Balboa in Grandview

Balboa: Grandview

1312 Grandview Ave
Columbus, OH 43212
614-745-1201
http://www.balboagrandview.com/

Top Tastes
1. Dip Sampler
2. Buffalo Shrimp Tacos
3. Blueberry Basil Margarita
4. Short Rib Bowl
5. Baked Dorito Mac and Cheese

I didn’t need another reason to come to Grandview Heights, honestly. I’ve written about my love for this hip ‘burb already! But then Balboa happened, and its queso, and now I’ve got a new happy hour obsession. This SoCal-inspired spot has a huge patio and a cool interior that is ideal for any season. Furthermore, since it’s brought to us by the owners of Bodega, the food was bound to be impressive.

Dip Sampler from Balboa

You MUST get the sampler trio of dips to start. This platter of dunkable goodness comes to your table in adorable mini bowls and crocks, with three mouth-watering options for your dining pleasure: salsa, queso, and guacamole. The housemade chips served up on the side are salty and addictive, and by the time our entrees arrived, I begged the waiter to remove the chips from my reach so I would quit gorging on the queso, no lie. The queso is that ridiculously good. Is it the chorizo? The addition of queso fresco cheese? I’ll never know, but I will eat it again to find out. The Buffalo Shrimp tacos were equally as sensational, consisting of three tacos piled up with spicy buffalo-sauced shrimp and cooling bacon blue cheese slaw, and the Short Rib Bowl (beer-braised meat, rice, avocado, pepperjack, cilantro sauce and more) also delighted my taste buds. The Doritos Mac and Cheese has the most fun topping you could imagine – the cheesy crust on mac n’ cheese is the best part, right? Other great options: the smoky, grilled Street Corn and the chocolate-dipped frozen bananas for dessert.

Cocktails from Balboa

Balboa’s drinks don’t miss the mark either. You won’t leave thirsty with an extended happy hour that lasts from 4-7, Californian and local brews, and alcohol-laced adult smoothies.  My favorite drink was the Blueberry Basil Margarita, a pink confection of blueberry basil-infused tequila shaken with lime, orange, and agave and poured on the rocks. Little Adventures Await also clued me in to the fact that they have enormous pitchers of sangria in red, white, and rosé (!!!) varieties for just $25.

Short Rib Bowl from Balboa

The bottom line: for fun cocktails and delicious Cali cuisine, head to Balboa soon. And maybe don’t bring friends if you don’t want to share your queso.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Culinary Clue: Looking for more to do while you’re visiting Balboa? Download my Grandview Guide here!

Balboa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rime Time Pops

Caroline’s Picks: 5 Local Treats to Try

We are lucky to have access to some great creators of gourmet treats right here in Columbus. I’ve rounded up some items that I’ve been loving lately, and listed them here for your snacking pleasure.

Rime Time Pops

http://www.rimetimepops.com/
Rime Time Pops

In summertime, nothing can beat a popsicle. But when that icy dessert is carefully crafted with quality ingredients, it makes all the difference. Rime Time creates flavors that are familiar with a hint of something new, and can appeal to both kids and adults alike. My favorite of Cody’s concoctions is the peanut butter and raspberry jam, but I’ve got to get my hands on the newest twists: watermelon habanero and juicy Georgia peach.  Just follow the bike with the snowflake sign!

Middle West Spirits OYO Bourbon-Barrel Aged Maple Syrup

http://middlewestspirits.com/
Midwest Spirits Maple Syrup

Is there a better barrel-aged combo than bourbon and maple syrup? Rich, dark, and guaranteed to step up your pancake game, this syrup will absolutely blow your mind. Made by sourcing maple from Ohio farms and cask-aging it in the Middle West Spirits barrels, the syrup is packed with flavor and begs to be put in a cocktail. I picked up this bottle at STUMP plants, and it’s made for some heavenly chocolate French toast.

Katie’s Beef Jerky

http://www.katiesbeefjerky.com/
Katie's Beef Jerky

There’s a great story behind Katie’s Beef Jerky, in that Katie left her job in the corporate world to pursue her passion in the kitchen. I was lucky enough to sample some of her available flavors, and had fun taste-testing! There are varieties such as teriyaki, garlic, ghost pepper, and even pineapple jerky. I have to recommend picking up a variety of flavors and sharing pieces of each with friends, to compare and contrast the heat levels all the way up to ultra-fiery Scorpion XXX! Our favorite was the Half Heat, but I’ve got to try the Black Cherry Bourbon next. You can find Katie’s at the North Market, Celebrate Local, and various Columbus events.

