Cleveland Garlic Festival at Shaker Square

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Hey CLE! So fun to hear from so many of you about our move to the east side of town. We have passed the official one week mark and so far, so good! Thanks to those of you who tweeted, private messaged, shot me a text and even dropped me a note to welcome our family to this side of town. Your kindness and midwestern hospitality are making us feel right at home. Thank you.

This past weekend we spent some time prepping for some upcoming weekend guests, having dinner with friends and some solid pool time. We have our first house guests coming to visit and we couldn’t be more excited to share our new digs with them. Plus get another set of hands involved in unpacking, hanging drapes, cleaning out the garage, taking care of Toddler Ninja and more! Thank goodness for weekends with Nanna & Pappa.

With regards to our house guests we do want to show them a good time and plan to take them to Galluci’s for some authentic Italian pasta & sauce ingredients, perhaps a trattoria in Little Italy a stop at the art museum and this weekends annual Cleveland Garlic Festival in Shaker Square.

The festival runs Saturday from noon to 9pm and again Sunday from noon to 6pm in the center of Shaker Square. The Cleveland Garlic Festival is the Annual Fundraiser for North Union Farmers Market and its charitable programs. Every year, North Union Farmers Market brings fresh and local produce to over 350,000 local shoppers, including the weekly Saturday morning market at the Square.

This years festival features great music (Sim Ross & the Redemption) incredible food (garlic ice cream by Mitchell’s Ice Cream) and other fun festival happenings such as “Miss Garlic 2016!” It’s gonna be a great neighborhood celebration of awesome people, an incredible organization and of course…GARLIC!

Want to win two free tickets to this weekend festival? Tweet me “@iheartclev I’d love to win 2 tickets to this weekends @CleveGarlicFest!” Winner to be drawn Friday afternoon. Good luck. Didn’t win? Not to fret, tickets can be purchased directly off of their site for $9 each. Get yours today!

Looking forward to seeing everybody out and about this weekend. It is still SUMMER so make sure to make some great outside plans and celebrate the last few weeks of our incredible sunshine and great lake. Cheers.

SPONSORED POST : I was invited to attend the Cleveland Garlic Festival and provided tickets to giveaway as part of their social engagements efforts. Thanks for supporting the organization that promotes incredible produce (…GARLIC!)  all while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  Exploring the east side!!!

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Hello “IHEARTCLE” friends! So happy to be back, on my laptop, trying to settle down and plan for the upcoming week. The last few days have been a whirlwind around here and so  I took a bit of a blogging break as something had to give while my family was making the big move from one side of town to the other. I am happy to tell the tale that we have officially crossed the river and are ready to start exploring the east side! (Photo of my car all packed up with some necessities!)

I have had so many of you ask me “WHY?” “Why did you swap sides of town?” Well, Mr C. and I started lookimg for a new home last fall. While we love our west side mid-century it was time for change. With the addition of “toddler ninja,”  visiting Nanna’s & Pappa’s, lots of big (plastic!) toys and various new hobbies and interests we were outgrowing our home bit by bit and we knew it was a matter of time before we would move.

We looked at a handful of homes in our familiar west side suburbs, even put out an offer or two, but in the end nothing stuck. We actually had seen our new home on google last fall. It was one of those that when we saw it online we thought, “wow, that house is so different, wouldn’t it be cool?” But is was on the east side…we hadn’t even considered changing sides of town. Mr C. grew up in Avon Lake and I was a Lakewood-ite through and through, how could we even consider moving east?

It was the dead of winter; I think it was in February and we were having brunch with some of our favorite CLE friends and Mr C. twisted my arm to go to the open house…he promised toddler ninja would nap on the drive back and I was sold. From the moment we took off our shoes and stepped inside the house I was in love. It was just what we had been looking for….open floor plan, a bit vintage although with modern possibilities and more space than we currently had. Only thing was, it was on the east side and how could we make the change to the other side?

We thought long and hard…months in fact. We would literally go sit outside the home’s multiple open houses to watch as other families went inside of “our home.” Every time, we felt more and more compelled to make an offer and see how things went from there. As we mapped our commutes, explored schooling possibilities, taste-tested foodie hot spots (OMG, Ninja City delivers!!!) we came to the decision that since we loved living in Cleveland, we should at least see what the other side of our amazing city has to offer and the rest is history.

So last week we packed up and headed east. We have been unpacking and organizing, and purging and exploring and honestly it has been scary and exciting and confusing (I have no idea how to really get around over here!) but the moment we pulled into the driveway as official east-siders and there was the coolest “welcome to the east side”  package from some friends I knew we had found our new place to call “home.”

I apologize if I have missed your notes, emails or calls. Last week was just about trying my best to focus on our family and all the changes. Toddler ninja was pretty thrown off and confused and let’s not even talk about bedtimes or the daily thunderstorms and lack of power which made the first few nights in our house kinda spooky. Over the next few weeks I have a few, very fun posts planned for you guys. We will finish off the summer strong and relish in these high temps and long summer nights.

