Sunday, March 25, 2012

Birthday Baby: Samantha is 2

Time flies when you're sweet, growing, and making millions of connections each day. Of course this can all happen when a person is only hundreds of days old...

Recently I photographed a young friend's birthday party! A little lady turned a big 2 years old! Her friends and family were oh so happy to be there.

We look forward to seeing many more years of that energy and great smile!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Black Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Dried Cranberries... Oh My!

Tonight we had a lovely dinner... first dinner out on the patio of the year. Thought it would be a great idea to share our Sunday evening triumph on the blog:

Black Beans & Cranberry Ragout with Sweet Potato Cakes

Black Beans & Cranberry Ragout

1/2 onion
1/3 green bell pepper
1/3 red bell pepper
1/3 yellow or orange bell pepper (I like it as colorful as possible)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup black beans (canned or already prepared - sometimes I prepare several cups of beans at once as to make for easier cooking on more than one night)
a taste of sage
1/2 cup of vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

Chop onions and peppers. Cook them in the olive oil, over medium heat (eight or so minutes) until onion is soft. Add beans, broth, and sage. Cook about five minutes. Mash a few beans while stirring. Season with salt and pepper. Add dried cranberries and cook three or so more minutes. Keep warm on stove while finishing potato cakes (it will continue to thicken).

Sweet Potato Cakes

3 cups grated sweet potato
2 eggs
2 tablespoons minced onions
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
black pepper and sea salt to taste
olive oil

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Heat skillet over medium heat with a spoonful of olive oil. Take small handfuls of potato mixture and drop onto the hot skillet. Press gently into little cakes. Cook for five minutes on each side or until golden brown. The cakes should be a bit crispy and the potatoes will be done all the way through. This should make about six cakes.

Plate up the cakes. Top with black beans and cranberry ragout. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Main Street Grille & Brewing Company

We recently visited loved ones in the Northeast corner of our state. They are all about the impromptu visits and any excuse for fun... obviously this is why we adore them. Of course they wanted to drive over to Garrettsville and see what Main Street Grille & Brewing Company was all about.

First impression: GREAT! We were so excited to pull up to the historical building and take a quick peek down to the water and see the mill!

Service: Wonderful. We chose to sit in the dining area and we had a perfect seat next to a window overlooking the mill. Our waitress was attentive and had many suggestions for us.

Food: Mmm... Our server recommended the burger and reuben sandwich - we were not disappointed. (And I will admit that a good reuben sandwich has become a guilty pleasure of mine...)

Prices & Other Notes: Affordable prices and the other patrons were of all ages - so it was an appropriate "restaurant" type meal and not just a bar.

Wait, we actually went there for the brew... and I haven't mentioned that part yet.

As for the beer: Once again reasonable prices, I felt like we were getting a steal since good beer isn't cheap one pint at a time. Our table shared all eight samples for ten dollars just to get a taste of each. I was madly in-love with the Strawberry Fields (which I ordered as my large brew to enjoy by myself), however the Dizzy Ninja had a special place in my tummy as well. In fact our designated driver - he took home a growler of the Dizzy Ninja.

We all noticed smooth mouth feel across the board, and some of the brews were pretty strong (Three Scots Ale at an above 8% ABV). This is why we advise when traveling for your microbrew experience to have a designated driver or make appropriate arrangements for after the adult beverages.

Our favorite beers at Main Street Grille & Brewing Company: Three Scots Ale (strong but so tasty), Strawberry Fields (fruity but not too sweet), River Rat (a smooth and balanced amber ale) and the Dizzy Ninja (and I.P.A.'s are not typically my first choice).

So overall I would highly recommend a trip to Main Street Grille & Brewing Co. - check out their website (which includes their menu with beer descriptions and prices).

If we didn't owe a ton of money for love our new little house we would probably move a bit closer to take advantage of their half price growler Tuesdays! We definitely hope to return for a burger and brew again soon. In fact, we'd like to see it in the summer to take a closer look at the water and go for a walk around town.