Thursday, July 21, 2016

Art By ASM Food Blog Has Moved!

Hello Everyone! Thank You for following my blog. I just want to say, my food blog has moved. I am now at Please come find me there. I will continue to write here to update all of you but please bookmark my new page! Hope to see you there! Thank You for always being there, Annamaria

Thursday, December 5, 2013

DIY Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Bulb Ornament

What is the Christmas Holiday without Rudolph, next to baby Jesus of course?  Well Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer if you were wondering!  I can't go a year without watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and now that I have kids, it's become their must see every Christmas Season!  I guess they had no choice since I have an obsession with Rudolph.  

Rudolph for me is the Reindeer I think many of us can relate to.  Finding our way through life with expectations hanging over us.  Who am I to put a damper on the story?  Guess it's my deep thinking getting the best of me.

Well really Rudolph gives me this warm fuzzy feeling inside during the Christmas Season.  I'd be lying if I said I don't watch it all year round!  I think it's natural to just feel so nostalgic when watching Rudolph even though it was created way before I was born.  About 2 years after my parents got married when they were still in Italy.  I think I can remember seeing it when I was little, in the 80's next to our very 80's Christmas Tree.  Ya know, with the annoying Tinsel draped over and my mom's creative take on putting snow on the tree by using cotton balls and stretching them out and laying it on tree branches.  Thinking about it now, what a design disaster!  I think that every tree decorated in the 80's might of been a decorating disaster.  Not like now where you can pretty much have your Christmas Tree be a reflection of you!  So here it is, sitting watching Rudolph with the warm glow of our 80's tree and just thinking about how much fun it would be at the North Pole with Rudolph.  The obsession began....

My obsession began with just watching Rudolph.  Now we are lucky to have figurines, toys, stuffed animals, ornaments, everything Rudolph.  Now you can make the idea of Rudolph yourself in just about any way!  Here I show you how to make a Rudolph Ornament!  I saw one made at a local craft store, Pat Catan's Craft Center while buying a glue gun for a Girl Scout project.  I think that a glow was surrounding it with Angels singing a harmonic "ahhhhhh" in the background!  I had finally found my first choice Christmas Craft!  It was easy to figure out what to get to make him.  I've made ornaments before.  But lucky for you, instead of me dragging out my explanation, Darice Craft Supplies was great to create a turtorial sheet on it and I grabbed it!  So I'll use their step by step process explanation.  If anything was changed, I changed it maybe to explain it in more common layman's terms.  So here goes!  If you do make my beloved Rudolph or have a memory or love of Rudolph, (The most famous reindeer of all), please comment below and share it with me!  I'd love to hear it and of course post your pic of your ornament if you made a Rudolph one either like mine or your own way, I'd love to see it!  Put it on my Facebook Page!  Art By ASM on Facebook  Don't forget to like my page!

Okay here are the materials you will need!

100 mm Lightbulb Ornament #2610-64
Brown Enamel Paint, I used Americana's Enamel Paint in Dark Chocolate
Brown Chenille Stems (Pipe Cleaners)
1/2 inch Red Tinsel Pom Poms #1153-30
Wiggle Eyes (Googly Eyes) #ME12-PP
Holly Berry Picks of Choice
Ribbon of Choice for Hanging (I used 1/8 inch Red Polyester Ribbon)

Hot Glue Gun
Wire Cutters or Heavy Duty Scissors (Don't use your Fabric Scissors Naughty!)
Small Dixie Cups or Wire Rack for paint to drain 
(I got creative and used my empty Snapple Bottle for Paint Draining, lol)

1.  Remove Cap from Ornament and pour a small amount of brown enamel paint into the bulb.  Swirl, Shake or Tap to get it evenly and completely coated!  Turn ornament upside down on a wire rack or dixie cup or Snapple bottle, lol for excess paint to dry out.  Let dry completely and then replace the cap.

2  Using the Hot Glue Gun, glue on the wiggle eyes and a red tinsel pom pom nose.

3.  Cut a chenille stem (pipe cleaner) into fourths to make antlers.  Twist one stem around another about halfway down the stem.  Twist the one end of the stem around the ornament hangar.  Repeat with the other 2 chenille stem sections.

