This nostalgia trip was brought to you by the letter “c” for “cereal” and “cartoons”

At the beginning of “Breakfast Club,” rapper Murs alludes to the notion that we should all be able to relate to the following childhood memory: waking up on Saturday morning, grabbing a big bowl of sugary cereal, and watching cartoons.

Sounds pretty sweet, right? If that’s how you remember your childhood, then bully, just bully! I, for one, harbored a very similar routine, only sans the sugary cereal.

You remember the whole “anti-dentite” routine from Seinfeld? Well my folks were “anti-sucrose-ites.”

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Love Always, Donuts

Like 100% of Americans (or, y’know, thereabouts), I harbor a slight problem with sugar. And the problem is that I like it…too much. Not enough to need medical attention, but more than I know I should. Compounding this issue is that I love baking. And I love baking things with sugar – from pies to cake to cookies to brownies. But because of my issues with sugar, which are pretty long-standing, I’d say that…hmmm…over the past four or five years, my baking efforts have nosedived. In a good way. I mean, if its not in the house, then we won’t eat it. You best believe me that if I make a batch of chocolate chip cookies on a Friday, they are gone by Monday. And that’s not good.

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Please don’t put beans on my sandwich

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I’ve been hanging around the world of vegetarianism long enough to know that many folks, particularly those in the business of making and selling meals to the public, don’t know what to do when it comes to making a vegetarian sandwich. This is not to say that I’ve never had a good non-meat sandwich; in fact, I’ve had many. But with the sheer array of foodstuffs available to us today, it saddens me to see the creativity stop when it comes to making a decent sandwich without the likes of ham, turkey, or beef. Some sandwiches I’ve had were the equivalent of dry, loose salad placed between two slices of bread. Others have been soaked to the bone (or maybe I should say “stem”) with overpowering dressings and flavored goop. Still others have contained mountains upon mountains cheese, which, while fine in principle, is hell on the ol’ choppers. (Seriously, try biting into 2 inches of sliced deli cheese some time. It is not a good chewing experience.)

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My Favorite Summer Drinks

The following post originally appeared on Geek Force Network, July 4, 2014.


Image by Flickr user Kirti Poddar (CC)

Happy 4th of July! (Or simply Happy Friday!) I’m surprised to see you round these parts. With so much holiday-ness going on today, I figured you’d be out eating burgers, preparing for fireworks, or finding the best spot on a crowded beach. But at least you’re not drunk…yet. I mean, what’s July 4th without a sip or seven of a refreshing tipsy beverage? Just a little something special to celebrate the fact that you have three days off and we all know that you’re going to phone in the rest of the summer at work. Because, it’s summer.  And though summertime might call out for coolers of swill beer and wine coolers, for me, the road lightly paved with hard liquor is the more suitable one. Though my chaotic days of lushness are well in the past, sometimes there’s nothing better than a nip of something bittersweet at the end (or in the middle) of a hot, summer day. It’s time to put away mugs of coffee and kahlua, heavy shots of bourbon, and the snifters of brandy, and seek out gentler drinks that quench as well as sooth the heated soul. It’s with that in mind that I present to you five of my favorite summer drinks (in no particular order, thought highly subjective opinions follow).

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Want the Perfect Iced Coffee? Try Cold-Brewing.

I like coffee. A lot. Too much probably. And I certainly enjoy coffee while I’m gaming. (I’d say that’s because it helps keep me alert, however it’s more because it makes me get up every once in awhile *wink wink nudge nudge*.) Come the warmer moments of spring, my thoughts turn from a warm, rich brew to a cold, tasty beverage. Until the chill comes back to haunt us, iced coffee will be my preferred coffee. So here’s a recipe for great iced coffee using a cold brewing method that I recently shared on 8bit Kitchen.

Have a favorite iced coffee recipe of your own? Let me know! And be sure to check out the comments at the end of the article for more great iced coffee suggestions.

8bit Kitchen

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In my neck of the sorta-northern U. S. woods, it’s common to see the flip flops come out when the outside thermometer reaches 60 degrees. While I don’t follow this particular footwear routine, I do have a similar mantra concerning weather and coffee: “60 degrees means iced coffee!”

