Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Grapes and Ale 20th Anniversary Giveaway

*** Contest closed. Congrats to Michelle at @tinktastic on Instagram!!
She is the winner of the tickets. ***

Our Lady of the Wayside is kicking off summer with their 20th Annual Grapes and Ale on Friday June 14th.
Head to Progressive Field from 7-10pm for a wine and beer BBQ extravaganza! There will be more than 300 wines, craft beer and tasty food featured as well as live music and auctions.
Get ready for a fun night! There is guaranteed to be dancing when The Sunrise Jones is playing.

There are two ticket levels:

Premiere Grand Tasting Event ($60/$70 day of event)
Admission for One (1) guest to Grapes & Ale, international wine samplings along with food selections. Guests will receive a souvenir wine glass and have access to the lower level of The Corner to purchase and enjoy samplings of craft beers ($5/10 samples or $10/20), the opportunity to win great auction items, and entertainment.

Majic 105.7 VIP Tasting ($125)
Admission for One (1) guest access to the VIP area located on the 2nd floor of The Corner Bar. Enjoy sample selections from our Featured Wines and Craft Beers. Exclusive food selections and includes all of the amenities of Premiere Grand Tasting above.

You can purchase your tickets online, purchase them at the door, or you can enter to win a pair of Premiere Grand Tasting Event tickets. 

There are three simple ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me what your favorite BBQ restaurant is.

2. Tweet the following:

I want to get saucy with @EatDrinkCLE at @OurLadyWayside's #GrapesandALE at @progressivefield! You can enter for a chance to #win here: https://bit.ly/2MiukY8 #CLE

3. Head over to my Instagram page and enter there, following the directions.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Tiki Happy Hour

There's a new Happy Hour in town and it kicks off on Memorial Day weekend. Head to Music Box Supper May 25-27th for a sneak peak of their new Tiki Happy Hour.
After Memorial Day weekend, the Tiki Happy Hour will be offered every Tuesday.

You can check out this list of tiki inspiration for your own tiki party too.

Here is a recipe for amazing piña colada popsicles adapted from the Minimalist Baker blog. It makes 8-10 popsicles, depending on your molds. Make these at home to keep the tiki vibe going all summer long.

Piña Colada Popsicles

1 cup chopped fresh ripe pineapple
1 1/2 T white rum 

Add pineapple to a small mixing bowl and top with white rum. Toss to coat and let set for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently to infuse the flavor.

1 14 ounce can coconut cream
3 T sugar
1 cup rum-soaked pineapple (see above), slightly drained
4 T Unsweetened Flaked Coconut

Combine coconut cream and sugar in a blender and blend on high for one
minute to fully incorporate. If your blender has a frozen dessert mode, you can use that. Then add pineapple to blender. Pulse gently a few times to incorporate - you want there to be pieces of pineapple in the popsicles. Gently stir in coconut flakes.

Add the mixture to a popsicle molds. Freeze until firm - about 4-6 hours. To remove from molds, let thaw slightly by setting at room temperature for 10 minutes, or dipping in warm/hot water to help loosen.

Store well-covered in the freezer up to 2 weeks.

I really love these stackable molds. They are perfect for pull out bottom freezers. You can also use a fancy Popsicle Maker for more instant gratification.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Boozy Beef Soup

Soup is always on the menu at my house, but when the weather is crazy and feels more like fall than spring, it really hits the spot. This Boozy Beef Soup gets a punch of flavor from a zippy Great Lakes IPA. Packed full of veggies, it's a tasty recipe any time of year.
This hearty soup is loaded with all kinds of veggies and is easily customized to include whatever you have on hand. Zucchini or butternut squash cubes are great additions. If tomatoes are in season, definitely use those instead of canned. 

While you may be tempted to use a whole beer, don't do it. The IPA bitterness can easily overwhelm the soup if you add too much. 
The quinoa adds protein and thickens the broth slightly. Add more for a thicker stew like consistency.

