Dirty Dancing In Cleveland – a Ticket Giveaway!

Ahh Dirty Dancing. It’s a movie that definitely brings me back. The story (innocent girl meets bad boy and falls in love), the music and of course, the dancing. Oh and the iconic lines – Nobody puts Baby in a corner … I carried a watermelon … and one of my personal favorites:

Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.

Anyway, when I heard that Dirty Dancing had been made into a musical AND it was coming to Cleveland, I knew I had to somehow convince B to see it with me – or plan a girls night out. So when Playhouse Square invited me* to their media night, I knew a GNO was in order!

Perfect GNO - flowers, candles, wine (not pictured) and cute coasters!

Perfect GNO – flowers, candles, wine (not pictured) and cute coasters!

Goofy before the show

Goofy before the show

Ali and I got to the show a little early, with enough time to enjoy some delicious food from The District, who was catering the media event. We chatted with some people from Q104 and Cleveland Scene and enjoyed some treats:

Some of the delicious food we feasted on

Some of the delicious food we feasted on (cupcakes not pictured)

My fave - the fish!

My fave – the fish!

More food. Didn't try this because of the meat but it looked good!

More food. Didn’t try this because of the meat but it looked good!

Then it was showtime! When the lights went down and the music started, I was immediately transported back in time to 1963 upstate New York. The dancing was unbelievable, the singing great (there was one male and one female vocal who stole the show – they sing the famous (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life) and the story just as cheesy and romantic as I remembered it from way back when. Okay, maybe it was cheesier (seeing and hearing the lines from live actors is a little different from on your TV screen) but since I love the cheese I could handle it.

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Overall, the show was enjoyable and it was a great way to spend a Wednesday evening. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the video and more information from Playhouse Square:

 

The show is in town through March 22! So, want to enjoy a romantic evening? OR Girls Night Out? Or just really wanna see the show? Good news – I have two tickets to give away to the March 17 show! Interested in winning the tickets? Here’s how you enter – there are three different ways and each comment is a separate entry!

1. Leave a comment and tell me your favorite part of the movie (or musical!). It can be a favorite quote or scene.

2. Leave another comment telling me your favorite movie turned musical or vise versa.  

3. Follow @Playhousesquare  and me (@koskim) on Twitter. Leave me a comment and let me know you did and your handle so I can follow you!

That’s it! I’ll draw winners on Wednesday, March 11.

*Disclosure: I was asked by Playhouse Square to help promote Dirty Dancing in Cleveland #dirtydancingcle. In exchange, I received two free tickets to the media night performance of the show, the pre-show drinks and food from The District and two tickets to give away. I’ll be using random.org to select a random comment. 

 

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

peanut butter cookie dough  cheesecake bars

I stumbled upon a food holiday calendar last week and discovered that March 1 was National Peanut Butter Lovers Day. Oh my goodness – how perfect is that holiday? So naturally, I had to make something to celebrate. I had no idea what to make – there are so many choices! – but decided to make some cheesecake bars featuring peanut butter cookie and peanut butter cup.

I had seen a few recipes that looked good but each one had something wrong with it (in my opinion) – one called for peanut butter chips, which I didn’t have … one only fit in an 8×8 pan, which was too small … and most of them featured regular chocolate chip cookie, NOT peanut butter cookie. So this is somewhat of a made up recipe and you can be I’ll be making it again to perfect it – all for science, of course.

