braised riverbeast [red wine braised lamb shanks]

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There’s nothing better than coming to your garrison from a long raid and enjoying a hearty home cooked meal. Even before I started playing WoW, I was always fascinated by the robust recipe options offered throughout the game. Choosing to level up the cooking profession was definitely a no-brainer for me  because of my interest of mercilessly killing virtual wildlife and throwing their meat over a roaring flame. MEAT GOOD.

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LOOK AT ALL THIS POTENTIAL MEAT!

 I guess that it’s fitting that I rolled as a hunter in this game.

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Appropriate title: the Butcher

Since my local butcher doesn’t offer River Beast, I had to choose a substitute. I decided to go with lamb as my meat of choice. I personally love lamb and its slight gamy flavor. If you’re not a fan of lamb, feel free to use beef. You may have to adjust the cook time and quantity of liquid since typically larger than lamb shanks.

There’s something special about red wine and red meat. That enchanting aroma that gently wafts through your home as the meat slowly cooks in a bath comprised of its own fatty juices and wine is just magical... Excuse me while I get a bucket for all of this drool.

UNIT COMPOSITION

blog_braisedriverbeast_ingredients

  1. salt
  2. pepper
  3. 6 cloves of garlic
  4. 1/2 tablespoon of butter
  5. 1 cup of red wine
  6. 1/2 cup of beef stock
  7. 2 lbs of lamb shank, french trimmed (~4 lamb shanks)
  8. 2 carrots, sliced
  9. 3 parsnips, sliced
  10. OPTIONAL: parsley

BUILD ORDER

Prep time for this is about 25 minutes, or up to 45 minutes if you plan to french trim your lamb shanks. Cook time is ~1 hour, 45 minutes. This makes 4 servings.

Just to note, french trimming is completely optional! It’s really only for presentation purposes.

If you’re going to french trim your lamb shanks on your own, you’re going to want a very sharp paring knife. Here’s a tutorial I used.

Basically, you’ll want to make an incision around bone at the very end of the shank. Then, cut into the meat, and remove about 1″ of it. Scrape off any excess fat/tendon away from the bone until it’s fairly clean. When cooking, the meat will slide down from the bone.

OPENING

  1. Season your lamb with salt and pepper.
  2. Put a pan on high heat and add in your butter.
  3. Sear the lamb for about 30 seconds each side, or until brown.
  4. Place lamb in a large baking dish. Pour in your red wine and stock. You should have enough liquid to cover 3/4 of the lamb shanks.blog_braisedriverbeast_prep

MID GAME

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
  2. Place your garlic in the baking dish.
  3. Place the entire baking dish in the oven and bake for 1 hour.

LATE GAME

  1. After an hour, flip over the lamb shanks.
  2. Add in your chopped vegetables and continue baking for the remaining 45 minutes.blog_braisedriverbeast_cooking1
  3. Remove from the oven and plate the lamb shanks and vegetables.blog_braisedriverbeast_cooked
  4. Pour the remaining liquid into a pan and reduce on high heat for about 5 minutes.
  5. Drizzle the reduced red wine sauce over the lamb. Sprinkle chopped parsley over the plate.
  6. Eat!

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I took some photos of the lamb shank without the vegetables since I wanted to replicate what it looks like in-game:

blog_braisedriverbeast_wowheadImage from WoWhead

 But, to have a balance meal, you need to throw in some vegetables!

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GG WP!

Hopefully this dish has satisfied your Draenor cuisine cravings for now. Until next time, happy hunting!

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healthstones [matcha green tea protein balls]

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I PVP a lot. The majority of my time spent in WoW is either queuing up for Arenas, skirmishes or battle grounds. I’m even guilty of using the group finder to join large gank squads that roam the lands of Draenor for the sole purpose of farming the bones of the enemy faction.

blog_healthstones_bonesOH HEY GUYS WHATCHA DOIN??

The Arena team I run with is comprised of a Hunter (that’s me!), a Paladin and a Warlock. Before each match, our Warlock slaps down a Soulwell so we can create Healthstones. Of course, I always saw it as tasty tasty food.

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I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING

So, I decided to recreate my own real life Healthstones so I can eat Healthstones while I eat Healthstones. Yo dawg.

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I keep a lot of protein powder at home because my boyfriend and I are trying really hard to achieve sick gains. I have been religiously following the YouTube channel, Buff Dudes, for inspiration on healthy cooking and workout routines. Some of their recipes turn not-so-healthy things, such as brownies, into handheld protein-fueled snacks. My goal with Healthstones is to sneakily hide protein and nutrition into bite-sized portable snacks. A quick snack to enjoy before your next arena match!

