• Martha Simons
  • Not Sure What to Cook for the Holidays? Your Favorite Books Will Give You a Hint
Not Sure What to Cook for the Holidays? Your Favorite Books Will Give You a Hint
Written by
Martha Simons
December 2015
Written by
Martha Simons
December 2015

LOOKING FOR MARIA'S MARKETING TIPS ABOUT HOLIDAY BOOK CAMPAIGNS? CLICK HERE. We posted the wrong link in the newsletter - our apologies!

I love reading and there's nothing surprising about that. As a writer, you need to read as much as you can to improve your skills and simply enjoy the journey to someone else's literary world. And as a loving mother I love cooking almost as much as reading. What can be more pleasant than the smell of a new book you've just bought and a chocolate cake you've just made? Only to see the anticipation of your kids who can't wait till the cake cools down a bit to be able to eat it. 

But this is not a post about my kids or the best recipe of a chocolate cake I've invented. This is the post about the combination of two of my favorite things – cooking and reading – the recipes from the famous books. It's quite often that you notice a description of an interesting dish while reading a detective story (like in the case of Agatha Christie) and wonder what it might taste like. 

Champagne Cocktail (Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald)

Want to feel yourself in the midst of one of the Gatsby's extravagant parties? A glass of this delicious drink will get you there.

You'll need:

1 sugar cube

3-5 dashes Angostura bitters

6 ounces champagne

lemon twist

Sprinkle Angostura bitters on sugar cube and place it into your glass. Add champagne and lemon twist to make it even prettier.

Christmas Toffee (Freedom by Jonathan Franzen)

Although the author of this novel suggests using “iron cauldrons and racks, heavy aluminum nut-processing devices” for making Christmas toffee, I'm sure you can cope without it perfectly fine.


You'll need:

2 cups (4 stick) unsalted butter

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1 cup chopped raw almonds

First, you need to combine butter, sugar, and water in a pan and cook it over medium-high heat. Stir it with a wooden spoon constantly. Cook it till the mixture is 240˚F and then add almonds while stirring. 

Keep on cooking constantly stirring the mixture till it's 300˚F and remove it from heat. Pour the mixture on a greased cookie sheet and spread it evenly. Let it cool for 2-3 minutes and then use knife to form the desired shapes of your toffee. Let it cool completely. You can top it with chocolate or enjoy as it is.  

Spiced Hot Chocolate (Chocolat by Joanne Harris)

What can be more appropriate at a cold and windy evening than a cup of hot chocolate?

You'll need:

1 cup of almond, soy or dairy milk

⅓ cup dark chocolate pieces

1-4 tablespoons sugar

1 chili pepper, split in half and seeds removed

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon vanilla

dash of salt

Add some milk to the chocolate and melt it. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and enjoy. 

As the holiday season is approaching, getting a literary cooking tip can be very helpful. These are the recipes I use, but you can adapt them to your taste or look for similar ones on the web. Just make sure there are no typos in them.

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