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Firefly – The Big Damn Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel

Firefly – The Big Damn Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel
Book Name: Firefly – The Big Damn Cookbook
Author: Chelsea Monroe-Cassel
Publisher(s): Titan Books
Formatt: Hardcover
Genre(s): Non-Fiction / Cookbook
Release Date: September 24, 2019

I am a big damn Firefly fan. You know this about me. It’s an amazing show, and the fandom flowed from my pen many times in the past. (See these Fantasy-Faction articles about A Traveler’s Companion to the ’Verse and Sting.)

Well, when I got Firefly: The Big Damn Cookbook for my birthday this year I was thrilled. I knew I’d have to try out every single gorram recipe. The Big Damn Cookbook was published in 2019 by Titan Books and written by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. It’s written like a journal of sorts with Kaylee (the nothing-in-the-‘verse-can-stop-her-from-being-cheerful engineer) heading it up. In her note at the beginning, Kaylee says every family should have a cookbook. This one is Serenity’s.

Each crewmember offers recipes that matches their characters perfectly—both in theme and in taste. No-nonsense Zoe has shipboard crackers and garlic griddle bread. Fancy Inara’s recipes include companion tea and mandarin salad. Wise-cracking Wash offers up wife soup. Hard-ass Jayne chats about mudder’s milk. Captain Mal has pork and beans. Young River proposes candied fruit skewers, and her gifted brother Simon has golden milk. And our favorite engineer, the ever-cheerful Kaylee talks about strawberry shortcake. It’s a clever way to set up a cookbook, and I had such a great time reading through it.

Chocolate Protein Cake

The book itself is also broken down into different categories depending on where you live. Recipes for Shipboard Living has the simpler meals like family soup (a throw-anything-you’ve-got-in-a-pot kind of soup) and fresh tomato slices. It conjures up images of family cooking and scrounged-up ingredients, much like they’d have to on a ship. Recipes from the Border & Beyond are more down-to-earth meals like pork and beans and bread pudding. Recipes from the Core Worlds, Uppercrust has fancier dishes, think roast duck and matcha macaron drops, that clashes well with the final section—Recipes from the Core Worlds, Underbelly—with its grab-and-go-before-you-get-stabbed fare like meat pie and spiced tea eggs. Sprinkled into the cookbook like advertisements are offerings from Blue Sun—and I actually tried one, five-spiced caramel.

There’s even an index in case you’re looking for a specific kind of dish (broken down into sweet, savory, drink, and snack), a dietary information chart, and culinary conversation charts in the back! It’s a whole lot of fun. As you can see, I am simply enamored with this book.

We all know that a cookbook is only as good as the recipes inside it, but there’s no inevitable betrayal here—the recipes are delicious! I haven’t gotten as far as making every dish, but I did manage to make one recipe of each kind.

Note: I’ve included the recipe names and my thoughts, but I won’t be including the actual recipes—them closely guarded secrets, ya know? I do have some photos to share, though!

Simon’s Eggy Oat Mush, Shipboard Living

Eggy Oat Mush

This was super quick to whip up and surprisingly tasty. It’s made with garlic, vegetables, chicken stock, rolled oats, egg, and a dash of milk. Savory for sure, but yummy, too. I also added in the optional red pepper flakes. Plus, it held up well really well, as I had it for breakfast two days after.

Zoe’s Garlic Griddle Bread, Border & Beyond

Garlic Griddle Bread

This caught my eye as it had so few ingredients—flour, garlic, Parmesan, baking powder, and oil—so I wanted to try it. This bread is as delicious as it’s quick!

Wash’s Spiced Tea Eggs, Core Worlds, Underbelly

Spiced Tea Eggs

Easy to make, I boiled up the spices like cinnamon and soy sauce the night before and sank the eggs into it. The eggs were tasty, but not as flavorful as I had anticipated for 24-hours of soaking.

Blue Sun Five-Spice Caramel, Core Worlds, Uppercrust

Blue Sun Five-Spice Caramel

So, I totally burnt the caramel! I forgot the milk and realized it after the caramel was properly heated. I had to add the milk and re-heat the whole thing again and ended up burning it. Oops. But shockingly enough the caramel tasted okay—kind of like the edges of the marshmallow that gets crispy! And the recipe was easy, so I can always try it again…remembering the milk in the beginning, of course.

I-Wanted-To-Make-A-Drink BONUS Recipe: Mal’s Haymaker’s Punch, Shipboard Living

Mal’s Haymaker’s Punch

Made with apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and ginger powder, I mixed this on Friday evening to have it the next day. It looked pretty but the vinegar smelled truly intense. I was cautious about this. However, it turned out that adding the preferred amount into water was actually okay.

So, if you have a Firefly fan in your life who also loves cooking, give them this cookbook—they’ll nerd out over it and have tasty dishes to share!

Ten out of ten juggling geese!



  1. Avatar Bryn Holmes says:

    Wow – this brings back memories and I think I will try the cake first – Simon’s birthday cake. Thanks so much for putting together such a lovely book!

  2. Avatar Merrill Pugmire says:

    I found this book (at the library) shortly after I was diagnosed diabetic. As a Browncoat, it is SHINY; as a lifelong foodie/food tinkerer, it is fantastic, but while not everyrecipie is diabetic friendly, there are enough that it has been an absolute lifesaver. Shipboard crackers (I replaced the grain flour with 1/3 whole wheat, 1/3 whole oat, and 1/3 almond) has allowed me to have crackers again! The recipes range from exceptionally simple to mind numbingly omplex (the last-planet on a stick-has so much sugar this diabetic will never try it) but on the whole are delightful. I love this book

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