Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy birthday, Cheryl!

Today is Cheryl's birthday, and to celebrate we went to Gran Ranchero for dinner! Beautiful birthday girl!

Grumpy Yang.

Cross-eyed Ben.

And his brother, cross-eyed Moss.

Happy birthday, Cheryl!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Purple Chopstix Brunch

Ben and I went to Purple Chopstix for brunch this morning! We had these delicious, cheerful watermelon cocktails!

Yay, brunch!

Everything was DELICIOUS. Look at all of that delicious stuff!!! My favorite was the macaroni and cheese with mushrooms and peas.

They built a new patio across the creek! For adventurous diners!

Ben modeling the new deck.

The owl scares the birds away so they don't poop on the umbrella. It actually works!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ohio Brew Week 2014

I got to sample a lot of delicious Ohio Brew Week beers this week! I ended up going out way more than I was expecting to. Not complaining! I started things off at the OU Inn Rock 'n' Roast on Friday night. I had a delicious Elevator Brewing Company IPA.

I also tried the Dark Horse Dark Lager.

Both were delicious. Cheers!

Lindsay's kids Caelyn and Asher danced up a storm to the Backwords Band!

On Tuesday night, I met friends at The Pigskin to enjoy a pint of my FAVORITE brew week beer, Willoughby Brewing Company Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter. Unfortunately, JUST LIKE LAST YEAR, they were completely out of it by the time I went! We would've gone on Monday, but we had a power outage and blah blah blah. Lesson learned: Get there early if you want the delicious peanut butter beer.

Just like last year, we headed across the street to the J Bar, because they also carry a peanut butter beer! Theirs is the Listermann Brewing Company Nutcase Peanut Butter Porter. A delicious beer for sure, but not the one I yearn for.

At this point I ran into Pat, and we decided to try some samples together! We tried the Triple Digit Chickow! – Hazelnut Double Brown Ale, which was AWESOME! It kind of tasted like Whoppers. Mmm, Whoppers.

Then we went to The Pub, to taste the  Rocky River Brewing Co. Oompa Loompa Chocolate Stout – a beer I've enjoyed in years past. Yum.

We also tried the Mt. Carmel Brewing Co. Citra Saison and Nut Brown Ale.

As the week went on, I began to hear rumors that The Pigskin was going to get a couple more kegs of the Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter on Thursday. THE RUMORS WERE TRUE!!!!!!!!!!! Obviously, I went to The Pigskin on Thursday and enjoyed a DELICIOUS pint of my favorite Brew Week beer. It lived up to my memory! It had been TWO YEARS!!! Reunited!!



On Friday, Tom was in town!!! So I was out for Brew Week festivities yet again! We went to Jackie O's. I chose a Warped Wing Brewing Co. Oatmeal Porter, and Tom got a Jackie O's Black IPA.

Later, we got some Jackie O's Chai-Spiced Baltic Mermen and they were AMAZING!!!!

We ended the evening at Casa for dinner, where they had Great Lakes Brewing Company's Wandering Pelican Black Ale. Tom got the full-sized, and I got the mini. Don't they look like mama and baby beers???

Saturday was Tom's last day in town, so we met up one last time. He was excited to check out the new West End Ciderhouse! I have to admit, I was a little beered out by this point, so I suggested a round of Bloody Marys! Yang came, too!

Their Bloody Mary is amazing. I would definitely say it's tied with Casa for the best Bloody in town!

Happy Brew Week, see you next year!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bastille Day

Mark and Emily hosted a French-themed potluck to celebrate Bastille Day! I chose to make my absolute favorite wine cheese bread. However, this time I ran into a little problem. I keep my olive oil and my dry sherry in the same type of jug. Somehow, I wasn't paying ANY attention and grabbed the jug of olive oil for my recipe instead of the dry sherry!!!

While I was cooking the dry sherry olive oil (A half-cup!!!!!! Gross!!!!) on the stovetop in a saucepan along with a stick of butter, I had thoughts like "Hmm, that looks kinda oily!! Weird!" and "I remember this smelling much more winey and delicious! Hmm! My nosebuds must be off!" But I still didn't realize my mistake.

I was also thinking the dough felt REALLY OILY when I was trying to mix the cheese in. If you look in the lower left of this ball of dough, you can see the oil just OOZING out around the base! Right before it was ready to go in the oven, I finally realized what had happened. I decided to bake it anyway and see what happened.

The devastating part of all this was that I had been looking forward to eating wine cheese bread for three days! So I decided I had to whip together a correct batch at the last minute. Look at the difference in this batch of dough!!! No pools of oil oozing out, and the cheese actually worked itself into the dough. Ahhhhh, much better.

Here is the finished olive oil cheese bread. Ben and I sampled a slice to determine whether it would get to attend the party. It was definitely edible, so I decided to bring it, in case there were any olive oil lovers there!

Here are the two breads at the Bastille Day party. Look at how short and dense the olive oil one is! (On the right {obviously}).

I told some people about the situation, but not everyone. Both breads got pretty well attacked! By the end of the night, there was only a little bit left of each! I don't know if people were taking slices of the olive oil one and then discovering it was really oily and throwing it away? Or maybe they were gobbling them up!!! The wine version turned out GREAT and I certainly ate my fair share!

Kelsey brought this ENORMOUS BASKET of homemade bread and rolls!!!!! It totally blew my mind! Look at this basket. It looks like a CARTOON basket of bread!!! I sampled at least a bite of almost everything in there. I was so full of bread that night. It was one of the best nights of my life!

Emily made a humongous delicious tuna nicoise salad.

Happy Bastille Day! And remember, if you store your sherries and oils in similar jugs, pay close attention to which one you use when you're cooking.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Fifth of July

 Summer and J had people over for a Fifth of July party! The fun continues! We grilled burgers, and Alex made a KING burger with all of the toppings.

Proud creator.

It had bruschetta topping, dilled cucumber salad, Hawaiian chicken salad, ketchup, mustard, cheese and MORE!

Jackie brought some delicious patriotic cupcakes. Oh, say, can you see?!

Alex was quick to catch onto the Goofy Cornhole trend.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Fourth of July

Ben and I had some family over for patriotic fun on the Fourth of July! Sparklers!


I made up a game called "Pass the Sparkler" in which you have to pass the sparkler.

Once we got a sparkler around the circle once, we challenged ourselves to pass a sparkler around the circle TWO times and we DID IT! Champions!

This game of goofy cornhole happened, too!

Pass the sparkler!!