Aug 22, 2013

Going Semi-No-Poo (or, My Summer of Amazing Hair)

BTW, that's "No Shampoo", not a reference to some unfortunate digestive tract mallady

I've been playing with the idea of nixing my shampoo and conditioner routine for a while. My hair is pretty sturdy, but can get finicky with variations in care routine, and lately it had been blah. Also, I've been broke, and saving money on hair care products isn't something I'd turn my nose up to.

Jun 19, 2013

GNW N64 Marathon 7/19-7/21

It's coming! Are you ready? Are you excited? I'm not ready but I am excited :D

It's the Gamers Northwest marathon and it's starting July 19 at 12:00 pm PST. This time, we've chosen all our favorite N64 games and thrown them together. We'll have lots of running around in 3D environments, trivia and prizes!

BIG FAIR WARNING: The Gamers Northwest is a mature channel. Nothing crazy goes on, of course, but we do occasionally have some adult language and behaviors. For this reason, viewers must be 18 years or older. The streamers and the bloggers/ affiliates with the channel and the website are not responsible for underage audiences. Get our channel info after the jump...

On Settling In and Summer Treats: S'mores Mess

So, I'm finally moved in, after what's seemed like an eternity of living a half-life: scrounging for my own possessions among shambles of disorganized boxes (no one to blame but myself). Of course, now I'm just rummaging for my clothes in somewhat more orderly boxes, but I've cooked in my new apartment a few times now, and that's when a place feels like home to me. My new home has lots of potential for gardening (er, of the front porch variety, that is) and is just a few blocks down the street from the weekly community market, all of which means lots of fresh produce in my recipe experimenting future!

Of course, now that I'm semi-settled, the first thing I really want to make is some fatty, un-fresh, un-healthy comforting, chocolately summer goodness S'mores bars. I've had a huge craving for S'mores lately, most likely due to the unbridled placements of S'mores fixins in the most in-the-way places in the grocery store. I'm talking about chocolate bars, graham crackers, and the angelic fluffiness of pure corn syrup marshmallows. Every time I go to the Ray's or Safeway with a mind set to a healthy dinner for Caleb and I, I am bombarded by S'mores fixins, so of course I'm craving them! Sheesh. It is summer, after all.

Now, here's the thing, when I think of making S'mores, I always harken back to my childhood and recall the careful advice and instruction of Hamilton "Ham" Porter. If you've never seen The Sandlot, then, oh goodness, please make this S'mores Mess then, as it cools, hunt down a copy and watch this movie pronto. It's the epitome of summer kid movie, with an elegant smash of timelessness and characters who are champions of youthfulness and innocence. It's sooooo good (just like these bars). No summer, or childhood for that matter, is complete without a couple of "You're killing me, Smalls" or Wendy Peffercorn references (oiling and lotioning). 

Back to S'mores, though, there is a classic scene in the movie when Ham teaches the never-failing naïve Smalls how to make S'mores. And it's worth a minute-long break from this post:

Mar 27, 2013

Pashwar Naan & Mango Red Curry

Two and a half recipes today! Because it's Spring Break, I'm off work until next Tuesday (my birthday, by the way), and I was a little bored and I wasn't quite ready to get to grading on my vacation. Also, all this past weekend, Caleb and I and the rest of the Gamers Northwest gamers have been stuck inside the house during our Epic Disney Marathon. It was super fun, but also really exhausting. I felt like recharging a little by getting some time in the kitchen with my other favorite past time.

These two recipes today can definitely be made separately, but together, they make a fabulous Asian-ish fusion meal, which I had all to myself for dinner last night. Because I'm a lonely lady and the cat doesn't eat Asian-ish fusion. My point is, I have naan and Pashwar filling for days.

Mar 13, 2013

Healthy Foods: Cheesy Cauliflower Pizza

This pizza crust tastes exactly like the melted cheese on top of typical pizza, which is the best part, of course. I mean, for me, it's the part I can't stop nibbling on long after I've hit my 2-slice maximum.

This pizza crust is also extremely easy to make. To give a not too graphic example, I am currently under the heavy weight of yet another cold (that's what I get for teaching grade school), and I am also pleasantly full of delicious cauliflower pizza. This whole process took me about 30 minutes from start to finish to plate to mouth, and I even have left overs for lunch tomorrow!

Mar 8, 2013

Good Eats for Gamers: Fancy Pants Sam with Beauty and the Beast

These past few weeks, I've been stretching my gaming thumbs getting ready for the Gamers Northwest Disney marathon coming March 22. I've committed to playing a couple of different games I've been having some non-ironic and some ironic fun practicing. I signed up for Beauty and the Beast and Kingdom Hearts, both pretty different from what I'm used to.

