Almond Joy Cheesecake

January 19, 2012

I know, it’s been awhile.  I actually haven’t even really cooked anything in quite some time.  My oven has been on the fritz and I still have to warsh my dishes in either the dishwasher or the bathroom sink.

Yea.

It’s been like that.

I finally got my oven back up and running though which is exciting. Managed to find another random cookbook full of deserts (which is great for the diet right).  This recipe literally jumped out at me and threatened me to make it or it would cut me.  Which it did anyway, stupid paper cuts.

Did you know some people don’t like coconut?  I know a lot of them which sucks… for them.  I get to eat it all!

nom nom nom!

The crust is made of chocolate graham crackers (or teddy grahams if you can’t find those).  I was surprised at how much of a difference that makes and the almonds that go into it is pretty F’ing good as well.

This cheesecake is also the first time it’s had me wrap it in al-ooo-min-yum foil.

It also has you use a waterbath, which the previous cheesecakes I’ve done have never used.  I got my roasting pan (which is a flimsy aluminum one I got for super cheap at Wally world) and put it in the shower.  It was dirty! Plus I had to fill it up with hot water and since I don’t have a kitchen sink currently that’s the only place to get it.

The cheesecake innards have cream of coconut in it that I thought was going to give it this overpowering coconut flavor but I’d say it’s so subtle that I didn’t even really notice it which made me sad.  You do garnish with toasted coconut though which really helps to bring the flavor out and that with the chocolate on top and the chocolate crust really brings it all together.

By the time I remembered to take a pic I only had this chunk left which was going to a friend of mine.

Is it healthy?  No.  Does it taste like an angel came in your mouth?  Yes.

Yes it does.

Crust:
– 1 1/4 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
– 1/2 cup sliced almonds
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
– 2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 3 large eggs, at room temperature
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 cup canned cream of coconut
– 1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping (optional):
– 1/2 cup canned cream of coconut
– 1/2 cup heavy cream
– 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
– Toasted coconut
– Sliced almonds

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Make crust: In a bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, almonds and salt with a flexible spatula. Stir in melted butter until dry ingredients are lightly moistened. Press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap outside of pan tightly with two layers of aluminum foil. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Leave foil on.

2. Make filling: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until well combined and light, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and beat again until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again. Beat in vanilla, cream of coconut and salt. (Pour remaining cream of coconut into a small bowl, cover it with plastic and refrigerate to use later in topping.) Pour filling onto crust. Transfer springform pan to a roasting pan; fill roasting pan with hot tap water until it reaches 1 inch up sides of springform pan.

3. Bake for 1 hour, until filling is set but still a bit jiggly in center (it will firm up as it cools). Take springform pan out of roasting pan and remove foil. Let cake cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.

4. Lightly cover cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold and firm, at least 6 hours.

5. Make topping: Pour cream of coconut and heavy cream into a saucepan and warm over medium-low heat until mixture is just simmering. In a bowl, pour mixture over chocolate and whisk until melted and mixture is smooth. Let it cool. Pour 1/2 cup to 1 cup topping over cheesecake, spreading with an offset spatula. Garnish with toasted coconut and sliced almonds, if desired. Chill until chocolate mixture has set, about 10 minutes. Run a sharp paring knife around inside of pan; release sides. Slice and serve.


Guac-amazing

December 2, 2011

I wanted to start this with cool information about avocados but I realized no one (read: me) really cares.  All you need to know about an avocado is that it’s fucking delicious.  A friend of mine, Ira, introduced me to grilled avocado back at Halloween and holey swiss cheese Batman it is for srsly good.

Ira also introduced me to the best Dungeons & Dragons group I’ve ever seen.  It’s not some cut-rate group that gets together for a bit of RP and hack-n-slash.  The DM (dungeon master) changes his voice and he had a fake ‘stache for one of the characters.  They were dressed up and everyone used their in-character voices.  Truly uber.

This is also where I met the most amazing guacamole I’ve ever had made by the lady of the house, Mrs. Heather.

