Monday, April 24, 2017

The Best Kentucky Derby in CLE Giveaway

On Saturday, May 6th, SVDP Cleveland is hosting a fun event, the 17th Annual Kentucky Derby Party. SVDP Cleveland is affiliated with the international Society of St. Vincent de Paul, one of the oldest charitable organizations in the world. They provide face-to-face emergency help (with rent and utility bills, food, clothing, school supplies, blankets for the homeless and more) to Northeast Ohioans in need since 1865.  Last year, SVDP helped more than 250,000 individuals and families in need.

On Saturday, May 6th, join SVDP Cleveland at their Annual Kentucky Derby Party to benefit their multiple hunger centers, which nourish 13,000 men, women, children and seniors each month. 

Presented by Community West Foundation, the festive fundraiser will be held from 4-8 PM at Great Lakes Brewing Company and will feature the “Run for the Roses” on the large screen, horse betting, a hat contest, silent auction, raffles (for a chance to win up to $1,000), prizes, authentic Derby fare, valet parking, mint juleps and of course, Great Lakes Brewing beer.
Admission is $75 (includes valet parking) and raffle tickets cost $5 each or five for $20. Tickets may be purchased online here or by calling 216-696-6525 extension #2520.
You can also win tickets here! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. And you can head over to Instagram for another entry. Winner will be announced Monday May 1st.

And in June, you can take a cue from the horses and do some running of your own at the Outrun Hunger 5k at Edgewater Park. Get more info here.

What:   17th Annual Kentucky Derby Party
When:  May 6, 2017 4-8pm
Where: Great Lakes Brewery
            2516 Market Ave
            Cleveland, OH
*** Disclosure: I was provided two tickets to give away and two tickets to attend in exchange for helping promote this event. As always, all opinions expresses are my own. **

Monday, April 17, 2017

Collision Bend Brewing Company

Collision Bend Brewing Company is finally open! This highly anticipated brewery is the latest addition to the booming beer business in Cleveland. With a menu influenced by Chef Zack Bruell, a gorgeous riverfront location in the Flats East Bank and the talented brewmaster Luke Purcell at the helm, it is destined to be one of the city's Must Do hot spots. 
In spite of all that, the sneak peek I attended exceeded my expectations. The former Watermark Restaurant was totally reinvented with a modern flair subtley influenced by its river front location. Sails hint at it's nautical history. The giant chains as you enter pay homage to the gritty Flats of the past.

But the exterior really steals the show. There is an expansive deck with a bar that provides stunning views of the river and bridges. For the ultimate exterior view, you can also dock your boat.
There's also an enclosed sunroom that will allow visitors to take advantage of the views even when the weather is blustery and cold. (But we don't even want to think about that yet!)
But a brewery or restaurant can't depend on the views alone. If it's going to succeed it has to be delicious too.
We were treated to an enormous sampling of the delicious California street food inspired menu.
And to wash it all down, we sipped on the delicious brews fresh from the brewery. They have fun names and great flavor.
Luke Purcell has a long history with the local favorite Great Lakes Brewery and the experience shows. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of creative brews he comes up with now that he is on his own.
My favorites were the Big Cat and East Bank IPAs and the Sixth City Alt amber ale. You can try a flight of four beers for $10 or $6 a pint. They also serve local guest beers on draft and small assortment of bottled beers including two that are gluten free. 
Zack Bruell's son Julian created a delightful assortment of craft cocktails and there is an interesting wine list if you aren't in the mood for a brew.
Some favorite bites of the night were the Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Vietnamese caramel sauce, queso fresco and shishito peppers: 

Buffalo Tofu:
And the wood fired pizzas (the salami & green olive and roasted cauliflower were especially delicious.) 
And I'm still dreaming about the Asian Stuffed Chicken Legs stufffed with shiitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, Asian aromatics, and rice noodles. So good. 

The Oven Roasted Mixed Olives and Collision Bend Popcorn popped in chicken fat and seasoned with Mexican pepper mix, lime zest and pecorino are not your average bar snacks.
And here even more beer and food....thirsty and hungry yet?
I know I am! I can't wait to go back and try the rest of the menu. I have my eye on the Welsh Rarebit, Ale Brined Chicken Breast with Smashed Carrots & Ale Beurre Blanc and the Roasted Eggplant Melt served on whole grain bread with shiitake mushroom, roasted peppers, hot pickled peppers, aged provolone gratine and fries.

You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Collision Bend Brewing Company
1250 Old River Road
Cleveland, Ohio
(216) 273-7879

*** Disclosure: I attended media night as my awesome friend's date. The evening was complimentary but all thoughts and opinions are my own. This place was too good not to share!**

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Masthead Brewing Co.

Breweries are popping up all over Cleveland, so many in fact that we have been having a hard time keeping up with them all. But when I heard about Masthead Brewing Co. serving Neapolitan style wood fired pizza, it shot to the top of our list.

