Prime Meat and Rice Bowl

Prime Meat and Rice Bowl

When I was a kid my cousins lived within a few blocks from us and nearly every Sunday was spent with them at our house or us at theirs for dinner.  And my very favorite thing my cousin made was homemade teriyaki chicken.  Delicious, incredible teriyaki chicken.  It was so good, and so special to her, that we called it Brenda-yaki chicken in honor of her.  Seriously.  It even says Brenda-yaki Chicken on my recipe card.  And I’m thrilled to share it with you because you’re going to love it, too!  You’ll like it.  So much that maybe you’ll call it *pause for dramatic effect* Teri-yaki chicken…

Prime Meat and Rice Bowl
time and difficulty

So lets start with the rice.  Honestly, this takes the longest, so lets get it going!  It’s just like the way we make rice in the Meat and Rice Bowl.  Simply add rice to the rice cooker, rinse several times, and add water until it covers up to the first joint in your pointer finger over the rice.  Turn it on.  And leave.  I really don’t know what I’d do without a rice cooker.

Next we need to cut the green onions into 1 inch-long strips.  Doesn’t have to be pretty, but it does need to come first.  You see, you could cut the chicken first and then cut the green onions, but you’d have to either dirty another knife and cutting board OR wash this one in between.  Let’s get real, folks, dishes are the worst.  So instead of taking all those extra steps (and in the name of food safety and Salmonella-less summers) we cut the onions and then the chicken!

Third, trim the excess fat off the chicken then slice it into strips about 1/2 inch wide and any length long.  That one’s a personal preference.  Now, let’s get real, I’m using boneless chicken thighs not because I prefer them, but because they’re what the recipe calls for.  You want it to be prime?  Gotta be chicken thighs.  So if you’d like to use chicken breasts, be my guest!  Though, now that I’ve used it, I may never go back – they were absolutely juicy and delicious!  I think I understand now why people sing the praises of thigh meat…

Okay – Focus!  Fourth is make the sauce.  Its pretty easy.  Measure out the sugar, soy sauce, and garlic powder into a container.  Stir until combined, taste for garlic adjustments (I like my garlic to be strong!) and allow to sit, stirring occasionally, to dissolve the sugars.

all the ingredients

And now, once the rice is done and on the “warm” setting, of course, we cook.  Why do we wait until the rice is done?  Because this takes about 6-7 minutes to cook and you don’t want to wait for your rice to finish while your chicken is getting cold.

Remember that wok I told you to buy?  Well it would sure come in handy about now!  Let’s pull it out, shall we?… Oh wait… you didn’t buy it?… Fine.  Be that way.  Well you can easily make this recipe in a pan.  Would it be better in a wok?  Of course, don’t be ridiculous.  But you can do it in a pan just fine.  Just follow all the steps like normal, then sit in a corner and think about what you’ve done.

boiling sauceAdd oil to the pan/wok and half the green onions.  Turn the heat on high, as high as it’ll go (for a wok) or medium high (for a pan) and wait until the onions start popping.  Add the chicken, sprinkle on the salt, and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes, or until they’re no longer pink on the outside.  Add the remainder of the green onions and all of the teriyaki sauce (which, if you kept stirring it, should have all the sugar dissolved).  Stir until everything is coated and allow to boil and cook for 3 more minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken.  Be warned, if you cook this in a pan, you’ll want to do it in a tall pan (maybe even a pot).  The sauce foams like crazy when it boils and it’ll grow to about double it’s height.  Don’t believe me?  Check out the photo.

teriyaki chicken detail

When the sauce is thickened turn off the heat, serve over rice, and enjoy!

Link’s Prime Meat and Rice Bowl recipe:

        • Raw Prime Meat or Raw Bird Thigh
        • Hylian Rice
        • Rock Salt

Prime Meat and Rice Bowl

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Chicken Teriyaki with homemade sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs, boneless
  • 1 bunch (5-6) green onions
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sushi (Calrose) rice
  • enough water to cover the rice

Directions

  1. Rinse 2 cups of rice several times and then add to a rice cooker. Add water until the level is up to your first knuckle on your pointer finger when your finger is resting on top of the rice.
  2. Start the rice cooker
  3. Cut the green onions into 1 inch-long strips.
  4. Trim the excess fat from the chicken then it into strips about 1/2 inch wide and any length long. I prefer 2 inches long.
  5. Make the sauce by adding the sugar, soy sauce, and garlic powder in a container.  Stir until combined, taste for garlic adjustments and allow to sit, stirring occasionally, to dissolve the sugars.
  6. When the rice is cooked heat a wok on high or a pan/pot on medium high.
  7. Add oil to the pan/wok and half the green onions.
  8. Add the chicken, sprinkle on the salt, and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes, or until they’re no longer pink on the outside.
  9. Add the remainder of the green onions and all of the teriyaki sauce (which, if you kept stirring it, should have all the sugar dissolved).
  10. Stir until everything is coated and allow to boil and cook for 3 more minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken.  Be warned, if you cook this in a pan, you’ll want to do it in a tall pan or pot as the sauce foams like crazy when it boils and it’ll double it’s height.
  11. When the sauce is thickened turn off the heat, serve over rice, and enjoy!

