The "Dishing with Donna" Show is Atlanta's Only Celebrity Food, Wine and Restaurant Radio Program. Listen every Saturday @ 4:00pm on WGKA Talk 920am to hear Donna entertain listeners with celebrity interviews such as Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, or Ted Allen - as well as the exclusive inside scoop into Atlanta's very own restaurant scene.

Listen "Live" Every Saturday at 4:00pm on WGKA 920am

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God Bless Each and Every One of You!

Proverbs 3:5-6

Friday, January 29, 2010

Class With Ursula

Last night I went to the nations largest independant cooking school,  Ursula's Cooking School, which happens to be right here in Atlanta off of Cheshire Bridge Rd in Buckhead.  It was my 4th time to go ... or was it my 5th?  Whichever,  I truly love attending her class.  Ursula even taught Roselyn Carter how to cook!  It's amazing how thick her German accent still is, and I find myself laughing out loud in class sometimes when I can't understand what in the world she's saying.  "Zen, zuh next zing zwe do eez  ..."
She is contagiously adorable. 
I was introduced to Ursula by one of the most amazing women I have ever met, Shannon Alderman, who actually wrote the very first "Dishing With Donna" article.  As a free lance writer, she was assigned by a newspaper to do a story on me - we clicked instantly - and now I am blessed to call Shannon one of my very best friends.  But one day she said I absolutely must be introduced to one of her closest friends, and Oma - if you will. (german for grandmother)  -They meet once a week at Francos in Buckhead for dinner together, and I actually got invited to join in on their weekly tradition one night.  So I met Ursula for dinner at Franco's and I knew immediately why Shannon (early 30's) spends so much personal time with her.  She's a unique soul who is naturally magnetic!  And at age 76 - she has more wit, more sense of humor, more radiant energy and more life in her than most 30-something year olds!   Turning her own private home into a commercial teaching kitchen,  Ursula has been running her independant cooking school right off of Cheshire Bridge Rd since 1966. 

Now granted, you sit in little bitty tiny school desks for nearly 3 hours while you watch and smell and salivate.  And then finally at the end - she serves you everything you've just learned to make, buffet style.  You're so hungry by this point that dinner becomes one dangerous cattle call!  Watch out piggies ... the trough is ready!    (yes,  I said 3 hours later ...)

With easy "anyone can do them" recipes --- Ursula creates elegant dishes with little effort.  Learn helpful hints around the kitchen as well as how to cut some corners.  (which I always like!)  Ursula will have you cracking up WiZ her AckZent allZ nite,  as well as learn some fun new things to cook.  Just watch out for her kitchen witches!!  Don't be frightened, she says she collects them for good luck!  I think she just announced that she has around 300 witches in her kitchen.  -- Oh, and don't mention Hitler either.  Coming here to get away from Germany ..... she's not exactly a fan.

(From left to right:  Me, my friend Heather, and Shannon Alderman)

Go visit her website and upon my recommendation -- spend a little money to take her cooking classes. 
Eez a Good Zing!

Click Here for Ursula's Website

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I realize that I have not updated my blog yet this week.  Wow, this week has flown by!  Which is odd to say since I have been sick for 2 days straight feeling like the day is so long.  I haven't eaten very much at all  (- why couldn't this have happened when I was struggling to detox??  Being sick would have made it so much easier!).  And that being the reason why I haven't blogged.  Using sickness as my procrastination.
However!  The night before I started feeling sicky, I did go out to dinner at a fabulous new joint called SIP in Milton  (that snug little area of Alpharetta).  Although the creative tapas food was great, it was more of the atmosphere that had me so impressed.  SIP is definitely a "Donna spot".  With the lights glowing and dark rustic walls, the wine focused decor and an air of sexiness, yet still so comfortable and cozy at the same time.  It's perfect for a date ... which I was on.  :-) 
The best part about SIP is their enomatic wine systems.  Incredible!  Breakthrough technology for dispensing wine.  You get a special card, slip it into the machine, choose your wine that you want - then choose the amount you want (a taste, a half glass, or full glass),  push the button,  place your glass in the machine .... and it will dispense for you your exact choices!!  Right there on the spot.  It is so cool. 
So we had some fun with that, tasting both whites and reds.  And be careful if you try their chocolate cayenne pepper ice cream dessert!  I needed a firehose to wash out the burn!  -- It hurt so good.

