In Love

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(via Pinterest)

Life is pretty cool right now.

I was recently hired into a communications position at the Cleveland Clinic. It is of course a fantastic organization and I’m completely excited to join the team.Then I was hired to do some freelance food writing for Cleveland Scene, on the side.

One day I was carrying on business as usual and the next, all of my dreams have come true! That does mean I’ve been pretty busy. But busy doing things I love is always quite alright with me.

So, Craveable Cleveland will be redirecting its attention (my attention) to food writing in a different forum. We never know what may happen, so this isn’t goodbye at all. Just a new direction for now!

You can see my first article here: Thaw Out with Some of Cleveland’s Best Hot Cocoas

xo Beth

Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate

I can’t stop drinking hot chocolate lately. Not surprising, given how it is outside. All I want to do is curl up in a blanket and go to sleep until this horrid winter lets up. If only life would allow it :).

On Sunday I had cup from Starbuck’s that was too chocolate syrupy for my taste. On Tuesday, one from Civilization which I was sure would be delicious as I saw it named one of 50 Things to Eat and Drink in Cleveland. The shop was adorable but the drink nothing special. And on Wednesday, Godiva’s costly version – delightfully chocolaty but only semi-warm.

In case you are wondering, my Tour de Chocolat Chaud has not yet caused weight gain, although I fear it might if I don’t find a truly satisfying cup soon! Memories tell me nothing can beat Lilly’s drinking chocolate and that might have to be my next stop.

What’s your pick for the best hot chocolate in CLE? Someone help.

xo Beth

Fettuccine with Seared Tomatoes, Spinach, Pancetta and Bocconcini

pasta

Whenever I’m seeking dinnertime inspiration, I almost always start with my Pinterest boards, full of beautiful pictures of tempting recipes I’ve vowed to recreate myself. One such recipe, Fettuccine with Seared Tomatoes, Spinach and Burrata. I adooore the fresh, creamy cheese, so mostly any burrata recipe is guaranteed Pinspiration.

So that’s how Saturday’s dinner began but then I made the dish my own, adding fresh basil and pancetta for flavor. Plus as luck would have it, the grocery store did not sell burrata so instead I ended up with local bocconcini which I guess is kind of the same – not quite as divine – but delicious none the less.

Fettuccine with Seared Tomatoes, Spinach, Pancetta and Bocconcini

  • 10 oz Ohio City Pasta Fettuccine
  • Cooking spray
  • 20 large cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 7 oz pancetta, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • handful fresh basil, chopped
  • 4-5 bocconcini balls, room temperature, halved
  • Salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and lightly coat with cooking spray. Place tomatoes, cut side down onto skillet and cook for 2 minutes, until quietly sizzling. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add pancetta to the pan and cook for a few minutes until lightly browned. Remove from skillet and set aside, leaving rendered fat in pan.

Turn heat to low. Add garlic and red pepper to the fat, cook for 2 minutes. Then add diced tomatoes and simmer mixture for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add spinach, basil, tomatoes, pancetta, and cooked pasta into the pan; toss well until spinach and basil wilt slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste, keeping in mind pancetta is salty. Divide pasta mixture onto plates. Top with bocconcini and serve.

Serves 4-5

xo Beth

Wednesday Weekend Recap

fried chicken

It’s Wednesday and we’re recapping the weekend. Things have been busy! But I think a Wednesday weekend recap will do, especially for one as scrumptious as this.

Friday was spent with my sweet old high school friends at Cornerstone Brewing Company in Berea Square. Looking so adorable still dressed up for Christmas! Although their food doesn’t really light my fire, their Seven IPA is as delicious as they come and I can’t say no to that.

Saturday was so (rainy but) warm! A perfect winter day for a trip to the Westside Market. We bought ingredients for that evening’s dinner, healthier “fried” chicken and minty Greek salad. Plus a delightful loaf of fresh bread from my favorite, Mediterra Bakehouse. It was a lighter yet yummy supper, perfect for a January I’m-so-sick-of-resolutions-already dinner.

