#FrozenFoodFridays – Holiday Side Dish Edition

Merry, Happy Whatever, creatures…yes, it’s that special time of year where you all gather together in your strange, generational units and promptly remind each other why you only do that once a year.  And yet you continue to repeat that same poor life choice…every year.  As for me, it’s that time of year where I detest most things even more than I normally do, but this year has been special.  This year has, bar none, been the worst year of my life.  It’s not even a contest, really.  There was the scarlet-haired witch who decided that “fiance” was just a when-you-feel-like-it kind of thing; there’s the fact that Paul Zindle is an actual lifeform that continues to exist and draw breath in the same plane of existence that I do; and let’s not even get started on the last couple of months.  Honestly, it’s a wonder I haven’t torched this mudball to a cinder ages ago.  Of course, maybe it’s me.  Maybe I owe everyone an apology.

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Oh, good point.

But, one of the brighter spots in this absolute hellhole has been…you.  You humans reading this right now.  See, I didn’t think anyone would notice this.  This was basically a way for me to talk to myself, without looking insane (Editor’s Note: more insane) to everyone around me.  But then some of you liked it.  And then more of you.  And you talked back to me.  You laughed with me.  You shared the joys of loathing humanity with me.

And so for you people, I present – EWE’s Evil Holiday Green Bean Casserole of Doom.

green-bean-casserole
DOOOOOOOM!

Ingredients:

  1. One bag frozen green beans (after all, it is #FrozenFoodFridays)
  2. One can chicken broth
  3. One can cream of mushroom soup.
  4. One container of French’s French Fried Onions
  5. Shredded cheddar cheese
  6. Black pepper

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium saucepan, combine the frozen green beans and chicken broth and heat, stirring occasionally, until not frozen anymore.  Drain the beans.

In a baking dish or casserole, mix together the beans, cream of mushroom soup, about half the container of french fried onions, and black pepper to taste.  Make sure everything is mixed together thoroughly and that it is spread evenly across the dish.

Place in the oven for 25 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling.  Remove and cover the mixture with shredded cheese and the remaining onions.  Return to oven for an additional five minutes or until the cheese is melted.

And now you have a classic dish for the godawful dinners that you are going to force yourself to sit through, you feeble fleshsacks.  Now, if you’re REALLY wanting to get out of there, add some potassium chlor- (Editor’s Note: YOU CANNOT TELL THEM TO POISON THEIR HOLIDAY PARTIES.)  What?!  I’m not TELLING them to, I was just observing what someone could do…you know, if they so chose on their own, with no judgment whatsoever from me.

Ahem…anyway, humans…for what it’s worth, thank you for bothering to take the time to visit this lonely incarnation of hatred and malice.  It has, and continues to, mean more than you know. – EWE

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Final Fantasy XV Review-in-Progress; Malevolent Moogle’s Dating “Advice”

Hello, humans!  Still alive and kicking, huh?  Damn…er, uh, I mean, damn, that’s great.  Yup – look at you, all not-dead and whatnot.  Fan-fucking-tastic.  This is what I get for taking evil shopping advice from a goddamn coyote – he never even did catch that bird, useless bastard.  ACME better have a good refund policy on partially-used plagues.

Anyway, since you’re still breathing, I suppose I should at least attempt to entertain you.  So first, I guess we could delve into my thoughts as I have begun playing Square Enix’s recently released Final Fantasy XV.  This isn’t going to be a full review yet – this is a large game with a ton to do, and I simply haven’t had the time to play it thoroughly enough to give my final thoughts on it.  But I can tell you how it’s compared with my expectations going in.

tc7rtnr

Speaking of those expectations, they were…well, let’s be polite (Editor’s Note: for once) (EWE’s Note to Editor: you shut the fuck up right now) and just say that they were “low.”  Now, it isn’t as if I’m not a fan of the series – quite the opposite – but this game had raised some alarms for me.  First of all, I’m kind of old-school in my taste for RPGs.  I mean, for shit’s sake, look at me – I’m an 8-bit wizard.  My DNA is pixel-based.  Swords and sorcery, some steampunk, turn-based combat…this is the stuff I look for in an RPG.

ff-vi
PUMP THIS DIRECTLY INTO MY VEINS!

But starting with FF VII, the main Final Fantasy series has started moving away from traditional settings and gameplay elements.  That isn’t to say that this has been entirely a bad thing – taking chances and changing things up is how a long-lived series keeps from getting stale.  But like any experiments with a proven formula, some alterations work…and some not so much.  FF VII was a smash hit, but FF XIII took some well deserved criticism for essentially featuring a 20-hour corridor at the beginning of the game with no real options to deviate.  So when the announced concept of FF XV was revealed to essentially be “Bro’d Trip!” I was…cautious.  When SE announced that there would be an entire universe of products revolving around XV, including anime film and series prequels, visions of the ill-fated Compilation of FF VII swam before me.  And most alarmingly, when I played through the demos of the game that were made available…I was underwhelmed.