Tangent alert!

Guacamole Ingredients

Does making guacamole scare anyone else?  Making it I mean, not eating it you sillies.  I’ve seen tons of mixes at the store and never found one that really worked for me.  There’s always tons of spices in them and it’s always seemed very daunting to try and make my own mix so I’ve shied away from it.

Oh look, the main thought…

I begged Heather for her recipe and was shocked at the ease of it.  I’ve made it three or four times since Halloween to rave reviews every time.

Instead of having some crazy spice mix that you have to put together it uses your favorite salsa to get the bulk of them that you need.  Ingenious?

Absolute win Heather, absolute win.

A really awesome part about guacamole is that it’s pretty healthy (assuming you don’t eat the whole batch).  Avocados are rich in potassium, vitamins B / K / E (I’d like to buy a vowel now Vanna) plus monounsaturated fat (that’s a good kind).  The great thing about homemade versions is that they contain mainly avocados as well instead of commercial stuff that tends to replace actual avocado with oils and fats.

I’ve made a few changes to her original recipe just for my own tastes (an additional jalapeno and some extra cumin) but overall it’s still hers.  You can’t really improve on perfect.

It’s also party size so if you are making it for yourself then I’d halve the recipe.  I did that earlier this week and then portioned it plus some chips out for my mid-afternoon snack.

Guac-amazing:
6x Avocado
2x Tomato (use whatever is in season)
2x Jalapeno (use 1 if you are a sissy)
1x Red Onion
3T Your favorite salsa (On The Border mild is what I used)
1t Cumin
1x Lime

- Dice up the tomato, jalapeno, onion and add it to a bowl with the avocado.

- Add the salsa and cumin and a pinch of salt.

- Add the juice from the lime.

- Perform the monster mash on it (I know, I’m a bit late for Halloween jokes).

- Taste.  It’s probably fine on salt at this point (avocado’s are a bit high in sodium plus you added the salsa) but don’t be afraid to add a pinch or two more for your tastes.

- Take to party and revel in how much everyone loves it.

Health Information:

The whole thing is…
1630 Cal / 117 Carbs / 137 Fat / 3 Protein

You can portion this out though into 6 portions for…
272 Cal /  20 Carbs / 23 Fat / 1 Protein

That’s a pretty healthy snack especially for something you love so much.  Just pick your favorite tortilla chip and make sure to portion out the number of chips you have.  One serving of most chips isn’t enough to eat a full portion of this so you can make them even smaller and still get the same satisfaction.

Sealed up it lasts for about 2-3 days.  It lasts for about an hour at a party though!

Transmogratification and 4.3 Raidin

November 30, 2011

Transmogrification (or gratification as I’m calling it) is the whole reason I came back to WoW.  I’ve spent more time getting things ready for this feature than getting ready for raids.  It’s just literally the best feature in game right now.

My main, the lovely Xeonio, is currently sporting a wondrous tier 5 priest and is wielding some cotton candy from Hyjal I think is where it’s from.  I’ve always been a huge fan of the Avatar set and getting to wear it again makes me happy.

It’s super popular though and I’ve been seeing lots of priests with it on.  I’ll probably be changing sometime soon.  I’m going to be running lots of old world raids to help peeps with gear so I might get my tier 1 or go with the mage recolored Tirisfal set.

Sooooo many options.

My rogue on the other hand has been pretty easy to get a look for.

Her bank was FILLED with daggers and weapons to transmo’ when it came out.  I wanted really badly to wear torturing pokers as her daggers but they don’t really seem to go with her current outfit.  I think they might be too low res for her current armor set (which isn’t complete).

She’s wearing a recolored version of t10 but her chest isn’t the right color so it looks a bit out of place.  I just need 300 more JP to get the right chest piece.  Her feet are still wrong as well cuz I have to find a stupid crafter to make them.

I settled on dissectors for this tier of gear just ‘cuz I love the sleekness of the weapon.  It’s always been a favorite of mine.

Did you know that since they took Edwin Vancleef out of the game you can’t get the defias chest piece?

