Monday, February 28, 2011

Siraluun Fettuccine Alfredo

Rill's heart pounded in her chest. She thought it likely to leap right out through her armor but it did not. She ran swiftly across the plateau, racing against time. She and her companions had fought valiantly against the legions of the insect-like Olthoi. It took hours but they managed to recover the pieces of the broken bells that would give them access to the Queen's lair. Of course ringing the bells would cause the menhir stones to crack, allowing the olthoi to swarm...but that's when their queen would be most vulnerable. Defeating her would leave her armies mindless and wandering. It would bring peace once again to the island of Marae Lassel.

Rill reached her destination as the sun reached the horizon in the west. The last set of the menhir stones were there as well as the stone's Aun guardian. She had not heard the tolling of the bells from the other parts of the island while she ran so it was not yet time to hand her bell to the Aun. Gratefully, she sat down to catch her breath and rest.

From the corner of her eye, she caught a glimpse of movement. She had just enough time to leap and roll to the side, as a great mass of brightly colored feathers and sharp claws tore through the air where she had just been. As she got to her feet and whirled to face the giant bird known as a Siraluun, Rill glanced at the Aun guardian to see if he would help. He stood immobile and impassive. She understood then that this would be her fight alone. She grinned, swinging her shield off her back and pulling her sword from the scabbard.

"Siraluun meat goes well with sauce and noodles," She said to the bird who circled her. It screeched at her.

"And there's always time for a good meal before a great battle." Rill leapt to attack...and had a delicious meal the night she killed the Olthoi Queen.

Siraluun Fettuccine Alfredo

8 Servings | Total Time: 20 min | Apprentice

  • 16oz Fettuccine Noodles 
  • 1/2 lb Snow Peas or Sugar Snap Peas
  • 2 Tbl Olive Oil
  • 1 Jar Alfredo Sauce
  • 2 Roma Tomatos (optional)
  • 2 cups Siraluun (or Chicken if you're out), cooked, shredded
Craft: Cook Fettuccine noodles according to package instructions. During the last 5 minutes of the cook time add Peas. Drain water carefully. Pour the noodles into a medium bowl. Add Olive Oil and mix. Pour Alfredo Sauce and shredded chicken into the pan you used to cook the noodles and warm them up over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Add the sauce and chicken to the bowl with the noodles. Chop tomatoes, remove seeds and add to the pasta. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Strategies: Lacking access to Marae Lassel for Siraluun meat, you can buy a Rotisserie Chicken from the Deli section of your grocery store. One chicken will give you 4-6 cups of shredded chicken which is useful in many meals. This meal makes great leftovers.

LFM: Caesar Salad goes really well with this pasta dish. To save time, you can buy a Caesar salad kit in the produce section of your local grocery store!

  • Fettuccine Noodles $1.00
  • Snow Peas $1.00
  • Alfredo Sauce $1.50
  • Roma Tomato $0.50
  • Rotisserie Chicken $5.00
Total Cost: $9.00
Cost Per Serving: $1.13

Category: Raid Night

*This meal contains staple items such as spices that you may or may not have in your pantry so your cost may vary.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Clara's Apple Crisp

Growing up in my family, we used to say you have two stomachs. One for normal food and one for dessert. So even if you're full after dinner, there's ALWAYS room for dessert. (Really, it was just a way to be able to say "I'm full" to mom so you didn't have to finish your veggies but still be able to say, "I want dessert!") This is an excellent dessert to fill up that other empty stomach of yours.

And have you ever noticed how hard it is to get rid of the last two apples in the big bag you bought? I don't know about you but I'm always buying too many apples because they're so tasty and on sale! But I always find myself starting to get tired of apples by the time I reach the bottom of the bag. I'm always trying to find a use for them! (Besides helping a certain gnome make his robot look like a priestess in order to unravel a dire plot in Stormwind. I'm gonna miss that quest. *sniffle*)

Making apple crisp is a way to sweeten up the apples and cooking it makes them soft so you get a different texture and taste to mix things up when you're getting bored of apples. And you don't have to make a big batch either! You can make them in individual ramekins and have your own personal piece of heaven to dive into.

Clara's Apple Crisp

2 Servings | Total Time: 45 min | Journeyman

  • 2 Medium Apples (any kind)
  • 1 Tbl Orange Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup Butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbl Flour
  • 2/3 cup Oats
Craft: Preheat the oven to 375°. Peel and slice the apples. In a small bowl, toss the apples in Cinnamon and orange juice. In a separate bowl combine flour, brown sugar and oats. Add melted butter and stir until well combined. Divide apples into two ramekins. Cover with the oats mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Strategies: This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled and cooked in a casserole dish instead of individual ramekins.

LFM: Serve with cool whip or vanilla ice cream.

  • Apples $0.75
  • Orange Juice $1.00
  • Oats $1.00
Total Cost: $2.75
Cost Per Serving: $1.38

Category: Casual, Phat Loot

*This meal contains staple items such as spices that you may or may not have in your pantry so your cost may vary.

