Thursday, April 21, 2016

Donate To Pawsibilities

Photo by Pawsibilities

It's Pawsibilities time! Bark in the Park is happening May 7 from 11AM-2PM at Springfield Lake Park in Akron, and we need your help to raise funds for PAWSibilities Humane Society of Greater Akron.

The keystone event of Bark in the Park is the Pledge Walk. The easy walk (paved one-third mile route) serves as a celebration of all of the animals that have warmed our lives with their wagging tails, cold noses, and cozy snuggles while supporting the vital services provided to the community by PAWSibilities®. Leading up to Bark in the Park, registered walkers gather pledges from family, friends, and community members in support of their participation. Pledge donations provide second chances to the animals in our care.

Throughout the duration of the event, enjoy the Pet Expo! A wide variety of vendors, food trucks, activities, demonstrations, and raffles will be showcased for the entire family to enjoy!

Registration is only $5 and includes admission! Children under 12 are free. Click on the link to register: http://www.firstgiving.com/28696/BITP2016

I hope you will consider donating to this worthy cause. As you may know, I adopted my little 5 year old chihuahua mix, Slider, nearly 4 years ago from a shelter in Columbus. He is a wonderful pet and companion, and together we hope to raise money to help all pets get forever homes they deserve!

Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts.



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Winans Chocolates + Coffees Review

 Photos by OHventures

Two things that most everyone can agree on is delicious chocolate and quality coffee.

Winans Chocolates + Coffees has got you covered - from all corners of the state - and even the entire country!

In addition to the headquarters in PiquaOhio locations of Winans Chocolates + Coffees include: Piqua, Downtown Troy, Troy Bookstore, Troy Upper Valley Hospital, Vandalia, Kettering, Dayton Mall, German Village (Columbus), Dublin, The Greene, Maineville. Another location can be found in Coralville, Iowa.

You can visit any of these locations for a large selection of chocolates, coffees, nuts, trail mix, caramels, and more!  

Or, if you can't make it down to southwest or central Ohio, then the good news is Winans has a large online catalog full of fantastic products that can be sent to your doorstep, or delivered to a loved one as a great gift.

I had the pleasure of receiving some Winans products to review, and it wasn't long until all of my chocolate and treats were gobbled up, and all of my coffee was gulped up! 

The items I had were sent to me specially by Winans, in a special gift box called "The Health Nut" (pictured above). The box consisted of a half pound of Winans blend coffee beans, 1 each of the Winans Mesocacao bars, 1 dark chocolate "healthy" bar, and a bag of deluxe mixed nuts.



Let's start with the coffee. You have the choice of ordering whole or ground coffee beans (always go with whole beans if you have a coffee grinder at home), different size bags (whole or half pound), and different blends (espresso, MoJoe blend, Mokka Java, Seattle Blend, or Winans Blend). There is also the option of getting decaf, but where's the fun in that?!

For those adventurous type, there's a TON of flavored coffees to try: blueberry crumb cake, chocolate, caramel cream, strawberry shortcake, snikkerdoodle, and more!

I chose the Winans Blend, because it was my first taste of any Winans coffee, and I feel that I just had to start with the signature blend that they put their name on! When my package arrived in the mail, I tore open the box, ground the beans, and had a cup of coffee - at nighttime! I just couldn't wait for the morning to taste it, it smelled and looked so good (if you are a coffee fanatic like I am, you definitely have fallen victim to "night coffee" before)!

The Winans Blend coffee is a blend of Columbia, Costa Rica, Kenya, and Sumatra beans. It's dark, aromatic, and strong - a perfect coffee for a black coffee drinker like myself. While I can't speak directly about any of the other varieties,I can tell you that if the taste and quality is anything like Winans Blend, then you won't be disappointed (I will be ordering some soon to see for myself)!


Next is the chocolate. My box came with a selection of Mesocacao bars: extremely dark, gourmet bars that actually have great health benefits! You can read more about these health benefits and the origins of the Mesocacao bars on the Winans Blog! The bars I tried were: 
  • 70% Honduran (the percentage denotes just how much chocolate is in the bar, and the country denotes where the cacao bean came from)
  • 70% Honduran with organic Honduran coffee beans (this pairs great with the coffee and has a nice crunch to it)
  • 80% Matagalpa, Nicaragua w/ Nicaraguan nibs (the tiny bits found inside the cacao beans - pictured above) 
  • 44% milk chocolate with almonds (milk chocolate is not as healthy as dark chocolate, but the almonds are a superfood - pictured above).
I also got the dark chocolate healthy bar (pictured above), which was my absolute favorite! It was rich chocolate jam packed with healthy additions: almonds, tart cherries, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds! It had such a great balance of tart and sweet, and soft and crunchy! I definitely recommend. 

Trust me when I say, this selection of chocolates is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Winan''s vast offerings! So, browse the site, pop in one of the stores, or perhaps take a chocolate factory tour! If you're really ambitious, you can join me for the Winans To Winans Half Marathon on September 11, 2016!

And while you're at it, get social with Winans by following them on Twitter, adding them on Instagram, and liking them on Facebook!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Happy 5th Birthday To OHventures


HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY OHVENTURES!

OHventures officially turned 5 YEARS OLD on April 12, 2016! It's hard to believe that we've been around that long! This just proves that time really does fly when you're having fun.

It's been a blast sharing the unique, exhilarating and thrilling things that make Ohio a cool place to live or visit. Whether you are seeking extreme adventures, physical challenges, interesting excursions, or a good excuse to get off your couch and explore the Buckeye state, this blog is for you.

To celebrate this milestone, we sifted through the over 500 posts on the blog to revisit some of our favorite and most popular adventures! 

And now, some OHventures superlatives, as chosen by yours truly!

