In the latest episode of Kitchen Table Gaming we made four recipes to celebrate the release of my new deckbuilding game Emergents: Genesis. Each of the recipes reflected a different class of superpower in that universe. We are presenting those recipes here each day for easy reference. If you want to learn more about the game you can do so here. You can order the game online or urge your local game store to place an order with ACD Distribution.

In the world of Emergents: Genesis the acolytes are the most mysterious class of all the powered beings. Theirs is a mastery of the mental and martial arts. Mentored by The Abyss, Bookworm is one of his most promising young students. There is no knowledge that he cannot absorb from the written word and can often be found in the catacombs beneath The Phaeton Project poring over arcane texts.

Should the Bookworm want to learn anything about baking, I could recommend no better text to him than any cookbook by Christina Tosi of Momofuku and Milk Bar fame. Her corn cookies are one of the most luscious treats I have ever tasted. I took the basics of her recipe, which includes finding dehydrated corn powder that I actually just buy at Milk Bar, and added a burst of orange zest and the pop of tart cherries. It makes them into something new and exciting while remaining comfortable and familiar.


2 sticks unsweetened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 large egg
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup corn flour
2/3 cup dehydrated corn powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large orange zested
1 cup dried tart cherries

Time to make the cookies:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment whip together softened butter and sugar for 2 to 3
minutes. Add in the egg and let the mixer go for 7 or 8 minutes, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as you go. Add in all the dry ingredients and zest and mix until combined. Add in cherries and mix briefly to distribute throughout batter.

Using a 1/3 cup ice cream scoop portion out 12 cookies onto cookie sheets lined with parchment or Silpat baking mat. The cookies will spread out considerably while baking so you can only fit 6 per sheet. Freeze the cookie dough for 15 minutes before baking. Bake for 16 to 17 minutes until cookies start to turn golden brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack.


I am making a batch of these when I get back from Barcelona that uses lemon zest and dried blueberries, instead of orange and cherry, for Mike James with whom I had a World Series wager, to honor his KC Royals. I have also made them with an assortment of citrus zests and a mix of berries for a true sunburst flavor.

In the latest episode of Kitchen Table Gaming we made four recipes to celebrate the release of my new deckbuilding game Emergents: Genesis. Each of the recipes reflected a different class of superpower in that universe. We are presenting those recipes here each day for easy reference. If you want to learn more about the game you can do so here. You can order the game online or urge your local game store to place an order with ACD Distribution.

Professor Helios is the most famous Firesculptor in the Emergents universe but the class of powers he possesses can extend to manipulation of almost anything. There are emergents who can sculpt steel, ice, or — in my case — pasta.


This is a recipe that I have recreated from idealized childhood memories of my grandmother’s macaroni pie. It was a dish she would make with leftover pasta, hamhocks from the butcher, and whatever vegetables she had laying around. It remains my favorite food of all time and I have spent a lot of time and energy trying to recreate it over the years. Perhaps the biggest obstacle was never having any leftover pasta.


1/3 pound pancetta sliced
1 sweet onion sliced thin
1 pound mushrooms sliced thin
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
1 1/2 pound of linguine cooked just short of al dente
32 oz container of ricotta cheese
6 whole eggs
2 lemons zested
1 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Time to Sculpt the Pasta:

Cook the pasta, drain, and set aside.

Crisp the pancetta in a pan and set aside. In same pan cook the onions with some salt and pepper until they are soft and set aside with pancetta. Finally, cook the mushrooms in some olive oil in the same pan. Toss all three ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Mix the ricotta cheese with six beaten eggs, 1 1/2 cups of Parmesan cheese, black pepper to taste, lemon zest and thyme. Mix in the onion, pancetta, and mushroom mixture and pasta.

Pour the whole mix into a oiled springform pan with tube insert. Mix remaining Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, 2 tbs olive oil, thyme, and black pepper and sprinkle over the top of the pie. Bake covered with foil in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes until the breadcrumb topping turns brown and crispy.


Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from springform pan. Cut into wedges and serve with Non-Stop Tomato Sauce. Can be served warm or cold.

In the latest episode of Kitchen Table Gaming we made four recipes to celebrate the release of my new deckbuilding game Emergents: Genesis. Each of the recipes reflected a different class of superpower in that universe. We are presenting those recipes here each day for easy reference. If you want to learn more about the game you can do so here. You can order the game online or urge your local game store to place an order with ACD Distribution.

Look…I know I use Grade B maple syrup and lemon zest somewhat compulsively when I cook but trust me when I tell you they are essential to making this quick tomato sauce recipe that is almost too good to be true. I grew up with my grandmother’s sauce that would cook all day long, burbling away on a back burner in a vessel that was half silo/half cookware. I loved it but I also love being able to whip up a quick sauce for pasta and this can be made in under 30 minutes — depending on how fast you are with a knife.

