Thursday, June 30, 2011

Round and Round

We had this date marked on the calendar because of a banner hanging along Tremont Scoops's storefront for the past 2 weeks.

Free ice cream cake!

Bug was craving a slice of pepperoni pizza so we headed to Edison's Pizza Kitchen, which is across the street from Tremont Scoops, to split a slice for dinner.

365-19a Edison Pizza Slice

To me, pizza slices always taste better when you're walking and eating. It probably goes back to my childhood when I spent summers in San Francisco. We bought pizza slices larger than the size of my face and ate the steaming slice on the go. Of course, I'd occasionally lose a pepperoni here and there.

At Edison's Pizza Kitchen, a slice is placed on a conveyor belt of an oven that takes up most of the front area. It takes a few minutes for a slice to exit, where it is greeted by a smattering of cheese, wrapped up in a paper sleeve, and begging to be consumed. The crust is crisp and not soggy like almost every other place I've tried.

If a whole pizza is ordered, honey is included!

For dessert, we trotted across the street to Tremont Scoops, the main reason we headed here, where they were celebrating their 10 year anniversary with free ice cream cake.

We were offered a slice of our choice -- vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, butter pecan, and Superman. The cake was dense and nutty, and the butter pecan ice cream really hit the spot.

365-19b Raspberry Pomegranate Sorbet

The rich plum-fuchsia hue lured me to purchase a scoop of raspberry pomegranate sorbet atop a waffle cone ($4.06). The prices are based on weight. The sorbet was quite berry flavored.

On such a sunny and humid day, this sorbet lover became sorbet obsessed.

Yep, this post had nothing to do with Ratt.

- Cassaendra

Edison's Pizza Kitchen
2365 Professor Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113-4629
Tel: (216) 298-4484

Tremont Scoops
2362 Professor Ave
Cleveland, OH 44113-4670
Tel: (216) 781-0352

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Holy Smurf!

365-18 Hatched

While Akemi, Bug, and I were out smurfin' today, we ran into that smurfin' monstrosity from yesterday smurfin' mutated into a smurftastic village.

- Cassaendra and Smurflybug

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Moment of Fear

365-17 Eggs

As we walked toward these eerie orbs, my chest tightened as a flash of fear froze me in my footsteps. For a tenth of a second, I imagined a slimy facehugger breaking open from one of the pulsating eggs with its spindly limbs, leaping onto my face and wrapping its tail around my neck, neutralizing me to implant an embryo down my throat.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed they were not alien eggs, but a ring of mushrooms encircling a tree trunk, like fleshy contagious pustules.

- Cassaendra

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dinner Dash

We love delicious, healthy, and inexpensive meals. Bonus if the meal is quick and easy. Who doesn't?

For dinner tonight, we made grilled salmon with fresh ground black pepper, sauteed zucchini, surimi salad (okay, mostly healthy), steamed spinach with toasted almonds, and quinoa with toasted almonds.

365-16 Salmon Surimi Salad

This meal was easy, but not a one pan/pot meal. No complex cooking method or hardware was utilized, just 4 burners on our stove.

1) salmon + grill plan
2) zucchini + frying pan
3) spinach + small pot
4) quinoa + sauce pan
5) almonds + small frying pan

While the almost everything was cooking, I made the surimi salad by first defrosting the frozen surimi sticks for 25 seconds in the microwave oven so the sticks were malleable, cut them into ~2" sticks, then broke them apart.

Mayonnaise and Kewpie mayonnaise were added to the surimi. I prefer the texture of the salad to be midway between dry and goopy, so I used roughly 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise and approximately 1 teaspoon of Kewpie mayonnaise. One-half teaspoon of sesame oil was added.

After the surimi was coated with the mayonnaise and oil, the roe was incorporated into the salad with a gentle hand, careful not to smash the fish eggs.

My intention was to add cucumbers, but I forgot. While I like to write lists, I don't always follow them. This also goes for meal preparation. I don't always prepare my ingredients first, nor do I strictly follow recipes.

The roe provided enough crunch, but very little in the way of color contrast.

This meal was inexpensive. For under $10, this meal made a filling dinner for two.

Here is the breakdown:
1/2 lb wild caught salmon, $8.99/lb = ~$5
1/4 c quinoa, $8.99/4 lb = $0.21
1 zucchini, $0.99/lb = ~$1.00
3 sticks surimi, $4/20 sticks = ~$0.60
~1 Tbsp roe, $7.00/lb = ~$0.40
large handful of spinach, $4.00/lb = ~$0.50
Kewpie mayonnaise, $4.00/bottle

No idea how much these cost:
sesame oil
shichimi togarashi

Since we always have quinoa, surimi, roe, spinach, almonds, mayonnaise, Kewpie mayonnaise, olive and sesame oils on hand, and shichimi togarashi this was "cheaper" for us.

