December also happens to be The Yogscast’s holiday charity live stream month where they stream video games, and other stuff for hours and hours every day just so I can be entertained on a moments notice.
I mean, with gems like this, the stress just melts away. For whole minutes at a time!
NUMBER THREE: GAMES
Dragon Age: Inquisition came out the end of November, and I’ve had to be very careful about rationing my play time, but when I do play, it’s so immersive that I’m completely able to forget about Calculus, Chemistry, and student loans.
Another delight has been my discovery that Telltale Game’s critically acclaimed Walking Dead Seasons 1 & 2, and The Wolf Among Us are now available for free for Andriod tablet. I only barely started playing last night, but they will definitely help distract me the next couple of weeks as I anxiously wait for final course grades to come in.
In what’s becoming an annual tradition, Brie and I hosted a Holiday Movie Night at our house this past Saturday. It’s serves as excellent motivation to finish putting up our weird and eclectic collection of Christmas decorations and really helps lock in the feeling that Santa is due in town really, really soon (don’t forget to finish up your holiday shopping!).
We started with a nice selection of goodies and several holiday shorts/cartoons (about 40 minutes worth). Then came the feature holiday movie: Die Hard! (Don’t tell anyone, but it was my first time seeing it…)
We kind of went all out last year, but I wanted something a little lower key this time around. And yes, I’m saying there are tasty things even easier than the Easy-Peasy-Rum Cake. And this egg nog pie is definitely easy.
The worst part, really, is letting it sit long enough in the fridge to set. Make sure you wait to put the pretty whipped topping on until it’s nearly ready to serve. Otherwise this happens:
Apparently it’s soup weather here in the Bay Area, seeing as Brie just posted this delish beef stew recipe on Monday. It rained a ton last week (everything is so lovely and green!) and even more rain is predicted for Thursday/Friday. So – hearty soups, comfort food, and hot chocolate are in the forecast in this Qwerty household for the next few weeks at least.
I’m also so thrilled to announce that I’m full time freelancing again. After a short stint with a great group of people at Jelly Belly Candy Company, I am back working from home (it’s a good thing). This means more time and emotional energy to make food and publish recipes for you lovely folks. Also – puppy snuggles.
I missed her like mad while I was away. I mean, just look at this face.
I call that picture, “our lady of noms.”
Anyhoo, I finally had it in me to do some recipe exploring AND real cooking, so allow me to present to you this slow cooker chicken noodle soup.
Prep your crockpot with a liner and fill it with 8 cups of water.
Add in the chopped onion, bag of mixed veggies, chopped celery, and bay leaf.
Mix your salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley flakes in a small bowl.
Now prepare to spend some quality time with the chicken - pat it dry, rub it all over with oil, then pat the mixed spices all over it.
Place a sprig of thyme on top of the chicken, and place the rest inside the chest cavity.
Lay that chicken down on the bed of veggies and water, set your crockpot to high, and cook for 5½-6 hours.
Carefully pull the chicken out and place on a large pan. Allow to cool enough to pick off the chicken meat (separate it from cartilage, skin, and bone), and put the shredded meat back into the crockpot.
In a medium bowl, whisk together ⅓ cup corn starch and 1½ cups of broth grabbed from the crockpot until thickened. Pour back into the crock pot.
I don’t have much to say about these cookies, except that they are delicious. They will definitely cure the craving for that sweet cinnamon-y chewy oatmeal goodness. Way better than those hard crunchy oatmeal cookies from the store. They would be great at a holiday cookie exchange. This recipe comes from Mother Thyme.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheets with cooking spray or use a silicone baking mat
Place oats in a food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds until coarse. (To have these cookies turn out flat, you don't want to over grind the oats. Just a couple quick pulses in the foodprocessor to break them up a bit. If the oats are finely ground, the cookies won't spread)
Mix oats with flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg
Cream butter and sugars
Add in eggs one at a time then vanilla extract
Gradually add in flour mixture until combined
Roll dough into 2 tablespoon size balls and place on baking sheet spacing about 2 inches apart
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown
Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
When the cookies are completely cooled mix together the powdered sugar and milk for the glaze
Quickly dip the tops of the cookies in the glaze, let the excess drain off and place back on wire rack to let the glaze set up all the way
Store in an air tight container
They also make really good ice cream sandwiches! Freeze the cookies and add your favorite ice cream, like a home made it’s it’s. Dip them in chocolate for an even more authentic it’s it’s.
Brandie is wife to Adam who is brother to Brie who is cousin to Cat! With our powers combined, we represent a culinary school grad, an aspiring astronaut, a culinary school dropout, social nerds, gamers, cinephiles, bibliophiles, laqueristas, food fanatics, social anxiety disorders, and more. It’s fun stuff.