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Load Up a Legit Lunchbox Your Kids Will Love

What’s for dinner, what’s for breakfast, what’s for lunch…the three most dreaded questions that we are barraged with on a daily basis.  It’s not that we don’t want to be creative, healthy, delicious and all things Martha in the kitchen, but who’s got the time?  Back to school presents a particular challenge, not only for lunch box prep, but for healthy dinner and breakfast creation as well…and of course all on the go for our busy lives!  Today we’re going to tackle challenge #1…healthy, delicious lunches both you and your kids will love!

If you’re like me, you’re tired of making the same old sandwiches day after day, and your kids are tired of eating them too.Here are a few easy solutions for making your lunchbox come alive again!

It’s a wrap!

Wraps are easy, fast and can be healthy alternatives to sandwiches.  Meet your dietary needs with the variety of wraps that are offered today…100 percent whole wheat, or gluten free, you choose the wrap and which health ingredients go in your kids’ lunch.  For a healthy wrap, line your wrap with lettuce, adding in some mashed avocado with a little lemon (to not only add flavor, but also to help prevent browning) salt and pepper, and your kids’ favorite proteins.  Replacing the mayo with avocado adds a healthier fat and tomatoes or red peppers amp up the veggie factor while adding color and flavor.   Feel free to get creative with your wraps and sneak in healthy ingredients whenever possible.

Put a stick in it!

Whatever you can get your kids to eat – throw it on a stick for a fun, healthy kabob.  Fruit kabobs are always a kid favorite, and most any fruit will do…pineapple, grapes, strawberries, the sky’s the limit!  For a protein packed punch, alternate cubes of chicken breast (or deli meat) and cheese on a kabob with a few grape tomatoes.  If you want to stay away from the meats, go for tomato, mozzarella and basil kabobs for a kid-sized Caprese to go!

Pita Pocket Perfection!

For the perfect pita pocket, line your pita with green leaf lettuce and fill with your favorite ingredients.  Hummus, deli meats or cheeses, or your favorite recipe for chicken or tuna salad.  We lovean avocado chicken salad, replacing the mayo with avocado and plain Greek yogurt.  Add in your favorite flavorings like red onion, cilantro, celery and season to taste, and, voila…you have the perfect pita pocket!

Why not give some of these lunch box main courses a try, the next time you’re looking for a healthy alternative to the boring old sandwich.  Throw in some healthy snack favorites like apple slices, grapes, hummus served with red peppers, celery or edamame and you’ve got a healthy lunch on the go that anyone would enjoy.  Now that meal prep is complete for the kiddos, how about grabbing a healthy lunch to go for yourself from your neighborhood Atlanta Bread. Use our convenient online ordering and have your fresh salad or sandwich ready for pick up!

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pouring red wine and food background

Easy Pairings for Wine and Pasta

It’s easy to feel some intimidation when it comes to wine pairings. The sheer variety and the way in which certain wines work to bring out flavors in food can be confusing. But if you want to create a complete experience, knowing which type of wine to match up with your dishes is a must.

I say that as if it’s easy, and it can be! Perhaps the best way to determine what to do when it comes to food and wine is to pick your favorite dish and go from there. Mine (and I think a lot of people’s favorite) would be pasta. I definitely have a thing for Italian food with it’s fresh ingredients and full flavors.

Recipe idea

Don’t have a favorite pasta dish or looking to try something new – how about an easy one that has robust flavors, like this one:

* Bowties with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cream:

Ingredients:

12 oz package bowie pasta

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed, and crumbled

½ tsp red pepper flakes

½ cup diced onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 (28 oz) can Italian style plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped

1 ½ cups heavy cream

½ tsp salt

3 Tbs minced fresh parsley

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, put in pasta and cook in boiling water until al-dente, about 8 – 10 minutes and drain.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage and pepper flakes until sausage is evenly browned.Stir in onion and garlic until onion is tender. Stir in tomatoes, cream, and salt. Simmer until mixture thickens, about 8- 10 minutes.

Stir cooked pasta into sauce and heat through. Sprinkle with parsley.

If you prefer to use truly fresh ingredients, buy fresh, organic plum tomatoes to season and use for the sauce.

