Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Great Big Home & Garden Show Giveaway!

**Click here to see my favorite garden and some pictures from this year's show. **
Oh my gosh I'm beyond sick of the freezing weather and snow! Sub-zero wind chill and mountains of drifting snow are starting to make me want to get outta town. I'm sure that most of you are feeling the same way. 

While a tropical vacation isn't in the cards anytime soon for most of us, one of my favorite ways to fake it is to head to the Great Big Home + Garden ShowThe Great Big Home + Garden Show takes place Saturday, Feb. 8 – Sunday, Feb. 16 at the Cleveland I-X Center, and features more than 650 exhibitors showcasing the best tips and techniques in cooking, gardening, home improvement and more.

This year they've added a unique twist that I'm really excited about! My favorite part about the show is the Feature Gardens. This is where local companies design special gardens that all relate to an annual theme. This year's theme? Local restaurants! Seriously, this is a perfect pairing in my book! Sushi RockFahrenheit, Fiore's Italian SteakhouseHodgesDistrict, Ironwood Cafe, Great Lakes Brewing, La Dolce Vita, Shooters, Wally Waffle and Antonio's Pizza will all be featured. Feb. 10th and 11th from 4-8pm there will be samples at special tasting events in the gardens.

The Garden Showcase area is also full of spring blooms that will help you forget about the piles of snow outside. And it always smells so good.
And speaking of smelling good, they also have The Loretta Paganini Cooking Stage where you can watch local chefs whip up deliciousness: pasta, polenta, cookies favors, spring vegetable side dishes, sensational soups and more!
Emily Ellyn from the Food Network's "Next Food Network Star" and "Cupcake Wars" will be demonstrating Recipe Remodeling - a DIY approach to dinner with Retro Rebuilds and Leftover Makeovers. 

And there's lots of gardening and remodeling events and special guests as well. 
You can get Down and Dirty with Ahmed Hassan Feb. 8th and 9th and Frank Fritz will be on the main stage on the 15th. There are so many presentations and guest speakers, there's really something for everybody. If you're a dog lover you won't want to miss the Q10-4 Legged Fashion Show on 2/15 at 5pm. Click here for the complete schedule. 

And until the weather breaks, you can work on making your basement look like this

Seriously, it really IS a dream basement! Now all it needs is a dance floor...

You can purchase your tickets for the show online for $11 by clicking here. Use promo code EDCLEVE to save $1 per ticket. 

If you buy them at the IX Center's box office, they'll cost you $14 so get your tickets ahead of time. It's a lot more affordable than a trip to the tropics and you won't get sunburned either! 

You can also enter to win two tickets to the show! Contest ends Sunday Feb. 2nd at midnight. Winner will be announce Monday Feb. 3rd.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also enter over at Clue into Cleveland for another chance. 

Coming up in March, there's another fun show to attend. The first-ever Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo  will take place Friday, March 14 – Sunday, March 16 at the new Cleveland Convention Center. This three-day home improvement expo will showcase new and innovative trends and products in home remodeling and design. This is the perfect show to get ideas and start planning thosespring renovation projects.

** Disclosure: I was invited to attend The Great Big Home and Garden Show with a guest.
As always, the thoughts and opinions shared are my own. **

Friday, January 17, 2014

Upcoming Event: Latitude 41 Dinner at AMP 150

Have you been to AMP 150? Located in the Airport Marriott, this unlikely place for fine dining will knock your socks off. It's the perfect combo of delicious food and affordable prices with most items under $20. It's one of my favorite spots in CLE.

There's a special event coming up next week that you won't want to miss. It's a collaborative dinner featuring five amazing chefs cooking up a five course drool worthy menu. Wine is included too and the cost is only $55 per person. 


JANUARY 21, 2014

Please join us as Chef Jeff Jarrett and Sous Chef Dan Hawrylak welcome back Chef Dean James Max and Chefs Michael Koenig and Sven Lindemann from our sister restaurant Latitude 41 at The Renaissance in Columbus, Ohio for a special collaborative dinner!

Cost will be $55 per person and will include wine pairings with each course.

First Course: Foie Gras, Sweet Potato, Bacon Quince Marmalade

Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc, 2012

Chef Jeffrey Jarrett, AMP 150

Second Course: Celery Root Soup, Chili Oil, Lovage Oil, Pistachio Dust

Bonterra, Riesling, 2009

Chef Sven Lindemann, Renaissance Columbus

Third Course: Duck Sugo, Porcini Mushrooms, Community Grains Polenta

Jekel, Pinot Noir, 2011

Chef Michael Koenig, Latitude 41

Fourth Course: Roasted Beef Tenderloin, Short Rib and Mushroom Crepenettes, Celery Root Purée, Kale Walnut Sauce

Fetzer Crimson, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010

Chef Dean James Max, DJM Restaurants

Fifth Course: Goat Cheese Thyme Panna Cotta, Beet, Vanilla, Cardamom, Graham Crumb, Candied Pistachios

Chef Daniel Hawrylak, Sous Chef, AMP 150

Call 216-706-8787 for reservations.

**Disclosure: I was offered two tickets to this event. 
The choice to spread the word and the opinions expressed are mine alone. ***

Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 Foodie Resolutions

I'm not much of a resolution type of gal. All those great New Year's intentions some how always seem to fizzle by Valentine's Day...if not sooner! And then I feel disappointed in myself and full of self loathing.

