20 Delicious Recipes From and Inspired by Books, Movies, and TV Shows

Have you ever been watching TV, or reading a book, and wondered what a character’s food tastes like? Me too. From Harry Potter’s Butterbeer to Chris Traeger’s (of Parks and Recreation) Asian-Fusion Turkey Burgers, these recipes will help you to recreate your favorite fictional meals.

The Emperor’s New Groove: Kronk’s Spinach Puffs

Made for the dinner when Cuzco is served the potion which turns him into a llama, these Puffs look delicious, even in animated form. Kronk is endearingly proud of his cooking and especially his Spinach Puffs. Which is reason enough to try your hand at making them.

Silver Lining’s Playbook: Pat’s Order of Raisin Bran (Muffins)

The easiest way to enjoy this is with a bowl of Raisin Bran. And even though  Pat says he “ordered raisin bran because I didn’t want there to be any mistaking it for a date,” you could still (maybe) eat it on a date.  If you want to stay true to Pat, but do some actual baking or cooking, try the moist and fragrant Raisin Bran muffins.

Jane Eyre: Miss Temple’s Seed-Cake

Early in the novel, when Jane is just a child, Miss Temple presents to Jane and her friend, Helen, a “good sized seed-cake.” This marks one of the first acts of kindness that Jane encounters, and now you too can enjoy a seed-cake. (Bonus: works as a crossover recipe, to use as Bilbo Baggin’s cake from The Hobbit).

Love Actually: Juliet’s Banoffee Pie

Being American, I had never heard of Banoffee Pie until seeing Love Actually. Keira Knightley’s character, Juliet, loves it, but implies it is not lovable. Which I just don’t get, as the sound of toffee and bananas coming together in one pie sounds supreme to me. And it completely is. Make your own Banoffee Pie and see how right Juliet is in her pick of pie.

Dr. Who: The Eleventh Doctor’s Much Loved Fish Fingers and Custard

This one is for all you Whovians out there. Sounds a bit dodgy, right? If the Doctor likes it, it could be good. Or maybe not. But they are the Eleventh Doctor’s very favorite, so you’ve got to at least try them. Eat these for when you’re binging on Dr. Who, or for a Whovian party.

On The Road: The Oft-Eaten Apple Pie and Ice Cream

“I ate another apple pie and ice cream; that’s practically all I ate all the way across the country, I knew it was nutritious and it was delicious, of course.” Apple pie and ice cream can be found in most diners across the nation. And it is, obviously, delicious. Enjoy in the evening, especially in the autumn for a seasonal fix. You can do this simply: buy the ice cream and pie and enjoy. Or make just the pie, or just the ice cream, and buy the other. Or you can try your hand at making both and enjoy it like it was served in On The Road.

Their Eyes Were Watching God: Not Quite Enough Bacon Grease Mulatto Rice

Janie eats up the Mulatto Rice as if it was sent from heaven. Mulatto Rice is  just rice cooked with onion and bacon grease. Which sounds pretty damn delicious. Eat this the next time you’re reading the book, and maybe you’ll learn exactly what Phoeby meant when she said there wasn’t enough bacon grease.

The Waitress: Jenna’s Earl Murders Me Because I’m Having An Affair Pie

This movie is full of pies. Jenna makes up pies throughout the entire movie, numbering eighteen creative pies. The recipe, is one of my all-time favorite pies. The description? According to Jenna, it’s pretty simple, as all you do is “smash blackberries and raspberries into a chocolate crust.” Yum.

Parks and Recreation: Chris Traeger’s Asian Fusion Turkey Burger and Ron Swanson’s Winning Burger

If you watch Parks and Recreation, you’ll remember the episode where Chris, as City Manager, is going to do away with burgers being served at City Hall. Meat-loving Ron Swanson challenges Chris to a cook-off to decide if the burgers would stay or go. Chris creates a culinary masterpiece, whereas Ron slaps some meat between two buns. Watch this video for the recipe and how-to, and you can decide for yourself which one tastes better.

Little Women: Christmas Breakfast For The Hummel Family

On Christmas morning, Marmee suggests to her daughters that they take their breakfast over to the poor Hummel children as a Christmas present. Little Women in general is full of goodwill and cheer, and this is especially true here. While the reader only knows that muffins, cream, and buckwheat bread were part of the breakfast, this recipe is a bit more grander – which can be expected, as it is for Christmas, after all.

