Monthly Check-In – Feb. 2016

Well, well, well, here we are. My first monthly check-in! Here is where we (meaning I) sum up the month and give a little preview of what’s to come in the next month.

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Who Rule the World? Girls!

So I thought of doing a pithy “RE” title again, but this felt much more accurate for a review of Resident Evil Revelations 2. Yeah, yeah, I know this came out last year, but despite pre-ordering it, this was my first time playing it, and gosh darn it! It deserves a review! Due to life, I’ve just now gotten around to it. Hoo boy was I missing out! This may easily have become one of my favorite installments of the RE series! First place, of course, will always go to Code Veronica, as there will always be a place in my heart for the Ashfords. However, after some sketchy recent installments, this game has definitely taken Resident Evil back in the right direction and actually makes me feel excited for the series all over again!

I’m going to try to make this as non-spoilery as possible.

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You Spin My ‘Choke Right Round

So I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge spinach-artichoke dip fan. However, store-bought always tastes a little meh to me, and while the restaurant stuff is good, it’s high in calories and not convenient at all to get. So I tried my hand at making some yummy, healthy-lifestyle-ready dip of my own!

Here’s what you’ll need:

DSC_0497 [4958].JPG3 tbsp. Mozzarella Cheese or Cheese Blend

3 tbsp. Plain Greek Yogurt

3 tbsp. Light Mayonnaise

1 tsp Dijon Mustard

Black Pepper

1/2 cup Artichoke Hearts

1/3 cup Chopped Spinach

Chopped Red Onion (I leave the amount up to you)

Oven pre-heated to 350 degrees

  1. Combine your cheese, yogurt, mayo, mustard, and black pepper in a bowl (this can be either the bowl you intend to cook it in or a separate one, but really, why dirty more dishes than necessary?
DSC_0498 [4957]
Obviously not the bowl I cooked it in. Way to take my own advice, right?
2) Chop your artichokes, spinach (unless you’re using frozen like I did, then just make sure it’s thawed), and onion.

DSC_0499 [4956]
It may not look appetizing, but it turns out pretty dang good!
3) Mix your veggies into your yogurt mix.

3b) Sprinkle some more cheese on top. Not a lot, just enough to be melty and nice. Or skip this step altogether.

DSC_0516 [4955]

4) Bake for around 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melty and it’s heated through.

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Honestly, mine could have stood to bake a little longer because of the frozen spinach, but I was ready to eat!
5) Enjoy with your dippers of choice!

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I recommend nut crackers!
So 2 tbsp. of this stuff is one serving. I expected this to make 8 servings, but… it may not stretch that far? Either way, if you’re having a party, I recommend doubling or tripling the recipe.


Healthy Happy Birthday Breakfast Banana Bread

Okay, so maybe it’s not birthday specific, but I made it on my birthday and I liked the alliteration! Plus, it is a nice, healthier alternative for breakfast on those days where you know you’re going to be indulging a little too much.

In the spirit of full disclosure, this is based off a banana bread recipe I found in a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, but I tweaked it some to fit a healthier palate. I made a half-loaf because I was just making this for me, but always feel free to double up the recipe and play with cooking time a little if you want a whole loaf.

Here’s what you’ll need:


3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour

3/4 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Baking Soda

1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon

dash of Ground Nutmeg

1 Egg

2 Bananas

1/2 cup Stevia (or your low/no calorie sweetener of choice)

1/4 cup Coconut Oil

2 tbsp Chopped Walnuts

No Calorie Cooking Spray

1/8 tsp Salt

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees

  1. Spray down your pan with the cooking spray. Now set that aside for when we actually need it.
  2. In a medium to large size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix it and then make a well in the center (refer to picture below).
33. In a small to medium bowl, beat your egg.
4. Unpeel and chop you bananas (or do like I did and just break off pieces by hand). Put the banana pieces in the bowl with the egg, and use a fork to mash up the bananas.
5. Add your sweetener and coconut oil to the egg and banana mixture and mix.
It’ll look a little like questionable oatmeal.

6. Pour your egg and banana mixture into the well you made in the flour mixture. Then mix until everything looks thoroughly combined. If it’s a little on the dry side, don’t panic – that’s normal.

7. Fold in the walnuts. Not sure what that means? Basically, just gently mix them into the batter.

As I said, this will be dry.

8. Spoon batter into your pan from earlier, smoothing it out on top. Now stick it all in your pre-heated oven and let cook for about 40-45 minutes (more if you went for the whole loaf).

I may have forgotten to take a picture before sticking it in the oven.

Check to make sure your bread is done by sticking either a toothpick or the tines of a fork in the middle. If they come out (mostly) clean and dry, you are good to go! You can either go ahead and cut a slice off to enjoy nice and hot (though I suggest letting it cool for at least a few minutes), or you can let it cool and enjoy it later.

I’ve been enjoying mine heated and with some butter on it in the mornings.



I’m the Queen Leech, Baby! …Wait… What?

I finished Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster today! I give you fair warning that when I started playing this, I did not plan on making a review. Hell, I didn’t honestly plan on reviewing it at all until I actually finished it today. At that point, something just kind of clicked; I decided I definitely wanted to hype this up a little. All that is to say, I did not come to class prepared – I have no video, no screenshots, and no notes to reference. All the same, I hope you’ll stick around.

