DIY Disaster Survival

The world is supposed to end in a couple days, and it’s snowing in Seattle. EVERYONE PANIC! Or, just read through this DIY Disaster Survival infographic and make sure you grab the supplies soon, so you have them on hand if/when you need them.

Need a last-minute holiday gift? Print this out and give it along with a backpack full of the needed supplies for a practical gift that says “I don’t want you to die.”

diy-disaster-survival

Savory Cupcakes

We’ve all had cupcakes for dinner before. It’s late, you’re lazy, the cupcake is just right there, with its sweet buttercream frosting calling out to you…

But did you know you could make cupcakes for dinner that are actually (relatively) healthy? Oh, my dear readers, it’s so true and so delicious.

Allow me to introduce you to Meatloaf Cupcakes and Mac and Cheese Cupcakes. (Photos by the lovely and talented David Zimmerman.)

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These meatloaf cupcakes were based on a recipe by Betty Crocker. I changed it up a bit by using instant mashed potatoes for the “frosting” (they’re quicker and easier to frost than traditional mashed potatoes) and topping them with a “cherry” tomato. The tomatoes ended up being a bit big for the cupcakes, but they were still delicious!

Meatloaf Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 lbs raw lean ground beef
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 TBS coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsps Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Box of instant mashed potatoes (You’ll use about 6 servings’ worth)
  • Ingredients to make the instant mashed potatoes (I used water, margarine, milk, and salt)
  • 18 cherry tomatoes

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 18 unlined cupcake cups with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix all of the meat loaf ingredients (Anything listed above “Box of instant mashed potatoes”) together until well-combined. Press mixture evenly in 18 cupcake cups, pressing firmly down on each to make sure they’re packed in tight!

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cupcakes are cooked fully through. Let cool slightly until you can safely remove the cupcakes from the tin.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the mashed potatoes! Follow instructions on the box to make 6 servings. Let cool slightly, then place the mashed potatoes in a frosting bag (or a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off).

Pipe some mashed potato “frosting” onto each meatloaf “cupcake” and top with a cherry tomato. Serve!

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 These mac and cheese cupcakes are a carb-lover’s dream, and make a great contrast to the meatloaf cupcakes, above. This recipe was inspired by one created by an old co-worker’s friend. He topped them with mashed potatoes and a cherry tomato, but I chose to use that for the meatloaf cupcakes. If you’re just making one of these dishes, either will work with that topping!

Mac and Cheese Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 cupcake cups with paper wrappers.

Boil water for the mac and cheese. (Don’t forget to boil enough for two packages!)

Cook the mac and cheese according to directions on the box. Make sure the shells are “al dente” (firm), by not letting them cook for too long. Let the mac and cheese sit for a moment.

Pop open your tube of biscuits. Take a biscuit, remove a quarter of it, and reshape the rest into a cone/bowl shape that will fit into the cupcake wrappers. Push the biscuits along the wrappers and up above the sides.

Fill the middle of the biscuit “bowl” with mac and cheese, don’t be afraid to fill it up high!. Top with panko bread crumbs and Parmesan.

Bake for 12 minutes, or until the biscuits look flaky and golden. Serve!

 

I think the next savory cupcakes on my list to make are lasagna and pizza. Have you made savory cupcakes before? What kind’s your favorite?

GeekFest This Weekend

This weekend in Seattle, some of your favorite geeky companies and performers will be joining together to support a great cause and create a fun festival/performance/bazaar. Make your way up to GeekFest in Shoreline this Saturday from 8am-6pm and Sunday 8am-5pm to see it all go down.

Attending? Make sure you check out Monkey Minion Press and Espionage Cosmetics in the vendor area, and performers Kirby Krackle and Nerdprov on stage.

Find more info at sbcharities.org.

Chocolate Crisis Center: You Need It.

Christmas is 12 days away. Everyone I know is shopping, putting in longer hours at work to prep for some vacation time, getting started on their resolutions for the new year, and trying to wrap up projects before the new year. Clearly, everyone needs a chocolate break. The Chocolate Crisis Center can get you your fix, and can suggest gifts for others who are going through the same crises. Their packaging is super cute, and their treats sound amazing. (Who wouldn’t want Tiramisu Cocoa Caramels?)

I recommend finishing up your holiday shopping here and getting a treat (or two, or three) for yourself while you’re there. You deserve it.

Doctor Who Knee Socks

Doctor Who Over The Knee Socks

Show your love of the Doctor with these bright and cozy socks. I’m personally a fan of the TARDIS design myself–it would go perfectly with my TARDIS dress from BlackMilk! Here’s hoping they make a Silence design next. When people look away from you, they’ll think you’re wearing nothing at all. ;-)

Doctor Who Over The Knee Socks, $13.99 each at ThinkGeek.com.

(Thanks to @Jorge_Z for sending this my way!)

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” Geek-ified

Mr. Geek and I decorated the tree this weekend and put on Christmas music for the first time this year. Although the music Pandora plays is nice, it’s missing the geek flair we all love with our songs. I was incredibly psyched this morning to see that Kirby Krackle and The Doubleclicks teamed up to do a Star Wars-themed cover of one of my favorite Christmas songs “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” It sounds fantastic!

This will be on repeat in between the rest of the Christmas music for sure.

What’s your favorite holiday song?

LEGO Lamp

I love lamp(s). I love LEGOs. So clearly I must love Sean Kenney. He’s created some fantastic lamps in a variety of colors and styles, all made with LEGOs. The lamps are a bit pricey, but if you can swing it, it’ll make a fantastic conversation piece in  your LEGO or 8-bit themed room. (I mean, we all have at least one LEGO or 8-bit themed room, right? No? Just me?) I’d love to see someone make one of these themselves. It would probably be considerably cheaper!

LEGO lamps, $695-895 at SeanKenney.com.

(Source: Thrillist)

Constellation Jewelry

Is someone on your holiday list a shining star? Do you love them to the moon and back? Do they make you think of other space and star-related cliches and puns? You should get them this jewelry.

These bracelets and necklaces feature constellations that represent the signs of the zodiac. (The one above is the “Scorpio Cuff.”) Great for the astrology or space fan in your life!

Constellation Jewelry, $36-40 each at Fab.com.