This meal was relatively healthy. I've talked myself into believing that since I ate a small portion of the salad, it was okay. The salmon was grilled with a mist of oil, olive oil was used with the zucchini, the spinach was steamed, and the nuts were toasted without oil.

Day 16/365 Project - some days have been difficult scrounging for material to take pictures. I can't imagine what it will be like half way through, if I make it that far!

- Cassaendra

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thirsty Dog

Whether we're out for a walk or drive, we always have a cup of water to share for the entire family.

365-15a Drip Drops

If we are walking and Akemi is thirsty, she will nudge the cup in my hand with her nose.

365-15b Drip Drops

If we stop and ask her, "Are you thirsty?" She will either walk towards us if she is, or she will continue standing where she stopped, if she isn't.

365-15c Drip Drops

It's nice that we all understand each other.

- Cassaendra

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I have had a lifelong addiction to noodles; in particular, Japanese and Okinawan noodles. I woke up this morning craving kitsune udon for breakfast.

To support Bug's lower carbohydrate and sodium diet, I have minimized cooking noodles to almost nil. We haven't eaten pasta in months. Of course, the first step in avoiding temptation is to remove access.

Last weekend, I broke down and picked up a packet of Sapporo Ichiban kitsune udon, warabi (bracken or fiddlehead fern), and kai lan (Chinese broccoli). We always keep surimi and shiitake in the freezer.

365-14 Breakfast Kitsune

What differentiates kitsune udon from other bowls of udon in broth is the aburage, the brown square. This particular aburage is thinly sliced slightly sweetened tofu that is deep fried. The broth itself is also on the sweeter side.

After I cooked the noodles until they were 2/3rds to al dente, shocked, drained, then set aside, shiitake, aburage, kai lan, warabi, and surimi were added to the broth at various points in the simmer to retain their texture.

The aburage was snipped to 1/4th its original size for the same reason someone orders a large diet Coke with their triple Whopper and large fries. *shrug*

Raw egg -- my favorite ramen and udon add-in -- beautifully augments the flavor of noodles and was added at the end. Shichimi togarashi, ground Japanese chili peppers, was added after the shot (oops!). If we had menma (marinated bamboo shoots), I would have added that too!

As the noodles slithered into my belly, I enjoyed 15 minutes of guilty bliss in the cool (65°F) morning air.

- Cassaendra

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cold Storage

I recall in the mid-1990s, there was talk of closing down the I-90 Innerbelt bridge to build a new bridge in the next few years.

Fifteen years later, one of the first most visible projects has been to take down the Cleveland Cold Storage building near I-90, on Abbey Avenue, adjacent to Sokolowski's University Inn. Several off-ramps along I-90 near Downtown have closed, so Orange Avenue was re-paved to juggle the increase in detoured traffic.

365-13a Cleve Cold Storage
013a/365 - 06/16/2011

For years, this building acted as a gigantic billboard. It still amazes me how 3-4 color advertisements were precisely painted on two faces. (I'm sure, very carefully)

The view of the Cleveland skyline was taken several yards to the right of the facility. If the structure had any windows, it would have had a marvelous view of Downtown.

365-13 Cleveland Skyline

The destruction is progressing quickly. These pictures were taken over a span of 8 days.

Destroying stuff must be a lot of fun, danger aside. I realize there is a strategy to how one must knock down pillars and floors, but to a casual bystander like me the smaller crane looks like someone attacking a chiffon cake with reckless abandon (aspoondon?).

365-13b Cleve Cold Storage
013b/365 - 06/16/2011

Of course, this destruction has drawn an audience. Each time we have stopped to watch, cars and cyclists pull over to drink in for several minutes the large crane pinching at the building, appearing frustrated at its inability to scratch an itch.

365-13c Cleve Cold Storage
013c/365 - 06/22/2011

I don't know the condition of the building prior to its dismantling, but watching it get torn down with great effort over the past few days must be a testament of its sturdiness.

365-13d Cleve Cold Storage
013d/365 - 06/24/2011

I don't think very much of it will be left 8 days from now. We shall see.

