– an eclectic blog

New Adaptation

June 8th, 2013 by kimly

Made Peanut Butter Cups (recipe) for this past Easter.

They were a hit.

Made them again for Memorial Day but used dark instead of milk chocolate. These were not a hit. Use the Milk.

Also changed the recipe for the center: I didn’t mix in any powdered sugar. Just piped creamy peanut butter into a paper liner with a teaspoon of chocolate on the bottom. The unadulterated peanut butter was a hit (and easier – but you will probably use more than the 1/3 cup the original recipe calls for.)

Update Complete.

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A Couple of New Panoramas

June 8th, 2013 by kimly

Another shot of the beach

Raymond E. Baldwin Bridge

Both stitched with Microsoft ICE

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Date Bars with Walnuts

February 24th, 2013 by kimly


1/2C Butter or Margarine
1 1/2C Sugar
2 Eggs
2 2/3C Bisquick
1C Chopped Walnuts
1 Box Dates (2C)

Recipe can be halved (use 8×8 or 9×9 pan)

Spray 9 x 13 inch baking pan

Cream Butter and Sugar. Incorporate Eggs. Stir in Bisquick, Nuts and Dates.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE.

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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

February 24th, 2013 by kimly

Adapted from this recipe

See Updated Notes


30 1-inch paper candy liners
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Morsels
1 17oz bar of Trader Joe’s Belgin Milk Chocolate
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening [I don’t use this, these candies to not stay around long enough to worry about blooming.]
Coarse sea salt [I used a black volcanic and a pink Himalayan]


PLACE paper liners on a baking sheet.

COMBINE peanut butter, sugar and butter in small bowl until well blended. If mixture is very soft, mix in an additional tablespoon of sugar. Shape peanut butter mixture into 30 1/2- to 3/4-inch balls flattening slightly. [I got 29 out of this recipe and don’t believe they were anywhere near that large. Also, ‘dough’ will be extremely dry but will come together to form balls due to body heat.]

MELT morsels and shortening in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until melted.

Chop bar and place in a double boiler to melt. Do not allow steam to collect on bowl rim as drips will seize the chocolate. [I find this method allows for smoother heating and longer working times since the bowl gets and stays warm. ]

Spoon 1 measuring teaspoon of melted morsels into each cup. Place peanut butter filling onto top of melted morsels. Top each with a measuring half teaspoon of melted morsels. Sprinkle with a few grains of sea salt. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm. Store in covered container in refrigerator.

pbc1 pbc2

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Homemade Peppermint Patties

February 24th, 2013 by kimly

pp1 pp2
pp3 pp4

Recipe from here

I used a metal chocolate dipping fork (shown above) but found the cold mint patties stuck to the tines – next time I will use a plastic or wooden fork to cut down on frustration.

I also think these should be on the thicker rather than the thinner side. They were very hard to dip if they got too thin.

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Old Ebbitt Grill

January 20th, 2013 by kimly

Old Ebbitt Grill

675 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 (valet available for $10)

[on the corner of 15th Street and G, NW – Two blocks west of the 13th Street exit of Metro Center]

January 5, 2013 – 7.30pm reservation, 6 people

Great staff and wonderful food – reasonable wine prices. Old Ebbitt continues to earn its reputation as a DC landmark.
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Longwood Gardens

January 19th, 2013 by kimly

January 19, 2013

Orchid Extravaganza – happening through March 24, 2013
Kennett Square, PA

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Ristorante Tosca

June 23rd, 2012 by kimly


1112 F St. NW, Washington, DC 20004

[on the corner of 11th Street and F, NW – One block east of the 12th & F exit of Metro Center]

June 22, 2012 – 5.30pm reservation, 4 people – pre-theater

As the four of us were leaving, we were trying to figured out how quickly we could come back. The next time I need an impressive place to take family or friends, I’ll be bringing them to Tosca.
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Image Composite Editor (ICE)

June 12th, 2012 by kimly

For all the bitching I do about Microsoft products, and I’ve done a lot, I have to admit their Image Composite Editor (ICE) for stitching together panoramas is the about the best piece of free image manipulation software available. I have tried other freebies. I have downloaded trial versions of expensive software. They are all off my machine.

Drag and drop a series of photos into the ICE window and let it run. Is it 100% perfect all of the time? No – but when I’ve seen less than spectacular results it’s been my issue – typically changes in distance.

Both of the panoramas below were created using ICE and 3 images. The bottom picture is of Great Falls, Virginia – I aligned the shots fairly well and ICE did the rest. But in the top panorama (taken in Connecticut) I miss judged the distance between each shot as seen in the blue circle with the uneven horizon. The other issue, highlighted in red, is just the challenge of shooting moving vistas. The water washing up on shore changed drastically in the second shot and ICE was not able to correct for it. Clouds can also be a challenge on windy days.

To see how much better ICE is than hand stitching I ran a series of shots I took, hand stitched and posted back in 2008. The first two are my attempts; the third is ICE. There really is no comparison. The amount of time it would have taken me to blend in the sky… well, that’s the reason I didn’t do it initially.

Link to Microsoft ICE

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Pizzeria Paradiso

June 10th, 2012 by kimly

Pizzeria Paradiso

Three Locations:

DUPONT CIRCLE – 2003 P Street NW, Washington DC (outside seating available in season)
[on the corner of 20th Street and P, NW – 1.5 blocks south of the North exit of the Dupont Circle Metro]

OLD TOWN – 124 King Street, Alexandria VA
[King Street between S. Lee and S. Union – ~1 mile from the King Street Metro – King Street Shuttle available]

GEORGETOWN – 3282 M Street NW, Washington DC
[M Street between Potomac and 33rd Street – 1 mile from the Foggy Bottom Metro]

I have been to all three, Dupont and King Street within the last few months. I was at the G’town location several years ago and remember a very good meal.

June 8, 2012 – no reservations, 5 people (reservations are accepted as I used one at the Dupont location on the evening of April 10, 2012)

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