Viera Soaking Bath

Jote in Eruyt Village“Vieran villages are formed of massive trees linked by suspended paths, with dwellings and small shrines to the spirit of the Wood encircling the trunks. During the day, many Viera come to a clearing in the village, where a glistering spring bubbles up from the earth, to meditate.”

—FFXII, Sage Knowledge piece 71

  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil
  • 1 teaspoon tea tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon lavender oil

Run the bathwater until pleasantly warm, but not hot. Plug the bathtub and under running water, add Epsom salt, vinegar, baking soda, and oil. Soak for 20 minutes.

Edea’s Orphanage Soup

Edea's Orphanage“This place is beautiful.”

“Yeah, the flower field… I forgot all about this place.”

—Quistis and Squall, FFVIII

  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise (about 2 cups)
  • 8 oz. carrots, scrubbed and sliced diagonally into 1” pieces (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 fennel bulb, ends removed, halved, and sliced thickly
  • 1 turnip, scrubbed and cut into 1″ pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2 lbs. small multicolored potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 16 oz. chicken sausages, uncooked, casing removed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 10 oz. shredded kale and cabbage
  • Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrots, fennel, turnip, potatoes, and garlic. Toss with olive oil, Italian seasoning, sea salt, smoked paprika, and red pepper. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add  sausage and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Scrape the roasted vegetables and oil into the pot. Add the tomatoes and their juices and stir well. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Stir well, add a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.  Stir in shredded kale and cabbage and serve with Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top, if desired.

Makes about 10 heaping 1-cup servings.  Per serving (does not include cheese): 457 calories, 12.2 g. fat, 3.9 g. saturated fat, 0.5 g. poly. fat, 2.6 g. mono. fat, 36.1 mg. cholesterol, 1573.9 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought), 773 mg. potassium, 29.9 g. carbohydrates, 4.8 g. fiber, 13.2 g. protein, vitamin A 45%, vitamin C 67%, calcium 10%, iron 14%

Oglop-Oiled Popped Corn

Zidane in a Dali cornfield“Oglops eat vegetables?”

Princess Garnet, FFIX

You don’t have to eat microwave popcorn! Making it on the stove is easy. If you’re the kind of person who likes to cook bacon for lazy Sunday breakfasts, save the bacon fat in a ramekin in the fridge and use it for this recipe — the flavor is amazing.

If you prefer a vegetarian version, coconut oil is an excellent alternative. Oglop oil, of course, can be easily obtained in Dali’s cornfields as well as Milla’s Oil Shop in Lindblum.

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon oglop oil, bacon fat, or coconut oil (about 14 g.)
  • 6 tablespoons of popcorn kernels (about 72 g.)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (about 14 g.)
  • Italian seasoning, crushed
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat the salt and oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add a few popcorn kernels and cover the pan. When they pop, add the rest of the kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat, and count 30 seconds.

Return pan to heat. The kernels should begin popping soon, all at once. Once they begin popping, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. Keep the lid slightly vented to let the steam escape.

When the popping slows to 1 or 2 seconds between pops, remove the pan from heat and dump the popcorn immediately into a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with spices and cheese to taste. Serves 2.

Landisian Beef Stew with Bacon, Bratwurst, and Beer

Basch and Noah fon Ronsenburg“After Vayne’s ruse I had abandoned hope for honor… yet never did I forget my knightly vows. If I could protect but one person from war’s horror… then I would bear any shame. I would bear it proudly.

“I could not defend my home. What is shame to me?”

—Basch fon Ronsenburg, FFXII

  • 22 oz. bottle of strong Belgian-style ale, such as Stone’s Cali-Belgique IPA
  • 1½ lbs. beef stew meat
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 6 oz. raw bacon, cut into ¼” strips
  • 1 pound of carrots, scrubbed and sliced diagonally into 1” pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 15 garlic cloves (about 1½ bulbs), peeled and halved, divided into two piles of 10 cloves and 5 cloves
  • 2 large yellow onions, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
  • 2 bratwurst sausages, uncooked, casing removed and cut into 1″ pieces (about 7 oz. total)
  • 10 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 cups homemade chicken stock or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ oz. flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 crusty French baguette

Open the 22 oz. bottle of beer and measure out 1 cup. Set aside. Pour the remaining beer into a glass and enjoy it while making the soup.

