Monday, April 29, 2013

Mad Men Monday - Porterhouse for Two & Cucumber Collins

This past week was a brutal one at work. So when MMM came around I was unprepared and frankly not in the mood to whip up some fantastic evening. Time to delegate! This week I put the men in charge of the menu and cocktail. The husband graciously took on this challenge and headed out to the West Side Market. With no instructions from me, this is what he came back with:
3" thick, 60 oz. porterhouse steaks
brussels sprouts
goat cheese ravioli from Ohio City Pasta
cipollini onions
red-wine shallot butter from Ohio City Pasta

So a warning to the vegetarians out there. This is a meat-heavy post. Even for a meat lover, like me, it's almost a bit too much.

So here we are. This is what men want. The biggest Fred Flintstone slab of meat one can carry. The husband did this before. Just once. He heads to Foster's and pretty much just asks Brian to cut it for him. Fosters isn't quite up and running yet but Brian took him right over to Pinzone's and explained what he'd need and told him to come back in 20 mins, everything would be ready.

The Menu
Porterhouse for Two (or Three or Four)
w/ Honey Roasted Cipollini Onions
Goat Cheese Ravioli w/ Cognac Caramelized Shallots
Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The Cocktail
Cucumber Collins

My husbands drink of choice is Hendricks on the rocks with a cucumber. So I took my classic Tom Collins recipe and swapped the lemon for cucumber. This is an incredibly refreshing tipple that can also take a squeeze of lemon at the very end if you so please. The boys seems to like theirs sans lemon. This will surely be a staple on the patio and you can change up the flavor by using a more floral Gin such as Bombay Sapphire.

Cucumber Collins
makes 1 cocktail
Thinly slice 1 1/2 inches of cucumber and place in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Muddle well. Add 1/2 teaspoon sugar, agave, honey or simple syrup. Add ice to half full. Add 1.5 oz gin. Shake well and strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with cucumber slice. 

For this meal, I found it best to serve family-style per couple, rather than a plated dinner. The recipes below are for two so just double or triple the amounts based on how many guests you have. Keep in mind you will need quite a large, heavy pan to cook the steak. This may mean your guests will need to bring their own if you don't have enough. Or you could just throw them on the grill. 

Porterhouse for Two
What You'll Need:
a 3", 60 oz porterhouse, trimmed of excess fat
salt, pepper to season
1.5 tablespoons olive oil

To Make:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season steak to your liking. Heat olive oil in a  cast iron pan (or whatever else you have that will fit the steak) over med-high heat. Sear top and sides of steak for 2 mins each. Flip onto bottom and place in oven. Cook for 25 mins for med-rare and 27-28 mins for medium. Remove from oven and let rest - 10 mins.

Honey Roasted Cipollini Onions (click link for recipe)
I followed this recipe to the tee, except since my oven was at 400, I only needed to roast them for 15 mins.

Goat Cheese Ravioli w/ Cognac Caramelized Onions
What You'll Need:
1 pkg goat cheese ravioli from Ohio City Pasta, cooked according to package directions
2 tablespoons red wine shallot butter from OCP
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
salt, pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
parsley to garnish

To Make:
Heat olive oil in a nonstick saute pan over med heat. Add shallots and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Cover and cook (without stirring!) for 3-4 mins. Uncover and saute, stirring occasionally for 18-20 mins. When shallots start to stick to the bottom of the pan add a few tablespoons of cognac, scraping up any browned bits. Repeat this process until shallots are caramelized.

Remove shallots from pan and set aside. Add red wine butter to same pan. Heat over low heat. When melted begin adding ravioli (carefully) into pan. Gently coat ravioli with butter. Top with shallots and garnish with parsley. 

Click here for my brussels sprout recipe. I omitted the bacon because we already had some for breakfast and there is no shortage of meat in this meal.

I realize the past few Mad Men Monday posts have been all food and cocktails. Not to worry, Mad Men fashion will be coming back soon.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Winner Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered my Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Awards Party giveaway. From the comments you all left, I could tell there were many favorites that you're looking forward to tasting. From Hodges to Bonbon, Spice and pretty much anything from Mr. Zack Bruell.

and.....the winner is....

