So, I know the height of summer isn’t really considered prime baking season but sometimes a girl just really needs a cookie, am I right? Don’t get me wrong – I love, love, love all of the easy, fresh, summertime recipes in abundance right now. I do. It’s just that yesterday, I also really needed a cookie. A fresh chocolate chip cookie. So I baked some. And now all I want to do is bake some more. I want butter. I want chocolate. I want frosting! And because I have cookies, brownies, and pies on the brain, my recipe research for this week’s Good Food Reads ended up a little, uh, lopsided. So I’m embracing it! Bust out your measuring cups, dust off your apron, and preheat your ovens. We’re about to get down with some serious baking deliciousness. It’s time for Good Food Reads: Get Baking!…
I got the sweetest text last month. One of my friends told me that her eight year old daughter was wondering “if that girl who makes really good cake” could come over and bake with her over the Christmas holiday. And when asked what she wanted to make, the answer was German Chocolate Cake. Yep, sounded good to me! This post chronicles their (super fun) day. The food isn’t styled, the lighting isn’t perfect, there was no thought given to composition, but hopefully it encourages you to get your own kids into the kitchen. It’s amazing what they can create!…
A slight hiatus from our normal Wednesday Good Food Reads, which I promise will be back next week.
Recently my 14-year-old daughter came to me about a science project she was going to do for her 8th grade science class. She had chosen to look at basic substitutions you could use while baking, as she is an avid baker. In fact I buy her a baking oriented cookbook every year for Christmas. (Clearly I’m winning at parenting as I’m definitely reaping those rewards!).
She worked diligently on this project one fall afternoon at the cabin. There was a lot of measuring, weighing, and even testing of resistance (it’s good to have a dad who is an electrical engineer and loves to teach scientific principle!). I had promised she could post her results on the blog when she had them written up, and now I am going to deliver. My only other contribution was to buy four different colored cupcake liners so we wouldn’t confuse the four groups. Read on for my daughter’s science project in her own words. Baking Substitutions: A Fun Science Project is below. Proud mom moment…hope you enjoy it as much as I did! …
I don’t know about you guys, but I have a complete addiction to cookbooks. I blame my habit on my grandmother (hei hei, Bestemor!), whose home is always filled with the smells of something wonderful baking and whose pantry is overflowing with cooking tomes. She tends to favor old, local, home-style cookbooks, often bought at church fundraisers or garage sales – ones that over the years have been peppered with priceless notes and anecdotes. My mother has a similar love of cookbooks, though with a slightly more modern, photo heavy bent to her collection. Personally, I love them all.
With the rise of cooking blogs, Pinterest, and digital food magazines, we are surrounded by recipes and beautiful photos of food with just the swipe of a finger. It is a wonderful thing and the ease of web-based resources is something I really appreciate in the midst of the every day life hustle and bustle. There is something so wonderful though, about a slow afternoon with a cup of coffee and an actual book. One that you can hold in your hand, and read cover to cover, savoring the recipes and stories their authors have put down. Over the years, I’ve managed to collect a respectable assortment of wonderful cookbooks and in the process, compiled a list of favorite recipes that I return to again and again. It is a few of those recipes (and their books!) that I want to share with you today.
Since we have been talking a lot about breakfast and baking the past week, I’ve put together five of my favorite cookbooks for baking bread and sweet treats:
- The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois). The title of the book talks about the “discovery that revolutionized home baking” and it’s not just hyperbole. Their basic boule or bread recipe contains only four ingredients and is so simple but wonderful. I like to eat it straight from the oven with some honey butter and salt but it’s also wonderful served along side pasta or stews, to soak up all those sauces.
- The New Best Recipe. This book is an update of the original Best Recipe, first published in 1999. From the genius editors at Cooks Illustrated, you really can’t go wrong with any of the recipes in it. My personal favorite are the lemon bars and the molasses spice cookies.
- How To Be A Domestic Goddess (Nigella Lawson). Also an older book, this is essentially a collection of decadent treats. Make the chocolate loaf cake and you won’t regret it.
- Date Night In (Ashley Rodriguez). A newer addition to my shelf, I can’t stop making the Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies. It’s a problem.
- The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. The version I have is slightly different, but I’m assuming the recipe for blueberry muffins (with lemon!) hasn’t changed. With it’s thick, buttery dough with yogurt and lemon, it’s almost more of a cake than a muffin. And that’s just the way I like it.
What are your go-to books when it comes to baking? Are there recipes your family asks for again and again? Let us know!