Post-dinner we crossed the first item off my 2014 CL Bucket List and attended the late show at Hilarities. Yannis Pappas was the headliner and as with all of the night’s comedians – just. too. funny. And only $18 a ticket! Why don’t we do that more often.

biscuits and gravy

Sunday’s breakfast was rather decadent, another product of our WSM shopping trip. Sausage gravy and homemade biscuits. Dare I say better than Lucky’s? Perhaps not but certainly closer to home and impressively delicious for our first try!

Followed by way too much television time but who can resist all those gorgeous (and not so gorgeous) Red Carpet fashions? Not I. And so there’s last weekend. Likely, I’ll see you again after the next :).

xo Beth

New Year Cleveland Bucket List

055

Happy New Year! We have a wind chill of –24F outside. But never mind, because soon it will “warm up” and we can all start having fun again.

And one way to ensure plenty of fun for the year ahead is a nice list of things to enjoy. A Bucket List! Not only is it fun to participate in Bucket List activities, it’s also satisfying to cross them off, no?

I made a nice dent in my Cleveland Bucket List last year – but since then I’ve discovered so much more to do! As quickly as I check items off, new ones appear. In that case, here’s 10 places to eat and drink and things to see and do from my master list, which I’ll be sure to accomplish before year’s end. We’ll call it a resolution…likely the only one I keep :).

2014 Cleveland Bucket List

Eat/Drink

Ginko

Provenance

A Cookie & A Cupcake

Civilization Coffee

D.B.A.

See/Do

Terminal Tower Observation Deck

Wade Oval Wednesday

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Hilarities

Ohio Winery

What’s on your 2014 Bucket List? Suggestions are always welcome.

xo Beth

14 Healthy Recipes for 2014

Oatmeal smoothie3

Oh my, I am so done with eating. Well not done eating exactly (never that!)…but certainly done overindulging. Too much wine, too many treats, too many multicourse, celebratory meals. Those holiday moments sure are fun while they last but now I’m ready for a serious January detox.

I don’t believe in diets or cleanses or juice fasts or extreme exercise resolutions. But I do believe very much in getting back to the basics, eating in more, out less, cooking wholesome dishes and consuming less alcohol and sweets (although I miss them dearly). We can all do that, right?

If you’re feeling like me but need some inspiration, here are 14 delicious yet nutritious Craveable Cleveland recipes to get you going. Dig in!

Berry Green Reset Smoothie

Mushroom Bourguignon

Apricot oatmeal2

Oatmeal with Apricots, Crème Fraiche and Honey

Toasted Oatmeal Smoothie

Butternut Squash Risotto with Mascarpone, Sage and Toasted Almonds

Thyme Scented White Bean Cassoulet

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Portabellas and Kale

Creamy Greeny Chicken Tortellini Soup

Black Bean Ragout with Avocado, Crème Fraiche and Lime-Pickled Onion

Warm Ratatouille2

Warm Ratatouille Over Cous Cous

Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake Smoothie

Deconstructed Club Salad Sandwich

Grilled Verlasso Salmon with Arugula Chimichurri

Red, White and Blueberry Smoothie

xo Beth

Tis the Season, Part II

Shrimp

And then it was Christmas. It always comes too fast! By Christmas Eve all non-family visitors were back to their own homes, so it was a Phillips family affair. We did what we always do on Christmas Eve, dinner at House of Hunan in Medina Square (so beautiful at the holidays), a drive around Christmas lights and a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation screening with dessert back at home. Very predictable and very fun.

Christmas morning was lost in a sea of presents (and they were lovely), so breakfast came around noon – Nigella Lawson’s Christmas Morning Muffins with fruit salad and honeyed yogurt. And coffee, always lots of coffee. The ideal special but not *too* rich holiday morning meal.

And in the evening, shrimp cocktail and Prosecco, with floating cranberries for a festive little twist.

Christmas Dinner

Followed by Christmas dinner – and yes I ate it all :). Turkey, my dad’s incredible once-a-year stuffing, roast potatoes, peas and carrots, Bumped Up Brussel Sprouts and cranberry sauce. As we went duck l’orange and gingerbread stuffing at Thanksgiving, Christmas was more traditional and that was perfect.

And finally, my mum’s Chocolate Truffle Torte with lots of fresh cream. It is so luxurious, it is heaven.

Lots of food, lots of wine, lots of family, lots of friends, lots of presents, lots of laughter, lots of love. A very Merry Christmas indeed.

xo Beth

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