Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Kahlua Cocktail Series: Mind Eraser Float

One of my favorite drinks is an ice cream float. The mixture of soda and creamy ice cream is irresistible and tastes like summer in a glass.
cocktails, ice cream

From the first time I tried a Mind Eraser, I knew it would make a delicious float for my Kahlúa® Cocktail Series. The best part about it is that you can customize it to make it your perfect sip.


We were just in Sonoma and there were gorgeous strawberries everywhere! This cocktail captures that summery flavor and will have you thinking of cookouts and drinks on the deck.
Eat Drink Cleveland, Kahlua

1 part Kahlúa® 
1 part vodka 

1 part vanilla flavored soda or cream soda

1 scoop good quality strawberry ice cream 

Whipped cream 
Shaved chocolate
Fruit garnish - whole strawberry

Pour one part Kahlúa® into a tall glass. Next, carefully add one part vodka. Add one large scoop of ice cream. Gently pour vanilla soda into glass.  Garnish with strawberry, whipped cream and chocolate. Add straw and enjoy!
Eat Drink Cleveland, Kahlua

Try these other flavor combos:

Ice Cream
Root beer
Cream soda
Cream soda
I loved the strawberry flavor but another personal favorite was the vanilla ice cream and vanilla soda combo with extra strawberries for dipping into the drink - simple but soooooo yummy! Coconut ice cream is another great option.

But you can go as crazy as you want - the options are endless. If you want some added texture, use a chunky ice cream like chocolate almond or rocky road. Customize the garnish for you combination - maybe maraschino cherries, a banana slice or chopped nuts are more your style. 

What combo are you going to try?

*** Disclosure: I partnered with Kahlúa® to create this recipe and 
sponsored post. As always, all opinions and ideas are my own. ***

Please remember to drink responsibly. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Grapes and Ale Giveaway

May is one of my favorite months of the year and this year it's even a little better because Our Lady of the Wayside's Grapes and Ale is early this year thanks to the upcoming RNC. It will be quite the party at Progressive Field as with samples of delicious summer food and 300+ wines and craft beers.

FRIDAY MAY 20th, 2016
7:00 - 10:00pm
Progressive Field

There are three levels of tickets:

Our Lady of the Wayside, #GrapesandAle
$50 Premiere Grand Tasting
Admission includes international wine samplings along with summer fare selections from tasty NE Ohio restaurants: 
  • Melt Bar & Grilled 
  • Happy Dog
  • Crooked River BBQ
  • Aurora Inn
  • Hodge's
  • Corleone's
  • Hot Sauce Williams
  • Strip Steakhouse
Your ticket includes dessert from Becker's Bakery and Pierre's Ice Cream. Guests will also have access to The Corner where they can enjoy samplings of craft beers (tickets are $5 for 10 samples or $10 for 20), a souvenir glass, Chinese Raffle, music by Ace Molar and more!
$125 Access to Majic VIP Area
Admission to the Premiere Grand Tasting includes everything in the Premier Tasting as well as access to the VIP area located on the 2nd floor of The Corner Bar. You will sample great food throughout the evening from Agostino's Catering & Event Center, dessert from Cupcake Cravings and selections from the featured wines from Benzinger Family Winery, Kenwood and Prophecy as well as craft beers from Goose Island, Blue Moon, Samuel Adams, Fat Head's, Great Lakes, Leinenkugel's, Shock Top, Henry's Hard Soda & Cavalier Distributing.

$25 Designated Driver Ticket
Admission for one guest to the Premiere Grand Tasting where you can enjoy all the fantastic summer fare food selections and unlimited Aquafina & Pepsi.

This event is always a blast! There is a ton of great food and so many wine and beer choices that you'll have a hard time choosing. Plus, Ace Molar is So.Much.Fun. You'll be dancing the night away in between delicious bites.

Tickets are now on sale - click here to purchase yours!
I'm giving away a pair of Premier Grand Tasting tickets to one of my readers. If you are lucky, it can be you! Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*** Disclosure: Thanks to Our Lady of the Wayside, I was provided two Premier Grand Tasting tickets to giveaway and two VIP tickets for helping promote this event.
As always, all opinions expressed are my own. ***

Our Lady of the Wayside

Friday, April 22, 2016

Kahlua Cocktail Series: Java Jolt Mind Eraser

Have you ever heard of a Mind Eraser? When I first heard the name, I thought it might be a crazy amusement park ride. But it’s actually a fun Kahlúa® cocktail that is super simple to make and really refreshing.
Kahlua cocktails
A Mind Eraser is a combination of Kahlúa® and vodka topped off with a little club soda. The key is to layer the ingredients in that order because the Mind Eraser is a ritual of layering and drinking down with a straw. This allows you to taste each layer separately with a nice bubbly club soda finish. 

The Mind Eraser is delicious but I wanted to kick things up a notch. I knew I wanted to enhance the natural Kahlúa® coffee flavor so I started by making a coffee infused vodka.
Kahlua cocktails
This simple trick is a great way to boost the flavor of your cocktail. I decided to take it one step further and add a flavored soda. I made my version with vanilla flavored seltzer water but if you want the drink to be sweeter, try making it with vanilla cream soda. Both are delicious! My version is almost as easy as the original but has a bolder flavor that is worth the extra effort.
Kahlua cocktails, Mind Eraser

It was the perfect cocktail to bring to my friend’s birthday party and was a festive alternative to the traditional hot coffee. We had cookie butter cheesecake for dessert and the Mind Eraser paired well with it and definitely upped the fun factor. 
Java Jolt Mind Eraser
1 part Kahlúa®
1 part coffee infused Absolut vodka – see recipe below
1 part vanilla soda

In a tall narrow glass, add Kahlúa®, then coffee infused vodka. Top with vanilla soda. Add straw, sip and enjoy. 


