Category: Food

Food, Oni's Life

My Pumpkin Pie protein breakfast (or anytime) smoothie!

I’m a smoothie person for breakfast. I’m so busy that I have to grab my breakfast like this and run out the door. I’m also usually so stressed out that I can’t eat much unless I drink it.


Or maybe breakfast grabs me based on that pic. IDK.

This pumpkin pie smoothie that I made is kind of the tastiest thing ever and it has 23g of protein in it naturally. No expensive protein powders needed! If you want to do it paleo / primal remove the yogurt and add some paleo or primal protein powder. IDGAF, though. I’m mostly paleo but not 100%. I fall in the “everything in moderation” camp. Fage and Vitamix didn’t pay me to post this, BTW. Fage is actually my fav yogurt because it’s real greek yogurt. There’s a lot of brands out there that claim to be greek yogurt but arent and they usually put a lot of BS in. My Vitamix was my 10 year anniversary present because I wanted to blend shit fast without cutting my hand off. I do not regret the purchase since I use it every day and it’s easy enough to clean that it doesn’t piss me off. I am prone to easy bouts of frustration in which I’d have likely cut my hand off so that made this purchase a no-brainer for me.

Oni’s Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:

1 banana
1/3 c pumpkin (or butternut squash if you can’t get pumpkin) puree
1 c almond milk
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 c Fage greek yogurt (Sometimes I shrink this to 1/2 c)

Directions: Blend all that shit together. I have a Vitamix but this one doesn’t have any kale so you can use a cheap blender and it will work fine. I may experiment and add coffee to it tomorrow.Feel free to add ice or freeze your banana (take the peel off first) to make it more slushy.

2015, Attractions, Food, Guest Post, Halloween, Haunted Attractions, Reviews, Virginia

Williamsburg, VIrginia Haunted Attractions: Busch Gardens Howl O Scream Blood Banquet 2015 Review

This is a guest post by Donika Haddock!

Friday, September 25th marked the opening night for Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and once again we were able to dine at Howl-O-Scream’s famed Blood Banquet.

The Blood Banquet is a unique event to the park. Buffet style dining experience with a show. Located adjacent to the Oktoberfest area of the park, they have transformed the Wilkommenhaus gift shop to a buffet restaurant, complete with a stage surrounding the statue that is located in front of the building, as well as adding outdoor seating. Yes, it’s also the same location where Santa’s Workshop is during Christmas Town.

2015 may not be the first year for the Blood Banquet, but it IS the first year that they did not use a Vampire as the main character of their dinner show. Gone is Count Vlad and his family of vampires. If you remember Igor’s Fright Feast from 2013 and 2014, that dining experience is missing from 2015 and Igor has actually moved and taken over the Blood Banquet. What does he have to do with a vampire themed hotel dinner and show experience? I don’t really know. Opening weekend was a wet and soggy weekend with off and on rain cancelling the show. I will admit, I went back to the park on Sunday night and caught about two minutes of Igor’s show while passing through the area, and while entertaining, I still failed to understand what Igor has to do with the Blood Banquet, even though he was dancing with a group of vampires. I’ll check the show out on another visit to the park where I can time it to catch the beginning. Since we didn’t get a show, we did get to meet the characters as they came out and visited with the guests. That was a nice touch.

Now, on to the actual food.






I have dined at the Blood Banquet the previous two years and have enjoyed it immensely. As with most banquets, you get your choice of veggies, meats, breads, and desserts. Popular items on the buffet include their carving station with your choice of Diablo turkey or garlic and rosemary roast beef, their CASKet Club Chili, and baked potatoes complete with your choice of toppings (butter, sour cream, bacon bits, cheese), as well as returning desserts of red velvet cupcakes, chocolate tarts, and blood splattered cake. While going through the line and checking out the offerings this year, I thought something was missing. They have changed out some items that were offered in the past two years (pork skewers, empanadas, and roasted veggies) for some newer items (corn medley, chicken parmesan, knockwurst, and my new favorite, mustard glazed pork loin). Also gone this year is their cherry cobbler. WHYYYYY??? That was my favorite dessert out of all of their desserts!!

