Cutting to the chase, all you really need to know is this:
I'm an aunt! (read on for more...)
Last Thursday was the Emerging Chefs event at the Shaheen Galley, Corks & Cupcakes. A slight departure from their usual multi-course sit down dinner format had us mingling in the gallery, sipping on Italian wines from Tuscany Distributors which were paired with mini cupcakes from Indulgence Cakes. And if you haven't tried Lilia's cupcakes, you're missing out. We went with our friends, The Palmer's and Jaclyn was smart to arrange a car service for the evening (for the same price as a cab).
Amuse Bouche: "Lure me in"
strawberry thyme shortbread
(lemon curd & red wine caviar)
I: "Take me on a picnic"
(candied pecans & honey blue cheese frosting)
II: "Wine me, dine me, make me sparkle..."
Sangue di Guida
Intermezzo: "Give me a break"
mint julep panacotta
Spring Water w/ mint
III: "Butter me up, buttercup"
salted caramel cupcake
Pinot Nero Rose
IV: "Marry me at breakfast"
dark chocolate bacon cupcake
Oliver, Michael DeAloia & the Husband / The amuse bouche was my favorite
we took home the Pinot (red) and the Chianti
Friday, Raffaele, from Tuscany Distributors was doing a tasting at Wine & Design in Tremont. Since it was so busy the night before, we didn't get a chance to chat during the event. So we headed out for a little more wine and to chat with him (and see Greg, of course!) Read more about Raffaele, his wife and their journey back to Cleveland here. Check out their facebook page where they post all their upcoming tasting events. On the way home we stopped by Light Bistro and picked up an Albondingas (which is the best lamb pizza of all time) and a beef carpaccio pizza. The carpaccio was tasty, but quite hard to eat on a pizza.
Saturday, the husband was out of town and I heard about this Parm Cracking happening at Whole Foods. I had no idea what I was in for. Apparently every Whole Foods across the country would be cracking 90lb wheels of parmesean at the same time (setting a record). I knew there would be cheese and food and that was enough for me. I mentioned to Alicia and Crystal that I was going and, luck have it, there was a mini food blogger's event Whole Foods was putting on at the same time. I'm not a technically a food blogger, but they had a cancellation and I was in! I must say Whole Foods is a great supporter of our local blogs (food or otherwise) and they always pull out all the stops for us. Thank you!
We had a reserved space in the Osteria, grabbed some wine and beer and got started. Jim the cheese monger came over and as we sipped and tasted, explained the heritage, proper cooking and eating techniques (no freezing, buy only what you need!) and what sets this apart from other cheese.
a recently cracked wheel of parmigiano reggiano / melon & crispy prosciutto
menu of the day / orechiette w/ roasted squash, thyme brown butter parmesean
Cheese was King that day and Elvis was on hand to celebrate and participate in the cracking. There were mini stations set up all around the store with nibbles featuring the cheese. Recipes were available at every station so you go go home and recreate your favorite dish.
Crystal getting a big squeeze from the King / the cracking!
As if I didn't eat enough all afternoon, I met my girlfriend Michelle out and we headed to Olmsted Falls to a little french piece of heaven, Le Bistro du Beaujolais for dinner. She had the trout, I had the veal and it was all wonderful and just what we needed. Olmsted Falls is such a darling little place, it had me dreaming ice cream cones and patio dining.
Sunday I spent the day spring cleaning with the doors open, the husband came home and we lounged about and grilled out. Until we got the call that it was TIME and we headed out to Fairview hospital, where the rest of our family already was, to await the arrival of my first nephew. Early Monday, he came, one day before his beautiful mother's 30th birthday!
Penton William Morris and his beautiful mommy, Leah
The happy parents, can you feel the love?!
Later that day was our monthly meeting of the Ohio Bloggers Association and this month we were volunteering at the Cleveland Foodbank. The goal at the Foodbank is to ensure our entire community had the nutritious food they need every day. They supply most of the food used in local shelters, meal sites and food pantries.They also work closely with other local hunger relief centers supplying food to the Hunger Network, Catholic Hunger and the Salvation Army.
Monday, our group got a quick tour and orientation of the program then were tasked with filling up backpacks for the BackPack for Kids program. This provides children in need six meals to carry them through the weekend. On Friday, they receive an umarked back pack filled with food and on monday they bring their empty bag back to school so it can be filled during the week. $4 feeds a child for the weekend and $16 feeds them on weekends for the month. Click on any of the links above to learn how you can donate money or time to this program. Check out Why CLE's review and get more info here.
photo from Why CLE?
On Tuesday, some of the girls and I headed over to Julie's apartment for a Stella & Dot party. If you haven't been to one yet, it's so much fun and the jewelry is featured in Lucky, Vogue and on all the hottest celebrities. In-depth post on that coming soon!