An Interview with Monica Patton from The Book of Mormon (a guest post at PlayhouseSquare’s Behind the Curtain blog)

As I serve as Playhouse Square‘s Community Engagement and Education’s blogger, I’ll take you behind the scenes of each KeyBank Broadway Series show and interview a member of the show’s cast, crew or creative team. The final show in the 2014-2015 series is The Book of Mormon

Visit the Playhouse Square’s Behind the Curtain blog to read my interview with Monica Patton, an actress who plays Mrs. Brown as a  part of ensemble of the tour.


The Book of Mormon plays in Cleveland August 25 – 30 at the State Theatre at Playhouse Square. For more information, please visit the show’s page on the Playhouse Square website.

Want to read my previous interviews? Check out:

All my gratitude again to the Playhouse Square team for this fantastic opportunity to serve as a Playhouse Square blog contributor for the Broadway Buzz program KeyBank Broadway Series. Stay tuned as I continue my “role” of Education Blogger with interviews during the 2015-2016 KeyBank Broadway Series!

Learn more about Playhouse Square: follow Playhouse Square on Facebook, on Twitter at @playhousesquare & on Instagram at @playhousesquare.

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recipe: “Zoodles” with Grape Tomatoes (℅ Door To Door Organics)

***Disclosure: Door to Door Organics approached me with an opportunity to share information about their products and services. In return, I received an account credit and the opportunity to share a recipe using their organic ingredients. All thoughts and opinions are my own.***

It’s hard to believe it’s already been three months that we’ve been receiving our Door to Door Organics deliveries. Once a week since mid-May, a shipment of organic produce (and other groceries when I remember to place the additional order) appear on our doorstep like clockwork. There’s nothing to do but to remember to put our cooler out on our front porch — and even when I forget that, the DTDO crew has my back, placing our groceries with a cold pack in a reusable box. It’s cut down on my grocery store visits, which means more time for me in the kitchen.

Another new-to-me thing I’ve been enjoying this summer is my spiralizer. I purchased mine on Amazon for less than $8 and have been spiralizing veggies since. Good thing we’ve gotten plenty of zucchini in our boxes the past month or so!  My new found love for delivered organic produce + my new kitchen toy lead to the inspiration for this dish.

zoodles collage

“Zoodles” with Grape Tomatoes

Serves two hungry Hansens — or four servings as sides

  • 2 small zucchini*, spiralized
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (enough to coat your pan)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic*, diced
  • 1 small onion*, diced
  • 1/2 a pint grape tomatoes*, halved
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Oregano, to taste
  • Cheese for garnish (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick sauté pan at  medium to high heat. Add the onion and garlic once the oil is hot. Cook until garlic and onion are gold in color (to allow some caramelization to occur.)  Add the zucchini and season with salt, pepper and oregano — be generous with the seasonings! Combine all ingredients to coat evenly with the olive oil/onion/garlic “sauce”. Reduce the heat to low, and add the tomatoes. Cover the pan with a lid, then let simmer on low until the tomatoes are soft. Serve as is or garnish with your favorite hard, white cheese — a Parmigiano-Reggiano would be excellent with this!

* indicates products used from my Door To Door Organics delivery

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Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Burning River Fest (+ #BRF15 GIVEAWAY)

Disclosure: Great Lakes Brewing Co. invited me to attend a private blogger tour of their facilities and to their Burning River Fest in return for advance promotions including a ticket giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I may not drink all that much beer anymore (thanks, gluten), but a six pack of Great Lakes Brewing Co. brew is always in our fridge. It’s no question that Hans is a huge fan, like most Clevelanders. Personally, I still get a kick out of knowing a locally made offering has such a reputation for being a high quality product served in 14 states plus our nation’s capital.

I had the chance to get to know GLBC even better last night at their Burning River Fest Blogger Preview at their new Beer Symposium/Tasting Room in Ohio City.


After a welcome beer and some delicious appetizers featuring GLBC’s new mustard collaboration with Bertman’s (HOLY YUM), we got to know their team a bit better. But we had no idea that we’d have an extra special guest joining us: Pat Conway, one of the co-founders of GLBC. As I shared on Instagram, Pat was incredibly passionate about all things Cleveland, but especially the environmental efforts since that little fire that happened on a certain river nearly 50 years ago. He filled us in on the Burning River Foundation, which “is dedicated to improving, maintaining and celebrating the vitality of our regional freshwater resources.” (from the fest’s website)  The Burning River Fest benefits the Foundation, which has provided more than $400,000 to local non-profit organizations. I had no idea of GLBC’s commitment to a “green” lifestyle, fully embracing the “reduce reuse recycle” mantra.


 From left to right: Pat Conway talking with his hands (#mykindofguy); tanks on the tour; Adam our tour guide and my fellow bloggers

After our brewery tour lead by GLBC’s community events coordinator, Adam (who is probably the happiest brewery tour leader EVER — so adorable), my fellow bloggers were the very first to taste the brand new GLBC year round beer – Steady Rollin’, a session IPA. This citrus inspired beverage smelled amazing — the grapefruit smell is very apparent, which is going to be a huge hit with a certain red head I know. It’s ABV of 4.8% makes it an easy one to enjoy over and over… and even over again.

Photo Aug 20, 8 07 07 PM

If you’re interested in trying the new brew yourself, you can be among the first to do so at the 2015 Burning River Fest, taking place next weekend — August 28 & 29 – from 6-11 pm at the historic Coast Guard Station at Whiskey Island. This year’s features include:

…or enter to win my GIVEAWAY of two tickets to this event! Use the Rafflecopter to enter today:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have until this Monday, August 24 at 11:59PM EST to enter. The winner will be announced the following morning. As this is a local event taking place in Cleveland on August 28 & 29, I highly encourage entries by those that can attend the event – or would like to win them for someone that can go! Many thanks to the GLBC team for making this #BRF15 giveaway possible!

Keep up with the Great Lakes Brewing Co. by visiting their website,, and following them on FacebookTwitter and InstagramStay in the Burning River Fest know by checking out their website,, and following them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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