Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cup O' Joe - Grandview Heights

Cup O' Joe is a local Columbus coffee shop with tons of locations!  They serve coffee, espresso drinks, smoothies, sandwiches and sweets like muffins, cheesecake and brownies.  Check out their menu here!  There is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and in the case of the Grandview Heights location, the seating area is often full of OSU students studying and working on their laptops.

Columbus Park of Roses

On Saturday last weekend Kenneth and I finally made it to the Columbus Park of Roses during a peak blooming period.  We visited last summer, but it was near the end of the blooming period for most of the roses.  

Borage Blossom

Lord make us mindful of the little things that grow and blossom
     in these days to make the world beautiful for us.

W.E.B. Du Bois
from the book Earth Prayers From around the World: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth

Clouds are flowing in the river, clouds are drifting in my tea

These are yesterday's photos of the day, which I heavily manipulated with picmonkey.  The photographs and the poem together remind me a bit of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  Just the right amount of silliness mixed with curiosity and a wondrous outlook on life.

Friday, June 28, 2013

King Arthur and the Sword of Britain - Actors' Theatre of Columbus

A few weeks ago, after a long week of summer camp and Kenneth's long week of his Advanced Preventative Medicine rotation at school, we decided to catch a performance of King Arthur and the Sword of Britain by The Actors' Theatre in Schiller Park.  It was a relaxing break from a busy week!

This is the 32nd summer season for the Actors' Theatre of Columbus.  All performances are outdoors and FREE to the public.  This summer the performances are either at Schiller Park in German Village, the Columbus Commons in downtown Columbus or at the Easton Commons Town Square at Easton Town Center.  I list the specific shows, dates, times and locations further down in the post.

Very Blue Mulberry-Raspberry Muffins + Recipe

We made these very blue mulberry-raspberry muffins today for our last day of Culinary Creations camp.  I modified the Ginger Mulberry Muffins recipe from A Spicy Perspective.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Culinary Creations Books

These are the books I chose for Culinary Creations this year - we probably will not read all of them, but as of day three of camp, we have read fourteen of them!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Northstar Cafe - Clintonville

Northstar Café is one of my favorite Columbus restaurants!  It's a great local restaurant that focuses on organic and local produce.  It's also a wonderful place for me to eat at with my family as there are options for our variety of dietary restrictions (there are fantastic gluten-free, vegetarian and even vegan options) and while the restaurant is very popular, the wait has never been too long for us.  If you do happen upon the café during a busy period, or are dining alone, they have a nice selection of magazines to browse while you wait for your meal!

Thunder Cake

Today in Culinary Creations camp we read Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco, then made the recipe in the back of the book.  For those of you who haven't read the book, thunder cake is a chocolate cake with tomato in it!  One of my favorite elementary school teachers, Mrs. Harbison read this story to us and we then made the cake, it's one of my favorite memories from elementary school!  I remember the cake tasted amazing, that it had a weird ingredient, and that we got to help make it.  When I was assigned to develop and teach a cooking camp at the Conservatory I decided to do a book theme for the camp, basically so I could read this book and then make thunder cake with the campers!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Stone Soup

We made Stone Soup in Culinary Creations camp today!  We also went over kitchen rules and safety, played 'two truths and a tale', read several food themed stories, made creamy parsley dip with veggies, went on a garden scavenger hunt,  decorated the covers of our recipe journals, and made a mess in the kitchen!  I am wiped out!  Tomorrow we are making Thundercake and salsa!  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Super Vivid Emma

Took this photograph of Emma this afternoon using the 'super vivid' setting on my camera. It really makes her green eyes 'pop!'  Kenneth took the picture of us below, Emma is such a sweetie!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Krema Nut Company - Grandview Heights

Kenneth and I have been fans of Krema Peanut Butter since we discovered it at Kroger in Athens.  We have different tastes in peanut butter and usually each have our own separate jar, Kenneth prefers chunky peanut butter that's made with just peanuts and a teeny amount of salt (the kind he buys needs stirred before use), I like peanut butter that is smooth and easy to spread and I absolutely abhor chunky peanut butter!  We both love Krema though - their peanut butter is tasty and the company is local!

Pizza Rustica - University District

Before this week I thought my only options for fantastic gluten-free pizza was Zpizza and Yellow Brick Pizza.  Pizza Rustica has proven to be another fantastic option for gluten-restricted pizza lovers.  You can never have too many great pizza places!

