Mar 6 08

Big Bear Butt Love

by Jon

Go here now. Prepare to be overwhelmed by pure awesomeness. If you’re wearing socks, they will likely be rocked right off.

In my defense, I didn’t wipe the raid until after Aran was already down. Stupid flame wreath.

Mar 4 08

Snow Day!

by Shelbi

Overnight we got an unusual amount of snow (for Texas anyway). It was exciting to wake up and see everything covered in white. With schools being delayed 2 hours, we all got up, got dressed and went outside to play.

Mar 3 08

Recipe: Spicy Hot Talbuk

by Shelbi

Spicy Hot Talbuk
Recipe by: Gritty of Dark Iron

Ingredients:
Beef – Chateaubriand. I used grass fed beef, which is less sweet than corn fed, and helps bring out the spicy flavour of the sauce. Cooking Chateaubriand generally calls for broiling (25-30 min) and turning frequently (about every 3-4 minutes.) You can substitute a sirloin.

2 Serrano Peppers
1 Tomato
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup chicken stock (broth works)
1 cup beef stock (broth works)
2 cups dry red wine (use the good stuff, and round up.)
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary (fresh)

Directions:
Place both peppers and the tomato in medium sized pan. Toast over medium-high heat until the peppers are fragrant and deepen in color and tomato blisters in spots, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Dice up the tomato and the Peppers. Place the peppers, tomato, and a cup of water into a small saucepan. Bring it all to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a while (10-15 mins.) After that, strain the sucker out and throw it in a food processor until it’s looking pretty smooth like.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add some garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add a cup of chicken stock and one of beef stock, then add your wine (I used a 2003 cabernet from the Raymond Reserve in Napa valley); boil until it’s reduced to about a third of what it was, about 20-25 minutes. Stir in chili puree, butter and rosemary; simmer it again for only about a minute or two. Taste it and add pepper and salt as appropriate.

The sauce may require thickening, in which case you should use about a tablespoon of butter mixed with some flour and simmer it in until the sauce is about gravy consistency. it can be brushed on before slicing, and When the Chateaubriand is sliced, it should be poured over.

This isn’t a particularly spicy sauce, surprisingly enough. If you want it to be spicier you should probably add another Serrano.

Feb 25 08

New Additions 2.. Parvo!

by Shelbi

Ok, so not really, but seriously at the same time.

Our second new edition to the family is my new dog, Odin. I picked him up from a town in the country opposite us from Dallas. He was 6 weeks and a happy, healthy puppy. Jon and I had initially seen a ginger pup that we really liked and hoped fit our family, but I knew this guy would be perfect as soon as I saw him. He’s part Alaskan Malamute and part Arctic Wolf.

Not long after I brought him home he started throwing up and had really bad diarrhea. It was the worst thing I’d ever smelled. We had a vets appointment the next day for shots so I casually mentioned to my vet the other symptoms he was having, thinking it was merely a change in diet or environment. Then I got the talk.. the “there’s a 50% chance he will live” talk. The vet performed the test in the office and five minutes later we had a positive result. The vet gave me medication (Amoxicillin drops and anti-diarrheal gel) but advised that if Odin couldn’t keep the medication down he’d have to come in for IV treatment, at $150/day.

Now, I’d heard of Parvo in the past, and I knew it was bad news, but I had no idea how bad. Luckily I was WFH because I work so far that it’s a pain to have to drive all the way home just for the vet. I researched everything I could about Parvo and was shocked, but better informed. Unfortunately, during the same time I had this nagging cough that would later turn into the flu.

At first Odin was taking the medication fine. I was able to fill his Amoxi syringe with Gatorade (no Pedialyte in these parts) and force feed him Gatorade every hour or so to keep him hydrated. The thing with Parvo is that the dog can die of dehydration/starvation long before anything else. Everything seemed to be going good. He was actually interested in eating. Then he started vomiting again. He couldn’t keep his medicine down. Overnight he went from a healthy pup to a sack of bones. I rushed him to the vet, in tears, and had him admitted for 24-hour IV treatment. He was on this for several days, during which I was experiencing the worst sickness I’ve ever had. I finally got to the point where I had to make the decision to pick him up, regardless of whether or not he was completely ready. I’d exhausted a big chunk of our savings by then. He came home Saturday morning and the vet said he seemed to be doing better. He threw up 2 times and didn’t seem interested in eating, so I thought I was being prepared for another relapse. However, by Sunday he was doing much better.

