Monday, February 27, 2006

Aphrodite Cakes

I found this recipe on Barbara Fisher's blog Tigers & Strawberries last summer and have kept trying to find an occasion to make them - her writing is very persuasive. Friday they were my contribution at a friend's party.

For some reason her site was down this morning so I am posting the recipe below. I followed the directions exactly and 1 batch of dough made exactly 6 dozen cookies. 1 batch of icing was way too much for me, it probably was enough to ice 2 batches of cookies. It contains a very secret ingredient...sshhh.

Aphrodite Cakes

Cookie Ingredients:

1 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/2 c. flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Icing Ingredients:
1/2 stick butter
4 ounces light cream cheese
1 lb. powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. heavy cream
2 tsp. rosewater (or to taste)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla and beat well.

Sift together flour and remaining ingredients and gradually add sugar to mixture, beating until well combined.

Roll into 1" balls and flatten slightly onto and ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10 minutes (I baked 12 minutes): Do not brown.

Allow to cool a minute on the baking sheet, then carefully transfer to wire rack to finish cooling completely.

To make icing, blend together butter and cream cheese, then blend in the powdered sugar. Add rosewater and enough cream to bring it to a spreadable consistency.

Add food coloring to tint it pale pink (I used 1 drop of red), and pipe rosettes onto the cooled cookies.

What's left out of 6 dozen on Monday morning:

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Edible Books...yummy

I went to a really beautiful used bookstore called Loganberry Books (all the way on the East Side) for the first time a couple of weeks ago. The Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society hosted a great lecture on the history of Pop-Up Books. I sometimes can't believe how many places there are that I've never been to in Cleveland!

Loganberry has a lot of events coming up, including the Edible Books Festival contest on April 1st. If you don't want to enter you can still come---for a $2 donation you can cast a vote and help eat the edible books. Categories are: Most Appetizing, Most Bookish & Most Creative.

Also, here's the link to the International Edible Book Festival.

Monday, February 20, 2006


This is an orchid I bought from the Holden Arboretum's 2005 Orchid Show - which is more of a sale than a show but whatever. It had blossoms on it when I bought it and they eventually fell off. It lost a leaf and then grew a brand new one. I've had it over a year now and these are the first buds to appear...the anticipation of them opening is crazy! This is a very slow moving plant. I better not kill it.

past weekend

This past weekend we were pretty busy...

Friday - We went to Dot Schnider's show at 1300 Gallery - there were sooo many people there! Ate dinner at Minh-Anh where the food was very good, but the service was very bad. Our waitress, Ms. Cranky, should have done all of us a favor and took the night off. I had shrimp szechuan with asparagus, red peppers, mushrooms and pineapple - all of my favorite things! Afterwards we stopped for some drinks at Hoopples - if you've never been there, you should try it. The wall behind the bar is a huge window. It's just about the greatest view of Cleveland you can see. Warning - cash only.

Saturday - I worked all day, like every Saturday :( My husband brought me Nate's for lunch :) I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it before, but Nate's is our FAVORITE restaurant. Either we go there or get take-out every Saturday. Then we cleaned the house and moved some furniture around. When we got tired and decided to visit our friend who bartends at the Grafton Street Pub in Lakewood. Grafton was a stop on a bar crawl that night. It was like locusts - they came, they drank, they left.

Sunday - We felt like going for a drive. Jumped in the car and headed to IKEA where we bought shoe racks so I don't have to store all my shoes in a big laundry basket anymore. Exciting! We stopped and visited my in-laws on the way home, scored dinner and watched some Ice Dancing.

Since I am obviously giddy with my new camera here's a picture of some Sausage Shoppe hot italian sausage (delicious!) with home made tomato sauce. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

My Cheese Sandwich...

with ham.

BBM4 - Singapore Package!

I was very lucky to have the lovely ST, a "born and bred typical Singaporean who loves a spicy chilli crab", to be my BBM4 partner! Thank you so much ST for putting together such a great package. I really enjoyed opening and trying all the goodies! And thanks to the Food Ninja for hosting a really spectacular round of BBM!

I received a Chinese New Year themed package that included a note explaining some New Year celebrations and traditions, a CD of traditional Chinese music with a modern twist, a package of gift envelopes, mango dessert mix (I think it's like pudding), pepper salt prawn spices

pineapple tarts her aunt made

& super cute mandarin orange jelly candies!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


How can something so delicious make your tummy feel so bad?
I've only eaten 2 today...but it's still early.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My SP7 Valentine

My very generous Secret Pal sent me a HUGE Valentine's package that I got yesterday...yippee! She sent a handmade card, candy, candle, stitch markers, soaps, note cards, a pink dishcloth and much more...thank you SP7 so much!

