Provenance at CMA Culinary Series: Food and Wine Inspired by Art + Giveaway

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Cleveland Museum of Art is my favorite space in Cleveland.

I'm also fairly certain that eating and/or cooking is my favorite pastime - combine the two and I'm happy as a clam.

Lucky for us, the CMA has wonderful dining establishments right in the heart of the museum and a new monthly culinary series that allows one to indulge in seasonal specialties. The Food and Wine Inspired by Art Chef's dinner series at Provenance is an 'artistic experience for the senses' where the incomparable Chef Partner Doug Katz crates a unique five-course menu with wine pairings. 

CK and I were invited to attend the April 15 event and were, as usual, greeted by the wonderful Provenance at CMA staff and a table full of lively guests. I truly think my favorite part of these dinners is getting to meet fun new Clevelanders that love food and wine as much as we do.

Let's get to the good stuff though, the food, wine and A GIVEAWAY.



April 2015 Food and Wine Inspired by Art Dinner at Provenance
Amuse-Bouche: Spring onion bisque with grilled local ramps, EVOO and dried kalamata olives + Dry Creek Chenin Blanc
First Course: Braised artichoke salad with shaved Iowa prosciutto, local feta, micro basil and roasted pepper-fennel chutney + Au Contraire Chardonnay
Second Course: Pan-seared Scallop with jumbo lump crap, roasted asparagus, glazed radishes, green goddess sauce, lentil chickpea-almond pilaf + wine the same the first course
Third Course: Grass-fed filet of beef with Anna potatoes, red wine jus, fried sage and shallot butter + Justin Cabernet Savignon
Fourth Course: Strawberry rhubarb crisp with minted local yoghurt + Domaine Chandon Brut

Yes, we ate and drank very well this evening. The New Creation Farm filet of beef was so good that I think all future beef tenderloin is ruined for me, thankfully I can run to the farmer's market and pick some up. Whether I'll be able to cook it as well is yet to be determined.

Thanks to the wonderful folks at Provenance, I'm able to provide a pair of complimentary seats at the table to a future Food and Wine Inspired by Art dinner to a lucky cleveland's a plum reader, a $130 value! Upcoming events through July are listed on the website.

Enter for your chance to get a seat at the table by completing one or all of the following:


1. Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite season - spring, summer, fall or winter.

2. Tweet the following (You can tweet once per day but must leave a new comment each time letting me know you did so.)

I want to win two seats at the @ProvenanceatCMA Food and Wine Inspired by Art dinner table from @clevelandsaplum! http://bit.ly/1HU4C2u

3. Share this post on your Facebook page - http://bit.ly/1HU4C2u - leaving a separate comment letting me know you did so.

You have until end of day on Tuesday, May 5th to enter to win - GOOD LUCK - the winner in in for a real treat!

The one where I catch myself on fire

Monday, March 23, 2015

You guys, this past Thursday evening, while cooking dinner for my family, the string on my favorite zip-up hoodie caught fire.

We can blame the damn power boil feature on my fancy new stove for this one.

The thing is, I didn't even realize the string was on fire until I smelled something burning, looked down, and realized it was me... I WAS ON FIRE.

It started spreading so fast!

I fumbled around trying to pat the flame out, but mid-panic decided to run out the backdoor and strip off my burning clothes - a hoodie, t-shirt and bra - ALL on fire mind you. My hair even singed.

I can only image the show my neighbors got.

The image below shows the three non-living layers that got burned. 

Except there's a fourth layer, my skin, that now has blisters over a very, very sensitive area. Ahem.

Photographic evidence, doh.
 
Sweet Jesus.

In hindsight, I probably should have just gone to the sink and simply places the damn hoodie string under some water. Way to buckle under pressure, Alexa.

Genius.  A genius with blisters on her boob.

R.I.P. favorite grey hoodie, you'll be missed.


Window Nation: Cleveland windows

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Who says you can't get new windows in winter?

I didn't, and neither did Window Nation.

As CK and I continue to tackle getting our new home organized, we have a pet renovation project in the works that recently had its first item checked off the (very long) task list: new windows courtesy of Window Nation!

So, there's this "carriage house" on our property. But I'm not sure who are we kidding calling it a "carriage house" though, it's really a lofted garage, but because it's over 105-years-old it once housed carriages/horses. There are even trapdoors for hay distribution and the floor is old sandstone.

Truthfully, I'm shocked it's still standing, having not been given the same proper updating and attention that the home has, but we have a soft spot in our hearts for the thing. There's just so much possibility! 

Now that we have new windows from Window Nation, we just need to drywall (or something to that effect), add some flooring, put in a heat source and BOOM - multipurpose room. I'm thinking a music/game/storage space would just be divine.

But back to the windows, in total we had 8 double-hung windows replaced by our friendly Window Nation team. From start to finish - the measuring, picking out the windows and installation - the team was a dream to work with. Super friendly, professional, knowledgeable and FAST. 

Oh my goodness, SO FAST. I swear I blinked and all the windows were installed.

Kenny from Window Nation tearing out our god knows how old windows and prepping for installation.

