Tag Archives: Dessert

Columbus

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Another road trip! After NYC I was definitely in need of a few quiet weekends in Cleveland. But I can’t believe it’s already been a month since! So this weekend I got back on the road, this time for a short trip to Columbus to visit my darling friend May.

Starting with a Short North neighborhood brunch to kick off our Saturday morning. After an extra early wake up call to make the two hour drive, this meal was a very welcome treat!

We dined at ZenCha Tea Salon. A million kinds of tea, lots of creative pancake creations…what else could a girl want? I had the Earl Grey’s Choice – layered with baked apples, topped with raisins & walnuts served with house made earl grey tea syrup.

And then we jumped back into the car and headed south, to spend the day in Hocking Hills. It is just too gorgeous there. Although it was a bit freezing when I first arrived in Cbus, by the time we got to our hiking destination the day had turned absolutely lovely! We spent all day hiking around and soaking up the spring sunshine, stopping at three different trails along the way.

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After driving back into the city and a quick change, it was most definitely time for dinner. Admittedly, until recently I didn’t think much of Columbus. Most of my experiences there were in college visiting various friends at OSU and those visits mostly involved a whole lot of cheap drinks at dirty bars (oh college). But now that I’m the ripe old age of 28 and have been back to see May a few times, I’m realizing what a little gem it is! So many adorable neighborhoods and shops and restaurants to enjoy. Including last night’s stop at for some genuinely yummy cocktails and chewy gooey pizza.

First, we sipped sweet little cocktails at Curio. I was so in love! The vibe is much like a speakeasy, with a full menu of potent, thoughtful libations. Followed by salad and pizza across the way at Harvest Pizzeria. We shared a Mushroom – Gouda, variety of Athens county mushrooms, truffle, herbs. Yes, I was in heaven. We closed out our evening at Brother’s Drake Meadery where we tasted our way through flights of local mead. Something a bit different and a whole lot enjoyable.

The highlight of my trip had to be our ah-mazing brunch this AM at Pistacia Vera, “the dessert boutique”. May had me at dessert boutique and it only got more wonderful from there. Just look at these gorgeous French pastries.

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I die. For brunch, TOMATO PROVENÇAL BAKED EGGS – two eggs baked with cream, herbs, parmigiano-reggiano, garlic and tomato fondue. served with a toasted croissant and house made preserves. I also bought a few lovely little macaroons to bring home and share. They had to ride in the backseat as if I wasn’t careful, 2 hours alone in the car would inevitably lead to 4 macaroons in my tummy. Probably worth it :).

And so that’s Columbus! Nothing makes me happier than good food, good drinks, good friends and good fun. This trip included all of those and so it was Saturday-Sunday perfection.

xo Beth

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New York City, Part II

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If at first you don’t succeed, wake up early, accept that your iPhone is a better navigator than you and try again to get Late Show tickets. Which is exactly what we did first thing on morning number three.

While waiting to hear if we’d been selected for that night’s show, Amber and I headed over to Chelsea Market to do some exploring of that foodie-crafty paradise. We had a delicious breakfast sandwich at Friedman’s Lunch and then spent hours wandering around the adorable shops.

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A few months ago I read a fantastic memoir, Paris My Sweet, which highlights the best of Paris and New York’s confectionary offerings. As I’ve been cursed blessed with an intense love of all things sugar, I was practically dying over the author’s delicious recommendations. So of course while in NYC, I had to stop and enjoy something on her list. A chocolate chip cookie and hot chocolate from Jaques Torres were divine and had me hopped up on plenty of sugar for our next adventure.

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We made it in the audience!! When my phone rang with the news Amber and I celebrated like we’d been picked to star on the show ourselves. While of course that wasn’t true, we had a blast, front and center in the third row watching special guest Jim Carey. So it was all worth it in the end. And failing so miserably the day before made our victory that much sweeter. Funny how that works :).

Our final night in New York was spent in Brooklyn and I am so in love. We dined on delicious curry at Bia before heading to Bembe for drinks and The Woods to shake our tail feathers until 5AM. I loved the vibe of the area and am almost sad we didn’t go until our final night. But it was the perfect way to say goodbye.

And on our final day, a nice long but very cold walk through The High Line, a beautiful and very unique park floating above the city. We enjoyed our last meal at Le Grainne Cafe in Chelsea and the French toast was all I could want and more.

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Heaven.

I had a BLAST in New York. Amazing food, amazing drinks, amazing fun with an amazing friend. I am loving life right now and have to thank New York for being part of that feeling :).

xo Beth

New York City, Part I

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Oh New York.