PS – Sorry this is being shared AFTER National Peanut Butter Lovers Day. Let’s just say I fell into a deep sugar/peanut butter/cheesecake bar coma after making these and didn’t get around to writing down the recipe until now. You can still make these – I guarantee they’ll be appreciated any day :)

peanut butter cookie dough  cheesecake bars- i crashed the web

peanut butter cookie dough cheesecake bars

Here’s what you need:

For the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

For the Cheesecake

  • 1- 8 ounce package cream cheese (8 oz.) at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

For the Glaze

  • 4 teaspoons water
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

Here’s what you do:

  1. First, make the peanut butter cookie dough. Cream together butter, shortening and sugar in a large bowl until combined. Then add in eggs and vanilla. Continue to cream until batter seems light. Add in peanut butter and mix thoroughly.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Slowly add to the peanut butter mixture and combine until well incorporated.
  3. Stir in peanut butter cup bites and chocolate chips with a spatula. Press half of the dough into the bottom of a prepared 9×13 pan. To prevent the mixture from sticking I spread foil through the bottom of the pan and partially up the edges and then sprayed with a nonstick cooking spray. Resist the urge to eat there set of the dough :)
  4. Then, prepare the peanut butter cream cheese topping. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and peanut butter and continue to beat until smooth. Pour on top of the cookie dough and use a spatula sprayed with cooking spray to spread evenly on top of cookie dough.
  5. Finish the batter: Drop and press small pieces of the remaining peanut butter cookie dough on top of the cream cheese topping. Cover as much of the cream cheese layer as you can.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-27 minutes or until cookie topping starts to appear golden brown.
  7. Prepare the glaze: In a small bowl, combine the water, powdered sugar and peanut butter. Mix well. Drizzle over bars while still warm. Cool before cutting. Enjoy!

And here’s another photo for you to gape at. The photos aren’t the best quality (phone camera!) but my goodness – you get the idea of how delicious these were. YUM!

peanut butter cookie dough  cheesecake bars

WIAW: Leftover Chinese Food

Once again – here’s a look at my Monday eats from this week. Enjoy this edition of WIAW!

Monday’s breakfast may look familiar. That’s right – once again, I had egg whites with hot peppers and frozen veggies. And B made it.

Sadly, we had no more leftover spaghetti squash to enjoy – I thought I did but after tasting it I noticed it was bad (ice) so it was just veggies and egg whites. Oh, I also had some coffee again!

For those of you that have read my other WIAW posts, this may look familiar ...

For those of you that have read my other WIAW posts, this may look familiar …

Lunch was leftover Chinese food! B and I had FEASTED at Wonton Gourmet in Asiatown on Saturday night, getting lomein, szechuan fish, Chinese broccoli and more. Thankfully we had leftovers of my favorite – the fish and broccoli.

Not quite sure what kind of "fish" this is?

Not quite sure what kind of “fish” this is?

Snacks during the day included:

A sweet potato with honey and cinnamon and a handful of salted almonds. Sweet and salty ftw!

Probably about a handful of almonds - 12ish? - with my sweet potato. Some are hiding.

Probably about a handful of almonds – 12ish? – with my sweet potato. Some are hiding.

Carrots and cinnamon gum. Not together …

carrots and gum.

carrots and gum.

Homemade caramels – I made them over the weekend at my Ladies Craft Beer event and they are SO DELICIOUS.

Don't worry, I didn't eat ALL of these. Just about 2 or 3 :)

Don’t worry, I didn’t eat ALL of these. Just about 2 or 3 :)

Some Arctic Zero!

I didn't quite eat the whole pint ..

I didn’t quite eat the whole pint ..

For a Meatless Monday dinner I made some sweet potato zucchini hash with tofu. Yup, more sweet potato. YUM- I topped with cilantro.

I'll be sharing the recipe for this soon - it is so GOOD and i make it all the time!

I’ll be sharing the recipe for this soon – it is so GOOD and i make it all the time!

And for dessert? A small peanut butter cheesecake cookie bar. I’ll be posting the recipe for these asap because they are SO SO amazing.

I swear I only had one small one of these bars. Not the whole plate :)

I swear I only had one small one of these bars. Not the whole plate :)

And here’s my fitbit activity for the day- I got in a 4 mile run and short elliptical workout in the morning and that’s about it for activity.

Screenshot_2015-03-03-15-40-01

Some questions for you:

  • Do you WIAW? Share the link – I’d love to see!
  • What’s your favorite dessert you’re jamming on right now?
  • Do you eat the same breakfast each day too?

