The Simple-Talk Cookbook

Written by geeks, for geeks, the Simple-Talk Cookbook is a quirky culinary collection of recipes by SQL Server and .NET MVPs and experts, who would like to inspire Simple-Talk readers to ditch their microwave convenience meals for some more nourishing dishes this winter. Chef hats at the ready, because the e-cookbook download is available for free now to registered users...

Warming Winter Recipes

The day I spotted a recipe for greengage jam by Andrew Clarke on the Simple-Talk forums was when inspiration struck me.  Here, I thought with astonishment, is a forum post with barely an ounce of technical talk in it…and yet the post was very popular.  Some food for thought indeed.  I began to wonder if many of our Simple-Talk readers might have a secret penchant for cooking up an astronomical feast when they’re not beavering away at their monitors. My research into the potential for a more non-technical ‘cookbook’ than many of us in the IT community may be familiar with soon showed me that here was a hungry audience. 

With over ten contributing chefs, all MVPs and experts from the SQL Server and .NET community, the cookbook is written by geeks for geeks. To get cooking, simply download the cookbook by clicking on the zip file in the top right-hand corner of this article or on the link below.

Happy cooking from the editorial team at Simple-Talk and all the starring chefs!

Download The Simple-Talk Cookbook here

N.B. The recipe for the Deep Fried Mars Bars or Barre de Chocolat Frit a l’Ecossaise is currently missing 1/2 cup / 80g flour in the recipe list – don’t forget to add it to mix a smooth batter!


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  • JackBauer

    Spice Cape Gooseberry Jam
    I tried making this jam yesterday afternoon and it’s fantastic…just add enough brown sugar (about 4 tablespoons was perfect for my attempt) and a tablespoon of water to get the right jammy consistency. Good job Adam!

  • Phil Factor

    Chicken with Lemon and Olives
    Serve this with rice, or noodles.

    Ingredients (to serve two):
    two whole chicken legs or four chicken pieces
    20 stoned black olives
    a lemon, cut into thin slices
    2 tablespoonfuls of best olive oil
    50g butter
    225ml of chicken stock
    1 teaspoon of ‘herbes de provence’
    1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
    1 tablespoon of parsley
    1 tablespoon of honey
    freshly ground black pepper

    Heat half the butter and all the olive oil in a shallow pan. Brown the chicken pieces on both sides. At the same time, chop twelve of the olives into slices. Then, add the stock to the pan, the ‘herbes de provence’, the chopped olives, and the lemon slices. Then cover the pan and simmer gently for tewnty minutes.
    Check that the chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken to a hot serving dish and keep it warm. Add the parsley and the whole olives to the pan. Turn the heat up and let the sauce bubble until reduced by about half. Cut the remaining butter into small chunks and whisk into the sauce. The sauce will change colour and thicken slightly. Stir in the honey and a little pepper.

    Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

  • SantoshTJadhav

    Carrort Peda
    One small change in the process.
    Add raisins when the stuff is completed cooled down else it will spoil the milk.

  • Eyespi20

    Simple Talk Cookbook
    All I can say is “Happy eating!”


  • ByrdMan

    Blonde Brownies with Chocolate Chips
    2 1/4 cups Bread Flour
    1 1/4 cups Brown Sugar
    1/4 cup Sugar
    12 ounce bag Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
    16 tablespoons (2 sticks) Un-Salted Butter
    1 teaspoon Baking Soda
    1 teaspoon Salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
    1 Egg
    1 Egg Yolk
    2 tablespoons of Milk

    Preheat oven 350 f

    Preparation : In a medium mixing bowl, sift flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. In a small bowl, combine egg, egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract, set aside. In a big mixing bowl, combine both sugars. Now, in a small sauce, melt the butter. Once melted combine butter with sugar until butter is completely incorporated. Add other wet ingredients, mix thoroughly. Now slowly start adding flour mixture, a third at a time. Mix very well until completely incorporated. Now fold in the chocolate chips.

    Baking: Butter the bottom of a 13 x 9 casserole pan. Using your hand (or spatula) spread the brownie mix in the dish. Try to make it as uniform as possible for even cook-through. Put in the oven for 25-30 mins. Let it cool for about 15 mins when and prepare yourself for one of best brownie squares you’ve ever had 🙂


  • Robyn Page

    Some soft drinks for the new year


    1 ½ pints water.
    Rind of a lemon.
    2 oz. pearl barley.
    1 oz. loaf sugar.