- Cassaendra

Thursday, June 23, 2011


365-12 Router

Hooray! After 3 weeks, we finally have a router (Asus RT-N56U) so we no longer have to swap one internet connection between 2 computers. It's not like we are net addicts anymore, but it still reminded us that we take having uninterrupted internet access for granted.

Our old router was a Linksys BEFW11S4 that weighed 8 oz more and was a wee bit bulkier. It served us well for many, many years.

The new router is pretty snazzy looking with that shimmering embossed weave across the enter front face. It weighs less than 12 ounces and is sleek (6.77 x 5.71 x 2.36").

It works. I'm happy!

- Cassaendra

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


A farmers market transforms one of the courtyards at work to a festive bazaar with stands of farm-direct vegetables and fruits like beets, onions, strawberries, and blueberries; beeswax candles and soaps; baked goods; grass-fed cheeses and meats; a large variety of olive oil and balsamic vinegar; fresh local gourmet pasta; as well as a several ready made food tents.

365-11 Farmers Market

Perhaps I should have shelled out $4 to buy some jam or honey. She is far too young to be in such deep contemplation. Next week, I will purchase a jar of apple butter.

- Cassaendra

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

Today lives up to its moniker, the first day of summer -- sunny, hot, and humid -- as well as being the longest day of the year. Time to hide!

Au Bon Pain celebrated the day with a free cup of iced coffee.

365-10a Au Bon Pain

The cool part, well, aside from being free of charge? The iced coffee was served black. You add your own milk and sweetener.

365-10b Au Bon Pain

The drink paired well with the palmier I purchased, which doesn't mean much since their palmier would taste great with mud.

I really am celebrating the day, not because it is the longest day of the year but rejoicing that each day is one day closer to autumn, my favorite season!

- Cassaendra

Monday, June 20, 2011


365-9 Library

We went Downtown to the main branch (somehow that sounds wrong - shouldn't it be the trunk?) of the Cleveland Public Library to pick up a few DVDs that were erroneously routed. We took the stairwell down to the ground floor, pictured above, where the audio-visual department is located.

When I visit the area public libraries, the computers stations and the DVD section have a majority of the traffic. I rarely run into anyone while perusing through titles where the books are shelved.

I'm not implying that it is horrible that libraries may be looked at by some like DVD repositories. I would be a hypocrite since we take advantage of those resources regularly -- Bug with his documentaries and old movies, while I check out television series and movies.

We don't have an electronic book reader so we haven't taken advantage of that, so I am one of those folks who check out books with pages.

It is wonderful that the library is current with the times!

- Cassaendra

Sunday, June 19, 2011

White Paws

Humid with temperatures in the 80s, today would have made an ideal day for cicadas to croon. For the better part of the morning and early afternoon, our eyes were glued to our computers. I was catching up on a few missed episodes of Castle and Bug was busily beta testing Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Since I am the American Heart Association team captain for our department, I have been meaning to purchase a roll of 50/50 raffle tickets for the past few weeks to raise money. By mid-afternoon, we decided to head out and walked into the living room, where I was startled by the darkness. I looked up at our clock twice to affirm that it wasn't 5 hours later.

365-8 White Paws
008/365 Akemi

We swam into the muggy dusk-like horizon with the barely audible sporadic rumbling of thunder. Partway to the Party Center, we met the thunderstorm. Driving wasn't very treacherous, but I was relieved that we were able to locate raffle tickets there and pleased that the people working there were friendly and helpful.

By the time we left the store, the temperature had become more tolerable, dropping into the 60s. When we arrived home, we took Akemi out in the cool mist. She was apprehensive at first, not being fond of walking in the rain often spending 15-30 minutes preening herself after a walk. As soon as she found a stick, her pace picked up to a proud prance, still careful not to get her white paws too dirty.

- Cassaendra

Saturday, June 18, 2011


365-7 Parallax

Despite having only eaten at Parallax several times, it is easily one of our favorite restaurants in Tremont that we reserve for special occasions.

Not being a sushi aficionado, I am quite fond of their specialty futomaki -- I feel that a sushi fanatic would only bother to eat nigirizushi. This was where I was introduced to tempura futomaki. I was impressed with the flavor, texture, and was honestly surprised how well it worked. Expect to pay ~$50/person for dinner.

We've been to Loop once. It's a lovely space with an in-house coffee bean roaster that is quite potent when it is active, even standing outside. I haven't looked through their music selection to see if it is inline with what I enjoy.