 

Training Tuesday: Week One Done

For those of you that forgot, I’m excited to be a Cleveland half marathon ambassador! That means that each week I’ll be sharing with you my training, ups and downs, and more. And this past week was my first official training week.

Week one of Cleveland half marathon training is DONE. And it was a good week – since I had been running pretty much daily leading up to training, I didn’t feel intimidated by this week’s mileage. I actually got in fewer miles now that training started- the weeks leading up to this week were in the 30s and this week – including some walking with my runs – was 25 miles.

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 4.23.32 PM

Monday: On the schedule – 3 miles.

Actual run – 3 miles, with the first 2 at 1% incline. I also added in a little warmup and cool down. Not sure why, but this run was not as easy as it should have been! It was a rougher treadmill run than usual. Maybe I was tired from the weekend?

Tuesday: On the schedule – 4×400 at 5k pace.

Actual run – ouch. But I did it! I have been trying to get a sub-25 minute 5k and haven’t yet “officially” (in an actual 5k) so my goal 400m pace is about 8 minute/mile. Since I was on the treadmill, I ended up doing a little warmup and 400m in between each sprint. Man, that was rough. I can’t believe this is the easiest speed work that I’ll be doing – I know where I’ll be suffering this training season – speed work and intervals for sure! Still, I did it and got in about 3 miles total including warmup and cool down.

Wednesday: On the schedule – 3 miles.

Actual run – 3 miles, with a mile warmup and mile cool down. Also attempted to keep the incline at 1% for 2 miles. I was feeling MUCH better than Monday and enjoyed my cool down and warmup so much that I made them a mile each.

Thursday: On the schedule – NO RUN. 

Actual workout – It was nearly impossible for me to take the full day off, so I did the elliptical on EASY and lifted some weights. I’m really trying to take my off days and cross training seriously!

Friday: On the schedule – 3 miles.

Actual run – 4.75 miles, again with warmup and cool down and 2 miles at 1%. I felt great this morning for some reason so I listened to my body and did a LITTLE bit longer of a run (not THAT much!). I also did a little longer cool down and got to 6 miles total.

20150227_064818

Saturday: On the schedule – 5 miles.

Actual run – 5.5 miles, first 2 at 1% incline and then the next 3 miles gradually getting speedier until I was running at just sub-9 min mile pace for the last mildish. I lost track and actually finished running at 5.5 miles, finishing at 9:05 min/miles for the whole pace. It’s nice that my “long” runs are done in less than an hour right now – something I definitely am not taking for granted! After my run, I did a quick 1.5 mile walk to cool down.

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 4.50.23 PM

Sunday: On the schedule – cross train or off.

Actual workout – 4 mile walk (not shown on my dailymile app map above). I somehow dragged B outside in the snow (Yes, March 1 it was 20 degrees and snowing) and convinced him to walk (not run) the bridges with me. It was a somewhat more difficult walk – the sidewalks weren’t plowed so I definitely felt my leg muscles working on the bridges (hills) a little bit. Even though it was just a walk, it was good to be outside. I got in 12,000 steps just from our walk, about 4 miles!

Seen on our walk

Seen on our walk

Overall thoughts about the week: 

The good: I didn’t miss any of my workouts and I took my off days (or my “stretch and strengthen or xc” days) seriously. I kept mostly to the schedule (yes, I did run a little longer a few days – but not by much!). I didn’t run on those days and I actually attempted to lift some weights and do ab exercises. Go me! Also, B signed us up for the St. Malachi 5 miler in a few weeks so that will be a great excuse for me to get outside and tackle some real hills (it’s a hilly but fun course).

The bad: I didn’t make it outside. Again. I probably could’ve gone outside twice this week (Wed was in the low teens and Saturday was sunny and cold but streets weren’t icy) but I didn’t. I’m hoping that it will warmup somewhat and I can get my outside running groove back soon!

