Friday, April 29, 2011

Dark Side Cookies

Come to the Dark Side, we have cookies! I used to find this saying slightly amusing though very absurd if you analyze it. I mean, where did the Dark Side get cookies? What Sith Lord would confess to a baking habit? And I am sure that if anyone on the Dark Side did bake, they wouldn't turn out very tasty. 
But then I realized that you don't need to have a baking skill to be able to craft wonderful cookies. My eldest sister use to make these wonderful cookies all the time. Unfortunately she stopped making them when my older brothers teased her that there was poop on the counter. These are my favorite cookies, they aren't baked and they look like poop. Sounds like the perfect Dark Side cookie temptation if you ask me!

Dark Side Cookies
36 Cookies | Total Time: 45 Minutes | Apprentice

  • 1 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 4 tbl Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter (crunchy or smooth)
  • 3 cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Wax Paper
    Craft: In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar, butter and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, oats and vanilla. Drop spoonfuls onto wax paper and let cool until hardened.

    Strategies: You can use instant oats or regular oats for this recipe. You also have the choice of crunchy or creamy peanut butter. It all depends on your texture preference. Additionally, if you have room in your fridge, cooling the cookies there helps them set faster if you are in a time crunch, or just impatient.

    • Cocoa Powder $1.89
    • Oats $0.98
    • Wax Paper $1.45
    Total Cost: $4.32
    Cost Per Serving: $0.12
    *This meal contains staple items such as spices that you may or may not have in your pantry so your cost may vary.

    Categories: Casual, Phat Loot, Critical Hits, Snackage

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    Cookies of Indecision

    I love cookies. Honestly, who doesn't? There is a cookie out there for just about every preference. The most common in popularity are Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, and Peanut Butter. They are the Pepperoni, Cheese, and Hawaiian of the cookie realm. However, you can't order a cookie as half Peanut Butter, half Chocolate Chip. It doesn't work very well. Fortunately we have found a way to get all of your favorite cookies into one. So, whether you are feeling like Peanut Butter, or Chocolate Chip, or Oatmeal, you are covered with this recipe for even the most indecisive of people.

    Cookies of Indecision
    60-72 Cookies | Total Time: 1 Hour | Apprentice

    • 3/4 cup Butter, softened
    • 3/4 cup Peanut Butter
    • 1 1/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed
    • 1 1/4 cup Sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
    • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
    • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
    • 2 2/3 cup Rolled Oats
    • 1 pkg Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (10 oz)

    Craft: Pre-heat oven to 375°. Beat butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda, mixing until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla, then flour. Stir in the oats with a wooden spoon until well integrated. Stir in chocolate chips in the same manner. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Repeat the baking process until all dough is baked.  

    Strategies: After they have cooled, you can store these cookies in an airtight container and freeze them for up to 1 month and still maintain their deliciousness. Also, if you want a slightly softer, (though not as healthy) cookie, change out half, or even all of the butter for shortening.

    • Peanut Butter $1.63
    • Rolled Oats $0.98
    • Chocolate Chips $1.99
    Total Cost: $4.60
    Cost Per Serving: $0.19
    *This meal contains staple items such as spices that you may or may not have in your pantry so your cost may vary. 

    Catergories: Casual, Phat Loot, Snackage

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Mount Doom Chicken

    The mountain rumbled, puffing out a continuous pillar of ash and soot. Rill did not look up. It was hard enough to see without getting soot in her eyes. In her hands she held the Bracelet of Power. She had to get it to the place where it was forged....inside the mountain. She was nearly there. Just ahead she could see the entrance to the great forge that the Dark Iron dwarves created. She was tired and hungry and just wanted this quest to be done so she could get back to her archeological studies.

    Suddenly a fierce sqwack sounded from the rocks to her right. A tiny ball of feathers burst out and attacked her with claws and beak. Rill yelped, more out of surprise than hurt or fear and automatically sent a light hammer crashing down on the tiny beast's head. It died instantly.

    It was a chicken. She rolled her eyes.

    "Oh good. I'll be able to tell my guildmates all about the fearsome beast I faced at the entrance of Mount Doom and wasted a powerful judgement spell on." She sighed then noticed something odd.

    The chicken was carrying something. Or at least, it looked like it had. She had never seen a chicken with loot before and she'd killed thousands of them. Rolling the corpse over  with her foot she found a canister of some sort. It had a lid. She picked it up, opened it and sniffed. It was....fizzy. And smelled like...lemonade but not quite like that either. She took an experimental sip.

    It was a lot like the Kaja Cola beverages that the Steamwheedle Cartel goblins raved on and on about. It certainly was delicious and it certainly gave her ideas as she took another sip and eyed the chicken corpse. Surely her quest could wait until after dinner....

    Mount Doom Chicken

    4 Servings | Prep Time: 10 min; Cook Time: 6 hours | Apprentice

    • 1 liter Mountain Dew
    • 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
    • 4 Chicken Thighs or Breasts
    • 1 can Whole Kernel Corn
    • 1/2 jar Capers, drained
    • 1 bag California Medley Vegetables
    • 2 cup White Rice, uncooked
    • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, optional
    Craft: In a crockpot, stir together rice, soda and soup. Add chicken on top of the rice. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Add the veggies, corn and capers 1 hour before it's done cooking. Garnish with cheese.