4.  Glue a section of holly and berries to the cap of the ornament.

5.  Cut your ribbon to have as a hanger making sure to place it so when hung, the ornament will face outwards.

So Ta Daaaa!  You have a Rudolph Ornament!  Isn't he adorably cute????!!!!  I think so!  This was super easy to make and might I add super cheap to make!  What also sold me on making this ornament is that the bulb itself is PLASTIC!  So no dog or child of mine will break it!  The only last touch I would do is put your name and date on the back of the ornament so you can remember when or who made it!  Might I add this makes an excellent gift?  I love homemade gifts!  I think they help spread the Christmas/Holiday Cheer!

My kids just went Gaga (Not Lady Gaga) but crazy gaga over this!  This is a great ornament to do with the kids!  Most of all have fun and enjoy your time to relax and craft by yourself or spend some quality time with family!

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus....Happy Holidays!  ;-)

Much Love, Peace, Blessings & Hugs!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Colorful Beauty Haul in BH Cosmetics

I have to tell you when I first discovered this makeup I was unsure about what to think because of it's crazy deals and crazy steals.  Though, being an artist, a girl and a lover of makeup I was so gravitated.  I looked up on You Tube for some makeup tutorials, one of my favorite channels being Nitraab!  She is just so pretty and amazing and I've really taken a lot of her makeup advice.  There are many but she's probably one of my favorites.  I'll provide her link at the end of this blog.  

So I gave in.  I looked BH Cosmetics on Facebook, Scoured the Internet for reviews, checked them out on Instagram, Twitter and finally their website.  What caught me besides the amazing crazy amount of colors is the crazy deals and appreciation they have for their customers.  When they hit a certain amount of followers on Facebook they provided everyone with a deal as a thank you!  This was my chance to try them out.  I couldn't wait to get my hands on these palettes.  It doesn't end there because they just keep coming out with amazing deals, it's hard to not give in.  They didn't have to twist my arm.

I got my first shipment, I slowly opened up the package.  So darn excited.  Like a little kid in a candy shop.  Perfectly packaged, I pulled out my beautiful palettes.  I managed to pick up a few other things like makeup remover towelettes, lip gloss and some pencil liners.  My daughter being in the same room I think was just as excited. I opened them up and I was just in awe!  All the colors.  When, where and how will I use these colors and as I look at my daughter it dawned on me.  Halloween, Gymnastics Shows, Holidays and Girl Time.

Above is their 4th and 5th Edition Palettes and Lip Gloss Palettes.  240 Eyeshadows and 66 Lip Glosses, Really????  Yes Really?  Excessive????  No not at all!  Possiblities????  Yes, Endless!!!!

This was my second order where they had another great deal offering BH Party Girl Colors and Cosmetic Brushes.

Well I waited to try them out and write this review.  I was bad with this whole order but I didn't spend more than $50.00.  Which may I add shipping was free and I never make an online purchase I hit Retail Me Not.  Adding extra coupon codes in the order I got a little extra off.  Thank You Retail Me Not!  They have coupon codes for just about every retailer to do your online shopping with great discounts.

BH Cosmetics Palettes feature tons of colors, brushes, primers in an assortment of editions and in every category.  From Face to Eyes to Lips.  As well as accessories.  

If you think about it, we go into a drugstore, grocery store etc.... to buy makeup and we spend an arm and a leg on these makeups not knowing if they're good or not and we are at home feeling & ripped off. First of all I have to tell you before buying, look on the internet.  Get other makeup lovers opinions.  Professional and Freelance Makeupaholics.  They are a great source of info.

Here is what I learned.  Take advantage of their deals.  Head over to Retail Me Not and grab some coupon codes.

I love BH Cosmetics Eyeshadows and Lip Glosses.  The colors are highly pigmented and go on great.  You can get very creative with the colors.  Don't be afraid to use them.

I suggest buying an eye primer to put on before you use eyeshadow, it helps it stay on and pop.  BH Cosmetics offers an eye primer that also acts as a lip stick primer.  That works great as well and I recommend it.

