Friday, November 25, 2016

Geek Family Kitchen: Gluten-Free Cupcakes





It's so hard for my kids to be invited to a birthday party and pass on the cupcakes, but when they give in and eat them, they end up feeling terrible. These cupcakes are not only fun and tasty, but they are inspired by the cupcake from Five Nights at Freddy's. Sadly, I forgot how best to make icing that is not full of junky ingredients, so the icing did not turn out too pretty, but it was still delicious! These cupcakes are gluten and refined sugar free, but they are still moist and chocolaty. Enjoy!



Makes about 5 large cupcakes or 10 regular sized cupcakes.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

4 eggs

3 1/2 oz. dark chocolate, melted (to keep it paleo, get the best dark chocolate you can afford)

1/2 cup honey

1 cup strawberry puree

1 Tbs. vanilla extract

2 Tbs. coconut milk

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda



Icing:

1/3 cup coconut milk, cold

1 Tbs. beet juice

1/4 cup honey

6 Tbs. coconut oil

1/4 cup ghee



Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use silicon cupcakes wrappers, or grease a muffin tin.



2. To Make Cupcake: Thoroughly combine coconut flour, sea salt, and baking soda.



3. Add in coconut oil, eggs, dark chocolate, honey, strawberry puree, vanilla, and coconut milk. Mix well.



4. Fill cupcake cups about 2/3's of the way full.



5. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes (this will largely depend on what size cupcake you make) or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center of the cupcake and come out clean.



6. To Make Icing: Add coconut oil and ghee to microwave safe bowl. Heat on low for about 30 seconds. Check. Continue to microwave on low at 10 second intervals until melted. Do not boil.



7. Add beet juice, coconut milk, and honey while whisking. Once it is smooth, place in the refrigerator while cupcakes cool (about 15 minutes).



8. Mix icing once more. Ice cupcakes. This is more of a glaze than a frosting, so the icing will melt into the cupcakes, making them even more moist and delicious.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Halloween Costume Reveal 2016: Five Nights at Freddy's





We worked so hard on these costumes, and I think they turned out to be awesome! We had so much fun, and they took months to make. We really had a great day of costumes and fun. This was during our Whole 30 (day 29, to be exact), but we still had a blast! And we scared a few kids and got recognized as Five Nights at Freddy's characters. I can't wait until Fanatacon when we get to wear these again!



If you want to see our Whole 30, I've created a playlist here.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Geek Family Kitchen: Minecraft Dragon Eggs



This craft was a lot of fun. Victor always has some fun ideas concerning how he would make video games, and when it comes to Minecraft, he has many, including this one: to make a dragon's egg from a chicken egg and an Eye of Ender.

What You'll Need:
Chicken eggs (we used 4)
Knife (if you want to cut one egg in half for a hatched egg)
Awl
Baby nasal aspirator (optional, if you don't want to put your mouth on the egg)
Slick black paint
Metallic purple paint
Paint brushes

Directions:
1. To cut an egg in half for a hatched egg, place an egg on its side in a pan with a paper towel. Saw steadily with a knife until it splits in two. (This actually works!)

2. To blow out eggs, tap a small hole into the top of the egg and a larger hole into the bottom. Scramble the contents of the egg, then blow the contents out.

3. Wash eggs gently to remove residual egg contents and allow to dry.

4. Once dry, paint to eggs to look like Minecraft dragon eggs. Use as decorations or as cascarones.

For the instructions to the Eye of Ender, become a Patron https://www.patreon.com/DebrathePaleoista and receive that and many more patterns and fun things!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Geek Family Kitchen: FNAF Pumpkin Carving





     I love Halloween. I love all things Halloween. I also love Five Nights at Freddy's, especially the Marionette. That's why Lydia and I decided to carve the Marionette into a pumpkin.



     There is nothing better than spending time with people you love in ways that don't always involve food. And crafting is one our absolute favorites.



