Who doesn't love a craft that's easy to make and ends up looking like a million bucks?
If you, like me, are always looking to save some money without sacrificing great design, then this blog postis for you!
As the first of a two-part series, following is a list of 25 exciting DIY ideas for designer knock-offs, from jewelry and clothes, to dinnerware and furniture. (Stay tuned for next week, when I'll show you 25 more.)
Hope you see something you like and give it a try!
* For specific how-to instructions, click on the caption below each photo.
When I was in the very early stages of writing my book, I dreamed of having a renowned expert in the culinary world (a food god, if you will) write my foreword. At the very top of my wish list (ok, the only person on my list) was Michael Ruhlman.
Photo credit: Donna Turner Ruhlman
Now, unless you've been living in a cave for the past few years, you know darn well that not only is Michael highly respected nationally (and probably globally, too) as a top-notch food writer, cook, and all-around charismatic guy, but even more importantly, he's also a native Clevelander. Born and bred. (And I have no problem with him being an eastsider. Just saying.)
He fit all my criteria...and then some.
So I wrote to him. And I boldly, blatantly, and probably even shamelessly just came out and asked him if he would do me the honor. (After all, what did I have to lose, right? Am I right? Of course I'm right.) To my utter and complete amazement, he said yes. I was on top of the world!
Fast-forward one year later when my manuscript -- with Michael's copy -- was due. As it turned out, Michael was suddenly and unexpectedly super busy at that particular time and couldn't make any promises that he'd be able to deliver what he had promised a year earlier. I had only three more days left before I had to turn everything in, with or without Michael's foreword. I'd either have one of the best forewords in the cookbook world...or nothing at all. Yikes!
To say I sweated it out during those three days is an understatement. A real understatement.
But lo and behold, in the eleventh hour, Michael pulled through (being the consummate professional that he is) and sent me his copy just in the nick of time. I love him to this day for it.
Which brings me to why I am such a huge fan of his. He's passionate about the topics of food and cooking. (And I mean good food and good cooking.) He's dedicated to educating his readers and followers through both his books and his fascinating adventures in the kitchen. And he's quite an interesting person.
So, being the loyal fan that I am of him and the lover that I am of wheatberries (which has absolutely nothing to do with their healthy benefits for fiber and protein and everything to do with an irresistibly sweet version called Serbian koljivo -- read about it here), when I read his latest blog post on a wheatberry salad he made, I just knew I had to give it a try.
I made it for my husband and two daughters a couple weeks ago. They loved it.
Then I made it for my three little grandchildren last week while visiting them in Charlotte, NC. And theyloved it.
Next, I'll be making it for my friends who are attending a summer picnic with us next week. I'm sure they're gonna love it, too.
Which is why this recipe is now officially a keeper in my repertoire.
It's healthy. It's colorful. It's filling. It's vegan. It's great in all weathers, including summer. And it's downright delicious (thanks, in large part, to the special vinaigrette).
Why not give it a try yourself? I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
WHEATBERRY SALAD Adapted from Michael Ruhlman Serves 6-8
For the salad
1 cup wheat berries
3 1/2 cups water
1 Spanish onion, diced
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
1 red bell pepper, cut into small dice
2 ears corn (or 1 cup corn kernels)
1 cup shelled edamame (or lima bean or peas), cooked
Freshly ground black pepper
For the vinaigrette
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
4 leaves romaine lettuce or head lettuce (optional)
In medium saucepan over high heat, combine the wheat berries and
water, and add half the diced onion and the bay leaf. When the water
reaches a simmer, cover and reduce the heat to low. After 30 minutes,
add 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir to dissolve, and taste the cooking water. If
it needs more seasoning, add another 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and
continue cooking until tender, another 30 minutes or so. Uncover and
simmer until almost all of the water has cooked off. Set this aside and
keep at room temperature or chill.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat a film of olive oil, then
saute the remaining diced onion. When the onion is tender, add the red
pepper and sauté until the pepper is tender. Remove from the heat. While
the onions and peppers are cooking, boil the corn ears for a few
minutes. Hold them under cold water till they’re comfortable to handle,
then slice the kernels off the cob into a large salad bowl. Add the
cooked edamame, the onions and peppers, and the wheat berries.
To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, shallot, garlic, and a
three-finger pinch of salt and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Add
the cayenne, and whisk in the oil. Taste. If it’s too sharp, add more
Toss the vegetables and wheat berries with the dressing, holding
some back. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Taste and evaluate.
