Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Hermit's Game of Thrones Party

The Hermit's Game of Thrones Party

For those of us who love to party but hate the people part of it..

It's very easy for me to imagine a kick-ass Game of Thrones party for just myself.  As much as I love to wow my guests with these amazing treats (and I really do) a lot of the things I put together are things I intend to keep at home for just me.  Hello, Dragon eggs.  Hello, Wall of Sigils.  Hello Apothecary set.  I figure if my husband can nerd-out over Amiibos then I can have my collection of quirky awesomeness as well.  Throwing a party for just yourself is not anything to be ashamed of - or embarrassed by at all!  It just takes a little prep and legwork to have yourself a fine feast and a show.  
The first thing you'll need for your party is a fancy invite - depending of course on how far into this you want to go.  You can skip this part if you don't want a memento of your amazing evening.  

Over the years, I have come up with several that have been a big hit but yours doesn't need to be so fancy.  This one here is from Innatthecrossroads.com and is available for you to download and customize.  Simply print it out, roll it up, and tie it to the foot of one of these to perch on your microwave.  Now your invite has been sent and you just have to wait for a response.

Now, we need to settle on a menu.  The possibilities here are as endless as the yellow sea but I've put together some ideas that will leave you with some leftovers but not completely drowning in food.  

Main Dish

Spiced Honeyed Harpie

(with or without stuffing... but that stuffing is awfully good.)


Roasted leeks and root vegetables


Scottish Deviled Eggs


Cherries and fresh whipped cream

We will talk about the food prep a little further down. 
Next, we have to take care of dishes and decor.  For this, I hope you don't turn your nose up at the idea of a thrift store but they are your friends in times like these unless you want to spend an arm and a leg on new stuff from Etsy/Amazon/Ebay.  I always hit the thrift store first, you can find some amazing things there.  For example, a few weeks ago I had to hit one on the way home to find some old cake pans my son and I could destroy by making sun catches and I happened upon some pretty awesome candle holders, several silver trays, and an old cast-iron serving dish that was, like, $3.00.  I had to talk myself out of the glass goblets - they were incredible but alas, we already have some pretty stellar metal ones.  And my husband would have killed me.  

The cool thing about the thrift stores is that you're not committed to buying things as a set.  A lot of the time they will price things by the piece and you'll be free to put together your own special table setting for your own amazing party.  Here is a list of things you'll want to consider:
  • 1 wooden bowl
  • 1 large metal serving platter
  • 1 medium or small sized platter for your dish
  • 2 candle holders
  • 1 big glass or ceramic bowl
  • 1 large wine goblet
  • 1 metal mug
Next take a gander though the blog here and see if you are ambitious enough to take any of the larger projects on.  Even a door sign will help transport you to Westeros on GoT day.  These will also help with your decor.

Now that it's Game of Thrones day, and you're just about ready to start your food adventure.  If you're sticking to my menu above, you'll need some things from the grocery store unless they're already laying around your house.  

Spiced Honeyed Harpie:

A little different from the Inn's version - in this version you're going to get yourself either 1 or 2 cornish game hens - depending on how much food you want to eat tomorrow... Before you do anything to them, make sure they are rinsed and dried and there are no presents sitting in the cavities of them.  The link above will walk you through the needs of your recipe but since you're only stuffing itty bitty birds, you can easily half the list of ingredients.  

Roasted Leeks and Root Vegetables

 A staple in our house and REALLY (REALLY) easy to make - you'll need 1 leek, 2 carrots, a parsnip and a smallish yellow potato.  The leek prep is a little tricky and you have to rinse them after you cut them to get all the dirt off.  To accomplish this, simply cut the leek diagonally into slices and drop them into a bowl full of water - separate the rings as best you can and give them a good jooge - the dirt sinks while the leeks (Rhymes with Reek..) floats to the top.   Dry them off on a paper towel while you're chopping up the rest of your veg.

All of your veggies should be chopped to about the same size so that they roast evenly and they don't have to be chopped up super small in order to accomplish this.  Big rough cuts on all of your washed veggies will work just wonderfully.  Toss them all (leeks too!) into a bowl with some olive oil and your favorite herbs (thyme is wonderful with these...) and coat them all well.  Then transfer your coated veggies to your roasting dish and put them in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes.  After they've had some time to roast, take them out and NOW they are ready for your birds.  These hens don't take long to roast and if you do a pre-roasting they'll be finished with your hens and all will be well in your kingdom.  Turn the temp up on your oven to 350 and roast until the internal temp is at least 165.

