Friday, January 31, 2014

Superbowl Sunday Snacks

It's finally Superbowl Weekend!  I may seem excited, but my dirty little secret is that I really don't like watching football very much.  I do, however, enjoy the social aspects of the game...the tailgating, the talking during commercials, a good beer, and of course, the food!!   Everybody has been taking time to debate betting on the Seahawks or Broncos, but have you considered the all-important snacks?  I have some great recipes that will make game day even better.  Crispy Baked Potato skins, a healthy-but-delicious Southwestern Bean Salsa, and the classic Buffalo Chicken Dip will definitely take your party to the next level!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies!

This past Saturday, Cleveland greeted me with snow, wind, sub-zero temperatures, and gray skies yet again!  I feel like I've been snowed in since the holidays!  It didn't help that most of friends weren't around because they were busy doing a design competition.  After catching up on this week's TV shows and homework, I decided to surprise them with some cookies to help them get through the last 24 hours of the competition.  They've been staying up late all week, so I wanted a dessert that gave them a little sugar, a little protein, and a little motivation to pull through.  PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES!  Did I even need to say anything else after the word "peanut butter?"  This recipe has been my favorite cookie to make since I started baking with my mom as a little girl, and I'm fairly positive it's everybody's favorite cookie to eat as well!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Date Night In University Circle and Little Italy

3 years ago, a boy named Howie that I had only known a couple of weeks took me to a fancy Italian restaurant near the central market in Florence, and asked me to be his girlfriend.  Try topping that kind of experience every year for your anniversary!  Since a trip to Tuscany wasn't in the near future, we figured a little art and a lot of Italian food would be the next best thing.  We took advantage of the later hours at the Cleveland Museum of Art on Friday nights, and planned a trip to Little Italy for dinner afterwards! While the art was pretty spectacular, I think my favorite part was the architecture of the atrium.  If you've only visited during the day, I would recommend going again at night because it was a completely different experience!  

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Night in Cleveland!

One of my favorite areas of downtown Cleveland is Playhouse Square, and I'm proud to say that I finally got to see a musical on Thursday night!  Howie got us tickets to see Chicago, which is only in town for a week!  The show was absolutely amazing on its own, but the combination of dinner at The District restaurant and an after show beer at Parnell's Irish Pub made the entire night perfect.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti

It's freezing outside!  So cold that my car wouldn't start and I had to work from home today.  Since I got started a half hour early, I finished a little early too, with just enough time to bake a batch of delicious white chocolate cranberry biscotti before dinner.  I know what you're thinking...isn't biscotti that stale, wannabe cookie that you have to dip in coffee in order to chew?  Typically, yes.  But I promise my biscotti is soft, flavorful, and does not require a warm beverage for consumption (but I'm not saying that a vanilla latte or a big cup of coffee wouldn't make the experience even more enjoyable).  This is the perfect treat for curling up on the couch on a cold winter day!

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Healthy Spin on Italian

Great Lakes Christmas Ale has 225 calories per bottle.  There, I said it.  I know how you feel, I wallowed for a minute too when I found out; however, we can't continue to dwell on our ghosts of Christmas past, we have to move on.  Lucky for us, I've had to make myself marketable as a potential Food Network star, which has led to the creation of some delicious, figure-friendly recipes that cater to those of us trying to get back on track (at least until Christmas Ale 2014 is released).  Last night I made a delicious pasta dish with tomato sauce, chicken, veggies, garlic, and parmesan cheese.  The best part, besides the taste of course, is that it's only 320 calories per serving!  The secret?  Substituting yellow squash for the spaghetti.  I swear you won't even taste the difference!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The West Side Market: A Perfect Saturday Afternoon

This past week’s temperatures have made it difficult to discern whether we’re in Cleveland or the Arctic Circle, so I felt obligated to take advantage of the beautiful sunshine on Saturday afternoon.  One of my favorite things to do on the weekend, especially in nice weather, is make a trip to the West Side Market; my other favorite activity regardless of the weather, is to make a killer meal!  Since I got a new Crock Pot for Christmas, I decided to try a recipe for slow-cooker Philly steak sandwiches and baked garlic rosemary french fries, and get most of the ingredients at the West Side Market.