While at the Fancy Food Show in NYC, I came across a booth for Banza, a high protein and gluten free pasta made from chickpeas. I love pasta, I love chickpeas, and I love free samples of food, so I have to admit I stopped by their booth a couple times. The pasta sample was SO good. So good, in fact, that I’ve kept in contact with the folks over at Banza, and agreed to work with them on creating an awesome recipe showcasing their pasta. I’ve been testing it in all of my normal pasta dishes, and it works so well that Mr. Geek now requests it over normal pasta for dinner. But I didn’t want something normal. I wanted to make something EPIC. I turned one of my fave Mac and Cheese recipes into a slightly spicy, protein-packed, gluten-free dish made for a superhero. And I topped it with sprinkles because no one was there to stop me. Guess what? It was delicious. (And the sprinkles added a slightly sweet crunch which complemented the spicy mac and cheese really well!)
So give this dish a try when you want to make something warm, gooey, and comforting, that won’t leave you feeling like you just ate your weight in carbs. Pair it with a big, fresh garden salad and you’ve got yourself a balanced meal!
PLUS, get $10 off your order at eatbanza.com when you use code “GEEKYHOSTESS”!
Superhero Mac and Cheese
- 2 tbs unsalted butter
- 3 1/2 tbs gluten-free flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 7 ounces white cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 1 ounce pepperjack cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- One box Banza elbow macaroni (8 oz)
- 1 ounce (1/4 cup) white cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 ounce (1/4 cup) pepperjack cheese, grated
- ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1/8 cups gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 1 tbs lightning bolt sprinkles
- To first make the sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour and continue to whisk and cook for 2 minutes.
- Slowly add milk, whisking constantly.
- Let sauce cook until it thickens, about 10 minutes, while stirring frequently.
- Remove pan from heat and add the cheeses and seasonings listed in the “SAUCE” section. Stir until everything is fully melted. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook the macaroni according to the package, but remove 1 minute before the lowest cook time on the packaged directions. (It will continue cooking in the oven!) Rinse the pasta in cold water and let it drain.
- Oil an 8-inch casserole dish and set aside.
- Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce, and mix until well coated. Pour the mac and cheese mixture into the casserole dish.
- Cover the mac and cheese with the additional grated cheese, then the chili powder, then the gluten-free bread crumbs, and finally with the sprinkles.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling and amazing looking. Enjoy!
(Don’t need gluten-free options? Feel free to use regular flour and bread crumbs!)
What’s your fave mac and cheese recipe? Would you be willing to try sprinkles on your dish? And have you tried Banza?
Want to know more about Geeky Hostess Sprinkles? Now it’s easy to do! Just click on the “Sprinkles” category at www.geekyhostess.com or visit geekyhostess.com/sprinkles! You’ll find a list of stores carrying Geeky Hostess products as well as some fun videos showing some unusual ways you can use the sprinkles. Check back often to see new retailers added to the list! Know a store or bakery that should carry Geeky Hostess Sprinkles? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Remember running around in your Underoos, pretending to be your favorite superhero or cartoon character? Those days are BACK! (Ok, for some of us, those days never really left). Underoos has relaunched with a new line for kids AND grown-ups, so we can relive our childhood in style.
They sent me a pack of the C-3PO underoos (my fave Star Wars character I don’t care what anyone says), and while I won’t make you see me in all my Underoo glory, I can tell you that they’re ridiculously comfy. My slumber parties will never be the same! The tops can be worn out as normal (I plan to wear mine to a Star Wars event this week), and the underwear is large, silly, and comfortable, and will be perfect for cozy movie marathons at home.
They currently have DC and Star Wars shirts available in Men, Women, and Youth sizes. The women’s sizes are listed as “Juniors” but they’re a bit bigger than your average junior size.
And because Underoos is an awesome company, they want you to experience the ultimate geeky slumber party outfit as well. They’re going to give one reader a set of Underoos of their choice! Just fill out the Rafflecopter below.
Can’t wait to get yours? Use promo code “THEGEEKYHOSTESS” by August 31, 2015 to save $5 off your order!
Are you ready to embrace your inner child? Visit www.underoos.com to get started!
Well, this book is ridiculously fun. Sprinkles! is bright, colorful, and it feels like you’re at a party just going through it! But my fave party? The recipes varied from ridiculously easy (like the dipped waffle cones) to more complicated/time consuming (like the banana split trifle cake). They even teach you how to make your own sprinkles at home! (Although I prefer the Geeky Hostess sprinkles, myself!)