Questions for you:

  • Do you have any races coming up?
  • Have you gotten outside for a run or have you been stuck inside like me? (I guess stuck isn’t the right term … I could run outside if I were braver!)

When it snows in March … We feast on treats!

I really can’t believe it’s March. It’s still cold. And snowy. I mean, I know they say that March “comes in like a lion” but I’m ready for at least 30 degree temps, especially on my weekends!

It was cold and snowy this weekend, which meant it was a perfect weekend to stay in, bake, and eat comfort food. So that’s pretty much what we did.

On the schedule for Saturday (I just started my training plan for the Cleveland half marathon) was an easy 5 mile run (hooray for “long” runs under an hour!), and because I haven’t been too brave or running outside lately, the 13 degree temps (feels like single digits) didn’t sound appealing to me so I decided to run inside on the treadmill. It went by fast, and with a warm up and cool down and some walking while B ran, I got in more than 7 miles. (Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Training Tuesday and I’ll share my entire week’s schedule)

It was also a cold day, perfect for some baking. I first made some peanut butter chocolate chip cheesecake bars. I had found a few recipes, but none of them were exactly what I wanted so I pretty much decided to just combine 3 or 4 recipes and keep my fingers crossed that they would turn out. And they did. Definitely sharing the recipe soon.

Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars

Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars

20150228_133315

This weekend was also our monthly Ladies Craft Beer Society meeting – I look forward to our get togethers every month but especially this month: our craft was BAKING! We gathered at Nicole’s apartment and made homemade salted caramels, vanilla honey marshmallows and almond marshmallows. Oh, and of course we had plenty of snacks to enjoy while we were baking. And craft beer.

So many snacks!

So many snacks! Chips and huac, pizza dip, spinach artichoke dip, tortilla green chili rollups, my cookies and more!

I loved making the caramels! They were so delicious when they were done and after wrapping them they were pretty cute looking.

homemade caramels

homemade caramels

To keep up with the theme of comfort food, B and I went out to dinner for a belated Chinese New Year feast at one of our favorite local Chinese joints, Wonton Gourmet. And feast we did – we got Chinese broccoli, Szechuan fish, crab rangoon and lomein. I think B has gotten more adventurous in his eating after our Asia trip which is great. Oh and other good news? I wasn’t too hungry after all the glorious food at Ladies Craft Beer Society so we have plenty of leftovers. Yum!

Yummy Szechuan fish

Yummy Szechuan fish

Sunday, B and I woke up to a snowy slushy day. Ick. I had a cross training or rest day on the schedule, so somehow I managed to convince B to take a walk. When it’s a nice day, we like to run the bridges, a 4 mile route downtown, so instead, we took a walk – stopping along the way for coffee, tea, and groceries.

First stop, Cleveland Tea Revival for some Ginger Turmeric tea.

First stop, Cleveland Tea Revival for some Ginger Turmeric tea.

<3 tea. For those of you that are familiar with the background, yes, I'm enjoying tea at Rising Star Coffee (B got a pourover).

Seen on our snowy walk back

Seen on our snowy walk back

Last stop on our walk? The new Heinen's grocery store downtown to pick up some food for the week. Yup, I took a picture of the grocery store and I wasn't the only one - isn't it beautiful?

Last stop on our walk? The new Heinen’s grocery store downtown to pick up some food for the week. Yup, I took a picture of the grocery store and I wasn’t the only one – isn’t it beautiful?

Even though the weather was messy and the roads were in no way clear, I’m so glad we got out there – I still managed to hit my fitbit 12,000 step goal even without a run or elliptical workout and felt good about not sitting around all day and not moving (which very much could’ve happened with the snowy weather we were having).

Sunday night, we enjoyed dinner with B’s family – they had pork, quinoa and Brussels sprouts. I gave up meat for Lent so filled up on the other goodies. And of course – dessert!

ice cream sundaes!

ice cream sundaes!

How was your weekend?

