Monday, July 30, 2012

Gamer Rage: Vial of the Sands

In order to make the Vial of the Sands, I'm going to start backward with what you need to do first. If you are a miner, go mine yourself up:
  • 12 volatile earth
  • 24 elementium ore
Smelt your elementium ore into 12 elementium bars. With your volatile earth and elementium bars, any alchemist can make 36 pyrium bars. These are essential to make the 12 Truegold you will need later.
Once you have the pyrium, you will need to get yourself:
  • 120 volatile air
  • 120 volatile fire
  • 120 volatile water
These volatiles combined with the pyrium bars will make 12 Truegold.
Keep in mind, each Truegold the alchemist makes has a 24 hour cooldown. This means they can make ONE Truegold each day. Period. Make good on your tips for each one they deliver you. I recommend at LEAST 25 gold a pop if you're cheap. I pay mine 100 each if they're not in my guild. (We have a very strict "no buying/selling to guildies" policy) Your Truegold is going to take 12 days to make if you use one alchemist. My recommendation is to find someone willing to sell their Truegold cooldown to you and use several alchemists if you're impatient. As long as you're not cheap, I'd say to be sure you have 600-1200 gold just for tipping. Make friends with the alchemists.
Think you're done? Hardly. Now that you have your truegold, you're going to need three different potions to add to it: Deepstone Oil, Flask of Titanic Strength, and Flask of the Winds.
You will need eight of each of the potions. To make these, you will need to obtain:
  • 32 volatile life
  • 16 Azshara's Veil
  • 32 Whiptail
  • 16 Cinderbloom
  • 8 Albino Catfish
An alchemist can make these for you pretty quickly and with no cooldowns. I'd suggest 25-50 gold tip for each, so bring along 100-200 gold as a tip for the job. Like I said, make friends with your alchemists. Good tippers don't have much trouble finding someone to do work for them.
Now for the costly part.
The Sands of Time and the vial are purchased from Yasmin, the Innkeeper in Uldum. She is located at 26, 7 Northwest of The Temple and the Obelisk. The Sands of time are 3k each. For eight of them, you need 24,000 gold. Add in the vial, you'll need 5,000 gold, making your total a whopping 29,000 gold. Ouch.
By the time you find someone who has the recipe for the vial, you should have
  • 1 Pyrium-laced crystalline vial
  • 8 Sands of Time
  • 8 Deepstone Oil
  • 8 Flask of Titanic Strength
  • 8 Flask of the Winds
  • 12 Truegold
Now that I've confused the hell out of you, here is a finished shopping list:
  • 30,500 gold
  • 1 Pyrium-laced crystalline vial
  • 8 Sands of Time
  • 32 volatile life
  • 16 Azshara's Veil
  • 32 Whiptail
  • 16 Cinderbloom
  • 8 Albino Catfish
  • 120 volatile air
  • 120 volatile fire
  • 120 volatile water
  • 12 volatile earth
  • 24 elementium ore

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Book Review: Bloom

Bloom (Seeds of Love, #1)Bloom by Julie Anne Lindsey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bloom is an adorable love story about two people who haven't quite learned to love. When Cynthia goes home to visit her potentially crazy grandmother, she rides back into her old life filled not only with the people she knew and loved but with her flawed past and a new man in town, Mitchell Fallon. What she doesn't count on is falling head over heels with the sullen newcomer. When her job is outsourced, Cynthia plans to open a business starring her grandmother's prize cooking. After Mitchell's former flame comes back to profess her love and a few miscommunications, Cynthia heads back to New York to try and find her way. Will Prince Charming come to the rescue?

