CONFESSION TIME: Before reading Neverwhere, everything I knew about making curry could fit in a matchbox. I’d never eaten it and certainly never made it from scratch. So when my favorite character in the book (Lady Door) chowed down on vegetable curry at the Floating Market and clearly loved it, I knew I had to learn how to make it. I’ll admit, I was pretty intimidated, so I sought out a recipe that was easy enough for little ol’ me but authentic enough to do Neverwhere justice.
Category: Book of the Month Recipes
Our brand new Book of the Month is Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, and I’m super excited to get started! It’s hard to find time to read with a new baby, but I MADE time for Neverwhere. It was such a fun read—clever, imaginative, and an Alice in Wonderland retelling to boot! What’s not to love? 🙂
Even though most of the book is set in “London Below,” I decided to start things out with a fancy little dish from London Above: the mushroom vol-au-vents from Jessica’s gala. Vol-au-vents consist of puff pastry stuffed with (in this case) a creamy mushroom filling. They may look complicated, but they’re deceptively easy. Just bake some puff pastry shells, cook your mushroom mix in a pan while they bake, and fill the finished shells!
When I started looking up vol-au-vent recipes, I noticed that parsley was the most common herb people turned to for seasoning. To change things up, I decided to try fresh basil instead, and I loved the way it turned out! The basil flavor rose above the mushroom base without overpowering it, just how I wanted. I also noticed that a lot of people made their base from scratch, but I decided to take a little shortcut: cream of mushroom soup. The results were subtle, perfectly seasoned, and utterly delicious. Perfect for a sophisticated young lady like Jessica!
Last year when I finished my Star Trek Next Generation menu, I posted a Romulan Ale cocktail as my bonus recipe. I loved the idea of ending my Original Series menu with another drink, and I immediately thought of making a multi-colored layered drink as an homage to the different Starfleet divisions.
Turns out, I had no idea what I was signing up for! 😛 My first thought was to make a molecular cocktail in red, blue, and yellow, but I couldn’t get the drink to layer properly. I then decided to try layering plain juices and stumbled across a recipe from Katrina’s Kitchen. She uses juice and Gatorade to make an easy, delicious layered punch in red, white, and blue for the 4th of July. All I needed to do was add a little yellow food coloring to get Starfleet’s signature red, blue, and yellow colors and I was in business! 🙂 The final result was tasty and just plain gorgeous—I couldn’t believe how well the juices kept their layers, even after being jostled around!
Drink up, space travelers! We’ve got a final frontier to explore. 🙂
I’ve been wanting to make these cookies ever since I saw on Pinterest that you can use a star cookie cutter to make Star Fleet insignia badges. So when the time came to whip these up, I got out my favorite recipe for royal icing sugar cookies (the same base recipe I used for my X-Files Alien Cookies) and went to work! There are several recipes about there for insignia sugar cookies, so to make mine unique, I did the detailing with food markers—a nice shortcut instead of making multiple colors of icing. And I decorated each insignia with the symbol and color of the three main Star Fleet divisions: Sciences, Command, and Operations!
Royal icing takes a little extra time than regular frosting, but you can’t beat those crisp, clean lines. Plus, the flat surface is super easy to decorate! 🙂
Red Shirts (also known as Redshirts) get a pretty raw deal in Star Trek TOS. The term refers to Star Fleet engineering and security officers who wear a red shirt as part of their uniform…and they have a tendency to die at every opportunity. It’s such a common occurrence that the term “red shirt” has become a pop culture term referring to any character who is killed off to show the situation is serious.
I wanted to dedicate a recipe to the Red Shirts, so I came up with the idea for Red Shirt Fruit Salad! It’s composed of four kinds of red fruit and drizzled with pomegranate dressing (plus some blueberries for contrast). It was easy to throw together and even easier to eat—a dish any Red Shirt would be glad to snack on as a final meal before being sent to their inevitable doom! 😉
When it comes to Star Trek, what feature of the show is more iconic that the Starship Enterprise? The ship has a beautiful streamlined, distinctive look, and I loved the idea of using it as inspiration for a Star Trek entree.
But what to make? Pizza was the first thing that came to mind. From the beginning, I wanted to make party-friendly finger foods for this menu, stuff you could serve at a Star Trek party. And pizza is easy to throw together and wonderfully shareable—the ultimate party food!
So I pulled out my favorite pizza sauce recipe and got to work! With party food in mind, I decided to go with premade pizza dough, since it’s faster to work with. The sauce I used is easy to whip up in about 10 minutes (and can be made and chilled beforehand). I used pepperoni for my decorations and whipped up some homemade pesto for dipping.
So grab a slice of Starship Enterprise Pizza, and let’s boldly party on! 😉
Fandom Foodies announced earlier this year that they would be doing a Star Trek recipe month this June. This was perfect, since I was already planning on doing a Star Trek TOS menu this month anyway! 🙂
[EDIT: Sooo it turns out the Fandom Foodies theme was changed to Game of Thrones? Lol! You should totally still check it out. There’s always good stuff on the Fandom Foodies linkups. I’m gonna keep doing Star Trek though, since I’ve been looking forward to it for so long. :)]
All the recipes I’ll be making this month are crowd-friendly finger foods, perfect for any Star Trek party.
We’re starting the month off with a Tribble-themed appetizer: cranberry almond energy bites coated in shredded coconut. It’s a recipe I came up with while I was pregnant with the Little Mister, when I needed a quick make-ahead recipe for postpartum breakfasts and snacks. It’s delicious, quick, and easy to customize based off what you already have in your cabinets. Plus, it looks just like those fuzzy little Tribbles: my favorite characters in all of Star Trek TOS!
I loooove toffee. Sweet, nutty, and satisfyingly crunchy—it’s all I’ve ever wanted in a dessert. So when I saw that the main character in the book Sabriel eats some homemade toffee while traveling through the Old Kingdom, I decided this was going to be my dessert recipe no matter what.
I adapted this English toffee recipe by Ghirardelli to get my recipe, which I completely scarfed down over the span of a few days (no joke—I barely left any for the Mister). This toffee is the perfect combo of salted dark chocolate, toasted almonds, and crunchy caramel candy. And it’s super easy to make!
In the book Sabriel, the main character and her companions stop at an inn called “The Sign of Three Lemons,” which is named for the lemon trees in the middle of the town square. The innkeepers use these lemons to make scented soaps and a variety of delicious dishes. I wanted to make a lemon dish in honor of the inn for my menu, and lemon poppy seed muffins seemed quite fitting. ^.^
This recipe was originally developed by Creme de la Crumb. I love how tender and lightly sweet the muffins are, with just the right amount of lemon and poppy. Enjoy! 🙂
P.S. These are great for freezing. I froze mine in a ziplock bag to save for post-baby breakfasts!
While reading Sabriel, one of the dishes that stood out most to me was the grilled fish Sabriel eats when she arrives at her father’s house. The fish itself is described as “small and almost circular,” and it’s served with a delicious-sounding sauce of tomato, basil, and garlic. As soon as I read those words, I knew I’d found the entree for my Sabriel menu!
Though the sauce’s base isn’t described, it sounded to me like it was most likely a cream sauce (I’ve seen similar sauces served with fish before). The fish had me stumped at first. The closest comparison I could think of was tilapia, since it’s silver and on the smallish side. I grilled some up, whipped up a cream base I adapted from this recipe, and roasted some grape tomatoes. This has become one of my favorite ways to prepare fish!