Get yourself a $35 dinner gift card for only $17.50.  It's our popular 50% off dining program!
  Easy easy.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Soup for the Soul

So last night, my father (who is Puerto Rican) requested that I make him one of his favorite authentic Puerto Rican dishes called Asopao.  It is a thick traditional soup made with chicken, rice, olives, ham, peppers, capers, other goodies, and ofcourse ... sofrito.  I once interviewed Ted Allen from Food Network and he said that if you put sofrito on anything at all -- it automatically becomes a latin dish!  It was funny.   Anyhow!  I was going to take pictures and put the pictures on this blog  (or should I say Flog!)  along with the recipe.  But as you can see,  there are no pictures.  Well that is because I botched up the meal. Ugh!  I wouldn't exactly call what I made 'soup' -- not even a stew.  It was more like ... just rice with a bunch of yummy stuff in it.  I somehow left the water boiling and went to go watch the football game  (sorry Brett Favre, if you're reading! Ha)  and when I came back to the stove,  yep,  all the water had boiled itself right on out.  Nice job Donna.  Luckily, it still turned out quite good, thanks to the intensely delicious flavors - and my dad was a good sport about it.  It just wasn't his soup. 
Also, for my side dish - I have become obsessed with frying bread.  It may clog up my aorta, but as each bite is swallowed ... I somehow think it's worth it!  All I do is take french bread or cuban bread - slice it into one inch pieces and slather on a big thick layer of butter.  I place it directly into a skillet with sizzling hot olive oil, butter side down.  Flip it after a couple minutes to brown the other side,  and that's it!!  The BEST part comes next.  How to top it!  For my puerto rican dish last night,  I sprinkled on spicy cheese first, topped off by black beans that I had been cooking on the stove, full of delicious seasoning.   You put all that on top of the fried bread pieces and WOW!!!!  Your taste buds will do a little dance!  (although your arteries might hate you)   Last week, I was making an italian dinner  (my favorite)  and fried my bread the same way - but I topped it with provolone cheese and then white beans that I had been cooking in garlic and basil.  YUM!!

I want to say thank you really quick to Eris Garriga who is the author of my incredible Puerto Rican cookbook, and who is coming onto the 'Dishing With Donna' radio show in a couple weeks.  If any of you want her cookbook .... just let me know. 
So maybe my soup didn't turn out as soup,  but having a home cooked meal with your parents is always good for the soul.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I love it!!  -- I actually just created it.  Yep!  It's a phrase my business partner just came up with and we are officially hereby claiming it as our own.  :-)    ..... Oh, It'll catch on!

FLOG = Food Lovers Blog.

Genius!!  It's perfect.  So I hereby publicly nominate the newly created word  (done so by the Dishing With Donna Show) lol  - FLOG to now exclusively pertain to all blogs in the foodie industry!!   We'll create our own blogging identity.  I think it's great!  So who's with me now??!?!?!?!
Whaddya say!??!
And let's let this very Flog be the first to bring on the new wave of Floggers!!!

Tell me what you think.  Just comment below. 
   .....  (are 2 smiley faces two smiley faces too much??)

But feel free to tell me if you like this cool idea,  or has this detox just gone to my head - ??  Because I have no quams about supporting that idea either!  This detox has been a roller coaster to my insides.  Maybe it's gone to my brain.  I mean, even as I'm sitting here writing this flog .... I just finished eating one boiled egg white and one small cup of fat free yogurt, and I'm now sipping on my delicious detox tea thing.   ( -- btw, my teeth just grit together when I sarcastically used the word delicious).   And there's a whopping small vegetable side salad waiting on me for my entire lunch later.  Mmmmm,  I'm craving it already ....   (teeth still gritting, but now also add a head shaking back and forth as well)   And don't forget the intensely effective Fiber powder to go along with it!  -- Doesn't that sound appealing??
They should have a commercial that says:  THIS IS YOUR BRAIN.   THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON DETOX.   And see what that frying pan looks like!
I still like the idea of all of us foodie bloggers to embrace the word FLOG!   - a Food Lovers Blog -
I've already included it as part of my website!   Check it out at:

And again,  what do YOU think about it???

