Pokémon Lava Cookies . Photo via Gourmet Gaming.
There’s something especially delicious about how food and drink look in video games. Whether it’s something you pick up to replenish health or it’s something you just see during gameplay, there’s a part of every gamer that wonders just what they might taste like. If you’re a gamer who also loves to cook you might actually spend time thinking about how you can make these things a reality – so why not try? Whether or not you have experience cooking, there are lots of resources out there that can help you bring these from your console to the dinner table!
For example, Gourmet Gaming and The Geeky Chef offer game-inspired recipes that will have you eager to cook and replay your favorite games. Find out how these game-loving foodies started out, get their tips for combining these interests, and try four delicious recipes for yourself after the break!
Daniella Zelli started Gourmet Gaming while she was unemployed and playing lots of video games during the summer of 2011.
“I’d become obsessed with a game called Deadly Premonition so I held a playthrough party for some friends where I served food that appeared in the game — most controversially the infamous ‘Sinners Sandwich’,” she told That’s Nerdalicious. “I realized that food and games often go hand-in-hand, and that there were a lot of popular meals and foods that people related to games. Since I had nothing else to do and any excuse to play more games and eat more food is ideal, I started Gourmet Gaming, and it pretty much grew from there.”
Zelli’s been a gamer since she was four years old but discovered her passion for cooking later in life, when she left home and had to fend for herself. Zelli has recently been on a brief hiatus from Gourmet Gaming but usually updates the blog with a new recipe every Wednesday. She has an ever-expanding database of over 300 recipes that she’s compiled through playing games, researching, and taking suggestions from people. Which one she chooses to create depends on a variety of reasons including if it comes from a game she’s currently playing, if it’s had a lot of requests, and if she just wants to eat it! She tries to keep a balance on the blog between meal types and types of games the recipes are from so there’s something for all gamers.
“Once I’ve decided on the dish I’m making, I’ll think about how it might taste, about what might make the visual aspects of the dish. Most recipes are just combinations of classic, tried and tested recipes that already exist,” she explained. “A cake will always be a cake — No matter how it looks at the end, the process will always be the same. I’ve gained enough knowledge now to know what will and won’t work for what I’m looking to achieve, bit it’s mostly trail and error of trying different things.”
How long a recipe takes between having the initial idea and posting the recipe varies based on the recipe’s difficulty. Zelli said it could take from a day up to several weeks. Her favorite recipes are the sweet ones.
“I love the Costume Quest Pizza Sundae for it’s delightful visuals and combination of desserts — an ice-cream sundae in pizza pie form. The Guild Wars 2 Chocolate Omnomberry Cake was a triumph for me personally in terms of how far I’d come in cake making — cakes are difficult to get just right, but that cake was flawless,” she said. “My favorite recipe for inventiveness was the Pokémon Lava Cookies — chewy dark chocolate chip cookies with salty nori, they are a sensation and I’m proud of myself for thinking of the combination. Basically, if it has sugar, it’s my favorite.”
Costume Quest Pizza Sundae. Photo via Gourmet Gaming.
Cassandra Reeder, creator of The Geeky Chef, loves all the gaming recipes on her blog but told That’s Nerdalicious she’s partial to The Legend of Zelda-themed ones she’s created. Reeder’s love of gaming and cooking has been there since she was a child. The blog includes recipes from movies, TV, and books as well as video games, but the recipe that inspired its creation was Yeto’s Soup from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. While playing the game in 2008 she thought the soup sounded good.
“At the time there were almost no recipes for video game foods hanging around the Internet, so I made one from scratch. While searching for Yeto’s Soup, I noticed a distressing lack of fiction-inspired recipes in general, so I thought I was a pretty good candidate for filling that void. So in December of 2008, I made the blog. I started with the literary classics (Lembas, Turkish Delight, Butterbeer), then on my fourth post I put the soup that had inspired the idea,” she said.
At first Reeder would come up with ideas for recipes from the geeky foods she could remember off the top of her head. Now if she sees people suggesting one recipe a lot she’ll try to make it, and she’ll also keep an eye out for any mention of food when she experiences new nerdy stuff.
“Once I decide to make something, I tend to read or watch or play whatever movie/game/book it comes from to sort of get inspired. Then I try to imagine what the dish would look and taste like given the context and compile an ingredients list,” Reeder explained. “Then the experimentation begins! Sometimes my initial concepts are a little too ambitious and they don’t turn out, so I have to dial it down. There’s a lot of hits and misses, basically.”
Like Zelli, it takes Reeder a varying amount of time to make recipes. For example, she said her Portal Cake took a long time to get right over the course of four weekends while her Chateau Romani recipe took less than an hour to make between idea and creation. She has many recipes she’d like to make that she hasn’t yet, but many of these will actually be featured in a Geeky Chef cookbook coming out next year.
So what should you do if you want to combine your own passions for video games and food? Zelli and Reeder each had some advice and tips for beginners wanting to create their own video game-themed recipes.
“Food and gaming are wonderful passions to have, and with a little creativity creating your own recipe for an in-game food or game-themed meal can be relatively easy. Lots of people take a new spin on the gaming and food approach, and I enjoy seeing the idea develop and expand as different kinds of people approach it,” Zelli said. “As for cooking and baking – practice makes perfect. There’s no shame in trying something out in the kitchen and having it fail, you can only make progress from there!”
Reeder recommended just jumping right in and doing it. Based on her own experiences starting out with recipes, she advised everyone to write everything down properly as you go especially if you plan to share the recipes with others.
