549 – Hat Trick • 06


(Lena finally convinced me to start playing the Vampires Live game on the iPhone/iPod Touch. If you’re playing too, invite us at 2RUAHG and AXR4JQ and we’ll join you in your vampirey battles!)

This got brought up a week or two ago, and I liked the idea, so I thought I’d pursue it. The item is Gaming Food, and while we’ve discussed it before, we’ve never swapped recipes, so to speak. I figured I’d start out showing you a few of mine, and you can post your favorites below.

Even if it’s just a bag of Doritos and a bottle of Coke, let us know. What do you eat while gaming?

Homemade Onion Dip

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 medium onion, chopped and caramelized in butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Mix all ingredients together by hand in a small bowl until smooth.
  2. Cover and chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Kevin’s Awesome Guacamole

  • 4 avocados (Get the small ugly hass avocados. The pretty big green ones taste like water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of finely diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomato
  1. Halve and pit the avocados. Scoop out the flesh with a tablespoon into a mixing bowl.
  2. Mash the avocados with a fork, leaving them somewhat chunky.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, and fold everything together to gently mix. Lay a piece of plastic wrap right on the surface of the guacamole so it doesn’t brown and refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

If you’re interested in looking at other, regular recipes, check out Angry Martini, Lena’s recipe site.

52 Responses to 549 – Hat Trick • 06

  1. First time I played, it was on college so it was mostly soft drinks and loads of chocolates/chips. Well…not loads, and not all of the time.

    I remember when there was an art exhibition on the small museum at my college’s Student Center. Mostly, all they asked was to look at the art, and write your name. Since our group was the one closest to the small museum (well, it was where nearly all the geeks hanged out…), we knew that they always had a catering service, with lots of food like chicken wings, pastries, and cake. And juice, as well, but since the dispensing machines were nearby, we complemented. So, when we had a break on the game (and even when it wasn’t game day), we just got in, checked, took our time (there were some interesting art every now and then, some were photo shoots and whatnot), and then we gorged on the food. It was normal, and actually quite expected; student survival 101, though we were on the advanced course. Later, we had the tradition of ending one good session by going to the nearest gas shop and eating fried chicken. So it was Wednesdays of fried chicken…at about 1:00-2:00 AM.

    Ah, the memories…

    Come next playing period (which should cover these weeks as well except for some trifles around), and it was the usual, except I had to provide the food and drinks (d’oh!) I don’t cook (and dunno when I shall take my time to do so, but hey…), but fortunately, since it was in my house, my dear mother offered food for the entire group. Not everyone ate, but every now and then, we had either ground beef soft tacos or cielito lindo, which is mostly a big platter composed of your typical taco components placed on layers, and eaten as if a dip. One of our pals was vegetarian, so there was a special platter for him as well (it also happened that he was the DM, so…); either with beans, or with soy meat seasoned as if ground beef (and boy, does it taste awesome!!!). Every now and then, there was a bit more solid food, such as salmon and what not (and the ovo-lacto-vegetarian DM had tofu instead)

    If anything is to be added: we never use sour cream. It’s…a bit alien. We use cream cheese instead. Gives it an entirely different flavor. Also, you can make wraps out of virtually anything, as if fajitas (I’m expecting that due next Thanksgiving). Leftover turkey? Chop some lettuce, tomato, onions, oregano, perhaps some chives, get some cheddar and swiss, cream cheese, refried beans, and the biggest tortillas you can get. The meat can be replaced, tho: ground beef, steak, chicken breast, turkey breast, even pork.

    Mix that with a bit of grape juice, and presto! Best game breaks ever!

      • A quick “grab and go” I like to make takes a tortillia (I prefer flour over corn), some lunch meat, and some lettuce if it’s available (shredded preferred, but not works too). Maybe a little butter on the tortillia if there’s time (there usually isn’t). Roll it up and head out the door. I know, not much different than a sandwich, but it’s actually easier.

