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: http://ow.ly/WhrB30adAsY #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 Curd...in a Vitamix!

Happy Pie Day! 

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!
Ingredients:

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!
Directions:

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

Friday, March 10, 2017

2017 Film Fest Movie Picks

It's one of my favorite times of the year! I received my Cleveland International Film Fest Program Guide in the mail Tuesday and I've been carefully planning all the films we're going to see this year.

Tickets go on sale to members today. If you aren't already a member, you can join here

If you haven't been before, it can be really overwhelming. There are SO many films to choose from! If you are looking for some inspiration or are overwhelmed by the choices, here are some of my favorites this year:

Carrie Pilby - this is my annual Girl's Night flick this year
Score: A Film Music Documentary - this one is also at the Cedar Lee
Tale of a Lake - gorgeous Finnish documentary
Zip & Zap and the Captain's Island - this looks like so much fun!
Bugs - sponsored by my friends at Edible Cleveland
 
The Young Offenders - a crazy Irish comedy
Gilbert's Grim Revenge - because I'm really a 13 year old boy inside
Shalom Italia - looks like a really sweet story
The Teacher - I'm a sucker for a Czech film
The Women's Balcony - girl power!

Some others are:

Breaking Balls, a film about bocce
Lost in Paris - my favorite kind of French romantic comedy
Prison Dogs 

Stumped  

And the Shorts programs are always a Must See for me. Especially the Ohio Shorts. *Note to CIFF planning committee - please stop scheduling most of the shorts late at night on weeknights. This girl has to work!

There are so many great films, I could go on and on. See the full line up for #CIFF41 here

Have you been to the Film Fest before? Are you going to see any films this year? If so, which ones? Hope to see you there!


Friday, March 3, 2017

2017 Cleveland Auto Show

Last weekend I went to the Cleveland Auto Show for the first time in years. I'm the type of girl who keeps her cars forever so I'm not often in the market to buy one and didn't think there was much else to do at the show. Well I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun we had!

We started off walking around the IX Center and checking out some some new "normal" cars, then moved on to Millionaire's Row - wow! It was fun to see these crazy expensive cars, especially the Aston Martin Vulcan. Only 24 of these were made and it costs $2.3 million! 
We also checked out the classic cars. This one was my favorite:
1957 BMW Isetta 300
Such a crazy little car!
One of the highlights was the Lego Batmobile. Measuring 17 feet long, almost seven feet high and over nine feet wide, it took LEGO Master Builders 222 hours to design and 1,833 hours to build, using 344,187 LEGO bricks of 17 different colors!
But my favorite part of the show was Camp Jeep. Professional 4x4 drivers drive you around a course that includes a hill climb where passengers experience Jeep's traction capabilities while climbing the 18-foot high, 35-degree Jeep Mountain. We were over 22 feet off the ground and it was super cool. Too bad they don't let you drive...

Here were some other interesting vehicles at the show:


There's other stuff to do too. This is the last weekend. They are open Friday and Saturday, 11am-10pm and Sunday, 11am-8pm. You can get tickets hereCheck out the full schedule here.

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You can get a picture with the Cavs Larry O'Brien trophy and may even get an autograph from John Greco. 

What is your favorite car?









*** Disclosure: I was provided a media pass for the event. As always, 
all thoughts and opinions are my own. ***

Thursday, March 2, 2017

#TBT - A Snapshot of #CLE Fun in 2012

I was recently going through the millions of photos on my computer and found some from 2012 that I thought would be fun to share.

Remember Emerging Chefs? Their "Garden Party" at AMP150 was delicious and an opportunity to hang out with bloggers Jill and BradThe Spring Pea Soup with Ramp Creme Fraiche and Lemon Oil was sublime.






It was a very special year for the West Side Market. The Centennial brought lots of attention to Cleveland's favorite market and all the parties were so much fun!
This fun Newschannel 5 Tweetup let people meet lots of online friends in real life. Some of my favorites then and now -  Morgan and Kate.
These adorable baby deer triplets nursing across the street from our old house were born in our yard.
Big Dipper Ice Cream - loved this place so much! It was a hidden gem on the Garfield Hts. border of Cleveland. So sad it closed. 
WinterFest 2012 was snow free, Ohio State was playing on the big screen and food trucks took over Public Square.
And it was the first time I tried the legendary corned beef at Slymans! 
Last but not least, one of my favorites - Buffy looking adorable chewing on her bone. Love those tiny paws and crooked teeth. She was only 12 back then. Hard to believe she'll be 17 in August!
Have you looked at the old photos on your computer lately?