help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy.

Lentils are also a great source of iron, which is particularly important for menstruating, pregnant, or lactating women and growing children and adolescents. Boosting iron stores with lentils is a good idea because, unlike other sources of iron such as red meat, lentils are not rich in fat and calories. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism.

We can’t think of any reason not to consume this super-food. Check out our favorite recipes! Continue reading

The Healthy Urban Kitchen – An Honest Review

This is an honest review of The Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook program. If you have only one cookbook, this is the one you should have. The recipes are fantastic. In a short time, you will have radiant skin, burn off belly fat, reduce cellulite, feel healthier and lose weight quickly. The Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook teaches you to make simple changes to your diet to eliminate the urges for bad food and binge eating. Over ten thousand people have successfully used this program to improve their health, look younger and lose weight.

The Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook is much more than a cookbook. It is a total guide to healthy eating and is filled with terrific nutritional information. It contains easy to follow steps to guide you on how to shop, cook and eat the most healthy and nutritious foods. The Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook is designed for busy people, who don’t have a lot of time, to show them how to lose weight, improve their health and have more energy and vitality.

The Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook is filled with over one hundred delicious recipes, meal plans and information about which foods to eliminate from your diet because they cause inflammation and allergies and can damage your health. It teaches you the essential principles of eating for improved health, energy, weight loss and prevention of diseases.

This book is the ultimate healthy eating guide and it will dramatically improve your health, help you lose fat and prevent diseases. It comes with six months of non-stop recipe updates, different meal plans and coaching calls about weight loss and nutrition. Continue reading

The Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook Put Under the Scope

The Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook has been out now for a short time of maybe two months, and I have used a recipe out of it since I bought it about a week after it came out. All of the recipes are so good and healthy at the same time. It is rare that you can actually cook food that tastes amazing, and is healthy for you. The Healthy Urban Kitchen cookbook is not a diet book. People have used it to lose weight, but it is not structured as a diet. This is the power of what whole food nutrition is. You can lose weight without eating foods that you do not enjoy.

The Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook explains different foods that are used in the recipes. If you are new to holistic health or even a veteran that knows a lot about different foods you can learn something new. It explains the foods in basic ways and how they can be used. The Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook also gives tons of tips on how to shop for health, eat for health, and what you should avoid when trying to stay healthy.It has some great recipes for people on the go. Most of the recipes are fast and easy. If they are not fast enough they have a great healthy protein shake recipe session.

The Foods

The recipes in the The Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook are finally in the book after all of the other information I mentioned before and they are broken into these categories, snacks and appetizers, veggies sides and salads, eggs and omelets, sauces marinades and condiments, poultry, pork, lamb and game, beef, fish, and finally deserts and comfort foods.Their is a lot of variety in this book, and a lot of healthy cookbooks lack that aspect. The comfort foods in this cookbook are great. They are much healthier versions of foods like nachos. So when it comes down to you cheating, you can at least have some damage control.

Customer Service

Antonio has actually turned The Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook into a fat loss plan. Since I have purchased The Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook he has had two teleseminars were he talked about losing fat, and has had one question and answer session about the book. As you can see Antonio really cares about the results his customers receive. He is extremely knowledgeable and trust worthy. Continue reading

Blueberry Salsa Sparkles With Flavor

Pepper in fruit salsa? If you think it sounds odd, just try this colorful salsa. Blended with blueberries and other fruit, dashes of red and black pepper add just enough heat to kindle a delicious combination.

Serve this lively flavored sauce with ice cream and pound cake, as shown here. Or try it as a side with smoked ham, grilled pork chops or chicken.

Fresh blueberries are available year round and are most abundant in midsummer-ready to blend into smoothies, toss into your favorite chicken salad, or sprinkle over lemon meringue or cream pie. You should know that blueberries are loaded with antioxidants. Studies show that antioxidants may help reduce the buildup of cholesterol that contributes to cardiovascular disease, stroke and other age-related diseases.

Spicy Blueberry-Fruit Salsa

4 cups fresh blueberries

11/2 cups diced mixed fruit (such as melon, grapes, pineapple or kiwi) Continue reading

Better Brownies, Better Taste, Better Nutrition

Brownies just keep getting better and better. Moist, chewy and so easy, these Fudgy-Fig-Nut Brownies are made with rich dark chocolate, crunchy toasted walnuts and surprise-sweet, delicious figs. Taste and health have joined together with simple directions to deliver brownies fit for every day or special occasions such as Father’s Day, Fourth of July and birthdays.

