28 September 2017

Cooking for Halflings & Monsters

A few months ago, I received a copy of Tolkien scholar Astrid Tuttle Winegar's Cooking for Halflings & Monsters, a cookbook filled with 111 fantasy-inspired recipes and
In Cooking for Halflings and Monsters: 111 Comfy, Cozy Recipes for Fantasy-Loving Souls, Tolkien scholar Astrid Tuttle Winegar has created 'eleventy-one' original recipes to inspire you. Lovingly illustrated and written with dry humor throughout, this charming cookbook is sure to delight you and your family, friends, and any other lucky halflings (or monsters) who show up in your kitchen. So crack open a beer, rustle up some "Gündürnüb's Grüb," and come along on this epic culinary journey. Your quest for delicious recipes is complete!
The eight chapters of this cookbook each imagine a restaurant (inn, cafe, or bistro) which caters to particular archetypal characters in the fantasy genre and presents a delicious meal for them. But don't worry—you don't have to be a gourmet monster chef! You simply need to love comfort food to enjoy all the recipes within! (Amazon)

While it took me a bit longer than I'd hoped to get started on this review, the timing actually turned out to be pretty good: I ended up baking at the end of Tolkien Week, on the annual celebration of Hobbit Day (aka Bilbo's and Frodo's birthday celebration), and also the official beginning of fall. Originally, my aim was to make a three-course meal using one of the suggestions found at the back of the book; but there were too many desserts to choose from!

I enlisted the help of my mother, since she's a more experienced baker than I am (plus it was a fun mother-daughter experience) and we found three tasty desserts to make. We made all three at once in a span of about two hours. All three recipes called for pecans, which we had an over-abundance of, thanks to my aunt! The remaining ingredients were already in our kitchen. The best part about making these three desserts is that my house still smells of spices, creating a very cozy fall atmosphere.

This was my first review of a cookbook, and it was so much fun baking these three recipes that I'll likely return to this book and make some other meals to review at a later date – so be sure to check back! But in the meantime, visit Amazon to get your own copy of Cooking With Halflings & Monsters so you can make your own delicious treats! The book is full of fun illustrations, dry humour, and lovely photos – whether you're a fan of cooking or a fan of fantasy, it's a must have either way!

Read on to see photos and descriptions of the individual desserts!

Hrist's Nutmeggers
The Nutmeggers basically turned out like sugar cookies coated in fall spices and topped with pecans. They were so delicious and such a cinch to make. This recipe yielded about 36 cookies, so there were plenty to go around! I found myself constantly snacking on these while waiting for the other desserts to bake. I plan on baking these again to bring to work during the holidays!

Stained Glass Morsels
I love anything with apples, especially when you include spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. And even better is that these pastries are all individually sized. I could eat these every day and not get sick of them. (Mine may not have come out as eye-catching as the ones in Astrid's book, but they sure did taste amazing!)

Pumpkin Streusel Pie for Randgrið

The pumpkin streusel pie was probably my favourite; it was a nice twist on traditional pumpkin pie. I loved the top layer of oats/nuts, which was a nice crunchy contrast to the softness of the pumpkin. Even my boyfriend, who is a lover of traditional pumpkin pie, was a big fan of this one! I can't wait to make this one again for Thanksgiving!

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