Tuesday, October 8, 2013


I used my candy thermometer for the first time and added a new sweet to my repertoire. As usual, I was inspired to make this particular thing because I happened to have peanuts lying around. And what's a better treat made with peanuts than peanut brittle?

For a first attempt it was damn near perfect. I think the only thing I might do differently is use raw peanuts or add the peanuts later in the cooking. The taste was great and the texture was crunchy that melted into sticky-smooth. It also didn't linger on your teeth like candy likes to do, which was an unexpected bonus.

I found so many recipes that equated peanut brittle with Christmas. It's not part of my holiday memories, but it might be this year.

Almond Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Double leftovers. I made some cupcakes to use up the egg yolks that I had from making a meringue-based frosting for different cupcakes and to use up the leftover frosting itself.

I substituted almond extract for vanilla for something different. I cut down the recipe since I had 5 egg yolks, but it still made 12 cupcakes and 2 heart-shaped ramekins.


My mom got the DVD box set of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century for Christmas and we watched the first two-part episode today. I remember watching the show as a kid, but I don't know whether I've ever seen the pilot. What I do know is that I was completely taken by surprise when the theme song started and the familiar tune had lyrics!

When the end credits rolled, I found out the song was sung by Kipp Lennon, who has a website with audio clips available for download. Do yourself a favor and download Suspension (Theme from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century) immediately! It is awesome.

Monday, October 7, 2013

And the Oscar Goes to...

Picks in all caps and bold

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader

I really hope Slumdog wins because it was my favorite of the five.

Richard Jenkins
Frank Langella
Sean Penn
Brad Pitt

He's been cleaning up for playing a faded wrestler, plus his dog just died and he needs to thank her again.

Anne Hathaway
Angelina Jolie
Melissa Leo
Meryl Streep

Holocaust + accent + aging makeup = Oscar

Josh Brolin
Robert Downey, Jr.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Michael Shannon

Oh c'mon!

Penelope Cruz
Viola Davis
Taraji P. Henson
Marisa Tomei

Hard one to call. If Amy doesn't get it Taraji will although I liked her better in Hustle and Flow.

DANNY BOYLE (Slumdog Millionaire)
Stephen Daldry (The Reader)
David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon)
Gus Van Sant (Milk)

Same reason as Best Picture

Frozen River
In Bruges

I think they'll throw Milk a bone here.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader

I heard it was a hard adaptation.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Reader

I think it's between Slumdog and Changeling, but I hope Slumdog cleans up most of the categories for which it's nominated.

The Baader Meinhof Complex
The Class

It's been playing at the art houses for a while, and I don't know much about the others

Kung-Fu Panda

I hear they won't go back until they've kissed a girl.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight

This one usually follows best picture, doesn't it? Milk better not win this because I totally saw a boom mic in one shot.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Revolutionary Road

I'm going with the most periody of the choices. Benjamin Button might get more love than I think.

Auf der Strecke (On the Line)
Manon on the Asphalt
New Boy
The Pig

Holocaust movie.

La Maison en Petits Cubes
Lavatory -- Lovestory
This Way Up

If Wall-E doesn't win Presto might not win.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

Same reason as Art Direction unless they give it to Australia to make Hugh a happy host.

The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

I liked the makeup more than the movie itself. I particularly liked the chins on the old people.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Hoping for a sweep!

The Conscience of Nhem En
The Final Inch
Smile Pinki

I'm going with the longest title.

The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Trouble the Water

That crazy French guy was on the talk show circuit. Plus, it's the twin towers.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight

I like the way the host said Millonaire. No "yun" sound

The Dark Knight
Iron Man

Hmm. Wanted might pull an upset and sweep the sound categories but I'll stick with Slumdog.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Iron Man


Sunday, October 6, 2013


Hi, I'm Deitri.