It's within easy walking distance from Public Square so we decided to stop by on a Saturday afternoon during the first weekend of the Film Fest. It was a great excuse to stretch our legs and fill our bellies.
The whole front of the brewery is glass  - actually garage door style windows that will allow them to open up when the weather is nice. I look forward to coming back when the weather is nicer! Pro tip: This is along the St. Patrick's Day route so you can have a front row seat while staying warm.
When you walk in, grab a menu and head to the register to place your order and pay. 
This system is awesome because you don't have to hope to catch a bartender's attention and keeps everything moving really quickly. If you order food (which you should!), they give you a buzzer to let you know when it's ready.
The menu is small but has lots of tasty choices that will make your decision difficult. We wanted to order them all! But we finally picked the roasted eggplant and loved it. Some other tantalizing choices are the Mortadella with pistachio pesto, Spicy Soppressata and the Prosciutto. They even offer a Vegan pizza with an Italian tofu crumble, mushrooms, peppers and basil. 
There's other food besides pizza too - salads and a few delicious sounding small plates (appetizers) round out the menu. 
They are open for lunch but prepare to be tempted to drink beer. 
And this is a brewery after all so let's talk about the beer! I highly recommend that you start off with a 4 beer flight. The sampler is a great way to try several beers. The pours are generous and nicely priced at $8.
My only complaint is the wooden holder for the glasses. It's awkward and hard to use without spilling the beer. And we were sober! I can't imagine how hard getting beer to your table would be after a few. Anyways, once you find a favorite, pints are between $5 and $7.50 each (and are much easier to carry!) They have several guest drafts and offer crowlers and growlers to go.
We thought the beers were really good with our favorites being the Rydaho Rye and A Few Good Acres Pale Ales, The IPA and Coffee Stout. I was happy that the alcohol content is reasonable so you can have more than one. They also have cocktails and wine if you're not in the mood for beer. I definitely want to try the Old Fashioned On Tap next time. I was happy to see Old City Soda on the menu too.

We loved it and I think you will too! Cheers!

You can follow Masthead on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Bloom Bakery 1st Anniversary Party

Bloom Bakery is one of my favorite bakeries in Cleveland. They make delicious pastries, cookies, croissants and bread, plus they have a great lunch menu. Not only are their products amazing, it's a social enterprise run by Towards Employment that provides jobs for people with barriers to employment. Profits earned from Bloom Bakery give graduates the opportunity to earn a wage, learn a new skill and transition into a full-time career. Bloom Bakery is providing a pathway to prosperity for Cleveland residents while spreading happiness to everyone with their handcrafted treats. 
On Thursday March 30, 2017 they are celebrating their one year anniversary! From 6-9pm, join them at their Public Square location for an evening of great food, drink, music and artwork from Negative Space Gallery. 
And bakery industry star Maurice Chaplais will be there, too! Maurice is a key bakery trainer at Bloom and will be helping them expand their menu (including scones - yum!). He started dozens of successful bakeries around the world and is internationally known for his unique baking techniques. He is one of the reasons their products are soooo good.

You can share in the celebration! Click here to purchase tickets for only $35 or you can win a pair here. Enter to win by:
  • Following Bloom Bakery on Twitter and
  • Tweeting the following: 
I want to celebrate @Bloom_Bakery 1st birthday with @EatDrinkCLE! You can enter too: #bakingthechange #ThisisCLE
  • Head over to this giveaway post on Instagram for another chance to win
  • Comment on this post letting me know your favorite item from their menu.
Winner will be chosen randomly Monday 3/27 and will have 24 hours to respond. Please make sure to leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. Good luck!

Bloom Bakery

200 Public Square
Cleveland, OH 44114

You can also follow them on Facebook.

** Disclosure: Bloom Bakery provided 2 tickets for me to giveaway to one of my readers and 2 tickets for me to attend the party. I've been a huge fan of theirs since they opened. 
As always, all opinions are my own. **

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Homemade Lemon a Vitamix!

This past Sunday was my annual Tea Party. Every year I tweak the assortment of tasty nibbles, but scones and lemon curd are always a must. When I became the proud owner of a fancy new Vitamix (more on that later!), I knew I wanted to try to make it from scratch!
I've made homemade lemon curd before, but it involves a lot of stirring. Thanks to the magic of the Vitamix, in less than 10 easy minutes, you have more than three pints of lemony goodness to scoop and spoon and spread to your heart's delight.

Made with a few ingredients you likely already have in your fridge and pantry, it's a seemingly fancy treat you can whip up in minutes. Your friends and family will be impressed. (I won't tell them how easy it is if you don't!) And clean up takes all of one minute. This is my kind of cooking!

5 large eggs
½ cup fresh lemon juice (try using one of these - so easy!)
Zest of 3 lemons
1½ cups granulated sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
Basically, ust dump everything in and hit the button!

Place eggs, lemon juice, zest, sugar, and salt into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.

If your machine has a soup setting, select that setting. If it doesn't: Select Variable 1. Start machine and slowly increase to its highest speed. Blend for 5 minutes.

Add butter through the lid plug opening and secure lid plug. Blend for 30 seconds at level 3. 
That's it - you're done! Divide into containers and cool. 

These tiny mason jars are adorable and perfect for gifting:

Bernadin Mason Jars

Refrigerate or freeze once cooled completely. 
Look how pretty is looks - it really brightens up any occassion!
And guess what? Your fancy homemade lemon curd makes an AMAZING pie filling! Because the recipe is so easy, you can whip up a luscious lemon pie in minutes. To make your life really simple, buy a premade graham cracker crust. Or if you have a bit more time, get a frozen pie crust. Just bake, fill with lemon curd and decorate. I love raspberries but strawberries or whipped cream are also great choices.
Photo Credit
*Prepared lemon curd can be frozen for up to 1 year. To thaw, place frozen curd in the refrigerator for 24 hours before use. After thawing, store in the refrigerator in a covered airtight container and use within 4 weeks. 

Thank you so much to Vitamix for providing a machine for my use! They recently invited me to an Ascent Series preview event at The Vitamix Store in Solon, Ohio. At the end of the night I was given my very own Vitamix Ascent Series A3500, a Vitamix Cookbook, the Simply Blending "cookbook"spice kit and a culinary class for two at the Vitamix Store. The small containers for the Ascent Series blenders are not yet available, so they graciously loaned me another blender. Thanks to them, I'm able to share this fantastic recipe with you!! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Head to for the Original Recipe. And stay tuned, next weekend I'm making a spring soup that I'll be sharing with you too!