Since this time of the year tends to focus on food and gatherings of friends and family where much eating takes place, I thought it’d be fun to put together a list of science fiction and fantasy related cookbooks.
Now I’m not a great chef in this galaxy or the next one, so I must hasten to add I can’t personally recommend any of them based on my own experience. I relied on reviews and reader comments and other entirely informal criteria of my own to pick twelve I wanted to showcase for you. The number kept growing as I found more and more I couldn’t bear to leave out!
Being a dessert fan, the one that caught my eye first was Wookie Cookies: A Star Wars Cookbook by Robin Davis. Apparently the level is aimed more for children as one of their first forays into the kitchen and not so much for serious adult cooks. Here’s the blurb: Boba Fett-Uccine and Princess Leia Danish Dos are just the beginning when the Force is with you in the kitchen. Wookiee Cookies is your invitation to fine culinary experiences in the Star Wars frame of mind. From C-3PO Pancakes to Jedi Juice Bars, this intergalactic Star Wars cookbook features healthy snacks, delicious dishes, sweet treats, and easy main courses no Rebel can resist. The ebook includes hilarious photos and safety tips for cooking on Earth as well as in most space stations. Age is no issue when it comes to Star Wars cuisine-kids as well as adults will have a great time with this book. Whether you drove to your first Star Wars flick or just had your fifth birthday, there’s no reason you can’t whip up some Crazy Cantina Chili at near light speed.
Still in a Star Wars mood, I moved on to The Star Wars Cookbook: BB-Ate: Awaken to the Force of Breakfast and Brunch by Lara Star and Matthew Carden (Photographer). While again this seemed to be more of a fun with kids type book, it had quite a few positive reviews and the “Luke Skywaffles” sound great. The blurb: Awaken your inner Force with 29 intergalactic breakfast recipes. Fuel up with Hans Soloatmeal, battle hunger with Admiral Ackbars, and so much more! These easy-to-make, mouthwatering recipes feature characters and scenes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well as from the upcoming film Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And photographs featuring Star Wars figurines re-creating epic moments from the films provide an extra helping of humor.
While there are other Star Wars-based cookbooks out there, I thought it was time for Star Trek recipes and happened upon Star Trek Cookbook by Ethan Phillips and William J. Birnes. This book appears to be more grounded in the series – apparently there’s even a recipe for cat food for Commander Data’s pet Spot. The reviews seem to indicate the book is a mix of anecdotes and versions of food and drink that appeared on the program, with overall high marks for being a fun read. The blurb: Is there one food that humans, Klingons, Bajorans, and Vulcans would like? If so, what would it taste like? How would you prepare it? Could you find all the ingredients locally?
This is the task that faces Neelix, chef for the U.S.S. Voyager™, every time he takes on the challenge of trying to feed its crew of 140 food critics. But over the course of their journey, Neelix’s learned a few tricks of the trade. He had to, just as a matter of self-preservation.
Ethan Phillips, in the persona of Neelix, and William J. Birnes, the New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Day After Roswell, throw wide the vaults of interstellar haute cuisine, revealing for the first time the secret preparation techniques behind all those exotic dishes and drinks. The favorite foods of characters from every Star Trek series and movie are here, all adapted for easy use in twentieth-century kitchens. The Star Trek Cookbook also features a complete guide for whipping up the all the drinks served at Quark’s.
Fun, and easy to use, the Star Trek Cookbook is your indispensable guide to the food of the stars!
On a whim I searched for a ‘Firefly’-themed cookbook and found one! Firefly – The Big Damned Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel (who as you’ll see throughout this post seems to have made a specialty out of creating dishes for fans of beloved series). The description: Cook your way across the ‘Verse using over 70 recipes inspired by Joss Whedon’s cult TV show with Firefly: The Big Damn Cookbook.
Treat your friends, family, and crew with Firefly: The Big Damn Cookbook. Featuring 70 recipes inspired by the cult television show and illustrated with gorgeous full-color photography, you’ll never have to settle for protein blocks again. From Simon’s protein birthday cake to River’s problematic ice planet, this collection of recipes will keep you and your fellow Browncoats well fed even on your longest smuggling runs.
• Mudder’s milk
• Zoe’s ‘Wife Soup’
• Fresh bao
• Southdown Abbey couscous
• Gunpowder gimlet
• Fruity oaty bars
• Mama Reynold’s shoofly pie<
Any discussion of science fiction food must include Dr. Who! Luckily there’s the Doctor Who: The Official Cookbook: 40 Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey Recipes by Joanna Farrow. Here’s the blurb: Have your Doctor Who and eat it too with this out-of-this-world cookbook featuring fun, imaginative recipes for the whole family, based on the wildly popular BBC series Doctor Who.
The perfect addition to every Doctor Who fan’s shelf, Doctor Who: The Official Cookbook features a cornucopia of delicious, easy-to-make recipes—from the simple, to the showstoppers—with an exciting Whovian twist. Enjoy the Doctor’s own favorite, fish fingers and custard, share some Cyberman Pie with friends, treat the family to Cassandra Pizza, or indulge your sweet tooth with a Supreme Dalek Cake.
Throwing a viewing party of your favorite episodes? Serve up some Ood Rolls, Salt and Pepper Sontarans, and Weeping Angel Food Cake. And don’t forget the centerpiece for every Whovian get-together, a Gingerbread TARDIS and, of course, 12 Cookie Doctors.
Illustrated with stills from the television show and seasoned with fun food ephemera and quotes from the Doctor’s universe, Doctor Who: The Official Cookbook has something weird, wacky, and tasty for every fan.
