Greetings, Minions! For today’s FBI Files, I give you a peek at the dark underbelly of Nerds and Nomsense. Well, maybe not dark, per se. Tragically, also not fishbelly white enough to reflect moonlight, either. Really, these places just don’t know how to live up to properly villainous stereotypes. Look at that complexion! Porcelain smooth and the color of a freshly baked dinner roll. There’s still hope, though. Nerds and Nomsense editor-in-chief Ann G. may be depressingly wholesome in her Jayne hat and Doctor bowtie, but she rules over a lair of her own faceless minions who write about food, cocktails, tech, travel, and nerd lifestyles.
While I have you duct taped to this chair, tell the rest of my minions about your geekiest recipe.
I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens.
Your misplaced loyalty is admirable, but if you don’t answer, I’ll set fire to your bow tie.
Well, since you’ve got me pinned I guess I’ll go with my current favorite: our Star Trek Scones. These scones are delicious and are the embodiment of Jean-Luc Picard… in pastry-form. The inspiration for these scones came from watching and then finishing The Next Generation a few weeks ago (for the gazillionth time) which was shortly followed by the hankering to make some TNG-inspired noms. First was The Red Shirt cocktail and then these scones. I’m still in a TNG mood so expect to see some more trek-inspired delectables on the horizon.
Much better. Not that I’d ever use it while I have you immobilized, but is there a food that makes you roll your eyeballs so hard you can actually look at your own brain? I’m asking purely for medical purposes.
Putting Ranch dressing on everything. WHY?! Ranch dressing has it’s place, sure, but it doesn’t have to be the staple dressing on every salad (except for Caesar, of course). Maybe I’m weird… oh well, a girl can dream.
The drugs in your food should make you nostalgic soon. While we’re waiting for them to kick in, tell, me, what forgotten foodway do you wish would come back into fashion?
I’m a child of the 90s and you can judge me all you want but I have to say that the Heinz Squirtables Ketchup was the bomb[DOT]com. It was awesome because it would completely gross out my parents – especially the green one – AND I could color coordinate my condiments. Guys, we’re a fairly fashion forward society – let’s ponder color coordinating condiments with our veggies, or a ketchup for every mood.
We might have gone a little overboard on that last dose.
“Oh Billy, I can see you are having blue ketchup with your french fries. Why are you sad?” “Because the world is a mess and I just need to rule it!”
Let’s pull things back to the present. Think about food. Think hard. Tell me about your favorite dish from your favorite restaurant.
As a foodie, I love exploring new restaurants and cuisine however I cannot get over how amazing the food is at Vito’s Ristorante in Oklahoma City. There is not a bad item on the menu but my absolute favorite has to be their homemade Tiramisu. I only tried to replicated it once, but it failed miserably… Accepting my defeat, it just gives me another excuse to go have some at Vitos. It’s such a cruel punishment.
Real Tiramisu is indeed delicious, but, if you were in a delusional, drug-induced stupor, what fictional food would you dream of eating?
Hands down it has to be the magical-invisible food from the feast in Hook. Just look at that spread?! It’s fantastic and the cuisine ranges from honey ham to awesome magical pies of mystery. Plus, who wouldn’t love to have an epic food fight!
Is there a dish you’ve tried to create but just can’t master?
Oh my secret shame… I am horrible at deep frying ANYTHING. It’s messy and dangerous and no matter how delicious fried foods (from other establishments) might taste – they never turn out right for me. I guess that’s probably a good thing because if I was a 10th degree super saiyan in the fried food department, my waistline might be around the Gamma Quadrant and back.
Speaking of the Gamma Quadrant, how do you feel about 3D Food Printers or other technologies bringing us closer to a Star Trek replicator future?
I’m torn, to be completely honest. As someone who is an AVID stress-baker I sometimes need having a fully functional kitchen to stir my worries away. If (or more likely, when) Replicator technology exists, the need for kitchens will slowly disappear – just like the VHS or Betamax. On the other hand, the part of me who HATES cooking after a long and tiring day would love nothing more than to walk up to a computer panel, say “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.”
Sure, on some level they’re all your babies, but if I were to confiscate one kitchen gadget, which would make you cry the most?
I’m sure you’re going to hear this plenty of times from your other hostages, but my kitchen baby has to be my Kitchenaid mixer. It is the most used kitchen gadget in my kitchen. If I were the Doctor, my mixer is my T.A.R.D.I.S. We have many adventures together.
What inspired you to start a food blog?
Nerds and Nomsense isn’t my first foray into food bloggery (the first during my early college years – which didn’t last long because… well… life happened.). N&N has definitely been a blast since our official launch last August. After several of my nerdy friends and I had our separate adventures into solitary blogging, I decided to pool our collective strengths together and form one blog to rule them all… wait, sorry. I was channeling my inner LoTR…. Our goal is simple: it’s a blog-of-all-trades that gives homage to all things nerdy and awesome.
You will be one of us. One of us. One of us.