I did it relatively light and I didn't have my camera to do a close up of my eye makeup.  Not happy with the eyeliner as it was Waterproof and dried before I could do it the way I wanted it to, also it made my lashes hard coated.  So if you plan on crying, waterproof eyeliner from Maybelline is the way to go.  I have watery eyes at times so I use waterproof eyeliner but honestly I think I will stick with regular to make it a better winged look.  I think I tried to apply eyeliner like 3 times.  This all took longer than expected.  The lipstick is one of the reds in the BH Cosmetics lip glosses applied with a lip brush and a sparkly glitter which you can't see in the photo but provided some fun.  I also added some Wet n Wild's MEGA LAST® LIQUID LIP COLOR in Red My Mind.  It lasts a long time but if you remove it off your lips it comes off not so lovely.  Here are a few photos using BH Cosmetics.  I will be adding more looks using BH Cosmetics as I use them and experiment.  Foundation Face Makeup (MAC Studio Fix) and Eyebrow Makeup provided by MAC Cosmetics.

For Saint Patrick's Day my daughter wanted to be festive so I did a flag influenced colors on her eyelids using a BH Palette in Orange, Yellow and Green to show her Irish Pride.

Another look Influenced by her Monster High Doll Frankiestein.  Yes that's blue lipstick!

Funny thing about the above picture my friend had asked me to do it in Black & White and said it looked like Morticia from Addams Family.  So I turned into Black and White and this is what she came up.  This is Angelica Huston as Morticia.  I think that I may just be her for Halloween.  Need to make my makeup just a little more dramatic.  Morticia Addams photo from Internet and side by side created by my friend.  What do you think?

I don't think I'll be buying eyeshadows at the grocery store anymore.  For what I can get for 4 colors at the store, I can get 120 colors through BH Cosmetics.  Well worth it.  I see myself buying these as gifts for friends and clients!

These are perfect for Costume Makeup and for Performance Shows like Gymnastics, Wedding and Bridal Makeup too!

My Favorite Freelance Makeup Artist Tutorial Videos:

Please checkout my review on my favorite foundation makeup in my next post.

Have a great weekend & Holiday!
xo, Annamaria

Sunday, November 18, 2012

2 Ingredient La La Lemon Angel Cake Bars

1 Box Angel Food Cake Mix
15 oz. Can Lemon Pie Filling

Preheat oven to 350'F.

Mix together Angel Food Cake Mix with Lemon Pie Filling gently with a spoon or form until just incorporated.  It will start to fluff up and seem foamy.  Make sure not to over mix, DO NOT USE A MIXER.

Spread out into a 9x13 nonstick or parchment paper lined pan.  Do not grease pan.  Spread evenly.

Bake until golden brown on top 25-35 minutes, depending on your oven.  Let cake cool.  Cake may seem puffy but will fall.  This is supposed to happen.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar while still warm.  Cool completely, then cut into bars.  This cake is like a chewy, fluffy, lemony and marshmallowy dense angel food cake texture.

That's it, it's that easy!

Have a great weekend,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rainbow Babies & Children's Miracle Network Hospitals & Bruegger's Bagels and Bakery Free Coffee Day

(Photo courtesy of UH Hospitals, Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital)

When I got an opportunity to promote this donation/fundraising event with Bruegger's Bagels and Bakery and Rainbow Babies & Children's Miracle Network Hospital, it came easy to me.  I have a personal connection to these hospitals and many of my friends do to.

See Bruegger's is presenting a Free Coffee Day on November 14th. from the time they open to 2pm.  You can get any beverage for Free.  You have the opportunity to donate money to these hospital that do tremendous work and care for our nation's children and beyond or you can buy their Bottomless Mug and get any beverage for as many times as you like for FREE for 1 year!

This is an amazing this that Bruegger's has partnered up with.  It's a great cause and a great way to thank you for your patronage.

I have a personal story to share with you.  I don't talk about it much because it's hard to explain and it's so personal to our whole family.  Once our family was blessed with a presence of an angel.  He wasn't here long but he brought many smiles and tears of joy along the journey of his life and that was my nephew T.J.

I can't say exactly what kind of condition my nephew had but it was one that started in the womb and it's so very rare.  My dearest nephew, the first grandchild of the family was brought in this world barely having a chance.  He always amazed me.  How he fought.  He fought through every obstacle, every seizure every disability.  Though all the problems he faced, he was loved so dearly.

