As I continue eating my way through Cleveland, the latest stop on my food tour leads me to a sugary heaven called Brewnuts. I had the opportunity to sink my teeth into the oh-so-fluffy dough of the tastiest gourmet donut I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. They are so flavorful you’ll feel closer to paradise with the first bite of these succulent, well-made donuts. Each doughy goodness is infused with beer (a key ingredient) that really adds depth to the pastry and perfectly complements the dough making this a sinfully delicious treat. These sizable donuts prove that beer is not just for washing down wings on Super Bowl Sunday, but that cooking with it adds a richness to the batter which causes the donuts to puff up superbly.
I recommend you head there early before the popular flavors sell out and when the donuts are at their freshest. Brewnuts offers the traditional old-fashioned fry cakes and delicious glazed options to the wildest and wackiest modern donuts with an exciting twist. I favored the Toothsome Golden Graham donut (worth the calories if I do say so myself). With every bite better than the first, the fluffy ring of chewiness slathered in cereal milk icing and topped with cereal, marshmallow, and chocolate is a treat too good to pass up. Brewnuts inventive creations are by far the best donuts around. Once you bite into one your taste buds are sure to agree. When you stop by be sure to try a fry cake!
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sarah Alessi @caffeine_and_carbs
In the heavy heat of June, Alexis and I walked the streets of Lakewood after lunch with the blazing sunlight from the cloudless sky beating down on our exposed shoulders. With perspiration surfacing on our foreheads and sweat running down our faces in rivulets, the humid afternoon stroll was becoming unbearable. We stopped under each tree that cast a patch of shade on the sidewalk and sought out a comfortable place to escape the heat. Thanks to social media and smart phones, we stumbled upon Thai Thai, a place that had numerous positive reviews and was a few streets over from where we dined. After a little discussion we decided to give Thai Thai a try.
Instead of reaching for pop, sparkling water, or sangria to help quench our thirst, we considered trying the latest trend sweeping the nation. Bubble tea is a sugary iced drink, often fruit flavored with chewy tapioca pearls floating inside. If you’re a fan of tropical refreshments like we are, then you’ve got to try Thai Thai’s sweet, frothy tea-based drink. It should be your go-to summer beverage. This afternoon refresher is definitely my new warm weather companion as temperatures rise and barbecues beckon. Nothing tastes more like summertime than sipping on a refreshing cup of bubble tea.
While I had never previously tried bubble tea, I was pleasantly surprised by the delicious fruity blend. I sipped on the mango and Alexis tried banana. We want to let our readers know you won’t be disappointed. If you don’t believe me, just ask the locals who line up outside the doors of Thai Thai to grab one of Kiwi’s bubble tea creations that only come around once a month. I was 1 of 200 customers lucky enough to try one of these creative concoctions. The Unicorn Blend tea is made of layers of several flavors (mango, honeydew, taro and strawberry) topped with a Brewnuts donut, sour gummies, and lollypops. Not only is the bubble tea as beautiful as it is refreshing, it’s sure to hit the spot and cool you off. Overall we really enjoyed our experience at Thai Thai. The cozy atmosphere along with the personable, friendly, and passionate owner Kiwi provided enjoyable conversation and made us feel at home.
As a self-labeled pizza connoisseur, someone that’s toured many cities exploring the different pizza styles and varieties of toppings each neighborhood offers, I’ve sampled and tasted some of the finest savory pies. I’ve found myself indulging in Chicago’s deep-dish pizza, devouring Detroit’s caramelized crunchy edges, and gobbling down New York’s oversized thin crust… a pizza you fold in half to enjoy. This brings me to not the last destination on this food tour, but a favorite, 3 Palms, a local pizzeria located in Ohio where the traditional Neapolitan pizza topped with fresh ingredients meets a wood fired oven. I could practically taste the smell wafting through the restaurant as my eyes scanned the well-designed menu. The Diavola, where the simplicity of the mozzarella is paired with the crisp spicy salami and chili oil is my choice pie. The blend is bellissimo! This mouth watering scrumptious combination is sure to excite your taste buds. This authentic Italian styled pizza is by far the tastiest cuisine on the menu, especially if you like your pizza with a little heat. Be sure to give this zesty selection a try! With no shortage of choices, 3 Palms has other signature dishes to choose from like their traditional meatball starters with meat so tender it falls apart in your mouth and a variety of dipping sauces to choose from. So delectable, incredible, succulent, and tender your spoon cuts right through. A dish so palatable I found myself scraping it clean not to waste a flavorful bite. You will be oohing and ahhing over the texture and taste of this gourmet meatball. Be sure to leave room though, you’re not going to want to skip dessert! It’s the main attraction in this restaurant. No meal is complete unless you’ve ended it with something from their bakery. A bakery so irresistible, with an assortment of upscale pastries, freshly baked bread, and gelato. The lightly fried and flakey shell, and sweet aroma of the cannoli dipped in chocolate chips caught my attention. If you’ve never experienced this spice-infused specialty sweet you’re in for a treat so satisfying you might order seconds. Or you could try a few scoops of gelato. I recommend the mint chip! A flavor to salivate over. This after dinner staple dessert is worth all the calories. Next time you and your friends are ravenous for some authentic Italian pizza and specialty sweets, 3 Palms in Hudson Ohio has your cravings covered. My stomach rumbles with excitement just talking about it. Mangia! Mangia! Mangia!
