Giveaway: 4 Tickets to The War On Drugs Show (9/19 at HOB CLE)!

The War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream

Relix Names ‘Lost In The Dream’ #3 in 40 Best Albums Of The Year (So Far)

We’re VERY excited to announce our first (hopefully of many) Garnished with Grooves giveaway! We received FOUR TICKETS to giveaway to our readers for a concert this Friday:  The War On Drugs (The band…NOT the controversial political initiative) will be playing a show at HOB Cleveland for the CLE Downtown Festival.  This show+great food from any of the wonderful East 4th Street restaurants sounds like a solid night to us. One lucky winner (and 3 of his/her friends) will have their Friday night plans set and get to experience some great live music fo’ FREE 99. Scroll down to enter!

If you aren’t familiar with the indie sounds of The War On Drugs, give the playlist below a listen or two…or five. We haven’t seen them live yet, but it sounds like it will be a super fun, high-energy show — perfect for a Friday night!

Concert info:

  • Date: Friday 9/19/14
  • Time: 7 PM
  • Venue: CLE HOB

Giveaway Info:

  • Opens: 9:30 PM EST on 9/15
  • Closes: 1:00 PM EST on 9/18
  • Winners will be notified within 6 hours
  • Winners have 12 hours to accept


Grooving & Grubbing Locally: The Cleveland Garlic Festival

Last Sunday, some friends and I stopped by Shaker Square to dig all things garlic and learn where reggae comes from (aka – dig CLE’s favorite reggae act: Carlos Jones and the Plus Band).  I heard great things about last year’s Garlic Festival and while I’m sure a lot of those positive reviews were partially fueled by seeing the collective musical genius that is Snark Puppy, I knew we were still in for a major treat with the various vendors and jammin’ reggae beats. And I was definitely correct in my assumptions.

We were only there for a couple of hours, but our visit was still jam-packed with unique samples, garlic lessons and tips, foodie splurges, and more from the very friendly and informative vendors. We caught a couple of classic Carlos songs on our way in and stuck around for a solid handful of wonderful reggae grooves and vibes while we digested our garlic feast.

Since the festival both features AND supports local food producers, in addition to including local musicians, I figured it would be very fitting to do a Grooving & Grubbing Locally post to highlight our experience. Check out the pics, dig the videos, and don’t miss out on next year’s Garlic Festival!

{Local Grub}

{Local Grooves}

Carlos Jones and The Plus Band play gigs all over Northeastern Ohio throughout the year.  If you like reggae and haven’t had the chance to check them out yet, DO IT.  Cleveland is very fortunate to have a solid local act like them.

Wing Crawlin’ in the ‘Wood

A couple Saturdays ago I attended the Lakewood Wing Crawl, put on by Pillars, with my parents and some friends. While it kind of destroyed the “healthy weekend” plans I made, it was VERY fun and a great opportunity to sample a variety of wings (along with some delicious and discounted Great Lakes) from a handful of Lakewood’s many bars.

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It was really cool to compare and discuss the wing textures, flavors, and culinary ingenuity from each bar, back-to-back. Each participating bar provided one buffalo style wing and an “open” category wing of their choice. We were given ballots to take notes throughout the crawl and turn in at the end to vote on our favorites (for both Buffalo & Open), along with the chance to win a Great Lakes prize pack.

This was my first time so I can’t comment on how it compared to previous years, but we definitely enjoyed ourselves and it seemed like A LOT of people came out and dug the event. Unfortunately, we missed a few (ATC, Bobby O’s, and Humble) due to the timing of our crawl, but I honestly don’t know if it would have been physically possible to consume any more wings than I already did that day.

Here’s a little overview of the crawl, along with some of my thoughts:

Participating Bars

Best Flavor – Booth’s “Honey Aleppo Pepper Dry Rub” was AWESOME, BUT it scored a little weak in the texture category…not nearly crunchy enough.

Best Texture – Plank Road Tavern and Riverwood took the gold in the texture arena. The chicken inside was cooked almost perfectly and the outside had just the right amount of crunch.

Best Overall - My favorite wing overall (out of the ones I was able to try) was Merry Art’s “Cuban Jerk.” It was a very tough call because I LOVED certain aspects of the other contestant’s wing creations, but Merry Arts seemed to be the best when considering all of the criteria: texture, flavor, recipe ingenuity, size, service, and more.

Best Music – Booth’s by far. Great classic rock jams that were very appropriate for a very Cleveland event and some unique tracks were thrown into the mix as well. None of the music in the other bars really stuck out to me. I was too busy discussing the wings and taking foodie notes at Booth’s to jot down the tunes I heard, but here is a great Cleveland song that I think would be a fitting pairing for a basket of wings:

Official Results – People’s Choice Buffalo: Around The Corner, People’s Choice Open Flavor: Around the Corner, Judges Choice Buffalo: Merry Arts Pub & Grill, Judges Choice Open Flavor: Merry Ars Pub & Grill

If you aren’t a vegetarian and love wings, I highly recommend going to next year’s wing crawl. If you went this year, what was your favorite wing?

