3 Years of The Geeky Hostess

 

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This weekend, The Geeky Hostess celebrated its three-year anniversary. I’ve had a blast over the last three years writing and learning about cooking, entertaining, and etiquette, and finding fun ways to inject a bit of personality into it all.

This year, The Geeky Hostess will be moving beyond just the blog. You’ll see me in videos, at conventions, hosting small events, and opening an online store. And of course, I’ll still be writing. I hope to create a lot more recipes this year!

Take a look back at some of my favorite recipes from the last three years:

Portal Cake Shots
The first recipe I made, and it’s in video form!

Nickelodeon Slime Cupcakes
The first cupcakes I made! You can see my photography skills have grown a bit.

Pumpkin Beer Cupcakes
My second most popular cupcakes. These guys are all over Pinterest.

Mountain Dew Cupcakes
My most popular cupcake (and overall post). These are also some of the easiest cupcakes to make!

Troy’s Bagel Bites Casserole
Ahh, a dish in honor of Community (back when it was good).

Sundae Cone Cupcakes
My personal favorite cupcake recipe!

Let me know what you’d like to see more of this year in the comments. Want to collaborate on something? Contact me! Help me make this next year the best so far. And thank you all for sticking around and being a part of this adventure with me.

May The Free Comic Books Be With You


The stars have aligned and two of the best geek holidays have joined forces: May The Fourth (or Star Wars Day) and Free Comic Book Day.

Visit your local comic book store and pick up some free comics. While you’re there, show your support for their business by picking up a trade you’ve had your eye on. Have kids? Free Comic Book Day is the perfect way to get them excited about reading and comics, and a lot of stores will have special events aimed at children and families. You can find out more at FreeComicBookDay.com.

As for May The Fourth: Wear your favorite Star Wars gear, quote the movie, and tell everyone you meet “May The Fourth Be With You.” Many places are holding Star Wars-themed events, and a lot of online stores (including Her Universe and ThinkGeek) have special Star Wars promotions happening that day only.

What are you doing on May 4th? And which comic shop will you be stopping in? I won’t be able to make it out to one myself, which saddens me greatly. Let me know what you get so I can live vicariously through you!

Friday Favorites: May 3

Friday Faves 5-3

It’s Friday, it’s gorgeous outside, and we have two big geek holidays coming up this weekend! Let’s celebrate!

Here are my favorites from this past week:

Favorite Twitter Account: PinterestFake
I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest. I do get a lot of great ideas from there, but you have to sift through some not-so-great ideas that are always posted with comments like “This is a life changer!” “Best thing ever!” and “I’m making this TONIGHT!” The enthusiasm for mundane or impractical things is ridiculous. @PinterestFake took inspiration from the stupid ideas on Pinterest, and tweets (hopefully fictional) Pinterest descriptions. Love it! It’s a life changer!

Favorite Web Series: The Ladies and the Gents
This web series is a cute look into what happens in the bathrooms of a nightclub. As a fellow web series creator, I have to say their transitions at the end of episodes are some of the best I’ve seen. They get you hooked into watching more, and it looks like they have a lot of fun behind-the-scenes content! You can find it at YouTube.com.

Favorite Kickstarter: Pen to Paper, My Imaginary Friend
Children wrote stories about their imaginary friend, and Disney/Pixar artists brought it to life. It’s a beautiful idea, and it’s on Kickstarter for two more days. Take a look!

Favorite Place: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Visitors Center
I was invited to attend an event at the Visitors Center, and it’s really cool. It’s in Downtown Seattle, free and open to the public, and showcases the work the Gates Foundation is doing in an easy and inspiring way. Being connected to Microsoft, they make use of some really cool technology while masking everything in wood to make it feel warmer and more approachable. I’d highly recommend checking it out!

Favorite Car: Mazda6
After spending a week car shopping, we’ve picked one! We chose the Mazda6 because while it looks sporty and classy, it’s extremely safe and will be a great, reliable car. Plus, it comes loaded with all kinds of cool tech features. (I mean, it doesn’t literally park itself like a Ford Fusion, but we’ll let that slide.) Also, for some reason, Mazda6 has teamed up with Star Trek Into Darkness. I’ll let you know if the car beams us up anywhere, and just to be safe, I should probably avoid wearing any red shirts while driving.