Harry Potter: Butterbeer Cookies

Butterbeer. Probably the most delicious and unquestionably the most famous of the Harry Potter concoctions. If you want to have a Fire Whiskey, Pumpkin Pasty, or Aunt Petunia’s Pudding instead, go for it. But nothing says Harry Potter like this warm, buttery drink that you can only get in Hogsmeade. But even better than the beverage? Butterbeer as a freaking cookie. You’re welcome:

The Family Stone:  Morton Family Strata

“It’s a Morton family tradition,” Meredith nervously proclaims. One of my favorite movies, Meredith constantly tries to fit into her boyfriend’s family, and during this scene, she tries cooking a signature dish of hers as a nice gesture. If you make this, hopefully you don’t accidentally spill it all over yourself.

Like Water For Chocolate: Tita’s Quail In Rose Petal Sauce

This emotional book is full of recipes. Tita puts all of her feelings, all of her passions, in her cooking, and delivers with over-the-top, delicious, strange, amazing recipes and meals. For this recipe, which was meant to be eaten by her lover, Pedro, Tita poured in her fiery passion for him. A difficult recipe, but rewarding.

Brave: The Triplets’ Coveted Empire Biscuits

Merida’s triplet brothers are obsessed with eating these little biscuits. It’s pretty much a running joke throughout the film. Which probably makes you wonder (as it did for me): what are they, and how do they taste? These are Empire Biscuits a traditional Scottish recipe, and they are sweet treats, perfect for tea, or just munching while watching the movie.

The Bell Jar: “Bland” Avocado and Crabmeat Salad or Grandfather’s Avocado with Grape Jelly

Esther Greenwood reveals in The Bell Jar her love for“Avocados are my favorite fruit. Every Sunday my grandfather used to bring me an avocado pear hidden at the bottom of his briefcase under six soiled shirts and the Sunday comics.” Esther Greenwood loves her avocados. While at a dinner, she was served Avocado and Crabmeat Salad (pictured above), which she described as “bland” (although it really isn’t). But the Avocado Crabmeat Salad did remind her of her beloved grandfather, who loved his avocados. Esther seems to think her grandfather’s grape jelly avocado was better, and now you can make both and decide which you like best. 

The Two Towers: If Sam Made Mashed Potatoes

“Potatoes! Boil them, mash them, stick them in a stew.” Or so says Samwise Gamgee, culinary genius, to Smeagol in the Two Towers film. I prefer mine mashed, and chose a recipe with some herbs in it, which seems fitting as Sam’s ol’ Gaffer was a gardener.

The Joy Luck Club: Aromatic Sesame Balls

Living above a Chinese restaurant, Waverly of Amy Tan’s book says that “by daybreak, our flat was heavy with the odor of fried sesame balls and sweet curried chicken crescents.” Food and cooking is prevalent throughout the entire book, but these fried delicacies sound so tempting and are easy to make.

Fried Green Tomatoes: Fried Green Tomatoes

It doesn’t matter if you prefer the book to the movie. Fried Green Tomatoes are (obviously) a staple of the story, and of the Whistle Stop Cafe. This movie was the reason I tried FGT in the first place and I love them. I also love this particular recipe, as they are so crisp and lightly greasy. Make these for the next time you watch FGT.

The Princess and The Frog: Tiana’s Gumbo

Tiana knows her away around the kitchen. Her dream is to open a restaurant, where surely her Tabasco-infused Gumbo will be the bee’s-knees. Plus, cooking gumbo with her father was kind of how she got into cooking in the first place. For you gumbo lovers, try a Tiana-inspired recipe.

Oliver Twist: Porridge

Maybe one of the most famous literary quotes to do with food, Oliver Twists’ “please, sir, I want some more,” begs you to prepare a bowl of porridge. But porridge, which is just oats with milk or water, can be pretty bland (I’m guessing little Oliver had his with just water, no seasoning). If you like yours that way, more power to you. But you can also dress it up with cinnamon, honey and bananas. Or peach compote, nutmeg and walnuts. Or one of the recipes found here (just keep Dickens and Oliver in mind while eating). Bonus: works as a another crossover recipe, this time for Beauty and the Beast.

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