#CLEfood: Sweet Treats at Cowhaus Creamery

I had the pleasure of meeting the owners of Cowhaus Creamery back at a Lorain County Chamber of Commerce meetings a few years ago. The husband and wife pair were so kind, so funny and so enthusiastic about ice cream. And as we all scream for ice cream in our household, visiting their storefront in downtown Oberlin has been on my #CLEfood to-do list since that summer morning when I first discovered their company. A few Saturdays ago – the same day we went to Brasee’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch – we made the quick, less-than-ten-minute drive north from the farm to their fun shop right on the college campus.

Cowhaus creates and produces all of their products out of a repurposed 2,600 square foot artisan creamery in nearby Elyria. Their “flag ship” retail shop is sustainably designed and LEED’S Gold certified, but the uber green-friendly structure doesn’t take away from Cowhaus’ charm. 
With so many options to choose from – including ice creams, sorbets, milk shakes, sundaes, floats, riffs, ice cream sandwiches, Boylan’s sodas and fresh made waffle cones – we had a very hard time deciding what to order. Cowhaus’ creative combinations had us trying a few samples before making our selections.

B went with the “world’s smallest sundae” — the photo right above gives you a feel for how little this really is! My little bear got hers with vanilla ice cream with a bit of chocolate sauce and a cherry on top. I think she could have eaten three of them as hers was gone pretty fast!

As for me: I’m a sucker for all things ginger ale and The West Wing, so I opted for their Bartlett pear and ginger ale sorbet. If we weren’t going elsewhere before calling it a day, I would have insisted on bring some home to enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Both options were delicious, unique and even had a way of even tasting locally handcrafted. One visit won me over! Every time I’ll be in Lorain County in the future, I’ll be making the trip to Cowhaus Creamery for good eats, a friendly environment and that warm and fuzzy feeling that supporting a local business provides.

Visit Cowhaus Creamery in person at 55 East College Street in downtown Oberlin or online at their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Baby B & Me: Eating Apple Fritters at Patterson Fruit Farm

We’re in full on Fall mode in the Hansen household. Pumpkins line our kitchen, apples cider is in our fridge and the layering of various sweaters, long sleeves, flannels and so on are the staple of our outfits. So what else is there to do on an autumnal Saturday afternoon but to make an impromptu stop to embrace all of those things? That’s sort of how we ended up at Patterson Fruit Farm‘s Farm Market this past Saturday…

The long story short is that I neglected to eat a proper breakfast before teaching yoga that morning, so East side errands plus a sleeping-in-the-car baby = a bit of a road trip to Patterson Fruit Farm’s Farm Market. It features many items for purchase including just-picked apples, apple cider, fall decorations, pumpkins, donuts, pies and baked fresh daily treats like these babies:

Those, friends, are Patterson’s apple fritters, and are worth the drive… and the wait. That Saturday was a popular day to be at the farm, so we stayed as patient as we could as we worked through the crowd and line for the bakery. 20 minutes later, we had two pies, two donuts, an apple dumpling and the apple fritter of my dreams.

Those fritters are HUUUUUUUUUUUGE. Like size of my baby’s head huge. And that poor child is carrying around an 85th percentile head circumference so we’re talking about one big baked good. But man, is it good. So good that Baby B was all about sharing my fritter with me — you can tell by how focused she is on it in that photo above!

After we team ate our fritter and dumpling, we got to exploring what else was for sale at the market including mums, cornstalks and pumpkins of all sizes. If we just didn’t bring home eight gourds the weekend before, I’m sure we would have come home with a few more – our little girl just loves pumpkins!

The Farm Market also features some family fun options like a huge playset and Orchard Hills Park, a wonderful outdoor place to hike, bike, picnic and enjoy the beauty of our area. Who knew that my fritter craving would end up leading us to something with so much to offer?!

Patterson Fruit Farm’s Farm Market is open daily from 9am – 6pm. Visit them at 11414 Caves Road in Chesterland or online at their website and on Facebook.

