14 #SciFi #Fantasy and Game-Based Cookbooks for the Holidays

VS Note: Portions of this post first appeared in the Roswell Daily Record.

This is one of my favorite posts to do every year – a selection of cookbooks based on favorite movies, TV shows and games. All the books mentioned are new-to-me finds or were released since I did my post a year ago so there are a ton of new recipes waiting for you and your family in the pages.

I always like to begin with a bang, so here is the Star Wars: Galactic Baking: The Official Cookbook of Sweet and Savory Treats From Tatooine, Hoth, and Beyond Hardcover by Insight Editions.  The blurb: Get ready to tour the galaxy with this baking cookbook inspired by the snowdrifts of Hoth, the wastelands of Tatooine, and beyond. Star Wars: The Official Baking Cookbook is the most delicious way to experience the planets, flora, and fauna of the Star Wars galaxy. Whether you’re throwing a watch party or hosting members of the Galactic Senate, this cookbook is a must-have for fans of all ages.

Over thirty mouthwatering recipes: Star Wars: The Official Baking Cookbook features recipes such as Mustafarian Molten Lava Cakes, Cloud City Marshmallows, Life Day Cake, Loth-Cat Kibble, Keshian Spice Bread, Dagobah Bog Pie, and more.

Bake your way through the galaxy: Packed with stunning food photography that’s sure to inspire your inner chef, this cookbook will transport you to planets such as Kashyyyk, Jakku, Endor, Bespin, Coruscant, and everywhere in between.

For all skill levels: All types of bakers—from Padawans to Jedi Masters—will be able to enjoy recipes based on the Star Wars galaxy, from the Skywalker Saga to Star Wars Rebels.”

The movie “Aliens” is my favorite scifi film but I approached the Alien: The Official Cookbook by Chris-Rachael Oseland with a bit of trepidation, not sure the fifty recipes would be a good thing, given the nature of the dreaded creatures (I’m kidding!). Fortunately, the description of the book’s contents is reassuring: Delight your friends with a journey through the Xenomorph’s terrifying life cycle. Alien: The Official Cookbook collects together 50 recipes inspired by the cult Alien franchise; featuring recipes such as avocado Xenomorph eggs and chicken facehugger cordon bleu, there’s something to whet every appetite, no matter how monstrous. Whether you’re a fan of the Alien franchise, or you’re just looking for the perfect quirky appetizers, this cookbook will thrill the eyes and the tastebuds. At last, it is your turn to be space’s greatest apex predator.

Just the same, I might pass on that one.

On the fantasy side of the kitchen, we have The Gourmet Cuisine of Narnia: A Cookbook with Magnificent Recipes from Narnia by Johny Bomer.  Some of the dishes on offer in this cookbook are Edmund’s favorite Turkish Delight,  Centaurs’ Special Herbal tea, Mr. Beaver’s Fried Fish,  Jill and Eustace’s Crumble Cake and  Mr. Tumnus’s Sugar topped cake.

Even more comprehensive is Cooking for Wizards, Warriors and Dragons: 125 unofficial recipes inspired by The Witcher, Game of Thrones, The Broken Earth and other fantasy favorites  – Illustrated, by Thea James, Isabel Minunni and Tim Foley (Illustrator). The description portion of the book’s blurb was quite mouthwatering: “Fortify yourself for the road with classic dishes, such as Pernese Meatrolls or Geralt’s Life Saving Chicken Sando. Embrace your dark side with King’s Landing Barbecue smoked meats a la Daenerys, channel your inner Saruman with Charred Broccoli Stalk Salad, or a Fifth Season-inspired Solving the Meat Shortage Osso Bucco. Learn to make your own Grishaverse-inspired Butter Week Cakes or Orïshan Coconut Pie, and try your hand at a Spiritwalkerverse-inspired Lamb Tajine. Organized by different meal types and ingredients (including Breakfasts & Second Breakfasts, Soups & Stews, The Hunt, The Farm, The Catch, Snacks & Sides, and Desserts), Cooking for Wizards, Warriors and Dragons includes illustrations from noted artist Tim Foley and recipes developed and tested by professional chef Isabel Minunni. With five bonus feast spreads, this grimoire is sure to sate hungry readers from any realm.”

