Category Archives: eats around town

  Healthy holiday cookies : Carrot Oat Cookies – sponsored by Heinen’s

Hello friends and happy holiday season to all of us! Wasn’t yesterdays warmer weather simply divine? We finally got all of the leaves up from our front yard it was awesome. We also got most of the house decorated this weekend which is a pretty awesome considering that decorating with a 4-year-old means decorating and then decorating again once he goes to bed…haha! We also hopped around to some of the holiday, maker sales including the awesome show at Lake Effect Studios, the studios at the Art Craft Building and it wouldn’t be a holiday without the annual Hot Toddy Party at the Banyan Tree in Tremont. Let’s just say, I got a great jump on checking off my shopping list!

Yesterday I also did a bunch of my weekly meal prep while the guys were watching the Browns game in the living room. Typically I make ahead, hard boiled eggs, I cut up and roast a bunch of veggies for mid-week salads and I grill chicken breasts also for salads. I always feel so accomplished when these basic prep things are done as I enter a busy week.

This week with the holidays just around the corner I decided to try my hand at a healthy, holiday cookie. One that I might be able to bring with me to friends parties, school gatherings and even grab for a breakfast treat…enter the Carrot Oat Cookies.

This cookie is not that sweet, super moist and tastes almost like you are eating a slice of carrot cake, minus the frosting. It has the standard, gluten-free chewy consistency which I personally really enjoy… fewer crumbs for my car commute to work.

Thanks to Heinen’s for asking me to participate in their holiday cookie bake-off. Cheers to shopping local and supporting Cleveland’s local grocer in your holiday shopping needs! If you were looking to make them even sweeter I might add a cup of the Nestlé mini chocolate morsels…I bet our little guy might like them even better…next batch! I hope you enjoy the recipe below, happy holiday baking!

Ingredients
– 1 1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
– 1/2 cup brown rice flour
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp nutmeg
– a pinch of sea salt
– 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (you could substitute melted unsalted butter if you don’t like to cook with coconut oil)
– 2 eggs
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/2 cup organic maple syrup
– 1 cup freshly grated carrots

Directions
Preheat oven to 350º and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a hand mixer or KitchenAid, use the paddle attachment and mix together the coconut oil, vanilla, egg, and maple syrup. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, brown rice flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. Fold in the carrots. Place your bowl of batter in the fridge for 20 minutes or more. This will help your cookies from melting too fast and becoming too flat. Scoop dough onto baking sheet. Bake for 15minutes or until they are golden brown. Allow to cool on a cooling rack. Enjoy!

SPONSORED POST: Thank you to Heinen’s for inviting me to explore healthy holiday baking. Thanks for supporting Heinen’s, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  Sweet & Smokey Pizza from Marc’s & Kretschmar (sponsored)

It’s that time of year, time for special nights out with friends, for holiday work gatherings, for school functions and for quick but healthy on the go meals. Enter Kretschmar Deli Meats & Cheeses from Northeast Ohio, locally-owned, Marc’s!
The other day I stopped into Marcs at lunch and what do they say about grocery shopping when you are hungry? Never do it! Ha! Well, I was pleasantly surprised by the great selection of produce, the organic options and the fresh deli counter filled with all sorts of freshly sliced cheeses and meat selections. Needless to say, I ended up with a cart filled with many yummy things for lunch…and beyond.

While I was at Marc’s I bought a half pound of sliced Kretschmar Smoked Gouda, Kretschmar Hard Salami, and Kretschmar Off-The-Bone Rotisserie Style Chicken Breast. Our little guy has just discovered sandwiches and it’s funny because myself and Mr. C. don’t typically eat sandwiches. We think he is being exposed to them at school and it’s so cute when he comes home and asks for bread and sandwiches…hence the stopping at the deli counter!

With that said, last week I wanted to make a quick and easy, made-at-home dinner and I remembered my deli finds that I had in the fridge. I was immediately inspired to use some of them for dinner to make a “Sweet & Smokey Chicken Pizza!”  Want the recipe? I have it listed below.

Sweet & Smokey Chicken Pizza

Ingredients

8 oz. Kretschmar Off The Bone Rotisserie Style Chicken

1/2 c. barbeque sauce
2 tbsp. honey
1/2 bunch freshly chopped cilantro
1 pre-made pizza crust
1 c. shredded Kretschmar Smoked Gouda Cheese
1 c. thinly sliced red onion
1/3 c. crumbled blue cheese
Instructions

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

In a saucepan over low to medium heat, I combined the chicken and honey until it warms to a slow bubble. Don’t let the honey burn but instead watch it infuse the chicken with a touch of sweetness. I spread the barbecue sauce evenly over the crust, then topped with the sweet chicken and the gouda cheese. I finished the pizza by topping it with the red onions, cilantro, and the blue cheese before it went into the oven.

I baked it for around 15 minutes when it turned brown and the crust looks crunchy. It was super delicious and quick for an easy, go-to weeknight dinner. Give it a try!

The crew over at Marc’s has kindly given me a few Marc’s gift cards to giveaway so that you too can grab a few pounds of the Kretschmar Deli Meats and Cheeses and give them a try. To enter to win, head over to my Instagram post, Tuesday morning to find out how to enter.

Have a great week everyone. Cheers to quick family dinners and a busy pre-holiday week!