    Wash the barley in cold water and put it in a saucepan. Cover it with cold water and bring it to the boil. Then strain and put the barley back in the saucepan, and add the sugar.

    Peel the lemon thinly so that none of the white pith is removed. Put the peel in the saucepan with the barley and sugar, and add 1 ½ pints of boiling water. Simmer it gently for about 15 minutes. Strain into a jug and use when cold.

    Note.-If liked, the juice of the lemon can be added when cold.


    6 lbs. black currants.
    6 lbs. Demerara sugar.
    12 bruised cloves (in a muslin bag).

    Prepare the black currants. Put the cloves in a large jar and fill up with alternate layers of sugar and currants. Cover tightly to exclude all air.

    At the end of six weeks draw off the liquid, and bottle. Cork until the syrup is needed.


    ½ oz. ginger.
    2 lbs. Demerara sugar to every quart of elderberry juice.
    ½ oz. cloves.

    Pick as many berries as are wanted. Put them in a jar and stand in a pot, half or nearly filled with hot water, and stand in a warm place (away from direct heat). The juice will soon begin to flow from the berries.

    To every quart of strained juice allow ½ oz. of ginger, I oz. of cloves and 2 lbs. of Demerara sugar. Boil for 1 hour. Bottle when cool.

    To use it, put a tablespoonful in a glass and fill with water.

    For a winter drink, add hot water and a sprinkling of grated nutmeg on top.


    2 lemons.
    1 oz. bruised ginger.
    1 gallon cold water.
    ½oz. cream of tartar.
    1 Ib. sugar.
    ½ oz. yeast on toast.

    Put the rinds of the lemons into a large saucepan with the ginger, cream of tartar and sugar. Pour the cold water over them and bring to the boil. Then leave until lukewarm.

    Spread ½ oz. of yeast on a piece of toast and let this float on the top of the liquid. Cover with a cloth and let it stand for 24 hours. Then strain and bottle and store in a cool place.

    It will be ready for use in 2 or 3 days.


    Rinds of 2 lemons.
    Juice of 4 lemons and 2 oranges.
    Rind of an orange.
    1 quart boiling water.
    Sugar to taste.

    Put the rinds of the lemons and the orange, and the juice of 4 lemons and 2 oranges into a jug, and pour the boiling water over.

    Add sugar and water (or soda water) to taste.


    To every glassful of cold water, or soda water, allow the juice of ½ a lemon and a dessertspoonful of castor sugar, and stir well.

    Note:- Orange squash can be made in the same way.


    6 lemons.
    2 oz. tartaric acid.
    4 oz. sugar.
    1 oz. citric acid.
    9 breakfastcupsful boiling water.

    Squeeze the juice from the lemons and grate the rind. Put the sugar over and leave overnight. Next morning put the acids and the boiling water over them. Then strain.

    It is now ready to bottle and cork up. When using, put a little in a tumbler and fill up with cold water.

    ORANGEADE (Dutch Recipe)

    4 or 5 oranges.
    4 lbs. loaf sugar.
    2½ pints cold, boiled water.
    1 oz. citric acid dissolved in a cupful of hot water.

    Rub the sugar against the rind of the oranges, being careful that no pith or juice gets mixed in. The lumps turn orange with the juice of the rind.

    Pour the cold, boiled water over the sugar, add the dissolved citric acid (cold) and let the sugar dissolve during 2 or 3 days. Stir occasionally. When the sugar is dissolved strain the orangeade through a muslin bag, and bottle it. Wax the corks with sealing wax.


    3 lbs. raspberries.
    Sugar. 1 quart white wine vinegar.

    Stalk the raspberries and put 1 1b. into a china bowl. Pour the vinegar on to them. Next day strain off the liquor and pour it on to 1 lb. of fresh raspberries.

    The next day strain off the liquor and pour on to the last pound of fresh raspberries.

    Leave till the next morning, then strain the liquor through a cloth (wetted with vinegar). Allow 1 lb. of loaf sugar to every pint of juice; put in a preserving pan, stir over the flame till the sugar is dissolved, then simmer very gently for 20 minutes, skimming at the end. Bottle it when cold.

    Allow 1 or 2 spoonsful of the vinegar to a glass of water.

    Note.-Strawberries, red currants or black currants can be used instead.


    3 pints made tea.
    4 ½ oz. sugar.

    Juice of 3 lemons.
    1 orange.

