Archive for June, 2014

Cleveland Daycation – West Side

It’s time for an adventure don’t you think?

We’ve lived in northeast Ohio for a few years now and yet we have a whole grocery list of places in the area we haven’t yet explored. We’re trying to change that this summer by going on daycations around town.

These little ventures aren’t just thrown together – we try to plan it like we would an out of town vacation so the kids feel like it’s a real getaway.

Our first daycation exploration was to Cleveland’s West Side.


Here’s where we visited:


Lunch at Happy Dog

5801 Detroit Ave.

Choose from 50 toppings on an all-beef or veggie dog. Peanut, pickle, mustard hot dog? You can get that here. If all the choices seem too overwhelming select one of their creative, suggested combos. Fill out the form with your selected toppings and then give it to your server. Along with hot dogs there are tater tots with cool dips like Jamaican jerk mustard mojo, Buffalo wing hot sauce, and more. This place gets pretty hopping at night so my advice is to go during the day with your kiddos.


Eating at Happy Dog

Dessert at Sweet Moses Soda Fountain & Treat Shop

6800 Detroit Ave.

Sweet Moses is just a short walk from Happy Dog – enough time to recover from an extra helping of tater tots. This old-style dessert parlor includes a mouth-watering assortment of homemade ice creams and treats. We chose the Gordon Square Sundae, which has a dense brownie at the bottom topped with Bananas Foster ice cream, caramel, and hot fudge. Oh, and whip cream and a cherry. We couldn’t resist getting one of their brownies to go, too. The brownie is served like a popsicle dipped in chocolate and toppings.


Sundae at Sweet Moses, Cleveland

Stroll Through Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop

17462 Lorain Ave.

Both the recent Avengers movie and Captain America: The Winter Soldier were filmed in Cleveland. And Superman got his start in this town that was a stand-in for Metropolis. We wanted to embrace Cleveland’s comic book roots so we took time to work our way through Carol and John’s Comic Shop, which has been an institution in this town for over 20 years. There are several bins with $1 comic books perfect for a child that wants a souvenir for the day.


Visiting a Comic Book Shop

Hike Around Fort Hill Loop

Rocky River, North Olmsted

One-hundred-and-thirty-five steps – we counted them! This 1.3-mile loop takes you to the top of Fort Hill where you can see Rocky River and watch planes take off above the trees from the airport that’s literally in the backyard of this preserve. Save some time to go through the Rocky River Nature Center that’s at the base of the trial. The step trail only takes about 30 minutes or less depending on how many breaks your kiddos take on the stairs.


Rocky River Preserve

Movie Time! The Amazing Spider-Man 2

We finished off our adventures by taking in a movie.

Fort Hill Loop View

For more tips on how to plan a great daycation head on over to my post at Wandering Educators (coming soon).


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Potato Taquitos

 Potato taquitos

We made two types of taquitos last night – shredded beef and mashed potato. Guess which ones got gobbled up first?




The crisp outside of corn tortilla pairs perfectly with the smooth filling of the mashed potato. Plus, you can pump up the potatoes with whatever flavors your family likes – chopped green chiles, corn, loads of cheese, fresh cilantro… Yes, if you have leftovers in the fridge this is the time to dig through and add in a few to your mashed potatoes before you roll them into the corn tortillas.


A few taquito-making tips:

  • Don’t overdo it on the filling or else your taquitos will explode (yes, hot oil and filling all over!) when you fry them
  • Use a cast iron pan, if you have one, to heat the oil and then fry your taquitos – cast iron pans hold in the heat better than other types
  • Frying isn’t the only way to get your taquitos crisp you can also bake them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit on baking sheet coated with cooking spray (they won’t get quite as crisp)
  • Try flour tortillas (called flautas when they’re rolled and fried like this) instead of corn
  • Get your kids involved – they’re usually great at rolling taquitos



Servings: 15 taquitos

Making taquitos


3 medium-sized potatoes

1 1/2 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. milk

1 tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro, opt.

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 tsp. cumin, opt.

15 corn tortillas

Oil for frying

 Frying taquitos


  1. Peel potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces and add to a pot of salted water.
  2. Place the pot on the oven and bring the water to a boil. Cook potatoes until soft.
  3. Using a hand-held blender, whip together the potatoes, butter, and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste (and cumin, cilantro if you’re using them). Blend until smooth.
  4. Over medium-high heat either on a gas grill top or a skillet, toast the corn tortillas and then immediately put them into a tortilla warmer or wrap them in a clean kitchen towel. This steams the tortillas and softens them so they’re more pliable.
  5. Spread 2 tbsp. potato mixture onto the steamed corn tortillas. Roll up the tortillas starting with one end and working to the other.
  6. Place the rolled tortillas on a plate while you finish preparing the rest. Finish rolling all of the tortillas.
  7. In a heavy-bottomed pan bring about 1/4″ oil to medium-high heat. Place the taquitos 5 at a time in the hot oil with the seam side faced down.
  8. Fry the taquitos until crisp and then flip to the other side – about 3 minutes. Cook on the other side for 3 minutes.
  9. Remove the first set of tortillas and cook the other two batches.
  10. Serve covered with cheese, shredded lettuce, salsa, and chopped tomatoes.

Potato Taquitos on a plate



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