Boozy Beef Soup


1 lb lean beef stew meat, cut into small pieces
2 large sweet onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 parsnips, sliced
6 carrots, sliced
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 large sweet potato, in larger cubes than the potatoes because they cook faster
3 stalks celery, sliced thick
2 c. finely chopped kale
1 c. frozen peas
1 c. frozen corn
8 c. beef bone broth or stock
2 14 oz cans of chopped tomatoes
1 fresh or frozen hatch chile, roughly chopped (or poblano)
1/2 c. Great Lakes IPA
1/2 c. uncooked quinoa
2 t. salt
1 t. Trader Joes Umami Seasoning

Seasoning Mix:

2 T. Adobo seasoning
1 T garlic granules
1 t. freshly ground pepper
2 T flour*

Mix the Seasoning Mix ingredients in a large bowl, then toss with the beef cubes, coating evenly. Heat a splash of good extra virgin olive oil in a very large heavy potAdd the floured beef and minced garlic. Toss and cook until all sides of the beef cubes are browned. Add half of the chopped onions, beef broth, salt and Umami Seasoning. Cook over low heat. After about 20 minutes, add Great Lakes IPA and stir well. Continue cooking until meat is tender, stirring occasionally.

Add all of the veggies except for the peas and corn. Stir in quinoa. Cook until veggies are tender but not mushy.

When veggies are done, add peas and corn. Cook briefly until heated through. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley. 
I love to serve this with buttered toast or corn bread. 

You can make this gluten-free by omitting the flour. 

You can head over to my Instagram to enter to win a prize pack from Great Lakes Brewing Company or read about my Great Lakes inspired Happiest Hour.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Happiest Hour with Great Lakes Brewing Co

One of the best parts of the week is Friday night. When Friday comes, I get a rush of excitement just thinking about having the whole weekend ahead of me. As the clock ticks down, my toes start tapping as the anticipation builds. No matter what my plans are, I'm always super excited at the prospect of not needing to use an alarm clock or sit in rush hour traffic. As I drive home, the only thing I can think of it kicking off the weekend. One of my favorite ways to do that is Happy Hour. I love all kinds of happy hour, but my idea of a Happiest Hour is hanging out with friends (outdoors if possible) with a tasty beverage in hand.
We love to get together with friends, rotating houses each week.
Sometimes we'll have appetizers on the deck; other times we'll be cozied up by a roaring fire. It may be a pizza party or turn into a full-blown feast.
If the weather cooperates, we'll have a patio party or make a bonfire.
Sometimes our happiest hour takes place at the ballpark before a baseball game. Go Tribe!
The only things that are an absolute must are cold beverages, delicious food, and some of our favorite people.

Great Lakes beer has been a part of many of my happiest hours. There's a beer for every season, but summer happy hours are the BEST happy hours. Some of my summery GLBC favorites have been Glockenspiel, Grandos Lagos Lager and She Drives Me Hazy IPA - but these are not in their regular rotation. When I heard that they were releasing a new year round IPA, I couldn't wait to try it.
The new Great Lakes IPA celebrates the GLBC family of employee-owners. They crafted a lightly filtered, citrus-forward IPA that’s as bright and fun as the folks that work there. The label is one of their best - it features the family of employees, who became GLBC co-owners in 2018 thanks to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan introduced by founders Pat and Dan Conway. Doesn't this make you love Great Lakes even more?

This IPA is crafted with four different types of hops: Simcoe, Mosaic, Lemondrop, and Azacca. They enhance the citrus flavor even more by adding a bit of lemon. I really enjoy the brightness of the citrus balanced with the hoppy bitterness. It's refreshing but not sweet.

But you don't have to wait until the weekend for Happy Hour, and you definitely don't need to hold out until Friday for a nice cold beer. The Great Lakes IPA is light enough that you can enjoy them all week. It's a great thirst quencher after doing yard work, mowing the lawn, or a tough game of corn hole. Check out my hubby earning his Great Lakes IPA:

The flavors are not too bitter or overwhelming so it goes great with food too. Or IN the food. You can try my Boozy Beef Soup recipe for some cooking with beer inspiration. 
Or just use it as a sipper while grilling up a feast. My friend Michelle definitely deserves a Great Lakes IPA!
Head over to my Instagram page to find out how you can win some fun swag to make your Happy Hour even happier. Included in the swag bag are a t-shirt, pint glass, bottle opener and other surprises!