    Strategies: Don't use flat soda. The carbonation in the soda makes the chicken fall-apart-tender!

    LFM: A nice parfait or a scoop of ice cream for dessert.

    • Mountain Dew | $1.00
    • Cream of Chicken soup | $0.75
    • Chicken Breasts | $2.00
    • Whole Kernel Corn | $0.50
    • Capers, drained | $1.00
    • California Medley Vegetables | $1.00
    Total Cost: $6.25
    Cost Per Serving: $1.57

    Category: Apprentice, Hardcore

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

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Noblegarden Chowder

    Easter is almost upon us and so is Noblegarden in World of Warcraft! So I got to thinking about classic Easter dinners. Mmmm Spiral Cut Ham. Mashed potatoes and gravy. Warm, buttery rolls. Crisp green salads. Jello! Deviled eggs for sure. My only problem with having a classic Easter dinner is that it takes all day to cook. It makes me want to be lazy and not cook anything the whole day before and the whole day after. After is no problem because we have leftovers! But before Easter...well...that's when I whip out this recipe.

    It's perfect for this time of year not just because you can throw it together and let it simmer but it's ingredients are also pretty festive for the occasion! The bread bowl is fun but totally optional. Even the kind of meat you use is optional. I just throw in whatever is cooked and handy. Usually ground turkey or beef. This is just the kind of meal I'm looking for before Easter and I'm sure the Noblegarden bunneh's would approve of it too.

    Noblegarden Chowder

    8 Servings | Prep Time: 10 min; Cook Time: 1 hr | Journeyman

    • 1 lb Ground Beef
    • 1 tsp Sugar
    • 1 tsp Salt
    • 1 tsp Pepper
    • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
    • 2 stalk Celery
    • 1/4 Onion
    • 1 can Cream of Celery
    • 20 oz Shredded/Matchstick Carrots
    • 4 cups Tomato Juice
    • 2 cup Beef Broth
    • 2 Tbl Flour
    • 8 pack of Kaiser Rolls (or other medium-large rolls with a tough crust)
    • 8 slices Provolone Cheese
    Craft: Chop onion & celery. Brown beef with onion in a pot over medium heat. Add sugar, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add celery & soup and stir until combined. Add carrots and simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk together broth and flour. Add broth mix and tomato juice to the pot. Stir then simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stir occasionally. Cut out the top and some of the center of the Kaiser rolls. Place a slice of provolone cheese inside each roll, pressing down firmly. When the soup is done, carefully spoon it into the rolls.

    Strategies: You can cut the cooking time in half by microwaving the carrots for 10 minutes to soften them while you brown the ground beef. Just remember that your carrots won't quite be infused with all the flavors of the soup when cooked this way. This soup freezes well and is easy to double and triple if you're expecting company. If you don't want to scoop out individual bowls, just serve rolls on the side with cheese on top of the soup. You can also just use any leftover meat you have instead of the beef.

    LFM: Salad and Apples or Pears.

    • Ground Beef | $2.00
    • Celery | $1.00
    • Onion | $0.50
    • Cream of Celery | $1.25
    • Shredded Carrots | $1.75
    • Tomato Juice | $1.25
    • Beef Broth | $1.25
    • Kaiser Rolls | $2.00
    • Provolone Cheese | $2.00
    Total Cost: $13.00
    Cost Per Serving: $2.17

    Category: Hardcore, LFM

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

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Mage Bread

    Have you ever done a /who mage while in a major city, hoping some bored mage will be kind enough to conjure you up some bread to take questing? I haven't but that's because I am a mage. Have been and always will be until the day WoW shuts down it's servers. Being a mage gives you the best of everything. You can port to any major city from anywhere, you can provide yourself with sustenance. And those pesky pvper's get the sheep, or turtle, or penguin, or black cat, or rabbit, or pig, depending on which glyph or tome you have. Since mage's have a lot of experience in making bread, and it's cheap and fast to make, you can imagine that it is always the best. That is definitely my experience, and my dear friend over at EC Writes also agrees. 

    Why I recall a day back when I was level 60, Leetah was inside the Molten Core as the 39 other raiders filed inside. I looked at the raid list to see who I would be competing for loot against, what other mages would be trying for my epics. I stood in utter shock at first, then excitement filled me as I realized I was the ONLY MAGE. If something dropped, it was guaranteed to be mine. Thrill filled me, for the first, and possibly last time, I wouldn't have to compete with another mage for loot.

    Of course, all good things come to an end. I looked at my chat screen in dismay as the whispers came in. "4 stacks of bread and 4 water plz." "4 bread plz." "4 bread 2 water plz." They kept coming and coming. The only classes in the raid that didn't want food or water or both, were the 3 rogues. Needless to say there was a huge line, waiting for the infamous and usually speedy mage food. At that time, for those newbies out there, I was able to conjure 4 stacks of water (10 at a time) and 1 stack of bread before I was out of mana. Evocate helped speed things up, every 15 minutes. I managed to feed and water the entire raid, but we had to start nearly an hour late.

    Instead of making all of your raids start late by asking the only mage to conjure individual stacks of food and water for everyone, Blizzard finally decided it would be a great idea to create the Mage Table, for which I will eternally be thankful for. And following their lead, here is how you can make your own Mage Bread.

