Spending As Much Time Outside As Possible

After a pretty muggy and rainy week in Cleveland, we finally had some sunny weather and a beautiful weekend. Which meant we got to spend some time outside and enjoy some easy summer days.

The weekend started off with some playground time. FW loves swinging! And he’s started really moving – he was crawling all over the slides and other equipment.

After the playground, we decided to stop by the Tremont Walkabout, a local art walk.

FW liked the bubbles! 

And since we were in the neighborhood, we grabbed some slices at Edison’s. There was much pepperoni on the pizza!

And right across the street from Edison’s is Tremont Scoops. So naturally, I had a scoop of their Buckeye Blitz ice cream. Peanut butter ice cream with chocolate chunks and mini buckeyes. Yummmmm

Saturday morning started early- we headed over to the house to do some things. We had plans to go out for breakfast, but were running late. So instead, we decided to walk to lunch. I had a half summer salad, half BLT and it came with a side of quinoa. It was great! AND FW slept the entire time while B and I ate. 

Afterwards, it was time for my Ladies Craft Beer Society! For a refresher, once a month I get together with some lady friends and we all do a craft while drinking a craft beer. This month’s craft was sugar body scrubs, and our craft beer theme was summery, citrus beers. I can’t wait to try out the body scrub!

At night, B had plans to go to see the World Cup qualifying game that was playing downtown, so I was babysitting FW. We had some fun before he went to bed.

Sunday morning, B, FW and I took a walk. My hip/butt/something is still hurting so I’m trying to take it easy, but I wanted to go for a walk to see how it felt and get outside. After the walk, we decided to hit the beach!

FW wasn’t realllllly into it.

We then hit up one of my favorites, Boaz, for a quick lunch. Give me all of the baba and quinoa and picked turnips! YUM.

That night,  we enjoyed spending time with B’s family for Sunday night dinner.  And we ended our meal with ice cream sundaes – fitting for National Ice Cream Day!

Any weekend that includes ice cream twice is great in my book!

Questions for you:

  • Did you celebrate Ice Cream Day this weekend?
  • How’s your weather been lately?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

WIAW: Pizza Fridays

I love Fridays. For many reasons. Like many people, Fridays signify the end of the work week and the beginning of the weekend.  But also, it’s PIZZA AND BEER DAY in our household! Fridays typically mean B and I grab patio drinks or a drink somewhere and then B makes pizza (or we order it … I prefer when we make it) and I get to eat it. Pretty enjoyable. And that’s exactly what this post is – last Friday’s eats for this What I Ate Wednesday!

Breakfast was some homemade granola. I tried out a new recipe. It wasn’t as sweet as my typical batches but also not as clumpy. I really liked the way it turned out – I may be sharing it soon!20160518_213934

After breakfast, it was still early (and I was still on maternity leave), so B and I took FW out for a little morning walk.

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And then it was bath time. For FW. I know it’s not food- but it was still a big part of my day.

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Lunchtime came and I was starving. I was supposed to have lunch plans, but they fell through so I was super happy to have some food at home. Egg whites, spinach, sweet potato (with cinnamon and coconut oil) and avocado. 20160923_130841

For snack? An apple from when we went apple picking. 

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And per usual – Friday beers! We found a patio with seats and I had my first pumpking – my favorite pumpkin beer!

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I mixed it with my other favorite pumpkin beer, Warlock. Pumpking and warlock together are SO GOOD!

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AND as usual – it was PIZZA night! I had a few slices (maybe more than the slices pictured below) of the pepperoni mushroom pizza we made.

homemadeza

And that sums up my day of eats. Now, can you see why I love Fridays?

  • What’s your favorite kind of pizza topping?
  • Do you like pumpkin beer? What’s your favorite fall beer?

Ladies Craft Beer Society Takes on the Burbs

Friday night was a beautiful night – a little chilly but that didn’t stop B and me from finding a patio for a few drinks. It had been a long week at work and I was very much looking forward to the weekend and relaxing and sleeping in. Rooftop beers sounded like the perfect way to kick off my Friday!

Rooftop Patio Beers at GHT

Rooftop Patio Beers at GHT

As did sushi.

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Saturday morning started out with a nice run. It was a beautiful morning – 60s, a cool breeze – and my legs were happy to get outside for a run at my own pace. I also was able to catch up on my favorite podcast – which meant I was laughing while running at some points – guess that was a better workout, huh?

7 miler

Then we hit up the West Side Market for a few groceries.

westsidemarket

And then it was imd for the Ladies Craft Beer Society’s monthly meeting! This month Cari hosted us in her new home in the ‘burbs! Cari used to live downtown but recently moved about 25 minutes south of the city. We obviously got lost on our drive down but it was great to see Cari’s new home, do some cork crafts and drink some beers. Definitely a success!

