Book Life: Cookbooks I Wish Someone Would Write (Based On TV Shows)

Book Life: Cookbooks I Wish Someone Would Write (Based On TV Shows)

Guest Blog Post by Courtney Denning

I love a well-written, well-photographed cookbook. If it is a little quirky and based on a beloved television show or character, all the better.

The best TV cookbooks authentically capture the show and its characters. These cookbooks are usually created by the series producer or are endorsed by the television program. The recipes are well photographed, sound amazing, and are well written. Great TV cookbooks are also more than just recipes. Photos of characters and familiar scenes and quotes from the series should be included. Additional treats for fans make the cookbook an extension of a loved program.

Collage of photographs of the cookbook, of Orange Is the New Black Presents: The Cookbook.

My favorite TV cookbook is Orange Is the New Black Presents: The Cookbook. I have binge-watched the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black (OITNB) more times than I care to admit! When I read about a cookbook based on the show, I assumed it would be full of unappetizing and weird prison recipes. In reality, the book is full of amazing, drool-worthy recipes I want to eat off the page. The cookbook includes images, quotes, and fun extras. I loved Red’s Tunnel Supply List. Piper’s pet project, The Bighouse Bugle, the Litchfield Women's Prison newsletter written by the inmates was hilarious. Every recipe I have made has been easy to follow and delicious.

I would love to cook from books made for any of these popular television shows.

Collage of photos of scenes and food from the television show The Office.

The Office: Beets, Brownies + Birthday Parties

This cookbook would be published by Michael Gary Scott, after his roaring success with Somehow I Manage and Threat Level Midnight: The Book. Recipes would come from all corners of The Office. There would definitely be a recipe for Kevin’s Special Chili. Angela would contribute her Post-Pregnancy (“Babies sleep a lot, Pam”) Brownies. Jim might share his secret recipe for very firm Jello molds. Of course, Dwight would have a plethora of beet recipes, from beet wine, beet salad to beet run-off energy drink. He would also have recipes for exotic meat (it’ll all be goat), cabbage pie, and roast goose. I expect Jan would contribute something paleo or sugar-free that takes three to five hours to make. Andy would send a recipe that their maid made for him when he was a kid, or something from that one university he attended (it started with a “C,” right?). Stanley, of course, would give us his recommendations on pretzel toppings for Pretzel Day. Michael could share his recipe for paper shaped pancakes, burnt foot bacon on the side (if it's not on the side, we will send it back!).

There would be a section about how to host a successful Christmas party at the office. One would be written by Angela, another by Phyllis, and a third by Pam and Karen. Michael would probably write one as well because he knows how to throw a very Classy Christmas. The cookbook would have to include photos and quotes from fan-favorite episodes. Menus from previous Office events would be a must. I want to know what books were read and what Pam, Oscar, and Toby served as aperitifs in The Finer Things Club. I have to see what was on the menu the night Jan and Michael had Jim, Pam, Andy, Angela, Dwight, and his former babysitter over for dinner.

This cookbook would definitely leave me satisfied and smiling! That's what she said!

Collage of photographs of scenes and food from the television show, Once Upon a Time.

Once Upon A Cookbook

Once Upon a Time (OUAT) is one of my favorite television shows, and I would love to bake my way through the Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke! An OUAT cookbook would need fairy tale recipes from the many different worlds with magic: the Enchanted Forest, Oz, Wonderland, Arendale, Neverland. It would also need to include modern recipes from Storybrooke. The Charming family hot cocoa and cinnamon recipe, as well as classics from Granny’s Diner, should be included in the Storybrooke section. Regina would have some sweet, but sinister apple recipes to add, as well as some alcoholic potions. For the magic lands recipes, I’d love to see some magic bean soup and definitely a fried chimera recipe.

Collage of photographs of scenes and food from the television show, Parks and Recreation.

Parks and Recreation Presents: Piggin’ Out in Pawnee

A Pawnee, Indiana themed cookbook would be the perfect antidote for all the Parks and Rec fans still reeling from the show’s premature demise five years ago. Since Leslie Knope is all about promoting her hometown, this cookbook would highlight Pawnee’s restaurants. It would have to include cocktails from The Snakehole Lounge and waffles with extra whipped cream from JJ's Diner. The extremely unhealthy, but probably delicious, Paunch Burger, and a variety of breakfast items from The Glitter Factory would be included. Of course, we cannot forget sweets from Sweetums, Ben’s calzones, and something delicious and decadent (treat yo’ self!) from Tom’s Bistro.

In case you were wondering, no, there will not be any salad recipes in this cookbook.

Collage of photographs of scenes and food from the television show, Pushing Daisies.

Pushing Daisies: Recipes from the Pie Hole

I have no idea how this cookbook doesn’t already exist. No idea. A quick Google search will yield dozens of fan-created recipes, but there is currently no actual Pushing Daisies Cookbook. If a cookbook is ever written (please, please, please!), it should be chock full of original recipes from The Pie Hole. So many different, amazing pies.

These are just some of the sweet, full-size pie and cup-pie desserts I can think of: Apple-Gruyère, Rhubarb Custard, Cocoa Coffee, Coconut Chocolate Cream, Spring Passionfruit, Brownie Sundae, Lemon Raspberry, Four Berry, Golden Cherry Crimson Pear, Pumpkin Pecan, Key Lime and Lemon Meringue. It would seem unfair not to include a few macaroni and cheese recipes from The Intrepid Cow, the restaurant Olive starts at the end of the series.

Collage of photographs of scenes and food from the television show, The Walking Dead.

Eating on the Run: Recipes from The Walking Dead

I know there is already a Walking Dead parody cookbook, The Snacking Dead by D.B. Walker. It’s a neat idea, and a great name for a cookbook, but the book isn’t official and has no ties to AMC’s The Walking Dead. The recipes are spoofy, cheesy, and impractical for life on the run, post-apocalypse. I would love to see recipes based on what the characters would actually be eating in a world overrun with zombies. It could be good research for the hardcore survivalists out there, plus I would really love to try Carol’s chocolate cookies.

These TV cookbooks do not exist (yet), but they really should. What TV cookbook is missing from your bookshelf?

Images for existing cookbooks were taken by Courtney Denning. Images for proposed cookbooks are from ABC, AMC, NBC, and Bing Images.