ArenaNet has started rolling out the next major plotline of the Guild Wars 2 story. Both new chapters were very enjoyable to play and I loved where the story went. Without giving anything away, I will say the new character is extremely adorable and I cannot wait to see the character get developed. With these new chapters, they have also added two new zones to explore. These zones feel completely different from the Maguuma areas added with the Heart of Thorns expansion. I love Ember Bay! Just being in the zone you feel an impending doom looming over you. Walking around, you are always threatened by modified minions of Primordus or just falling off a cliff into a pool of lava. Let us not forget the soul destroying Chalice of Tears. I can’t wait to actually attempt this jumping puzzle with my husband in the near future. I’ll probably ask him to bring his puzzle jumping Charr Mesmer, the Puzzle Fairy, to give me a hand.
The food from Guild Wars 2 was one of my main influences for starting up Pixelated Provisions. I prioritized cooking when the game launched. I had friends sending me their ingredients in order to max out my cooking skill for the guild as quickly as possible. I filled the guild bank with many cooked dishes. Looking back at it, most were not that helpful but they all looked delicious. This week we are cooking up one of the starting recipes of a novice cook in Guild Wars 2, the cinnamon pinwheel cookie. I’m surprised such a tricky cookie is introduced so early in a chef’s career. The difficult part of this cookie is probably the assembly portion. In order to make that step a bit easier, it is very important that you let the dough chill in the refrigerator. Skipping that step will make the dough unworkable and you will not get the beautiful pinwheel effect on the cookie. Keep your cool and prep each of the steps as you work and you will successfully bake these tasty morsels.
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I listen to the music from the Katamari series on a weekly basis. The flash drive in my car has several of the tracks from the Katamari Forever OST since it is a great way to start my day. My personal favorite song is “Katamari on the Swing (SEXY-SYNTHESIZER ALL ABOUT Namco Mix).” Whenever that song comes on, I turn the volume up and start singing and dancing. While writing this I even have Katamari music playing in the background. My favorite song can be heard during the last level of the game. The intensity of the song works well while you are rolling up the largest Katamari possible.
Growing up my favorite meals always included noodles in some way. I still really love noodles! If a menu has a noodle dish I am most likely ordering that item before anything else. While visiting Japan I enjoyed the many way they used noodles in their dishes. One of my favorites was the simple dish zaru soba. Zaru soba is a cold noodle dish, garnished with nori and dipped in mentsuyu sauce. These elements come together to create a delish mouth adventure. The beauty of it is how simple this recipe is to make. The hardest part is probably finding the ingredients. It is best to make a trip out to your local Japanese market to get all the items that you will need.
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It is wild to think that four years ago this little food blog started up. I love when the weekend rolls around and I can start working on the recipes for Pixelated Provisions. I enjoy taking an image or recipe found in game and recreating it. I’ve always found cooking relaxing and very enjoyable. This blog has pushed me in many new directions and my love for both video games and cooking only continues to grow. As long as game companies continue to add food to their game worlds, I will continue creating recipes to show my appreciation to the industry. Time to take a small look back at the past four years and a few goals I’ve set for myself.
Blog and Personal Growth
When I first started blogging, I owned a point and shoot camera, no props for food photography, a very basic understanding of photo editing and very little writing practice. Over the years, this blog has helped me develop each of those skills. I thank my DLSR that I picked up a few years back for improving my photos a great deal. I am happy that I’ve begun to shoot in RAW and my knowledge of editing photos in Photoshop has gotten more practice each week. I’ve also started going shopping and purchasing random plates, tablecloths, and napkins to improve my plate presentation. My husband helps me edit a lot of the write ups and taste test new recipes. I am very grateful for his patience with me and he is grateful that he keeps getting to try delicious food. With all these new elements and constant practice I hope to continue growing as a home cook and photographer.
Goals for the Future
Let’s take a look at a few plans I have for the upcoming blog year. A major goal is to go back and update each recipe. A lot of updating will involve retaking photos and minor adjustments on the recipes themselves. I am hoping with my work schedule to get at least two old recipes touched up each month. Priority, of course, will always come to new weekly recipes. At some point in the near future I’m hoping to figure out a new light setup so I don’t have to rely on good sunlight for photos. This is something I’ve been dragging my feet about, but I believe it will elevate my photos even more (and will stop gloomy days from ruining my photograph!)
I’m also working on my social media skills and getting more involved with my fellow nerdy food bloggers. The community continues to grow and it is great to see so many people passionate about food and nerd culture. I’m happy that we started a group and are now working on monthly themed events. Last month we all participated in PokeNOM, which I had a ton of fun with. This month they are currently doing a spooky Tim Burtoween. There are many more video game specific ones coming over the next few months and I’m looking forward to participating.
I want to thank everyone who has ever liked a post, made one of my recipes or even just checked out the blog. Without everyone, this blog would just be a recipe list for myself. Thank you all so much for helping me increase my cooking skills to new levels. I am always motivated to keep pushing forward. I’m so happy that I’ve kept up with this and don’t think I’ll be bored of making up video game recipes any time soon. I would also like to thank my husband for all the assistance he has given me during these four years. He has been a great help in many ways! Thanks, also to my friends and family who are willing to eat those extra piles of desserts when I make them. I know it can be a real “sacrifice” to eat the cinnamon rolls and cupcakes that I’ve made, but without you guys I’d be 50 pounds heavier! Finally, thanks to Kanji for being a derp of a dog and letting me post silly pictures of him on the site and on social media. I doubt he’ll read this, but he’ll get a few extra pets today to show my appreciation.