    Mage Bread
    2 Loaves | Total Time: 1 Hour | Journeyman

    • 5 1/4 cup Flour
    • 1/4 cup Sugar 
    • 1/2 tbl Salt
    • 1 1/2 tbl Instant Yeast
    • 3 nickle-sized blobs of Soy Lecithin (in the baking aisle or at a specialty baking shop)
    • 2 1/2 cup Hot Water
    • 2 tbl Butter
    • Kitchen Weapon: Heavy Duty Mixer (e.g. Kitchen Aid or Bosch)

    Craft: Pre-heat oven to 350°.Combine first 4 ingredients.  Add lecithin and water.  Mix in heaver duty mixer for 5 minutes.  Spray counter top with food release.  Dump dough onto counter.  It should be sticky.  Do not add anymore flour.  Divide and shape into 2 loaves.  Put in greased breads pans.  Place on top of the oven (so the heat of the oven will warm the loaves) and over with a towel. Let rise for 25 minutes.  Bake for 25 minutes. Remove loaves from pans immediately. Rub butter on the top of the bread and let cool (If you don't remove from pans, the pans will sweat and the bread will get soggy on the outside and then stick to the pan as it cools off and dries out).

    Strategies: This recipe is great with any kind of flour. You can do all whole wheat flour, bread flour, turkey flour or all-purpose flour. You can even mix it up. I prefer to do half whole wheat and half turkey flour. Also, make sure you are using Instant Yeast otherwise it will not rise. Instant Yeast does not need to be prepared like regular yeast does.

    • Flour $2.00
    • Sugar $1.98
    • Yeast $5.47
    • Soy Lecithin $12.50
    Total Initial Cost: $21.95
    *This cost is based on buying all mats, which can be used for 10+ conjurations of this recipe. 

    Catergories: Critical Hits, Rez Plz, Snackage, Troll Fuel, Hardcore

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Brewfest Pretzeled Chicken

    This is gonna be another guild bank clean out story. I know, I know. I told you all about it only a few days ago. But you really have no idea how large and cluttered my bank is! It takes a while to sort through and I have to agonize over every thing I want to keep or delete. My bank should be in the World of Warcraft Museum of Natural History. I could show you the evolution of WoW through expansions just by dusting off all the armor sets I have. I could give you a tour that covers the lore of the cultural festivities that each faction holds at different times of the year.

    But I digress. There was another food item that I discovered hiding in a corner of my bank. Brewfest pretzels! Good thing pretzels don't really go bad for a very long time. And even if your pretzels do get stale you can still use them for this recipe! It's tasty, salty and goes well with any dip that you'd normally use for pretzels. Just go ahead and make it a wanna-be fondu party and slice up some carrot sticks, celery and maybe some snow peas to dip too!

    Pretzeled Chicken Fingers

    4 Servings | Total Time: 30 min | Journeyman

    • 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
    • 2 cups Buttermilk
    • 2 Tbl Honey
    • 1 Tbl Mustard
    • 1 Tbl Garlic, minced
    • 1 pkg dry Ranch Dressing mix
    • 2 Eggs
    • 6 cups Pretzels
    • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan
    • Kitchen Weapon Proficiency: Food Processor
    Recommended Addons:
    • Ranch Dressing
    • Mustard
    • Honey
    • Barbecue Sauce
    • Marinara Sauce
    Craft: Preheat oven to 400° F. In a food processor, grind up the pretzels into a course breadcrumb-like mixture. Pour the pretzels into a shallow bowl. Pour package of dry dressing mix into another shallow bowl. Whisk eggs in a third shallow bowl. Cut chicken breasts into strips. Coat the chicken in the ranch mix, then egg, then coat well in the pretzels. Lay the strips on a greased baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes.

    Strategies: No food processor? No problem! Crush the pretzels in a bag with a rolling pin or heavy can.

    LFM: Serve with other dip-able veggies such as carrot sticks, celery, broccoli, green beans, snow/sugar snap peas ect.

    • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts | $4.00
    • Buttermilk | $1.50
    • Ranch Dressing mix | $1.00
    • Eggs | $1.00
    • Pretzels | $2.00
    • Grated Parmesan | $1.50
    Total Cost: $11.00
    Cost Per Serving: $2.75

    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.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Cry Babies

    Nobody likes a cry baby, especially when you are pwning them in PVP or first-person shooters. Poor sports are looked down upon in any gaming arena. Who wants to listen to somebody complain about how bad they suck? I know I don't. As I tell my kids, "I don't speak whine, if you want to talk to me, talk normally." There is no sound in the world that drives me crazier than the sound of somebody whining. All of my senses shut them out. Whether it is the /ignore command so that I don't have to be bombarded with their adolescence on my screen, or simply toning them out so I no longer register the sound of their voice.  

    I don't like ignoring people, but I don't like stupid people either. If you aren't intelligent enough to figure out how to solve the problem on your own, please go find someone who cares, 'cause I sure don't. 

    I eat Cry Babies for breakfast. Come whine to me and you will surely get your head bitten off, or possibly cut off and served on a silver platter; and no, you don't get to choose which.


