V + Chloe Beck’s February Movie List // Black History Month Is Not Over, it has Just Begun

Photo by Donald Tong on Pexels.com

With the closing of the month of February, black history month to some has come to an end, but what if we keep the momentum going even past this month. What if we can learn through different mediums of visual art, through the lens of different film directors, composers, cinematographers, sound engineers, artists, art historians, dancers, writers, performers, and those that advocate for those that do not have the platform to have a voice. What if our minds are not closed, except to hate and racial injustice. With what is going on in the world, with Russia and Ukraine, we must also see there is much work to be done everywhere. War has been amongst us, whether or not it is declared by mass media, and social media. Injustice is still spreading, most recently people are being turned away at Polish borders based on the color of their skin, not even just based on their nationality, yet the media is just showing the support in the welcoming of Ukrainian refugees into Poland, but which refugees is what we need to put a spotlight on. Awareness of injustice may not be easy for some to wrap their minds around, but what if a different medium of knowledge is brought about, through film. I myself learn through visual stimulation as well as audio, but that may not be the case for all. Below is a list of movies that have transformed my mind as well as life long friend Chloe Beck’s, whom is now the Director Of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion for Moulin Rouge! The Musical on Broadway, from when we were children to present day. Remember, the children are looking towards the adults to “do the right thing”, can you say you are helping to create change, or staying silent in a bubble that even you are not breaking….

TOP 19 MOVIES FOR FEBRUARY 2022

  1. ANTEBELLUM
  2. CORRINA, CORRINA
  3. THE HELP
  4. DO THE RIGHT THING
  5. HIDDEN FIGURES
  6. SELMA
  7. HARRIET
  8. QUEEN OF KATWE
  9. GHOSTS OF MISSISSIPPI
  10. JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
  11. LETS TALK ABOUT BILL – DOCUMENTARY
  12. BECOMING
  13. THE PIECES I AM – TONI MORRISON
  14. GOOD HAIR
  15. TANGERINE
  16. THE HATE YOU GIVE
  17. MR. SOUL
  18. THE ROSA PARKS STORY by Julie Dash
  19. The Forty-Year-Old Version, by Radha Blank

Peace, Love, and continued LEARNING,

V and Chloe Beck ( https://variety.com/2021/legit/news/moulin-rouge-the-musical-hires-chloe-beck-1235047241/#! )

Foodie Friday // Top Restaurants for Valentine’s Day 2022

Above Images from Khora Restaurant

The past couple of months have been a snow storm of adventures! Getting married, honeymoon, plans for opening VADA GALLERY in OTR in the Spring, the start of the VB in the City podcast, Mochi coming into our lives ( our 9 pound pup) and traveling in between all of the chaos. Franz has also been working away editing films for concerts at Fretboard brewery, booking music acts at the brewery as well as being ast manager, art dealer, and cookbook taste tester. To say we have been busy, is an understatement. Also, music, food, beer, + art lovers, stay tuned for an upcoming announcement regarding Fretboard Brewing Co. + a VADA GALLERY concert + art show coming this Spring! With all of the commotion, this birthday I wanted to head to the mountains, for some down time and to chill the F out…

Airbnb in Old Fort, NC

With the end of January, we did just that, and celebrated my birthday in Asheville, Hot Springs, Black Mountain, + Old Fort, North Carolina. The trip started off with a bang, with us arriving in Old Fort at a container house we booked through airbnb (Click here to book this spot) , where we celebrated the Bengals going to the Super Bowl! This is truly the year of the tiger. After a much needed trip to the One Stop, a local concert venue in Asheville, NC, the rest of the birthday time was spent writing and lounging, and also a bit of hot tub soaking, surrounded by the mountains. Needless to say I have completely fallen in love with these mountain towns since we were married in the area this past Summer. We can’t wait to keep coming back to try more local eats, hikes, and explore more galleries. With all of the r + r in these mountain towns, through various trips, I am happy to say I am almost finished with the VB IN THE CITY cookbook…finally. With every experience, and more and more travels, recipes seem to be just flowing, so sorry for the delay of the cookbook, but it will be worth it.

Even with feeling a restart in momentum through mountain air and love, there is still something about seeing the Cincinnati, Ohio skyline driving through Kentucky, in cut of the hill, on your way back from the Southern States, that makes home, really sweet home.