Up a Tree

This squirrel cracked me up the other day since he was running all around with an apple in his mouth. He ran up the tree in my front yard and then part of the way down. He was posed long enough for me to find my camera, turn it on and snap a few shots. Eventually, he ran down and onto the street and sidewalks. Lucky for me, he didn't try to get into my house.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Stevie Wonder on Sesame Street

stevie wonder on sesame street

View on Grouper.comAdd to Blogger Blog

I love the brief glimpse of the kids groovin' to the beat.

Add a video comment to this video

Whipping Cream Pound Cake

whole cake


I had half a pint of heavy whipping cream set to expire in my fridge so I needed to find a recipe. Not far into my searching, I found this one, which sounded pretty good. The pound cake was really delicious and actually tasted better a few days later.

I just had a great cup of coffee

I love coffee. Really, check my profile.

As much as I hate to admit it, coffee affects me. I don't get jittery or sleepless, but it causes my heart to race so I try not to drink too much. It's tough because, well, I love coffee!

And most decaf is disgusting. It tastes and smells like chemicals or plastic. Or Old Spice.

But, I do like Swiss wash decaffeinated coffee like they serve at Tommy's. And the other day at Zagara's I found a coffee that looked too good not to try.

Newman's Special Decaf from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. It's organic, fair-trade and water process decaffeinated. There's so much good on the label that I thought it was going to taste gross. But, it was bright, crisp and yummy.
It was weird to have a great cup of coffee without the bad feeling. I won't give up the real stuff, but I'm glad I found an alternative to my usual Kona.

Groundhog Day

Early spring
General Beau Lee

More winter

I choose to believe Buckeye Chuck because he's Ohio's official groundhog.

Labor Day Baking

Apple pie (with crust made from scratch, of course)

And I made some Rice Krispies Treats (not pictured) for the people who don't like homemade apple pie. Actually, having two desserts at a holiday gathering isn't all that unusual.

Tunnel of Fudge Cake

I've been wanting to make this recipe since I found it back in February. As you can see, it was more a ribbon of fudge than a tunnel. I have several theories as to why:

1. I used just shy of 2 cups of walnuts since that was all I had. It was more than 1 3/4 cups but less than 2 cups. I also might have not chopped them small enough.

2. Butter doesn't really work, and I should have used margarine (yuck).

3. My Bundt pan sucks, which won't matter in the future because I threw it away since I scratched it by being too aggressive in taking it out of the pan.

The taste was somewhere between cake and brownies, in other words, delicious. The fudgy part was just that, fudgy.

This was a Flag Day birthday cake. I think the birthday guy liked it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Very Good Idea

Moon landing 2 - shoot your own video to help NASA

10k Yellow Gold Diamond Heart "Love" Pendant Necklace (.01cttw, I-J Color, I2-I3 Clarity), 18"

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All you need is love, and a gift that expresses it. This charming pendant is crafted in polished 10 karat white gold and features the word Love in elegant script, backed by a shimmering heart with genuine diamond accents (.01 cttw). It comes complete with an 18-inch light rope chain. Offer the pendant with the chain provided, or choose a different gold chain from our wide selection.

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Velvet Tango Room

2095 Columbus Rd
Cleveland, OH 44113
Drinks: June 14, 2013
Party of Six

Clockwise from my drink (the one with the Maraschino cherry, natch!) Aviation, Cereza de Cal, KatyDid, Whiskey Sour, Hemingway Daiquiri, Old Fashioned

Clockwise from the tequila drink redux: Cereza de Cal, The Last Word, Blood and Sand, French 75, Moscow Mule, Ninth Ward(?)

The Velvet Tango Room makes cocktails for people who don't mind waiting for a good drink. It has an old-fashioned way of hand-shaking ingredients not found on the menu of your average sports bar. There's no guessing as to the price of these handcrafted libations-- each cocktail will set you back a stiff $18.  Each drink takes a while to mix so you might be clinking your full martini glass with your friends' half empty tumbler.