    Cry Babies
    4 Servings | Total Time: 30 Minutes | Apprentice

    • 3 large Eggs (at room temperature)
    • 2/3 cup Whole Milk (at room temperature)
    • 2/3 cup Flour
    • 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
    • 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
    • 1/8 tsp Salt
    • 1/4 cup Butter, in pieces
    • 1/3 cup Sugar
    • 2 tsp grated Lemon zest
    • Kitchen Weapon: 10" Cast Iron Skillet
    • Kitchen Weapon: Electric Mixer
      Craft: Set oven to 450° and place skillet on the middle rack of the oven. Beat eggs with an electric mixer until pale and frothy. Then beat in milk, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, about 1 minute. Continue until smooth. Add butter to hot skillet and swirl around to coat evenly. Add batter and immediately return skillet to the oven. Bake about 18-25 minutes or until puffy and golden.

      While the Cry Baby is cooking, mix together the sugar and lemon zest. Use this to top the Cry Baby and serve immediately out of the oven.

      Strategies: You can use any kind of milk you want, but the higher the milk-fat, the better the Cry Baby will puff up. You could even use Half and Half cream if you have some sitting around.  These are similar to crepes and can be topped with any of your favorite syrups or fruits. You can even make it into a dessert with some ice cream.

      • Eggs $0.98
      • Lemon $0.50
      Total Cost: $1.47
      Cost Per Serving: $0.37
      *This meal contains staple items such as spices that you may or may not have in your pantry so your cost may vary.

      Categories: Casual, Rez Plz, Phat Loot

      Monday, April 18, 2011

      9 Layer Soft Taco

      You know what's in season now? Avocados. MMMMMmmmmm! When avocados start appearing on more and more store shelves I start getting more and more in the mood for mexican dishes. Tacos, Burritos, Quesadillas, Tomales, Oh My! Such delicious, simple and inexpensive ingredients. And so versatile too! If you only  have tortillas, beans and cheese in the house, you can have a burrito. If you only have shells, leftover chicken and salsa, you can have tacos.

      Fortunately there's no skimping in this recipe. My pantry has all the makings of 9 Layer Soft Taco! This baby is a beast! Just look at it! It's stuffed to the brim with everything you could want in your taco. It's making me hungry again just looking at it! There are more layers here than levels in ICC! This awesome soft taco will sate those mexi-food cravings you've been least until the next time you see an avocado.

      9 Layer Soft Taco

      4 Servings | Total Time: 15 min | Apprentice

      • 4 Large Burrito Shells
      • 1 cup Ground Beef, cooked
      • 1 cup Refried Beans, warmed
      • 1 cup Black Beans, rinsed
      • 1 cup Whole Kernel Corn, drained
      • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese
      • 1 cup Lettuce, chopped
      • 1 cup Sour Cream
      • 1 cup Salsa
      • 1 cup Guacamole
      Craft: Warm the tortillas in the microwave for 15-30 seconds so they're flexible. Put 1/4 cup of each topping into each shell, fold up (if you can!) and serve.

      Strategies:You can mix and match with a layered burrito. Feel free to add toppings or leave toppings out as suits your own tastes.

      LFM: Serve with Mexican Style Rice and Tortilla Chips.

      • Burrito Shells | $1.00
      • Ground Beef | $1.50
      • Refried Beans | $1.00
      • Black Beans | $0.50
      • Whole Kernel Corn | $0.50
      • Cheddar Cheese | $2.00
      • Lettuce, chopped | $1.00
      • Sour Cream | $1.00
      • Salsa | $2.50
      • Avocado | $1.00
      Total Cost: $12.00
      Cost Per Serving: $3.00

      Category: Raid Night

      Saturday, April 16, 2011

      Roasted Rum Tum Tuber Salad

      Are you a pack rat? I am. My character's bank is stuffed to the brim of random items that 'might' come in handy 'someday'. Or hard-earned one-time-use quest rewards that I've just been waiting for that 'right moment' to use. Or all the random clothing items and rewards from doing Holiday events. I mean you can only get those once a year! I can't throw them out!

      But sometimes I must admit that I need some bank space. Some stuff has got to go. So on occasion I will do a bank purge, getting rid of some items, keeping others but generally trying to end up with at least 1-2 bags in my bank empty. During one such purge I came across an item I had somehow missed during previous purges. We're talking a classic WoW item here people. I was surprised it wasn't sprouting and multiplying in my bank!

      They were Rum Tum Tubers from Dire Maul. I ran it only a few times back in the day. I was much more interested in Strat or Scholo groups. But on one of those occasions I must have picked up these tubers and stuck em in the bank for the day when I won the recipe to cook them.

      Well I've got a recipe now! Let's cook!

      Roasted Rum Tum Tuber Salad

      4 Servings | Total Time: 45 min | Journeyman

      • 6 Red Potatoes
      • 1 tsp Rosemary
      • 1/4 tsp Salt
      • 1/4 tsp Pepper
      • 2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
      • 1/4 cup White Cooking Wine
      • 1/4 cup Mayo
      • 1/4 cup Milk
      • 2 tsp Parsley, chopped
      • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
      • 2 tsp Onion Powder
      • 1 Tbl Grated Parmesan
      Craft: Preheat oven to 400° F. Poke a couple holes in the potatoes and microwave each for 2 minutes. Dice them into roughly 1" cubes. In a bowl, toss the potatoes with rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil. Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake them for 25-35 minutes or until they are soft and as crispy as you desire. In a bowl, mix together white wine, mayo, milk, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder and parmesan. When potatoes are done, toss in the sauce and serve warm or cold.