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Fat and Happy Detox.

I knew it!  I told you so.  I knew my body was going to reject a Detox.  First, in my last attempt,  my stomach became my personal nemisis and definitely put the 'pain' in hunger pains!  -You think my tummy would appreciate being squeaky clean and polished from the inside out.  A shiney new inner lining. - But no! Not my organs.  Nope!  They'd rather be fat and happy than empty and neglected.  (we're coming right back to this 'fat and happy' notion ... )   
The issue this go-round is the fact that the new detox I've been assigned to do includes so many pills and powders.  And for the first time in 34 years ... I am breaking out all over the place.  If there's one thing I know I can say with confidence that I've been blessed with -- it's always been flawless skin.  Even in my pre-teen years (or more bluntly, puberty) - it was never an issue for me.  While everyone else walked around with a snow capped mountain range on their face . . . I somehow remained miraculously immune to it.  So I can't even relate to what a breakout feels like.
Well, that is ... until I decided to become more "healthy",  and now ironically my face is hiking through that same mountain range. 
This particular detox is drastic,  and its causing drastic side effects.  Don't even get me started on the side effects of my digestive track!  - Ew.

So do I take the good with the bad??  Or in this case,  the bad with the good?  I guess the good news is it's only a 7 day detox.  I'm on day 3.  I'm a fighter - I can squeeze out 4 more days.  But in order to compensate for the flawed skin and erupting belly ....  I may just have to sneak some wine to keep me sane.   ;-)   Shhh,  don't tell!  Detox Schmeetox.  Whatever happened to a good old fashioned diet?? 

Speaking of diet - just real quick - how am I supposed to stay loyal to a diet when I go to restaurants like THE BRIDGE in Roswell!??!?!  It's one of the most authentic mexican restaurants I've been to in all of Atlanta.  It's getting rave reviews.  I had to go there.  Driving up to the location - I had my doubts.  I did.  But I got to tell ya,  sometimes the "hole in the wall" joints deliver dishes of food that are FAR superior to the food found in a mass produced chain.  THE BRIDGE is exactly one of those joints.  Absolutely delicious.  When I looked at the menu and saw the combination called "Fat and Happy" .... are you kidding me?  I had to order it!  It was a chicken tamale, a beef enchilada, tacos, rice and beans, and a salad.
  Again,  since I saw the word 'salad' in it,  I knew it had to be on my detox plan!

Check out THE BRIDGE in Roswell.  Tell the owners (who are there on site)  that you saw it on Dishing With Donna.  And you can even go get yourself a gift certificate to try it out directly from my 50% Off Program!  (scroll down on this blog)  Buy a $35.00 dinner certificate for only $15 bucks.  - Yummy date night!  Get Fat and Happy,  I did.

Click Here to purchase your $35 Gift Certificates. . .
"Dishing With Donna" - The Bridge Mexican Gourmet

         10479 Alpharetta St.
         Roswell, GA 30075
         (678) 373-1726

Monday, January 18, 2010

Detox - Take Two! -- Really??

Oh what have I gotten myself into now??  Right as I was proclaiming my acceptance about my natural inability to maintain a strict regime of nazi detoxification, and feeling glad that I'm no longer held accountable for such nonsense blog-writing ....... well all the sudden here comes a curve ball!  I'm pretty much assigned to a new detox plan with strict orders that I must obey it properly this time and cannot cheat!  Fabulous.  So here I am at the end of Day One.
Yep.  Again.
( . . . if you could only see my eyes rolling . . . )

So let's see ...again for the record,  I ate zip for breakfast and choked on my own sweat instead while I went to the gym very early for a strong cardio workout.  With nothing in my stomach but water (and maybe last night's wine) it was several hours later when I went to Chick-fil-a and surprised myself when I heard my own voice ordering a grilled chicken sandwich, no butter - with a side salad for my lunch.  - Who knew I could say those words! ... You see,   -I'm growing.    ;-)

I might have slipped a glass of white wine in there somewhere  (naughty me)  but other than that ... my dinner was simply the Puerto Rican Asopao that I had made from a couple nights ago reheated.  No dessert.  Yes I'm serious .... no dessert! 