- Cassaendra

2179 W 11th St
Cleveland, OH 44113
Tel: (216) 583-9999

2180 W 11th St
Cleveland, OH 44113
Tel: (216) 298-5096

Friday, June 17, 2011


In grade school, we were asked what we wanted to do for a class outing. I don't remember what all of our choices were, but I remember wanting to see Clash of the Titans starring Harry Hamlin as Perseus.

I was ecstatic when that movie was selected. We all packed onto several buses and went to Varsity Theater, back when it was a single screen theater. Yes, movie theaters used to house single screens!

The movie was great. The story was engrossing. I held my breath when Perseus fought Medusa. I didn't care that the stop motion animation didn't make for seamless realism.

365-6 Owl

My favorite character was Bubo, the owl. I squealed (in my mind) each time I saw that adorable bronze and silver mechanical critter clicking and whirring.

When I saw this metal and glass sculpture sitting on a post in someone's lawn, how could I not think of Bubo?

Bus drivers must really love kids to endure 30-40 windpipes screeching "99 Bottles..." on repeat. It would drive me to drink!

- Cassaendra

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I love banchan in an almost unhealthy way. We haven't had any of the more exotic dishes I've read about like raw blue crab.

365-4b Banchan

From the sliced odeng (fishcake) and jalapenos in sesame oil to the bubbly steamed egg in a cauldron, blanched bean sprouts with sesame oil and chili peppers to kim chi.

Seoul Restaurant always serves a lot of delicious banchan, part of the reason we love it there. Of course, they have excellent service, home-like comfortable atmosphere, and deliciously prepared meals.

365-4a Banchan

Today, my favorites were the sliced potatoes, sliced odeng, and the steamed egg. The sliced potatoes taste nearly identical to chestnuts! I could eat a giant bowl of it. It's a good thing they serve just enough to want more.


Seoul Restaurant
5270 Pearl Rd
Brooklyn Heights, OH 44129
Tel: (216) 661-5990

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


365-4 St Theodosius

If you are a fan of the movie, The Deer Hunter, this church will look familiar to you. St. Theodosius was used as the location where Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro's characters held their wedding.

I've read in several places that this church, built in 1911, is the oldest Orthodox church in the state of Ohio.

- Cassaendra

St Theodosius Cathedral
733 Starkweather Ave
Cleveland, OH 44113

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


365-3 Anat

Perhaps I was a bit too ambitious and should have started a 52 [week] project! I'm only on Day 3...362 days to go.

One of these days, I will muster the courage to get a massage. I'll try not to offend the masseuse or embarrass myself by my cackling the entire session due to being ticklish.

- Cassaendra

anat. massage therapy
1017 Fairfield Ave
Cleveland, OH 44113
Tel: (216) 849-1284

Monday, June 13, 2011

Holy Smokes!

365-2 Newport
Sticker shock

When I was a kid, I recall my mother buying a carton of More menthol cigarettes for $19. Curious, I walked into the store where this poster was displayed to find out just how much a pack of these Newport cigarettes cost -- $5.00.

According to a list of local cigarette tax rates across the US, published by in 2010, I was surprised to discover that Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) ranked at the bottom of the list of 36, with taxes totaling $1.595 ($0.345 county tax + $1.25 state tax) per pack.

Chicago was second on the list charging $3.66 per pack in taxes. Everyone got a piece of the action -- city ($0.68), county ($2.00), and state ($0.98). New York City topped the list with a tax breakdown of $1.50 city tax plus $4.35 state tax; a total of $5.85 in taxes per pack. This doesn't include the cost of the item or sales tax.

I don't know how people can afford to smoke!

I know I shouldn't judge. We probably look pretty indulgent driving several hours a week shopping for groceries, and eating quinoa and drinking soy milk daily. After all, these millions in tax dollars are paying for art and cultural programs (almost $15,000,000 in 2010-2011), building smoke-free stadiums, and so on.

- Cassaendra

Sunday, June 12, 2011

365 Days

I've decided to start a project - 365 days of pictures.

No rules.

Why? Just because. This will be a day to day meander and a test of my tenacity.

365-1 Istanbul Grill

Istanbul Grill in Tremont is our favorite Turkish restaurant, with decent prices, delicious food, and great service. Chicken adana, grilled, skewered ground chicken and spices, is our favorite entree and kazandibi, semolina milk pudding, is our favorite dessert.

Let's see how this project goes - especially without continuous net access since our router went boom 2 weeks ago. :)

- Cassaendra

Istanbul Grill
2505 Professor Ave
Cleveland, OH 44113
Tel: (216) 298-4450

  © Blogger templates Brooklyn by 2008

Back to TOP