Thursday, June 27, 2013

JAMinCLE Goes to Manitou Beach

Early Monday morning, my Mom and I packed up the car to head up and visit my Uncle Don & Jim at their lake house in Michigan. They could not have been more hospitable, gracious, accommodating and great story tellers!!! The typically busy vacation spot turned to out to be a very peaceful getaway during the week and gave me time to pause, recharge and catch up with family. Perfect mini vay-k. Here are my pics from the trip:

Collecting my thoughts

Brother + Sister
Lake cruising
Sail boats, speed boats, & more boats!

The Wild Life!

Pork tenderloin
and grilled pineapple with rum and cinnamon sugar..yum!

Grown up popsicles and for a sunset boat cruise :)

Cotton candy skies

Thanks for everything Uncle Don!
A flip flopping good time!
What's your favorite weekend getaway spot that's just a short drive from CLE? Think I found mine :) Much needed R&R!

Sunday, June 23, 2013 + DCA Tweetup at Aloft Hotel + WXYZ

Last week, I had the opportunity to go check out the brand new Aloft Hotel that now anchors the progressive development in the East Bank of the Flats.
Aloft Hotel and Ernst & Young Building and Downtown Cleveland Alliance--two of Cleveland's biggest CLE supporters-- hosted a Tweetup for CLE's social(media)ites to preview the space. To check out's recap and photos click here.

Visitors and hotel guests were greeted by this awesome take on a check-in desk.
Nearly 400 people gathered for the event in Aloft Hotel at WXYZ, the same restaurant owners of ABC in Ohio City and XYZ in Gordon Square, to get a glimpse of the venue and socialize.
Sleek. Exposed duct work. Curved lines. Modern feel. Tons of natural light.

Not only was the interior cool but a deck off the second story offered absolutely incredible views of the architecture and natural beauty in CLE.

Deck entrance

Stellar views from the deck

I love that the Detroit-Superior Bridge and Shoreway Bridge are both visible in this shot.

The views are nostalgic of CLE's industrial past contrasted with the exciting redevelopment. 


This recent Crain's Cleveland article does a good job of explaining the history of the Flats and long anticipated revitalization of the area. Not only will the new Aloft hotel offer a comfy place to rest your head, but there are sleek conference rooms that boast fantastic views, access to the newly reopened Waterfront Rapid Line, and foodie favorites too. CLE is the place to see and be!

Conference rooms
Green space next to the conference rooms gives a unique perspective of FirstEnergy Stadium
Soon mixed-use spaces will also open--including more offices, retail, restaurants, bars, and apartments.
Bridging CLE's past & present

What a fun place to host a Tweetup, meet new people, eat, drink, take in terrific views and experience CLE's latest destination! Just another reminder of the positive redevelopment and great things happening in The Land!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

JAM Mulberry Apple Cobbler Recipe

As I mentioned in my last weekend recap post, I made my Dad a (bomb) cobbler recipe for Father's Day. There is a giant mulberry tree growing in the backyard and I was curious as to how to craft up a good recipe from it. I picked an entire colander of mulberries, wowzer! I had my work cut out for me!

The best way to describe mulberries, if you have never tried them, is the size and shape of a raspberry, not as fleshy, not as sweet. See?

So I perused Pinterest and found this super easy mulberry cobbler recipe from a fellow Ohio blogger, Columbus Foodie. I tweaked the original recipe to add in a lil more JAM and it turned out fab! Here's what you'll need:

MulberryApple Cobbler
8 in. square metal dish

2 1/2 – 3 c. mulberries
2 apples diced
1/2 c. sugar
6 tbsp. butter
3/4 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. milk
pint of vanilla bean ice cream

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Clean your mulberries and chop apples.  Set aside.
  • Next in a separate large bowl mix sugar, flour, baking powder, salt.
  • Melt the butter and pour it into an eight inch square metal dish.
  • Add the milk to your dry ingredients and mix until a thick batter; remember to keep the berries separate! A very important step in this recipe is to pour the batter into the dish. You do not want to mix the batter when it is in the dish because the butter is there first for a reason.
  • Now that the batter is already in the pan you can add your mulberries and apples.
  • Sprinkle them all over the top of the batter like so...
  • All poured and ready for the oven
  • Pop that bad boy in the oven for 20-25 minutes, time may vary according to your oven.
  • Test to see if it's done by inserting a toothpick in the center to see if it comes out clean. If so, allow the cobbler to rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
  • This is a more "light" cobbler upside down recipe as opposed to the traditional biscuit style cobbler. Honestly, I prefer this recipe more since it's a great post-cookout dessert that doesn't make you feel like you're going to explode.
  • Finally, cut and serve in large wine glasses for added effect. Scoop a dollop of fresh vanilla bean ice cream on top of the warm cobbler.
  • Serve and receive many compliments and happy bellies. 
For more recipes, follow my board on Pinterest!  And keep JAMmin!

What's your favorite dessert to top off a cookout? What's your go-to easy summer dessert recipe? Have you ever tried mulberries?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Weekend Recap: Cleveland Wine Fest & Celebrating Father's Day

Another awesome weekend in CLE and the perfect combo of relaxation, friends, family and fun!

