GDC 2015

Hi everyone!

I’m away at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week. It’s a pretty amazing event with a zillion cool people and I’m looking forward to reporting back on it when I have eventually caught up on the sleeps.

In the meantime, have some chocolate gifs!

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Cheeseburger Soup

Cheeseburger Soup

Somewhere from the aether, the idea of a cheeseburger soup got into my head.

Something creamy and beefy and really filling.

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This soup did NOT disappoint.

Cheeseburger Soup
 
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Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 ounces pasta (macaroni, ziti, bowties)
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 10 ounces Velveeta
  • ¼ cup potato flakes
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Dice the bacon and saute in the bottom of a large pot until cooked but not crispy.
  2. Dice the onion and add to the pot to cook in the bacon fat until transparent.
  3. Add the ground beef and saute until cooked through.
  4. Add the Worcestershire sauce and the ketchup and combine.
  5. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  6. To the pot add the beef broth, the water, and the pasta.
  7. Cook covered on high heat until the pasta is nearly done done to your liking. This should be about 10 minutes.
  8. Return the ground beef mixture to the pot along with the milk and the potato flakes. Cook for a few minutes on medium heat until warm (if the milk brought down the temperature).
  9. Cube the Velveeta and add that to the pot with all of the seasonings and stir until the cheese is completely melted.
  10. Season additionally to taste. Serve warm.

 

Thursday Link Rodeo

Forget a roundup – this here is a link rodeo! It’s a collection of cool/exciting/delicious food news, recipes, and more that we’ve encountered recently. Yeehaw. Or something. 

This rodeo is hosted by garlic.

Pepperoni Garlic Knots from Serious Eats

Pepperoni Garlic Knots from Serious Eats

1. Peel a head of garlic in less than 10 seconds, from Lifehacker.
2. How to make garlic bread, from The Kitchn.
3. Roasted garlic soup, a la Epicurious.
4. Pull apart pepperoni garlic knots, from Serious Eats.
5. Roasted garlic ICE CREAM, from Saveur.

Naan

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It’s not that homemade naan is especially cumbersome, exactly, but I still resent the effort that goes into making it. I just can’t be bothered with cooking one or two at a time in my largest pan when I want eight or nine on my plate post haste.

BUT…

It’s delicious. I can’t not make it. A lot of it. Enough for dinner and more to heat up in the microwave later to slather with butter and some garlic. I put it off as long as I can manage and then make as much as I can until I’m annoyed again.

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It’s delicious on its own, delicious dipped in thick sauces, delicious as a pizza crust. I bet it would even taste amazing with peanut butter and jelly.

 

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What am I waiting for? Let’s make some naan!

Naan
 
Prep time
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons dry active yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pam cooking spray
Instructions
  1. In one bowl, mix together the sugar, yeast and warm water.
  2. Let sit for ten minutes (until nicely frothy).
  3. Stir in egg, oil, and yogurt until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine half of the flour in with the salt and mix well.
  5. Add the salted flour to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  6. Keep adding remaining flour until you can no longer stir the dough and it is smooth instead of too sticky to handle.
  7. Knead for about 5 minutes until very smooth.
  8. Cover and let sit for 45 minutes (longer, if you have a cold kitchen).
  9. Sprinkle some flour on your work surface.
  10. Cut dough in half, and cut each half in half.
  11. Shape each section into a ball.
  12. Heat pan on medium, spray with Pam, and then roll out one of the sections of dough until medium thickness and about 6" in diameter.
  13. Place in hot pan and wait until top begins to bubble before flipping.
  14. Cook other side until golden brown.
  15. Repeat with other seven pieces and enjoy!

 

Almond Belgian Waffles

Almond Belgian Waffles

For Christmas Adam and Brandie gave me a wonderful waffle iron for which I’ve had a few opportunities to use over the last couple of months.

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Belgian waffles are great for any occasion, but I’ve added a little twist that definitely makes these my new go-to waffle recipe.

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Using almond extract gives a great nutty sweetness to the batter that means this waffle can really stand on its own or complement whatever toppings you chose.

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Almond Belgian Waffles
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the milk, butter, egg yolks, and almond extract.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into your dry, and stir until just combined.
  4. In another small bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are able to form stiff peaks, and then fold the whites into the batter gently until just combined.
  5. Use a ¼ cup measurement to spoon the batter into each square of a heated waffle iron and cook as your particular iron instructs.
  6. Serve as pictured with whipped cream and strawberries, or with butter and syrup, or any way that you like!