Add more dressing or additional lemon juice to taste.
Dominque Ansel, who placed as a finalist for the prestigious James Beard
Outstanding Pastry Chef Award this year, created this delectable French twist on an American
classic: half-croissant, half-donut.
It's made of layers of
buttery croissant dough that are first deep fried, then filled with a flavored center. These heavenly creations are eventually rolled in flavored sugar and finished with a glaze. Inside, they're flaky and light.
Outside, they're crispy and warm.
Who could resist one? (Not me, I can assure you!)
Photo credit: Dominique Ansel
In fact, they're so popular that the name has been trademarked and they're
being sold (via black market, believe it or not!) on Craigslist. They are also being copied
by bakeries around the world under various names such as doissants.
it was Ansel who created this original masterpiece. "We tried about 10 different
recipes and the first ones were a total disaster," he says. After much
trial-and-error, he came up with the winning recipe -- and the rest, as
they say, is history.
Chef Dominique Ansel
Ansel plans to release a new flavor every
month. (Some examples: Rose Vanilla, Lemon Maple, and Blackberry. Look
for many more to come!)
If you're not lucky enough to be able to
visit his bakery well before its 8am opening time in the SoHo
neighborhood of New York (and I'm talking hours before, standing in a blocks-long line), you can be sure this tasty hybrid of a dessert
will be popping up at a bakery near you sometime in the future.
Dominique Ansel Bakery at 189 Spring St., NY, NY
A typical wait in line
To meet the mastermind behind this phenomenon, just click below for an interview with Chef Ansel:
And if you'd like to give this baby a try at home yourself, Pillsbury has created a recipe
quick and easy, and pretty tasty, too. (Consider it a knock-off. Close
enough if you can't make it to New York City anytime soon.) Check it out
below and be sure to let me know what you think!
Photo credit: Pillsbury
SALTED CARAMEL CRESCENT DOUGHNUTS
Makes 3 servings Adapted from Pillsbury
2 cups vegetable oil
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 snack-size container (4 oz) vanilla pudding
2 tablespoons caramel sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Additional caramel sauce, if desired
1. In deep fryer or 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat to 350°F.
2. Separate crescent dough into 4 rectangles. Firmly press perforations
to seal. Stack 2 rectangles on top of one another. Fold in half
widthwise to make tall stack. Repeat with remaining 2 rectangles.
3. To make 2 doughnuts, use 3-inch biscuit cutter to cut 1 round from
each stack; use 1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut small hole in center of
each round. Reroll remaining dough to cut third doughnut.
doughnuts in hot oil 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until deep golden
brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Cool 5 minutes.
5. Carefully split doughnuts in half. Place pudding in decorating bag
fitted with tip, and pipe some of the pudding onto bottom half of each
doughnut. Top each with some of the caramel sauce; sprinkle with salt.
Cover each with top of doughnut.
6. In small bowl, mix powdered
sugar and enough milk for spreading consistency. Spread on tops of
doughnuts. Drizzle with additional caramel sauce.
Add food color to the powdered sugar glaze for a fun and colorful doughnut topper.
Cut doughnut holes out of dough scraps with 1/2-inch biscuit cutter.
Among a lot of other incredibly awesome things to do during summertime in Cleveland, there is also the chance for both you and me to enjoy wonderful, leisurely, outdoor dining at many fabulous restaurants throughout town.
In fact, Plain Dealer reporter extraordinaire, John Petkovic, recently culled a pretty impressive list of what he considers to be the top 50 spots for al fresco dining in our fine city. I happen to agree with him 100%.
May I share them with you?
(All photo and caption credits: The Plain Dealer)
Barking Spider, 11310 Juniper Road, Cleveland, 216-421-2863,
Even when the world is crazy and angry, this
patio is a village of good vibes. Low key, laid back and a flashback to
the 1960s vibe that ruled when this part of town was a hippie bastion.
Hoopple's, 1930 Columbus Road, Cleveland, 216-575-0483, hoopples.com
Located on a bluff overlooking the Cuyahoga River, this blue-collar
joint offers a great view of the skyline and an even better feel for
old-school Cleveland. Check out the bridges from the spacious patio!