This newly enforced detox has me taking pills every morning and every night,  lots of different pills for lots of different detoxification reasons.  Gross.  But luckily it's only 7 days.   As I'm closing out the first day ... maybe this time around will be the real deal.  Who knows.  After what I already tried to go through though .... I'm not looking forward to this week.  And there's no more cookies left!!  My drug of choice = cookies.  I'd ask you where they could have possibly gone -- but then my lovehandles already showed me.

Day One.  Mission completed.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Atlanta & Company's "Metromix" Restaurant Segment

Donna on the "Metromix Meals" television show talking about one of her favorite restaurants, Cafe Efendi in Alpharetta.    For Cafe Efendi's website - click here

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Detox Day 6 & 7 -- Crash and Burn

Sometimes when you don't want to lie,  you just play the denial game instead and completely ignore the situation.  Well I think that's what I've been doing for 2 days now.  I don't want to lie on my blog, therefore ... I just haven't written!  I've been too embarrassed to admit that my stomach is simply not allowing me to remain on a strict Detox.   -- A diet is one thing.  Even working out every day seems okay for me.  But a Detox???  No caffeine?  No wine?  No sugars?  No salt?  No carbs?  No spices?  No fat?  -- NO FUN. 
Cmon let's just be honest here.   I am in the restaurant and food industry.  Ok?  It's my job!  How could I have ever expected to Detox for 10 days when I'm eating in several restaurants a day for a living???  And if you've read the previous Detox blogs .... then you already know I've cheated every single day somehow since day One.  Trying to "detox" has left me cranky and feeling like a failure.

Therefore, my fellow foodies, let's just call a spade a spade.  Donna is not a detoxing person!  Period.  I appreciate and love food way too much to break up our happy relationship together.  I need food and food needs me.  And not KASHI cereal kind of food either.  But food like the grits bar at Dogwood,  stuffed peppers at Wisteria, meatball pizza at Max's, spinach and chicken canneloni at Alfredo's, a kripsy kreme milkshake from Flip, sushi from Miso, barbecue from Swallow in the Hollow, a good cabernet from Sip Wine Bar,  etc... etc....

So I will continue to finish out my Detox Tea thing.  I still have a few more days of that.  And on day 10,  I will let you know how much weight I've lost.  (or not lost).  But let's look at the bright side of this little self-project . . . . I now know never to attempt a detox again!  Good to know. 
Oh I can handle a diet!  Just not a strict detox.  Not for me.  And for those of you who can,  kudos to you!   (Mmmmm,  Kudos)
So my goal is to lose the 30 lbs I've packed on since becoming a Food Radio Host.  -- Detox vs. Diet. That sounds like a new blog title!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dogwood Restaurant on The "Dishing with Donna" Show

I wanted to give a big Thank You to my guest this week, Shane Touhy - Owner/Executive Chef of Dogwood Restaurant located in downtown Atlanta across from the Fabulous Fox Theatre.  Click below to buy a $50 gift cetificate for ONLY $25.  Hurry though, this deal wont stick around forever.  And don't forget to listen to Shane chat with me on the "Dishing With Donna" show this Saturday at 2:00pm on WGKA 920am.

click here for your gift certificate.
Dishing with Donna - Dogwood

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Detox Day 5 - The Revival

I'm starting to wonder if my Detox Tea is still working.  On day 3, my bowels definitely felt the effects of 'intestinal cleansing' for sure!  (Lol, I'm trying to keep it PG here...)  But yeah,  it was freakish and cool at the same time.  Since then however,  nothing else has happened.  Maybe it's because I've cheated a few times, so the Tea is mad at me now - ??