Since we were a larger party, we sat in the back room that is only accessible through a door that doubles as a full length mirror. A two-drink minimum is required with the reservation, and if your crowd fancies good mixed-drinks then it is well worth your while. It was an experience.

Lake Erie Island

I visited some friends on Kelleys Island this summer and saw new things that I didn't see a few years ago like Inscription Rock and the Glacial Grooves.

Hey look! Glacial Grooves!

One of the scenic photo ops while walking around the Glacial Grooves.

Interesting rock formation in the lake.

View from the Jet Express.

Jet Express dock.

Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station.

Boats. Probably boat drinks.

View of Cedar Point from Lake Erie.

Hotel and rides.

Coasters, etc.

This is an awesome restaurant in Huron, Ohio.


LEMmy's is named after the Lake Erie Monster. I like how there is a specific look to the monster. He's a friendly lake monster. Next time I'm in the area I am definitely stopping for a bite.

Birthday Cupcakes

This week, one of my co-workers had a birthday. Someone bought a card. Someone bought balloons. And I made cupcakes (no surprise there). Below are yellow cupcakes with white chocolate-butter cream frosting.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Decorating Committee

I love love love to bake. I'm not so keen on decorating. I make a million Christmas cookies and try not to decorate any of them. I didn't frost or sprinkle any cut-out cookies this year, but I didn't dodge the decorating bullet completely.

On Christmas Eve night, I was at my grandmother's house and decided to decorate a few of the gingerbread people (and bears) since I was going to give some to my aunt the next morning. She and I talked and watched tv while I decorated and the next thing I knew, all of the cookies were done and it was 3 AM.

The first few were hard, but I got better and more creative as the night wore on. It reminded me of when I would stay up all night writing a paper in college, only instead of typing big words and sharp turns of phrase, I drew fun patterns and hairdos. I have to say, I'm pretty proud of how they look. Maybe piping is my forte.

Almost Classic Cake

Special Birthday Cake with Semi-Sweet Chocolate Buttercream frosting.
3/4 of the whole cake

I was asked to make a cake as the dessert for a fried chicken dinner. Since most of the attendees watch their sugar intake, I thought I'd try using the bag of Splenda for Baking that's been in my pantry for a while. (I called the 800 number to make sure it was still good. Turns out it never goes bad!) The cake wasn't as moist as I would have liked, but for a first attempt it was pretty good.

The frosting was outstanding. The recipe was a mix of Mrs. Millman's and semi-sweet chocolate buttercream. I used 12 ounces of chocolate chips (melted and cooled), a stick of butter (cold), 1 cup of powdered sugar, a little vanilla and some milk to thin it out.

I left a little bit of the cake unfrosted at the request of the host, but cut it out of the picture because it looked weird.

Giant Banana Muffins

The muffin is almost as big as the teapot! Okay so the muffin is pictured next to a kid's tea set, but I made it in a jumbo muffin tin, which makes muffins that are about twice as big as regular muffins.

Here's a close-up:

The recipe came from the same muffin book as the zucchini nut muffins and the pecan muffins, and since that book is inconsistent, I wasn't sure how these would taste. They were yummy, but next time I'll try adding some nuts or coconut to liven them up. I love the jumbo tin though. I may never make a cupcake-sized muffin again!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

14 Karat White Gold Cable Chain (18 inch)

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Glaze

These pictures are kind of ugly, but the cake was delicious.

Chocolate cake, faux ganache filling, strawberry glaze. This cake had to replace the one I wanted to make when I couldn't find a recipe that I liked. I wanted a chocolate cake with a fudge filling, topped with a strawberry glaze. Ideally, this would have been a Bundt cake. Unfortunately, the only from scratch recipes I could find involved nuts and the birthday boy doesn't like nuts so it wouldn't work. The strawberry glaze was a little thin and spread a bit more than I wanted, but that was because I added a few extra strawberries to make it pinker.