La Strada, 2050 E 4th Street, Cleveland, 216-861-3663,
Yes, it's named after the Fellini film, Italian for "the road." Yet
there is nothing sweeter than sitting at this stylish cafe in the summer
and watching others travel that road known as East Fourth.
La Dolce Vita, 12112 Mayfield Road, Cleveland, 216-721-8155,
The landscape is perfect here
-- a great sidewalk cafe where you play voyeur over a cappuccino. The
patio behind the restaurant is snazzy and manicured
West Park Panini's, 17209 Lorain Avenue, Cleveland, 216-938-8930,
It's a sports pub, stocked with countless TVs. But look out back --
it's a tiki bar, with a thatched hut that sets this place apart in Kamm's Corners.
Momocho, 1835 Fulton Road, Cleveland, 216-694-2122, momocho.com
Ah, you can't beat sipping away a summer day with a blood-orange margarita
on this Ohio City patio. Well, actually you can. The guava margarita is
even better. The neighborhood vibe and that big Day of the Dead mural
are pretty good too.
The South Side, 2207 W 11th St Cleveland, 216-937-2288,
The patio is open year-round. It features two sides,
indoor/outdoor, along with a stone fireplace, comfy seats and tables
that put plastic picnic fare to shame.
Reddstone, 1261 West 76th St., Cleveland, 216-651-6969,
This laid-back leafy patio feels like a park. Except that parks don't
serve $5 burgers and 25-cent tacos -- Wednesdays and Thursdays,
respectively. The secluded getaway also rolls out a vibe that's
laid-back yet party-hearty.
5800 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, 216-961-9637, spicekitchenandbar.com
This locale has been so many things, everything from a mac&cheese
spot to modern taqueria. The one constant has been the patio -- a
secluded getaway from the street and the city. Spice has one-upped
previous tenants, adding colorful flowers to go with a list of drinks
and small plates that make you want to get all lazy on a sunny
Sunset Grille, 2800 Whiskey Island, Cleveland, 216-631-1800,
Nothing spectacular about this place. It isn't snazzy, chic or trendy.
Ah, but the sun is more brilliant than glitzy decor or 40 taps of craft
beer. Especially when the sun sets over the lake and you're kicking it
on a picnic table.
Trattoria Roman Garden, 12207 Mayfield Road, Cleveland, 216-421-2700,
We come for the gnocchi and the eggplant. Trattoria also serves a
stellar Manhattan. But more than that, we come to pasta time on this
Little Italy patio -- an easy-going, enclosed patio far from the traffic
of Mayfield Road.
Town Hall, 1909 West 25th Street, Cleveland, 216-344-9400,
The newest addition to
West 25th always seems to be packed, with the patio crawling with
partyers. They come for the mod, clubby look. They come for the cocktails.
And, yes, they come to see what the buzz is all about.
Vosh, 1414 Riverside Drive, Lakewood, 216-767-5202,
Vosh and its sister location Georgetown share a patio that
looks like something you might find in a park. Not just any park -- a
place like Central Park. Except that you're in Lakewood, amid the brick
walls and tall trees and feeling that summer is endless.
South East Gears & Cheers, 23333 Aurora Road, Bedford
Heights, 440-232-0029, segearsandcheers.com
Where do you start at this
biker-themed superstore of patios? There's the cool bar with the
garage-doors and retro decor. A grill on the patio. A Tuesday bike
night. A Thursday car cruise. And live bands.
Stone Mad, 1306 West 65th St., Cleveland, 216-281-6500
enchanted cobblestone drive came from Scranton Road. But Stone Mad
looks and feels like a pub in Ireland. The patio's plain ol' maddening
-- constructed out of stone tables, meticulous masonry and that
Sterle's, 1401 East 55th St., Cleveland, 216-881-4181,
Life is sehr gut in a Biergarten -- far from
work and surrounded by beer. Sterle's patio does that trick well. It
also serves live music and grilled meats, made right on the patio.
Shooters on the Water, 1148 Main St., in Cleveland's Flats,
The Flats never died -- the action just
moved to Shooters, which boasts a patio where you watch the lake, the
river and downtown. And, just as nice, you can party like it's 1989.
3164 Fulton Road, Cleveland
This quaint bar also rolls out a
patio with a meticulous garden in the back that looks like something
you'd find on an estate, not in the middle of the city.