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Join me at the 6th Annual Run Through History (to benefit Lake View Cemetery Foundation)

In my more formal running days, my feet took me all sorts of places: around downtown Cleveland, all over an active military base (the Air Force Half Marathon), through a princess’ castle — thanks Disney! But one place I’ve never run through is a cemetery, but it looks like I’ll have the chance at the 6th Annual Run Through History to benefit Lake View Cemetery Foundation. This year’s race day will take place on Sunday, October 15th at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland and my participation at this race is of note for a very special reason!…

Here’s the schedule for race morning — note what’s happening at 8am!:

  • 7:30 a.m.: – Packet Pick-Up
  • 8:00 a.m. – Stretching Clinic — Lead by YOURS TRULY!
  • 8:30 a.m. – 1 Mile Strut
  • 9:00 a.m. – 5k – Race to Die For
  • 10:30 a.m. – Awards Ceremony, entertainment, craft activities for the kids, refreshments and wellness village
  • 11:30 a.m. – Freaky Fun Relay

New for this year!:

  • The Wellness Village: Vendors including fitness clubs, health check-ups, vendors of healthy snacks & juices representing their wares.
  • Fun craft activities for the family
  • Freaky Fun Relay: Team of four will run a 1-mile obstacle course carrying pumpkins, jumping over bales of straw, running through a corn maze and trying on pieces of an Octoberfest costume. Fun prizes for the top three teams!

What does is cost to participate?:

  • 1-Mile Strut: $20 pre-registration; $25 day-of
  • 5k Race to Die For: $25 pre-registration; $30 day-of
  • Freaky Fun Relay: $15 pre-registration; $20 day-of

All proceeds benefit the Lake View Cemetery Foundation and its educational outreach to inner ring public schools.

REGISTER ONLINE NOW for the October 15th race!

…and don’t forget to set your alarm clocks to join me bright and early to stretch it out before your run! The Stretching Clinic starts at 8am sharp!

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Baby B & Me: Visiting Brasee’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch

I am married to pumpkin’s biggest fan. My husband has been ITCHING to go pick his own pumpkins for a solid month, but I kept telling him, “it’s not Fall yet!”  So leave it to Hans to plan a family outing on our first autumn Saturday (and our 11th wedding anniversary) to a pumpkin patch. Google led us to a farm a bit of a drive away, but one that was well worth the trip: Brasee’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch.

Located in Wellington, Ohio on State Route 58, the drive out to Brasee’s was an easy one. We chose an unusually hot Saturday to take in the many activities at the location — which includes an 8 acre full-scale corn maze, a kids mini corn maze, a kids straw maze, a pitch-black straw maze, petting zoo, straw slide, corn pit, pumpkin bowling, bounce house and more. All that for only $6 per person ages 5 and up. ($5 for seniors, free for ages 4 and under, free for military personnel.)

But our first task at hand: a visit to their patch to pick some pumpkins. Brasee’s only charges $2 per pumpkin picked, so we grabbed one of their complimentary wagons and rolled our way on our to the patch.

Hans and Baby Brenna got to work, finding the perfect pumpkin for each member of our family. Five pumpkins later (had to get one for each of the dogs!), we rolled our very full wagon back to all the other fun activities at the farm.

Baby B was a big fan of pumpkin bowling — she rolled a strike on her first try, with some help of course — and LOVED all the animals at the petting zoo. Next year, I know she’ll be running all over the many mazes and bouncing all over the bouncy house!

Before the end of our visit, we paid the extra admission (only $2 per person, Baby B was free) for a hayride. While the ride was sans hay (I was really okay with this fact), it was covered (read: shade in 90 degree heat!) and had fairly comfy seating, which made for an excellent combo for our adventure around the 27 acre space. The hayride was longer than most and was a nice way to kick back after all that work picking pumpkins!

We finished out our visit by buying a few extra gourds — already pre-picked, but only $3 each — before heading up a bit further north to Oberlin for a sweet treat after all that work. (More on that next week!) As we drove away, I knew we’d be back to Brasee’s soon — our fall loving family just can’t resist the chance to embrace the season as much as we can!

Brazee’s is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from September 16th through October 29th. For more information, visit their website and like their Facebook page.

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