Although it’s past Halloween, the movie ‘Hocus Pocus’ has year round fans sure to be delighted by The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook: Bewitchingly Delicious Recipes for Fans of the Halloween by Bridget Thoreson. As a portion of the blurb shows, the recipes can be quite creative: “…filled with over 60 recipes for fare inspired by everyone’s favorite witches and their spells, potions, and schemes. It is the ultimate must-have for fans of all ages—but don’t worry, no children were harmed in the test of these recipes. Inside you’ll find frightfully delicious recipes for: Burning Rain of Death Punch, William’s Wormy Grave Tombstone Cake, Dead Man’s Toes Sausage Appetizers, Baked Witch Casserole, “Way to Go, Virgin” mocktails and much more!”

Another Halloween-related cookbook is The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide by Kim Laidlaw, Jody Revenson and Caroline Hall. The volume promises to help you cook and entertain year round and contains a section dedicated to party planning, as well as “…over fifty mouthwatering recipes for appetizers, entrees, desserts, and drinks inspired by the movie—with options for sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegetarian guests.”

Cooking can be thirsty work, plus beverages are required to pair with the gourmet delicacies, so check out The Unofficial Disney Parks Drink Recipe Book: From LeFou’s Brew to the Jedi Mind Trick, 100+ Magical Disney-Inspired Drinks (Unofficial Cookbook)by Ashley Craft . Here are a few of the offerings to be found inside the cookbook: “…coffees and teas, like Frozen Cappuccino from Joffrey’s and Teddy’s Tea from Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar…-Fruity drinks and slushies like Frozen Sunshine from Beaches and Cream and the Goofy Glacier from Goofy’s Candy Company…-Mocktails and cocktails like the Sparkling No-Jito from the Tambu Lounge or the La Cava Avocado from Mexico in Epcot…-And dessert drinks like the Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake from 50’s Prime Time Café or the Dole Whip Float from Aloha Isle.”

For the superhero/comics fan, there’s Marvel Comics: Cooking with Deadpool by Marc Sumerac. The blurb is a bit tongue in cheek, as is the superhero himself and promises: “Deadpool brings his inimitable style, foul-mouthed humor, and notorious skill with a blade to the kitchen in this hilarious take on a traditional cookbook, featuring classic recipes with a Deadpool spin and a whole lotta chimichangas. … Deadpool offers his take on a curated collection of epicurean classics. Narrated by the wisecracking super hero (and sexy master chef) himself, this book also includes recipes inspired by some of his closest friends/enemies (Here’s lookin’ at you, Spidey) and his favorite meals, including chimichangas, tacos, pancakes, and hamburgers with no pickles.”

“Avatar The Last Airbender” was a very popular show at my house so I was glad to see Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Official Cookbook: Recipes from the Four Nations by Jenny Dorsey. The book contains sixty recipes drawn from the Earth Kingdom, Water Tribe, Air Nomads, and the Fire Nation, designed to be appropriate to each area, like vegetarian dishes for the Air Nomads.

The Ultimate Final Fantasy XIV Cookbook: The Essential Culinarian Guide to Hydaelyn by Victoria Rosenthal has an exclusive forward by the game’s director and contains over 70 recipes ranging from “…Farmer’s Breakfast, a very famous and simple-yet-delightful dish; savor the Knight’s Bread of Coerthas; dive into La Noscea’s Rolanberry Cheesecake, and many more.” The blurb also mentioned desserts decadent enough for royalty, which sound good to me.

