Review: The Nightmare Before Christmas Cookbook and Entertaining Guide


“This is Halloween, this is Halloween… ”
OK, not quite yet, but soon! And if, like me, you’re a fan of the upcoming trick-or-treat holiday and Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” you have been chanting “This is Halloween” daily as you count down the days to October 31.

This year, publisher Insight Editions has come out with a way that will significantly enhance any spooky soirees you might be planning to celebrate the season. They have released The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide, an all-new cookbook and entertaining guide featuring Halloween Town favorites like Jack Skellington, Sally, and Oogie Boogie in not only recipes, but in decorations, crafts and other activities.

The cookbook part of this beautifully photographed volume has more than 50 recipes inspired by the 1993 Halloween-Christmas movie mash-up.

Is Oogie Boogie your favorite goblin? Then you may want to start out your evening with the Oogie-Boogie Guacamole with Ghost and Christmas Tree Chips, and then move on to Oogie-Boogie Pasta Worms. You can finish your meal with not-so-scary Oogie-Boogie Lemon Meringue cupcakes.

 

 

Flip through the pages and you’ll find other tantalizing treats — Igor Cheesy Breadstick Bones, Dr. Finkelstein Bite-Size Brain Puff Pies, Zero Barbecued Ribs… You get the idea. Fun, right?

But maybe Jack Skellington’s best girl Sally, with her saucy, sewn-together look, is more your type? Then you’ll be dying to try the Sally Patchwork Layer Cake or the Sally Cauldron Potpies.

 

Recipes range from easy to moderately challenging, but they all are delightfully themed and pictured appetizingly.

What I found really great about these recipes is they don’t just focus on snacks or sweet treats, which you might expect from a Halloween cookbook. No, the recipes take on the whole dinner, from soup to nuts, including beverages. There are several entries for each course, so you can theme a whole meal around your favorite Nightmare character, or mix it up and cover the gamut of Tim Burton’s creepy creations. What’s more, the recipes take into account special dietary needs. You’ll find there are sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegetarian selections as well. No one needs to feel left out.

The second half of this book is what really sets it apart. This is a true entertaining guide, walking you through the steps you’ll need to follow to plan a perfectly themed “The Nightmare Before Christmas” party. From designing special invitations to creating perfectly themed decor with a delectable menu to match, this part of the book covers all the bases. There are plenty of themed crafts, games and other activities to entertain all of your party-goers, from the youngest ghosts and goblins to grown-up ghouls. Whether you plan to host a Halloween or Christmas party, a birthday bonanza or a summer BBQ, you’ll find inspiration and instructions that will take your “Nightmare” celebration to the next level.

 

What’s really special about this guide is the way it even mixes media to facilitate your party planning — there actually free online resources at your fingertips, so you’re getting way more than the book’s 192 pages. You can download and print out templates for signs, invitations and more, to make your parties seem even more authentically “Nightmare”-ish.

I just wish I’d had this book several years ago when my son was younger and I was planning at-home Halloween parties for him and his friends. Well, no worries — I have it now, and will be whipping up a Jack Skellington Shepherd’s Pie for myself this week!

“This is Halloween, this is Halloween…”

The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook and Entertaining Guide,” by Kim Laidlaw, Caroline Hall and Jody Revenson, retails for $39.99 and is out now.


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Deb Koma

Deb Koma is a Northern Virginia-based freelance writer and editor who has specialized in writing about all sorts of Disney things for more than 20 years.

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