Tag Archives: Dessert

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

Eastside, Westside

Maple Side

I love you Fall, please don’t go. Sadly, time seems to be flying, although not surprising given all that’s going on lately. My very best friend Emily and her two adorable boys are in town for two weeks. I’m dog sitting on the Eastside, but cruising back to the Westside every day to see Em. And back again! This is when a teleportation device sure would come in handy.

But I won’t complain about life being full of people and plans because that’s never a bad thing at all. Plus, all this back and forth allows for the best of both sides of town to find their way into my snack and mealtime rituals :).

Pop tart

On the Eastside: I read Cleveland Magazine’s ‘Best of Cleveland’ issue recently and of course took note of all of the Bests that I needed to check out for myself. Admittedly, they were all food-centric. Above you’ll see one of those delightful treats, a Katz Diner homemade pop tart. This one filled with cinnamon sugar, although I hear they come in a variety of flavors. Is it bad to admit I still love store bought pop tarts? Although I haven’t had one in a few years. This was of course much different and way better than that – so very adorable too. A more worthy splurge! Apple slab pie

On the Westside: Smitten Kitchen’s Apple Slab Pie, made by the talented Emily herself. Filled with apples from Mapleside after a daytime visit this week. You’ll see the view from the farm at the very top of this post and I think I love Ohio a little more every time I look back at that picture. We have the very best Falls for sure.

Also of note, Big Fun for nostalgic toy shopping with the kiddos, Piccadilly for the most wonderful fro yo in C-town (I say), Brew Kettle for some delicious craft beer and catch up conversations and two very delicious meals at Em’s brother’s restaurant, Spice. Eastside, Westside, I love it all. The drive is not so hot but the people on either end are more than worth it. The food’s pretty good too :).

xo Beth

Frasca Food and Wine

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And now for our favorite part, the food. We ate lots of yummy dishes in Colorado (because what else is there in life?) but for the purposes of this post I’ll focus on one type in particular. Along Pearl Street in Boulder are three spots by the same creators: Frasca Food and Wine, Pizzeria Locale and Frasca Caffe. It’s pretty much a little stretch of heaven.

We’ll start with Frasca Caffe, where I enjoyed this indulgent breakfast one Saturday morning before a day at St. Julien Spa (tough life). The flakiest, lightly sweet, nutty-filled croissant paired with a creamy cappuccino and sprinkle of raw sugar. I love breakfast. In my world, this breakfast could not come closer to perfection :).

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Another day, well okay two other days, we enjoyed lunch at the Pizzeria next door:

Vesuvius – heirloom tomato-basil-mozzarella di bufala

Frittatine – pasta-prosciutto cotto smoked mozzarella

Mais – mozzarella-prosciutto cotto-sweet corn-crème fraiche-garlic chive 

This pizza knocked my socks off so much I ordered it twice. Mountains are great and all but I think I could move to Boulder based on that picture alone :).

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And another two days still we dined at Frasca. It’s a show, from the service to the wine presentation to the staging of dishes. Course after course of imaginative food make for one very entertaining evening indeed. I cannot think of anything I love much more than that.

Dinner on night one:

Tonno – Hawaiian Big Eye Tuna, Munson Corn, Heirloom Tomato and Dill

Gnocchi – Spring Onion, Smoked Ricotta, Red, Yellow and Chioggia Beet

Marlino – Hawaiian Striped Marlin, Eggplant, Cherry Tomato, Zucchini and Red Pepper

CROSTATA DI P RUGNA – Golden Plum, Almond, White Chocolate, Brown Butter and Plum Sorbet

You know, just for instance!

So yes, we ate well in Colorado, with much thanks to Frasca and company. From the food to the wine to the company to activity, our Colorado vacation was very good. And now I’m ready to embrace Cleveland once again with renewed zest. Perhaps we can find some cuisine worth comparing :).

xo Beth

The Rib Cage & Katz Club Diner

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(Joy the Baker’s dangerously easy Single Girl Melty Chocolate Cakes from Saturday dinner at home)

All that sunset watching, volunteering, shopping and Indians gaming sure works up an appetite. So let’s talk food!

First a visit to The Rib Cage in Cleveland Heights. From their FB page: We are a Slow Food Movement adherent, farm-to-table smokehouse featuring pork, beef, and poultry from local, sustainable, and ethical farmers who share our vision. We have created smoked masterpieces from scratch that we promise are unmatched by any other Cleveland barbecues.

It. was. delicious. I had a pulled pork sandwich with bourbon baked beans and creamy coleslaw. The meat was melt-in-your-mouth and so very flavorful. The beans were a  boozy combination of 3 different kinds, (love how pretty that looks) and the coleslaw a crunchy mix of cabbage, radicchio, carrots and thinly sliced apples. I love how much detail went into each element and somehow the food wasn’t too heavy. Cozy atmosphere + friendly service and I think we have a win. (I just typed wine, someone help.)

On Sunday morning, a round II visit to The Katz Club Diner. We went for dinner a few weeks ago when they first opened and it was certainly good enough for a second visit for brunch.

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Above, a 3-egg omelet with home fries and toast. It was solidly good, although after seeing someone else with the most gorgeous fluffy pancakes I’ve ever seen in my life, I think we know what I’ll be ordering on visit number III.

