Guide to the ultimate game night

There’s nothing like a good ole fashion game as a reason to get your loved ones together and have some fun! Sometimes the pressure of planning a house party can be overwhelming and thing can go left pretty easily. Here are few tips to getting your game night up, running, organized and fun!

The invitations

There are a fews ways to get the word about your party out. The simple and most straight forward way is a facebook invite. Facebook allows you to create and event, invite your friends, keep track of your guest list and share updates and info about your events to your attendees in real time. Here’s a short video of how to create an invite on facebook if you’ve never done it before.

Now if everyone you’d like to invite isn’t on facebook another thing you can do is send a text invitation via sms. Personally like to make a little graphic to go long with the text I’m sending out to give it that special touch. It’s very easy to do using and app like PicCollage or Picstich. And you can do something simple like this:

When preparing your guest list here are a few things to keep in mind. The size of your space, how much setting you have, will you need to buy more chairs?

A principle in marketing is 10% of your outreach will show up at your event. So if you invite 30 people on average only 10 will rsvp/show up. In catering a stick to the rule of +5. Meaning that invite 30, expect 10, prepare food for 15. So if you want a guaranteed 10 people at your game that means you should invite AT LEAST 30 people!

The Games

You know you friends best so you probably know what they would enjoy playing. But it’s always a good idea to have some opinions. I even go as far as posting a game schedule so different things happen through the course of the night.

  • Game night Agenda
  • 1. Snack / Mingle 7pm-8:15
  • 2. One round of cards for humanity 8:15-8:40
  • 3. Video game/ card break out 8:40 -???
  • 4. Group game of trivia

Don’t be anal about the schedule let the night flow organically the agenda is just there to keep the night moving along.

Last but not least is the food. Party food should be simple to prepare and comprised mostly of food you can eat with one hand in my opinion. One thing you must not do is EXPERIMENT ON YOUR GUEST!!! DON’T serve anything you’ve made for the first time ever to your party goers. Frankly because it’s rude because so many things can go awry on a first time dish. Instead make thing that you’ve made at least 3-5 times before and have had a few people taste. If you used facebook to create you invitation send a message to your guest and ask about food allergies or special diets. You also post a poll to help figure out menu options.

I’m gonna go another post with some great game night recipes late today, makes sure to follow and subscribe so you can get those notifications

Mussels with wine sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of whole grain pasta
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. chopped rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 l cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 pound mussels
  • 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 medium sized zucchini diced

Bring a few quarts of salted water to a rolling boil, add 1 box of any kind of whole grain pasta you like and cook until al-dente. in a stovetop dutch over or large skillet add wine, salt and pepper, rosemary, thyme, dice zucchini and mussels over a medium. Cover and let simmer until mussels open. Reduce the heat and add butter, garlic, parmesan, and red onion. Cook until the butter is melted and the onions are soft. Drain pasta and plate, spooning mussels and sauce over pasta, garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

What the F*#% do I do with all these jars?

If you’re anything like me, a trend whore… Then when the mason jar wave hit about two years ago you probably went a little overboard. Now your looking at kitchen cabinet that’s over flowing with glass prisons, thinking to yourself “why the fuck did I buy all these?” The novelty of using them as fun drinking glasses has long since worn off. And if you take one more jar of overnight oats to work your going to hang yourself with a quaker hat! Presented for your approval are few different ways you can put those jars to use.

Pickled Pepper Mangos are a common snack found all over the caribbean and parts of Mexico. I personally hate mango but there’s something about pickled mango that just does it for me! You can eat them alone, put them on kabobs, in salads, tacos and tons of other sweet and savory dishes.

First you want find a few mangos that are just under ripe (mean they’re still a little hard to the touch) 2-3 should do the trick depending on the size of your jar. You want to peel them and cut them up like so,

The Brine

in mason jar of any size combine the following

  • 1/2 cup of kosher salt
  • 1 tps Cheyenne pepper
  • 1/2 tps black pepper
  • 1 tps red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tbs cumin
  • 1-3 cups apple cider vinegar (depending on the side of the jar)

Close the mason jar and shake until on the salt is dissolved reopen and add in mango slices. Seal the jar a refrigerate for four days minimum before serving.

Microwave cake

You’ve been eating overnight oat and heaven only knows what gods awful concoction of juiced greens all winter, it’s time to treat yo self bitch. Who says you can bring cake for lunch at work? I mean as long as it’s discreet…

Microwave or mug cake is super easy and dumb good! And if you put it in jar it’s simple to pick up and take to work for lunch or out on a picnic.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray, such as PAM Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 2 cups whipped cream,
  • 1/4 cup eggs
  • 1/2 cup dry devil’s food cake mix with pudding in mix
  • 2 tablespoons caramel flavored syrup
  • 3 mini twist pretzels, crushed

Directions

Spray insides of 2 large microwave-safe mugs with cooking spray. Whisk together whip cream, eggs, and cake mix in medium bowl. Place half of batter in each mug.

Microwave each mug individually on high for 1 minute to 1 minute 15 seconds or until set. Invert each cake onto plate. Top with caramel syrup and sprinkle with crushed pretzels. Serve immediately with additional whip cream, if desired.

Cumin seeds/Geera

Lastly I use small jars for storing fresh spices and seasonings. I make my own cumin from geera/jeera seeds because cumin tends to get stale pretty quickly the seeds stay fresher longer than the ground powder.

