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Murphy's Meatless Monday Dinner

I was recently invited by the Atlanta Food Bloggers' Society to experience Chef Ian Winslade's meatless creations and wine pairings from Murphy's Restaurant wine experts. At the heart of Virginia Highlands neighborhood, Murphy's has been a regular on my brunch rotation so I was excited to try dinner for a change.

Meatless Monday has been something I've incorporated for a few years now as part of a healthy lifestyle. In general it's better for our bodies and the environment to go meat-free at least one day a week, and if more people made this change I believe it could have a profound impact on our lives.

Read on to get the details on this deliciousness. Now, on to the wining and dining!

The Wine Shop

Before being seated we stepped into Murphy's Wine Shop, a quaint corner of the restaurant stocked with wines from around the world.

Michael Kunz, our Wine Consultant for the evening, greeted us and poured a few glasses of Ca' Furlan Prosecco, a lightly fruity chilled bubbly that paired nicely with the hot summer evening.

Once seated we shared a bottle of Villa M Bianco Moscato, which was sweeter than the Prosecco. Please take a moment to notice that there's actually a Nutrition Facts label on the back of this bottle...with calories. That's a new one for me! (I usually have to look it up online.)

Have you ever seen a nutrition label on alcohol bottles?

Meatless Monday Meal

I believe Murphy's changes the menu often for the featured dishes on Mondays, which means more frequent trips to try out new things. We started off with a Cucumber Mint Gazpacho with Goat Cheese Foam, which paired nicely with the sweeter wine. It was so refreshing, light and flavorful that I wished my bowl was bottomless.

For the main course we enjoyed a Hand-rolled Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Tomato Fondue, Mushrooms and Peas topped with a Tempura-fried Squash Blossom and finished with Arugula Oil. The flavors went perfectly together, and if I could cook like this becoming a vegetarian full time would be a cinch!

The squash blossom came from a local garden, and was a first time food for me (loved it). For those unfamiliar with this food, it's the actual flowers that grow and bloom on squash plants. I even saw them for sale recently at the Freedom Farmers Market too! The chef stuffed the blossoms with finely chopped spring vegetables (a nice surprise when opened up) and fried them up crispy.

Sweet Tooth

We all wanted a little sweetness to top the evening off, and ended up sampling a pretty dessert pairing. I mean, who's counting calories when dessert looks this good?

Strawberry Pistachio Shortcake
pistachio sponge cake, fresh strawberries, whipped cream, toasted pistachios

Carrot Cake
walnut carrot cake, cream cheese icing, vanilla pineapple compote

And I saved my favorite for last...

Meyer Lemon Crème Brûlée
lemon custard, caramelized sugar, candied meyer lemon peel, coconut tuile

Murphy's Restaurant
997 Virginia Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

Thank you for a wonderful evening, Murphy's and AFBS!


Benefits of Face Brushing

You've heard me talk about Body Brushing and all the wonderful health and beauty benefits that come along with it, but what about Face Brushing? You can brush your face and neck and get the same type of benefits as body brushing delivers!

Facial brushing removes dead skin and stimulates circulation, which firms and improves skin tone. Your skin will become softer and smoother! It's like a mini facial massage every time you brush, a fabulous way to spoil yourself during your daily facial cleaning routine.

In order to do the face brushing sequence you need a small natural-fiber bristle brush. The important thing to look for when selecting the appropriate face brush are natural plant fiber bristles. Do not use the type with plastic bristles because it will not have the same effect. I'm excited to announce that T-Tapp now sells face brushes!

In addition to the Body Brushing Sequence, Teresa Tapp created a special Face Brushing Sequence that has been proven to be effective. …

Benefits of Body Brushing

Body brushing is incredible for the skin and healing of the body. Europeans have been body brushing for centuries...maybe that's why they look so fantastic! This blog post will go into some education about

What is Body Brushing?
Body Brushing is also known as skin brushing and dry brushing. It's done using a natural bristle brush, like the T-Tapp Body Brush pictured above ($11.00,

Teresa Tapp, creator of the T-Tapp Workout and author of Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes, has developed a specific body brushing pattern that's proven to be effective for all ages and a variety of health and beauty concerns. Teresa's pattern involves brushing the entire body from the feet all the way up to the neckline. Once finished go back and brush the areas that need a little extra attention, such as the butt, thighs and abdomen. 

It's best to body brush first thing in the morning, when the increased blood flow will help wake you up and the body is in a natural detox stag…

Amazing Eats at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen

Last night I had the most fabulous meal with my sista at Pappadeaux in Atlanta. She's been keeping this place a secret from me! We get there around 8pm and find out that she knows the hostess from way back. (Our buzzer literally went off after about 5 minutes when there was over a 40 minute wait for a table. VIP!)

The first thing that we ordered was the most delicious dip I have EVER put in my mouth, hands down! Lump Crab & Spinach Dip with crispy garlic cheese bread...OMG. I could eat that by itself and call it a night.

I saw a woman with this drink and had to order one for myself. It's called a Swamp Thing made from a mix of raspberry and melon liqueurs blended with frozen Hurricane & Margarita. Fantastic! Brain freeze though.

I hate to admit that even though I'm a Florida girl, I've never had oysters before. She was shocked and insisted that we order some. Her favorites were the Oysters Baton Rouge - oysters on the half shell baked with a Parmesan Romano che…