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

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  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!

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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

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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!

 

prime evil rib [prime rib with cherry port wine sauce]

blog_primeevilribIn honor of Diablo III’s birthday, I decided that I wanted to create a very special dish for the Lord of Terror. We all know Diablo as the “Prime Evil”, but do you know what else is prime? PRIME RIB, OF COURSE!

So, I invited the Prime Evil himself to join us for a pre-birthday dinner:

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You’re so much cuter in person!

For this prime rib, I decided to try something different with the sauce, so I opted for a sweeter sauce that uses port wine as a base. Aww yissss. If you want a more traditional sauce, I recommend going for the tried-and-true aus jus sauce.

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Cooking a standing rib roast sounds like it might be a Torment IV-level culinary challenge, but it’s actually pretty simple. It just takes some patience, some prep work, and some good technology!

UNIT COMPOSITION

For the prime rib:

  1. salt
  2. pepper
  3. 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  4. 4lb standing rib roast, bones cut away and tied (your butcher can do this for you)
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MEAT GOOD!

For the sides:

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  1. salt
  2. 3 tablespoons of butter
  3. 1 cup of milk
  4. 1 head of garlic
  5. 1/2 cup of asiago cheese or shredded parmesan
  6. 1 1/2 lbs of red potatoes, cleaned and chopped into quarters
  7. 1/2 lb of asparagus

For the sauce:

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  1. 1/2 cup of port wine
  2. 1 cup of cherry preserves

Note: I highly recommend using a probe thermometer for this recipe! I have this one.

The reason is that prime rib roasts come in all shapes and sizes, which means that cooking times will vary based off the size and the temperature consistency of your oven. By using a probe thermometer, you will be able to know when your roast reaches the correct temperature (and desired done-ness):

Level of Doneness Temperature
Rare 120 – 125°F
Medium Rare 130 – 135°F
Medium 140 – 145°F
Medium Well 150 – 155°F
Well Done 160°F+

via What’s Cooking America

BUILD ORDER

Allow the rib roast to come up to room temperature for about 3-4 hours prior to cooking. Prep time for this dish will take about 1 hour. Total cook time for the roast can range from 1hr – 2hrs. Cook time for the sides is about 40 minutes. This dish will make about 3-4 servings.

If you would like to roast a larger rib roast, it’ll roughly be about 1 rib for 2 people (1 rib is roughly 2lbs). A rough estimate for total cooking time is roughly about 15 – 18 minutes per pound, HOWEVER, use a meat thermometer as your guide for when you should remove the roast from the oven. Once the roast has hit it’s target temperature (view the “Level of Doneness” chart above), you should take it out of the oven.

I recommend purchasing your rib roast ahead of time so you can dry-age it in your refrigerator (set your temp to about 40°F). Dry-aging the meat will get rid of excess moisture and will intensify the flavor of the meat — basically your meat will be more meaty.

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The Butcher recommends that you dry-age your meat when you can!

To dry-age your rib roast, place your rib roast on a cooling rack in a baking dish. Wrap your rib roast in paper towels (or cheese cloth) and place your rib roast in the fridge. Change the towels every 24 hours.

You can dry-age your rib roast for a week in your fridge (you may need to trim away the uber-dry parts of the rib roast). I kind of waited until the last minute to pick up my rib roast, so mine only had about 3 days of dry-aging.

OPENING

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 500°F. 
  2. Season your rib roast with salt and pepper. Rub your olive oil into the rib roast.
  3. Place the probe of your thermometer in the thickest part the meat (not touching the bone).blog_primeevilrib_oven
  4. Once your oven has come up to temperature, place your rib roast in the oven. Allow it cook for about 5 minutes at this temperature, and then immediately drop the temperature to 325°F. The high heat is used to build a crust on the roast. 
  5. Place a head of garlic wrapped in foil in your oven (you can place this directly on the rack). The garlic will be used for your mashed potatoes.
  6. Allow the roast to cook until it reaches its desired level of doneness/target temperature (program your thermometer to beep at the desired temperature). While the rib roast is cooking, prepare your sides.

MID GAME

  1. Set a pot of water to boil. While the water is still cold, add in your chopped red potatoes. Season the water with salt.
  2. Allow the potatoes to boil for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Strain the potatoes and add the potatoes back to the pot.
  3. Add in your cheese, milk, and butter.
  4. Remove your garlic from the oven and peel away the skin — be careful, because it will still be hot!blog_primeevilrib_garlic
  5. Add in 3-5 roasted garlic cloves into your potatoes and mash to combine. Keep warm until the roast is ready to be served.
  6. Prepare your asparagus and gently steam them over hot water for about 6 minutes.