 

Thursday Link Rodeo

Forget a roundup – this here is a link rodeo! It’s a collection of cool/exciting/delicious food news, recipes, and more that we’ve encountered recently. Yeehaw. Or something. 

This rodeo has been hosted by Chinese New Year.

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Image via Thirstyfortea.com

 

1. Nian Gao – New Year Cake Recipe, from About.com
2. Lettuce Wraps, from About.com
3. Curry Goat, from Food Network
4. Don’t want to eat goat? Be a goat! And check out our review of Goat Simulator. :)
5. 10 Good Luck Foods for the Chinese New Year, from Chow.com

A Very Meatbox* Valentine

We had a delightfully meat-filled Valentine’s Day in the Qwerty household. Brie spotted a Groupon for a box full of amazing, meaty deals – a variety of filet mignons, pigs in a blanket, lobster tails, chicken fried steaks, twice baked potatoes, cheese cake, and more. There were three different options, and between all of us, we managed to get one of each box.

Here’s Adam unboxing one of them:

Video Transcript

Welcome to WTF Came in the Mail! (Grunts) It’s a big box. This is my cheat sheet of what’s in here,  let’s see if we can figure it out just by looking. Oooh, that’s CHILI! (Reads) “Goodbye dinner time stress, hello fresh?” I already have a veggie box, so I don’t need that. (Reads) “It’s cooler to recycle.” Thank you. That’s just more advertisements. There we go! STEAK SEASONING. These are gourmet franks, I think? $40 gift card for Hello Fresh, but I have one of those. More advertisements. What are these? WHAT ARE THESE? Stuffed sole fillet. Stuffed with… stuffed with scallops and crab meat. An unconditional guarantee that my steaks are steaks I guess? And not… rabbits. Oh. We got beef top sirloin steaks. We can get through these quicker. Maybe not. This one is sealed differently than the others. Beef tenderloin steaks with more guarantees. Ground beef burgers. No guarantees! There are NO guarantees these are ground beef burgers. Hmm? Pork loin chops, boneless. Boneless pork loin chops? What are these? Oh, caramel apple tartlets! No guarantee. And finally, I think, Omaha Steakhouse fries. With a different kind of packaging that makes me open it a different way. OK. And nutritional facts. For all the stuff in the box. And all the stuff not in my box? And an empty ice box. Now I gotta find somewhere to put all of this food. (Sighs). Well, that has been WTF Came in the Mail: frozen meat edition. See ya next time!

—–

Here’s a terrible photo of my plate – with lobster tail, asparagus, twice-baked potatoes, pigs in a blanket, chicken fried steak, what’s left of my steak, and steak fries.

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And here’s a video of all of it (including a homemade fondue bar for dessert). Glimmering and glorious.

Video Transcript

Adam: This is a lot of food. Baked potatoes, asparagus, chicken fried steak, steak steak, lobster, cheese cake, little piggies in their blankets, steak fries. Now it’s gonna provide it’s own light. Marshmallows, apples and bananers, cookie dough balls, CHOCOLATE, cheese cake, rice krispy treats, marble pound cake, nutter butters, and that is
Cat: – And happy people.
Adam: And happy people.
(Video game voice over plays in the background)

———-

Full tummies and full hearts on Valentine’s day. Definitely could have been worse.

If you’re ever at a loss for what to do for an intimate group dinner, make sure to keep an eye out for coupons. We had a wonderful time, way too much food, and had a similar experience to a restaurant like the Melting Pot for less than half of what it cost to actually leave the house and order someplace. Plus, it was socially acceptable to wear stretchy pants.

All hail the stretchy pants.

What did you do this past Valentine’s Day?

———

*Under no circumstances should you look up the slang meaning of “meatboxing.”

Introducing WTF is for Dinner

Introducing WTF is for Dinner

Adam and Brandie have started vlogging about their dinners. Their first video is a delicious looking Caesar salad with shrimp! The name WTF is for dinner stands for Wendt the Fuck is for Dinner – the name is based on another vlog series Adam keeps up called “WTF Came in the Mail.”

