Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Tales from Social Distancing...

What a difference some sunshine can make, especially right now in these more stressful and isolating times. Even though the temperatures were still a bit chilly last weekend in Northeast Ohio, Mr. H and I were able to get outside and it instantly improved my mood.

We headed to the Brookside Reservation to take in the Cherry Blossoms, which bloom around this time each year for only a brief time. We took the pup and had a nice, short stroll through the park.
That left me wanting to see more signs of spring, so we took a drive over to Lake View Cemetery (my first time!) and battled the crowds at Daffodil Hill. This is only a tiny portion of the gorgeous rolling hill of sunny blooms.
The next day, we headed out with the pup again for a 2 mile hike in Richfield.
She got to run through some creek beds, traipse over wooden bridges, and scout out some ramps. Everyone was happy.
We also had some fun with food over the last week, including more of Mr. H's home cooking.

But on Saturday evening, we ordered the Dinner for 2 carry-out from The Black Pig. The meal was fancier than usual, so I secretly set the table with all the fine crystal, candles, and place settings it deserved while Mr. H picked up our meal. 
The filet, crab cakes, roasted potatoes, broccoli, and shrimp cocktail (not pictured) set the stage for a fabulous evening at home that still felt special and "date night" worthy.
I am extra grateful that they started offering dessert carry-out two weeks ago, because it's something that we don't make at home and felt like such a treat. We're both still dreaming of the Peanut Butter Mousse and Flourless Chocolate Cake.
In addition to supporting The Black Pig once a week, we're also rotating in other favorites around town. This past week, it was Thai from Banana Blossom.

They have the best Crab Rangoon I've ever had, because the shape allows for a better filling to wrapper ratio. It's a must-order item when we eat there.
I also like their Pad Thai, and it hit the spot on a chilly, windy day last week. The only dish I don't care for that we've tried is the Massaman Curry, as I've had much better around Northeast Ohio.
During this past week, I also felt motivated to start dabbling with my New Year's Resolution to learn a new hobby in 2020. I was gifted several items over the holidays to help with this goal, including a deck of tarot cards from Mr. H. So I busted them out and did my first reading!
How are you staying busy lately? Anything fun you've cooked up in the kitchen that you'd like to share? Any great take out you're enjoying?

Monday, April 6, 2020

Tales from Social Distancing

Like many of you, I'm in Week 3 of working remotely from home. Trying to find small joys every day to keep me sane and happy in very overwhelming and challenging times.
I suggest bringing in some of those spring flowers to brighten up your home, play some music you enjoy, and light a candle. All of these small elements have helped create a pretty pleasant home office atmosphere.

Mr. H has been cooking even more than usual through this.
Sometimes tackling new-to-us dishes that take more time and care, and sometimes quick and easy is what fits us best. Like these Smash Burgers the other night while hanging out in the garage after some yardwork!
We've been getting a lot of use from the bread maker and the pasta maker my mom bought us this past Christmas.
We continue to try and do our part to support local, independent businesses through carry-out or delivery services. That even included stocking our fine cheese supply with a delivery through Mercato from Old Brooklyn Cheese Co. this week!
Which led us to trying to recreate their Raclette dish over baby potatoes, prosciutto, pickles, and their Pepped Up Mustard.
Alllllmost as good.

We committed to getting takeout from The Black Pig once a week, since it really is our favorite restaurant and we'd be devastated if it doesn't make it through this. They've done a phenomenal job with minimal-contact takeout, and I've felt very safe picking up our food each week. Every Wednesday, they announce the week's menu for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. So far, we've enjoyed sharing their Burger and Pork Collar, then a family-style Taco night...
...and Sandwich Night this past week.
With the Italian and the Banh Mi, it was a smashing success in this household!
One day each week, we rotate ordering from other restaurants we love. This past week, it was Mexican from Cozumel in Independence.
They make my favorite Stuffed Poblano in town. I get the vegetarian version.

It may get challenging given the circumstances, but I'm still going to try and work through the 2020 To Dine Challenge. I think we'll be ordering carry-out from one of the spots this week, so stay tuned!

How are you balancing cooking from home and/or ordering out? Any local businesses that you'd like to give a shout-out to? Any great dishes you've tried making at home for the first time?