LATE GAME

  1. Once the roast has reached the target temperature, remove it from the oven and place it on a separate plate. Allow the roast to rest for about 10 – 15 minutes. The roast will continue cooking while it’s resting.
  2. Strain the excess oil from the roasting pan and add the drippings into a sauce pan (if you didn’t use foil in your roasting pan, you can cook your sauce directly in the roasting pan over your stove).
  3. Heat your sauce pan on medium heat and add in your port wine.
  4. Add in your cherry preserves and stir until combined. Allow the sauce to reduce.blog_primeevilrib_done
  5. Once the roast has finished resting, move it to a cutting board. Carefully cut the rib bones away from the roast (if you had your butcher pre-cut the bone away and tie it, this part will be super easy).
  6. Slice your roast into 1/2 inch pieces. Plate with your sides and serve with your cherry port wine sauce.
  7. Eat!

Once plated, you should have something that looks sort of like this:

blog_primeevilrib_plated2GG WP, Nephalem!

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And here’s the prime rib drenched in the diabolical sauce. MEAT GOOD!

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And of course, here’s a shot of Diablo enjoying his own special meal! HOW TASTES YOUR ROAST, NEPHALEM?

If you’re looking for a dessert to celebrate Diablo III’s birthday, check out what I made last year: Heart of Sin Cakes!

Happy Birthday, Diablo III!

Reaper of Recipes Challenge!

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Hello hungry Nephalems!

I’ve got some very exciting news — I’ve teamed up with the amazing folks at Blizzard to present to you the Reaper of Recipes Challenge!

What is the Reaper of Recipes Challenge? Well, it’s the ultimate Diablo-themed cooking contest!

Your goal is to create the most incredible and delicious Diablo III-inspired recipe in all of Sanctuary.

To enter, submit your recipe in English with a complete ingredient list and step-by-step instructions, to RecipeChallenge@blizzard.com by Sunday, May 11th.
This contest is open to all regions.

The tastiest recipes will be selected by the Diablo community team and will be sent to me for the final round of judging.

I will be judging the recipes based off of:

  1. Representation of the Diablo III theme
  2. Creativity / Originality
  3. Taste

The winning recipe will then be cooked, photographed, and featured on my blog. Your culinary masterpiece will also be showcased on the Diablo website!

But, that’s not all… I’m also sweetening the deal by providing the winner with a lovely Horadric Cache worth of loot! Here’s what inside:

reaperofrecipes_contestTASTY!

(1) Diablo III Collector’s Edition
(1) Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Collector’s Edition
(1) Book of Cain
(1) Book of Tyrael

I am very excited to see all of your creations! Don your legendary chef’s hat and grab your sharpest knives because it’s time to start cooking!

If you have any specific questions about the contest, please send me a tweet @kierpanda.

Good luck, Nephalem!

By the way, if you ever need to grill something, I think I might know someone who can help you…

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bottomless potion of kulle-aid [hibiscus limeade spritzer]

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A few weeks ago, Waterfiend, suggested that I make something special for the upcoming release of Reaper of Souls. That suggestion was to create a version of the delicious RoS consumable Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid.

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OH YEAH. 

I have been in many scenarios where being able to smash my way through walls would have been very, very helpful.

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WOW, THIS SEEMS FAIR. ಠ_ಠ

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Unfortunately, this real-life version of Kulle-Aid won’t allow you to run through walls, BUT, it will provide you the refreshment you need to fight through Act V!

UNIT COMPOSITION

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  1. 2 teaspoons of honey
  2. 2 hibiscus tea bags
  3. juice from 3 limes
  4. ~2 cups of club soda

BUILD ORDER

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  1. Brew your hibiscus tea in about 6oz of water.
  2. Add in your honey and stir until combined.
  3. Add ice cubes to your brewed tea. Add in your lime juice.
  4. Pour about 1/2 cup of your hibiscus tea and lime juice mixture into a glass. Top off your glass with equal parts club soda.
  5. Enjoy!

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GG WP!

If you’re looking for a more adult version of this drink (aka, BOOZE!), I recommend adding a shot or two of shochu.

Now, if you want to up your cooking game and create a devilish spread for your RoS launch party, here are my Diablo-themed recipes:

Appetizers/Starters

Entrees

Desserts

Hope you have a happy Reapers of Souls launch day!

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