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Cooking with Cats and Other Odd Cookbooks


Just this week, Fancy Feast cat food brand thought it would be a good idea to offer a free cookbook to pet-owners so that they can design their human meals to pair better with their cats. If you’ve seen Fancy Feast in the grocery store, you might be tempted to try them yourself as they do look a little tasty. But rest assured, the recipes in this cookbook do not contain cat food are they are not meant for cats. They are meant for you.

“Mealtime is a bonding experience. We sit at a dining table with our family, we gather with friends. Now Fancy Feast is asking you to extend the invitation to your cat to join you for mealtime as you cook meals inspired by their favorite dishes but made just for you,” says Purina, the makers of Fancy Feast.

The online book, Petite Feast features 12 cat food-inspired recipes (ten of which were created by cat food chef Amanda Hassner) including Anchoi Butternut Squash Chicken Street Tacos Whitefish and Dressed Cannellini Beans and Sage Cornbread Chicken Pot Pie.

This whole cooking-with-your-cat thing got me thinking and after a little research, found a bunch of other “out there” recipe books all available at Barnes & Noble of all places.

Here is what I found:

The Bob Ross Cookbook: Happy Little Recipes for Family and Friends

No, this isn’t a collection of recipes from the “happy little trees” painter. It was written by Robb Pearlman who is the author of Bob Ross and Peapod the Squirrel, but it is “generously seasoned with Ross’ own iconic words and scenic landscapes” and the 144-page book “applies his laid-back, meditative approach to delicious meals” says the book’s description. Recipes include Happy Little Roasted Chicken, Van Dyke Browned Meatballs and Cabin-Roasted Vegetables.

Bugs for Breakfast: How Eating Insects Help Save the Planet

Think you are saving the world with your “meatless Mondays”? Rookie. Mary Boone’s book goes even further. As the book states, “Most North Americans would rather squish a bug than eat it” but “more than one-fourth of the world’s population eats insects.” I suspect that is because there are no McDonald’s nearby, but Boone goes on to say that roasted grubs are a favorite in Australia and stir-fried dragonflies are a delicacy in Indonesia. Sure. The 12-recipe cookbook for kids is said to “remove the yuck-factor from the notion of eating bugs, but it will open young readers’ minds to what is happening in the world around them.”

A Taste of the 70’s Cookbook

This one, written by Tim Murphy, is filled entirely with recipes that were inspired by pop culture events of the 1970’s including “political scandal, dramatic news stories, classic rock, disco, midnight movies, Saturday morning cartoons, iconic television and Olympic glory” and “answers the questions what happens when a decade like the seventies is mash-up with bad puns.” Inside the book you’ll find pages full of titles like Attack of the Killer Tomato Soup, Donna Summer Sausage, Gas Shortage Chili (no beans), Patties Hearst, The Rockfish Files, Mark Spritzer, ImPeach Cobbler, Boogie Oogie Okra and more.

Manifold Destiny: Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine!

Authors Chris Maynard and Bill Scheller first talked about cooking over a running car engine twenty years ago and according to them, another generation of both drivers and eaters has emerged creating a new version of the book where you can “learn how to make s’mores in your Scion, poach fish in your Pontiac and even bust out a gourmet snack from under the hood of your Escal.” The book come with step-by-step diagrams and thorough instructions on how to turn your car into a kitchen. And they are totally serious.

From ‘Friends’ to ‘Golden Girls’: TV-Based Cookbooks

This concept is nothing new. People have been writing books with recipes inspired by their favorite shows for years. The Aunt Bee’s Mayberry Cookbook: Recipes and Memories from America’s Friendliest Town is celebrating its 60th anniversary edition. Inside it you’ll find a whopping 300 recipes from the show’s characters and their favorite local eateries. Written by Ken Beck and Jim Clark, you’ll recipes for Aunt Bee’s Fried Chicken, Opie’s Carrot-Top Cake, Themla Lou’s Very Chocolate Cheesecake and Barney’s Hot Plate Chili.

Now we have The Goldbergs Cookbook which is supposedly written by Beverly Goldberg (who published her own cookbook on the show) with some help by Jenn Fujikawa. The 70 recipes featured in the cook are mostly taken “from the same recipe box prominently featured in the show’s sixth season” and puts forth her philosophy that “food is love – and a way to manipulate.” Recipes include Rib Pot Pie (No Peas, No Carrots), 7-Meat Meatloaf, Big Tasty Pork and Bran Muffins to Help You Make.

Other TV show-related books I found online include:

  • Amanda Lee’s Friends: The Official Cookbook (featuring recipes like Monica’s Friendsgiving Feast, Chandler’s “Milk You Can Chew” and Rachel’s Trifle)
  • Julie Tremaine’s Supernatural: The Official Cookbook: Burgers, Pies and Other Bites from the Road (Dean’s Pigs ‘N A Poke, angel food cake and Sam’s salads)
  • Elouise Anders’ Drinks on the Lanai: Cocktails, Mocktails And Cheesecake Inspired By The Golden Girls (Bahama Mama and Blanche’s Punch)
  • Loren Bouchard’s The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book: Real Recipes for Joke Burgers (“Bleu is the Warmest Cheese Burger,” the “Bruschetta-Bout-It Burger,” and the “Shoot-Out at the OK-ra Corral Burger”)
  • Annie Gray’s  The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook (with dishes that were popular between 1912 and 1926)
  • Marc Sumerak, Julie Tremaine and Anne Murlowski’s The Office: The Official Party Planning Guide to Planning Parties: Authentic Parties, Recipes, and Pranks from The Dundies to Kevin’s Famous Chili

The Original Road Kill Cookbook

This book is said to take the reader “to such far-flung, well-hung places as Azerbaijan and the Isle of Gilligan to enjoy foodstuffs once known only to a small handful of well-heeled heels.” B.R. Peterson shares recipes that have been tested in his own roadside test kitchens. The recipes include the popular UK dish -Bangered and Mashed, Chili’s national dish – Chili Con Carnage, Pakistan’s Chicken Peeloff and Germany’s Hasenpflatten.

Heroes’ Feast: The Official Dungeons & Dragons Cookbook

Authors Chris Maynard and Bill Scheller first talked about cooking over a running car engine twenty years ago and according to them, another generation of both drivers and eaters has emerged creating a new version of the book where you can “learn how to make s’mores in your Scion, poach fish in your Pontiac and even bust out a gourmet snack from under the hood of your Escal.” The book come with step-by-step diagrams and thorough instructions on how to turn your car into a kitchen. And they are totally serious.

The Un-Constipated Gourmet: Secrets to a Moveable Feast-125 Recipes for the Regularity Challenged

Daneille Svetcov’s book wins for best title but she is totally serious as she state that “millions of Americans have to pass up good food because of their bad problem – constipation. In 2004 alone, there were 41.3 million visits to physicians for digestive system symptoms.” She goes on to say that the book is for the family cook with recipes that will “keep everyone moving” and is the go-to cookbook for anyone who wants the pleasure of a great meal without worrying about the side effects.”

What Would Jesus Eat Cookbook

Written by New York Times best-selling author Don Colbert M.D., this book is no joke and despite its easily-to-mock title, is actually based on effective diet principles emphasizing whole foods that are low in fat, salt and sugar but high in nutrients. As a companion piece to his earlier book, What Would Jesus Eat, this cookbook says that it is based on biblical principles and disappointingly, doesn’t feature any mockable recipes. You won’t find recipes like Jesus’s little loaves and fish sandwiches or any how-to’s on how to turn water into wine here.

(Images: Purina and Barnes & Noble)

Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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