Friday, March 31, 2023


I made the Gnudi (pronounced "nudie") shown below as a lower-carb alternative to Gnocchi.  The dough is a combination of ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, spinach, and spices, with a small amount of flour to get it pulled together to form flat circles.  They are placed in boiling water until they float, about 3-4 minutes, plated, and topped with a little marinara sauce.  I added more cheese on top of that because "nobody criticizes the chef for having too much cheese."

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Paul's Martini Recipe

In our opinion, there are very few places that make a great martini and, fortunately, that includes our house and Bartender Paul.  The keys that make ours great are the gin (Bombay Sapphire), the ratio (4 parts gin, 1 part dry vermouth), and the mixing.  After I place the combination in a shaker half-filled with ice, I gently rock it back and forth for 10-15 seconds and let it sit for a few minutes, which results in the crystal-clear cold drink you see below.  Bartenders tend to shake the geebers out of it to get it cold faster, but the result is usually a cloudy drink which is not nearly as appealing.  Two large ice cubes, which melt slower, and a few martini olives complete my masterpiece.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Apple Watch Water Ejection

When Chef Elaine told me that she could eject water from her Apple Watch, I got one of those "did I hear that right?" expressions on my face.  As the video at the link below demonstrates, you must first enable water lock mode and then turn the crown to start the water ejection process.  The watch goes through ten cycles using a frequency of 165 Hz to expel water from the speakers, the only part of the watch that water can get at while it's in water lock mode.  

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Clean Energy Charging

When Chef Elaine plugs her iPhone in to charge, she wants it to charge, not have the demi-Gods at Apple decide that it's not a good time to do so.  The "Clean Energy Charging" setting at the bottom of the screenshot below was on by default and as you can read at the link below, this was torking off users whose phones were charging slower than expected.  Whether this is a good idea or bad corporate Orwellian behavior is up to each of us to decide, but people need to opt in to an idea, not have it decided for them.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Unique Lineup

Chef Elaine and I went to the 1st and 2nd round NCAA basketball games in Greensboro, NC, and saw some great games.  We saw the usual highlight plays, 3-pointers from way beyond the arc, alley-oop dunks, and rejected shots but the unusual is captured in the photo below.  Notice that at one point in the game Xavier's lineup consisted of numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, a sequence I've never seen in any game ever.  

The photo also demonstrates how awesome the Pixel 7's camera is, capturing a decent picture of the electronic scoreboard while using full zoom.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Sous Vide Chicken Thighs

Not sure why the recipe at the link below started with deboning bone-in chicken thighs, but we saved ourselves that hassle by buying boneless.  A simple salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika rub adds flavor as the thighs slowly cook and a short sear followed in a cast iron skillet to give it visual appeal.  While we made only four thighs, our Sous Vide could have handled at least a dozen, making this a nice recipe for larger groups.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Guinness 0

Guinness is my go-to beer and despite its dark color and malty flavor, it's a reasonable 125 calories per 12 ounces.  When I saw that they make a non-alcoholic version, shown below, I thought I'd give it a try and compare the two.  I was very surprised that there is very little difference in taste and even more surprised that Guinness 0 is only 57 calories per 12 ounces.  I think I'll keep a few on hand.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Disinfect Washcloths & Sponges

I thought Chef Elaine was going wacky when she put a washcloth in the microwave, but she kindly explained that it's a quick and easy way to disinfect her kitchen sponges and washcloths.  She puts them in, damp, and zaps them on high for a minute.  The steam that gets produced kills the germs.  This 1-minute YouTube video explains in a little more detail.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Wedding Reception

Last November I wrote about the Eichelberger Pavilion at Carillon Park and below you can see it set up for our son's and daughter-in-law's wedding reception.  It was catered by Bernstein's Catering and they knocked it out of the park with delicious appetizers, main courses, and dessert bites.  We used the upper level for the cocktail hour which allowed the staff to get everything set without having to dodge a whole slew of people.  Many people commented that this was one of the best receptions they had ever attended, and we agree, even though we're not exactly impartial judges.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Figlio Private Dining Room

Not only does Figlio have a private dining area that fits groups of up to 40 people, but it's also one of the few we found that's available on a Friday night, which is, of course, the most popular evening for a rehearsal dinner party!  The buffet of salad, pizza, and pasta was terrific and the wait staff was on top of everything.  

Friday, March 17, 2023

Bologna Sandwich

Half of my lunches are bologna sandwiches, a remnant of my upbringing, along with the two other most popular mystery meats, namely SPAM and hot dogs.  So when I saw this 3/4" bologna sandwich on the menu at our local Geez restaurant, it was a no-brainer.  Fried up nicely and topped with pickles, onions, tomatoes, and mayo (omitted the lettuce), it made a pretty substantial dinner.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Dr. Motion

The last pair of compression socks I bought is really good but pricey.   In need of several new pairs, I opted for the Dr. Motion brand that Chef Elaine favors.  The four pairs that are shown below cost about the same (~$20) as one of the previous pairs and are great for our morning runs.  I prefer the low cut while the Chef likes the no-shows.  To each their own.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Pixel 7

After five years of splendid service, my Google Pixel 2 has been retired and replaced with a Pixel 7.  The 7 is just a little bit bigger than the 2, has twice as much storage (yeah!), wireless charging, and 5G, but the biggest boost will come from the Google Tensor 2 AI (Artificial Intelligence) chip which should make, among other things, even better photos.  So far the only thing I miss is the fingerprint unlock on the back of the 2, which is much more convenient than the 7.

