Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.― C.S. Lewis
Hosting during the holidays is always festive and fun. At least, that’s how we remember it. Year after year we conveniently forget how stressful and overwhelming it can be to host family and friends.
Unfortunately, I am not here to tell you how to manage that part. The best I can do is help make the whole situation a little more exciting for you. For me, incorporating my favourite things into whatever it is I am doing always makes the situation better.
So, let’s talk about food. What’s a party without food? A party I don’t want to be at, that’s for sure. Anyway, if I’m expected to feed my guests, it’s going to come out of a book-themed cookbook!
P.S. These would all make great Christmas gifts, too!
P.P.S. All links are to Indigo, a Canadian Bookseller. No, I wasn’t paid for this. Neverthless, I am compelled to let you know that I am an Indigo employee. You can find all these cookbooks at Barnes and Noble and Amazon, no doubt, for our American readers.
For the Classics Lover
JANE AUSTEN’S PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: A BOOK-TO-TABLE CLASSIC (PUFFIN PLATED)
A deluxe, full-color hardback edition of the perennial Jane Austen classic featuring a selection of recipes for tea-time treats by the one and only Martha Stewart!
Have your book and eat it, too, with this clever edition of a classic novel, featuring delicious recipes from celebrity chefs. In this edition of Jane Austen”s regency classic Pride and Prejudice, plan a fancy tea party or book club gathering with recipes for sweet confections and pastries. From maple glazed scones and delicate sugar and spice cake, to berry tartlets and French macaroons. Bring your friends and family together with a good meal and a good book!
Book includes full, unabridged text of Jane Austen”s Pride and Prejudice, interspersed with recipes, food photography, and special food artwork. (Description from Indigo.)
For the Fiction Lover
OUTLANDER KITCHEN: THE OFFICIAL OUTLANDER COMPANION COOKBOOK
Take a bite out of Diana Gabaldon’s New York Times bestselling Outlander novels, the inspiration for the hit Starz series, with this immersive official cookbook from Outlander Kitchen founder Theresa Carle-Sanders!
“If you thought Scottish cuisine was all porridge and haggis washed down with a good swally of whiskey, Outlander Kitchen’s here to prove you wrong.”—Entertainment Weekly
Claire Beauchamp Randall’s incredible journey from postwar Britain to eighteenth-century Scotland and France is a feast for all five senses, and taste is no exception. From Claire’s first lonely bowl of porridge at Castle Leoch to the decadent roast beef served after her hasty wedding to Highland warrior Jamie Fraser, from gypsy stew and jam tarts to fried chicken and buttermilk drop biscuits, there are enough mouth-watering meals along the way to whet the appetite of even the most demanding palate.
Now professional chef and founder of Outlander Kitchen Theresa Carle-Sanders offers up this extraordinary cuisine for your table. Featuring more than one hundred recipes, Outlander Kitchen retells Claire and Jamie’s incredible story through the flavors of the Scottish Highlands, the French Revolution, and beyond. Yet amateur chefs need not fear: These doable, delectable recipes have been updated for today’s modern kitchens. Here are just a few of the dishes that will keep the world of Outlander on your mind morning, noon, and nicht:
• Breakfast: YeastedBuckwheat Pancakes; A Coddled Egg for Duncan; Bacon, Asparagus, and Wild Mushroom Omelette
• Appetizers: Cheese Savories; Rolls with Pigeons and Truffles; Beer-Battered Corn Fritters
• Soups & Stocks: Cock-a-Leekie Soup; Murphy’s Beef Broth; Drunken Mock-Turtle Soup
• Mains: Peppery Oyster Stew; Slow-Cooked Chicken Fricassee; Conspirators’ Cassoulet
• Sides: Auld Ian’s Buttered Leeks; Matchstick Cold-Oil Fries; Honey-Roasted Butternut Squash
• Bread & Baking: Pumpkin Seed and Herb Oatcakes; Fiona’s Cinnamon Scones; Jocasta’s Auld Country Bannocks
• Sweets & Desserts: Black Jack Randall’s Dark Chocolate Lavender Fudge; Warm Almond Pastry with Father Anselm; Banoffee Trifle at River Run
With full-color photographs and plenty of extras—including cocktails, condiments, and preserves—Outlander Kitchen is an entertainment experience to savor, a wide-ranging culinary crash course, and a time machine all rolled into one. Forget bon appétit. As the Scots say, ith do leòr! (Description from Indigo)
*If you like this cookbook, check out the second one!