But this year, I decided to focus on a few food related Must Do's. If I write them down, hopefully I will actually accomplish them! Here goes:

1. Join Fresh Fork again. 
I didn't participate last year because of the wedding. I hate to waste food and I knew there was no way in hell I would have the time to do any serious cooking. I really missed our weekly bags of goodies...especially the watermelons!

2. Make bread. Real bread. With yeast.
For some reason, yeast terrifies me! I'm always afraid I'm going to kill it so I just avoid it. I know this is really silly so I've already bought some yeast. 

3. Try Brewnuts.
I love donuts. So much that we had a donut truck at our wedding reception! And I love beer. These geniuses thought to put the two together. Get in my mouth now! I swiped this photo from their FB page for your viewing pleasure. You're welcome.

4. Compost.
I had a compost pile a few years ago and really loved it. Then I was in a car accident that kept me from being able to use my arm. I couldn't stir the pile for a really long time and eventually gave up on it. I think the time is right to get it going again - especially with a new hubby with big strong arms.

5. If you Pin it, Make it!
We cook a lot around our house. We both love it and really enjoying cooking together. I pin a TON of recipes on Pinterest because it's the easiest way to save recipes. I've actually made some of the things I've Pinned but not nearly enough. I would like to make one recipe a month from my boards. And not just the cookies...

What about you? Do you make resolutions? Anyone have a good bread recipe?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Angelo's Pizza

I love pizza so much - it's definitely my favorite food. What other food could you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and still have so many delicious options?!

I've been thinking a lot lately about making a trip to one of my favorite pizza places, Angelo's in Lakewood. Because I'm too much of a freeze baby, I'm waiting until this crazy weather warms up. And because I know it's going to be a little while, I can't stop thinking of it!!

And because I want everyone to be hungry like me...
Super Deluxe EDC style: Pepperoni, Meatballs, Mushroom, Black Olive, Pineapple, Onion, Mild Pepper Rings, Bacon, Ham and Green Peppers.
 It's a taste sensation!  
You're welcome!

In case you missed it before, you can check out my guest post on Big Shot Dot the I  about Angelo's. Her blog is great fun and now that she's recently moved, you can laugh and cry along with her as she experiences the joys of homeownership.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy New Year's from the Newlyweds

2013 was quite a year!

We started off the year with a new addition to the family - and we can't believe our niece Mira is almost a year old already! 

And to make us feel old, our oldest nephew graduated from college.
Mark sold his house - sad but really great too! Had to have one last party before we turned over the keys. Loved that bar he made so much! Hope they appreciate and love it too.
We went to New York for Uncle Leo's 95th birthday...
and had the BEST antipasto plate ever.
And of course there was lots and lots of wedding planning. Went to a ton of bridal shows to try out all the photo booths. Pro tip #1. Make sure you compare photo booths - the quality of the photos really varies.
A fabulous bridal shower kicked off the festivities.
Then came a super fun Bachelorette Party including a rockin' party bus. I wish I could live on that thing!
Rehearsal Dinner at Angelo's Nido Italia was a great time to get together with all the out of state family before the craziness of the wedding kicked into high gear. Pro tip #2 - have your rehearsal on Thursday - makes things sooo much better! You can stay up late and enjoy without worrying about being tired for your wedding day.
So much prep work to be a bride!
Hair, nails with the Mom's and lots of cake tasting
Then - the big day! All year came down to this one day. All the planning and frustrations and expense were totally worth it! The weather was absolute perfection and we had so much fun. We wish we could go back and do it all again! In slow motion. That day was the fastest day of my life!
No honeymoon pics yet because that won't happen until next year sometime ~ Mark got a new job (yay!) so we're still figuring out when and where to go.

The weekend after we got married was my reunion. I loved showing off my new hubby and he was quite the hit of the party.
I loved having a house full of wedding flowers for the weeks after the wedding. Pro tip #3 - if you are getting real flowers, don't go on your honeymoon right away! Wait a week or two so you can actually enjoy them. Life in Bloom in Avon was my florist and she did an amazing job! I dried some flowers from my bouquet and centerpiece flowers and made a Christmas ornament out of them.
...turned into this!
There were Halloween parties with tasty seasonal cocktails:
Spiked Cider
Pumpkin Pie Martini
We took advantage of Beer Week on a train:
I experienced my first coffee pour over - yum!
I participated in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap for the 3rd year.
Limoncello biscotti
We really enjoyed the past three months tremendously, settling into married life. We celebrated a lot of firsts including our first Christmas.
And Mira's 1st Christmas
Our first New Years Eve was spent enjoying the day and each other's company. We went to Slyman's
and to Glow at the Botanical Garden - where we not only enjoyed the festive gingerbread houses and Christmas trees, we also got to see our wedding ceremony site blanked in snow. This event is a Must Do - it's so festive and fun and a great excuse to get out of the house when it's freezing outside.
We also went to see a movie on NYE for the 1st time. The Hobbit was excellent and made this J.R.R Tolkien fan very happy. Luckily we went to the earlier show since the movie was 3 hours long! Afterwards, instead of going to parties or hitting the town, we decided to spend our 1st New Years snuggled up at home. And it was perfect.
And did you notice something about this pic besides the crazy dog who hates posing?
New hair for the New Year! Hello bangs - it's only been about 8 years since last saw each other.
Hope your 2014 is off to a great start in spite of the record breaking cold temps. Looking forward to the year ahead - I have a feeling it's going to be a good one!