• Lemon Mint Soup
  • Benefits of Eating Locally
  • When Life Gives You Lemons (or, How to Grow a Lemon Tree)
  • How to Clean Beeswax
  • Homemade Coconut Yogurt

Restaurant Review: Cork and Cleaver

Ever since Cork and Cleaver opened last year, it’s been high on our list of places to try, and for good reason. And now that we’ve finally made it, I can attest that it’s been firmly planted in our list of favorites.

Cork and Cleaver is located in a cookie-cutter strip mall in Broadview Heights, like any other strip mall in any other town. But the restaurant itself is anything but cookie-cutter. The interior is fairly spacious, with a rustic chic flair. Lots of corks. Not a lot of cleavers lying around, but plenty of meat.

The menu is one of the more creative ones that we’ve seen in quite some time. Lots of staple-type dishes, but always with a twist that sets them apart from the norm. Our appetizer was Reuben ribs; your standard pork ribs, but brined corned-beef style, and served with Thousand Island slaw, melted Gruy√®re, and a pinch of rye salt. Neat idea, complete with all the flavors of a Reuben sandwich.

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S, perhaps unsurprisingly, had scallops, complete with cranberry and butternut and spaghetti squash. I don’t often see scallops with squash (maybe I don’t get out enough), but it worked really well. My main course was gnocchi, cooked up Greek-style. Topped with slow-cooked lamb, cucumber and radish, and a creamy yogurt sauce, it was the most unique gnocchi dish I’ve had, with all the flavors melding together seamlessly.

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Dessert was a luscious banana panna cotta, topped with banana bread crumble, coconut, and toasted marshmallow. I’m not normally a huge fan of banana-based desserts, but this one was excellent – rich but light, and not too heavy on the banana flavor, which can easily overwhelm the rest of a dish.

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The verdict: Cork and Cleaver earns six stars out of seven. One of our new favorites – the food was outstanding, service was outstanding (very knowledgeable, and did a great job of describing the dishes – he made us want everything!), and prices were quite reasonable (almost all entrees under $20).

Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Lemon Mint Soup

About a month ago, we had a really nice soup at a restaurant that utilized lemon, mint, and peas – a perfect late spring/early summer fare. So we decided to make it at home (honestly, I’m pretty sure that just about anything we eat in a restaurant anymore, we think “Oh, we should try to make that at home sometime”).

So this is what we ended up with. It’s perfect for a warm evening and can be whipped up pretty quickly, and you can eat it hot, cold, or anywhere in between. This lemon mint soup made with freshly shelled peas hits the spot.

Lemon Mint Soup with Peas - lifefromthegroundup.us

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Benefits of Eating Locally

Unless you live under a rock (and no offense intended if you do), you’re probably aware of the movement to eat food that originates close to home. While this is a growing trend, it is by no means a new idea. Until about a century ago (maybe even less), the vast majority of people survived by consuming almost solely locally produced foods. But new idea or not, more and more people are making an attempt to get at least some of their food from local sources.

If it’s something you’re serious about, great; if you couldn’t care less where your food comes from, I’m sorry. To each his own, and if you can’t imagine life in January without those pink balls from Mexico that masquerade as tomatoes, who am I to try to dissuade you? :) But for those of you who are open to ditching that bland, unripened produce from across the country, here are just a few of the benefits of eating locally.

Benefits of Eating Locally - lifefromthegroundup.us

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When Life Gives You Lemons (or, How to Grow a Lemon Tree)

Lemons are an ingredient that we don’t use all that often, but would use more of if, say, we lived in California.

Sadly, for those of us in northern climes, citrus isn’t exactly local. But happily, there is a wide variety of dwarf citrus trees on the market that have us in mind. Because they grow in pots, they can move inside or out depending on the season, protecting them from the sub-freezing temperatures that would otherwise kill normal citrus. This means that even here in northeastern Ohio, we can have fresh lemons from our lemon tree (or lime, mandarin, and a variety of other options), even when it’s snowing out!

How To Grow a Lemon Tree - lifefromthegroundup.us

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How to Clean Beeswax

Yeah, not the most glamorous of subjects, but when you harvest honey, you’ll end up with wax. I suppose you could just not worry about it and pitch it outside, but beeswax is useful stuff to have around.

Unfortunately, even if you melt it to separate it from the last bits of honey, there will probably still be some junk in it. If you’re making your own lip balms or ointments, you’ll likely want to use wax without the junk – luckily, this is pretty easy to remedy.

How to Clean Beeswax - lifefromthegroundup.us

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