The picture below shows part of the migration process and ends up moving all the data, apps, and settings from the 2 to the 7.  Very painless process.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Kettering Bus Stops

It's amazing how often I can pass by something and not take any notice, for example, the bus stop seen below.  They were designed back in 2007 by Dayton-based artist and architect, Mary Rogero who served as a principal architect with Rogero Buckman Architects.  They are part of a city-wide collection of art known as CitySites which includes paintings, statues, structures, and even the decorative sides of bridges on West Schantz Avenue and Ridgeway Road.  You read about all twenty-six of them at the link below.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Little Pillow

The little pillow in the forefront below serves two purposes.  I'm a side sleeper and I put it under the arm that I'm not lying on to prop it up and relieve pressure on my shoulders.  It makes an amazing difference.  The second use doesn't work 100% of the time, but when I jamb it up against my chin it helps keep my mouth closed it prevents some bouts of snoring.  And that's really appreciated.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Cocoa-Rubbed Flank Steak

Here's a very different rub for your steak, a combination of unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, brown sugar, chili powder, ground coffee, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper.  Cocoa powder and coffee?  Yep, that's different.  And delicious!

We opted for the easier-to-find flank steak instead of the hanger steak used in the recipe at the link below.  Her Sous Chef (aka me) mixed the spices, covered the steak with it, and wrapped it in plastic for an hour or so.  Chef Elaine then used an oiled cast-iron iron skillet to cook the steak to a perfect doneness (which is, of course, medium-rare), flipping it to give both sides a nice char.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Purple Bag Project

Our local liquor stores have containers like the one shown below where you can donate your leftover Crown Royal bags and for each bag, they will donate a dollar to support our troops.  They partner with the nonprofit organization Packages From Home whose mission is to send care and comfort packages to deployed American military heroes stationed on active duty around the world.


Wednesday, March 8, 2023

The Bike Yard at Welcome Park

The picture below is a section of the new bike park currently under construction at Welcome Park in Dayton, which is located behind U.D. Arena and Welcome Stadium.  Access to the park is on Hopeland Street, off of West Stewert a couple blocks west of Edwin C. Moses Blvd.  The bike park will have sections for all skill levels and this section is very advanced with jumps and sharp turns.  Scares the 67 in me, but I'm sure the kids will love it.

A grand opening celebration is expected in May of 2023.  See the link below for more details.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Magic Eraser

The two photos below started out as the same photo on my Google Pixel 2, but the golf cart in the first picture was removed with Google's very cool "Magic Eraser" feature in Google Photos.  It will analyze your photo and suggest things you might want to be removed, or you can circle or brush over specific areas and it removes what's there and replaces it with an educated guess of what was likely behind it.  I now have a way to defeat photobombers or those beach walkers that spoiled a perfect sunset photo.

Sorry, but this feature is currently limited to Google Pixel phones and Google One members on Android and iOS, but I haven't seen the update yet on my iPad.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Finished Workbench

Chef Elaine thought I should share a picture of the finished workbench...

Just To Get An Outlet

Our workbench didn't have an electrical outlet but had available wiring.  To get to the final result below, I had to rip out the old 8'x4' pegboard because it was nailed in and not possible to remove without damaging it.  I then installed the new outlet, and used two, smaller and lighter, 4'x4' pegboard pieces, cutting off 7" one of them to get the right fit.  Perhaps the smartest thing I did was to attach the pegboard to the studs shooting black screws through some of the pegboard holes.  Not only does the black color make them almost unnoticeable, but if I have to get behind the pegboard in the future, I can do that without damaging it.  The final step was to paint the surface to cover up all the paint spills, nail holes, and other damage that has occurred over the years.  

All of that, just to get an outlet.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Caramelized Parsnips

Chef Elaine bought a bag of parsnips at Trader Joe's and had to look no further than the back of the package to find this delightful recipe.  She cut up the parsnips into finger-sized sticks, sprinkled them with nutmeg, added them to her cast iron skillet, covered them, and cooked them golden brown.  Finally, water was added and by the time it evaporated, the parsnips were done.  

Thursday, March 2, 2023

1913 Flood

The structure shown below, at Deed's Point, shows the peak water level during Dayton's 1913 flood.  When you stand next to it, look down to the river below and then out to downtown Dayton, it's scary to think that three days of heavy rains resulted in waters reaching 20 feet in low-lying areas.   Even worse, those flood waters were moving up to 25 miles per hour.  The link below describes a little about The Great 1913 Flood Exhibit at Carillon Park.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

The Greater Dayton School

The building shown below, located where Great Miami and Mad rivers join in downtown Dayton, will be the new home for The Greater Dayton School, Ohio’s first private non-religious elementary school exclusively dedicated to under-resourced students.  Their core values are defined as:
  • Student-first, student-centered
  • Dream big; work hard
  • Ownership by everyone
  • Do the right thing
They look at education differently, starting with how they view success when their students are 27 years old.  Their goal is that at least 80 percent of them are …
  • Successful by their own definition
  • Physically and mentally healthy
  • Living lives of character and integrity
  • Financially independent
  • Established in a career
Sounds to me like they're onto something and it will be interesting to see if they turn their different approach into many successful outcomes.