Tantalizing Tahoe treats: Local cookbooks to enjoy, gift

The Horror Movie Night Cookbook creator Richard Sargent. | Courtesy Richard Sargent

It is through writing that the world expands. It is through cooking that our senses are enlivened. Bringing the two together to create a cookbook is pure brilliance.

The shelves in my home are lined with fiction, non-fiction and hundreds of cookbooks collected over the years. When I need inspiration, I pick one up and delve deep. If I find a local cookbook, it is added to my shelf.

Try some of these cookbooks created by locals, which also make great gifts during the holidays.

“Horror Movie Night Cookbook”
What do you get when you’re a fan of horror movies and love to cook? Your get “Horror Movie Night Cookbook” from South Lake Tahoe resident Richard S. Sargent.

The concept was born from his love of theater and horror movies. Sargent was performing in the “Woman in Black,” a horror play, at the Valhalla Boathouse Theater when he realized most of his friends hate the horror genre.

He organized movie nights where he paired a meal, appetizer or food with each movie. The dinners evolved and thematic evenings, zombie nights or ghost movies set the tone. On the first movie night, he featured “Scream” and served popcorn for a nod to the opening scene.

It was through these dinners the cookbook idea was formulated. Each menu in the cookbook is based on something related to each film. Sargent is currently working on the sequel. | facebook.com/horrormovienightcookbook

“The Sierra Forager”
Where horror is the basis for one cookbook creator, foraging for plants is the inspiration for “The Sierra Forager” by Mia Andler. Andler’s love for edible plants led her to delve into the plants of the Sierra to create her cookbook. Recipes are culled from the plants that grow in the region and are as wild and unique as the earth they are derived from. Stir fry dishes that use wild plants and teas that are created from the leaves of plants that often grow in our own backyard. | thisferalfinn.com

“Latino Cookbook Project”
The “Truckee Library Latino Cookbook Project,” a unique cookbook published through the Truckee Library, contains stories and recipes that celebrate the local Latinx community. Nataly Zarate spearheaded the project and gathered the recipes. The cookbook features delicious traditional family recipes and is available to check out through the library. | bit.ly/Latino_cookbook

“Cuisine Unique”
The cookbook by Douglas Dale, chef and owner of Wolfdale’s Cuisine Unique in Tahoe City, is a work of art. Through the stories of his life and travels, Dale’s culinary adventure unfolds in “Wolfdale’s Cuisine Unique.” Many of the recipes are Asian influenced with a Tahoe flare.

Recipes include Thai Seafood Stew and Japanese Purple Rice, with global fusion woven throughout, while the cookbook includes duck and elk dishes that reflect mountain culture. The recipes are easy to follow and the photography is stunning. | wolfdales.com

“Wineries of the Sierra Foothills”
Barbara Keck’s book, “Wineries of the Sierra Foothills,” is a unique book that explores the beautiful vineyards and wineries of the Sierra Foothills. The guidebook was published locally by Range of Light Media Group, which is the parent company for Tahoe Guide.

Keck breaks down her vintner travels, highlighting the grapes and wines grown in the foothills. The recipes are paired with wines such as Nevada County’s Montoliva Vineyard, which includes a Pasta Puttanesca paired with Sangiovese. Sales of the book benefit Tahoe Guide. | yourtahoeguide.com/wineries_book

“Pow and Chow”
Locals Hannah and Tim Eddy adopted a plant-based diet, which led them to write a plant-based “Pow and Chow” cookbook. The recipes are simple and made with inexpensive ingredients. It’s also about using a minimal number of ingredients, and most meals can be made over a Jetboil, which also helps the environment. The cookbook includes 45 recipes and is perfect for winter powder days. | @goodeddycreative

“Cocktails on Brenda’s Balcony”
“Cocktails on Brenda’s Balcony” was created and written by South Lake Tahoe resident Brenda Simpkins during the pandemic. Simpkins’s cocktail book offers more than 45 recipes, including a Cran-Raspberry Hot Toddy, a perfectly warm winter cocktail. | facebook.com/brendasbalcony

“The Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices”
Tahoe resident and nutrition writer Cal Orey has written more than 10 books, including “The Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Timeless Treasures.” The cookbook explores how fresh herbs and dried spices can provide medicinal powers, home cures, weight loss benefits, beauty treatments and adventurous flavors and textures to enhance plant-based dishes. | calorey.blogspot.com

“The Mountain Baker”
Professional snowboarder Kimmy Kasani grew up riding in the mountains of Tahoe. Kasani and co-author Mimi Council wrote” The Mountain Baker” for bakers who live above 5,000 feet. It is geared toward the outdoor adventurer and makes high-altitude baking a cinch with more than 100 recipes for successful cakes, cookies, muffins and breads. | kimmyfasani.com/books


The Wood Chipper
Courtesy “The Horror Movie Night Cookbook”

1 oz. Old Smoky Tennessee Moonshine
1 oz. strawberry jam
.5 C strawberry soda

Add the Moonshine and jam to a blender and blend until well combined. Pour the mixture into a rocks glass, add ice, add soda and stir. Serve extra cold.