Celebrity cookbooks are a great invention and a handy tool. We can get new food ideas from them, try recipes from other countries in the comfort of our own kitchen and get a glimpse of what our favorite stars eat on a regular basis. It is a win-win for everyone in this particular scenario because the stars get a chance at trying a new genre as well as sharing some of their favorite recipes with us just as though we were intimate family members or close friends.
But without actually buying the book ourselves, we don’t really know if it will be a good fit for us or not. If we are die-hard fans of the author, we will logically buy the book regardless of whether we actually use it as a cookbook or not. But if we are looking at solely from a useful cookbook purchase standpoint, then we want more time for careful consideration. We could stroll through the bookstore and flip through the book or we could scroll through the internet and find some of the recipes released as a promotion to the book and try before we buy. Here is just such a list with some recipes to try and some to avoid.
23 Try: The Tucci Table By Stanley Tucci
For those of us in the know, Stanley Tucci actually has two cookbooks and both have received glowing reviews based solely on the quality of the recipes. These recipes can be described as homemade fine dining. They are not super budget friendly nor do they adhere to one category such as vegan or paleo. But they will leave us full and feeling like we dined with kings. One delicious recipe, Polenta Frites, is described as "a great alternative to French fries, especially when you have some leftover polenta. Served sprinkled with some coarse sea salt and chopped rosemary, they are a delicious side or cicchetti to serve with wine."
22 Skip: In The Kitchen With Kris: A Kollection Of Kardashian-Jenner Favorites by Kris Jenner
As always, best momager Kris Jenner is here to show us the classiest way to remember a dearly departed friend with her high praise and tribute to Nicole Brown Simpson's “famous” Chicken Nachos. However touching the thought, not many got past the absurdity of memorializing a woman who was fatally injured by cooking a nacho recipe, which called for store-bought nachos and 'Mexico-style' cheeses, as per Eater. The only actual cooking part was when the recipe called for the chips and cheese to be placed in the oven not once, but twice to melt the cheese. Whether Nicole gave Kris this recipe before her demise or bequeathed it to her in the will is unclear.
21 Try: Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings
Fans of the model turned food blogger did a little happy dance when they found out that she was publishing a cookbook. The life of a model is rough—especially when the model loves food and likes to eat. So Teigen decided to combine her love of food with flavors that make an impact but still kept her slim and healthy. One yummy recipe is Lemony Arugula Spaghetti, as described by Popsugar: “Chrissy Teigen takes classic cacio e pepe (cheesy, peppery spaghetti) and amps up the flavors with crispy pancetta, acidic lemon, spicy red pepper flakes, and fresh arugula. This crowd-pleasing pasta is perfect for dinner parties or a date night in.”
20 Skip: The Gourmet Dad With Dean McDermott
Dean McDermott's most successful recipe in his 2015 cookbook The Gourmet Dad might have been How To Make Enemies. Riding high on his success hosting Canada's version of Chopped, Tori Spelling's hubby McDermott scored a cookbook deal with Harlequin, but allegedly elected not to pay a number of people involved in the creation of the book, as per TMZ. The cookbook itself, billed as a practical guide to cooking family-pleasing meals, offers recipes like Poached Chicken in Tarragon White Wine Sauce, according to Today. With an impractical list of 17 ingredients—including leeks and crème fraiche—it's all well and good if there's a nanny around to mind the kids.
19 Try: Reese Witherspoon's Southern Classics
Reese Witherspoon never lost touch with her roots, despite how far her star has risen. Maintaining homes in Los Angeles and Nashville, she talks about lessons learned growing up in the deep South, according to USA Today. 2018 saw the release of her first book, Whiskey In A Teacup—a collection of memoirs and recipes. One stellar stunner is Reese's Baked Brie—easy enough for even a beginner home cook to make but with sophisticated flavor, as per Popsugar. Fruit preserves are mixed with balsamic vinegar, pecans, and honey and spread on top of a whole Brie wheel, then baked. It's easy, looks fancy and tastes delicious.
18 Skip: From Crook To Cook By Snoop Dogg
We're so disappointed in Snoop Dogg. While we know he can get down in the kitchen as well as Martha Stewart when he wants to, we hoped for something wild and wacky in From Crook To Cook. Just recently released in October of 2018, the recipes are all classic “platinum recipes straight from the boss doggs' [sic] kitchen,” according to LA Times. The recipes are all decent—and all above board. There's not a single recipe that includes any... shall we say herbal ingredient. Books focusing on that particular ingredient and its many strains are purportedly slated for 2020, but it's unclear if we'll get any home edibles recipes.
17 Try: Whole New You By Tia Mowry
Dairy-free recipes are trending right now and Tia Mowry's health-centered cookbook is riding this wave with ease. She has packed this book with plenty of delicious recipes that can be made as they are or tweaked for individual needs and tastes which is what every good cookbook should aspire to do. According to Popsugar, Tia loves her chicken and there is one particular chicken dish we must try: "My pan roasted chicken with maple bacon sauce. I'm a fan of bacon. I mean, who isn't, right? But I would have to say, I make this dish every single day."