I even found an official cookbook for The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide. The blurb: Based on the hit AMC television series, this cookbook is packed with lifesaving tips and unique recipes inspired by ‘The Walking Dead’. The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide details the skills and recipes you need to survive (while avoiding being eaten) during a walker apocalypse. Inspired by the hit AMC television series, the book features recipes for meals featured on the show, plus food and drinks inspired by key characters and locations, along with expert information on foraging, hunting wild game, and outdoor cooking. Featuring familiar treats like Carl’s pudding, Carol Peletier’s baked goods, and Hershel’s spaghetti, this is the ultimate gift for fans and walker-wary survivalists alike.
Moving on to the world of fantasy, where better to begin than with A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel , Sariann Lehrer and George R. R. Martin (Foreword). I think the blurb says it all: 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.
For a bit of time traveling recipe goodness, there’s the Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook by Theresa Carle-Sanders and Diana Gabaldon (Foreword). The mouthwatering synopsis: 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 OutlanderKitchen.com 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: Yeasted Buckwheat 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 gorgeous 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!
If your gathering includes World of Warcraft fans, there’s a cookbook for you as well –World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. The description: Prepare a feast fit for a warchief with World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook, a compendium of sweet and savory recipes inspired by the hit game from Blizzard Entertainment. Presenting delicacies favored by the Horde and the Alliance alike, this authorized cookbook teaches apprentice chefs how to conjure up a menu of food and drink from across the realm of Azeroth.
Featuring food pairings for each dish, ideas for creating your own Azerothian feasts, and tips on adapting meals to specific diets, this otherworldly culinary guide offers something for everyone. The aromatic Spiced Blossom Soup is perfect for plant-loving druids, and orcs will go berserk for the fall-off-the-bone Beer-Basted Boar Ribs. With alternatives to the more obscure ingredients—just in case you don’t have Chimaerok Chops lying around—this comprehensive cookbook will ensure that you have no trouble staying Well Fed.
Each chapter features dishes at a variety of skill levels for a total of more than one hundred easy-to-follow recipes for food and brews, including:
- Ancient Pandaren Spices
- Fel Eggs and Ham
- Mulgore Spice Bread
- Dragonbreath Chili
- Graccu’s Homemade Meat Pie
- Bloodberry Tart
- Greatfather’s Winter Ale
Whether you’re cooking for two or revitalizing your raid group for a late-night dungeon run, World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook brings the flavors of Azeroth to life like never before.
Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook (Discworld) brings culinary delights from yet another alternate world of fantasy and good food. Authored by Terry Pratchett, Stephen Briggs, Tina Hannan and Paul Kidby (Illustrator), the blurb goes as follows: ‘They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach which just goes to show they’re as confused about anatomy as they gen’rally are about everything else, unless they’re talking about instructions on how to stab him, in which case a better way is up and under the ribcage. Anyway, we do not live in a perfect world and it is foresighted and useful for a young woman to become proficient in those arts which will keep a weak-willed man from straying. Learning to cook is also useful.’
Nanny Ogg, one of Discworld’s most famous witches, is passing on some of her huge collection of tasty and above all interesting recipes, since everyone else is doing it. But in addition to the delights of the Strawberry Wobbler and Nobby’s Mum’s Distressed Pudding, Mrs Ogg imparts her thoughts on life, death, etiquette (‘If you go to other people’s funerals they’ll be sure to come to yours’), courtship, children and weddings, all in a refined style that should not offend the most delicate of sensibilities. Well, not much.
Most of the recipes have been tried out on people who are still alive.
Of course we mustn’t miss out on the world of Harry Potter and the unofficial cookbook associated with this beloved franchise which seemed to me to have the most enthusiastic reviews was The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory–More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Wizards and Non-Wizards Alike (Unofficial Cookbook) by Dinah Bucholz. The blurb: Bangers and mash with Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the Hogwarts dining hall.
A proper cuppa tea and rock cakes in Hagrid’s hut.
Cauldron cakes and pumpkin juice on the Hogwarts Express.
With this cookbook, dining a la Hogwarts is as easy as Banoffi Pie! With more than 150 easy-to-make recipes, tips, and techniques, you can indulge in spellbindingly delicious meals drawn straight from the pages of your favorite Potter stories, such as:
Treacle Tart–Harry’s favorite dessert
Molly’s Meat Pies–Mrs. Weasley’s classic dish
Kreacher’s French Onion Soup
Pumpkin Pasties–a staple on the Hogwarts Express cart
With a dash of magic and a drop of creativity, you’ll conjure up the entrees, desserts, snacks, and drinks you need to transform ordinary Muggle meals into magical culinary masterpieces, sure make even Mrs. Weasley proud!
I’ll end this post with something for the Hobbit in all of us, who relishes every meal (but especially second breakfast) – An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery by Chris-Rachael Oseland The synopsis: When a second generation geek with multiple degrees in history grows up to be a professional cookbook writer, it’s no surprise you end up with a lovingly researched book of Hobbit cookery.
Inside these pages you’ll find one chapter for each traditional Hobbit meal. In addition to being based on historic recipes revised to fit Tolkien’s specific vision of the Shire, the dishes have the following themes.
– Breakfast – hot, fast, traditional morning food
– Second Breakfast – cold, sturdy pies full of meat, veg and fruit to fuel a small adventure
– Elevenses – a hearty selection of breads to tide you over until Luncheon
– Luncheon – lighter fare appropriate for a pub
– Afternoon Tea – sweet biscuits, cakes and buns to accompany a caffeinated pick-me-up
– Supper – a hot meal of meat, veg, and mushrooms with a sweet finish
– Dinner – slow cooked roasts and puddings that take hours to make, but are well worth the wait
Wishing you and yours a wonderful winter holiday season and many hours of feasting!