Something sweet about this election

Election cake

After months - years, really - of advertisements, debates, stump speeches, and vitriol, citizens in the U.S. are feeling election fatigue (and the rest of the world is probably also ready for it to be over). But now there is a reason to think positively about the voting process: election cake. Bon Appetit Magazine looks at the history of election cake, which recalls a time when U.S. women couldn't vote and had to use other methods to support candidates.

The idea for election cake goes back to colonial times, when 'muster cake', a dense fruit and spice cake spiked with booze, was "baked by colonial women and given to the droves of men who were summoned for military training, or 'mustered,' by order of British troops." After the United States gained its independence, the cake was brought to early voting sites to help "muster" votes. That was when it earned the label of 'election cake'. It was one way women could participate in the electoral process. 

At a baking conference earlier this year, Susannah Gebhart, baker and owner at Old World Levain (OWL) Bakery in Asheville, North Carolina, was discussing 'muster cake' with fellow bakers. Gebhart and others decided to get bakers nationwide to help sweeten what has been a caustic election season. The official slogan became "Make America Cake Again", with corresponding Instagram hashtag.

According to OWL Bakery, the project is "a non-partisan nation-wide project to raise awareness about our culinary heritage and the place of food in political and social life as well as to generate funds for voting access and rights." Bakeries across the across the country are participating with their own spin on election cake (you can find a list on OWL's website), and a portion of proceeds will benefit the League of Women Voters.

Photo of Election cake, late eighteenth century from Food52 by  Amelia Simmons and Betty Fussell

Classic German Baking - Luisa Weiss

Luisa Weiss' Classic German Baking: The Very Best Recipes for Traditional Favorites, from Pfeffernüsse to Streuselkuchen is baking greatness. Laura's first title, My Berlin Kitchen, is a wonderful read containing over forty recipes. I was so pleased to learn she had this baking title in the works. Luisa's blog, The Wednesday Chef, is indexed for our members.

Her new book contains over 120 classic recipes from cookies, cakes, breads and more. Cookie recipes include Butterkekse, Mandelhörnchen (chocolate dipped almond crescents), and Eisenbahnschnitten (almond cream jam bars). Cakes include the Gedeckter Apfelkuchen (Glazed Apple Cake) shared below, a Marillenfleck (Austrian Apricot Sheet Cake) and the Bienenstich (Honey-Almond Caramel Cake). The Black Forest Torte (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte), Sachertorte, Quark Strudels and Quark Cheesecakes are also shared. In the breads and buns section, Caraway-Cheese Rye Rolls, Soft Pretzels, and glorious Cinnamon-Sugar Buns are covered. Savory favorites can be found as well such as a Savory Green Onion and Bacon Cake. A valueable recipe collection of the basics gives us recipes for ingredients that we require to make some of these desserts. Quark (Sour Fresh Cheese), Almond Paste, Lebkuchen Spice Mix and several others are outlined.

This book is so stunning that my only regret is that more photos aren't included. There are photographs and those are beautiful (four to six a chapter) but it would be nice to have more. Luisa's instructions are detailed and approachable so photographs aren't necessary for each recipe but we are so tempted by the stunning photos included that I, for one, want more!

This book will fulfill every baker's want and need for German baking.  Be sure to enter our contest for a chance to win a copy of Classic German Baking. In the meantime, thanks to the author and Ten Speed Publishing we are happy to share two German bakes to try now.

Glazed Apple Cake

Gedeckter Apfelkuchen (covered apple cake) is one of the cakes you're sure to find in almost every single bakery across Germany. To make it, you line a springform pan with a sweet short pastry, fill the crust with a chunky cooked apple filling studded with raisins and flavored with cinnamon and lemon, and then use the same crust dough to make a lid for the cake. Isometimes wonder if it isn't the precursor to America's apple pie, though in this cake, even after baking, the pastry remains soft and cakey thanks to the moist, cooked apple filling and a lemon glaze that is brushed on the top crust after baking.

Gedeckter Apfelkuchenfrom industrial bakeries tends to be unbearably sweet. In fact, I always thought I didn't much care for it until I tried making it at home, and now I'm smitten. I like to use apples that have a good balance of sweetness and acidity for the filling and I leave them unsweetened, which gives a nicely tart contrast to the sweet, glazed crust.