SPONSORED POST: Thank you to Marc’s and Kretschmar for inviting me to to simplify my holiday meals this season so that I have more time to enjoy with my family. To learn more, please visit http://www.kretschmardeli.com. Thanks for supporting Marc’s and Kretschmar, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  An evening at Michaelangelo’s

Last night I had the privilege of attending the Michaelangelo’s Burgundy Truffle Wine Dinner…and honestly, I still can’t stop talking about it.Have you ever been to Michaelangelo’s? It is perfectly tucked away off Murray Hill Road in Little Italy. The restaurant itself is in a charming brick building reminiscent of an Italian cottage from the old country. The interiors are warm and welcoming and the bar is the perfect place to cork a good bottle of wine and settle in for an evening of great food with a friend.

The evening was a special celebration of truffles paired with Italian wines. It was a decadent, 5-course meal with each course including some element of a truffle. They started off with a handful of exquisite, served appetizers, then we had a light soup, some rich gnocchi, duck, a lamb chop and then we finished the dinner with a rich sweet cream strawberry dessert. Every bite more delicious than the last.

It truly was such a memorable evening, one I won’t soon forget. I loved it so much that I want to take my family there around the holidays when they come to visit. My Dad will love the traditional Italian hospitality, my mom will love their menu that includes many fish and southern Italian dishes and my sisters and I will indulge in the interesting wines and sweets…fun for the whole family!

Thank you to Jon for hosting such an incredible event. Thanks to Michael for creating such a yummy feast. Thanks to Alex, Shibani, and Bob for being the best dinner company around. I can’t wait to visit again…see you in December!

(thanks for the fun photos of me Shibani!)

SPONSORED POST: Thank you to Michaelangelo’s for inviting me to attend their truffle dinner as part of their social outreach. Thanks for supporting this restaurant, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland! If you’ve never been you should for SURE make a reservation to go for your next dinner out.

 

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  Still feels like summer!

Hi friends! Hope everyone had a great weekend…minus our Browns loss…Grrr. It was so gorgeous outside today, felt like summer for sure. We spent most of the day packing up patio furniture and putting away pool toys to prep for fall…but the hot temps and bright sunshine had me craving a few more days of summer. Enter…Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville.

Have you ever been down to the new “Margaritaville” in the Flats East Bank? It literally is summer there 365 days a year. We went down the other day for margaritas and fish tacos…so good. Our little guy loved all the fun nautical decor…did you know you can literally eat on a boat inside the restaurant? Mr. C. enjoyed all the big screens and noted that this place would be a great destination for meeting up and watching the Browns next win; we are so optomistic.

The fun team down at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville would like to welcome Cleveland Browns fans for Sunday FUNday to the restaurant. They have brought back their famous WINGS especially for big game days. More in the mood for a burger? I hear their “Cheeseburger in Paradise” is really good as well. Their patio has plenty of space and so many tv’s, make a great place to enjoy these last few summer-like Sundays. Next time you are looking for a place to gather your team you should for sure check them out. I gotta say…my fish tacos were delicious, made me feel a bit like I was on vacation.

(water looking floors had this toddler entertained for a few solid minutes!)

Head over to my Instagram account (@charity216) where I will be doing a $50 gift card giveaway to this beachy-keen restaurant this week; details on the page.

Cheers to the end of summer but the beginning of a gorgeous fall…complete with fish tacos and margaritas! Best of luck to all!

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. for including this blog as part of their social outreach. Thanks for supporting this business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

 

  Goodbye Summer…Hello Fall Cocktail!

With only a handful of summer days left, I’ve started to feel the onset of fall in Northeast Ohio…and I love it!

From planning our pumpkin patch visit and apple picking adventure to new boots and sweaters, this is MY SEASON. Personally, I also LOVE all fall food and flavors and don’t even get e started on pumpkin space everything…the best.

It’s also the time of year when my summer drink of choice does a bit of an overhaul. It typically goes something like this…Rosé’ to Red and vodka soda to bourbon ginger…overall richer, deeper, warmer. Then I discovered this drink, a Rosemary Maple Peach Bourbon Cocktail or what I like to call “Goodbye Summer…Hello Fall!”


I had a few friends over for an officially cocktail tasting and I think it was a smash hit! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Here is the recipe…give it a shot this Saturday when fall is officially here! Enjoy…CHEERS.

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall Cocktail
(Makes 1 cocktail)

• 1/4 of an over-ripe peach, plus a few slices for garnish
• 1 1/2 tablespoons rosemary maple simple syrup (below)
• 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/4 cup Bourbon (I HEART Watershed!)
• tiny pinch smoked sea salt
• ice
• rosemary sprig for garnish

Muddle together the chopped peach, rosemary maple simple syrup, lemon juice, bourbon and salt in a measuring cup or glass. Strain the mixture into a tumbler filled with ice, pressing on the fruit pulp to get out all the good stuff. Garnish with the peach slices and rosemary sprig.

Rosemary Maple Simple Syrup
Makes about 1 cup, enough for 10 drinks

• 3/4 cup lightly packed rosemary leaves (from about 10 sprigs), roughly chopped
• 1/2 cup (5 3/4 ounces by weight) maple syrup
• 1/2 cup water

Combine the rosemary, maple syrup, and water together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then cover and steep for at least 15 – 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on the rosemary to extract all the liquid. Discard the rosemary. Chill the syrup until cold, 1 hour (or mix your drinks right away if you just can’t wait). The syrup will keep, refrigerated, for at least several weeks.