  2. Nachos and anti-freeze were my favorites.
    Anti-freeze is a drink I made up that went over pretty well. Put a shot of blue curacao in a glass and pour in mountain dew until it arrives at the perfect shade of anti-freeze green. You can eyeball it, you can tell when you have it just right. Super sweet and loaded with caffine AND alcohol. Great for all-nighter D&D sessions.
    Nachos- kind of a basic, no-fail recipe. I chunk up a big block of velveeta into a crockpot, fry up a pound of hamburger and toss it in, add a can of medium ro-tel, a few shakes of garlic salt, and set it on low for about an hour. Get a monster bag of corn chips and it’s a feast fit for the whole party. Be sure to turn the crockpot to “keep warm” or off entirely when served- it’ll scorch and be a bitch to clean up later. A spoonful of jalapenos or a dash or two of tobasco goes good if folks like it hot- recommended after it gets dished up, or you may wind up with smoke coming out of everyone’s ears.

    That looked like a very interesting onion dip and guacamole recipe. Huh, never thought of using mayo. Will have to give both of them a try- they sound really good.

  3. Cooking for gaming? Huh? This seems like an oxymoron on the face of it; cooking for gaming is usually a non-starter because the people most likely to be organized and competent to do it will, as a rule, have the most responsibilities preventing them from doing so–particularly the GM prepping the session. Between that and whomever is made to arrange the space, schedule and furniture there generally isn’t much unused diligence and logistical talent left that I’ve seen with the major exception being non-participants who generously demonstrate hospitality far in excess of what gamers deserve (with few exceptions).
    Still, there is a surprisingly large amount of snack or meal food one could prepare with basic cooking facilities and supplies and relatively little effort or time, and I strongly suggest home-made pasta and side, mess-minimal barbecue, stir-fry and chili for normal gaming, which I suppose I could give directions for if anybody wants my individual take. I rarely think in terms of hard recipes but here’s a couple easy and relatively un-unhealthy things I’ve done recently which perhaps don’t have readily googled recipes:

    1) All-purpose flour, 2) (relatively) lots of cinnamon, 3) brown sugar and 4) water. Use as little grease as you can manage with your pan–the point is to make sure that these things don’t stick, and the best way to do that is to make sure it gets to the right temperature (medium to medium high), you jab your silicone spatula under as soon as you can to ensure it doesn’t burn on, your non-stick pan is good and you have a bit of light oil like rapeseed or whatever. Make tiny pancakes with the mix, if your pan was light enough on grease (requires very good non-stick pan) these are even okay hand-food at the table. Otherwise you failed and need to give out forks. Best done with two or more relatively large non-stick pans on a decently large stove and possibly a helper to speed up production.
    I suggest working up to this level of experimentation using different box-mix pancake kits (or experiments one is prepared to have fail) since this is not a novice-level process.

    White fries, possibly with onion:
    Cut up one or more white potatoes into flat slices about a quarter inch thick (or less if you’re good). Slowly sauté in a nonstick pan in light oil (again, like rapeseed) with a lid on, at medium-low. Takes a long while, but it’s done when light-orangy scorch marks are seen on both sides of about 3/10ths to 7/10ths of the fries. If you want to cut up the potatoes in advance I’d store the slices in water or a simple marinade (like coriander chutney) in the fridge for best results. Consider adding sliced onions for interesting flavours effect and moderately dust the fried results with some sea salt (and possibly other spices) to make sure it isn’t healthy. Make sure to give forks and consider topping this with sour cream or a hunk of melting cheese or quantity of whatever cheese-simulating-substance strikes your fancy.
    If the heat is too high you will burn them badly. The lid is necessary to make sure they cook through and should cover the cooking area of the pan pretty well. Last time I did this it took an hour, but the cool thing is that once you know what you’re doing and you know your stove temperature and timing you only need to flip them once, making this pretty low effort for something much less bad for you than deep-frying (albeit slower).

    I suppose I could describe a bean-dip to use with nachos or fries but who would want it that doesn’t already know or couldn’t look it up better elsewhere? Please forgive my slackitude but I’ve already contributed and I feel somewhat unmotivated to rewrite recipes that are already available online.