Friday, February 25, 2011

One Size Fits All Casserole Breakfast

Tired of everyone and all their finickiness in what they want for breakfast? Well guess what, I usually make my kids eat cereal. And they don't even get to choose what kind. Mommy picks one and everyone gets it for breakfast, everyday until that box is gone. Only then will I be so kind as to open a different box and shake up the variety a bit.

I have fallen into this routine because inevitably, when I ask my kids what they want for breakfast, each one has a different answer, and I don't make separate meals for everyone. I am just a mean mommy that way.

One day, I was sitting at my computer, getting my WoW time in when my 3 year old charged down the stairs with his plastic sword in hand and faced me like he wanted a show-down.  I was in the middle of leveling and didn't want to get wacked in the head with a plastic sword so I decided to pull the ole "distract the kid to be able to keep my free time to myself" routine.

"There are bad guys in the kitchen buddy! I can hear them trying to steal our food! Go get them!" He courageously ran back up the stairs, swinging his sword.

"I git oo baa guys!" He fought valiantly, just long enough to allow me to obtain my level. He came back downstairs, sword dragging behind him as if he had been in battle all day long. He looked up at me with his big brown eyes and said victoriously, "Baa guys all ded mommy!"

To reward my son for his good efforts I decided to let him pick what we were going to have for dinner. But of course, what did he want? Breakfast. Blarg... Of course, being the aspiring warrior he is, he didn't just want one thing for "breakfast" he wanted everything.

You want hash browns you say? And you want ham with your eggs? What, croissants? And you like hollandaise sauce? Eggs? Cheese? Well of course! We have it all my friend!

One Size Fits All Casserole Breakfast
5 Servings | Total Time: 45 Minutes | Artisan

  • 1 pkg Refridgerated Croissant Rolls (uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Cheese (your choice)
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1/3 cup Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Thyme, dried & crushed
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Ham, chopped
  • 1 cup Hash Browns (thawed)
  • 3 Eggs (hard boiled, chopped or scrambled)
Craft: For crust separate half of the package of croissant rolls and press into the bottom of a 9" square baking dish. Bake in the oven at 375° for 8-12 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle cheese on the hot, baked crust. For the filling, melt the butter in a medium pot. Stir in Thyme and Pepper. Add milk, broth and flour at the same time, stirring well. Add in ham, hash browns and eggs. Cover completely with sauce and pour over the crust. Lay the 2nd half of the croissant roll dough on top of the casserole. Cook at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until the rolls on top are golden brown.

Strategies: You MUST make sure that the hash browns are not frozen or they will keep the center of your casserole from cooking properly and your croissants will burn on top and still be doughy and cold in the middle.  You can also trade the ham for bacon or sausage if you prefer, but you must fully cook the bacon/sausage before using it. If the taste buds in your home aren't too picky you can add bell peppers and onions to the sauce process, simply cook them while melting the butter.

  • Croissants $1.89
  • Shredded Cheese $0.99
  • Chicken Broth $1.29
  • Ham $2.27
  • Hash Browns $0.89
  • Eggs $0.60
Total Cost $7.93
Cost Per Serving $1.59

Categories: Rez Plz, Casual

King Tuscar's Taco Salad

The Tuscaren Glacier is cold. And yes, that's an understatement. You'd think that King Tuscar and Queen Tula would get tired of being cold all the time! I mean, even their minions are cold! Icebound skeletons, frostbound skeletons, iceweaver hatchlings and the ice lords. Really? Riding the cold themed train are we? Well there is one hot thing in the whole Glacier (besides the Queen) that Tuscar enjoys! Taco salad!

This taco salad is the perfect combination of crunchy and smooth. Salty and creamy. Hot and cold. You start with some crunchy corn chips on the bottom, top it with meat and cheese, then top that with salad and ranch with taco sauce. Or sour cream and salsa! Or any combination of any toppings you'd like!

This makes a great meal for nights when you're going to be venturing into the Glacier. It's easily eaten with one hand and if you buy bigger corn chips then you don't even need a fork! It's quick cooking and if you know you're gonna be gaming in advance then you could cook the meat in advance. So all you need to do is heat it up the night you eat it.

I know why this is a favorite in King Tuscar's little fam because it's a favorite in mine too. It combines everything my husband wants (meat & cheese!) and everything I want (salad!) in one scrumptious meal.

Taco Salad

4 Servings | Total Time: 15 min | Apprentice

  • 1lb Ground Beef or Turkey
  • 1 Taco Seasoning packet
  • 1 bag Corn Chips (Frito)
  • 2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 bag Iceberg Lettuce (shredded or salad style)
Recommended Addons:
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Sour Cream
  • Taco Sauce
  • Salsa
Craft: Cook and crumble ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat until completely browned and no longer pink. Drain then add taco seasoning packet. On a plate, spread a layer of corn chips, 1/4 of the ground beef, 1/2 cup of cheese and 1/4 of the lettuce. Top with desired addons and serve.

Strategies: For a healthier version, use lean ground turkey breast and low-fat/fat free toppings. You won't taste a difference!

LFM: Jello!