Yea.  It’s not possible to make the defias set now unless you are horde (they have a quest that gives you a look a like) or had it prior to his removal.  That’s a set I could pair the pokers with.

“The transmo room needs better lightning.”  – Daemia

That’s enough transmogratification for now.  On to the rest of 4.3!

Raiding:

Dragon Soul I’d have to say has been disappointing so far.  I know it’s not supposed to be back breaking but clearing the first 4 bosses on normal mode in our first night seems a bit meh.

Maybe it’s an Icecrown redux?

You mow through the first half of the instance and then spend the next few months trying to kill the 5th boss.  Ultraxion didn’t seem all that difficult though.  We did a test pull since we ran out of time and the mechanics seemed pretty simple.

The first boss, Morcock, could be killed by a bunch of brain dead monkeys.  A crystal spawns and the 3 closest people (on 10man) get a beam.  They run and stand by the crystal.  It explodes, you heal, super simple.  He also does an AE stomp and the damage is split between everyone within 15yds(?) I think.  It wasn’t significant.  He also spawns some spikes you run and stand behind to avoid black blood.

SILLY EASY.

There’s two bosses you can choose between for the second boss.  We chose Warlord Zonads.

He was the hardest boss of the evening.  He spawns an orb that goes for the wall.  Your ranged stand in front of it and it’ll explode and bounce off them, heading back for the boss.  It has to explode and bounce off the melee to go back to ranged.  Very ping pong.

Each time the ball explodes the damage is split between the people near it and it gets an extra stack to do more damage.  We were doing it to stacks of 5.  Then you want all the melee to move the fuck outta the way and let it hit him.  It puts a debuff on him that increases damage done and sticks around.  The raid clumps up on him because the healing gets rough.  Otherwise it’s just a burn phase.

That’s both of his phases and you just rotate between them.  Pretty easy.  We used 1 tank.

Yor’sahj the Unsleeping, I was pretty sure he was going to be difficult but he’s not.  He’ll spawn 3 oozes of different colors.  You kill 1 of the three and the other two will give him a buff.  Just setup a priority on killing them (purple > green > yellow > black is what we went with).  Purple is just bad shit.  Green makes the raid spread out (but red / yellow make you collapse in so you can see why this would be bad).

We 1 tank’d this fight as well and it’s WAY easier than you’ll expect it to be.

Hag of the Storm is a completely mechanic driven fight.  Two phases.

Frost phase you run around the outside of the room killing some crystals and not getting hit by the frost spikes that travel clockwise or the ice that falls to the ground.

Lightning phase you kill an add then form a conga line to transfer lightning around the room to each flux capacitor.

Those phases rotate until she’s dead.  It helps to mark where the flux capacitors spawn and then setup groups accordingly so everyone knows where to run.  It takes 3 between a capacitor on 10man to arc it to each one.

There’s the first 4 bosses in a nutshell.

If you dumb that down significantly… like… A LOT… you have the LFR.  You just have to try it out to find out how sad it is.

This post is already silly long so I’ll wrap it up here and talk about class changes later and probably have a new look for Xeonio!


Blessed Ded Ladies

November 28, 2011

A few weeks ago Betsy and I went on our normal garage sale’ing.  Speaking of, how do you spell sale’ing?  Is it saleing?  Do you drop the E and make it saling?  I know we weren’t sailing from garage to garage so that doesn’t make much sense.  Have I done this joke before?

Dumb English.

Where was I?  Oh yea.  We were sailing from garage to garage when we happened upon an estate sale.  I’ve said this before but just in case you missed it, estate sale is what they call a garage sale so they can charge more.

Usually you have a bunch of random stuff from somebody that’s passed away but it’s already been picked over by the kiddos.  They have beds that have been around since civilization moved from roaming to farming and refrigerators that still require you to put ice in them.  Then they want bills larger than a 5 for most of the junk!

This is the part where I tell you this one was different.

And It was!