Well I'm done with the cheat!  After speaking to a friend of mine this morning  (Hi Copee!) I am suddenly re-energized to jump back on the bandwagon of discipline.  He is also detoxing, but doing a liquid-only diet for 21 days ... and he has not cheated even once!  He is on day 9, and here I am only on day 5 - -and have already cheated several times.  AND I even get to eat solid foods, and he does not.  I asked him his secret and his answer was eye-opening.  Copee says that every time he gets hungry and tempted, he literally removes himself from the area of temptation (like a kitchen)  and goes and prays to God for strength.  By the time he is done praying, he said he no longer feels the need to indulge!  As a christian myself,  this spoke to me.  Why didn't I realize this before??  God wants us to lean on Him in times of need, and yes - even in a diet.  It encourages and builds self-discipline, which is obviously important to have when living a christian lifestyle.  So with no pun intended ... it all feeds off each other!
So watch out God,  I'm about to bombard you with lots of extra prayer time!   (Food tempts me quite frequently throughout the day)  (just read the previous blogs!)   ;-)

So today is technically Day 6 ... but let me tell you about yesterday,  my Day 5.
I woke up to a bowl of the most disgusting cereal I have ever tried,  KASHI.  If you've ever had a craving for stale wet styrofoam - then this breakfast is for you!  In fact, this cereal could be used on Fear Factor.
  For lunch I re-heated my brown rice and turkey sausage from the other night, and just ate a little bowl.  I was doing good again!!   I was feeling good!  Did I mention I even had an early morning date with the gym?
 ................. But like clockwork,  around 5pm, I had the pre-dinner munchies.  And what was available for snacking???  Chocolate Chunk cookies!!!  Well I decided I better hurry and finish them off so that they won't tempt me anymore.  Thank goodness they're no longer around!
And then for dinner, a very weird combination of shrimp cocktail and eggs.   (- don't ask.)

So that was my Day 5 yesterday.   As for today though .... I'm using Copee as my motivation, and God as my strength.  Hopefully by the end of today, I will not have another cookie story for you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Paula Deen and Bobby Flay to attend Metropolitan Cooking Show in Atlanta

Paula Deen and Bobby Flay to attend Metropolitan Cooking Show in Atlanta

Posted using ShareThis

Detox Crisis - Day 4

I don't like this game anymore.  This whole 'detox' game.  Because let's just be honest ... it's all about win or lose.  If I stay obedient to the 'rules', then I win.  If I slip up and eat a cookie,  I lose!  It's as simple as that.  And I think I'm already losing.  This game is no longer fun!

I was so proud of myself for starting off my day yesterday with breakfast and a Bible study at IHOP.  Yes, proud.  Because as surprising as it's going to sound, I actually ordered a healthy breakfast!  I had turkey bacon, egg "substitute" (whatever that is), whole wheat toast. and turkey sausage.  I was full, satisfied, and pretty dang proud of myself for not ordering my usual french toast or pancakes.  At this point,  my day is looking like a WIN!
Then I went to the movies and saw Avatar.  -- Incredible movie by the way!!  Go see it!  I did eat popcorn, but it was UNbuttered.  And we brought a little baggie of mixed nuts to munch on as well.  So I had no official lunch,  but enough munchies to last me til dinner.  Right??
  -- WRONG!  I got back to my house, and lo' and behold .... again ... cookies.
Really????   Have we not already learned that I have a weakness for all things sweet???  I believe this must be a terrorist attack.  Because no one who loves me would have chocolate chunk cookies sitting out the moment I walk thru the door.   This plot to destroy me is working -- because I indulged in SEVERAL.   Kill me now.
After a 2 second guilt trip about the cookies - I then went down to Buckhead and got all my hair chopped off.  Yep! Whacked it all off.  And then I took my hairdresser out to dinner afterwards at Eclipse di Luna.  This is actually a great restaurant for my Detox.  Everything is Tapas,  so small plates.  And there are a lot of healthy choices as well.  She and I shared plates of hummus and octopus and lamb.  It was delicious.  Light and delicious!  However . . . . .  maybe I backslid again and drank a glass of red wine.
OOPS!  How did that happen??

