Critical Feast: Grog’s Special Egg

The Feast / The Recipes

My husband and I are massive Critters. Critters like when raccoons knock your outdoor trash can over? No.
Critters are the wonderful community of fans that love and support Critical Role. It is a show where every Thursday a bunch of nerdy-ass voice actors get together to play Dungeons & Dragons. It is a fantastic show, and every person we have suggested it to have become avid watchers right away. Check it out, and you won’t be disappointed.

I started this blog to bring two things I love together. Cooking for others and playing D&D. I love Critical Role too, so I wanted to bring another thing I love into this blog. One of my first posts was even about a dessert inspired by Critical Role. I wanted to kick off a weekly Critical Feast and highlight Critical Role inspired dishes.

The Feast

This week’s Critical Feast is inspired by a “gift” given to Tary by Grog in episode 89. Unlike Grog’s basilisk egg of unknown age though, this dish won’t make you sick and is extremely tasty.

The overall “egg” is a chicken breast that has been flattened, rolled with stuffing, and wrapped in bacon, and the “nest” holding the egg is a creamy mashed potato.

The “innards” stuffing for the chicken is a cream and goat cheese blend with diced jalapeno for the “basilisk bits”. I also made an option where the “nest” is a creamy angel hair pasta.

Tonight we will enjoy our “magical egg of power” as we watch episode 93 of Critical Role live on Twitch. The recipes for the chicken and mashed potatoes can be found below.

Until the next adventure, Bon Dungeon Eats!

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Recipe: Cream Cheese & Jalapeno Stuffed – Bacon Wrapped Chicken

  • 1 large boneless/skinless chicken breast halved (or 2 small/thin chicken breasts)
  • 12 slices of bacon (you may not need all pieces, but have enough handy just in case the chicken is large and needs more to cover it)
  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon goat cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-2 jalapeno (1 large or 2 small)

Preheat your oven to 350-degrees and lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish.

Prep your bacon by precooking in a large skillet. You do not want to fully cook your bacon, so only cook the bacon until each side is just starting to turn red, but is still very flexible. Set your prepped bacon on a plate with paper towels to allow to drain while you dice the jalapenos.

Cut the stems off your jalapenos and half them down the middle. Remove the insides and seeds from the halves. If you want spiciness to your stuffing, dice the jalapenos as is. If you prefer less spice, rinse the halves before you dice them. Stir together your cream cheese, goat cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper, until creamy. Reserve 2-3 tablespoons of the mix before you add in the diced jalapenos. This will be used in the mashed potatoes. Add in the diced jalapenos to the cream cheese mix and stir until fully incorporated.

Take your large chicken breast and butterfly cut it in halves to make two thin pieces. If you are using thinner chicken breasts, you can skip butterflying them. Take your chicken and place between two pieces of cling wrap and pound with a meat mallet until quarter inch thickness. Spoon your stuffing mixture on to one side of each flattened piece and smooth to a thick layer. Roll from the end of chicken breast so the stuffing is contained inside the “chicken roll”. Take your bacon and wrap the chicken tightly, securing each piece with toothpicks. I wrapped two longer piece from top to bottom of the roll first and then layered pieces over the brunt of the chicken until covered.

Place your chicken wraps, toothpick side down, in the greased baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes until the chicken temp is roughly 165-degrees. Make sure to remove all toothpicks before you serve the chicken.

Recipe: Creamy Mashed Potatoes

  • 3 large russet potatoes
  • 3-4 tablespoon butter (I recommend Kerrygold Irish Butter)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of reserved cream cheese mixture
  • salt and pepper to taste

Peel your potatoes and cut into inch size cubes. Boil the cubes in water until they are tender and you can easily push a fork through the pieces. Drain the water from your cubes and transfer to large mixing bowl. Mash the potatoes until large chunks are broken down, and add in your butter and cream cheese mix continuing to mash and stir until creamy. The butter and cream cheese should make the mixture creamy; but if the potatoes are too think, add in a few tablespoons of milk until the texture is to your liking. Add salt and pepper to your taste as you finish the mix. Just enough to give a little extra taste but not overwhelming the garlic and onion flavor from the cream cheese mix.