Santo Brigadeiro

Check out their Facebook page
Santo Brigadeiro
Brigadeiros are a kind of Brazilian truffle, which are super soft, made with condensed milk, and rolled in more goodies such as nuts, sprinkles, or coconut. I’d never had them before until Santo Brigadeiro came along, but when my husband and I were nibbling on these delicacies we kept trying each new flavor and saying, “this one is my favorite.” Then we’d eat another, and change our minds. The cycle continued until we gave up and just accepted the fact that each one of these delights is just as tasty as the last. Bonus: the packaging of the treats is very pretty and ideal for gift-giving!

Root 23 Simple Syrups

http://www.root23.com/
Root 23 Simple Syrups

I’m an admitted addict of Root 23 syrups, because this stuff is just so ridiculously versatile! It comes in flavors like Cherry Almond (hello, bourbon on the rocks), Pear Rosemary, and Vanilla Ginger. Each can be made into a refreshing soda  when paired with a glug of tonic water, or stirred into lemonade. Even ice cream, cocktails, and baked goods can be dressed up with a drizzle of Root 23.  Sip on each kind and then purchase your favorite at the New Albany Farmers Market.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Disclosure: Some products were received free of charge. This in no way impacts the nature of my opinions or writing.

Mai Chau Food Truck

Mai Chau Food Truck
Mai Chau Food Truck
maichaustreetfood.com
(740) 920-4680

Top Tastes

1. Sweet and Spicy Cauliflower Noodle Bowl
2.  Saigon Sliders
3. Sriracha Pulled Pork Banh Mi
4. Lemongrass Chicken Lettuce Cups
5. Shrimp Spring Rolls

Looking for fast-casual Vietnamese-style grub in Columbus? Stop searching and seek out the Mai Chau food truck! It’s the easiest way to “eat Viet,” as Mai Chau says. The menu at this truck is simple, but there is no shortage of flavor here.

The Banh Mi sandwiches and the noodle bowl are always on the truck, while the other items rotate in and out. For both the Banh Mi (a Vietnamese take on a sub with a baguette bun and pickled veggies, spicy mayo, and cilantro) and the bowls, start by selecting your filling from sriracha pulled pork, sweet and spicy cauliflower, lemongrass chicken, and sometimes, chili-lime tofu. For the Banh Mi, I love to get the pulled pork – it’s easiest to eat, has the right amount of heat, and pairs best with the heaping handful of cilantro. The noodle bowls begin with a generous helping of rice noodles, topped with bean sprouts, cucumbers, pickled carrots & daikon, cilantro and peanut sauce, on a bed of lettuce. Let me just have a swoon moment over the peanut sauce – I’m obsessed. I am a wimp about spice sometimes, but I make an exception for the mild heat of the peanut sauce and ask for extra. I go for the sweet and spicy cauliflower for the bowls, it’s something you can’t get anywhere else, plus vegetarian-friendly!

Banh Mi from Mai Chau Truck

One of the most commonly featured alternative options on the truck are the Saigon Sliders. These little sammies are piled high with pork dripping with umami sauce and crisp Asian slaw. If they’re available that day, indulge in them! The spring rolls, dunked in that heavenly peanut sauce, are another fresh and light choice, or sample the lettuce cups. For this low-carb dish, Bibb lettuce acts as the base for lemongrass chicken, cucumbers, sprouts, and more.

Slider from Mai Chau Truck

Don’t miss the brick and mortar Mai Chau spot as well. It opened last year in Granville, and has an expanded menu with killer steam buns and shrimp pops. They are also currently brewing their own beer for a new brewery, Three Tigers Brewing. For now, the connected tap room is serving up local brews and crunchy wings.

Culinary Clue: Catch Mai Chau when they are scheduled to be at the new Market Street Soda Works at the Canal Market District in Newark. The soda shop’s wide range of root beers and fun-flavored pops are the ideal way to cool all that spice!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Mai Chau Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pulled Pork Cornbread Bites with White BBQ Sauce

Pulled Pork Cornbread Bites with White BBQ Sauce
Cornbread in all its forms is near and dear to my heart. There is nothing better than a piping hot wedge of cornbread, just removed from a cast iron skillet, and I love a breakfast of leftover cornbread mixed with milk and brown sugar, just like my dad taught me. And nothing is better than a meal of cornbread and BBQ. But have you ever used cornbread as a base for appetizers? This recipe is super simple, and it starts with City Barbeque (or your favorite pulled pork) and Jiffy corn muffin mix. A quick drizzle of some homemade white BBQ sauce jazzes up these tasty bites.