Okay.  So I seem to be winning and losing in this whole Detox game.  One hit, one miss.  One hit, one miss.  But hey .... atleast I'm not giving up and I'm still playing!   Does that earn me some bonus points??  Extra credit??  Anything??   -- Did I win another cookie??

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Detox Dilemma - Day 3

Well crap.  I cheated yesterday. (Day 3 was Saturday)   I admit it.  Dang ice cream!!  It's my personal kryptonite!  Well that, and cookies.  And cinnamon buns.  And doughnuts.  And cheesecake.  And candy bars.  And applie pie.  And .............  well you get the picture.  - I love sweets!  And ice cream ranks at the top.  So when someone pulls out some ice cream and heath bar Magic Shell right in front of my face -- I don't think I should be held responsible for my reactions!   (--- yes, the lethal Magic Shell again)  (Who can say no??)

So so what?  I had a bowl of ice cream.  What about the rest of my triumphant day??  I woke up and drank the gross Detox Tea with enthusaism.  Want to know why?? .... Because when I first weighed myself,  I've lost 5 POUNDS!!  5!!  In less than 3 days!  That was the first time in over a year that I've seen the scale go backwards and not forwards.  It was a glorious little moment for me.  So I bopped downstairs and drank the tea and whipped up a bowl of low fat oatmeal for breakfast.  After that,  I spent the afternoon with my grandparents down on the south side of Atlanta.  For lunch there was some deliciously fatty chunky chicken salad sitting on a plate in front of me, oozing in thick mayo.  As I looked around the table at both my grandparents as well as my mother chowing down on this chicken salad .... I actually stood up and traded mine out for a bowl of Raisin Bran cereal.  Yep!  It's true.  Even my mother was proud of me.  :-)
I drank water as if it were about to become extinct.  I ate nuts and granola for my snacks.  - I was still going strong!
 And then at dinner - I took a baby step backwards when I indulged in 2 pieces of goat cheese pizza.  But that's where I drew the line!  I was done for the day.  Only water throughout the night now.  Done.  No more food.  Day 3 completed and successful!!  Go me!
 . . . . . . . . . . Uuuuuuuuuuuuntil someone decided to draw blood.  It was just like slow motion.  I saw the freezer being open.  I saw an arm reach in and slowly pull out what I immeditely recongnized as a tub of the deadly temptation ..... ice cream.  Flavor:  Kryptonite. 
Then!  Then the kitchen of my heart began to blow up and self destruct when I watched another arm pull out the Magic Shell.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!KA BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Spoon to mouth,  it was over. 
I ate that ice cream like a glutton.  But somehow,  I found the courage within and the strength to perservere ... because ladies and gentlemen ... I did not have a second bowl!!
And THAT my fellow foodies,  is why Day 3 still counts as a Success on the scorecard, and therefore ....  continuing on to Day 4 of Detox Diet! 


( ... 5 lbs gone and 25 more to go!)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Detox - Day 2

I did it!!  One day down,  9 more to go.  Finally.  One full day of crazy-healthy eating, along with my Detox Tea thing.  Last night, I said no thank you to the wine  (sniff sniff)  and ate a small bowl of rice, turkey sausage, and shrimp with lite tomato sauce.  No dessert.  Can you believe that?? No dessert!  There's one for the history books.

As for today, I have not felt well at all.  It's almost 2pm and I'm just now getting out of bed for the first time today,  still in my robe.  Because of feeling ill, I have not eaten or drank anything yet.  Not even water.  Nothing.  -- As soon as I post this, I will go downstairs and attempt to drink my Detox Tea.  Not sure what else I can stomach at the moment.  But hey -- being sick works in my favor!!  I have no appetite!  Sweet.  So Day 2 of  Detox ... going good so far.  Ha!
(oh,  it also allows me to stay home from the gym -- Should this upset me???  Because it doesn't.)
Stay tuned and find out tomorrow how the rest of my day/night goes.   - Will write more tomorrow.  My eyes are so swollen and puffy that I'm surprised I'm even typing correctly.

