Category Archives: eats around town

  Happy Valentines Day (Brunch)!

IMG_5230Happy Valentine’s Day all my fellow CLE lovers! I hope you are embracing this day filled with love, chocolate and flowers. Congrats to Laura Hood on winning the Valentine’s Day prize package and thanks again to all of the incredible businesses who participated in the prize including Blair Ritchey, Revive Spa, Bombay Taxi Boutique, Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes & Lovely Paperie & Gifts!

Over the past weekend I had a few friends over for a little “Galentine’s Day” get together and brunch. There is nothing I love more that lots of pink decorations, balloons, roses, chocolate, bubbles and lots of great conversation with some gal pals.

IMG_5212

When my guests arrived we had a bit of bubbly, a few carafes of coffee, some chocolate dipped strawberries and fresh croissants from On the Rise Bakery. 

IMG_1914IMG_1903IMG_1905bFor lunch I made a homemade tomato soup, a bubblegum-pink-hued raspberry vinaigrette tossed spinach salad and an open-faced, fried egg, avocado, tomato and cheese tartine topped with a toasted bread heart crouton. It was the perfect balance of healthy and decadent as a mid-day treat.

IMG_5214For dessert there was a plethora of sweets to choose from…and more bubbly of course. It really was a great way to spend a Saturday and catch up with some of my friends. If you are ever thinking of wanting to entertain, I gotta say brunch is a great excuse to get some friends together for a casual get together…give it a shot.

IMG_5209

Happy Valentines Day friends. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to swing by this online brunching place, I heart you! (Merci Shibani for some of the pretty photos!)

  CLE “HEARTS” Watershed!

Watershed_Drinks

Planning for your weekend parties? Perhaps a small gathering with friends that you love? Looking for a couple of creative Valentine’s Day cocktail recipes? Do I have a few yummy creations for you!

Watershed_Drinks2

While doing a bit of brainstorming for the February holiday I was also bantering with a friend of mine that works at Watershed Distillery. We were sorta just going back and forth on the day happenings when all of a sudden we had planned a photoshoot of fancy cocktails for you guys. It’s one of my favorite things about Cleveland, the ability to collaborate and enjoy each other’s talents and treasures…and so these recipes were born!

Watershed_Drinks3

If you are not familiar with Watershed Distillery these guys are based out of Columbus but you can find their products all around Northeast Ohio…thankfully so! Watershed Distillery was built to make exceptional spirits. Firmly rooted in the belief that success doesn’t happen overnight and certainly not by chance, Watershed seeks to create and celebrate change within the community and beyond. I have had the opportunity to get to know this company over a few years and you can count on everything they make being both delicious and the best quality spirits found around.

Watershed_Drinks4

Please enjoy these incredible cocktail recipes responsibly, with friends and loved ones! Go find your pretty glassware, throw in a few cherries, berries or candies and make these drinks extra special…Cheers!

Watershed_Drinks5

Thanks to Watershed Distillery for agreeing to collaborate and give these drinks a shot. I look forward to sipping on a few of these real soon!

  Baked with Love! (sponsored)

IMG_1612

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.
HomemakerBanner_BWL-04
IMG_1580

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!
IMG_1587
IMG_1598

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
  • IMG_1600

    IMG_1611

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

IMG_1204

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.

IMG_1206

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.

IMG_1213

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. :)

IMG_1212IMG_1209

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.

cp_1

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.

cp_2

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.

cp_3

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!

cp4

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