Blogger Blitz Round 1: Blogger Blitzception

Blogger Blitz Round 1: Blogger Blitzception

Hey everyone!  By some unexpected chance, and though I hadn’t planned on participating this year, I am yet again a competitor in the coolest competition around!  For those of you who missed it the first time check out Ian, at Adventure Rules, blog.  He not only lists the round challenges and the overall rules, but that’s also where we will find the results!  Yay!  If you want to skip that article (BOO!  Shame on you!) then here’s a little explanation of the rules:

  • Each round of the competition has a 1000 word limit for round 1. There are no limitations on writing style.  Remember to pack your 1000 words with content that helps to prove why your character is the best at the event!
  • Within your own post, you define the circumstances and how difficult it is for your character to overcome the event. So be sure to craft circumstances which portray your character as overcoming odds that only they could possibly surmount. If the challenge is too easy, it takes some of the impact away from your argument. Judges like to see clever solutions!
  • Get ahead of the game and cover your weak points so that when the judges have to consider the negatives of each approach, you’ve already anticipated it and come up with a solution!

Who is my competition, you ask?  Flame Flash who will be sponsoring Sigma, the antagonist from the Mega Man series.  And who had loads more time than me to prepare.  And who is an incredible writer.  Guys… it may be my first and last round in the Blogger Blitz challenge this year…

And what is the challenge?  Oh you know, only something so complex I had to read it 4 times before I even understood what they were asking for…

In a competition where bloggers submit blog posts about their favorite characters for a panel of judges to determine which is the best, they’ll be challenged to write a blog post about their favorite character writing a blog post. Then the post within the post will be judged by the judges to determine which blogger wins, which by extension will determine which blogger wins. What? As if that’s not complicated enough, each villain has been sent a nefarious “helper” by their rivals – a three-headed monkey! The monkey does all the typing for them, so how can each villain use their abilities to influence the monkey to write rightly? It’s the blogger blitz within the Blogger Blitz – it’s Blogger Blitzception!

So without further ado, my blog within a blog (and my word count) starts below this line.


Oh the aklnm;slkdf ;jp[aje

ganondorf triumphant

NO! Stop it, monkey.  I am Ganon, the holder of the Goddess Din’s Triforce of Power, reincarnation of the Demon Demise himself.  You WILL obey me.  Now…. Write this:

Oh the struggle, the turmoil.  Why is ittt ttttthatttt pppsppdpdmmvvlcxle

ganondorf frustrated

NO!  This post, monkey, will be the inspiration of generations to come!  I am the master of all dark powers and, King of the Gerudo, and the rightful King of Hyrule.  All who wish to bow down before me must understand me.  This wisdom will be sought through the end of time.  And through it I will choose lesser minions to serve beneath my hand, for when I am King I will be King forever! Mwahahahaha.

Oh the struggle, the turmoil.  Why is it that people continnu to opose mme?  I, wwwwhoooo ams;lk the rigj ;lkdtful ruulelsller

Ganondorf

*sigh*.  I suppose this will take more effort than I originally thought.  Who knew a three-headed monkey, that cursed gift from that idiot sympathizer from Faron, would be this troublesome?  How could he be manipulated to obey?  It’s quite simple.  That’s all I ask.  Complete and blind obedience to my every need.  As the conqueror of Hyrule it should be given to me.  Hmmmm….

A banana.  Is that what you want, you good, kind, helpful monkey?  I’ll give you a banana every time you type a correct sentence.  Deal? Then let’s get moving…

Oh the struggle, the turmoil.  Why is it that people continue to oppose me?  I, who am the rightful ruler of all Hyrule?  I, who am the rightful ruler of all Hyrule?  I, who am the rightful ruler of all Hyrule?  I, Demise himself, who asks nothing but subservience and utter domination?  I, Demise himself, who asks nothing but subservience and utter domination?  I, Demise himself, who asks nothing but subservience and utter domination?

angry ganondorf

STOP!  That is NOT what I wanted.  That is NOT what I meant.  You are willfully disobeying me!

*Leaves to play the organ for several minutes*

*deep breaths* Now that my calm has been restored I have an idea, an improvement, if you will.  Utilizing the dark magic at which I am so adept I’ll simply bend your minds to my will.  Force you to become the mindless minion you are to simply do as I ask.  Oh, don’t worry, monkey, you won’t notice a thing.

O the struggle the turmoil y is it that people continue 2 oppose me I who am the rightful ruler of all hyrule I demise himself who asks nothing but subservience and utter domination its… that… night…  the… socalled… hero… of… hyrule… its… his… fault… my… slaves… continue… 2… rise…….. up……….

NOOOOO!  Mindless!  Stupid. Idiot. Monkey!

ganondorf sword

*In a fit of rage he raises his sword and chops off two of the monkey’s heads.  Cauterizes wounds with dark magic.  Lifts spell from third head.*

There.  No more mistakes, no more fooling around.  You, monkey, WILL do my bidding or the same fate awaits your final head.  NOW, TYPE!

Oh the struggle, the turmoil.  Why is it that people continue to oppose me?  I, who am the rightful ruler of all Hyrule?  I, Demise himself, who asks nothing but subservience and utter domination? 