My dear nephew might of had many disabilities but because of the care given by these network of hospitals, he got great quality care and was cared for like any child and treated with love and understanding.  He was an amazing little guy.  When you thought he was about to give up he surprised you with another miracle.  He surpassed what they said he would live to and when God took him we knew he was finally at peace.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a happy healthy baby all the time.  But when there is that special little angel that graces us with their presence we are lucky to have this special team of people in these organizations that are there for us when we need the help for our children.  My nephew's name is T.J. for short.  He has a healthy big brother by who is 11 now.  My nephew Christian was also a special baby too even though he's not a baby anymore!  Christian too needed help when he was a baby and came into this world.  He was luckier than his older brother and with the studies and treatments that are partnered with hospitals, they were able to help my nephew Christian live and be a strong a boy!  He's quite the talented boy!  He never forgets his older brother and keeps his memory dear to him.  We all do.  We have little special memories that are near and dear to us of T.J. and makes us grateful the happy healthy children we do have and Thank God everyday for their happy healthy lives.

My Nephew Christian with my Brother Tony who is an Iraq War Veteran as well....
He was born the exact day after my car accident, we were in the hospital at the same time!

So I ask you for your support to stop by your local Bruegger's Bagels and Bakery for this special day event. On November 14, 2012 until 2pm.  Show your support and know that you can make a difference.  You can donate and you can buy their featured Bottomless Mug for $160.00 which gives you free coffee for a year!  That comes out to $0.43 (43 cents) per day for a cup of coffee!!!!  I know I've spent more than that in a year for coffee and it doesn't help anything except break my wallet!  So why not at least do it all at once and be guaranteed as much coffee as you'd like for one year, part of the proceeds will go to helping kids like my nephews.  To help them have better chances for life and the kind of life they have for the time they are here.  These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.

Here is a copy of the promotional article:
(BURLINGTON, Vt.) Oct. 24, 2012 – Bruegger’s Bagels kicks off its annual fundraising for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals today with a coffee-flavored campaign that benefits children’s hospitals across the U.S. The bagel chain, known for its authentic, award-winning New York style bagels, will donate a portion of proceeds from sales of its popular Bottomless Mugs through the end of the year.

Bruegger’s Bottomless Mug Club started more than 10 years ago, and has been helping out local children’s hospitals since 2010. Guests who purchase the Bottomless Mug receive free coffee, tea and soda for the remainder of 2012 and throughout 2013, saving an average of $300 per year. Sales begin today at nearly all of 300+ Bruegger’s locations nationwide.

“Through the Bottomless Mug campaign, Bruegger’s staff and loyal guests can work miracles together for their local children’s hospital,” said Bruegger’s Bagels President David Austin. “Our customers love the benefits of the Bottomless Mug, but more importantly, enjoy the opportunity to help kids in need.”

The highlight of the national campaign comes on Wednesday, Nov.14, when Bruegger’s hosts its popular annual Free Coffee Day until 2 p.m. Guests can enjoy their first cup on Bruegger’s while donating their spare change (or more) to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at canisters located by the register. In 2011, guests contributed more than $30,000 on Free Coffee Day.

"Bruegger’s Bagels is such a valued partner, raising both awareness and funds for our local hospitals,” said Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Chief Corporate Partnerships Officer Clark Sweat. "Through sales of its coffee mugs and the support of its guests, Bruegger’s helps us do more good for millions of children and families across the U.S.”

Last year, Bruegger’s donated nearly $100,000 to benefit kids and families in need through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. In addition to the Bottomless Mug campaign, Bruegger’s neighborhood bakeries host fundraisers and events for local children’s hospitals throughout the year.

About Bruegger's Enterprises, Inc. Bruegger's Enterprises, Inc. (BEI), a leader in the fast casual restaurant segment, operates more than 300 Bruegger’s bakeries in North America. Renowned for its award-winning bagels, Bruegger's offers a wide variety of freshly prepared breakfast and lunch options made with high-quality, simple ingredients served with its unique brand of hospitality. Bruegger's is dedicated to the communities it serves and supports charitable causes locally and nationally. BEI’s parent company, Groupe Le Duff, SA, is the world’s second largest company in the bakery-cafĂ© sector. Founded in 1983, BEI is headquartered in Burlington, Vt. For more information, please visit or become a fan on Facebook at

About Children’s Miracle Network HospitalsChildren’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds for 170 nonprofit children’s hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, ensuring that every dollar is helping local kids. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at

You can visit Bruegger's Bagels & Bakery on the internet and look for a location by you.