Scottish Deviled Eggs

Mmmm... I love these.   You can find my adventure with these here.

Cherries and Fresh Whipped Cream

You will need the following ingredients for these:
  • Fresh cherries
  • powdered sugar
  • heavy cream
  • vanilla extract
Here your mixing bowl will get a work-out.  Just add 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 pint of heavy whipping cream to your mixing bowl and whip it (whip it good!) til it's fluffy and delicious.  Wash off your cherries and put them in a bowl and plop some of this goodness on top.  Viola.  An easy desert - and after all of that work, you deserve it.  

Remember that large serving platter you got at the thrift store?  Put your veggies on it, stuffing, bird(s) and appetizers on it and take it to your living room.  Pour yourself your favorite wine or (AND!) ale in your pretty cups.  Set yourself up a little picnic with your new plate and some silverware in front of your TV (don't forget to light some candles!) and kick up your feet!  Winter is coming but at least you won't go hungry.  

If you have other ideas for the Hermits Game of Thrones party (Put on some eye-liner and order a pizza?)  feel free to comment!

Valar Morghulis!

S6FP: Death Pool Winners Basket - A Work in Progress...

Season 6 Finale Party

Death Pool Winners Basket - A Work in Progress...

I always love sending my guests home with something from the party.  For the premier party everyone took home a direwolf, the finale party before that they got vials of Himalayan salt and some fresh bread, the premier party before that Kazoos of Winter and House Clegane doggy bags.  The finale party this year won't be any different - although I'm going to kill everyone, at least they'll go home with something nice to remember our evening.  

First thing is first, lets bounce around some ideas for the winner of the Death Pool.  Currently House Courtade is in the lead and if Dave and DB don't pick up their game, she's going to win the whole thing (Come on, Hodor, you got this, buddy!) Post eps 5:  I didn't know!  I take it back!  NO NO PLEASE NO!!!! **sobbing..**

I consider myself very lucky in a number of ways - one of which is that my amazing and wonderful husband runs a Gamestop and gets a hefty discount on merchandise from ThinkGeek.com so that is where our adventure begins.  They have these wonderful dragon goblets that we will be getting in a set of two.  Lovely, aren't they?  They make me almost think of a Westerosi picnic, so this is what our basket will be themed after.  Of course, you need something to put in these puppies, and that part I am still working on but it's going to be pretty damn marvelous if I do say so myself - I'll get to that part once I actually finish it.  It's going to be delicious...

So you are sitting in a clearing on a cliff overlooking the Twins in the distance with your lover, in your hands a dragon goblet full of deliciousness but the sun is bright.  You try to gaze into the loveliness of your ladies eyes but all you can see is the sun assaulting your eye sockets.  You squint in the general direction of your lady and you see she has a lovely headpiece with which to shield her from the suns brutality while your head is bare.  You need something to shield out the sun, yes?  Well, my friends, I have you covered.  *snicker*

That's right folks!  There are numerous websites out there that can custom make hats for you and I was able to find this one for a decent price so SUCK IT, RAMSEY.  No Westerosi picnic basket is complete without one...

You take in a deep breath and fill your lungs with the crisp clean air when... What's that in the distance?  Some of the Boltons scouts have ridden upon you and take offense to your headgear!  Your lady shrieks!  (ahhhh!) You clammer to your feet and reach for - 

Not the real one, of course, but the letter opener.  Hey, it's sharp and intimidating and can be deadly to the one who wields it with skill.  John Snow would be proud.. or he might snicker a little but all the same.  It's like- 2 scouts - and they're really just kids so you make quick work of them so you can get back to your lady, who strangely doesn't seem to mind that you've just ruined her favorite gown...

You look into the basket to pull out a big hunk of salty meat when you feel something sharp in your neck - you look up to see that your beautiful lady is gone and instead your eyes fall upon a faceless man - dagger in your neck - he whispers the words as your vision fades - 

"Valar Morghulis."  

What a better way to celebrate the death pool winners victory than to kill him (or her??) George would be proud... so much death....

Aside from a few bottles of surprise I am still working on and a few other little ditties, I think that will complete our basket.  I'll get pictures of the things I am working on as soon as they're finished and of course, the completed basket once it's all put together... 

More updates to follow!  Happy hunting!

Monday, May 16, 2016

S6FP: Don't forget bread and salt...

Season 6 Finale Party

Don't forget bread and salt...

Oh, my pretties.... the time is upon us to talk about the finale party - and what better occasion then to host another wedding... (fictional, of course...)