Amber-colored golden figs and dark purple Mission figs star as the special secret ingredients that make these brownies so unique and so delicious. The tiny crunchy seeds and sweet, chewy flavor of the figs complement the toasted walnuts and smooth dark chocolate. Health-conscious cooks are excited to learn that dark chocolate contributes health-promoting flavonol antioxidants; dried figs offer a unique array of essential vitamins and minerals and an excellent amount of dietary fiber; and walnuts deliver essential omega-3 fatty acids and “good” monounsaturated fats.

Figs are also great for snacking because they are so portable and convenient, along with being a nutrient-dense fruit. Three to four figs provide 6 percent daily value (DV) iron, 6 percent DV calcium, 6 percent DV magnesium, 6 percent DV vitamin B6 and 8 percent DV copper.

Fudgy Fig-Nut Brownies Continue reading

Best Apple Pie Recipe: Company Apple Pie Recipe

If you need a classic apple pie recipe, then this is it. It’s easy and fun making homemade apple pie and this recipe is bound to be a favorite.

3/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons whiskey or vanilla extract
2 (9-inch) unbaked pie crusts

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare pie crust and put bottom layer of crust into a 9-inch pie pan.

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Place sliced apples in a large bowl and sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Toss mixture until apples are completely coated. Spoon apples into the pie crust.

Dot the apples with butter or margarine and sprinkle the whiskey/vanilla on top. Put on the top layer pie crust and crimp closed. Make several slits in top of crust to vent.

Bake for 10 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes.

=> Homemade Apple Pie Recipe: Classic American Apple Pie

Americans love their apple pie and this is a great recipe for any occasion. It’s especially good served diner style – warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Continue reading

Beer….how is it made?

We all know the effects (and after-effects) of beer. But lifting a glass of cool liquid to your mouth on a scorching hot day, have you ever stopped to consider the processes and ingredients involved in making it? Well maybe not but here is the answer anyway!

Simply, beer is a fermented combination of water, barley, yeast and hops. The major variation in any beer is the type of yeast used in the fermentation process.

Let’s look at the properties of this beverage.

Water is the main ingredient of beer. In the past, the purity of the water influenced the final result and was specific to the region of the earth from which it came. Today, water is filtered of these impurities, although pure water supplies are still ideally preferred by elite brewers.

Barley malt is an extremely important ingredient in beer as it is the main source of fermentable sugar. Many new breweries use barley malt extract, in either syrup or powder form, as this form ferments much quicker. It also contains many minerals and vitamins that help the yeast to grow.

Without yeast, beer would not exist. Yeast is a unique single cell organism that eats sugar and expels alcohol and carbon dioxide, two of the more recognizable ingredients of beer. Yeast comes in several variations, of which there are two major categories that determine the type of beer produced; Ale yeast and Lager yeast. If yeast alone were used the beer would be extremely sweet and therefore another ingredient needs to be added to reach the final product.

Hops are the flowers of the hop plant, a climbing vine plant that grows well in many differing climates. Hops contain acids which add bitterness to beer. Adding bitterness to beer helps to balance the sweetness, as well as acting as a natural preservative. Add more hops to the mixture and you will get a more bitter taste. This kind of beer is extremely popular in Britian and is simply referred to as “Bitter” (the original names are always the best!).

Variations of these ingredients create different tasting beers as well as having an affect on the alcoholic content.

When making your own beer many good resources are available which provide home brewing kits. It is important to read the ingredients of the Continue reading

Beef Pot Pie Recipe: Homemade Beef Pot Pie

Hearty beef pot pie is a great meal to serve on a cold day or any time you want something that really sticks to your ribs. You can add extra zing to this recipe by adding 1 large chopped onion and mix in 1/3 cup of red wine with the gravy.

1 pound sirloin steak, cubed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (14 oz.) can beef broth
3 large carrots, cubed
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup water
2 (9-inch) refrigerator pie crusts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a saucepan over medium high heat, brown the pieces of meat on all sides. Pour in enough water to almost cover the meat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer meat until it falls apart easily (about 2 to 3 hours). Place meat in a large bowl. Slightly shred the meat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the beef broth, carrots and potatoes. Cook over medium high heat until almost tender (about 15 to 20 minutes).

When the carrots and potatoes are done, transfer to a large mixing bowl and combine with the beef. Reserve the liquid in the saucepan. Mix the peas in with the vegetables and beef.

Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/3 cup of water and pour this into the reserved beef broth. Bring to a simmer while stirring constantly; reduce heat. Cook for 5 minutes.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with one of the pie shells following package directions. Spoon the beef mixture into the pie crust. Pour the gravy on top. Continue reading