uhnteel thin --

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Detox Disaster

My personal Detox plan  (to kick start my new healthy diet for 2010)  was supposed to start 4 days ago, on Monday.  Yeah.  I was doing great until about 2:00pm.  That didn't last long.  - I decided to try again the next day, and was hanging in there til about 10am  (haha) since I guess one piece of cold pizza still counts as cheating on a detox.  Then came Wednesday.  I was bound and determined to get my butt in gear  (literally)  and make this the day that I could be disciplined!   Other than still downing caffeine first thing in the morning  (something I told myself would be part of the Detox -- no caffeine)  but other than that ... I was actually doing pretty good!  Healthy fruit breakfast.  A gross health bar for my lunch.   Tons of water.  I was doing it!!!  Yay me!   . . . . . aaaaaand then came the cookie test.  Right before my eyes were some of the most delicious looking cookies and brownies and doughnuts.  Are you kidding me??  Who can say no to that??  - Before I knew it,  I had already scarfed down several,  and loved every minute of it.  Since I had already botched my detox for the day,  I later decided that a bowl of ice cream with Magic Shell  (Mmmmmm,  Magic Shell!)  was okay after my believe-it-or-not healthy dinner of spinach salad.  I proudly declared that my spinach salad cancelled out my ice cream.  :-)

So!  Here I am.   Attemptive day 4.  Thursday.  It's noon right now,  and this morning I pulled myself out of bed very early and suffered a grueling cardio workout at the gym (I did pretty good though!) -- went to Whole Foods and decided to buy myself 100% healthy diet foods, as well as this crazy 10-Day Detox Tea stuff.  It's supposed to flush out my intestines, liver, and kidneys. - Lovely. 
So I am now armed with my arsenol of guilt!   ( as in,  I better do this because I just forked out a lot of money to make this work!)  
Today,  I have had low-fat oatmeal for breakfast, 2 liters of water already, and about to eat some healthy soup for my lunch.    .... stay tuned and keep up with me every single day as to how I'm handling this 10 Day Detox Diet.  
After 3 days of failed attmepts,  I'm hoping that this day 4 will REALLY be my Day One.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Turkish Delight on a Moonlit Night

"Hey let's go out for some Turkish food!"  is not exactly a common phrase you hear every weekend, is it?  I'm more inclined to think one would choose Greek food before suggesting a Turkish restaurant.  And yet the comparison is quite similiar.  If you have never enjoyed cuisine from Turkey ... then let me tell you that you are missing out!
Go to Alpharetta and try CAFE EFENDI.  A new favorite local spot of mine, tucked away in a charming renovated house just across from PURE Taqueria.  Although Turkish food is not immediately identified with any particular dish (i.e.= sushi for Japan, or pasta for Italy)  it is still a competitive underdog in the world of ethnic cuisine.  Turkish cuisine prides itself on elaborate style with simple technique, focused on one main ingredient per dish.

To start, our meze of choice was falafel which I truly enjoyed. It had subtle flavor and balanced well with the jajik sauce, a rich and creamy white dipping sauce. Kiymali Borek was also served and it is the Turkish comparison to Greek spanikopita. We chose the ground beef borek rather than the spinach. I thought the sesame seed garnish made it unique with a lovely presentation.
Dinner was impressive. My dish was the savory Iskender Kebob, a house favorite. It is thinly sliced meat atop a buttery pide (bread) with light tomato sauce and creamy yogurt. The spices were not overpowering, the meat was tender and tasty, surprisingly complimented by the sweet yogurt which takes your taste buds to a new level. I absolutely loved it.  I could eat it again right now!
My guest enjoyed Lamb Sautee. Lamb is one of the most popular meats used in Turkish cooking. This particular dish was strong, yet the perfect example of focusing all flavors around one central ingredient. The lamb was the star, and the spices, sauces and other vegetables worked together to showcase the lamb. It was rich and delicious.

Café Efendi represents the authenticity of Turkey not only by its food, but also by the friendly all-Turkish staff, the décor, the atmosphere, the famous hookahs, and the overall Mediterranean style.

So next time you think Greek …. Just go outside the box one inch further, and treat yourself to the subtle differences and fine cuisine of Atlanta’s best Turkish restaurant, Café Efendi.