Visit Children's Miracle Network Hospitals website to learn more about them!

This is my nephew's grave and on his plaque he has a special poem...

Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there. I did not die.
 ~Mary Elizabeth Frye

This is the original poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye:

Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
~Mary Elizabeth Frye

Although sometimes it's really hard to not cry because it is was a sad time but he did brings us so much joy.  Although he could not talk, walk, see or eat on his own.  He knew our touch, he knew when we were there. I'll never forget when I had to hold him and he squeezed me tight.  That is a feeling I'll never forget.  So please, help these organizations, these hospitals who have helped so many children in their lives.  I know that so many families and children would appreciate it.  Lets not forget our little ones who depend on us to help them make a better day tomorrow.

Remember November 14th!  Only until 2pm!  I'll be there and I am getting my yummy coffee in memory of my nephew and give to help.  Don't forget to enjoy some amazing bakery and goodies that Bruegger's has to offer!  Thank you everyone!

Thank You & God Bless,

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Honey Ham & Baby Swiss Crescent Calzone

Were you ever so hungry but you just didn't know what to make?  Nothing could be easier than this crescent calzone.  I mean, it felt like it took me literally 5 minutes to make.  Took me longer to take the pictures than the actually assembly of it.  What I ended up having was this AMAZING, WARM, FLAVORFUL, GOOEY, CHEESY and YUMMY dinner.  Now I was satisfied with just this but if you were to turn it into a meal for like 4 people, I'd double the recipe and make a salad or some potatoes like French Fries, Roasted Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes or whatever, even a veggie too.  I went solo on this one.

So basically it was just taking my lunch meat, cheese slices and rolled it up in a non-perforated recipe ready crescent roll sheet.  I've done step by step photos with instructions.  I have to mention, I used Baby Swiss in this recipe, My favorite is Guggisberg Baby Swiss.  I love it because it melts perfectly, it's creamy and the perfect taste.  It's not a harsh hard Swiss that many people are used to.  So if you kinda have a love & hate relationship with Swiss, I would try this Guggisberg Baby Swiss.  You will not be disappointed, at least I wasn't.  If you don't like Swiss AT ALL, you can certainly use another cheese and if you don't like Honey Ham, you certainly can swap it out for any other lunch meat, or cooked steak or chicken sliced thin.

THIS RECIPE MAKES ONE Calzone enough for 2 people

Honey Ham & Baby Swiss Crescent Calzone
1 Refrigerated Pillsbury Recipe Creations Crescent Dough or Crescent Roll Dough with Perforations Sealed
1/2 Pound Honey Ham or Any Lunch Meat or Thinly Sliced Cooked Meat (Steak, Chicken or Pork)
1/2 Pound Sliced Baby Swiss Cheese or Your Favorite Sliced Cheese, you can also used Shredded Cheese.
Any Spread like Ranch Dressing, Mustard, Honey Mustard, Thousand Island Dressing, Italian Dressing
(I wouldn't use mayo inside, while baking it could get icky, I would slop it on while you eat it or in a dipping cup.  You can also skip this step completely)
You can certainly add some veggies too if you'd like, like Sauteed Mushroom, Peppers, Roasted Red Peppers, Pepperoncini or Onions, etc....  (If adding veggies do so on top of the cheese).

Preheat Oven to 350'F.

Line a Baking/Cookie Sheet with Parchment Paper.

First Step is to unroll your crescent dough and stretch it out a little but do not tear it.  Just to get it out of it's tight form from being in the can.

Lay your lunch meat down or your cheese down first, (I think this worked better the second time around, helps not to make the dough soggy).

Add your sliced or shredded cheese on top of the lunch meat.  Leave about a half inch space so that you can pinch close.

Start at the long end and begin rolling to the end.  Pinch all opening together.  Snip with a scissors or poke top with a fork to do some venting.  Cook until a Golden Brown, it varies depending on temperature but I checked it about 15-20 minutes in.  You may see some cheese oozing.  That's completely fine!  Means it's hot and cheesy!  =)

Important step is to let it set up before cutting because if you don't it will just smash and fall apart.  You want some stability while eating this.