So yes! I’d recommend both. Casual-thoughtful neighborhood spots. The best.

xo Beth

California Cuisine

CA food

Oh the food…

In case you couldn’t tell, I just love good food. Of course the eating part is fun – but that’s not even it! I love reading about it, talking about it, shopping for it, cooking it, following foodie trends, watching cooking shows, researching recipes, finding new restaurants,  just everything. It’s creative and passionate and beautiful and since you need food to live, I can always justify spending way too much money on it all :).

So one of the reasons I love Northern California so very much is that not only are you surrounded by awesome food, everyone seems to enjoy it just the same. Not in a pretentious way, just like enjoying good food is a part of loving life…and I think it really should be.

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My usual strategy is to eat to feel my best (mostly healthy and sometimes decadent). But when in California, on vacation, I say live it up! I don’t know when I’ll be back and there is so much great cuisine to explore.

And explore we did. Foodie highlights include:

  • Tartine Bakery in San Fran for flaky almond croissants and creamy fish bowl-sized lattes
  • Cafe de la Presse in San Fran for chewy-sweet French toast (pictured)
  • Kuleto’s in San Fran for red wine, pillow-soft gnocchi and decadent chocolate dessert (pictured)
  • The Girl and the Fig in Sonoma for well, everything <- best ever
  • Sunshine Caffe in Sonoma for bacon-studded waffles and fresh fruit smoothies
  • Oakville Grocery in Healdsburg for the classiest “boxed lunch” you will ever see
  • Chalkboard in Healdsburg for incredible cheese and super creative – did I mention to die for – dessert
  • Moustache Baked Goods in Healdsburg for wine-drunk mid-afternoon cupcakes

I realize not everyone can eat this well – and I certainly don’t everyday! Which is what made California so special. I feel very lucky to have been able to enjoy a wonderful vacation full of beautiful scenery, a best friend, amazing wine and outstanding food. California was a fabulous reminder to feel thankful for every delicious part of this very happy life. And I do.

So that’s it California! Normal Cleveland blogging will resume next.

xo Beth

San Francisco

San Fran

It’s official: our much-anticipated California vacation has come to an end. But what a vacation! I have so much to share, we’ll just have to take it a bit at a time. Starting with: San Francisco.

Although I swear up and down I’m all done with big city life and so happy to be back in Cleveland (and it’s true), I cannot deny that San Francisco is just incredible. What an amazing piece of the United States! I love the food, the wine, the coffee, the people, the atmosphere, culture, even its usually foggy-cool weather.

San Fran1

And so before heading to wine country for the bulk of our CA trip, my travel buddy and dear friend Jackie and I spent two days soaking in all that San Fran has to offer. Well, mostly all that San Fran has to offer that we didn’t get to during our last visit, two years ago.

Including: Tartine Bakery for flaky almond croissants and creamy fish bowl-sized lattes, Dolores Park for sunshine, long catch-up conversation and sneaky sunburns (ouch), Clock Bar for super-creative, super-potent cocktails, Avant Card to indulge our mutual/odd love of beautiful cards, Kuleto’s for red wine, pillow-soft gnocchi and decadent chocolate dessert.

And for a glimpse of the past, Alcatraz.

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A beautiful boat ride, amazing new perspective of the city and a whole lot of history. But oh shiver, it was a cold one (in June!). I can certainly see why you’d never want to end up there. Well you know, as much as any lucky tourist can :).

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A great California kick-off. Just enough time to soak in the city before heading off to the real relaxation vacation, Sonoma. Let’s chat more about that next time we meet.

xo Beth

Amelia Bedelia’s Supper

The Weekend2For the last two weeks I’ve been sitting my kitten-niece, Amelia Bedelia, while my sister was away in Hawaii. She’s absolutely adorable…although a little too much trouble for her own good. But it was a nice excuse to see Louisa as she dropped off and picked up my pest of a babysitting charge on her way to and from far more exotic locations.

Louisa arrived back in town on Friday and last night we gathered for a delightful meal, along with our parents and a few good friends. It was multi-chef collaboration that resulted in one very decadently delicious Saturday night dinner!

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We enjoyed three awesome wines over the course of the evening: Trump’s Cru sparkling white as our aperitif, Twomey Sauvignon Blanc with our main and Bouchane Pinot Noir with dessert. I certainly do not drink that well every night. Luxury!

For our main, my dad made one extremely gorgeous paella, paired with a lovely fresh salad from our friend Diane.

The Weekend

The paella most definitely tasted at least as good as it looks. So if you love that vibrant photo as much as I do, it should tell you something :).

Post-supper we cracked open our third bottle and took a brief intermission while Louisa and I went to town on dessert. While in Hawaii Louisa enjoyed the chocolate lava cake of her life. We heard allll about it. So for our Saturday night pudding, it seemed only fitting to recreate our own.

Luckily, my idol Joy the Baker has an epic recipe for a Single Girl Melty Chocolate Cake in her new cookbook. We made seven :). They were absolutely dreamy – super rich in the best, most molten chocolaty way possible. Served with a scoop of local Mitchell’s vanilla bean ice cream melting over top, spilling out a delicious pool of chocolate with each dip of the spoon. They were a perfect ending to a great night.

And now my little sis is back home in DC and I miss her already. And Amelia too. Kind of, not really. Of course I do ;).

xo Beth