Category Archives: Summer

Seeing Put-in-Bay by Bike

1 Put in Bay

Miller Ferry offers a smooth boat ride and excellent customer service on your way to Put-in-Bay (photo from boat on right)

After we got back from our vacation last week, Scott and I still had a few days off before going back to work. So we decided it was the perfect opportunity to take a trip a little closer to home.

On Thursday we made the short drive over the Edison Bridge to Catawba and caught the Miller Boat Line to Put-in-Bay.

Last fall we visited the island for the Put-in-Bay Wine Festival. Although we packed a lot into that daytrip, we still had a long list of things we wanted to do. After being invited back to stay over for the night, this was the perfect opportunity to cross some things off that list.

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Vacation Recap: Our Farewell Summer Tour

Showing our love for my homestate of Virginia

Showing our love for my homestate of Virginia

Before Scott and I could welcome in fall with last weekend’s clambake, we needed to say so long to summer. At the very end of August we packed our CRV and headed on the road for a bit of family, a bit of comics, and two weeks of vacation fun.

Things started off similar to our last vacation in May – with stops in Virginia to see my sister and parents. Although we’ve spent the last few Augusts in Culpeper where my sister lives, we still seem to discover new things every time we visit.

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The Clue-Down: 12 Upcoming Cleveland Events

Reminder: You have til Monday 8/19 at 11:59pm to enter the Taste of the Browns Giveaway. You can tweet once a day for extra entries (just leave a separate comment on the post for each tweet).
Cleveland Upcoming Events: This is the last weekend for Literary Lots in Cleveland / artwork by Julia Kuo

This is the last weekend for Literary Lots / artwork by Julia Kuo

There’s much more going in Cleveland than I’m able to blog about.  And while this post still doesn’t capture everything that’s happening, here’s my ‘clue-down’ of upcoming Cleveland events that caught my eye.

THIS WEEKEND

Last Weekend of Literary Lots:  If you haven’t been able to check out Literary Lots this summer, this is the last weekend.  This month Literary Lots turned a vacant lot at Novak Park (Lorain on W. 38th) into a world of creativity for the community. In addition to revitalizing the public space, they’ve offered programming throughout the month that runs til August 18. Today, Friday and Saturday, there will be storytelling, poetry slams, printmaking and other workshops throughout the day. And on Saturday night starting at 8:30pm, all ages are invited to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the lot.  You can see all of their events at literarylots.org/events.

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Guest Post: When “Weird Al” Rocked My World

Before we get down to business, some blog-keeping:
1) Did you miss your chance to buy Zoovies tickets before it sold out? You’re in luck! I’m giving away 2 tickets and you have until Aug. 12 at 11:59pm to enter.
2) Speaking of giveaways, my Taste of the Browns giveaway starts next Tuesday so remember to stop back for that.
3) Today’s post is from Scott. He is an always-patient partner in crime so when I was invited to blog about a summer Live Nation concert, I immediately knew I wanted us to see “Weird Al.” Read on and you’ll understand why.
The crowd fills in for "Weird Al" Yankovic at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights

The crowd fills in for “Weird Al” Yankovic at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights

There are three things every concert needs, and these three things will make the difference between a disappointing event and an amazing evening.

One, of course, is an audience. A concert without an audience is just a sad musician with a microphone. And an audience is something that no one has any control over. So it is the remaining two items that I will dedicate the majority of this post to.

First I want to touch on venue. Location can make or break an event. Whether you are stepping into the basement concert space of Mahall’s Twenty Lanes or the classical wonder that is Severance Hall, the venue creates a tone before any instrument does.

The Evans Amphitheater in Cleveland Heights’ Cain Park is a wonderful space. I find this to be because of the eclectic atmosphere.

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Giveaway: Go Back to the Future at the #ZOOvies

Twilight at the Zoo 2013

Twilight at the Zoo 2013

Sometimes the weather gods try to ruin the best of plans. Perfect example: Our first Twilight at Zoo on Friday night. However, try as Friday’s monsoon might, it couldn’t stop us from having a wild time at the Zoo!

Fortunately before the rain started, we were able to sample some of the food and drink at the VIP party.  We enjoyed tastings from Mitchell’s Fish Market, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and AMP 150 (their crab and salad plates are pictured above).