I hope you enjoy, we sure did.  I think I just thought up my most versatile recipe yet.  It might of been made before by others but hey for me, I thought of it!  ;)

Stay tuned for my sweet dessert version using this method....Can you guess what I might use?  Here are some photos....

Before laying the lunch meat down or cheese down, this is when you add your spread lightly and gently over your crescent dough.
This is when I put down the cheese first over the stretched crescent dough.

Secondly, place your lunch meat or cheese down, whichever way you do it.
This is when you can add your veggies.

Start at the end and start rolling....

Finished rollings, do small snips, just a couple on the stop or poke with a fork to vent.

Bake in a 350'F oven for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  

Enjoy and I hope you make it.  Let me know how it turns out.  Don't forget to add some sides to complete the meal!  YUMMY YUMMY!

Happy November (EEK! Already!),

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall Perfection at Bruegger's Bagels

How it was great to get invited to check out the "Behind the Scenes" in the making of the yummy Bruegger's Bagels Blog Event.  I got an email telling me that I was invited to try some new menu items and get to hear the whole process of creation to customer service.

I've worked pretty much every position in the restaurant business.  Honestly, it took me back to back in the day of working in the industry.  It brought back great memories of having a blast while working and making some great friend, not to mention the skills I learned in the process.

I was late.  Who me?  Yeah me!  Yeah Yeah, I know....but seriously time is never on my side!  Something always disrupts my schedule.  I just don't get lucky with time no matter how hard I try.  Something always drags me.  Nonetheless, I went, late or not!  I did catch some informative information and got to try some things I never had at Bruegger's.

The last time I've had Brugger's Bagels was back when I worked in Downtown Cleveland for a big Medical Insurance Company and at lunch time, if it was nice outside, a few of us would go on a walk to eat something.  One of the places was Bruegger's.  My favorite was to eat a signature bagel sandwich called, "The Leonardo da Veggie".  It has Light herb garlic cream cheese, roasted red peppers, muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato & red onion. Yum! On a fresh chewy and crusty bagel that has been toasted, well it's just an artistic sandwich fit for an artist named after an artist!

Sadly, as I ventured out of the hectic city work, avoiding deadlock rush hour traffic, paying for parking and gas.  I was glad to let it go.  Along with it I left my love of Bruegger's.  That was the end of it sadly.  There was no other "Bagel Place" that fit the Bruegger criteria.  Then many years later Panera was opened near me.  I can't really compare the two.  They are very different and at the time Panera replaced Bruegger's because that was in my area.  Panera was introduced to me when I would visit my cousin in Columbus, Ohio where I first tried Panera, then when I would go to Canada and it happen to be at a break station.  Then when I worked at another medical insurance company, a competitor of the last company I worked for, we would have a "Bagel Lady" who came in every morning and sell bagels.  The company that I worked for was in the middle of nowhere.  So it was nice someone would bring something for us to purchase.  I fell in love with the Asiago Bagel and then was told it was Panera Bagels.  Well it was cheaper obviously if I bought my own and that is what I did.

This however is not a review for Panera but my first love, Bruegger's!  Which I am so grateful my love has now been rekindled!  Yum!  I also got to meet Bruegger''s Chef Philip Smith.  He's from England and he opened Bruegger's to us and explained the ins and outs of Bruegger's!  It was nice!  I had little Johnny with me and he was definitely occupied with some crafts of the season.  I thought, recognizing  that some of us our moms and basically can't just drop our kid off to go to a blog event, they involved our children!  Major Brownie Points!  Made me feel really connected to the company on a personal level.  Although the craft Johnny had to work with, combined candy and apples both which he rather eat than be crafty!  That's my Johnny!

At this point in the above picture he was put in his stroller because he grew quite restless.  LOL!  Johnny restless?  Never!  =)

I arrived right when Chef was touring the back kitchen.  Very small and not much room.  I never saw a small kitchen like this with a restaurant, but I remembered that they work with a very small menu necessities.  Complexity a little but still humble, but flavor and care in products much bigger!  Here is Chef in the cooler going over some processes that Bruegger's takes.  Very interesting, I could tell he took pride and they are specific on how they developed a product.

The bagels in this freezer are developing until they hit the huge oven.  Chef is holding some Salmon that Bruegger's uses on menu items.  I looked around to judge freshness and cleanliness.  It was all in check.