“On the recipe side of things, one technical mistake I tended to make when I first started out was not properly noting the steps and ingredient amounts…Some of my earlier recipes had missing steps because I tend to just do things by instinct, and I still have to go back and correct those when someone points it out. I feel super guilty about it because these are foods that have significance to the fans of the media, and I want everyone to have a fun experience making them,” she said.
According to Reeder it’s also important not to forget to take pictures. She regrets not taking enough of her early recipes.
Now that you have some advice from the pros, why not try a hand at making a video game-themed recipe? Below are two recipes from Gourmet Gaming and two from The Geeky Chef that you can try!
Mass Effect 2’s Serrice Ice Brandy by Gourmet Gaming
What you will need: A cocktail shaker and a lidded container.
- 1.5 fl oz Vodka (or Soda Water if you want to lessen the alcohol)
- ¼ fl oz Apricot Brandy
- ½ fl oz Blue Curaçao
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
- ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1-2 Teaspoons Water
- Red Food Coloring
- Wedge of Lime
Making the garnish:
- Place the sugar in a small container and add the water with a few drops of red food coloring. Shake the container to mix the color and dye the sugar red.
- Rub a wedge of lime around the rim of the glass then dip the glass into the sugar to coat it.
Making the drink:
- Pour all the ingredients into the cocktail shaker with some ice. Shake it up until chilled.
- Add a few cubes of ice to the prepared glass, pour and drink upon defeating the Reapers.
World of Warcraft‘s Graccu’s Mince Meat Fruitcake by Gourmet Gaming
What you will need: A 25cm Bundt cake mould, 2 mixing bowls and a sieve.
- 250g / 1¾ Cups Self-Raising Flour
- 150g / ¾ Cup Butter (Room Temperature)
- 100g / ½ Cup Golden Caster Sugar
- 50g / ¼ Cup Dark Muscovado Sugar
- 75g / ½ Cup Mixed Dried Fruits
- 2 Eggs
- 450g / 1lb Jar of Mincemeat
- 75g / ½ Cup Flaked Almonds
- 120ml / ½ Cup Whiskey (Optional)
- Icing/Confectioners Sugar
- 6 Glacé Cherries (Halved)
Making Graccu’s Mince Meat Fruitcake:
- Sieve the self-raising flour twice into a large mixing bowl to aerate it properly, then set aside.
- Grease the bundt tray well with a little butter and preheat the oven to 160C/325F.
- In a separate bowl cream the butter and the sugar until well combined, try to break up the Muscovado sugar as much as possible.
- Next add the dried fruits and almonds, stir well, then add the jar of mincemeat and mix again.
- Beat the two eggs together and gradually add them to the mixture, stirring in as you add. If you’re adding the whiskey, do so now and mix well.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the flour and fold them together gently then pour the mix into the prepared bundt tray. Pop in the oven and cook for approximately 80-100 minutes – if it’s cooked an inserted skewer/knife will come out clean.
- Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the bundt mould.
- You can, if you wish, ‘feed’ the cake some more whisky by pouring small amounts over the cake every few hours . If you’re impatient (like me) simply remove once it’s cooled enough.
- Sieve over a sprinkling of icing/confectioners sugar and arrange the glacé cherries around the top of the cake. Ideally, serve with some brandy cream.
- Corn Skewers
- Cookie Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- 6oz high quality steak, cut into two pieces
- 1 sheet Puff Pastry (thawed)
- 2-3 slices Prosciutto
- 8 oz Mushrooms
- 4 Shallots, peeled a diced
- 1/4 cup Sherry
- 3 tbs Butter
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- Fresh Thyme (to taste)
- Finely mince mushrooms in food processor.
- Sauté mushrooms and shallots in 1 tbs of butter with the salt and pepper until beginning to brown.
- Add another tablespoon of butter. When melted, add the sherry.
- Continue to sauté until all liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Wrap each piece of steak in twine to make a round shape. Add salt and pepper.
- Brown both pieces of steak in 1 tbs butter for 2-3 minutes over high heat. When done, remove twine and set aside.
- Unroll one sheet of puff pastry and layer on prosciutto, then spread the mushroom mixture on top of that.
- In the center of the pastry sheet, place both pieces of meat side by side.
- Fold pastry over meat to create a figure eight or infinity type shape. Cut off excess dough.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit on parchment lined cookie sheet for about 15-20 minutes or until pastry is a flaky golden brown.
- Remove from oven and skewer either end with the corn skewers.
- Rock out to Saria’s Song.
Elixir Soup from The Legend of Zelda: The Windwalker by The Geeky Chef
- 1lb Yellow Squash, chopped
- 6 tbsp Butter
- 2 Turnips, peeled and chopped
- 2 Carrots, chopped
- 1/4 Cup Cauliflower, chopped
- 1 medium Yellow Onion, chopped
- 4 tbs. Lemon Juice
- 4 Cups Chicken Broth (or Veggie Broth if vegetarian)
- 3 Garlic Cloves, minced or chopped fine
- 1 Yellow Chile, de-seeded and chopped (optional)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Chives or Green Onions, chopped fine
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat.
- Cook the yellow onion and garlic until softened, around 8-10 minutes.
- Add the squash, carrots, cauliflower, turnip, lemon juice, chile (if using) and half of the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, then simmer, until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes or until soup won’t burn you.
- Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth (be careful with hot liquids) and transfer to the cleaned or a new pot.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low until you serve, adding more broth until desired consistency.
- Put in your serving vessel (preferably a corked glass bottle) and add the copped chives or green onions to the surface of the soup for garnish. Drink it with a smile!
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