If you have any suggestions that you think would improve my blog or recipe request let me know. Feel free to email me or contact me on any social media outlets (links in the top menu bar). Here is to another four years!
PokeNOM this month has been a bunch of fun. When this themed month was mentioned I knew immediately I would have to make something from the Sushi-Go-Round minigame in Pokemon Stadium. My sister wasn’t really into video games when we were growing up, but there were a handful of games I was able to convince her to play: Mario Party, Pokemon Puzzle League and minigames in Pokemon Stadium. We would challenge each other to sets of minigames to see who could do the best. It was always a fun change of pace to play these minigames over battling Pokemon in the stadium. I appreciate her willingness to play with me; those moments are forever in my memory.
In the Sushi-Go-Round minigame, you play a Lickitung at a conveyor sushi restaurant. You have to eat as many delicious treats as you can and the player with the most points wins. There are a wide variety of options but the tamago (egg) sushi caught my attention. I have always loved going to sushi places and getting several pieces of tamago. The most important thing to do while making these is to take your time, pour a small amount of egg into the pan, allow it to cook enough and roll it up carefully.
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When the original Pokemon Gold and Silver version came out I was deeply invested in the Pokemon series. For me, Pokemon was my world and I couldn’t get enough of it. When they announced the remastered version, I knew I was going to spend many nights playing. I spent a lot of time in Soul Silver and worked pretty hard on a team of Pokemon. I made sure their EV’s were all perfect and that they had the best moves. I couldn’t get myself to go and figure out the perfect IVs, though. I wasn’t ready to go that deep. I had a spreadsheet figuring out which Pokemon I was going to work with until I was just delighted with my team. I dubbed this team ‘The Fatties United’. The team was a Swampert, Blissey, Gengar, Metagross, Salamence and Wobbuffet. The Wobbuffet was in there to be a jerk and I wanted to see how ridiculous this little guy was. After building this crazy team, I just looked at their stats and was very happy. Never really played against other people but just enjoyed tearing through the game with these powerhouses.
After training your Pokemon you need to cool off with a refreshing drink. One of those refreshing drinks introduced in the second generation of Pokemon was Berry Juice. The master crafter of this drink was actually a Pokemon, not a person, named Shuckle. All you had to do was give him a berry to hold and he would eventually make Berry Juice. Making your own Berry Juice is just as simple. The Schuckle will simply be replaced by a blender. This is a nice refreshing drink that is perfect for the end of summer.
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Recently, a few of my fellow nerdy food bloggers have discussed working on themed food months. For our first month, Fiction-Food Cafe hosted #RedwallAugust. There were many delicious treats from the book series and that can be found here.This month, The Gluttonous Geek is hosting #PokeNOM. There will be plenty of treats being made from the world of Pokemon during the month of September from several food blogs around the web. Please check out the post here. I am excited to participate in this month’s theme and will be creating a few food items from the Pokemon series.
A friend pointed out a city in Pokemon Omega Ruby/ Alpha Sapphire called Mauville that has a battle food court. The way it works is you order food and while you wait for it to be cooked you participate in some Pokemon battles. There are three different counters with different food, rules and prizes to win. When you first start battling, the only option you have is the Village Sub Combo which the player must compete in Single Battles. If you are victorious you are rewarded with your meal and an extra random berry.
Of course after reading about this food court I knew I had to recreate a meal from there. This week we are going to focus on that first counter and make a Village Sub Combo. The image provided in the game is not the highest quality but I used some inspiration from meals I saw around Japan. This Village Sub Combo is a chicken katsu sandwich seasoned with tonkatsu sauce and Japanese mayo. The chicken is fried so it is extremely important that you prep everything for the chicken before you start warming the oil. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself and have hot oil going while you have to prep. I highly recommend keeping an eye out during the frying process to be safe.
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After weeks of debating, I’ve finally picked up Overwatch. I’ve been enjoying this game a lot. I find myself talking strategies with friends and reading tips about the characters I play the most, Mercy and Lucio. I find the support heroes are really fun to play, and it allows my friends to play more heroes they like since support is covered. Many of my friends are leveled decently high (near the 100 mark) and this has forced me into some pretty high skilled games.
I love playing as Lucio on Illios. There are so many little holes and areas to push people off. One evening my husband set up a few custom matches so we could roam around and look for food in the game. While roaming Illios, we noticed a few tables set up. On several of the tables there was a plate with watermelon, olives and a large leaf. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with it. A quick search on greek meals pointed me in the direction of a watermelon salad. I was skeptical that this combination was going to work but after one bite I was in love. The sweetness of the watermelon and saltiness of the olives compliment each other so perfectly. My favorite piece of all this was the feta cheese. Usually I find feta a little boring but is absorbed all the flavor of each of the elements. The salad was so light, refreshing and perfect for the end of summer. This recipe is very easy and a sure crowd pleaser.
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