Review and Giveaway: Win A Copy Of “The Unofficial Hogwarts for the Holidays Cookbook” from Ulysses Press

Attention all kitchen witches and wizards! A new wizarding world-themed recipe book, The Unofficial Hogwarts for the Holidays Cookbook by Rita Mock-Pike, is available for purchase today. As a professional baker of seven years, I am very picky about the cookbooks that I allow on my shelves – most of my collection is made up of books written by friends and colleagues. The few exceptions are there because they are either very creative or include a unique recipe that I cannot find elsewhere. This book hits both marks. It includes 75 recipes, ranging from fan favorites to unique dishes based on something from the wizarding world. One example of this is the “Soul Sucker,” which is a drink based on the idea of a Dementor’s Kiss (no actual soul-stealing involved).

 

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The day I got this book, I wanted to try a few of the recipes. Though it created a very odd combination of smells in my kitchen, I followed Rita’s recipes for Cockroach Clusters, Hot Chocolate, Gravy, and Fiery Whiskey. All four recipes were very easy to make and came out well. Two things that I didn’t completely love (but are easy to fix) were the thickness of the gravy and the small number of additives in the Cockroach Clusters. I’d suggest adding more stock if you prefer a thinner gravy, and feel free to increase the number of nuts and marshmallows in the clusters. But the Hot Chocolate and Fiery Whiskey recipes are both quite good. Adjusting the drinks to personal taste should be easy.

The overall design of the book is simple and well done. It is organized by season and then by holiday. There are 73 full-color product images along with full-page photographs heading each section. (My favorite photo is of the snowy owl leading the section called “Owl-Mail Feast.”) My one concern about the book is that not all of the photos are exact to the final product. Some photos include things that aren’t in the recipe; others don’t include things that are needed. This is unfortunate because photos are so important in helping the reader understand what their product should look like.

But a few inexact photos don’t distract from all of the good things about this cookbook. The line art spaced throughout the book adds character without being overbearing or distracting. The paper is of good quality for a cookbook. I always bring my books into the kitchen with me, and sometimes the pages get dirty; I’m sure that these would be easy to clean if needed. Probably the best thing about the design of the book is the font and size of the text. Some cookbooks are hard to read in the kitchen, but this one is super easy to read thanks to its large text.

Pros:

  • The book is beautiful, well-laid out, and easy to read.
  • The recipes are easy to follow and turn out pretty well.
  • There is a large variety of recipes – something for every event.
  • Recipes are detailed with notes, times, and servings.
  • The book is out today!

Cons:

  • The photos don’t always match the recipes.
  • There are some minor oddities in the methods of prep.

You can buy this book today from Amazon, Bookshop, or any popular retailer. Let us know what you think and what recipe you made! Also, look out for ideas from me on how to use this book during the holidays.

Prepare to cook like a witch or wizard with The Unofficial Hogwarts for the Holidays Cookbook. Our contest to win a copy is open to North America, starting today, October 16, running through October 25 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Enter through the Rafflecopter below. Winners will be contacted via email after October 25, so make sure to check your junk or spam folders just in case our e-owl goes astray. All winners must respond within 24 hours, or another winner may be chosen.

 

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A copy of The Unofficial Hogwarts for the Holidays Cookbook was provided by Ulysses Press. All opinions belong to the reviewer.

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