North Market - Arena District

The North Market, located in the Arena District, is a fantastic local food venue!  Kenneth and I usually stop at the market for something specific, but we almost always end up walking through all of the market stalls, checking out what's new.  Some of our favorite vendors include The Greener Grocer (we've subscribed to their weekly market bag twice now, always great produce and locally produced cheese and other food!), Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, Flavors of India (they were the vendors we bought our lunch from at Asian Fest in May), Bubbles Tea & Juice Company (I get an intense craving for bubble tea every summer and this is where I go to satisfy it!), CaJohns Fiery Foods and North Market Spices.

Old-Fashioned Rose-Scented Geranium

I wish blogs had a 'scratch 'n sniff' feature - this photograph is of old-fashioned rose-scented geranium, my favorite geranium!  We saw this geranium in the herb garden at the Columbus Park of Roses today. Post about the park to follow soon!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice!  I took about 90 photos of flowers, fruit and insects today in celebration of the first day of summer.  I couldn't pick just one for my photo of the day, so I'm posting a selection of favorites.  Lately I've been playing with picmonkey to manipulate my photo of the day, adding a little color or adjusting the brightness or contrast, just for fun.  These photos, however, are all unaltered and shot using the 'foliage' or 'beach scene' settings on my pocket-sized Canon PowerShot ELPH 100HS.  

Enjoy the photographs and make the most of the season!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gluten-Free Strawberry Ginger-Corn Muffins

Made these Strawberry Ginger-Corn Muffins last night, still tweaking the recipe. I think the oven temperature was too high - the strawberries almost 'melted' or evaporated, leaving strawberry shaped holes in the muffins! A little weird and unexpected. Going to test the recipe again soon with a lower temperature, and if it turns out well, I'll post it on the blog!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Boxcar & Coffee - Depot Coffee House

I stopped at The Depot Coffeehouse in Urbana on my way home from Piqua today.  An old box car sits near the parking lot.  A sign details its many uses and restorations after being  built in 1913.  It was most recently restored in 2007 by the Champaign County Preservation Alliance.  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Columbus Arts Festival - Scioto Riverfront

Last weekend was the 52nd annual Columbus Arts Festival on the Scioto Riverfront in downtown Columbus.  Kenneth and I have never made it out to the festival before, so we checked it out for a few hours on Sunday.

Father's Day

Ground Cherry Blossom

Happy Father's Day to all dads - especially my own wonderful Dad!  Kenneth is on-call this weekend and we  have to stay within 30 minutes of school, which unfortunately means we won't get to visit either of our fathers today.  I'm going to Piqua tomorrow though, so I'll get to see my Dad soon!

My Feline Blog Editor

While I wrote my post about Old Man's Cave and Cedar Falls tonight, Kenneth organized some of his notes and books in the study.  As soon as he cleared space behind the desktop computer, up hopped my little shadow, Olivia.  She used to lay on the desk at my parents house as a kitten when I was on the computer, she was little enough then to fit underneath the shelf on the desk.  She seemed so disappointed (and a little confused) when she outgrew that space!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Old Man's Cave & Cedar Falls - Hocking Hills

Last weekend Kenneth and I met my parents, sister, Brittney, and her boyfriend Cam, outside of Logan, Ohio to go hiking.  My parents had rented a cabin for the weekend and Kenneth and I came for breakfast and a hike at Old Man's Cave and Cedar Falls on Saturday. I'm including a review of these parks on my blog because while Hocking Hills is not in Columbus, it's an easy hour and a half drive from the Capital City and is definitely worth the trip!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Brownies

I enjoyed peanut butter swirl brownies and red tea this afternoon after a long day of summer camp!  I made these treats yesterday using the Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.  They turned out really well and the recipe is already gluten-free!

I made the gnome mug last year following Martha Stewart's instructions for Dot-Painted China.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Grass Skirt Tiki Room - Downtown Columbus

Last week we celebrated the end of our school tour season at the Conservatory with lunch at the Grass Skirt Tiki Room in downtown Columbus.  This was my first visit to Grass Skirt, but my friend and co-worker, Amy, has been trying to get me to come for a while now since they have gluten-free options (as well as several vegan options)!