We also enjoyed a few sips of Fireball and Firefly Moonshine. The Fireball+Angry Orchard mix was so good that I risked running through the storm for some more – it was worth it.

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Put-in-Bay’s Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial Celebration

Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial Celebrations 8/29-9/2

When I think of Put-in-Bay, my first thoughts are of hanging out on the lake, sipping on wine, and enjoying the laid-back pace of island life.

Visiting PiB and Kelleys Island is a highlight of my Cleveland summers — not to mention spring and fall (here’s a recap of our trip to Put-in-Bay last Fall).

What doesn’t immediately come to mind is an epic battle. However, it was off the shores of Put-in-Bay that the ferocious Battle of Lake Erie was fought 200 years ago this September.

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#SummerinCLE: A Trip to Tribetown for Fireworks and Dollar Dogs

#SummerinCLE: Dollar Dogs, Fireworks and a Cleveland Indians Win - couldn't ask for anything more!

#summerinCLE: Dollar Dogs, Fireworks and an Indians Win – couldn’t ask for anything more!

UPDATE: This contest ends on Sept. 2, not August 2 as had been originally noted. After confirming conflicting information on the Contest Instructions and Rules and Regulations pages with Positively Cleveland, the date has been corrected below.

An Indians win, dollar dogs and fireworks. In my books, that’s a perfect #summerinCLE night!

Friday night, Scott and I walked down to Progressive to watch the Indians take on the Texas Rangers.

Texas Rangers take on the Cleveland Indians

Texas Rangers take on the Cleveland Indians

Scott and I had seats in the relocated Social Suite where we enjoyed an amazing view over the first base line.  It was an exciting back and forth matchup with Raburn pulling out a 3-run homer in the 11th inning to win the game.

It may have been a long night, but I wasn’t complaining while I chowed down on a few dollar dogs, a bottle of Indigo Imp and funnel cake for dessert. I’m glad we stuck around for the spectacular Jimi Hendrix-themed fireworks afterwards – the Indians put on my favorite fireworks show in Cleveland.

My contribution to the Dollar Dogs total

My contribution to the Dollar Dogs total

We had such a nice time that I couldn’t think of anything more perfect for my #SummerinCLE Tackk.

Positively Cleveland has teamed with local startup Tackk to celebrate all that is great about Cleveland in the summer. And this week, they’re giving away some great prizes in exchange for you sharing your summer favorites.

Seventh Inning Stretch

Seventh Inning Stretch

All you have to do is snap a photo and create a Summer in Cleveland tackk page that will then be shared with potential visitors to the city.

In return for the “tackk,” you’ll be entered to win the prize of the week as well as the grand prize at the end of the campaign (September 2). Each post earns you an additional entry with up to 3 entries per week.

The grand prize includes four tickets to the Cleveland Browns home-opener, a one-night stay at the Holiday Inn Express Downtown Cleveland for Saturday, September 7, four tickets to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, dinner at a downtown restaurant and attire from CLE Clothing Company.

You can learn more at http://tackk.com/44znu7 and check out my Tackk at http://tackk.com/4lpknp. But hurry – the contest ends this Friday!

Disclosure: I received two tickets as part of the Cleveland Indians Social Suite program. Anyone can apply to attend a game at the Social Suite at http://cleveland.indians.mlb.com/cle/fan_forum/social_suite.jsp.

Fun in the Sun Giveaway: Luau on the Lake / #SC4KLuau13

Luau on the Lake #SC4KLuau13

Luau on the Lake on July 20 – #SC4KLuau13

There are certain activities that are must-dos each season: sledding in Winter, pumpkin patches in the Fall, and beach parties in Summer.

So for my second Fun in the Sun giveaway, I’m giving away 2 VIP tickets to Shoes and Clothes for Kids’ Luau on the Lake on Saturday, July 20.

For 8 years, SC4K has raised money for Northeast Ohio’s children with this Hawaiian-themed beach party.

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Fun in the Sun Giveaway: Live Nation Summer Concerts

The view of downtown Cleveland from Ohio City's Cleveland Hostel

The view from Ohio City’s Cleveland Hostel on a summer afternoon

As I was running around Cleveland at Saturday’s RTA Scavenger Hunt, I realized somewhere between Gallucci’s and the Cleveland Hostel that it was the first time this season I had really enjoyed a day outside.