Pulled Pork Cornbread Bites

Ingredients

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 c. milk
1 c. of your favorite pulled pork (I used City Barbeque)
1/4 c. store-bought sweet BBQ sauce
1/4 c. homemade white BBQ sauce, recipe follows
Chopped chives, for garnish

Yield: 16 mini bites

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Mix up the package of Jiffy cornbread mix according to directions, adding the egg and the milk as directed. Pour the batter into a mini muffin pan, dividing the mixture between 16 holes. Do not over-fill.  Bake the mini cornbread muffins until just golden, about 12 minutes.

While the cups are still warm, take the end of a knife or a spatula and press into the cornbread, wiggling in a gentle circle to create an indentation. This will create a well to hold the pulled pork. Let cool completely.

Mini Corn Bread Cups

Next take the cup of pulled pork and stir in your favorite red BBQ sauce, completely coating the meat. I like to use a sweet BBQ, but spicy sauce would be great too! Stuff the BBQ sauce and pork mixture into the center of the cornbread cups. Sprinkle with chives and drizzle of white BBQ sauce on each cornbread bite.

Pulled Pork Cornbread Cups

White BBQ Sauce

1/2 c mayonnaise
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. sugar
1 dash hot sauce
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Combine all ingredients with a whisk until well-incorporated. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.  This sauce is also great on burgers or french fries!

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Caroline

Pulled Pork Cornbread Bites with White BBQ Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ c. milk
  • 1 c. of your favorite pulled pork (I used City BBQ)
  • ¼ c. store-bought sweet BBQ sauce
  • ¼ c. homemade white BBQ sauce, recipe follows
  • Chopped chives, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Mix up the package of Jiffy cornbread mix according to directions, adding the egg and the milk as directed.
  3. Pour the batter into a mini muffin pan, dividing the mixture between 16 holes. Do not over fill.
  4. Bake the mini cornbread muffins until just golden, about 12 minutes.
  5. While the cups are still warm, take the end of a knife or a spatula and press into the cornbread, wiggling in a gentle circle to create an indentation. This will create a well to hold the pulled pork. Let cool completely.
  6. Next take the cup of pulled pork and stir in your favorite red BBQ sauce, completely coating the meat.
  7. Stuff the BBQ sauce and pork mixture into the center of the cornbread cups.
  8. Sprinkle with chives and drizzle of white BBQ sauce on each cornbread bite.

 

Mountain State Food Tours: Charleston, West Virginia

Mountain State Food Tour
Mountain State Food Tours: Charleston, WV
http://www.mountainstatefoodtours.com

When I went to visit one of my close friends who recently relocated from Columbus to Charleston, WV, I wasn’t sure what to expect out of the food scene in her new city. But, knowing she was a was fellow food aficionado, I was positive I was in good hands when she signed us up for one of the inaugural Mountain State Food Tours of downtown Charleston. The fledgling business has a leg up with Michael and Maria Young at the helm, since Maria is a features editor for the Charleston Gazette-Mail.  The Youngs’ goal is to create a culture of food and drink tours just like those we are fortunate enough to have here in Cbus with Columbus Food Adventures and Columbus Brew Adventures.

Fried Feta from Adelphia

We embarked on our tour with an empty stomach, but we certainly didn’t go home hungry. The food sample sizes were generous, and we also received drink pairings at each stop so our guides could test out the potential addition of an alcohol aspect to the tour offerings – lucky us! As we roamed the streets, Michael gave us some history tidbits about the landmarks we were passing on our walk. There were tales of fire and destruction, wealthy salt barons, underground speakeasies, and secret art pieces, all sprinkled into the narrative mix. But naturally, the most important part was the grub, so let’s get to that!

Salted Caramel

Here is a rundown of our tour stops:

Adelphia:  Greek wine and the most amazing fried feta balls imaginable, served on pita wedges
Blossom Dairy:  Warm and savory roasted red pepper soup coupled with a mini Reuben sammie
Celsius:  Moscow Mules served up with filet mignon sliders topped with delightfully tangy blue cheese
J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works + The Peanut Shoppe: Soft caramel squares, dusted with local salt
Black Sheep Burrito & Brews:   A small sample of beer plus a killer Thai Shrimp taco, slathered in hoisin-peanut sauce and garnished with daikon-carrot slaw
Ellen’s Ice Cream:  A scoop of ice cream in the flavor of your choosing – I went for amaretto gelato!

