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Eating in, out and around East Cobb County savoring the best of dining and drinking by local foodies. Are you’re a connisseuer that would like to contribute? E-mail diningblog@eastcobber.com

Taste of East Cobb is back!

Taste of East Cobb

Get your taste buds ready! Taste of East Cobb returns Saturday, May 3, 11am-5pm at The Fountains of Olde Town, 736 Johnson Ferry Road. Rain or shine!

Tastes are $1-$5 each, cash, debit and credit cards accepted.

In addition to delicious food, enjoy great shopping, live jazz and a silent auction, plus inflatables and face painting for the kids!

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A Little Bit of Heaven coming to East Cobb

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Tiffany Gray, owner of A Little Bit of Heaven

A Little Bit of Heaven is opening up next to Robert’s Fruit  Stand and Market at the corner of Lower Roswell and Woodlawn early this month.

Owner and chef, Tiffany Gray, started her business as a food truck (which you may have seen parked street side in front of the
restaurant) serving healthy sandwiches, salads, smoothies and other unique chef-inspired meals.

“I’ve always dreamed of opening my own restaurant,” says Chef Tiffany. “I love cooking for people and seeing them enjoy my food.”

Chef Tiffany will be in the kitchen preparing meals that will take your taste buds on a trip around the world with a healthy twist using all natural and/or organic ingredients.

The casual interior will offer an elegant feeling with fun, family friendly atmosphere. Outside on the patio diners will feel like they’re in a “heavenly paradise” with lots of plants and even a waterfall to create a peaceful feeling. Lunch and dinner will be served with lunch prices $10 and dinner starting at $12. Beer and wine will be served.

A Little Bit of Heaven is located at 4666 Lower Roswell Road 30068. Call 678-224-6780 or visit alittlebitaheaven.com for more information.

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Have you been to Keegan’s lately?

Keegans

There’s always something fun going on at Keegan’s. Bring your friends for a fun night of trivia on Monday. Tuesday is pint night featuring a special beer of the month. Guests also get a free pint glass. All wine by the glass is half price on Wednesday nights. On Thursdays pints are only $4 each. Sunday features local talent with and an open mic.

Visit Keegan’s Public House at 4401 Shallowford Road in East Cobb. For more information and hours, call 770-640-1100 or visit keegansirishpub.net.

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Eggs are Egg-cellent all Year Long (Not Just at Easter!)

Egg6

It’s Easter time and you know what that means…eggs are everywhere! Get egg-cited about real eggs, from their powerful proteins to their vital vitamins to their cheap cost. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has hatched some great ideas for serving them to your own little chicks, so let’s get crackin’!

Short on time? Microwave eggs in seconds.
-Coat a microwave-safe coffee mug or small bowl with cooking spray.
-Add 1 egg and about 1 Tbsp. low-fat milk. Beat until blended.
-Microwave on high for 45 seconds, stir, and microwave another 30-45 seconds.

Let’s hear it for egg-straordinary eggs!
They’re egg-ceptionally versatile, nutritious, delicious and cheap. Eggs are great for breakfast, but they’re also a perfect stand-in for lunch, dinner and snacks.

Put these little protein powerhouses on your family’s menu and they’ll be scrambling for more!

Tip: Add a slice of deli ham to cooked eggs for even more protein.

Egg-cite your kids by serving eggs for ‘brinner’ (breakfast for dinner)!

Tip: Thanks to their protein, eggs keep us feeling full and energized, no matter when we eat them…breakfast, lunch, snack or ‘brinner!’

Safety first.
Uncooked eggs may contain bacteria, like salmonella, that can make you sick. Be sure to store eggs in the fridge and cook them all the way through before serving.

Tip: Never serve kids eggs with runny yolks, like sunny side up.

If you plan to eat your decorated Easter eggs, use food safe methods (like natural dyes, or stickers), and don’t eat eggs that have been out of the fridge for more than two hours.

For more “egg-cellent” ideas, visit www.strong4life.com.

Summer Gazpacho from Robert’s Fruit Stand

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Robert’s Fruit Stand announces the arrival of gazpacho, made with delicious ripe tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, cucumbers, onion, parsley and Robert’s secret spices.

Trying to eat better? With only 47 calories per serving/ 188 calories per quart, Robert’s Gazpacho is a healthful treat. Plus, gazpacho makes a mean bloody mary! For something a little different, add chopped shrim, avocado or sour cream.

For delicious recipes, visit RobertsFruitStand.com or call 678-522-4910.