Ladies and our crats

Ladies and our crats

finished work

finished work

After getting back downtown, I watched the Belmont Stakes (did you see the Triple Crown win?!) and enjoyed dinner and drinks.

Just saw a Triple Crown!

Just saw a Triple Crown!

I love buff chick salads

I love buff chick salads

Sunday was a truly gorgeous and HOT day. It started off with an easy 3 miles while watching Black Mirror on Netflix. Have you ever seen that show? Oh my goodness. I watched the first episode on the treadmill and then hit the elliptical. Wow.

Sunday afternoon B and I had tickets to the Indians game and had plans to go with his coworker. It was HOT and we lost but it was fun to go with the guys. We sat in the 3rd row so we had pretty amazing seats. I had a veggie burger too – I’m so glad the Indians stadium finally got veggie burgers and dogs and I love them!

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Sunday evening ended with a summery dinner at B’s parents, complete with brownies and ice cream of course.

part of dinner - beautiful salad!

part of dinner – beautiful salad!

And then it was Cavs game time!  The games get me so riled up that I don’t know how I sleep or how I can make it through the series. Thank goodness they won. I can’t wait until Tuesday and our first home game!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have any cork crafts you can recommend with my leftover corks?
  • Do you have any favorite podcasts for while you workout? OR just in general?
  • Are you watching the NBA finals?

C Is For …

I hate to brag, but it was another beautiful weekend in Cleveland. Sunny, 80 degrees, absolutely gorgeous.

So I did what any good native Northeasterner would do when a sunny, warm, beautiful summer weekend rolls around – spend as much of it outside as I can!

The weekend started out with a surprise parade that I encountered on my way home from work that was kicking off Jazz Festival.

And then B and I decided to sit outside, enjoy the weather and enjoy some of the live music that was happening for the festival this weekend. Oh yeah, and some wine. Wine + music meant an excellent start to the evening.

Jazz fest

Jazz fest

We had already planned our dinner – brats and salads from our Fresh Fork share. B made them with some fried onions and they were amazing.

Fresh Fork-inspired dinner - brats, salad and fried onions

Fresh Fork-inspired dinner – brats, salad and fried onions. And yes, more wine.

Saturday started early with a 7 mile run with Nicole. Nicole is starting to train for 50K (yes, 50!) and while I’m not training for anything, I was happy to have someone to do the miles with. Though it was hot, humid and we may have stopped to walk and for water a few times, I was feeling pretty good by the time the run was over and I was ready for the day. Which of course started with my favorite salad at Rothschild Farms.

One of my favorite post-run meals - Rothschild Farms salad

One of my favorite post-run meals – Rothschild Farms salad

And then a quick trip to the West Side Market for an apple fritter and other goodies.

West Side Market goodies

West Side Market goodies

After the market, we headed to Hansa Import Haus to pick up some spicy mustard and summery hefeweizens. I LOVE a good spicy mustard and they have so many to choose from!

Hansa Import Haus - SO MUCH MUSTARD

Hansa Import Haus – SO MUCH MUSTARD

Saturday also happened to be the monthly meetup of the Ladies Craft Beer Society – a few ladies get together craft and drink craft beer. Reanna hosts it in Ohio City and it’s really just an excuse to admire her cute house, drink beer, eat snacks and catch up with other ladies. I am not a crafty person and my crafts never seem to come out (don’t even ask about the mitten I tried to make) … but this one did! Look at my string art!

Me and my craft

Me and my craft (photo credit: Cari!)

I did something crafty!

I did something crafty!

After crafting, I decided to continue to hang out in Ohio City (where crafting was) and enjoy the beautiful weather by finding a patio. My coworker Cari and her fiance joined us and B walked over from downtown. Nano Brew was perfect – their patio was just filling up and I do love their food.

Patio beers

Patio beers

Love being outdoors!

Love being outdoors!

After Nano, we walked back downtown and met up with some other people who were outside at another patio. Beginning to see a theme? I’m envisioning a lot of summertime patios in my future this year.

Sunday started off somewhat early when B went to softball and I decided to be productive in his absence. It included folding clothes, some meal prep for the week (which included soaking beans, making chicken, boiling eggs and massaging kale … I love this stuff!), working out, hanging up my new craft, and some other boring stuff.

Meal prep!

Meal prep!

But when B got home – it was BEACH time! I’m beginning to love this summer tradition. all weekends should end with reading and relaxing on the sand.