This Valentine’s Day we will be supporting local in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and I hope you all will too. Now here is the tricky, yet wonderful part, which restaurant should you venture to? Even though the weather may seem icy, the kitchens are fiery in this area of town, and are more than ready for you love birds. Below are my top picks for VALENTINES DAY 2022 in the Cincinnati, Ohio :

Abigail Street

Cincinnati, Ohio VALENTINES DAY 2022 TOP RESTAURANT PICKS //

Khora

21c

Subito

Domo

Pho Lang Thang

Nicola’s Ristorante

Mei

Sotto

Pearlstar Oyster Camp + Bar

Abigail Street

Pleasantry

French Crust

Orchids Palm Court

Le Bar a Boeuf

Mid City

Dish Featured above from Abigail street

Forno

KANJI

Shires

Lonely Pine Steakhouse

Ambar

The Palace at Cincinnatian Hotel

Branch

National Exemplar

Check the blog back this Sunday for even more Restaurant + BAR Suggestions for this Valentine’s Day in the Cincinnati, OHIO + NKY area.

Local Spotlight // North South Baking Co.

I am spoiled, I am spoiled with all of the brilliant boutiques, bakeries, witchy stores, and restaurants opening up in the Covington, Kentucky area. The newest of bakeries to enrich our neighborhood is North South Baking Co. Butter is a friend of mine, and thankfully North South Baking Co. is also a lover of the gorgeous creamy spread. If you’re looking for buttery, flaky, layered goodness of danish,croissants, and more, plus fresh breads, head to this bakery.

Knowing where our food comes from and its history is very important and also interesting to me. Not only does supporting our local farmers and botanists, revitalize the community around us economically, it also enriches our community through our pallets and hearts. By supporting local farmers and actually understanding where our food comes from, you in return are appreciating yourself, your family, and your neighbors as well as their businesses, which why would you not want to enrich the community you live in or visit. You literally can taste the difference between a freshly picked fruit compared to a frozen fruit, a loaf of bread that has been shipped and packaged for thousands of miles, and a loaf of bread that was baked fresh, with grain locally sourced, that very morning. Realistically and unfortunately not everyone has access to fresh fruits and grains, the upside is however that North South baking Co. is breaking the narrative and selling quality local produce and grains to all all, even in the city. North South baking co. is setting a new path, one that I hope other fellow Covington, Kentucky residents, and beyond can appreciate. By bringing farm fresh goods to the city and combining local grains, dairy, and produce, and then artfully constructing them into gorgeous pastries, it not only feeds city slickers like myself but also families, so they can have a bite of fresh fruits and grains, so that new memories can be made. Two of my favorite picks right now that take me back to the butter filled memories of Russel Springs, Kentucky and Nantucket, Massachusetts are the Swiss and Ham cheese croissant and blueberry cheesecake danish.

Below are some of the sources for the grains, dairy, and produce used in North South Baking Company’s products.

Grain

  • Janie’s Mill Organic Flour,
    Ashkum Illinois

Eggs & Dairy

  • The Egg Shack
  • Swallow Hill Jersey Dairy

Honey

  • Beelicious Honey
    Ludlow, KY

Produce Sources

  • Roothouse Aquaponics
    Batavia, OH
  • McGlasson Farms
    Hebron, KY
  • Shady Grove Farm
    Owenton, KY
  • Our Harvest Co Op,
    Cincinnati, OH

CLICK HERE TO BE DIRECTED TO THE NORTH SOUTH BAKERY CO HOLIDAY PRE – ORDER MENU

Travel // The Serpent Mound + Chillicothe, Ohio

In November, Franz and I decided to make our first spiritual trip. A trip we took to the Serpent Mound. The coats have come on, but the travel isnt anywhere near stopping, even when we travel in our own home state. November was Native American History month, and with that I wanted to learn more. One of my degrees is in Cultural Studies, along with my degree in art history. I wanted to learn more about the cultures so that when I deal art, I know the importance of the art history through all aspects, so that art doesn’t get miss-appropriated and so that eventually we will have more minority artists represented in the museums across the US. What people collect through art definitely influences what the mass people can see at museums, as a lot of times personal art collections are donated or exhibited at local art museums. Still I want to learn more, the Serpent mound, located in Peoples, Ohio, is one of the worlds most famous effigys.

“Serpent Mound is an internationally known National Historic Landmark built by the ancient American Indian cultures of Ohio. It is an effigy mound (a mound in the shape of an animal) representing a snake with a curled tail. Nearby are three burial mounds—two created by the Adena culture (800 B.C.–A.D. 100), and one by the Fort Ancient culture (A.D. 1000–1650). 

Thousands of years ago, Native Ohioans populated the landscape with mounds and massive earthworks. In the late 19th century, Harvard University archaeologist Frederic Ward Putnam excavated Serpent Mound, but he found no artifacts in the Serpent that might allow archaeologists to assign it to a particular culture. Based largely on the nearby presence of Adena burial mounds, later archaeologists attributed the effigy to the Adena culture that flourished from 800 B.C. to A.D. 100. This theory on the site’s origin was accepted until a 1991 site excavation used radiocarbon dating to determine that the mound was approximately 900 years old. This would suggest that the builders of the Serpent belonged to the Fort Ancient culture (A.D. 1000–1500). In 2014, another team of archaeologists presented new radiocarbon dates for the Serpent suggesting that it was built by the Adena culture at around 300 B.C. More work is needed to clarify the age of Serpent Mound.

