• Raw Tomato, Corn, and Basil Soup
  • Beet Risotto
  • Lemon Mint Soup
  • Benefits of Eating Locally
  • When Life Gives You Lemons (or, How to Grow a Lemon Tree)

Restaurant Review: Oak and Embers

Another recent hit was a brand new BBQ joint just up the road from us, Oak and Embers Tavern. There’s not a whole lot of good barbecue around here, so this one came with high hopes, and delivers on all counts.

We went with the whole family, so any place that can easily accommodate a dozen rowdies on short notice gets a plus. The inside is, I guess, pretty much what I’d expect a barbecue place to be. Rustic, rough wood, paper tablecloth (and crayons for all ages!), no frills, and enough noise to ensure that quiet conversations are out of the question. It was pretty busy the entire time we were in, so business seems to be good.

Of course, you know what you’re getting on the menu – lots of smoky meats (coming via a custom-built smoker) and lots of filling sides, such as the cheddar grits, cornbread muffins, and cheesy succotash. There are some non-barbecue options for those looking for lighter fare, but in general, if you’re here, you have a specific goal in mind.

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I Know What We Did This Summer

We’ve had a busier than normal summer. I think I’m okay with it though. I had an epiphany shortly before the Fourth of July weekend, and realized that, 1) summer is pretty short around here, 2) winter is pretty long around here, and 3) most of the winter that comes between January 2 and May kinda sucks, so therefore, we should live it up while we can.

Okay, maybe I didn’t just suddenly realize that winters are long in Ohio, since I’ve lived here for my entire life; I just had a perspective shift. Must be getting old… or this past winter just sucked extra. Either way, I like this new philosophy, and I think we’ll try to stick with it every summer, polar vortex or not.

Since that “a-ha” moment, we’ve gone back to North Carolina:

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Restaurant Review: Fahrenheit

Working through a backlog of reviews…

Earlier this summer we had a chance to head to the West side to visit Fahrenheit, Rocco Whalen’s flagship restaurant. It being a beautiful afternoon in Cleveland (where beautiful afternoons are probably on the “Endangered” list), we ate out on the patio, which I highly recommend if the opportunity presents itself. Since we’re inside for so much of the year, we try to eat outside when we can. As such, I can’t speak for the interior, since I never saw it, but the pictures look nice, a modern but comfortable space.

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Raw Tomato, Corn, and Basil Soup

Today’s summertime recipe is a delicious tomato, corn, and basil soup that can go from the garden to your bowl in all of about 10 minutes. It’s fit for a raw-foods diet, and is meant to be served cold or at room temperature (though you can certainly warm it up), which makes it a perfect dinner for the warm, muggy nights of August.

It’s similar to a traditional gazpacho, so all you need is a blender. No pots, no stove. Just toss everything in and puree it; simple as that. And of course, it’s completely customizable – throw in a cucumber, some kale, a pepper, or even a peach. Experiment a little.

Tomato, Corn, and Basil Soup - lifefromthegroundup.us [Read more...]

Plated Landscape 2014: Killbuck Valley Mushroom Farm

Since you’ve all been loyal followers from day one, you know that the Plated Landscapes from Spice of Life Catering have become an annual tradition for us. In what we hope becomes another annual tradition, we enjoyed the evening with four other couples who share our love of good food, good company, and meeting farmers (but probably more the food and wine than the farmers :)), so this time around, S and I were joined by T, P, A, L, and K4.

S and I started a couple years ago with the dinner at Squire Valleevue Farm, then moved on to New Creation last year, and this year, we headed down south to Killbuck Valley mushroom farm, where Tom and Wendy (and their two kids) played gracious host to a horde of about 50 that descended upon them for the evening, educating and entertaining us for a good five hours.

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