Video Transcript 
Voice over the images of food being prepared
Adam: So, I went to the store and put the food away before I saw that people were doing grocery hauls. So, I thought I’d do what we’re doing for dinner tonight. We’re gonna do shrimp and a Caesar salad. So we have romaine, shrimp that is raw, peeled and deveined. So – less work. Garlic, butter, ginger for the shrimp. We got croutons and parmigiano reggiano cheese, and we have Ken’s steakhouse creamy Caesar. We’ve tried a lot of different Caesar dressings and that is our favorite. Here’s the romaine all chopped up. I don’t think I was recording any of that, I just added ginger and garlic to our butter. There you go. There’s the shrimp added to the saute, we’ll see how long that takes from frozen. There’s our parmigiano reggiano. Yummy yummy for the salad. I’m gonna salt and pepper the shrimp. I think I can salt it one handed, but I won’t be able to do the pepper. So, just pretend I’m putting pepper on it and then there will be pepper on it. See, look! There’s pepper on it. Halfway done. (Mumbles).
Brandie: Dressing, cheese and croutons.
Adam: Shrimp done. The base of the sauce is getting the water out, then we got a little butter sauce. Aaaand done! Shrimp Caesar salad.
The cats: (MEOW!)
Adam: Mraow!

You can keep up with the latest Wendt the Fuck is for Dinner episodes on Adam’s YouTube channel.

Also, bonus kitty video…

Video Transcript
Footage in a bedroom with four cats on a bed.
The camera pans from a bedroom window overlooking a yard to a nightstand and then to a bed with grey sheets and a purple duvet. Three cats lay snuggled up close to one another. A tabby cleans her foot and then scowls briefly at the camera with green eyes. The camera pans to a napping tuxedo cat, who glances toward the camera with just one eye shown as his long white eyebrow whiskers stand out against the black of his furry face. A sleepily blinking tabby with a white chest, pink nose, and dark black-lined eyes lays regally as the camera continues to move. A grumpy looking grey cat pokes his head up to see what the fuss is about. The camera moves to reveal all four cats laying closely together on the bed, with the grey kitty slightly off to one side.

Thursday Link Rodeo

Forget a roundup – this here is a link rodeo! It’s a collection of cool/exciting/delicious food news, recipes, and more that we’ve encountered recently. Yeehaw. Or something. 

Hosted by dim sum.

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Char Siu Bao from The Wok of Life

1. Char Siu Bao (Baked Pork Buns, my FAVORITE), from The Woks of Life.
2. Shu Mai (Steamed Pork & Mushroom Dumplings), from Food Network.
3. The Essential Guide to Dim Sum, from BuzzFeed.
4. Chicken Potstickers, by me here at Qwerty Cafe.
5. Introduction to Cantonese Chinese Food, from Serious Eats.

Hoisin Chicken Wings

In addition to Sunday Sundaes that were served during our Puppy Bowl Party, we had chips, salsa, and chicken wings. But these were no ordinary chicken wings – these were hoisin.

And if anyone responds with, “did you say, ‘poison??!?!'” again I’m going to have to ask to you leave. ;)

Hoisin is something I use a lot around here, and it’s common in Chinese cooking. The gist of it is that it’s a thick, flavorful sauce that is both salty and sweet. Yum!

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The instant I took these out of the oven, people descended upon them (and then complained about their burnt fingers). I was actually kind of worried that we’d run out  before I had a chance to try them myself. Or before I even had a chance to toss them in a little extra sauce. Pre-sauce:

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Post-sauce:

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Delicious either way, frankly. :)

The beauty of a wings recipe is that it requires minimal effort. Cleaning up your fingers afterwards is probably the worst part of the process, but at least then you are full of yummy things.

Hope you like ‘em!

Hoisin Chicken Wings
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese Fusion
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 crockpot liner
  • 3 lbs. chicken wings
  • ½ cup Hoisin sauce
  • ½ cup honey
  • 4 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha (optional, for heat)
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
  • ½ bunch green onions, sliced
Instructions
  1. Line your crockpot and toss in the frozen chicken, Hoisin, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and Sriracha.
  2. Stir together until semi-evenly coated.
  3. Cook for four hours on high.
  4. If you prefer your wings a little crispier, remove them from the crockpot and place them on an aluminum foil lined pan.
  5. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes.
  6. While they are baking, take the juices leftover in the crockpot liner and transfer them to a small sauce pan. Whisk in the corn starch over medium heat until thickened (add more cornstarch if it doesn't thicken enough to coat the wings after about 5-7 minutes over the heat).
  7. Pour sauce over wings, sprinkle with green onions, and enjoy!