It’s that knight.  The so-called “Hero of Hyrule”.  It’s his fault my slaves continue to rise up.  It’s HIS fault my plans fail.  I am thwarted at every turn because of this… man-child.  This Link.  I am the great, powerful Ganon!  How can a simple, small boy continue to overthrow my best-laid plans?  First it was my attempt to rise as myself with the help of my faithful demon Ghirahim.  And my reincarnation, this powerful, debonair Ganondorf, with so much promise, continually thrown down.  Is it him, this Link?  Or is it simply my incompetent belief in those I manipulate?  Agahnim, Yuga, Zant, all failures.  Perhaps that is my true downfall.  Perhaps my manipulations of these minions was never strong enough, my… faith… was misplaced.  This newest attempt may need a different strategy.  Something to counter the nuisance of the “Goddess’s chosen hero”.  Something to finally squash him like the insect he is so that I, Ganondorf, the most powerful being ever, can reign victorious at last!

You, the mindless rabble who WILL obey me, cannot know the strain of such a brat, always snapping at my heels.  You think this is easy, laying plans, always subverting Hyrule to my whim.  But the thought of that boy eats away at my peace.  He fills me with pure Malice, and slowly gnaws away my incredible intellect to the point that I struggle to foresee mistakes.  Oh the agony of my minion’s mistakes that have allowed that… boy… to defeat me!  It should never have happened.  It will not happen again.  I, Ganondorf, am more than capable of crushing him without any effort.  Perhaps it will take all my cunning, without the use of a mindless puppet, to overcome the Triforce of Courage.  And perhaps this blog will be my greatest form of brainstorming.  The place where all my best-laid plans will finally be perfected and find fruition in the defeat of that whelp.  Perhaps this next time I’ll use a new set of minions… One made entirely of metal…

Prime Poultry Pilaf

Prime Poultry Pilaf

As a working mom I am incredibly fond of easy make, easy clean up meals.  While I wish I could spend 5 hours making dinner every night, with fantastic results, I usually only have about an hour MAX to throw toward my favorite meal of the day.  And this recipe was so easy, and had so little hands-on time, it may become a new mid-week staple at our house.  Hey, if it’s good enough for Link, it’s good enough for me!

Prime Poultry PilafHeader and Meter

Start by taking the chicken out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you cook it.  Frankly, as a microbiologist, I cannot condone taking chicken out any earlier than that.  If you wanna know how I feel about poultry, as a microbiologist, find me on the twitter or the instagram…   But we do want to take the chill off the chicken before we cook it.  So 10 minutes is probably good.

seasoned chicken

Now here’s the normal drill: pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, rub with spices, and get ready for the most chill and delicious meal I’ve posted in a long, llloonnngggg time.

First and foremost, the easiest way to make this recipe is with a pan that can be used both on the stove and in the oven.  Cast iron, enameled cast iron, even some stainless steel pans can be used on the stove and in the oven.  I use an enameled cast iron pan for this and it made both making it and cleaning up a piece of cake.  If you don’t have anything that’ll work for both simply use a pan on the stove for the first part and we will get to the second part later.  But if you can possibly invest in an enameled cast iron braiser or pan, trust me, it’s worth it.

Second and secondmost, you’ll want to use a long grain, non-sticky rice for this recipe.  While I pledge my heart and soul to calrose sushi rice it simply doesn’t work for rice pilaf.  Jasmine rice or even long grain brown rice would work really well in this particular recipe.

Heat the oil in your chosen pan on medium.  When the oil is hot gently add the chicken by laying it away from you to prevent splashes.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the thigh.  Turn the chicken and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Using the side of your pan, lay the thighs up on each side for 1-2 minutes to sear in all the liquid.  You can do this by leaning them against each other and the side of the pan, then switching sides and repeating until all 6 sides (4 edges, 2 big sides) are seared.  Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate.

Add the chopped onion to the oil in the pan and cook until it begins to sweat, about 2-3 minutes.  At that point add the orzo pasta and continue stirring and cooking until the pasta begins to change color to a light brown, about 2 minutes.  Add the rice and cook until the rice is glistening, about 2-3 minutes.  Add about 1/4-1/3 cup of the chicken stock  and scrape hard at the bottom of the pan to deglaze it.  This will ensure all the delicious flavor (called fond) stuck at the bottom will be in your broth.  Add the remaining chicken stock and spices and stir.  Heat until simmering, stirring periodically.

add the chicken to the rice

Once the liquid is simmering gently lay the chicken on top of the rice mixture.  You want the chicken to rest on top of the rice, so gently is the key here.  Place the lid on the pan and put in the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.  If you’re one of the poor, unfortunate souls (in pain, in need) who doesn’t have a pan that can transition between the stove and the oven oil an oven-safe pan that has a lid and transfer the liquid and rice to the pan.  Lay the chicken on top of the rice, cover, and place in the oven to bake.  This method may take 35-40 minutes to cook, because the pan isn’t hot going into the oven.  But don’t check the rice until 30 minutes.  At that point, if there is still liquid left, simply bake uncovered for 5-10 minutes until the liquid is gone.

check the rice

While the rice is cooking scramble an egg or two.  It’s as easy as heating up a small pan with the butter, adding two eggs, and pushing the eggs around until they’re set but not overcooked.  You got this.