Text Adventure Party

Text Adventure Activities Last week, I gathered some of my gaming-loving friends together for a Text Adventure Party. Yes, a party based on those text adventure games from the 80’s. The activities of the night centered around playing Parsely, a live-action game based on the text adventures. We started with Action Castle, which is their recommended beginning game, and ended up graduating onto some actual text adventure games on our main computer (including one Mr. Geek whipped up that focused on the players going through the rooms in our home!). Want to throw your own Text Adventure Party? Take a look below for pics and tips!

Activities
As mentioned above, you’ll want to get your hands on at least one Parsely game (they’re available online for only $5 each!). If your friends are experienced with text adventures, you may end up going through more than one.

Want to make your own text adventure game like Mr. Geek? You can use Quest, a free online program that makes it super easy!

Decor
Print out descriptions of your rooms in the text-adventure style. If you want that old-school font, use Press Start 2P. Mr. Geek wrote ours, as you could probably tell from the description of the kitchen, above. Don’t forget to label your food items as well!

I continued with the retro gaming theme with these fun Space Invaders drink markers and integrated some bright colors to match up with the Mountain Dew Bar.

Food
Food and drink is my favorite part of any theme party, and it’s the part I give the most attention to. I wanted to take nostalgic gamer food and make it a bit more “grown up.” I did this by creating a Mountain Dew bar with a variety of mix-ins, baking my classic Mountain Dew cupcakes, and making homemade Cool Ranch Doritos and Hot Pockets. They were a hit!

Mountain Dew BarI chose mix-ins I thought would be delicious with Mountain Dew and would allow my guests to make their own versions of Mountain Dew “Code Red”. What else should I include for my next Mountain Dew bar? Let me know in the comments!

Mountain Dew CupcakesI revamped the Mountain Dew Cupcakes frosting recipe a bit by adding in some orange flavoring in addition to the lemon and lime. It tasted much more like Mountain Dew!

Doritos and Hot Pockets Cool Ranch Doritos
I had never fried my own chips before, but it was much easier than I expected. These chips were being munched on all night, and guests seemed to love them! They’ll turn out a bit thicker and greasier than your average CRD, but they’re pretty tasty. I used a recipe from Macheesmo.com and it was fantastic. Sure, eating Doritos straight out of the bag is easier, but these are cheaper, most likely somewhat healthier, and MUCH more impressive to have at or bring to a party.

Homemade Hot Pockets
Homemade Hot Pockets are pretty much just tiny calzones. Tiny, delicious, rectangular calzones. The ingredients you put inside are all interchangeable based on your tastes; I went for a classic Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pocket experience.

Ingredients:

  • Uncooked pizza dough (I made mine from hand with the instructions off of a packet of Pizza yeast, you can also buy some pre-made dough from the store.)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Thin-sliced pepperoni, diced (I used around 30 pieces)
  • Seasonings to taste (I used a dash of oregano and dried red pepper flakes)
  • 1 egg
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prep a cookie sheet with a quick spray of cooking oil.

Divide your pizza dough into 16 equal sections and roll them into their own individual balls.

Roll the balls out as thin as you can while still maintaining some structure (around 1/8 inch thick). Keep in mind that the dough will fluff up considerably!

Mix the sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, and seasonings together in a small bowl to make the filling. Using a small spoon, scoop out a bit of the filling and place it in the middle of the rolled out dough.

Using a burrito-method, fold in the sides of the pizza dough and roll it up to create a small hot pocket-shape. Press the edges lightly with your fingers to make sure everything is closed tightly together.

Carefully place the “hot pocket” onto the cookie sheet. Continue with the 15 others.

Whisk one egg, and brush the egg onto the tops of the hot pockets. (This will give it that browned top). Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly (we all know what happens when you bite into a hot pocket first thing!) and serve!

Any other suggestions for hosting a text adventure party? Leave them in the comments!

Nintendo Cartridge Jewelry

NES Jewelry

 

Etsy shop OhMyGeekness has come out with the cutest little pieces of nostalgia: NES cartridge jewelry. The pieces range in price from $14-45, with most items around $16. In addition to NES, she’s got N64, Xbox 360, PS1, and PS2 cartridges, and a variety of cute geeky and game-related characters and references. These would make a perfect inexpensive and unique gift!

Check out the full selection at Etsy.com.

Home Decor Inspired by Doctor Who

Saturday’s episode of Doctor Who (Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS) was my favorite of the season so far. As the title would indicate, we got to explore a bit more of the inside of the TARDIS, and included in that is a grand library with a few fun items. I personally would love to incorporate the feel of that library and these items into my own home decor!

