All posts by Leisel

Hi, I'm Leisel, creator of Skill Up Skillet! I created this blog to showcase my love of cooking and gaming, because who doesn't want video game food to be real? Expect new Geek and Game inspired recipes every 2nd & 4th Thursday, plus special weekly posts. When not blogging, Leisel works as a tech support agent. Did you try unplugging it, and plugging it back in?

Space Invader Cake Bites and Chefs Who Inspire Me

This post isn’t going to write itself, is it?



Admittedly, this week has not been a good week. At all.

If one were to re-label the Space Invaders as ‘Stress’, and the lone gunner as ‘My Brain’, that’s kind of how it’s been. Suffice it to say, the Pacman Petit Fours did not turn out and I was left with a lot of cake. Like, four 9×13″ pans of cake. Since the cake was already made and cut into 1-inch bites, I decided to arrange the salvageable bits into Space Invaders. Waste not, right?

It’s recently been said that I tend to take on more than I can handle and in this case it’s absolutely true. Unfortunately, I do not think I’ll be attempting this feat again any time soon. But, there are plans for the future and I’m determined to end this post on a happy note. Let’s talk.

Click for the happy. No, really, you should. This post also includes a list of who inspires me to cook. Maybe they’ll inspire you, too.

Continue reading Space Invader Cake Bites and Chefs Who Inspire Me


Hearthstone Rock Candy Geodes – So That’s Where the Mana Gems come from!

Right. So, I’m giving this a 3 Skillet difficulty due to my personal experience, but if you’re already familiar with making fondant or are buying it premade, it’s more of a 2 Skillet difficulty.

Did you know Blizzard’s Hearthstone card game is celebrating its first anniversary? Hmmm? My boyfriend got me into all things Blizzard with a World of Warcraft subscription around the middle of Wrath of the Lich King and I loved it from the very beginning. My main is a Night Elf Hunter (95, and I’m very upset it’s not 100) on the Velen server. But that’s a story for another day. I usually play a few games of Hearthstone daily, at least.  It’s by far one of my current favorite games. I typically favor a Beast Mastery style Hunter deck, but my Demonology style Warlock deck has been really fun lately as well. And if Neo’s playing his evil Warrior deck – forget about it, I’m spectating those games (spoiler: God so help you if you don’t kill him in the first 5 turns).

This recipe is loosely based on someone I follow on YouTube – How To Cook That by Ann Reardon ( . You should check her stuff out sometime; she’s absolutely brilliant. Look up Rock Candy Geode. Wow! This is my take on her fondant shelled geode. This is also my first time making and tasting fondant so it’s exceptionally exciting. Ready? Let’s go.

Continue reading Hearthstone Rock Candy Geodes – So That’s Where the Mana Gems come from!

Sonic the Hedgehog Cheesecakes


Admittedly, this is one of those “Because I Can” things. But really, who doesn’t love cheesecake? Or Sonic, for that matter? Sonic the Hedgehog was one of my all time favorite video games growing up. By now, you know that means I also suck at it. However, sources indicate that it’s really bloody entertaining to watch me play as it involves a lot of inventive cursing, squealing, ragequitting on the water levels… you get the idea. Heck, I even have Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on my smartphone. It’s that good.

That said, before you get started with this one… pop a bottle of your favorite dessert wine in the fridge to chill. This recipe is that rich, that decadent, that velvety… MMMmmmmmm. Legitimately, I would pay money for this at a restaurant and be completely satisfied. I made these with fruit and pie fillings but you can also do a plain style cheesecake and be completely happy. I’m not one to judge. In fact, I’m doing that later today after the springform pans are washed. Note that these are going to take a little more time as it’s not a ‘chill and serve’ recipe, but these are so worth the extra effort. Ready? Let’s go!

Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog Cheesecakes

Super Mario Bros. Lemony Super Star Cookies. Let’s skip the clever witticisms – YUM, YUM, & YUM!


Ahh, cookies and milk. Really hits the spot, doesn’t it? These are better. No, really. Though my area of Ohio hasn’t exactly been inundated with snow, per se, I’m getting a little cabin fever. This is significant, why?

These cookies taste like a tall glass of iced lemonade on a warm summer’s day. No kidding.

Though I didn’t want to start repeating games so early, these little darlings were just begging to be baked. And Mario is one of my early gaming favorites. We’ll bend the rules a little- just this once, okay? These delightful Super Star Cookies are sweet, crisp, and have a silky lemon glaze that takes you there. And they come in three sizes: Just A Bite, Snackworthy, and OMNOMNOMCookie. Okay, I promise I’m really not that weird about cookies. Ready? Let’s go.

Continue reading Super Mario Bros. Lemony Super Star Cookies. Let’s skip the clever witticisms – YUM, YUM, & YUM!

Donkey Kong Banana Bread! So easy, you don’t have to jump over barrels or fireballs for a slice.

Difficulty2Ah, Donkey Kong. A timeless favorite. One of the first video games I played as a child.

I suck at it.

Well, that’s not fair. I haven’t played in well over a decade since the last time I rage quit. I’m that bad. I do love it, though. What better way to commemorate a classic than baking a few loaves of banana bread with a cute DK vanilla icing tie?

