I am a total wannabe foodie. But then I get in the kitchen and I get overwhelmed almost immediately. My grandmothers were both masterful in the kitchen. One was Italian and taught me everything there is to know about basil and noodles. The other was Scandinavian and had a real talent for meats, potatoes and breads. Yum, breads.
If I have one of their recipes in hand or in my mind, I’m set. But as soon as it gets beyond that, well, I start to feel OVER IT. And so I set out on a mission to make my kitchen conquests more geeky and therefore, more my speed. After all, if you make it high tech and dorky, it’s bound to be at least a little bit fun along the way.
1. Start with the Nerdy Recipes Archive on Being Geek Chic!
I don’t know if you know this, but Emma Carew Grovum, our resident food writer is a freaking genius. Like honestly, she makes food so much more approachable, because she tackles all my favorite things. Some of my personal favorite recipes she’s dreamed up for us: Veronica Mars Marshmallows, Death Star Popcorn Balls and Iron Man’s Arc Reactor Cookies.
2. Use a Giant Tablet for Referencing Recipes and Images
I’ve been using the AOC My Smart All in One Tablet to get access to all my favorite recipes on my family’s shared Google Drive, check out Emma’s awesome images on the blog and watch some really great cooking shows on YouTube so I can follow along with some of the funnest shows on the web. Not only does it feel super high tech, it makes my time in the kitchen feel like play time, which is both shocking and delightful. It’s also kind of shocking to me how affordable it was to add this tech to any kitchen. For under $400, you’ve got a touch screen tablet that can stream movies if you get bored, give you access to a ton of tutorials via YouTube and even let you Skype with your aunt so she can help you with the perfect onion slicing.
3. Subscribe to Bitchin’ Kitchen and other great YouTube cooking shows
I am perfectly willing to admit this: Bitchin’ Kitchen is silly as hell and I love it. Nadia G, the internet cooking show host turned Food Network host, is Italian so I feel a certain kindred spiritness with her food tendencies. Also, she is 100% who she is and I respect that. AND, she did the thing so many internet people dream of: she turned a web show into a television series. Gotta respect that. Other shows you might like to check out: Bon Appetempts is hilarious because it’s all about trying to make fancy foods and failing. And then hopefully succeeding through learning new stuff. Kitchen Vignettes from PBS Digital is just absolutely beautiful and aspirational. To put it simply: it’s food porn. It feels weird to call something PBS distributes porn, but people, it is. Blueberry Lime Cake. It’s on my list to try and make it. No promises it will look quite this beautiful. In fact, let’s just admit right now that it just won’t be that beautiful.
4. Holy geek kitchen gear. You win.
Spatulas don’t have to be boring. How about a spatula shaped like the Enterprise? Who says mixing bowls can’t be beakers? I refuse to subscribe to the idea that a Spock oven mitt is impractical. No, no my friends. It’s a winning solution to not burning your hands.
I may not be a master chef anytime soon, but by making my kitchen a bit more tech savvy and a lot more geeky, suddenly cooking feels like a game I can win.
It’s Liz’s birthday tomorrow. Happy birthday, Liz! I thought we’d celebrate with a dino excavation cake recipe. This week’s nerdy recipe combines two of my very favorite things: dinosaurs and birthday cakes.
I first made this cake for a friend a few months ago, without telling her what it was all about. I handed her the cake tin and a toothbrush (it’s an excavation, after all).
I picked up these dino cupcake molds in the Jurassic Park gift store at Universal Studios last year (see photo), after spending some time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But you can buy yours here.
Let’s Make It:
Ok, so technically Harry Potter’s Birthday is tomorrow, July 31st, but we thought we’d post this early in case you want to celebrate his (and JK Rowling’s!) big day too.
Even though it’s been six years since the last Harry Potter novel was released, there are still plenty of geeks out there for whom July 31stwill always be a special day.
According to the Potter canon, Harry was just 1 year old in 1981 when his parents were killed, making this week his 33rd birthday.