TA-DA - new windows! Here's CK and I with the Window Nation installation team upon completion.

I sincerely can't thank the Window Nation team enough, such a pleasure to work with. In fact, I'm already thinking about my next project with Window Nation - vinyl siding for the carriage house. Who knows, by the end of this pet project our #HalleysCarriage may end up being cooler than our actual house!

Stay tuned for updates - I have a feeling this "carriage house" renovation is going to be a fun (and long) one.

Happy Tuesday, kids!

A nice Cleveland-centric weekend in February

Friday, February 13, 2015

People tend to get down in the dumps during Cleveland winters, and while I can wholeheartedly get on the "it's-not-as-fun-as-summer" train, winter doesn't mean we need to sit at home wrapped in blankets waiting for the first sign of spring.

Take this past weekend for example. My sissy was visiting from NYC, my cousin Jenna was visiting from Columbus and we didn't let the cold weather slow us down as we hopped from Cleveland hotspot to Cleveland hotspot.

First stop Friday: MIX at CMA: Soul. This Cleveland Museum of Art monthly event is always a winner in my book, and this month's Soul theme didn't disappoint. I mean, who doesn't love to boogie to soul music? Love, peace and soul baby!

#MIXatCMA

Next stop Friday: Noodlecat + House of Blues Cleveland for Greensky Bluegrass. Warm ramen and steam bums on a cold winter's day? Clicking your heels to some damn good bluegrass? CHECK. If you're really too cold to go out for ramen though, check out Chef Jonathan Sawyer's Noodle Kids cookbook on sale now!


Greensky Bluegrass + Sissy, the Driggs' + CK

First Stop Saturday: Bon Bon Pastry & Cafe + Campbell's + Penzeys Spices. We've been on a big Bon Bon kick in the Marinos/Kramer family and I don't foresee it stopping anytime soon. Campbell's, duh - it's my kryptonite. And Penzeys? I'm proud to say my spice collection is growing. New favorite? Not surprisingly, THE GREEK! 

Sissy and Jenna during brunch at Bon Bon - aren't they pretty?!?

Next Stop on Saturday: Platform Beer Co. where we sat and drank too many beers to count for too many hours. Well, I didn't drink beer - I drank mead, because we all know how I feel about beer. Luckily I'm in the minority though, because even at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon Platform was bumpin'. It's such a wonderful place and has a good vibe with a friendly staff.

Bopping around Ohio City on a Saturday afternoon will always be one of my favorite pastimes. 

CK, Sissy and Jenna posing with a map of Cleveland's near west side that I admittedly tried to steal. I need one of these.

After successfully achieving a day buzz - my Mom even joined us later in the day - we headed to our house to eat Romito's Pizza and make cookies for a very special church service on Sunday.

Family fun time at it's best.

So, instead of staying in all weekend with a blanket because Lord know it's going to be FREEZING this weekend in Cleveland I recommend layering up and enjoying this fine city we call home.

Have a good one, kids!

#CIFF39: Get Shorty Giveaway

Thursday, January 15, 2015


[The ticket giveaway is now closed, congrats to @HeyEscapist whose comment was chosen via random.org]

It's January in Cleveland which means it's almost time for the 39th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF). 

Can you believe it?! Yippee! 

This year's CIFF, which runs March 18-29, will again make its home at Tower City Cinemas with over 350+ films being shown on premises. Neighborhood theaters/venues will also be getting some love with film events at Beachland Ballroom, Cedar Lee Theatre, Chagrin Cinemas and the Akron Art Museum.

One thing I've always respected about CIFF is that it does such a great job with its events. It's more than just films and it's more than just a singular event during the proper festival. Case in point the Film Feasts series sponsored by Hyland, creator of OnBase (full disclosure, I work at Hyland), where for the 12th consecutive year an opportunity is provided to engage the community, celebrate the arts in Cleveland and cultivate new film buffs. 

The Film Feast I'm most looking forward to this year (and have attended in the past) is Get Shorty. On Thursday, January 29 at 7p.m., my beloved Capitol Theater will play host to the Get Shorty event where attendees will gather to view a selection of short films, vote on their favorites and actually have a say in what films get screened at this year's CIFF. 

In addition to films, Get Shorty attendees will be served up an array of food and beverages provided by Culinary Occasions.

Tickets are $100 a piece and can be purchased online here - OR - you can win a pair here on the plum!

So if you want to join me, CK and lots of other fun Clevelanders at this year's CIFF Get Shorty Film Feasts - here's your chance.

1. Leave a mandatory comment on this post telling me your favorite movie(s) of all time. 
2. Follow CIFF on Twitter and/or Instagram, leaving a new comment on this post telling me you did so.
3. Tweet the following, leaving a new comment telling me you did so:

Hey, @clevelandsaplum, I want to go to @CIFF's Get Shorty Film Feasts at @CapitolW65th! #CIFF39 http://bit.ly/157Qp0H

You can tweet daily for extra entries, leaving a new comment on this post each time you do so.

Entries will be accepted until end of day Thursday, January 22, with the winner being announced the following day. Best of luck to all!

Happy Thursday, kids.