We bought two bunches of bananas last week for our monthly shopping trip – one for eating, one exclusively for this bread. With 2-3 bananas per loaf, I ended up with three loaves. The first was for a birthday present for my dad (I love you, daddy) and the last two were set aside for our purposes. The bread itself is rather easy to make from odds and ends in your pantry and perfect for breakfast. Also, I get unnaturally proud of myself when I succeed at baking bread.

You’ll also notice that this recipe does not contain nuts. I could be nice and say I’m taking people with food allergies into consideration (well, sure, that’s part of it, I guess), but I just don’t believe in banana nut bread. It’s BANANA BREAD, yo.

Ready? Let’s go.

Continue reading Donkey Kong Banana Bread! So easy, you don’t have to jump over barrels or fireballs for a slice.

Majora’s Mask 3D Midnight Launch


Skill Up Skillet attended a midnight launch event for Majora’s Mask 3D on February 13th at the Bridgewater Falls GameStop in Fairfield, Ohio – just a short jaunt down the road from where I live. Friend and reader Keith B. attended this launch as well and was gracious enough to take photos from the event. There ended up being about 20 people in attendance, plus staff, and we had a great time. Photos after the jump.

Continue reading Majora’s Mask 3D Midnight Launch

Dragon Ball Senzu Bean Gummies


I’m a big believer in doing whatever it is you say you’re going to do. Some time ago I promised you Senzu Beans from the Dragon Ball series, but ultimately failed to deliver due to multiple repeated kitchen fiascoes. It’s been bothering me for a while that I failed you guys, actually. So, here’s a retake on the Senzu Beans in a sweet, gummy candy form. They’re fairly easy to make – your biggest challenge will be not eating them all in one sitting.

For those who don’t know, Senzu Beans are a sort of mystical bean with powerful rejuvenating properties. A single bean can fill you up for days, give you energy, and heal you of the most severe physical injuries. It is said to taste like fish and has a texture similar to a cross between a celery stalk and an uncooked bean. I briefly considered making mine like vitamin gummies using fish oil and vitamin B… but presently I’m more interested in making foods that taste as good as they look. Sorry! Maybe another time. They are made with Mountain Dew, so the energy boosting properties are there.

If you want to read more about Senzu Beans, click here:

Ready? Let’s go.

Continue reading Dragon Ball Senzu Bean Gummies

Legend of Zelda Triforce Stained Sugar Glass

Difficulty3The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D will be released tomorrow, February 13th, 2015. Incidentally, when I made this recipe I wasn’t even thinking about it and didn’t know the exact release date for the game. Happy accidents are happy, yes? Yes. A couple months back, Neo and I had one of our famous Eccentric Post-12 Hour Shift Sunday Talks on our way home from work when one of us came up with the idea for this one. This recipe turned out to be a little challenging but is easily perfected with some practice. In this case, the final product you see is from the third batch. It went a little something like this:

  1. Heated sugar syrup to 250 degrees F instead of 295-300 degrees F because I accidentally misread the thermometer. Sugar syrup thickened but did not set. Whoops.
  2. Success! Called Neo and Jessie to kitchen to gloat, took turns handling the sugar glass, Jessie mishandled it and it shattered.
  3. Complete success!

The third, finished ‘pane’ will be getting hauled off for a midnight release event tonight at a local GameStop and I’m really looking forward to giving out samples. That said, I have a lot of cards to print out for the event so…

Ready? Let’s go!

Continue reading Legend of Zelda Triforce Stained Sugar Glass

Walking Dead Bloody Jello Shot Brains


Walkers at the perimeter… I reckon they’ll break through in about three days. If we don’t figure out something by then we’ll be in big trouble.

That’s right, the popular drama tv series The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Sunday, February 8th. And I’ve cooked up a batch of jelly filled jello shot brains to celebrate. These are particularly tasty and I found that the jelly center not only added a devilishly bloody looking twist, it complimented the taste of the jello shot perfectly.

The yield from this recipe depends a lot on the size of your mold. I only had one tray with four individual brain molds which held about a quarter of a cup each. A few silicone molds would be ideal for this, or one large mold would be really neat as well.

Also, anyone who knows me well knows that I am a jello shot fanatic. Though I’ve never made or eaten any before, I’ve always viewed them as an awesome edible art form. Seriously, Google ‘unique jello shots’ sometime. You’re welcome.

Be careful: Eating too many of these might make you feel a bit zombie-like tomorrow morning.

Ready? Let’s go.

Continue reading Walking Dead Bloody Jello Shot Brains

Super Mario Toadstool Salad with Green 1-UP Dressing

Difficulty2Today, my hopes and dreams have been shattered — literally. As you may know, fellow geeks and gamers, today was supposed to be Legend of Zelda Stained Sugar Glass. And it looked fantastic… until the right person (not me!) picked up the ‘glass’ the wrong way and shattered it. From personal experience, sugar glass shatters like real glass.

Accidents happen, I suppose. We’ll revisit the sugar class on 2/12 as I already have something special planned for next week… More on that later. But you should totally be excited.

Today we’ll instead pay homage to the grand Super Mario franchise with something delicious: Toadstool Salad with Green 1-UP Dressing. I mean, you could use ranch but that wouldn’t be nearly as tasty. This dressing is pure magic! It got even our resident greens-hater to clear her plate. Ready? Let’s go.

Continue reading Super Mario Toadstool Salad with Green 1-UP Dressing