Dragon Eggs and Gambled Years

The Feast / The Adventure / The Recipe

While I love DMing, I do get to kick back and enjoy being an adventurer as well. The group I play with as a character met to continue our quest investigating increasing giant activity. If you are currently running Pathfinder Society – Year of the Serpent or Storm King’s Thunder, beware possible spoilers ahead.

The Feast

This week I wanted to take one of my favorite baked goods and put a little D&D spin on it. I love making cake balls because they are fairly easy and really versatile on the variety you can make. My old stand by, and viking husband’s favorite, is strawberry cream cheese cake balls with a dark chocolate shell.
The latest story-line for Critical Role has left me with dragons on the brain; especially red dragon eggs, so I decided to take my cake ball recipe and tailor it to a dragon egg theme. The recipe can be found below.
Like all cake balls, you first have to make a delicious cake (in this case a Pillsbury Funfetti cake) and absolutely destroy it so you can roll it up into bite size spheres.

Well not quite spheres this time around since I was going for the egg shape. If you have never made cake balls, you take a freshly made cake, mush it into bits, add icing to give it some sticky/solidness, and roll them up to your desired shape/size. Now don’t obsess over the shape too much to start. You will put these in the fridge for a bit to stiffen up some, so you can finish out shaping them before you coat them in the chocolate.
I wanted to get some extra texture with the shells on these, so I took some red sugar sprinkles and mixed in them in with the melting chocolate.

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It took so much will power to not just eat this with a spoon.

It gave the chocolate a nice shimmer and extra crunch. I did not want to go for a perfect smooth egg look. In my mind, a red dragon egg would be housed in a hot lava filled cavern. I wanted to go for a cooled lava texture as if the eggs were coated in lava to give them a hard protective shell and be encased in the heat. I made sure my chocolate was a little thicker to get that caked on look and then added a touch more red sprinkles just to give the eggs some extra shine. I absolutely love how they turned out!

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Seriously, I took a bajillion pictures of them.

Most importantly, they tasted great too. I love it when a baking project turns out. Believe me plenty of them absolutely do not. Cake balls though are normally the more cooperative variety of  baking endeavors.

Speaking of tasty baked noms, Justin and Raven broke out some of the best Oreo truffles I have ever had.

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Sweet, rich, and absolutely to die for. Not to mention they were a great pairing with the dragon eggs.

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Best friends forever.

Since I took the baking route this time around, the rest of the group brought the savory goods. Raven provided a game night favorite.

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Pigs in a blanket, YEAH! Easy, delicious, bite-size, and a staple for gaming. My mom would make this little treats for our game nights, so I was probably more excited than normal when she brought these out.
Now I know pizza is pizza and there is a million and one types and brands, but the pizza Lemmie brought to cook was down right delicious. I like pizza just like 99.9% of the rest of the world, but finding a brand you can cook at home that tastes fantastic can be difficult.

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This right here, Mama Cozzi’s Pizza Kitchen, yea ma’am. Great take and bake that you can get from Aldi. Just like I said last week, don’t be afraid to buy things frozen because you really can find something that tastes homemade.

Time to chow down and prepare for our next adventure.

Lemmie’s little future adventurer Jade was saving her energy for the battles to come.

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And beast companion Jake was on standby for any treats that could be sent his way.

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I love this little guy. I try to steal him every time we come over.

The Adventure

Just like last week, I will give everyone a little intro to our adventuring party.