2 1⁄3 cups, scooped and leveled, plus 1 tablespoon/300g all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup/150g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
10 1⁄2 tablespoons/150g unsalted high-fat, European-style butter, softened
1 egg, at room temperature
6 large apples (2 pounds 10 ounces/1.2kg)
Juice of 1 lemon plus 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 cup/75g raisins
1⁄4 cup/60ml plus 2 teaspoons water
3⁄4 cup/75g confectioners' sugar

Mix the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, work the butter into the flour until it's no longer visible. Add the egg and knead until the dough is smooth. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Peel, core, and quarter the apples. Cut them into slices 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 inch/3 to 6mm thick and put the slices in a large pot. Add the juice of 1 lemon along with the cinnamon, raisins, and the 1⁄4 cup/60ml of water. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook the apples for 15 to 20 minutes, or until silky and relatively broken down. The apples should not turn completely to mush but still retain some shape. Take the pot off the heat.

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line the bottom of a 9-inch/23cm springform pan with parchment paper. Take two-thirds of the dough and pat it evenly into the springform pan, forming a 1-inch-/2.5cm-high rim at the edges. Refrigerate the remaining dough. Prick the dough in the pan evenly all over with a fork. Line the dough with a sheet of aluminum foil and fill the pan with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust is starting to firm up but is not yet browning. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the aluminum foil and pie weights; maintain the oven temperature.

Scrape the apple mixture evenly into the par-baked shell and smooth the top. The apple filling should precisely fill the crust. Roll out the remaining one-third of the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap until just slightly larger than the circumference of the pan. Trim the edges of the circle and then gently transfer the circle to the top of the cake, laying it over the apple filling. Tuck in the top crust and cut off any excess. Cut 3 small slits in the top of the dough. Put the pan back in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and slightly puffed.

Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes while you prepare the glaze. Sieve the confectioners' sugar into a small bowl and whisk in the 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and the 2 teaspoons of water until smooth. Brush the glaze over the still-hot cake and then let the cake cool completely before serving. The cake will keep at room temperature, covered lightly with plastic wrap, for 2 to 3 days.

Braided Almond-Cream Wreath

If Schlesische Mohnrolle(page 99) is my favorite thing to buy at Hutzelmann, our favorite bakery in Berlin, then Kranzkuchen is my husband's. Max has a soft spot for Kranzkuchen, an almond-paste and rum-raisin- stuffed sweet wreath. He has tried many Kranzkuchenin his life, but he says that absolutely none come close to Hutzelmann's version, sold in thick slabs all year long. It is glorious: sticky and rich, winey with rum and almond paste, chewy, and flaky all at once.

I tried many times to re-create their Kranz (which means "wreath") at home and never quite got it right, but in the process I developed this recipe, which is pretty darn good. Forming the wreath requires a bit of moxie because once you roll up the almond-cream-filled dough and slice it lengthwise, you have to wrap the 2 strands around each other without allowing the filling to leak too much. After baking, when the Kranzkuchen is golden brown and shiny from the apricot glaze and topped with a drizzled glaze, it's as beautiful as it is delicious. I suggest you bake this when you have a lot of people to feed - it's best the day it is made.


3 1⁄4 cups, scooped and leveled, minus 1 tablespoon/ 400g all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 1⁄2 teaspoons instant yeast
1⁄3 cup/70g granulated sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
3⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon/190ml whole milk
1 egg
8 tablespoons/115g unsalted high-fat, European-style butter, at room temperature


2⁄3 cup/100g raisins
3 tablespoons dark rum
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
1 pound/455g almond paste
1⁄4 cup/50g granulated sugar
1 egg white
1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk
3 1⁄2 tablespoons/50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1⁄4 teaspoon salt


1⁄2 cup/150g smooth apricot jam
13 tablespoons/100g confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons water

To make the dough: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Then add the milk and egg and stir briefly. Add the butter and knead the dough briefly by hand in the bowl. Scrape it out onto a lightly floured work surface and continue to knead it for several minutes. You may need to add 1 to 2 additional tablespoons of flour, but resist the urge to add more; the dough should be quite soft and rich. You won't be able to knead it as long as other yeast doughs, but try to get it to a point where it's no longer too sticky and can be formed into a ball.

Place the ball back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean dishcloth and place in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour to rise.

To make the filling: Place the raisins in a small bowl and add the rum and lemon juice. Set aside to macerate for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the almond paste, sugar, egg white, 1 tablespoon of milk, butter, and salt; knead together by hand until well combined. Knead in the raisins and their macerating liquid. The mixture should be creamy but will still hold its shape when spread. If necessary, mix in the remaining 1 tablespoon of milk. Set aside.

When the proofing hour is up, gently tug the dough onto a work surface. Roll out the dough to a 13 by 16-inch/33 by 40cm rectangle. You can pull the edges out to form neat corners.

