Good Food Books

by autumn on November 26, 2010

Now that we’ve all eaten ourselves silly, it’s time to start buying each other things we probably don’t need. I am going to help you do just that because the whole buying-people-stuff-they-don’t-need thing is pretty fun, right?

Speaking of buying folks stuff they don’t need, I’m going to make the bold claim that you NEED Baked Explorations. Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented is the second book from Matt & Renato, the butter and sugar slingers behind the BK bakery Baked. I just gave myself the excuse to buy the book after joining a baking group called “Baked Sunday Mornings,” a group of like-minded bloggers baking our way through the book. Look for another Baked treat (made gluten-free) here next Sunday!
Pictured above are the Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins, sans cheddar (only because I sadly didn’t have any) and gluten. Like all the recipes in the book, this one is smart, yet simple. Small refinements not big flourishes are what sets this book apart. Even David Lebovitz loves it!

If you’ve even dabbled in baking for folks with dietary restrictions, you know the gluten-free vegan brownie/blondie genre can yield horrifying results. Pictured above are the peanut butter blondies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar topped with Mast Brothers Cacao Nibs. As a gluten-free baker, I am recommending yet another gluten-y baking book. Here’s the secret: every recipe in the book can be made gluten-free with Isa & Terry’s “Gluten Frida” Mix, which is described at the beginning of the book. You’re skeptical, I can tell. I was too, but these fudgy, toothsome gluten-free vegan blondies proved me wrong.

I’ve talked up Well Preserved before and I’m about to do it again. I love the format of Eugenia Bone’s book. Well Preserved has unique recipes for small batch food preservation that are good for beginners without being bland. Bone pairs each canning project with a one or two recipes that utilize the finished product and they’re far from afterthoughts. Although the book isn’t organized by season, Bone chooses produce very intentionally and clearly indicates the best time of year to “put up” specific ingredients. The markets are full of cauliflower right now, so I made spicy pickled cauliflower. So good!

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