As for the wine to pair with this delight, let’s not have any confusion.

What will work

While it’s often thought that white wine goes best with seafood and chicken and that reds pair with beef, when it comes to wine pairing with pasta, the most important  thing to consider is the sauce. Confusing? Not if you have a handy guide like this one we found from rosetto.com http://www.rosetto.com/wine_pairing.php

As you can see, red wines are best with red sauces, though a few whites can actually work there too. A guide like this can help remove some of the intimidation you may feel about the wine you’ll serve, but  when it comes to that complete experience and you want to serve Italian wines with your pasta dish, then here’s some great advice from another source . This one offers a more detailed pairing list with specific Italian wines.

http://www.matchingfoodandwine.com/news/pairings/what_wine_to_match_with_different_pasta_sauces/

Alternative recipe

If you love Italian food but are more a fan of white wine, or if you’re a vegetarian, here’s a recipe for spinach-mushroom lasagna that will satisfy your tastes.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/220644/spinach-mushroom-lasagna/?internalSource=rotd&referringId=17245&referringContentType=recipe%20hub&clickId=cardslot%201

Get More To Go

Most pasta dishes are like a meal in a bowl, but if you’d like to round out your dinner with salad and bread, go to https://atlantabread.com/ to order your sides online for quick and easy pick up!

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sandwich wrap with vegetables

Make It Healthy and Easy To- Go

/t happens a lot – I need to be heading somewhere during lunch. There’s no time for a sit-down meal a99nd I am really hoping to avoid the fast-food trap. Don’t get me wrong, a juicy burger or cheesy burrito can taste oh-so-good sometimes. They may not be a healthy, common sense approach to food, but there’s something about the taste, the grease, and the quick-and-easy, down-and-dirty business of picking your food up from a window. But I can’t go there. I can’t.

So, that leaves me with very few options. I’m really not a P-B-and J kind of gal either, and I can’t survive on an apple for the day. So what’s a person to do when they know they need a healthy  meal that’s fast to make, easy to eat on the go, and tastes great? They have to have a fresh perspective, take that common sense approach to food, and wrap it up.

The go-to option for on-the-go

Yes, a wrap sandwich is probably one of the best little portable meals that you can make. And talk about allowing for a diverse array of new flavors and goodies to pack up for your meal on the run! It’s kind of a “no-brainer” to make a wrap because honestly, anything goes.

Have a bunch of veggies and other items in your fridge that been to be eaten? Wrap them. Have meats and cheeses and half-empty jars of jellies, sauces or other condiments that are feeling ignored? Wrap them. Here are a few tips and different ideas to get you started on your way to eating healthy and enjoying new flavors.

The wrap

You can start with any type of wrap you prefer, whether it’s a whole wheat tortilla or flatbread wraps.. The choice depends on your tastes and the ingredients. One thing to be mindful of when creating your wrap is not to make a giant log. Most wraps are quite sizeable and you can probably get away with rolling it up, cutting it in half, and saving some for the next day (another reason these are so convenient!) Don’t forget that you can also use a large leaves of lettuce as a wrap – a fresh perspective and a healthy choice!

The spreads

OK, no one wants to have to choke down a dry sandwich just because they are concerned about a mess. Using spreads that are thick enough not to run out the bottom of a poorly folded wrap is your best bet. And remember, you don’t need to slather it all over your rolled up masterpiece. Save yourself some calories and the need for a bib and use just enough to thinly coat your wrap and don’t go all the way to the edges.

The ingredients

Here’s where you can get creative. If you like it, you can wrap it… for the most part. Do make a conscious decision to use healthy ingredients and not to overload your roll. Take that common sense approach to food and include a few servings of your daily requirements for veggies, add a protein, and if you like, some dairy.

Ideas to wrap your head around

If you want  something other than the typical meat, cheese, lettuce,and tomato with mayo wrap idea, then consider combinations like these:

Quinoa, chickpeas, dried cranberries and/or raisins, chopped walnuts, and a light spread of olive oil and Dijon mustard in a whole wheat wrap. It’s vegan and packed with protein.

Or how about taking your favorite salad and wrapping it up? Thicken the dressing or use a creamy one – just make it a very light pour.