After 30 minutes open the lid and check the rice for done-ness.  There should be no more liquid remaining and the rice should be nice and fluffy.  If you are worried about the chicken being cooked all the way through simply test it using an instant read thermometer.  The thighs should be at 165°F.  Add the eggs to the rice, mix, and fluff.  Serve with a side of veggies and enjoy!

chicken close up

Link’s Prime Poultry Pilaf recipe:

      • Raw Bird Thigh
      • Hylian Rice
      • Bird Egg
      • Goat Butter

Prime Poultry Pilaf

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
  • Print

One-pot chicken thighs with rice pilaf

Chicken

  • 5 chicken thighs, can be with or without bones
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Rice

  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 3/4 cup long grain rice, such as Jasmine rice
  • 3.5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Take the chicken out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you cook it.
  3. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and rub with the spice rub.
  4. Heat the oil in a cast iron pan, or any pan that can be placed in the oven with a lid.
  5. When the oil is hot gently add the chicken by laying it away from you to prevent splashes.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the thigh.  Turn the chicken and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Using the side of your pan, lay the thighs up on each side for 1-2 minutes to sear in all the liquid.  You can do this by leaning them against each other and the side of the pan, then switching sides and repeating until all 6 sides (4 edges, 2 big sides) are seared.  Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate.
  6. Add the chopped onion to the oil in the pan and cook until it begins to sweat, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the orzo pasta and continue stirring and cooking until the pasta begins to change color to a light brown, about 2 minutes.
  8. Add the rice and cook until the rice is glistening, about 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add about 1/4-1/3 cup of the chicken stock and scrape hard at the bottom of the pan to deglaze it.  Add the remaining chicken stock and spices and stir.  Heat until simmering, stirring periodically.
  10. Once the liquid is simmering gently lay the chicken on top of the rice mixture. Place the lid on the pan and put in the oven.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes.
  12. While the rice is cooking heat up a small pan with the butter. When the butter begins bubbling add the two eggs and cook, stirring continually until they’re set but not overcooked.
  13. After 30 minutes open the lid and check the rice for done-ness.  There should be no more liquid remaining and the rice should be nice and fluffy.  If you are worried about the chicken being cooked all the way through simply test it using an instant read thermometer.  The thighs should be at 165°F.  Serve with a side of veggies and enjoy!

Zelda Collaboration Project

IT’S HERE! It’s finally here!  The Zelda collaboration blog, hosted by Matt at Normal Happenings, is finally published for all the world to see.

Guys, this project is insane.  It was tons of bloggers adding their input on the sights and sounds of Hyrule.  How cool is that?!  And all of their hard work, and especially Matt’s hard work, should be recognized.  So please go check it out!  I don’t want to reblog here, because I want you to go to this amazing person’s site and see everything the way he planned it.  He deserves that.

OH!  And in case you were interested, I included 2 new recipes for this project.  Yay!  To see them just head on over…

Hyrule: See the Sights, Hear the Sounds!

Meat Pie

Meat Pie

It’s been a while.  I know this.  I have no apology.  But what I do have is this incredible and easy Meat Pie recipe.  Trust me, you’ll accidentally eat every single one the second they cool down enough to shove into your mouth.  And you won’t even feel bad about it.  So in honor of that feeling, let’s get rid of all guilt associated with not posting for a while and just get on with the show!

OH! And as a side note, I finished exploring every. little. section and area of BotW except the final castle.  It’s done!  And tonight I’m totally finishing the castle.  Here’s hoping I find the last few things I’m missing there…

And without further waiting on your end:

Meat Piedifficulty and time

Start by making the pastry dough.  This has to chill for at least an hour so it should always be your first step.  If you want to make the dough far ahead it can be chilled up to overnight in the fridge before use.  So make life, and dinner, a little easier on yourself and make it when you have a spare 10 minutes.

Put some water into a cup and add a cube or two of ice.  The colder the water, the better the pastry will turn out.  Add the flour to a bowl and cut up the cold (it must be cold, just like the pie crust recipe in Apple Pie) butter into 1-2 tablespoon chunks.

Now let’s rub the cold butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs with some pea-sized chunks of butter left.  You don’t want it too fine or you won’t get a nice flaky crust!  … maybe next time I’ll make a gif of how to do this.  I’m just now realizing that would probably be nice…

Now add 2/3 cup water to the dough and mix until it completely comes together and forms a ball.  This is a far more forgiving recipe than my pie crust (even though the method is the same) so a little extra handling won’t necessarily hurt it… but I wouldn’t work it too much.  You should still see large chunks of butter in your dough.

Split it in half and press into a square shape about an inch thick.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready for it.

Now, the key to the filling on this meat pie is dicing everything up really small.  Like, say, 1/4 inch cubes.  This goes for the carrots, the onion, and the roast.  Normally with my recipes size doesn’t really matter.  But in this case we want everything to cook properly and be able to squish as much as possible in the little pastry cases, so size becomes very important.

add the bowl

Once they’re all cut up put them together in a bowl and mix with a spoon to combine.  Add all the spices and stir until the spices coat everything.  I’d start with the smallest amount of spices and then, based on look and smell (please don’t taste it!  There’s raw meat in there…) add the rest if you feel like it’s necessary.  I, personally, use all the spices.  I like my food to have some flavor!  Also – yeah, yeah, I know that meat pie doesn’t traditionally have random vegetables thrown in.  But I can’t really make something like this, which feels like a full meal, without adding at least one vegetable to it.  So it’ll be fine.

mix it up

Take the dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour a large surface.  Place the dough on the surface and roll it out into a large rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick.

roll it out

Start by rolling in once direction several times until it makes a large square.  Then rotate it 90°, add more flour under the dough, and roll it out until it forms your triangle.  Repeat with the other piece, making sure both are the same size.

