Saturday, November 26, 2016

Dorky Date: Tron Marathon & Arcade Food

     Ah, the '80's. We had so much fun back then, going to arcades, spending all of our quarters to play video games. The big arcade where I grew up was in a shopping mall near the food court, so you could get any food you wanted, but there were smaller arcades around that were in bowling alleys, and we even had a diner that had a few arcade cases. I don't remember ever going to an arcade that was a dedicated arcade building, but I know there were some. I loved arcade games, even though I wasn't very good at them. I especially loved watching other people play, so when Tron came out, it seemed perfect for me. I remember watching it with my dad and really loving the whole feel of the movie, even if I didn't necessarily understand the plot at the time. This date mixes the nostalgia of the original Tron, the excitement of the newer Tron Legacy, and the deliciousness of arcade/bowling alley food for a fun date night in.

This date can be relatively cheap if you already own both Tron movies. An alternative is to check them out at your local library or rent them from your favorite service. If you buy them, it will be a bit more expensive, but then you can replicate this date whenever you please. The other expense will of course be the food which can range from cheap hot dogs and fries to more expensive organic, grass-fed all-beef hot dogs (which I strongly recommend). We made our own curly fries using a spiralizing attachment on our Kitchen Aid and a couple of sweet potatoes.

Who Would Enjoy It
While Ray and I were the only ones on this date, it could also be interesting for a family movie marathon night or a group. Just make sure you have plenty of comfortable seating for all invited and a variety of condiments, so people can customize their own hot dogs.

What You May Need
  • Your favorite hot dogs
  • French fries, potatoes, or sweet potatoes
  • Condiments
  • Napkins
  • Your favorite beverage, sodas would be customary
Movie Marathon:
  • A copy of Tron and Tron Legacy
  • Comfortable places to sit or lay down
  • Favorite device for watching movies

Getting Comfy
You really need to think comfort when you settle in for a movie marathon. You need a place to sit or lay for every person who plans to indulge in the activity. We put mattresses, pillows, and blankets on the floor near the couches, so we could sit or lay down, according to our desire at the time. This also afforded us plenty of room to wallow and change positions. If you include children in the marathon, make sure they have something to do if they get bored of watching the movies.

Special Considerations
  • While we had hot dogs and curly fries, you may want to consider different foods that remind you of the fare you would indulge in at an arcade. Would you rather have hamburgers, chilly dogs, nachos, onion rings, pizza slices? Are you going to take this time to pig out and eat all types of bad food, or do you want to make healthier versions of your favorite treats? Will you interrupt your marathon to make food, or do you want to prepare meals ahead of time?
  • The second consideration is movie marathon etiquette and rules. Will you pause movies for bathroom breaks? Will you pause for discussions, or will people be encouraged to keep their mouths shut during the movies? If you want people to stay quiet, will their be a time for discussion after the movie or during the credits? Will you watch the special features or wait until a different time when you're just watching one movie? Will you watch the movie with the commentary?
  • The third consideration is to think about taking a slight break between the two movies to get up and move around. Remember that a movie marathon is about the journey, not the destination.

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.


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


1/3 cup coconut milk, cold

1 Tbs. beet juice

1/4 cup honey

6 Tbs. coconut oil

1/4 cup ghee


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)
Baby nasal aspirator (optional, if you don't want to put your mouth on the egg)
Slick black paint
Metallic purple paint
Paint brushes

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 and receive that and many more patterns and fun things!