Given that summer officially starts on Friday at 1:04 am, I’m overdue to get some new shorts and bust out the sunscreen. While I’m not the lounge-by-the-pool, sunbathing type, I’m definitely excited to soak up the rays in other ways.

In fact I’m so excited that I’m hosting 3 giveaways over the next month featuring some of my favorite outdoor summer activities.

First up: Live Nation Summer Concerts!

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Guest Post: BLTs – The Ultimate Locally Sourced Summer Sandwich

Update: I wanted to apologize for a blog fail on my part as I accidentally only posted part of Sarah’s recipe in my original post. The full post with complete recipe is now updated below.

As much as I enjoyed my vacation and spending time visiting Virginia with my family, it’s good to be home in Cleveland. Because we got in late last night, Sarah from Cooker Girl is guest-posting for me today as I catch up on things.

Check out her site for mouth-watering recipes like the one below. And if you want to enjoy your own Cooker Girl creation (like the delicious She-Hulk birthday cake she baked for me), email her at sarah (at) sarahberridge.com.

BLTs are one of my favorite sandwiches, and have been since I was little.  I love BLTs any time of year, but with tomatoes currently peaking, conditions are perfect for the ultimate locally sourced BLT.

A few years ago Michael Ruhlman had a challenge to create a BLT from scratch (grow your lettuce and tomato, make the bacon and mayo, bake the bread).  Some people went so far as making mayo from eggs laid by chickens they’ve raised, or grew then ground wheat to make flour for the bread.

Now I’m not saying you have to go that far for a local BLT, but you can still make it as local as possible AND be reasonable.  The Cleveland area has many wonderful markets that feature local food, and they’re all packed with the summer’s bounty.  Check out one of the North Union Farmer’s Markets,  West Side Market, Miles Farmers Market, or even Heinen’s to find local ingredients.  No matter where you live, there is bound to be a market near you!

Since a BLT is so simple to make, I propose that you at least try making your own mayonnaise.  I swear it’s really easy and you don’t need any special equipment or whacky ingredients.  It only takes a little bit longer than toasting the bread for your BLT.  Once you’ve got the basic mayo, the flavor possibilities are endless.  My favorites are spicy mayo (add your fav hot sauce or chili powder) or pesto mayo (just add pesto).

Your Market Shopping List:

  1. Bacon
  2. Lettuce
  3. Tomato (please don’t store them in the fridge!)
  4. Bread
  5. Eggs
  6. Lemon (I don’t know if there are actually any local lemons, but you might as well get some while you’re shopping)

Homemade Mayonaise

Adapted from Michael Ruhlman

Yield: about 1 cup

1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp water

1 tsp lemon juice (plus more to taste)

1/4 tsp mustard (yellow or dijon)

1 cup vegetable oil

Combine yolk, salt, water, lemon juice and mustard in a large bowl.  Fold a hand towel into a ring on the counter and set the bowl in this ring to hold it steady while you whisk.  Using a whisk, stir the ingredients together.
Slowly add a few drops of oil as you begin to whisk; when the emulsion becomes creamy, you may increase the speed with which you add the oil to a thin stream. From the beginning the mixture should be thick enough to hold its shape and look luxuriously creamy. Add the oil too quickly and it will break (turn soupy).  When all the oil is incorporated add lemon juice to taste.
Cook’s Notes:
 – If the mayonnaise is too thick, it can be thinned by whisking in a little water.
 – If it breaks, put a teaspoon of water in a clean bowl and start the process over by dribbling in the broken mayonnaise while whisking.
Okay everyone knows how to put together a BLT right?

Toasted Bread

Mayo

Lettuce

Tomato

Bacon

Mayo

Toasted Bread

Please note that I like to put the T in the middle of the B and L.  I create a barrier so the toast doesn’t get too soggy from the juicy tomatoes.

Head over to Cooker Girl to check out my recipe for Bakin’ Bacon.  It’s a quicker, easier and cleaner way to cook bacon for a crowd.

Sarah Berridge blogs recipes at Cooker Girl and she recently starting baking for the public.  Please contact her if you have an bakery needs!