      Strategies: If you're serving this cold, try dicing up some boiled eggs and celery and adding them to the potatoes.

      • Red Potatoes | $2.00
      • Mayo | $1.50
      • Grated Parmesan | $1.50
      Total Cost: $4.00
      Cost Per Serving: $1.25

      Category: Expansions

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

      Wednesday, April 13, 2011

      Trias Three Cheese Peas Pasta

      Nobody knows cheese better than the Master of Cheese himself, Elling Trias. He's also, debatably, a Master of Intrigue too. According to my sources inside SI:7 he was once a very great rogue. But he gave up his shady life to pursue his one true passion. Cheese.

      The recipe comes from the infamous Trias Cheese shop at the entrance to the city of Stormwind. Pairing up three of the tastiest cheeses into one incredible dish. This meal has it all. Veggies, check. Pasta, check. Cheese? Check, check and check! Enjoy this symphony on your tongue and savor all the delicious flavors of cheese!

      Trias Three Cheese Peas Pasta

      4-6 Servings | Total Time: 20 min | Journeyman

      • 8 oz Radiatore Pasta
      • 1 bag California Medley Vegetables
      • 3/4 cup Chicken Broth
      • 2 tsp Flour
      • 1 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
      • 4 tsp Garlic
      • 1/8 tsp Rosemary
      • 1 Tbl Red Wine Vinegar
      • 1 can Chickpeas, rinsed
      • 1 can Black-eyed Peas, rinsed
      • 1 cup Swiss Cheese
      • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese
      • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
      Craft: Cook pasta according to package instructions. 5 minutes before pasta is finished cooking, add veggies, chickpeas, and black-eyed peas to the boiling water. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together chicken broth, flour, olive oil, garlic, rosemary and red wine vinegar. Pour into a small skillet over medium high heat. Cook 5-10 minutes stirring often until reduced and thickened. Drain pasta and add to a large bowl. Add sauce and cheese. Stir until well combined. Serve warm.

      Strategies: This recipe makes excellent leftovers, freezes well and is perfect for next-day lunches.

      LFM: A perky fruit salad.

      • Radiatore Pasta | $1.00
      • California Medley Vegetables | $1.00
      • Chicken Broth | $1.00
      • Chickpeas | $0.50
      • Black-eyed Peas | $0.50
      • Swiss Cheese | $2.00
      • Cheddar Cheese | $2.00
      • Grated Parmesan Cheese | $1.50
      Total Cost: $9.50
      Cost Per Serving: $1.59

      Category: Raid Night, 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.

      Tuesday, April 12, 2011

      Doggy Biscuits

      Hamburgers and Hot Dogs are classic American foods. Its always great to find fun new ways to enjoy them.  This twist on Hot Dogs is perfect for single-handed eating which, of course, compliments any raider's schedule. 

      Typically you would cook the hot dog and put it in a bun and top it with your condiments. But if you aren't careful, that hot dog will make like an escape artist and try and flee for its life, usually retreating out the back of the bun or even out the bottom.  

      This ingenious idea grabs a firm hold of the hot dog, tethering it in place so that it has no where to run and no where to hide.

      Doggy Biscuits
      8 Servings | Total Time: 25 Minutes | Apprentice

      • 1 pkg Hot Dogs
      • 1 pkg jumbo Biscuit dough
        Craft: Preheat oven to 375°. Open biscuit dough and divide the biscuits. Wrap one biscuit around one hot dog, pinching the dough together at the bottom. Place seam-side down on a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dogs and biscuits. Cook in oven for 20 minutes or until biscuits are fully cooked.

        Strategies: You can use any style biscuit dough or hot dog you want for this recipe, as long as the size is Jumbo, so they will stretch nicely around the hot dog.  Also, try topping it with cheese as soon as they come out of the oven. 

        • Hot Dogs $0.88
        • Biscuit Dough $0.99
        Total Cost: $1.87
        Cost Per Serving: $0.23

        Categories: Casual, Expansions, Troll Fuel

        Monday, April 11, 2011

        Bellygrub Stuffed Shells

        I wish Rill was here, Shannon thought as she looked across the meadow apprehensively. There was a loud snuffling and snorting going on over there. Occasionally Shannon caught glimpses of a scruffy mane and tail through the tall grass. It was a goretusk all right. But was it the right one? Shannon sighed. Rill was the paladin, a mighty warrior of the Light. Shannon served the light in her own way but she was no paladin. She was a priest. She was meant to heal, to serve, and to support. But as a servant of the Light, she could not turn her back on people who needed help.

        She glanced over her shoulder at the distant town of Lakeshire nestled against the hills in the Redridge Mountains. The farmers on the outskirts of the town had begged her to rid them of the goretusk that was running rampant and ruining their crops. It was the largest boar they'd ever seen and it had already killed 3 farm hands. It was vicious, even for a goretusk. The villagers had named it Bellygrub because it ate so much of their crops.

        A scree and more intense snorting sounds came from the meadow, drawing her attention back to it. A knot of dread twisted in her stomach. The goretusk, Bellygrub or not, had smelled her. It raised it's head and trotted out to the center of the meadow where the grass was shorter. It hadn't spotted her yet but was looking around and snuffling the air, searching.