The “Nature-loving” Druid
Sariel Oakenheel
Female Elf Druid
played by Raven
elf_druid
Source: Deviant Art
The “Giant Expert” Rouge
Iniko Tealeaf
Female Halfling Rouge
played by Lemmie
halfling_rogue
Source: we are Rogue
The “Cautious” Warlock
Theren Evenwood
Male Half-elf Warlock
played by Justin
halfelf_warlock
Source: Deviant Art
The “Death-watcher” Cleric
Larken Ironwood
Male Dwarf Cleric
played by John
dwarf_cleric
Source: rpg setting
The “Mysterious” Sorcerer
Renata Valkaria
Female Tiefling Sorcerer
played by Melany
The “Missing” Barbarian
Viclannan Ironhouse
Male Dwarf Barbarian
played by Johnny
dwarf_barbarian
Source: Deviant Art
The “Joy-filled” Paladin
Vola Helder
Female Half-orc Paladin
played by ME!
halforc_paladin
Source: wikia
The “Killer of all you love” DM
Matt Abernathy
Male Human Dungeon Master
played by Matt
dm
Source: wikiHow
Don’t book a judge by his lover

We had made our way to Daggerford in our previous session and needed more information about the increase in giant activity in the area. After meeting our newest member Ink, and making a deal with a seriously shady individual, we were out fulfilling the requests for “Mr McShadyassguy”. He had asked us to trade some goods with a band of gnolls for him, clear some entity out of a mask, and procure a mirror by way of gambling…with years. Seriously this guys is SOOOO shady. We had all pretty much decided he needed to go after we finished up these tasks. We could not let him keep conducting such shady deeds in town.
We started the session after we had dealt with the gnolls previously and discovered the cargo he was trading for were baby white lions. Unfortunately a low perception roll on the crates did not show they had what appeared to be breathing holes. Larken tossed one of the boxes to open it, and well yeah the baby lion inside did not survive. Sari was so very upset about that one. Thankfully after realizing what was inside, we stopped Larken from breaking the other box in the same manner. That baby lion, while freaked out, was quite alive. We decided to go ahead and clear out the mask. Our cleric Larken activated the mask, and a bunch of nasty little Magmin popped out. Not knowing what we would face, we tired to talk to the first one that popped out. It just took off towards some bushes hell bent to catch them on fire. Great, little pyromaniacs.

So in grand adventurer fashion, we proceeded to lay into the little trouble makers, hoping to make short work of them. Too bad they had the unfortunate side effect of exploding when you kill them. Man that splash damage was a bitch. Despite that unpleasant surprise, we were able to finish the lot of them off without massive loss.
Now we had to decide what to do “Mr CreepyMcCreeperson”. Do we give him the baby lions and mask, or do we take him out? I mean come on!? Who trades for rare baby lions with shady gnolls and has a mask that contains exploding fire creatures? Bad guys, that’s who. We needed to make some stops before we dealt with this “totally a bad guy”, so the group split up and finished out some to-dos.
Ren and my character Vola met with the future wife of the city’s new duke to deliver the unfortunate news that her grandfather had passed. Fun stuff right? While we dealt with that grim task, Sari took some time to comfort the baby lion. She loves all things nature and animal, so she had him all fed, comforted, and named by the time we came back. Larken had waited by the town market with the trade goods owed to “absolutely a bad guy”. A random passerby stopped thinking Larken was selling said goods at the market. Well of course he was. Knowing we were not going to be dealing with “I swear he is really a bad guy” much longer, Larken began selling the goods. He even set up an area where we could give blessing from his god Kelemvor…Lord of the Dead. A mom stopped and asked him to set her mischievous son straight, so Larken proceeded to tell the young boy about the city of the dead and all the horrors that await the faithless and bad little boys. The little boy ran away crying, and the mother, very satisfied, dropped silver in Larken’s donation box.
While Larken made a quick sliver off the people of Daggerford, Ink and Theren returned to the town library to see what they could find on the giants in the region, and Ren and I asked around for some information on possible wild life reserves for the baby lion. We asked a town guard about what one might do with wild life they came upon, and he told us of an oddball townsfolk that had a sister that ran a wild life reserve. That oddball townsfolk turned out to be “HE’S A BAD GUY DAMN IT!”. Of course. OF COURSE! Apparently despite his creepiness, that guy is some sort of philanthropist and was likely saving the lions from the gnolls. The mask could only be used to trap fire based creatures, so he was clearing it out to possibly catch more. ARGH! Come on!