Morgan Perez with comment #44!!
Congrats girl! I'll email you with details later today.

In the meantime, head over to Clue into Cleveland, where Amanda is hosting her giveaway this week. And don't forget to read my recap of last year's festivities here. Tickets for the party can still be had at an advance-purchase discount here.

It is sure to be one delicious evening, so get your tickets now!

A big thanks to the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeastern Ohio who generously donated these tickets to give away.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mad Men Monday - Lamb Osso Buco & Sidecars

::Have you entered to win 2 tickets to the Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Awards Party yet? You have until Tuesday at 6PM to get your entries in! Good luck::

Happy Monday dolls! Hope you all had a splendid weekend. How are you liking season 6 so far? It is a bit of a departure from last season and there are already many story lines unfolding which leads me to believe this season will be very interesting.

This past week we celebrated with my personal favorite - the Sidecar. This will always be my first pick at Cleveland's Velvet Tango Room (which hands-down, makes THE best Sidecar I've ever had, and I've travelled a lot). For as easy as it is to make one, I'm quite surprised by how many not-so-great one's I've had in my life. It's all in the balance.

what you'll need

1 1/2 oz VSOP Cognac
3/4 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice (depending on taste)

Fill half of a shaker with ice. Add cognac, cointreau and lemon juice. Shake for about 15-20 seconds and double strain into a champagne saucer.

A good rule of thumb is 3/2/1. 3 parts Cognac, 2 parts Cointreau and 1 part lemon juice. I mix it up and sometimes use Grand Mariner instead of Cointreau. The Grand Mariner lends a sweeter and richer flavor as opposed to Cointreau which has a more crisp and fresh finish. When using Grand Mariner I'll usually add a bit more lemon juice to temper the sweetness.

sidecar perfection

On to dinner. I was looking to make a traditional osso buco but veal shanks were a bit stubborn to come by this time of year. My schedule didn't permit me to hit up the West Side Market and my trips to Heinen's and EathFare left me empty handed. The lamb shanks I found were gorgeous and so I settled on Osso Buco-styled lamb. Not traditional but, whoa! This was a fantastic choice.

The Menu:
Osso Buco style Lamb Shanks
Shallot Risotto
Wilted Spinach & Arugula
I kept the risotto a mild, simple flavor since the sauce from the lamb is intense with flavor. The garlicky, peppery spinach/arugula mix is a wonderful compliment to the rich flavors in this dish.

Osso Buco style Lamb Shanks (without sauce) 

Osso Buco style Lamb Shanks (with sauce)

(these recipes serve 4)

Lamb Shanks
What You'll Need:
4 lamb shanks (no need to trim, the excess fat will fall right off the bone while cooking)
salt, pepper
flour (for dredging)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 ribs celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 minced garlic clove
1 cup dry red wine
1 carton chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 thyme sprigs, leaves removed
Gremolata for garnish (see recipe below)

To Make:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Heat olive oil in large pot or dutch oven over med heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper and lightly dredge in flour.
Brown lamb, in batches, 2 mins per side over med-high heat. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add onion, carrot and celery to same pan and saute 6 mins. Add garlic, thyme leaves and tomato paste. Stir and cook 1 min. Add 1 cup red wine and cook until absorbed by half. Add lamb back to pot. Add chicken stock until lamb in covered two-thirds of the way up. 
Place pot in oven and braise, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, turning lamb every 30 mins. Add more stock as you go to keep the lamb covered two-thirds of the way.
When done, remove shanks from pot, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 10 mins. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables and set aside. Strain fat from remaining liquid and heat in a small pot on stove over low heat until slightly thickened. (about 5 mins)
Serve lamb shanks with sauce and a spoonful of vegetables. 
Sprinkle lamb with gremolata.
Gremolata: Mix three tablespoons chopped parsley with the zest of one lemon

Shallot Risotto
What You'll Need:
1 large shallot (or 2 small ones), diced
2 cups arborio rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup white wine
6-8 cups chicken or vegetable stock