What You'll Need:

Newspaper or towels to protect your surface and for easy cleanup

Pumpkin

Pattern

Masking tape

Awl

Carving tools

Paintbrush

Craft glue

Purple glitter

Red glitter

Black paint

Candle



Directions:

1. Cut an access hole in your pumpkin.



2. Scoop "guts" out and clean pumpkin up.



3. Tape pattern down.



4. Poke holes around pattern lines to make a guide for your carving.



5. Cut out parts you want hollow.



6. Peel off parts you want semi-opaque.



7. Leave other parts solid.



8. Paint glue on the parts you want to be purple, and sprinkle purple glitter.



9. Paint glue on the parts you want to be red, and sprinkle red glitter.



10. Paint parts you want black with black paint.



11. Place candle in pumpkin and light for good, clean Halloween fun!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Dorky Dates: Picnic & Tombstone Rubbings





     Some graveyards are absolutely beautiful. And why not? Wouldn't you want your final resting spot to be in a gorgeous location? That doesn't even take into account how beautiful some tombstones are. If you want to make a haunting memory of your day, grab some paper and chalk pastels, pack a picnic, and do a little research.


Cost
This date can cost a little bit of money (not much), due to the fact that you need to have the proper supplies to rub tombstones (large paper, chalk pastels or charcoal, a mailing tube for safe keeping, hairspray or Krylon sealer) and the supplies for a picnic (cooler, food, blanket, etc.).


Graveyard Etiquette
Be respectful! This is the final resting place of people who were beloved by their friends and families. Make sure you have permission from the cemetery management to make rubbings, as it is prohibited in some cemeteries. If there are others there who are mourning their loved ones, make sure to have the utmost respect. Treat this as an anthropological study, and possibly scout out a separate (preferably close) location for your picnic.


Who Would Enjoy It
While Ray and I were the only ones who went on this date, this date could be interesting for a group. Just make sure you pick your group from people you know can be respectful. This is not a good outing for your rowdier friends, especially the ones who like to drink and cause trouble. And while you might enjoy a bottle of wine or champagne at your picnic, this may not be the proper time for this activity (unless you have your picnic afterwards and in a different location).


What You May Need
Picnic Supplies:

  • Comfortable places to sit or lay down
  • A blanket or tablecloth for sitting on
  • A picnic basket or tote for your dishes, napkins, utensils, etc.
  • Dishes, cups or bottles, napkins, eating utensils, serving utensils, containers for your food and drinks
  • Cooler for food and drinks
  • Food and drink that are good for picnic, i.e. portable, finger foods, tasty morsels for you to enjoy (We took sweet potato salad with chunks of ham in it, sunbutter stuffed dates, carrot sticks, and water with tea bags to give it a different flavor. Had we not been doing a Whole30, we probably would have included something chocolate.)
Tombstone Rubbing Supplies:
  • Large paper
  • Artist charcoal, chalk pastels, or crayons (crayons do not work as well in my opinion)
  • Masking tape can be used, but it may mess up some of the older tombstones, so use with care
  • Hairspray or Krylon sealer to preserve your rubbings, especially if you are using charcoal or chalk pastels
  • Mailing tube to store your rubbings
  • Soft bristle toothbrush, water, and soft cloth for drying (this can help remove debris from a dirty tombstone)

Special Considerations
No one wants to mess up a tombstone, so be careful. Make sure that the stones you want to rub are solid by giving them light knock. If they sound hollow, try a different stone. Some stones may need to be cleaned before they can be rubbed. You can do this with a soft bristled brush. You may also need water to loosen some of the crud that has accumulated. You will also want to do this when it has been clear weather for several days because wet tombstones will not work. Windy weather may also not be your best bet, as the paper may not want to cooperate. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Geek Family Kitchen: 4 Game Night Dips









Do you love creamy dips, but hate the crappy ingredients you find in the processed varieties in the store? Then you're in luck! These dips are perfect for chips, vegetables, and anything else you can think of. And you can make them with just a few ingredients and a lot of patience.

I know, patience is not a strength for most people today, but believe me when I say it's worth it. Homemade mayonnaise takes a lot of patience. After that, just add your favorite ingredients to turn this creamy colloid into a delicious dip.

Homemade Avocado Oil Mayonnaise:
Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 freshly squeezed lemon
1 17 oz. bottle of avocado oil (separate out 1/4 cup)
3/4 tsp. sea salt
3/4 tsp. mustard powder

Directions:
1. Combine eggs and lemon juice together and allow to come to room temperature. This will take 15 to 30 minutes.