Ellens Ice Cream

Next time you need a foodie getaway that is a short drive from Columbus, don’t overlook Charleston and Mountain State Food Tours! We loved each stop, as well as the entertaining and bubbly guides.

Some other Charleston dining highlights I enjoyed while in town: a wine flight at The Block, Capitol Market where I bought all the cheese in sight, and a Maple Pancake Latte at Starlings Coffee & Provisions.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing Taproom

The Taproom at Wolf's Ridge Brewing
215 N 4th Street – Enter off Hickory St.
Columbus, Ohio 43215
http://www.wolfsridgebrewing.com/tap-room-1/

Top Tastes
1. Cinnamon Toast Brunch Cream Ale
2. Salted Potato Chips with Onion Dip
3. Dire Wolf Imperial Stout
4. Driftwood Grapefruit Session IPA
5. Clear Sky Daybreak Ale

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing puts out some extraordinary brunch food, as I’ve written before, gorgeous plates piled high with mounds of colorful and delicious food. But don’t forget about their spectacular beers! WRB has added a taproom fairly recently which focuses on just the brews, and it’s a wonderful addition as local watering hole. The taproom itself is attached to the main restaurant, but has a separate entrance, and those looking for a more casual vibe will be right at home here. The building housing the taproom is industrial and bright, with original windows and long, spacious tables waiting to accommodate your group.

Wolf's Ridge Brewing Tap Room Menu Board

The best thing of all about the WRB taproom is, naturally, the beer. Even considering the variety of drafts on tap in the restaurant, this bar area has stepped up the game with an impressive selection of beverages not for sale elsewhere. The 20 taps range from old WRB standbys to funky infusions. On a given day you can sample sips of robust Dire Wolf Imperial Stout, or try the drinkable and mildly hopped Driftwood Grapefruit Session IPA. There are also a number of takes on a specific beer; during my most recent trip, they had Clear Sky Cream Ale in Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Clear Sky Coffee Vanilla, and Creamsicle Orange Cream varieties. Your best bet is probably a flight to taste them all. For non-beer lovers, there are some excellent possibilities too, like the Sorbet & Tonic with housemade cherry sorbet and Watershed Gin.

Wolf's Ridge Taproom

With this much imbibing bound to occur, snacks are a must. The menu for small bites is short but not lacking in flair or flavor, and also is at a more approachable price point than regular meal choices. The Salted Potato Chips with Onion Dip were my fav, a dangerously tall mound of chips, served alongside a cute jar of savory onion spread; they were an ideal compliment to my beer. Other items include homemade BBQ pork rinds, spiced mixed nuts, and olive and pickle jars.

Culinary Clue: Grab some friends and mix up your drink spot by checking out Wolf’s Ridge Brewing’s Taproom this summer! Don’t miss the happy hour: it lasts ’til 8 and includes major discounts on many brews.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Wolf's Ridge Brewing Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Condado Tacos: Margarita Flight

Caroline’s Picks: 5 Drinks to Try this Summer

Last year I made a list of 5 beers to try during summer, so this year I added some cocktails into the mix. Without further ado:

Seventh Son Brewing: Nimbus Iceberg

Seventh Son Brewing: Nimbus Iceberg

Nothing says “I’m a true adult” like a beer slushie! Seventh Son’s offering consists of their own Humulus Nimbus Super Pale Ale, topped with a frozen scoop of a homemade Paloma slushie. It’s bitter, citrusy, and drowning in tequila, guaranteed to cool you down once warmer temps hit.

http://seventhsonbrewing.com/

Condado Tacos: Margarita Flight

Condado Tacos: Margarita Flight

The only thing better than one fruity margarita? Three! Wash down Condado’s guacamole and salty chips with your choice of 3 mini margs, and you’ll be ready for sunshine. Choices include typical flavors such as strawberry and peach, but blood orange, prickly pear, and kiwi are wonderful selections too.

http://www.condadotacos.com/

Brothers Drake: Summer Apple Mead

Brothers Drake

I love Brothers Drake’s Apple Pie mead as much as the next gal, but it can evoke fall more than summer. The solution? Give their Summer Apple mead a whirl! This new offering is made with crisp, tart Granny Smith apples and no cidery spices. The result is all the apple goodness you want in your mead, in a much lighter version.