Veggie burgers rolled with avocado, tomato and hummus are healthy, filling and easy.

Make chicken salad with a plain yogurt and apple cider vinegar mix instead of mayo and wrap it up in a large leaf. Collard greens, spinach, or romaine are a good partner for this one.

Need something convenient for the morning? Wrap up egg whites, spinach, mushrooms and some feta cheese and you have a healthy start to your day.

Heading into fall, try this slight twist on the traditional turkey sandwich: http://www.popsugar.com/food/Winter-Turkey-Wrap-Sandwich-26190920

This one takes prep the night before, but the effort is well worth it for anyone looking for a vegetarian wrap with new flavors: http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/grilled-greek-wraps/

Let’s wrap it up

So, as you can see – you can go the fast route and throw in whatever is ready to go from your fridge or you can do a little prep work the night before. The key is creating a reasonable portion of something that can be eaten anywhere. It’s a common sense approach to food that will have you eating healthy and enjoying new flavors on the go.

If you have a moment and want to get ready- made, order one of the delicious sandwiches online from Atlanta Bread at www.atlantabread.com

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Series with college football fans tailgating and having fun before the game.

Try this Healthy Kickoff Menu for your Football Party

It’s that time of year again…football season is upon us, so get out those party platters and begin planning to root on your favorite team with a fun community gathering or tailgate party.  No matter if you’re a fan of college football, NFL, or your community high school team, football parties and tailgates are always fun, and people across the nation look forward to this time of year for that very reason.  Football parties and tailgates are also notorious for not-so-healthy menus, like sausages, greasy wings, heavy dips and meatballs drenched in sugary sauce, but that doesn’t have to be the case.  You can throw together a delicious football or tailgate party with healthy food and fresh ingredients in a flash with these easy entertaining ideas.

  • If you’re entertaining at home, throw together some quick chicken kabobs like these we recently featured in our recipe blog, or, just throw whatever veggies you have in the fridge onto skewers with cubed chicken marinated or seasoned with your favorite flavorings. Our favorite fresh ingredients for kabobs include bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onions, mushrooms and zucchini, but throw on whatever suits your party guests.
  • Skewered foods are great for tailgate parties and caprese skewers are always a favorite. For this “salad on a stick” use cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and mozzarella balls on toothpicks.  Flavor tip:  Use the pre-marinated mozzarella balls found in local stores like Costco for instant flavor, or drizzle with balsamic glaze and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Deviled Eggs are always a popular finger food, and for a healthy spin, replace the mayo with low-fat Greek yogurt or how about fresh avocado for a green alternative like we found in these guacamole deviled eggs.
  • Crispy kale chips are enormously popular these days. Making your own is super simple…all you need is a head of kale, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and your oven.  These chips will remain crispy for the duration of your football festivities and can be served as a healthier salty snack that even the kids will enjoy.
  • For “wrapping up” your football or tailgate party, how about a wrap with healthy, fresh ingredients? Spread a bit of mashed avocado on a whole grain tortilla and layer turkey or chicken with fresh greens, tomato slices and a bit of salt and pepper.  Cut into sections and place a toothpick in each and, viola…it’s a wrap!

If you’re looking to throw together a football party or tailgate in a hurry, check out our catering menu for fresh foods like our Fresh Fruit Selection, featuring fresh seasonal fruits, or our Veggie Fresco Selection with fresh seasonal vegetables served up with your choice of our delicious dipping sauces.  We also have a fantastic variety of sandwich platters with fresh ingredients.  With our catering delivery option, you’ll find yourself enjoying your tailgate without all the preparation!  Check out our healthy, fresh offerings and have your football party delivered right to your door.

See…it’s easy to put a healthy spin on your tailgate party.  Why not try some of these healthy tailgating idea and hopefully you’ll find your football fanatic friends enjoying healthy foods and community comradery as you cheer on the home team!

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Italian Inspiration For Tonight

On a trip to Tuscany many years ago I fell in love. But as a traveler to Italy it’s easy to fall in love with the country. The rolling hills, the soft evening light, and the Cyprus trees are some of the most relaxing scenery around. The warmth and happiness of the people is infectious, and the food, oh the local food is like no other!

