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!

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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!

fire spirit salmon [spicy salmon en papillote]

blog_firespiritsalmon_titleHey adventurer! Are you hungry after your long journeys through Azeroth? Well, I’ve cooked up a dish for you that’s straight from the wonderful nation of Pandaria.

This special recipe was created by the amazing Sha of Happiness. She has picked some of the most delicious dishes in all of Azeroth and re-created them in her kitchen.

I’m sure you’re hungry, so let’s get started on this very simple, but very delicious dish!

Recipe adapted from Fire Spirit Salmon by Sha of Happiness. 

UNIT COMPOSITION

blog_firespiritsalmon_ingredients

  1. salt
  2. pepper
  3. 2 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  4. 1 teaspoons of olive oil (or butter if you prefer)
  5. ~ 1 tablespoon of sliced ginger
  6. 1 tablespoon of miso paste
  7. 1 1/2 tablespoon of sesame seed oil
  8. 1 tablespoon of red chili paste
  9. 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  10. 1/2 white onion, diced
  11. 2 4oz cuts of salmon
  12. OPTIONAL: 3 – 5 sprigs of green onion (scallion)

BUILD ORDER

Prep time for this dish is roughly 15 minutes. Total cook time is about 10 minutes. This will make 2 servings.

I’ve made a slight deviation from Sha’s original recipe. In her recipe, she suggests cooking the salmon via pan or roasting it in the oven. I’ll be roasting it in the oven, but I made a minor change — I’m cooking it en papillote!

So, I’m sure you’re asking… What is en papillote? The term “en papillote” is French for “in parchment”. Basically, the method is you take some sort of food, wrap it into a little package and then cook it. Since the food is wrapped up in its own little container, it will basically be steamed by its own juices (or what ever liquid you’ve put in the pouch).

There are many regional variants on this type of cooking. Zongzi, which is a Chinese dish comprised of sticky rice and various fillings, uses this technique but with leaves. Zongzi is also insanely delicious, so if you ever have a chance to get one, I recommend it!

OPENING

  1. Set a pan on high-heat.
  2. Add in your olive oil.
  3. Sautee your garlic and onions.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside.

MID GAME

  1. In a bowl, combine your soy sauce, sesame sauce, and red chili paste.blog_firespiritsalon_mix
  2. Add in your sliced ginger. When the salmon has finished cooking, you will want to remove these slices before plating.
  3. Set aside and prepare your salmon!

LATE GAME

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375° (~190° C). 
  2. Place your sauteed onions and garlic on one side of the parchment paper.blog_firespiritsalmon_cooking1
  3. Place your salmon on top of the onions and garlic.
  4. Season your salmon with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour the sauce over the salmon. (Optional: Place a few sprigs of green onion on top of the salmon)blog_firespiritsalmon_cooking2
  6. Fold the parchment paper over the salmon, making sure to leave air inside the package. Roll the sides of the parchment paper up, so that the package is sealed.blog_firespiritsalmon_cooking3
  7. Place in the oven and roast for about 7 minutes. Remove from the oven when done. Be careful when opening the package!blog_firespiritsalmon_cooking4
  8. EAT!

GG WP!

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A big thank you goes out to Sha for creating this amazing and healthy recipe! :D Salmon is good AND good for you. <3

Reaper of Recipes Challenge Winner!

reaper_of_recipes_bannerIt’s time, Nephalem! It’s time to announce the winner of the Reaper of Recipes Challenge!

I must admit that I had an insanely difficult time choosing the winner. Even though the Diablo NA and EU community teams had chosen the top recipes from tons of entries, there was still the huge challenge of picking the overall best recipe. There were dishes from all walks of life — from savory dishes inspired by various regional cuisines to sinfully sweet treats with a very Diablo flare. Sanctuary is filled with tons of creative chefs!

But, one recipe stood out from the rest.

One nephalem traveled to the dusty deserts outside of Caldeum and captured a Sand Shark, cooked it up, and created a legendary Caldeum delicacy! I present to you the winning recipe of the Reaper of Souls Challenge:

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Fish-aficionados will note that the fish isn’t a hake, but rather a mackerel — I’ll explain why later.

The winning recipe, Sand Shark Caldeum Style, was artfully crafted by Louis S., though he is more commonly known in Sanctuary as Nerzulaman! Here’s the photo he submitted along with his outstanding recipe:

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FIERCE! He did an excellent job at recreating a Sand Shark in food form!!

So, if you want to try to create this delicious dish in the comfort of your own kitchen, here’s what you’re going to need to gather:

UNIT COMPOSITION

blog_sandshark_ingredients

Please note that I’ve made some rough conversions from metric to American standard measurement units. The units in parenthesis are the accurate measurements from Nerzulaman’s original recipe.