  • What’s your favorite food at Chinese restaurants?
  • What’s your favorite type of Asian food?
  • What’s your favorite herbal tea? Usually anything with ginger. I love the turmeric ginger that Cleveland Tea Revival has!

Friday Five: Celebrating National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day

I just found the most amazing food calendar that tells me dates of the most important holidays – food holidays! And first up is one holiday that I certainly will observe – National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day!!

I wish I had more advance notice, but National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day is Sunday, March 1. So, in early celebration, here are five recipes that I think look AMAZING (disclosure, I’ve made some of them) and the perfect way to celebrate:

1. Peanut Butter Heath Bar Blondies 

[recipe]

 

2. Reese’s Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 

[recipe]

3. Peanut Butter Brookies

[recipe]

4. Soft Peanut Butter Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting

[recipe]

5. Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Caramel Club Bars

[recipe]

For more peanut butter recipes, here are a few on here. Apparently I have a peanut butter addiction because that’s a lot of peanut butter!

Some questions for you:

  • If you had to choose from one of the treats above – which would you want to eat?
  • Do you like peanut butter? Believe it or not, I’ve met people who don’t!
  • Favorite way to enjoy peanut butter? On ice cream. Or a tortilla with honey and granola. Or with carrots. Or as a peanut butter cup! Yum! 

Brown Butter Butterscotch Oatmeal Coconut Bars

You guys. I just discovered brown butter. I don’t know HOW it took me so long to try it out – but my life is changed. I will never bake again without browning my butter!

Okay so that’s false – but in all seriousness, browning the butter for at least this recipe was amazing. It smelled SO good and I think made these bars so much better than they could have been. You MUST try it – I promise, if you get a good browned butter, you won’t be sorry.

Anyway, I had a hankering for baking with butterscotch and while I love these butterscotch oatmeal cookies, I was seeking something somewhat different. After reviewing a few recipes (and my pantry), I came up with these. They’re chewy, really sweet (warning- not for the non-sweet tooth!), and I think they’re delicious. Be careful – they’re also addicting!

brown butter butterscotch oatmeal coconut bars-icrashedtheweb

Brown Butter Butterscotch Oatmeal Coconut Bars

(adapted from Cook’s Country … because I don’t have cable and am addicted to this show)

Here’s what you need:

For the bars:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups oatmeal (I used 1 cup quick oats and 1 cup old fashioned – the texture is more chewy with the quick oats and more fibrous / gritty / textured with the old fashioned so i like to mix)
  • 1/2 sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup butterscotch chips divided in half
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup packed  brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract

Butterscotch drizzle:

  •  1/4 cup butterscotch chips
  • 2 tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Prepare a 9×13 baking pan by spraying with a nonstick cooking spray or butter.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine  flour, oats, coconut, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Brown your butter! In a small pan at medium heat, melt the butter. Let the butter continue to cook until a rich golden brown color. Stir continuously so as not to burn the butter – burned butter does not equal brown butter! Feel free to use this site as a guide as well for additional direction on how to perfectly brown your butter.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the hot brown butter with half of the 1 1/2 cup chips (3/4 cup). Mix together until melted and smooth. Add in the brown sugar, egg and vanilla.
  5. Slowly add in flour/oat/coconut mixture, just until incorporated.
  6. Add in other half of chips (3/4) and combine. (Note: I like to add in about 1/2 chips and sprinkle rest on top of batter when in pan)
  7. Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread so it is even. Bake about 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. When the bars are almost done, make the butterscotch drizzle: Mix 1/4 cup butterscotch chips, brown sugar and water and melt in a saucepan over medium, stirring so not to burn. Alternatively, you could make in the microwave – again, just be careful to not burn it!
  9. Drizzle over the warm bars. Let the bars cool completely before removing them – this will be tough, but it’s so worth it! Enjoy – share some with your coworkers or family :)

brown butter butterscotch oatmeal coconut bars-icrashedtheweb