Winter is no longer coming. It’s here. And it looks to be pretty exciting. 

Matthew A. Moore
July 13, 2017

Ladies and gentlemen! Children of the Forest, Wildlings, and Faceless Men! If you understand that last sentence, then you know that the hour which Ned Stark promised is upon us. 

To all the laymen out there, I’m talking of course about the Season 7 premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones [Sunday July 16th at 9pm EST]. What a doozy it promises to be! So much happened in season six, and there are so many unanswered questions I’m just not even sure where to begin. Will the Hound’s Magical Brotherhood Redemption Tour bear fruit? Will Arya cross paths with her long-lost direwolf Nymeria and embrace her inner Warg (One does not simply read a Game of Thrones article without spoilers)? Will someone pleeeease for the love of The Seven kill off that damned Cersei Lannister already?! The suspense, you guys. It’s all a bit much.


If, like me, you’ve been impatiently waiting for months to get answers on all things GoT, then, like me, you’re also preparing for a lavish premiere experience. And what better way to ring in the 7th season than to prepare some—or all—of the menu I’ve put together to mark this momentous occasion? Each recipe was meticulously selected for a specific reason. Read on to learn why, make the menu, and enjoy!

APPETIZERS

A small snippet of what’s to come, appetizers are kinda like the movie trailers of the dinner table. Let’s nosh, shall we?

Salty-Sweet Pine Nut Bars

Not your typical pre-main fare, but Arya Stark ain’t your typical girl. No, she’s a bad mother—shut your mouth! (I was just talking about Arya). This is a great snack to pack while traveling across Westeros seeking vengeance for slain family members. And, like this app, Arya can be sweet. But she’s also saltier than Mr. Peanut catching his wife with Mr. Potato Head. I mean, she fed Walder Frey his sons for crying out loud! And that Meryn Trant murder? Grisly. Also, she’s a Warg in the books, so the pine nuts are an extension of her bond with nature, or something like that. Moving on!

Afterburners

It’s Fire vs. Ice in the show/books, so we’re doing the same with our apps. Fiery jalapeño poppers represent Daenerys and her newly forged alliance (Dothraki, Dorne, Iron Isles*, and Highgarden) while…

 Gazpacho with Lemon-Garlic Shrimp 

…this “soup” represents the Night’s King and his endless army of undead. Seriously, if White Walkers could eat, gazpacho would be a go-to. Like gazpacho, they too derived from something warm and comforting (humanity), only to turn into something cold and unnecessary. I mean, it’s cold soup. Hell nah. Team Afterburners for life! Literally.

SIDES

It’s a celebration, y’all! We’re feasting. Keep up.

Charred Vegetable Salad

Remember how the Boltons liked to flay people alive and then set them on fire? Yeah, about that… Insert NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” lyrics here. Sansa dispatched of Ramsey in an incredibly gnarly, awesome way, and what would a premiere feast be without a dish to commemorate their passing? Charred veggies it is. Although in hindsight, this was a great opportunity for an apple dish. “Hey, Ramsey? …You like apples?” 

Goat Cheese and Basil Polenta

Tormund Giantsbane has been one of Jon Snow’s most vital allies. So to honor his love of fermented goat’s milk, a delectable and creamy side he’d dig. Will he finally take the plunge and ask Brienne of Tarth on a candlelit stroll atop Winterfell’s ramparts? He’s been crushing hard. Time will tell, but man, they’d make some crazy-awesome warrior kids. Fingers crossed.

MAINS

We’ll get to what I think would be the true GoT mains shortly, but for now this’ll do.

North Woods Bean Soup

There’s a new King in the North! And like his predecessor, he’s a Stark (slash Targaryen). Jon Snow came back from the dead last season, survived being almost killed again at the Battle of the Bastards, and got an assist from Littlefinger to take back Winterfell. But the dragon poo is really about to hit the fan. White Walkers are heading south with one goal in mind, and it’s going to get colder and colder at Winterfell. Best warm up with some real soup. Keep your gazpacho, stupid zombies!

Bacon and Egg Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Arugula

Whatchu talkin’ bout, Willis?! Shortly after we learned that Hodor could talk once—before Bran hijacked his brain and turned him into the gentle simpleton we all know and love—we were forced to endure one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in recent cinematic history. Seriously, to this day if I hear someone say, “Hold the door,” a single tear is going to roll down my cheek and I’ll curl up in the fetal position, rocking back and forth until someone brings me ice cream (If you see me, don’t test this theory unless you already have ice cream at the ready). But I digress. Shortly before dying, Meera got Hodor worked up about some eggs served with a rasher of bacon, so this is a fitting tribute. We’ll miss ya, big fella.