Although I couldn’t bring the scenery home I can still enjoy the tastes of Italy here. It’s quite possible to recreate many of the dishes using our local food or to dine in restaurants that make some delicious versions of Italian cuisine. Let’s get familiar with this global favorite and see what grabs you.

Regional variety

Italian food runs a wide gamut depending on the region. In the southern part of Italy local food includes the use of tomatoes, fresh or as a rich sauce, and olive oil is used almost exclusively for cooking. Fresh ingredients like olives, garlic, anchovies, and capers adorn pastas which are served daily. Meats of choice include lamb, salami, and veal, with peppers and eggplants often present.

In Northern Italy there is less reliance on pasta (though it’s still served) as risotto and polenta, which is made of corn, takes center stage. Butter or lard is used rather than olive oil and anything that grows or is caught in the region can wind up on the table, including rabbit, quail, or shellfish.

Pasta

When you think if Italian food, it’s likely that the first thing that comes to mind is pasta. Pasta was rated by Oxfam* as the world’s number one favorite food and I can understand why. The versatility of the noodles means you can combine it with a wide variety of fresh ingredients to create a meal in a bowl. You also have a wide range of shapes and sizes of pasta that all work to provide varying degrees of bite and to hold sauces differently – what a great invention! Speaking of that – while Italy is often thought to be pasta’s country of origin, many believe it was first created in China and then brought to Italy by Marco Polo, or that Arabs brought the dish when they invaded the land, or that Greeks had a version of it first. Does it really matter, all we care about is that it exists!

Seasonings

Local food can be Italianized (I think I made up that word) by simply adding Italian seasonings.The most widely used are basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, and rosemary. I like to sprinkle rosemary on roasted potatoes, or chicken. Basil is delicious in pasta or on the traditional Caprese salad made with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and balsamic glaze. Lasagna and other pasta is also made glorious with oregano and thyme. All it takes is the use of these seasonings to give a hint of Italy to any dish you prepare.

Cheeses

OK cheese-lovers, what would a pizza be without fresh ingredients like mozzarella or parmigiano reggiano? Yes, cheese, which is known in Italy as “formaggio”, plays an important role in several dishes. Fresh mozzarella is made from cow’s milk and rolled into balls and stored in water or brine to preserve the bright white color and freshness. Parmesan cheese is aged anywhere from 3-36 months and is best when freshly shaved or shredded onto food. Gorgonzola is the Italian version of blue cheese and has a strong, tangy flavor that is fabulous on salads, atop Italian bread, sprinkled over pastas or made into a cream sauce.

Be inspired

Italian cuisine tends to be quite healthy food as fresh ingredients are used and there is no heavy frying going on. The focus is on fresh, locally-sourced, healthy food and reasonable portions. The diversity of ingredients allows for the home chef to create a variety of dishes with an Italian flair. Top your pastas and pizzas with what you love, serve meats and seafood with ample veggies and seasoning and you’re well on your way to an Italian taste sensation.

Make it local

To get the freshest ingredients and for an assortment of Italian staples visit a Whole Foods Market at Alpharetta Avalon, Buckhead, or Midtown. If you’re in Marietta visit Harry’s Farmers Market, or the Decatur Farmers Market for folks in that area. Or here’s a list of other farmer’s markets in the greater Atlanta area: http://edibleatlanta.com/farmers-market-directory/

Hopefully you’ll be inspired to create some new Italian inspired dishes and fall in love with one of the most popular cuisines around the world.

Don’t feel like cooking tonight? Atlanta Bread offers some Italian inspired dishes, including our new Heirloom Tomato Salad, Caesar Salad, Bella Chicken Sandwich, or Chicken Pesto Panini!

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Cavemen do it. You should too

Recipe for a Perfect Potluck

Enjoying gatherings surrounding great food and friends from the community is always fun, but can be stressful for the host or hostess.  I love to entertain, in fact I do it so often that I’m always told, “I just don’t know how you do it.”  The fact of the matter is, these days, you don’t have to “do it all” or have the perfect menu in order to have a delightful evening enjoying friends and good food.  If you read our recent blog post on last minute summer entertaining, you get the idea.