Unfortunately, Parvo is a big waiting game. Generally, it takes anywhere from 7 to 10 days to start to show symptoms of Parvo. Symptoms usually last 5 to 7 days. It took no time at all for our pup to lose almost all of his weight. Because we have 2 other dogs (both adults) we took them in for a booster, just in case, and are keeping the dogs separated for a few weeks. If you’ve had a run-in with Parvo, you should know that it’s a monster to kill. You need a 1:30 bleach/water solution indoors. You can also bleach your lawn at 50:50. Yes, it will kill the grass, but you’re better off not spreading this killer. More info about Parvo

Here are a couple of pics of Odin. The first is 6 weeks, the second is 7 weeks, after Parvo.

Feb 22 08

How I Lost 5 lbs. in 5 Days.

by Jon

With the new and improved Influenza Diet, you too can drop half a dress-size without a single ounce of exercise. Atkins Schmatkins, the Flu Diet is where it’s at.

With the flu, you’ll spend days in bed on a hallucinogenic trip through the rabbit hole as your body temperature peaks at an impressive 103 °F (approximately 39 °C) before you’re suddenly overwhelmed by teeth-chattering coldness. Add to that a barrage of body aches and extreme fatigue so that you know it’s working.

You won’t have to worry about counting carbs or watching your calorie intake as the severe throat soreness will deter you from both drinking and eating. Luckily a complimentary cough is included for soreness maxification. Sneezing and nasal congestion also make an appearance and if you’re really lucky, a surprise visit from nausea and vomiting.

Sound too good to be true? Well it’s not! I’m (barely) living proof.

If you want to participate, just send $50 and a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to:

The Influenza Diet
c/o
Joe King
1313 No Way
N. Hell, TX 70666

We have multiple authorized flu hosts standing by handle your requests.

Disclaimer:

In no way imaginable should The Influenza Diet be considered as a substitution for the services of a physician, a health provider, or any trained health professional.  Information contained at this site is for informational use only. Our policy does not allow medical advice, emotional advice, dietary advice, or personal advice of any kind.  These concerns should be addressed and discussed with your physician, health care provider, family nutritionist or your registered dietitian. This is a joke people. Seriously.

Feb 18 08

New Additions (part 1)

by Jon

I apologize for not keeping up with the regular updates. Besides our new guild, we also have a couple of new additions to the family, one of which I would like to tell you about here.

First is our brand new Nintendo Wii from Gamefly. If you’re not familiar with them, Gamefly is basically Netflix with video games. Rent a game (or two), they get mailed to you, you mail them back in a prepaid envelope when you’re done. The service is nice and quite a bit more cost-effective than buying a 1-2 new games every month. The only downside can be the turnaround time which is largely dependent on the efficiency of your local post office and your geographical distance from one of their two distribution centers. The two-game-at-a-time program helps alleviate this downtime.

A while back we signed up for their Refer a Friend Program in which the reward for signing up only 5 friends for one month was a free Wii or 2 Years of free Gamefly service. Someone in their marketing department was either disgruntled, feeling extremely generous, or just high. With their $9.99 trial-month, it only took approximately half a Franklin worth of memberships to get essentially a $250 game console.

Now we did run into some issues with the actual prize claim process. We were given an e-voucher and a confirmation code, we filled out said voucher and submitted it and were told we’d be contacted etc. etc. Well apparently the person in charge of this prize program realized how ridiculous it was that they were giving away one of the hardest to obtain items in all of consumerville for a measley $50 bucks and decided that they weren’t going to hold up their end of the bargain. They changed their minimum membership term requirement and proceeded to tell us that we had to follow their new rules to get the prize. Problem was that a couple of the referred friends had already ended their memberships after one month and the new rules stated that the 2 months had to be consecutive.

Well I fought with them, sent e-mails back and forth, played phone tag with a couple of customer support professionals that did their best to argue their way out of what was promised but not yet delivered. After a couple of months I was done with it and ready to give up, but thanks to my dear wife’s diligence and a couple of choice letters to Consumer Affairs and the BBB (Better Business Bureau not Big Bear Butt) the good people at Gamefly decided to finally come around. After a quick verification that all of my “friends” were in fact real people and not clever aliases, they decided to slap my reward with the approval stamp.

We waited, and waited some more. Xmas came and went. I called them and inquired about the status of the elusive prize.

“Oh, well yeah, it can take up to 6-8 weeks for processing. We’ll let you know when it ships.

January came and went. Our youngest turned 2 and our older one dinged 10. No birthday Wii for either one.

I e-mailed them again. “What gives?”

“Oh we’re sorry, here’s a $20 credit you can use to purchase some of our used games.” Score! No Wii yet though.

