Zuggtmoy Stuffed Mushrooms

Zuggtmoy's Mushrooms

Dungeons and Dragons have been introducing their new storyline, Rage of Demons, lately and I couldn’t be more excited. The demons that have come together to wreak havoc are truly amazing, and I’m thrilled that the release date of their newest campaign, Out of the Abyss, is finally here! To celebrate, I’ve made a delicious snack based off one of my favorite demons, Zuggtmoy.

Zuggtmoy is the Demon Queen of Fungi, and in this storyline, she’s looking forward to marrying a large, city-sized fungus. It’s gonna be a wedding ceremony every Demon Queen of Fungi dreams about. And what better to have at your wedding reception than some beautiful stuffed mushrooms?

Make these for your own Demon Queen’s wedding or bridal shower, or make them as a game night snack while you dig into the newest campaign. Either way, you’ll be the “fungi” at the party when you bring them! (Sorry not sorry for that pun. I had to.)

Zuggtmoy Stuff Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 20 Crimini and/or white mushrooms in varying sizes
  • 4 cups fresh, washed spinach
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
  2. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and set the mushrooms, cavity side up, on the foil-lined baking sheet. Give the stems a fine chop.
  3. Cook the spinach in a pan until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove the spinach from the pan, squeeze out all excess liquid, and chop fine.
  4. Add 1 TBS of olive oil and the minced garlic in a pan, and saute until golden.
  5. Add the minced stems to the pan and saute until soft.
  6. Remove the pan from heat and add the spinach, breadcrumbs, and cheeses. Mix all of the ingredients together.
  7. Using a small spoon, stuff the mushroom cavities with the mixture.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the filling is golden on top and heated throughout.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

And speaking of Dungeons and Dragons… I’ll be a part of the Dungeons and Dragons Extra Life livestream on October 4th! Donate money to Seattle Children’s Hospital while helping me design the character I’ll be playing here. As a bonus, I’m competing against my husband to see who can raise more money each week. The loser has to do horrible tasks (like reciting poetry while eating hot wings) on video for your benefit! Check out my page at extra-life.org to find out more info and make a donation!

Gift Ideas for RPG Players

I had the pleasure of joining the Dungeons and Dragons podcast to chat about some fun gift ideas for the holidays. You can listen to the podcast and check out some of my suggestions here. Want some more gift ideas for your dungeon master, adventuring party, or a friend who loves RPGs? Any of these are guaranteed to be a critical hit!

Mead

Mead

Why give a boring bottle of wine when you can give a bottle of mead? The honey wine will be more in-game appropriate. Sip some IRL while your characters sip some in the tavern! I particularly enjoy the meads from Northwest Mountain Winery. They have a sweet mead made from raspberry honey, and a “fire-breathing mead” made with jalepenos that’ll be perfect for the Dragonborns in your party. $20.

D20 Underwear

D20-Cheeky

Gain Charisma just by wearing this underwear! The cheeky panty has a rhinestone D20 on it. $15.

Eye of the Beholder Dice Bag

Beholder

Store your dice in style with this Beholder dice bag, designed by Scott Kurtz. The eye stalks are poseable and act as drawstrings. I mean, how ridiculously amazing is this? $20.

Fireball Truffles

Edible Fireballs

These gorgeous truffles are fun to bite into! Between the pop rocks and the heat from the chili pepper, it’s an adventure in chocolate. Your friend will love the homemade touch! Recipe here.

D20 Mini Cake Pan

D20 cake pan

This is the gift for RPG lovers and bakers (cough, like a certain Geeky Hostess you may know, cough). It looks like there may be a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, you can make cakes and rolls in the shape of a D20! On sale for $10.

Plush Gelatinous Cube

Gelatinous Cube

Snuggle up with this adorable gelatinous cube, made by Weregeek! $19.

Surprise Balls

DnD Surprise Ball

Invite your friends to a special holiday game of Dungeons and Dragons by giving them surprise balls with instructions and information (as well as a set of dice!) DIY Instructions here.