http://www.brothersdrake.com/

Land-Grant Brewing: Greenskeeper Session IPA

Land-Grant Brewing: Greenskeeper Session IPA

Since session IPA’s are the ideal summer beer, I had to include one on this list. Land-Grant recently started canning this drinkable brew, and it’s available in stores all over the city. With the Memorial Tournament coming up, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the start of patio season than by cracking open this 4.7% beer.

https://www.landgrantbrewing.com/

Rhubarb Sunrise

Rhubarb Sunrise

Rhubarb is one of those rare Ohio garden items that is ready early in the season. Track some down at your local farmer’s market or in the freezer section, and whip up a tangy-sweet syrup that is delicious for cocktail-making. I like to mix a few tablespoons of rhubarb syrup with Watershed vodka, a splash of orange juice, and top it off with sparking water for a perfect summer sipper. The natural pink hue can’t be beat!

See my recipe for rhubarb soda:
http://columbusculinaryconnection.com/rhubarb-soda/

Salt & Pine

Salt & Pine
250 S. High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
saltandpine250.com

Top Tastes:

1.Fried Broccolini
2. Crispy Duckleg Confit
3. Ricotta Gnudi
4. Salt & Pine Cocktail
5. Cookie Plate

When I made my dining bucket list of restaurants to try this year, Salt & Pine might have been the one I was looking forward to most of all. Why? The new downtown spot is the brainchild of Harvest Pizzeria creator Chris Crader so it was bound to be wonderful, and every photo I saw of the menu items were drool-worthy. I finally made a visit, and the experience was one I’ll repeat. Soon!

Cheese and Charcuterie | Salt Pine

The restaurant space itself was modern and airy, with lots of natural light and (of course) pine cones lining the walls. Every dish was colorful and plated with an eye for style. The amount of small plates I ordered instead of a single entree embarrassed my dining companions, but I couldn’t decide on just one. Don’t judge.  We started with the Charcuterie and Cheese plate, complete with pickled veggies and a dreamy black bean hummus. The Fried Broccolini was a hit, one of the most unique appetizers I’ve had. The florets were lightly battered and sprinkled with salty bonito flakes, and dished up with a spicy umami sauce.  Other great small plates were the Crispy Duckleg Confit, fried until perfectly crunchy and topped with molasses and leeks, and the Ricotta Gnudi, cheesy dumplings browned and served with herbs and Parmesan. Our table also loved the grit-laden Short Ribs, the Spring Pasta, and the Potato Leek soup. We weren’t nearly as talkative once all this food came, since we were too busy eating.

Crispy Duckling Confit | Salt and Pine

I’ve been raving about the food, but the drinks and desserts are not lacking either. The Salt & Pine theme carries throughout the menu as well, with the signature cocktail called the Salt & Pine: Watershed Four Peel Gin, salted honey, citrus, vermouth, and orange blossom. I’m not a huge gin drinker, but this one was refreshing. For a sweet finish, pick the Brownie Sundae (vanilla ice cream, malted pretzel crunch, miso butterscotch, roasted salted peanuts) or my favorite nostalgic choice, the Cookie Plate. According to our server, the varieties on the plate vary, but they come served in a logo tin with a glass of milk. I got a chocolate chip, a dried fruit granola, a chai spice, and of course a Salt & Pine cookie, a buttery delight sprinkled with salt, pepper, and pine nuts!

Milk and Cookies | Salt and Pine

I need to make it back to Salt & Pine for brunch, which predictably sounds amazing, and to try the raw bar offerings. I had no room for sushi after all those small plates. If you’ve tried either of these, let me know on Instagram or Twitter!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Salt & Pine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sweet and Salty Cookie Skillets

Sweet & Salty Cookie Skillets
If you follow this blog at all, you know that I am obsessed with sweet and salty combos. Adding a little bit of salt to any dessert makes it better in my book, so I am excited to share this recipe with you. It is the ultimate indulgence consisting of pretzels, caramel, chocolate, and a lava flow of melty peanut butter in the center. It all comes together in the end, trust me! The whole thing is topped off with Velvet Elephant Ear ice cream (http://velveticecream.com/), and it will be everything you’ve ever wanted in life. The Elephant Ear ice cream was last year’s Ohio State Fair flavor, and is now available in stores. It has swirls of caramel and nuggets of real cinnamon sugary fried dough tucked inside. Brace yourself for the gooey sweet and salty explosion!

