Food Kryptonite: Pretzels

August 31st, 2014

Do you have a food that you love? I mean, absolutely, without a doubt, that you’d eat ANYTIME?

Every since I had my first bite in college, I have fallen head over heels for soft pretzels. They’re soft, warm, salty and go with just about anything.


Especially beer. Soft pretzels are a must as a side at any micro-brewery.

Not only are they great to eat, they are easy to make and therefore the perfect party dish. Buy a side of mustard or cheese sauce and you’re good to go.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, approximately
Olive oil, for bowl
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel or Kosher salt

    • Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with olive oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
    • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone mat. Set aside.
    • Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan.
    • In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel or simply cut into 1″ pieces for pretzel bites. Place onto the parchment/silicone mat-lined half sheet pan.
    • Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Pretzel Bites

They made it about an hour at the party.


100 Days of Geek Chic and Healthy: Stress Relief

August 23rd, 2014

After seeing Ariel’s (Nerdy Birdie) 100 Days of Geek Chic and Healthy theme, I couldn’t help but be interested. Fitness and eating right have both been well established in my life (with a cheat day here and there, of course), but my inner-geek isn’t as strong as it once was. This challenge will hopefully step up my geek chic game with inspiration, and I hope to be able to inspire you with different workout and recipe ideas.

To be honest, I can’t say I have dealt with a lot of stress lately. I won’t lie, there have been times when I’ve been frustrated or annoyed, but it doesn’t get to the point where I hyperventilate or want to lock myself away.

I use to.

This was before I started waking up at 5:30am and prepared the coffee pot so all one had to do was push a button for it to start brewing. And before I clipped the leash on Snoopy and snapped a belt around my waist.

Those kind of long-term taxing situations were before I laced my shoes and hit the pavement. Being stressed out was before I began running.

Stress Relief - Running with Snoopy

Look ma, no hands. Well, except for the one holding the phone.

I don’t know if it’s having time to step away from everything. It could be the extra time I have to chew things over in my head and assess different paths I could take to get to the situation’s finish line. Maybe its the scenery.

Stress Relief - Scenery

Running along the trail.

Hell, it could be the endorphins.

Either way, I think there is a reason fictional characters like the Flash or Sonic the Hedgehog are so free-spirited. Runners, as many people say, are just a different breed.

And even if you don’t want to go run, it would probably work just as well to thrown on a pair of shoes and walk or ride a bike. As a famous squirrel once told me, free your mind.


Geekout With: Bee and Puppycat

August 14th, 2014

It’s amazing what you can find on YouTube. A lot of stupid things, but a lot of great things as well. One of those being the web cartoon series, Bee and Puppycat.

For those who haven’t seen it yet, Bee and Puppycat is a web series created by Natasha Allegri (the same great woman who came up with Fionna for Adventure Time.) Bee and Puppycat is about a 20 something year old, Bee, who has trouble keeping the same job for some time. After being fired from one job, she collides with Puppycat. Quite literally.


I don’t want to spoil too much for those who haven’t seen it, but Bee and Puppycat is honestly something the world needs. Bee, the main character, is cute yet not annoying and has all kinds of personality. She’s a girl who isn’t defined by her ‘sex appeal’ or what guys think of her. She can be goofy without being an airhead. She’s… Bee.


Puppycat is a character of his own. Sarcastic and mightier than thou, there is more to Puppycat than meets the eye.

A lot of people seemed to have the same opinion. See, originally Bee and Puppycat was created to be a 10 minute short all together. However, people loved it so much that a Kickstarter was created to fund the money for a longer series.


And it worked. $872,133 was funded for the production of the series Bee and Puppycat.

Bee and Puppycat Cartoon

With that currently in production, fans also have a chance to contniue following Bee and Puppycat in the comic book series produced by KABOOM! Comics.


The comics are a nice change from the usual thing you see from Marvel and DC. The fact that the text is handwritten adds character to Bee, Puppycat and the others.

Who can argue with Bee’s logic?

There are several different adventures (as well as continuing ones) you can follow in volumes 1 and 2. Volume 3 has a predicted released date of August 27, 2014.

