Food Friendzy

July 20, 2012

IMG-20120719-00875 See what I did there? Food Frenzy w/ Friends = Food Friendzy!

So clever I am.

Sitting at my workdesk on this overcast Friday eating leftovers puts me in the mood / allots me the time to fondly recall all the yummy, free food I amassed this week in CLE.


IMG-20120717-00846 I can’t begin to tell you what I ate prior to Tuesday evening’s Craft+Wine club picnic at Olivia’s, but likely it was Hummus and goat cheese. Oh yes, it was, with the small exception of an Original Dave’s from Dave’s Cosmic Subs on Coventry to celebrate the 50th birthday of one of the principals of my architecture firm. I also drank a lot of beer on Tuesday afternoon (50 bottles / less than 10 people in the office, you do the math!). This could partially be why I am having trouble remembering my week prior to this binge?

IMG-20120717-00844 Regardless, after taking a dip at the Cumberland pool and snacking on some Trader Joe’s hummus, I took my chlorinated self to Olivia’s for some tasty kabobs. I’m sure Nidhi enjoyed her veggie kabob, but I think its safe to say that the highlight of her evening was playing with Olivia’s two two-month old kittens, even though she is highly allergic.

IMG-20120717-00847 Also, Julie of did an excellent job of recounting the food through photographs well in advance of my belated lunchtime musings, so feel free to live vicariously through me, Nidhi and Julie!

Nidhi’s cous cous was so delicious, Juliana kept swearing she was going to stop piling it on her plate. This happened three or four times. I want the recipe, Nidhi, because apparently, I am now a chef. Keep reading.

IMG-20120717-00840 My contribution was a delightful jar of champagne jam from Damn Good Jam, a small CLE business. Paired with Stacey’s pita chips, I could have eaten the whole jar had there not been yummy cous cous and kabobs and other people at the picnic who may have frowned upon me eating the entire jar 😦damngood


Wednesday was a great day for earning free food in CLE. Unfortunately, it also happened to be the day of the week I was free to grocery shop. I was surrounded by food. I may have gained 10 pounds in 24 hours.

IMG-20120718-00856 My first deal of the day wasn’t free, but damn cheap. Brueggars sent me a coupon for 13 bagels and two cream cheeses for less than $10 which served Julie and I well while we chit-chatted pool side. I used about six more bagels to make bagel chips on Wednesday along with some incredible homemade, easy hummus. The rest of the baker’s dozen I will continue to eat until someone makes me stop. Make me stop!

IMG-20120718-00850 When Julie heard that my next plans were to attend Walnut Wednesday with some TriDelta Sorority alumni she was like “wait, wait I know how you can eat for free!”. Turns out, Progressive was having a promotion whereby tweeting them and then tracking down a Progressive employee, the first 500 people could win a $10 voucher to any food truck on E. 12th. I was extra happy because Umani Moto, my fav truck,  had a small line and the Korean beef burrito was free. (TIP: I tipped the truck and my food was ready in minutes. I think this is an excellent tactic / rewards system when the alternative is standing in the hot sun on a busy street waiting!)

IMG-20120718-00852Even though I was super full and didn’t want to focus on food, I stopped at Alesci’s and a local produce stand to grab some ingredients for homemade pizza.

IMG-20120718-00859 Jen of Why?CLE’s recent post about Fresh Fork and her Fresh Tomato, Zucchini, and Pepperoni Pizza induced my dormant culinary skills and Nidhi’s Mediterranean dish from the night before had me salivating at the thought of making my own hummus.IMG-20120718-00858 I used this recipe, but added a tablespoon of red pepper flakes and a table spoon of sunbutter. YUM!

Despite wanting to sit on the couch and rub my very full tummy, I packed up and angrily sneered at motorists afraid of construction cones all the way up MLK. GO FASTER.

IMG-20120718-00863 Finally, I arrived at Happy Dog for the IdeaStream and NPR 90.3 Sound of Ideas broadcast. I was happy to learn that in addition to a dog any way I wanted it, I was also entitled to free tator tots.

My strategy at Happy Dog is to order a ton of toppings for meal one, like Matt’s suggestion of Blue Cheese Coleslaw and chili, and save the veggie dog and other toppings for a second meal. This worked especially well on Wednesday, for if I had eaten that dog, I would have tied a record with that dude on Coney Island.

IMG-20120718-00865 Left to right, the Ladies at Happy Dog: Stephanie, Nidhi, Kate and Julie

All my free food gathering worked out especially well for Stephen, who returned from a long day of work, Euclid Beach cleaning and of not eating very much at all to have a happy dog and fresh hummus and a fridge full of food promising to turn into future yummy meals.


Why is it that after a day off, I was more exhausted than before? Maybe overeating makes you tired. I’m sure I’ve seen that on an episode of The Dr’s.

Yesterday I drank an unusually large sum of Phoenix Coffee’s iced coffee from my office’s stock before heading to lunch with a furniture representative who treated me to a yummy crab dish at Club Isabella’s in Little Italy. I’ve been there a few times for lunch and it never disappoints!

IMG-20120719-00870Post work, I attended a happy hour with the Carnegie Mellon NorthEast Ohio’s Alumni Board for a summer meeting at Claddagh’s in Legacy Village. I’ve never eaten at any of those big box restaurants, but the $3 classic martini was spot on and still came with three olives at happy hour pricing.

After a fun, productive meeting of the board and quick run to Nordstrom Rack for a new wallet to hold all of the dollar bills I didn’t spend on food this week, I dashed home to make Ricky and Stephen dinner.

IMG-20120719-00873I want that sentence to sound like I am not a mom and they are not starving children. I hope it does, because if I were really a mom my children would legitimately starve as I would forget to feed them whilst I drink $3 martinis. Still, they were pretty hungry, so I diced tomatoes and squash with fervor and twenty minutes later we were munching on handmade pizza and goat cheese, lime-basil tossed salad and sipping a Barefoot wine.

nidhicat DISCLAIMER: I would probably feed my children wine. Nidhi would, too. But not to this kitten, because she loves him. And in general, cats are more self-sufficient than babies.

It’s like fruit juice.

And I always wanted to be European anyway.


2 Responses to “Food Friendzy”

  1. We would be the best moms ever. And by best, I mean worst. And by worst, I mean it’s probably a good thing that we’re not. Also I love you. Also “dashed home to make Ricky and Stephen dinner” wtf why wasn’t I invited to dinner. I thought I was part of the family??

  2. What an awesome post! All the food sounds awesome. So glad you enjoyed the pizza!

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