Reason #2413 I love my new apartment – New kitchen!

I’m LOVING our new downtown digs. One of the many reasons I’m in love with it? Our new AMAZING kitchen. AND we’ve been busy 🙂 When we’re not getting takeout or trying one of the many new awesome restaurants within walking distance, we’ve been cooking!

The meals we’ve tried out so far – with our new kitchen, new dishes and new pots and pans, are as follows (and shown below):

Chicken sausage marinara

Crab cakes (recipe here) with dijon garlic sauce

A West Side Market meal – shrimp scampi with shrimp, pasta and salad all from westside market

Chicken sausage and peppers with salad

 Salmon and asparagus

A Greek inspired meal – homemade chicken shawarma with garlic yogurt sauce and couscous salad

Who Says Clevelanders Don’t Go To Akron? (A review of VegiTerranean and Escher @ Akron Art Museum)

Clevelanders have a thing about taking sides. When I moved here, one of the first things people asked me was “Westside or Eastside?” I had no idea what they were talking about – but soon found out they were asking about where I lived – and therefore spent my time, because if you live on the Westside you don’t go to the Eastside… and vice versa. I have a coworker that often says about the “segregation” that back in the day, a man could have one family on the Eastside and another family on the Westside, and nobody would be the wiser. So what about the southside – or about 45 min. south of Cleveland – a town called Akron? Well, according to another coworker, “Clevelanders don’t go to Akron.”

So I set out this weekend to prove them wrong. I spent my Saturday in Akron, and I (gasp) liked it! What drove me there? Two words: Escher and VegiTerranean.

A coworker who happens to live in Akron told me that there was an Escher exhibit at the Akron Art Museum a few months ago. I LOVE Escher. He’s one of my top 3 favorite artists (the others? Norman Rockwell and Dali) and I’d been wanting to spend the day in Akron to hit up the famous, critically-acclaimed vegan restaurant, VegiTerranean. Alas, the craziness of planning for a wedding, trips back and forth to NY for various wedding tasks, bachelorette party, showers, etc. meant few free weekends in Cleveland and no chance of visiting the exhibit. SO when the news that the Escher exhibit was extended was released, my coworker wasted no time in suggesting I make the trip down to enjoy some vegan goodness and the exhibit last Saturday.

How was it? Amazing. Awesome. Mind-blowing.  What am I talking about? Both the meal AND the exhibit.

VegiTerranean is a vegan restuarant started by Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders. The menu is vegan, meaning no animal products whatsoever. No meat, fish, chicken – or – even worse- no cheese! Despite the cheeseless issue, I had an excellent meal. I was joined by 2 coworkers, a coworker’s husband and B. B, typically a meat and potatoes guy, enjoyed his meal somewhat.  I ordered the VT Classic – VegiTerranean’s Own Vegan Burger, served with Italian Seasonings, Tomato, Baby Arugula, Red Onion. It came with Chrissie fries, which are amazing. I ate all the fries (as did B) but enjoyed some of the burger leftover later on.

After lunch, one of my coworkers, B and I headed to the Akron Art Museum, just a few minutes from the restaurant, to check out the exhibit. Oh em gee. If you have any interest in Escher whatsoever, I highly recommend you see it. The exhibit weaves interesting commentary about Escher and his life throughout the showcase of his work, which includes his early pieces, Italian work (lithographs etc of the Italian countryside), his symmetry work and some of his most famous pieces, like the metamorphosis pieces, ascending/descending staircases, hand drawing another hand and never-ending waterfall.

Ascending and Descending - image from

I don’t know where my love of Escher stems from, but the exhibit definitely fulfills it. My favorite part was the video (similar to this one) showing how his lithograph of this scene within a scene within a scene within a scene (and so on) – it really blew my mind. B loved the real lithograph stone and the woodcut the exhibit showcased, along with the models of some of his works.

All in all, it was a great Saturday. We headed back up 77 and returned to Cleveland (after a stop at the Steelyard Old Navy for some $1 flip flops for B) with full stomachs and swirling brains. We lived to survive the trip to Akron, which as I understand, doesn’t happen often.

Below, a video showing how one of my favorite pictures literally goes on and on and on and on ….


You may (or may not have) noticed that I have been seriously lacking in posts lately. What is the reasoning behind this? Well, let’s just say I’ve been a little busy with quite a few other things going on in my life. My personal to do list was starting to look even hairier than my work to do list. Why was this?

  • I got married: B and I tied the knot! And Yes, contrary to popular belief, this does take some time. Apparently you have to plan, budget, prepare for, rehearse, etc. before a wedding. And since I got married in April, and not in Ohio, my April days were a little hectic.
  • I went on a honeymoon: Apparently you also have to plan, budget, prepare for, etc. for a honeymoon too! This also takes some time  away from your schedule … and since I honeymooned on the gorgeous British Virgin Islands, I was basically unplugged for the entire time.
  • I moved: Yup. We decided we were going to move from our spacious duplex on the west side of Lakewood to a tiny, one bedroom apartment in downtown Cleveland. We decided this mid-April, about a week before the wedding/honeymoon and signed our lease three days after we got back. So it was a little rushed.
BUT now that the wedding and honeymoon are over, and we’ve officially moved*, I hope to have some more time. And plan on using that time to share with you my awesome, new life. Life as a 20-something, married, PR professional living in downtown Cleveland.
* I still have about half my stuff back in Lakewood because it doesn’t all fit. We’re working on it. Shh…don’t tell the landlord!

A perfect springtime meal – Crab cakes

The weather turned out relatively nice today, with the 5 + days of 40 degrees and rain coming to an end for a few hours, the sun coming out and 65 degree weather resulting. To celebrate, I decided to make one of my favorite summer/springtime recipes — crab cakes! I have a great, healthy recipe – modified from a Cooking Light recipe from ions ago.

The Cooking Light recipe is here:

I didn’t follow it 100%  — here’s how I changed it up:

  • It calls for green and red pepper but I just used extra red pepper.
  • I also added about the same amount (1/4 cup) thinly diced onion.
  • Also, it calls for 3 egg whites- I used 1/4 c. eggbeaters (the 1 egg equivalent).
  • Instead of Hungarian Paprika, I ended up using Cayenne Pepper 🙂 Yum!
  • I don’t know if I make small crab cakes, but when I make the recipe, it ends up with 8 (double what Cooking Light says)

Also, I broiled it a little longer- about 10 min on one side and then 6-7 min on the other side. Done!

For a dipping sauce, I mixed dijon mustard, mayo, garlic powder and tabassco sauce.

Mixing up the crab cake “batter” in our new awesome mixing bowl