Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cookbooks - 2 to check out

On a recent visit to the library, I was able to pick up two books I had on hold. They are both wonderful books, so I want to recommend them to you!!

A few weeks ago, I was having a discussion with Laura (a girl I work with at the cafe) about ratios in baking. She's a baking student here in Milwaukee, so we often talk about recipes, delicious treats, and baking in general. She was telling me that they work off of ratios in her class, and that intrigued me. If I could just learn ratios, it would be awesome!!! I could make anything, anywhere, any time, and with NO RECIPE. It really couldn't be that simple, could it?!

Fast forward a couple days. I am perusing facebook (ok, sub "spending too much time on" for perusing...), and another friend Stacey (who I worked with at another cafe in the past) had posted a link to a book. This book was "Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking" by Michael Ruhlman.

This book is exactly what Laura and I had been talking about! A book with ratios for many common recipes that make it easier to make them on the fly! The book contains ratios and variations for many things, including:
-Doughs and batters
-Stock, roux, and slurry
-Meat related ratios (i.e. sausage)
-Sauces (mayonnaise, vinaigrette, and Hollandaise)
-Custards

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to make anything from the book yet, and it is unable to be renewed since someone else has it on hold. But, I am excited to see that used copies are fairly inexpensive on amazon.com. I would love to make a basic list of some of the recipes to stick on the fridge for quick reference!

The other cookbook I checked out was mentioned on another blog I found while making the homemade oreos. The title of the book immediately caught my eye because I love all things retro, "Retro Desserts" by Wayne Harley Brachman. The recipe I used is quite similar to the one in this book.

The book is really cute, full of vintage and vintage-inspired photos of the recipes. It includes some very classic recipes, for instance:
-Bananas Foster
-Cream puff swans
-French silk pie (a fave of mine that reminds me of my grandma)
-White-chocolate grasshopper pie
-Brandy Alexander pie (ohhh man, do I want to make this!! Yes mom, you can come have some.)
-Marshmallows and marshmallow cream (!!)
-Various classic cookies (such as black and whites)

It really does have a ton of recipes. And also used copies on this one are fairly cheap! If you're looking for a delicious dessert, I am sure you will be able to find it here.

I hope you will be able to check these books out, they are definitely worth a look!

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