2. Once they've reached room temperature together, add in the 1/4 cup of oil, salt, and mustard powder. Blend thoroughly.

3. While mixing the ingredients on high, slowly pour in the rest of the oil. This takes a lot of patience. If you do this step too quickly, it will not create an emulsion. If you do this by hand, it will take even more patience, because you will have to mix vigorously, add a little oil, mix vigorously, add a little oil, repeat. If you use and immersion blender (the fastest way), you will blend with the stick, add a little oil, blend, add oil, repeat. If you use a food processor with a hole in the lid, just run it as you add the oil through the hole, but still, pour it very slowly.

Honey Mustard:
Ingredients:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. gluten-free mustard
1/4 tsp. dried dill

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.

2. Enjoy now or refrigerate.

Cooling Spice Dip:
Ingredients:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.

2. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend.

"Cheesy" Ranch Dip
Ingredients:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs. full-fat coconut milk
1 tsp. dried dill
1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
Dash of black pepper
1/4 tsp. onion or garlic powder
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 Tbs. nutritional yeast flakes

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.

2. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend.

Creamy Guacamole
Ingredients:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 ripe avocados
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. onion powder or 1 diced onion
Cayenne pepper to taste
2 Roma tomatoes, diced

Directions:
1. Combine mayonnaise and avocado and mix thoroughly.

2. Add cumin, onion powder (if using), and cayenne, and mix thoroughly.

3. Stir in diced tomatoes and diced onion (if using).

4. Serve immediately, or refrigerate no more than a couple of hours, as the avocado will oxidize and look disgusting.

Beets and Sweets Chips:
Ingredients:
Sweet potatoes
Beets
Lard or coconut oil for frying
Sea salt

Directions:
1. Heat oil to between 365 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Cut vegetables to desired thickness. I suggest you cut them very thin if you are going for a chip consistency.

3. Fry vegetables. Sweet potatoes are easy to tell when they are done because they get a golden brown. Beets are harder to tell. They are best when crispy.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Geek Family Kitchen: Lightsaber Hilt





     When Ray made a lightsaber for himself years ago, you can bet I was jealous. I was busy with school and my art projects at the time and didn't have much time for crafts. I tried to get Ray to make me one, but he insisted that it was a craft that should be individualized. When I asked him what he wanted to do for the video, he suggested we make lightsabers together, since I never made my own. I was thrilled!



     Now you can make your own. This doesn't have any sort of light or blade, but it can be worn as a cool prop for your favorite Jedi costume.



What You'll Need:

3/4" wooden dowel

Sand paper

Faucet handle

Faucet head

1/2" hose clamp

Epoxy

Metallic spray paint

Mod Podge or other sealer

Craft foam

Crystal

Button-sized jewel or semi-precious stone



Directions:

1. Cut your dowel to the length you want your hilt to be. Sand the dowel with sand paper.



2. Drill pilot hole at one end of dowel. Pop end off faucet handle and replace the screw that it came with with a wood screw. Attach the handle to the dowel with the wood screw and replace the faucet end.



3. Fill in the gap between the faucet handle and dowel with epoxy or similar substance. Smooth it to desired taper. Allow it to dry or harden.



4. Fit hose clamp onto dowel. Set it to where you'd like your switch to be. Tighten clamp.



5. Taper the end of the dowel opposite the end with the handle. If you want your faucet head to retain its original colors, leave it off. If you want it a homogeneous color, glue it on. (We started with E600, but found out the hot glue actually works better.)



6. Sand the plastic pieces of your lightsaber to give them a rougher texture to better hold the paint.



7. Spray paint the lightsaber thoroughly. Allow to dry for 24 hours.



8. Seal the lightsaber with Mod Podge or other sealer. Allow to dry for 24 hours.



9. If you left the faucet head off for painting, it is now time to attach it with hot glue. If you left it on, skip to step 10.