        There was no mistaking it now. Unless all goretusks in this area were so huge, this was definitely her quarry. Swallowing her apprehension she stood straighter and called upon the powers of the light. Warmth flooded her and soothed her. A transparent shield enveloped her, giving itself away only by a faintly shimmering outline. She took a deep breath and spoke a power word that would send pain through the creature. It squealed in rage, spinning around to face her. It charged. Swiftly she brought up her hands and spoke softly. A stream of light and shadow shot from her hand and slammed into the boar. It slowed significantly but it did not stop. The beam charred the hide and tore into it's flesh but it only served to madden the creature further.

        Bellygrub pushed against the light and finally the beam broke. Calling upon the Light again, Shannon waved her hands in a slicing motion. A pulsing light made of pure energy appeared just above and to the side of the goretusk. It arced and mimicked the slicing motion of her hand, tearing a deep gash in the goretusk's side. Still it came. At the last second before it reached her, she jumped aside. It hit her a glancing blow, throwing her off-balance but her shield protected her. She heard a slight crack, like the sound of crystal. Her shield would not stand another blow like that one.

        The boar squealed and spun, skidding on the dirt. She closed the short distance between them so it could not gain momentum and charge again. She murmured another power word to send disease through the goretusk's body. Bellygrub shuddered and howled in pain then he was upon her, kicking, biting and trying his best to gore her. Her shield held for the moment.

        Muttering and waving her arms again, she brought down a pillar of fire that briefly engulfed the goretusk. It howled again and rammed it's head into her shield. With a tinkling sound, the shield shattered. She danced to the side as the goretusk charged. Bellygrub clipped her, his tusks tearing a long but shallow gash across her side and back as she turned. She ignored the pain and blood, saying a prayer to the Light. Warmth flooded her once again. The wound kept bleeding but she could feel it beginning to heal. She had no time to cast a proper heal so her renewing spell would have to do. She needed to end this quickly.

        Bellygrub breathed heavily, his nostril's flaring. He was bleeding from many wounds and seemed to be weakening. For the moment he wasn't attacking. He eyed Shannon warily and she used the time to her advantage. She spoke the words to a particularly powerful spell then released the energy striking the creature with a blast of light and shadow. The goretusk squealed ducking it's head from the pain. Then with one last effort it charged her. She spoke the power word of death, draining a large amount of her mana. Three powerful purple lances struck the boar from above. He collapsed, finally dead.

        Shannon wiped sweat from her brow and eyed the corpse. It was so large that it would give one big meal for the whole town or many meals to the farmer's families if they conserved and used it well. She smiled. It would only be fitting the boar pay them back in this way for all their harvests he had eaten.

        Bellygrub Stuffed Shells

        4 Servings | Total Time: 20 min | Journeyman

        • Jumbo Pasta Shells
        • 2 cups Ricotta Cheese
        • 2 stalks Celery, chopped
        • 8 oz Smoked Ham, cubed
        • 2 Slices Bacon, cooked, crumbled
        • 1/2 can Whole Kernel Corn
        • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
        • 1 cup Spaghetti or Pizza Sauce
        • 1 Tbl Hot Sauce
        Craft: Cook 20 shells according to package instructions. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl combine riccotta, celery, ham, bacon, corn and mozzarella. Stuff each shell with a spoonful of the mixture. Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray and place stuffed shells inside. Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through. Meanwhile in a small bowl combine Spaghetti sauce and hot sauce. Add more hot sauce if desired. Pour sauce over the shells.

        Strategies:You can really stuff these shells with whatever leftover meat you have handy. You can even use cottage cheese if you're out of Ricotta and any other kind of cheese if you're out of mozzarella! You can also swap out the veggies in it for any other kind you'd like too.

        LFM: Green Beans, Green mixed salad, Cucumbers, Celery sticks.

        • Jumbo Pasta Shells | $1.00
        • Ricotta Cheese | $1.00
        • Celery | $1.00
        • Smoked Ham | $2.50
        • Bacon | $2.00
        • Whole Kernel Corn | $0.50
        • Mozzarella Cheese | $2.00
        • Pizza Sauce | $1.00
        Total Cost: $11.00
        Cost Per Serving: $2.75

        Category: Raid Night, 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.

        Friday, April 8, 2011

        Princess Peaches and Cream

        I love yogurt. But not just any ol' yogurt. Vanilla yogurt. I honestly don't like many other flavors of yogurt. But I don't really need any other flavors. You see, yogurt is so dress-up-able. It'll go good with any fruit you have. You can make it into a decadent dessert, a simple breakfast, or an easy side dish. This is another one of those layered parfait type recipes that's perfect for the snack break. It's not messy, requires only one hand to eat and it's super fast to make.

        The title of this post might have given you a clue but just in case you missed it- it's cheater's peaches'n'cream! And since we all know that Princess Peach cheats in Mario Kart it makes perfect sense to name this parfait in her honor. You can even make this into a better royal treat by adding some caramel sauce (or dulce de leche). Mmmmm!

        Princess Peaches and Cream

        2 Servings | Total Time: 5 min | Apprentice

        • 1 can Sliced Peaches
        • 2 cups Vanilla Yogurt
        Craft: Drain the peaches. In two serving cups or bowls, layer 2-3 slices of peaches, 1/2 cup yogurt, more peaches, another 1/2 cup of yogurt and top with the rest of the peaches.