How was the actual food this year? Still good. Our only ‘complaint’ was that it wasn’t hot. Most was luke warm, except the potatoes. Those were nice and hot. Perfect comfort food for the rainy weather. Yes, we ate there. In the drizzle of rain. But we were hungry and to the point that we didn’t really care. So, with that said, due to the weather, and small group of people eating at the buffet, AND the fact that our reservations were set for 8:15, you can say we were set up for the ‘don’t expect the absolute best dining experience’. Mind you, the food was STILL GOOD, just not hot. What can you really expect for a dining experience with a low turnaround in crappy weather?

The diablo turkey was still delicious, the chili still had it’s spicy kick, and the desserts were still scrumptious. Would I go back? HECK YES!!! Would I go back at 8:15? Not if I can help it. Unless it’s busy. There’s also the lack of lighting once the sun is down. I like to SEE my food while I’m eating. Black plates and darkness don’t work well together. So if you plan to check the Blood Banquet out, I recommend doing it at least once, but make your reservation for as early as you can. It opens at 4pm. This will give you plenty of time to eat before Howl-O-Scream opens at 6pm. This time is also crucial if you want to go through as many of the haunted mazes as possible during the night.

The Blood Banquet costs $22 for adults and $15 for children. Pass members still get their discounts. Price includes soft drinks and water. Adult beverages available for additional cost. Reservations, while not required, are recommended, and you can book online at the park’s website or in person at Guest Relations.

2015, Food, Reviews

Review: Cape May, NJ: The Mad Batter at The Carroll Villa Hotel

The Mad Batter is located in The Carroll Villa Hotel in historic Cape May, NJ. Check out their menu here.



It is one of my favorite places to eat in the world.

No, seriously. This shit is off the charts.

We live about 2.5 hours from here but can often be caught making the drive here on a Saturday morning. We did this a few weeks ago during the summer.


An absolute must is the bread basket which is full of fresh baked breads and muffins. If there’s just 2 of you, no you won’t be able to finish all of this and your breakfast.

Get it anyway. Trust me on this.

The bread practically melts in your mouth. This is why they are special. They must be using some traditional English recipes because the only other place I’ve had breads this good in America is at an English specialty tea shop. I don’t detect any bs preservatives or anything since I am allergic to most of those. I can eat this fine.


Similarly, the pancakes have that silky, melty taste. No they aren’t gooey. I mean however they are making their breads and batters here is goddamn special. Worth the 2.5 hour drive special. The bacon is perfectly crispy. These are the buttermilk pancakes.


Their savory dishes are also well-executed and higher quality and any other place I’ve eaten at. Here is the eggs and hash:


I recommend getting a bunch of stuff like this and sharing. I personally find that a lot of bread is too much for me so it’s nice to break it up with the eggs. Harknell and I always eat like this anyway. Vegan and vegetarian options are also served here.

File this powerhouse restaurant on my list of “Favorite Places in the World”. Arrive early, or expect a wait if it’s during the Summer. It really is that good.

2015, Food, Reviews

Review: Bloomfield, NJ: Holsten’s (AKA The Sopranos restaurant)

Holsten’s is the restaurant and ice cream parlor where where the iconic final scene in The Sopranos was filmed. I’ve said before that New Jersey has terrible ice cream. I found out later that this is only true where I live in central NJ. Bloomfield is north of where I live which is where you can find good ice cream.


I didn’t see that show so IDK. All I know is that it’s about 45 minutes away from me and one of Harknell’s favorite places to get hot dogs and ice cream. It’s a good place to eat and worth your time.

Hot dogs:


Chicken sandwich:

Fresh mozzarella!


Side dishes:

Coleslaw, potato salad, and onion rings! The onion rings were just the right level of crispy and tasted very good. They reminded me of good pub onion rings.


Ice cream:


Holsten’s is delightfully working class – from the menu to the tacky stuffed animals on the walls. Inside is an ice cream bar, and a deli-style candy shop. The sit down restaurant is in the back.

If you are the type of person who BAWWWWs over things not being organic and low carb this isn’t for you. I eat 90% organic and low carb, so for me this place is freaking awesome. I believe that everything should be consumed in moderation – including moderation. If you are craving good hotdogs made like they used to in 1939 (when Holsten’s first opened) this place is a Can’t Miss.