I prefer cookbooks to cooking blogs–usually. You see—where I stop and read all depends on content and pictures.
A favorite cookbook–the chocolate cinnamon pop tarts are scrumptious.
Many cooking blogs seem to go on and on about inconsequential details before they even mention the ingredients and directions for a recipe. I am a kind of cut to the chase sort of person and just want to get on with things. However, I do like to learn about the history of a dish or pick up a helpful suggestion that will make me a better baker—because I do need help. I have neither the patience or perfectionism of the bakers we see on The Great British Baking Show.
Rhubarb in its natural state
So let me cut to the chase…
Since winters are long and cold in my part of the world, I spend many hours with my iPad searching for cooking and baking ideas. I would like to share with you four websites full of gorgeous pictures that get my taste buds watering, as well as the pertinent information I need to replicate the recipe.
You may be wondering why I have a rhubarb plant above and the fixings for strawberry-rhubarb pie below. My first share will answer that question.
Fixings for a strawberry-rhubarb pie once the strawberries thaw!
I am a New Englander through and through; therefore my first two websites have a New England flavor:
- Apple Pie
- Boston Cream Pie
- Indian Pudding
- Maple Walnut Ice Cream
- Rhubarb Pie
- Whoopie Pies
- Wild Blueberry Pie
Do click on the link above. Not only are the pictures mouth-watering, the recipes are included. Save the apple pie, Indian pudding, and Boston cream pie for fall, but the other five are made for summer time fun.
Maine wild blueberries–the best!
My second New England website to check out is King Arthur’s Flour, based in Vermont. Recipes, how-to videos, plus interesting blogs fill out the content of their website. You can even shop! A box of their Sour Cream Blueberry Scone mix is always in my pantry.
Here’s just a partial list of the cake recipes you will find:
- Lemon Bliss
- Sourdough Chocolate Cake
- Old Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting
- Strawberry Almond Flour Cake
- Chocolate Stout Cake
Which one do you want to make first? I’ll save the Old Fashioned Apple Cake for fall when the apples turn red. But for now, I would like to try the Strawberry Almond Flour Cake. I’ve never baked with almond flour, and I am curious how it tastes.
I like the blogs on this site because they either teach me something or have a poignant human nature theme. Here’s an example: “Do I Really Have to Scrape My Mixing Bowl? Yes — And Here’s Why” by PJ Hamell. The answer is yes, and it’s all to do with the fat, sugar, and flour that’s left at the bottom of a non-scraped bowl. I urge you to read the blog to find out why bottom scraping makes a difference to your baking.
My third offering is Carrot & Crumb. I am a great fan of The Great British Baking Show, and a season or two ago, one of the contestants was Benjamina Ebuehi. I was rooting for her because she was so effervescent and good-natured. You just wanted to sit in her kitchen and watch her bake. Alas, she did not win the competition, but she has this wonderful website with recipes and a blog. Working with food has become her profession. Her website states, “…she now works within the food industry developing modern and exciting recipes with a minimal, uncluttered approach to her styling. She has spent time assisting other stylists for both editorial and commercial shoots whilst also styling independently, specialising in baking.”
Looking at her offerings, you notice right away that there is often an unique twist to a traditional recipe. Of course you might have to expand your vocabulary to learn the meaning of galette, pavlova, and choux pastry. I know for all of you expert bakers these are not new terms, but they sure were for me.
Her blog posts address one recipe at a time, offering hints for ensuring the end result resembles the picture. Check out Benjamina’s site for a fresh approach to baking.
Testa’s Famous Strawberry Pie–A restaurant with a long history in Bar Harbor, Maine
The last site I would like to share is another New England based company, Butternut Mountain Farm. They are a family-owned business focused on maple syrup, the quintessential Vermont product. You might want to click on their Products tab to see their amazing maple products that include infused syrups and specialty foods. However, be sure to click on the Maple Lovers option. Here, you will find amazing recipes, both for general cooking and baking. Look at the screen shot of their Ginger Pear Spiced Upside Down Cake. What a wonderful combination of flavors!
I have been lucky enough to try several of these recipes prepared by one of the owners of Butternut Mountain Farm so I can guarantee you the dishes are delicious. There are recipes for all seasons.
Whether you are a serious baker or not, I think you will enjoy visiting each of these websites. Perhaps you will be tempted to try a recipe that is out of your comfort zone. What could go wrong? Worst case scenario—it goes in the trash just like any digital files we no longer want. (-: But…I bet it won’t! Happy baking and be sure to share in the comments any websites or baking blogs you really enjoy.
If you enjoy cooking, please check out our YouTube channel where you will find a variety of cooking videos done by BoomerTECH Guide Chris Toy:
Chocolate Dessert Pasta
Quick, Easy, and Tasty Flatbread with Fresh Herbs
Quick and Easy Spring Rolls, Egg Rolls, and Duck Sauce
And many more!