HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >


Cookbooks you didn't know existed


This is pretty strange, found it on Huffington Post.

Seriously, Twilight cookbook? Pink Pony? Star Trek? Really?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Phew Phaedrus, I thought this was opening up a discussion of cookbooks other people know and love and I don't have, I was almost afraid to check!
    That Axis of Evil book keeps coming up in these things, other than the title being rather dated (David Frum, Canadian boy gone bad), it seems an interesting premise.
    I had read that the Sopranos book wasn't too bad as well - since they're shown eating in a lot if not most of the shows, it seems a logical tie-in.
    But Twilight? And most of the others? What the...

    1. I have a Wizard of Oz cookbook someone gave me over 20 years ago and I love it. I've never cooked anything out of it, but it looks nice with my collection of hardcover Wizard of Oz books and I get a chuckle out of reading it. To each his own.

      6 Replies
      1. re: ttoommyy

        I got a Nero Wolfe Cookbook. For those who don't know Nero Wolfe, he is a gourmand/detective. The hero is a long series of books by Rex Stout.

        Long passages are devoted to how Nero Wolfe and his butler/chef Fritz will cook certain dishes. The cook book is actually very interesting and directly quotes passages from the books about the preparations and the dishes.

        But Pink Pony?

        1. re: Phaedrus

          I have a good friend who's a mystery buff (and avid Sherlockian, not that that has anything to do with Nero Wolfe) and has the Nero Wolfe cookbook - he actually cooks from it.

          1. re: buttertart

            I've often thought someone could devise a damned fine cookbook based on the cooking scenes in the late lamented Robert B. Parker's "Spenser" novels.

              1. re: buttertart

                I have it as well. I bought it for myself after reading all of the Nero Wolf books. It is actually good, if dated. You could throw a very cool dinner party from it.

          2. Pat Conroy (author of "The Great Santini" and "Prince of Tides") has his own cookbook. It is excellent; the book is also filled with his memoirs of world travel. Shimp & grits, yeah!

            1. I have the dubious honor of actually owning one of the cookbooks on the list. A well meaning friend knew I watched the Sopranos and that I liked to cook so I received The Sopranos Family Cookbook from her. As somebody noted below it's not a bad cookbook. I've made several recipes, the Mussels in Spicy Tomato Sauce and the Tortellini in Brodo are very good.. It's funny going back and reading the stuff about the TV series...it all seems so long ago!

              1. I have the Little House Cookbook, based on the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, which contain many, many descriptions of food and cooking. The authors have tried to recreate the foods described in the books, and how they would be prepared in the late 19th century in the homesteading and rural small-town situations in which the lived. Pretty interesting stuff.

                I had a Winnie-the-Pooh cookbook, and I have seen a Star Wars cookbook (the latter full of things like Wookie Cookies and the like - not very impressive, but I guess meant to be kid pleasing).

                6 Replies
                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  I've been hearing about the Little House book for a while, I must look into it. Sounds up one of my streets!

                  1. re: buttertart

                    I have a little house cookbook filled with Laura's recipes - she loved to cook. It is an interesting cookbook with lots of little tidbits for the reader as well.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      It's The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Classic Stories, by Barbara M. Walker (with illustrations by Garth Williams, from the books). I have the original hardback, which my mother gave me as a gift.


                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                        Thanks Caitlin, those mother's gift cookbooks are quite special.

                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                          Actually it is the Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook


                          i just ordered the one you are talking about.

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                            My mother gave me the The Little House Cookbook when I was little. I was a huge fan of the Little House series and the cookbook thrilled me!

                      2. I think these cookbooks are meant to expand the "universe" of the book or shows they are related to. Some of them are probably meant to be taken seriously, like the Sopranos' cookbook (I worked for the publisher when this came out and it really is not a bad cookbook for Italian-American recipes) and others, like the Wizard of Oz cookbook I have, are meant to be taken lightly and are for die-hard fans only. I really don't see what the big deal is.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ttoommyy

                          The pink pony cookbook is geared toward parents and grandparents who want to cook with their kids. I see nothing wrong with that. Anything that gets people cooking and eating at home again, I am in favor of.