Take the largest round cutter you have (mine happened to be 3.5 inches long) and cut circles into your pastry.  Cut the same amount of circles into each pastry rectangle – these will serve as your bottom and your top.  If you’re really feeling ambitious you can gather the scraps and roll them out once more for even more pies.  I didn’t really feel like doing that so I simply threw the scraps away.  If you’re feeling lazy and the idea of wasted scraps horrifies you, simply cut the pastry into an equal amount (and equal sizes) of squares on both pastries and call it good.  It’s all about presentation and how much you’re willing to give to it.

rounds of pastry

Transfer half of the square/circle pastries to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.  Fill each square/circle with your meat filling.  Now, we want to fill to within 1/2 inch of the sides of the pastry case and we want it to be no more than stacked double in the center.  That’s very specific, I know, but if you fill it too much the case will either split mid-bake or you’ll be unable to get the top on in the first place!

add the filling

Next, dip your fingers into water and brush the empty edges of the pastries.  Lay the last half of the pastries on top of the first half to make enclosed pies.  Gently press the pastries halves together with your fingers and then seal with a fork by pressing into the edges.  This will crimp the pastries together and (fingers crossed) hopefully prevent them from leaking.  After your pastries are crimped poke 3-4 holes in the top.  It helps release the steam to prevent mini explosions in your oven

Whisk an egg with a fork and brush the top of the pastries with the beaten egg.  This will give you a nice, beautiful, crispy, shiny crust!  The best kind, in my opinion!  Place in the oven and bake for about 45-60 minutes, or until the pastries are nice and browned and/or and internal temperature has been reached of about 165ish.  We can be less specific because we’re using roast and beef instead of poultry.

Remove from the oven and serve warm!

not header

Link’s Meat Pie recipe:

      • Any Meat
      • Goat Butter
      • Rock Salt
      • Tabantha Wheat

Meat Pie

  • Servings: 13 3 inch pies
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Meat pies with carrots and onion

Pastry

  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (455g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons (300g) cold butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (150ml) ice cold water

Filling

  • 1 pound beef roast
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/4 medium onion
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons black pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F and add some ice to a small cup of water.
  2. Add the flour and salt to a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces. Add the butter to the flour and begin rubbing it between your fingers while adding flour. This will create a breadcrumb-like texture. Make sure you leave some butter pieces as large as peas.
  3. Add 2/3 cup of your ice water and mix until combined. There should still be chunks of butter visible in the dough.
  4. Split the dough into two equal pieces, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour but up to overnight.
  5. Dice the roast, carrots, and onion into small 1/4 inch cubes. Place them in a bowl and mix with a spoon until combined.
  6. Add the smaller amount of spices and then, based on look and smell add the rest if you feel it’s necessary.  I, personally, use all the spices. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  7. Take the dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour a large surface.  Place the dough on the surface and roll it out into a large rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick.
  8. Roll the dough by rolling in once direction several times until it makes a large square.  Then rotate it 90°, add more flour under the dough, and roll it out until it forms your triangle.
  9. Repeat with the other piece, making sure both are the same size.
  10. Using a large round cutter cut circles into your pastry. Repeat on the other half of the pastry dough, ensuring you have the same amount of circles on each side. You may gather the scraps and re-roll the dough to cut more circles if you wish, but only re-roll once to prevent a tough pastry. Or, alternatively, cut your pastry into even squares, ensuring there’s an even number on each half.
  11. Transfer half of the square/circle pastries to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.  Fill each square/circle with your meat filling to within 1/2 inch of the sides of the pastry case and no more than stacked double in the center.
  12. Dip your fingers into water and brush the empty edges of the pastries.
  13. Lay the last half of the pastries on top of the first half to make enclosed pies.  Gently press the pastries halves together with your fingers and then seal with a fork by pressing into the edges.  Poke 3-4 holes in the top.
  14. Whisk an egg with a fork and brush the top of the pastries with the beaten egg. Place in the oven and bake for about 45-60 minutes, or until the pastries are nice and browned and/or and internal temperature has been reached of about 165ish. Serve warm.

A Year Ago…

A Year Ago…

Hey, friendly followers who stick with me through thick and thin!  Guess what today is?  It’s officially 1 year since I posted my very first recipe.  Can you believe that?!  One year!  And look how far we’ve all come!  I’ve got followers, a twitter account, exciting new recipes, collaborations, and friends in foreign countries.  This blog thing has turned out to be one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made.  And even though I’m still not posting regularly (this time thanks to my garden and backyard: photos on Instagram tomorrow if you want to see them!) I’m getting better and you are all so supportive I feel like it’s all okay.  That everything is okay.