Just don’t take too long. Or your comics will be gone. That’s what’ll happen. Ka-bow.


My Bee and Puppycat Wish List:
Puppycat Plushie
Puppycat Plushie
This is the same Puppycat I carried around for my own cosplay and is now sitting in my room. He looks exactly like his drawn counterpart and is very hug-able.

Bee and Puppycat Gloves
PUPPYCAT Fingerless Gloves
With Fall and Winter boo coming up, these would be the perfect gloves to keep your hands warm while keeping Puppycat on your person. I’m even curious as to if those small bells ring.

Puppycat GIRL Shirt
Puppycat Girl Shirt
Such sass. Much Puppycat. This shirt was actually drawn by Natasha herself and was demanded by the artist to be made into a shirt. And what the creator wants, the creator gets. I love the simplicity and sass of it.


100 Days of Geek Chic and Healthy: Super Mario Workout

August 2nd, 2014

After seeing Ariel’s (Nerdy Birdie) 100 Days of Geek Chic and Healthy theme, I couldn’t help but be interested. Fitness and eating right have both been well established in my life (with a cheat day here and there, of course), but my inner-geek isn’t as strong as it once was. This challenge will hopefully step up my geek chic game with inspiration, and I hope to be able to inspire you with different workout and recipe ideas.

While being able to go to the gym is great for strength training, sometimes you just don’t have access to a gym. Thankfully, there is a workout (and more) for that. I love body weight exercises (as does American Ninja Warrior Kacy) and think they can be just as beneficial as having dumbbells.

I also know from experience it’s fun to have a theme or something to have in mind while working out… And honestly, who wouldn’t want to go through a Super Mario course?

Super Mario World Workout

The following workout is called a Circuit Workout, which includes strength as well as endurance training. Try to go through the entire workout without stopping.

Super Mario World: 1-1 Workout
Jog: 60 seconds
Arm Swing Rotation (Horizontal and vertical): 60 second
Alternating Leg Swings: 60 seconds
Get that Coin: 60 second Knee Tuck Jumps
Ride that Yoshi: 60 second Tricep Dips
Climb Up the Vine: 60 second Mountain Climbers
Fire Power: 60 second Push-Ups
Up The Stairs!: 60 seconds Alternating Lunges
- (or) Hard Mode!!: 60 seconds Jump Alternating Lunges
Dodge the Hammer/Shell/Item Thrown at You: 60 second Burpees
Down the Finish Pole: 60 second Plank
- repeat workout x2

How To
Knee Tuck Jumps
Tricep Dips
Mountain Climber
Jump Lunges

With some of these exercises, you may have to work your way up to doing 60 seconds (like the plank.) Go as long as your body will hold. As long as you continue doing circuit training like the one above, your hold time will improve.


100 Days of Geek Chic and Healthy: 3 Inspirational Women

July 28th, 2014

After seeing Ariel’s (Nerdy Birdie) 100 Days of Geek Chic and Healthy theme, I couldn’t help but be interested. Fitness and eating right have both been well established in my life (with a cheat day here and there, of course), but my inner-geek isn’t as strong as it once was. This challenge will hopefully step up my geek chic game with inspiration, and I hope to be able to inspire you with different workout and recipe ideas.

Everyone, no matter who you are, has at least one person you look to for inspiration or motivation. In real life as well as the video game and comic world there are several women that you can relate to or motivates you to be an even stronger individual.

These three are those girls in my life (complete with a matching workout outfit for that extra motivation outside or in the gym.)

Batgirl - Workout Outfit
Jacket \\ Top \\ Capris \\ Gloves \\ Shoes \\ Bag

Barbara Gordon (Batgirl)
Growing up, I thought comic heroes were cool and knew several by name. Beside that however, I never really got into the comic book world. It wasn’t until college actually that I somehow ran into the character Barbara Gordon who then led me into checking out comic books.

Barbara’s story is pretty inspiring. Not only is she one of two girls in the Bat family, but she overcame being paralyzed and jumped back into crime fighting. In October, she is yet again changing her story (and outfit) with creative team Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr. I am looking forward to this new “Veronica Mars, and Girls with a dash of Sherlock” storyline.