 

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“The Cake Lady” Johnnie Gabriel to launch new cookbook at Book Exchange

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On Tuesday April 8, at 6:30pm, author Johnnie Gabriel will launch her new cookbook at Cathy Blanco’s Book Exchange, a Cobb County independent bookstore. Gabriel is a Cobb County small business owner, restaurateur and author. How to Cook Like a Southerner is her third cookbook.

The title of Gabriel’s newest cookbook is just one indicator of her deep understanding that in the South, cooking isn’t simply about eating; it’s a way of life. It’s a part of the soul and tradition of a culture that prides itself on cornbread and casseroles as much as it does its hospitality.

johnnie gabriel

Johnnie Gabriel

Johnnie started baking cakes alongside her grandmother as a young girl in south Georgia. Today, she is known as Atlanta’s “Cake Lady” for her mouth-watering red velvet cupcakes, award-winning wedding cakes, and other delectable desserts. In 1996, she expanded her successful dessert business into Gabriel’s Restaurant and Bakery, a popular Marietta restaurant where Johnnie practices what she preaches by serving homemade southern comfort food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

In How to Cook Like a Southerner, Johnnie takes Southern expertise to the next level. She offers recipes for 35 of the most iconic Southern dishes, tested over one hundred recipes from some of the best and most gracious cooks in the South and offers tips to help dress up even the most basic recipes for special occasions. And she does it all with ingredients found at local groceries or farmers’ markets with ease – no specialty stores or online searches needed.

How to Cook Like a Southerner is more than just a cookbook; it’s a long overdue visit with a friend who not only knows how to cook, but has the technique and graciousness to share what she knows – Southern style. Shop local on April 8 and meet Johnnie at this special event. To RSVP, call 770-427-4848 by April 7th. Event fee is $7.00.

Book Exchange is located at 2932 Canton Road, Marietta, GA 30066.

 

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Bakery makes specialty cakes that are more than just delicious — they’re art

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Veronica Estrada, owner of Sugar Benders Bakery, takes a break from creating her surgery desserts, including this cupcake inside her east Cobb shop.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff

Sugar Benders Bakery is making east Cobb a sweeter place.

Opened in 2012, the bakery specializes in sculpted cakes.

“The inspiration for the bakery is bending sugar,” said sugar artist and cake designer Veronica Estrada who owns the bakery.

She came up with the name Sugar Benders because of the nature of the specialty cakes she makes. Her cakes are more than layers with icing. They are art.

“We manipulate sugar. … We do tons of three-dimensional characters — anything from a football stadium to a panda bear.”

The east Cobb resident previously owned a restaurant where she began making cakes. She pursued her love of cake decorating with Chef Nicholas Lodge through the prestigious International Sugar Art classes in Atlanta.

“Specialty cakes is the reason I felt like there was a need for a bakery in east Cobb. You had to drive to Roswell and further to get anything that was custom and from scratch,” Estrada said.

“It’s been apparent that there is no bakery or specialty shop in this area. I definitely saw a need,” she said.

Quality is the key to Sugar Benders’ success.

“Our cake quality is excellent. We have the perfect combination of the highest quality design that you can find in this area such as the execution of a character or beautiful wedding cake,” she said.

Sugar Benders found the right combination through research and recipe testing.

“I wanted to make sure the cake on the inside was just as good as the cake on the outside. We’ve definitely reached that. We have the perfect harmony going on,” Estrada said.

Sugar Benders makes everything from scratch and to order.

“We don’t have any frozen products. We make everything from the icings to the glazes. Every single thing we have in-house is made here,” she said.

In addition to specialty cakes, Sugar Benders offers a variety of pastries, breakfast items, breads, cookies and desserts. Breakfast and lunch is served Monday through Saturday and brunch on Sunday.

“We have been very well supported and well received by the surrounding neighborhoods and even outside that,” Estrada said.

Visit Sugar Benders at 255 Village Parkway Suite 240A, Marietta. They are open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, visit sugarbenderscakes.com.

