Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Greek Tortellini Salad

If you are looking for a dish that will be the hit of the party and is also quick and easy enough for a weeknight dinner, look no further. This Greek Tortellini Salad is a taste sensation. 
Party food, pasta salad, greek pasta salad
The homemade dressing is definitely worth the effort. You can use a mason jar with this lid or a salad dressing shaker, or whisk the ingredients together in a large bowl. If you want to use prepared dressing, choose a vinaigrette made from red wine vinegar.

Greek Tortellini Salad

3 (9-oz.) packages refrigerated cheese tortellini
2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large cucumber, diced
1/2 c. sweet red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 can or jar quartered artichoke hearts in water
1 c. pitted kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
1 1/2 c. cubed feta
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1 c. yellow banana pepper rings, cut in half
3 c. fresh spinach, chopped

2/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
2 T. dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried thyme
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

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Make dressing: Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper in a large mason jar. Shake well to combine. 

Cook tortellini according to package instructions. Drain and immediately toss with some of the dressing. This is an important step because it keeps the pasta from sticking together. Set aside.

Combine tomatoes, onion, cucumber, peppers, olives, feta, parsley, banana peppers, and parsley in a very large bowl and stir until combined. Coat generously with dressing, then add cooked tortellini and artichoke hearts and fold together gently. Add more dressing if needed. Place in fridge for at least one hour to allow flavors to combine.

Just before serving, stir in spinach. Place in serving bowl and then top with whole banana peppers and sprinkle with feta and parsley.

This salad holds up really well so you can make a batch on Sunday and separate it into lunch-sized portions for the week. I like to add some rotisserie chicken too for a hearty and protein-packed lunch.

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Monday, August 26, 2019

All About Buffy - Our Sweet Little Fur Ball

In honor of International Dog Day (August 26) - I thought I'd share a bit about my very favorite little fur ball, Buffy even though we don't consider her a dog and neither does she.
We adopted Buffy when she was 9 years old. We weren't really looking for a dog, but it was destiny. Adding her to our family has been the best decision we have ever made!
We would have loved to be able to change her name since neither of us like the name Buffy, but we decided that she had to be named after Buffy the Vampire Slayer because she is not your average fluffy little dog. She has lots of nicknames: Little B, The Buffster, Bufferooni, Buff Buff, The Princess, and Buffy Roo and more.

She has brought such joy to our lives and definitely has made our house a home.

Some of Buffy's favorite things through the years have been: 

  • barking at dogs walking by from her perch atop the leather chair placed by the window just for her
  • chasing squirrels

  • car rides in her elevated car seat for improved views

  • visiting Auntie Christine at "the annex"

  • going for walks

But her absolute favorite is eating. Her palate is adventurous just like her Mommy's. Some favorites are rotisserie chicken, steak, watermelon, and cheese. She eats her body weight in food and treats every day but thankfully has the metabolism of a super model.
Buffy is always quite the traveler! After starting her life in Indiana, she has moved many times. She has accompanied us to Columbus, Pittsburgh, Niagara Falls, Lake Chautauqua, Put-in-Bay, Kalamazoo, Cincinnati and more. She even completed The Donut Trail!

Buffy has even come to work with me. Such a good helper!
She loves parties!

And presents!

She is officially an old lady now (almost 18!) so she is starting to show her age a bit. Her vision and hearing are terrible, and she can't walk on hard slippery surfaces any more. It's really hard seeing her get old but she will always be our baby. We love you sweet Buffy!!
I'd love to hear about your fluffy family members. Share your stories in the comments.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Thirsty Thursday: Tropical Sangria

I love the hot and sultry days of summer, and I'm enjoying every last drop. You can keep your pumpkin spice anything until the leaves turn. For now, I'm sipping on this fruit-packed and summery Tropical Sangria. Even if it is only in the 70s today!
sangria, wine, cocktails, summer drinks
Photo Credit

Tropical Sangria


1 750ml bottle Prosecco or other sparkling wine
1 750ml bottle Vinho Verde or dry rosé
1 750ml bottle Gewurztraminer 
1 1/2 cups Coconut Water with Pineapple
1/2 cup pear or mango flavored vodka
3 cups fruit: raspberries, pineapple, strawberries, apple, orange, etc.
2 Limes, thinly sliced
2 cans or about 2 c. of sparkling water

Combine two bottles of wine and vodka in large clear pitcher. Add coconut water + fruit and stir gently. Place in fridge for at least one hour to let the flavors mingle. Just before serving, stir in the prosecco and sparkling water, and garnish with mint.