I'll start with this: I didn't even know that there was a Beauty and the Beast game for the Super Nintendo! Belle was always one of my favorite Disney Princesses when I was little. It was between her and Ariel, because Belle has brown hair like me, and she really likes books like me. But Ariel is a mermaid, and damn that's cool! In Beauty and the Beast, you play as Beast, trying to persuade Belle to fall in love with you, while everything is trying to kill you... that's everything from wolves in the forest and some of the more malevolent enchanted household items in Beast's castle (which makes no sense to me, actually). It's a tough game (more on that later), and practicing it can work up a good appetite. For this game, being set in France, I felt a certain pressure to make a fancy version of my usual gamer fare: no veggie bologna sandwiches here. I came up with the poshest sammy I could: roasted tomatoes and grapes over caramelized onions, sautéed spinach and brie over toasted grain bread. I call it the Fancy Pants Sam.

It's delicious.

Feb 6, 2013

Fun Foods: Dani's Cheese Rolls

String cheese - it's a texture thing
Right now, my food cravings are pretty much only for the foods of my childhood. Mmm, (vegetarian) baloney and american cheese sandwiches with mustard, Gushers, Capri Sun, and string cheese. Oh goodness, string cheese!

I remember when I first saw a string cheese commercial in the 90's and I thought that was an inspired idea and I had to have some. Twenty years later, I still put string cheese in my lunch (of course, it's the light version now). This is why I can't be a real vegan. Also fish sticks.

Anyway, now that I am 26 27, I need more grown up ways to eat my childhood favorites. Here, now, is the homemade cheese roll or pizza roll (which is an ironic twist for string cheese since that commercial is all like "pizza without the pizza!").

Feb 1, 2013

Gamer Good Eats: Kraid's Cashew Cookies

Video games make me hungry. Well, everything makes me hungry, but video games frequently make me hungry because pretty much everything I notice in them reminds me of food, even the non-food objects. I swear the orbs in Devil May Cry and the health beads and munny in Kingdom Hearts give me the craziest craving for fruit gummy snacks.

This is a Chute Leech
And then there's Metroid... pretty much every enemy and environment in that series makes me think of food, whether it's tomato soup lava levels, or floppy pizza-like chute leeches in Metroid II. I've already made yummy fangy raspberry metroid cupcakes for Caleb's birthday last year.

But then, there's nothing like Kraid. He's the human-sized chubby crocodile that shoots things at Samus in Metroid I. While he himself doesn't really remind me of food, it's the things he shoots that get my tummy grumbling. During the game, he paces back and forth hurling his spikes at Samus. The spikes that come from his front are shaped like little syringes, but it's the spikes from his back, the ones shape like little crescents that I love. It weird, I know, but whenever I see them, I get an instant craving for cashews (they seem cashew-shaped and -colored to me). I get a hankering for some kind of cashew treat, so I decided to try out a cookie recipe to nom the next time Caleb does a Metroid run.

Kraid in Metroid

Jan 20, 2013

Sleepy Sunday Cocktails for People with Colds

I love holiday weekends, not only because I get an extra day off of work (which with my normal Fridays off means I get a 4-day weekend!) but also because it means I get to spend an extra day with my all-time favorite guy, Caleb <3

Yeah, that's a little mushy, but it's cool. Because we live in different cities, we can really only see each other on the weekends, which is tough when it comes to the love of your life. I mean, come on! Anyway, even a little thing like infectious illnesses won't keep us a part; I've been sick and coughing for about three weeks now, and he's been toughing out the worst of it lately. But we've made the best of our long weekend, staying in pretty much ALL DAY, playing games, watching Star Trek, reading... and I guess not much else. All in the pursuit of rest and health, of course... er, at least we made our Sunday cocktails with a sense of healing, kind of.

For Caleb's rough cough, I made him a honey-lemon hot toddy, and for me, an amped up, Vitamin-C rich orange dreamsicle.

Caleb working on his Phantoon battle in Super Metroid... a surefire way to get over a nasty cold.
You can kind of see the mug of his yummy hot toddy in the far right.

Jan 13, 2013

Book Reveiw: Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow

Ender's Shadow is Orson Scott Card's parallel novel to Ender's Game... the two stories take place during pretty much the same time period. They also seem in to generate the kind of relationship parallel universes would have: distinct existences uncomfortably close together, surged by similarities but ultimately rendered apart by their polarities.
Watch out: spoiler alert!