Category Archives: eats around town

  An overnight at Vineyard Woods + Wine tasting in Geneva!

Wine_05Hello friends, happy almost Monday. Hope everyone has had a fantastic weekend in the CLE! I can’t even believe it is August already, our end-of-summer countdown is officially on. Have you been Wade Oval Wednesday? Have you had a picnic at Edgewater Park? Have you rode coasters at Cedar Point, cheered in the Indians or hosted a backyard barbecue? So many summer days left, make sure you wake up each day and make the most out of our Ohio summer days…they truly are the best.

Perhaps I am late to this tid bit of info…but have you been out to our Northeast Ohio wine country in Geneva over the last few years? It is AH. MAZE. ING!!! I had visited probably over ten years ago but since then it has totally grown up and become quite a destination, so today I’m going to tell you all about a recent trip….here we go.

One of the most fun parts of writing this blog is the incredible people, creative dreamers, entrepreneurs and civic minded individuals I have the opportunity of meeting and getting to know. A few months ago, in the dead of our Ohio winter I received an email from Scott about his project that he was working on called Vineyard Woods. You see Scott, a former finance executive had left his corporate life behind to follow his and his families passion of development, hospitality and their love of wine. Scott had grown up in the Geneva area and had the vision to build a new type of luxury lodging in our Northeast Ohio wine country making it a destination somewhat like a Hocking Hills. Flash forward a few months and Scott’s new lodge and cottage resort; Vineyard Woods is the first lodging destination like this in the region.

Wine_2I had the opportunity to stay overnight in the two bedroom suite and it was a real treat. Our place was so bright, fresh and new, I can’t say enough great things about the accommodations. From the drive in where we were welcomed by Scott’s parents (while they were watering the new resort landscaping) to the incredible lodging details (in-room fireplaces, locally crafted artisinal chocolate with sea salt and locally roasted coffee) Vineyard Woods is totally a dreamy destination for overnight lodging in the Geneva wine country area.

IMG_4203

So dreamy that our host Scott put together an hour-by-hour winery itinerary for us to explore the local vineyards while we were visiting. We started our afternoon visit with wine, cheese and charcuterie at the new(ish) Laurentia Winery.  This gorgeous wine-making destination is a perfect place to spend the afternoon catching up with a good friend over a great bottle of Chardonnay…Go check it out.

wine_1

From there we headed over to M Cellars to explore their tasting bar. We tried a handful of different varietals but ended up purchasing glasses of chardonay, rosé and malbec…all so good and yummy.

Wine_07As we were leaving we realized there was an adorable distillery across the road in an old barn and so we had to check it out; Red Eagle Distillery. The barn was incredible, built in the 1800’s this distillery has been restored to a historical bourbon and rye distilling destination. A taste of their smokey, full-bodied bourbon was a nice change of pace from all the vino we had tried…kinda like dessert. We each purchased a bottle of the spirits for our men back home and then off we went to explore the last winery of the day.

Wine_04Our final wine stop was at the South River Winery. Once an old church this building has also been restored to a work of winery art, complete with an incredible patio overlooking their acres of vineyards. We saw many families enjoying wine and homemade picnics, kids running through he grounds and lots of friends enjoying the view for the afternoon, this space was truly gorgeous.

After the winery and vineyard tours, we detoured up to Lake Erie in Geneva by the Lake for dinner near the beach at The Lakehouse Inn. Sunset was exceptionally stunning, my Lake Erie Perch sandwich hit the spot and of course one more bottle of chardonnay to wrap up our winery adventure day.

Wine_06After all the fun, we headed back to Vineyard Woods for an incredible nights sleep. Our suite had two large queen beds so we each had our own room complete with the best sheets and pillows. I’m not sure if it was all the wine or if it was seriously one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in. While we didn’t spend much time outdoors, our lodge also had a great outdoor fire pit that anyone in the lodge could use, complete with a stacks of firewood. Next time we visit I am totally going to bring smores supplies for a late night treat.