Dungeon Mistress Print

Dungeon Mistress

This beautiful print is the perfect gift for the Dungeon Mistress in your life. The prints are limited edition and hand-numbered! $25.

 RPG Tea Gift Basket

RPG Collection

Enjoy a hot cup of tea based on your favorite RPG class with this basket of goodies from Friday Afternoon Tea. The set includes 2 ounces each of the RPG character class blends as well as a Friday-green teacup and a pack of 100 T-Sac filters, wrapped all up in a gorgeous giftable basket! $75.

Win an RPG Tea Gift Basket! Enter below. A winner will be chosen on Thursday, December 18!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

DIY Gift Idea: Surprise Balls!

DnD Surprise Ball

Surprise balls are one of the ultimate DIY gifts. Seriously. These gifts are like mini parties in one: your recipient has the joy of unwrapping their gift and getting multiple tiny surprises, while covering themselves with colorful crepe paper! Plus, you look like a wonderful and creative human being, and it only took you a few bucks and a few minutes! Win-win.

The premise is simple: Start with your largest gift in the center and wrap around it with crepe paper streamers. Continue to wrap the streamer around, working it towards a ball-shape, and pause every once in a while to add another small gift. Continue to do this until all gifts are fully wrapped inside of the ball. That’s it!

Surprise Ball Steps

The fun, though, is coming up with ways to decorate and theme the ball. You can change the color of the streamers throughout by taping two colored streamers together, you can dress up the front with washi tape and stickers, or you can create a replica of a round object and theme the gifts inside appropriately.

Harry Potter Surprise Ball

Here are some ideas for geeky surprise balls:

HP Ball Contents

The Golden Snitch

Using gold crepe paper, create a surprise ball and add wings to the back. Fill with Harry Potter-themed goodies! These can include:

  • Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans
  • Gold from Gringotts Bank
  • A Time Turner
  • Pins, stickers, and other accessories in the recipient’s house colors
  • Favorite quotes from the books

DnD Ball Contents

The Dungeon Master

Invite your friends to a Dungeons and Dragons game, and give them everything they’ll need to start their adventure! This can include:

  • A set of dice
  • A miniature
  • Riddles or puzzles
  • Clues that will help them during the campaign
  • “Coupons” they can cash in during the campaign. For instance:
    • Redeem this slip of paper for: One re-roll. (Can be given to another player or NPC.)
    • Redeem this slip of paper for: One random item from the Trinkets page.
    • Redeem this slip of paper for: Advantage or Disadvantage on the roll of your choice. (Can be given to another player or NPC.)

Here are some other fun ideas:

  • Put a bunch of stocking stuffers/candies in a surprise ball with black crepe paper streamers–it’ll look like coal!
  • Make a pokeball-themed surprise ball with mini Pokemon goodies inside!
  • Know a sports fan? Put sports-themed goodies (or a note saying you’ve got tickets to the big game) inside a surprise ball that looks like their sports ball of choice!

What type of surprise ball do you want to make? Let me know in the comments!

Recipe: Edible Fireballs

Edible FireballsTruffles are one of my go-to treats for the holidays. They’re a delicious treat that would be considered a bit of a luxury when bought from a chocolate shop. Once you get the hang of the recipe, it’s a lot of fun to create custom flavor and presentation combos to suit the recipient. These fireball truffles were created for a Dungeons and Dragons lover. The truffle, named after a popular spell from D&D, has a hint of spice and a bit of a kick from the Pop Rocks. Use them to butter up a new DM or make them for everyone in your adventuring party!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream,
  • 2 12 oz. bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • red Pop Rocks

Directions:

In a medium-sized saucepan, mix the cream, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon together over medium-low heat. Heat until it starts simmering.

Turn off the stove and start adding 12 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate chips into the mixture. Stir until the chocolate has melted and everything is smooth and mixed together.