  • Ground Turkey $1.50
  • Taco Seasoning packet $1.00
  • Corn Chips (Frito) $1.50
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese $2.00
  • Bag of Iceberg Lettuce $1.50
Total Cost: $7.50
Cost Per Serving: $1.88

Category: Raid Night, Critical Hits, Cheat Codes

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chicken Biscuit Sliders

One of my most favorite fast meals is sliders. Sliders, for anyone who may not know, are mini sammiches. It's the perfect way to get rid of leftover meat and biscuits. Since it's just my husband and I living here, we often don't go through a whole package of dinner rolls or a whole ham or a whole rotisserie chicken or a whole container of biscuits. But I hate, hate, HATE to waste food so we get creative in how to use them up without getting boring with our meals.

These sliders are made with biscuits and shredded rotisserie chicken but really, you can use whatever leftover breads and leftover meats you want. They're perfect for raid nights too because they're quick to make and easy to eat with one-hand while you're gaming. They also make good LAN party foods and will fill up your hungry guests without making a mess of the keyboards and controllers.

Chicken Biscuit Sliders

4-8 Servings | Total Time: 20 min | Journeyman

  • 1 can Refrigerated Biscuits
  • 2 cups Chicken, cooked and shredded or sliced
  • 8 Tbl Barbecue Sauce
  • 4 Slices of Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 Lettuce Leafs
  • 8 Tomato Slices (Roma)
  • 16 Pickle Slices
Craft: Bake the biscuits according to package instructions. Let biscuits cool then slice in half. Spread 1/2 Tbl of BBQ sauce on each biscuit slice. On one half of a whole biscuit, layer 1/4 cup chicken, 1/2 slice of cheese, 1/2 lettuce leaf, 1 tomato slice and 2 pickle slices. Put them together and enjoy!

Strategies: You can buy a Rotisserie Chicken from the Deli section of your grocery store. One chicken will give you 4-6 cups of shredded chicken which is useful in many meals. This meal also works great with dinner rolls if you want to buy them pre-cooked and save about 10 minutes!

LFM: Apple or Pear slices with chips or fries and a soft drink.

  • Refrigerated Biscuits $1.50
  • Rotisserie Chicken $5.00
  • Barbecue Sauce $1.00
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese $2.00
  • Lettuce $1.00
  • Roma Tomatos $0.50
  • Pickles $1.25
Total Cost: $12.25
Cost Per Serving: $1.50

Category: Raid Night, Troll Fuel, Snackage, LFG

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Helga's Ham Spread

Ham has so many wonderful uses and often is cheapest when you buy it in bulk. I often find myself with big chunks leftover because of this reason. The simplest way to use up these extra cuts is this wonderful Ham Spread. It can be used as a cracker spread, dip, or even sandwiches. It keeps well in the fridge if you make a big batch and is great for those unexpected groups that arrive unannounced.

Helga's Ham Spread
10 Servings | Total Time: 20 Minutes | Apprentice

  • 1 lb Ham, chopped
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup Pickle Juice or Relish
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • Kitchen Weapon Proficiency: Food Processor

Craft: Put ham in Food Processor and pulse until well shredded. Mix all ingredients together in a medium to large mixing bowl. Spread and serve, or cover and chill in the refrigerator until use.

Strategies: You can use canned ham to speed up the preparation if you would like. Also try adding onions or mustard to it to change up the flavor a bit.

  • Ham $2.99
  • Cream Cheese $1.79
Total Cost: $4.78
Cost Per Serving: $0.48

Categories: Raid Night, Snackage, LFG, Troll Fuel 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tinfoil Tilapia & Parmesan Potatoes

It's late. It's been a long day at work. You're tired. You're hungry. Your spouse is hungry. The cat is hungry! The raid is about to start. You need to get online to get invites sent out. You don't have time or inclination to make something fancy. But you do want something tasty and fulfilling. Most especially you really don't want a bunch of dishes to do after dinner (and the raid!) are done. What can you do other than reach for the Pizza Hut coupons on the counter?

The best way I've found to handle this stitch is to make as minimal a mess as possible. This meal is one of those meals. You'll end up with a large bowl to clean and some utensils but that's it! Tinfoil Tilapia can be eaten from the tinfoil that it's cooked in.

No pans, no mess, no fuss! And you only need a fork to eat it with since everything is already cut up into bite-sized chunks and the fish is flaky enough that it'll just break apart for you. It's pretty quick to prepare then you can stick it in the oven and forget about it until it's ready to eat.

It's also a good freezer meal. You can do some batch cooking, make a bunch of packets, freeze them and just pull them out when you need them! They can go directly from freezer to oven but you'll have to cook them just a tad longer.

Tinfoil Tilapia & Parmesan Potatoes

2 Servings | Total Time: 35 min | Artisan

  • 2 Tilapia Filets
  • 4 small Red Potatoes
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup Mayo
  • 1 Tbl Lemon Juice
  • 2 Green Onions/Scallions, chopped
  • 3 Tbl Butter, softened
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cooking Spray
  • Tinfoil
Craft: Preheat the oven to 375°. Using a fork or knife, poke several holes in the potatoes. Microwave the potatoes one at a time for 1.5-2 min each. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together Parmesan, mayo, lemon juice, green onions, butter, oregano and desired amount of salt and pepper (I prefer 1 tsp of each). When the potatoes are finished, chop them into bite-size cubes and add them to the bowl. Mix until the potatoes are well coated.