Remixed Classics: Bratwurst and Kale Soup with Electro Swing

We’re sorry for the delay of this post – it’s been a busy past few weeks for both of us, but we’re back at it with a good one (at least we think so).

Bratwurst and Kale Soup with Electro Swing - Ready to Enjoy!

The bowl with cream added is on the right.

While we realize that it’s still summertime, we DID have a handful of cooler temps this month so we figured a soup recipe would still be appropriate. This soup is full of a variety of flavors, textures, and nutrients. It’s sort of a Zuppa Toscana Remix. Similar to the classic Olive Garden favorite, we included potatoes, sausage, and kale. However, we used different types for each of the aforementioned ingredients and added additional veggies as well. Also, we kept the creamy factor optional with those either who can’t or don’t want to consume it in mind.

It’s been a small struggle deciding on what music to pair with this recipe. The soup’s initial inspiration is Italian, we used Hungarian bratwurst, and the kale is the Red Russian variety. Therefore, an international playlist was a possibility, but for some reason it just didn’t seem right. Luckily, we just discovered…or were reminded of, rather…a genre that creates refreshing remixes of a classic music style, but still maintains the original feel of the distinctive sound it started from (kinda like our remixed recipe):  Electro Swing. With the sweet nostalgia of original swing and big band jazz mixed with dancy elements of contemporary music such as hip-hop samples and EDM back beats, it offers VERY fun tune-age and seemed to fit the vibe of the recipe very well.

The Grooves:

We aren’t super familiar with this relatively new genre so I (Amanda) just included songs that appealed to me from our findings on the inter-webs. The first track is what re-introduced us to the genre and it has continued to grow on me ever since our first listen. If you’re an electro swing fanatic or connoisseur, please let us know if we’re missing any major songs/artists. Those of you NOT as familiar with the genre (like us) may recognize a song or just the general sound from TV/Film – one of the big ones being The Great Gatsby. Some of these videos are pretty entertaining too:

The Grub:Bratwurst and Kale Soup with Electro Swing Tune-age - Ingredients

Adrienne’s coworker has a killer garden and was kind enough to send some of his Red Russian Kale our way (Thanks!). We’re used to working with the usual Curly-leaved kale so it was nice to work with a new type. The bratwurst we used was loaded with garlic and hot paprika so it gave the soup a nice heat that could easily be balanced with a splash of cream if needed.


  • 1 lb bratwurst (loose)Bratwurst and Kale Soup with Electro Swing Tune-age - Browning Sausage
  • 1/3 lb kale
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 8-10 snow-white mushrooms
  • 5-7 redskin potatoes (cut into large cubes)
  • 32 oz. chicken stock
  • 1 cup half n half (optional)


  1. Brown bratwurst in large pot (about 10-15 mins). If it’s lean, you may need to add a little cooking oil.
  2. Add onions, mushrooms, and potatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Rip up/shred kale into small, more “manageable” pieces and add into pot along with chicken stock.
  4. Cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes. You will know it’s ready when the potatoes are soft (test with a fork). Salt and pepper as necessary. Serve and enjoy with or without half n half.

Bratwurst and Kale Soup with Electro Swing Tune-age - All Ingredients in the Pot     Bratwurst and Kale Soup with Electro Swing Tune-age - Ready to Serve!

Soft and Satisfying: Goat Cheese (Stuffed Chicken) & Downtempo

We LOVE goat cheese. It’s creamy, slightly tangy, and delicious. If I’m (Amanda) having a difficult time deciding between two menu items at a restaurant and one has goat cheese, that is the one I will most likely order.Goat Cheese and Downtempo - Ready to Enjoy!

Luckily, we aren’t the only ones who have these feelings and inclinations towards goat cheese and can satisfy our cravings quite often. Restaurants and other fooding locales seem to be embracing its popularity by offering multiple dishes that include this beloved soft and satisfying cheese. It’s versatility and meal-enhancing nature makes it pretty easy and tempting to add to a lot of different recipes.

Similarly…downtempo tracks are usually relatively “soft”, very satisfying, and can be easily incorporated into a multitude of environments. Whether you’re studying/working, hanging with your buds after a long day/night, practicing yoga, enjoying a meal etc., downtempo could be the perfect musical vibe. If you’re already a goat cheese and downtempo fan, we can pretty much guarantee a high level of satisfaction when you bite into this dish whilst chilling out to the playlist below.

The Grooves:

This handpicked playlist features a sampling of some of our favorite through-n-though downtempo artists, as well as some other electronic producers that sometimes dabble in downtempo. We also included some tracks from related genres (ambient, psytrance, etc.) too. What are some of your favorite downtempo or chill-out electronic tracks?

