Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cactus Apple Surprise

Nothing cools you off faster than a piece of that delicious treat.

Before I begin I would like to thank everyone who voted for the WoW Cooking Project: Low Level. It really means a lot that people stopped by and voiced their opinion. Cactus Apple Surprise was the overall winner but Roasted Boar and Herb Baked Egg were also favoured and Crispy Bat Wings were a fan favourite. (I have thoughts on those, but it needs further testing)

In an effort to slap something up here I went ahead with Cactus Apple Surprise first. It didn’t turn out quite as I had imagined and the “surprise” part sort of flopped. I am definitely going to go back to this one, but wanted to share with you my first attempt. 

For me, there are three main components in a good apple dessert: Pastry, cinnamon, caramel. If you've got those things you're going to have something tasty on your hands no matter what it looks like. I made this recipe up as I went along (much to the chagrin of Enhancement Shaman).

Cactus Apple Surprise!

4 medium apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons of nuts, chopped
8 soft caramel candies
1 sheet puff pastry (thawed)

Preheat oven to 400F

Did you know that Cactus Apples are a real thing? I didn’t either until I started poking around the internet. Needless to say, I did not use real cactus apples and made do with our favourite variety, MacIntosh!

Peel and core. I saw a recipe that said to peel the apples 3/4 of the way leaving some skin on the bottom. I think that it helps keep the apple shape but it's really strange when you try to eat it. If you don't have an apple corer use a paring knife and then a butter knife to sort of "drill" out the centre but don't cut all the way through.


Mix together sugar, cinnamon and butter.
Chop up some nuts (or not - they are optional). I used almonds and pecans. 

Sprinkle a little of the sugar mixture and nuts in the centre.

I wanted the "surprise" part to be a big wall of caramel and nuts gushing out when you broke into the apple. Actually, I wanted something along the lines of an explosion! Geysers of caramel magma spewing all over your place! SURPRISE!!!! YOU'VE GOT SECOND DEGREE BURNS! HAHAHAHA!!!

You might not have a big block of homemade caramel on hand (but I'm weird like that) so those little Kraft caramels are just fine. Use two per apple or what ever you can cram in the centre (cram the rest into your face).

Press the remaining sugar mixture onto the walls of the apples.

Cut your puff pastry into quarters and wrap each apple cutting a few tiny slits in the top to allow for steam to escape.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  

...and here's when things started going array. All the moisture in the apples and the melted caramel caused a little bit of blow out with the pastry but all those juices are form a nice sweet sauce that you can drizzle over the tops.
Let them cool for 20 minutes and serve with ice cream.

While they were very tasty and comprised of some of my favourite things,  I need to rethink this recipe (I welcome suggestions). We'll call this an okay first attempt to be revisited at a later date. I think I might have to put my dreams of a caramel volcano to the side for now.

I did find this recipe for an apple snowball that looks very tasty and perfect for these cold winter days. I don't know how many people are regular makers of culinary "foams" but I'm sure that part could be omitted or replaced with a nice big dollop of whipped cream.

For those of you who want to make an herbed baked egg, I made some last year. They are easy, delicious and very, very French (but that could have been because I was eating them with a croissant...and wearing a mime costume).

For (slow) Roasted Boar I recommend you reread Dechion's holiday post for pulled pork and coleslaw. I love me some pulled pork and his BBQ sauce looks awesome!

Thanks very much to everyone for their comments and opinions - I'll get started on those bat wings...

EDIT:  I posted too hastily and wanted to say many thanks to Big Bear Butt Blogger for linking me yesterday and for sharing his recipe for some very tasty sounding salsa!  If you're here from said link, WELCOME!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Swamped ('osaurus)

Sorry about the delay in the cooking post.  I had a plan to make one of the items on the list yesterday but between WoW, Rock Band 3, an apartment that needs cleaning and a couch that needs to be napped on - I just plum ran out of time! :) 
I should have something to post this week so thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The WoW Cooking Project

In an effort to make sure I post weekly, I thought it would be good to give myself a few tasks. Regis was so kind to mention my cooking ability in his post yesterday and some of you will note that I also run a food blog. My plan is to try out of few recipes found in Warcraft and share them here. While it has been done by many fab wowbloggers before I thought I would try to give you some say in it, which means….


I’ve selected a few recipes from the Beginning cooking list as well as some of the items you can buy from vendors at low level. I would love to hear which one(s) you wanted to see made in my kitchen. I might do 1 or two or three or all! You can vote your choice using the poll on the bottom right, in the comments below or send an email to: hellotauren at gmail dot com

If there is a low level recipe or food item you really want to see I’m happy to hear those suggestions. But please, no recipes that involve actual seafood. My palate has yet to be refined to appreciate it (fish and chips being the exception to the rule) and I would rather not destroy and/or waste good food if I can help it.

Bean Soup
Cactus Apple Surprise
Conjured Muffin
Crispy Bat Wing
Delicious Chocolate Cake
Gingerbread Cookie
Herb Baked Egg
Honey Bread
Roasted Boar Meat
Roasted Moongraze Tenderloin

I’ll see where how the results are firming up at the end of the week and will endeavour to make and post the chosen recipe as close to the weekend as I can. 

Have a wonderful day and happy voting!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Just a Game?

This is just a game right?

Well yes and no.  I can shrug off a lot of the silliness and frustration that comes in WoW by telling myself that it's just a game.  After the umpteenth resurrection in a battleground I need to remind myself that I'm dying because that's part of the game.  Someone has to win (but they don't have to be a dick about  it).  I've walked away from quests and from groups because it was generally jerky.  No monthly subscription is worth getting too worked up about a video game.

But wait a minute.  I do pay a monthly subscription to the game and I have invested a lot of time in the game.  Granted, it's generally happy time because I'm online with my friends and we're laughing about the same things despite being miles and kilometres away from each other.  It's pretty much the reason I keep playing.  I've reconnected with friends and family through Warcraft.  So is this really just a game?

Towards the end of last year we wanted to do something special for our raid leader, BT.  After a two years+ of leading us through fights and mechanics as well as explaining and/or providing refreshers on said fights we wanted to give something back.  But what do you give a Tree when he already has a clam necklace?

A Mechanohog, that's what!

Pooling our resources together we purchased him the bike and gave it to him before starting our weekly raid night.

Here we are presenting his gift with our best /cheers, /dancing, and /archmage Vargoth celebrating what is important to the guild: having fun with a great group of people! There might be annoyances in WoW but they are far outweighed by all the good stuff that you get to take part in when you're with the right people!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year WowFans!

I made a little resolution together with my brother and sister-in-law that we would update our blogs once a week.  I thought I would up my resolution ante by making an effort to do that here as well.  More weekly ramblings about WoW and rainbows and pastries! (PS: you're welcome!)


Looking back at the blog stats for last quarter of 2010 some of the most viewed topics were:


Intro to WoW Archaeology

Rainbow Generator

Guild Banner Ornaments (thanks to Wayward Initiative and for that)


And the number one topic with over 878 page views in 2010 was...


Cataclysm Seagulls


Seagulls are way more popular than I thought (as in 877 times more than I thought).  This means that I'll have to do more seagull related posts to keep your seagull related needs sated.  

I guess what I'm really trying to say is thank you for coming here and I'm pretty floored by all the traffic be it from friends, kind strangers and/or robot trawlers - I welcome you all and hope you'll continue to stop by in 2011!