I have a love/hate relationship with NYC because of course it’s impossible not to love a city full of every opportunity, dream, character and experience imaginable. But it’s intense and gritty and overwhelming too, all at the same time. But for a few days, NYC is always a lovely place to be. And this visit was no exception.

I met up with Amber, my old University roommate, for four days and four nights of fun in the big city. We managed to do about eight days worth of activity, which has left me very worn out but very happy too. What a post-vacation high! Let’s recapture the moments.

Our first night we met up at our hotel and decided to get the party started right away by heading to Times Square and seeing where the night took us. About 5 minutes off the metro we got roped into buying tickets for a comedy show. Suckers. So we had drinks at Jimmy’s Corner bar and headed over to another part of town for the late set. Although I was skeptical about what street tickets will buy you, it was HILARIOUS. Stand Up NY – I highly recommend it!

The next morning-ish, we began our day at the very adorable The Spotted Pig in Greenwich for lunch, which was perhaps my favorite meal of the trip.

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And not just because I accidentally ordered what I’m pretty sure was straight bourbon in a glass and Amber an entire wine bottle size cider to drink. Just keeping things classy, like we do :).

Burrata with Creamy Merlot Beans & Roasted Treviso to eat. Plus a slice of banoffee pie to finish that made my tummy and taste buds smile a very happy smile.

We spent the afternoon shopping and exploring Greenwich and SoHo before rounding out our day with pho and drinks at a few very weird bars.

The next (rainy) day we were up and off to The Late Show to try and get tickets… but that was an epic fail as we got on the wrong metro, got off at the wrong stop and never even made it in time to put our names on the lottery list. But at least we were soaking wet and freezing cold at the end of it all. Boo hoo!

After warming up over some Indonesian food, we decided it was a good day for a movie and made our way over to Angelika Film Center. We saw the film No, a Chilean historical drama which probably makes us sound much more intelligent than we really are :).

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It seems a shame to be in NYC and spend a day at the movies but not when the theatre is so beautiful and the film so unique. It felt so New York! Plus, we were warm and dry which was pretty much all I could want out of life at that point.

We enjoyed a little New York pizza for dinner and then did two very fun bar hops, first to McSorley’s Old Ale House, NY’s oldest continuously operated saloon.

And next to The Back Room speakeasy which was the coolest thing ever! Well at least to a not-so-hip girl like me. To get there, we went through a random little gate, through a dark alley and knocked on a unmarked door. But when the bouncer let us in, we entered a beautiful 1920’s-style bar, complete with old velvet couches and gorgeous chandeliers. We drank yummy cocktails out of tea mugs and felt so underground :).

So I will bring you Part II next time, as I’m sure you’ve had enough of me for one day. Back soon!

xo Beth

See’s Candies

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Last night, I was in chocolate heaven. Is there anywhere better to find yourself?

The kind ladies and gentleman at California-based See’s Candies invited me out to the Blogger Preview Event for their new store opening in Beachwood. I never say no to the opportunity to visit that magical shopping center and certainly never say no to chocolate.

It was a lovely event: super friendly staff, lots of chocolate samples and the most AMAZING swag bag of chocolate, filled to the brim with treats! Sweetness.

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Try not to die over that photo.

Fresh, hand-packed, preservative free chocolate. And it all makes a difference, trust me, I’ve eaten far too much enough chocolate in my lifetime to attest that this is delicious.

It was a bit nostalgic for me because the first time I visited a See’s Candies shop I was on one of my favorite vacations ever in Northern California – almost two years ago now. Enjoying their chocolate was like a little taste of pure vacation happiness, right here in Cleveland :).

Check it out:

https://www.facebook.com/Sees.Candies
https://twitter.com/seescandies

xo Beth

Trail Mix Cookies

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You know that ultra-hilarious site, Stuff White People Like? If not, I suggest you enjoy a browse though. It’s so funny because it’s so. true.

One of my favorites is #87, Outdoor Performance Clothes

The main reason why white people like these clothes is that it allows them to believe that at any moment they could find themselves with a Thule rack on top of their car headed to a national park. It could be 4:00 p.m. on a Saturday when they might  get a call “hey man, you know what we need to do? Kayak then camping, right now. I’m on my way to get you, there is no time to change clothes.”