                        2. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling, Cross Creek, The Sojourner, 8 other books, and numerous short stories wrote The Cross Creek Cookery in 1942. It recreates the meals written about in the novel of the same name.

                          Roald Dahl, the children's author also wrote a cookbook, "Roald Dahl's Cookbook." It was tha last boo he wrote before he died in 1990.

                          Earlier this year I bought "Brunetti's Cookbook" which does the same thing. Donna Leon who authored a series of 19 mysteries set in Venice whose main character is Commassario Guido Brunetti wrote the book with her friend,Robert Pinaro. The book brings to life the multi-course lunches and simple but satisfying dinners the Commissario has each day with his family. 19 Books worth. I've cooked a few recipes and have enjoyed each one.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Gio

                            Roadld Dahl has a pretty strange sense of humor about him. I would think his cook cookbook would be kind of gross.

                            I actually would be curious to see an Inspector Montalbano cookbook. He is the brainchild of Andrea Camilleri, and I found his writing about Sicilian foods much more engrossing than Donna Leon.

                            1. re: Phaedrus

                              Oh absolutely a Montalbano cookbook is in order! I've read all that series too. Some of the lunches he has in his favorite tratoria sound wonderful. And, I'm always interested to read about the delictable meals his housekeeper, Adelina, leaves in the oven or fridge for him. One reviewer has said, "Montalbano possesses a finicky palate which only the most exquisitely prepared dishes will satisfy." Italian mysteries are all about the food.

                              1. re: Phaedrus

                                About the Dahl book, actually the book is about his beautiful life with his beloved family and friends. And his love of onions, wine and chocolate, of course. Although one chapter is titled "Hangman's Suppers" and has contributions by Francis Bacon, P.D. James (whom I love), John Le Carre, Peter Ustinov and others.

                                1. re: Gio

                                  Roald talked to "us teachers" when I worked in Norway. His parents were Norwegian. Wonderful man.

                              2. re: Gio

                                I took a look at the Brunetti cookbook: I was not impressed. Nice mystery series, but as a cookbook, you could do far better.

                              3. I have a copy of Aunt Bea's Mayberry Cookbook.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Antilope

                                  We found one of those last summer when we were cleaning our cupboards and packing stuff up in preparartion for a major remodel. Not sure if we kept it or sent it to the Goodwill

                                2. I just received in the mail today, The Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook by Gertrude Berg and Myra Waldo. It was first published in 1955. I was looking for The Goldbergs television show (1949-1956) on DVD and came across the cookbook. "Molly Goldberg" introduces some of the recipes with stories about her family and friends and food.

                                  1. I've got a Mickey Mouse Cookbook (Really!), Alice B. Toklas Cookbook (No brownie recipe) and, a little different, Psyche Delicasies "coffee, chocolate, chiles, kava and cannabis, and why they're good for you", by Chris Kilham.
                                    Most importantly, I found today in an old box of my teaching materials the major project from a high school Latin American Lit. class. A student created a Latin American cookbook, complete w/ photos, entitled South of the Border, An Adventure in Latin American Food. It is very, very well done. Before each recipe is a food quotation from the works we read.
                                    I reread the introduction and am humbled. I often forget what a huge impact a teacher can have on students.

                                    1. And of course Zasu Pitts' Candy Hits, by the silent film star rumored to be the model for Olive Oyl, was for decades the only reliable candy cookbook in existence. Copies went for a fortune when you could find them.

                                      1. has the horribly named Cooking with Pooh been mentioned? I keep looking for a copy to add to my collection. Seriously did no one think twice about the name?

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: pickychicky1979

                                          "Seriously did no one think twice about the name?"

                                          Ah, but maybe they did... [:)]

                                          1. re: ttoommyy

                                            When I was very young back in the 70's I remember seeing a Nancy Drew Cookbook.