If you're in Cleveland, OH you can stop by the Great Lakes Brewpub for Happy hour Monday - Friday from 4-7 PM. You can also use this handy Beer Finder to stock up for your very own Happiest Hour. Follow Great Lakes Brewing Co on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Cheers!

** Disclosure: This post is part of a partnership with Great Lakes Brewing Co. 
All thoughts and opinions are my own. **

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Jam with Ball

I had only made jam once before many years ago so I was really excited to be selected to host a Jam with Ball® House Party - what a perfect excuse to try again! I was a bit nervous because canning seems a little scary thanks to all of the hot water and food safety concerns, but I assembled six of my awesome friends to tackle this challenge together. Not only did we have a blast - the jam turned out great! 
As a party host, I was sent a gift pack of everything we would need to make the jam except the fruit and pectin.
I received a canner, jam sized jars and lids, a funnel, tongs, a recipe, recipe cards, and coupons. Ball jars are a classic for a reason. The many shapes and sizes ensure that you have the perfect fit. We all loved the cute little jars for our jam.

We used a combination of strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries for our jam. We cleaned and chopped eveything and then started making the jam. We were worried because I couldn't find the pectin specified in the recipe anywhere and had to substitute another kind. I used the reduced sugar version, we adjusted the recipe a bit, and it actually worked!

The jars all sealed perfectly too. I loved how the recipes and canner instructions both explained how to tell if the process worked. For a group of newbies, we really needed the guidance.

We made strawberry-rhubarb jam in addition to the mixed berry recipe that was provided. Both were delicious but the strawberry-rhubarb stole the show.
Once we got the hang of it, it was really easy! And it actually wasn't scary at all...just messy! I would definitely recommend making jam if you have never tried. Here's a video that shows how easy it is.
We of course had lots of delicious snacks like this amazing baked cheese.

Next time I want to make labels for an extra sweet touch. And to get a selfie stick so I can get a better group shot! ha ha
Thanks Ball and Ripple Street for a fantastic party!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Market at the Food Bank 2019

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank is a charity that is near and dear to my heart. They the largest hunger relief organization in Northeast Ohio having provided more than 57 million meals in 2018 to hungry people in Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Ashland and Richland counties. I'm very fortunate to eat well so helping to ensure others have nutritious food is really important to me. And when helping involves going to an fantastic party with 50+ delicious things to try, how can you resist? Market at the Food Bank is a really fun way to help.
One night a year the Food Bank decks out their warehouse for their biggest party of the year. This incredible party benefits Harvest for Hunger and it's a blast. Instead of holding this event at a fancy location they host it in the midst of all the boxes and cans and pallets of food which really shows everyone how great the need is and how much help they provide the community.

There were so many fantastic restaurant partners that it was impossible to try everything they offered...but I did my best!
Some of the standouts this year were:

The Zucchini Noodles in Sesame Sauce and Eggplant from the Zack Bruell Restaurant Group (I think there were carrot noodles too)
Mama Roberto's cannoli
The Sanson Company's delicious liitle bites of marscapone and fresh berries with a Zinfandel and Berry Reduction and Fresh Basil
Nomad Culinary Catering's Balsamic Braised Eggplant with Mint and Arrancini
My favorite bite of the night came from Jack Casino - their Caramel and Chocolate Crunch Parfait was seemingly simple but it was a surprise taste sensation.
This year is the Food Bank's 40th Anniversary and it was extra special. Obviously everyone in attendance thought so too because they raised more than $347,000 to support #HarvestforHunger! This translates to more than 1.38 million meals!!
Even if you missed the party, you can still help. Donate to the Food Bank, go to another event, or volunteer - it's a lot of fun! 

** Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the event and was given two tickets. The Food Bank is one of our awesome clients at work and I've volunteered for them. I love the food bank! All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. **