So thank you to the people who have supported me, pushed me, and helped me get from point A to here in the last year.  In other words – thank you to all of you!  In honor of this auspicious anniversary here is a reblog of my very first recipe: Wildberry Crepes!


What seems like an eternity ago my husband and I went to Paris.  This was easily one of the best experiences of my life and I brought back a serious love for french pastries.  I set out determined to master every single one I had eaten.  The easiest to master was the crepe.  My high school french teacher taught me how to make his secret recipe, weaseled out of the corner crepe stand proprietor while he was living in France.  I already had a lot of experience making them before my trip but I was able to perfect it after watching the way the locals made them.  So when I accidentally made a crepe in Breath of the Wild I was so excited!  Link could make crepes!  It felt so cool to make something in the game that I love making in real life.  This made the decision of which recipe to create first simple.  It had to be the crepes that had brought me so much joy.

Hylian Wildberry Crepes:Difficult and Time for this recipe

The equipment for this recipe is pretty straight forward: a bowl for the batter, a whisk, measuring materials, a piping bag if you’re feeling fancy, and a frying pan or crepe pan.  I make crepes so often it was worth every penny to buy a really amazing crepe pan.  I use Le Creuset.  I love their cast iron quality and the spatula and rateau (spreading) tools are perfect.

Layout of crepe ingredients

Crepes start with some forethought because they are best if there’s very little air in the batter.  They make a smoother surface with no pockets or holes for the delicious insides to ooze out of.  Eggs, milk, flour, and butter are whisked together until there are no lumps.  This may take a minute or so.  The flour can get really finicky when added to the egg mixture.

Plastic wrap placed on batter

In order to get rid of all that pesky air a piece of plastic wrap is pressed down onto the surface of the batter, the bowl is given a few gentle shakes, and the entire thing is put in the refrigerator to rest for at least an hour.  Since I usually make crepes for breakfast I make the batter the night before, that way they are fresh and ready for the morning.

Gently cutting in any butter that may have come out of solution is key!  You didn’t let it sit for an hour just to ruin it now!  Pans should be heated on medium low and butter should be added to the entire surface.  Don’t skimp out on me now, we are making crepes not a salad!  Add the first half cup of batter, spreading it by tilting a frying pan or using the rateau with a crepe pan.  First crepes are a sacrifice to the Goddess: it’s meant to be made made and then promptly thrown away.  If your sacrifice has been accepted you won’t need to butter your pan again.

How to pour and spread the crepe

Every crepe is an adventure.  The amount of batter you add and your attention to spreading will produce different sizes and different shapes.  The challenge is to get each one perfect.  It’s definitely a super gut check challenge.  Easier with pratice, the right elixers, and the right gear.

Cut and cored strawberries

Only the best berries should be used, which usually means purchasing in-season.  These wildberry crepes feature strawberries, the current berry-of-the-month.  My favorite, however, are raspberries!  Use whatever feels right.  Wildberry is vague, allowing for some fantastic judgement calls.  To make them a little syrupy dip the cut side of the berry into sugar and allow it to sit for a few minutes.

You can pipe or dollop the whipped cream.  Honestly, after the pretty photo shoot was over, my husband and I stood over the crepe pan spooning on the cream and berries faster than I could make them.

Crepe with whipped cream and strawberries

Link’s Wildberry Crepe recipe:

    • Fresh Milk
    • Bird Egg
    • Tabantha Wheat
    • Cane Sugar
    • Wildberry

Hylian Wildberry Crepes

  • Servings: 6-8 crepes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Crepes with berries and whipped cream from Breath of the Wild

Crepes

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk, any percentage will do
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

  • 24-32 small strawberries, 3-4 per crepe
  • 1 cup whipping creme or heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus a few pinches for dusting berries

Directions

  1. Whisk together eggs and milk until smooth.  Slowly add sifted flour and salt and whisk until combined.  Add butter and continue whisking until the batter is smooth with no flour lumps.
  2. Gently press a piece of plastic wrap down into the bowl to rest on top of the batter and cover it entirely.  Refrigerate and allow to rest for at least one hour.
  3. While the batter is refrigerating prepare the berries and whipped cream.
  4. Cut strawberries in half and lightly cover the cut side in sugar.  Allow to sit at room temperature for a few minutes to produce a little syrupy goodness.
  5. Whipping cream can be made three ways: a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, a blender, or a bowl and hand mixer with a whisk attachment.  For any of these options add the whipping cream to the blender or bowl and whisk on high.  Slowly add the sugar and continue whisking until stiff peaks form and the cream becomes shiny.
  6. When the batter is ready gently peel back the plastic wrap.  It is perfectly normal for some batter to stick to the wrap.  In fact, if it doesn’t, you may not have pressed the plastic down enough.  Some butter may have separated at this point. Using a knife or spoon gently cut and turn the batter until uniform.
  7. Heat pan on medium low until hot.  Add butter to cover the surface of the pan.  Add 1/2 cup batter to the pan and twist or spread using a rateau until the batter covers the bottom of the pan.  Allow to sit for about 1 minute until the bottom sets up.  Flip the crepe and cook about 1 minute more until lightly browned. Throw this first crepe away.  It usually has too much butter to taste really good.
  8. Continue adding 1/2 – 2/3 cup batter at a time to the pan without re-greasing the pan and follow step 7 for cooking instructions.
  9. Remove from pan and immediately pipe or spoon on whipped cream and strawberries.  Crepes are best enjoyed hot but are still delicious cold.  They do not store well so make and enjoy all your crepes that day!