Thanks for always being along for the fun. I look forward to exploring this side of town with you. If you have any must-see’s, eat’s or do’s on the east side please let me know. I am always up for new places to explore and post about! Hooray! Cheers for new adventures.

p.s. Congrats to Katie Jo Kisow () as she was the winner of the new Vitamix!!!

p.s.s. We took home a ton of fresh peaches over the weekend from the Shaker Square Farmers Market. It’s the perfect time to revisit my Ohio Peach Mule cocktail recipe that featured Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer. So good!

  A visit to Quarry Hill Orchards

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Good evening. I hope your week has been filled with fun summer happenings and lots of time in the sun…with sunscreen of course. We are mid-move from one side of town to the other (post to come!) and all the while trying to juggle fun summer activities along the way. Having a toddler and moving is a challenging sport…I pack a box, he unpacks a box, I pack a box, he stands on said box of champagne flutes, I unpack the box to ensure there were none broken, and so on and so forth. Oh, the joys of moving.

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But when we aren’t packing and prepping we have really been focused on getting out and exploring with our favorite little guy and last weekend was seriously one of the best adventures ever. Have you ever been to Quarry Hill Orchards in Berlin Heights (up near Cedar Point)? It just might be one of the most romantic farms and family-owned orchards I have ever experienced. From the moment we arrived I felt a lightness, a friendliness in the air and I could have just unpacked and stayed for the week. We were meeting some of our friends for a picnic under the large trees in front of the farm store when all of a sudden the skies opened up and it literally poured onto the peach trees like it had never poured before. The farmers were happy we had brought the rain with us, with all of this extreme summer heat the peaches could really use a good soaking.

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Needless to say our tractor ride was postponed but that was totally fine with us because it meant an incredible tour of how the upcoming fall apple harvest are picked, packed and distributed throughout their various consumer channels (congrats Quarry Hill on your latest apple delivery partnerships with Cuyahoga County schools!) PLUS we got to take our time exploring the company store filled with homegrown sunflowers, artisan elixirs, lots of farm fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, cherries, peaches and more!) and let’s not forget apparel; we took home some adorable tractor t-shirts!

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If you are craving some juicy, locally grown peaches, grab your family and head up to the Quarry Hill Orchards and farm.  If you can’t get there in the next few weeks, don’t worry, apple-picking season will be here before we know it.

Thank you to Brooke and the rest of the Gammie family for hosting our morning on the farm. We very much enjoyed ourselves. Rain or no rain, your farm is a gorgeous Ohio destination. You should be very proud of all the hard work and creativity that you put forth with your growing farm business. Congrats and thank you!

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Quarry Hill Orchards | 8403 Mason Road, Berlin Heights, OH 44814
For more information, to find out what is growing or special farm events visit them at QuarryHillOrchards.com

 

  summer cocktails in my Vitamix + giveaway

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Good afternoon and happy summertime! Today I am so excited to share with you three incredible summer cocktails that I made in my Vitamix AND I also have an incredible Vitamix machine giveaway for one lucky iheartcleveland.com reader. Stay tuned!

I don’t know about you, but I am finally just getting into the summertime mood. Flip flops, lots of sunscreen, evenings’ at the pool and many meet ups with friends on patios. Summer is in full swing. With these super hot temps it’s the perfect time to experiment and try out a few fresh and sweet summertime cocktail recipes and I have I got a few great ones for you! Check out the three Vitamix cocktail recipes below The Gin-Ger-Beer Cocktail, A Watermelon Margarita and a Ohio Peach Bellini, cheers!

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MORE! →

  a CLE summer guide!

It’s always fun to make those summer to-do lists and challenge ourselves to check things off one at a time. Between hanging out at the beach, afternoons at the pool, if you have a friend who has a boat that is a plus and then there are cookouts, late night ice cream adventures and summer fun 5k runs you can always find exciting happenings around Cleveland, especially in the summer!

I tried my best to compile a few of my recent go-to’s for dinner, drinks and summer fun below. Take a look, check them out, let me know what I am missing on this Cleveland summer guide. Enjoy & happy summer everyone!

• TO DINE & DRINK •

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The Plum Kitchen & Bar : This new watering dining (& drinking!) destination is so pretty that from the moment you walk into the space you feel like you have traveled around the globe and discovered a hidden gem…right here in our backyard. The creative cocktails and family style meals will have you wanting to go back time and time again, so grab your friends and check out the plum. Try and get a seat on the pink bench or the patio, both my favorite spots.

Ninja City : I love this east-side, hot spot for asian-fusion carry out and a swanky cocktail while I wait for my order to be ready! I always order a sampling of their steamed buns and a fun mojito-like summer cocktail. If you like a fresh green-papaya salad, chili garlic wings or Bahn Mi Sandwich, give the team at Ninja City a visit.

Pier W : If you are looking for an incredible, fine dining experience and perhaps the best view of Cleveland and Lake Erie grab an adirondack chair on the deck of Pier W. During happy hour you can sit in the sun while enjoying a summer cocktail (Moscow Mule anyone?) and a few fresh oysters.