But thus far into the release of the full game, I am happy to report that my concerns have thus far proven to be…well, not “wrong” because that’s impossible, but perhaps “addressed” is a better term.  The combat system that had felt so obtuse and unresponsive to be in the demo is in actuality one of the best systems that the franchise has had since the old ATB days.  Battles zip along and are action packed without (thus far) becoming overwhelming.  And while you can only directly control Noctis throughout, you can trigger his three besties to perform joint attacks with him.  And even on their own, the AI for your party members is adequate as far as I’ve gotten into the game.

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Yeah…I’m going to leave this guy alone for the moment.

Story wise, I have not progressed too far yet, as this is the first FF game to feature a mostly-open world with a TON of sidequests and loot scattered all over the map.  But I can say that thus far, the dynamic between the four best buds has actually been handled quite well.  Sure they’re dressed like something that should be on a catwalk in Milan, but their personalities and banter mesh well together without getting (too) cheesy.  There is still a lot of room for character development, but I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of this game based on my first impressions.

mog-final-fantasy-vi

Now as a last tidbit for you…you all remember my best friend, THE best friend, Malevolent Moogle, right?  Of course you do!  Well, MM and I had an exchange the other day that was so enlightening and life-changing, I simply had to share her wisdom with all you meatbags out there.  Here is MM offering me her, uh, we’ll call it “advice” for lack of a better term, on my personal life and dating.

MM – “Listen up.  I’ve appointed myself your datekeeper.  If you haven’t found a nice girl by my birthday, you have to go out with anybody I say.  Deal?”

EWE – “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…HAHAHA..HAHA…Ha…oh, fuck, you’re not joking, are you?”

MM – “You didn’t say no, so, that counts as a yes.”

EWE – “Uh, we’re both lawyers, and I’m reasonably sure we both know that clearly IS NOT how ‘no’ works…”

MM – “Under this highly particular set of circumstances, and applicable only to you, it does.  Now, we can compromise – you will message any girl who has a cat with her in her profile pic.”

EWE – “Wait…how is that a compromise?  There are a lot of girls with cats…”

MM – “Cats cats cats cats cats!”

Now, for those of you who may still at this point be asking yourself “man, what is EWE’s deal?  What is wrong with that guy?”  I want you to reread that conversation, and then realize that the person I’m talking to is essentially THE SOLE VOICE OF REASON in my existence.  That should clear up any questions you may have had.

Until next time, kiddos, may you all have a merry happy whatever-the-fuck-you-celebrate – just please do it quickly, because I just honestly want it all over as soon as possible.  Thanks in advance. – EWE

#FrozenFoodFridays – Bringing the Heat (and Meat) Edition

Hi there, kids!  How are we all tonight, hmm?  Me, I’m COLD AS FUCK.  Seriously, Ohio – the standing temperature is like 4 right now, and I believe the wind chill is roughly negative why-the-fuck-do-I-live-here.  I bought another ready-to-eat coconut cream pie earlier (goddamn fundraising coworkers’ kids!) and left it in the backseat of my car for the rest of the work day and I’m going to have to thaw the damn thing before I can eat it now.

snowmage
Selfie I took after work

So, while I wait for that, I suppose we can get down to some #FrozenFoodFriday main course business, shall we?  Now, if you’re into no carbs, vegetarian eating…you’re just gonna want to leave now.  Because I want to put myself into a nice starch coma with some Spicy Rigatoni and Frozen Meatballs.  To start out with, you’re going to need some frozen Italian style meatballs, so head to the grocery store and look for something like this.

meatballs
And you thought they just made brats.

Now, while you’re at the store, you also need some sauce, and since I said “spicy” earlier, you’re going to want some arrabbiata sauce.  There are a few different brands I like, including this one.

bertolli-arrabbiata-spicy-tomato-and-red-pepper-tomato-sauce-24-oz_1417548
Sinuses clogged? Not for long.

To round out your shopping trip, grab yourself a box of rigatoni – the full size ones, not the little mini-rigatoni.  Grow up and eat an adult sized noodle, jackass.  I’m not going to pick a specific brand here – I tend to just buy the cheapest one there is because I’m on a government salary and am lucky I can buy food at all.  And of course, if you’d like to feel really fancy – maybe you’re trying to impress a dinner date (which I would know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about) – or maybe you’re just going to carb yourself into oblivion.  Either way, snag some of these, too.

Next step – go pay for everything, unless you’d like to meet me by having me be appointed to defend you on a really stupid theft charge.  You won’t get my autograph, and I’ll probably call you some variation of an idiot at least three or four times.  So go check out.  Then, get the fuck home because it’s freezing outside – unless you live in a warm place, in which case, I hate you, asshole.  The rest of us are freezing our asses off.