Blog Awards Galore!!

Blog Awards Galore!!

Guys, I’m super overwhelmed right now.  I’ve just been nominated for my third blogger award in a month.  As a girl who has some very tough opinions about herself, the outpouring of love, friendship, and fun that ensues from this blogging community can be… undeniably uplifting.  In the spirit of answering all the questions, but not overwhelming people with too many posts, get ready for an episode of:

SUPER DUPER AWARD RAPID FIRE ANSWERS!

In this version I will be answering all  the questions posed to me from all three bloggers.  Some are personal, so get ready to get to know me better, and some are wacky, so get ready to feel the lackluster powers of my wit.


First up, Gritty Momma nominated me for a Liebster Award.  What’s that, you ask?  It’s an award from The Global Aussie in an effort to promote new bloggers.  This neat little lady writes about motherhood, dealing with psychological issues, and the troubles of being human.  It’s a nice read and definitely worth looking into if you have/experience any of those issues.

First things first for this award: 10 random things about me.  For the sake of an actual, readable and not-too-long post, I’ll only list 5…

  1. I am born on leap year.  That makes me a solid 7 1/2.
  2. I hate frosting, pudding, pastry cream, chocolate cake and donuts, pie, and most whipped cream.  For someone very into desserts, that’s a lot of hates.
  3. I can’t regulate my body temperature very well.  This means even in the middle of the heat of the summer I wear sweatshirts.
  4. I prefer rainy days to sunny days
  5. I own every novel in the Redwall (Brian Jacques) series

And now for the questions:

What is your go-to technique for calming nerves–your own or others–in stressful situations?

I stress clean and stress bake during intense situations, like Overwatch League matches, baseball games, and fights.  During the world series a few years ago I made three batches of scones during a single game.  In situations outside the home I tend to pick at my nails and nail beds until they bleed.  It makes my fingers look terrible, but it helps.

What is your favorite food?

Chinese food.  Hands down.  I could eat my mothers chinese food every day of my life.  But a specific food changes on my mood.  Right now it’s a toss up between walnut brownies and sarsaparilla floats.

Do you prefer academia or practical skills?

Academia for me.  If I could be a student as a career, I would do so.  I love learning and obsessively research new topics until I feel I’m deeply conversational in them.

Current favorite TV show?

Brooklyn 99

If you could change one thing about the world you live in, what would it be?

I wish people were more tolerant toward others.  More kind about their differences, less judgmental about their choices, more accepting of others in spite of their unique qualities.

Pet peeve?

I hate it when people try to either blame others for their own failings or take credit for things they didn’t do.

How do you cultivate empathy in your relationships?

I try to see things from their perspective.  I’m not very good at it, but I try.

Dream job?

Hemorrhagic fever virus hunter for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease.  Ever read The Hot Zone?  Yeah, that’s what I want to do.

Go-to catch phrase when you’re pleased with something:

Oh sweet.

What do you want to be remembered for?

Kindness.  I want people to go to my funeral and say “she was so kind to everyone”

Who do you most want to read your blog?

Anyone interested in either food or gaming.  Or both!  I want people to know that gaming is for everyone and, as our friend Remy the Rat learned, anyone can cook.


Next up was NekoJonez, kindly nominating me for a Sunshine Award!  This guy is always winning awards and is a bedrock member of my community.  Always there for people, always pushing for new and interesting game reviews, always supportive when you need it.

Here are the questions, and here are the answers.  P.S: I fully expect ALL of you to participate in questions 2 in the comments.  I wanna know if you can guess!

Explain as poorly as you can how either Minecraft or Pokémon works.

Minecraft is a a thing people do, I guess, on, like, computers and stuff, where you make things and, like, everything looks like squares and people watch you make things and it’s mostly kids, or whatever.

Explain a game cryptically and let your readers guess which game or game series it is.

This game involves traveling through different levels where you collect items.  Those items are used at the end of the level to build other things, which can help make the game more customizable.  During the process of traveling your character is joined by another character, who give your character extra abilities in order to collect more of these items.  In the end your character defeats an evil sorcerer and restores peace to his colorful world.

Do you sell games you have completed/beaten or do you keep them in a collection?

Nope!  I’m a collector, baby.  I don’t have a big collection but I couldn’t imagine getting rid of a game.  I tend to only buy games I know I’ll love and I really enjoy replaying them.

Which game/genre does interest you quite a lot but you are unable to get into the actual game/genre?

Multiplayer games like Battlefront interest me a great deal but I can’t seem to get into them.  I play Overwatch on PC but that’s it.  I just can’t seems to force myself to play them enough to get good enough to enjoy them.

Do you think it’s possible that there will be every an amazing video game movie?

I… no.  And here’s why: people will always compare a game to a movie and vice versa.  The problem with turning books and games into movies is that people want the game/book in a movie form.  While the limitations of filmmaking and the need to make money ensure that a perfect copy of the game/book can’t be made.  It’s like Ready Player One.  If you haven’t read the book I bet you’ll love the movie.  If you have, you’ll probably be sorely disappointed.  Same with a game.  They can’t simply turn LoZ into a movie.  I would probably hate it because it could never live up to the game.