Get a large piece of tinfoil, roughly the size of a casserole dish (19 in). Spray one side lightly with cooking spray. Place one tilapia in the center. Spread half the potato mixture on top of the tilapia. Take the long sides of the tinfoil and fold them together over the mixture, rolling the seam to seal tightly. Roll up the two short ends and seal tightly. Repeat for second piece of tilapia.

Place both tinfoil packets on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. After removing from oven, carefully poke holes in the top of the tinfoil to let the steam out. Open the packet and serve as is or dump the contents onto a plate to serve.

Strategies: Be gentle when packaging the meal in tinfoil so you don't accidentally tear it. If you do tear it, wrap it up in another piece of tinfoil but don't wrap it in more than 2 layers. If you're eating it directly from the tinfoil be careful not to poke a hole in the bottom with your fork and spill the juices everywhere! This meal can be packed up and frozen for later cooking and eating. If you're throwing it in the oven straight from the freezer just add an extra 10 minutes to the cook time.

  • Tilapia $2.00
  • Red Potatoes $1.50
  • Grated Parmesan $1.00
  • Mayo $1.50
  • Green Onions/Scallions $0.75
Total Cost: $6.75
Cost Per Serving: $3.38

Category: Casual, Troll Fuel

*This meal contains staple items such as spices that you may or may not have in your pantry so your cost may vary. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Murloc Soup

Murlocs are the dread terror of WoW. Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a newbie, or even a veteran WoW player like the MMRRGGRRLLRRGGLL! First off, you can never pull just one, they always come in packs, no matter how hard you try. And if by some miracle you do pull just one, you will inevitably be ambushed by a pat of two or more. Needless to say, when I am given a quest to go kill some murlocs, or to obtain something from them, I cower in fear, log on my husband's account and play two computers at once in an effort to avoid the graveyard and the repair bills associated with it.

Now once I have completed my task and I am up to my elbows in Murloc entrails, it is time to prepare a victory feast! Murlocs 3 - Leetah 25!! Tonight, MURLOC SOUP!

Murloc Soup
6 Servings | Total Time: 20 Minutes | Apprentice

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 can Corn
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 3 cans Beans (Black, Kidney, and Great Northern pictured)
  • 1 pkg Taco Seasoning

Craft: Open corn, tomatoes and beans, do NOT drain them, and mix them together in a large pot. Add taco seasoning and mix well. Place on stove on medium high heat. In a skillet, cook ground beef until fully browned. By the time the beef is done, your soup should be heated thoroughly. Add beef to the soup.

Strategies: You can use whatever kind of beans you prefer. I always use three different varieties to give the soup some color. However, if you only like one kind of bean, then just use that kind! You can easily add portions to this recipe without doubling it, just add another can of beans. Additionally, if you want to make this a little healthier, rinse off your beans and add 2 cups of beef broth in the place of the juices.

LFM: Serve with some cheese on top and a side of tortilla chips for optimal goodness.

  • Ground Beef $2.49
  • Corn $0.57
  • Diced Tomatoes $0.68
  • Beans $0.65 x3
  • Taco Seasoning $1.29
Total Cost: $6.98
Cost Per Serving: $1.16

Categories: Raid Night, Critical Hits

Poor Man's Pizza Rolls

When you're a new character starting out in a new game or on a new server you've got to find ways to cut your expenses down until your cash flow goes up. Don't be buying stuff from the AH or other people until you get your professions leveled and you can start selling things for gold. Sometimes you even forgo buying new spells for a couple levels as you save up for a mount or a new weapon.

Sometimes it's that way IRL too. You're in college and need to save what little money you have for tuition and to feed yourself some bare minimal stuff. Or you've got a family to feed, a mortgage to pay and a couple other bills here and there. It's nice to be able to save a bit on that large grocery bill. This meal is the perfect, cheaper (and tastier!) alternative to hot pockets! And just like hot pockets they are totally versatile in the kinds of fillings you use.

You can cut them up into smaller portions for parties or leave them whole, burrito-style and take it with you to work for lunch. They're not messy or greasy on the outside so you can handle them easily while gaming. And just like any pizza, they go great with a side salad if you wanna get some veggies in.

They are really quick and easy to make too so when you're in a rush, you can still have something delicious and hot to eat. No worries about pots and pans to clean here. Just a paper plate and a spoon to spread the sauce. Maybe a knife to cut it up if you're so inclined.

All around this meal gets a big thumbs up from my family and friends for tastiness, ease, speed and minimal clean-up hassles.

Poor Man's Pizza Rolls

8 Servings | Total Time: 10 min | Apprentice

  • 8 Flour Tortillas
  • 8 Tbl Pizza/Spaghetti Sauce
  • 2 cups Mozarella Cheese
  • 8 Tbl Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 pkg Pepperoni Slices
Craft: Spread 1 Tbl of sauce onto each tortilla. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of Mozarella on each tortilla. Put 15 slices or so on each tortilla. Sprinkle each tortilla with 1 Tbl cheddar cheese. Microwave each tortilla separately on high for 1 minute. Roll up and serve.