The dinner parties with perfectly arranged, lavish spreads, pub-style cocktails, and flaming desserts are a fantastic, but sometimes, we simply don’t have time for that. Dinner parties today can be enjoyed equally by the guests and the hosts if everyone agrees to carry just a portion of the weight.  Here’s your recipe for a delightful dinner with healthy food, fresh ingredients and just a little help from your friends…potluck style!

Main Course: Chicken Parmesan Pomodoro

Nothing says summer like Pomodoro sauce!  Of course Pomodoro sauce is best when made from garden-fresh tomatoes, like in this recipe, but if you don’t have time for this prep work, look for canned, whole, San Marzanotomatoes instead.  For this recipe, you’ll need a few basic ingredients:  tomatoes, garlic cloves, extra virgin olive oil, basil, salt and pepper…that’s it!  Here’s the fresh, healthy recipe for Pomodoro sauce from Chef Angelo Elia of Casa D’Angelo restaurants.

With your Pomodoro sauce made, you can begin assembling your main course.  For this healthier version of chicken parmesan, you’ll find we eliminate the breading for a lighter, fresh approach.  You’ll need: boneless, skinless chicken breasts, salt and pepper, extra virgin olive oil, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and the Pomodoro sauce above.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and prepare your casserole dish by a covering the bottom of the dish with a layer of your Pomodoro sauce.  Brown the chicken breasts in a skillet with olive oil and transfer them to your casserole dish once they are brown on both sides. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan and bake at 350 degrees until chicken is cooked through, approximately 30 minutes.

Guest Contributions

Now that you’ve got the main course taken care of, it’s time for your guests to provide the rest!  Some great healthy food choices to accompany this meal include: zucchini pasta, caprese salad with fresh ingredients like tomatoes and basil, fresh garden veggies or a garden-fresh salad.  Add a request for some bread and a fresh fruit tart or cobbler, and you’ve got yourself a memorable meal!  If you fear your menu is missing something, try our catering menu, which includes some great appetizers like our Crisps’N’Cheese Tray or Veggie Fresco Tray, and fabulous salads like our Caesar Salad with homemade Asiago Croutons.

This weekend, why not try hosting your community friends or family potluck style?  You’ll find you have a lot more time to spend enjoying your guests, the food and conversation…after all, isn’t that the point?

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Cocktails From the Garden – Discovering Fresh Drinks You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Sometimes it’s nice just to have a good refreshing cocktail, especially in the dog days of summer. While it’s never a good idea to overindulge, sipping a lively concoction of your favorite spirit and mixers can be a great way to lead into an evening meal or to wind down after your day of work. But boy am I tired of the same old thing – I’d like to be enjoying new tastes and ideas. Good thing it’s the perfect time of year to enjoy a cocktail from the garden.

An idea that will grow on you

What? Yes, you read that correctly – from the garden! With a bountiful harvest of herbs, fruits, and vegetables at hand there is a world of unusual drinks that can be made in summer. Whether you have a garden of your own, visit your neighborhood farmer’s market, or simply shop the organic section of your local grocery, you can pick up the fresh items that will give your summer cocktail a healthy feel.

Consider what often winds up in a Bloody Mary- vegetable juice and garnishes like olives, celery, green beans, even shrimp, but now think about lighter and fresher ingredients that add pizazz to the body of a regular cocktail.

It’s time to start enjoying new recipes for summer cocktails that have a little bonus and are beautiful too. No doubt that the creators of some popular beverages were inspired by their gardens and the plentiful foods grown in their area.

A harvest of possibilities

Let’s start by looking at a twist on a classic. Horse racing fans are keenly aware of the Mint Julep famously served at the Kentucky Derby. It’s a southern favorite that has mass appeal. But as we said, some people are inspired by nature’s gifts and like to make use of fresh ingredients. The Blackberry Mint Julep does just that. For this you muddle and strain blackberries and mint leaves, add sugar and bourbon and pour over ice. Garnish it with a blackberry and mint leaf and you have a chiller that will certainly have you chomping at the bit for more. That little extra fruit provides a sweet bonus.