We start today with the finalization of the invitation - a task that I can't take 100% credit for but was still equally challenged by its development.  I found an image very similar to this one online (Where everything can be found...) and was able to adapt it for our specific group of roughians.  In this endeavor, I came to the sad realization that one of our newest houses has no sigil... this must be remedied immediately!  In sticking with our "mythical creature" theme, House Courtades sigil is now the majestic and mysterious UNICORN!  Not just any unicorn, no, the happiest and luckiest unicorn I was able to conjure up from Google images - 
She's a happy unicorn...

In keeping true to my usual shinanigans, I also must include a menu for our - - occasion... This menu was fun to make  We will see if my posse picks on all of the subtleties in this and fears for their lives with every delicious fork full of awesome...

Some of the recipes were going to be a challenge and I didn't want to bite off more than I could chew like I normally do.  The main course, Lannisters Land and Sea, is a take on the traditional Roman Tenderloin (recipe here! Thanks, Innatthecrossroads.com!) I will, however, also be adding shrimp to the grill as well which I will prepare the same way (sans bacon) for House Courtade, which does not partake in red meat like a bunch of weirdos.  This recipe will be pretty quick as the majority of the time it takes is chill time in the marinade.  

The stuffed endives recipe also looked incredible but my husband does.not.not.not like goat cheese so I may have to sub cream cheese and add some steamed basil or something... plenty of time to play with that one to make something he will like.  

I also found this delicious looking soup (gotta use those soup crocks!) here that I will make with a vegetable stock instead of a chicken stock.  It looks simple enough but also packed with flavor so it's a no-brainer.  I could probably even create the tortellinis the day before and just chill them overnight as to not overwhelm myself the day of.

We love making things from scratch where we can but in an endevor such as this we have to cut a few corners as well - the biscuits will be your regular Bisquick variety with cheese and chives chopped into the dough and topped with a little seasoning which should pair nicely with the soup.  Under the biscuit will be a wonderfully flaky fish cake - yay for more protein!  

Lastly - ahh yes... This is my own special creation.  When I was little, my incredibly Irish mom would make the most incredible mexican food you've ever had.  It was quite the conundrum to our neighbors and friends in New Mexico how she could pull this off - she was Irish.  But her food was nothing short of amazing.  As kids, and only every once in a great while, she would make Sopapillas for us - which is basically a sweetened bread dough rolled out flat, cut into squares and deep fried so they popped up like little pillows of awesome.  We'd bite off a corner and drizzle honey on the inside and... nom....  I have to stop now, I'm drooling.  

So I will be making moms sopapillas, or the closest thing to it I can muster - and filling them with a mix of vanilla sweetened whipped cream, possibly a banana (haven't decided...) and sprinkling with cinnamon and sugar and a little drizzle of honey to make it even more messy and amazing.   

After that we're going to kill everyone.  

We're not REALLY going to kill everyone but it IS a wedding and we have to stick with the theme here.... muhahahhhahaha!!

Friday, April 29, 2016


Valar Morghulis

All Men Must Die

There was much debate among our band of thieves about this during the premier party - who will meet their end?  Here is how our board turned out:

Poor Jorah - everyone has you pegged for a dead man...

After much thought and discussion we decided that each of the five of us would get 7 guesses.  On the back of their unique "flag" they had to write the order that they chose each character, the name of the character and the episode in which they met their demise.  Whoever gets the most right wins!  The order and episode are only used in the event of a tie breaker.  This was the easiest way we could come up with it and avoids the whole points mess. 
So far, no one dead yet but - we are only on episode 1, after all... I feel a little morbid saying this but.... here's to hoping it's a blood bath!


What the bloody hell kind of a name is Roose anyway?  Oh well, who cares, he got killed by a bastard.  House Courtade is in the lead!

I have to also mention that where as most of us put a lot of thought into our choices, House Courtade just chose people at random and as a result, you know she's going to win the whole thing...  Murphy is an ass.


Seriously you guys, I WAS JUST KIDDING!  I didn't mean for him to... I didn't want him to.... STUPID GEORGE!  STUPID BRAN!  STUPID CHILDREN OF THE FOREST!  STUPID MIRA!  I HATE YOU ALL!   WHY?  WHY HODOR WHY!?!?!?

Ok, my tantrum is over for the moment.  No guarantees for later though when someone asks me to hold the door in the elevator... I just might start sobbing uncontrollably again like everyone else did last night.
Hodor hodor hodor, Hodor hodor, hodor hodor hodor.  Hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor - HODOR. 

