Back to School Shopping at Liberty Center!

This post is sponsored by Liberty Center. All opinions are my own.

Hard to believe but it's nearly time for Back to School! I loved shopping for Back to School - we didn't have much money - so being allowed to shop was a big treat. My favorite thing was school supplies (Trapper Keepers!) but I also loved clothes shopping too! 

Back then - my Dad would save up and I would get a few pair of jeans, some new tops and sweaters and new shoes. He sold shoes so it was very important that I had a brown tie shoe (wtf?). My Grandmother sewed so I had a lot of clothes that she made (can you tell?!). I'm guessing you can also tell when my Mom moved away because suddenly my naturally curly hair went bonkers!

Well thankfully - these kids have a little more stylish parents than I did! And lucky for you, Liberty Center is a great place to go shopping for Back to School! They've got great outdoor areas for the kids to get some energy out and lots of store options.

For the kids that have to wear uniforms - I saw a couple of places with big sections just for you. Old Navy had stuff as low as $3! That's amazing!

And in between stores - if the kids get a little groggy or grumpy - stop in at It'Sugar and get them a little sugar-jacked!

I mean - how can you go wrong when this is what you walk in to? Thank God my husband wasn't with me! We'd have had to have a wagon to take out his purchases! 

There are also a lot of super cute clothes - unfortunately this skirt did not come in size fluffy grown woman - because if it had - I would own it.

There are also a lot of sales on summer stuff because let's be honest - this is Ohio - it's going to be HOT for the first month or two of school! Might as well send them to school on the first day with something super cute THAT WAS ON SALE!

I also saw a lot of super cute backpacks too - so many to choose from! I think the backpacks when I was a kid were either blue or brown. Not so anymore!!!

I don't have any kids myself but I do have 2 nieces and a nephew. They don't have a lot of money - so I always try and get them a cute outfit for their first day of school and some of their school supplies. I found really cute stuff on clearance and put together some outfits for them. The girls are pretty close in age - so I got them matching zip sweatshirts - that will take them into fall as well.

Be sure to check out Liberty Center when you're back to school shopping this summer! They have plenty of parking and lots of variety in terms of stores and great places to stop for a bite.

Food Hussy Road Trip: Ohio State Fair Food Bucket List - Part Two!

First and most importantly - I want to say that my condolences go out to the 
families affected by the accident at the Ohio State Fair today. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last year I went to the Ohio State Fair and I cooked at the Taste of Ohio Pavilion for the Ohio Pork Council and I was very excited to be invited to do this again this year! 


But before and after my cooking demo - I had to try MORE crazy fun fair foods! So let's do this!

1. Pig on a stick - $5 - Bubba's Bacon near the ticket booth and the Meijer Kiddieland

This is the mecca for bacon lovers (ahem...Bob Herzog). I went for the simplest thing on the menu - a large thick slice of bacon that was dipped in maple syrup and fried. I loved that the bacon was so thick and not overly sweet.

2. Fried Cheese Curds - Squeaky's Cheese Curds Shack near the Nationwide Donahey Ag & Hort Bldg and the Meijer Kiddieland

Cheese curds are an Iowa staple - but for some reason - they aren't on every menu in every bar & grill in Ohio??? So when I saw there was a whole booth just for cheese curds - I had to get some. They're super salty and the batter is light. Fried, cheesy, goodness. 

3. Deep Fried Gummy Bears - It's a big purple & white booth - I thought it was on the North end but the Food Finder says it's at the South end - so keep your eyes peeled for that sign.

I didn't try this one because I was on a quest for Deep Fried Koolaid and Deep Fried Butter - unfortunately neither could be found. So the Food Finder is helpful but not 100% accurate. Anyway - it sounds interesting - I'm guessing the gummies get liquified a bit from the deep fry which should be good!

4. Dole Whip - $4 - In a row with Bourbon Chicken near Taft Coliseum and Central Park

This is the Blue ice cream of the Ohio State Fair. It's a light and slightly icey pineapple dream.

5. Deep Fried Taco - $7 - Bailey's Steakery Near Cardinal Sky Glider Entrance

This was by far my favorite of the day. It's a soft taco with ground beef, tomato, lettuce, onion and cheese toothpicked together, deep fried and then topped with salsa & sour cream. It was also really delicious. I would definitely get one of these!!!


6. Baby Elephant Ear - $5 - The Berry Barn on Cardinal Plaza between Lausche Youth Center and AmeriPark

I remember getting elephant ears as a kid and this took me back. It was honestly a little thicker than I remember - but still delicious. Hot and covered in cinnamon and sugar. 

They also had these French Waffles that were light and crispy and covered in powdered sugar. Yes please!

7. Pork Chop on a Stick - At the Ohio Pork Booth near the Butter Cow

New to the fair this year is the Pork Chop on a Stick - the stick is actually the bone of the chop. And leave it to Ohio Pork to cook it PERFECTLY! (145 degrees with a blush of pink!) This is by far the juiciest chop I have ever had!