To Make:
The last half hour the lamb is in the oven is the perfect time to start the risotto. Place stock in a pot and heat until warm (do not boil). 
Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over med-high heat in a high sided saute pan. Saute shallot for 2-3 mins. Add rice to pan ensuring it's well coated with butter/olive oil. Toast rice 2 mins.
Add 1/2 cup wine and cook until completely absorbed. 
Begin adding the stock, 1 ladle at a time. Stir consistently until almost completely absorbed before adding another ladle of stock. Do this for about 18 mins. I usually start testing for doneness after about 15 mins. When the rice has a porridge-like consistency yet still a bit al dente, remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons butter. Taste and season as needed. 

Wilted Spinach & Arugula
What You'll Need:
2 bags spinach/arugula mix (in the bagged lettuce section)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon herb seasoning (I use this one from Williams-Sonoma)
1 tablespoon olive oil

To Make:
Heat olive oil over med-high heat in a metal saute pan. Add garlic and cook for 1 min. Add spinach and arugula turning with metal tongs. As soon as it begins to wilt and reduce, add more until both bags are in the pan. Turn off heat. Sprinkle seasoning and continue to turn until all leaves are slightly wilted.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spring Mani Time - Shellac Cake Pop & Gelish All Dahlia-ed Up

::Have you entered to win 2 tickets to the Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Awards Party? Check it out here::

Spring has sprung and I have been crazy excited to start trying out the newest colors. Shellac went sweet and sugary with their Spring 2013 collection called Sweet Dreams. This collection had me swooning (you know how I adore creme polish) and it didn't hurt that they reminded me of those Easter colored m&ms.


Since Easter (and my birthday) were on the horizon, Cake Pop was a must. This was an exact match for those cute Starbucks birthday cake pops. (Do they still carry those?)

shellac - cake pop

Gelish went garden party-style with their Spring line titled Love in Bloom. It was a hot pop of color and quite a contrast to the Shellac lineup.

After a few weeks of pastel prettiness I was more than happy to try something a little brighter. All Dahlia-ed Up was next on my list.

gelish - all dahlia-ed up (indoor)

gelish - all dahlia-ed up (outdoors)

What spring colors have you been loving lately?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cleveland Magazine's Silver Spoon Awards Party: Preview & Giveaway

It's almost time for my hands-down, favorite event of the spring. Cleveland Magazine's Silver Spoon Awards Party. When the May issue hits my postbox, it's all I can do not to tear it open and flip to the winners. And the Silver Spoon Awards are where those glossy pages come to life with the city's best chefs and restaurants. If there is just one benefit you go to this year, this is the one.

Fun? check. Delectable food, wine and cocktails? check. Wickedly insane silent auction items? check. Benefits a great cause? check. Mark your calendars.

presented by The Huntington National Bank

Wednesday, May15th, 2013 6-9pm
Intercontinental Hotel, Cleveland
Sample signature dishes from more than 30 of Northeast Ohio's best restaurants and several international wineries. All participating restaurants are 2013 Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Award finalists.

VIP Tickets $135 {advance} $150 {at the door}
Ticket includes access to the VIP Lounge, sponsored by Cleveland Clinic Orthopaedic & Rhumatologic Institute, where you will have your selection of complimentary featured cocktails care of Brown-Forman, along with exclusive cuisine presented by celebrity chefs. General admission benefits also apply.

General Admission Tickets $85 {advance} $100 {at the door}
Ticket includes a sampling of more than thirty Silver Spoon award-winning restaurant cuisine, plus a selection of delicious wine from several international vintners.

each ticket includes a 1-year subscription to Cleveland Magazine

Participating Restaurants include:
Bonbon Pastry & Cafe
Cowell & Hubbard
Hodge's Cleveland
Light Bistro
Market Garden Brewery
Spice Kitchen & Bar
view complete list here

The generous people at the Arthritis Foundation have given me 2 GA tickets to give away to one lucky reader!

