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The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook: From Lamb Stew to "Groosling" - More than 150 Recipes Inspired by The Hunger Games Trilogy Hardcover – Dec 1 2011

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The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook: From Lamb Stew to "Groosling" - More than 150 Recipes Inspired by The Hunger Games Trilogy + The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory--More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Muggles and Wizards
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media (Dec 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440526583
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440526589
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 18.3 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #146,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jim on April 27 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had bought this book based on the old fashond recipies in it and so far it has served me well.Though most recipies are large sized.So are great for familys
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2 of 16 people found the following review helpful By fed up on March 19 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is why writing children's books can be a very depressing occupation. Was there not one person along the whole publishing process - from writer to printer - who did not ask, "Is this worth doing?"
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 91 reviews
107 of 120 people found the following review helpful
Cute idea for Hunger Games fans, but bakers beware! March 27 2012
By Sarah - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I'd checked out the Hunger Games cookbook after reading the first two books in the trilogy, and upon first glance, I was excited: the author tied in specific food-related references in the Hunger Games Trilogy at the beginning of each recipe. Some of these connections are rather tenuous at best, and the recipes included here are more "inspired by" than direct translations of foods mentioned. So far, so good.

The book is divided into breakfast, soups, stews, and salads, appetizers, seafood, poultry, beef, lamb and pork, wild game (!), and desserts, along with an index of herbs. The skill level of the recipes is appropriate for older kids and teens, who are likely the target audience given the Hunger Games books. However, the game recipes in particular are an odd inclusion. I can see including one or two for authenticity using game that could conceivably be found at a butcher's or exotic meat store, but including a whole chapter of such delights as wild raccoon, fried squirrel, beaver, tree rat, etc. seemed a bit TOO authentic and more like filler (plus, it made me shudder to think of the consequences of not storing or preparing it properly). In an online interview, I found the following: "When it came to wild game, where the dish called for raccoon or tree rat, Ms Baines did her research and trawling culinary sites and game cooking forums, discovered many solutions." For something specialized like preparing and cooking wild game, I want to know that the cookbook author has more experience than "I looked it up online." There are also many recipes that call for wild plants like Japanese knotweed, yucca stalks, milkweed buds, stinging nettles, etc. Again, kudos for faithfulness to the original premise of foraging for survival, but as a usable cookbook, it limits its appeal.

Both the dishes I tried were complete flops. I decided to try two of the dessert recipes, since that is the area I'm most familiar with. I'm an experienced baker, and I had my doubts upon reading through the recipe for "Thick and Gooey Double Chocolate Banquet Brownies." A POUND of butter (yep, four whole sticks) and 36 ounces of chocolate (not to mention a tablespoon of baking powder) in a 9x13x2 pan (as in singular) seemed like a recipe for disaster. My normal brownie recipe calls for 12 ounces of chocolate, five eggs, and two sticks of butter, and rises to about one inch. I had my doubts as to whether or not to use two pans, as there is one line in the recipe that says "pans," but as the yield said "one pan," I went with that. BIG mistake. The unappealing-looking batter quickly overinflated and ran over the sides of my brownie pan, dripping onto the heating element. Total scratch, and not a cheap one, since I purchased the recommended Guittard chips at $2.79 a bag times three.

For the second recipe, I thought I'd take another chance and try the recipe for Attack of the Chocolate Chunk Muffins. After all, I frequently make muffins, so what could go wrong? Plenty. Again, the yield is WAY off; the recipe says 12 muffins, but it easily could have made fifteen or sixteen (unless you want to throw out the excess batter). The ingredients seemed more in proportion, but seemed to call for a lot of liquid: 2/3 cup milk, plus a teaspoon of extracts and two eggs. Again, I went by the recipe yield and heaped the batter into the pan liners, thinking that the batter looked thick enough to hold its shape during baking. Mistake number two. The muffins flattened out rather than doming, and like the brownies, the batter crept closer to the pan's edge until the tops cracked, leaving raw, runny centers. I ended up throwing out my second batch of expensive batter in two days.

According to the author's bio on the back of the book, she has worked as a professional baker and caterer, but in another online interview, it stated "the eager foodie had no formal training." I've baked from dozens of baking books, and I've never had such bad luck with following recipes as written. I even went online to try and find an errata sheet, but didn't have any luck. Upon closer inspection, there are numerous typos in several recipes, and my own aforementioned experiences lead me to wonder whether this was thoroughly tested before being rushed to market.

I'd like to give the book another chance, so I will likely try additional (non-baking) recipes at some point. If there is an updated edition, I would be willing to give it another shot and update my review.
120 of 136 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely Appalling! March 28 2012
By Grandma - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I was one of the very first to review The Hunger Games. I loved the book, thought it one of the best I had seen for the Young Adult market in quite some while. Even way back in 2008 I was predicting that the Hunger Games series might just be the next big thing. So, I was delighted to see the recent release of the movie and was glad to have the opportunity to review Emily Ansara Baines The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook: From Lamb Stew to "Groosling" - More than 150 Recipes Inspired by The Hunger Games Trilogy. I cannot begin to tell you how dreadfully sad I am to have to write the review I'm about to put on "paper."

At first glance, The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook seems like a brilliant and fairly well executed idea, though I must admit that I had questions about the use of the Hunger Games name, surely by now trademarked. In spots, the recipes are marvelous. In others, not so much. And while I certainly understand the idea behind including things like mountain goat and yucca, foraging for food is something that takes knowledge. Many - probably most - of the recipes that use foraged plant roots I would not use, even though I've been "picking wild" for more than a half a century.