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Written by Sally Litchfield, March 26, 2014. Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal – Bakery makes specialty cakes that are more than just delicious they re art)

 

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LongHorn unveils spring menu

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LongHorn Steakhouse is “springing forward” with its new Spring Peak Season and Chef’s Showcase menus. These menus rotate seasonally and this spring, the dishes include:

The Peak Season menu was created to highlight the best ingredients of the season. This spring, it celebrates freshness and vibrant colors.                                                                                 

  • New Crispy Artichoke Harvest (appetizer) – Hand-battered artichoke hearts, green beans and red bell peppers served with red chili ranch sauce
  • New Roasted Golden Beets (side) – Sweet golden spring beets topped with melted goat cheese
  • New Grilled Chicken Famers’ Market Bibb Salad – Tender butter lettuce topped with grilled asparagus, shaved radishes, grape tomatoes, hearts of palm and mandarin oranges in a chardonnay vinaigrette
  • New Blueberry Lemon Butter Cake – Warm blueberry butter cake filled with a lemon custard, finished with a vanilla cream sauce and topped with fresh blueberries
  • New Spiked Orange Ale (alcoholic beverage) – Blend of Absolut Mandarin Vodka, housemade orange cream and Blue Moon Belgium White Ale

The Chef’s Showcase menu celebrates LongHorn’s Executive Chefs’ culinary inspiration and creativity.

  • New Grilled Lamb Chops – Bone-in lamb chops marinated in a mint infused bordelaise and grilled over an open flame; served atop horseradish whipped mashed potatoes and wilted spinach
  • New Coconut Chili Mahi-Mahi – Fresh line-caught mahi-mahi grilled to perfection and finished with a house-made coconut chili butter sauce, perfectly paired with pineapple-ginger rice and topped with crisp sweet potato straws

Visit the East Cobb LongHorn at 4721 Lower Roswell Road.

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New Chicken Salad Chick restaurant lets customers choose from 15 different salads

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Carol Schrader serves Chicken Salad Chick sandwiches to, from left, Frank Mitchell, Don Schrader and Tom Melton.
MDJ Staff/Jeff Stanton

Chicken Salad Chick has arrived in east Cobb. The new fast, casual restaurant opened on March 18 at Providence Square in Marietta.

Established in Auburn, Ala., in 2008, Chicken Salad Chick offers a unique chicken salad experience allowing customers to chose from 15 original chicken salad flavors, as well as four gourmet soups, four flavorful sides and freshly-baked desserts.

“It’s one of those places that’s fun to go eat. It’s the experience,” said Kay Lynne Mitchell, who owns the franchise with husband Frank along with Tom and Cheryl Melton and Don and Carol Schrader.

“Chicken Salad Chick is such a unique concept of chicken salad. When you start tasting the salads, it depends on your mood that day because you can get salty, you can get nutty, you can get spicy, or you can get fruity. Every day I feel different, and I eat a different flavor,” said Mitchell, a former east Cobb resident who lives in Rome.

The wives of the franchise are related to founder Stacy Brown. Each has a chicken salad named for them.

“Each flavor is named after someone in the founder’s life. The three chicks opening the current location are her mother (Melton) and two aunts (Mitchell and Schrader),” Mitchell said.

Brown, an Auburn University graduate who lives in Auburn, started making chicken salad out of her home as a means to stay at home and care for her three children. “She was looking for the perfect chicken salad,” Mitchell said.

Once she perfected the recipe, she developed different flavors. With the help of her future husband and co-founder Kevin Brown, they opened a small take-out shop.

“That’s how it started. She opened the first day and was sold out in an hour-and-a-half so she doubled her pounds the next day and the next day and continued,” Mitchell said.

For five years, Brown grew two stores in Auburn. The first year after franchising the operation, the couple opened 13 stores, according to Mitchell. Chicken Salad Chick will be developing 85 franchises across the states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and North Carolina and South Carolina, and has plans to expand nationally in the next few years.

“We love the concept of (Chicken Salad Chick). We chose east Cobb because we knew they would fall in love with it. We know the concept will be well received there,” Mitchell said.

The restaurant is at 4101 Roswell Road, Suite 811, Marietta.

Visit chickensaladchick.com for more information.

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Written by Sally Litchfield, March 20, 2014. Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal – New Chicken Salad Chick restaurant lets customers choose from 15 different salads)

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day: Irish Soda Bread

irish soda bread

Get ready for the Wearing O the Green with this recipe from East Cobber Jacqui Grant.

 

INGREDIENTS
4 1/2 cups flour, sifted
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Dash cream of tartar
1 table spoon baking powder
3/4 box of raisins
2 1/2 cups buttermilk

 

DIRECTIONS
Lightly grease and flour a round baking pan.

Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar and baking powder,

Add raisins and buttermilk

Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

Remove from oven and lightly rub butter on top while still hot.

(Reprinted from the March 2013 issue of EAST COBBER)

Do you have a favorite family recipe? Email cynthia@eastcobber.com and share it with your neighbors! Put “Recipe” in the subject line.