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UNIT COMPOSITION

  1. 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  2. 2 teaspoons of raw agave nectar
  3. 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut (optional)
  4. 1 tablespoon of unsweetened matcha green tea powder
  5. 1/4 cup of raw pistachios, roughly chopped
  6. 1/2 cup of peanut butter or almond butter

BUILD ORDER

Prep time for this is about 15 minutes (add 10 minutes of blanching the pistachios) This makes 6 servings (~6 individual Healthstones). Idle time is about 30 minutes. 

OPTIONAL: If you want squeaky clean pistachios without the skins, I recommend blanching them. To blanch them, take your shelled pistachios and toss them into boiling water for about 30 seconds.

blog_healthstones_blanchingThen remove the pistachios from the hot water and place them in a bath of ice water. Once they are cool to the touch, gently rub off the skins from the pistachios. Let them dry on a towel for a few minutes.

  1. Combine your protein powder, agave, and peanut butter in a large bowl.
  2. Add in your matcha green tea powder.
  3. Using a spoon, stir the ingredients together, adding coconut occasionally to thicken the mixture.
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  4. Stir in half of your chopped pistachios. Leave larger pieces for later in order to decorate the stones.
  5. Begin shaping them into golf-ball sized mounds. Place large pieces of pistachio on the mounds for decoration.blog_healthstones_forming
  6. Sprinkle a little protein powder onto a plate (this is to prevent the Healthstones from sticking to the plate while cooling). Place your newly shaped Healthstones on the plate and cover with saran warp. Let cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  7. Eat!

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GG WP!

Next time you queue up for arena or LFR, make sure you have some tasty Healthstones in your bag to curb your hunger. Thankfully, these Healthstones don’t have a cool down.

 

garden terror seeds [stuffed red cabbage]

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If you’ve had a chance to play the Garden of Terror map in Heroes of the Storm, you will completely understand the importance of eating your vegetables. LET ME IMPROVE YOUR WEAK FLESH! 

On the Garden of Terror map, players are encouraged to collect seeds by smacking Garden Shamblers and the Garden Terror.

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Once your team collected 100 seeds, you can return to your base and summon your own GARDEN TERROR! When a player controls the Garden Terror, they are free to roam the map and cause havoc. Typically, what I try to do is run straight for the towers and start smacking away.

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There’s just something so darn awesome about being a giant plant and rampaging across the map. ROOAAARRRRR.

However, one should not play Heroes on an empty stomach… So I’ve devised this recipe to curb your hunger while channeling your inner Hero of the Storm!

Since the seeds are key to success on this map, it seemed natural to recreate such an important feature in food.

UNIT COMPOSITION

blog_gardenofterrorseeds_ingredients

  1. salt
  2. pepper
  3. 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  4. 1/2 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
  5. 5-6 cloves of garlic, diced
  6. 1/4 lb of crimini mushrooms, diced
  7. 2 roma tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
  8. 1/3 lb of spinach
  9. 1/3 lb of  ground turkey
  10. 1 red cabbage

BUILD ORDER

Prep time is roughly 30 minutes. Total cook time is about 45 minutes. This will make 4 servings (about 2 each)

OPENING GAME

  1. Set water to boil in a large pot.
  2. Carefully peel the leaves from the red cabbage.
  3. Place leaves in boiling water for about 6 minutes or until soft (the water will turn dark purple).
  4. Remove and let cool.

MID GAME

  1. Set a pan on high heat and add olive oil.
  2. Add in your diced garlic. Let garlic brown. Then, add in your mushrooms and tomatoes. Saute for about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  4. In a bowl, combine your ground turkey, salt, pepper and worcesteshire sauce. Add in your sauted vegetables. Mix until combined.
  5. Take a tablespoon of meat and place it in center of one of the cooked cabbage leaves. Then fold the edges of the cabbage leaf to create a pouch. Use a toothpick to hold the top together.blog_gardenofterrorseeds_cooking

LATE GAME

  1. Place the “seeds” on a baking dish and bake for 25 – 30 minutes at 375° F.
  2. While the seeds are cooking, lightly boil your spinach. It will take about 2 minutes to cook.
  3. Once the spinach has cooked, drain it and arrange it to form leaves on the plate.
  4. Remove the seeds from the oven and place them on top of the spinach.
  5. Eat!

