Tag Archives: Wine

December Decadence

Steak night2 

In case you hadn’t noticed by today’s 25 degree thermometer reading, Cleveland’s not-so-friendly winter is officially upon us. Which before Christmas, is just fine in my book. Extra cold weather makes warm homes cozier, fire places brighter and bottomless glasses of red wine seem necessary for survival. Days are best spent hibernating – cooking and eating delicious food. Which is exactly what we did this weekend!

On Friday, a late night steak dinner – fillet decked out with a to die for mushroom sherry sauce, which this mushroom aficionado could not. stop. eating. Plus spicy-sweet roast sweet potatoes to really warm our insides. We realized after sitting down to eat that our plates were most definitely missing anything green. But never mind, it was Friday and I think that means vegetables are out and wine is most definitely in :).

Umami Chicken Stew2 

Saturday we enjoyed a fun day out in Ohio City and at the Westside Market, all dressed up and looking lovely for Christmas. We gathered ingredients for that evening’s dinner: Rachael Ray’s Umami Chicken Stew, had a little lunch at Great Lakes (and a Christmas Ale?) and did some present shopping at the Made in the 216 Holiday Shoppe. I loved it! Local gifts are the best gifts, I say.

Later, dinner was delicious – overflowing with all kinds of unique umami flavors. Leftovers are plentiful.

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And finally, a lush Sunday night dinner of Short Ribs and Homemade Dumplings. The short ribs were fall-off-the-fork tender and the dumplings chewy gooey perfection. I could eat a million.

Then we *tried* to make Christmas cookies and I almost made myself cry. Lessons learned include: ‘Quit while you’re ahead’ and ‘Good cooks are not always good bakers’. Oh well – just a little something to keep that foodie ego in check :).

A lovely start to a month of December decadence to come.

xo Beth   

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Pumpkin Pie Pregame

Kokomo

Almost more fun than Thanksgiving day itself, the days that fall just before and after. Skipping out of work early, greeting out of town family and friends as they arrive back home, sharing good meals and lots of laughter over special occasion bottles of wine.

Like Wednesday night’s bottle of Kokomo Pinot Noir, purchased during our May vacation to Sonoma. It was my favorite Pinot of the trip, so I brought a bottle home for my dad on Father’s day. Just as delicious as I could recall! A Pinot that paired nicely with our main, a Lamb Tagine.

Pumpkin pie

And finally, a Thanksgiving Eve pumpkin pie pregame – because there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing (right?). We actually cheated here, although I’m very glad we did. As no one would volunteer to be the maker of this year’s pie, Mr. Heinen’s himself (or maybe one of his baker elves) made this one for us to enjoy at home. And it really was pumpkin pie perfection! We may never go the homemade route again. Which I think is okay because you can’t do it all, all the time now can you?

Brew Kettle

And in case that’s not enough, a ritual post-dinner voyage to The Brew Kettle for a few delicious craft brews and lots of catching up.

Oh the holidays… I love it all.

xo Beth

All of the Ingredients

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Good food, a mini road trip, lots of sunshine, a few glasses of wine, family + friends… all of the ingredients for a pretty perfect August weekend.

Starting Thursday night with a crisp glass of rose at Greenhouse Tavern bar, followed by an (always) delicious patio dinner at the Flying Fig. To start, Buratta Cheese – Olive Tapenade, Arugula, Extra Virgin, Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Crostini. Buratta is one of my all-time favorite appetizers, in all of its richly-creamy, softly-subtle glory. For my main, Herbed Ricotta Gnocchi – Chicken Confit, Asparagus, Walnuts, Pecorino Sardo, Fava Beans. It just so happens that gnocchi is one of my all-time favorite dinners! How could we go wrong here. Plus a few bites of molten chocolate cake for dessert – because who lets that sit on the table without at least a little participation? :) It was delightful. 

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On Friday, an all day out-and-back trip to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in PA. In case you don’t know (which I didn’t), the house is built over/as part of a beautiful natural waterfall. The homeowners had originally anticipated it being close to the fall but Wright took the it one giant step further with his design. The whole structure has a very outside feel and is totally unique to anything I’ve seen before. Breathtaking! You know, just taking notes for my future vacation home… :)

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And on Saturday, the very best kind of Saturday here in Cleveland. Shopping at the West Side Market followed by lunch and a beer at Great Lakes. I think I could do that exact loop around Ohio City every Saturday and never get bored.

Hello August! Promises to be an exciting end-of-summer month :).

xo Beth

Geneva on the Lake

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The greatest thing about my wacky work schedule is lots of time off, which is especially enjoyable in the summer months. Particularly, the two or three days this summer that Cleveland’s been without rain :). The weekday off + rain-free combo is one that must always be taken advantage of!

So this week take advantage we did, by venturing out to Geneva on the Lake.  It was in the 70’s and sunny, even better than your usual July day. The original plan was to venture back to Mentor Headlands beach for a second time, but then it was decided that 15 more minutes in the car would take us to Geneva and how can you say no to something new.

The main drag of Geneva is pretty hokey if you ask me, kind of similar to the Jersey Shore pier we’ve all seen on TV in that show I’ll never admit to watching. But also charming, in a way that makes you want to eat Dairy Queen soft serve with that magical crunch coat while partaking in some entertaining people watching :).

Once that fun was over, a walk down to the nearby water. It may not have been the most beautiful color due to non-stop ferocious rain storms of late, but you can’t deny it’s still a pretty gorgeous scene. So close to home! Who knew.

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And finally a quick drive to Geneva State Park for a little beach blanket chillaxing. Couldn’t you just do that all day?

I realize that Geneva is also home to many Ohio wineries and while I’m sure they’re no California vineyard I’ll bet they’re still tons of fun! It’s mostly about being in a beautiful setting with a few good friends and a splash of alcohol anyway, no? So a return visit is a must very soon for sure. Anyone want to join me for a little sweet wine in the summertime? :)

xo Beth

Sonoma

And then we travelled to Sonoma.

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I mean, can you be unhappy here?

As you might guess, we drank a lot of wine over the course of the week. We also ate a lot of food, which could explain the lack of give in my jeans this week (oops). But let’s save all that glorious California cuisine for another post, another day.

For now, let’s explore!

Sonoma

Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves is my absolute favorite. We were introduced to it on a bike tour during our last visit and it’s one of the few wineries that we made a repeat visit to this time. I just cannot resist! It’s absolutely majestic inside the caves, absolutely beautiful outside and so very welcoming. And of course, the wine’s not too bad either ;).

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We enjoyed this lovely view from atop Copain Wines before indulging in a long, leisurely afternoon of tasting, talking and nibbling on their patio. Copain’s Anderson Valley Pinot Noir is stellar.

Also of note: Amista Vineyards for beautiful scenery, delicious wines and super friendly atmosphere, Kokomo Winery for chill staff and another amazing Pinot and Bouchaine Vineyards for a delightful taste of Napa without any of that Napa stuffiness.

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And when we needed a break from all that wining (tough life), a day of spa service and sunbathing at Calistoga Hot Springs. Swimming in their pool is like a good soak in one very giant bathtub, which I will definitely be needing in the backyard of my future home :).

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Plus a little hiking in the outskirts of the Redwoods, a breathtaking must-see…and we didn’t even get to the biggest trees.

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Love, love, love. From the wine to the scenery to the people to the activity, wine country was perfection. Food next time? Well this is meant to be a food blog after all, so I think so :).

xo Beth

San Francisco

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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.

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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

California Love

California

I’ll be back in 8 days!

Can’t tell you how excited I am for this week of wine-soaked fun with one of my favorite people in the universe :).

xo Beth