Don’t suck at cooking: Cookbook gives taste of ‘Twilight’
Some moviegoers are probably wondering how it got here so fast. It’s barely been seven months, after all, since Bella, Edward and Jacob were steaming up movie screens in “New Moon.” And now it’s just a few short hours until the all-darkening shadow of “Eclipse” falls over nearly every theater in America.
Those, on the other hand, who are big fans of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” novels, are quite possibly breathing a sigh of relief that the long wait is finally over. And for people who like “Twilight” and like to cook, the news is even better. If you’re preparing to host a “Twilight” soiree, but you haven’t figured out what you should serve, then you’ll be pleased to know that Gina Meyers has been thinking of you.
Meyers, 39, is a mother of three and cookbook author who’s just released the second edition of “Love at First Bite: The Unofficial Twilight Cookbook.” The cookbook is based on the “Twilight” books: Meyers scoured the text for references to food and then created recipes to match.
For example, suppose that you’d like to taste the mushroom ravioli that Bella orders at La Bella Italia in Port Angeles in “Twilight.” There’s a recipe in “The Unofficial Twilight Cookbook” that lets you make it yourself.
For Meyers, who lives in California and has also written cookbooks based on the TV series “Bewitched,” it’s a fun way to help fans connect with their favorite stories — as well as connect with some tasty cuisine. “If something that I’ve written in ‘Love at First Bite’ inspires someone to go into the kitchen and discover something new, then I’m happy,” said Meyers.
Though she’d heard about the “Twilight” novels, Meyers — who has never met series creator Meyer — had never read them until a friend convinced her to see the “Twilight” movie in 2008. After that, she sensed another opportunity for a cookbook and jumped right in.
Some of Meyers’s recipes are original creations and some are adapted from family favorites. Each of the recipes in the book is assigned a difficulty rating to help guide first-time chefs. “If it’s something that anyone could make, like Jacob Black’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich,” Meyers said, “then it gets one fork.” More complicated recipes are rated two forks, and the hardest ones get a three-fork score.
A “Twilight” cookbook would be an ideal gift for Jennifer Appleton, a 32-year-old mother of three who lives in Orem and loves the “Twilight” series. “I was so excited when I found out about it,” Appleton said. “I’m going to have to get a copy soon.”
Appleton and her daughter Kelsi, 12, who has read the first two “Twilight” books, both love to cook. Kelsi, who likes Jacob better than Edward — she thinks Edward is creepy — said her favorite things to cook are spaghetti and burritos.
Kelsi remembers the scene in the books in which Edward’s parents cook Italian food for Bella (there are recipes for that), while her mother thought first of the meals that Bella makes for her father, Charlie (ditto).
Having a “Twilight” cookbook is also appealing to Appleton because she doesn’t like to make things up, or make a guess about ingredients, when she’s cooking. “I like to have the recipe right there in front of me,” she said.
Cooking is also a family affair for Meyers, who got some assistance from her 6-year-old son on several of her recipes, including the I Dare You to Eat Pizza, Edward one. Her husband, a graphic designer by profession, also assisted by taking pictures of each food creation.
A few of the recipes in “The Unofficial Twilight Cookbook” don’t directly correspond to any food mentioned in the novels. One recipe, for example, was inspired by a scene from an episode of NBC’s “The Office,” in which accountant Kevin and former receptionist Pam have this exchange:
Pam: “Kevin, you are such a gourmand.”
Kevin: “I cooked my way through Julia Child’s cookbook and now I’m halfway through the ‘Twilight’ cookbook. Last night, I cooked Edward’s Corn Flake Chicken.”
After the episode aired, Meyers said, “the ‘Twilight’ bloggers were all saying, ‘But there really is a ‘Twilight’ cookbook.” What else could Meyers do? She created a recipe to match. Edward doesn’t eat, of course — he’s a vampire, silly! — but even he might be tempted to sink his fangs into some succulent corn flake chicken.
Sink your teeth into ‘Twilight’
Want to chow down like they do in Bella and Edward’s rainy hometown of Forks? Try these recipes from “Love at First Bite: The Unofficial Twilight Cookbook” by Gina Meyers.
Harry’s Famous Fish Fry
• 4 cups cooked rice
• 2 pounds fresh fish fillets, such as fillet of sole, whitefish or salmon fillets
• 3-4 green onions, sliced, including greens
• 5-7 fresh mushrooms
• 2 medium zucchini
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 2 cups Harry’s Secret Sauce, cooled slightly
• Parchment paper or aluminum foil
Harry’s Secret Sauce
• 1 (14 ½-ounce) can chicken broth
• ½ cup dry white wine
• ¼ cup cornstarch, mixed with ¼ cup cold water
• 2 tablespoons grated Swiss cheese
• 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat chicken broth and wine over high heat, stirring in approximately half of the cornstarch mixture. While continuing to stir, cook the mixture until it thickens; reduce heat to low and then add the seasonings. Let cool slightly before assembling the fish packets.
The assembly of the packets starts with four 18-inch by 15-inch sheets of parchment (or aluminum foil). Fold each sheet in half to make 9-inch by 15-inch pouch. Place one-fourth of each of the ingredients — rice, green onion, mushrooms, fish, other veggies, lemon juice and Harry’s secret sauce — into each pouch. Seal and place packets on a baking sheet in a 425-degree oven for 20 minutes.
Edward’s Corn Flake Chicken
• 10 drumsticks, washed
• 3 cups corn flake cereal, crushed
• ¼ cup vegetable oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove skin from drumsticks, wash and dry chicken thoroughly, and pat dry with paper towels. In a large baking dish, pour oil and dip and roll chicken in the oil. In a large plastic sealed type bag, place 3 cups of cornflake cereal, salt and pepper to taste and seal. Make sure all air is out of the bag, and crush cornflakes with a wooden spoon or a rolling pin.
Take drumsticks one at a time and place in the crushed cornflakes, reseal plastic bag and shake until chicken is thoroughly coated with the crushed cornflakes. Place chicken drumsticks in an ungreased 8-inch by 11½-inch baking dish and bake 45 minutes, uncovered.
Love at First Bite Red Velvet Cake
• 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
• 1 ounce liquid red food coloring
• ¾ cup water
• 1 yellow cake mix, with pudding in the mix
• 4 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon butter
• 4 tablespoons buttermilk
• 1 tablespoon white vinegar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, mix cocoa powder, red food coloring, and part of the water to form a paste. Next, add all of the other ingredients except the white vinegar. Blend for 2½ to 3 minutes with a mixer on medium speed. Then add vinegar and mix with a spatula. Pour batter into a bundt or round cake pan, and bake for approximately 35 minutes. This recipe can be made into cupcakes as well.
Adorn each cupcake or the entire Red Velvet Cake with various miniature die-cast Cullen cars, such as Carlisle’s Mercedes S55 AMG, Rosalie’s red BMW M3, Edward’s silver Volvo S60R, Alice’s yellow Porsche 911 Turbo or Emmett’s Jeep Wrangler. A replica of Bella’s red Chevy pickup truck could also be added.
• 3 ounces strawberry mango juice
• 3 ounces freshly squeezed lemonade
• Lime wedge to garnish
Mix all ingredients in a tall glass with ice and enjoy. Garnish with lime wedge on the side of the glass.
Author: Gina Meyers
Length: 80 pages
Publication date: March 7, 2009
Publisher: iUniverse (Bloomington, Indiana)
Inside: Recipes, “Twilight” trivia, a”Twilight” prom planner and a party-planning guide.
Available at: amazon.com andmajor bookstores
On the Web:www.unofficialtwilightcookbook.blogspot.com