We then sat down with Chef and talked and I wanted to know where he came to be as a Chef.  I learned that he was in Italy for 4 months and he impressed me with speaking in Italian.  I was taken off guard.  He had asked me in Italian, if I spoke Italian, and although I do, I answered him in English.  I guess I'm just used to talking it with family and friends.  Pretty funny.  We also both had in common that we both worked for the Ritz Carlton Hotel.  Pretty cool eh?  He worked at the one in Washington DC and I was in Downtown Cleveland.  I guess when you work in the restaurant industry, you sometimes end up crossing paths with other people at some point!  Although when I did spend my time at the hotel it was nothing to do with working with the food aspect but more in the business area.  It all ties in together.

I enjoyed how Chef gave us some casual talking time.  Very personal.

So okay I am getting to the food.  Yes it was as good as I remembered it.  I would like to say I am pretty diverse in foods but I have never ever eaten Butternut Squash in any form.  However, we got to have and I took a bowl home o f their incredibly amazing Butternut Squash Soup which is also vegetarian.  I first would describe it with it's flavors as similar to Tomato Soup but better.  It was so good, buttery, creamy and great savory flavor perfect to have with a chewy fresh bagel.  The right thing to have on a rainy October day!  

Some of their signature soups, the orange one is their Butternut Squash Soup.  Photo courtesy of Bruegger's Bagels.

As for the bagels, well yes they are as good as they look!

There is no hiding what goes into these bagels and they weren't afraid to show it on the impressive spread that was laid out for us.  So here are the basic ingredients that go into their yummy bagels.

I got to have their new seasonal items, one of the newer ones being the Cranberry Apple Bagel.  Sweet, tart and chewy, yummy!  Now when you make a great product and you add the flavors of Autumn with it, you get some tasty creations!  For instance the Pumpkin Bagels & Pumpkin Cream Cheese, that's it, you're set!  

Photo Courtesy of Bruegger's Bagels & Bakery.
Pumpkin Bagel with Pumpkin Cream Cheese.

Buuuuuut, I wouldn't miss their Pumpkin Spice Latte!  This is where I say O-M-G!!!!

Okay the Pumpkin Spice Latte was just AMAZING!  Warm, cozy, creamy, topped of with Whip Cream and drizzled with Caramel!  Yeah that did me in!  Mmmmmmm, I was happy!  Perfect to go with this amazing scenery I caught that day....  Perfectly goes together or at least puts you in the mood!  This is when I am so blessed to live in the Midwest and see this amazing leaf color changing experience!

(C) ASM 2012, All Rights to this Photo Reserved By Me, Do Not Copy.

Well, the perfect end to this event was a bag of goodies.  Bruegger's spoiled us with a sack of bagels, plain and veggie cream cheese tubs with cute bagel balloons tied to the bags.  Soon as my Johnny saw the balloons, it was time to go!  See my son has an obsession with balloons and he will stop at nothing until he has one in hand.  Luckily it was at the end and I had to go.  It was all about the balloons at this time!

I just want to thank Becki, Chef Smith, Amber, Tina and everyone at Bruegger's Bagels and Bakery in Westalake for your invite, warm welcomes and great experience and knowledge into your company, hardwork and products!  I am glad to have been brought back to my love of Bruegger's Bagels back into my life!  I am a forever a customer and recommend this highly to everyone to try Bruegger's because I know they will love it!  Now just I wish....  Please open one by me!!!!  =)

Also it was great to meet other Cleveland Bloggers!  I look forward to getting to know all of you more!

So all of you, my readers from everywhere, find a Bruegger's by you!  Try everything, it's all awesome!  Definitely taste the products of the season!  You will not be disappointed!  Now I am craving for Bruegger's!    It's perfect for breakfast, lunch, a mid snack and a light dinner or full dinner!

Go try the TRIO and oh yeah they do Catering!
Photo Courtesy of Bruegger's Bagels &Bakery.

Please let me know if you have any questions!  I'll be more than happy to answer them.

Here is a beautiful little seating area outside of Bruegger's.  Johnny spent an outdoor moment with me and he threw a coin into the fountain!  Then we were off to make some stops at a neighboring city.  That's a later blog!  The fountain was tucked in this little area.  I just love Westlake, The Promenade and Crocker Park.

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Happy Fall Everyone!