        Strategies: Add nuts or granola for crunch! Try using fresh peaches when they're in season. You can also make this into a dessert by drizzling with caramel sauce.

        LFM: This is an excellent side dish or dessert for any meal.

        • Sliced Peaches $0.50
        • Vanilla Yogurt $1.50
        Total Cost: $2.00
        Cost Per Serving: $1.00

        Category: Snackage, Phat Loot

        Thursday, April 7, 2011

        Home-Fried Tacos

        There are a lot of debates about the border between the United States and Mexico. Should the border be shut down? Should the United States be so restrictive against immigrants comming in from Mexico. Why would we want it to be hard for people to make a better life for themselves? These quarrels have even seeped into the gaming world, as controversy arose around the release of the game "Call of Juarez: The Cartel."

        With all of these political debates, the only demand I have is this. Don't take my Mexican food from me! And no, Taco Bell does not count as Mexican food. Having grown up in Southern California, I have a pretty darn good idea about what qualifies as Mexican Food. One of my comfort foods, my mother learned to make from the Mexican ladies in our little town in SoCal. Tacos. Home-Fried Tacos. Not these cheap pre-made taco shells that crack and break and make everything fall apart all over the front of your white wife-beater.

        Tacos are flavorful, but even more so when wrapped in a freshly fried shell. One of the other best things about tacos are their versatility. You can top them with whatever sounds good!

        Home-Fried Tacos
        6 Servings | Total Time: 35 Minutes | Journeyman

        • 1 lb Ground Beef
        • 1 pkg Taco Seasoning
        • 2 cups Oil, Canola or Vegetable
        • 12 Corn Tortillas, uncooked
        • 1 Tomato, diced
        • 2 cups Cheese, shredded
        • 1 cup Lettuce, shredded
        • 1 cup Sour Cream
        Craft: In a large skillet, cook ground beef until browned. Add taco seasoning and mix well. In a separate, small, skillet. Heat oil on medium high heat for 3 minutes. Place a corn tortilla in oil and cook approximately 30 seconds per side, or until cooked, but not browned. Remove tortilla from oil and place on plate to drain off oil. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Prepare tortillas as desired with meat and toppings.

        Strategies: You can use pre-made taco shells if you like, but they are very brittle and fall apart easily. Cooking them yourself leaves them pliable so they aren't as messy while eating. You can use any toppings you would like for your tacos as well.

        Categories: Casual, Critical Hits
        • Ground Beef $1.89
        • Taco Seasoning $1.12
        • Corn Tortillas $2.05
        Total Cost: $5.06
        Cost Per Serving: $0.84
        *This meal contains staple items such as spices that you may or may not have in your pantry so your cost may vary.

        Wednesday, April 6, 2011

        BBQ Bean Salad

        More often than not in our busy lives we find ourselves needing a quick and easy meal or side dish. And when you're in a rush sometimes you just can't make your brain think about it! Well no worries! I've been in my fair share of those situations and there are a couple go-to recipes that I always have on hand when I just can't think of anything creative and tasty.

        This black bean salad is simple, fast and filling. It is perfectly good as an entire meal for one person or it works great as a side dish for four. Especially when you have some delicious tex mex food to pair it with. And don't even get me started on how good beans are for you!

        BBQ Black Bean Salad

        4 Servings | Total Time: 5 min | Apprentice

        • 1 can Black Beans
        • 1 Roma Tomato
        • 1 Green Onion
        • 1 tsp Dried Cilantro
        • 1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce
        • 1 Tbl Cider Vinegar
        Craft: Chop green onions and tomato. In a medium bowl mix together barbecue sauce, vinegar, green onion, and cilantro. Rinse Black Beans and stir them into the sauce until well-coated.

        LFM: This side goes really well with just about anything.

        • Black Beans $1.00
        • Roma Tomato $0.25
        • Green Onion $1.50
        • Barbecue Sauce $1.50
        Total Cost: $4.25
        Cost Per Serving: $1.07

        Category: Expansions

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

        Tuesday, April 5, 2011

        Sloppy Jims

        Ever notice that when a game developer is anxious to get their game on the market, it tends to come out "sloppy?" They set a release date, but their development team doesn't quite reach the goals in time? And instead of simply pushing back their release date so they can have a complete and finished project, fully tested and refined, they release their "sloppy" game anyway. The hope that people will overlook the mess they made of a potentially phenomenal game because, hey, it was released on time?

        Back when Blizzard was developing the Warcraft strategy games, they got a ton of flack because they kept pushing back their release date. But guess what, it was well worth the wait, and they are a far more successful company for having done so. 

        My plea here is to all the developers who are going to release an incomplete game, just to save face about a release date, don't do it! We as a gaming community will understand if you need more time to make your game epic, however, we do not easily overlook a "sloppy" release.

        Sloppy Jims
        4 Servings | Total Time: 20 Minutes | Journeyman

        • 1 lb Ground Beef
        • 1 medium Onion, chopped
        • 1 Bell Pepper, chopped
        • 1 can Petite Diced Tomatoes
        • 1 can Tomato Sauce
        • 1 tbl Worcestershire Sauce
        • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
        • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
        • 1 tsp Hot Sauce
        • 4 Hoagie buns
          Craft:In a large skillet, cook ground beef, onion and bell pepper until meat is browned.  Drain off fat. Stir in remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes.  Serve on hoagie buns.