They were only doing it for one day and they weren’t fuckin’ around.  They wanted this shit sold and they wanted it sold now.  Stuff was marked down to bottomed out prices.  Betsy and I were roaming through there like sharks in chum infested waters.

We entered the kitchen and all sorts of super old things were laying around.  That’s when I landed my eyes on these babies.

Pyrex nesting bowls with lips in great condition.  It was post-noon which in garage sale time might as well be midnight.  All the old people have rummaged through things, had dinner and gone back to bed by noon.  Even the rednecks have already hit up sales and headed back to their porches and ‘possoms.

They wanted $30 for the set and that seemed pretty good but I’ve never been one to pay full price at a sale.

/cackle

A few rooms later net’d us floor to ceiling cook books and the find of the century.

It was the recipes of the old lady that passed away.  I can’t even begin to fathom why this was sitting there for sale.  Granted, some of the recipes are stuff she cut out and things like that but there’s lots of hand written ones too.

As you can see they are expertly divided in a shoe box.  Some of the slots are empty though which leads me to believe they might have nicked a few of the family favorites (those bastards)!

I can’t imagine selling my grandmothers recipes though.  Even if there was only 1 thing she made that I liked there is no way I’d get rid of them.

We grabbed ‘em and trounced up to their pay table.

“The bowls are $30 and $3 for the recipes, $33 please.”  The teenager said.

“How about $20?”  I countered.  She was certainly out of her league here.  That and you could tell she didn’t want to play Haggle(TM).

“$23?”  She asked quizzically (is that a word?).  I fished around in my pocket, looking like I was giving in when all I could find was a $20.

“Would you do it all for $20?  It’s all I have.”  Puppy eyes and pouting sealed the deal.

That’s right.  I stomped that bitch in the game of Haggle(TM).

I grabbed my shit and we strut’d out there like we just pee’d in all the corners of the house.


Cumin Chicken Pinwheels

October 27, 2011

I got to talking with an old friend in WoW, Kyranna, and she pointed out how I make all these great dishes that have a billion calories in them!  She’s right.  It’s really important to portion your food and know what you are eating.  Because of that I’ve been trying to watch the caloric intake even more.

That brought me back to one of my first forays into cooking or rather, preparing food for myself.  Remember these pinwheels?  One of the first things I ever presented to you all.  There’s just something about their simplicity that makes me love them more and more everytime I make them.

Betsy, Den and I have been using a website called My Fitness Pal (and they also have an app which is what I mainly use).  I just find it easier to use than Spark Page /shrug.  You can put each ingredient in for a recipe pretty easily and get a total calorie index for it (plus fat, carb., and protein).

A more specific recipe for the Pinwheel is as follows.

1x large tortilla
.25 red bell pepper
1T Philly Cream Cheese, Chives and Onion Flavored
3x Oscar Myer, Deli Fresh Honey Ham, Shaved

It’s a pretty healthy snack.

278 calories
39 carbs.
10 fat
12 protein

Carbs are a bit high but you could cut that with a wheat tortilla or healthier options for them.

Wow, I’m really long winded.  This was supposed to be about my NEW pinwheels recipe.  We should probably get to that.

We need pictures stat!  Here’s some stuff that goes in them…

There’s some onions in it too.

I wanted batman onions (ya know, dark and caramelized) but took the pic before that.

Normally I take like 2 pics of a dish, and that’s when it’s finished so you only see 1.  This time I went bonkers and took a bunch so I have no idea how to organize them or my thoughts.  We’re just going chronological here.

Cumin chicken om nom nom.

These are the tortillas I used.  It’s more like flat bread and sadly they were kind of too big for what I needed but they worked (if you like a lot of tortilla in your burritos).

Their flavoring was solid though so that’s a plus.  You might be able to cut them in half and make mini wheels?  Just go with the regular tortillas you can get like if you were making regular pinwheels.  They are flavored as well and will cut some carbs out of the final count.

Putting them together is just as easy as a regular pinwheel and they look pretty when done.