XPY 14k Gold and Diamond Heart Devil Pendant Necklace (.05 cttw, J Color, I2 Clarity)

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Listen To This

I downloaded a new app for my iPod Touch called Top 100's by Year by Bing. The app streams the "top 100" songs from each year from 1947 to 2010, one year at a time. The app information describes the tunes as, "songs that have stood the test of time" so they aren't necessarily the most popular songs of the years. Although the songs play on a shuffle mode, you can skip ones that you don't want to hear.

I'm not sure I would have paid for it since I don't generally buy apps for my iPod, but it's worth a free download. It's completely entertaining to listen to songs from a particular year. But I wonder who ranked the songs on the lists? Is Free Bird really the top song of 1973?

Monday, September 30, 2013

One Walnut

One Walnut Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
Lunch; June 9, 2008
Party of Two

Lobster Nachos with Guacamole, Lobster, Chips and Sweet Soy

Prosciutto Tart with Caramelized Onions, Spinach & Fresh Mozzarella
with Mixed Green Salad

Risotto with English Peas, Pine Nuts and Parmesan with Grilled Chicken

"Berries in the Snow"
White Chocolate Mousse with Berries and Fresh Mint

Mint Green Tea Crème Brûlée (background)

The last time my lunching companion and I were at One Walnut, we had a three course dinner with wine pairings that blew us away. Their sommelier really knows his/her stuff. However, this time, neither of us had alcoholic beverages and still had a fantastic three course meal.

The lobster nachos weren't new to us since the topping (without the chip underneath) was an amuse-bouche on our previous visit. The chips tasted like flour tortilla chips or some other light delicate crisp. The ingredients were a great combination that managed to keep their distinctiveness.

I added chicken to the risotto (food rut broken!) on the server's suggestion-- she suggested it because I was worried that the risotto wouldn't be filling. I LOVE risotto and this was perfectly al dente. The taste was good and got better when I stirred the dark sauce around the outside of the dish (sweet soy again?) into the rice. But, the whole thing was nearly ruined by the garnish of greens that you can see on top of the chicken in the picture. They were extremely bitter and smelled a bit foul when warm. I think the kitchen may have forgotten the chicken (before it reached the table) because the greens were both under and over the chicken. Once I removed them I really enjoyed the entree. The nuts and peas were slightly crunchy and really complimented the toothiness of the risotto.

If my lunching companion wouldn't have ordered the tart, I would have since I'm a sucker for anything with prosciutto, cheese and/or spinach. The bite I had was delicious. The flavors were strong but the flaky crust held its own. It looks like a piece of pizza in the picture but it was very pretty in person.

I've had a lot of yummy desserts lately, but since white chocolate mousse is one of my most favorite desserts, this one wins for best dessert I've eaten recently. The berries were so fresh and the mousse rivaled the one served in my all time favorite dessert (which might still be found at The Drake Hotel in Chicago.)

I didn't try the crème brûlée because I don't care for it. It's one of the very few desserts I refuse unlike French silk or banana cream pies, which I'll eat but don't prefer. It looked nice...

After lunch we went across the street to the newly relocated Phoenix Coffee where I had a great vanilla latte.

Dewey's Pizza

Dewey's Pizza
18516 Detroit Avenue
Lakewood, OH 44107
Dinner; April 12, 2009
Party of Two

Candied Walnut and Grape Salad

Half Socrates Revenge and half Wild Mushroom pizza

Even though I've been to the Dewey's on the eastside for both eat-in and take away many many times, I've never taken pictures or written a review of the place. I guess I had to go to the westside location to get the job done.

Dewey's has some of the best pizza around. Both locations have windows where you can watch the dough being tossed and the rest of the pizza making taking place. In fact, both stores have a similar look to them. Comfy, bright and cheery.

You can't really tell from the picture I took, but the crust is thin like a New York pizzeria. It's that magic blend of crispy and chewy and a perfect base for the white or red sauce and lots of toppings. Our pizza had a boatload of toppings. The pies never want for toppings, but this was a little ridiculous in a good way.