But wait! We still had to deal with the last task. He wanted a magic mirror from this woman who was doing research on how to harness time. The only way to get the mirror was to gamble 20 years of your life to her research. Now that is some bad guy like stuff there, right? At this point future adventurer Jade was awake and completely enthralled in this quest.

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Little known fact, vikings have natural baby soothing abilities.

The members of the group with longer life spans stepped up to gamble the years. The game was called 20 bones, and you could bet years to add a D20 to your roll. For each D20 that you rolled higher than her, you got your bet year for that die and one of her years back. For each D20 lower than the one she rolled, you lose your year to her and she keeps hers. She had 20 years in the pot, and the 20 years from our group was split between Sari, Larken, and Ink. Well, despite their best effort, and ton of slight of hand checks, our group lost all 20 of our years. Luckily the price of the mirror was simply to play, but we had hoped to not have 20 years sucked out of our friends. And when I say sucked out, that was exactly how she did it. They were hooked up to a crazy magic and science based machine that sucked the years from a tube shoved down your throat. Ouch.
So through the weirdest game possible, we had this mysterious mirror to give to “I’m still not convinced he is not a bad guy”. When we give him the baby lion, he tells us it was in fact a gift for his niece to take to the wild life reserve his sister has. That mask? He had told us about an abandon warehouse far outside of town where we could clear out the mask. Oh yeah, that was probably a better idea than the edge of town and fairly thoughtful to others’ safety. Yeah well that mirror, surely that is something evil. Kinda. Apparently the mirror can be used to trap people in it, AH HA, but he was trying to get the mirror to rescue an adventurer that had been trapped inside. Oh, so he really is a good guy. DAMN IT!

So here we were about to take out a guy we thought was evil, and he turns out to be some creepy version of Mother Teresa. Crap. Vola was trying to glean a pearl of wisdom learned from this almost debacle, and unfortunately she is not the most intelligent of the group; so the lesson we are left from all this is to “never book a judge by his lover”.

Until the next adventure, Bon Dungeon Eats!

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Recipe: Red Dragon Cake Balls

  • 1 box cake mix (I used funfetti mix to give extra texture)
  • 1 16 oz. container of icing (I used cream cheese icing)
  • oil (for cake mix – see box for amounts)
  • eggs (for cake mix – see box for amounts)
  • 2-3 bags of melting wafers (I used ghirardelli melting dark chocolate)
  • red sugar sprinkles

Prepare the cake as instructed on the box. Once the cake is ready, set it aside and allow it to cool completely. If you try to make the cake balls while the cake is still warm, they will not keep their shape.
Take the cooled cake and crumble it up in a large mixing bowl. Add roughly half of the icing to the crumbled cake and mix together. You want the texture to be soft but firm enough to shape into balls. If the mix is still too crumbly, add more icing a tablespoon at a time until it is a good shaping texture. If you put in too much icing, it may be too mushy to shape, so add slowly and test often.
Once the mix is right, shape into roughly egg size/shape balls. Don’t worry about the shape being perfect at this stage. You will be able to shape them more before you add the chocolate shells. Place them on a plate or cookie sheet as you go and transfer them to the refrigerator to set for at least an hour.
Once the cake balls have stiffened in the refrigerator, melt your chocolate wafers by the instructions on the bag. For the dragon egg texture, you want the chocolate to be a little thick. Add the red sugar sprinkles to the melted chocolate. Just sprinkle in enough to give the chocolate a little texture, but not too much so the chocolate becomes too clumpy.
Take each egg and roll in the chocolate mix. Be messy with it because you are not going for perfect. You want that rough rolled on look. If you did want perfect smooth eggs, place all of the eggs on baking racks and pour the chocolate evenly over them. As you coat the eggs, sprinkle your red sugar sprinkles over the tops to give them the extra shimmer. Place them on baking racks (or the same plate/cookie sheet if you do not have racks), and transfer them back into the refrigerator to harden completely. You will notice the chocolate hardens quickly even before you put them in the refrigerator, so it should only take 30 minutes to an hour before they are fully set.