On Saturday I checked out the Cleveland Wine Festival at Voinovich Park. Last year, I only got to briefly enjoy the Wine Fest because a big thunderstorm rolled in right off the lake. So I was pumped to get to go this year with partly sunny skies, new friends and lots o' good vino!

My favorite wines were "Paco Red Experience" from Jackson Family Wines and "Hob Knob Wicked Red." There was wine slushies, sangria, sweet, dry, whites, reds, blushes, local and international wines--something for everyone's tastbuds! Plus live music, great people watching, and a beautiful backdrop of the city! 

I had a blast at the event and was happy to hang with Sara and her group of CLE homies! Hooray for fun times and fab new friends!

To kickoff Father's Day, I wanted to surprise my Dad with a tasty dessert for our family cookout. There's a giant mulberry tree in the backyard that is just covered with berries and was begging to be picked. I previously pinned a recipe for a mulberry cobbler on perfect timing! I foraged these berries, hahaha, and was so excited to try this new recipe.. I'm going to post the full recipe and steps but here is a little sneak peek :)

Holy mulberries!
Proof: I CAN bake!

It turned out to be a wicked success...and great finish to the fantastic burgers and sausages my Dad fired up on the grill.

Totally in the zone!

It was such a nice relaxing day with the whole family and just hanging out, cracking jokes with my Dad.

He's always known how to make me laugh :)
Like Father, like Daughter! Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Thanks for always helping me keep my sense of humor, staying grounded, encouraging me, and teaching me how to be "one smooth operator!" :)

Did you attend the Cleveland Wine Fest? What's your favorite wine? How did you celebrate Dad this Father's Day?

Monday, June 10, 2013

26th Birthday Weekend Recap in CLE!

Twenty-six. Officially late twenties. Eeps! I'm blessed with so many lovely people in my life who made a four-day birthday weekend totally JAM-tastic!
June Birthday Babes :)

During the day on Friday I spent time with my Mom doing some much needed retail therapy. We hit Crocker Park where I found 2 fabulous birthday dresses and some stellar accessories to fit the birthday mood. Then we popped into Vieng's Asian Bistro. I got a super legit vegetarian crunch roll (asparagus, avocado, cream cheese, wrapped with rice and deep friend in tempura batter) semi healthy...right? Calories don't count during birthday meals :)
Centering myself

Mama and me
Later that evening I tried out Market in Rocky River for the first time. Adorable place, great atmosphere and extensive craft beer and cocktail list. It was girls only and it was exactly the fun and laughter I needed to kiss 25 goodbye.

Lovelies left to right: Jenna, T.A. Regi, Donna, Gina, Kayla & Catie
After dinner and drinks, we headed over to check out the recently opened Vosh Club in Lakewood. You know, the place Kevin Costner was just spotted at while kicking back after a long day of filming in CLE. Yeaaah!
Yes, our drinks glowed in the dark!!!
There was an AWESOME jazz band playing and all the girls and I hit the dance floor. Thankfully, I don't think there are any pictures as proof, but it was pretty hilarious/amazing/fun/cathartic. My gf also snuck over and whispered to the lead singer it was my birthday and soon enough the band and entire club were singing me happy birthday. It was very sweet, embarrassing and special. Did I mention how much I love my friends :) I am one lucky gal!
Thanks for making my night special, girls! xoxo
After saying so long to 25, Saturday rolled around to welcome in 26. The sun peaked through in the afternoon and I decided to mosey down to Whiskey Island & Wendy Park for some sunshine seaside fun. I really love this place during the summer--laid back, low maintenance, access to the water, great views of the city, and live music.
Double thumbs up to birthday fun, kick ass sunnies, and wonderful friends!
I received so many thoughtful gifts, well wishes, emails, cards, phone calls, texts,&  posts that I couldn't help but have an ear-to-ear grin all day long! I'm feeling the love! Consider this my thank you to each and everyone of you who made my entire day/weekend terrific!

After Whiskey Island we decided to check out pARTy in Gordon Square. Gordon Square is one of my favorite neighborhoods in CLE--great food, chill vibe, emerging artists, Happy Dog, Capitol Theatre & CPT. There is always something fun happening there! Well consider this a mega block party showcasing all the arts & activities in the area.
Evan and I bringing our creative comic book characters to life

One of the activities was to make your own comic book character. Naturally, my super hero was named "Birthday Girl!"

Birthday Girl here to save the city and keep JAMmin!

Angry Asisan Carp taking over!!!
Awesome superhero outfit...

T.A Evan and I with our alter superhero-egos
Then we were greeted with the awwwwesome surprise of Last Call Cleveland performing. Please tell me you've seen these guys perform before. Literally pee-your-pants, good, true Clevelander jokes. I've probably seen them half a dozen times and it's always a bit different, and more Cleveland jokes and fun.  

Pet peeve: Your v/s you're haha
I couldn't think of a better combination of events and getting to laugh my face off with friends.

Night cap and birthday dessert at Spice Kitchen & Bar with Catie, Nathaniel, T.A. and Evan!
After all the fun festivities I finished up the birthday celebrations on Sunday morning with the family as we went to Nighttown's brunch. Great patio, great memories, great food.
What a fabulous weekend of friends, family, fun, and festivities. Despite having a rough few weeks, the ones I love rallied around me and helped me count my blessings and feel the love. So thank you, thank you for all that you do. Cheers to 26! And keep JAMmin!