The beach was a lot less crowded this weekend

The beach was a lot less crowded this weekend

And of course, after beachtime it was dinnertime with B’s family. This week were at his brother and sister-in-law’s house and enjoyed a super summery meal, followed by strawberry pie on their front porch. Dinners and nights like this make me almost ready to move to the suburbs. But then I remember how much fun we had Friday and Saturday going out and walking around downtown and Ohio City and the feeling quickly fades.

Turkey burgers, quinoa and potato salads = perfect summer meal

Turkey burgers, quinoa and potato salads = perfect summer meal

Some questions for you:

How was your weekend? Tell me something fun you did.

  • In your opinion, what’s your favorite summery meal? Turkey burgers or ribs. Plus a nice salad, pasta or quinoa salad with fresh veggies, corn and sweet potato. 
  • Meal prepping  -yay or nay? Do you enjoy planning and prepping lunches and other meals in advance? Yes – if I have time, I love it. I love preparing the food, getting them ready for the week and the whole planning element.
  • What’s your favorite summery beer? I need suggestions!

Beer Can Chicken

We got another 5-lb chicken in our Fresh Fork delivery last week. ANOTHER chicken! Just when I thought I was done sticking my hand inside that cavity to find the giblets … nevermind, I digress.

I already made pretty much the best roast chicken ever (Thanks Mom!) … and I don’t have a deep fryer … so what was I to do with another 5-lb chicken? One of my coworkers, Gail, kept suggesting I make Beer Can Chicken. I have to admit – I was skeptical. Beer Can Chicken? Didn’t that involve sticking a beer up a chicken? That wasn’t something I was really ready to do.

The chicken and the beer can meet ... it gets more awkward. (Yes, I have red/white/blue Bud cans)

The chicken and the beer can meet … it gets more awkward. (Yes, I have red/white/blue Bud cans)

But when we picked up the chicken, I still didn’t really know what to do with it. And so when I asked B, and he also suggested Beer Can Chicken, I knew it was likely a done deal. So I found a few different highly-rated recipes and decided to give it a try. The result? Awkward? Yes. I may have had a few conversations with the chicken while I was making it. They kinda went like this:

Me: (As I’m pushing the chicken on top of the beer can) Oh boy, I’m so sorry…soo sorry..so sorry Mr. chicken!

B: Who are you talking to?

Me: Uhh, the chicken?

B: Why? What are you saying?

Me: I may be apologizing. I just feel so rude … I’m literally sticking a beer can up this chicken’s … umm …

B: You realize it’s dead, right?

Me: (starting to feel sheepish) Yes …

B: And you realize you already stuck your whole hand inside of it to clean it and take out the giblets, right?

Me: I still have no idea where these giblets are! I think I got another giblet-less chicken!

Okay, that’s probably not word-for-word what happened … but you get the idea. And then when the can had to come out of the chicken? That was even worse. Anyway, if you think you can bring yourself to stick a beer can inside a chicken, then this recipe is for you. Pretty simple, pretty delicious – and the leftovers are just as good!

beer can chicken | i crashed the web

Beer Can Chicken (based on this recipe)

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 c. garlic powder
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 2 tbs onion powder
  • 1 tbs oregano (I used dried)
  • 1 tbs basil (I used dried)
  • 1 tbs parsley (I used dried)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (12 fluid ounce) cans light-flavored beer (I had Budweiser®)
  • 1 whole chicken (mine was 5-lb)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped into one inch pieces
  • 5 large carrots, peeled and chopped into one inch pieces
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped into one inch pieces

Here’s what you do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Clean and rinse chicken. This where you’re supposed to discard the giblets, but I honestly didn’t find them. Again. Anyway, wash the inside of the chicken and dry it completely.
  3. Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl – garlic powder, salt, onion powder, dried oregano, basil, parsley, and ground black pepper.
  4. Pour 1/3 of one can of beer into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Place the open beer can (2/3 full) in the center of the baking dish.
  5. Place the chicken, legs down over the open beer can. With the breast of the chicken facing you, use a knife to cut a small slit on each side of the front of the chicken and insert the tip of each wing into each slit. It will look like it’s crossing its arms.
  6. Rub the dry seasoning mixture over the entire chicken. Place chopped veggies in pan surrounding chicken. Open the remaining beer and pour 1/2 of it into the pan under the chicken and over the veggies. Save the remaining beer.
  7. Bake the chicken for about 45 minutes and then pour remaining beer into the pan around the chicken. Continue baking for about 45 more minutes or until the juices run clear. A meat thermometer should read 165-170 degrees when inserted at the thickest part of the chicken.
  8. Remove the chicken from the oven and remove the beer can. Be careful – it’s hot!
  9. Cover the chicken with aluminum foil, and allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy with veggies!

raw beer can chicken

Before …

beer can roast chicken

After!