The significance of Serpent Mound and other ancient Ohio earthworks has garnered international attention. In 2008, Serpent Mound and eight other Ohio American Indian earthworks were selected by the United States Department of the Interior for inclusion on the United States’ Tentative List of sites to be submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for inscription on the prestigious World Heritage List. If it is eventually inscribed on the World Heritage List later this decade, Serpent Mound will join the ranks of the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, Pompeii, Stonehenge and the Taj Mahal, all of which are World Heritage sites. World Heritage status has the potential to elevate local and international awareness about the site’s value, further encourage communities to protect and invest in its preservation and increase potentially beneficial tourism to the site. “

The day we went to the Serpent Mound, we bundled up, as it was about 30 degrees outside. Upon arrival, we stopped inside of the Serpent Mound museum, and then continued onto view the effigy itself. We climbed up the view tower, peered over and took in the presence of a structure, so full of history and magic, that for once I just looked out in silence. Walking around the Serpent Mound, on the same ground that sacred ancestors created such a structure, more than humbles ones ego. It really reminded me to make an impact on my time here on earth, that one day just my spirit and legacy will remain. We also checked out the Christmas town of Chilocothe, Ohio where you can find fudge, Christmas ornaments, candy, hot chocolate, Harry Potter inspired candies, the cutest clothing, even gifts for the pups and more. This little trip to peoples, Ohio and Chilocothe will delight the history buffs and activists, and those who want to honor the land in its glory, as well as those looking to bring in Holiday cheer this December. Happy exploring, and keep learning.

TRAVEL // 10 Places to Visit this Fall + Winter 2021

1.Stowe, Vermont

HOLIDAY VISIT TO STOWE, VERMONT | FEATURED SPOTS

Each year Franz and I make a list of places we want to venture to, of course we don’t usually make it to all of the favored spots on the list, but the goal is to travel to at least three destinations a year ( if we can squeeze in more by doing business while traveling, since we both work at VADA GALLERY and Franz works at Fretboard Brewery, than more trips galore are in store). Some of my favorite spots are not the usual travel destinations you would think of. Some are sleepy gorgeous towns like Black Mountain, NC and others are very well known travel destinations like like Napa Valley, CA (but have you thought of visiting Napa Valley in the Fall). Check out our list of some of my go-to places for 2021-2022 – with pictures to follow from our travels there. Happy planning creatives

Bear Pond Books. 38 S. Main St. 802-253-8236; stowebooks.com
The Bench. 492 Mountain Road. 802-253-5100; benchvt.com
Field Guide/Picnic Social
. 433 Mountain Road. 802-253-8088; fieldguidestowe.com
Laughing Moon Chocolates. 78 S. Main St. 802-253-9591; laughingmoonchocolates.com
Piecasso. 1899 Mountain Road. 802-253-4411; piecasso.com
PK Coffee. 1880 Mountain Road. 802-760-6151; pkcoffee.comShaw’s General Store. 54 Main St. 802-253-4040; shawsgeneralstore.com
Stowe Mercantile. 38 S. Main St. 866-454-3482; stowemercantile.comVermont Ski and Snowboard Museum. One S. Main St. 802-253-9911; vtssm.com

2 .Steamboat Springs, CO + Vail,

3.Black Mountain, NC

4. Napa Valley, CA

5. Asheville, NC

6.Baltimore, Maryland

7. New Orleans, LA

8. St. Lucia

9. NYC

10. St. Augustine, FL + DISNEYWORLD in Orlando,FL

Foodie Friday // The iconic Hathaway’s Diner NEW LOCATION

In every great sitcom there is a staple place where the cast gathers, to eat, drink and talk. Cincinnati and NKY seem to have many places that would be a perfect staple where a cast would gather for coffee or food. Hathaway’s diner in downtown, Cincinnati Ohio used to be located in the lower region of Carew Tower, passing the Netherlands plaza, a gorgeous hotel that even if you are a local, you should dine and stay in. Hathaways is a blast from the past, I know because I loved going there as a little girl getting ice cream and milkshakes, paired with crisp yet soft French fries for lunch. There is something so simple yet something so perfect about traveling back in time to a place where calorie counting didn’t matter, and sitting at a counter for a cheeseburger and a coke was an after the doctors appointment treat. The irony in it all should be talked about over Hathaways carrot cake and all the breakfast items. One of my favorite items on the menu right now is the “Geneva” burger with mustard and Mayo. This burger is an ode to an amazing woman who has worked her magic there and for all of us, for years. There is something special about an establishment that has warmed peoples hearts and belly’s since 1956.