Pour the mixture onto a wax paper lined pie plate or shallow casserole dish. Place in the fridge to chill for 1+ hours or until firm but scoopable.

Remove the plate from the fridge and roll the truffle filling into small balls using a spoon and your hands. Sizing of the balls is up to you, I’d recommend sizing them somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon. Place the balls on a plate covered in wax paper and place back in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Place the other 12 ounces of chocolate in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave in 10 second intervals while mixing in between until the chocolate is smooth.  Microwaving for longer can result in burnt chocolate. Trust me–you don’t want that. (If your chocolate stops melting/mixing and starts looking clumpy/gritty while smelling bad, you’ve burnt it.)

Pull the truffle balls out of the fridge and dip into the melted chocolate. (Use a fork to fish the truffles out of the chocolate so any excess can go through the tines.) Place the dipped chocolates on a wax paper lined plate or cookie sheet.

While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle red Pop Rocks on the top.

Place back into the fridge until you’re ready to serve!

 

Tara Will Be Playing D&D…For the Kids!

Extra Life Logo_Blue

I’m thrilled to be participating in Extra Life again, a charitable event where folks game for pledges that go towards local children’s hospitals. This year is super exciting, because I’ll be a part of the official Wizards of the Coast D&D game, and will be participating in their live stream!

You can donate to the Seattle Children’s Hospital through my page, and your donations will help shape the character I play for the game, the things the DM allows me to have, and the type of cupcakes I’ll make and bring for my fellow adventurers!

You can also support Mr. Geek, who will be playing with me! He loves to troll the folks he’s playing with, so a donation to him will most likely end up hurting my character in the future. You’ve been warned…

So what are you waiting for? Donate a bit of money for sick kids, and help me create a ridiculous character in the process. Can’t afford to donate? Then please share this post or my page with your friends!

Will you be participating in Extra Life this year?

Recipes From Extra Life: Tavern Stew

IMG_0111-1024x575

One of the most popular dishes I made during this year’s Extra Life was the “Tavern Stew.” It was a slow cooked beef stew that could work for any tavern-themed game or event. D&D, WoW, Skyrim, they all have some sort of beef stew. I made it extra medieval/Tavern-y by serving the stew in bread bowls. (In medieval times, meals would be served on trenches of bread.) The dish was delicious, and the main bit of criticism came from there not being enough liquid to seep into the bread. I would recommend either serving it in a bowl with bread on the side, or adding a bit more beef broth in the final hour of the slow cooker so it has time to season but hopefully not be soaked up by all of the meat, potatoes, and vegetables.

The best part of this recipe? If you’re planning an all-day D&D session, you can get it started in the morning, play, and then take a nice break for dinner once it’s ready. Plus you’ll have the fantastic smell of stew cooking all day!

Tavern Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 potatoes, diced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup red wine (optional)

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt and pepper. Mix in the meat until it’s all evenly coated in the flour mixture.

Cook the meat in a pan with a tiny bit of olive oil until slightly browned. Place the meat into a slow cooker.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients.

Cover and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours.

If you want to use bread bowls, get round loaves in the size you would like and carefully scoop out the middle with a knife to make a bowl shape. Fill the bowls with stew. (Pro tip: Place the bread bowl on a plate so you don’t have to worry about drips, spills, or yours guests wanting to eat parts of the bowl before it’s fully empty!)

Enjoy!

Have you made slow-cooked stews before? What’s your fave slow cooker recipe?

Grid Table Cloth for Dinner Parties, D&D

Grid Tablecloth

I’ve been on a “tabletop” kick lately, and although I usually mean gaming when I say that, this time I mean decor. Table runners, placemats, napkin rings, centerpieces–it’s a magical world with so many options and I’m having a blast exploring it. Every once in a while I find something that merges both meanings of “tabletop” into one glorious product.