Would you ever consider blogging full time as a job?

Yes and no!  When I started this blog it was my dream to be able to make this a full-time gig with an officially published cookbook and everything.  It’s still the dream, but with a nearly-full-time job, a kid, and adult responsibilities, as well as trying to squeeze in time for hobbies still, it’s hard to be consistent enough to get there.  If I could quit and focus on this and make it a full-time deal, that would be ideal.  But putting in the effort to getting to the point where I could simply quit and it already was a full-time deal is probably not possible.

I haven’t gotten a Switch yet! Quickly, recommend me a game.

Breath of the Wild.  Done.

If you had to choose between Sony, PC or Nintendo platforms and emulation DIDN’T exist, which platform would you choose and why?

Nintendo.  I’m very close to playing Nintendo exclusively anyway so making that an actual, permanent thing wouldn’t be that hard.

What is the platform you grew up on and tell us some fond memories.

I grew up on a few platforms, but Nintendo was my favorite.  I used to play Ocarina of Time over and over and over again until I had every temple and every puzzle memorized.  I could beat it in my sleep.  And it never got old.  No matter how many times I would boot it up I never got bored.  And I used to sneak downstairs and watch my dad play Pokemon Puzzle League on the 64.  He’d play from the time we were put to bed until 3-4 am.  He still has the high score and he’s the only person I know who has beaten it on Super Hard.

Tell here a random story you want to share with your readers.

I had this boyfriend in college and his roommates and I would sit around and play Super Smash on his GameCube for hours.  I, nearly every game, would beat them.  Not because I’m good at it or anything, because I’m not.  I would play Yoshi and I would button mash.  So either they were very bad at Super Smash or I have a magical button mashing gift.


And last, but not least, my latest nomination, Matt from Normal Happenings nominated me for his Super Specific Sunshine Award!  This guy is a recent find but I already love his blog.  I will be participating in another massive Zelda collaboration put together by him and anyone who loves Zelda as much as me is an automatic friend!  So let’s answer his questions, which are seriously unexpected!

A new island chain suddenly forms in the south Pacific. Scientists, in the spirit of serendipity, need a name for the archipelago, so they run outside and grab the first person they see walking by. That person is you. What do you name the islands?

The first thing that came to my mind was Francisella tularensis tularensis, the genus and species name for Rabbit Fever… Somehow I don’t think they’d do that so let’s go with Eventide Islands

Find any grocery list you’ve ever written – on a post-in note, on your phone, in the trash can. What is the third item on that list?

From my shopping list this week: Bubble Bath

Go to any mirror – doesn’t matter if there’s people around – and look at the bottom of your tongue. What is your immediate emotional reaction?

I think the bottom of a tongue looks like a link sausage.  So I guess the reaction is “no wonder people eat animal tongues”.

Let’s say you could suddenly make all the cable news stations cover animals with the same intensity they covered politics – all animals all the time! Which animal would you want them to focus exclusively on?

My favorite animal, of course, the White Siberian Tiger.

What is a random 11-letter word? I’ve already said mine – archipelago.

Hemorrhagic

I’m still not particularly happy with my computer wallpaper. What should I change it to?

napoleon bonaparte as cat

If you could only eat breakfast foods for lunch and lunch foods for breakfast, what would be your go-to breakfast? Your go-to lunch?

Well I eat breakfast food for lunch already, so does that mean I get to keep my pancakes and my eggs, bacon, and toast?  Really, why would anyone eat anything other than breakfast food anyway?

A bedbug bite forces you to have one of these the useless superpowers.
Which of the following useless superpowers would choose and why?
– The ability to make only office supplies levitate.
– The ability to be invisible – but only inside a volcano.
– The ability to, at will, swap any picture on a billboard to a pumpkin.

Make office supplies levitate, obviously!  Do you know how awesome it would be to make the supply I’m always missing simply float up in an easy-to-reach fashion?  Are your tools buried in the bottom of your drawer?  Never fear!  The Supply Finder is here to save the day again!

Do you hate your initials? If you could have any initials, what would they be and why?

Nope!  I LOVE my initials.  As the head of the TB department having the initials TB is pretty awesome.  Just think about it – I get to sign all TB paperwork as TB… It’s the little things, guys.  Let me have this.

What is the most recent gum you chewed? Extrapolate a short story of five sentences or less with that gum as a central plot mechanic.

“So you think you can continue to dispose of us, do you” the wrapper thought as he slowly crept toward the sleeping girl.  “Simply chew us until the flavor is gone and then throw us, used, beaten, and torn, into some hell-hole, never to see the light of day again?  Not this time.  Not anymore.”  And with careful delicacy the wrapper slid over the girl’s mouth while his brother slid over her nose, stifling the sound of her breathing, the red Juicy Fruit label splashed across it’s front barely visible as night closed in around her.


Now, in the spirit of answering so many questions, I won’t be writing my own or doing my own nominations.  I think that would make this post a tad too much.  So instead, let’s play a new game.  If you read this article it’s now your job to choose 10 of these questions at random and answer them on your site.  Leave me a comment and let me know where to find your responses so I can go read and enjoy the hilarity that will undoubtedly ensue!