So it has finally come down to this: Halloween Week. The final Nightmare Before Christmas tea party recipe. Today I present you with the king of all pies: Pumpkin King Pumpkin Pie! Did you think you would make it out of here without encountering pumpkin spice?! This recipe combines the ‘tried and true’ (my grandmother’s spicy pumpkin pie filling recipe) with the ‘fresh and innovative’ (a buttery, flaky pie crust recipe developed by a friend in culinary school). I must confess: This is the best pumpkin pie I have ever tasted. I do not say such things lightly. A couple of talking points before you read about me cursing at baking supplies:
First order of business: Have you voted for November’s Featured Recipe yet? You are eligible to vote once every 7 days and the poll will be running until November 1st at dawn. Make your vote count now.
Second order of business: This pie crust recipe was gifted to me by a good friend of mine, Luna. She’s absolutely fantastic and deserves full credit for getting me through this with minimal issues. She is also thus far the only person who will give me shit for weird culinary stuff I do and gives great feedback. Stay tuned for a quick interview with her. I promise it’s interesting and funny and she totally fits in here.
And we’re back with another installment of the Nightmare Before Christmas Tea Party series! This week we’re featuring a sugar cookie recipe with charmingly ornate royal icing Zero and nightscape designs. If these cookies make you half as happy as they make me, I’ve done my job. But why another Friday update? Allow me to answer you in verse:
What’s this? What’s this? There’s flour everywhere What’s this? Baking smells in the air What’s this? A table laid with cookies There’s so much icing Get this black goop out of my hair! What’s this?
Yes, I managed to get icing in my damn hair.
But seriously, these are quite possibly the best homemade sugar cookies you’ll ever make in the history of ever. Your little ones will love you, your demented teenager will come out of their room for five minutes, your Nightmare Before Christmas-loving significant other will make shrill happy sounds before tackling you, your coworkers will hail you as the food-bringing office hero.. it’s a win:win:win:win situation.
Behold the first Skill Up Skillet recipe to physically kick my ass: Half-Life Headcrab Crab Cakes! This recipe was recently requested by longtime reader, teacher, and friend Laura. Would now be a good time to mention the only seafood I’ve handled up until now has been restricted to fish fingers and imitation crab sticks? As always, like an idiot, challenge accepted. For those of you not familiar with Headcrabs, these things are horrifying. According to the Half-Life Wiki:
Headcrabs are a parasitic species. Upon sighting a humanoid host, a headcrab will leap for the victim’s face and affix itself to the cranium, whereupon they will use their beak to break into the victim’s skull. The Headcrab then proceeds to take over its host’s motor functions through some unknown biological process.
Yes, these scary fuckers essentially transform their host into a zombie. Beyond horrifying, right? An unbiased review of this recipe for harmless (but spicy) crab cakes might call for a Skillet Level 2 difficulty, but considering I’m missing a moderate amount of flesh from one of my fingers, well…
In return for this inspiration from hell, I named my blister ‘Laura’. Want to have a cooking-related bodily injury named after you? Contact me for details. Anyway.
I know what you’re thinking- “This isn’t on the schedule!” Technically, you’d be right. However, shortly before starting on this week’s recipe we received our July IndieBox in the mail. July’s indie game? Guacamelee! As always, IndieBox serves up an excellent game with awesome special features. July’s box comes complete with the Guacamelee game in a nifty credit card/usb form, two stickers (luchador mask sticker not pictured; the boy just had to stick it on his PC tower), soundtrack (so you know it’s good), instruction manual, temporary tattoo, felted chicken magnet, shot glass, and… do you see what I see?
Ladies and gentlemen, geeks and gamers, we have a recipe! That’s right, what we have here is a recipe for the World’s Greatest Enchiladas. But are they really deserving of the title? Let’s find out.
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I seriously considered writing this entire post as Groot but finally overruled the decision on the grounds that you can’t paste the text into Google Translate and expect to see a recipe. But wouldn’t that be so freaking cool? Admittedly, I was rather later jumping on the Guardians of the Galaxy fandom bus. I also had extremely low expectations going into watching the movie because apparently I’m a cynic. What can I say? I. Was. Blown. Away. Particularly due to the comic relief from Drax and Groot. You can’t not love Groot. Yes, that was a double negative.
Admittedly, this week has been the week of “You are not allowed to have a minute’s peace!”, and consequentially I got started on this project unacceptably late. And I only consider this to be a partial success, of sorts. I think a little better planning with the soft pretzels is in order. While I intend on remaking the pretzels in the next few days I’ll at least give a general overview on this variation.Soft Pretzel Groot in Dirt Pudding Pots for Arbor Day. Are you ready for this? Let’s go.
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 (https://www.howtocookthat.net/public_html/) . 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.
The 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:
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.
Success! Called Neo and Jessie to kitchen to gloat, took turns handling the sugar glass, Jessie mishandled it and it shattered.
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…