Cooking For Geeks


This cookbook was recommended to me by Twitter friend, Ben better known as @relequestual. He is very knowledgeable about computers. He has answered many questions for me. I guess this makes him a geek. To me he is just a fun and interesting tweeter.

I got the cookbook at my local library. And all I can say is it is fantastic!

Cooking For Geeks

Author: Jeff Potter  AKA: @cookingforgeeks

©Atof, Inc. Published O’Reilly Media, Inc.

Cooking For Geeks is more than just a cookbook. It is a how to book; especially for those who have never seen the inside of a kitchen. Everything is in this book from introducing you to the kitchen and what equipment you will need in the kitchen to organizing the whole kit-and-caboodle.

There are also chapters on as the author, Jeff Potter calls them: Inputs.

Inputs are simply the flavors and ingredients you want in your kitchen and that you want to eat and taste. He and guest writers, all computer professionals, give you the low down on the chemicals of foods and flavor. It is kinda Alton Brownish, but with far more personality. Believe me. Trust me. You will not be bored. In fact, it is hard to put this book down once you start to read it.

You will not be intimidated by this cook book either. How could you ever be intimidated by a cook who tells you, “Don’t be afraid to burn dinner.”

The section on how to choose a recipe, reading between the lines of a recipe, and learning how to cook are worth their weight in gold. They are more than worth the price of admission.

There are also very useful sections on how to cook for others and cooking for one.

Mr. Potter (I wonder? Is he related to Harry?) and his many techie friends go on to tell us about the science of cooking…… or the Variables; things such as time, temperature, and air.

This book is a light-hearted yet entirely serious romp through the food, cooking, and foodie world.

Along the way there are over one-hundred wonderful recipes. A very small sample of the recipes are: Foamed Scrambled Eggs, Butternut Squash Soup, Salmon Poached in Olive Oil, One-Bowl Chocolate Cake, Beef Steak Tips, Pear Sorbet, and Candied Orange Rind.

A few of the other things I liked in this cookbook are: page 4 where Mr. Potter offers functional solutions to cooking problems without you having to go out and buy an expensive piece of equipment, such as using an upside down strainer as a splatter guard. Clever. Very clever.

He also delves into one of my favorite topics, Taste Sensitivity; or as I call it Super Tasters. I also agree with his view of Genetically Modified Foods – that is, “…perhaps we as a society shouldn’t fear technologies that could prevent those deaths [from starvation in developing nation]  just because they are unfamiliar….”

I also just HAVE TO LOVE a cookbook that has an illustration on page 7 of a woman licking her plate.

True Confessions:

I have to admit that when I dine alone I often do that myself. I am unashamedly a hedonist and find pleasure in my food……and I want to taste, experience, and enjoy every last drop or morsel of good food. It is a [not so much now] secret pleasure of mine to lick egg yolks off my breakfast plate and chocolate icing from cake too.

And that is why I like this cookbook so much. It takes real, genuine pleasure in cooking, eating, and living for real people.

Bon appétit!!!

Featured Recipe           Hot Chocolate

I chose this recipe from Cooking For Geeks  for today’s featured recipe because ever since I had hot chocolate in a small country inn inFranceI have wanted to find a recipe for hot chocolate THAT delicious.

Also since this recipe was shared very early in the book (page 17) I could not stop thinking about it as I read through all the rest of the chapters. I just HAD to have it!

So I tried it.

Nirvana achieved!!

This is what you will need for 1 person:

1 cup milk

½ cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate

Salt to taste*

*Why salt??? You’ll have to read page 97 to find out.

Mr. Potter is nice enough to include variations for this recipe, such as cinnamon and even powdered chipotle peppers for the more adventurous.

Here is what you do:

Chop the chocolate.

PERSONAL NOTE: Save some of the finer slivered pieces of chocolate to sprinkle over the whipped cream topping. Since you have the whipping cream anyway, whip it up instead of using store bought. You won’t be sorry. Real whipped cream is 100 times more delicious. Not to mention healthier.

Place milk and cream in a saucepan. Gently heat over low heat until hot, but do not boil.

Once the milk and cream are hot, turn off the heat, add the chopped chocolate, and whisk until completely melted.

Salt to taste.

Pour into a mug, top with whipped cream. OK. OK. So I went a little over board on the whipped cream. Sprinkle some slivers of choclate on top of the whipped cream.

A lot simpler to make than you thought it would be, isn’t it?!

Bon appétit!!!


1 cup milk                               $0.72

½ cup heavy cream                 $0.92

3 tbspns bit/sweet choc            $0.48

Salt to taste

Cost per person = $2.12

A FEW WORDS ABOUT COST:  With the help of my Twitter friends I did a little research. It will cost you in the neighborhood of $1.50 for a cup of chocolate flavored water (no milk) these days. For real hot chocolate made from real milk the price starts at around $3.50 a cup. Making your own is a real bargain dollar wise and taste wise: PRICELESS!

Quote of the Day

There are four basic food groups: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate truffles.



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2 comments to Cooking For Geeks

  • I haven’t licked my plate since I was a kid but I live with a geek who will do it every time he just can’t get enough. I was shocked the first time he did it and he said, “uhh.. what’s wrong with that??” I ignore him now.

    He needs this book. 🙂

    • Roberta

      How sad. A lovely hedonist like yourself should lick a plate with abandon at least once in a while. Please tell John I said that! And tell John I said, BRAVO!!!!”