If you’re anything like me, you’d probably love to actually be able to live in your favorite TV shows, at least for a little while. This is why I loved discovering these cookbooks with recipes either inspired by or actually lifted from great shows.
If you’ve got someone on your gift list who likes TV and to cook, these could be for them…
A cookbook based on a show set in the zombie apocalypse might not seem too appetizing, but this book looks like a must-have for any fan of the AMC show. Written by professional cook and zombie nerd Lauren Wilson, this cookbook is filled with fun recipes as well as helpful tips. Chapter one teaches food survival basics, including a list of the minimum supplies you should keep handy, useful items for your survival kit or “bug-out bag” (BOB for short), and where to store your cache so it’s easily accessible when the zombies attack. Other chapters are named for the type of surviving you need and filled with appropriate recipes, like Homestead Home Fries and The Governor’s Welcome Scramble in Chapter 2: Fueling Up for Survival, and Apocalypse Sweet Sun Tea and Honey Mead in Chapter 5: End of World Beverages and Libations. Complete with stills from the long-running show, this cookbook makes a great collectible.
The characters of Game of Thrones might be known for warring and destruction, but all that activity builds up an appetite. So it’s so fun to find a cookbook that celebrates all the food devoured on the show, in the pubs, on the road, and during feasts—make sure you leave out the poison. A FEAST OF ICE AND FIRE features more than 100 recipes from six areas. The Wall offers dishes like Rack of Lamb and Herbs, Mutton in Onion-Ale Broth and Pease Porridge. The North has Beef and Bacon Pie, Honeyed Chicken and Baked Apples. In The South, you can find Cream Swans, Sister’s Stew and Blueberry Tarts. At King’s Landing, you can taste Quails Drowned in Butter, Lemon Cakes and Iced Milk with Honey. Stuffed Grape Leaves are on the Dorne menu, along with Duck with Lemons and Chickpea Paste, and Across the Narrow Sea, learn to cook up Tyroshi Honeyfingers, Wintercakes and Honey-Spiced Locusts. The authors, Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lahrer, show how much they love the show by providing tips on stocking a medieval kitchen, as well as how to dine and entertain as though you’re in the Seven Kingdoms. Of course, there are beautiful photographs that’ll make you drool, as there should be in every good cookbook. Plus, George R.R. Martin, the author of the best-selling books on which the HBO show is based, writes an amusing introduction.
Food is such a big part of any Italian family, and the Sopranos is no exception. So this cookbook seems like a natural. To add to the fun, it’s filled with the show’s characters. Artie Bucco, the show’s favorite chef, writes the introduction, plus there’s a Q&A with Furio Giunta and a conversation with Corrado Soprano Jr about the Soprano family traditions. The recipes look scrumptious and include classics like Lasagne, Steak Pizzaiol, and Braciole, as well as Sunday Gravy, Honey Balls, Janice’s Vegetarian Baked Ziti and Livia’s Fried Mushrooms. The cookbook is written by Allen Rucker with recipes by Michelle Scicolone, and was published by HBO, so it has the show’s approval.
If there was ever a no-brainer TV-inspired cookbook, it’s this one! Show creator Loren Bouchard wrote this book using recipes by Cole Bowden, and they look good. The book begins with some basics: “How to Cook a Basic Burger Best” and “How to Cook Your Own Fries Flawlessly”. The recipes themselves are as hilarious as they look delicious, like Eggers Can’t Be Cheesers Burder, Sweaty Palms Burger, and the Poutine On the Ritz Burger. Many include drawings from the show, and all tell you which episode the burger was featured on, like I Heartichoke You Burger on Season 3, Episode 3: My Fuzzy Valentine. Animated burgers never tasted this good.
Full disclosure, I’ve never watched The Gilmore Girls, but it’s one I need to binge-watch on Netflix one day. I’ve always heard great things. This cookbook looks like a great introduction and has good reviews. Written by Kristi Carlson with photographs by Bonnie Matthews, the book has 100 recipes and an introduction with Kristi and the others involved with the book showing their love for the TV show. Recipes are broken into all the great comfort food areas: “Pancakes, French Toast, Omelet & Cereals”, “Muffins, Rolls, Bread & Scones”, “Burgers & Sandwiches”, “Cookies, Cakes & Ice Creams” and others. Plus the cookbook begins with a special feature: “Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!”, with instructions to get the best brew as well as recipes like Mocha Chocolate Caramel Whirl-a-Chino, even with adjustments to make it “The Sookie Way” or “The Lorelai Way”.
Whether you’d like to dine upstairs in style or downstairs and be more relaxed, there’s no denying that the world of Downton Abbey is filled with delicious food. So it’s no surprise—and only delightful!—that there’s a cookbook for the show. THE OFFICIAL DOWNTON ABBEY COOKBOOK contains more than 100 recipes split into an Upstairs Menu and a Downstairs Menu. Among the tasty treats on the Upstairs Menu are Oysters Au Gratin, Chicken Vol-an-Vents, and Quail and Watercress. Go Downstairs, and you can try Toad-in-the-Hole, Beef Stew with Dumplings and Jam and Custard Tarts. Plus there are stills from the movie and lovely photographs of the dishes themselves, served as though they’re on Downton Abbey’s tables. The book is written by food historian Annie Gray, who gives us a peek into the time period for every recipe. You can also feel secure knowing the cookbook has the stamp of approval from the show itself, because there’s a foreward written by executive producer Gareth Neame. Pair with book with THE UNOFFICIAL DOWNTON ABBEY COOKBOOK, EXPANDED EDITION: FROM LADY MARY’S CRAB CANAPES TO CHRISTMAS PLUM PUDDING–MORE THAN 150 RECIPES FROM UPSTAIRS AND DOWNSTAIRS for diehard fans.
From Murphy’s Beef Broth to A Coddled Egg for Duncan and Black Jack Randall’s Dark Chocolate Lavender Fudge for dessert, this cookbook sounds authentic. And it should, it has the blessing of Outlander author Diana Gabaldon, who wrote a funny foreword for the cookbook. True fans of the book series will love that. But even those fans who’ve fallen in love only with the show on Starz will get a kick out of making their own Cock-a-Leekie Soup, Peppery Oyster Stew, Conspirators’ Cassoulet, Fiona’s Cinnamon Scones, Jocasta’s Auld Country Bannocks and Banoffee Trifle at River Run. The recipes are developed by Theresa Carle-Sanders, a professional cook whose journey to this book began with the website OutlanderKitchen.com. She has produced a cookbook with gorgeous photos, wonderful cooking tips and a lot of heart. And if the person you buy this for loves it, you can follow it up with OUTLANDER KITCHEN: TO THE NEW WORLD AND BACK AGAIN—THE SECOND OFFICIAL OUTLANDER COMPANION COOKBOOK, written by the same team. That book won’t be available until June 2, 2020, but you can pre-order now and knock one name off your 2020 gift shopping list.
What do you think of these cookbooks? Who would you give them to?