So for those who maybe don’t know the series well, let’s start out with a (teeny, tiny) bit of history. RE0 is the prequel to the Resident Evil series. It follows STARS rookie, Rebecca Chambers, and wanted criminal, Billy Coen, as they fight for their lives against zombies, monsters, and leeches. Yes, leeches. Gross, squirmy things that make me cringe every time the game decides it’s a good idea to zoom in on them. Thankfully, it’s also super gratifying to hear the squish sound as you step on them in-game. Anyway, the events of RE0 back right up to the events of the original Resident Evil. It’s not particularly necessary to play it in order to understand good, ol’ classic RE, but I love it all the same.

RE0 initially came out for GameCube back in the day. I actually own this version of the game.

re0 cover art
Took this baby off my shelf today *sniffle*

All that said, while I’ve owned it for many years, I never actually beat it (oops). It was insanely hard, or at least I felt it was at the time. I got as far as getting off the train and into the training facility before a leech zombie killed me. Multiple times. Yeah, I’m not too ashamed to say I gave up. However! I didn’t actually go into this without knowing all that happens. I’ve read the novelization!

re0 book cover.jpg
Yes, I’m actually recommending this book.

So I’ve known and loved Rebecca and Billy for years now. I was, of course, incredibly excited to see good, ol’ Zero get an HD remaster.

Like I said before, the game isn’t new, so chances are, you’ve probably already played it. However, if you haven’t, I do recommend it, so long as traditional survival horror is your jam. If it’s not? Well, this may not be the game for you, much as it pains me to say that. This game has always struck me as pretty niche. If you love Resident Evil and you love survival horror, all engines are go. But if you only like one of these things? Well, I guess it just depends on how much you love them.

For me, RE0 is a great installment into the lore of the RE franchise. It doesn’t hurt a damn thing that I love love love the chemistry between Rebecca and Billy.


More than anything else about this game, I love the growing that these two do together, both as a team and individually. Rebecca, especially, grows as a person remarkably well throughout the progression of the story.

However, as I’ve said, this is either a game you have played/planned to play, or it’s not, so let’s discuss the actual remastered aspects!

I was very pleasantly surprised by just how nice it looks!


Maybe it’s my nostalgia glasses making me more excited (because make no mistake, I was super excited), but it looked a lot better than I thought it would. It’s crisp, it’s clean, and it’s brightened up a lot. That said, it isn’t brightened so much as to take away the creepy elements. You can also play in widescreen or more traditional format. I did widescreen, so I can’t attest to the elements of the traditional format; however, I had no complaints about how I played it. I’ve seen where people have said widescreen can cut screens off and make it hard to get items, but that’s not an issue I personally ran into, so I can’t attest to the validity of it.

Possibly the biggest change is to the controls. Hold your breath here folks, because a traditional survival horror game just updated its controls into the modern world! All that said, it’s a flawed system, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

The game allows you to play either with the traditional controls most all survival horror junkies love (do we love them? Or is this kind of like Stockholm syndrome?), or you can play with more modern controls. I played a bit with the traditional controls, which are traditionally difficult.

Fiddler on the RoofHowever, in the name of science! (and the fact I wanted to sort of ease myself back into survival horror), I settled on playing with the updated controls. Mostly, they work well. There’s not much space to go wrong with such a system. Or so you think! Basically, the updated controls are great and wonderful about 75% of the time. The other 25%, they made me want to just walk away. Old school survival horror controls existed for a reason, namely because of the wacky camera angles old survival horror games love to use for scare value. Those same wacky camera angles still exist, making updated controls terrible. There were many times I’d turn a corner only to immediately turn back around due to the change in camera angles. It was frustrating to say the least. Had I been playing on anything other than easy mode, I probably would have quit. However, I was playing on easy mode, and thus I made it through!

Another addition to the HD Remaster version is that you can play through the game again as supped up Wesker. I have yet to do that. Will I eventually? It’s possible, but it isn’t in the immediate plan. Right now the plan is to move on to the newest remaster of RE the original.

So overall impression of Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster? I already knew I would like the game, so that sounds like cheating. But it looks beautiful, even if the controls suck no matter how you look at it. I think if you are good with the old school controls, stick with those. However, if you aren’t well-versed in them, you’re probably going to struggle either way. Which honestly? That’s kind of okay. It is a historically hard game, after all.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a mansion to go explore!

rebecca billy goodbye
I’ll miss you crazy kids!




In The Beginning

In the beginning, there is me – Allyssa – a lone blogger traveling out into the world on newborn, wobbly legs. It’s a lot like Bambi, really. Ya know, minus the forest friends and dead mom. Also that I’m not a deer (though it could be argued I’m a dear!).

pinkie pie ba dum tss

Okay, okay, enough with the puns already! Sheesh, it’s only the first post, and already I can sense your eye-rolling!

Basically, I’ve thought a long time about making a blog. After all, they seem like a great place for people to say things, and since I am people and I have things to say, perfect match! When I got to thinking of what I would want to blog about though, I took pause. What drives me in life? Then it hit me! Cooking and nerdery! I’ve said again and again to friends I wanted to make a healthy cooking blog, and then I realized, “Why can’t healthy food and nerdery go together!?” I totally think they should! Actually, if I’m any indication, I think they totally do. I decided today was a great day to take the plunge! After all, it’s my birthday, so what better way to commemorate another trip around the sun than by finally doing something I’ve wanted to for so long?

So what should you expect from Slice of Nerd? Yummy food that more often than not attempts health and nutrition, and nerdery – mostly video games, but I guarantee other kinds will slip in. I already have the first recipe primed and ready to go! Unfortunately, that will have to wait until another day as it is quite late and there’s this lovely thing called sleep that I must do! Until next time!