To Enter: 
(You can do any or all of the following)
1). Check out the participating restaurants and tell me which is your favorite by leaving a comment on this post.
2). Follow @SilverSpoonCLE and @ArthritisFouNEO on twitter and leave a comment on this post telling me you did.
3). Tweet: "I want to party w/ @smittenincle at the @SilverSpoonCLE awards for the @ArthritisFouNEO "
(This can be tweeted daily for additional entries. Please leave a comment on this post for each tweet to be counted.)

Contest closes Tuesday, April 23rd at 6pm and a winner announced on Wednesday, April 24th. Winner will be drawn via

Check out my recap of last year's festivities here. I cannot wait to see what's in store this year!

::Disclosure - I recieved 2 tickets to attend and 2 to give away c/o the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeastern Ohio::

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mad Men Monday Is Back

Mad Men Monday is back and as fun as I remember. The only way this little soiree could get better would be with cocktails on the patio. Soon...very soon. Let's get started shall we?

We ushered in the new season with Beef Wellington. Instead of a signature cocktail we celebrated with champagne and wine. Lots of wine...which included the lovely gift (pictured above) from an even lovelier friend.

We had a classic, Beef Wellington. I opted for individual filets instead of a tenderloin and an ultra rich port demi glace. Asparagus paired well with smoked mozzarella/red pepper raviolis from Ohio City Pasta. A bit of butter and a dash of chives are all that's needed to finish of the pasta since it's quite flavorful on its own.

This recipe has a lot of steps but it can all be done up to 24 hours ahead of time. When guests arrive simply pop these in the oven and you'll be ready in about 30 mins.

Beef Wellington w/ Port Wine Demi Glace
serves 4-6
The Beef
4(or 6) 4-6oz filets (You may think you need more but you don't. I opted for 8oz steaks and they were way too big)
Season w/ salt & pepper on all sides. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a med-high saute or cast iron pan. Turn up heat. Brown on all sides quickly. You just want to sear the outside not cook it through. Set aside.

1 pound mushrooms, mixed varieties (I used cremini, shiitaki and portabello) cleaned and finely chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 tsp. finely minced thyme
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cognac, brandy or other spirit of choice
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 dashes worchestershire sauce

Heat butter in a saute pan over med-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until they have released all their liquid (about 6-8 mins). Add shallots and thyme to pan stirring frequently (about 4 mins). Add cognac or brandy. Scrape up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Cook until almost all brandy is reduced (a few mins). Add heavy cream and continue to cook until reduced. Add worchestershire sauce and cook until mushroom mixture forms a wet paste. Refrigerate.

4 sheets puff pastry
egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1-2 tablespoons water)
flour to dust workspace

Lightly dust workspace in flour. Roll out puff pastry (or unfold if purchased pre-made) Cut four corner squares off to leave a "plus" shape (+). Spread a quarter of the duxelles onto middle of each pastry. Place filet on top of duxelles. Brush egg wash with a pastry brush on edges of pastry. Fold each end over the beef, slightly pressing down to seal. Place seam side down on a baking sheet lined w/ parchment paper. You can add add'l puff pastry decorations at this time. Just be sure to seal them with egg wash. Refrigerate at least 30 mins. Can be done a day in advance.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush entire pastry round with egg wash. Bake until browned 20 mins for med-rare and 25-30 mins for medium. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 mins.

Demi Glace
yields 1/2 cup
(can be made a day ahead, refrigerated then reheated)
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cups red wine (I used port, but any variety will work)
1 1/2 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons butter
Heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat and saute shallot and garlic until brown. Add balsamic and stir, cooking about a minute. Add red wine, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until it is reduced by at least half. Add beef stock and boil then reduce heat to simmer and cook until reduced by half. At this point it will have a thicker consistency and look slightly syrupy. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon butter.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Prepping For Mad Men Monday

It's finally here! Mad Men is back with a 2 hour season premiere and you know what that means....Mad Men Mondays will also be returning.  Not to worry, there won't be any spoilers on this site. As a girl who can't watch anything live lives by her DVR, I know how frustrating it can be to pop onto a site and find out what happened in an episode you were saving until tomorrow.

