Thursday, July 22, 2010

Twlight Delights

I have a confession. I'm a huge Twilight nerd. I read through Stephenie Meyer's vampire saga faster than I've ever finished a book series. I had the world's biggest crush on Edward (go Team Edward!). I cherished every minute of the movies, especially New Moon and the latest Eclipse film. The film version of Twilight was incredibly cheesy, and the makeup and acting were awful ... but I didn't care. Still loved it.

So when I was contacted about reviewing Love at First Bite: The Unofficial Twilight Cookbook by Gina Meyers, I jumped at the chance. It's not a vegan cookbook by any stretch, but the way I see it, all non-vegan recipes are just begging to be veganized. I figured I could make just about anything in the book without meat, cheese, or eggs.

When the book arrived a few weeks ago, I flipped through and noticed quite a few easily veganizable recipes and a couple that were already accidentally vegan. So no problem there. However, I also noticed that the book is poorly organized. Some of the ingredients in recipes aren't listed in the order they're used. At least one recipe — the Yellow Squash and Tomato Parmesan — is listed twice in the book. Some words are capitalized or lower-cased that shouldn't be. Basically, the book could use some serious editing. Oh, and the black and white photos aren't all that appetizing. Honestly, if you're publishing a cookbook with no color, you really shouldn't include photos.

Because I'm a huge stickler for proper editing (my day job is a newspaper reporter) and decent photography, this was an immediate turn-off. But I'd promised a review of the recipes, so I kept my word. And I'm glad that I did. Many of the recipes have cutesy Twilight-themed names like, "I Dare You to Eat Pizza, Edward" and "Harry's Famous Fish Fry."

I chose the Bella Bruschetta as my main course because it seemed easy enough to veganize:

I swapped out the sausage for my homemade Creole Seitan Sausages and the mozzarella for Daiya Italian Shreds. Those are combined with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and fresh garlic atop a slice of whole grain French bread spread with olive oil. The recipe actually called for one cup of olive oil to spread over the entire loaf, but I thought that sounded crazy. So I spread each slice (I got four large slices from one loaf) with about a tablespoon of olive oil each. Sadly, I forgot to top this bruschetta with the recommended fresh basil before snapping my photo.

Sure, it was an easy recipe, but nonetheless, this bruschetta (more like a French bread pizza, really) was damn tasty. Bella would be proud to serve this to Charlie on a busy weeknight.

On the side, I tossed together this Breaking Dawn Berry Salad:

It called for mixed greens, but I thought spinach sounded like a good fit to combine with the fresh raspberries, avocado, red onion, chopped pecans, and raspberry vinaigrette. I'm bad about falling into salad ruts when it comes to side salads, just tossing in whatever veggies I have on hand. So this was a nice change. I'd probably never think to combine avocado and raspberries, but it was delicious.

Though I take issue with the editing errors, the food I chose to make from Love at First Bite didn't disappoint. I'm also impressed with the book's very large cocktail section featuring drinks with names "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" and "Cullen Club Collins."

There's also a Twilight party planning guide with a strange idea for a New Moon party with an astronaut theme (what?!), a prom planner for Bella (also strange), and 101 random Twilight saga facts. For example, did you know Stephenie Meyer initially named her book Forks? The back of the book is filled with a Twilight trivia quiz, which I'm assuming would come in handy at the New Moon astronaut party.

In conclusion, I'd say the book could certainly use a little cleaning up. But it's still a kitschy, fun volume for diehard Twilight nerds like me.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, man! I have a huge OCD-type problem with editing-type errors myself. I hate it when things are spelled wrong, recipes list ingare out of order So I would probably give myself an aneurysm or something trying to read this

Anonymous said...

Oh, man! I have a huge OCD-type problem with editing-type errors myself. I hate it when things are spelled wrong, recipes list ingredients out of order, etc.) So I would probably give myself an aneurysm or something trying to read this. LOL. It is a cool idea though. BTW team Jacob! LOL

Hello Veggie said...

There is no shame. I'm team Edward too.
And I totally agree regarding the black/white pictures things. Thanks, but no thanks!

Jenn/HeVe

Vegyogini said...

I'm a natural-born editor, so I completely agree that poor grammar and spelling is a huge turn-off in a book (and in all aspects of life).

I have never read the Twilight books and I only just recently watched the first movie because it was free on-demand, but here's something else to consider: I understood from the first movie that Bella is vegetarian, so why on earth would a bruschetta recipe in her name be made with sausage?!?!

Lauren said...

Ahh hahhaha, I can't believe their is a Twilight cookbook.

Ok and I secretly like the movies. I haven't read the books because I haven't had time, but I really want to!

Kiersten said...

I'm a huge Twilight nerd too (team Edward)! I love the books. I agree that some of the movies were a little cheesy, but I liked them anyway. I never heard of the Twilight cookbook. I guess I shouldn't be surprised though since everyone has Twilight fever.

Millie said...

there is no one like Bianca to change and create such great meals out of a non vegan cookbook...Excellent!

http://nuestracena-vegancuisine.blogspot.com

Rick said...

those are great pics, looking professional! my wife read the Twilight books too but i don't think she saw any of teh movies.

Jessica said...

A cup of olive oil! Crazy! I like themed parties and meals, and this cookbook sounds like a good idea for the Twilight craze. Maybe they'll let you improve on it before the next edition?

Anonymous said...

I think it fits that the cookbook has poor editing. I tried reading Twilight because a few friends recommended it to me. I couldn't make it through two chapters without taking out a pen and correcting it. I got to chapter four and I was so frustrated with the book I gave up.

rpattzlawyer said...

I'm something of a Twi-hard myself, though I'm specifically more of a Team Rob person...

That cookbook would have annoyed me to no end. I'm such an editor - I always notice errors in books, and it really bothers me! I'm a tad OCD... Thanks for taking this one for the team!

Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

I feel the same way about the actual Twilight series as you do about the cookbook. It's poorly written, but I like the content. I just grit my teeth during the annoying-as-hell parts, then dreamily envision myself cruising around the Pacific Northwest in a Volvo, my skin sparkling in the column of sun shining through my moon roof.... sigh. The salad looks great, and so does the bruschetta. I say YOU make a Twilight-themed vegan cookbook. I'd go for that.

River - Wing-It Vegan said...

How cool! I love themed foods! Too bad about the lack of editing, that's a bummer. And black and white photos aren't much help either. I am not the biggest Twilight fan, but if I had to pick a team it would be team Edward! :D

Jenny said...

"I Dare You to Eat Pizza, Edward" - hahaha. I love it. I can totally see my sisters and I having a Twilight party and making these foods.

Jennifer said...

I'm going to move beyond my disgust as Twilight and onto my main point: I feel your pain. I HATE poorly edited cookbooks. Urban Vegan is one - great recipes and all but I barely use it because the poor editing just turned me off and I always associate it with that. For example: the recipe for banana blueberry bread (delicious by the way) NEVER HAS YOU COMBINE THE WET AND DRY INGREDIENTS. WHAT?!?!?! Plus the menu suggestions have no page numbers, the index is awful, the book sometimes forgets what the recipes are called, etc. Total turn-off.

But seriously, Twilight? Addictive, yes. Offensive to women? Also yes.

Jennifer said...

PS. Sorry my comment was so negative! I'm not really that negative a person, you just struck a couple of nerves!

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mandee said...

I like Twilight too, no shame in admitting it! I don't think I'd buy the cookbook but I liked seeing your review and some of the meal titles are funny!

Vampire said...

Aw I liked this blog before I read that you like twilight...