I hope everyone had a great holiday season and Happy New Year! I was very busy baking up a storm in December, and didn’t end up having much time to post here on my blog. I tried out many new recipes, but didn’t find anything I was excited about enough to share.
I did receive several new books for Christmas that I can’t wait to start cooking and baking from. Here are the ones I got, with recipes I look forward to trying:
Deb Perelman writes the Smitten Kitchen blog, which I first discovered about a year ago and now I have her book! I have already made the delicious Whole-Wheat Raspberry Ricotta Scones (which are also excellent with blueberries). I can’t wait to try the Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels, Cheddar Swirl Breakfast Buns, Wild Mushroom Tart, just about every recipe in the “Sweets” section, and of course most of the Party Snacks.
Her book has a lot of recipes that I haven’t seen anywhere else, like the Vinegar Slaw with Cucumbers and Dill, which I think would go nicely with my Crockpot Pulled Pork, and the Fingerlings Vinaigrette with Sieved Eggs and Pickled Celery which sounds like a fantastic variation of potato salad. I love that she is a fellow leek lover and I look forward to making the Leek Fritters with Garlic and Lemon. Mushroom Bourguignon sounds like a great meat alternative dinner and I’m very anxious to try Maya’s Sweet and Sour Holiday Brisket.
As I am a huge pizza fan, and could eat it just about everyday, I plan to go on a mission to find the perfect pizza dough recipe. I’m curious to try her Rushed Pizza Dough and compare it to the Leisurely Pizza Dough. Needless to say, I’m very excited about this book!
As you might know, I enjoy making cake pops, and this book has a ton of great cake ball (and cake pop) flavor ideas. I love the simple, yet elegant decorations and presentation. There’s not one recipe that I wouldn’t try; they all look delicious. Now I just need to figure out where to start!
I’ve been reading all about this book in various magazines that I subscribe to. Needless to say, I had to add it to my Christmas wish list. I think my husband may be even more excited that I am to learn how to make more “artisan” style breads at home, which this book goes into great detail describing.
I learned a lot about bread making when I went to baking and pastry school and most home bakers are missing the steam ovens that are used by professional bakers. This steam is essential to producing the perfect crust. This book contains recipes for Basic bread, Levain Bread, and Pizzas (did I mention that I love pizza!). The only downside about this book is that you may find that you need to buy some of the equipment needed to make the recipes, which, unless you are very dedicated, may not be something you want to invest in.
Kara Allen writes the blog, Kara’s Party Ideas, which I learned about via blogs that I follow as well as Pinterest. She just recently came out with this book that includes a variety of party themes and decorating ideas, and it even comes with a CD that includes free templates from the parties in the book. Hopefully I can use some of these ideas for future birthday parties for my kids.
Last but not least….I got the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook! I can’t believe I never visited the Dahlia Bakery when I lived in the Seattle area! I did get to eat at the Dahlia Lounge Restaurant for my 30th Birthday and try their legendary Coconut Cream Pie, which was delicious and just happens to be included in the book. I’ve really been missing Seattle food lately, and this book helps take me back to that yummy place (along with watching Top Chef: Seattle). I enjoyed reading the intro section (Bakers are Crazy).
I can’t wait to try making the English Muffins, Dahlia Doughnuts, “the Nora Ephron” Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies, and Chocolate Truffle Cookies with Crackly Crust. I love that there is a doggy treat (Ruby’s Bones) recipe, as I’ve always wanted to try making treats for my dog. Just about every recipe in the pies, tarts, and cakes sections made my mouth water, especially the ones with chocolate in them. During the warmer months, I will have to try out some of the ice cream and sorbet recipes.
The only negative thing about this book, is that I wish there were pictures included with every recipe. I always eat with my eyes first, and I love to know what the item I’m about to make is supposed to look like. Some recipes have several pictures to demonstrate techniques, which is handy, but others have none.
I’d love to know what some of your favorite cookbooks are, so feel free to leave me a comment on here or Facebook!
Now that I’m finally getting caught up on my blog, I’ll be having my baby within the next few days since I’m due any minute now. If there’s another big lapse in posts, that’s why! I also got a new photography light for Christmas from my husband, so hopefully you will start to see some improvement in my pictures (I just have to figure out how to use it!). Until next time….