87 West Street, Chagrin Falls
Gamekeepers has long been a favorite patio hang out. But that didn't
stop the eatery from upgrading the patio yet again this year. Let's see:
brick, stone, a fireplace to go with trees, lights and a spacious yet
DNA Level C, 618 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, 216-298-9009,
You can dance if you want to. This is a dance club,
after all. But the rooftop patio offers a shot of the downtown skyline
that makes you feel as though you are partying in a postcard --
especially when DNA hosts its Sunset Sundays soirees.
Brew Co. Parma, 5513 Pearl Road, Parma, 440-882-3365
Wasting away again
in Parmaritaville? Well, this is the place to do it -- and not just
because the newly opened spot rolls out 20 local brews. The sprawling
patio rolls out a cabana-style bar -- to go with large-screen TVs and
DJ, Bike, Truck and Ladies Nights.
Twist, 11633 Clifton Blvd., Cleveland, 216-221-2333, twistsocialclub.com
It's a high-energy gay club and a laid-back corner bar. But Twist also
boasts a patio that spills life out onto the sidewalk of Clifton
Boulevard and back into the club, thanks to large garage doors that open
up in the summer.
Zanzibar, 13114 Shaker Square, Cleveland, 216-752-1035,
The newly opened Zanzibar location, in the old Sarava spot, has
well-manicured bushes, cushy seating, tables you can eat at or just
lounge around. But more than that, it lets you kick back and watch the
places and faces of Shaker Square.
Houlihan's Westlake, 25651 Detroit Road, Westlake, 440-808-9090,
Houlihan's in Westlake rolls out a massive yet secluded patio with an
outside bar, tables, trees, an outdoor kitchen, lights and enough people
to make it feel like a quaint little town.
Taqueria Junction, 8154 Columbia Road, Olmsted Falls, 440-793-6700,
Pull up to this old-timey outpost located in Grant Pacific Junction,
that collection of shops and eateries housed in refurbished buildings
dating back to the 1880s. The TJ rustles up a quaint view of it all,
along with some retro deals -- $3 Margarita Wednesdays and $3 Sangria
Felice's Urban Cafe
12502 Larchmere Blvd., Cleveland, 216-791-0918; coolplacestoeat.com
This Mediterranean-tinged restaurant with a homey vibe and sophisticated
menu is located in a restored turn-of-the-century home. Ah, but check
out the refurbished barn out back. It features a bar with art on the
walls and cafe seating -- and a menu of small plates and drinks.
Velvet Dog, 1280 West Sixth St., Cleveland, 216-664-1116,
The mood at this Warehouse District club is always party-hearty. The
exotic decor and spectacular view of downtown from this rooftop patio
are even better. The lights, the sights -- life is a party.
Washington Place Bistro & Inn, 2203 Cornell Road, Cleveland,
Check out the old rooftops of Little Italy and
the towers visible over these walls. Even the traces of modernity -- the
mod decor -- are balanced by the old brick and classic flower
Flying Fig, 2523 Market Ave Cleveland, 216-241-4243, theflyingfig.com
It's so close to West 25th and yet so peaceful sitting here on the
sidewalk of Market Avenue at the Fig -- a serene sister to the brew-haha
of West 25th.
Treehouse, 820 College Ave Cleveland, 216-696-2505,
The big toucan mural on the wall says "Lovely day for a Guinness." Gotta
believe him, judging by the crowds that pack and drink on the patio.
It's leafy and lively, not to mention a regular stop for locals and bike
D'Vine, 836 W. St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, 216-241-8463,
Sip wine and watch the beautiful people, even the
not-so beautiful people. You'll see both walking past D'Vine, which
pairs a fine wine list to go with the finest sidewalk seating in the
Warehouse District. At times, it's like Paris. Other times, like "Jersey
Shore." Entertaining either way.
Academy Tavern, 12800 Larchmere Blvd, Cleveland, 216-229-1171
antique shops of Larchmere sits this old gem of a bar -- open since
1939, with a vintage vibe. Walk out the door and you're somewhere else: A
leafy green hideaway with vines on the walls, a stony fountain and a
place in the shade, far from the city.
Bar Louie, 1352 West Sixth Street, Cleveland, 216-452-5500,
Since when does a patio seem like an all-out bar?
Since you ordered a drink at this sidewalk spot, which wraps around West
Sixth and St. Clair and features a full bar, ample seating and a great
view of the Warehouse District.
