Fun and Unusual Cookbooks

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Trying to get kids more interested in your non-fiction section?  The cookbook area isn’t often a section that you would think has a lot of browser appeal, but put these on display and they’re sure to get kids talking and maybe even cooking.

This post all started because of Totchos.  Totchos, for those who don’t know, are nachos that are made with tater tots instead of tortilla chips.  They’re my favorite meal and my go-to if I’m having people over.  When I saw there was a cookbook based on cooking with tots and it mentioned Totchos on the cover, I knew I had to read it.  Now I’m hooked.  I had Rueben Tots for dinner last night.  I made Chicken Tot Pie for Christmas Eve dinner (see my photo below).  My New Year’s Resolution is to cook more, but it might turn into cooking more things with tots.

Tots! 50 Tot-Ally Awesome Recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-Tot-O Pie, Dan Whalen. 9780761189947. 2018. Gr 7-Adult. Workman Publishing Company.



This is another fun one to get you thinking of all sorts of new possibilities.  I bought a waffle iron as soon as I got this cookbook.  My favorite part of this cookbook is that the author turned waffling various things into his life passion for a while.  I imagine that every time someone came over to his house, he waffled something.  It’s as much about the idea of experimenting with something to get it right as it is about the recipes.

Will it Waffle? 53 Unexpected and Irresistable Recipes to Make in a Waffle Iron, Daniel Shumski. 9780761176466. 2014. Gr 7-Adult. Workman Publishing Company.



My favorite holiday is Halloween.  I spend a lot of time hunting down new recipes for dishes to make that time of year.  Lots of recipes say they are horrific or disgusting but very few actually are.  These cookbooks have a number of recipes that would definitely gross people out, which is always fun.  I apologize in advance to anyone who comes to my house in October.  Both titles are part of a series.

Little Kitchen of Horrors: Hideously Delicious Recipes That Disgust and Delight, Ali Vega. 9781512448948. 2018. Gr 3-5. Lerner.

Disgusting Eats: Nasty, But Tasty Recipes, Marne Ventura. 9781515738121. 2017. Gr 4-8. Capstone Press.



This cookbook is an adorable treat for Pokemon fans.  The results really do look just like Pokemon and the recipes are pretty straightforward.

Pokemon Cookbook: Easy & Fun Recipes, Mako Kudo. 9781421589893. 2016. Gr 4-8.  Viz Media/Simon & Schuster.



This one is for people who like science or other “nerdy” things, have patience, and are really into decorating.  The processes are pretty involved but the results look beautiful.  There are templates in the back of the book to photocopy or trace to make things like 8-bit hearts or nerd glasses.  Highlights for me are the Unicorn Poop Cookies or the Textbook S’mores.

Nerdy Nummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us, Rosanna Pansino. 9781501104015. 2015. Gr 7-Adult. Atria/Simon & Schuster.



This is a fun one for Harry Potter fans.  The introduction to each recipe tells you what book and chapter the idea for the recipe came from.  Some of them, like Irish Soda Bread or Treacle Pudding, are things they may not have had before so it’s a good way to try dishes from overseas that they’ve only read about.

Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cakes to Kickerbocker Glory-More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Wizards and Non-Wizards Alike, Dinah Bucholz. 9781440503252. 2010. Gr 7-Adult.  Adams/Simon & Schuster.



The recipes in this one are pretty standard but the photography of Star Wars figures with the food makes this cookbook really entertaining.

Star Wars Cookbook: BB-ATE: Awaken to the Force of Breakfast and Brunch, Lara Starr and Matthew Carden. 9781452162980. 2017. Gr 3-7. Chronicle Books.



This is another one with pretty normal recipes but the names are cute (who can resist Charlie Brownies?) and it has comics inside.  It would be a good kids’ starter cookbook.

Peanuts Family Cookbook: Delicious Dishes for Kids to Make with Their Favorite Grown-Ups. 9781681884233. 2018. Gr 4-7.  Weldon/Simon & Schuster.



This cookbook is great for gamers.  To be honest, I haven’t played World of Warcraft much, so I don’t know how authentic to the game the recipes are, but it has a great Olde Time Tavern feel to it.  The recipes might be a bit intimidating for beginners but they might be tempted to try them out due to the theme.

World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook, Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. 9781608878048. 2016. Gr 10-Adult. Insight/Simon & Schuster.



This cookbook is unique in that it assumes that you might be living in a post-apocalyptic world.  It has survival tips at the beginning and tells you how to catch and preserve food and how to cook with fire.   It also tells you where in the show the recipe idea comes from.

Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook, Lauren Wilson. 9781683830788. 2017. Gr 10-Adult. Insight/Simon & Schuster.



For older bakers, there is Sweet Revenge.  The recipes are written in everyday language, which is a great bonus.  It explains terms and basic techniques right in the recipe.  The names are catchy and the recipes are pretty straight forward.  I made the peanut butter and pretzel cups and they were delicious.

Sweet Revenge: Passive-Aggressive Desserts for Your Exes & Enemies, Heather Kim. 9781630790899. 2018. Gr 9-Adult. Capstone Press.



If you can have a bit of swearing and some mentions of marijuana in your collection (although not as much as you might expect based on the author), Snoop Dogg’s cookbook is lots of fun.  The introduction blurbs before the recipes are often pretty funny.  The pictures are great but the recipes might be a bit difficult for a beginner.    Still, it has a lot of appeal and it might just tempt someone who wouldn’t be into cooking to give it a shot.

From Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes From Tha Boss Dogg’s Kitchen, Snoop Dogg. 9781452179612. 2018. Gr 10-Adult. Chronicle Books.



Finally, one of my favorites for beginners is Sandwiches!  What’s great about it is that it starts basic and moves up, but it tells you all sorts of ways you can swap things in the recipes to make something different.  It encourages experimenting with a recipe, which can be a scary prospect when you’re starting out.  I made the Spaghetti Sandwich from this one, which was a messy, enjoyable treat.

Sandwiches! More Than You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Making and Eating America’s Favorite Food, Alison Deering and Bob Lentz. 9781623708160. 2017. Gr 4-10. Capstone Press.


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