    Make some strong tea and pour it boiling hot over the sugar and the orange rind. Then add the lemon juice and let the mixture stand till cold. Strain it through a jelly bag.

    Add the orange, sliced thinly, being careful to remove the pith and pips, and serve the punch with soda water and a piece of ice in each glass.

  • Robyn Page

    Some ‘wine’ recipes for the new year


    10 pints boiling water.

    5-6 lbs. blackberries.

    3 ½ lbs. white sugar.

    Put the berries in a large pan or bowl and pour over them the boiling water. Leave for between 9 to 14 days. Then skim the mould from the surface very carefully and throw this away. Strain the berries through muslin and stir in the sugar, allowing 3 ½ lbs. to each gallon. Stir until dissolved. Put into jars to ferment, adding more liquid (to. keep the jars filled) daily.

    A small piece of sulphate of potash will stop the wine fermenting if it is working itself sour.


    4 lbs. sugar.

    4 ½ lbs. damsons.

    1 gallon of boiling water.

    Put the damsons in a pan and pour 1 gallon of boiling water over them. Let them stand for io days, stirring every day. Then take the crust off the top, strain through muslin and squeeze the fruit.

    Put the liquid into a pan with the sugar, and stir. When dissolved, bottle (cork loosely) and allow it to work. When it has finished working put in the cork lightly.


    1 gallon of flowers.

    3½ lbs. sugar.

    5 quarts of boiling water.

    1 orange and 1 lemon.

    Pick the flowers on a sunny day. Put them, with the orange and lemon cut into slices, in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Leave for 9 days, then take off the mould. Strain the flowers and liquid through muslin and add the sugar. Stir until dissolved.

    Put in bottles or jars to ferment. Keep the bottles filled to the top while fermenting.


    4 lbs. loganberries.

    4 quarts water.

    4 lbs. sugar.

    Boil the water. Put the berries into a clean, dry earthenware pan and pour the water over them. Let them stand for 10 days. Then strain the liquor, but do not squeeze the fruit.

    Add the sugar and let it stand until the next day. Then put it in a gallon jar and cork loosely until it has done working (about 3 weeks). Then put in the cork lightly.

    The wine is ready to drink in 3 months, but it improves with keeping.


    13 oranges. .

    9 pints boiling water.

    3 lbs. sugar.

    Wipe the oranges with a warm, wet cloth and then cut them in slices and remove all pips. Put the slices in a large bowl and pour over them the boiling water. Cover with a clean cloth and leave for 7 days, but stir well each day.

    Strain through muslin and add the sugar. Let the sugar dissolve, and pour into a cask or wine jar to ferment. When fermentation ceases, seal up. Bottle in 4 months.


    4 ½ lbs. parsnips.

    2 lemons.

    Cloves to taste.

    1 gallon cold water.

    4 lbs. sugar

    Scrub the parsnips thoroughly and put them in the sun to dry. Cut up the lemons and boil them with the parsnips in a gallon of cold water until tender, taking care the parsnips do not break. Strain and, when blood-heat, add the sugar and cloves to taste. When the sugar dissolves put in a stone jar or bottles and allow to work. When it has finished working, lightly cork.


    5 lbs. rhubarb.

    2 lemons.

    4 lbs. sugar.

    1 gallon water.

    2 or 3 pieces bruised ginger.

    Cut the rhubarb into small pieces and pound well.

    Slice the lemons and add them with the ginger. Cover with a gallon of boiling water and leave to stand for 10 days, stirring daily.

    Then strain and add the sugar; when dissolved, bottle and allow to work. When it has worked, cork lightly.


    3 quarts sloes.

    ¼ oz. bitter almonds.

    2 lbs. castor sugar.

    1 gallon gin.

    Wipe the sloes, stalk them and prick them here and there with a needle. Put them in a stone jar with the gin and sugar, and the blanched almonds, cork tightly and shake well.

    Continue shaking well twice a week until Christmas, when it should be ready for use. Strain through muslin and bottle in a stone jar, corking it securely.

  • AnnaL

    Anonymous comments disabled
    Due to relentless spamming, we’ve been forced to disable anonymous comments on this article.

    If you wish to contribute to the debate on this article, you will need to sign in, or register on Simple Talk, if you are not already a member.

  • Byte2Binary

    What a Shocker !!

    Hey I thought this would be a collection of Technical Recipes. Silly me I didn’t read the description just clicked on the download link. Anyway Nice effort.