When I was trying to settle on the recipes for this latest episode of Kitchen Table Gaming I knew I wanted something that reflected the speed and time manipulation of the Non-Stops. In the world of Emergents: Genesis they are led by Billy Stopless, an irrepressible speedster who would certainly appreciate the double takes that saying you put maple syrup in your tomato sauce earns you.



1 large onion finely chopped
Several cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon of red pepper flake
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1 tablespoon Grade B maple syrup
Fresh basil leaves, torn

Time to make the sauce:

Finely chop one whole onion. I generally prefer a sweet Vidalia onion but you can use red onion (pictured above) or a Spanish onion — I have even made it with the white part of scallions in a pinch. Finally chop the peeled cloves and grate the zest of one lemon with a micro planer, careful to avoid zesting too deep and hitting the white pith. Pile that all in the center of a pan and add generous pinch of Kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, and the crushed red pepper. Drizzle two tablespoons of good olive oil over the mound and turn on the heat to medium high.

Let the onions and garlic soften and turn translucent — maybe even a little caramelized — before hitting the pan with the fresh squeezed lemon juice. Let that cook down a little and then put the can of tomatoes in. You can cut the tomatoes beforehand — I sometimes just take kitchen scissors and go to work on them inside the can — or you can just mash them up with your spoon or a potato masher. Add a the grade B maple syrup to counterbalance the acid of tomatoes and lemon juice. Let that cook for about 15 minutes. Tear in fresh basil at the end.

In the last episode I made a tomato confit with heirloom tomatoes. I have made this sauce using an equivalent amount of peeled and chopped heirlooms and it is one of my all-time favorite things but it does not possess the pantry-readiness of this version. I always have onions and garlic on hand and I try to have several cans of San Marzanos in the queue at all times.

This is the perfect accompaniment to my grandmother’s macaroni pie but I love it on linguine (or any pasta really).

In the latest episode of Kitchen Table Gaming we made four recipes to celebrate the release of my new deckbuilding game Emergents: Genesis. Each of the recipes reflected a different class of superpower in that universe. We are presenting those recipes here each day for easy reference. If you want to learn more about the game you can do so here. You can order the game online or urge your local game store to place an order with ACD Distribution.

The inspiration for this drink was Moxie, the strongest person in the Emergents universe. She calls the students who share her gifts of strength, StrongHarms, and I wanted a drink that packed a punch equal to her skills.



Several sprigs of thyme
Orange pieces
Cherry juice
Grade B maple syrup (You can use simple syrup if you prefer)

Time to Mix the Drinks:

One day head put one or two orange pieces and thyme sprigs into large cocktail ice tray. Pour
cherry juice into tray and freeze overnight.

Cherry juice ice cubes

Place one cherry juice ice cube in an Old Fashioned glass. Add maple syrup and a couple of
dashes of bitters right on the cube. Pour one shot of bourbon over the cube and then add three parts Prosecco. Serve.

For the show I made the drinks individually but you can do this a classic punchbowl drink by following the same ratios. Instead of ice cubes make a larger ice mold using a bundt pan or something similar. You can have a lot of fun with your drinks using fruit juice ice cubes. My wife uses grapefruit or orange juice cubes for vodka drinks and I am looking forward to rum drinks with watermelon ice cubes this summer. They are even great without alcohol; you can add the cherry juice cubes to ginger ale or even plain ‘ol club soda for a lovely mocktail during the holidays.

Kitchen Table Gaming returns with a new episode around BDM’s new game, Emergents: Genesis! Anthony Conta and Matt Ferrando join for good eats and GGs

Emergents: Genesis is a brand new deckbuilding game that combines my two things that have occupied huge swaths of my professional life — comics and gaming. The game is an interactive deckbuilder in which you use a superhero avatar to fight with up to three other players. The game was designed by Anthony Conta around a world of superheroes — called Emergents — created by me. The artists who worked on the images for this game are all professional comics artists who have created mainstream titles in the superhero genre.

You have probably seen our Kickstarter (and might even have supported us). If you missed our Kickstarter but still want to support the game, you can do so at Urban Island Games. If you want to see the game in your local game shop you should tell your retailer to order it from ACD Distribution while supplies last.

This episode of Kitchen Table Gaming is all about Emergents: Genesis. This game features 13 different characters but for today’s episode I have honed in on four of them and made food (or drink) that ties into each of the four classes of powers that those Emergents possess.

I’m joined in this episode by two of the game designers who helped make Emergents: Genesis possible, Matt Ferrando and Anthony Conta. Punches are thrown; punch is drunk!

Check it out:

Check back all week long as I will be posting text versions of each of these recipes here on Fetchland. Enjoy!

Anthony Conta gaming

Hi there! My name’s Anthony, and I’m a game designer.

Well, actually, that’s not the whole story. I’m a lot of things: a husband, a tutor, a gamer, a business owner, a dog lover, a Sagittarius, a human being, a mammal, and many more–including a new writer for this lovely site! But for the purposes of my articles, let’s just stick with game designer.