Winter Soups that will give you chills

Winter is here and we’re and all cold and hungry. Soups give us the warmth we need this season without making feel weighed down and tired.

I like really simple soups, not too many ingredients. To many things floating about in the bowl are off putting, plus I don’t like surprises generally so the idea of a mystery ingredient hidden at the bottom of the bowl isn’t appealing to me. One of my personal favorites is Miso soup.

Miso Soup

Miso hails from Japan and his a common side at sushi restaurants. The most basic miso recipes consist of 4-6 simple ingredients, Miso paste (fermented bean paste knows as Kojikin), dashi (fish stock), and cubed tofu and seaweed. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE SEAFOOD so this soup is right up my ally without being overtly fishy. It’s light and tasty with a light salty/briney edge. Miso is super inexpensive you can by it at most sushi restaurants for around $2-$5 depending on the size. If your adventurous and want to try this at home the process is pretty straight forward but some of the ingredients can be hard to get a hold of cheaply if you are not in a major city with an Asian market near by.

Another one of my favorite winter time soups is a little creation of my own, carrot ginger, butternut squash soup. I make this a least once a month because it’s quick and delectable. You can find my recipe and personal video below.

Butternut Squash, Carrot ginger soup

2 large carrots or 4-6 medium sized carrots, cubed
1 16oz bag frozen butternut squash 
2′ piece fresh ginger sliced
4 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 tbs chile flakes
1/2 tbs chile power
2 tpbs Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
*chicken stock

roast on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper in an oven heated to 420 degrees F. For 20mins and let cool for 5 mins 

Pulse in a food processor adding chicken stock intermittently until smooth. 

Add mixture onto a pot on the stove top over medium heat. Stir in 1-3 cups of chicken stock until the soup reaches your desired consistency. Let soup heat through on a low simmer and serve!

Oranges are in season so are lies and overstatements

Yesterday evening President Valencia made a primetime speech regarding “boarder security” and to my surprise it wasn’t packed full of alternative facts. But what it was, was extremely misleading and overflowing with red herrings.

The clementine and chief wasted no time in his ten minute address to divest into fear mongering about the large number of drugs and criminals coming across the southern boarder. He differed from his usually diatribe of blatant lies, to a sermon of half truths. Calling boarder security “a matter of the soul”. You can check it out below.

You can also check out CNN’S fact check of the speech so I don’t have to recount the whole ordeal.


https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/08/politics/fact-check-trump-immigration-speech/index.html

**update** USA Today has posted a 88 point fact check on last night speech apparently he told more lies than I thought https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/01/08/fact-checks-donald-trump/2512842002/

One thing is clear, the orange is out for blood. This is the one campaign promise to his base that he can possibly fulfill before his term up next year. This monument to stupidity is within his grasp and he’s not letting go. I think everyone is underestimating a Gemini’s ability to double down until there’s nothing left to double down on.

Because if the tangerine tyrant actually cared about boarder security, the government shutdown which defunded the TSA and border patrol agencies would have never happend. This “wall” is nothing but rampart to white fears of becoming the racial minority in this country. DAS IT! If you think it’s about anything else you’re delusional and racist (sorry boo boo just come to terms with it). Because no ones talking about the northern boarder in all this. Do you know how many undocumented Canadians are here right now? How many people that are here from European countries that overstay their visas! Give me fucking break, they don’t get brought up cuz their the right color.

Ugh but I’m all hot and agitated, and suddenly craving orange juice.

The Secret life of dumplings

When I think of comfort food I think of something warm, filling, and easy to make. I was trying to think of my favorite and many things come to mind, Mac & Cheese, Soup, pasta and butter sauce. There’s one comfort food that cuts across many cultures, dumplings bitch! I love me some dumplings, from anywhere but for those of you who don’t know I’m about to school you!

Now if you’re like me and grew up with a southern family then you grew up with these:

Southern Chicken and dumplings

Chicken and dumplings is a staple southern comfort food. It’s creamy, it’s filling, and has a unique mild flavor that’s great for winter meal. Now I haven’t had this dish in years! Mostly because after grandmother passed there was no one that could make quite like she could. But this recipe is a great close second https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/old-fashioned-chicken-dumplings-recipe

Another variation on this recipe is with backbone (pork riblet) which is a little harder and tangy. I’ve made this recipe myself and it’s amazing!

Dumpling with backbone

Here’s the website for the recipe http://www.tasteofsouthern.com/backbone-and-dumplings/

We definitely cannot talk about dumpling with talking about asian dumplings. Whether steamed or fried, Chinese or Korean we’ve all had these and I can’t get enough them. They come with various filling from pork to shrimp or vegetables depending on which region of asian we’re talking about.

Asian Dumplings

This is my personal recipe for asian shrimp dumplings

Last be definitely not least is my personal favorite Trinidadian dumplings with Oxtail. Trinidadian dumplings are closer to what American’s call biscuits. They’re light, fluffy and delicious, along with the stewed Ox-tail it’s a meal that will fill you up and never let you down. It’s a little spicy but that never hurt nobody!

Trini dumpling w/ Oxtail

This recipe is a process but it’s well worth it! https://www.today.com/recipes/oxtail-stew-dumplings-t20031

I encourage everyone to try these various recipes and share your experience in the comments!