As I started taking a closer look at some of the recipes I started to notice some odd things. The recipe for Finnick And Annie's Wedding: White Wedding Cake, though it is a wedding cake indeed, is not a white wedding cake. White cakes do not contain any egg yolks, as those color the cake a golden color. This recipe contains 7 of them. I found the nearly identical recipe on a wedding site.

More than a few of the cookie recipes have very small yields for the large amount of dough the recipes produce. Tigri's Fig Cookies are what are more usually called Italian Cuccidati, a Sicilian fig cookie commonly served at Christmas and for weddings. The directions that Baines gives are not complete - they fail to specify the size that each of the four portions of dough should be rolled to. The recipe also allows for about 4-5 times the amount of filling that a standard Cuccidati recipe making 3-4 dozen cookies calls for. Somehow, Baines only manages to get 2 dozen cookies.

And then I came to the game recipes, which are quite frankly very problematic. Let me draw your attention to just one of them, though this is not the only problematic game recipe by a very long shot. In particular though, take a peek at the Banquet-Baked Mountain Goat with Artichokes, Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs on page 158. In the "Tips From Your Sponsor" Baines writes:

"Mountain goat is a strong-flavored animal. If too old, its meat will be tough and stringy. Only cook goat when you have access to young meat, or brine the older meat prior to cooking. Either way, a baked stew of sorts is an excellent way to get good results from this goat. Serve with cooked rice."

Now it so happens that over at Netplaces, Karen Eagle, author of The Everything Wild Game Cookbook: From Fowl And Fish to Rabbit And Venison--300 Recipes for Home-cooked Meals (Copyright 2006) has most of her book readily available online. It also so happens that Karen has a recipe titled "Baked Mountain Goat with Tomatoes, Artichokes and Fresh Herbs." And it just so happens that Karen's introduction to that recipe (which is virtually identical to the one in Unofficial Hunger Games) reads, copied and pasted directly from the recipe page at Netplaces:

"Mountain goat is a strong-flavored animal. If too old, it's tough and stringy. So cook goat when you have access to young meat or brine the older meat prior to cooking. However, a baked stew of sorts is an excellent way to get good results from this animal. Serve with cooked rice."

I'm not sure just exactly how Emily Baines managed to slip this past her publisher, but Grandma does not reward plagiarism and copyright violation. The only recommendation Grandma will make is for lessons in the meaning of copyright.

Absolutely NOT Recommended.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Plagiarism, untested recipes that don't work - a waste of money and time Aug. 17 2012
By Survivor - Published on
Format: Hardcover
My daughter got this as a birthday gift and we have tried to cook from it. Not a single recipe has worked yet. The baked goods have very odd proportions in the ingredients. The author clearly is not an experienced baker and must not have tested the recipes at all. As other reviewers have noted, she put this book together from stuff she found on the Internet, including words written by others. The front material has acknowledgements to two authors of wild game cookbooks - if the author used their words, their names should be on the cover. Shame!

This book is a waste of your money.
54 of 70 people found the following review helpful
This is amazing. Dec 13 2011
By Kathleen Weisman - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first thing I have to say about this book is that I could not imagine a more loving tribute to the Hunger Games trilogy. Each recipe has a blurb that tells you where the food can be found in the book and a little bit about its context. That in itself is impressive, as there are a *TON* of recipes in here. There is something for every meal, and even the pickiest of eaters will find something they'll enjoy. The author, you may notice, has a serious sweet tooth - even simple things like breads, salads and porridge have extra ingredients to make them more fruity and spicy and sweet. This adds to the excitement of tasting a food from a good book.
You'll notice that a lot of reviews allude to the fact that there is a section in the book for cooking wild game. Don't let that put you off - the other 80% of the recipes in here have much easier ingredients to find. And anyway, how could there be a Hunger Games cookbook WITHOUT a wild game section? I confess I probably won't be cooking any of those, but even reading the recipes is entertaining.
I would recommend this book to foodies and fans alike.
77 of 101 people found the following review helpful
Simply fantastic! Jan. 5 2012
By LBD - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was hooked after reading the lamb stew recipe, and I downloaded this book at once. After reading over the descriptions for some of the more vivid meals (and in a fit of madness I admit) I decided to schedule our first annual District 12 appreciation day.

We started with Mrs. Everdeen's mush combined with Trash Taters. Lunch was Hope Salad and Wild Mushroom Soup. For dinner we feasted on rabbit stew. All in all we probably cooked enough calories in one day to feed the typical District 12 family of four for a month! And every single dish was incredible. The stew fell apart on the fork, it was so tender, and mush combined with vanilla and cream isn't entirely indeible (in fact it's entirely tasty!). Our only failure of the day was Peeta's raisin bread which, unfortunately, fell at altitude (come on, I'm trying to bake bread in District 2!). But all in all it was a marvelous day, and quite a treat to get to know some of the supporting cast (namely, the meals!)

I have a few suggestions if you want to try this.

1. watch the portions. The yield for each recipe is enormous. If you're cooking for two cut everything in half.
2. remember that you need to reduce liquids if you're cooking at altitude. Peeta's famous raisin walnut bread will need some severe tweaking if you want it to work in District 2!
3. A cool addition to Katniss' Dandelion (Hope) salad - go to your local Whole Foods and snag some edible flowers. They sell them in little plastic cartions in the refridgerated herb section. I'm telling you, when I brought it out decorated with things like pansys and roses *in* the salad it brought the house down. Ha!

We've already scheduled a "Capitol Feast Day" for when the movie is released. Until then, may the food be ever in your favor!

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