Category Archives: eats around town

  Baked with Love! (sponsored)

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Happy almost the weekend everyone! Are you prepping for all the Valentines Day love and fun the next few days? I’m prepping to host a “Galentines Brunch” this weekend and trying out a bunch of new recipes. Thought I would share one of my favorite creations today…A Chocolate Zucchini Heart Cakes.
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I discovered this recipe on a Clotilde Dusoulier’s French cooking and lifestyle blog way back somewhere in 2004. I’ve made it in various shapes, from the standard bread loaf to fancy little tarts, for everyday indulgences to entertaining friends, this recipe is one you will want to come back to time and time again….plus it is perfect to make when you have too many zucchini and don’t know what to do with it all!
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup : unsalted butter (at room temp or 1/2 cup olive oil for a savory taste, plus butter for the pan)
  • 2 cups : all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup : unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp : baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp : baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup : packed, light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp: pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp: instant coffee granules
  • 3 : large eggs
  • 2 cups : unpeeled grated zucchini, from about 1 1/2 medium zucchini
  • 6 oz/half a bag : good-quality bittersweet chocolate chips
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Directions!
• Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 10-inch round springform pan or a 8 1/2-inch square pan or in this case I used a mini heart shaped silicone pans. (You can find a fun selection of heart bakeware on the Wayfair site…I had to pick up a few pieces myself!)

• In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer (or by hand in a large mixing bowl), beat the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the vanilla, coffee, and eggs, mixing well between each addition.

• In a large mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, chocolate chips, and about a third of the flour mixture, making sure the zucchini strands are well coated and not clumping too much.

• Add the rest of the flour mixture into the egg batter. Mix until just combined; the batter will be thick.

• Fold the zucchini mixture into the batter, and blend with a spatula without overmixing. Pour into the prepared cake pan, and level the surface.

• Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer onto a rack to cool for 10 minutes, run a knife around the pan to loosen. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar or a chocolate glaze if desired.

I really enjoyed making these little cakes. Ninja Toddler & I wrapped each one up in cellophane, tied a bit of bakers twine on them and brought them to school as an early Hearts Day gift for teachers and friends. It is a great recipe, promise!

SPONSORED POST : I was invited to share a Valentines Day baking recipe in exchange for some baking swag as part of Wayfairs social outreach. Thanks for supporting this online resource while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  Ushabu, the new Shabu Shabu hot (s)pot

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Hey CLE! Hope you are having a great week. Today, just a quick review here on “Iheart” of one of Tremont’s newest dining destinations, Ushabu; a Japanese fondue restaurant.

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The interior is chic, almost intoxicating with simplicity. The dim lighting welcomes you as you find your way to your own table. From the moment we were seated I felt transported somewhere important…somewhere exciting and new.

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Traditional shabu-shabu is a Japanese hotpot dish of thinly sliced meat and vegetables. Dinner was really fresh and healthy, perfect for all those new years wellness goals. The concept of the new restaurant is that everything you order is raw and you cook it in one of their three broth selections. We ordered a little bit of everything to check it out and I gotta say it was all incredible.

IMG_1214You choose your protein and broth (Ginger Chicken, Spicy Miso or Kombu) and then they bring you a big bowl of vegetables to swirl, slowly cooking in the hot broth. Word to the wise..be careful, you don’t want to burn your tongue. :)

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Ushabu is a wonderful dining experience, you should for sure go check it out next time you are looking for a place to go to dinner. Make sure you call for a reservation, the tables fill up fast! Ushabu.com

  Citizen Pie : my new fave!

cp_7Hello CLE friends! Have you been over to Citizen Pie yet? It seriously is incredible! We visited a few weeks ago and it’s all I can do not to want to drive out to Waterloo nightly for another brie and mushroom pizza.

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Have you been yet? Do you have a favorite? My guys loved the Little Italy which is a traditional Mozzerella, Sausage and cheese pie, for me, I am more of a mushroom lover…and it did not disappoint.

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We sat at the bar and enjoyed watching the pizza artists whip up one after another and toss them into their special pizza oven for all to see. The oven was so hot that pizzas went in and out like a well choreographed dance, quick but with grace and beauty…each pizza exiting the oven with a warm, happy glow…ready to be enjoyed.

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So….with all that said, if you are looking for an incredible new pizza destination take a drive out east and visit the team at Citizen Pie. You won’t be disappointed!

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Happy holiday week friends, happy pizza…happy mushrooms to all!

  Jukebox & pierogies

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Hey CLE and happy Friday to you all! Hope everyone is ready for tonights Game 3 of our exciting WORLD SERIES!!! Can you even believe it? OMG, our city is bursting with enthusiasm and camaraderie, it’s incredible. GO TRIBE!!!

If you are looking for the perfect place to grab a cold one and some super decadent pierogies during the game, head on over to JukeBox located in Hingetown on West 29th St.

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Juke box is seriously such a great place to meet your friends after work or as a late night hot spot. It is a place where the bartenders get to know you and greet you with a warm welcome…and maybe your favorite drink too! In the summertime they have an incredible patio out back where the often project baseball (& basketball!!!) games outside on their brick wall.

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I love that they offer a simple menu of pierogies, a few sandwiches and some other comfort food options. My favorite? Potatoes, cheese, bacon and chive pierogies with a side of grainy mustard, pair that with a pumpkin beer…and it’s an incredible fall treat.

Have an incredible weekend. Enjoy the baseball games and Halloween parties. be safe Cleveland…happy pierogies at Jukebox to you all. :)

  CLE Urban Winery

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Hey friends! Hope you had a great weekend and that your Monday went off without a hitch! Are you enjoying fall? I think the weather has been super incredible as of late…chilly in the mornings and evenings, warm and cozy during the day…the perfect weather for layering on sweaters and scarves as we enter fall.

The other evening I had the pleasure of visiting the rather new CLE Urban Winery nestled in Cleveland Heights. Just like your wineries out of town, this vino-destination offers an assortment of blends from sweet to dry to something for every pallette. The staff was super helpful in explaining the various wines and the snacking options; they offer the usual cheese & crackers but you are also welcome to bring your own snacks in.

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I enjoyed learning about how the wines are made, all while “taste testing” a few of their reds..really enjoyed the Pinot Noir.  I also loved the fact that you can host events at the winery free of charge as long as you partake in drinking their wines. While we were visiting the Cleveland Big Brother, Big Sisters was hosting a happy hour…seems to be a great place to meet with plenty of room for attendees to spread out and mingle. Holiday parties anyone? Call today to book your place at the wine bar!

Anyhow, I just wanted to fill you in on this new, east side hot-spot. Next time you are on Lee give it a try! For more details, check out their site here. Cheers everyone, have a great wine-filled week.