What I’m Reading Wednesday

Last week, I started this series about what I am reading. I started things off with the cookbooks I am reading and grabbing inspiration and recipes from. This week, I bring you my most recent novels I’ve read.

How To Eat A Cupcake

(photo credit: Bookin with Bingo blog)

  1. How To Eat A Cupcake; By Meg Donohue. I first heard about this book on a blog I read, Cakespy, when she wrote out this blurb in the book: “I had, I’ll admit, effected a certain style–a method, if you will–of cupcake eating. To begin, you remove the cupcake liner carefully so as to not unnecessarily crumble the cake, and set it aside. You then turn the cupcake slowly in your hand, taking bites along the line where cake meets icing, your mouth filling with the perfect combination of both components. Once you’ve come  full circle, you gently twist off the bottom half inch of cake, a move that takes considerable finesse and leaves a delicate sliver of cake–the ideal size for lying flat on your tongue and allowing it to slowly dissolve, building anticipation for that final bite. To finish, you are left with the center cylinder of cake and icing, the cupcakes very heart, sometimes filled with a surprising burst of custard or jam or mousse, sometimes not, but always, always the most moist, flavorful bite of the entire cupcake. Take a breath before diving into that final, perfect bite; it is to be savored for as long as possible. Finally, of course, you scavenge the crumbs from the cupcake liner you set aside during step one, then ball the liner into your fist and overhand it into the nearest receptacle. Make the shot? You get another cupcake.” I was intrigued, and then I saw that Joy the Baker also read the book, and I knew I had to read it. I am still finishing it up, but it is definitely a good read. I would even say it is a good beach read. You know, of the “not needing to pay much attention to details” books. A quick read.
  2. Eat The Document; by Dana Spiotta. A couple’s story about their radical protests in the 1970s and what the outcomes are in the 1990s. It is a book my sister sent me, and therefore one I might not have picked up on my own, but it was a good book. A little bit of history, love story and mystery rolled into one. My sister also recommends her new book, Stone Arabia.
  3. The Book Of Salt; by Monique Truong. Another book from my sister, and a book I would be more likely to pick up on my own, about the Vietnamese cook who worked for Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in Paris in the 1930s. A great way to learn about these greats and about Paris in this era.

    Cover of "What the Dog Saw: And Other Adv...

  4. What The Dog Saw and Blink; by Malcom Gladwell. These books I read back-to-back so I get confused about which articles I read in which since they are similar in some ways. I picked up What The Dog Saw and started reading it before realizing it was the same author. Actually, I read this book first and then I read Blink. After seeing everyone reading Blink, as if part of the book itself, I figured I should read it, too. They are both insightful reads, but if you do decide to take on both, I recommend reading them at different times, and not back-to-back; it’s just too intense that way.The Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

What I’m Reading Wednesday

I get a lot of inspiration to write this blog and make recipes from the cookbooks I read, the other blogs, and food related articles that I find online. I also want to have a weekly feature on my blog and I think this is the best way to do that. If you know this blog, you know I tried doing it before, with just links to articles, but I am older, more mature, and beyond just writing lists of article links, and onto writing more about what I am reading. (If you do a search on “links” you will find a long archive of posts like the ones I mentioned)

To start things off, I would like to tell you about some of the cookbooks I am reading that have been inspiring me lately.

  1. Baking; by James Peterson. I have mentioned this before and have shared the things I have made with this book. It is a great book full of basics and could even be used as a guide to teach yourself how to bake.
  2. Ratio; by Michael Ruhlman.I believe there is also an app for the iPhone that is related to this book. This book is a great tool to learn the basic ratios of everything including cookie dough, pie/tart dough, stocks, bread, pasta dough, and everything in-between. A great way to learn how to create your own recipes.

    Cover of

    Cover via Amazon

  3. Ruhlman’s Twenty; by Michael Rulhman. Yes, the same chef as Ratio. This is also a great tool to learn the basics of cooking and baking. It goes through twenty techniques/ingredients that are required to make just about anything you want to in the kitchen. It builds upon itself, and yes, “thinking” is chapter one, but you need to think about what you are making before you make it and add ingredients to the mix. Trust me, it makes perfect sense once you get into the rest of the book.
  4. Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts: Quicker Smarter Recipes; by Alice Medrich. A wonderfully smart women and beautiful and sweet. I met her at the book signing (after the bake sale) where I bought her latest book (the one I speak of) and she is simply delightful. This book is about keeping it simple. Whether you are the cook who is scared to bake, or the baker with no time to make a pie for tonight’s party, this book is for you. One bowl is all you need for most of the recipes in this book. Totally approachable from all angles.
  5. The Joy the Baker Cookbook; by Joy Wilson. This is one of my favorites. Both in blog form and in cookbook writing, Joy brings you her witty self and her greatest baked goods. She also hosts this super awesome podcast. Coffee bacon for breakfast. Carrot cake pancakes for lunch. You heard me. What?! There’s carrots in there! It’s healthy!

Those are the (top) five cookbooks I am reading/using recipes from/getting inspired by. For now. What are your favorite cookbooks right now? Let me know what you are reading in the comments!