Now, once you’re home with your purchased and/or stolen groceries, combine the frozen meatballs and sauce in a large saucepan and bring it to a boil, stirring along the way.  Cover it and reduce your heat, then simmer about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  While that’s going on, bring, uh, a bunch of water to a boil and dump in your rigatoni.  Boil for about 12 minutes, stirring now and then, and then drain.  Once everything is done, put it all into a bowl and wonder why all those people on diets that don’t allow this food hate themselves so goddamn much.

And that’s another #FrozenFoodFridays in the books!  I know I’ve been a bit slack lately with some of my postings on other subjects – work has been picking up (which is a good thing) and with it getting dark out by about 5:00 now (less of a good thing) I seem to run out of energy quickly.  But I shall endeavor to pick up the pace, so forgive this slight slowdown.  Or don’t, you know, if you weren’t particularly fond of your town/village/neighborhood.

meteor-crash-o

Bet you’re not cold now, are you?  You’re welcome.  – EWE

#FrozenFoodFridays – I’m Too Sick to Eat These Edition

Hello again, humans.  You are all lucky this week – not only do you get to read my wisecracking witticisms, but thanks to one of your pesky mortal ailments, I am far too tires and under the weather to incinerate anything/anyone.  Mind you, the desire is still there – I just can’t summon the effort right now.  So you all get a pass…for now.

And while you’re all enjoying your moderately extended lifespans, you may as well enjoy a delicious snack for #FrozenFoodFridays.  This week, we have something that is easy and delicious – despite the thought of any food right now being…less than pleasant for me.  You start with some of these – Ore-Ida Frozen French Fries.  I prefer the Seasoned Crinkles, but there a bunch of different varieties that work just as well.


Now, preheat your oven according to the directions on the bag.  Then place the fries on a baking sheet and into the preheated oven.  Here is where the fun starts.  A few minutes before the fries are done, remove and sprinkle them with your shredded cheese of choice – I prefer a cheddar-mozz blend, but again, whatever you feel like.  Then cover the whole thing with bacon bits as well.  Return to oven for the final couple of minutes, until fries are cooked through and cheese is melted.  Remove and then either drizzle ranch over the entire thing or get yourself some ranch to dip them in – because as anyone with even a modicum of intelligent knows, ranch makes everything better.  Everything.

And there you go!  Another delicious frozen treat, and even on time this week!  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to locate the source of this pounding in my head…and kill it over and over again. – EWE

#FrozenFoodFridays – Yeah, I Know It’s Not Friday Anymore Edition

So…I have to admit, I’m not going to apologize for this one.  See, last night, I attended a Christmas party for my local bar association.  And I was fortunate enough to do so with a lovely and amazingly witty and fun companion – one who asked if we could find the table closest to the corner, drink wine, and people watch while making snarky comments.  I literally cannot conceive of a better time or a better person to have it with.  Thus, I was unable to meet the deadline for #FrozenFoodFridays.  But never fear – thanks to my evil, omnipotent powers, I shall reverse time so that this entry will now take place in the past!  It’s kind of like that scene in Superman when he flies backwards around the planet to reverse time – except not fucking stupid.

So with that said, welcome to the latest edition of #FrozenFoodFridays!  Now, this week we will once again return to something that involves very little effort – in fact, there is practically no prep for this at all.  But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a treat!  In fact, it’s one of my absolute favorite desserts – Coconut Cream Pie!

coconut-cream-pie

Now, I know what you’re thinking – SOMEBODY has to prepare this!  Well, that’s true – and under other circumstances, perhaps I will attempt to make my own version and share it with you.  But for the purposes of a quick and easy treat, find your niece or nephew that is having a school fundraiser, or hop in the car and run to your local bakery/restaurant, or even the grocery store to the frozen dessert section.  Once you have the pie, place in your refrigerator long enough for it to not be completely frozen anymore.  Then, either cut yourself a slice and enjoy – or if you are a pathetic nobody living alone, forgo cutting slices and just take a fork to the entire thing.

Now, one last thing before I go.  You see, I may be the personification of evil, but most of you out there are…sigh…good.  And so, I ask for your help.  You remember the lovely young lady that I mentioned earlier?  Well, she is the loving momma to a sweet and adorable black cat by the name of Sylvester – or as I affectionately call him, Beastie.

beastie
‘Ello, Beastie!

Beastie, sadly, is feeling very under the weather right now.  He is under his momma’s care, but he can use all the positive vibes he can get.  So if you have a moment or two to spare, send a kind thought or well wish to little Beastie.  He is the only cat I have ever seen in my long, long existence that not only doesn’t bite you for scratching his belly, but actually LIKES it.  Bless his heart.  And from the bottom of where I should have a heart, I thank you for the positive feelings.  If you have a beastie of your own, make sure to let them know that they are special and loved. – EWE