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Banter Cleveland  : If you love a good french fry, have you tried poutine yet? The perfect combination of fries, gravy and a touch of sweet. I admire the simple chic interiors of this hot spot and even better I love that they have a little store inside where you can bring home a bottle of Rosé or beer for your porch parties. I also enjoy sitting at their bar and indulging in a summer drink after a day at Edgewater Beach…I especially love a good dark ‘n stormy! Banter makes theirs with Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer and I love when I order a drink and it is not all watered down with ginger ale. Crabbie’s comes to the CLE from Edinburgh, Scotland. They steep real ginger for over 6 weeks before blending it with the other 4 secret ingredients in order for us to enjoy the first “hard soda” on the market. Give it a try next time you are at Banter!

Spice Kitchen & Bar : Chef Bebenroth and his team of farm to table experts make visiting Spice a memorable experience. The recently just expanded behind the restaurant to include a wonderful patio and bar area for your summer celebrations. Clusters of outdoor couches, a great hardwood bar and lots of herbs and potted plants has this outdoor space one of my go-to places for meeting up with friends this summer. Plus, their bartenders mix an incredible drink…ask them for something with ginger beer or whiskey in it and they will produce a unique flavor that will have you wanting to return to Spice to see what they will come up with next!

Pub Frato : in the mood for a day trip to the Mentor Headlands or Fairport Harbor? While you are there, go check out this authentic gastrobub for awesome cocktails, great cold beers and don’t miss their truffle fries!!! (They are also participating in Crabbie’s Week so ask for their special RNC Red Cocktail…more at the end of this post)

• THINGS TO DO •

41 Degrees North : In the summertime I love to get outdoors and enjoy our incredible weather and water. No boat? No problems. You can visit the crew at 41 Degrees North (at the Yack Shack) nested in the Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation for all sorts of Kayak and stand up paddle board rental needs. The team will get you outfitted for a morning on the river or the lake depending on your confidence level and I’m telling you, it is one of the best summer experiences around. Truly makes living close to such a Great Lake accessible and is a wonderful activity for a group of friends or family to enjoy summertime outdoors together.

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Kendell Ledges in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park : If you are looking to escape the city and get outdoors for a morning, head south to my ultimate favorite outdoor hiking spot around town, the Kendell Ledges. These massive rock formations were created millions of years ago and span over 2 miles long and about 30 feet high. Covered in a vibrant green moss, these rock walls make you feel like you have stepped onto a set of Jurassic Park, they are just incredible. This shaded park would make for a wonderful weekend destination for a picnic with your pals. If you’ve lived here all your life or just visiting for the weekend, seriously, go explore Kendell Ledges, I promise you are in for a treat.

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The Westside Market : This market has been featured all over the place, but it truly is one of Cleveland’s most cherished community hot spots, food shopping mecca’s and an architectural gem. If you are visiting this summer make sure to stop at Cleveland’s public oldest market home to 100 vendors offering meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, dairy, flowers, ready-to-eat foods, spices and nuts….plus while you are there grab a crepe or a polish sausage sandwich, you won’t leave hungry!

The Cleveland Museum of Art : Celebrating their 100th year, this global art institution is one of my ultimate favorite places to take my family and out of town guests to visit time and time again. The museum is FREE and open to the public and the most recent renovations have guests still stopping to stare…you can’t miss the incredible new atrium. While you are enjoying art, you can also stop for a snack…or a cocktail at their restaurant Provenance. Take a moment and enjoy the Contemporary Art Collection the museum has, I can’t get enough of the big Marilyn Monroe, Warhol piece.

Tremont : This little pocket of Cleveland has incredible shopping and boutiques like Banyan Tree and Evie Lou. Plus it is home to incredible bars and restaurants. If you are visiting Cleveland, make sure to include a few hours to explore this neighborhood and the many churches and interesting architectural masterpieces. I love walking around here on a friday night before we decide on what the weekend has in store for us…especially on the second Friday of the month where they host, Walk About Tremont…check it out!

The Cleveland Flea : This monthly flea martket of over 100 vendors is a must-do during the summer in Cleveland. Filled with many makers and vintage enthusiasts, this show is seriously and incredible vshopping destination in our city. Don’t miss the next “FLEA” Saturday, August 13th. See you there!

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Thank you to Crabbie’s the Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer for sponsoring this post. This week is the official Crabbie’s Week here in Cleveland. While the RNC is in town they have partnered up with a few local watering holes to celebrate good cocktails and politics and are serving up “The “RED DRINK” Cocktail. This drink is simple and sounds super yummy…1 1/4oz vanilla vodka, 3/4 oz lemon juice, shake and pour with ice, Fill the rest with Crabbies Raspberry! If you don’t feel like making your own at home, you can visit Shinto (in Strongsville) to have their bartenders mix one up! Want to pick up a 4-pack of Crabbie’s visit Zagara’s (In Cleveland Heights,) Cap & Corks (in Lakewood) and many of the Giant Eagle Locations around town.

SPONSORED POST : This post has been sponsored by Crabbie’s the Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer. All of my thoughts are my own.