The outfit in general is perfect for the gym or doing parkour outside. Once you warm up, you can take off your jacket. The gloves are great for weight lifting, no need to worry about blisters on your hands. The bag is perfect to keep your items in while you sweat and then a good place to put your workout clothes once you’re ready to leave.

Amy Rose - Workout Outfit
Top \\ Shorts \\ Headband \\ Shoes

Amy Rose (Sonic the Hedgehog)
It’s strange, but thanks to this girl I not only got into the world of role play, but was submerged into everything else (the larger world of video games as well as the internet) as well. One day when I was about 12, my younger brother asked if I would play Sonic with him. Having played the original Sonic the Hedgehog games I said yes, why not. Out came Sonic Adventure 2, and in multi-player there was a pink hedgehog. Amy Rose.

While some may find it strange that I find this love struck hog inspiring, the fact that she continues to go out and help the guys save the world despite being seen as “annoying” and left in the dust can’t help but make you a bit more interested in her character. Not to mention in Sonic Adventure where she decided after Sonic left her once again, she herself would help out her new bird friend who was in distress and took on a monster robot with her giant mallet.

This is a great summer running outfit, especially for those (like me) who have to deal with the heat and humidity. The tank top as well as the shorts will wick the sweat off while the headband will keep your hair back will keeping firm yet comfortable as you run.

Bobbi Gibb - Workout Outfit
Top \\ Shorts \\ Shoes

Bobbi Gibb
Before 1966, it was believed that women were not physiologically able to run marathon distances. Heck, at that point the longest sanctioned race for women was one and a half miles. Bobbi Gibb challenged that belief; she hid in the bushes by the start line and waited for a few of the men took off before jumping in and ran the Boston Marathon. When she finished, she was ahead of 2/3rd of the pack.

After the world saw this feat, it was demanded rules were changed. Thanks to Bobbi, women around the world can now race anywhere from a 5K to a full marathon.

For such an incredible woman, she deserves a fun yet functional outfit. Both the top as well as the shorts are great for running and keeping you cool while the shoes have chimachill technology that will keep your feet cool as well.


Pardon the Silence

July 22nd, 2014

Due to moving and being internet-less at the new place, I haven’t had a chance to post anything.

Pardon the Silence

For now you can see my new painted walls and put together bed.

You don’t think about it until sleeping without your own bed for about a month… But being able to sleep on one without having it for awhile makes you realize how much you took it for granted.


100 Days of Geek Chic and Healthy: The Bedroom

July 15th, 2014

After seeing Ariel’s (Nerdy Birdie) 100 Days of Geek Chic and Healthy theme, I couldn’t help but be interested. Fitness and eating right have both been well established in my life (with a cheat day here and there, of course), but my inner-geek isn’t as strong as it once was. This challenge will hopefully step up my geek chic game with inspiration, and I hope to be able to inspire you with different workout and recipe ideas.

Currently being without a bedroom and getting ready to move into one, this week’s The Bedroom theme has gotten me to think exactly how to layout my living space. In the house I am preparing to move into, my room has previously been lived in by a 10 year old girl. What does that mean?

All pink walls.

Original Room
*Insert horror music here*

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind pink. However, having pink stare me in the face from every direction is too much. Even when I was 8 years old.

Before moving into the overdose of pink room, there will be a paint day. While I do enjoy reds, oranges as well as purples, having a room completely either of these colors sounds like an overload as well. Instead, there will be an accent wall or two with a red or purple and the other walls painted white.

Inspirational Wall Accent Images

Layout wise, I’ve got about 10×10 space to play with. I am moving from a larger location, so I’ve been going through my things and deciding what I need and what I can leave in storage.

Emily's Floor Plan

And then, there’s what this whole challenge is about.

I am geek and I am proud
I am geek and I am proud.

People should walk into someone’s room and see what that someone is about.

I am GEEK and I am PROUD

Decorating wise, I have several Funko POP! figures to decorate with. These will either go on my bookshelves or on my desk. There is also the Harry Potter souvenirs I brought back from Universal that will find their home.