16 Skip: Whole New You With Tofu?
While Tia Mowry tried to win many of us over with her bacon chicken recipe and other delicious dishes, she does have a few flop recipes. It’s okay; every cookbook has them. This particular one probably appeals to its targeted audience, but to the rest of us, it doesn't quite pass the yum test enough to really draw us in and make us want to create this dish for ourselves in our own kitchens. According to Popsugar, "As for a few vegetarian main dishes, Tia recommends her ‘Orange Sesame Surprise Tofu and Brussels Sprouts.’ And, you can't go wrong with pairing it with a kale and almond fried rice." Sounds a little too healthy for us.
15 Try: Stirring Up Fun With Food by Sarah Michelle Gellar
If her first act was as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, a soap opera and a movie star, then Sarah Michelle Gellar's second act is as mom and entrepreneur. Gellar and hubby Freddie Prinze, Jr. have focused on raising their kids, and Gellar's new cookbook Stirring Up Fun With Food shows us a slice of their home life, as per Williams Sonoma Taste. Gellar's Garlicky Pull Aparts are the kind of recipe that'll become a kitchen staple and is sure to be snapped up quickly at the dinner table. Garlic and parmesan and a few more seasonings are combined with butter and slathered on the biscuits before popping them in the oven. bonus: they'll keep the vamps away.
14 Skip: It's All Easy With Gwyneth Paltrow
The average cook who isn't sure if Furikake is a cuss word or not might feel inclined to rename this culinary offering from lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow to It's All Too Dang Expensive. While Paltrow helpfully suggests we rely on basic stock items in our pantry, it's hard to imagine most people have the shallots, coconut sugar and Armenian cucumbers needed for Bo Bun Salad, a recipe that also requires a vegetable spiralizer, as per Stuff. While many home chefs have had to agree that the recipes are often very tasty, they've also noted how expensive many of the ingredients are, making actual preparation too cost-prohibitive for the average at-home cook.
13 Try: The 12TB Method By Tom Brady
While technically not a traditional cookbook, there are still recipes here by a celebrity. Sports fans everywhere were thrilled to finally get a peek at the famous Patriots quarterback's diet and workout routine but were a tad shocked at how extreme it is. He blends the anti-inflammatory and alkaline diets to create his own unique eating style—which is extreme even for the food experts out there. According to CBS, one of his recipes is the Brady Bowl. "This recipe is quick and easy to prepare, but still combines a variety of delicious flavors and interesting textures." He bases his meals on the 80/20 balance of alkaline and acidic foods.
12 Skip: Tom Brady’s Extreme Diet
For those of us who have been on the dairy-free bandwagon for awhile, making tasty treats with odd ingredients to achieve a level of deviousness that rivals the old is nothing new. For many fans, reading Tom Brady's book was a real eye-opener to an extreme diet. One treat the star athlete allows himself is avocado ice cream. According to Boston, "He describes the dessert as a ‘modern interpretation of ice cream’ that is ‘just as delicious but much healthier.’ Requiring just six ingredients and three steps, the process seems to be very straightforward for readers to try at home."
11 Try: Magnolia Table By Joanna Gaines
Star of Fixer Upper and mother of five children, Joanna Gaines has added a cookbook of family favorites to her repertoire. She doesn't focus on trendy diets. Instead, she focuses on easy-to-make family-approved dishes that everyone will love. And what better recipe with which to achieve this end goal than classic chocolate chip cookies? According to Brit + Co, "I developed this recipe over the years, after experimenting with a few classics and having them come out flat every time. I wanted something that was chunky, beautiful, and also delicious. In the end, one big change I made was to cut back on the butter."
10 Skip: #MealTime With 2 Chainz
The idea of releasing a cookbook with an album is intriguing to say the least. 2 Chainz offered up a recipe collection available only for those who purchased B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, according to ABC News. The devil is in the details in 2 Chainz' recipes, which are in fact so detailed that they distract a bit from the simple, healthy recipes. In 'Garlicky Green Beans,' cooks are advised to use a silver-lined, mahogany handled pot—and that's after successfully inviting Fergie over for some Netflix. The recipe itself aside from the extremely specific instructions isn't terrible, but it isn't off-the-charts amazing—it's just green beans.
9 Try: Food, Health And Happiness By Oprah Winfrey
The Oprah empire is ever-expanding. Food, Health And Happiness is Oprah Winfrey's new cookbook, and in it, Oprah not only offers up a dizzying array of healthful and delicious recipes but discusses quite frankly her personal relationship with food and how it's evolved over the years, according to Taste. Lady O reminds us that deprivation is just as bad as bingeing and doesn't leave out good ol' comfort food or snacky indulgences. One hit recipe sure to wow friends at a dinner party are the Crab Cakes. Lump crab meat and generous seasonings combined with quick broiling make for a super-easy dinner star. Serve with wedges of lemon and some parsley.