Recipe:  Cumin Chicken Pinwheel

Ingredients:
1x Green Bell Pepper
1x Red Bell Pepper
1x White Onion
4oz Chicken Tenders
4x Tortilla’s (I used Flatout Italian Herb)
4T Philly Cream Cheese, Chives & Onion Flavor
Cumin
Paprika

- Cut the onions and both bell peppers into strips.

- Use a teaspoon of oil (I used olive) to sautee the onions until they are nice and soft, about half way to caramelized (no idea how long this takes because I only have one temperature on my stove.  Burninate.  When they are halfway there add the bell peppers.

- After the veg is done set it aside, wipe down your skillet (cuz you only own one).

- Take out the chicken tenders and salt them, pepper them, add the cumin and paprika.  Add a teaspoon of oil to the skillet and put those babies in once they pan is hot.  Cook them through and then add the veg back to the skillet for 30 or so seconds, just to warm it back up.  Turn off the fire and let it sit there.

- Take a tablespoon of Philly Cream Cheese and smear it on one of  your tortillas.  Lay down some bell peppers and onions and 1 chicken tender.

- Roll it up.

- Eat it.

- Nom nom.


Bloatfish Winners!

October 26, 2011

My independent judge got back with me and it looks like the winners have been chosen.  Big congratulations and thank you all for your entries.  Emails with your codes should be on the way.  The pet won’t be in the game until 4.3 (Blizzard is slacking).  When you do finally get it turned in I’d love to get a screenie of you and it to share with peeps.

In no particular order…

Andrew Smith (limerick)
Bloat’s kind of a fem-looking fishy.
I can’t tell if it’s a girl or just swishy.
But however it swings,
You can be sure of one thing:
The pet makes its master look dishy.

Shadowfaux (haiku)
The World of Warcraft
Can’t catch a purple puffer
what good is this gear

VaLois Strait (haiku)
The fire it burns them
Idiots immolated
They will never learn.

rare pet seeker (poem)
Hunt

Always looking, seeking, wandering the wild.
Trying to find a friend, an ally, a true companion.
This tis true a task not meant for the mild.
It takes complete and total abandon

of your senses to truly find them.
Griefer’s, haters are around annoyingly
They will kill what you seek on a whim.
To them tis how they enjoy the game fully

To gain your prize, your goal your rare.
You must sit their never unblinking and stare.

 


Return to WoW Giveaway!

October 15, 2011

That’s right… I’m back.  I’ve been back for about two weeks now and I’m still managing to control my IRL v. WoW time.

You might remember that I deleted EVERYTHING when I quit (piece by piece).  They were able to restore Xeonio but he was nekid (that’s how he was when I deleted him).  They were then able to restore about 10 items.  I got my bags and my trinkets but was pretty S.O.L. after that.

Luckily for me my guildies really pitched in and helped to get me back up into ship shape condition.

I bought some stuff with my justice points and guildies bought stuff off the A.H.  By the end of the evening I was in Firelands getting my first Ragnaros kill.

It was pretty hot.

But you aren’t here to read about my return are you?  I can already see your eyes skimming past this to the end to read about the give away.

A picture of the card.

Here it is.

Contest Rules:

Reply to this thread with a haiku about WoW.

What do you mean you can’t write a haiku?  Fine, I’ll let you slide.  Gimme a poem, or a song, or a lymric or even a lil’ diddy about WoW.  The more creative the better.  You could do an MS paint if you wanted (I can even host the image if you want to email it to reztheweak@gmail.com).

The contest will end at 11:59 pm, Oct. 23rd.

Prizes:

I have three purple puffers to give out.  They are a noncombat pet from the newest WoW TCG set.  They are a puffer fish floating in a globe of water.  Not sure what special things it does or anything like that, haven’t seen one yet (because they won’t be ingame until patch 4.3).

Disclaimer:

If you reply make sure you put in your email address (I think you can put it in w/o putting in a name if you still want to stay anonymous).  If you don’t gimme an email though, I can’t give you your prize!

Tashira and her Lil' XT, won in a previous give away.


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