DRINKS

Let’s be honest: If we lived in Westeros, the constant fear of a gruesome end a thousand different ways would drive us all to the bottle. [It is known.] So methinks these would be the true mains. 

Drogon’s Breath

Winter is here, but so is the Mother of Dragons. And this is a drink fit for a Queen. Drogon is the biggest and baddest of Khaleesi’s triplets, so it’s only appropriate he get the nod for this fiery concoction. Will Daenerys stroll into Westeros and knock Cersei off her high horse? Will she engage in an aerial battle with the Night’s King? After all, there have been tales via Old Nan of “ice dragons.” We’ll find out this season I hope! Long story short, Dany is bae, and she’d want you to sip on this.

 

Vanilla-Plum Water

To me, vanilla is basic. Kinda like Yara Greyjoy. I mean, she’s in the story and she and Theon have formed an alliance with the Mother of Dragons, but I don’t think she adds much to the plot. Plus, Iron Islanders are all “water is lyfe, the sea is my homie,” so the Greyjoys get represented by this basic, alcohol-free sipper. It’s nothing special, but it’s there. Also plums, because Theon. I’ll let you think about it…

Rosé Crush

Rosé for the last rose. This one is for Olenna Tyrell, Queen of Thorns, matriarch of House Tyrell, last of her name. An apt selection for m’lady—rosé because a rose is her house sigil, and crush because I’ve always had a crush on her. This woman has some stones! In one fell swoop last season Cersei took everything from her. Did Olenna mope? Hell no! She wants some sweet, sweet revenge, and she’s partnering up with the Sand Snakes and Daenerys for that retribution. Her gloves have come off, and I bet she has some sharp-ass nails.

Mulled Pomegranate and Red Wine Punch

If Arya is my favorite character—and she is—Tyrion is a really, really close second. The way he dealt with the Wise Masters of Yunkai and Astapor last season had me jumping on the couch and fist pumping. It was epic. Newly minted as the Hand of the Queen, last we saw the Little Lord he was sailing towards a juicy showdown with his sister.

[Sidenote: Would anyone be surprised if Cersei tried to strike up an alliance with the Night’s King? Just saying…]

I cannot wait to see how that family reunion plays out. Tyrion likes drinking almost as much as he likes playing the Game of Thrones, so he’d approve of you downing some mulled wine punch every time you see him onscreen Sunday.

DESSERTS

Life in Westeros sure ain’t sweet, so let’s add a little sugar to the mix.

Strawberry Margarita Jell-O Shots

Jell-O is soft. You know what else is soft? Samwell Tarly. Sure, he stole Heartsbane, his family’s ancient Valyrian sword (foreshadowing, anyone?), and he’s also slain a Thenn and a White Walker. But did you see the way he clammed up around his father? Don’t think for a second ol’ Daddy Tarly won’t march his happy ass right to Oldtown and get that sword back. And who just leaves a woman and baby all alone so he can go swim in a sea of books like he’s Scrooge McDuck?! Five bucks says that Sam meets his end this season without acquiring his Maester chains. Jell-O shots on me if I’m wrong.

Ladyfingers

Sansa Stark is now the Lady of Winterfell. Littlefinger is a spineless, heartless, deceitful excuse for a human. But they’re intrinsically linked. Put them together and what have you got? Ladyfingers! In all seriousness, though, if Littlefinger succeeds in making Sansa jealous enough of Jon Snow’s new title that she turns on her brother, I’m throwing my TV through a wall and boycotting season 8. Here’s hoping Ghost pees all over Littlefinger’s bed sheets.

OTHER

I didn’t know where to fit this…

Red Wine Sauce

It’s red wine that you can put on anything, and it’s got beef broth, so protein. Is it that far-fetched to think that Cersei would put this on everything, or that she’d down it in between actual glasses of red wine for sustenance? Pour this sauce over all of it—the Jell-O shots, the sandwich, the veggies, all of it. Because, hey! It’s a metaphor. Death approaches from North of the Wall, and it’s going to coat everything in red. May as well get a head start.

There you have it—the definitive menu for your Game of Thrones party. Make these dishes, post pics to your social media, and tag them #TryMyRecipes so we can find out who’s as fanatical about this show as I am. Enjoy the show, everyone! Valar Morghulis.

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