Welcome to the Geeky Hostess Cookbook Club! Each month I’ll pick a cookbook and try various recipes from it. I’ll post pictures of the outcomes on Instagram and share my thoughts on social media. Based on permissions from the author/publisher, some months may include giveaways, free recipes, and interviews. You can join along by getting a copy of the book and sharing your thoughts with #GHCookbookClub!
It’s May. The weather’s getting nice, the days are longer, and adventure is calling. I thought picking a Hobbit-themed cookbook was only right.
An Unexpected Cookbook, by the lovely and talented Chris-Rachael Oseland, is full of delicious and fun recipes that will fuel you up for your next adventure or Hobbit/Lord of the Rings marathon. There are even some great items you can make ahead and bring with you on a picnic or a hike!
The book is divided up into the following categories:
- Second Breakfast
- Afternoon Tea
In addition to adventure fuel, a lot of these recipes will be perfect for those Mother’s Day brunches or Bridal Showers invading your spring calendar. And there’s something for everyone. The book includes 11 Paleo-friendly recipes, 19 gluten free recipes, 20 vegan (and kosher and halal) recipes, and 40 vegetarian recipes.
I’m thrilled to have the excuse to try new bread recipes, make a hearty supper, and invite my friends over for fun brunches. Remember to keep an eye on my Instagram through May to see pics and reviews of the recipes I try. You can join in on the fun by getting the book and sharing pics of your creations with #GHCookbookClub! I hope you choose to go on this adventure with me!
(Also, Chris-Rachael is currently running a Kickstarter for another one of her geeky cookbooks: Dining with the Doctor: Regenerated. If you’re a Whovian or a lover of geeky recipes, you’ve gotta check it out!)
Whew! This month really flew by. I don’t know what happened, but here we are, about to enter May, and I didn’t get nearly everything I wanted done. But I DID make a lot of delicious treats from Lesley Stowe’s Desserts from My Kitchen!
This book is gorgeous–you all know that. But it’s so pretty it could almost seem intimidating. Luckily, the instructions are fabulous and I was making brand new dishes that all turned out delicious! You can see the pictures and reviews of all the recipes by searching for #GHCookBookClub on Instagram.
The recipe I loved the best (and will be making ALL spring and summer long) was Lesley’s vanilla semifreddo (on page 219). According to Lesley: “A semifreddo (which translated means ‘half cold’) is a partially frozen Italian dessert that has the texture of frozen mousse and is slightly richer than ice cream.”
This cookbook has 5 different semifreddo recipes and variation suggestions in addition to those. I thought I’d start simple and I may work my way to the other ones next time I whip up a batch. This recipe is quicker and easier (in my opinion) than regular ice cream and tastes SO much better. But it does require that you have an electric mixer and a LOT of bowls. Lesley Stowe was kind enough to let me share this recipe below!
- 4 large free-range eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Line a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat yolks and 1/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, beat cream until it holds soft peaks. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a third mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue mixing until firm (but not dry) peaks form.
- Fold whipped cream into yolk mixture, then fold in half of the egg whites and mix until well combined. Gently fold in remaining egg whites. Pour into prepared loaf pan and freeze for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Slice with a hot knife to serve.
Once you’ve got the hang of that, you can check out her book for the other flavors! Or just fold some Nutella in it and eat it straight out of the loaf pan like I may have done. I’m classy like that.
One embarrassing and fun fact about semifreddo: I always accidentally say “semi-frodo” when I read it. I may have also accidentally written that a few times. But I like to think it’s a desert a hobbit would enjoy. Speaking of hobbits, stay tuned for May’s cookbook club book: I think it’ll be an unexpected culinary adventure for many of you! 😉
One last piece of business before I say goodbye to April’s GH Cookbook Club pick: Lesley Stowe’s giving away a copy of the book and some Raincoast Crisps to one lucky Geeky Hostess reader! Enter below for your chance to win:
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AvengersUnite #CollectiveBias
ASSEMBLE! MARVEL’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out on May 1st, which means you only have a week to plan an epic viewing party. Get your friends together, watch the first Avengers (and the other Marvel movies–I’d recommend Thor and the Iron Mans myself!) and get prepped for the newest addition to the Marvel collection.
I planned such a party this past week. There were food, drink, activities, prizes, and of course, movies. Thanks to Collective Bias, I was able to hit up my local Walmart and grab everything I needed for the party. (You can see everything they have and more at walmart.com/avengers.) I might have had a bit too much fun finding all of the cool Avengers stuff…
Welcome to the Geeky Hostess Cookbook Club! Each month I’ll pick a cookbook and try various recipes from it. I’ll post pictures of the outcomes on Instagram and share my thoughts on social media. Based on permissions from the author/publisher, some months may include giveaways, free recipes, and interviews. You can join along by getting a copy of the book and sharing your thoughts with #GHRecipeBookClub!
I’ve been wanting to start a cookbook club for a while. I have stacks and stacks of cookbooks with fun recipes and beautiful pictures, yet I hardly ever actually use them. This gives me a chance to really explore the books and learn a bit more about cooking/baking in the process. Plus, it gives you a chance to see multiple recipes from a book made by someone other than the author, and allows us all to learn and share tips together if you choose to get the book as well!