Strategies: Like any pizza recipe, you can use whatever toppings you'd like. I recommend trying BBQ Sauce, pineapple, and ham. Or try Ranch dressing, uncooked baby spinach, Parmesan cheese and some cooked, shredded chicken.

LFM: A crisp green salad with pudding or a parfait for dessert!

  • Flour Tortillas $1.50
  • Pizza Sauce $1.50
  • Mozarella Cheese $2.00
  • Cheddar Cheese $2.00
  • Pepperoni Slices $2.50
Total Cost: $9.50
Cost Per Serving: $1.19

Category: Raid Night, Troll Fuel, Snackage, Cheat Codes

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Falmea's Favorite Fruity French Toast

It was a bright sunny morning in the Spiral. Wizard City was just starting to wake up to the crisp air. In her cottage, Professor Falmea awoke and thought to herself, 'Yes, I like French Toast. But I mostly like french toast with delicious strawberry syrup.' So she got up to fix herself some fruity french toast but there were no strawberries to be found! She sent her students to search all over Wizard City but everyone was all sold out.

Then one student came to her rescue. Following the advice of Prospector Zeke, this student went and searched deep in the woods of Grizzleheim and there discovered a large strawberry patch. The student gathered as many strawberries as she could and brought them back to Falmea. Professor Falmea was so pleased she rewarded the student by cooking up a double batch of Fruity French Toast with extra strawberry syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar on top.

Sounds like a delicious story yes? Well let me tell you...finding strawberries that are less than $4.00 in winter can be hard. But it's worth it. I had listened to that silly song just before going to sleep. So, just like Falmea, I too woke up thinking about french toast!

Luckily, I had some strawberries in the fridge, leftover from my parfait craving earlier this week. These strawberries were just waiting for an excuse to be used. It's pretty simple to make strawberry syrup for your pancakes, waffles or french toast. Just keep an eye on it so it doesn't become candy instead of syrup!

Falmea's Favorite Fruity French Toast

2 Servings | Total Time: 20 min | Artisan

  • 6 slices of Wheat Bread
  • 3 Eggs, (3/4 cup Fake Eggs)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbl Milk
  • 8-10 Strawberries, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup of Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 tsp Powdered Sugar
  • Cooking Spray
Craft: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together strawberries, sugar and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, milk, and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Heat a medium pan over medium heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Dip 1 slice of bread in the egg mixture, turn to coat then place in the heated pan. Cook 2-3 minutes or until browned and not gooey then flip. Cook another 2-3 minutes or until done. Place on a warm plate in the microwave to keep warm. Repeat for other slices of bread. As you cook the french toast, stir your strawberry mixture occasionally. When all your french toast is done, pour the mixture over the toast, dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Strategies: You can use this same recipe and make an excellent blueberry syrup too!

LFM: Bacon or Sausage and a glass of milk.

  • Wheat Bread $1.50
  • Eggs $1.00
  • Strawberries $2.50
Total Cost: $5.00
Cost Per Serving: $2.50

Category: Rez Plz, Raid Night, Phat Loot

*This meal contains staple items such as spices that you may or may not have in your pantry so your cost may vary.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Little Sidetrack Adventure

So we all know that potatoes can be prepared many different ways. You can bake them, boil them, mash them, slice them, fry them, shred them and instant them. But nothing, and I repeat, NOTHING beats launching them. That's right ladies and gentlemen, I said launching them. My friend from and I made Spud Guns for our spouses for Valentine's Day, but since they work out of town, we had to take them out and test these suckers out for ourselves. This is the result.

We did get them to fire, but they are extremely finicky about the fuel/air mixture and it wasn't as easy as all of those other YouTube videos make it look! I know, go ahead and laugh, it was super fun though!

Pandaren Noodles

Seafood wasn't really my thing. Didn't have it very much growing up and never cared for it when I flew the coop. But after marriage I discovered that my husband really liked fishy things so I decided to give it a try. You gotta make what the hubby wants! Quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach amirite?

Well seafood has grown on me over the years. But of all the seafood things I've grown accustomed to, I still like shrimp the best. It's so versatile! For this recipe I've taken shrimp and given it some Asian flavors. And when I think Asian, I think Pandas! So naturally I named this dish for the Pandaren Monk. Possibly the most cutest game pet ever. And a pretty good cartoon too!

This meal is another easy and fast one because I use Oriental-Flavor Ramen noodles then just spruce it up with a few other ingredients to make it more tasty and filling. And you have the option of adding more to it if you want to make it even better or switching out some ingredients if you don't care for them.

Pandaren Noodles

2 Servings | Total Time: 10 min | Apprentice

  • 2 pkg Oriental Flavor Ramen Noodles
  • 1/4 lb Snow Peas
  • 1 can Sliced or Chopped Water Chestnuts
  • 1/2 lb Shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails off
Craft: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add noodles, flavor packets, and water chestnuts. Boil for 3 minutes or until noodles start to become tender. Reduce heat to medium then add shrimp and snow peas. Cook for 3-5 more minutes or until the noodles are completely done and the shrimp is cooked through.