Thank your Scott and his family for hosting us for the evening. I think your new accommodations are so unique and well done that everyone should book a night or two to come and stay with you and explore wine country…Ohio style. I was also thinking about the resort and how the place would make a wonderful family overnight getaway, an incredible girls weekend away or small-business work-retreat destination, I can’t wait to come back.

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Vineyard Woods who invited me spend the night at their resort as part of their social outreach. I received an overnight stay at the resort in exchange for my opinions in this post. Thanks for supporting this local business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  Free SODA for LIFE!

IMG_1244

Hey CLE friends! I don’t know about you, but every now and then I still crave a diet Coke circa 1998. I know, I know soda is so bad for us…but every now and then I totally crave the sweet, bubbly drink; and I know this sounds crazy…but I often want it after a really hard workout. Weird.

For those of you out there who also have this “soda once in awhile craving”…I encourage you to enter the Circle K “Free Polar Pop for Life” Sweepstakes. Circle K is giving one CLE soda drinker the chance to fill their Polar Pop Cup free for life by joining the sweepstakes.

To enter, share a photo of your Polar Pop Cup with the hashtags #polarpopcup4life #sweepstakes (you must include both hashtags to enter). Facebook entry: for valid entry, you must go to Circle K’s Facebook page, locate the sweepstakes post, then post your photo as a comment, and include both hashtags. A new winner will be selected every day to win a year’s supply. The Grand Prize winner will receive a lifetime supply.

Not to worry if you don’t win, I have a $50 Circle K gift card to give away to one lucky winner! So start posting those fun family and friend pictures of you and your soda and then remember to tag #polarpopcup4life. Winner to be selected by June 7th! Gift card to be shipped directly to the winner from Circle K. I can’t wait to see your pics of you and your soda cravings.

So happy soda drinking long, Memorial Day, holiday weekend to all of us! Cheers!

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Circle K who invited me to share their contest as part of their social outreach. I received a $50 gift card to give away to one lucky diet Coke enthusiast. Thanks for supporting this business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  Feeling like summer with Chill Pops!

IMG_8262Hey Cleveland, how has your week been? I’ve had a busy one but super productive and filled with lots of fun possibilities for the Cleveland-summer horizon. Between new design projects at studio Chartreuse and a handful of spring home projects it’s been an exciting few weeks around here. Spring is for sure in the air, the trees are blooming, the skies are blue…if you have allergies you are probably feeling them by now and if you are a popsicle lover you are probably jonesing to fill your freezer with all sorts of summer flavors…enter local foodie makers, Chill Pops!

IMG_8298If you haven’t tried these real fruit popsicles you should run to any one of their retailers for the most perfect, sweet, spring treat. “Toddler Ninja” loved the Watermelon Lime flavor while I was more partial to the Lemon Ricotta…a bit sweet & sour! Lately we keep a few varieties in our freezer so when we are craving something sweet and sorta “bad” we always have “Chill” on hand…and to be honest, they aren’t that “bad!”

IMG_8354Each popsicle is “Made with Meaning” so make sure to share them with the people you care about and love. Not only will you enjoy the taste of each frozen treat but you will feel really good about supporting these local entrepreneurs who are making our city more sweet, more fun and for sure…more Chill!

IMG_8349IMG_8342

“So yummy! Mom can we eat these for dinner?”

IMG_8327IMG_8368

FUN POST, NOT SPONSORED : We love Chill Pops! We bought these three boxes at Whole Foods for a special weekend treat. Thanks for supporting this local business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  new Bakersfield Taco’s in the CLE

IMG_0102

Hey friends! Happy belated Easter to you and yours. I don’t know about you, but I would say Easter Sunday was probably the nicest day, weather-wise that we have had thus far in 2017. Cheers to many more warm, summery days ahead.