Brian (bdm) asked me to write about a topic near and dear to my heart: games. I love games. I’ve been playing games since I was old enough to walk. One of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received from my parents was an abandoned Game Gear left in my mother’s office at school when I was five years old. My bookshelves are bending under the weight of all my board games. I have such a large backlog of digital games that if I retired now and spent forty hours a week playing them to completion, I’d probably die before I finished.

This love of games caused me to be a bit – ahem – impulsive as I dove head-first into making them without any sort of plan or structure. To be honest, I’m still winging it. But I love it.

It all started with my friend, Josh, a writer. Four years ago, he casually mentioned he was making a game because of his love of science fiction. “You can DO that?!?!?” I proclaimed, astonished at the idea that anyone could just make a game, without any sort of plan, experience or company behind them. But it made sense. To design something, all you have to do is create it, and if it’s good enough, the rest will fall into place, right?

I wanted in, so I joined him. We had our fun, but it didn’t work out, so we went our separate ways. Josh kept writing, and I decided to pursue games further. That pursuit led me into a deep, secret underground of game designers, reporters, and enthusiasts that lived right under my nose in New York City. There are meetups every month, week, day even, where people who love games, for whatever reason, congregate and play. I’ve been to mini playtesting sessions with well-established professors and designers, bars where gamers meet consistently every week, and even obscure, loud, and crowded warehouses where I played games that were still in their early stages of existence. Being a part of this community felt like the Kickstarter mentality of helping creators bring their projects to life, except there was more interaction, less expectation, and a more personal connection. It was addicting–a network of individuals who shared my same passions, all manifesting in different ways. I went to every event I could, soaking it all in, trying to retain anything and everything that I came in contact with. I went to classes. I heard designers speak about their experiences. I went to expos where hundreds of people came to play games created by people who just wanted to make games. These people weren’t a part of any company or program, yet they had fully functional, enjoyable games right in front of my face.

But here I was, this kid, this child, this pretender. I didn’t have a degree. I didn’t have work experience. I hadn’t even designed, let alone produced or released a game before! Yet I was a part of this social circle, this community, propelled forward by one, singular drive: the desire to make games. That’s all I wanted; to express myself through my love of games by creating the games I wanted to play. The games I needed to exist. That desire kept pushing me further, pushing me to be better, transforming me into what I had always wanted to be: a game designer.

Influenced by my experiences and interactions with this community, I came up with a game with my girlfriend. It was a simple, little game I didn’t expect to go very far. It had a sardonic feel to it, a theme that was self-deprecating, and it caused its players to act out in silly voices, claim outrageous things, and overall act like a bunch of goofballs. Yet it was fun. It was really fun. And as I kept showing it to people, more and more of them wanted to play. And keep playing. In fact, it became increasingly rare that I would find someone who didn’t like the game.

People started to support me in surprising ways. My girlfriend became my greatest business partner. My best friends started to help playtest and design with me. We developed relationships with other companies. We travelled together, to faraway places, just to play the game. I never would have succeeded in any capacity without their help.

I gave the game a catchy name: ‘Funemployed’. I did a small print run to legitimize it further. I found a publisher. I started a company. I ran a Kickstarter. I went to a convention, and we sold out of stock three times during that weekend. I did a cooking show. I asked my girlfriend to marry me, using the game as my proposal. I found a new publisher. I did a second Kickstarter. I got the game to Amazon. I made an expansion. On and on, each experience built on the next, like a stack of legos forming a giant skyscraper (at least, I hope they’re legos–someone save me if they’re Jenga pieces instead).

While Funemployed went through its transformation, I made more games. Brian and I, with the help of a lot of other people, made a card game. I worked on prototypes for new experiences. I consulted with companies about design. I went to more conventions. On and on, the wheel turned, with nothing driving me forward except that one, singular desire–to create. I didn’t have an MBA that told me how to run a business. I didn’t have a design degree grounded in ‘the meaning of play.’ I didn’t have a network of individuals I could lean on when I started. All I had when I began this journey, the one thing that I can truly attribute to the distance I’ve travelled, is that singular desire, gnawing at my soul, whispering in the back of my head, ever since I held that Game Gear in my hands: you must make games.

I can’t control that voice, that side of me–it owns me. I can’t silence it, I can’t turn it off. It wants to talk. It wants to engage in the conversation of play. It drives me to read textbooks about game design. It drags me to hidden clubs to play local multiplayer games. It wakes me up at 3AM, demanding my attention. It’s loud, it’s obnoxious, and if I let it out, it won’t stop talking. Ever.

That voice will keep going forever–I feel it all the time. But I’ll stop here. For now. I talk about games a lot. When I’m not talking about them, I’m thinking about them. When I’m not thinking about them, I’m playing them. When I’m not playing them, I’m teaching them. Games are a part of my life.

If you ever want to talk to me about games, I’m–well–game! I’m right here on Fetchland. I’m on Twitter. I might even be at a convention. Feel free to say hi, shoot me a tweet, or leave a comment. I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. I’m a game designer, and I’m in the business of doing what I love: making games.

-Anthony Conta