What’s cooking in 2017?

 baking books

As 2017 begins, you may be reinvigorated to create in the kitchen, especially if you received new cookbooks or kitchen gadgets for the holidays. I've already put together a list of recipes to try from cookbooks that have recently found their way to my Bookshelf, including Classic German Baking, Dorie's Cookies, Art of the Pie, and Marbled, Layered & Swirled (good thing I didn't make any healthy eating New Year's resolutions). Plus I am searching for recipes to fit in my squee new Le Creuset petite oval casserole, and I haven't even peeked at the bargain eBooks I purchased in December.

When I get a new cookbook, my first order of business is to read the introduction. Then I skim the book, cover to cover, mentally evaluating and ranking each recipe. This procedure inevitably results in an impossibly long list, so I go back over the book a second time to pare down to a handful of dishes that I designate as "must try" dishes. Choosing recipes that make use of ingredients on hand helps cull the list. The reading and selecting usually takes place during the week, and I tackle the actual cooking and baking on the weekends. I try to focus on one cookbook or baking book at a time so I don't get overwhelmed, but I have been known to cheat on this practice.

No matter how many new dishes I make, my list of "must try" recipes grows longer. This is not a surprise as the list corresponds to my ever-enlarging library. The lengthening of the list doesn't bother me; it's reassuring to always have something new to look forward to trying. Even when the recipes utterly disappoint me, I don't regret trying them because I always learn something. 

So far I've made three recipes from Classic German Baking. I've left notes on the recipes (Chocolate-stuffed yeasted cake (Schokoladen-gugelhupf), Poppy-seed braid (Mohnzopf), and Apple strudel (Apfelstrudel)). Next I'm working on Dorie's Cookies, starting with Vanilla-brown butter madeleines.

What's your approach to finding inspiration and trying new recipes in cookbooks? Do you go through a book cover to cover or just stop at the first recipe that catches your eye? Do you stick to one book at a time or do you flirt with many volumes simultaneously? Which cookbooks are inspiring you from your holiday haul?


  • Radish  on  1/6/2017 at 8:16 AM

    I am recovering from heart surgery. I purchased a lot of new cookbooks before the surgery as I knew I would be doing a lot of sitting. I thumb through the books tagging which I want to try. I am making an effort to try and enter some recipes into Paprika so now I can menu plan and get a good grocery list together. I also look at a cookbook in bed before I go to sleep at night.

  • darcie_b  on  1/6/2017 at 11:03 AM

    Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery! I'm glad you have good cookbooks to keep you entertained.

  • DeborahG  on  1/7/2017 at 1:31 AM

    My new year's resolution is to try something new every day, for the whole of 2017. I have so many books which I've only skimmed the surface of, I thought this would ensure I make much better use of them. And it makes mealtimes a lot more interesting!

  • TrishaCP  on  1/7/2017 at 8:22 AM

    Radish, speedy recovery to you. I hope post-surgery you are feeling much better!

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