10. Decorate your lightsaber with strips of craft foam.



11.  Finish the saber off by gluing the crystal into the end of the faucet head and the jewel or stone onto the switch.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Geek Family Kitchen: Five Nights at Freddy's-Inspired Gluten-Free Pizza





Freddy Fazbear's Award-Winning Gluten-Free Pepperoni Pizza



     This pizza was inspired by one of our favorite series of horror games: Five Nights at Freddy's. If you don't know what that is, it's a game full of creepy animatronics that jump-scare you any time you mess up. The game was designed by Scott Cawthon, a Christian game designer who created a game called Chipper & Sons Lumber Co. Sadly, his earlier attempts at game design fell flat, and the aforementioned Chipper & Sons Lumber Co. was unintentionally terrifying with people citing that his CGI characters looked like creepy animatronics.



     If you do know the game, then you know that the Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria has many pictures on the walls of its iconic pepperoni pizza. We couldn't find good, high-quality, gluten-free pepperoni, so we had to use our favorite salami and cut it smaller with a cookie cutter to achieve the desired look of Freddy's pizza.



Our pizza crust is one of our family's absolute favorite. It is a slight variation on Kelly Bejelly's Pizza Crust from her book: Paleo Eats. You can also find her recipe on her website. This crust is a bit tricky, but well worth it.



Ingredients:

Pizza Crust:

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbs. nutritional yeast (optional for cheesy flavor)

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. marjoram

1 1/2 cups tapioca flour

1 large egg, beaten

2 Tbs. coconut flour



Pizza Sauce:

1 large can (29 oz.) organic tomato sauce

1 small can (12 oz.) organic tomato paste

1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar

1 medium onion (sauteed)

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. marjoram



Pizza Toppings:

1 lb. whole milk mozzarella (either real buffalo mozz or mozz from grass-fed cows if you can tolerate dairy, if not try nut cheese or go cheeseless), shredded

gluten-free, uncured pepperoni from pastured pigs or gluten-free, uncured salami cut with small, round cookie cutter



Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.



2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the water, olive oil, salt, onion powder, basil, oregano, marjoram, and nutritional yeast to a boil.



3. While the oil and water mixture are heating, mix tomato sauce, tomato paste, sauteed onion, sugar, basil, oregano, and marjoram in saucepan and heat over medium heat.



4. Once the oil and water mixture are at a boil, add the tapioca flour and immediately remove from the heat. Keep stirring until you have a slightly crumbly to a slightly sticky dough.



5. Allow the dough to cool for 2 or 3 minutes. Place in a mixing bowl. Add egg and coconut flour. Mix and allow to sit for another 2 or 3 minutes to thicken up. Once thickened, knead until it forms a uniform, soft dough ball.



6. Place dough on a piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment over it and roll out to a quarter of an inch thick. Pinch up sides to make a border for the sauce and toppings and to make the dough more round.



7. Remove the top sheet of parchment and place on a pizza pan or a large baking sheet. Cover with a light coat of olive oil to keep the crust from drying out.



8. Bake for 20 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven.



9. Top with shredded cheese and pepperoni. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Slice and serve.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Geek Family Kitchen: Minecraft-Inspired Snickerdoodle Apple Blocks

     This cobbler was inspired by a snickerdoodle apple cobbler recipe I saw online, as well as a favorite gaming pastime around here: Minecraft. Since we adhere to a Paleo way of eating, we decided to try our hand at a Paleo version of this delicious treat. You can watch my son, Victor, and me make these tasty morsels on our YouTube channel.







Snickerdoodle Apple Blocks Recipe



Ingredients:



1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup Sun butter or almond butter

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 large eggs

1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract

2 cups blanched almond flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

5-7 slightly tart organic apples, such as Gala or Jazz

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground coriander

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Juice of 1/4 lemon

1 Tbs. honey

1 Tbs. ground cinnamon

1 Tbs. coconut sugar



Directions:



1. Peel and roughly cut apples into small sauce pan. Add honey and lemon juice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp cloves, plus a half-cup of water. Heat over medium heat until apples are soft.



2. While apples are cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9" x 13" x 2" pan with coconut oil.



3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together coconut oil, sun butter, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.



4. In a separate bowl,whisk together flour, baking soda, and 1 tsp cinnamon.



5. While beating the wet mixture, slowly add the dry mixture until combined. The dough will be wet and sticky.



6. Drain apples of excess moisture.



7. Spread half of the dough mixture in the bottom of the greased pan. Make sure to spread mixture evenly.



8, Top dough with the apple filling. Then add the rest of the dough mixture.



