The Rosie Quiche

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A heirloom tomato and squash blossom quiche inspired by Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project.

I think the greatest power of a book is the ability to incite empathy in the reader. How amazing to find yourself caring for and sympathizing with someone with a different mind set or background than you, who lived long ago and far away, or, actually, never lived at all. The beauty of Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project is that you find yourself experiencing great empathy for a character who finds emotion illogical and a petty waste of time. That and it has a feel-good sense of acceptance and a great dance scene.

Crawler Pie

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Ginger and honey margarita pie with a saltine crust, inspired by Annihilation, by Jeff VanderMeer

I was irrationally afraid of everything short of my own shadow as a kid. This still holds true in some ways; I prefer subtlety to gore and sensationalism doesn’t play with me. But somewhere along the way I peeked out from between my fingers and realized that I could learn the narrative patterns of grotesque stories. I realized that by arming myself with knowledge things became less scary (like allowing my eyes to adjust to the dark) and I found that familiar problems seem intriguing in the light of the uncanny.

So I consider myself pretty adept at predicting where a story is headed. With that in mind, I want to tell you that Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation is utterly unpredictable and kept me awake at night. Unable to put it down at first, and unable to sleep once I did, it sent ice down my spine on more than one occasion.

Pumpkin Pasties

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Pumpkin spice hand pies inspired by the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.

It’s almost Halloween; goblins, ghouls, and ghosts are abroad in the muggle world. If you’re like me then you’ve done your apple picking, your pumpkin hunting, and your woodland hiking. But at the end of a long day of jumping in leaf piles, you need something a little sweet to go with that cup of hot apple cider. I wanted to get this recipe out before that particular flavor of witchy October magic passes, while there’s still time to curl up with a pumpkin beer before we start mulling cider and delving into winter holiday territory. So here it is! This one goes out to anyone who spent their preteens waiting for their Hogwarts letter.