Book review- Holiday Cookies by Elisabet der Nederlanden

Hey friends! It’s been quite awhile, hasn’t it? Are any of you still out there?

 

Today I’m going to review the book Holiday Cookies showstopping recipes to sweeten the season by Elisabet der Nederlanden.

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This book is cute! It has a bunch of cookie recipes of course, but it starts out with a tips and tricks section that it actually pretty helpful. The tips go from start (use room temperature butter) to finish (how to roll out/decorate/add flair to your cookies! Even advice on packing and mailing them) and these add a lot of value to this book.

Many of the recipes are classics, cookies that come out around the holidays every year. These would be cookies such as gingerbread, spritz, or pinwheels. There are also more interesting ones, such as hot chocolate cookies with aleppo pepper or saffron pistachio biscotti among others. Each recipe is beautifully photographed and has a little introduction, describing what you’re aiming for in each of the cookies and a bit about them.

There are a few recipes in this book I just HAVE to try. One is for Danish butter wreaths. The little butter cookies in the tins! When I was little I would stick them around a finger and eat them slowly, and of course I have a cookie tin button box now that I’m grown up. Those things are so useful. The other one I’m most anxious to start is matcha chocolate bark with berries and coconut. I love matcha, and it seems to be having a bit of an upsurge in interest lately. I love that!

So all in all, if you are a fan of holiday cookies and are looking for some new recipes to try out this book might be for you. You can find more information on this book here.

Please note that I received this book from blogging for books in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Review- Vibrant India by Chitra Agrawal

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Vibrant India is a book of fresh vegetarian recipes by Chitra Agrawal, who is the chef/owner of Brooklyn Delhi. It has a nicely textured cover, colorful matte pages, and feels nice in the hand. The book starts out with an introduction covering the author’s back story, which is interesting. Then it goes on to Indian cooking techniques and tips- and this section is really cool! This section covers spice handling techniques I have never heard of, gives some info on south Indian pantry ingredients, and mentions some kitchen tools (and possible more common alternatives) that might be needed. It’s full of useful information.

The book is divided into sections by types of food with each recipe name and page number written out right in the front. I love when cookbooks do this! I tend to skim through books, then go back over them in more depth, and THEN get to the recipes. It’s nice to have an easy way to find a half remembered recipe that caught my interest.

I was hoping to find a bunch of cool flavors in this book that I could take and use in other recipes, but I didn’t. Most of the recipes had an element of sweetness, and I don’t generally like mixing up my sweet and savory that way. Which is probably weird, but it is what it is. There are also a lot of hard-to-find ingredients in many of the recipes, which makes me hesitant to try them. I don’t like to buy a whole bunch of new-to-me ingredients for one new recipe unless I’m pretty darn sure I’ll like it, but that’s just me.

It’s not that I’m not interested in any of the recipes, I am. The kale yogurt raita from page 75 looks good, along with the roasted kabocha squash and coconut milk soup from page 128, and most of the desserts  are really interesting and look like they’ll be worth a try. I was just expecting something different, which is probably my fault and not the author’s. And that’s ok.

If you see this book in the store it’s worth a flip through, it’s just not my cup of tea.

 

Please note I received this book from bloggingforbooks in exchange for my honest review.

Brunch Brisket and Challah Waffles!

 

I recently tried the challah waffles from Molly Yeh’s Molly on the Range and they were AMAZING. Slightly crispy and chewy outside, soft and fluffy inside, with chunks of pearl sugar throughout- these were pretty much like soft pretzels disguised as waffles. Aka the BEST WAFFLES EVER. Which, of course, means my husband hates them. My daughter eats them straight off the waffle iron with me though!

No joke- these are the first waffles I have ENJOYED making. They start out as little balls of dough, so there is no messy portioning or anything. They did make the waffle maker kind of sticky, but not as badly as I was expecting with the pearl sugar everywhere. You can find Molly’s challah waffle recipe here. Or in the cookbook. I wonder if I could convert these to sourdough? I smell a future experiment! Continue reading

More Sourdough!

My daughter’s favorite sourdough is “sourdough rye.” I am not convinced it actually needs to have rye, I think she just likes to say sourdough rye. My normal comfort loaf lately does include rye, so it works out.

I used half of this batch of dough for pretzels that turned out awful. Seriously, they were a disaster. I posted a photo over on my Instagram awhile ago, but I don’t even know why. I don’t want to post it here. They were so ugly and just wrong. Guess I’ll need more practice! Eventually. When I’m brave again.  The other half of the dough was used to make this-

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Not too bad I think! I’ve been working on my scoring. The new lame really helps, but I still have a ways to go. Practice makes better!

I made this one awhile ago, so I definitely don’t remember the exact recipe, but I know it was 20% rye and probably around 75ish% hydration.

 

Book Review- Tartine All Day by Elisabeth Prueitt

Does it seem like this blog has turned into a book review blog? I suppose it’s not a bad thing, but this isn’t the plan. I just get so excited to try new things that I have trouble sitting and writing about them. I’ve been way into Instagram lately too, which doesn’t help! We will just have to see how it goes. Continue reading

Sourdough Cinnamon Chocolate Twist Bread

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It’s been a whole month, where did the time go? Life gets busy I suppose. I hope you all had a good holiday!

Anyway, I’ve been finding that more and more I have been wanting to challenge myself in my baking, but I have limited time and space available. I want the most bang for my buck out of anything new I do decide to try. I love the recipes that seem hard and impressive, but really are fairly easy. This is one of those recipes, at least it is if you are used to sourdough. Continue reading

Autumn upside-down cake from the Sourdough Cookbook by Sarah Owens

Sourdough by Sarah Owens is another book I should do an actual review on. And soon. For now I’ll say I love this book. I’ve made a bunch of things from it already and it’s so nice to have things to make from my sourdough starter other than bread. Here is a poorly lit picture of the cover if you’re interested-

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First fougasse attempt

Hey friends!

One of my friends recently made some fougasse, and they were beautiful. I was jealous, so I decided to try too. That same day. Sometimes that’s how I am.

I took my Parmesan and black pepper sourdough recipe, then added some garlic powder and replaced 80% of the water with my favorite tomato sauce. Why? Because I could, that’s why! It made the dough a little tricky to work with, but it wasn’t super sticky or anything. I watched a bunch of youtube videos, then decided to follow the easiest looking one, which was not the smartest idea I’ve ever had as my dough was DEFINITELY NOT THE SAME. Somehow I did manage to get my dough somewhat shaped and into the pans and then into the oven. Continue reading