9, Sprinkle cobbler evenly with 1 Tbs cinnamon and 1 Tbs coconut sugar.



10. Cover with foil, and bake for 26-28 minutes.



11. Allow cobbler to cool for about 10 minutes before cutting into blocks. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Geek Family Kitchen: Custom Undertale Shirt





It's our first video. We made fan art into a custom T-shirt. Sorry about the sound. Our next video will be better. Lydia drew the art. If you like the video, please like and subscribe to our channel. We have big plans in the works for crafts and recipes.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

I Wouldn't Want to Go Anywhere Without My Wonderful Towel

Image result for i wouldn't want to go anywhere without my wonderful towel

     Yesterday was Towel Day, and some people may be wondering just how useful is a towel anyway. If you are one of those people who wonder why, beyond the obvious, a towel would be useful, you are probably one of those people who never had a security blanket. I was one of those people who had one. I even got called Linus quite a bit, but my blanket was very useful. I could use it for comfort, warm, dresses, and a bindle. While I still have fond memories of my blanket, I put some thought into it, and a towel is infinitely more useful, and I'll tell you why.

     The obvious use for a towel is to dry yourself or others off, but when I decided to write this article, I wanted to go beyond the obvious. Then there are the places where towels and blankets overlap. You can use both as a pillow, to lay on, as a pet bed, to cover you for warmth, to cover you for protection (-2 penalty to attack rolls), emotional comfort, physical comfort (folded up for a seat cushion, wrapped around the hand as a pot holder/oven mitt, placed under knees when kneeling on hard floor, as a makeshift saddle, or seat cover in a hot vehicle), a bag of holding, a gag, a welcome mat, as a costume effect (i.e. pregnant, beer gut, or ghost), kindling for a fire, to communicate long distance with smoke signals, a garrote, to muffle noise (giving a +2 to sneak attack), as a makeshift ironing board, window blinds, privacy curtain, exercise equipment, packing material, a surface cover (such as picnic blanket, tablecloth, bread basket liner, candle mat, or craft mat), first aid (as a sling, a brace, a makeshift stretcher, a bandage, or a tourniquet) and as clothing, including: diapers, a head cover in sunny places, a face mask in windy or smelly circumstances, makeshift gloves if halved, a poncho, an apron, a sari, a lavalava, makeshift shoes if halved, and a death shroud.

     What sets the towel above and beyond the blanket is that it can also be used to clean up messes, as a canteen of sorts (a good terry cloth towel can absorb and hold a lot of water), and in the following ways:

A towel deals 1d4 points of nonlethal damage. When dry, it deals no damage to any creature with an armor bonus of +1 or higher or a natural armor bonus of +3 or higher. When wet, it deals no damage to any creature with an armor bonus of +3 or higher or a natural armor bonus of +5 or higher. The towel is treated as a melee weapon with a 3-7 foot reach, according to type of towel, though you don't threaten the area into which you can make an attack. In addition, unlike most other weapons with reach, you can use it against foes anywhere within your reach (including adjacent foes).

Using a towel provokes an attack of opportunity, just as if you had used a ranged weapon.

You can make trip attacks with a towel. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can use the towel to disarm your attacker.

When using a towel, you get a +2 bonus on opposed attack rolls made to disarm an opponent (including the roll to keep from being disarmed if the attack fails).

You can use the Hoopy Frood feat to apply your Dexterity modifier instead of your Charisma modifier to all Diplomacy checks while carrying your towel.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Big Announcement: More of What You Love!

 

     I know I haven't been on here in ages. I haven't even written the post about the wonderful con we went to last year. I have my notes. I have wonderful pics, but I haven't had the time or the energy.

     But now I do!

     "Why?" do you ask. Let me tell you. I have the time and energy because I have a new position with a regular schedule. So from now on, I'm going to be doing my best to post weekly, every Thursday. There will be more nerdy content, more dorky dates, more gaming grub, more marathon menus, more geeky craft projects, and more fun.

     I'm also looking for ideas. What do you want to see?

     I'm hoping to get a YouTube channel up and running. It may be a combo channel with my other blogs, but I'm not sure yet. It's going to be so much fun either way. I have ideas for craft projects and exercise videos along with fun foods that I want to showcase. Yay! I'm excited, and I hope you are, too.