Strategies: If you're in a hurry you can buy pre-cooked shrimp and add it at the very end of the cook time. Make sure it's heated through then serve. You can also add diced cabbage to this recipe when you add the snow peas and garnish the whole thing with chopped peanuts for more protein and crunch!

LFM: Good with flaky biscuits or croissants and pears.

  • Oriental Flavor Ramen Noodles $0.30
  • Snow Peas $1.50
  • Sliced Water Chestnuts $1.50
  • Shrimp $3.00
Total Cost: $6.30
Cost Per Serving: $3.15

Category: Raid Night, Troll Fuel

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Snowy Side Frosting

Anyone who has even started playing Dungeons and Dragons Online will understand the dilemma that has been presented with Sunny Korthos and Snowy Korthos. Both apparently the same place except that on Snowy Korthos, it's... well... snowing. Korthos Island was extremely confusing and frustrating to get through when you are trying to get help from people you can't interact with because they have progressed to Sunny Korthos whilst you are stuck on Snowy Korthos.

Alas! There is a sunny side to being stuck in the snow! And that is, that snow tastes better. Utilizing the resources given to me while I wandered around that cold and lonely island I was able to come up with a fabulous frosting that goes well with just about every kind of Phat Loot or fruit!

Snowy Side Frosting

12 Servings | Total Time: 10 Minutes | Apprentice

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 1/4 cup Butter (softened)
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Craft: In a medium bowl mix together cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in vanilla, then gradually stir in powdered sugar. Store in refrigerator after use.

Strategies: To soften the cream cheese and butter put them in the microwave for a few seconds. If you prefer chocolate frosting simply add 1/8-1/4 cup Cocoa Powder, according to how rich you want it.

  • Cream Cheese $1.69
Total Cost: $1.69
Cost Per Serving: $0.14

Category: Phat Loot, LFG, Snackage, Critical Hits

Pywll's Parfait

High King Pywll was a pretty wise man for his time. Without him, many Aluvians might have been lost to savage war times and then who would Asheron have called to help his people in the land of Dereth? But the thing about the king that most people didn't know is that he had a taste for sweet and fruity things.

This royal treat is a quick and easy nom to make. No cooking required! Maybe a little slicing and dicing but as long as you have dagger/melee d spec buddy you should be fine. It's creamy and crunchy. It's sweet and salty. It's perfect for breakfast. It's perfect for dessert. It's perfect for a snack. It's everything you want after you've done nothing but stuck your hiney in a corner and killed lugians for a few hours.

Pywll's Parfait

1 Servings | Total Time: 5 min | Apprentice

  • 1 cup Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1 Granola bar, chopped up
  • 1/2 cup Blueberries
  • 1/2 cup Strawberries, sliced in half or quarters
Craft: In a cup layer 1/3 of the blueberries, 1/3 of the strawberries, and 1/2 of the yogurt. Repeat once then top with remaining fruit and all the granola.

Strategies: You can use just about any fruit that you have available. Fresh fruit is always tastier but you can use frozen fruit too. You can use canned fruit too but I highly recommend rinsing the fruit gently to remove the syrup it's packaged in. To make it a really sweet treat, use granola bars with chocolate chips in them or add a tsp of chocolate syrup between each layer and drizzled on top.

  • Vanilla Yogurt $0.75
  • Granola bar $0.50
  • Blueberries $2.00
  • Strawberries $2.00
Total Cost: $5.25
Cost Per Serving: $5.25

Category: Rez Plz, Expansions, Snackage, Phat Loot, Cheat Codes

Monday, February 14, 2011

Korthos Island Pig

After venturing through the dark sewers of Korthos Island you might not feel like eating. However, if you maintain your adventurous appetite you should be lucky to find yourself at the Wavecrest Tavern, drinking Old Sully's Grog and eating some mighty Tasty Ham. This is the recipe that Sigmund Bauerson himself creates for him famous ham-eating contests.

This island beauty is the other reason Sigmund moved to a tropical location for his ham-eating contests. It is a lot cheaper to make when you don't have to pay import shipping fees for the ingredients!

Korthos Island Pig
2 Servings | Total Time: 10 Minutes | Apprentice

  • 2-1/4 lb Ham Steaks
  • 3/4 cup Applesauce
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger
  • Kitchen Weapon Proficiency: Indoor Appliance Grill
Craft: Plug in your weapon to preheat it. Mix together applesauce, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Dip the ham steaks in the mixture and place them on the grill. Coat the ham steaks evenly with the rest of the sauce. Close the lid and let cook for 5-8 minutes or until heated through. Remove ham steaks from the grill and place them on plates. Use the drippings in the grease catch to dress the steaks again.

Strategies: You can replace the brown sugar in the recipe for honey.

Ham Steaks: $5.50
Applesauce: $2.00

Total Cost: $7.50
Cost Per Serving: $3.75

Category: Raid Night, Cheat Codes, Critical Hit

Welfare Epic Burgers

You know how sometimes, like towards the end of an expansion, it’s so easy to gear up your brand-new character that you feel like you’re cheating? Epic gear that is really easy to get has come by the nickname of ‘Welfare Epics’, which became the inspiration for this recipe. It is so easy and so simple but the burgers are so awesome it feels like you cheated to get them! And you do, kinda!