The recipes go beyond basic instructions and serve as inspiration. I tweaked the recipes based on my preferences, and had fun trying different types of sprinkles with them. I was even inspired to photograph my recipes like hers. If you have a copy of the book, you may see some similarity with how she stacks her dipped waffle cones and how my Instagram turned out!
I’d highly recommend this book for anyone who wants some fun excuses to use all of their sprinkles. At $13.12 on Amazon, it makes a great gift with a bottle or two of Geeky Hostess sprinkles as well! 😉 For more info on the recipes I tried, check out my Instagram (@GeekyHostess) and search for #GHCookBookClub.
Have you read Sprinkles!?
Patissez, a small bakery in Canberra, has created a monster. They’ve created and sell “Freakshows,” gigantic milkshakes topped with baked goods and spilling over with decadent ingredients like salted caramel, fudge, vanilla cream, and Nutella. The pictures have been everywhere the last few days, and when I first saw them, I stopped dead in my tracks. The milkshake was so ridiculous and messy and amazing and I had to have it. Unfortunately, plane tickets to Canberra are a bit out of my price range for a milkshake. So what’s a girl to do? MAKE HER OWN.
Three of their milkshakes incorporate baked goods made in house, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to compete with that. But one of them, the Nutella and Salted Pretzel shake, uses ingredients any of us can find at our local grocery store. Plus, who wouldn’t be up to the challenge of using half of a container of Nutella for one milkshake?
The tricks to this shake is to go big, get messy, and make as much as you can from scratch. Making homemade vanilla whipped cream gave it a nicer color, flavor, and texture than using the pre-made bright white stuff from a can. When it all came together, I stood back in awe. I felt a bit like Dr. Frankenstein: giddy at my monstrous creation, and thrilled that I had done it. But after consuming just a fifth of it? I had wondered what I had brought into the world. This shake is rich, huge, disgustingly delicious, and it should not be for one mere mortal. Please, drink responsibly and share this with your entire family.
Ok, enough disclaimers. Let’s get to the recipe.
Nutella and Salted Pretzel Freakshow Shake
- 3 cups ice cream
- Nutella. Just bring the whole container to this party. You’ll use a little under half of it.
- 2/3 cup milk
- mini pretzels
- vanilla whipped cream (see recipe below)
- Place the ice cream, 1/3 cup Nutella, 2/3 cup milk, and 6 mini pretzels in the blender. Blend until smooth.
- Take a mason jar and make a stripe around the inside of the jar with the Nutella.
- Cover the outside rim of the jar with Nutella–enough where pretzels can be pushed into it and stick.
- Place mini pretzels on the Nutella-covered rim of the jar in a decorative fashion.
- Pour the milkshake into the mason jar. Leave some room at the top for a cleaner experience, fill it to the brim if you want “milkshake waterfalls” to pour out everywhere.
- Place the vanilla whipped cream in a ziplock bag and cut off one of the corners, making a makeshift piping bag. Pipe the whipped cream on top of the milkshake. Don’t be afraid to go above the jar and over the sides a bit!
- Using a spoon, plop small amounts of Nutella onto the top of the whipped cream. Stick mini pretzels into the little Nutella pockets you’ve made.
- Crush 2-3 pretzels into dust and sprinkle it on top of the milkshake.
- Add some fun straws for flair, and enjoy!
Vanilla Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Begin whisking the cream in a cold bowl. (If using a mixer, work up to using one of the faster settings)
- Slowly add the vanilla and powdered sugar while continuing to mix the cream.
- Mix until stiff peaks form.
The beauty of a milkshake is that it’s easy to experiment and fix your mistakes. Want it thicker? Add more ice cream? Want it thinner? Add more milk. Need more Nutella? Add more Nutella. (Or just lick the edge of the jar, for goodness sake. There’s SO MUCH Nutella everywhere.) I made all of the shake’s ingredients in denominations of 3s so you can easily increase or decrease the size.
If you could make your own flavor of freakshow shake, what would you include? I think mine would be a banana cookies and cream shake with chocolate whipped cream, multiple oreos, and an entire banana. Cause why not?
I’m gonna be honest with you. Missing SDCC this year has been rough. It’s my first time in 4 years not attending the mega-con, and last night, while the Geeks Go Glam Party and Wootstock were going on, I couldn’t do anything but stalk my Instagram and Twitter feeds, seeing what all of my friends were up to. I was pretty sad to be missing one of the best weeks of the year. But this morning, with the help of Adagio Teas and their amazing Fandom Blends, that feeling changed. Instead of waking up sharing a hotel room with 4 other girls, feeling exhausted, sore, and hungover, mentally prepping myself for another day of heat, lines, and wall to wall people, I got to wake up in my own bed, well-rested and refreshed, ready for a productive work day at my computer. I got to head downstairs and make a wonderful Avengers-themed tea, and there were NO LINES anywhere. NONE!
