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cpmatthew

Life long gamer, career Soldier and proud new father. Ready for a new adventure.
cpmatthew has written 17 posts for TheOverSeasConnection

The Gamer’s Grill – Waffle Sundaes

Greetings Gamers! Do you remember Saturday morning cartoons? I do. Few things brought as much excitement as getting up Saturday morning knowing I had a few hours of uninterrupted cartoons ahead of me.
Recently, I’ve recaptured some of this joy by getting up before my kids on Saturdays for a couple hours of gaming before the Saturday madness begins. This weekend, I woke a touch hungry and craving something sweet and savory. A quick search of my inventory revealed eggs, bacon, Bisquick (TM), and vanilla ice cream. Seems an odd combination, but waffle sundaes were in my future.
Care to indulge your sweet tooth? Here’s what you’ll need:
1-2 slices of bacon
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 cup bisquick
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 Teaspoon vegetable oil
2 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
I followed this recipe for the waffles. Of course, you could always use some Eggos (TM), but what fun is that? If you happen to have a waffle baker with a light to tell you when they are done, ignore it. Remove the waffles when they stop steaming. Stack a couple waffles on a plate, add a scope of ice cream, drizzle on some maple syrup and dress it up with a slice or two of bacon. Poor the coffee out of your travel cup and into a proper mug and sit down a savor breakfast for once.
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Games that defined this Generation – Fallout 3

With the close of the current console generation fast approaching, we at the overseas connection are taking time to look back and relive some of those seminal 7th generation experiences. As I look back at the last eight years of gaming, one game stands out among the hundreds that really defined this generation, Fallout 3.

You have a dog in Fable II. you can find a dog in Fallout 3. That makes them almost the same…right?

I initially skipped Fallout 3 because I had not played any of the previous Fallout games. After I finished Fable II, a friend offered to trade me Fallout 3 for Fable II as he found Fallout 3 too depressing. Given Fallout 3 was from the developers behind Oblivion, which I enjoyed, I decided to go for it. Ah, trading games….remember when we could trade games? Moving on.

What could these two possibly have to do with each other?

I have always been a fan of turn based combat systems. Both tactical turn-based games like XCOM: UFO Defense and Final Fantasy Tactics, or the more familiar turn-based systems from Final Fantasy games. With the new generation, I started to get more into First Person Shooters. Along comes Fallout 3 with a near perfect blend of First Person Shooting (we’ll ignore the awful third person perspectiv) and turn based combat. The VATS system gave the player the option to use FPS controls or dive into a freeze frame targeting system. The transition between the FPS and the VTS was seamless and the slow motion kill animations just never got old.

This could be the start of something good.

As if the shooting crisp shooting and precision targeting weren’t enough, Bethesda laid a brilliant leveling system on top of that allowing the player to choose how they would fight. Many other games that offer multiple fighting styles have balancing issues and ultimately give one or two styles that are really viable if you want to get past the tough enemies. Not in Fallout 3. With some thought, you could make an unarmed fighter every bit as lethal and survivable as a small arms expert. Small guns, energy weapons, explosives, hand-to-hand…pick you poison, every combat style is viable.

But wait, there’s more! A gun that shoots bullets to blasé for you? How about picking up some random junk and hurling it at you foes with the “Rock-It Launcher?”. The game also allowed you to build your own weapons from random parts that could be found in the environment.

If a yao guai mauls three NPCs and the player doesn’t see it can you still loot the corpses?

All of this sounds great, but the real magic behind Fallout 3 was that the world seemed alive. Remarkably so, considering you were wandering a post nuclear holocaust wasteland. It was quite common to come upon NPCs that were just going about their business and it seemed that they would do so whether you were there or not. While the main quest line was pretty short, you could seemingly never run out of places and quests to discover. In terms of value for your entertainment money, you would be hard pressed to find a better buy than than a copy of Fallout 3. Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe there are some Supermutants lurking in the DC Metro that require may attention..

The Gamer’s Grill – Surf and Turf Skewers

What’s Up Gamers? Summer has officially arrived in the Northeastern United States, and that means it’s time to get outside and start grilling! This week, some quick and easy surf and turf skewers (or kabobs if you prefer) that are sure to please. Here’s what you’ll need.

About 1 pound of steak. Pick a moist cut like a tenderloin or rib-eye
About 1 pound of large shrimp (oxymoron?), peeled and tailed
About 1 pound of golden yellow potatoes
2 large red peppers
2 medium onions

First, slice the potatoes into about 1 cm thick slices and boil them for about 15 minutes to cook through. While the potatoes are boiling, put your skewers together. Start by cutting the peppers into quarters and cleaning the seeds out, then slice the quarters into 1 inch pieces. Then slice each onion into 8 wedges by slicing in half along the middle, and sling each half into quarters. Alternate steak, pepper, shrimp and onions to build your skewers. To kick it up a notch, add some pineapple and cap each skewer with a button mushroom.

Set the grill up for direct heat. Once the coals are ready, add the skewers. Let them cook about 2 minutes on all four sides to make sure the steak is warmed to at least 120 F all the way through.

Once the skewers are done, set them aside to cool a bit and let the steak rest. Arrange the potato slices on the grill in a single layer. Cook them one or two minutes on a side, just long enough for grill marks to appear.

Put the spuds in a large bowl and toss them with some Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and olive oil. Serve everything up with a nice glass of red wine and enjoy.

Quick and Easy Corndogs

What’s Up Gamers? It’s been a while. This week we are cooking up an American summer time favorite, corn dogs. The key to corn dogs is the batter, you can use any old hot dogs as long as the batter has a good flavor and consistency. Here’s what you’ll need.

1 1/4 cups of flour

3/4 cup corn meal

3/4 cup milk

4 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

Oil for frying

Sift together the flour, corn meal, baking soda, sugar and salt

Mix in the oil, eggs and flour and stir until you have a consistent batter with no dry lumps.

Heat a pan of oil to 350 F (180 C). Pat the hot dogs dry with a paper towel. Dip the hotdogs in the batter and rotate to coat evenly. You don’t need much.

Fry them one to two minutes on a side to cook the batter. I used some bamboo skewers as sticks for these.

Serve them up with your favorite sides. You can use any leftover batter to make hushpuppies, just leave the oil hot, and drop spoonfuls of batter into it and let them cook until cooked through.

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