      • Eh, I’ll have done enough when I’m finally done with this mortal coil, until then I must trudge and toil.
        One thing I didn’t do is outline all the many ways that halfass-churros can fail and how to try and avoid them (or do better next time). Anybody need me to explain the advanced alchemy involved or are we all content to ignore it because it’s so labour intensive (despite having the cheapest ingredients ever for anything pretty much).

  4. Nacho Cheese Doritos and some Frito Lay Jalapeno Cheddar cheese dip. OMFG! Once I have that in front of me I can’t stop eating it.

  5. Gamers Punch
    1 2 liter bottle of Mountain Dew
    2 bags of Skittles (the kinds you’ll find in the check out line not the really big bags)
    2 boxes of strawberry-grape Nerds
    1 bag of Pixie Stix
    A liter of Jolt Cola (note: Jolt can be VERY had to come by depending on where you live. SO if you need to substitute I’d suggest trying Dr. Pepper or some other similar dark cola, Sobe used to make a Guarana laced Dr. Pepper knock-off but I think they don’t make it anymore)

    Optional: Alcohol, either Vodka or Everclear

    1) Drain 1 liter of Mountain Dew so that there is only 1 liter left in the bottle.
    2) Pour the Skittles, Nerds, and Pixie Stix into the 2 liter bottle (be careful, sugar makes carbonate beverages foam like crazy!)
    3) If you are planning on making this stuff alcoholic add it now, I’d reccommend either 8 shots of Vodka or 4 shots of Everclear, but you can either go lower or higher based on personal taste.
    4) Fill the rest of the bottle to the top with Jolt.
    5) Put the cap back on the bottle and make sure it is on tight!
    6) Shake bottle until contents are throughly mixed (should look something like sludgy swamp water).
    7) Put bottle in fridge to chill (10 minutes is usually good, depends on how cold the soda was to start with)
    DO NOT Store this for a long period of time (over night is TOO long). If stored too long it won’t taste as good.

    Drink with respect, this stuff is loaded with Caffiene and Sugar!!!

    • Oh man, I got a sugar-headache just reading that! You must be much younger than I am, LOL!

      I can imagine though how much I would have liked that as a teen. What inspired you guys to come up with such a thing?

  6. Related topic on food. Has anyone ever made themed food based on the upcoming adventure?

    I’m thinking something like these finger cookies: http://whatdoveganseat.blogspot.com/2007/10/halloween-food.html
    Or spider cookies: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/funny_pages_20/2008/10/spooky-hallowee.html
    Or any of these: http://www.thimble.ca/?p=632

    So, if your adventure included tracking down, say, some mind flayers, maybe the food included these brain cupcakes: http://www.wanderinggoblin.com/2009/08/13/brain-cupcakes/ or something?

    I know, most gamers aren’t that organized………….

  7. Actually, I don’t eat much at the gaming table because I like my books not to have greasy stains or bits which stick two pages together.

    Seriously, in a game with relies on paper so much, do you really want to have things stick to your books and sheets?

    The only foods that I have are biscuits, and occasionally crisps.

    Dips? Sheesh.

    • Alan said “biscuits and crisps”. Hee hee.

      Where are you from Alan? The word “crisps” makes me think England. Especially if “biscuits” aren’t the kind you put gravy on. 😉

      • Indeed I am from the ‘Land of Engles’.

        I was aware that most of the people who read this comic are ‘A Merry Can’, so part of the reason why I chose those two items was because I knew the words are British just to be awkward.

        I didn’t know that over the pond biscuits are something that you put gravy on, I hadn’t come accross that before.

        • Now I am wondering what you guys call biscuits or do you eat “biscuits”? Here biscuits are flour, baking soda, buttermilk (or milk or water), a pinch of salt, and a little butter or shortening chopped in it. Then you pat them and cut them out into circles and bake. We eat them with butter and/or jelly or gravy over them for breakfast. A toast alternative.

          So, does “A Merry Can” mean “Happy Bum?” LOL.