Encylopedia GallifryGallifreyan encylopedias house verbal stories and facts in bottles, and they look amazing on a shelf. This forum is currently discussing the bottles and where to get them to make your own encyclopedia. If you don’t care if it’s the same bottle, then just get enough of the same bottle to fill your shelf, print out your own labels, and stick them on with some spray adhesive or rubber cement. You can go above and beyond by sticking a small recording device in the top of some of the bottles: when you remove the top and press “play” your own recorded history can begin spouting out, just with less purple smoke.

Doctor Who - Series 7B

I fell in love with this grand book and book stand when I saw it. Although we can’t purchase the book (yet–give it time, I’m sure it’ll be made), we can take the idea of putting our books on display and run with it. Find an old book that means something to you, and find an area of your house where you can display it prominently on a stand. Can’t find a giant gold book stand like the one in the episode? Look for cookbook holders. They’re often intricate, pretty, fairly inexpensive, and just take up a bit of room on a countertop. I have an antique one I bought a few years back, but Amazon.com has some antique-looking ones available for under $30 each. I recommend this one and this one.

Really want the look of the Time War book? Etch the shape and designs into clay, bake it, then adhere it to a fake leather-bound journal. Voila!

What elements of Doctor Who and the TARDIS would you incorporate into your home?

EMP’s Fantasy Exhibit

Tara Throne

If you find yourself in Seattle, you’ve gotta check out the EMP Museum’s new Fantasy exhibit. This exhibit is the third and final part of their permanent exhibit’s redesign that focuses on exploring our hopes, fears, and dreams. Our hopes are found in the Sci-Fi exhibit,  our fears in the Horror exhibit, and now our dreams can live in the Fantasy exhibit.

I had the pleasure of checking out the exhibit and partaking in opening night festivities this past Friday, and I had a great time! (I swear, I didn’t have to fight anyone to win a seat atop this throne!)

EMP Fantasy

The exhibit itself was well laid out with beautiful features like straw on the floor, metal sheeting on an in-exhibit house, a dragon’s cage (complete with dragon with glowing eyes and a nice soft purr!), and fun secret areas kids or small adults can climb through.

The movie/tv props all look amazing in person–I was impressed with the quality of the weapons and  costumes and enjoyed seeing items from The Princess Bride, Xena, Snow White and the Huntsman, Harry Potter, and many others, up close. I also loved seeing the hand written manuscripts and notes from J.R.R. Tolkien, and the comparison of a page from George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” with the same scene in script form for the show “Game of Thrones.”

In addition to props and artifacts, the exhibit teaches people more about the Fantasy genre, and allows you to complete interactive activities like building your own map. (For those interested, you can then save and print out your map to take home!)

You can find out more about the exhibit and the museum as a whole at EMPMuseum.org. Check it out! (And while you’re there, make sure you also check out the sci-fi and horror exhibits. They’re all extremely well done.)

Friday Favorites: April 26

Friday Fave 4-26

Happy Friday! Here are some things that have caught my eye this past week:

Favorite Kickstarter: The World’s Worst Dungeon Crawl
I had the pleasure of doing some D&D-style improv with Bill Cavalier (also known as Dungeon Bastard), and it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had improvising. This guy was cracking me up! He just launched a Kickstarter for a hilariously bad RPG titled “The World’s Worst Dungeon Crawl,” and you know you all want in. Check it out here!

Favorite Recipe: Black Bean Chili
I made this recipe for myself and the writers of season two of Job Hunters (maybe if I bribe them enough, Tiffany will come back?), and it’s delicious! It’s vegetarian, good for you, and fantastic if you serve it with some tortilla chips. Yum!

Favorite Event: EMP’s Quest: Fantasy Exhibit Opening Adventure
I’m so psyched for the opening night party for EMP’s new fantasy exhibit tonight. Mr. Geek and I will be there checking out the exhibit, watching sword fighting and archery, sampling mead, cider, and butterbeer, meeting the new giant dragon built for the exhibit, and getting our photo taken atop the Iron Throne. Tickets may still be available here. Can’t make it out? Be on the lookout for a post in the future talking about the event and the exhibit!

(Least) Favorite Activity: Car Shopping
My car died over the weekend, which meant my week has mostly consisted of canceling meetings and looking for a new car. On the bright side? I’ve learned a lot about cars in the process. And re-learned a lot about public transportation. Use my misery as a reminder to take good car of your vehicle. Get it checked, give it a nice lil hug, and make sure all of your important documents are filed and organized for if and when you might need them. And then wish me luck on the car hunt.

Here’s hoping next week involves acquiring transportation and having time to find more favorites! What have you been loving this week?