One such product is this doodle tablecloth. It features a grid pattern and comes with washable fabric markers so you can write right on it. Now you don’t have to have dinner then clear off the table to set up for Dungeons and Dragons–you can do it all at the same time! After the campaign’s over, wash the tablecloth and you’ll be all set for the next one!

The tablecloth is available at Amazon.com in two different sizes. What would you use the tablecloth for?

Friday Favorites: June 28

Friday Faves 6-28

Whew! Job Hunters, Geek and Sundry, launching a makeup line, trying to catch up on sleep…It’s been a roller coaster of a week! Here are some of my favorite new discoveries:

Favorite App: Vine
I’ve only made a couple videos, and they’re all obnoxious, but I’m loving playing around with Vine. More videos to come, I’m sure! (Any Vine users out there that have tried Instagram video? What are your thoughts?)

Favorite Video: Dungeons and Dragons and the Influence of Tabletop RPGs
Apparently some footage of a past D&D sesh made it into this mini documentary by PBS. The documentary’s good, but the footage of me in footie pajamas and a cape playing D&D is priceless.

Other Favorite Video: The Great Gatsby VFX
The Great Gatsby was a good movie, but the visual effects were ASTOUNDING (mostly because you had no clue they were visual effects). Take a look at before and after shots of some of the main scenes and locations. Chills.

Favorite Fashion Item: Iron Man Leggings
Why, yes. That is Robert Downey Junior’s face in your crotch. So bizarre.

Favorite Kickstarter: Atlas Performance Dress Socks
I wrote about Ministry of Supply a year ago when they launched their high-tech dress shirt. They’ve now launched a Kickstarter for a  high-tech/high-performance dress sock, and they’ve already doubled their goal. The socks are built upon things like MIT technology, 3d printing-style knitting machines, and apparently use used coffee grounds to filter odor. You can get 2 pairs for $28. I’m just bummed they don’t come in lady-sizes!

What are your favorite discoveries from the past week?

 

Friday Favorites: June 14

Friday Faves 6-14

It’s June 14th. This means a few things:

  • Summer is only about a week away!
  • Job Hunters starts shooting season 2 tomorrow! I’m on very little sleep!
  • It’s my parents’  anniversary! Yay for love!

So pretty much, all of the excitement forever. Take a look at my favorites for this past week, and excuse me in advance if posts are slow/minimal in the next week or two as I go produce a web series!

Favorite Article: D&D DIY
My first “D&D DIY” article went up on the Dungeons and Dragons website today, and I’m ridiculously excited. GUYS. I’m writing something for DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS. My life. Anyway, go learn how to make gelatinous cubes with Mountain Dew!

Favorite Scientific Breakthrough: Why Cupcakes are Nutritious
Take this article with a grain of salt. Or a spoonful of buttercream frosting. Whatever.

Favorite Site: Bloglovin
I’ve been looking for a way to keep up with a bunch of blogs I love, and with Google Reader going away soon, I was in a panic. Enter Bloglovin. I’m still playing around with it, but so far, it’s a super easy way to follow blogs and find awesome new ones. I’m hooked. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Favorite Video: Geek Etiquette
I made a video! On etiquette! Woot! Let me know what you think and what etiquette topic you’d like to see me ramble on about next.

Favorite Social Media: @WatchJobHunters
Follow along on the Job Hunters Twitter Handle to see behind-the-scenes pics and video starting on Saturday! We promise to keep it interesting.

What are you loving this weekend?

Dungeon-Building Dice Set

f3c4_adventurer_dungeon-building_dice_set

GMing a campaign and the players have decided to deviate off the set path? Need some fresh ideas on how to layout a dungeon? Want to play an impromptu campaign out and about and don’t have your notes with you? Grab these dice!

The dungeon-building dice set allows you to roll to put together a dungeon map. The five dice included in the set are all different, but all connect with each other through two separate pathways. I’m down for any excuse to roll more dice!

You can find them for $19.99 at ThinkGeek.com.