You can get preformed burger patties at the store for only a couple bucks more than a pound of ground beef. You can certainly use this recipe and form the patties yourself but when you're pinched for time, getting preformed patties will save you a good 10-15 minutes. You could clear trash halfway up to the first boss in an instance in that amount of time!

Once you've got your patties it's just a matter of making them taste more epic than your average burger. That's where this recipe comes in. Simple is better so I've stuck with basic ingredients that do more to enhance the flavor of the meat than to cover it up like some spices do. Top this burger with some classics like lettuce, tomato, pickles and cheese and people will think you worked hard on them!

Welfare Epic Burgers

2-4 Servings | Total Time: 20 min | Apprentice

  • 1 pkg Preformed Burger Patties (2-4 patties)
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cooking Spray
  • Kitchen Weapon Proficiency -Indoor Appliance Grill
Recommended Addons:
  • 2-4 Burger Buns
  • Pickles
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Mayo
  • Cheese, your choice
Craft: On both sides of each pattie sprinkle desired amount of onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Gently rub the seasoning into the meat. Heat up your indoor grill and spray it with cooking spray. Place the pattie on the grill and close the lid. Cook 3-5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the grill and immediately add cheese if desired. Repeat for other patties.

Strategies: To enhance the flavor even more you can get ground beef instead of preformed patties. Then mix in the seasonings with the beef as you form the patties. This will take some extra time though! Don't have an indoor grill? No worries. You can purchase this appliance for $15-20. You can also just as easily cook this on an outdoor grill when the weather cooperates. Just keep in mind that it will add a little time as well.

LFM: Fries, Tator Tots, Chips, Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Fruit Salad or Baked Beans.

  • Preformed Burger Patties | $5.00
Total Cost: $5.00
Cost Per Serving: $1.25

Category: Raid Night, Troll Fuel, Cheat Codes

*This meal contains staple items such as spices that you may or may not have in your pantry so your cost may vary.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Spiritual Cream of Veggie Soup

When it's winter, I'm all about soup at least once a week. It's simple, hot, food that warms me to the bones. And as anyone who knows me can tell you, it's hard for me to get warm in winter. Even just reading a book that talks about cold weather makes me cold. I was shivering when I played the more snowy levels of the middle of summer.

So when I need something particular to warm up there's one soup recipe I adore. It's not made of chicken but it's definitely good for the soul. This soup is a creamy, rich mixture of flavors that I spent years perfecting. And just like my Baradin's Black Bean Soup, it's blend-able if you want to make it into a drinkable version for your raid nights.

It's perfect for when you're not feeling good too because you don't have to babysit it too much like you do with other cream-based soups. As long as you don't let it boil long and stir it every so often you can just let the soup do it's thing. This soup is also great because it will take any leftover vegetables you have so it can be slightly different every time if you want it to be!

Spiritual Cream of Veggie Soup

4-6 Servings | Total Time: 30 min | Apprentice

  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 2 Tbl Flour
  • 1 Tbl Onion Powder
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 16oz carton of Half & Half Cream
  • 3 Tbl Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tbl Oregano
  • 1 Tbl Red Curry Powder
  • 3 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 2 tsp Pepper
  • 5 cups of bite-sized frozen or fresh vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, corn, peas ect.)
  • 4 Tbl Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 slices of Bacon, cooked, crumbled
Craft: In a large pot over high heat, melt butter. Add flour and onion powder. Cook and stir until bubbly about 30sec-1 minute. Gradually add Chicken Broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring to make sure it's well combined before adding the next 1/2 cup. About 5 minutes. Now stir in cream, Parmesan cheese, oregano, curry powder, garlic salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat to medium or medium low. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in vegetables and heat through, about 5 more minutes. Garnish with 1 Tbl of cheese and a sprinkle of cooked, crumbled bacon.

Strategies: You can easily add more substance to this meal with any leftover meat you have. Ground beef, Cubed Smoked Ham, Kielbasa Sausage or Shredded Chicken. Also, if you want to make this a drinkable soup you can roughly blend the veggies before adding them to the soup pot.

LFM: Perfect with biscuits, rolls or crackers and a glass of orange or apple juice.

  • Chicken Broth $2.00
  • Half & Half Cream $1.50
  • Parmesan Cheese $1.00
  • California Medley Vegetables $1.00
  • Corn $1.00
  • Cheddar Cheese $2.00
  • Bacon $2.00
Total Cost: $10.50
Cost Per Serving: $1.75

Category: Casual, Troll Fuel, Critical Hits

Friday, February 11, 2011

Romantic Picnic

Earlier today I made some Less Than Three Eggs and saved the center cutout from the bread for just this recipe! Lunchtime now looms like a Fel Reaver, ground-shakin', growling stomachs and all. So I'll pull out my sammich baggie of heart shaped bread slices and get to work!

These mini sammiches of goodness can be made with any kind of filling you'd like. My hubby likes PB&J while I like deli meat with cheese and lettuce. But you can also fill it with a chicken finger and some marinara sauce or some mayo and tuna and pickles!