          Strategies: Drain the diced tomatoes as well as possible if you want the mix to be less runny. The hoagie buns, or something similarly substantial is required for this mix, otherwise your buns will go soggy before you get through it.

          • Ground Beef $1.89
          • Onion $0.49
          • Bell Pepper $0.99
          • Petite Diced Tomatoes $0.65
          • Tomato Sauce $0.53
          • Hoagie buns $2.45
          Total Cost: $7.00
          Cost Per Serving: $1.75
          *This meal contains staple items such as spices that you may or may not have in your pantry so your cost may vary.

          Categories: Raid Night

          Monday, April 4, 2011

          Crunchy, Berry Granola

          Granola scared me the first time I decided to make it. In fact, the phrase 'From Scratch' always scared me. Actually there was a time when the word 'cook' scared me! When I got married and realized I was now expected to 'cook' edible things I was terrified. Eventually I learned how to cook a few things and over time I learned more and more. I was surprised to find out I enjoyed cooking! I was also surprised how easy some things can be to make from scratch.

          Granola is actually one of those things that you think should be hard and then it's not. It's not even very much work! It takes all of 5 minutes to mix up then you bake it for an hour and a half. You don't even have to stir it while it's cooking! Though I recommend it anyway for even browning and no pan-sticking. But you get perfectly good granola if you can't go AFK for 2 minutes to stir so no worries!

          And the other thing I love about home made granola is you can mix and match ingredients to suit your tastes. This recipe uses a lot of sugar free and healthy ingredients but you can certainly use whatever you have on hand. You can add any variety and quantity of nuts that you like. I love peanuts so I use a bunch of those. You can even add coconut if you'd like!

          Be warned that this recipe is a BIG BATCH. My husband and I eat this instead of cereal every morning so I need enough to last us both the for the week + snacks.

          Crunchy Berry Granola

          18 Servings (3/4 cup ea) | Prep Time: 5 min; Cook Time 1 hr 30 min | Journeyman

          • 8 cups Rolled Oats (not instant)
          • 3 cups Unsalted Peanuts
          • 1/4 cup Slivered Almonds
          • 1/4 cup Chopped Pecans
          • 1/2 cup Wheat Germ
          • 1 Tbl Cinnamon
          • 1 cup Splenda Brown Sugar
          • 1 cup Canola Oil
          • 1 cup Honey
          • 1 cup Sugar-Free Syrup
          • 1 1/2 cups Mixed Dried Berries
          Craft: Preheat oven to 250°. In a large bowl mix together oats, nuts, wheat germ and cinnamon. In a medium bowl whisk together brown sugar, oil, honey and syrup. Pour the syrup mixture over the oats mixture and stir until well combined. Spread over two baking sheets and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. Stir and switch bottom/top pans every 30 minutes. When done, remove from oven and immediately transfer to a large bowl. Stir in dried fruit quickly. Granola will harden as it cools.

          Strategies: Granola is one of those things that you can add anything you want or leave out anything you want. More nuts? Go for it! Coconut? Absolutely! Leave off the berries? Sure!

          LFM: Granola goes perfect in a bowl of milk or in yogurt.

          • Rolled Oats | $2.00
          • Unsalted Peanuts | $2.00
          • Slivered Almonds | $1.25
          • Chopped Pecans | $1.50
          • Wheat Germ | $3.00
          • Syrup | $1.50
          • Mixed Dried Berries | $3.50
          Total Cost: $14.75
          Cost Per Serving: $0.82

          Category: Rez Plz, Snackage, Expansions, LFG

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

          Friday, April 1, 2011

          Dragonfin Filet

          A bone jarring gust of wind nearly knocked Rill off her precarious perch on the edge of an iceberg. She tottered, slipped but regained her footing quickly. She shuddered and pulled her cloak more tightly around her.

          "If I never have to come to Northrend again it would be too soon," she said with a gentle tug on her fishing pole.

          One of these days she'd catch a riding turtle. One of these days she'd learn to cook a fish feast magnifique. Then she could leave this light-forsaken place and be done with it. Arthas was dead, there were very few reasons anyone would want to be in this place anymore. But of course here she sat because she heard you could catch a mighty underwater mount if you were patient enough.

          Right now though, all she wanted was to get a nibble! She was hungry! As if on que, her stomach growled and something tugged on her line. With a whop and a hollar she reeled it in, anxious to see what kind of fish she had to work with for dinner! Something spicy to warm up the cold tundra she hoped.

          Dragonfin Filet

          2 Servings | Total Time: 10 min | Apprentice

          • 2 Tilapia Fillets
          • 1 Tbl Chili Powder
          • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
          • 1 tsp Paprika
          • 2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
          Craft: On a plate mix together chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Coat both sides of each tilapia in the spices then fry for 1-2 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.

          Strategies: Tilapia cooks SUPER FAST. Who knew something so fast would be so tasty! It's even faster than going out to get a burger! (And it's better for you too.) Just keep a close eye on it so it doesn't burn.

          LFM: Rice or Mashed Potatoes with any kind of veggie. I recommend broccoli or peas.

          • Tilapia Fillets $2.00
          Total Cost: $2.00
          Cost Per Serving: $1.00

          Category: Raid Night, Critical Hits

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