The Nightmare Before Christmas is on of my favorite Bermonth movies. Since the movie opens up with This is Halloween, we don’t get much direct Halloween celebration for the remainder of the movie. That doesn’t mean spooky lovers miss out. Jack Skellington gets the town on board with his hostile takeover of Christmas, but they never really shake the spooky element that comes so naturally to them. This is what makes The Nightmare Before Christmas Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide a fun way to acknowledge that.
In my opinion, the hard cover, shows that the recipes are attainable. Meaning, you don’t have to be a home chef to make a majority of the recipes in the book. Food Network cooking and baking competitions have shown us people don’t need culinary degrees to make amazing dishes. That is why I am making that distinction. Amateur chef implies the person has impressive skills in the kitchen. So don’t fret, the book is not a glorified picture book for novice cooks. Let’s checkout what the book has to offer.
Must Try Recipes
Jack Skellington Shepard Pie (P 55) looked delicious. Its the perfect fall and winter dish, because it’s savory and coated with a layer of mashed potatoes. I would make this for a themed family dinner or a party.
Sally Patchwork Layer Cake (P 98) is cute, but looks more difficult than I initially thought. From the outside, the cake is section in Sally’s iconic colors and patched worked together with brown icing. However, the detail doesn’t stop there, the cake is actual a multicolor marble cake.
Man Eating Marshmallow Wreath (P 64) is one of the most iconic Christmas symbols that went ary during Jack’s Christmas Eve. Plus you can’t go wrong with rice cereal treats. This would be a fun project to make with the family. Since it doesn’t take long to make the base, it could be used like a decorate your own cupcake project.
Christmas Tree Empanadas (57) can be made for any holiday party, because it doesn’t have a distinct Nightmare Before Christmas theme. Plus, the hostess can change the shape to suit the season of their party.
DIY Decor is Cute
The Entertaining Guide is full of Pinterest Worthy projects [I won’t feature them here, because I can’t show you everything. If you decided to get the book, I’ll let you know where to find them]. Personally, I like the Halloween Countdown Clock (118) that got a lot of screen time during the musical number, Making Christmas. Like sticking an X-mas sign over it was enough 😏. Another standout to me was the Lock, Shock, and Barrel Paper Mâché Masks (127), because these three trouble makers played a key role in kidnapping Sandy Claws and caused unnecessary trouble for Jack later in the movie. Plus, the number one tricker treaters in Halloween Town clearly have homemade costumes. So the masks make good decorations and photos booth props. I’m also a sucker for the Spooky Wreath and Garland (P 138), as well as, the Holiday Trees Portal Doors (P 180).
Let’s Party 🎉
If you don’t want to create a Nightmare Before Christmas party theme from scratch, the Party section of this book is for you! Models were used as needed for party inspiration and a frame of reference for displaying decorations with the menu. The vegetarian recipes within the book ensures the planner can create an menu that appeals to guest with dietary restrictions. Here’s a breakdown of each party section from the Entertaining Guide.
You won’t get a photo for every recipe, but Nightmare Before Christmas illustrations are thoughtfully placed throughout the book. The decorative grayscale border adds a nice touch. Each chapter has a lengthy introduction, which I appreciate from a document and design perspective. The attention to detail makes the book seem like a treasured keepsake versus a cash grab.
I’ll admit there are points where the creators could have taken it a step further; like The Mayor Two Face Black and White Cookie. This recipe gets a photo on Page 77. To be honest, it just a black and white cookie. Don’t let this one greviance stop you from checking out the guide. The design from front to back was beautifully done. There are plenty of creative recipes that mirror the movie in name and appearance. I’m just saying the black and white cookie was to subtle.
The Official Cookbook doesn’t have an index like a standard cookbook. If that matters to you, each chapter has a content breakdown with the introduction. In my opinion, the guide avoids wasting pages. For example, some projects have templates that can be downloaded online. This way, the consumer avoids bending the spine of the book more than necessary. Have you tried to scan pages from a hardcover book? I have and it causes unnecessary damage to the book. I appreciate that foresight.
Overall, I like that the combined the cookbook and entraining guide. This way, we get an all in one experience. I would buy this book for my home library and gift it to a friend. A lot of time and love went into The Nightmare Before Christmas Official Cookbook and Entertaining Guide. The multiple authors and contributors did not go out of their way to highlight their specific contribution within the oages. If you’re interested in purchasing it, the book was published by Insight Editions and distributed by Simon & Schuster in 2021. The ISBN13 is 9781647221577.