Including a few different wall-art posters, I have several running medals from races and marathons I would like to hang on my wall. Like the photo below, I would like to have a rod to place them on while having a few different running mementos above it. Sonic will more than likely find his way up there somehow.

Medal Holder

Cosplay wise, I already have a drawer dedicated to my costume items. This shoe wall would also be great to place those out of place shoes as well as my numerous active shoes and dress shoes I never seem to wear.

What do you have in your room that signifies your interests? Do you keep your cosplay items out or do you have a storage system you place everything in?


What It Takes To Be: Fionna the Human

July 13th, 2014

Adventure Time

I’ll be honest… When I first saw commercials for Adventure Time, I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to cartoons. The art style looked too simplistic and from what I could see, the humor was about the same as any other thoughtless, brain dead script cartoon I had seen around the time.


It was only after one of my college friends had made me watch it did I realize what I had been missing out on. I’ve even come to appreciate the simplistic cartoon style Pendleton Ward has shown while giving his viewers a humorous cartoon with even some intelligent points here and there (like making you think about the joke, and then it was funny.)

And for a cartoon show, it definitely has some pretty depressing episodes.


Not to mention in makes the foodie inside me smile.

Makin’ bacon pancakes~♪

After watching it a few times, I learned about Fionna, Ice King’s fanfiction version of his enemy and the main character of Adventure Time, Finn. After seeing her in the Fionna and Cake episode, I came to appreciate her character. Yet another girl who could hold her own, at the end saw she didn’t need a guy to make her who she was and could be funny without being seen as stupid.

I have been inspired so much by Finn’s alter-ego, that I have created a workout inspired by Fionna.

What It Takes To Be: Fionna the Human

Fionna Workout
1) Shoulders and Arms: Alternating Dumbbell Press, 12-15 reps
2) Cardio: Jog in Place, 60 seconds
3) Legs: Knee Tuck Jumps, 8-10 reps
4) Cardio: Sidestep leaps, 60 seconds
5) Core: Standing Cable Wood Chop, 10-12 reps
6) Cardio: Jumping Jacks, 90 seconds
7) Back: Bent-Over Two Dumbbell Row, 12-15 reps
8) Cardio: Mountain Climbers, 60 seconds
9) Chest: Dumbbell Flys, 12-15 reps
10) Cardio: High Knee Jog in Place, 60 seconds
Repeat each set 2-3 times

How To
Alternating Dumbbell Press
Mountain Climber
Knee Tuck Jumps
Standing Cable Wood Chop
Bent-Over Two Dumbbell Row
Dumbbell Flys

When choosing a weight for the dumbbell and machine exercises, make sure its something you can do for the number of repetitions (aka reps) and sets given. You want to feel like you worked something at the end, but you also want to make sure you get through it without killing yourself.

Cardio is mixed into this workout since Fionna not only has to be strong to defeat her enemies and save the boys, but has to be able to move pretty quickly as well. Mixing strength and cardio together makes for a workout that will keep your mind focused instead of lying in boredom.

Not only will working out help make you feel better, workouts like this one will make the Sandwich Dance feel like a breeze.

Sandwich Dance

Question: What kind of workouts are you interested? Do you have dumbbells or any sort of weight equipment at your disposal? Or is it you and the outdoors? Let me know!


Red, White & Blue Blondies

July 6th, 2014

Red, White & Blue Blondies
Fourth of July can mean a lot of this to different people. Some love to veg for the day, others like to go on vacation. Fourth of July this year for me was to race.

Crossing the 4 Mile Finish Line

Growing up I didn’t always love running. In fact, I loathed the one mile run in P.E. It wasn’t until I started running in college to keep in shape that I started to enjoy it. After a few years of running I decided to run a marathon. Once I completed it, I was asked how I was going to celebrate.

With my favorite video game character, of course.

Sonic the Hedgehog tattoo

I loved playing Sonic the Hedgehog from the SEGA Genesis to the Nintendo GameCube growing up (Sonic Adventure 2 being my favorite of all time.) It’s safe to say the blue hedgehog and his friends kept close throughout my life and I know will continue to; hence the tattoo on my ankle.