  • For a stronger coffee flavor, swap out the coffee beans with espresso beans. 
  • To help with the layering, turn a spoon upside down and pour each ingredient over the back of the spoon. Trust me, if I can do it – you can too! The video was my 2nd attempt and it turned out pretty good. Practice makes perfect.

Coffee Infused Vodka
2 oz. whole coffee beans
2 c. Absolut vodka

Combine beans and vodka in a glass jar. Let sit, shaking occasionally, for at least 3 days. The flavor intensifies the longer is sits. Strain before serving.

Keeps for up to two months.

*** Disclosure: I partnered with Kahlúa® to create this recipe and 
sponsored post. As always, all opinions and ideas are my own. ***

Please remember to drink responsibly. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Eat*Drink*Cleveland's #CIFF40 Guide

Today kicks off the 40th Cleveland International Film Festival!
#CIFF40, Cleveland, #ThisisCLE
This year is later than most because of an early Easter, so I've been trying to wait patiently for one of my very favorite times of the year. 

If you've never been, what are you waiting for? It's one of the top rated film festivals in the country and there is truly a film for everyone. There are 190 feature films and over 200 shorts from across the world to choose from. 
#CIFF, Cleveland
Maybe you aren't really sure what to expect so here are some tips for you to make the most out of your experience at #CIFF40.

Get your tickets ahead of time. These films will sell out, especially for ones during the most popular times.

Look for discount codes on social media. There are several around offering $2 off per ticket.

Take public transportation. There is parking at Tower City for $3 with validation, but it fills up fast. Save yourself the hassle and take the Rapid or a bus. At the very least, carpool with a bunch of friends. 

Get there early. You may not know this, but ticket holders line up before each movie starts and everyone is let in at once. There is no casually strolling in and finding a seat 5 minutes before the show starts. Give yourself at least a half hour.

Dress for Success. Temperatures are unpredictable so layering endures you'll be as comfortable as possible. Leave your high heels and big hats at home too.

Be polite. Don't even think about talking, texting or otherwise being noisy during the films. That includes eating apples, rustling around in bags of chips and crumpling up packages. The people in attendance take this seriously. Consider yourself warned.

Explore. Between films, take a stroll. There are tons of people in Tower City and downtown so you never know who you'll meet. Filmmakers, directors, celebrities or a friend you haven't seen in years may be right around the corner. You can check out the status of the Public Square renovations, try your luck at the casino or even go to the top of the Terminal Tower.

Eat. There are soooo many great places to eat within walking distance, there is no reason to limit yourself to the food court. Some of my favorite deals are Happy Hour at Mortons or Blue Point, pizza by the slice at Vincenzo's, Noodlecat and TazaIf you have more time, you can even ride the Rapid over to Ohio City. Don't forget snacks and water for waiting in line too.

A Must Do is to try Bloom Bakery. It's on Euclid Ave. across from Chipotle, right at Public Square. Everything, and I do mean everything, is fantastic. Plus it's a non-profit with the mission to help people learn skills and leave poverty behind. 

Expand your horizons. See a foreign film with subtitles. Check out a cool documentary. See a Shorts program. Support your local filmmakers. Talk to people in line - maybe you'll even make new friends!

While you are there, be sure to check out the digital makeover this year too.
Eat Drink Cleveland

I hope that these tips help you enjoy #CIFF40 whether you are a veteran like me or a first timer. Follow along with me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

You may be wondering what films we are seeing this year - here are some of the highlights:

Monday, March 28, 2016

The New Downtown YMCA - and a Giveaway!

New things are popping up all over Cleveland. I can hardly keep up with all the restaurants, hotels, shopping and apartments around town. And the best part is that a lot of the "new" is actually old spaces transformed - some of my favorite kind of recycling.

A wonderful example is the Galleria. The unique former mall is now a mixed use space filled with shops, eateries, businesses, banks and more. The latest addition is the Parker Hannifen Downtown YMCAThe facility opened to members today and the grand opening celebration is tomorrow, March 29th.
The two story space once occupied by Victoria's Secret and the Limited is now a 40,000 square foot state of the art health and fitness facility. I was offered the opportunity to take a look before they opened and to say I was impressed would be an understatement!

They started off the evening with tasty snacks and a juice mocktail.
We were then given a tour. Absolutely everything is new, clean and top-notch. I didn't even know that half of the equipment even existed. Some of my favorites were the kick ass boxing machine:
The self-powered Woodway Curve treadmill:
The pool:

The spin studio:
The funky lockers:
This pacer bike stationary bike/video game mashup:
And the fancy water fountain/dispenser combo:
And you have a chance to see how awesome it is for yourself because I am giving away an amazing package to help you #EatPlayLive!

Use the Rafflecopter below to win a one-month free trial membership, 2 personal training sessions and one 30-minute massage session! The contest ends Sunday. Winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize: if unable to claim in that time, another winner will be selected. Good luck!!

Follow the YMCA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Follow the Galleria on Facebook.

**Disclosure: I was invited to take a tour and was provided snacks, a swag bag and a one week pass for helping promote the YMCA. We also participated in a yoga class. As always, opinions expressed are my own.**