And BOOM, you’re done! GG WP!

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Hopefully you have made enough so you can share with your teammates:

blog_gardenofterrorseeds_battleI’ll see you in the Garden of Terror… But let’s hope you’re on my side! GOOD LUCK, HEROES!

bottomless potion of pumpkin spice [pumpkin spice smoothie]

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If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you will notice my voracious appetite for all
things pumpkin spice. Like, literally everything…

I have spent my shopping days wandering the aisles of various stores looking for their most pumpkiny of offerings. I assume that my apartment will soon be covered by a thin film of pumpkin spice flavor for the duration of fall.

I enjoy pumpkin spice so much that the very talented @Urgoslav made me a gif compiling some delectable pumpkin spice treasures that I’ve posted to my Twitter.

 So when Lylirra informed me about this thread, I went into a pumpkin spice fueled fury. DIABLO and PUMPKIN SPICE? Two of my most favoritest things in the world combined into one delicious and healthy treat? WHY YES, NEPHALEM.

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Little Lord of Terror makes a new friend!

It has been oddly hot here in Northern California, so a refreshing smoothie is something I needed to beat this heatwave.

Much like my last bottomless potion recipe, Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aidthis Bottomless Potion of Pumpkin Spice will also be a very simple-to-make drink.

UNIT COMPOSITION

blog_pumpkinspicesmoothie_ingredients

  1. 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  2. 1/4 teaspoon of ginger
  3. 1/8 teaspoon of cloves
  4. 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
  5. 1/2 tablespoon of honey (substitute agave to make it vegan!)
  6. 2 teaspoons of chia seeds
  7. 1 cup of almond milk (substitute for regular milk, soy, or coconut milk)
  8. 3/4 cup of canned pumpkin

You can also use pumpkin pie spice instead of getting cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Just use about 3/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.

BUILD ORDER

Prep time for this is about 15 minutes. This makes 2 servings.

  1. Combine your cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
  2. Pour your pumpkin and spices into a blender. Drizzle in your honey.
  3. Pour in your chia seeds.
  4. Begin blending your pumpkin smoothie while slowly pouring in your almond milk. Blend until thoroughly combined.
  5. Enjoy!

This smoothie will taste like a big ol’ pumpkin pie in your cup. Enjoy it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or anytime you need to quell your pumpkin spice cravings!

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Not only is this smoothie very easy to craft, but it’s very nutritious for you as well. Chia seeds and pumpkin are both full of fiber. It’s the perfect hands-free nutrition you need to squash your hunger while squashing the demons of hell.

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So drink up, Nephalem!

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See you in Sanctuary!

blackheart’s doubloons [butternut squash ravioli]

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Yaarrr, matey! Are ye after some edible treasures? Well, you’re just in luck because THAR BE TREASURE ON YOUR PLATE. Hahaha!

So you might have been wondering what has happened to little ol’ me for the past few months… I basically needed a hiatus. But don’t worry, I’m back with new tools (including a brand spankin’ new cutting board YES) and new recipes! This time, I’m writing a recipe about a newish, but unreleased game: Heroes of the Storm.

I was fortune enough to gain access to the Technical Alpha, so I messed around trying out various heroes. Considering my history with Blizzard games, it should be no surprise that Valla is typically my hero of choice. I even scored her master skin before the wipe! Vengeance! 

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Towards the end of the Technical Alpha, I attempted to level up Nova so that I could flaunt the fancy new master skin… Unfortunately, I fell a little short of that goal! But, playing those games on Blackheart’s Bay inspired me to create my latest dish…

BLACKHEART’S DOUBLOONS!

If you’ve seen this map played, you’ll know that there are two treasure chests which spawn doubloons. These chests, especially the midlane chest, are always points of contention between the teams.

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I have seen games won solely because one team completely controlled the the chests throughout the match.

When you collect enough doubloons from raiding chests or killing mercenaries, you can pay good ol’ Blackheart to bombard your opponent’s base.

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However, my favorite part about this entire map is how goofy the coins are compared to the actual characters in the game. Have you seen the size of those things? They’re ridiculous!

I wanted to recreate these massive coins into something more edible and savory, which is why I chose the pasta route… I even picked up a pasta machine just for this recipe! Yep, we’re going all in on this one!

