Etheric Recipe #3: Cardamom Popovers with Honey Syrup

Large fluffy cardamom spiced popovers topped with honey syrup would be at home on any dining table, elegant or rustic

For the third installment of recipes for Daniel Swensen’s Etheric (upcoming sequel to Orison), I wanted to go with something a bit sweeter after the recipe for a warming drink and some satisfying street food. Daniel requested some recipes as part of an opulent meal, so I took the opportunity to turn to a recipe which I really thing deserves a lot more attention in the kitchen, the popover.

A loose egg batter that is closely related to a Yorkshire pudding, the recipe uses intense direct heat and the explosive power of steam to give an impressive amount of lift to the final product. While the popover is perhaps from somewhat humble origins in the kitchen, I think that with the right approach , the billowy and crispy foundation of the popover would look wonderful on a well-appointed dining table.

1 pop over cook geek goat 064

I hope that this picture is convincing!

Continue reading

Etheric Recipe #2: Grilled Lamb on Flatbread

Grilled meat, grilled bread, and cool yogurt make this dish a well-balanced way to kick off the summer

A bit of friendly note, this is a very meat centric post, so if that isn’t quite your thing you may want to skip this post.

Onto my second recipe installment for Daniel Swensen’s Orison, hot off tail of the last beverage recipe of Barley Cocoa Tea. So if you wanted something a bit more substantial you’re in luck, I’m giving it to you with a take on street food. Daniel asked for something a soldier would partake of, so I wanted to make something hot, savory, and filling.

Given the time of year, I really wanted to leverage the freedom to grill something up, and try a few takes on lamb. I’ve gone a bit further and grilled the flatbread over the charcoal as well, which I imagine would translate well into fiction, ideally into a three person operation over a very long built-in grill so they could work the fires side by side, one dutifully turning the meat skewers, another firing bread to order based on the number of people in line, and finally a runaround handling any prep work needed for the resting meat and add-on condiments.

0 Cook Geek Lamb Title Shot Continue reading

Etheric Recipe #1: Barley Cocoa Tea

An earthy warming drink when you rather relax than wake up

So I’m back from a bit of a hiatus, but I’m glad to start an announcement here. This is the first installment of a series of recipes I’m working on as sort of a peripheral Etheric, the sequel to Daniel Swensen’s Orison.

As a quick pitch Orison is Daniel’s first full length novel, a tale of the young thief Story, set in the grim, dirty city of Calushain. I loved the vivid imagery and the amount of agency given to the young female lead. It’s a welcome addition to my bookshelf. It’s very well reviewed, so if you want to know more, don’t just take my word for it.

I’m very excited to collaborate with Daniel, in that I’ll be helping to add some flavor to his sequel, by creating some recipes that his characters will come across in his world.

For this first installment, Daniel mentioned that some characters would be taking tea with one another. I thought it would be great to actually make a new tea recipe, so I decided to tweak some barley tea, which my family has been playing around with lately.

Cook Geek Barley Tea Cocoa 000

Continue reading

2015 in a Long Glance

A year of cats, food, and friends both new and old

As promised, my review of 2015, at least in terms of what was documented on my phone. After selecting what I liked from that collection, there’s definitely no room for the stuff I legitimately documented on my camera.

Even without the official camera pictures, I sure did a LOT of stuff this year. I almost feel accomplished with how much fun I had.

Initial impressions, I took a lot of animal pictures. IMG_20150626_005414

Like, a lot of animal pictures.IMG_20150710_103615

There was also a very brief yet intense Alphabears period. Barbecue was very much in evidence, along with the surprisingly popular #farmjokes on instagram. Also I went to a lot of food trucks for lunch, and I really wish I wrote down more of what I thought of them.

I also reconnected with many old friends, and made many new ones. 2015 was a good year, and not without its challenges of course.

Here’s a selection of pictures, 2015 at a glance.

Dinner at night in the park. Spooky.


Continue reading

Popsons: A Burger review to kick the year off right.

Popsons’ burger is so good it brought me out of blogger hibernation

I actually thought my first blog post of 2016 would be a review of 2015 (soon to come). But after serendipitously stumbling upon Popsons, and trying out one of their amazing burgers, I knew I had to change my plans.


