Best and Worst Celebrity Cookbooks Slideshow

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Best: Eva Longoria, "Eva's Kitchen"
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The Mexican-American Desperate Housewives star offers some of her favorite childhood foods from growing up outside Corpus Christi — like her aunt's Devil's Food Cake — interspersed with anecdotes about recipes she’s picked up while traveling the world, and photos of her cooking for family and friends in full hair and makeup. One not-so-Mexican, but sumptuous-sounding, dish Longoria offers is for Argentinian empanadas with beef, olives, egg whites, and a secret ingredient: a hidden cube of Manchego cheese.

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Randall Slavin

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Best: Gwyneth Paltrow, "My Father's Daughter"
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Everyone’s favorite actress/lifestyle advice-giver now offers a cookbook she was inspired to write by the memory of her gourmand father and dedicated to — among others — an exhaustive list of suspiciously famous- and uber-wealthy-sounding families. Though, without first names, we’re forced to forever wonder if it’s the Spielbergs, Downeys and Nadal-Saxe-Coburgs she is referencing. One fun recipe Paltrow includes, the “Playwright’s Melt” — which consists of brined olives, scallions, Cheddar, curry and Vegenaise on an English(!) muffin — was actually authored by award-winning playwright and family friend Leonard Gershe. Lenny just used canned olives, though, which is fine since “a little kitsch never hurt anyone.” Check out more of her recipes below. 

Click here to see the Grilled Tuna Rolls recipe.

Click here to see Gwyneth Paltrow's Hot Niçoise Salad recipe. 

 

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Ellen Silverman

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Best: Mario Lopez, "Extra Lean Family"
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A.C. Slater has transformed himself into a television personality and author — of multiple books! Extra Lean Family comes hot on the tail of 2010’s bestselling Extra Lean. Like the original, the family version offers tips and detailed plans to help maintain health, lose weight, and a clever play on words referencing the author’s day job as an entertainment news host. Whether or not these recipes constitute something the average family would actually want to eat is both unclear and beside the point: Lopez routinely and rightfully graces the cover of myriad fitness magazines and doesn’t seem to have aged a day since 1993, so it may be in all our interests to at least peruse this book. 

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Michael Darter

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Best: Sheryl Crow, "If It Makes You Healthy"
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Sheryl Crow shares the credit and cover of her cookbook with the man who travels with her and her family and band and cooks foods with region and season in mind. And, like Mario Lopez, Crow seems to be somehow aging in reverse, so picking up her cookbook might be worth your while. Interesting recipe to check out: Cashew Butter and Fruit “Caviar.”

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Flickr/Fragility_v2

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Worst: Coolio, "Cookin' With Coolio"
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This culinary tome (available only in paperback) is destined to make Coolio the Enkidu to Julia Child’s Gilgamesh with such epic chapters as “How to Become a Kitchen Pimp,” “Pimpin’ the Poultry” and “It’s Hard Out Here for a Shrimp.” Coolio offers loads of sage advice alongside his recipes as well as in his introduction, “Who is the Ghetto Gourmet?” and the inevitable “Pimp-clusion.”

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Amazon.com

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Worst: Ted Nugent, "Kill It & Grill It"
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African Sheep Steak, Mom’s Blintzes, Limbrat Étouffée, and Sweet & Sour Antelope are just some of the surprisingly worldly offerings in this cookbook co-authored by former Damn Yankees member and enthusiastic American Ted Nugent. For the 2002 cookbook — which offers more venison recipes than Nugent has children — Nugent teamed up with wife Shemane to offer recipes for meat “lovingly carved from the skeletons of protein-rich animals in their ultimate afterlife habitat of steel and charcoal.”

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Flickr/Stuart Chalmers

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Best: Paul Newman, "Newman's Own Cookbook"
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For decades, Newman’s Own has helped teach Americans that food can feed the belly and soul, through its charitable efforts and efforts to produce — of all things — delicious prepared foods. With this cookbook, Paul Newman takes things a step further, aiming to teach Americans how to prepare their own delicious foods. Proceeds from the book have and continue to, like all Newman’s Own products, all go to charity. Many celebrities have lent their favorite recipes to the book, including the delicious yet perplexing Melanie Griffith’s Macadamia, Chocolate Chip, and Peanut Butter Mini-Turnovers recipe.

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Amazon.com

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Worst: "The Star Trek Cookbook"
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Unfortunately, it isn’t written in Klingon. However, the cookbook does offer several Klingon recipes inspired by favorites of Lieutenant Worf of Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as recipes from all over the galaxy as told by crew members of various iterations of the sci-fi favorite. Remember that smart aleck from freshman political science who wrote a final paper about how the Vulcans are undoubtedly meant to represent the Tibetans or Swiss or whatever he thought was so funny? He was wrong, they’re yuppies! As evidenced by Ensign Harry Kim’s Vulcan Mocha ice Cream. Other notable recipes include Borg Tricorder Pie and Commander Data’s Cellular Peptide Cake with Mint Frosting.

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Amazon.com

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Worst: Mo'Nique, "Skinny Cooks Can't Be Trusted"
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Carrying on her career theme that largeness is in-chargeness, Phat Girlz star and Oscar winner Mo’Nique offers this light-hearted, heavy-on-calories volume of recipes and personal anecdotes. Mo’Nique’s recipes like Blueberry Pancakes (found in the modestly-titled section The Morning After Breakfast) and profound personal touches called Mo’s Tips, such as “I like to warm my syrup up in the microwave,” make Skinny Cooks Can’t Be Trusted a perfect companion to How to Boil Water.

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Amazon.com

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Oprah Winfrey, In The Kitchen With Rosie
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In this early peek at the juggernaut Oprah Winfrey would become in all things lifestyle are recipes not written by the talk show host, but merely eaten. That’s right, Oprah had a cookbook she didn’t write, but merely enjoyed the recipes from: and, surprise, it was a hit! Her personal chef, Rosie, is the real brains behind the book’s 50 healthy and weight-conscious. At least Oprah let her chef be on the book’s cover. Of course, Oprah’s on it too.

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TK

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Worst: "The Sopranos Family Cookbook"
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Now you too can sit down to home-cooked, hearty Italian meals after those long days performing heinous acts of violence on your friends, family, and neighbors. Various characters, including the chef — Artie Bucco — of the characters’ favorite restaurant and Carmela Soprano herself offer Italian-American favorites and discrete references to the HBO series that only fans might pick up on. However, if you’re searching for a real Sunday Gravy recipe or tips on the perfect cannoli, you need not be a fan of the show to appreciate The Sopranos Family Cookbook.

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Amazon.com