He is also my motivator to not only run, but to run fast. It may take more effort, but do the results pay off.

Not only did I race, I won my age group as well as the previous age group. By a whole minute.

Race Medal

After the award ceremony, the boy and I cleaned up and went off to a Fourth of July BBQ. Feeling the need to bring something, I made my Red, White and Blue Blondies. They were a hit.

Yum - Red White & Blue Blondie

You can obviously make these any time of the year with any M&M color choice you want. Orange and brown for Halloween, blue for Hannakah, red and green for Christmas… To keep things patriotic, red and blue were my colors of choice.

Red, White & Blue M&Ms and White Chocolate
Good, better, best.

Red, White and Blue Blondies
1/2 cup butter, melted
1-1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup M & M’s, red and blue
1 cup white chocolate chips

3/4 extra cup white chocolate chips

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare a 13×9” pan by covering it in aluminum foil and then spraying both the bottoms and the edges inside the pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine your butter and sugars together until fluffy. If you have one, I recommend an electric mixer or a Kitchen Aid.
  • Add in one egg at a time with vanilla and mix until it appears all incorporated.
  • Pour and mix in flour and salt into your batter in three about-equal batches. This way it is easier to make sure everything is well blended. Who wants tons of flour in one bite? Not me.
  • Scrape off your electric mixer. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to add in your M&Ms and white chocolate chips. Mix until well combined.
  • Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top appears lightly golden brown and a tooth pick comes out clean. Your blondies should be soft, don’t keep them in the oven for too long.
  • Allow to cool before serving. And of course, enjoy.


  • Allow to cool before melting about 3/4 cup of white chocolate chips. If you’re using a microwave, I recommend putting it in for 30 seconds, mixing, and melting again for 30 seconds. Continue this process until it’s well melted (if you try to do this without mixing in between, your white chocolate can burn easily.)
  • Cut a sandwich sized plastic bag’s side tip off (the smaller, the better.) Once your white chocolate has melted, pour into the plastic bag and drizzle over the top of your blondies.
  • Once again, allow to cool before serving.

White Striped Blondies


LootCrate: More Than Meets the Eye

June 29th, 2014

First off, yes, I have been a bad blogger. These past two weeks have been a blur. In between visiting my brother and new sister-in-law out in Portland, Oregon for one week and moving and cleaning everything out of my old apartment the next week, everything’s been a blur.

With the dust settling, I present to you…

LootCrate Box

This month’s LootCrate.

While I was out visiting my brother, we were at a comic book store (if you’re ever in the area, I recommend visiting Out of this World. You won’t regret it.) and looking at Transformers paper wallets. That’s when it came up.

“I can’t wait for this month’s LootCrate!”

Which then brought me to ask him what in the world he was talking about. I discovered LootCrate was one of those monthly boxes sent to your house with different items. LootCrate is centered around different comic, cartoon, movie and video game – aka geek themes.

This month, to suit the newly released movie, was Transformers.

After some convincing (which did not take a lot, sadly), I also signed up. $20 for a bunch of fun, odd ball Transformers items? What did I have to lose?


And opening it made me feel like it was Christmas.

LootCrate - Nano

One of the first things that caught my eye was the HexBug. So small, yet it had my interest. What else can you do other then open it up first thing and play. (For being so small, it is very entertaining.)

Look Ma, no falling off the counter.

Let me tell you, the shirt made me grin. I wore it last night to see Transformers in the theater. All kinds of compliments were thrown my way.

LootCrate - Gamer

Not only did it have Transformers items in the box (that has a fun, gamified interior), the box also contained a MLG cuff as well as some game codes.
LootCrate - Decepticon Figure

And the boy loved his present. Inside the Shockwave box was this guy. Pretty cool, especially since his arms and legs were moveable.

And yes, it’s the little things that make me the happiest. Inside there were WARHEADS. One of my FAVORITE candies growing up. I don’t think I’ve had one since third grade. That was quickly rectified.

If you have an extra $20 to spend a month, I recommend giving LootCrate a try. It’ll be Christmas – monthly.