Friday, May 27, 2011

Gilnean Shepherd's Pie

As some of you may know I'm the Site Manager over at It's a great job! I love it! I get to play games and write guides and be generally helpful. Three of my favorite things that rank right up there with cooking. This week I've been working on a guide to the best places to farm for critters for the Critter Kill Squad achievement. I was out exploring the hills of Gilneas where you can find herd after herd of easily AoE'd level 1 sheep.

Thinking about sheep for the better part of an hour also got me thinking about dinner. Which made me think about Shepherd's Pie. A delightful combination of meat, potatoes, veggies and cheese. The problem I have with it though is that it's usually a HUGE pie. Since I have only two people in my house we'd be eating shepherd's pie leftovers for days before I'd finally throw out the rest of it. Well I have a solution to that! Ramekins! They are individually sized dishes that are perfect for downsizing casseroles and the like.

But using ramekins for Shepherd's Pie wasn't good nuff for me. I always have to have a twist. So in honor of Gilneas for giving me the idea for dinner in the first place, I'm using the fabulous orange color of sweet potatoes. (I totally should have browned the top of it and then sliced three orange gashes in it so it would look more like the Gilnean flag but hindsight is 20/20. This will have to do.) Sweet potatoes give this dish a very interesting flair that sure to appease even a worgen.

Gilnean Shepherd's Pie

4 Servings | Total Time: 30 min | Journeyman

  • 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 16 oz Ground Beef
  • 1 tsp Salt, divided
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbl Flour
  • 2 Tbl Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Beef Broth
  • 2 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 can Peas
  • 2 Tbl Butter
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 4 Tbl Parmesan Cheese
Craft: Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into about 1” chunks. Boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes or until they’re easily pierced with a fork. Meanwhile, chop onion. Heat oil in a skillet. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add ground beef, ½ tsp of salt and garlic powder. Cook until browned. Drain fat. Stir in tomato paste. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and broth then pour it over the meat. Cook, stirring frequently until broth thickens, about 5 minutes. Add in spinach and peas to the meat mixture. When potatoes are done, drain and mash them. Add ½ tsp salt, butter and milk to the potatoes. Preheat the Broiler of your oven. Divide the meat mixture into four broiler-safe ramekins. Divide the mashed sweet potatoes and layer over the meat. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and broil 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Strategies: If you don't like sweet potatoes you can certainly use any other kind of potato. If you don't have ramekins then just use a pie pan or casserole dish.

LFM: Serve with fruit & ice cream.

  • Sweet Potatoes | $1.25
  • Onion | $0.50
  • Ground Beef | $2.00
  • Tomato Paste | $0.25
  • Beef Broth | $1.25
  • Baby Spinach | $1.75
  • Peas | $0.75
Total Cost: $7.75
Cost Per Serving: $1.94

Category: Casual

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ranid's Fruit & Cheese Platter

As Ranid well knows, sometimes you just feel peckish. You want a satisfying amount of food but you don't want a hunk of chicken or a slab of beef. You don't want a giant salad or a big bowl of fruit. You don't want a mound of mashed potatoes or a pile of green beans. You want variety and snacky type foods, am I right? Well then, I have a quest for you.

Your quest (should you choose to accept it) will be to acquire a variety of quest items from the pantry and fridge bosses. Then use this [Large Platter] with the foods to make a [Ranid's Fruit & Cheese Platter] to complete your quest. I will show you what my platter looks like but yours can be anything. Just remember! To have a proper platter you need at least 2 kinds of cheese, 2 kinds of fruit, 2 kinds of meat and 2 kinds of vegetables. You will also want crackers and several spreadable items and/or dipping sauces.

Ranid's Fruit & Cheese Platter

2 Servings | Total Time: 5 min | Apprentice

  • 1 cup Grapes
  • 1/2 cup Broccoli Florets
  • 1/2 cup Cauliflower Florets
  • 1 cup Grape Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Baby Carrots
  • 1/2 cup Radishes
  • 1/4 Kielbasa Sausage
  • 1 pkg Deli-sliced Ham
  • 1 slice Swiss Cheese
  • 1 slice Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 2 Wedges Laughing Cow Cheese
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Tbl Lemon Juice
  • 1 pkg Crackers
  • Nutella
  • Strawberry Jelly
  • Ranch Dressing
Craft: Dice the kielbasa and brown it in a skillet over medium-high heat. Dice the ham, swiss cheese and pepper jack cheese. Slice the Avocado and sprinkle with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve all fruits, cheeses and veggies on a platter with crackers and dips on the side.

Strategies: You can add any fruits and veggies to this platter that are currently in season and on sale. This is a great way to use up leftovers.

Cost: This recipe mainly uses leftovers.

    Category: Troll Fuel, Snackage, LFG

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Dorrito Ranch Chicken

    Ahh Dorritos. A simple triangle of crunchy corn chip covered in powdered cheese and addictive flavorings. No other chip screams gamer like these do with the possible exception of Cheetos (which is really the same thing, just a different chip underneath the flavor). It's cheese! Powdery cheese! Cheese is an essential staple in a gamer's diet. And at least 75% of the cheese consumed must be in a powdered form, come in blocks that you don't have to refrigerate (Velveeta!) or can be shot directly into the mouth from a can. In other words, be as unhealthy but convenient as possible.

    We'll just work with the cheese powdered chips for this recipe. But we're also going to add some contrasting, delicious flavors, make it into more than a snack AND still stay within a college kid's budget. You'll be amazed at how well the seasonings flavor the chicken, how crunchy the coating stays, how moist and juicy the chicken is. And so tender! You don't even need a knife! Perfect one-handed food for gaming nights.

    Dorrito Ranch Chicken

    2 Servings | Total Time: 20 min | Journeyman

    • 2 Bags (snack size) Nacho Cheese Dorritos
    • 1 pkt Ranch Dressing Dip Mix
    • 1 Egg
    • 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
    Craft: Preheat oven to 375° F. Pound chicken breasts to 1/4" thickness. In a shallow bowl, whisk egg with a little bit of water. Empty the contents of the ranch dressing dip mix into another shallow bowl. Crush dorritos in a bag with a rolling pin or heavy can or use a food processor. Place the dorritos in another shallow bowl. Coat each chicken piece in the ranch dip mix, then egg, then dorritos. Place on a greased baking sheet and cook for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through.

    Strategies:Try the opposites of this recipe. Use Ranch flavored Dorritos and a powdered cheese sauce packet (from a mac & cheese box) instead! Serve this version with pasta coated in Velveeta with veggies.

    LFM: Serve with pasta, ranch dressing and veggies.

    • Nacho Cheese Dorritos | $1.00
    • Ranch Dressing Dip Mix | $1.00
    • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts | $2.00
    Total Cost: $4.00
    Cost Per Serving: $2.00

    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.

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Inside Out Hot Pocket Soup

    In continuing my series on re-making gamer food I started thinking about something even more classic than pizza. Hot Pockets! Hot pockets are ideal for gaming. You can eat it one handed with no utensils required. They heat up fast. They're relatively un-messy. And you can pretend you're eating a serving of vegetables if you go for the broccoli & cheese one instead of the usual pepperoni.

    Well I've got a hot pocket that will turn your mind inside out! I've taken all the ingredients of a classic pepperoni hot pocket and made it into a soup. Yup, there's everything there. Pepperoni, sauce, cheese and even the 'crust' making an appearance as dumplings! This soup is delicious but make sure to watch the sodium. The pepperoni can make it very salty very quickly.

    Inside Out Hot Pocket Soup

    4 Servings | Total Time: 15 min | Apprentice

    • 2 cans Low Sodium Tomato Soup
    • 1 Tbl Tomato Paste
    • 1 Tbl Basil
    • 1 tsp Oregano
    • 1 pkg Pepperoni Slices
    • 1 pkg Biscuits
    • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese
    Craft: Pour soup into a large pot over medium heat. Add two soup cans full of water and stir to combine. Add basil and oregano. Dice the pepperoni slices and add to the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer. Open biscuits and separate them. Cut four of them up into 1" pieces and drop them one at a time into the soup. Bake the rest of the biscuits according to package instructions. Simmer soup for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until biscuit pieces are no longer doughy. Garnish with cheese.

    Strategies: This soup can be very, very salty so be sure to get low sodium soup and don't add any salt!

    LFM: A green garden salad.

    • Low Sodium Tomato Soup | $1.00
    • Pepperoni Slices | $3.00
    • Biscuits | $1.50
    • Cheddar Cheese | $2.00
    Total Cost: $7.50
    Cost Per Serving: $1.88

    Category: Apprentice, 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.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Pizza Breakfast Sammich

    When you think of gamer food, what are the first things that come to mind? Pizza, Hot Pockets, Cheese Puffs and Mountain Dew....among other things. These staples of a stereotypical gamer's diet have become well known through TV, comics, movies, songs, sound clips and more. Who hasn't heard of the nerd guy (who is either really skinny or really fat) wearing glasses-with-tape, pocket protector wielding, 40 year old virgin living in mom's basement playing video games with permanently orange fingers, chugging mountain dew and smelling like old pizza.

    Well I've decided to take some of those classic, stereotype gamer foods and give them a twist. Starting with Pepperoni Pizza. Check out a great way to have pizza for breakfast! It's faster than having a pizza delivered and I promise it's healthier too.

    In future posts I plan to share some other ways to remake gamer classics so keep tuning in!

    Pizza Breakfast Sammich

    4 Servings | Total Time: 10 min | Apprentice

    • 4 Kaiser Rolls
    • 6 Eggs
    • 1/4 cup Cheddar Cheese
    • 10 slices Pepperoni
    • 1 stalk Celery
    • 1 Tbl Parsley, chopped
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
    Craft: Scramble eggs in a skillet over medium heat. Chop the celery, pepperoni and parsley and add to the eggs. When the eggs are done remove from heat and add cheese. Stir until melted and incorporated. Slice each roll in half and fill each with 1/4 of the eggs.

    Strategies: If you want some more spice, add salsa!

    LFM: Strawberries and Granola

    • Kaiser Roll | $2.50
    • Eggs | $1.00
    • Cheddar Cheese | $2.00
    • Pepperoni | $3.25
    • Celery | $1.00
    Total Cost: $9.75
    Cost Per Serving: $2.44

    Category: Rez Plz

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

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Steamwheedle Port's Pineapple Tilapia

    I remember the first time I set foot in Steamwheedle Port.

    I was level 38 and I thought I was so clever. Normally, as Alliance, to get to Tanaris you used to have to go to Theramore, travel on foot to the Barrens, go south until you hit Thousand Needles, dodge the Horde guards at the Lift, head northwest to grab the Feralas flight point then go east and south through the Shimmering Flats until you finally hit Tanaris. A good two hour run if you didn't die. (In my day, you didn't get a mount to ride until 40. Spoiled whipper-snappers these days.)

    For me, that's waaaay too round about. Just ask my husband how obsessive I can be about efficient travel and questing. I'm on a mission when I go to the grocery store! I beat myself up if I have to go back to an isle that we've already been to because I missed something on the list. Well, I'm the same way in game. Efficiency is the way to play. The 'normal' 2 hour route to Tanaris was just too long for my taste. So I jumped off the docks in Theramore and swam south along the mountains and coastline.

    The first time I died because apparently there are level 50 elite sharks in the water. The second time I was careful to stay on land as much as possible until I was out of Dustwallow Marsh. I was quite pleased with myself! It only took me 30 minutes to reach Steamwheedle Port on the coast of Tanaris. After seeing nothing but blank mountainsides and sharks for the past half hour it was a glorious oasis with it's pineapple wallpaper buildings and fishing dock.

    *sniffle* Alas, I shall never see it's beauty again. The Cataclysm's great tidal waves sank Steamwheedle Port to the bottom of the ocean. But I will always remember the good times when I eat this fish and pineapple meal. I dedicate it to you, Steamwheedle Port.

    Curse you Deathwing!

    Steamwheedle Port's Pineapple Tilapia

    4 Servings | Total Time: 50 min | Journeyman

    • 4 Tilapia Fillets
    • 1 cup White Rice, uncooked
    • 2 cups Chicken Broth
    • 1/4 cup Lime Juice
    • 1/4 cup Cilantro fresh chopped or 2 Tbl dry
    • 2 Tbl Olive Oil
    • 2 Tbl Garlic, minced
    • 1 cup Salsa
    • 1 can Black Beans
    • 1 can Pineapple Chunks
    • Satl & Pepper
    Craft: In a medium pot with lid, combine rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large shallow dish whisk together lime juice, half the Cilantro, olive oil, garlic and desired amount of salt and pepper. Place the tilapia in the marinade, turning to coat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, turning fillets occasionally. Drain and rinse the black beans. Drain the pineapple. When rice is finished, preheat oven to 400° F. Stir together cooked rice, salsa, black beans, pineapple and remaining cilantro. Spread rice mixture in the bottom of a baking dish. Place Tilapia fillets on top and pour marinade over the fillets. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until fish is cooked through.

    Strategies: Add hot sauce or use a spicy salsa for more heat. This dish is especially delicious if you use fresh pineapple instead of canned but will take longer to prepare.

    • Tilapia Fillets | $4.00
    • White Rice | $0.50
    • Chicken Broth | $1.50
    • Salsa | $2.00
    • Black Beans | $0.50
    • Pineapple Chunks | $1.00
    Total Cost: $9.50
    Cost Per Serving: $2.38

    Category: Casual

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

    Capers & Crooks Chicken

    This is a repost from our lost dataz.

    Capers & Crooks Chicken

    4 Servings | Total Time: 30 min | Journeyman

    • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
    • 8 oz Spaghetti Noodles
    • 1 tsp Paprika
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
    • 2 Egg
    • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
    • 5 Tbl Butter, divided
    • 1 jar Capers
    • 1 Tbl Lemon Juice
    • 1 can Peas
    Craft: Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain the peas and add them to the pasta during the last minute of cooking. In a shallow bowl combine flour and paprika. In a second shallow bowl combine eggs and parmesan cheese. Pound each chicken breast to about 1/4" thickness. Heat 1 Tbl of butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle each chicken breast with salt and pepper on both sides then dredge in the flour. Dredge in the egg mixture then carefully place in the pan. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Repeat for other chicken breasts, adding 1 Tbl of butter per piece if needed. Turn the heat down to medium low. Drain the capers then add them to the pan with 1 more Tbl of butter and the lemon juice. Cook for about 5 minutes. When pasta is done, toss half the caper butter in the pasta and use the other half to garnish the chicken.

    Strategies: You can trade out the peas in this recipe for any bite-sized veggie you have handy.

    LFM: Fresh berries with ice cream or yogurt.

    • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts | $2.50
    • Spaghetti Noodles | $1.00
    • Grated Parmesan Cheese | $1.50
    • Capers | $1.50
    • Peas | $0.50
    Total Cost: $7.00
    Cost Per Serving: $1.75

    Category: Casual, 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.

    Pepper-oni Crackers

    This is a repost from our lost dataz.

    Snack Attack Pepper-oni Crackers

    1 Servings | Total Time: 5 min | Apprentice

    • 3 Large Crackers (or 6 smaller)
    • 1 Wedge Laughing Cow Cheese
    • 1/2 Roma Tomato
    • 1 Slice Green Bell Pepper
    • 3 Slices Pepperoni
    Craft: Cut 3 slices from the tomato. Cut the bell pepper into three chunks. Spread 1/3 (or 1/6th) of the cheese on each cracker. Top with tomato, then pepperoni, then green bell pepper.

    Strategies: You can easily make more of these for a party!

    Cost: This meal was made with mostly leftovers and whatever was in the fridge.

    Category: Snackage, LFG

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Lost Posts

    We lost a few days worth of posts. We'll get the recipes back up asap but unfortunately their stories will not be with them. Sad day but at least you'll have tasty recipes to comfort you! We'll be back to our regularly scheduled postings soon.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Angel-Haired Basil

    On the planet of E.D.N.III, there are 3 super-humans who depend on a Harmonizer to give them energy and keep them alive. The foxiest of the three was the only female, her name is Basil. She was given her first harmonizer 30 years before she meets the other two super-humans. It's special properties kept her youthful during this time. But none of this can ultimately save this angel-haired beauty in the end. She gives her life defending Wayne, the son of the man who gave her the first harmonizer.

    We have prepared this meal in her honor. This pasta dish is full of the Thermal Energy that empowers the harmonizers. It will heal you instantly if you get hurt, and keep you young and beautiful for decades to come. 


    Angel-Haired Basil
    4 Servings | Cook Time: 1 Hour | Journeyman

    • 1 pkg Angel Hair pasta (8 oz)
    • 2 tsp Olive Oil
    • 1/2 cup Onion, chopped
    • 1 tsp Garlic
    • 1 can Petite Diced Tomatoes
    • 2 cups Chicken, cubed
    • 1 tbl Basil
    • 1/2 tsp Salt
    • 1/4 tsp Hot Sauce
    • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
        Craft: In a pot, cook pasta for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until juices run clear. Set chicken aside. Use remaining 1 tsp olive oil and saute garlic and onion over medium high heat until tender. Stir in chicken, basil, tomatoes, salt and hot sauce. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss sauce with pasta, serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

        Strategies: If you aren't a fan of chunks of tomatoes, the diced tomatoes can be replaced with a can of tomato sauce.

        • Angel Hair Pasta $0.98
        • Chicken $4.39
        • Onion $0.49
        • Diced Tomatoes $0.65
        Total Cost: $6.51
        Cost Per Serving: $1.63
        *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

        Monday, May 9, 2011

        Pasta of Awakening

        Huddled in my room with four blankets and a space heater, I couldn't hear the call of summertime. Link defeated the IRL version of the Snowhead temple boss and spring came at last upon the land. But I did not know it. He trumpeted the Sonata of Awakening but I did not hear it. He let the light shine in to melt the snow but I didn't see it. He opened the windows to let in the summer breeze but I did not feel it.

        But then came the food. Zucchini. Kielbasa Sausage. Tomatoes. Olives. Feta Cheese and Pasta! It was summer that I smelled! And suddenly, I could see and feel and hear! Summer was here and I could enjoy it! All thanks to the Pasta of Awakening.

        Pasta of Awakening

        6 Servings | Total Time: 30 min | Journeyman

        • 2 cups Egg Noodles
        • 1 Zucchini
        • 1 cup Whole Black Olives
        • 1/2 Kielbasa Sausage
        • 1 cup Grape Tomatoes
        • 1/2 cup Feta Cheese
        • 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese
        • 2 cups Spaghetti Sauce
        Craft: Cook Egg Noodles according to package instructions. Dice the zucchini and sausage. Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a casserole dish mix together noodles, sausage, zucchini, olives, tomatoes, feta cheese and sauce. Bake for 20 minutes then sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

        Strategies: You can add more spring/summer veggies to this pasta if you'd like.

        LFM: Garlic bread goes very well with this recipe.

        • Egg Noodles | $1.00
        • Zucchini | $1.00
        • Whole Black Olives | $1.00
        • Kielbasa Sausage | $2.00
        • Grape Tomatoes | $1.00
        • Feta Cheese | $1.00
        • Cheddar Cheese | $2.00
        • Spaghetti Sauce | $2.00
        Total Cost: $11.00
        Cost Per Serving: $1.84

        Category: Casual

        Friday, May 6, 2011

        Dodongo BBQ Links

        Recently I've found myself a bit bored of playing World of Warcraft. I mean, come on, I've been playing it for well over six years now and I've never taken a break from it. I still log in to dabble and raid but it's just not holding my interest like it used to. This leaves me with a serious lack of something time-consuming to play.

        I don't particularly want to buy any new games but I have a ton of old games I haven't touched in forever. Feeling a bit nostalgic, I started digging through my old games. I uncovered treasures like Mario 64, Age of Empires II and ye olde King's Quest I. And then I saw it. There in the bottom of my Nintendo 64 basket. It glistened gold, even under the dust. I carefully brushed it off and decided this was my next time sink. Zelda: Majora's Mask.

        Probably the single most complicated Zelda game ever. It was so involving that it was easy to ignore simple trivial things like food. But I do have a husband who likes food and, like any sane person (note: not me when there's a game involved) wants to eat regularly. So I tore myself away from the game, spent the quickest 15 minutes you ever saw in the kitchen and then ran back to fight more giant, two-legged, tail-tender, fire-breathing lizards for shiny purple rupees. Have you figured out where the inspiration for the name came from? Yes? I KNEW you were a Zelda nerd too. Just admit it, it's okay. You're among friends.

        Dodongo BBQ Links

        2 Servings | Total Time: 15 min | Apprentice

        • 4 Hot Dogs
        • 1 Green Bell Pepper
        • 1 Red Bell Pepper
        • 1/2 Onion
        • 1 can Peas
        • 1 Tbl Butter
        • 1 can Tomato Sauce
        • 1 Tbl Brown Sugar
        • 1 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce
        • 1 tsp Vinegar
        • 1 tsp Mustard
        Craft: Chop hot dogs and bell pepper into bite sized pieces. Roughly chop onion. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook until onion is transparent. Drain peas and then add to the skillet. Add all other ingredients except hot dogs. Stir until well combined then add hot dogs. Cook on low heat for 3-5 minutes or until hot dogs are heated through.

        Strategies: This is a great way to use leftover veggies. Just chop them up and add them!

        LFM: You can use sausage or kielbasa instead of hot dogs.

        • Hot Dogs | $1.00
        • Green Bell Pepper | $1.25
        • Red Bell Pepper | $1.50
        • Onion | $0.75
        • Peas | $0.50
        • Tomato Sauce | $1.00
        Total Cost: $6.00
        Cost Per Serving: $3.00

        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.

        Thursday, May 5, 2011

        Cinco de Mayo Chimichangas

        Because I grew up in a town most people referred to as "Little Mexico," Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that is close to my heart. Our town had as big of celebrations for Cinco de Mayo as it had for the Fourth of July. Don't call me unpatriotic for supporting a Mexican holiday, I am simply an enormous fan of the food, and anything that keeps it authentic in the US of A is A-Okay by me. I absolutely love the great food of the Mexican culture and it is really hard to find authentic Mexican food where I now live, so I have resorted to learning how to make it all on my own. Here is one of the recipes that I have come across in my explorations and I can't wait to have it today with my Cinco de Mayo celebration.


        Cinco de Mayo Chimichangas
        6 Servings | Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 3 Hours | Apprentice

        • 2 lb Boneless Beef Chuck Roast, trimmed of fat
        • 1/4 cup Water
        • 1 1/2 cup Beef Broth
        • 3 tbl Red Wine Vinegar
        • 2 tbl Chili Powder
        • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
        • 6 Flour Tortillas (8 inch)
        • 3 tbl Butter, melted
        • 1 cup Salsa
        • 1 cup Shredded Cheese
        • 3/4 cup Sour Cream
            Craft:  In a medium bowl, combine beef broth, red wine vinegar, chili powder, and cumin. Place beef in a crock pot on high heat and pour the broth mixture over the beef. Cover and cook until beef is very tender and pulls apart easily, about 3 hours. Allow to cool, then shred and mix with the residual juices.

            Preheat oven to 500°. Brush both sides of each tortilla with melted butter. Spoon shredded beef filling down the center of each tortilla. Fold ends over filling, then fold sides to center to make a packet. Place chimichangas. seem side down on a cookie sheet. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with salsa, shredded cheese and sour cream.

            Strategies: Put a little bit of cheese in the tortilla with the beef mixture before baking for a cheesier version. You can also make the beef filling ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you need it. 

            • Beef Chuck Roast $7.50
            • Flour Tortillas $1.00
            • Sour Cream $0.88
            Total Cost: $9.38
            Cost Per Serving: $1.56
            *This meal contains staple items such as spices that you may or may not have in your pantry so your cost may vary.

            Categories: Hardcore, Critical Hits

            Monday, May 2, 2011

            Plan B

            Plan A is always the best option when faced with any situation, gaming or no gaming. But it's always good to have a backup plan. And it's also great to know what to do on the fly. As a raid leader it makes me proud when I see the members of my raid think on their feet and save the day! Like when the healer dies and both your shadow priest and ret paladin start spam healing the tank without being asked and you end up winning the fight! It took longer of course but you made it.

            Dinner can end up being like that sometimes. Something you tried just didn't work out but you've got some time for a do-over. I found myself in this quandary just the other day. I was rummaging through my pantry and fridge and thinking to myself..Plan B...Plan B...Plan...B! Suddenly it came to me as I spotted a couple of Bacon-wrapped Beef fillets that I wanted to use for something. And there was that half container of Brussels Sprouts that needed to be used. As well as that quarter bag of Baby Spinach. And ooo Black Olives! Oh yes, I was on a roll! I could toss it in some Balsamic vinegar with Basil! And wouldn't all that go great with some Baking potatoes? Okay that last one was reaching just a little bit. Either way, Plan B turned out pretty tasty with some steak sauce!

            Plan B

            4 Servings | Total Time: 40 min | Artisan

            • 4 Bacon Wrapped Beef Fillets
            • 2 Baking Potatoes
            • 1 cup Brussels Sprouts
            • 1 Onion
            • 2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
            • 1 Tbl Basil, dried
            • 1 cup Whole Black Olives
            • 1 cup Baby Spinach
            • 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
            • Salt & Pepper
            • Steak Sauce, optional
            Craft: In a large pan, heat 1 Tbl of oil over high heat. Add fillets to the pan and quickly sear both sides. Reduce heat and let cook 5-8 minutes or until steak is at desired doneness. Meanwhile, poke several holes in the potatoes and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes each then let cool. Trim all the Brussel sprouts and slice in half. Dice the onion. When the potatoes are cooled, dice them into 1” cubes. In another large pan with lid, heat 1 Tbl of oil over medium heat. Add onion, basil, potatoes and Brussel Sprouts and cook 3 minutes, covered. Add spinach. Cook until spinach just starts to wilt then add Balsamic vinegar. Salt & Pepper to taste. Cook 5 minutes more, uncovered. Add olives and stir to incorporate.

            Strategies: If you want even more flavor, add a splash of cooking wine.

            LFM: Chocolate Chip Cookies! (We went from Plan A to Plan B to Plan...C? *hyuck hyuck hyuck*)

            • Bacon Wrapped Beef Fillets | $5.00
            • Baking Potatoes | $1.50
            • Brussels Sprouts | $1.00
            • Onion | $0.75
            • Whole Black Olives | $1.25
            • Baby Spinach | $1.50
            Total Cost: $11.00
            Cost Per Serving: $2.75

            Category: Casual

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