If you’re more of a tequila fan and really crave a taste of summer, consider Bobby Flay’s Watermelon Tequila Cocktail. Your day isn’t complete until you’ve combined the sweetness of fresh, strained watermelon juice mixed with silver tequila. Add sugar syrup and blueberries along with mint and fresh lime juice and you’ve created a cocktail that’s light and refreshing.

Looking for more in your garden cocktail? A couple of New York chefs and their friend really hit the jackpot when they concocted the Porch Crawler. Created with several items from a rooftop garden, they muddled pitted cherries, mint leaves, and chiles. Then they topped with ice, rum, lemon juice and simple syrup and strained it into a glass. Club soda was poured in and the glass garnished with cherries and mint. I’ll bet they had as much fun creating it as they did drinking it.

Expanding the ingredient list

Some specialty cocktails call not only for “harvesting” fresh, healthy fruits and herbs but also for discovering less widely used spirits. Amp up the flavor and wow your guests with these drinks that call for Pisco, a white Peruvian Brandy made with mescal grapes or Lillett, an aromatized wine that is 85% Bordeaux region wines and 15% macerated liqueurs (mostly citrus).

There’s The Tabernacle Crush with muddled fresh peaches, basil leaves, and lemon juice that is strained, then stirred with Gin, Lillett, and simple syrup. You add ice and garnish with basil.

Cholo Fresco was created by Hans Hilbirg of “El Pisquirito” in Peru. For this one you’d muddle fresh mint leaves with sugar and lime juice and then strain into an ice-filled shaker. Add Pisco, melon liqueur, and cucumber juice. Shake and stir into a chilled glass. Try adding your own garnish of a slice of cucumber and a piece of honeydew melon.

You’ll notice most “garden” inspired cocktails require muddling. If you’ve never done it, this very brief video demonstrates the proper technique: http://www.marthastewart.com/976907/how-muddle-herbs-and-fruit

Get creative

What ideas do you have for adding some produce to your adult beverage? Sweet wine with muddled strawberries, club soda, and fresh basil or perhaps Vodka with ginger liqueur and mint? Try being inspired by what you see in the market and experiment with your spirit of choice – who knows, you may wind up creating a summer sensation.

Summer fresh is easy

If you don’t have the time or inclination to mix up one of these delicious drinks, visit an Atlanta Bread location that has bar service and add a healthy salad, sandwich, or other dish from our menu and really sink your teeth into garden fresh tastes.

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Happy Young Friends Eating Together Outdoor

We’ve Got Your Recipe for Enjoying Summer Entertaining Success

We tend to think of summer as a schedule free, more relaxed time of year, but summer can be a difficult time to plan a get together with community friends and neighbors, despite their close proximity.  I can tell you from experience, occasionally, some of the best shared experiences can be last minute plans for entertaining.  If you’re afraid you can’t pull of the perfect menu with wine pairings on the fly, we’re here to help!  With just a little guidance and a positive attitude, you and your guests will be enjoying the shared experience of food and drink and you’ll be the entertaining envy of the neighborhood!

When it’s hot outside, you want to keep your menu light and your guests cool.  Think of light, healthy food and for many, the grill is the perfect gathering spot for neighbors and friends on a summer night.

If you’re looking to grill up a party in a flash, here’s a great recipe from allrecipes.com for Chili-Lime Chicken Kabobs that you can throw together in a little over an hour.

Chili-Lime Chicken Kabobs

  • Prep15 m
  • Cook15 m
  • Ready In1 h 30 m

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • skewers

Directions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and lime juice. Season with chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish with the sauce, and stir to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade.
  • Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill skewers for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear.

Pair simply with your favorite skewered, grilled veggies and steamed rice and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a shared experience that will leave your guests talking!  If you’re looking for an easy option for salads or appetizers to to enhance your party, add a delicious selection from our catering menu, which includes appetizers like our Crisps’N’Cheese Tray, Veggie Fresco Tray, and delectable salads like our Italian Pasta Salad, Roasted Red Potato Salad, or Balsamic Bleu Salad, just to name a few.

