Try It: Steamed Artichoke

I had no idea that I like steamed artichoke until I ate my first one at L'Albatros a few weeks ago, and subsequently couldn't stop thinking of it. Problem is, I was terrified of cooking artichokes, until I watched this video:

Its easier than you think!!! I steamed an artichoke earlier this week (and ate the whole thing), and it was absolutely delicious. You could make your own lemon aioli, or you can go the super lazy route and just buy Annie's Lemon & Chive Vinaigrette. Either way, super easy, mostly healthy, and super delicious. Don't forget to squeeze some lemon over the artichoke before you eat it!

Happy eating!

My Baller Day (is this how the other side lives?)

Last Friday, Nick and I each took the day off work and got on an airplane to Chicago, to attend the wedding of our friends, Chris & Abby. We had a 7:30 am flight, and we landed in Chicago bright and early and took the L downtown to our hotel. While on the L, I was busy texting with friends, making plans for weekend brunch. Halfway through our ride, the following conversation occurred:

Nick: What time is the wedding tomorrow?
Me: Hang on let me check... I open up wedding website on my iPhone. CUE COLD SWEAT!!!!

Why, you might ask? Because we were in Chicago on the WRONG weekend!! *FACEPALM*

So there we were in Chicago; no hotel; no wedding. Thanks to some extremely efficient customer service from United, Nick and I were booked on the 5:30 pm flight back to Cleveland. But we had so much time to kill! So what did we do? We shopped, ate, and drank, and totally lived the baller lifestyle for the day!!

Lunch at Publican Quality Meats. The delicious Bloody Mary's come with a chaser of beer. The food was so so good! Reminded me a little of Market at Flying Fig

Drinks on the rooftop patio at Little Goat with the future newlyweds! 

Finishing up with the champagne of beers, because, why not?

Overall, a very unexpected day in Chicago, and all because of a silly mistake I made. Although to be honest, we had so much fun, that we may intentionally take a day-trip to a nearby city using our United miles next year! 

A Delicious Friday in Cleveland

This past Friday, I took the day off from work, to spend some quality me-time. My day started with breakfast at Blackbird Baking Company.

Cafe au Lait and Pan au Chocolat were the perfect way to begin the day.

A quick appointment at my chiropractor was followed by a few quick errands (which naturally included shopping), by which point it was time for lunch. 

Lunch was wine and salad at Sweet Melissa, and because it was my birthday week, I threw caution to the wind and got creme brulee for dessert!! 

Lunch was followed by a mani, nap and dog walk, by which time it was time for dinner.

Luxe never disappoints, and on Friday, N and I decided to just do a bunch of small plates. 

Overall, an absolutely delicious Friday!!!

Maybe someday I will find a Pearl?

Ever since N and I took a trip to Montreal last fall with Dave and Jess, I have been OBSESSED with oysters on the half shell. I literally get uncontrollable cravings, and have been known to pick restaurants solely on whether they offer oysters or not. Its really become quite the problem.

This past Friday, after months of planning, Jess and I cut out of work a little early to get some oysters at Blue Point. It was my first time there, and I feel like a complete idiot for having missed out on their happy hour for so long-- oysters are $1 a piece!! And these are some really high quality oysters too!!

Paired with a glass of crisp white wine, these oysters are sheer perfection. While both the mignonette and cocktail sauce were delicious, my favorite way to eat oysters are with a squirt of lemon and a liberal dash of tabasco. I may or may not have eaten 20. I may or may not have later developed heartburn on account of the aforementioned tabasco, but it was worth it.

Happy Hour at Blue Point runs 3:00- 6:30 pm weekdays, and 4:00 pm- 9:00 pm Sundays!! If you are an oyster lover, you should definitely check it out!!!

Things I Lurve: Hazelnut Butter

I lllluuuuuuuuuurrrvvve Nutella. LOVE IT! Sadly, my waistline does not. All the sugar just doesn't do my body good, but I absolutely LOVE the flavor of chocolate and hazelnuts. Luckily, I found a worthy substitute: Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter! There are some significant differences between the two products though: Justin's includes hazelnuts and almonds, and has way less sugar than Nutella. I especially like the hint of sea salt in Justin's-- its a little bit like salted caramel in that sense-- a little salt to enhance the sweetness. One other major difference-- a jar of Justin's is usually $9.99, a significant premium over Nutella.

I guess my thinking is this: If I'm going to eat this as a treat, then perhaps the price tag reflects its position as a TREAT rather than a staple...

What's your favorite nut butter (besides peanut)?