These are my summer campers hands after sidewalk chalking for the Farmers' Market today at the Conservatory.  I think they had more fun getting the chalk all over themselves than they did drawing pictures of fruits and veggies!

The Farmers' Market at the Conservatory is held every Wednesday from June 5th to September 4th from 3:30 to 6:30pm - come and check the delicious fruits and veggies, jams, honey, soap, meat, eggs and cheese - all from local Ohio farmers and producers!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mad Botanist Experiment

The 2013 season of summer camp started today at the Conservatory!  This week I am teaching Green Thumb, a camp that focuses on 'all things green' for 6 to 11 year olds.  We do a few 'mad botanist' experiments and this is the final product of our "Taking Out the Color" experiment.  The green liquid in the glass is chlorophyll in rubbing alcohol, which we removed from the brownish-green leaf on the left by boiling it briefly in water then letting it sit in the rubbing alcohol.  The experiment we did is very similar to this Chlorophyll Experiment from ThinkQuest.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Columbus Skyline

View from the West Main Street Bridge during Kenneth and I's visit to the Columbus Arts Festival today (photo edited using PicMonkey).  Full review to come shortly!


Yesterday's photo of the day is the last photo I took yesterday after taking over 140 in Hocking Hills while hiking with my family.  We had a great hike 6+ mile hike between Old Man's Cave and Cedar Falls and ended the day with a small bonfire and s'mores!  I will post a full review soon!

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Garden Gnome’s Revenge

A Garden Gnome's Revenge

Irked after being poked, prodded and stepped on by three-year olds and their grandmothers all morning, Garrick decided to retaliate.  Revenge was on the mind of this garden gnome and he was determined to make mischief.  He first knocked over some large decorated pots, the hideous ones from months ago that had been reduced to 50% and still weren’t selling.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Winans Fine Chocolates & Coffees - German Village

I love Winans Fine Chocolates and Coffees!  It's my favorite coffee shop!  Winans is based where it started in my hometown of Piqua, Ohio, where Winans coffee is still roasted and the chocolates are made in the candy kitchen!  There are two Winans coffee shops in Columbus, one in German Village (where these photos were taken) and another in Dublin.

Olivia the Librarian

The photo below is what I had in mind when I decided to take a picture of my current stack of personal, library and ebooks for today's photo of the day.  I ended up with the photo above because my cat, Olivia, is my little shadow.  I like to think it's because she loves me, but it's probably because she's nosey and wants to judge me based on the books I read.  To be fair, she is a cat, and they can be a bit judgmental   Just a bit.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I took this picture of berries ripening on a serviceberry tree on my way into the building this morning at work.  Serviceberry (which is also known by many other names, some of them including: shadbush, juneberry, saskatoon and sugarplum), is a native, small tree with edible fruit.  The berries taste a lot like blueberries!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pink Breakfast

'Crock-pot strawberry jam' on gluten-free prairie bread from Whole Foods and homemade strawberry milk!  Pretty, pink and delicious!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pretty Persimmon

I took this photo at work today, it's an American Persimmon flower!  This tree grows in the parking lot at the Conservatory and every year during late fall, the tree graces us with tons of little orange fruit.  These edible fruits are about the size of a ping pong ball and are best enjoyed when soft and mushy.  I have tried persimmon in the past, but it was too astringent for me.  Perhaps I will give one a try again this fall!

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Kenneth and I went strawberry picking with our friend (and Kenneth's fellow veterinary classmate), Susie, at Jerry's Berries, southeast of Columbus.  We picked over two quarts of strawberries, one of which is being turned into 'crock-pot strawberry jam' as I write this!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Cherbourg Bakery - Bexley

I have already mentioned that Cherbourg Bakery is the best gluten and nut free bakery in Columbus, it is also my favorite bakery!  Cherbourg, located in Bexley, has a delicious assortment of gluten and nut free treats, coffee, juice and soda - and the bakery itself is lovely!

Sidewalk Chalk Cat

Today's photo of the day is of this very ginger cat that a child drew while participating in today's Family Fun activity at the Conservatory.  Today's Family Fun was a 'Butterfly Carnival' and in addition to drawing butterflies outside with sidewalk chalk, we also made the Sharpie 'tie-dye' t-shirt I posted about earlier this week and spin art.