Barrio, 806 Literary Rd. Cleveland, 216-999-7714, barriotremont.com
Raise a margarita and a taco to the good-time girl who lords over this
Mexican-flavored Tremont spot. She's the flapper mural
overlooking Barrio's chic but simple patio.
Don's Pomeroy House, 13664 Pearl Road, Strongsville, 440-572-1111,
The grove of thick old trees. The white-picket fence.
The barrels and luscious plants amid the mid-19th century mansion. It
might be in Strongsville, but the patio feels like a breezy day down
Edison's Pub, 2373 Professor Street, Cleveland, 216-522-0006,
Past the bar, popcorn machine, booths and pool table,
there is a door. Walk through it and you will find yourself among
friends, sipping beer at a picnic table amid the leafy, green vines and a
vibe that rewards conversation.
Flannery's Pub, 323 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, 216-781-7782,
Yes, we know about the Irish pints here. But amid the
sips and guzzles comes a moment of clarity: This stalwart has a killer
sidewalk patio that is spacious, fun and never pretentious.
Flying Monkey, 819 Jefferson Avenue, Cleveland, 216-861-6659,
Just because it's named after those critters in
"The Wizard of Oz" doesn't mean the fun-loving regulars are cowardly
lions when it comes to getting down. The lively patio makes sure of that
with live bands and party wizards.
Greenhouse Tavern, 2038 East Fourth Street, Cleveland, 216-443-0511,
Wow, look at all those people down there on the
street -- the foodies, strollers, folks heading to a ball game. Yes,
the world passes us by and it's all good from this rooftop patio.
The Harp, 4408 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-939-0200, the-harp.com
Harp reminds me of winter -- maybe it's the fireplace and rich polished
woodwork, the whole cottage vibe. Then you walk out onto the patio, see
Lake Eire, er, I mean, Erie and you realize it's summer and it's breezy
and it's fun.
Hodges, 668 Euclid Ave Cleveland, 216-771-4000, hodgescleveland.com
Yes, it has a snazzy, sprawling patio. But I'm still focused on this
fantastic view of the skyline and downtown's vibrant future on a
renovated Euclid Avenue.
Jekyll's Kitchen, 17 River St., Chagrin Falls, 440-893-0797,
It's like walking into a postcard -- a patio deck that overlooks the
picturesque falls in Chagrin Falls. Jekyll's also serves one of the
best Happy Hours in the area. Which means an inexpensive pizza, an
affordable Mai Tai and a priceless view.
L'Albatros, 11401 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, 216-791-7880,
I could say the patio of this French eatery is reminiscent of something I
once saw in South Beach. Except that the South Beach place was a lesser
version of this spot -- a creative mix of stylish decor and leafy,
Lopez on Lee, 2196 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-932-9000,
The Southwestern cuisine might be the big ticket. But the patio at this
Mexican bar-restaurant is an all-out fiesta, especially when Lopez rolls
out half-price margaritas 5-7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.
Luxe, 6605 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-920-0600, luxecleveland.com
This pad reminds me a little of some pad in South Beach. Except that you
never feel like you're crashing someone else's party. It's welcoming
and stylish without being pretentious.
Market Garden, 1947 W 25th Street, Cleveland, 216-621-4000,
Located next to the West Side Market, this patio brings together a love
for Cleveland's past with a desire to make it happening again. There's
the view of the market stands, the hustle and bustle and, whoa, all
those Market Garden brews.
Moosehead Saloon, Dover Center Road, Cleveland, 440-871-7742,
A cozy, intimate nook where drinks and conversation go hand in hand?
The Moosehead has that and more -- island vibes, lanterns, flowers and
windows that have water streaming down from them that look like
something out of some old movie.
Nighttown, 12387 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-795-0550,
This Cleveland Heights club-bar-restaurant-institution might have a
jazzy vibe. But it's pure picnic time on the patio -- spacious, quiet
and mellow and just right for a pint.
Prosperity Social Club, 1109 Starkweather Avenue, Cleveland,
OK, it is a bar. But the patio feels like a backyard party, with retro
decor and a vibe that is anything but exclusive. The social club
welcomes all sorts, most of which are sociable in this back yard.
Stamper's Grill Pub, 21750 Lorain Road, Fairview Park, 440-333-7826,
The "Paddy-o" concept has been stripped away. But Stamper's still
rolls out summer-y beers, bands and vibes -- not to mention an
easy-going crowd that savors a night out with drinks in their hands as
the music plays.