If you're in the Taste of Ohio Pavilion - don't miss the Hog Wings from Ohio Pork - another amazing piece of meat.



8. Specialty Tots - Tot Hot Spot right outside the Nationwide Donahey Ag & Hort Building

I saw no less than four booths with tater tots - it's apparently the new cupcake! I was beyond full by this point in the day - but I chatted with the friendly worker and asked what their best seller was and he quickly said the Philly Tots - tots with sliced ribeye, green peppers, onions and white cheese. Sounds totlicious!

9. Velvet Ice Cream's State Fair Flavor of the Year - Taste of Ohio Pavilion 

Ohio's very own Velvet Ice Cream created the official flavor of the Ohio State Fair for the fifth consecutive year. This year it's sweet cereal milk flavored ice cream with a honey graham cereal swirl. This was a fairly sweet ice cream but that honey graham cereal swirl was tasty! Crunchy and sweet! Yum! 


10. Wild Bill's Old Fashioned Sodas - $11.50 - Food Highway near Celeste Center and Main Street Stage

I'm not big on these old fashioned sodas but Larry is. The price is steep but you keep the mug and can refill it all day - so if you love it - it's a good deal. Also - there are multiple booths so you don't always have to run back to this one. We tried the Vanilla Cream and I liked it! (I had cream soda normally.) They have other mugs that run up to $30 - this was the cheapest.

Bonus! Turkey Legs & Roasted Corn

There are multiple places where you can find these two State Fair Staples and if you haven't had them - you must. A grill full of delicious.

We also enjoyed seeing some animals - there was a petting zoo (the gal on the right is sporting the Hussy Hairdo of every Sunday morning!), camel rides (not loving this but I haven't seen a camel that close up), pig races and more.



So there you have it - a whole new list of State Fair Foods to try! If you only try one thing - I would go for the Deep Fried Taco!


Food Hussy Review: 20 Brix - Milford

A few weeks ago my husband didn't have to go into work until the evening and it was a beautiful day so he decided to treat me to lunch. His only stipulation was he wanted to eat outside - so we headed to Old Milford and took a look around. 

20 Brix was open and they have a great patio on the side of the restaurant that didn't look too busy at all. It was warm in the sun but the patio is pretty covered by umbrellas so we went for it. 

Larry decided to have his typical IPA and I got all LVP and had a glass of Sparkling Rosé. I got like a tiny glass - which I liked that they have the option of a 2 oz or 6 oz pour (i think that was the #s). I'm a lightweight so I just wanted a little fizzy fun. 


He chose the Grilled Chicken Sandwich ($15). It comes with "White BBQ sauce" and Ohio Bleu Cheese - both of which he doesn't like so those stayed off. But this chicken was really perfectly cooked. It was really juicy and well-seasoned.

I couldn't decide - there were a few things I was interested in - like their pizza - both of which had goat cheese - and their Crab Cake Sliders ($14). I decided to go the Crab Cake route because I haven't had one in a while and the server recommended them. They're served with onion straws and aioli and a side of fries. 

 I didn't love the crab cake (boo) - it was covered in this heavy crust - I love crab so I want to taste the crab - not crust. Larry's grilled chicken was much better - I literally should just always let him choose for me - he's much better at picking.

The fries though - were out of this world! And the ranch was even better!!! We both commented as to how good the fries were - so I recommend those as a side whenever you go.

Why Should You Go? I'd love to try their pizza - so I'll probably be back. The Grilled Chicken and fries is a great lunch choice though! And the patio is really nice!

20 Brix Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food Hussy Review: Court Street Lobster - Downtown Cincinnati

I love Lobster - like LOVE IT! But I've never had a Lobster Roll - I figure it's one of those things you should get when you're in Maine or something! But hey - now we have Court Street Lobster Bar and that is their specialty so I grabbed a hussy and went to give it a try. 

It's in a newly developing part of downtown - which I like! They're breaking ground in the area and bringing new biz in - which is always good. They kept the integrity of the interior brick and added their own seaside touches like white slat booths.

Lauren got the charred corn chowder ($5) with roasted local white corn, leeks, red bell peppers and jalapenos. You order at the bar and then they call you up to pick up your food. I was a little surprised at that - for the prices - that they don't have table service - but it's not a big deal.

She went for a crab roll ($14) which is served on the Sixteen Bricks Challah Buns and a bibb lettuce base - then topped with Blue crab, sriracha mayo and micro scallions.

I went for the Connecticut Style Lobster Roll ($19) - the Connecticut Style has hot seasoned clarified butter instead of a mayonnaise based sauce.