Cut the stew meat into bite-sized pieces, about 1” square. Dredge the meat in flour. (The easiest way is to put the meat and flour in a plastic bag and shake until all pieces are fully coated.) Set aside.

Heat a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Add carrots, 10 cloves of garlic, and onions. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden-brown and tender.

Stir in sausage and mushrooms and cook until browned on all sides, about 20 minutes. Add the stew meat in a single layer and season with salt and pepper to taste. Brown on all sides, about 20 more minutes.

Slowly pour in 1 cup of beer and 2 cups of broth, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you go, and bring to a boil. Stir well and add sugar, bay leaves, and a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for about 1½ hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the meat is soft and tender. Remove from heat. Discard thyme and bay leaves. Using a garlic press, add the remaining 5 cloves of garlic to the pot. Stir in vinegar and parsley, and serve with crusty bread.

Makes about 5 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving (does not include baguette): 513 calories, 22.9 g. fat, 9.2 g. saturated fat, 0.1 g. poly. fat, 118.5 mg. cholesterol, 604.1 mg. sodium, 645 mg. potassium, 31.4 g. carbohydrates, 4.2 g. fiber, 42.6 g. protein, vitamin A 62%, vitamin C 19%, calcium 7%, iron 19%

Zozo Pub Stew

Terra in Zozo“Great people here! You can trust everything they say!”

—Lying citizen, FFVI

  • 22 oz. bottle of red ale, such as Alesmith’s My Bloody Valentine
  • 6 oz. raw bacon, cut into ¼” strips
  • 1 large sweet onion, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise (about 2 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 12 oz. smoked kielbasa, thickly sliced
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8–12 cloves), peeled and halved
  • 1 red, 1 orange, and 1 yellow bell pepper (preferably organic), washed and sliced into strips
  • 8 oz. fresh Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sourdough baguette

Open the 22 oz. bottle of beer and measure out 1 cup. Set aside. Pour the remaining beer into a glass and enjoy it while making the soup.

Heat a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes.

Add the onion and increase heat to medium. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to brown. Stir in paprika and red pepper and cook for about 2 minutes, being careful not to burn the spices.

Stir in sausage, garlic, and bell peppers and saute for about 10 minutes, until peppers are softened and slightly brown. Add tomatoes and salt and cook until the tomatoes are beginning to break down, about 5 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Slowly pour in 1 cup of beer and 1 cup of chicken broth, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you go, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low, add bay leaf, and cover. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until vegetables are very tender.

Remove lid and let cook for 10 more minutes, until stew is slightly thickened. Meanwhile, grill or toast slices of sourdough bread. Divide stew into four bowls and serve with the grilled bread.

Per serving (not including bread): 428 calories, 19 g. fat, 24 g. carbohydrates, 4 g. fiber, 29 g. protein, iron 21%

Narshe Spiced Wine

Terra, Biggs, and Wedge on the way to Narshe“Please relax while you’re here.”

—Edgar Roni Figaro, FFVI

  • 1 liter (4.25 cups) water
  • 4 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 15 whole cloves
  • 15 whole green cardamom pods
  • 2 mandarin oranges, washed well and sliced crosswise
  • 1 Meyer lemon, washed well and sliced crosswise
  • 2 vanilla beans (optional)
  • 1.5 liters (2 bottles) of dry red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon
  • Amaretto

In a 4-quart slow cooker, stir together water and sugar. Tie up in a piece of cheesecloth the cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cardamom, oranges, lemon, and vanilla beans. Add to the slow cooker, turn to the high setting, cover, and cook for about 3 hours.

Reduce to the low setting and wait about 30 minutes before stirring in both bottles of wine. Cover and cook for another hour before serving.

To serve, pour a shot of amaretto into a mug and ladle the hot wine mixture on top.

Dali Pumpkin Bread

Dali Field“An auspicious day for you to go out and have fun! You’ll find lots of money and lost items. You’ll also eat lots of yummy food, and meet interesting people. Go out and share your luck with the ones you love!”

—very good omen in the Dali Inn, FFIX

  • 2 cups flour (8.5 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 14-oz. can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×5″ loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, spice, baking powder, baking soda.

In another large bowl, whisk together syrup and oil. Whisk in eggs, then pumpkin and vanilla.

Slowly whisk flour mixture into pumpkin mixture, then stir in chocolate. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake about 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Makes 8 servings: 403 calories, 16 g. fat, 64 g. carbohydrates, 8 g. fiber, 7g. protein, iron 31%