  8. Lena has a recipe site?!? Why didn’t I already know this? Like I don’t spend enough time in front of a screen already – off to check it out. =)

    As for “Gaming Food”… since my fantasy gaming consists of playing WoW any food must be:
    a) guaranteed “non-sticky”, and
    b) edible with one hand (or less)
    That pretty much narrows it down to cheese-and-crackers type stuff.

    • Yep. I pretty much ONLY put total winners on it. I found that I wanted a way to have access to all my recipes when I was at the grocery store. So, I made a recipe site and set it up to format nicely from an iphone. I was also tired of having scraps of paper all over the cookbook cabinet. It’s a constant work in progress, but there are a lot of good things out there. Plus, it’s really nice when someone wants a recipe. I just send them there. 😉

  9. We typically just have the normal bagged snacks and canned drinks, but sometimes we’ll get more creative.

    Our former DM has an ice cream maker so we’ll grab some interesting ingredients when out getting the normal snacks, prep it before we play, put it in the freezer and then, towards the end, we’ll have Green Tea ice cream or Dark Chocolate with Hazelnuts and Chili Powder (a bit too much that time, it was very tasty, but too spicy for some and also a bit gritty).

    Sometimes we’ll make Jalapeno Poppers, but those are typically a little too messy for eating at the game table.

    If you want to try a neat dip, consider Avacado and Mango Salsa: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1168117
    It’s really simple, but very very tasty. I’d recommend cutting the avocado and mango into chunks that are at least a centimeter or two on an edge and mixing gently, otherwise the avocado gets mushed and you’ve got mango guacamole, which isn’t quite as nice.
    It’s more flavorful than the standard jars of salsa, and, unlike with the standard bean or sour cream based dips, your players won’t be casting “Stinking Cloud” nearly as often.

  10. Velveeta Cheese dip.
    1 box Velveeta Cheese
    1 lb ground beef
    1/2 can stewed tomatoes (optional)
    1 tiny can o jalenenos (optional but delicious)

    Brown the beef dice and slowly add in the cheese then the rest of the goodies. Let cook for a minute or two after adding then serve.

    That or hot dishes. I have a Minnesotan girlfriend that feels its an insult to humanity if something hot and dishy isn’t served at my games.

  11. Ummm… Onion Dip. Guacamole is something you yell when you’re on fire in Mexico…

    Great angle of Bunker falling! No hat! See! He’s not bald! 🙂

  12. So far nobody has mentioned PIZZA! Ah glorious pizza- stacks of em- delivered right to your door. It’s the total all-in-one feast that lasts all night, good hot or cold, serves as dinner, late nite snack, and breakfast. No cooking or prep required. Just flip open the box and chow down. Pizza makes a gaming session a roaring success.

    • We have the most awesomest pizza place we order from called Big Pete’s. My favorites there are the BB-Q pizza, the eggplant parmesan pizza, and the chicken curry pizza. Fabulous!

  13. Lena’s recipe site is awesome, got it bookmarked. Thanks a bunch!

    We usually just have the three Ps: popcorn, pretzels, & Pocky, with soda or tea (Using one teabag of Mint Medley per one family-size regular teabag gives it a nice minty flavor!), although a batch of brownies or blondies occasionally makes it’s way into the house.

  14. I’ve done everything from chips and dips to bbq’s for gaming sessions. My favourite discovery, however, is taquitos. The frozen things you buy from Safeway and heat up in the oven. What works well is if you dip those in sour cream and salsa mixed together. Yes, mixed together. Try it. 😉

    And if you want a good tri tip marinade:
    3 parts soy sauce
    1 part lemon juice
    dash of worchestor shire sauce
    can add some diced garlic.

    let marinade at least 24 hours. longer if you are doing a roast.

  15. My wife or myself usually host for our gaming sessions, which often involves cooking. A real easy recipe is a home-style sort of dish. Basically you boil:
    -third of a soup pot of water
    -chop up an onion
    – 2 potatos/person
    -some green beans
    -some corn
    Salt, pepper to taste–you’ll probably want a fair amount of salt.
    Boil it for a while. Then you cut up some smoked sausage and cook that with it for 15 minutes or so. Works fine, tastes great–even better the next day. Make them boys eat their vegetables. You can make that in a crock pot also, the longer it cooks the better it tastes.