Weekend Update: Cleveland Art Museum Exhibit Opening and Cincinnati Bockfest

What a week! In the past seven days, I’ve slept in my bed three times. Three times! And driven a whole lotta miles. After a great weekend, it’s good to be back!

The Last Days of Pompeii at the Cleveland Art Museum  

My weekend started on Thursday … well, not really. But Thursday night, B and I got an invite to the opening of the Pompeii Exhibit at the Cleveland Art Museum where we got to experience drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres in the new, gorgeous atrium, along with a free view at the Last Days of Pompeii Exhibit.  If you haven’t been yet, you should definitely check it out. The new atrium is beautiful (my pics below don’t do it justice) and the Exhibit was really interesting. I happen to be a slight Pompeii nerd, as I did my LEP (Learning Enrichment Program … another nerd thing) independent study on Pompeii and the city’s growth and demise  and read more than my fair share of books about the city many years ago. AND when my family went to Italy a few years back, I begged that we visit Pompeii (despite it being somewhat out of the way) — and we did. And it was awesome. So, needless to say, when B asked if I wanted to go, I of course said yes!

pompeii

OLD photo of my brother and me in Pompeii (Mt. Vesuvius in the background!) circa 2006

The exhibit was interesting – it was basically a bunch of different artists’ portrayals of what the city looked like during its hey day … and afterwards. It wasn’t what I expected though – it didn’t have really any Pompeii artifacts, or anything like that (as I had hoped), and was somewhat … how do I put this … depressing? I mean, looking at imagery of a city’s demise, and even a few quotes and other things that likened the occurrence to Hiroshima and 9/11 – it was powerful, but not quite uplifting. But the Pompeii nerd in me loved it!

Beautiful Atrium at Cleveland Art Museum

Beautiful Atrium at Cleveland Art Museum


Pompeii at Cleveland Art Museum

Friday = Cincinnati and Bockfest begins!

Friday I spent the day in our Cincinnati office, having some team meetings and getting to see our space there for the first time. It worked out extremely well, because that weekend, B and I were due to be in Cincinnati to celebrate our friend Dave’s birthday at Bockfest.  Being down there on Friday for work meant that we could:

1. Attend the Bockfest Parade


bockfest parade

2. Drink a few Bock Beers (And discover I like them more than I thought I would)

Ladies @ Bockfest! Anson (Dave's wife), me and Emily

Ladies @ Bockfest! Anson (Dave’s wife), me and Emily (who came all the way from DC!)

Saturday = Bockfest 5k, Jungle Jim’s, Birthday Celebrations and Giant Jenga

Saturday morning, B and I got up early to run in the inaugural Bockfest 5k. I needed just about 5 miles to make it to my goal of 20 for the week, and we ended up running  more than 3 if you count the mile-ish run to the starting line and back. Plus, we got a great medal – a bottle opener!

bockfest 5k

Saturday afternoon, we found ourselves heading out to Jungle Jim’s International Market in Cincinnati. I had been hearing about this place that is supposedly a food-lovers paradise, and it didn’t disappoint. There were aisles and aisles of food and produce and more from every single region of the world, a whole cheese section, a honey display (I LOVE HONEY!) AND a big candy area. I could’ve easily spent hours just perusing each section. They even boast more than 12,000 labels of wines and 1,200 beers! B and I ended up buying some honey, some candy, some candied ginger for me and some of his favorite cheese –  Epoisses – that we haven’t been able to find since our dinner at L’Albatros.

jungle jims

funhouse mirror in jungle jims

Saturday night we hung out with Dave and Anson’s families and attended a birthday party for Dave. After the party, we headed back to Bockfest to celebrate the last night of our trip. The night included some arm wrestling, a few games of Giant Jenga, impromptu Les Miserables singing, and of course – a visit to Skyline Chili.

group in front of Giant Jenga

group in front of Giant Jenga

We drove back up to Cleveland Sunday. Phew! A fun, and tiring weekend – but hopefully a great way to ring in Dave’s big birthday!

Back from Ireland!

I’m back from Ireland and had an amazing time! We spent time in Dublin, Galway and Doolin, and saw the Cliffs of Moher, Book of Kells and some cool castles — plus fit in a trip to London for a weekend. I’ll share a brief trip recap later – until then, here’s a quick photo collage for you to enjoy. Have a great weekend!

Top row: B and me at one of many pubs in Dublin; us in front of the oldest pub; B in front of the Cliffs of Moher
Middle row: B and me before our climbing of Croagh Patrick, Me in front of the Cliffs of Moher, The Tower Bridge decked out for the Olympics
Bottom Row: B in front of Kylemore Abbey, Me and B at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese a SUPER old Pub in London