For the Fantasy Lover
A FEAST OF ICE & FIRE: THE OFFICIAL COMPANION COOKBOOK
Ever wonder what it’s like to attend a feast at Winterfell? Wish you could split a lemon cake with Sansa Stark, scarf down a pork pie with the Night’s Watch, or indulge in honeyfingers with Daenerys Targaryen?
George R. R. Martin’s bestselling saga A Song of Ice and Fire and the runaway hit HBO series Game of Thrones are renowned for bringing Westeros’s sights and sounds to vivid life. But one important ingredient has always been missing: the mouthwatering dishes that form the backdrop of this extraordinary world. Now, fresh out of the series that redefined fantasy, comes the cookbook that may just redefine dinner . . . and lunch, and breakfast.
A passion project from superfans and amateur chefs Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer—and endorsed by George R. R. Martin himself—A Feast of Ice and Fire lovingly replicates a stunning range of cuisines from across the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. From the sumptuous delicacies enjoyed in the halls of power at King’s Landing, to the warm and smoky comfort foods of the frozen North, to the rich, exotic fare of the mysterious lands east of Westeros, there’s a flavor for every palate, and a treat for every chef.
These easy-to-follow recipes have been refined for modern cooking techniques, but adventurous eaters can also attempt the authentic medieval meals that inspired them. The authors have also suggested substitutions for some of the more fantastical ingredients, so you won’t have to stock your kitchen with camel, live doves, or dragon eggs to create meals fit for a king (or a khaleesi). In all, A Feast of Ice and Fire contains more than 100 recipes, divided by region:
• The Wall: Rack of Lamb and Herbs; Pork Pie; Mutton in Onion-Ale Broth; Mulled Wine; Pease Porridge
• The North: Beef and Bacon Pie; Honeyed Chicken; Aurochs with Roasted Leeks; Baked Apples
• The South: Cream Swans; Trout Wrapped in Bacon; Stewed Rabbit; Sister’s Stew; Blueberry Tarts
• King’s Landing: Lemon Cakes; Quails Drowned in Butter; Almond Crusted Trout; Bowls of Brown; Iced Milk with Honey
• Dorne: Stuffed Grape Leaves; Duck with Lemons; Chickpea Paste
• Across the Narrow Sea: Biscuits and Bacon; Tyroshi Honeyfingers; Wintercakes; Honey-Spiced Locusts
There’s even a guide to dining and entertaining in the style of the Seven Kingdoms. Exhaustively researched and reverently detailed, accompanied by passages from all five books in the series and full-color photographs guaranteed to whet your appetite, this is the companion to the blockbuster phenomenon that millions of stomachs have been growling for. And remember, winter is coming—so don’t be afraid to put on a few pounds. Includes a Foreword by George R. R. Martin. (Description from Indigo)
For the Comic Book Lover
WONDER WOMAN: THE OFFICIAL COOKBOOK
Cook like an Amazon with this official cookbook inspired by DC Comics’ beloved Super Hero Wonder Woman.
An enduring symbol of truth, justice, and equality, Wonder Woman has inspired comic readers of all ages for nearly eighty years with her unwavering moral compass and commitment to preserving peace on Earth. Now, fans can celebrate their love of this iconic hero with this fun vegetarian cookbook inspired by all things Wonder Woman. Illustrated by gorgeous full-color photography, the book features over 50 delectable recipes—including Paradise Island Pancakes, Justice League Lasagna, and Golden Lasso Peach Shortcake—for cooks of all skill levels. With simple recipe instructions, gorgeous photography, and prepared menus for several delightful Wonder Woman–themed parties, this is the perfect cookbook to share with friends, family, and Amazon warriors both big and small. (Description from Indigo)
Are there any literary cookbooks you love cooking out of? Let me know in the comments!