Velvet Elephant Ear Ice CreamSweet and Salty Cookie Skillets

Serves 2

Ingredients

6 tsp. softened butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chunks
1/3 cup peanut butter
12 pretzels
2 scoops Velvet Elephant Ear Ice Cream
Caramel sauce for drizzling

Start by dividing the peanut butter in half and placing a dollop in the middle of a cast iron skillet which has been lightly greased with cooking spray. In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to cream together the sugars, salt, and the butter. Add in vanilla and the egg. Slowly add in the flour and baking soda, mixing until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chunks, then separate the dough into 2 equal portions. Spoon the dough over the peanut butter, covering it completely.

Cookie Skillets Desert

Atop the cookie dough, press 6 pretzels into each skillet. Bake the cookies in a 375° oven for 15 minutes, or until the cookie just starts to brown at the edges. Place a scoop of the ice cream on each of the warm cookie skillets, then drizzle some caramel sauce on each. Devour these treats right away, for maximum ooey-gooeyness and enjoy!

Ice Cream Cookie Skillets

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Sweet and Salty Cookie Skillets
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 6 tsp. softened butter
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • ¾ c. flour
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup chocolate chunks
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter
  • 12 pretzels
  • 2 scoops Velvet Elephant Ear Ice Cream
  • Caramel sauce for drizzling
Instructions
  1. Start by dividing the peanut butter in half and placing a dollop in the middle of a cast iron skillet which has been lightly greased with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to cream together the sugars, salt, and the butter.
  3. Add in vanilla and the egg.
  4. Slowly add in the flour and baking soda, mixing until incorporated.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chunks, then separate the dough into 2 equal portions.
  6. Spoon the dough over the peanut butter, covering it completely.
  7. Atop the cookie dough, press 6 pretzels into each skillet.
  8. Bake the cookies in a 375° oven for 15 minutes, or until the cookie just starts to brown at the edges.
  9. Place a scoop of the ice cream on each of the warm cookie skillets, then drizzle some caramel sauce on each.

 

On the Road: Rhode Island

Rhode Island
Road-trippin’ is one of my favorite ways to discover new culinary destinations, so I was eager to head to Rhode Island to visit my best friend who now lives there. America’s smallest state is not lacking in dining options, and we indulged in some fabulous food, with my friend as my knowledgeable tour guide. A couple of fun finds that Ohioans may not be familiar with include Autocrat coffee syrup (a tasty treat mixed with milk to make “coffee milk”) and uncovering a new love of pepperoni and broccoli pizza – don’t knock it ’til you try it!

Providence was our home base during the trip, and we explored the historic neighborhoods as well as Brown University’s campus. I fell in love with the raspberry bars at Seven Stars Bakery (http://sevenstarsbakery.com/). I love that the Northeast is so walkable, especially since I have yet to master parallel parking! We also headed to the coastal city of Newport, the perfect mash-up of seafood joints and rambling Gilded Age mansions. Count me in for another round of lobster (Lobsta!?!) rolls at Flo’s Clam Shack (http://www.flosclamshacks.com/) any day! Walk off your meal by strolling along the Cliff Walk or touring Marble House or The Breakers, where the Vanderbilts had their “summer cottages.”

Because we were so close to Boston, we had to check out Fenway Park while the Yankees played the Red Sox. It was a little chilly, but the atmosphere at the game was electric, and hey, they don’t offer clam chowder at Clippers games! If you watch A&E, you may be familiar with our dinner spot  Wahlburgers, (https://www.wahlburgersrestaurant.com/) a burger bar owed by the Wahlbergs of acting fame. No Marky Mark sightings, but I was mollified by a savory bacon and avocado burger and a Frosty-esque chocolate frappe.

The bottom line: the Northeast really isn’t that far of a drive from Columbus, and has some foodie gems! Below, find some shots of my quick getaway to Rhode Island!

Fenway Park

Yankees vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park

Wahlburgers

Dinner at Wahlburgers

Rhode Island Sky

Flo's Clam Shack

Flo’s Clam Shack

Lobster Roll

Lobster Roll

Marble House

Marble House

Seven Stars Bakery

Seven Stars Bakery

Autocrat Coffee Syrup

Autocrat Coffee Syrup

Keep Connected,

Caroline