But the thing about iced coffee, as obtained from a proper coffee establishment, is that it’s expensive. Maybe I’m overly thrifty, but having to pay up to a dollar more to have someone add ice to a cup of coffee is perplexing. So over the years I’ve tried to make my own…without much success. I tried brewing my normal coffee, letting it cool, and adding ice, but that never cut it. The coffee always ended up tasting weak and watered down. I tried brewing exceptionally strong coffee – espresso and French roasts. The results were better, but since I’m not a…

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Recipe Challenge: Fried Rice with Mushrooms

Sharing another one here from 8bit Kitchen. (You are following it…yeeeeessss??) This time, it’s a recipe I made up myself, which isn’t something I often do. I’m the kind of person who likes to follow directions (I coulda been a cartographer!), but when 8bit Kitchen’s contributors received a recipe challenge, I would have been daft to say no. Read on to find out more about the challenge and my special (and thankfully tasty) recipe.

8bit Kitchen

Mushrooms and I have a…well…rocky relationship. That’s to say I’ve spent the better part of my life avoiding them. For many years, they simply struck out in both the taste and texture departments. (Unless they were hidden so deeply in a dish as to be completely unrecognizable.) But some years ago I learned about the nutritional benefits of mushrooms, and since then have been trying to accept them into my life. I can now eat mushrooms on a pizza without wincing and can make a suitable mushroom gravy when needed. I’ve also been cooking with them more as I would any regular vegetable. The results have been…not the worst, but I still have a long way to go in become the world’s greatest mushroom chef.

Part of this re-examination of mushrooms has involved trying different varieties. For the most part, and thanks to their explosion of the 2000s, portabella mushrooms…

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I Ate This: Old El Paso Bold Nacho Cheese Stand ‘N Stuff Taco Shells

If you’ve spent any time in a grocery store, you know that gimmicky food fills aisle after aisle, from bubblegum-flavored yogurt to wasabi-spiced mayonnaise. But every now and again, a gimmick comes along that catches both your attention and taste buds. Case in point: nacho cheese taco shells.

First popularized by Taco Bell and its Doritos Locos Tacos, nacho cheese taco shells are now available to the masses thanks to that grocery store staple of the “ethnic foods” aisle, Old El Paso. If you can get past the lengthy name, Old El Paso’s Nacho Cheese Stand ‘N Stuff Taco Shells sound okay, but are they worth their weight in cheesy gold? Check out this review of them I did for 8bit Kitchen to find out!

8bit Kitchen

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the nacho cheese (a la Doritos) taco shell is a staple at most Taco Bells, yes? I don’t frequent the joint, but after all the fuss that surrounded the introduction of such creations a few years ago, I imagine it became a menu standard. But if it’s not a thing at your Taco Bell, then you might want to head to your grocery store, because there you may be able to pick up this product with a loooong name: Old El Paso Bold Nacho Cheese Stand ‘N Stuff Taco Shells.

NEW! and BOLD — what could be wrong with that?

When Taco Hell Bell introduced the Doritos Locos taco, we had to head to the nearest establishment to scoop up a couple. While I did not indulge in them, I was assured by my husband that they were quite delicious. After the…

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Goat Cheese Salad

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that food is good thing. A great thing. MAYBE THE BEST THING EVAR?!

Ahem.

In recent months, I had thought of adding a food component to my blog — recipes, dinner outings, and shopping adventures wrapped in the warm blanket of nostalgia. But the idea remained nebulous as I couldn’t quite figure out just how to shoehorn all that into my humble online abode. Enter 8Bit Kitchen to the rescue! I caught a post over on Herding Cats about this new collaborative blog where gamers and foodies (and foodie gamers) could come together to share in their respective loves. Food blogging problem solved! Well…once I asked to join, that is. With everything worked out, I’m onto my second post (below), and I anticipate posting recipes and food stories to the site a few times a month. So stop on over won’t you? And why not bookmark and share 8Bit Kitchen if you like what you see? 8Bit Kitchen is where gamers and food meet, and you’ll meet lots of awesome people to follow while you’re there (as well as all things FOOD)!

You can also follow @8BitKitchen over on Twitter.  Feed your feed!

8bit Kitchen

With hot and humid temperatures still in full swing, here’s one of my favorite summer salads. Granted, this is a “cooked” salad, and maybe the results are closer to “veggies on toast” than “salad,” but it works nonetheless. I adapted it from a recipe by the same name from one of my favorite cookbooks — Favorite Recipes: Vegetarian (Parragon, 1999). I added in a couple things and deleted others (olive paste — yuck). I also changed things up a little in order to utilize our toaster oven rather than the regular oven, which heats up the house in a flash. Instructions for both are below.

This recipe makes four portions, each with three pieces of goat cheese. A couple portions of this salad are filling enough for a light dinner, or single portions serve as a great accompaniments to just about any meal.

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Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients:

1 loaf…

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