I started working on a pair of Voodoo wrist warmers from Knitty. This is the first time I've used double pointed needles - a little confusing but fun.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Lamb Stew

We stayed in on Friday - very odd, but very nice. I finally was able to make Tina's West Side Market Stew. It took about 3 hours and was worth every minute. I pretty much followed Tina's recipe exactly, even including some optional rutabaga & parsnip (1 of each). How rooty! But couldn't restrain myself from adding an extra pint of Guiness and some fresh rosemary.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Prosperity Social Club

Over the past few months my friends and I have visited Prosperity Social Club numerous times and it has become my new favorite place to go drink. The service is great. On one visit a patron asked if they sold Camel lights. Bonnie the owner said no, but that she had to go get cigarettes for the bar anyways and would pick up a pack for him when she ran across the street. That's how you get return customers. Also, the women's bathroom is always clean - even after midnight on the weekends. This is very important to me. It makes me very happy!

They have a small menu and I have been pleased with everything ordered. The cheesy artichoke dip is served with pitas - one visit white pita and on another wheat. Last night we had mussels and fried oysters off the special $5 menu. I was weary of fried oysters (I like them on the half shell) but the bartender assured me that they're good. We took his advice and ordered them - you can also get them in a po'boy sandwich. They were pretty good - the oysters were not chewy or tough. The sauce that they served on the side was spicy and sweet and the breading wasn't greasy at all. Unfortunately, the first oyster I popped in my mouth had a bit of shell still stuck to it. I chewed very carefully from then on. The 1 pound of muscles came out hot and were decent sized - served with with nice soft rolls to soak up the wine broth.

They also have entertainment---stocked jukebox and bowling machine!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Pierogi Partner

Last night, after the Flying Chicken show, we headed over the the Beachland Ballroom for some music and drinks (and very tasty old bay fries). I was enthusiastically telling my friend Hillary about my future pierogi taste testing adventures and she informs me that she's never had a pierogi! Now, she isn't originally from Cleveland but she did go to grad school in....Pittsburgh! I didn't think such a thing was possible. She didn't even know what kind of fillings there are. She offered to accompany on some tasting nights - I wonder if I can drag her to all ten places and do a "side-by-side" review. I just hope she likes them or that wouldn't really work for the other 9 places. hmph.

Best pierogi?

Due to the Superbowl, there are many bloggers writing about the Steelers & tailgate food. I am not really into football but have enjoyed reading about Pittsburgh eating pierogis (entries #1 & #2) on Slashfood! Although, I am convinced that pierogi are more popular in Cleveland than Pittsburgh---the AOL City Guide : Cleveland has a Best Pierogi category, Pittsburg's does not. Last year the city's best pierogi award went to the Pierogi Palace.

I'm not sure when the competors of this highly prized award were officially announced but...(drum roll) The 2006 nominees are:

Babushka's Kitchen
John Christie's Tavern
Linden Tavern
Moosehead Saloon
Pierogi Palace
Sokolowski's University Inn
Stan's Northfield Bakery
Tick Tock Tavern

This year I have decided to try all nominees, so that I can cast an honest vote for where I believe you can get the Best Pierogi in Cleveland. Anyone craving carbs?

Friday, February 03, 2006

When Chickens Fly

My friend is having an opening tonight...

When Chickens Fly Becky Bristol's one-woman show features exploding fantasy-laced panoramas populated with animals and people surrounded by twisted roads, architecture and fauna. Bristol creates a storyboard painted in bright colors and exaggerated forms that force the viewer to question the subject matter, oneself, and what one sees. The show kicks off with a wine and cheese reception on Fri 2/3 from 6-9PM and runs through 2/25. Arts Collinwood Gallery, 15605 Waterloo Road. - from

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Michael Ruhlman Article

"Michael Ruhlman leans back in a chair in his Cleveland Heights kitchen, a Marlboro Light in one hand and a glass of Laphroaig in the other. For once, the lanky 43-year-old author and chef seems at ease. He's just wooed a first-time visitor with an indulgent homemade meal, and he is obviously relishing the break from his omnipresent deadlines to talk about food and drink for a while." --- Article about Michael Ruhlman in the Cleveland Scene.