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.

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I hope that this picture is convincing!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A Taste of Summer–Parisienne Gnocchi

Hi, and thanks for checking out the new post. I know it’s been a while, and I’ll do one of those “sorry I’ve been gone, here’s what I’ve been up to” posts later, but I don’t want to cheat you guys, so for now, here’s an actual recipe. Today, I made Parisienne Gnocchi for the first time.

Prior to this experience, my experience in both making and eating gnocchi has been with potato gnocchi, which seems to be a bit more common.

Parisienne gnocchi on the other hand has no potato at all, and instead is made from pâte à choux. It’s somewhere between a dough and a batter to be honest, not quite fitting neatly into either category. I’ve used it before to make gougeres, so I was curious to see how this different this application would be.

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Pillowy, savory, with just enough of a bite to be substantial with a nice hit of cheese to let you feel positively spoiled when digging in, this is one hell of a recipe that I’ll definitely be using in the future.

It’s a very versatile dish, and in Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio (where I adapted this recipe from) all sorts of delicious suggestions are made, from clam sauces, bacon and corn, or even butternut squash are suggested.

Today I kept it simple with some tomato based approaches, detailed herein.

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At Least Two Fifths Whole Wheat French Bread

Yeah, it has been forever. A few weeks ago I finally finished my six weeks of intensity.

Who knew that taking night classes four nights a week, doing long term substituting, and lesson planning would take so much out of you? Hubris. Oh yeah, I was sick the last week of subbing as well.

I came out of it pretty well, and I’ve been catching up on things. Cooking hasn’t been exactly high on the priority list sad to say, but I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things.

Actually I’ve been cooking, just nothing really new, and thus, not really worth blogging. I’ve been sticking to old reliables, like pizza.  Well, not entirely true, I’ve made some orange syrup since my dad purchased a sodastream, and I’ve roasted some tofu.. ok, I’ve just been too busy to blog.

So, to get back to old reliables, I’ve made some bread again, just sticking to some of things I’ve picked up from Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio, and replacing some of the flour with whole wheat. And it actually worked!

At least 2/5ths of the flour used was white whole wheat flour. So that’s why I’m calling this “At Least Two Fifths Whole Wheat French Bread.” If someone has a better name I’m listening.  Some people would actually just call this whole wheat French bread since there’s whole wheat in it, but I’m all about honesty here. Honestly and really long names.

Actually it may almost be one half whole wheat French bread, as you’ll see.

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Cauliflower and Yam Curry for Lunch!

Before getting to the food business, I wanted to plug the JP DasBrew Kickstarter. It’s met it’s goal, but getting some more help is always welcome! Now back to business.

I visited good friend Jeremy (of Mighty Nightgaunt fame) last weekend, and made a variety of tasty treats to celebrate hanging out with him. I’ve been in the mood for something vegetarian lately because of my watching of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Every Day series, so it seemed like a great day to make some curry.

That and Essen23, my reddit Secret Santa, requested that I would make something Indian for the lunch week of 52 Weeks of Cooking. Well, better late than never. Unfortunately, the recipes from the book he bought me, while wonderful, involved lots of spices which I happened to have left at home, and I wasn’t going to buy duplicates, at least not from the supermarket. That gets expensive quick.

So I trolled my memory for a curry I’ve made a few times before, after learning the recipe from Addicted to Curry.

Yes, a manga about curry. It’s actually pretty good.

I omitted a number of ingredients such as fresh cilantro, and replaced the green chili peppers with some dried red ones I scooped up at the farmer’s market. The result was still quite delicious.

I served it up with some fresh naan, and everyone was happy.

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After Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Soup

Well, it is the eve of Thanksgiving, so I thought it would be appropriate to share one way I like to work with my leftovers. Don’t get me wrong, I love turkey sandwiches as much as the next person (with leftover gravy, cranberry sauce, and stuffing too) but sometimes you want something warm and filling. These are actually pictures from last year that I’ve been holding onto for precisely this occasion.

It does take a bit of time to make this turkey soup, which calls on you to make stock from the bones of your roasted turkey. So you’ll want to get started early, and maybe have a piece of pie for breakfast, or make one of those leftover sandwiches to tide you over.

And yeah, a great way to use up those bones, and this approach to leftovers really appeals to my holistic approach to using ingredients and stuff in the kitchen.

This won’t precisely be a recipe, but more of guidelines really.

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Man, I’ve really been stuck on soup lately haven’t I? Don’t worry, I’ll make other things soon.

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Balsamic Vinegar Chocolate Truffles Recipe

Add a touch of class to a gaming night with these elegant and rich bites of chocolate, with the fruity finish of balsamic vinegar and cherries.

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At the request from the splendid and wonderful Tiffany Simmons, writer of the soon to be published +5 Food of Eating, I have boldly completed a quest on her behalf, testing a new recipe for some chocolate truffles!

These chocolate truffles are great for both geeky and nongeeky affairs. Why? Well it’s chocolate! And most people like chocolate. Unless you’re a supertaster perhaps, in which case other options need to be explored.

As for the straight gaming applications there are at least a few ways they could add immersion to a game.  Given their origin they fit in quite well with settings placed in the late 19th or 20th century, or perhaps in a French inspired setting as well. Their rich sweetness lend themselves to the image of high society balls and intrigues. And the small but generous portions of chocolate truffles make fantastic dessert finger food.

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Cinnamon Mocha for Cinnamon Week

A splendid sweet drink for the morning

With this year’s sudden onslaught of projects, classes, and all the like, one of those things which has unfortunately fallen by the wayside was my participation on the 52 Weeks of Cooking subreddit challenge.

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While I’m not going to be able to make up all the weeks that I’ve missed, I’ll do my best to jog along with the more diligent posters until the end of the year. Thankfully this week’s theme, cinnamon, requires a bit less planning and grand productions!

Cinnamon has been quite a versatile spice that has found its way into so many different cuisines for uses both savory and sweet.

Growing up, cinnamon was primarily featured in my mother’s pho broth along with star anise and black cardamom. As I grew older I discovered it has its place in things like hot cider, cake, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch (I preferred Golden Grahams though.) One of the more exotic things I’ve done with cinnamon was actually making a cinnamon ice cream.

This morning I decided to go the hot drink route however, and found that a cinnamon mocha would be a splendid way to start the morning, quite a bit different than my usual black coffee.

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