To kick off the holiday weekend Mr. C and I went to the new Bakersfield Taco’s on West 25th (close to Lorain and across from the Rent A Center/Key Bank ATM plaza.) This new hot spot is such a welcome addition to “brewery row,” if you like a stiff margarita and fresh guacamole you’ve gotta go check this one out.

IMG_0110

IMG_0111

We each had a cocktail, ordered a basket of the most perfectly salted chips with homemade guac as well as a few tacos for sharing. The service, atmosphere, drinks and food was hands-down summertime fare perfection.

IMG_0104

The interiors are bright, lots of windows to flood the space with light, oodles of artwork, many different textures and industrial touches. It is chic but not fussy, friendly but with an edge. There are many seating options including group seating indoors, picnic tables outdoors and a cozy private dining room for roughly 8-10 people…perfect for the new “cocktail club” night out!

IMG_0106IMG_0108

You will for sure find us Bakersfield Tacos this summer as we love dining al fresco and this place has a serious patio, complete with pretty, strung up lights. I’m fairly certain I must “sample” each and every one of their margaritas especially knowing they make their own sour mix in-house; so yummy.

IMG_0113

(I very much enjoyed the crispy fish taco and a Bakersfield Margarita with salt, while Mr. C had the San Luis and a pulled pork taco, both equally yummy.)

IMG_0116

This post wouldn’t be complete without my new favorite WestSide Market pic I took as we were headed to Bakersfield Tacos…as you can see, it was a perfect CLE day to sit outdoors, sip margaritas, eat baskets of chips and enjoy the holiday weekend with your sweetie at a new spot in town…it almost felt like we were on vacation!  Go check it out!

IMG_0121

  Tomato Soup & my new Ascent Vitamix

IMG_8476

So I guess we are back to cold weather at least for a few more weeks! I actually don’t mind, except for the fact that I have a handful of daffodils and tulips starting to bloom and I am concerned they may not pull though the snow. I love wearing cozy sweaters, tights and furry coats so a few more weeks of winter is a-okay with me.

Plus…cold weather means lots of yummy, healthy, homemade soups…and what could be more fun to make in my new Ascent Vitamix machine than a fresh tomato soup?

IMG_8468

I love how simple and how deliciously healthy this recipe is.

Ingredients :
• 2 – 16 ounce cans of tomatoes
• 1 – onion
• 6 – cloves of garlic
• 1 – tbsp good olive oil
• 1/2 – tbsp sea salt
• kale sprouts & fresh parmesan for garnish

IMG_8487This new machine is seriously over-the-top incredible. From the pre-programmed settings, to the new crystal clear container to the entire sleek design of the overall machine, I am loving it so much. With this new machine you can also add a family of various sized containers to make blending things like custom spice mixes or on-the-go smoothies more convenient and portable. Trust me, if you can get your hands on on of these new machines, you are going to really enjoy it.

IMG_8494For this recipe I sautéed the onion and garlic in the olive oil. For some Vitamix recipes you can cook everything directly in your machine but for this recipe but I like how rich the cooked onions and garlic make the tomatoes super rich and decadent.  From here I opened the tomatoes, tossed them in my machine with the salt and added the translucent onions and garlic. Press the soup button on the machine and then wait the to see the Vitamix magic unfold.

IMG_8516IMG_8510I love how this new model even ramps itself up and down depending on the recipe, it is seriously too smart for itself. You just assemble the ingredients, press the button and then clean off the counter as your Vitamix does the work. It will shut itself off and you will have that delicious end product ready to share with your family and friends…voila!

IMG_8529

IMG_8532I added a dash of parmesan cheese and a handful of kale sprouts then it was ready to serve. Healthy, creamy, simple-to-make, hot soup! The perfect meal on these cold (spring) winter days. I hope you enjoyed my recipe and I hope next time you have the opportunity to ask someone for a fancy kitchen gadget you choose the new Vitamix Ascent Series…I promise you won’t be disappointed!

IMG_8536

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to the team at Vitamix who invited me to try their new machine as part of the companies social outreach. Thanks for supporting this successful Cleveland business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!