Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Tip and a Book

So in my new explorations of the cooking world, I've stumbled upon a few helpful books and tips as I meander more into baking and cooking. I thought I'd share one of each that have stuck with me and are my guiding philosophy into this cookery world. First, a really good tip from Julia Child's 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' book: buy the best cooking equipment that you can afford. Makes perfect sense, and I try and practice this sound type of advice anytime I'm at Surlatable, Surfas, Williams and Sonoma, etc. etc.
 You don't have to be rich to be a cook or baker, and you don't need alot of equipment to make fabulous things in the kithen.  (Except for the one time I bought hot pink sprinkles... because I mean... how often will you find those around? )

Second, I picked up this book called Ratio by Michael Ruhlman. I heard about it by chance when listening to NPR about a year or so ago.  The book breaks down ratio's of what makes a cookie a cookie as opposed to a cake, and so forth.  And from learning simple ratios, you can experiment and make your own recipes from these basic ratios. It's a fun read and really useful if you're just starting out. I've played around with the pancake recipe, adding spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, shredded carrots and brown sugar for a 'carrot cake pancake', or adding smashed up bananas and some brown sugar for banana pancakes.  And since it's pretty darn hot out for most of the country and baking doesn't sound as appealing as it did maybe a month ago, pick up this book and take a breather and make some ice cream instead.

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