    Also Mexican food is great, it’s modular so the picky ones can avoid their vegetables, and refried beans are inexpensive.

    On a side note: I’ve definately home-made fortune cookies and hand-written fortunes out for individual characters to be served in-game. Cryptic hints of dire villainy from their mysterious benefactor (who was spotted exiting the kitchen not long after) were included, along with ‘unlucky’ numbers. As well as Draconic words of the day.

  16. well i already gave yall my wifes cheese dip recipe. bunker jumping off the ship is funny as hell.

  17. One of our traditionnal food used to be “croque-monsieurs” (not sure what they are called in english but you will recognize them soon enough)

    They are sandwiches made of toast bread, anything you want as a filling (your average is filled with ham and cheese) and are grilled (usually in a special machine). They have a few advantages :

    – Easy to make
    – Quick to make
    – Hot
    – Contain whatever you want

    So you can make a “healthier” complete bread / turkey / tomato / lettuce or a classic white bread / cheese / ham / more cheese. Of course .. as the evening proceeds into the night, your choices become more an more limited 😉

    • The closest name I’ve got is for a “grilled cheese,” which is a pan-fried (or, alternatively, toaster-oven toasted) cheese sandwich, so call it a grilled ham and cheese and people should be able to tell what you’re talking about.

    • The “special” machine I am referring looks like a waffle machine but with flat/toast-bread-slice-shaped heating pans. The great advantage is also that something done in 30 seconds – 1 minute doesn’t really cut the flow of the game.

      So if you just finished your combat round and there are three others that still need to do theirs, you have largely the time to cook you one or two … or ten if you are playing the old LoTR games with the endless combat system 😉

  18. We eat peanut-butter filled pretzel things, because Keith always brings a GIANT ASS TUB of them.

    I usually drink rye or bourbon. Sometimes beer. Most people drink Coke.

    Sometimes we do something fancier: a few years back we did a Temple Of Elemental Evil-themed dinner party, with Fetus-on-a-Stick (coconut shrimp), Embryos-in-blood-a-la-Tharizdun (chicken and dumplings in a berry sauce), Long Pork Roast (errr, regular pork roast), and some other stuff I can’t remember because, well, rye and rum and stuff.

  19. The big black hass avocados taste fine too. Just avoid the green ones. You can stop the avocado from browning with juice from half a lemon or lime (or maybe less).

    I don’t have any recipes to post b/c I find all mine on the fly by going to a recipe website and finding one with lots of ratings and a 5 star average. Easy goodness.

  20. I’m sharing because I care.
    1 lb of Tennessee Pride Hot Sausage
    1 lb of pre-shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
    1/3 cup of milk
    2 cups of Pilgrims Pride Pancake mix

    Mix and roll into bite-sized chunks. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.
    I like adding a teaspoon of Greek Seasoning to it. MSG makes everything better.

    I never said it was healthy, but it tastes awesome!

      • I would be happy to contribute… I cook as a means of stress relief, and have gotten quite good at it. Here’s one just for you and your husband – as my thanks for this comic.
        2 cornish game hens – I don’t know the brand, but they are in the black and white wrappers at publix. I think it’s Tyson Brand.
        They need to be fully defrosted and you’ll need to separate the skin from the breast with your finger and either pour a little extra virgin olive oil between the skin and meat, or use butter. I prefer the olive oil – it’s healthier and keeps the meat juicier.
        Next pour some olive oil over the top of the birds to make the spices stick and cover them with garlic powder, a pinch of ground cumin, salt, pepper and greek seasoning. Bake at 375* for about an hour. You’ll know the bird is done by the smell, and the juices will run clear when you cut the skin between the drumstick and the breast.

        The left over meat can be shredded for tacos another night. just add more ground cumin to the meat and crushed red pepper to taste!