Monthly Archives December 2010

Portals of the Week

Marth Stewarts Homemade Peppermint Icicles: Nailed it.

Google is TAKING AWAY MY CAPSLOCK.

Super Mario themed aprons? Adorable!

10 Tips for Taking Food Photos: Our piece of advice – don’t buy a $20 digital camera.

Geeky Disney Princesses – Jedi, Sith, Zombies & more

The Official Space Jam website, untouched since 1996.

Best gingerbread spaceship ever.

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Book Review: Star Wars Red Harvest

Note: While this review remains relatively spoiler free regarding Red Harvest, it contains several big spoilers about the plot of Death Troopers.

The word “prequel” is a bit of a dirty word in the world of Star Wars. So when it was announced that, Joel Schreiber, for the follow up to his first foray into the Lucasvesrse, would be writing a prequel, there was more than a bit of skepticism about how that would work. Fans of Schreiber and Star Wars can rest easy. Though not the Empire Strikes Back level sequel we may have all wanted, using the word prequel is not a derogatory term in this case.

This prequel to Death Troopers takes us back to the “Old Republic” thousands of years before the events onboard the Purge. The story takes place predominantly on the planet Odacer-Faustin at the Sith academy. Here we learn the origins of the mysterious “sickness” that turns all of those infected by it into one of the shambling undead. A young Jedi named Hestizo Trace with a very specific set of Force powers is thrust into the fray opposite a powerful Sith Lord, looking to unlock a long lost Sith secret. (If zombies are showing up in Star Wars you had to know that the Sith were somehow involved). For the first time, both Jedi and Sith alike are exposed to the monstrosities, but the horrors that are unleashed may be too much even for the the most powerful Force users to control.

Unlike Death Troopers which opted for a more narrow scope of events, confined (literally) to a prison barge and subsequently a Star Destroyer, Red Harvest takes a more classic Star Wars approach which a plot that sweeps across vast swaths of the galaxy and encompasses a far greater array of factions. Since those factions now include the Jedi and Sith, we finally get to see what happens when zombies meet the business end of a lightsaber. Odds are we’ve all imagined how that might look, and Schreiber depicts it in every gorey fantastic detail that will make you squirm with delight.

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Equipment Review: Mix Stix

Utensils in the kitchen fall into three categories: necessities, embellishments and absolutely unnecessary. The Mix Stix happen to fall into the last category, but that doesn’t make them any less fun!

Every kitchen has its own rhythm and hum, and now you can play along. Mix Stix Drumstick Kitchen Spoons are classic indispensable beechwood spoons, morphed into drumsticks. So now you can rock out when you’re not stirring, paradiddle on the stockpot and give that mixing bowl a rimshot.

Get with the beat!

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Mirrodin Besieged Spoilers: Prerelease & Launch Party Cards

While I may have taken a break for the holidays, MTGSalvation users didn’t and three new cards from the next set have been revealed: Glissa, the Traitor, Hero of Bladehold and Thopter Assembly!

Glissa, the Traitor BGG
Legendary Creature – Zombie Elf
First strike, deathtouch
Whenever a creature an opponent controls is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may return target artifact card from your graveyard to your hand.
3/3
Mythic Rare, Phyrexian pre-release card

Hero of Bladehold 2WW
Creature – Human Knight
Battle Cry (Whenever this creature attacks, each other attacking creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.)
Whenever Hero of Bladehold attacks, put two 1/1 white soldier creature tokens onto the battlefield tapped and attacking.
3/4
Mythic Rare, Mirran pre-release promo

Thopter Assembly 6
Artifact Creature – Thopter
Flying
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control no Thopters other than Thopter Assembly, return Thopter Assembly to its owner’s hand and put five 1/1 colorless Thopter artifact creature tokens with flying onto the battlefield.
5/5
Rare, Launch Party promo card

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Chocomancer’s Recipe: Peppermint Bark

One of my favorite holiday candies (besides my Aunt Patty’s peanut butter balls [and yes, even great wizards have families]) is Peppermint Bark. But they’re ungodly expensive, a pound of it is $26.50 at Williams-Sonoma. That’s completely outrageous when you can make twice that much for half the price in your own kitchen. This recipe is easiest with a double-boiler, if you don’t have one it can be a lot harder. But there are ways to create a makeshift one!

