8 Recipes Inspired By Your Favorite Swoon Books

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a hardcore foodie. So when it comes to books AND food? Let’s just say I let myself indulge. If you’re somebody who enjoys mealtime, cooking your own meals, and food in general—especially when it’s paired with a good book—these reads will have you trying out new recipes in the kitchen.


Lobster Roll — Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale

A queer summer romance set in a sleepy Maine beach town? *Sigh* Small Town Hearts is brimming with Northeastern seafood dishes, including one of my favorites: Maine lobster roll! This juicy dish is made with fresh lobster, hot dog buns, lettuce, celery, lemon juice, and butter, topped with some delicious mayo and pepper. You can find the recipe here.


Gnocchi — The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz

When the music ends, the feast begins. In The Midnight Dance, twelve young women train at an isolated finishing school to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Life at the estate includes munching on pastries and yummy Italian dishes such as gnocchi. Traditionally, these little dumplings are made by mixing potatoes, flour, and eggs. It takes a lot of patience to roll the dough into the correct shape so that their backs get the impression of tiny ridges, but eating them afterwards makes the preparation worth it. Click here to learn how to make gnocchi like an Italian grandmother!


Rocky Road and/or Chocolate Chip Ice Cream — How to Breathe Underwater by Vicky Skinner

If you’ve ever thought about recreating the adorable scene in How to Breathe Underwater when Kate and Michael eat ice cream together, don’t worry. It’s super easy. We’ve provided two homemade recipes for rocky road and chocolate chip ice cream. The total prep and cook time for each is about 30 minutes, so treat yourself to one of these refreshing desserts.


Siu Mai — Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen

Jake and Mia might fake their relationship in Fake It Till You Break It, but they definitely don’t fake their love for dumplings. This Cantonese signature dim-sum dish consists of pork and shrimp filling wrapped in wonton skin. Siu mai (or shu mai) are traditionally cooked in a bamboo steamer, which allows you to make multiple dishes at once by stacking the bamboo racks on top of one another. You can find the recipe for shrimp and pork siu mai here and instructions on how to use a bamboo steamer here.


Cinnamon Rolls — If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

You might not be able to find an exact replica of Goldeen’s secret-recipe cream-cheese icing cinnamon rolls from If It Makes You Happy, but you can definitely try to recreate them! This recipe for cinnamon roll icing calls for browned butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and milk—combined to create the perfect mix that’s creamy, rich, and smooth. If you’re like me and tend to prefer cooking over baking, try this recipe for slow cooker cinnamon rolls. It takes only 30 minutes to make!


Grilled Steak — The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo

Looking to impress that special someone? In The Truth About Happily Ever After, Miller makes a mean steak for Alyssa, and how does she respond? Well, we won’t spoil the book for you, but personally, my mouth waters just thinking about steak. Whether you’re a rare, medium rare, or well-done type of person, this grilled steak recipe will definitely satisfy your meat craving. (Sorry vegans and vegetarians!)


Sweet Butter Waffles — Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius

The first three words of chapter 2 in Love Fortunes and Other Disasters are “Sweet butter waffles.” Don’t believe me? Read an excerpt here! If you’re the type of person who eats breakfast every day (bless), check out this recipe for buttery golden buttermilk waffles. Add some fresh fruit or whipped cream to make this even more appetizing. And if you’re feeling really crazy, throw on some of that ice cream from recipe #3!


Holy Water — When Life Gives You Demons by Jennifer Honeybourn

Demons, exorcisms, school spirits? Enough said. You can find the recipe here.

Author spotlight

Erin Siu

Book lover, music geek, Californian. Always falling for books about multicultural experiences, family relationships, and first love.

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