{Cookbook Review}: Best Baking Books of 2014

December 18th, 2014 · 21 Comments · Cookbooks, Reviews

It was tough narrowing my list of favorite cookbooks for this post - every year I say it's a banner year for cookbooks, but I guess every year I keep finding more books that need a spot on my shelf! What made me really happy this year was that quite a few of my favorite authors have new works out, ones that are very worthy contributions to the baking cookbook canon and definitely worth me doing some serious reorganization to fit these new gems in. If you haven't finished your list to Santa, I have quite a few last addition for you to consider!

Disclosure: the following links in the post are Amazon affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you purchase anything through the links. Thanks for your support of Dessert First!

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{Cookbook Review}: The Baking Bible and Ischler Cookies

December 9th, 2014 · 19 Comments · Cookbooks, Cookies, Recipes

beranbaum ischler cookies
 

2014 has been a banner year for baking cookbooks, especially these last couple of months when several of pastry's most respected and beloved authorities released new, major works. My nightstand is groaning underneath the weight of these books and my kitchen has been in constant action as I've happily baking through new recipe after new recipe. I'll be sharing a best-of list in the next week or so, but I also wanted to highlight a few cookbooks that deserved their own, dedicated post. First up is Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Baking Bible :

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{Review} Hamptons Lane and Caramel Malted Milk Bavarian

August 20th, 2014 · No Comments · Custards, Recipes, Reviews, Tools

malted milk bavarian creams
 

As if I haven't been getting enough lovely things in the mail lately, I got a chance to try out a new food-related subscription box service. Hamptons Lane selects artisan foods and kitchen tools and creates themed boxes every month. Although I love browsing through kitchen stores as much as any other cook, there's certainly an appeal to curated collections - they help you discover items you might not have known about or otherwise considered trying. And I love getting surprises in the mail. So when I was informed that the theme of the August box would be Ice Cream Sundae Bar, I decided what better time to try it out?

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My Favorite Baking Books for 2013

December 20th, 2013 · 2 Comments · Cookbooks, Reviews

cookbooks

Hi readers,

It’s been a tough month. I have to admit it, this hasn’t been my best holiday season. Our first trip with baby Isabelle was a 15 hour flight to Hong Kong. And while I’m not going to complain about two weeks in glamorous Hong Kong or sunny Singapore, coming home was like falling headfirst into a hurricane: house to clean and decorate for the holidays. Jetlagged baby who temporarily forgot how to put herself to sleep. Presents to wrap and cards to write. Overflowing inbox at work. Christmas travel looming just weeks away (why are Thanksgiving and Christmas so close together??). Oh yes, and did I mention my book manuscript was due the week before Christmas?

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{SF} {Chocolate Review} TCHO’s New TCHOPairings Bars

October 10th, 2013 · 5 Comments · Chocolate, Reviews, San Francisco, Sweet Spots

TCHOPairings Bars

Things have been a little on overdrive around here. A baby that can crawl and stand, lots of recipe testing, and the holidays peeping around the corner.

The nice thing about being a new mom, of course, is that people are infinitely sympathetic and kind. “Oh, you must be so busy! It’s ok if you’re late to the party!” “Oh, don’t worry if you forgot to bring the thing! You must have so much on your mind these days!” “You must be totally sleep-deprived – don’t worry about looking tired!” (Wait, what was that again? I look like crap?)

But I’m trying, gosh darn it. I don’t want to use a baby as an excuse to let everything fall by the wayside in a flaming, forgotten ball of fail. It’s just that when you have a baby, and things don’t go well, events tend to snowball much more dramatically.

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{Cookbook Review} Souvenirs and the Making of Memories

March 18th, 2013 · 9 Comments · Cookbooks, Recipes, Reviews, Tarts

Pineapple Carpaccio with Lemon Sorbet on dessertfirstgirl.com
Pineapple carpaccio with lemon sorbet, cilantro granité, pineapple chips, and crystallized cilantro from Souvenirs.

Isabelle is two months old! I can’t believe how much she has changed in eight short weeks. It’s like the saying, “The days are long, but the years are short.” I’ve always been a nostalgic person. Even though I know there are years and years of joy ahead in discovering my daughter, I’m already feeling the passage of days. She can do so many things now she didn’t do before: the little coos she makes when she’s curious. Her smiles at me (she’s smiling!). The mini push-ups she does when she’s on her tummy and trying to lift her head. The way she looks around for me and focuses right on my face – who would have thought that being recognized would evoke such a palpable sense of joy?

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