This has to be the cutest story I've read in a long time. It's just sweet without all the hardcore open-door sexy scenes. Excellent read.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Recipes: Simple Summer Spaghetti

Prep: 20 min
Cook: 20 min
Yield: 4 servings
12 oz package dry spaghetti
¼ cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Pinch crushed red pepper
2 cups cut up zucchini
1 cup cut up summer squash
1 cup cut up red bell pepper
2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
¼ torn fresh basil
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Bring a large pot of slated water to boil. Cook until just tender. Drain.
  2. In extra large skillet, combine olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook over medium heat about three minutes until garli begins to soften. Do not let garlic brown. Stir in zucchini, squash, red bell pepper, tomatoes and torn basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Heat thoroughly.
  4. Serve spaghetti noodles topped with vegetable mixture and top with a sprinkle of each cheese.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Recipes: Veggie Quesadillas

Ready In: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
juice of 1 lime (around 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed through a garlic press
1 medium zucchini, trimmed, and thinly sliced (1/4 inch) lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, ends sliced off, cored and seeded, and cut into wide strips
1 red onion, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
12 corn tortillas or 8 flour tortillas
1/2 pound grated cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese
a handful of cilantro leaves, washed and dried
sour cream and salsa for serving
  1. Preheat your grill on high.
  2. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, chipotle or paprika, salt, and garlic. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet, and pour half the dressing over them, turning them to coat the slices evenly.
  3. Turn the grill down to medium-low and roast the veggies, turning them and adjusting the heat as necessary, until they are completely tender, 10-12 minutes. Remove them to a plate, dress with the remainder of the lime juice mixture, and set aside.
  4. Heat a large griddle (or a heavy frying pan) over medium-high heat, and lay half of the tortillas into it (if you're using a pan, you'll need to do this in batches). Divide the cheese over them, top with the remaining tortillas, and cook until the bottoms are golden and crisp. Flip them, and cook until the tortillas are crisp and the cheese is melted.
  5. Open the quesadillas and divide the cilantro and grilled veggies among them, cutting the vegetables as necessary to fit, then quarter the quesadillas and serve with sour cream and salsa.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Recipes: Quick Chicken and Dumplings

Ready In: 60 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
4 cups milk
2 bags frozen peas and carrots
4 cups cooked, cubed chicken
4 10.34 ounce cans cream of chicken soup
4 cups Bisquick
1 1/3 cup milk
  1. Heat 4 cups milk, peas and carrots, chicken and soup to boiling, stirring often.
  2. Stir Bisquick and remaining milk together until soft dough forms.
  3. Drop by spoonfuls onto chicken mixture.
  4. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Cook uncovered over low heat 20 minutes. Cover and cook 20 minutes more.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Book Review: Letters from Greece

Letters from GreeceLetters from Greece by Lori Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I first read Mariposa by C.L. McCullough and then delved into The Stone Crow by Lori Green, so, naturally, I had to pick up Letters from Greece written by the two of them. I do not regret my decision. This story is a compelling read from start to finish.

Kate and Min meet online amidst the passing of Kate's mother and Min's isolation. The two become online friends and the story begins with a letter from Min telling Kate about her husband losing his mind and hurting her. Then contact stops. Kate, worried about her friend, goes to find her.

(view spoiler)

The pair pick up a life in Greece with Kate running a taverna and Min keeping the house and learning to raise livestock. Not speaking a lick of Greek, they start to make an old house into a home.

Of course, since she sent a letter back home, Min's husband Patton finds her. (view spoiler)

In the end, the women find their peace, pull together a small slice of paradise and somehow manage to have their cake and eat it, too. The characters don't feel forced and the story flows naturally. Although I drew a lot of comparisons between Patton and Kate and Patton and Min's new love interest Nik, Min becomes her own person through the story. Kate, despite being the "strong" character, shows her weakness. You never really find out just what the Greek characters are saying outside of guessing from the character's point of view. Translations are kept to a minimum and you feel immersed in the character's world.

If you want a not-so-simple love story with two crazy ladies on an adventure, this is definitely the book for you.

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Never really gets easier

Story time since it's on my mind and I wanted to share and ask a little extra patience.  May 20th. Mary and I are at a local garden shop...