  1. salt
  2. pepper
  3. 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  4. 2 teaspoon of olive oil
  5. 1 clove of garlic, minced
  6. 1 shallot, minced
  7. 1/2 of a red onion, diced
  8. 1 teaspoon of powdered hazelnut (50g)  (I bought whole hazelnut and grinded it on a microplane — this is roughly ~4 hazelnuts)
  9. 1 egg
  10. 1 lemon
  11. 1/2 cup of flour
  12. 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  13. 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
  14. 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream (15cl)
  15. 1 1/2 cup of rainbow quinoa, rinsed (180g)
  16. 1 firm apple (I used a granny smith apple)
  17. 1 whole hake, cleaned and gutted (25-30cm long, or ~11-12 inches) — (I substituted mackerel for hake here)

I mentioned a bit further up that the fish I used for this recipe is a mackerel instead of a hake. The silver hake is a species of hake typically found on the Eastern United States. Unfortunately, I’m on the Western United States, so finding whole hake is a bit more difficult here. I decided to go with a fish that was readily available here and is somewhat similar size to the hake. The mackerel is a bit smaller, so cooking times have been slightly adjusted.

Basically, my recipe is for tiny sand sharks, while Nerzulaman’s is for big sand sharks. :P

If you’re looking for a fish that has a similar flavor to hake, cod is a good substitute. Mackerel belongs in the “oily fish” category (with salmon and tuna), while hake belongs to the “white fish” category (with cod and halibut).

Anyway, I’ve included Nerzulaman’s original cook times and mine in parenthesis.

BUILD ORDER

Total prep time for this dish is roughly 25 minutes. Cook time is roughly 35 minutes. This will make 2 servings.

OPENING

  1. Wash and cut your apple into two halves. Use one half and cut them into thin wedges (this will be used for the “fins”). Marinate these wedges in balsamic vinegar.
  2. Cut the rest of the apple into small cubes with your shallots, garlic, and red onion.
  3. Heat a pan on high heat and add in on 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  4. Sautee your cubed apple, shallots, garlic, and red onion.blog_sandshark_cooking1
  5. Once they have caramelized, deglaze your pan by using some of the balsamic vinegar from your apples.
  6. Remove from heat and reserve. You’ll use this to stuff the fish.

MID GAME

  1. Empty and clean the cavity of the fish, and open its belly until the base of the tail.
  2. Use a sharp knife to score the skin around the tail, then remove the dorsal fin cutting along the dorsal cartilage head.
  3. Preheat your oven to ~350° F (180° C). Once your oven comes up to temperature, bake the fish for 5 minutes.blog_sandshark_cooking2
  4. Remove the fish from the oven and gently peel back the skin from tail to the head by pulling the skin along the line in the middle of the threads so as not to tear it. You will want to be extra careful with this process because you don’t want to damage the flesh of the fish. If you have patches of skin (especially around the fins) scrape them gently with the back of a knife lightly oiled, always from tail to head.
  5. Gently open the cavity of the fish and begin stuffing it with your filling. You’ll want to stuff the fish so that it will be able to stand on its own. If have extra stuffing, you can use it to prop his head up after cooking.
  6. Sprinkle your flour onto the fish. Gently rub off any excess flour.blog_sandshark_cooking3
  7. Mix your egg, remaining olive oil, juice from 1/2 of a lemon, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. This will be your egg wash.
  8. Generously brush the fish with your egg wash. Then, sprinkle your bread crumbs onto the fish. If you have excess, tap it off the fish.blog_sandshark_cooking4
  9. Set your oven to ~390°F (200°C) for 15 minutes (12 minutes for my mackerel). Use aluminum foil to cover the head to prevent tarnish (I failed and forgot to do this, so my sandshark is a bit…. uhhh, well let’s just say he should have used moisturizer). 
  10. While your fish is baking, prepare the quinoa.

LATE GAME

  1. In a saucepan, add your quinoa, 1 1/2 cup of water and your cream. Set your sauce pan to medium heat. Add in your hazelnut and nutmeg.
  2. Once the quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid, salt to taste.
  3. Now it’s time to build your plate! Fill a dish with your quinoa “sand”, and make a small indentation for your fish.
  4. Transfer your baked fish to the plate. Make slits on the fish for where you’d like to place your apple wedge fins. Insert the fins onto your fish. If your fins aren’t pointy enough, prune them with a pairing knife to your liking.
  5. Surround the fish with the “sand” and add in your apple wedge fins into the sand. These will be the Sand Shark’s claws.
  6. If desired, add in extra lemon juice on the fish and cream to your quinoa.
  7. Eat!

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Here’s how mine turned out. I definitely think Nerzulaman’s looks much cooler though. :) I will admit that I ran out of apple slices for the fins on the side… I was snacking a bit too much during the cooking process!

GG WP!

Maybe your Sand Shark will turn out to be Razormouth and you’ll be able to snag an Essence of the Twin Seas.

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I wasn’t so lucky. But, he sure was delicious! :)

Just remember to be weary of bones when slaying this beast! Since this is full fish, there are still bones present in the flesh. To avoid the bones as best as possible, lay the fish on its side and enjoy it one side at a time. You should be left with the spine fairly intact.

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OM NOM NOM NOM!

So congratulations, Nerzulaman! Your creative recipe has earned you a fancy Horadric cache worth of goodies!

‘Till next time, Nephalem!