Monday, August 12, 2019

Ready, Set, Hike! It's time for the 21st annual Taste of the Browns

Now that the Browns have won their first pre-season game, everyone is ready for some real football to get started. Whet your appetite for the upcoming season while you help support the Greater Cleveland Food Bank at the 21st annual Taste of the Browns.
Join past and present Browns players and some of Cleveland's very best chefs on September 9, 2019 from 6pm – 9pm at FirstEnergy Stadium.
You will mix and mingle while eating tons of delicious food - more than 25 restaurants and beverage purveyors - I dare you to try to sample it all! You can view a list of all the participating restaurants so you can get your dining playbook ready for the event.
Plus you'll get to see everyone's favorite dawg, Chomps. Woof woof!
Join the party and get your tickets onlineLast year, more than $309,000 was raised to fight hunger at this event - that's enough to help provide more than 1.2 million meals! 

Each VIP event ticket is $297 and includes a souvenir wine glass, all food and beverages, complimentary valet parking, and access to the VIP Lounge featuring exclusive tastings and access to celebrities.

General admission is $202 and includes everything above except the VIP Lounge access.

This is a great way to tackle hunger while helping one of our City's great organizations. See you on the gridiron!

*** Disclaimer: I was provided two tickets to this event in exchange for helping to promote it.
As always, all opinions expressed are my own. ***

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Ohio State Fair Giveaway!

The Ohio State Fair kicked off yesterday and I'm giving away 4 adult tickets so you can experience it yourself and celebrate all the things that make Ohio great.
With almost 200 food vendors with a huge focus on eating and drinking local, it's worth the trip just to try unique offerings like chicken + waffles on a stick, deep-fried Buckeyes, pickle-on-a-stick, poutine tots and Flaming Hot Cheetos Corndogs. There's even an Ohio shaped Buckeye Funnel Cake! There are lots of gluten-free options too.

Whether you're a foodie, music lover, farmer, kid or thrill seeker there's something at the fair for you! There are cooking competitions, parades at 4pm, the Budweiser Clydesdales, camel rides, pig races, fishing, a butterfly house, entertainers and even special Apollo 11 and cow sculptures made entirely out of butter. Check out the list of attractions and plan accordingly.

All of this fun ends on Aug. 4th so you'll want to act fast!

Get your tickets online or head over to this Instagram post to enter. Contest ends Friday July 26th.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Amazon Prime Day Deal - Patio, Garden and Pool

Summer is here and I want to be outside as much as possible!

Here are some Amazon Prime Day Deals for upgrading your patio life as well as things for my fellow gardeners.

My friend LOVES her AeroGarden - it makes starting plants from seeds so easy! At almost half off, now is the time to grab one! This one comes with 6 herb seed pods too. You can try this knock-off for only $49 or a single plant adjustable grow light for only $18.99.
Prime Day Deal, aerogarden, portable garden, grow light
Use this adorable and sturdy farmhouse style serving tray to get those cocktails to your guests.
Amazon Prime Day deal, serving tray, farmhouse chic
Keep the bugs away and give your patio some style at the same time with these mosaic tiki torches. They also come in a style for the deck with a clamp and a table top style too. Don't forget the oil too - Bitefighter is my favorite.
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This Cordoba patio torch is not an Amazon Prime deal, but it's absolutely gorgeous! It's even nicer in person and is super easy to assemble. We have this exact one and it was well worth the $50.
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I absolutely love this gas fire pit - and it's only $169.99!
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And for the end of summer and fall, this patio heater is perfect for extending the season - and it's only $139.86!