A couple more weeks pass. Fedex guy leaves a hangy-dealie on our doorknob. “(to the wife) Wtf could that be? Did you order anything? No. Did you?” I make sure to be home the next day during the scheduled delivery time and guess what shows up.

Nintendo Wii

So it finally shows up. We hook it up next to 360 (looks like a Dreanei standing next to a Gnome size-wise) and proceed to play the crap out of it. Even the 2-year old gets in on it (he loves the Wii Sports baseball).

Feb 18 08

In the shop..

by Shelbi

I know I haven’t posted a recipe yet.. but we’ve had some stuff happen over the last week, which I’m sure Jon will fill you in on. However, what I have done is add a couple of charms to my shop. I’ve got Willy and the Clockwork Rocket Bot (2 each) up there right now. I hope to have some free time to make some others and post them soon.

Feb 12 08

New Guild

by Shelbi

For those of you who don’t know yet, TBK has joined forces with Death’s Hand. This, IMO, was a really good move for us, because not only is the guild really welcoming and mature, we’ve actually made some progress. We ran Heroic Slave Pens and I finally got a Primal Nether, which allowed me to make my Spellstrike Pants of Awesomeness. We also had our first Kara run on Sunday. I was lucky enough to pick up Ritssyn’s Lost Pendant.

Needless to say, as a result of the move, I’ve been working on more designs – this time for the Death’s Hand website.

We are recruiting members – we need more 70s – so feel free to visit the website and apply (Alliance, Dark Iron). Just so everyone knows, this is definitely not the end of the TBK website. More nub posts and epic recipes to come!

Feb 9 08

Recipe: Gooey Spider Cake

by Shelbi

Gooey Spider Cake

Gooey Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 Onion (chopped)
4 Cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)
Jar of Marinated Artichoke Hearts (chopped)
8oz of Sour Cream
8oz of Cream Cheese
1 package of Spinach (thawed)
1 cup of Parmesan/Romano Cheese
1 cup of Mozzarella + enough for sprinkling

Spider Cake Ingredients:
12oz of Lump Crab Meat
1 1/2 packages of Saltine Crackers
3 Green Onion Stalks (chopped)
1 egg
1 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
1 teaspooon of Lemon Juice
Pepper to taste

Gooey (Topping/Dip) Directions:
Heat the butter in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Sautee the onion, garlic and artichoke hearts, adding individually in that order, because the onions need a bit longer to cook. While your veggies are cooking, you can thaw your spinach in the microwave, if you haven’t already. Mix together the sour cream and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Stir in the onion, garlic, artichoke hearts and spinach. Add the parmesan and mozzarella cheese and mix well. Set aside.

Spider Cake Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Go through your lump crab for shell pieces and remove if necessary. Break up 1 bag of saltine crackers into tiny pieces and put into a medium mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients (save 1/2 a bag of saltines) mix together with your hands. Break up the remaining saltines into tiny pieces and pour onto a plate. Make patties with your crab mixture and roll them into the saltines to coat the outside. Place on a baking pan and cook at 375 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and flip over. Put a layer of the gooey dip on the top of the cake. Sprinkle generously with mozzarella cheese. Place back in the oven for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Notes:
As you may have guessed, crab meat=spider meat. They’re both creepy-crawly, so naturally it was the best choice. This recipe makes a LOT of dip. You can split the recipe in half, but I know I’ll never end up using that remaining cream cheese in time. So save it for some tortilla chips. It’s essentially a spinach and artichoke dip.. and it’s really tasty!



Feb 3 08

Recipe: Moser’s Magnificent Muffin

by Shelbi

Moser’s Magnificent Muffin

Muffin Ingredients:
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup of butter (softened)
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of raspberries (chopped)
3/4 cup of strawberries (chopped)

Topping Ingredients:
1/3 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of flour
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of butter (softened)

Muffin Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour, sugars, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. In another bowl, combine eggs, butter, milk and vanilla. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until smooth. Gently fold in the berries. Ladle muffin mix into greased muffin pans (or muffin cups).

Topping/Baking Directions:
Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add butter with fork (or you can do it by hand, like I do). Mixture should be crumbly. Sprinkle topping over each muffin. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. Makes 12-18 muffins.

Notes:
Feel free to add more berries. You can also try using different combinations .. like strawberries and blueberries. The first picture doesn’t include cinnamon because it was a last-minute addition. I do that sometimes. You can also stick a raspberry on the muffin half way through baking, and it’ll stay more on top of the muffin, rather than inside like a buried treasure.