So what’s a host or hostess to do for wine pairings?  Well, we’ve got a great resource to share with you.  If you’re clueless about which wines to serveat your summer gathering, our favorite go-to wine pairing resource is this great Wine and Food Pairing Chart from Wine Folly.  They even have a printable poster for you to use at home!  If it’s just too hot out to enjoy a room temperature red, go with white wine or consider a light or fruity red slightly chilled.  As a cool alternative, why not try serving up a sangria like this one from Food&Wine:

Simple Sangria

1 750 ml bottle of fruity red wine, like merlot

4 oz brandy

3 oz simple syrup

1 cup mixed chunks of seeded oranges, lemons and limes

Ice

In a pitcher, combine the red wine, brandy, Simple Syrup and fruit. Refrigerate until the drink is chilled and the flavors are blended, 4 to 8 hours. Serve the sangria in chilled, ice-filled wine glasses.

No matter what you serve or how you serve it, you will find the shared experience of enjoying food and wine with your friends and neighbors at the last minute can sometimes be the most rewarding of all.

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Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes – A History of a Salad Favorite

The importance of Peru within global food culture cannot be overstated. Imagine Italian cuisine without tomatoes, or England without potatoes, or India without potatoes, or tomatoes; all are far less interesting places, and all owe a debt to Peru as the origin of these new World Fruits and vegetables. That’s not to say the tomato sprung fully formed from the Andes a plump, delicious red or; on the contrary the ‘original’ tomato was a small sour thing that required a couple stages of pureeing and boiling to really be edible.

The Origin

The primitive tomato was bred to be sweeter and bigger and made its way to Mexico where it got it’s name – the Nahuatal: tomatl (giving Nahuatal the two most delicious words in English Chocolate and Tomato). The Spanish showed up and took both the fruit, and its name tomate back to Europe. Here the tomato became variously the Italian Pomodoro “Golden Apple” which implies the early Italian varietals were yellow or gold, rather than red, and the German Paradiesapfel “paradise apple”, which does not imply much other than its deliciousness and rumored aphrodisiac qualities. A few other names were banded about involving werewolves and witches, the tomato is, after all, a relative of the deadly nightshade. After years of careful cultivation, genetic mixing, and breeding something like our current tomato selection must have been around in the 1690s, as that’s when the first cookbook with a tomato recipe can be found.

A New Level

Credit for the elevation of the tomato from an expensive delicacy to a staple of cuisine has to go mostly to the Spanish, who really modified their entire cuisine around this new giant berry, and then exported their methods. Italy, from the standpoint of the United States, is a much larger culinary influencer than Spain, but both Italy and Spain owes much to the tomato. From sauce to preserves to salads and stocks, the tomato is everywhere in Italian cooking.

The breeding of the tomato is interesting; since the tomato has been in the hands of people we have attempted to create a product that better suits our needs. From the creation of something that we actually want to eat raw to the ultimately discontinued but important Flavr Savr; the variety modified for a long shelf life was the first genetically modified food, tomatoes have been at the forefront of horticultural research for years, which is why such things as an heirloom salad can exist.

Developing Our Dish

Heirloom is not a breed of tomato, it is rather the description for tomatoes that are grown using saved seeds from non hybrid strains. These strains are not hybrids, and withstand cross pollination, unlike commercial tomato plants. The famous San Marzano tomato is an heirloom tomato, as is the award winning Aunt Ruby’s German Gold, but they have entirely different uses, tastes and looks. A common trait shared by heirloom tomatoes is the lack of the mutation gene that causes a uniform redness. This redness and predictability is something we liked, and selected for in hybrid commercial tomatoes, but it came at the cost of carotenoids and the ability to produce sugar within the fruit – leading to a less sweet tomato. That’s why heirloom breeds tend to have a sweeter more complex taste.
The yellow tomato that we selected for the salad is called a Brandywine, but they won’t be available everywhere. In fact, that is somewhat of the point; not every Heirloom Salad at every Atlanta Bread will taste the same. Some of our locations can source the Golden Brandywine, others can get the German Greens, Zebras, or Mortgage Lifters, whatever variety ends up in the salad, they are of a different breed than the regular 8 X 10 tomatoes that are regularly seen, and look and taste more interesting. Not better, not worse, but more interesting.