The Grub:

Goat Cheese & Downtempo - IngredientsIngredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 half red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 2/3 cup fresh spinach (chopped)
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour


  1. Lightly grease glass baking dish and preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Mix bell pepper, spinach, goat cheese, and garlic in small bowl.
  3. Cut away any large pieces of fat from chicken breasts and then create a pocket in each breast by carefully cutting into the side. You want to be able to fit as much filling as possible, but be sure to not cut through to other side.
  4. Fill pockets with the cheese and veggie mixture, closing up ends using cooking string or toothpicks.
  5. Whisk eggs in small bowl to make wash and spread out flour on a plate next to egg wash bowl
  6. Dip chicken breast in egg wash, then roll in flour, and place into baking dish. Continue with remaining breasts. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Be sure to remove the toothpicks/string before enjoying!

Goat Cheese & Downtempo - Filling     Goat Cheese & Downtempo - Stuffing the Pouch




Grooving & Grubbing Locally: North Union Farmers Market

The North Union Farmers Market runs several markets across the city and into the suburbs, but the one downtown in Playhouse Square has become an office favorite. My coworkers and I accepted an impromptu challenge to taste test every flavor of popcorn that Kernels by Chrissie has to offer. (A personal favorite is pictured below: Coconut Curry Caramel Corn.)

{Local Grub}

 {Local Grooves}

Typically, there’s a different featured band each week. A few weeks ago, Panic! Trinidad Steel Drum Band performed, another week was a preview of the show A Million Dollar Quartet, and most recently was Brazilian bossa nova artist Moises Borges.  I would be hard-pressed to find a better way to spend a lunch hour: strolling through cheeses, pies, popcorn and hot sauces while listening to great local music!

Here is a clip of Moises Borges playing:

Trout Grilling In America with Weird & Quirky Tunes

Trout Eating In America

We felt this Trout GRILLING in AMERICA recipe+playlist was a good post to follow a solid 4th of July weekend. However, this is not your typical grilling fare OR common cookout jams.

Hopefully those of you that are hip to Richard Brautigan caught our PUN right away and hopefully those of you who are not will put “Trout Fishing in America” at the top of your reading list. If you don’t have a reading list, it is strongly recommended that you start one because, like food and music, books are good for you.

This grilled trout recipe instantly reminded me (Amanda) of Richard Brautigan’s impressively unique and entertaining novella. I love it because it’s refreshingly weird, but still “accessible” and not TOO strange to handle or enjoy. It’s a collection of out-of-the-box anecdotes and abstract short stories about his life on the West Coast. Although it lacks a standard storyline, it gives you a sense of what life was like (for people “on the fringe”) during his childhood in the 40’s and young adult life in the 60’s, all while appeasing your brain with his quirkiness and witty, unconventional literary structure.

The Grooves:

With Brautigan in mind, we chose “weird” artists and quirky songs with somewhat unconventional sound/structure. We also included a couple tracks/musicians that reference Brautigan’s slightly out-there, yet wonderful work. Overall, it turned out to be a considerably diverse and “just weird enough” (for us at least…) playlist:

The Grub:

The recipe cred’ for this healthy grilling alternative goes out to Amanda’s mom. Since trout naturally has a fabulous texture and flavor, the seasonings are light and the prep is pretty simple. It can be served along with a variety of options, but we enjoyed ours with a side of steamed Brussels sprouts and fresh bread topped with bruschetta.

Trout Grilling In America


  • 4 whole trout (gutted)
  • 3 lemons (2 for marinade, 1 to cut into wedges)
  • 3 tsp. fresh chopped dill
  • 2 tbs. veggie oil (for the griddle)
  • 4 tbs. melted butter


  1. Rinse off trout in cool water and pat dry.
  2. Mix juice of 2 lemons and 2 tsp dill in small bowl and then rub inside and outside of trout with mixture.
  3. Set aside to marinate for 30-45 minutes.
  4. Brush cast iron griddle (flat portion of grill) with veggie oil and light grill.Trout Deboning In America
  5. Cook for 5 minutes on one side and then 5-10 more minutes on other side. (Similar to other fish, when meat starts to flake away, it’s done)
  6. You can serve as is or complete the following steps for your guests
  7. Cut off head, peal off skin and lift off first filet gently (using a butter knife helps – see picture to the right).
  8. You should be able to see spine and peel off all in one piece. Here is a helpful video that shows how to do so and easy it is.
  9. Place filets on plate with choice of sides and lemon wedges. Lightly sprinkle or rub filets with mixture of remaining dill and melted butter. You can also add salt and pepper if you think it’s needed.

So go home and prepare for Trout Eating in America. And dig the weird, quirky jams while you’re at it.