Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy 40th, Kids!

Busy, busy, busy! Celebrating, working, traveling, more work, events. That's what I've been up to the past few weeks, and desperately have missed writing blog posts consistently!

So here's an homage that I did not want to miss sharing...last week, my parents celebrated their f-o-r-t-i-e-t-h wedding anniversary. Yes, 40. (Eyes bulge). As in 4 decades together...

Through thick and thin. sickness and health, joy and despair, darkness and light--this couple has truly emerged as an extraordinary example of standing beside each other and committed partnership.

As I've gotten older, I have seen their relationship grow stronger and more positive and more playful. 

My Dad can always make us laugh--
but rarely can we snap a good picture of him smiling!
We celebrated the big occasion as a family at one of my personal favorite date restaurants, Nighttown :) which, rightfully so, has been opened for over 40 years in CLE! I had the Eggs Benedict, which never disappoints! Check out their Sunday brunch menu here.
We laughed, ate, and listened as my parents recounted some anniversaries past--oh the stories!! Here's to wishing them another 40 years together, and each one better than the last! So proud of you, kids! And feel truly blessed to have a wonderful family that sticks together and supports each other. I hope one day I'll be celebrating my 40th wedding anniversary too. Lots of love!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fall Baking: Apple JAM Dumpling Delights!

Fall Baking Basics: Apple JAM Dumpling Delights

There are so many fall foods that I love that it's tough to choose a fave! From butternut squash, pumpkin pie, hearty chilli to fresh apples--the seasonal change shifts us from outside to inside, and into a cozy kitchen wafting with delicious aromas! On Sunday night, as the rain rolled in, I decided to try my creative hand in the kitchen with a huge bag of red McIntosh apples that we had. I modified a recipe I found on Pinterest originally from Cooking with Chopin Blog.

Here's What You'll Need:

  • Apple corer
  • Peeler or sharp knife
  • 2 baking sheets
  • A medium size mixing bowl
fall apple recipe


  • 4 small to medium size red apples chopped
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 can of Pillsbury flaky biscuits
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of pecans
  • 1/4 chocolate chips (I used mini)
  • 1/2 lemon (to squeeze over apples to avoid browning
  • Sprinkle of powdered sugar

    Yields 16-20 dumplings

Recipe Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the over to 350. Crank it up!
  2. Add brown sugar and cinnamon to the medium size bowl.
  3. Time to get nutty. Chop up pecans to produce 1/2 cup and add to the bowl.
  4. Wash the apples, core, and peel. Chop into small chunks. If you're worried about your apples browning, just squeeze a little lemon juice on them. Boom.
  5. Add the apple bits to the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecan mixture. Stir it up until the apples are coated generously.
  6. Finish with the vanilla and chocolate chips. You can always add in more to your liking :) Stir again. 
  7. Take your can of biscuits, bust it open, and divide (most cans serve 8, peel dough apart into 2 or more). Lay out dough onto baking sheets about a 1/2 inch apart. You don't need to grease the sheet.
  8. Spoon your apple JAM mixture into the center of each dough circle. Like so:

  9. Apple JAM mixture
  10. Pinch into a dumping shape by taking the edges of the dough up to the center and close. (Try to press the edges of the dough together since they will expand a bit in the oven.) I made some mini and some regular size dumplings.

  11. Pop these bad boys into the oven for 12-14 minutes. And await for the scrumptious smell of fall to bake into the house. When the dumplings expand a bit in the oven, the apple JAM mixture will bubble and caramelize the top edges a bit. To.die.for!
  12. Pop these bad boys into the oven for 12-14 minutes. And await for the scrumptious smell of fall to bake into the house. When the dumplings expand a bit in the oven, the apple JAM mixture will bubble and caramelize the top edges a bit. To.die.for!
    fall baking
  13. Sprinkle on a bit of powdered sugar on your Apple JAM Dumpling Delights while still warm. Take a big ol' bite, get a taste of fall, and praise the heavens!!!

apple jam dumpling delights

Easy, fast and fall baking basics! Yum!!! What's your favorite fall dessert or dish? Share your thoughts or recipes!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Morgan Conservatory: Paper Arts in CLE

Last evening I attended the Morgan Conservatory Annual Benefit and Silent Auction: Opposites Attract.  My mom had a piece in the silent auction and I was so excited to show my support and check out all of the awesome artwork and paper! The month of October is dedicated to celebrating the paper arts, so check out all the other events going on in Cleveland during Octavofest 2013. 

Mom and Me
in front of her calligraphy piece

"The Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation is a Cleveland, Ohio non-profit art center dedicated to the production and preservation of hand papermaking and the art of the book." This is their big fundraiser and the whole warehouse/gallery turns into a magical creative space--complete with live music, hand-crafted decorations, food and drink, demos and fab art for a good cause!
Morgan Conservatory: Opposites Attract

As soon as you stepped into the space you could feel the creative and magnetic energy, after all, the benefit this year was rightfully named, Opposites Attract. 

Morgan Conservatory Annual Benefit

The Morgan Conservatory really embodies the idea of opposites attract. The ominous and rust-belt looking warehouse holds tremendous beauty, revitalization and creative production inside. The shell of the building on E.47th St may look a bit intimidating, but the lush Japanese mulberry trees in the back of the premises serve as the source for the hand papermaking production. Yes, they actually harvest the plant fibers and make their own paper. SO TOTALLY COOL!

Morgan Conservatory: Paper Arts in CLE

Morgan Conservatory: Papermaking in CLE

During the event you could check out all of the different types of paper that members and artists had created or used in their collection. They even had staff at different stations doing demos to show the step-by-step process of the labor-intensive art of paper making.

Morgan Conservatory: Papermaking demos

We made our rounds checking out all of the ways in which artists used paper. From handmade books, installations, to intricately cut paper, and typography--there were so many different ways people used the paper. And the silent auction allowed you to bid on well-known artists and cool pieces for relatively low prices. Hope I get a call on one of my bids :) The best part is that all of the artists donated their work to raise money to benefit the Morgan and support educational workshops.

So be sure to check out the month long celebration of paper arts in Cleveland! I'll be back at the Morgan next weekend for the Abecedarium and revisit my ABC's. Visit Morgan Conservatory to learn about the process of hand-making paper or other events around town that are part of Octavofest.

Disclosure: My mom is a member of Morgan Conservatory and participating artist in Octavofest. All opinions are entirely my own. And I think she's awesome.