White Chocolate is actually a misnomer, since it’s not actually chocolate. But the big thing to remember is that white chocolate hates water, even more than fire elementals. A single drop is enough to ruin an entire batch. So that means make sure everything you use is dry.

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Top Chef All-Stars Episode 4 Recap: Soup & Spoon Sorcery

Top Chef All-Stars seems to be more about the food than normal, seeing as more episodes jump right into the Quickfire and Elimination Challenges without much talk. But now it seems like the show may be going too fast for its own good, since this Quickfire would have made more sense four weeks ago.

Watched over by Top Chef Master chef’testant Tony Mantuano from Spiaggia in Chicago, the chefs were tasked at making one of the most regionalized dishes possible: stuffing. Even in the same neighborhood, everyone makes it different. But just being tasked with making stuffing wasn’t enough: they also had to do it without tools.

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A Home Away from Home: Jacob Wirth’s

(Note: portions of this review originally appeared in the April 30,2009 edition of The Bentley Vanguard)

Jacob Wirth’s is a classic American pub in every sense. Established in 1868, and located in the heart of the Theatre district, it is the second oldest restaurant in Boston.  It’s the kind of place that seems like somewhere right out of a Billy Joel song (“Cold beer, hot lights, my sweet romantic teenage nights”).

They specialize in customary German fare, but all the pub staples are well represented on the menu. Prices on entrees range roughly from $12 to $23, but they do offer “small plates” of several of their most popular dishes. The small plates are about a half serving size (though still plenty large) and are more budget friendly.

The German food is all done extremely well. One of the heavier cuisines, it is easy for the food to be too rich, but Jacob Wirth’s shows restraint. They’ve taken standard dishes like wienerschnitzel and elevated them to a more sophisticated status. With food that tends to be very fatty, it is important that the side dishes complement and cut through some of that heaviness. The spaetzle, a traditional egg noddle type dumpling, is light and fluffy and infused with a little bit of dill to give it an extra herby flavor to better marry with the meat. The red cabbage, another staple of German cuisine, is among the best we’ve tasted, crisp and perfectly balanced between sweet and sour. 

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Baker’s Recipe: Butterbeer Cupcakes

After reading about the Butterbeer Cupcakes crafted by the grand mage, Amy, I knew I would have to make my own batch (especially given my affinity for all things Harry Potter). So as soon as a situation occurred that called for me to whip up a dessert, I knew it was finally time to bake a batch of these diabetic coma inducing delectables. But I made a few minor changes to Amy’s recipe to bring it more in line with my butterbeer recipe.

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D&D Virtual Table Beta Impressions

It’s official. Dungeons & Dragons has entered a digital age. Things have been headed this way for a while with the Character Builder program (now in its online form) and D&D Insider being such a strong part of the Fourth Edition experience. Last time with the Character Builder we talked about whether this was good or bad. At the risk of contradicting ourselves, let’s just say for the moment that that’s hardly the point. Things are going digital whether we like it or not, so the real question which springs to mind should be this: what now?

Having finally scored a few beta invites, Colin, myself, and our newest contributer Patrick took to the Virtual Table to see if Wizards has finally come up with a viable online tabletop interface. A lot of people have been getting all antsy, one way or another, over this program release so expectations are at extremes. Wizards has a vision for a full suite of online options but are these promises going to end up unfulfilled despite this release? Or, perhaps more to the point, what can we tell about the approach by Wizards of the Coast to this grand online realm that they’re proposing? Be aware, the Virtual Table is still in beta so any and all features are not considered final and are subject to change before the official release. As of this time, a release date has not yet been set but hopefully it’s not too soon to take suggestions into account. In the meantime, though, bring on the speculation!

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Portals of the Week

We’ve seen Star Wars and Dr. Seuss combined, but this might be even better – Marvel Super Heroes and DINOSAURS!

Food Network host sentenced to 9 years in prison for hiring a hobo to kill his wife.

To make up for Yoshi being served as meat, how about Yoshi in a mech? Warning to Mushroom Kingdom: Never let Yoshi near tools.

Looking for a new calendar? Check out the Geek Girl Calendar to raise money for breast cancer awareness. #BoobieWed

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