Cover art for podcast Cooking The Books

Cooking The Books

23 EpisodesProduced by Vanessa BacaWebsite

A podcast about food in literature, the inspiration behind the stories, and how the recipes come to life in my kitchen!

23 Episodes | 2020 - 2022

Dracula and the Bloody Satisfaction of Chicken Paprikash

July 26th, 2022

52:10

Being the former Goth girl that I am, of course there is no monster I love more than that big, bad granddad of vampires, Dracula! We have a return …

The Great Gatsby and the Jazzy Joys of Mint Juleps

April 26th, 2022

53:38

Please note: We experienced some technical difficulties while recording so I apologize for the audio quality in places where it fades out. 

Happy end …

The Chef's Secret and the Renaissance-ish Delights of Veal Meatballs with Pinenuts

March 20th, 2022

57:44

It's the marvelous month of March, and this month's episode features a wonderful book set in Renaissance Italy that is filled to the joyous brim with …

The Farolitos of Christmas and the Seasonal Happiness of Biscochitos

January 4th, 2022

56:15

A belated holiday-themed episode awaits you today! We are discussing the ultimate New Mexico Christmas food - the biscochito, and I interview the …

Shakespeare's Hamlet and the Dysfunctional Joy of Chicken Pies in Coffins (or The Funeral Baked Meats)

November 16th, 2021

50:44

To be or not to be, that is the question, and one of many questions and quandaries we'll be discussing in today's episode, focusing on my favorite of all William Shakespeare's plays, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of …

Rebecca and the Gothic Pleasure of Ravioli in Tomato-Chicken-Cream Sauce

September 28th, 2021

1:08:06

We're entering the holy season of Halloween, and what better way to kick off this eerie time of the year with a discussion of one of literature's …

The Godfather and the Vengeful Bliss of Veal Saltimbocca

August 17th, 2021

51:00

We're taking on Mario Puzo's operatic masterpiece The Godfather today, talking about the merits of both the book and the classic film trilogy, with Dr. Eddie Tafoya, English professor and self-professed expert on this …

Pet Sematary and the Deathly Deliciousness of Meatloaf Sandwiches

June 2nd, 2021

37:45

We're talking Stephen King again today with one of his darkest, most devastating and terrifying books of all, discussing how grief and not accepting death can bring about true horror, and I share my method for making …

Portnoy's Complaint and the Onanistic Pleasures of Cream-Filled Apple & Banana Cake

April 28th, 2021

16:00

Today's episode takes on one of the horniest and neurotic young men in modern literature, his obsession with self-pleasure, and a delicious cream-filled dessert, so enjoy! Special thanks to Dr. Eddie Tafoya, Professor …

The Pit and the Pendulum and the Horrifying Thrill of Pork Medallions in Amontillado Sauce

March 1st, 2021

12:46

The man who was my first literary boyfriend, Edgar Allan Poe himself, and one of his masterpiece works, are the subject of today's podcast, as I expound on the dark genius of the man, his opium-like literary style, and …

The Shining and the Truly Terrifying Pleasure of Tomato-Basil Bisque

February 4th, 2021

14:41

We're taking on the King of horror literature today, my main man Stephen King, and the book that is arguably one of his masterpieces, discussing the literary merits of the book vs. the notorious Stanley Kubrick film, …

Pablo Neruda's Ode to Tomatoes and the Sensual Pleasures of Tuna-Stuffed Tomatoes

January 1st, 2021

15:42

This episode features the poetry of my very favorite poet in the entire world, the late, great Pablo Neruda, and his culinary and sensual take on …

The Haunting of Hill House and the Spooky Joy of Chicken with Plums and Radishes

November 23rd, 2020

16:25

A bit late for Halloween, nonetheless we're talking one of the greatest novels in horror literature and how its ambiguity makes it that much more terrifying, and a delicious and unexpected dish of chicken with plums and …

The Exorcist and the Demonic Pleasures of Split Pea Soup

October 13th, 2020

14:07

It 's the high holy season for those of us drawn to the darker side of life, and in honor of Halloween, I'm talking about a favorite book of mine …

Bless Me, Última and the Spiritual Bliss of Blue Corn Cakes

September 15th, 2020

14:22

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, and to memorialize a wonderful author who was also a dear friend and mentor, I'm discussing the pivotal book

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires and the Bloody Thrill of Cheese Straws

August 24th, 2020

15:42

We're talking some Southern-fried vampirism today, along with a tasty appetizer that no self-respecting Southern housewife would be caught dead …

The Silence of the Lambs and the Cannibalistic Joy of Chicken Liver and Fava Bean Crostini

July 14th, 2020

17:20

Join me as we talk cannibalism, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and I share my method for making a tasty chicken-liver and fava bean crostini!

Check out my blog at: www.foodinbooks.com

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Kitchen Confidential and the F*cking Brilliance of Yellowfin Tuna

June 19th, 2020

16:03

We're honoring the foul-mouthed legacy and cooking genius of my idol, Anthony Bourdain, talking about his seminal work Kitchen Confidential, and I'm …

The Name of the Rose and the Ungodly Goodness of Fried Cheese in Batter

June 2nd, 2020

16:11

We're going back to 14th century Italy with a medieval monk and his Watson-like sidekick to an abbey where murder, mayhem and a massive library take center stage, and frying up some tasty cheesy goodness in the latest …

Dune and the Otherwordly Joys of Cooking Rabbit

May 15th, 2020

13:35

Today's episode talks about the unearthly joys of science-fiction, including my favorite sci-fi book of all time, and a delicious and unusual dish featuring - you guessed it - rabbit!

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Like Water for Chocolate and the Magic of Chiles en Nogada (Stuffed Poblano Peppers)

April 29th, 2020

14:19

This week, we are talking magical realism and food, discussing one of my favorite foodie books of all time and how it presents food as both magical and as a reflection of emotions and feelings, and I'll share my method …

Fairy Tale Food and the Comfort of Cooking Risotto

April 22nd, 2020

13:57

In this week's episode, I talk about the magical and transformative qualities of food in fairy tales, discuss one recent retelling of my favorite fairy tale of all time, and share my method for making squid-ink risotto.

La Cucina and the Art of Homemade Ragú Sauce

April 14th, 2020

13:59

The culinary delights of Southern Italy are richly described in the wonderful book "La Cucina" by Lily Prior and I discuss the comforts of making …

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