If you're new to SMITTEN, Mad Men Monday is kind of our weekly holiday. Mad Men airs Sunday night, we DVR and watch it on Monday where there are old school handcrafted cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and an all-out, full-tilt, elaborate dinner, where calories and fat don't count but taste and texture does. Style is a must, so breakout your inner Betty, Joan or Peggy Megan.

As the sixties move forward we see a shift toward more mod than ladylike fashions and the food can tend to become a little bit more casual. Heavier finger foods and less formal dinners. We'll see how I do. I have a pretty good thing going here so I may not stray too far in that direction, but you never know.

Here's how I'm getting ready...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Save The Date

My spring calendar is quickly filling up with fun, fab events and May is almost booked. Here are some upcoming things to keep on your radar.

Thursday, April 11th

(shameless self-promotion alert)

Join Amanda and I as we host a night of bowling, fun and prizes with PlayhouseSquare's young professionals group. No talent is needed – just have fun! Trophy and prizes for the best bowling shirt, first to bowl a strike, and more.
Mix and Mingle Happy Hour 6pm
Bowling 7-10pm
Tickets are $25 and include 3 hours of bowling, shoe rental, food and one drink ticket.
Limited availability - Click link above or call Sarah at 216.640.8408 for tickets.

Be sure to pop in to the newly designed and re-imagined Yellowcake! 4-10pm 
Check out the spring line and a new jewelry collab with Oceanne designer Anne Harrill. Sweets, spirits, discounts, giveaways and more!

Sunday, April 14th

Market At The Foodbank 6-8:30pm {$100 GA, $175 VIP}
Formerly Market Under Glass, the annual fundraiser benefiting Harvest for Hunger is back with an evening of fine food and beverages from over 50 of the area's best restaurants. VIP tickets include an exclusive reception from 5-6pm.

Saturday, May 4th 

Hip 2B Square 8-11pm {$75 GA, $125 VIP} 78th Street Studios
This year's fundraiser honors our neighborhood's super couple, Matt and Michelle Zone. Our community wouldn't be what it is today without their tireless dedication, endless spirit and generous hearts. Funds raised will go to completing construction of Near West Theatre and Cleveland Public Theatre. Party includes beer/wine, food, music, studio tours and more. VIP ticket holders enjoy an exclusive pre-party reception from 7-8pm.

Thursday, May 9th

Good Style Fashion Show 6-9pm {$70 GA, $100 VIP} Windows on the River/Cleveland Aquarium
Available for 1/2 off on Living Social {$35 GA, $50 VIP}
Good style doesn't have to cost a fortune and this event will showcase 8 fashion bloggers who designed an entire collection from Goodwill finds. Last year I was blown away by the creativity and resourcefulness of the girls and I'm more than happy to show up and support them. Dina from Dina's Days and Christina from The Cosmopolitan Clevelander also happen to be the first local bloggers I ever met in person.
Hors' d'oeuvres, gift bag, silent auction, pop-up boutique and more. VIP tickets include seating in the first 2 rows.
Bloggers include:
Dina's Days, The Cosmopolitan Clevelander, Midwest Muse, Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion, Free to be Stacia Lee, For The Birds, The Fashion Wheel and A Lovely Little Blog.

Wednesday, May 15th

Cleveland Magazine's Silver Spoon Awards Party 6-9pm {$85 GA, $135 VIP} add $15 for tickets at the door
I won't lie. This is one of my favorite events of the year. Cleveland Magazine? check. Best Chefs? check. Eat and drink your way around the InterContinental Hotel ballroom filled with the best that Cleveland has to offer. And don't forget to check out the silent auction. One of the best all year. On top of all that fabulousness is that it benefits the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeast Ohio.
Check out participating restaurants here.
VIP tickets include access to their own swanky lounge w/ exclusive
food and signature cocktails. (open til 10pm)

::the fine print:: I am co-chairing the Partners Bowling event at Mahall's / I was invited and given tickets to attend the Silver Spoon Awards by The Arthritis Foundation

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