Pumpkin pasties are mentioned multiple times throughout the Harry Potter series. They’re first introduced in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, when Harry first rides the Hogwarts Express to school.
The recipe for the pumpkin filling makes enough for about 16 pasties. You can either make a double pie crust or save half for another day.
Let’s Make Potter’s Partying Pumpkin Pasties
1) Make pie crust and set aside to chill for at least 30 minutes.
2) While the pie crust is chilling, mix together the flour, sugar, spices and oats.
3) Use your fingers to cut the butter into the mix, then stir in the pecans.
4) Stir the can of pumpkin into the crumble mixture until it’s completely combined.
5) Roll out the pie crust. If it’s exceptionally crumbly, cut the dough into eight similarly sized balls. If it’s holding up pretty well, roll it out and use a biscuit cutter to create 8-10 rounds.
6) Scoop about two tablespoons of the pumpkin filling into each pie crust.
7) Mix the beaten egg with a tablespoon of water or milk. Brush the edges of the pie dough with the egg wash.
8) Fold the dough over and crimp with a fork to seal.
9) Place the pasties on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
10) Brush the pasties with the egg wash and cut a thin slit across each pasty.
11) Sprinkle a little sugar over each pasty.
12) Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely before eating.
Recipe by Emma Carew Grovum. She is a data journalist working at the Chronicle of Philanthropy in Washington, D.C. She previously worked as the Digital Editor for The Cooking Club of America and blogs at kitchendreamer.blogspot.com Emma loves Star Wars, pandas and all things Joss Whedon. Find her on twitter at @emmacarew.
We all know I believe in being a geek at home, at work, at the gym and everywhere in between. This giveaway is for the folks who love to cook up our Nerdy Recipes and host themed tea parties - all while looking cute as hell. I present to you the Geeky Hostess apron!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!
2. Tell me in the comments what you would do in your new apron!
NOTE: please use your real email address with Disqus or we won’t be able to contact you if you win!
Giveaway closes Monday, August 5th at Noon! NOW CLOSED.
*The fine print: Giveaway only open to US readers. All prizing is provided by The Geeky Hostess. The total value of the prize is $16 plus shipping and handling. The giveaway also includes the cost of shipping to one address in the continental United States. Please follow the rules and be kind to one another.
Is it me, or are there just a ton of birthdays in May? Maybe I notice it more because my own birthday falls in May, but according to Facebook, 68 of my friends have birthdays this month, including my husband and sister-in-law.
It turns out this is also the third birthday of Being Geek Chic. A huge thanks to all of our readers who have been with Liz from the start, making this the vibrant and exciting community that it’s become.
And so in honor of my birthday, BGC’s birthday, and my 68 friends throughout the month, we’re bringing you a sweet way to celebrate.
RECIPE: Being Geek Chic Rainbow Birthday Cupcakes
NOTES: I prefer gel food colors better than liquid and the measurements are based on using a gel. I used a small-size cookie scoop for the cake batter but you could use a tablespoon-sized measuring spoon. These measurements are based on a Jumbo Pan . If you use a regular sized cupcake pan, you should use a teaspoon or limit to only three colors of batter.
Another week, another geeky movie premiere, another delicious way to celebrate.
This week is only the second of many nerdy recipes to come this summer, with an amazing slate of nerdy movies premiering in the coming weeks.
Baz Luhrman takes on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic, The Great Gatsby. (Fun fact: Fitzgerald’s historic home in St. Paul is just blocks away from where I last lived in Minnesota!)
You’re probably thinking, wait? there’s an especially nerdy food associated with The Great Gatsby? And you might be right.
But you’re probably also getting a group of friends together to go see Gatsby this weekend. Skip the crowded bar for pre-movie drinks and host your very own Great Gatsby cocktail hour, worthy of the title character’s very own lavish bashes.
The secret to these nerdy recipes? Their high ratio of “looks fancy” to “amount of time to make.” So plenty of time to curl your hair and perfect your flapper look.