You can order any pizza as a half with any other pizza regardless of whether one has red sauce and one has white sauce. I always get at least half a Wild Mushroom pizza unless I'm ordering with someone who hates the smell of garlic. I prefer the white sauce, but the red sauce is good too.

I've had most, if not all, of their salads, which are truly phenomenal. The candied walnut and grape is one that I've ordered frequently. Diner 2 has a walnut allergy so we got them on the side. I ate them all.

The menu always includes a seasonal salad and pizza. I hope they bring back their strawberry and macadamia nut salad because that was killer.

I don't like to get negative in my reviews, but I will say that I was sorely disappointed with my westside Dewey's experience because they did not have my beloved Barq's Red Cream Soda on tap. They have Mr. Pibb on the westside! Who prefers Mr. Pibb? I told the waitress, "That's why Cleveland Heights is better."

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Duragold 14k White Gold Solid Perfectina Chain Necklace (1.0mm), 16"

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Saturday, September 28, 2013


I don't understand the appeal of some artists.

What's so great about Sufjan Stevens? I mean, he's okay, but he's not the be all end all.

And I hate the Mates of State. They shouldn't have quit their day jobs.

Death Cab for Cutie is starting to bug me too.



Delicious stack of pancakes

I was in the mood for pancakes this morning. Well, I was actually in the mood for pancakes from the Inn on Coventry, but I wanted to stay home. I used the KitchenAid recipe with a few substitutions. 1 1/2 cups plus 1 1/2 teaspoons of self-rising flour that I'm trying to use up, 1 teaspoon of baking powder because of the flour substitution and no salt because of the flour substitution. I used canola oil because melted shortening sounded gross. It really only took about 45 seconds of actual mixing to make the batter.

I've always been good at the cooking of pancakes and the first was just as tasty as the last. I guess I don't need Aunt Jemima Complete. Maybe I'll make waffles next time with the mystery waffle iron in my kitchen.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

14k Yellow Gold and White AA-Grade Akoya Cultured Pearl (8.5-9 mm) Pendant Necklace, 18"

  • A solitary pearl pendant dangling from a delicate rope chain makes this necklace a lovely, understated finish to a look.
  • The natural properties and process of pearl formation define the unique beauty of each pearl. The image may show slight differences in texture, color, size, and shape.
  • Carved rings are naturally occurring imperfections that result from the pearl rotating inside the mollusk as it is growing. They define the unique beauty of each pearl and may vary in size, number, and depth per pearl.
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A single pearl is elegant, understated, and absolutely timeless. The perfect complement to any outfit, this pendant highlights a AA grade round Akoya cultured pearl, with a diameter of between 8.5 and 9mm, mounted in a setting of 14 karat yellow gold. The pearl displays a beautiful high luster with only very slight surface markings and has a white color with a hint of ros. This pendant comes complete with an 18-inch light rope chain.

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Pre-Christmas Baking

I usually make sugar cookies for Christmas, but I had a function to attend that required cookies so I made some a few days earlier. I took two dozen of them (colored red and green) to the event and made these with the leftover dough. They're blue because it was the first day of Hanukkah.

Strange Currency

When I first started playing Words with Friends, I looked up a list of possible words containing the letter Q but not U. I use the popular QI and QAT relatively often, but there are others I've yet to play in a game. SHEQEL had been one of those words until the other day when I played it against a worthy opponent.   

Actually, I played SHEQEL once before but it was in a game against myself so it doesn't really count.

Kelleys Island

I spent about a day on Kelleys Island. I took just a few pictures at first because it was cloudy. The next morning it was bright and sunny so I took some from the ferry as I left.

Boat dock

Kelley Mansion
Sun-kissed lake

White cranes

It was a very relaxing time. We didn't really do anything, but that was the point. It's that kind of island.