As a side I chose their Purple Potato Gratin (which doesn't appear to be on their menu right now). I didn't care for this - there wasn't much seasoning or flavor. I had a few bites and left the rest. :-(

My lobster roll was ok. The lobster was cooked perfectly - so for lobster - I loved it. The roll itself though was a lot of bread and I think I made a mistake by going Connecticut vs. Maine (mayo). There just wasn't much flavor so it was lobster and bread.

Why Should You Go? If you REALLY like lobster rolls then go - but this was nearly a $30 lunch just for me - and I didn't feel like it was anywhere near worth it. The lobster is cooked perfectly but not much flavor and $30 is steep for lunch. (Sandwiches don't come with a side - so it's all separate.)

Court Street Lobster Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food Hussy Recipe: Street Corn Salad

Mexican Street Corn is super popular right now - it's grilled corn topped with mayonnaise, cojita cheese and seasonings. There are also quite a few alterations on it to make it more of an everyday type of meal. 

I decided to jazz it up with a few more ingredients and make a pasta salad inspired by Mexican Street Corn. And because my hubby is allergic to eggs - I switched it up a little there as well.

The dressing is simple - sour cream, lime juice, lime zest, cumin, paprika, chili powder and salt. Typically you would use mayo - but you can combo it with sour cream or even plain greek yogurt. This dressing smells delicious - I could envision dipping some fries in this dip!

Next step is just to get all your ingredients together in a bowl - they're beautiful when they're all laid out - I added canned chicken, bacon, black beans, pasta, grape tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, cojita cheese and - of course - roasted corn!

Then you stir it up and make sure the ratios all look right - it's up to you if you want more or less of anything - use what you like. Don't let the recipe box you in - if you like it spicier - add some jalapeno - if you don't like tomatoes - leave them out!

After the ingredients are all together - then add your dressing and mix it all together. Then serve and/or refrigerate leftovers. I didn't have any problem with the avocado browning - I think with it mixed together with everything else - it was fine.

The Street Corn Salad was really great and it was perfect to pack for lunch for the week as well. It's an easy salad to whip up and you can really customize it to how you like. I hope you'll enjoy it! 
Street Corn Salad
Ingredients
Salad
  • 2 cups miniature farfalle pasta, cooked
  • 1 cup canned chicken, chopped 
  • 1/2 bag frozen corn
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 6-8 strips bacon, cooked & diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Cotija or Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled 
  • 1/2 can black beans, rinsed
Dressing
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Juice & zest of 1 lime
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes or until very hot. Spread corn in skillet and cook for about 5 minutes stirring once in between or until browned. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, corn, avocado, onions, cilantro, chicken, tomatoes, bacon, cheese and beans and toss.  
  3. In a small bowl combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk together until completely combined then toss with the salad. 

Food Hussy Review: Frenchie Fresh - Norwood

I love meeting up with former coworkers - we always try and go someplace new but affordable and - since we live on opposite sides of town - somewhere centrally located. This time we were really excited about the new place we were going to try! 

Frenchie Fresh is the fast casual burger place recently opened by Jean Robert. Yes - the acclaimed French chef that Cincinnati loves - now has a restaurant that serves casual food for under $15!

It's in the new development area of Rookwood by Jason's Deli and is in the former spot of Lime Taqueria. (RIP Lime) You order at the counter and they bring your burgers out to you. There's a good selection of soups, salads, mac & cheese, burgers and even a few specialty sandwiches - definitely a big menu for a small place.

 The Gene Kelly  |  11.50
Kansas City Beef with American Cheese,
Lettuce, Tomato and Red Onion

You can get the burgers American or Frenchie style - Frenchie is served open faced on an herbed baguette - we all chose that. 
The Pig City  |  12.50
Kansas City Beef with Garlic and Herb Cheese
and Bacon

Vegetarian Mac & Cheese: Penne Pasta, Leeks, Celery, Mushrooms and
Creamy Cheesy Béchamel Sauce ($7)

I'm such a macaroni and cheese addict - I had to try it. I went for the cheapest option - the vegetarian which featured leeks, celery and mushrooms. It was very very good. Not what I think of when you say Mac & Cheese but very good - definitely elevated. 

Frenchie Way (open faced): Texas Wagyu + Roasted Tomato Provençal + Olive Tapenade + Goat Cheese ($15)

Then I decided to make my own burger - there were so many interesting toppings and "burger" options (Beef, Turkey, Bison, Chicken, Wagyu, Lamb and Veggie) - that it was screaming for someone to do a make-your-own creation. I went all out with Wagyu, fun toppings like olive tapenade and roasted tomatoes and then topped it off with a big hunk of goat cheese.

Why Should You Go? I definitely think it's worth a try - it's a totally different vibe than Terry's Turf Club but the burger selection is on par. I'm a little worried as the night we were there - it was really dead and the only other people there were literally in a wheelchair and had oxygen. So I say - GO WHILE YOU CAN! 

Frenchie Fresh Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato