Monday, April 16, 2012

Dreamy Tomato Soup

Deviant Art - Saehral
I had the most epic dream. Yeah, I dream a lot. And yeah, they're usually pretty geeky dreams. My dreams seem to be affected by what game I played last or what series of books I read recently. Whenever I tell my husband about my geek dreams, he gives me that sly look and says "You've been playing too much <insert latest game addiction> lately." That's when I roll my eyes and tell him I'm not sharing my epic dreams with him anymore.

Anyway, I think my dream was inspired by a mix between Codex Alera, D&D, and SWTOR. It was freakin' awesome. I could fly, I had force powers, there was an large-scale battle going on with a big bad boss and his cronies that I was fighting my way through. There were close calls and bad falls. There were triumphs and lots of butt-kicking-for-goodness! But, like all dreams, when you start explaining it to someone else, it just can't compare to experiencing it yourself. It's all a confused jumble to try and sort out and tell someone else about. Words just don't suffice.

Now I'll bet you're wondering what all this has to do with tomato soup. I'm getting there. I love Campbell's tomato soup. I figured if you're going to have tomato soup, that's the best way you could have it. However, canned soup doesn't fit my into my diet very often anymore. (If you want to learn more about what I'm doing you can check out But, I can make my own soups!

Do you know how hard it is to find a tomato soup recipe that tastes like my favorite canned soup? HARD! I've tried recipe after recipe. But the effort was worth it because I have success. This tomato soup is not only simple to make but it's epic-ly delish. DREAMWORTHY! It's seriously like something I dreamed about that I can't describe to you! You have to experience it! You will not believe how good this tastes. It's not just like Campbell''s better than!

Dreamy Tomato Soup

4 Servings | Total Time: 35 min | Journeyman

  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbl Unsalted Butter
  • 1 can Tomato Puree (not paste)
  • 1/2 can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
Craft: In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, sauté the garlic in the olive oil or butter on medium-heat for 1 to 2 minutes just until the garlic has softened, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the basil, tomato puree and the crushed tomatoes, adding all juice. Bring mixture to a simmer. Add the stock, salt, sugar, black pepper, and red pepper flakes if using. Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes to cool a bit. Puree the soup in 3-4 batches in a blender. (If you lack a blender, leave the soup slightly chunky for a ‘rustic’ version. Personally, I prefer pureed, silky tomato soup.) Return the pureed soup to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring back to a simmer over medium-heat. Stir in the heavy cream.

Strategies: You can top this with cheddar, pepperoni, crackers, bread...whatever suits your fancy. I personally love it with just a little cheese and some crumbled saltines.

LFM: Biscuits and/or salad!

  • Tomato Puree | $0.75
  • Crushed Tomatoes | $1.50
  • Vegetable Stock | $1.00
  • Heavy Cream | $1.25
Total Cost: $4.50
Cost Per Serving: $1.13

Category: Critical Hits, Casual, Troll Fuel

Monday, April 2, 2012

GLaDOS' Chocolate Mug Cake

I have something to confess. I'd never played Portal until this last month.

/hang head in shame

Sometimes I just don't get the itch to follow a trendy game. It actually took my brother who talked to my husband who talked to finally get me to take a look at the game. Conveniently it was on sale at Steam. So I gave it a try.

I was hooked. Simple introductions to the mechanics and easy puzzles that gradually got more difficult. It was really fun! I could see why a lot of people liked it. And I had a really good laugh (at myself) when I finally really understood the "cake is a lie" references. /facepalm@self. I have to say though, my favorite part was at the end of the testing when GLaDOS pulls the bait and switch. Talk about getting an emotional vested interest in a game! Then she cracked up me later with this comment that I'll never forget:

Didn't we have some fun, though? Remember when the platform was sliding into the fire pit and I said "Goodbye", and you were like, "No way!" And then I was all, "We pretended we were going to murder you." That was great.

But I'm no GLaDOS. I promise that this cake is no lie. You can make your own personal chocolate cake in less than 5 minutes. Which is good because that's all the time you have before you die from my neurotoxin. Then the cake will be all mine.

You will be missed. Goodbye.

P.S. (My other favorite quote from Portal2)

It's been a long time. How have you been? I've been really busy being dead. You know, after you murdered me. But I think we can put our differences behind us. For science. You monster.

GLaDOS' Chocolate Mug Cake

2 Servings | Total Time: 6 min | Apprentice

  • 8 Tbl Flour
  • 4 Tbl Sugar
  • 3 Tbl Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 6 Tbl Milk
  • 6 Tbl Canola Oil
  • Splash of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbl Chocolate Chips
  • 3 Strawberries
  • Powdered Sugar
Craft: Mix together all ingredients. Divide and pour into 2 microwave proof coffee mugs. Microwave one at a time for two minutes. Remove the tops from the strawberries and slice in half. When the cakes are done, remove from microwave with pot holders, they're hot! Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with strawberries. This can be eaten from the mug or tipped out onto a plate.

Strategies:The cake will rise above the edge of the coffee mug. Don't panic! It simply does that while it's cooking. It'll go back down when it's done or when the heat stops.

LFM: The perfect dessert to compliment any meal.

Total Cost: < $1.00
Cost Per Serving: < $0.50

Category: Critical Hits, Cheat Codes, Phat Loot, Snackage