OHVENTURES SUPERLATIVES

Most Scenic OHventure: Explore Geneva-On-The-Lake
Honorable Mention: Kayak The Bay at PIB

Coolest OHventure: Stand Up Guys Paddle Boarding
Honorable Mention: Kalahari Indoor Water Park 

Coldest OHventure: Cryotherapy Plus
Honorable Mention: Portage Lakes Polar Bear Jump

Dirtiest OHventure: Tough Mudder Ohio
Honorable Mention: Spartan Race Ohio

Craziest OHventure: Skydive Your Fears Away
Honorable Mention: Cupid's Undie Run

Scariest OHventure: Haunted Prison Experience

Honorable Mention: Canton Food Tours

Wildest OHventure: The Wilds Open Air Safari

Booziest OHventure: Columbus Pedal Wagon
Honorable Mention: Rhinegeist Brewery

Most Unique OHventure: Float Tank at Bodhi Tree Guesthouse
Honorable Mention: Mohican Tree House Cabins

Most Challenging OHventure: Cap City Half Marathon
Honorable Mention: VeloSano 100-Mile Bike Ride


Here is to many more years of giving the world items for their very own Buckeye Bucket List!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day In Ohio!

Photos by OHventures (Pictured above is the Pep+Chee from Tom+Chee)

When I think back to my days of childhood, I am often reminded of some of my favorite meals my mom would cook for me and my brothers. Sometimes, it's the simple things that ended up being the best! My mom made a mean grilled cheese sandwich for us growing boys. Sure, it was just two pieces of Wonderbread, a slice of Kraft Singles American cheese, and a side some Campbell's tomato soup, but she had a way of making it taste like a culinary masterpiece.
Grilled cheese is such a staple in the American culture that April 12 is officially recognized as National Grilled Cheese Day!

There are a few Ohio restaurants that serve up some awesome eats that are NOT your mother's grilled cheese! These simple sandwiches have now become an artform with dozens and dozens of creative, wacky and delicious fixings. Here are a few Ohio dining spots you can try out on National Grilled Cheese Day, or any day of the year!

Mighty Macaroni from Melt Bar & Grilled 
Parmageddon from Melt Bar & Grilled


1. Melt Bar & Grilled (locations include Lakeood, Cleveland Heights, Independence, Mentor, Short North, and Columbus-Easton): Melt Bar & Grilled is a dining experience like none other. This famous food joint began in Cleveland in 2006, and has exploded in the last decade. The wait to be seated at Melt is usually out the door, but is 100% worth it! Deciding which of the masterpiece grilled cheese sandwiches you will choose for your dining experience at Melt is a daunting task, since there are so many mouthwatering choices on Melt's mounting menu. One of my favorites is the "Parma, Italy" which consists of breaded chicken, provolone, garlic, and roasted red pepper pesto. But that's one of the tamer choices! For instance, "The Godfather" has three-cheese lasagna, provolone and red sauce, and the "Big Popper" (which is loaded with jalapeno poppers!). Not your typical grilled cheese sandwiches! Pictured are two choices from a recent trip: the "Mighty Macaroni" (creamy homemade macaroni and cheese battred and deep fried, layered with cheddar cheese sauce on the sandwich), and the "Parmageddon" (potato & onion pierogi, fresh napa vodka kraut, and sharp cheddar). Take my advice and order the "half" portion!

The Number Six from Lockview

2. The Lockview (Akron): This awesome Akron hotspot is a popular stop for both the downtown lunch crowd, and the late night bar crowd alike. This is due to their enormous selection of beers on tap, and - you guessed it - their menu specializing in grilled cheese sandwiches! The entire right hand side of their menu lists off your choices, all with simple names like "The Number Five" (goat cheese, portabello mushrooms, caramelized onions, and swiss cheese), and my favorite, pictured above, "The Number Six" (cheddar cheese, sliced apples, and applewood smoked bacon - don't knock it 'til you try it). The best part? All the sandwiches are served with a mini umbrella and a side of goldfish crackers!


Grilled Cheese Donut at Tom+Chee

3. Tom+Chee (locations in Ohio include Cincinnati, Green, Harrison Greene, and West Chester): This bright and funky restaurant chain got its start in the heart of Cincinnati's Fountain Square, where the founders sold sammies out of a tiny food tent. Now, there are dozens of locations across the nation, with a few scattered across Ohio. There are some bizarre yet delicious eats at Tom+Chee, including the surprisingly tasty Grilled Cheese Donut (pictured above), which has been featured on many national television shows. There are several variants of the Grilled Cheese Donut, but the classic consists of a glazed donut sliced in half, which is used in place of bread, oozing with cheddar cheese. Other varieties include the S'more, Blueberry Blue, and The King (banana, peanut butter, and mascarpone/mozzrella). If that doesn't strike your fancy, try their Crunchy Grilled Cheese, which adds different chips to each grilled cheese sandwich (BBQ, salt and vinegar, etc). You can give one of their Fancy Grilled Cheese sandwiches a try (the Pep+Chee is pictured above), or build your own!

Some other great Ohio restaurants not dedicated to grilled cheese, but that have a grilled cheese on their menu worth noting are:

Grilled Cheese at Town Hall in Cleveland

1. Town Hall (Cleveland): This Ohio City restaurant has "Grilled Cheese Bars" with roasted roma tomatoes, cheddar, and gruyere on sourdough wheat bread. You can add avocado or prosciutto to make it extra fancy (pictured above).

2. Coco's Bistro (Dayton): Try Coco's grilled cheese with panko breaded sourdough bread, a four cheese blend, and a side of creamy tomato bisque!

3. Bodega (Columbus): Me and my buds would go here for $1 grilled cheese every Monday! Can. Not. Beat. It!