A second gaming themed cookbook by the same author is Fallout: The Vault Dweller’s Official Cookbook by Victoria Rosenthal, released in 2018. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic time and so the cookbook offers recipes  “…based on the irradiated delicacies of the world of Bethesda Entertainment’s Fallout, this Vault-Tec–approved cookbook provides fans of the award-winning series with recipes inspired by their favorite Fallout foods. Whip up tasty versions of the Mirelurk egg omelette, throw some deathclaw meat on the grill, and re-create BlamCo Mac & Cheese…”

If world trotting adventure and gaming is more your style, try Tomb Raider: The Official Cookbook and Travel Guide (Gaming) by Sebastian Haley, Tara Theoharis and Meagan Marie. Here’s part of the blurb: “…recipes based on the cultural history of the many locations Lara Croft has visited throughout her 25 years of global adventures—bringing the taste back home to you. Inspired by the hit Tomb Raider videogame franchise, this book features over 40 recipes from the many locations Lara Croft visits and explores across the globe, with food and drinks inspired by key characters and locations. Also included is expert information on the cultural history of the many beautiful cities and countries to which she travels. A global exploration, this unique cookbook and travel guide takes fans on an exclusive journey across the planet chasing the thrills and adventures of Lara Croft. Featuring beautiful full color photography as well as stunning art from the games, this is the ultimate gift for fans, travelers, and food aficionados alike…” There are over 40 recipes.

On a more genteel note, The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook (Downton Abbey Cookery) by Annie Gray was released in 2019. This one might not quite fit with the others I’ve found, but I couldn’t resist. The description: “Whether adapted from original recipes of the period, replicated as seen or alluded to on screen, or typical of the time, all the recipes reflect the influences found on the Downton Abbey tables. Food historian Annie Gray gives a rich and fascinating insight into the background of the dishes that were popular between 1912 and 1926, when Downton Abbey is set —a period of tremendous change and conflict, as well as culinary development. With a foreword by Gareth Neame, executive producer and co-creator of Downton Abbey, and featuring over 100 stunning color photographs, The Downton Abbey Cookbook also includes a special section on hosting Downton-themed dinner parties and presents stills from across the TV series as well as the latest film. Notes on the etiquette and customs of the times, quotes from the characters, and descriptions of the scenes in which the foods appear provide vivid context for the dishes. The recipes are grouped by occasion, which include breakfast; luncheons and suppers; afternoon tea and garden parties; picnics, shoots and race meets; festivities; upstairs dinner; downstairs dinner; downstairs supper and tea; and the still room.”

The Upstairs menu includes recipes like Cornish Pasties, Sausage Rolls and Oysters au Gratin while the Downstairas menu has Toad-in-the-Hole, Beef Stew with Dumplings and Steak and Kidney Pie. Cakes, tarts and dessert recipes included!

Gudetama: The Official Cookbook: Recipes for Living a Lazy Life Hardcover by Sanrio and, Jenn Fujikawa is based on the cartoon character Gudetama, who is literally a lazy egg, created by the Sanrio company. It is part of the hugely popular Hello Kitty world.

From the blurb: “Inspired by everyone’s favorite egg with the can’t-be-bothered attitude, Gudetama: The Official Cookbook is an illustrated cookbook celebrating lazy living and easy cooking, with fun and delicious recipes from classic dishes to comfort meals.

Gudetama’s name literally translates to “lazy egg,” and it’s how we all feel sometimes when it comes to cooking. But if you’re the kind of chef who doesn’t have time for complicated meals or long lists of ingredients, this cookbook is for you. From Japanese fare to pizza, egg salad, burgers, and tacos, this officially licensed cookbook will show you how to feast the lazy way with a collection of craveable comfort recipes inspired by everyone’s favorite lazy egg with the can’t-be-bothered attitude…Organized into sections like barely awake breakfasts, lazy lunches, drowsy dinners, and tired treats, included here are 60 recipes, each helpfully including a lazy meter so you know just how much effort or lack thereof you’ll need to execute each dish…”

I think these cookbooks have you covered for every contingency during the holiday season. Happy cooking!


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