These Are The Silliest Celebrity Cookbooks

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It seems like once anyone reaches a certain level of fame in the entertainment world, suddenly there's a need to prove one's gravitas by authoring a book. While the most popular (since perceived as easiest) type of book for any celeb to crank out in their spare moments seems to be a children's book, yet another uber-popular literary genre is that of the cookbook. In fact, some famous folks — well, Chrissy Teigen, at least — seem to have created an entire new career as a celeb-turned-chef of sorts.

Most celebs these days seem to follow the tried-and-true formula of finding an actual food professional to collaborate with on their cookbook ventures. Teigen's got her Adeena Sussman, while the New York Times reports that several of Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbooks were ghostwritten by a food writer named Julia Turshen. Back before celeb cookbooks became such a cottage industry, however, it seems as if some of these entertainers-turned-authors may have had greater leeway to do their own thing. As a result, there were a few oddball offerings that somehow made it into print.

The Mob Wives' "How to Use a Meat Cleaver"

The cookbook "How to Use a Meat Cleaver" (subtitled "Secrets and Recipes from a Mob Family's Kitchen") comes to us courtesy of Rene, Lana, and Jennifer Graziano of VH1's "Mob Wives." Lana does have actual food-world cred as a restaurateur and the recipes in the book include such Italian-American standards as chicken cutlet parmesan, veal osso bucco, Sicilian rice balls, and Italian wedding soup. The chop meat-stuffed peppers, though, we'd be a bit dubious about, at least without knowing more about that meat's provenance ... or who was wielding the chopper.

If you'd like to study up on your cleaver-wielding technique, this 2014 book is still available from Amazon. The hard cover version will run you $30.88, but the Kindle version's just $5.99.

Ted Nugent's "Kill It & Grill It"

Another violently-themed cookbook from a notoriously non-pacifist celeb is Ted Nugent's 2005 "Kill It & Grill It: A Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish," written with his wife Shemane. The cover shows the Nugents gleefully gripping assorted weaponry and the recipes include such dubious-sounding delicacies as bar-b-que black bear, bubble bean piranha à la Colorado moose, and limbrat étouffée. (Nugent's blog reveals that "limbrat" is his pet name for squirrels.)

If you want a copy, Amazon is pricing the paperback at $29.99 and even the Kindle version costs $14.99, but you can snag a used hardback copy for just over a buck (and not the ten-pointer kind).

Dolly's "Dixie Fixin's"

If you want a kindler, gentler read, you might prefer Dolly Parton's first cookbook, which came out just a year after the Nuge's venture into food writing. According to Dolly Parton's website, the book featured recipes not just from pandemic heroine Parton but also from her mama Avie Lee, her mama-in-law Ginnie Dean, and the kitchens of both Dollywood and the Dixie Stampede. 

Recipe highlights include banana pudding, cream of vegetable soup, and chicken and dumplings. Plus, you get a peek at pics from the Parton family photo album! Sadly, it's going to cost you to get your oven mitts on a copy since the very cheapest one available from the Amazon Marketplace is priced at $500.

The Sinatra Celebrity Cookbook

If Frank Sinatra had a motto apart from "I did it my way," it might well have been "mangia, mangia!" Among his favorite foods were baked ziti, veal Milanese, lemon ricotta cheesecake, and Entenmann's crumb cake. When Sinatra went the celeb cookbook route in 1996, he didn't go solo, so the title: "The Sinatra Celebrity Cookbook," isn't the exercise in egotism that it might seem at first glance. 

While Ol' Blue Eyes and his wife Barbara are the only celebs pictured on the cover, Google Books explains that the recipes come from famous friends including Kirk Douglas (veal Oscar), Katherine Hepburn (lace cookies), and Jay Leno (his Uncle Louie's chicken wings marinara). While this book is long out of print, Amazon Marketplace does have a number of used copies starting at just $2.13.

Liz Taylor's "Elizabeth Takes Off"

While not strictly a cookbook per se, Elizabeth Taylor's "Elizabeth Takes Off" deserves an honorable mention for the truly weird recipes it does contain. This 1986 tome documents the weight loss journey of Ol' Violet Eyes to Die For, and does actually contain some decent advice and motivation along with a glimpse into the not-so-fun side of being one of America's sweethearts. 

Where things get a little bizarre, however, are when Liz offers up her suggested diet dishes. These range from the highfalutin' (squab and lobster) to the ho-hum (steamed chicken, steamed fish, steamed vegetables) to the downright bizarre. Did Liz dream up that tuna-stuffed grapefruit thing on her own, or did she pay somebody to carry out this culinary crime?

If you're intrigued but unsure, you can borrow this book for free from the Internet Archive, although they'll only let you have it for one hour. If an hour's not enough time to spend exploring Liz's, umm, unique methods of calorie counting, you can pick up a used copy on Amazon for as little as $0.36.