Amazon Prime Day deal, patio heater, outdoor heater
We use these metal storage shelves for starting plants. You can attach grow light easily and there's tons of room. We also have them in the basement piled full of my kitchen stuff and in the garage for holding all of our gardening supplies. They are functional and only $39.98.
wire storage shelves, rolling metal storage shelves

This extra large midcentury modern flower pot with stand instantly upgrades your home or patio.
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We have a suction cup bird feeder on our front window and we love it...and so do the birds. This two pack for only $10.94 is a great deal!
suction cup bird feeder, feed the birds, bird feeding, Amazon Prime Day deal
How cute is this picnic basket?? Love love love this! It's perfect for taking to Blossom or Opera in the Garden too. Don't forget to click the Coupon box for an additional $2.50 off.
picnic basket, picnic supplies, Little Red Riding Hood, basket, country style
If you need to keep things really cold on your picnic, you're going to need a cooler. Yeti makes some of the best and they are 50% off!
cooler, Yeti, portable ice chest

Even if you don't have a ton of space, you can still have lots of plants. This self-watering vertical wall and pots lets you maximize your space with very little effort.
planter, vertical planter, self watering flower pot

Whether you are making a bon fire, or cooking marshmallows over your gas stove, these extendable roasting forks keep your fingers burn free.
roasting fork, marshmallow stick, hot dog stick, Smores maker, fire pit accessories, camping, camp fire, fire pit
If you are lucky enough to have a pool, this deal is for you! It would be so nice to spend an afternoon floating around on this giant floating lounge with a canopy. It even has cup holders.
pool float, pool float with canopy, floating pool lounge, pool accessories, pool float. XL pool float
As soon as I saw this round beach throw, it went right into my cart. There is a version with tassels available too. $10.58
beach throw, pool accessories, round beach throw, mandala
This raised bed kit makes starting a garden super easy! It's galvanized metal so you won't need to worry about it rotting. It comes in a smaller silver version too.
galvanized raised bed, raised bed, gardening, garden kit, easy garden
At under $20, these 8" pruning shears are a steal! Click the coupon box for an extra 20% of too.
pruning shears, gardening, garden tools, 8" garden shears, garden snips
I wish I would have had this bird netting BEFORE they ate all of my black raspberries.

Love these bamboo plant markers with permanent marker. Click the Coupon box to save an additional 5%. They come in a skinny stick style too.
bamboo plant markers, biodegradable plant markers, gardening, plant marker
Don't forget - Amazon has an Outlet too for even bigger savings!

Are you taking advantage of Prime Day? What are the best deals that you found?

By clicking these links and making a purchase, I earn a very small commission. All of the pennies really do add up eventually so thank you for helping me support Eat*Drink*Cleveland.

Amazon Prime Day Deals - Kitchen

I'm not an obsessive shopper, but I do like a good deal on something that I really want or actually need.

Here are some of my top Amazon Prime Day picks.

If you've been wanting an Insta Pot, now may be the time to take the plunge. this 6 Qt model is only $55.99.
Vitamix has some great deals too. The refurbished Explorian Low-Profile model is only $179.95! (normally $269.95) The A2500 Ascent is also on sale for $279.95.
Lodge Cast Iron cookware is always a great deal, but this 6 Qt Enameled pot is a fantastic buy at only $47.99. If you don't love orange as much as I do, it comes in a bunch of different colors too.
And check out this Lodge 4 piece set. It has all of the essential cast iron pieces for only $69.99. This definitely is a great gift. These pieces are made in the USA and are going to last a lifetime.

After all the Thai cooking I've been doing, this stainless steel wok is very tempting.
If you have a tilt-head KitchenAid mixer, this Flex Edge Beater is fantastic - and only $10.19! (almost sold out)

An electric tea kettle is an absolute necessity in our house. It's obviously perfect for tea, and it boils water quicker than our stove.

This Cuisinart Food Processor is an absolute steal! I use mine all the time for making shredded brussels sprouts salads - the cost savings instead of buying the pre-shredded packages will practically pay for this. It makes a great wedding shower gift too!
I discovered the joys of an egg cooker while staying at a B&B in Ptown and have been obsessed ever since. And you can also use it as a steamer, poach eggs and warm tortillas too. This one is under $20 and comes in multiple colors. 

And we can't forget the kiddos! This Melissa & Doug Wooden kitchen is super high quality and completely adorable.
Are you shopping the Amazon Prime Sale today? What are you getting?

You can shop my other favorite things by heading to my Amazon Store.

By clicking these links and making a purchase, I earn a very small commission. All of the pennies really do add up eventually so thank you for helping me support Eat*Drink*Cleveland.