tasha's quest log
Favorite games of 2013

Device 6 (ipad) - Just finished this game and I absolutely loved everything about it! I think this is the best example of “interactive fiction” that I’ve played. Not only because it has great interactivity & makes you feel like you’re part of the story, but because the words themselves are playful and part of the game design. All aspects of the game worked wonderfully together. This is the type of game that makes me excited for where games are headed in the future. Loved the song also :D  

Mario & Luigi Dream Team (3ds) - I think this game has gotten a little overlooked because of the more traditional Zelda & Mario games that just came out, but this one is worth a play as well.  Super charming, weird, and polished RPG.  And tons of content!  I have over 40 hours and still haven’t finished it.

Guacamelee (PSN) - I love the look of this game so much.  It’s also really funny and contains a lot of clever references to other games.  Don’t think I could get through it if I wasn’t playing co-op though, it gets really hard!

Zelda: Wind Waker HD (Wii U) - Currently playing this one since I got a Wii U for Christmas!  I was never able to get very far in Wind Waker when it first came out - the sailing was just too tedious.  In this new version they have done a couple things to make it a little faster, which I appreciate.  They have really done a great job upgrading the graphics.  It’s just beautiful to look at, and the soundtrack is one of my favorites.

Persona 4 Golden (Vita) - Ok this came out in 2012 but I played it at the beginning of this year, and it’s one of the best JRPG’s I’ve played in a long time.  I love how you build up your relationships with the different characters as the game goes on.  The battle system and fusing personas are also really fun.  

Games I still need to play:

Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies

Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Super Mario 3d World

Tearaway

The Puppeteer

Games everyone else seems to like but I couldn’t get into:

Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Just feels like chores to me!  Playing with friends is way too difficult because multiplayer is done so clunkily.

Dragon’s Crown - This felt like a downloadable title to me.  Art looks nice in screenshots, but in motion, eh.  The main “town” is just a series of screenshots.  Quests are boring and have you visit the same areas repeatedly.  Played this a few times co-op with Joe and then we just dropped it because it was so uninteresting.

Smoked Shrimp BLT

I actually made these about a month ago, but am just now getting around to posting…cause y’know, babies and stuff.  Anyways, I wanted another excuse to use the smoker Joe bought me, and this seemed like a pretty straightforward recipe. Yes, they turned out to be easy to make and REALLY good! It’s hard to go wrong with shrimp & bacon.

I started out by putting the shrimp in the smoker over some alder chips.

You’re only supposed to cook the shrimp halfway in the smoker (they finish cooking in the sauce.)  While these were cooking I put some bacon - Niman Ranch Maple, my favorite - into the oven.  A good way to cook bacon is to crumple up some foil so it’s all wrinkly, then uncrumple it and lay the bacon on that in the oven - this keeps it elevated a little so it’s not resting in fat and makes it crispier. Here it is - this would make a nice wallpaper if you’re really into bacon.

Next step was to make the sauce, which was really simple - just water, lemon juice & butter all whisked together.  The shrimp are then cooked the rest of the way in the sauce.

Look at this pretty loaf of bread from Thoroughbread Bakery.

The slices of bread are brushed with olive oil on one side and placed under the broiler.  Even though I burnt them a little bit, I thought this was pretty clever because they only get toasted on one side so the other side stays soft and you don’t hurt the roof of your mouth when eating.

To assemble the sandwiches I added some tomato slices, mixed greens, and homemade mayo. One thing I would have done differently besides not burning the bread, is leave the shrimp in the smoker a little longer.  There was a hint of smokiness to them, but it could have been stronger.  And also not add salt to the homemade mayo (I think I made that same mistake before) But overall they turned out great and I would definitely make these again since they had a good easiness to tastiness ratio.

This is actually from a few weeks ago but finally got around to drawing it.My mom stayed with us for 6 weeks after the baby was born, and this is how I felt after she left.

This is actually from a few weeks ago but finally got around to drawing it.My mom stayed with us for 6 weeks after the baby was born, and this is how I felt after she left.

aka: how you know you’re near the end of the 3rd trimester

aka: how you know you’re near the end of the 3rd trimester

This pregnancy has had its share of complications so I really haven’t been in the mood lately to make comics.  But, we’re getting close to the end - due next month!  So I’m feeling a little less worried and excited to meet our son!

This pregnancy has had its share of complications so I really haven’t been in the mood lately to make comics.  But, we’re getting close to the end - due next month!  So I’m feeling a little less worried and excited to meet our son!

doublefine:

shelzie:

beat Costume Quest a couple days ago, what a wonderful little game! ♥

Super adorable! Everyone should play it.

woah, just saw this.  love it! :D

doublefine:

shelzie:

beat Costume Quest a couple days ago, what a wonderful little game! ♥

Super adorable! Everyone should play it.

woah, just saw this.  love it! :D

doublefine:

Knight concept art from Costume Quest

Art by Tasha Harris and Scott C

The knight was originally going to be blue & gold.  I think we changed it because the robot was blue also and those are the first 2 costumes you get.

I finally finished another comic!  I must admit I’ve been pretty baby-obsessed lately so my comics (and cooking) have sort of moved to the back burner…that doesn’t mean I’ll never do them, you just might have to wait a little longer for updates. :)

I finally finished another comic!  I must admit I’ve been pretty baby-obsessed lately so my comics (and cooking) have sort of moved to the back burner…that doesn’t mean I’ll never do them, you just might have to wait a little longer for updates. :)

Creamy Smoked Tomato Bisque

There are a few recipes in “Cooking My Way Back Home” that require smoking (like, smoke from wood chips, not cigarettes), but I live in a smallish apartment in San Francisco and don’t have room for a barbeque or outdoor smoker so I wasn’t sure how I was going to accomplish these recipes.  Then I found out about these nifty stovetop smokers http://www.amazon.com/Camerons-Products-Stainless-Stovetop-Smoker/dp/B00004SZ9D/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357498859&sr=8-1&keywords=stovetop+smoker Joe got me one for Christmas so I had to try it out.  I decided to start with the most simple sounding recipe from the book - a smoked tomato bisque.

The first thing I did was add a small pile of hickory wood chips to the smoker.

Then the drip pan and grate are placed on top of the wood chips, and the halved tomatoes are placed on top of the grate.

I had to modify the recipe a bit for my stovetop smoker- this was made easier because the smoker came with a booklet that included a recipe for smoked tomatoes.  It turns out the stovetop smoker works a bit faster than a bbq grill smoker…the cookbook recipe required smoking the tomatoes for 2 1/2 hours and the smoker booklet recipe only said to smoke the tomatoes for 15 minutes.  I chose the 15 minute option.

Yes, a little bit of smoke escapes while you’re cooking, but if you have your oven fan on it really isn’t bad.  Also, I think it smells pretty good.  After 15 minutes in the smoker, the tomatoes didn’t look that different, but the skin was peeling off a bit and they smelled like a campfire.

I peeled & diced the tomatoes and combined them with more tomatoes (that weren’t smoked), onion, garlic, and thyme.

These ingredients are cooked for a little while, simmered with chicken stock, then blended in a food processor.  A little bit of heavy cream is added at the end.

Of course we had to make some grilled cheese sandwiches to go with the soup!  This turned out really great!  Such a simple recipe with few ingredients, but the smokiness gives it a really unique character.  It’s perfect to only smoke half the tomatoes because if you smoked all of them it would be pretty overwhelming.  The grilled cheese dipped in the soup went together so well…dang this is making me hungry now.