I think I need a minute guys.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Season Six Premier Party: RECAP

Season Six Premier Party: RECAP

Overall, our little get-together was a booming success!  After all, the Direwolves didn't accidentally eat anyone and there were no major brawls in the mead hall.  I may have had one (or 6) too many white walkers, but I digress.  HBO is amazing in that when you're too drunk to follow along in the show when it's happening, you can shamefully watch it again the next day as you recover with a cup of strong coffee.  

I did lose the nipple bet by 1 though - counting the nipples we did see as FOUR SEPARATE SETS OF NIPPLES.  Spoilers - technically they belong to the same person, however, they are two different sets of boobs - time is fickle bitch.

Our guests LOVED their direwolves and were raving about the amazing stories that came with them.  Ghost and Gmork were fought over but gladly, all of them found good and loving homes.  My seven year old (who does not watch the shows, by the way...) loves his Ghost and tucks him in to his blankets before he leaves for school every day, it's adorable.

Another big hit was the food - no surprise there.  The crown roast was a HUGE hit and it really wasn't that tough to make!  Both the pork and the beef roasts were amazing though it seemed that the preference fell to the pork roast.  Personally, I preferred the beef  but both will be on my repeat list.  The vegetables were also amazing. I'd say that if I could re-vamp anything for the evening it would have been the stuffing.  I used a quick cooking steel cut oat, and as a result, it came out kind of hard - extra crunchy.  There are times when this is good but in this instance, there wasn't enough soft moist stuffing to balance it out.  In the end it was a bit on the gritty side for our liking.   Good flavor though!

For the crown roasts I actually rubbed them down with yogurt, turmeric, and curry seasoning then chilled them overnight.  I've found that a good yogurt marinade holds in the moisture to your meat so it doesn't end up like shoe leather.  You wouldn't have to use these types of spices in with your yogurt if you don't want to, it would be just as well to use pepper, herbs and lemon juice, for example.  It can be very versatile and easy to customize to your liking.

Had Robert Baratheon known he would be entertaining the likes of... a vegetarian... he probably would have taken her out back and fed her to the wolves but - I am nothing if not a hospitable wench and was easily able to accommodate her - even if her meal was looking at her.  Lucky for me she allows herself fish from time to time so it was a piece of cake.  What you see here is a rainbow trout stuffed with fresh thyme, rosemary and butter with a light lemony glaze on the top broiled in the oven for about 15 minutes or so (inner temp 170).  To be honest, I was a little jealous... it looked incredible.

Everything turned out wonderfully and now the planning has begun for the finale party... Death Pool updates will be coming soon!

Valar Morghulis!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

S6PP: Engines on...


I'm 4 years old and my parents have just told me that tomorrow morning we are getting on an airplane and fly TO DISNEY LAND!! I'm not going sleep tonight...

This, sadly, didn't ever actually happen but it's easy for me to imagine how this must have felt... I feel like I want to jump out of my skin suit.... 

I started this morning (at 6:30 am, mind you... Because that's when babies want food) making the stuffings - first a meaty stuffing you see here with the rib meat from the frenching adventure, bacon grease, bacon, onions, celery, apples, shallots and garlic.  One of my guests is a vegetarian (Robert Baratheon would highly disapprove.....) so I've made a vegetarian version that will roast on its own for a few hours on super low than it will hold up a fish for her... 

I also made my iced milk with honey and chopped up my veggies.  Because life is hectic I asked Safeway to deliver my groceries for me and in that ...experience... I had to educate them.  You see, this thing is not a leek.  

But it will be delicious alongside my leeks, carrots, garlic, onions and herbs roasted slowly in the juices of meat and awesome.  So while I crinkle my nose at the fact that they can't tell the difference between a parsnip and a leek, I'm fortunate that they flubbed up... My guests will be too. 

After I trimmed my ribs down and dried them off, I created a marinade with some plain yogurt, thyme, turmeric, garlic, and applewood smoked sea salt.  I have a beef rack and a pork rack that were both rubbed down and will be chillaxin in my fridge until I'm ready to stuff them tomorrow.  

Lastly on the docket today, 3 lbs of hatch chilies to be seasoned and roasted slowly in the oven until soft- they'll be chopped into little bits and added to the stuffing of our Dornish stuffed peppers.

I'm excited!!  I can't sleep when I'm excited!  This is going to be amazing.  24 hours left!!!  SQUEEEEEEE!!!!