Your photos are pretty darn awesome. Let’s talk about cameras and props. What do you use now, and how is that different from when you first started?
Hey now here’s an easy question: my day job is that of a photographer so I already had the camera goodies in the box! Back in my college days when I was first attempting food blogging I was using I Samsung S1050 point and shoot but luckily after I started my photography business I was able to upgrade. Currently I’m using my trusty, old standby DSLR camera – a Canon 600D – for all of the my photography for the blog. Food photography can be a messy business, it’s best not to use the pricy toys while documenting bubbly soups and stews.
For props, I generally tend to use the dishes and cookwares that I have lying around the house. I also frequent the local Dollar Store or yard sale just in case I find something awesome and nerdy.
If you had to fight a celebrity chef in our Thunderdome, who would you pick and what would be your preferred weapon?
Ah ha! I’ve given this question lots of thought over the years and if I happened to find myself in Kitchen Overlord Thunderdome I would definitely be challenging the Great and Powerful Julia Child. As my weapon of choice, I would wield my cunning cocktails because let’s face it… Julia could not turn down a good cocktail. All I’d have to do would be to lush her up with booze. Otherwise I’m sure she would take me to school in traditional french cuisine! As always, I aim to misbehave.
Anything else you want the rest of my minions to know before I introduce you to my pet sharks with fricking lasers on their heads?
Oh we’ve got some exciting things planned for the blog this year. Every month we’re doing a themed week and our themes come from different fandoms or events. Here’s a quick rundown of the next few months: February/Olympics, March/Classic Movies, April/Game of Thrones, May/X-Men, June/Star Trek… for more info checkout this page.
Is there a food blogger you think the rest of the nerdy world needs to know about?
The Hungry Hobbit: This little blog balances eating right with eating nerdy. Her quest is to make health-friendly foods tasty with a fandom flair.
Tell my Minions about the five most geektastic recipes on Nerds and Nomsense.
Sonic Screwdriver: When the Doctor only has one drink and must save the day – he will always choose his Screwdriver.
The Red Shirt: This devious libation will surely be annihilated while you save the day. There will be blood… oranges.
Max’s Mammoth Muffins: May I present The Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe. I call him Max and I made him into muffins – delicious, chocolatey muffins.
The Companion Cocktail: A cocktail as sophisticated, beautiful and feisty as the lovely Inara Serra, herself.
Star Trek Scones: To boldly scone where no one has scon’ before!
Star Trek Scones
Makes 8-10 large Star Fleet Insignia Scones
1 ½ cup of milk + ½ c for a pastry wash.
3 Earl Grey Tea Bags
2 ⅔ c AP flour
½ c of sugar
1 tsp of salt
Zest of a Blood orange
1 ¼ tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder
¾ c of butter, frozen
Ahead of time: Bring milk and 2 tea bags to a simmer and let the tea bags steep on low heat for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, pour into a pyrex measuring cup, and cool before placing it in the fridge. Make sure it is completely cold when you’re ready to add it to the rest of the ingredients. The key to making fluffy, flaky scones is to keep the dough super cold before baking that way the butter doesn’t fully melt into the dry ingredients.
In a food processor, open a tea bag and dump in the tea leaves, blood orange zest, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pulse till everything is homogeneous.
Pull your butter out of the fridge and then grate it into the processor, ½ stick at a time that way everything gets mixed thoroughly.
Dump the contents of your food processor into a large mixing bowl.
Make a little well in the middle of your flour-butter mixture and slowly add ⅓ of your earl grey infused milk. Mix with a fork or pastry cutter.
Add in your egg, mix, then add in most of the milk until the dough comes together. If you have milk left over – this is a good thing because we’ll use it for the wash.
When all the dough is thoroughly mixed together, wrap it up into a disc, cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for an hour (or wait till the next morning). The longer your dough sits in the fridge, the better your scones will taste. The earl grey tea and blood orange zest will have a chance to get into all of the dough… and the result will be spectacular. The dough will keep in the fridge for 48 hours or so, but I wouldn’t go more than 16. You can also freeze the dough for up to 6 months as long as it is in an airtight container.
When you’re ready to bake the scones, preheat the oven for 400F before you take the dough out of the fridge. We want to work as quickly as we can so that the butter doesn’t come to room temperature.
Prepare your baking sheet with either parchment paper or baking spray.
Sprinkle some flour on to your work surface, and shape your dough into a large, thick disc – and cut into eight pieces. For fun, we have shaped ours into the Star Trek insignia … because … well… we can. LIVE LONG AND PROSPER, NERDSHIP! (To shape it into the insignia: cut into triangles and then cut a smaller, off-centered triangle out of the bottom of the triangle.)
Place your 8-9 scones onto the baking dish and then wash with the infused milk and finally sprinkle with some turbinado sugar.
Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes
Serve right out of the oven or at room temperature. We suggest spreading a little bit of our Blood Orange-Cranberry Butter over it and wash it all down with a glass of tea. Earl Grey. Hot.