Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sacred Heart Ravioli Dinner

Last year around this time I read a little about a local Italian Catholic church with a seriously delicious ravioli dinner that happens 2 times year, and once was this past Sunday. I put it on my calendar months ago and when this weekend finally came, I was so excited to see what all the excitement was about... I read that there were two lines... a take out line and an eat in line...and also that many times the eat in line was shorter than the take out line. Emily, Rob and I had a late breakfast and skipped lunch and were out and about so decided to hit up the event at around 3...thinking that maybe there wouldn't be such bad lines since it wasn't lunch or dinner time really.

The takeout line was full of people holding their own large stockpot, which they will get filled up with delicious homemade ravioli and take home to their family. (you can buy fresh or frozen) We decided to go for the full experience and eat in. Here was the eat in line when we got there:

The inside was a MAD.HOUSE. Tons of long tables..very close together...we got seated at a table with some nice people and chatted a little bit with them about the food.

 The dinner includes a small salad, bread, a plate of ravioli, spaghetti or "half and half" and a little ice cream cup with a store bought cookie on top....the salad, bread and cookie are fine, nothing special..the main event is the delicious ravioli...tender and stuffed with ground veal, pork, spniach and ricotta cheese and served with tomato sauce that's summered slowly in huge pots. The ravioli is totally worth the somewhat disorganized service and young church goers possibly hitting you in the head with their trays while going through the maze of tables... If we hadn't spent all of our cash on getting in ($12/person)- then I would have gotten a couple of boxes of the frozen ravioli to save for a rainy day...they were really delicious... next time I will have to plan ahead!

This year was their 100 year anniversary! That's a lotta years of ravioli!

Besides the loudness of a church auditorium with a ton of people running around in it..there was also this Frank Sinatra impersonator....  We barely even talked to eachother...we were taking it all in..

 Already counting down the days until Palm Sunday so we can do it again :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cheers to Art

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated our friend's birthday at Cheers to Art in Madeira... The basic concept is that you go and the teacher breaks down a painting into (very) basic steps for you so that you can paint an exact replica of the picture. You can just go in on an open night, or you can plan a private party (lots of groups at work have done this and have fun paintings hanging in their cubes). Stephanie, however just bought a new house and took all the paintings home with instead of all painting the same thing, we painted whatever we wanted and she is going to have a super fun friends and family art display in her new house!

The couple that owns this place is absolutely awesome. It's so fun to go somewhere where the people are so passionate about what they do. The woman that runs the place is so artistic, friendly and helpful.. and her husband was so nice to chat with afterwards...

Here are some pictures of the night!
Cute lobby and bar.... I heard a glass of wine unleashes the creativity :)

Colorful inspiration to use in your paintings

Including a kids corner! (kids get the shapes drawn onto the canvas with pencil to help them out a bit)

Birthday girl!

We hung out, had some wine and painted our canvases

  Here are some of the pieces Stephanie took home at the end of the night

If you have an event to plan or are just looking for something to do on a random night, definitely check this place will have fun and come home with a new work of art for your house! So fun :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Scenes from the Columbus Marathon

This past weekend was the 33rd annual Columbus Marathon...
My hunky hubs and a couple of our other friends were running...
Here are some random pics from the day


 Military band playing fun!

Congratulations to Jason, Alejandro, Nick, Ralphie & Nick....and thanks to Lilah for being my watching partner/map reader for the day :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies

I love that the second fall hits all the food blogs and food magazines I read are FULL of pumpkin everywhere...
I have made these pumpkin brownies three times so far this I decided it was finally time to do a post on them. Chocolate, pumpkin and pumpkin spices all together? yes.please! oh and super easy and not totally unhealthy...double yesplease.

Collect your ingredients....

Then pour your sous chef a glass of wine and make her mix together the dry ingredients...

add them to the wet and then stir together and fold in the chocolate chips...

Then besides the fact this is pumpkin and chocolate chips mixed together in one dessert....the best part is that you bake it on parchment paper which means zero clean up afterwards...

Like I said, I have cooked this three times and they turn out perfectly everytime....(but I did have to add 10 minutes to my cook time...could depend on your oven, etc)


Fluffy, pumpkiny, chocolatey...
A tray of these dont last more than three days in our house..and a whole batch of them got devoured at book my focus groups say...this is a winner! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies
Yield: 24 small brownies
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Line an 11″- x 7″-inch pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs and oil until smooth.  Set aside.
In a separate medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt and brown sugar.  Add to the wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until passes toothpick test.  Cool completely before cutting.

from Pennies on a Platter, originally from small home big start

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dairy Free Stuffed Shells

Ok, stuffed shells are delicious. I could eat them every single day...then I would gain 100lbs and that would probably not be too cute. So the other day when I was craving some comfort food,I thought about a recipe that had intrigued me a while ago.....these dairy free stuffed shells. So let's just clear the air right now, these shells are stuffed with tofu...but please believe me you will NOT miss the cheese in these...they are delicious. Ok you still might not believe me because maybe once you came to my house and I tried to tell you that steamed and whipped cauliflower tasted exactly like mashed potatoes (which I stand by) so don't take my word for it but you must try these, they are awesome. As a matter of fact I think they taste even richer than real ricotta....which is crazy but crazy true....

So let's get started....
Grab a block of your favorite tofu... extra firm

Drain it, pat it dry and add it to the food processor with the other ingredients....

Then whir it up, add the drained & defrosted spinach and whir it up some more...

At this point Emily and Rob were dipping pita chips into the food processor until I forced them to stop so I could stuff the shells...

Grab your favorite pasta sauce (the more garlic the better in my most humble opinion)

Cook the pasta until al dente and stuff them with the faux cheese mixture

Lay them in the pyrex on a thin layer of sauce

and then cover them with sauce

then wait for the magic


Ours was enjoyed with a salad and a giant piece of garlic bread.


 from Eat Live Run on the PBS Website

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 16 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 1 box jumbo shells
  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce


  1. Drain the tofu and pat dry with paper towels. Crumble into the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender along with olive oil, salt, oregano, garlic and nutritional yeast. Process on high until smooth and “ricotta-like”.
  2. Add the defrosted spinach to the blended tofu mixture.
  3. Cook shells in boiling salted water until el dente. Drain
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour about ½ cup pasta sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Stuff shells with 2 T of filling and place in pan, seam side down. Repeat until all shells have been stuffed.
  5. Pour remaining pasta sauce over shells, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Serve!
Yield: 6-8 servings

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin Patchin'

Saturday Rob, my sister, her boyfriend and I headed out for a cool ridiculously hot fall day at the pumpkin patch. The drive was beautiful...even though it was 85 degrees out, it still felt like fall driving the back roads with all the colorful and falling leaves.

I brought the fancy new camera and took lots of fun fall pictures....

There were a ridiculous amount of pictures to put your head through (seriously this is a very small percentage of put-your-head-through cut outs that were at this farm.

and this port-o-let complete with pants-less legs which we all got quite a few pics in...but Brett is the only one lucky enough to get his on the internet :)

There was this cow with a seat inside of it which I still don't completely understand...

and lots and lots o' PUMPKINS
We took a hayride through the woods...
and picked out the perfect pumpkins..

Then got lost in a 7 acre corn maze that apparently looks like a train from the sky.
Even though the day was more bottles of cold water and looking for shade than chunky sweaters and hot cider, we still had a great fall day at the pumpkin patch! At the end of the day we got caramel apples the size of our heads and a bag full of farm fresh fall all in all I would say the day was a success....

Happy Fall Everyone!