Gourmand Bleu: A Tasteful Celebration of Kickass Chow

As anybody who knows me can tell you, I'm kind of sappy when it comes to cooking; it really means a lot to me. If you came here from The Blue Room, then you probably know me mostly as a game designer, but gaming and cooking have a lot in common! They're both about getting friends around the table and making them feel good, so I decided there should be a portion of my website set aside for cooking, a subject for which my passion is second only to that I hold for my wife, Sandra. Cooking nourishes, shows affection, entertains, and gives comfort. This page is for anyone who enjoys good food and good company. Come back often!

- S. John Ross

Articles
  • Basic Bread: I don't think there's anything more satisfying and comforting than freshly baked bread (unless it's a bowl of warm soup served with freshly baked bread). This is my "foundation" bread recipe, with lots of helpful notes for those trying their hand at bread-baking for the first time.
  • Pizza: Everybody loves pizza, and this article takes you from the flatbreads of the ancient Etruscans to the modern delicacy that is the American Pizza.
  • Barrel Grinders: A childhood favorite, my Mom started making these when we lived in Jersey. They're a deli classic; lots of good hot things buried in a kaiser roll and covered in cheese. If you've never had one, you'll definitely want to give these a try!
  • Holiday Dressing: My favorite part of the feast is the stuffing. This article will guide you to the best stuffing you've ever made - and the best gravy to eat with it! There's also a scaled-down "bachelor version" for the kind of recluses that make up most of my friends ;)
  • General Tso's Chicken: This is the most authentic and complete recipe for this dish you will find anywhere on the net. General Tso's is a popular take-out junk food at the local Chinese restaurants, and has pockets of popularity all over the country. Make some and find out why! I also briefly discuss where the dish came from, and who General Tso really was.
  • Sourdough Bread: This is my article on the basics of sourdough baking, for the sourdough novice. Want to bake bread without buying yeast? Flour and water is all it takes, and the taste of your sourdough will be unique, because each sourdough culture is different.

Diabetic-Friendly

  • Whole-Wheat Cornmeal Bread: This is a very hearty, high-protein "cornbread" that's yeast-leavened. It makes a filling, crusty bread that's excellent for kaiser rolls to use as hamburger buns. More to the point, it's custom-tailored to minimize its impact on my blood sugar, now that I know I'm diabetic!
  • Pumpkin Custard: It smells like pumpkin pie. It tastes like pumpkin pie. Heck, it tastes better than a lot of pumpkin pies . . . But a sizeable serving is less than 15 grams of carbs, with half of that being healthy, low-impact fiber. Oh, the joys of pumpkin!
  • Cranberry Oatmeal: A really delicious warm breakfast that's a lot more filling than you'd expect from the minimal carb impact. God bless the cranberry.

Stray Recipes

  • S. John's Signature Barbecue Sauce is thicker, bolder, and more ornery than what you're used to, unless of course you're used to something thicker, bolder, or more ornery. Then it isn't.
  • Soft Pretzels have been a favorite snack of mine since kindergarten, when I used to get them at the Hill's department store snack bar in Cumberland, Maryland. I first tried making them in high school, with mixed results. Here's how I make them now.
  • Swiss Enchiladas are something I only make a couple of times a year, when I need to feed a lot of people something very tasty. I've never regretted the choice; they're unique and just about everybody finds them delicious.
  • Biscuits (and Dumplings): I think the astrologers have it wrong. Somewhere in the heavens there is a Sign of the Biscuit, and I was born under it. I won't bore you here with the stories; suffice it to say it involves everything from games to fortune cookies to (I recently discovered) musicians that my wife knew, back in Newfoundland. This is the recipe I swear by.
  • Holy Experience Loaf: American classic or sin against sensibility? It all depends on how you make it; meatloaf can be the tastiest food you've ever enjoyed! This is my prized "secret recipe" for making it right, or at least half of it (it'll be complete when I post my barbecue sauce)!
  • The Last Meal: Specifically, the meal I had on the night I finished writing the first draft of one of my RPG books, the infamous GURPS Warehouse 23. Liverwurst and bacon with marinated onions on a toasted bagel is my idea of food heaven, and I had no idea the wierd soup would be so good!
  • Egg Nog: I've loved the stuff since I was a kid, when, as far as I knew, it came in a carton from the supermarket. By the time I was in high school, I was determined to perfect my own recipe for it. Here it is, ten years later.

For the Beginner . . .

I'm hoping to add more material specifically for novice cooks in the future, but for now I think you'll enjoy the two small ones I can offer: My Selecting A Cookbook page is here, along with a primer on Making Chicken Stock . . . Once you have a good cooking library, you're on your way, and if you can make good chicken stock, you can make just about anybody happy and cozy with broth, soups, stews, gravies & sauces. Get cookin'!

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All contents of Gourmand Bleu are Copyright © S. John Ross per the year of their original publication or most recent significant amendment. All rights reserved. Now go cook something!

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