So let’s hold up for a second and talk about these teas. This line, called “Hero Recovery” is based on the Avengers characters, and it’s just the cutest thing in the world. My fave blend is Captain America’s (or “Stars and Stripes”) because it aptly smells and tastes just like apple pie. Yum! Avengers not your thing? They have a bajillion other fandom blends available, and if you don’t see one you like, you can make your own! (I’d recommend trying any by Cara McGee–she seems to know her stuff and her art is so cute!)
So I may not be at SDCC, but that isn’t stopping me from enjoying some geekiness form the comfort of my own home. I look forward to a cozy weekend sampling more of these cute teas, wearing my geekiest t-shirts, and digging into a new pile of comics. (I just read my very first issue of LumberJanes and LOVED it! I’m hoping to pick up some more asap!)
Are you also missing SDCC? What are you doing to cope?
(Special thanks to Adagio Tea for gifting me these goodies to try! You’ve made this week much easier!)
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!
SPRINKLES! Honestly, I’m surprised it took me this long to feature this book. The author, Jackie Alpers, was one of the Geeky Bakers featured in my Geeky Sprinkles Kickstarter, and as soon as the Kickstarter hit its goal, I purchased a copy of the book as a congratulatory present to myself.
If you backed the Geeky Sprinkle Kickstarter and want some fun ideas on what to do with all those sprinkles, this book is made for you.
Sprinkles! starts off with an introduction into the world of sprinkles. Guys, there are SO many different kinds out there. Once your mind is spinning with new knowledge and you’re properly drooling from all the pics, you get to the recipes. They’re divided into three different sections:
- Breakfast Sweets
- Cookies, Cakes, And Pies
- Snacks And Party Fare
She ends the book with recipes for your own sprinkles, but I’m really excited to play around with the Geeky Sprinkles while trying out the recipes. Make sure you grab a copy of Sprinkles! and remember to use hashtag #GHCookBookClub on Twitter and Instagram so I can see your pics and reviews! (Or just follow the hashtag to see my pics!) Need some sprinkles to get started? Grab some Geeky Sprinkles here. Don’t forget, all sanding sugar and glitter crystal bottles are on sale for $5 each!
I’m back from NYC and the Fancy Food Show and am catching up on some of the posts that should have gone up while I was gone. It’s just hard to get to your computer when New York City is calling your name!
Between weddings, cons, trips, and holidays, the summer becomes very busy (and fun!). Because of this (and an ongoing Seattle heatwave), I didn’t get to try as many recipes as I would have liked in The Geeky Chef Cookbook. However, I look forward to playing around with the book a bit more in the future!
The recipes I did try were a lot of fun. The Hunger Games Cheese Buns were absolutely delicious, and The Futurama Slurm was delicious, refreshing, and easy to make. The best part of this book is that you have so many fandoms in one. I don’t need to keep 40 different cookbooks on my shelf to cover my bases for upcoming parties, I can just keep this one!
Check Instagram for the hashtag #GHCookBookClub for more info on the recipes I tried this month. Then, pick up a copy of the book from Amazon and let me know what you think!
Did you try any recipes from this month’s pick? What were your thoughts?
If you like geeky ladies, geeky homes, gorgeous pics, and fun interviews, then this Kickstarter is for you. The Unicorn Files is a project focusing on debunking the myth of the “female geek” by interviewing and photographing these women in their homes. They’re creating a book of all of these photos, and you can now pledge for it on Kickstarter!
I did a photo session with The Unicorn Files last year, and it was a blast. Terra and Nate are wonderful to work with, super sweet, and very passionate about the project. I can’t wait to see what the finished book will look like, and have been loving the preview pics they have up on the Kickstarter page! It’s ridiculously fun to see these geeky women in their own homes. My voyeuristic side always wants to know what type of environment people live in and how they decorate their space. I really enjoy this peek into their lives.
Backing this project will not only get you a copy of the book and other goodies, but it will show your support for geeky women-run businesses. I’d say it’s a win-win. You can see more on their Kickstarter page!
Are you attending SDCC? Then you’ve gotta hit up Geeks Go Glam, the party that almost had me buying a plane ticket out to San Diego.
According to the event page, “There will be live music, a tea party offering of tea, coffee and delicious snacks, a photo booth, a raffle with amazing prizes from your favorite chic nerdy retailers and lots of dancing with other glamorous geeks.”
I won’t be there myself, but I’ve sent some Geeky Sprinkles to adorn some of the treats. So if you attend, keep an eye out and send me some pics!
Tickets are $15 at Brown Paper Tickets. Will you be attending?