If you haven’t been to the new Hathaway’s Diner location, go now, with its retro style, it’s a perfect spot for a simple milk shake lunch date – right before heading to the movies or venturing out around in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hathaway’s Diner New Location //

441 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45202

513.621.1332

/ https://m.facebook.com/hathawaysdiner/

Local Spotlight // The Governor

The city of Milford is the perfect spot to spend a Fall day or night. The quaint little shops with gorgeous candles and amazing ornaments, a witchy store, Enchanted Moments, and the Governor, one of my favorite restaurants at the moment. The Governor is a modern diner and bar nestled between the centuries-old buildings of bustling Main Street, in Milford, OH. Brothers, Paul and Neil Barraco, provide insane, brunch, lunch, and dinner. This is where the best chicken sandwich in the city resides, the GOVERNOR TSO’S FRIED CHICKEN:Buttermilk Pickle Brine. Sichuan Chili Spice,Apricot Slaw,Lemon Mayo, Cucumber. This place is a stoners dream, with beautifully constructed GOVERNOR REUBEN: Grilled Cincinnati Rye,House Pastrami, Maple 1000 Island,Toasted Swiss and Spicy Kraut. The also have a gorgeous dreamed up breakfast treat called SO JELLY: Donut Bun, Pork Sausage, Cheddar Cheese, Sunny Egg,Sweet Tomato Jam, Powdered Sugar. This place is perfect for displaying how creative our culinary scene is.

There are so many amazing items on the Governor’s menu, that I know for sure we will be back. I have to note that when going its more than charming sitting outside on the patio, its a perfect place to people watch and graze.

Contact Us

Follow this link to purchase gift cards online!

Location

231 Main Street
Milford, Ohio 45150 

Hours

Monday – Saturday
10am – 9pm

Sunday
10am – 3pm

Contact

(513) 239-8298

Recipe Roundup // Covington Style Chili

I love Ohio and Kentucky in the Fall, I love cooking during this season most of all. One of the newest recipes that I have created while living in this hauntingly gorgeous cobblestone lined city of Covington, Kentucky, is Covington Style Chili. I grew up eating chili, walking to the Skyline in Clifton was and still is a ritual, New York style chili was also always on the menu growing up, now I’m searching for the best chili spots on all of our travels, which has been a new tradition. So when picking out which of my recipes I would put in my first cookbook, I knew that a chili recipe was definitively going to be apart of the book, but which recipe( I have a couple chili recipes). The Covington style chili recipe has a bit of a kick, I added jalapenos, about a 1/2 cup of chili powder, cayenne pepper, sprinkled through out while stirring, and lots of diced tomatoes, onions, green peppers,and even more spices. Get ready to kick off relaxing or football watching Sundays – with this soon to be family favorite recipe. Why is this chili named Covington Style Chili? I added a bit more spice than the traditional chili that you normally find in the Cincinnati, Ohio region, and like Covington, this chili has a bit of a New Orleans flavor.

Covington Style Chili recipe

Ingredients

80% Lean Ground Beef 21/2 pounds

2 green peppers

2 jalapenos

3 onions

2 28 oz cans of diced tomatoes

4 white mushrooms – finely diced

2 15 oz cans of organic chili beans

1 1/2 24 oz jars of Chunky Green Pepper & Mushroom Pasta Sauce

2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper

A heaping mound of sea salt and ground pepper

1/2 cup of chili powder

tablespoon of cumin

two tablespoons of Italian seasoning

Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning – to ones taste

olive oil – to coat the pan when browning the ground beef

3/4 cup of unbleached flour

16 oz bag of mexican style cheese

8 oz shaved smoked gouda

sour cream 16 oz

parsley 2 teaspoons

Directions

First you will need to prepare your pan to brown the meat, by putting a couple dashes of olive oil to coat the pan, once the oil is heated brown the ground beef and add salt, pepper, chili powder, and Italian seasoning, set the heat to high/medium stirring constantly until the meat is browned. You will want to sprinkle these spices throughout the browning process. Once the meat is browned, set aside and drain the meat, and then place the browned drained meat in a separate large pot with a lid on medium heat.

Once the meat is in the large pot you can add the rest of the ingredients into the pot with the meat, stirring while adding the diced tomatoes, diced onions, diced green peppers, diced jalapenos, pasta sauce, mushrooms, chili beans. While stirring the chili add the same amount of seasoning to the chili as you did when you were browning the meat earlier. So you will basically repeat the seasoning process while stirring the ingredients by adding even more sea salt, chili powder, Creole seasoning, ground pepper, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning.

When stirring all of the ingredients of the chili together, make sure to keep the heat on low, stirring occasionally for 50 minutes, add dashes of flour throughout the cooking time to add thickness to the chili.

Top with shredded cheese and shaved smoked gouda and parsley.

***For a vegetarian take on Covington style Chili, sans the meat and add rotini pasta for a hearty taste.