Category Archives: everything CLE

  about last year…looking ahead!

Hi blog world & happy 2019! I hope you all had a great holiday season and are ready to head into this new year happy and healthy.

I was reviewing my 2018 goals the other day and to be honest…I only got to a handful of what I had hoped to accomplish completed last year. It’s not that we weren’t productive; we were. Our year was just thrown a few curve balls which were all-encompassing and downright crippling at times.

2018 was a different year at that. We remodeled my husbands old home (which was a rental for some time) and then sold it by owner; which was lots of hard work and included me getting a bad case of poison ivy. We also lost a family member to a long battle with cancer, the closest experience I have ever been to see a human life leave this earth. Sad.

With that said, two great things that DID come out of last year were that Mr. C and I found the Whole 30 way of eating and invested in a Peloton Bike. We kicked off Whole 30 strict last March and continue to carry 90% of the guide to eating even today. We found that the food prep added family fun in the kitchen. The clean way of eating also helped regulate sleep and provide additional energy that was often lacking. Having our Peloton in our home makes grabbing a spin class or working with weights simple and huge time savings. Don’t feel like rushing to get to a yoga class on time? No problem Peloton also offers so many wonderful new yoga opportunities. Health & wellness took a front seat in our home last year, so that is pretty cool.

So while my hopes for a new blog homepage, pushing my followers closer to 5K, adding a flower garden to my yard and learning how to weave a wall hanging didn’t quite happen…here’s to a new year filled with new possibilities. If last year taught me nothing else, it taught me how to slow down and define what is really important in life. Family, your health and good friends…everything else is just a bonus!

Happy 2019 you guys. I can’t wait to tackle new goals and check off a list of “to-do’s” together this year. Life is filled with possibilities, make sure you grab on and enjoy the ride. Cheers!

(Thank you Suzanne Price of  http://suzuranphotography.com for capturing me and my family one spring evening down by the lake. Suzanne your talent is pure magic. Thank you!)

  Perfect holiday-break fun : Color Me Mine at Pinecrest

What to do with your “littles” over this holiday break? Look no further than the new Color Me Mine at Pinecrest Village. I took our 4-year-old to paint a couple of holiday gifts and it was a ton of fun for both of us.
When you arrive you can pick from hundreds of their blank ceramic pieces. They have everything from modern-facetted vases to superhero hero figurines, to clean dishware, mugs and more. Once you select your piece, the kind helpers assist you in choosing your paint palettes. With piece and paint in hand; you are then free to paint the afternoon away until you have crafted the perfect piece.

“We” made a Cleveland Indians baseball cap bank and a small vase…both for holiday gifts. It was a fun way to do a craft (without the mess at home) and spend an afternoon together while also checking off our gift list. While we were painting, the store was also hosting a private birthday party which personally is a great idea for any special occasion.

We left the painted ceramic pieces to be fired in their kiln and a few days later stopped by and picked up our masterpieces. Again, super fun afternoon and very easy finishing process.

Thank you to the kind staff at Color Me Mine for making us feel like the next Picasso and Warhol around. I would highly recommend you go and explore this new store at Pinecrest on the eastside…so much creative fun!

SPONSORED POST: Thank you to Color Me Mine for inviting us to explore their new creative, play space. Thanks for supporting this business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

 

  Holiday brunching and wrapping with Marc’s & Kretschmar (sponsored)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for brunching with some friends while also checking off a “to-do” item like wrapping holiday presents! Last weekend the table was set with lots of wrapping paper, ribbon, tape, and boxes for an early afternoon gathering. The girls brought their holiday presents and we brunched on smoothies, ham, and cheese (gouda!) quiche, an arugula salad, and some festive ham & cheese sandwiches.

To party prep, I headed to my local Marc’s to grab my ingredients (below) as well as some fun wrapping papers, some bubbly and candy canes for all. Check out my recipe for a rich and delicious holiday quiche for your next party.

Ham and Gouda cheese holiday quiche recipe!

Ingredients :
1 pre-made pastry crust
1 cup diced Kretschmar Off The Bone Ham
1 cup shredded Kretschmar Smoked Gouda
2 teaspoons minced onion
5 large eggs
1½ cups half-&-half cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Chives for sprinkling on top

Instructions :
Preheat oven to 400°

Place your crust on a cookie sheet to avoid any spills in your oven.
Then place the ham, cheese, onion in the pre-made pastry crust.
Whisk together the egg, cream, salt & pepper together.
Pour egg mixture over the ham & cheese.

Bake 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting. Sprinkle fresh chives on the top before serving.

I got a bunch of gifts wrapped so the gathering was not only social, but it was productive as well. Have you ever been to, or hosted a brunch wrapping party? It really is such a good time, I would highly recommend it, especially if you are feeling the pressure of the holidays but you still want to spend time with your friends…it’s a great solution all around!

SPONSORED POST: Thank you to Marc’s and Kretschmar for inviting me to host a
wrapping brunch this season. Using Kretschmar not only elevated the flavor of our
quiche thanks to its quality ingredients, but it also saved me time in the kitchen,
giving me so that I have more time to enjoy my friends during the holidays. To learn
more, please visit http://www.kretschmardeli.com or visit your local Marc’s Cold
Cut Counter. Thanks for supporting Marc’s and Kretschmar, while allowing me to
create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  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!