8 Skip: Kitchen Revelry By Ali Larter
Whether we should blame or praise Gwyneth Paltrow for the celebrity lifestyle guru trend is debatable, but in 2013 Varsity Blues and Legally Blonde star Ali Larter jumped into the fray with her dinner party tome, Kitchen Revelry, as per E! News. Kitchen Revelry: A Year Of Festive Menus From My Home To Yours is a rare beast in that Larter didn't pair up with a fancy chef or ghostwriter—perhaps that's why the title's so long and a bit precious. She even admits to divulging a Buttermilk Ranch recipe that she claims all her friends have been trying to get. There are apparently no tips on whipped cream application, however.
7 Try: The Real Girl's Kitchen By Haylie Duff
It's not always easy to take celebrities seriously in the cookbook world, but Haylie Duff's new cookbook The Real Girl's Kitchen is a rare treat—it's full of good recipes. Somehow in between running a business, growing her family—she just gave birth to her daughter Lulu—and also maintaining an online blog, this actress-entrepreneur finds time to seriously get down in the kitchen. One sure fire hit recipe is Haylie's Famous Texas Queso, as per Real Girl's Kitchen. The Southern cook's stand-by can of Rotel Tomatoes stars in this gooey treat. In addition to the shredded and cream cheeses, Haylie reveals her secret: some Dijon mustard for extra zest.
6 Skip: Love Is In The Mix By Kate Gosselin
Kate Gosselin, who rocked to fame (or infamy) in the reality show Jon & Kate Plus Eight released a cookbook in 2013 entitled Love Is In The Mix. Now that the secret of the book is out, we can all move on. Reviews panning the cookbook as unoriginal and uninspired poured in and it sank into almost immediate obscurity, as per Radar Online. Gosselin's Meatloaf recipe featured on Hallmark Channel looks like an anemic version of everyone's grandma's recipe. We'll give Gosselin points for a recipe so simple even a frazzled mom of eight could follow it—after all, step three is to take off the foil in the last 15 minutes.
5 Skip: True Roots by Kristin Cavallari
Kristin Cavallari has just released a cookbook pledging to make healthy food interesting while also eliminating white sugar, white flour and (white) salt, according to People. Cavallari's on the gluten-free bandwagon not because anyone in the family has Celiac disease, but because of hubby Jay Cutler's diabetes, as per People. It's all part of the quest to be the perfect mom, revealed Cavallari—she taught herself to cook because she wanted to be the mom who makes family dinners. One recipe she claims she borrowed from Cutler is an Acorn Squash Boat, which mixes the insides with sausage and an egg. Sounds almost as good as green banana muffins.
4 Try: Eva's Kitchen By Eva Longoria
The Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria showed us all her culinary chops when she published her cookbook Eva's Kitchen in 2011, according to House And Home. Rather than being just a celebrity vanity piece, the cookbook surprised and delighted fans who loved the Tex-Mex home cooking recipes. Eva's Corn and Zucchini Salad is a refreshing summertime side dish that would wow at home on the dinner table or at a block party potluck. Fresh-shucked corn is key to making this dish bright and fresh. Fresh zucchini is sauteed quickly in butter then combined with a few ingredients for an easy to assemble crowd-pleaser.
3 Skip: Cookin' With Coolio: Five Star Meals At A One Star Price by Coolio
There are many, many things right with this 2009 cookbook, and many people found his irreverent approach to recipe titles and measurements refreshingly funny. Prepared to pan the entire oevre, critics were pleasantly surprised by many of the recipes, but there were a few that just didn't work out well. One head-scratcher from Cookin' With Coolio was his Hot Fruit Sandwich, which involved simmering fruit in olive oil before adding it to slices of white bread that are toasted also in olive oil and then smashed, as per The Pizzle. We're confused, to say the least—and left wondering if the recipe didn't work just because we aren't gangsta enough.
2 Try: Alton Brown’s Good Eats 3
Everyone knows that Alton Brown is one of the kings of foodie stardom. He had his own successful Food Network show as well as published three yummy cookbooks which combine all of his famous recipes coupled with his feel-good sense of humor. One recipe is his Shepherd’s Pie. According to LA Weekly, Brown's humble shepherd's pie had been continuously tabled on his TV shows, in favour of more interesting dishes. He said, "After all, meat pie isn't that flashy, and to tell you the honest truth, there's just not that much science involved."
1 Skip: Are We Having Any Fun Yet? By Sammy Hagar
First, he ruined Van Halen, and now he's ruining butter. Okay, that might be a polarizing statement, but there is seriously a butter recipe in his cookbook, titled Are We Having Any Fun Yet?, according to Paste Magazine. Most people know that Hagar lives the good life in Cabo San Lucas in Mexico and Mill Valley, California. Because many of the recipes are surprisingly decent in his 2015 cookbook, his Bud Butter recipe felt like a denouement. His take on herbal butter is to grind a bud in a coffee grinder, then whisk it into some butter until it's spreadable. And we were just going to go with some oregano.