To start us off, I’ve chosen Desserts from My Kitchen by Lesley Stowe (the creator of Raincoast Crisps, those delicious crackers I used in my Fairytale Party post!). I had the pleasure of meeting Lesley Stowe at the Seattle Food Bloggers Conference, and she’s amazing. She’s a Paris-trained chef, former caterer, and now creator of the Raincoast Crisp line. She has a variety of cookbooks, but this one is her newest. Her passion is desserts, and you can really see it through the gorgeous creations in this book. Many of the desserts look like they’d be at home in an art museum!
The recipes range from fairly simple to complex, and all of them have measurements written out by cup/teaspoon and by weight. Although this cookbook isn’t particularly geeky, I feel it lays down a great foundation on a variety of treats. Once you have these down and in your repertoire, you can find ways to incorporate geeky touches!
The book includes the following categories:
- Bars & Biscotti
- Tarts & More Tarts
- Dinner Party Desserts
- Frozen Desserts
- Holiday Favorites
- Toppings & Special Touches
- Baking Basics
I’m looking forward to trying the following recipes:
- Oatmeal Milk-Chocolate Chunk Cookies (A nice basic!)
- Chocolate Macarons (I’ve been wanting to learn how to make macarons for a long time!)
- Lemon Shortbread Bars (These are going to make a fantastic treat for Easter brunch!)
- Semifreddo (A frozen mousse/ice cream type dessert. She has a few different flavor options!)
And if I have time, I may try one of her beautiful tarts or cakes.
Desserts From My Kitchen is currently available for $26.27 on Amazon.com. Will you join me for the first Geeky Hostess Cookbook Club? If so, please share your thoughts and pics by using #GHCookBookClub!
My friends over at HalloweenCostumes.com put together something that had me laughing at the ridiculousness/adorableness of it: Eggvengers, Avengers costumes for your Easter Eggs. Holiday DIY, Marvel superheroes, and more puns than I can count? You’ve just found one of my new favorite things.
You can print out costumes for Black Widow, Captain America, Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Thor, Loki, Ultron, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Hulk on their blog.
Want to decorate yourself while you’re decorating your eggs? Or want to prep yourself for an upcoming Age of Ultron screening? Enter to win this amazing Captain America Shield! Just enter using the Rafflecopter below. A winner will be selected on Friday!
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be exhibiting at Emerald City Comicon this weekend! You’ll be able to find the Geeky Hostess booth in all of its pink and cupcakey-glory on the 6th floor of the convention center (booth #2705!).
In addition to saying “Hi” to me and exchanging hugs and pleasantries, you’ll be able to purchase Geeky Sprinkles, recipe cards, and aprons at special discounted convention prices! You’ll also have access to some very limited edition sprinkle kits, including sanding sugar that was previously only available through the Kickstarter.
It gets even better: If you get hungry during the con, head to Wild Rye or Solera (both in the convention center) to purchase a cupcake with Geeky Sprinkles on them!
Will you be at Emerald City Comicon? What are you looking forward to there?
Have you heard the news about the new Plants vs. Zombies comic? Dark Horse is releasing “Bully For You,” an all-ages miniseries coming to a comic shop near you in June! The news made me want to make something special–and what’s better than a magic taco?
I’ve been on a bit of a healthy/homemade kick lately, and wanted to make something delicious and worthy of being “magic,” but is healthy enough to serve to your family and friends and feel good about it. The Magic Taco does not have any meat in it, so I made mine with a delicious black bean and veggie filling. I also used some of Mission Foods‘ Digestive Health Tortillas to add some healthy probiotics to the meal. (They also now have Gluten-Free tortillas and Carb Balance tortillas available in stores–a great way to make sure everyone’s happy and healthy on taco night!) What you get is a taco you can feel good about eating. Magic indeed!
I’ve been waiting for the day when 3D printers would become a bit more delicious, and that day is here. This PancakeBot uses 3D printing technology to pour pancake batter directly on a griddle, making pancakes in the shape of anything you wish.
The PancakeBot will retail for $299 but can be purchased from their Kickstarter campaign for $179. Not a bad price to pay for the best breakfast (and lunch, and dinner, and snacks, and desserts…) ever.
I’m guessing the printer can be used for more than just pancake batter. I’d be interested in using melted chocolate with the griddle turned off to make fun chocolate shapes.
Will you be purchasing a PancakeBot? And if so, can I come over for breakfast?
(Hat tip to Steven for sending the link my way!)
Job Hunters, the web series I produced, was selected to be a part of the inaugural Seattle Web Fest, and I’m thrilled! I can’t wait to see it on the big screen, and you can too, for free! This Saturday, join me at Seattle Web Fest for screenings, panels, hugs, and shmoozing from 10am-8pm. Whether you’re a web series creator, a web series fan, or are just bored in Seattle and want to see some free entertainment, there’s something for you.
I’m still working out my schedule, but you’ll definitely see me at the screening block from 4pm-5pm (that’s when Job Hunters will run) and at the “Marketing Your Web Series” panel at 6pm (I’ll be moderating!). You can see the full schedule at seattlewebfest.com.
Will I see you there?
The University of Washington, my alma mater, is hosting an incredibly fun “Geek Week” this week. Although most events are for students only, the end of the week concert is open to all. Jonathan Coulton will be headlining the show, with the always lovely Doubleclicks and Fighter X. Tickets are $25. I’ll be there–will I see you?
UW’s continuing the geeky activities this spring when Neil Gaiman comes on Friday, April 17th. Tickets are $35 and are going to sell out–get yours asap!
I’m loving that UW is embracing the geek community, and I can’t wait to attend these events. I hope to see you there!