My winter jacket is a Northface. My work-out jacket is a Northface. And if you know anything about me at all, you know that I spend at least 90% of my waking hours in yoga pants. But it’s so true! I love these clothes because they allow you to be ready for anything. Sometimes I consider jeans while I’m getting dressed and then think, but what if I decide to go for a walk/run/bike ride later? What if I suddenly need to slosh through mud/climb a fence/move house this afternoon? Surely I’ll be more comfortable in yoga pants and a Northface. Totally reasonable.

I think these cookies are the baked equivalent of Outdoor Performance Clothes. Sure I work in an office and there’s little doubt that it’s where I will spend the rest of my working day. But I brought these cookies in to share for a farewell party. So just in case a situation should arise where we’ll need to hike somewhere, we have a snack to go.

And even if not, who wouldn’t want a cookie jam packed with crisp M&Ms, gooey peanut butter chips, chewy raisins and salty roast peanuts?

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A Joy The Baker recipe that is in her book and not to be found online. I tend to prefer not to rewrite recipes from cookbooks in the interest of copyright. But if you’re so inclined to Google Trail Mix Cookies you may find what you’re looking for. But you didn’t hear that from me ;).

xo Beth

Peanut Butter Birthday Cake

Peanut Butter Birthday Cake

In no particular order, seared tuna, gnocchi, mushrooms and truffle oil are foods I’d absolutely trade my first born for. Well, if I had a first born. Which I don’t and maybe when I actually do I’ll change my mind…but in any case that’s where we stand for now.

But without a doubt, peanut butter holds the top spot in my food-loving heart. So while flipping through Joy the Baker’s new cookbook for the first time, her Peanut Butter Birthday Cake pretty much made me pass out with excitement. Peanut butter cake! Peanut butter frosting! And this month actually is my birthday so that’s basically a sign from heaven that I’d have to bake it ASAP.

This weekend I’m in Chicago for a family visit with my big brother, the perfect occasion to share this double decker beauty with the ones I love. Chicago is wonderful in the summer but there’s a little less to do in February when the sidewalks double as an ice rink. So an afternoon of cozying up in the apartment and baking til the whole kitchen smells gorgeous made for a pretty perfect winter-in-Chicago Saturday afternoon indeed.

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This cake is intense, in the best most peanut buttery way possible. It’s dense in texture and decadent in flavor, peanut buttery b-e-a-utiful until the very last crumb. It’s probably my most favorite birthday cake ever which I think is okay to say, especially because most of the cakes of my youth came from Dairy Queen. And even though that oreo fudge crumble is delicious, it just cannot (and should not) compete with this nutty delight.

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So if this cake is a taste of things to come in my 28th year then bring it on. We can only hope it’ll be half as delicious :).

Peanut Butter Birthday Cake <- recipe here

xo Beth

Lilly Handmade Chocolates

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There have been too many vegetables in my life lately (yes, that’s a thing). It’s been 3 weeks since the good intentions of the new year so I say bring on the chocolate!

Last week I went to Lilly to send my new mama best friend some truffles in honor of the arrival of her bundle of joy. She no longer lives in Cleveland, so I thought it would be nice to deliver a little taste of the city to her door. Plus, bonus, while I was there I could also cross the first item of my Cleveland Bucket List: a cup of Lilly drinking chocolate.

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I could not BELIEVE my luck when I saw that their special flavor was Spicy Peanut Butter Chocolate. If there’s one thing I love more than chocolate it’s peanut butter and when you marry the two together and add a touch of spice? I thought I must be dreaming.

It was made in a little saucepan over a burner, fresh on the spot. So quaint! And my goodness, it was indeed the very BEST hot chocolate!! Rich and creamy and so decadent and unique as anything, for sure. I was having a major life moment while indulging in this little cup.

While there, I also noticed that they do craft beer and wine pairings with their truffles which sounded like a fun time indeed. So this week, I invited a friend along for Lilly, round II.

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This week’s offerings included a red wine paired with their Pistachio Truffle: bittersweet pistachio ganache. milk chocolate. (I am so sorry I did not take note of the wine).

And espresso porter paired with their Red Planet truffle: dark chocolate. strawberries soaked in Syrah. black pepper red wine reduction. freeze dried raspberry powder.

Of course you can’t go wrong with chocolate and wine but it was the Red Planet/porter pairing that really knocked my socks off! You know when you have one of those pairings that really do bring out the best in each other in the most perfect way that make you realize the whole point of putting one and one together to make a much improved two? To me, this was that :).

And so Lilly Part I and II were a major success, much to my taste buds delight. Where to next?? The possibilities are endless.

xo Beth