Blue Mage Muffins

Instructor Trepe“Uses a whip. When in danger, uses monster skills she has learned. Her admirers in the Garden have formed a fan club.”

—Scan description of Quistis Trepe, FFVIII

  • 3 cups flour (360 g.)
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • ½ tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 12-oz. can of frozen 100% orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 12-oz. bag of frozen organic blueberries (about 2½ cups)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin pans with 24 unbleached baking cups.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oat bran, baking soda, and spice. Pour in the thawed orange juice concentrate, the blueberries, and 1 cup of water. Mix just enough to moisten all ingredients.

Divide the batter among the 24 cups and bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove muffins from the pan and place on a rack to cool.

Makes 24 muffins. Per muffin: 100 calories, 0.4 g. fat, 0.1 g. saturated fat, 0.2 g. poly. fat, 0.1 g. mono. fat, 0.48 mg. sodium, 154.7 mg. potassium, 22.7 g. carbohydrates, 1.4 g. fiber, 2.9 g. protein, vitamin C 29%, calcium 1%, iron 6%

Cockatrice Pie

Terra at the Returner hideout“Food! Food! Bring me everything ya got!”

—Sabin Rene Figaro, FFVI

This savory treat goes great with Narshe Spiced Wine or a tankard of strong ale on a cold winter night.

  • 1 16-oz. package of frozen puff pastry dough (2 sheets)
  • 2 cups prepared stuffing
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped cooked cockatrice or turkey
  • ½ cup turkey gravy
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • ½ cup cranberry sauce

Defrost both sheets of dough at room temperature for 2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll each sheet of dough and use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut each sheet into 4 squares.

You should now have 8 squares of dough. In the center of each square, place ¼ cup stuffing. Stir together the turkey and gravy and place ¼ cup on top of each pile of stuffing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes to each square, and top with 1 tablespoon cranberry sauce.

Start with the first square and fold each corner to the center of the pile, pressing the corners together until you have a messy bundle. Gently lift the bundle off the paper and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 7 squares.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until bubbling and golden-brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 pies.

Festival of the Hunt Stew

Festival of the Hunt in Lindblum“I heard there are traditional Festival of the Hunt dishes. Do you know where they serve them?”

—FFIX

  • 1½ lbs. beef stew meat
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 6 oz. raw bacon, cut into ½” strips
  • 12 oz. smoked kielbasa, sliced into ¼”-thick rounds
  • 1 large yellow onion or two small onions, peeled and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 10 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 oz. dried pitted prunes, chopped
  • 8 oz. fresh Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 lbs. drained raw sauerkraut (2 18-oz. jars)
  • 1 sourdough baguette or cooked egg noodles

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 large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in kielbasa, onion, and mushrooms, and continue cooking until browned, about 20 more minutes. Add the stew meat in a single layer and sprinkle with caraway seeds and allspice. Brown on all sides, about 20 more minutes.

Stir in prunes, tomatoes, and salt, and cook until the tomatoes are beginning to break down, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Slowly pour in wine, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you go. Pour in beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, add bay leaves and peppercorns, and cover. Simmer for about 2 hours, until beef is very tender.

Remove from heat and stir in honey and sauerkraut. Set aside and grill or toast slices of sourdough bread, if using. Divide stew into bowls and serve with the grilled bread or over noodles.

Makes 7 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving (not including bread or noodles): 398 calories, 14.4 g. fat, 4.6 g. saturated fat, 0.1 g. poly. fat, 103.3 mg. cholesterol, 1790 mg. sodium, 403.4 mg. potassium, 31.6 g. carbohydrates, 2.2 g. fiber, 37.1 g. protein, vitamin A 5%, vitamin C 60%, calcium 3%, iron 18%

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.

Banora Apple Pudding

Can of Banora White apple juice“Weird-looking trees.”

“These are Banora White trees. AKA dumbapples.”

—Zack and Tseng, Crisis Core: FFVII

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 lbs. organic tart apples, such as Granny Smith, cores removed and sliced thickly
  • ½ cup brown sugar, divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 450 degrees while slicing the apples. Place the butter in a Dutch oven or other oven-safe pan and bake for about 5 minutes, until the butter melts.

Remove from oven and stir in pumpkin pie spice, ¼ cup brown sugar, and apples. Return to the oven and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. Slowly add flour while whisking until mixture is smooth.

Pour the mixture over the apples and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup brown sugar and return to the oven for about 5 minutes, until sugar is melted.

Makes 4 servings: 539 calories, 19 g. fat, 79 g. carbohydrates, 6 g. fiber, 15 g. protein, iron 16%

Green Mage Juice

Ktjn“The green mage lends support on the battlefield, shielding allies and crippling foes.”

description in Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

  • 6 oz. organic spinach
  • 10 oz. organic kale
  • 1 lb. organic Persian cucumbers
  • 2 organic Fuji apples, about 6 oz. each, cores removed

Start your multispeed juicer on setting 3 and add spinach. Increase speed to setting 4 and add kale, cucumbers, and apple pieces.

Remove pitcher from the juicer and stir well. Juice can be stored overnight in the refrigerator if necessary, but is best when served immediately.

Makes about 16 to 24 ounces of juice, depending on the variety of apple: 390 calories, 3.9 g. fat, 0.5 g. saturated fat, 1.4 g. poly. fat, 0.2 g. mono. fat, 268.3 mg. sodium, 3151.8 mg. potassium, 85.5 g. carbohydrates, 3.5 g. fiber, 35.1 g. protein, vitamin A 429%, vitamin C 555%, calcium 63%, iron 60%

Total cost for all ingredients is about $8 at Trader Joe’s.

SOLDIER Smoothie

Cloud at the Wall Market bar“For better or for worse, only the strong can enter SOLDIER.”

—Cloud Strife, FFVII

Put the greens, coconut water, and lime juice in a blender and pulse until combined. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Perfect post-workout drink! If you want more protein, try adding a couple tablespoons of hemp protein powder.

Makes 1 serving. Per serving: 288 calories, 4.2 g. omega-3s, 14 g. fat, 37 g. carbohydrates, 11 g. fiber, 8 g. protein