With the often ominous shadow of the big 3-0 looming reality sets in. Finding ways to celebrate can be daunting and a tad depressing. Turning 30 does not have to be a horrible experience though. Celebrating this monumentous milestone deserves some attention! As I bid Bon voyage to my 20’s, I wanted to ring in my next decade with a party I would never forget… A celebration with experiences that would last a lifetime.
As with any other occasion I plan, I took to google scrolling through the search results looking for unique and creative ways to amplify my birthday while keeping it cost effective for my guests lead me to the Cleveland Candle Company. I guess stumbled upon it is a better description though. Cleveland Candle Company offers 1 and 2 hour long private parties. You and your guests can express your creativity through the process of making handmade candles. I gathered 15 of my closest friends to celebrate this special day.
The first half hour putting our noses to the test while sniffing our way through to 200+ scents the Cleveland Candle Company has to offer. With a wide verity of scents ranging from fruity and savory foods, plant, spa, floral, seasonal, and specially scents it can be difficult to narrow down your selection to your top 3. If you are experiencing a sensory overload, you can shop their amazing selection of pre-made soy candles, handcrafted bath bombs, oil infused lip balms and vegan soaps.
While waiting for our signature candles to dry we were surrounded by the friendly and helpful staff their pleasant and uplifting attitudes added to the enjoyment of waiting for our creations. For the next hour we laughed and mingled while enjoying great food. I found creating your own craft to take home much more memorable than your typical “Dirty Thirty”. Next time you throw a bash remember the Cleveland Candle Company is a clever, cost cutting idea for all ages and occasions.
Retail has been therapy for me since I can remember. It’s always there for my highest highs and sticks around for my lowest lows, but the life of a shopaholic is too damn expensive… so to avoid having to enroll myself in Shopaholics Anonymous, I sought out a creative way to turn my savvy shopping skills into something less stressful on my wallet: a way to still get in that adrenaline rush of stumbling across the latest clearance finds without breaking the bank. Working in retail only worsened my addiction, so I decided to take a break from the industry. At this point I could only fund window-shopping anyway which wasn’t nearly as exciting.
This is when I truly began to put my creative skills to work. I started collecting recyclables from friends, family, and neighbors even went door to door distributing flyers asking for scrap metal (pop cans, aluminum, brass, copper and more). I turned trash into cash, which not only helped out my ecological footprint but fueled my addiction without breaking the bank. I’m following in the footsteps of Ellen Degeneres, who’s famous for ending her show with the words “be kind to one another.” This idea really stuck with me. Utilizing my expert couponing and bargaining skills for a better cause, I started donating to my local animal shelter and over the years have really spread out the kindness to other organizations as well. Although my bank account doesn’t permit me to hand out large checks like Ellen, I’m still able to give back in my own way. This section of Sincerely BS will be dedicated to showcasing all of my charitable hauls- not to brag or boast for attention-but purely to inspire and show that anyone can make an impact and spread love which today’s world could use more of.
Have you had your fill of work and stress? Are you falling asleep on the job? Do you stare at the clock counting down the minutes? Do you find yourself asking “is it the weekend yet”? If you have answered yes to one or more of these, you are way overdue for a girls’ night out. The first thing that comes to mind is dinner, drinks, and dancing, but let’s face it—a night out on the town can be expensive.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to have fun. Just get creative when planning a fun, affordable experience with friends by challenging them to try something new and interesting. Here’s an inexpensive idea that my friends and I tried that won’t break the bank: Brush And A Bottle Paint Night. With a glass of wine in one hand and a paintbrush in the other, could you imagine a better way to unwind? Trashed Studio offers an all-inclusive three-hour instructor-led painting class with all supplies (sans the wine) provided for just $30! Local artist Bev Elliott will challenge you and your group of 6 to 12 friends to get creative in this step-by-step demonstration through the painting process. For those of you who have never picked up a paint brush, the ever-so-patient Bev is right by your side, ready to offer individualized tips and style suggestions. Her passion for painting is contagious, and you’ll find yourself channeling your inner Monet—shocked by the hidden artists that you and your friends have become.
I must admit that I was slightly hesitant about the evening since I’m far from a modern day artist. With Bev’s guidance and acrylic paint, I quickly discovered my artistic abilities. I personally found acrylic paint to be very forgiving, easy to use, and any mistakes can be painted over (even when dry!) I enjoyed the night out with my friends, and getting to come home with my own piece of art was an awesome added bonus.
The relaxing atmosphere of this cozy art studio is filled with laughter and good vibes from the moment your paint-filled brush hits the canvas, making that stressful work week you’ve had seem less overwhelming. I highly recommend Trashed Studio: Brush and a Bottle class for first time and/or experienced painters. For any event (girls’ night, birthday, family get-together or work outing), plan your next paint party with Bev and be sure to check out other services Trashed Studio offers! **As a disclaimer (let’s not get confused by my writing style), this is not an advertisement, nor do I work for Trashed Studios. When I find something I love I give my honest opinion, and I never recommend products that I don’t use or enjoy.