I mean, just look at how glorious that is. If you read nothing else, know this burger has my seal of approval. Popsons will be in great shape going forward so long as they can keep this quality up. Continue reading

Drinking with Painters: An Preview of Nemo’s Bad Words and Worse Feelings

Tasty beverages and Eccentric Alien Art at F8: December 9th-10th, 1192 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103

(Warning, some somewhat adult language and themes below. Primarily swearing and an illustrated penis)

I had originally interviewed Nemo of Unstoppable Creative Forces back in September for an installation at the Skylark, and was greatly impressed by his work there, so when he asked if I would like to have a few drinks with him and preview his latest collection Bad Words and Worse Feelings at F8, I jumped at the chance. Full disclosure, he offered me some drinks for my time, so I may have jumped a bit faster.

pruet 011 Continue reading

If life (and your bread) are feeling a bit stale, make Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding!

Want a different way to get your pumpkin spice fill? Try this bread pudding recipe.

Tis the season to pumpkin spice just about everything. And you know what? I’m ok with that. I’m not too extreme about it, but I’m definitely more on the side of “pumpkin spice all sorts of things” side compared to that raging “I hate pumpkin spice” movement that seems to surface at the same time.

In case you want to move beyond the Pumpkin Spice Latte options at the coffee shops, I present a more “solid” dessert option, Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding.

IMG_20151008_224209 Continue reading

Big Bad Recap 2015: My Time at Big Bad Con!

Cooking for a Cause, Charity, Food Truck reviews, and oh yes GAMING!

What a weekend I just had! I’m still coming down from the high that was Big Bad Con, and it just gets better and better every time I ago. Run by Sean Nittner (possibly more known for his work at Evil Hat Productions) and supported by a host of support staff, it is the event I look forward to most in the year.

First and foremost, while the focus is quite a bit on RPGs and related activities, it is important to note that Big Bad Con gives back. Proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders, there are bins for donating food to the Alameda County Community Food Bank, and Endgame donates 10% of all profits made at the con to Child’s Play.

So if you haven’t been, I recommend you go, and know that not only will you have a great time and meet great people, you will also be giving to great causes.

Big Bad 2015 - 26

Now for what my Friday through Sunday looked like. Actually my Thursday night through Sunday, as Sean had asked me to join the crew filling the Little Red Basket’s for some Kickstarter backers. I was thrilled to participate, due to the good causes mentioned above. My only complaints is my own lack of planning which led to a marathon night of cooking, which started at 10pm on account of an unexpected work emergency. Enough complaining though! Continue reading

Cocktail Hour: Steve Beets Adversity – Making the Most of Malört

A Cook and a Geek’s Custom Cocktail, featuring Malört

Steve Beets Adversity

Consider this post a sign of good faith that I’m doing my best to not let this blog lay fallow too long!

Since the posting of my second custom cocktail which was inspired by a Facebook Post of my friend Meagan, the Bacon Van Schmidt, a certain mutual friend of ours has been perhaps a tiny bit jealous and definitely nudging me to make a cocktail after him.

That friend, is Steve.

Cook Geek Steve Beets Adversity 5013

Given that Steve is from Chicago and gave me my first taste of Malört (a distilled beverage I believe to be associated with hazing new people in Chicago), I decided the right thing to do was make a cocktail involving that rather challenging liquor. While plying his fiancée for ideas, she suggested that I make the use of beets, since even though she thought beets were icky, Steve might like them. With that, I resolved to make a cocktail involving Malört and make my own beet shrub, and hope for the best.

And I resolved to make it a triumph of beet over evil Malört, so that I could call the cocktail the Steve Beets Adversity. Steve, because Steve. Beets, because beet shrub. And adversity? It’s pretty clear what the adversity was here.

Also because puns.

Continue reading

The Over Half a Year Gone By Update

Another 6 months, another update. I won’t make any promises, but I did want to share what other things have been going on. I can’t say it has been “everything is nuts” (even though it is) because about half of what’s on my plate has been thrust upon me…. by myself.

I mean, work at the startup is pretty busy, but it isn’t so insane that it’s taking up all my time.

I’ll get the two big projects which I don’t want to let interfere with my food stuff too much, and then we’ll get back to the real update.

I’ve been publishing twice a week for maybe a month now on my Chronicles of Frank Dieselwang blog, a ludicrous, satirical take on the terrible erotica that has really captured the public eye in recent years. I’d kind of like to cash in on that someday.

If you’re into that and a healthy dose of social justice undertones, this might be the blog for you.


The other project I’ve found myself in is the blogger in residence for Hunny Bunny Burlesque (aka Hunny Bunny & her Hot Toddies). So far I’ve interviewed three burlesque dancers, as well as the Skylark’s bartender. It was pretty awesome being able to geek out over cocktails. And hanging out with gorgeous ladies is pretty nice too.

Yeah, it’s a rough life.


Continue reading