UNIT COMPOSITION

blog_butternutsquashraviolo_ingredients

  1. salt
  2. pepper
  3. 1 tablespoon of thyme
  4. 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  5. 3 sprigs of fresh sage
  6. 3 tablespoons of butter
  7. 2 shallots, diced
  8. 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  9. 1/2 cup of grated asiago cheese
  10. 1/2 cup of cream
  11. 1/2 cup of oyster mushrooms, diced
  12. 3 eggs
  13. 3 cups of flour
  14. 1 cup of water
  15. 1 butternut squash, cut into halves (mine was about ~2lbs)
  16. OPTIONAL: parsley

As I mentioned earlier, I purchased a pasta making machine. You can get by without it by just using a rolling pin, but it will take longer to get the pasta rolled out evenly.

BUILD ORDER

Total prep time for this dish is about 1 hour. Cook time is 1.5 hours. This recipe will make roughly 6-8 servings (each serving is about 3 ravioli). You may end up with left over stuffing!

OPENING GAME

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375° F.
  2. Remove the seeds* and guts from the squash.
  3. Sprinkle the two butternut squash halves with salt and thyme.
  4. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the halves.
  5. Roast the butternut squash for 50 minutes or until soft. Allow the butternut squash to cool for about 15 minutes.blog_butternutsquashravioli_squash
  6. While the butternut squash is roasting, prepare the pasta sheets and the rest of the filling.

*once washed and dried, the seeds can be roasted at 375 for ~10minutes with olive oil and finished with sea salt!

MID GAME

The next few parts are extremely messy, so be prepared to clean your kitchen. 🙂 You will want to have extra flour on hand in order to prevent the dough from sticking to your working area.

  1. Pour your flour into a mound on a clean surface.
  2. Using a measuring cup, create a impression on the top of the mound. This will the bowl for mixing the eggs.
  3. Crack your 3 eggs and place them in the impression:blog_butternutsquashravioli_dough
  4. Using a fork, mix the eggs. Once the eggs have been mixed, add in the water and begin slowly incorporating the flour into the liquid to create the dough. As I
  5. mentioned earlier, this process is incredibly messy!blog_butternutsquashravioli_mixing
  6. Once the dough begins to take its shape, use your hands to fold the dough in on itself. You may want to occasionally dust your surface with additional flour in order to keep the dough from sticking.blog_butternutsquashravioli_dough2
  7. Cover the dough with a towel or cling wrap and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes.

LATE GAME

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan.
  2. Sautee your mushrooms, shallots and garlic. Remove once the vegetables have become caramelized. Set aside.
  3. Once your butternut squash has cooled, scoop the meat out with spoon and place it into a bowl.blog_butternutsquashravioli_mix
  4. Mash the butternut squash until smooth. Add in your sauted vegetables, half of the cheese, and the cream. Stir until combined thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. To prepare your pasta sheets, break your dough into four sections. Using a rolling pin (dusted with flour), roll your dough sections into sheets small enough to fit through your pasta machine. Dust your pasta machine with flour.
  6. You will want your pasta rolled out on the 2nd thinest setting on the machine. Roll out your pasta onto a floured surface.
  7. Once your pasta has rolled out, cut out circles (I used a 3″ cookie cutter, but you could also use a pint glass) in the dough. Place a tablespoon of filling onto the circle cut outs.blog_butternutsquashravioli_process
  8. Cut out another circle and place it on top of filled piece and seal each ravioli shut by pressing down on the dough. At this point, you may want to nudge the filling to help reinforce the doubloon shape.
  9. Using left over dough, cut out skull shapes to place on the ravioli. Once cut out, gently dampen each skull with water and adhere them to the ravioli. (I only made a few of the skulls because they’re a lot of work!)blog_butternutsquashravioli_uncookeed
  10. Set a pot of water to boil and season the water with salt. Once the water boils, drop the ravioli in one at a time. The ravioli should take about 2 minutes to cook. Remove them immediately.
  11. In a small pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add in your sprig of sage. While the butter is cooking, remove the milk solids (the white foamy stuff) by skimming the top of the surface with a spoon. This will create clarified butter.
  12. Plate your ravioli doubloons and drizzle the sage butter sauce over them. Garnish with grated cheese, pepper, and fresh parsley.

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GG WP, hero!

However, if you don’t want to serve your mateys doubloons, the ravioli looks fine without the skulls. 🙂

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Since Heroes of the Storm is offline for a few days, you now have a chance to recreate these tasty treasures in your own kitchen. Hopefully I’ll see you in the Nexus once Heroes is back online!

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Happy cooking!