The important thing to note about these sammiches is that they are smaller than the average sammich. So you'll want to make more and then suppliment this picnic with lots of other goodies and finger foods. If you want to be truly romantic, pack your food in a 10-slot picnic basket and take him/her to a park (or if it's cold out, spread a blanket on the living room floor and play some co-ops while you munch). You can also hide a present for your sweetheart inside the basket! GameStop gift cards make great, hide-able gifts (hint, hint my dear!)

Romantic Picnic

2 Servings | Total Time: 5 min | Apprentice

  • 8 slices of Bread
  • 4 Tbl Peanut Butter
  • 4 Tbl Jelly or Jam, any flavor
Craft: Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter or your artistic skills, cut out heart shapes from the center of your bread slices. Spread peanut butter on 4 hearts and Jelly on the other 4. Pair your PB&J halves and enjoy!

Strategies: You don't have to use PB&J for this recipe. Try any filling you'd like on a sammich.

LFM: You can go with the obvious chips & dip route or you can kick it up a notch and add some fancy finger foods. Try some fruit and cheese. Strawberries, grapes and apples with Sharp Cheddar, Swiss, and Provolone. Follow-up this meal with chocolate chip cookies. Or a small box of chocolates!

  • Wheat Bread $1.00
  • Peanut Butter $1.50
  • Grape Jelly $1.50
Total Cost: $4.00
Cost Per Serving: $2.00

Category: Raid Night, Troll Fuel, Snackage, Cheat Codes, LFG

Less Than Three Eggs

Love is in the Air! And it smells like bacon and eggs. Valentine's day is only a few days off so it's time to finalize those plans you've made for your sweetheart! This year I'm going for a <3 themed Valentine's Day. I already decided on dinner with heart-y huevos rancheros. Now it's time to decide what's for breakfast in bed!

These heart shaped pieces of delicious happiness are simple to make and you can use either real eggs(left in pic) or fake eggs(right in pic). All you need is some bread, eggs and butter! And a cookie cutter helps but if you've got mad carving skillz you can get by without one.

D'aww. Isn't that cute? I promise your sweetie will think it's cute too. This meal is doubly awesome because you can get two meals outta it. Don't discard/eat the center hearts! Stick them in a sammich bag and save them for lunchtime. I've got plans for those things!

Less Than Three Eggs

2 Servings | Total Time: 10 min | Apprentice

  • 2 slices of Bread
  • 4 tsp Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Craft: Warm up a small skillet with lid over medium-high heat. Cut a heart shape out of the middle of both slices of bread. Butter both sides of both pieces. Place one piece in the skillet and pour the egg into the heart. Sprinkle the egg with desired amount of salt and pepper. Let cook, covered, 1 minute. Add 1 tsp of water to the pan and quickly cover and cook for 30 sec to 1 min again. The steam will help the topside of the egg to cook a little and hold it's shape before flipping. Remove the lid and flip. Let cook another minute before removing from heat. Repeat with second slice of bread.

Strategies: One side of the toast will not look very heart shaped but don't worry, the other side will! But, if you're using fake eggs you'll want to let it cook a little longer on one side before flipping it or your eggs won't be cooked enough to hold their shape and you'll lose the heart!

LFM: Bananas, Pears, Oranges, Cranberry Juice, and Bacon or sausage!

  • Wheat Bread $1.00
  • Eggs $1.00
Total Cost: $2.00
Cost Per Serving: $1.00

Category: Raid Night, Rez Plz, Troll Fuel

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cheaterfish Noodles

Cheaterfish isn't a fish of Azeroth, but it is quite commonly used around our world, Earth. Many of the fish on Earth have nicknames. For example, the Vermillion Snapper is commonly nicknamed "Beeliner" and Baracuda's are sometimes known as "Barney." However, Tuna Fish is such a simple and common name that no one has bothered to come up with a nickname for it, until now.

I am not a fish lover. I don't like the smell, and in most cases I don't even like the taste or texture. Tuna is the exception. It comes conveniently canned and pre-cooked and when mixed with mayonnaise or other creamy dressings, can be quite tasty. It is also cheap in comparison to most fish you find at the grocery store. So, Tuna, I dub thee, Cheaterfish! It's a fish that isn't what other fish is and is therefore cheating!

This dish makes awesome leftovers and can be served cold, making it great option for doubling up on the recipe.

Cheaterfish Noodles

4 Servings | Total Time: 20 minutes | Apprentice

  • 1/2 lb package Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 can Tuna Fish
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Craft: Cook elbow macaroni per package directions. Strain noodles and add remaining ingredients. Serve warm.

Strategies: You can add most any small vegetable (i.e. corn, peas...) to this dish to give it color, flavor and more nutrition.

LFM: Crackers are a great side dish here. Forget the fork or spoon, scoop it up onto a cracker and save yourself time doing the dishes later!

  • Elbow Macaroni $1.00
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup $0.89
  • Tuna Fish $0.63
Total Cost: $2.52
Cost Per Serving: $0.63

Category: Troll Fuel, Raid Night, Cheat Codes