                                            1. re: syrup09

                                              I have the Nancy Drew cookbook someplace. I just saw it awhile ago, and I am sure I kept it...... I remember cooking from it when I was in elementary school.

                                          2. re: pickychicky1979

                                            "Cooking with Pooh" ... I've seriously been chuckling at my desk for a full three minutes now. Every time I repeat it to myself, I just can't stop laughing (as quietly as possible)

                                          3. I have a Vincent Price cook book from the 50's I got it at an estate sale for $1.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Jay D.

                                              An oddly solid cookbook. He took his food very seriously.

                                              1. re: Jay D.

                                                Both the Konigsberger Klopse and Whiskey au Capon are favorites at our house. Vincent Price was a serious cook; there are some great recipes in this book.

                                                1. Lark's Rise Recipe Book by Mary Norwak. I think that I've mentioned it on the boards previously. The recipes are interestingboth for their flavour and as an insight into 19thC English country life.

                                                  I don't know whether it's still in print, but given that my local PBS affiliate is showing Lark's Rise to Candleford, it might be reprinted.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                    That is a wonderful book (the original one, haven't seen the cookbook). I'll have to look for the PBS thing. Another one that is along the same line(and has a lot about food and food preparation in it) is Lost Country Life by Dorothy Hartley. A delight.

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      I wonder if there was ever an Upstairs, Downstairs cookbook - in the series, much was made of Mrs. Bridges' menu planning and execution. The series is being revived, in a way - focussing on a new cast of characters living in Eaton Place in the late 1930's.

                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                        How fun re the revival - seems to me there was a cookbook? or one for The Duchess of Duke Street?

                                                  2. I just received an early birthday parcel from my best, though distant, friend. It includes a copy of a 2008 book, "Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States: A Dinner Party Approach to International Relations". The widely-traveled author is American whose expertise is in the field of South Asian political/military affairs, who includes the US among the "irritating" states. Just skimming through, it appears to be an amalgam of political facts, acerbic commentary, anecdotal trivia, and easy-to-prepare menus which include timing in relation to guests' arrival. For example, the Pakistan chapter "aims to feed 8 Tora Bora cave dwellers....", with a menu including Chapli Kebabs, Peshawari Chana, Kebab Qabergha, Naan, Pullow, and Sheer Seemiyan As for beverages, she suggests kehva, a green tea popular on the frontier near Peshawar, but also writes, "However, as a proud daughter of the Great Satan (or Shetan-e-Bozurg or bara shetan, as they would say in Peshawar), I will recommend a pleasant Shiraz (or Sirah) or perhaps an Indian pale ale. The latter may seem a strange choice, but in 1947 the folks of Peshawar actually wanted to stay with India - not Pakistan." Beer Butt Chicken is the main course in the American chapter.

                                                    1. My first cookbook was The Charlie Brown Cookbook (maybe called The Peanuts Cookbook? Can't remember.) I was known, as a girl for my "Lucy's Lemon Squares," which my family took to calling "L------'s Lemon Squares," as my name also begins with an "L." The last time I made lemon squares, and used some recipe I found online, they weren't too good, so I searched a bit more online and found somewhere (don't remember where now) the original book, with some of the pages in PDF form. I copied the recipe into my own files, so now I recreate them as I made them umm-hmmm-mumble-mumble-mumble years ago!!

                                                      1. Reprising this two year old thread is a fun read. To bring it up-to-date is a new book I've been reading about: "The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook: From Lady Mary's Crab Canapes to Mrs. Patmore's Christmas Pudding - More Than 150 Recipes from Upstairs and Downstairs" by Emily Ansara Baines. Here it is at Amazon...


                                                        It has a clutch of appalled detractors and a horde of delighted fans. I don't think I'd bother, though.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                          Ethel's kidney souffle? I'll pass ;-)k

                                                          Although throwing a party without a working stove might come in handy if the power goes out during Winter Storm Nemo this weekend...