Scrape the filling onto the dough and, using a bench scraper, spread the mixture out evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch/2.5cm border on one of the long sides. Starting from the other long side, roll up the dough. Using a sharp bench scraper, cut the roll of dough in half lengthwise, leaving about 1 inch/2.5cm at one end still attached. Working quickly, twist the 2 strands around each other all the way down the length of the roll. Then form the wrapped dough strands into a circle. Next, slice through the end that you left attached and tuck the end pieces at both ends underneath each other to make a neat closure.

Transfer the wreath to the prepared pan (you may need someone to help you do this) and bake for 45 minutes at the second-lowest rack position, rotating halfway through. When finished, the loaf will be golden brown all over and should sound slightly hollow when tapped. It will still be quite soft.

To make the glaze: Just before the end of the baking time, heat the apricot jam over medium-high heat until loose and bubbling. When the wreath emerges from the oven, immediately brush it all over with the hot jam. Place the pan on a rack to cool.

When the wreath has almost fully cooled, sift the confectioners' sugar into a small bowl and whisk in the water. Whisk until smooth and lump-free. You want a thick but pourable glaze. Add more sugar or a drop more water as needed. Drizzle the glaze back and forth over the entire wreath. Wait 1 hour for the glaze to set and the cake to cool completely and then slice and serve. The cake is best eaten the day it is made, but it can be kept at room temperature, loosely wrapped in plastic wrap, for 2 additional days.

Reprinted with permission from Classic German Baking by Luisa Weiss, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Aubrie Pick




Cookbook Giveaway - Classic German Baking

Classic German Baking: The Very Best Recipes for Traditional Favorites, from Pfeffernüsse to Streuselkuchen by Luisa Weiss is a glorious book devoted to all the tempting and classic baked goods for which Germany is known. The Wednesday Chef, Luisa's blog is indexed for our members as is her first title, My Berlin Kitchen.

Luisa rigorously researched and tested recipes, gathered from expert bakers, friends, family, and time-honored sources throughout Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.Whether you're in the mood for the simple yet emblematic Streuselkuchen, crisp and flaky Strudel, or classic breakfast Brötchen, every recipe you're looking for is here, along with detailed advice to ensure success plus charming storytelling about the origins, meaning, and rituals behind the recipes.

Luisa has several events scheduled and you can read more about Classic German Baking in our review and recipe post

We are pleased to offer five copies of this title to our EYB Members in the U.S. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post:

Are there any German bakery items you would like to recreate?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends November 24th, 2016. 


The amazing achievements of our indexers

How to Bake EverythingAs I'm sure you will all agree, EYB is an amazing resource. One important reason it is remains so valuable to our Members is the stellar work of our expert indexers, located in Australia, New Zealand, England, Canada, and the United States. Their speed is impressive: one of our indexers (jumali on EYB) recently accomplished a marathon indexing of Mark Bittman's How to Bake Everything: Simple Recipes for the Best Baking. She completed this book, which contains a whopping 2,116 recipes, in a week! The dedication of our indexers allows us to have many cookbooks indexed as soon as they are published.

Many cookbooks require our indexers to add new ingredients. One recent example is Central by Virgilio Martinez, which required the addition of 127 new ingredients - from only 63 recipes! This is despite the fact that we already have over 34,000 ingredients in our database. (Modernist Cuisine however holds the record for the most new ingredients from one cookbook at 144). For Central, many of the new ingredients were for exotic Andean vegetables, fruits, flowers, and even tree bark. Central cookbookA few that stand out are llama milk, alpaca milk, papas valadoras (aka "flying potatoes" because they grow suspended in the air like a piece of fruit), and 7 new types of corn.

While our professional indexers are marvelous, we would be remiss if we didn't recognize the exemplary contributions of our Member indexers. They account for about 30% of the books indexed on EYB. Member indexers also hail from all over the world, including Austria, the Netherlands, South Africa, Portugal, and France, as well as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and the US.

Some Members have been indexing from the early days of Member indexing in mid-2011. At least one Member has indexed over 100 books, and several more are just a few shy of 100. Many have completed between 30 and 50 books. Bright Young ThingsSometimes Members begin indexing with the intention that their entire Bookshelf will be indexed - and at least one hardy soul has accomplished this feat.

Member indexing allows us to include books outside of the mainstream. Interesting books that have recently been indexed include Ital Food: Eating Rastafarian Style, Taste Lithuania, and Bright Young Things: A Modern Guide to the Roaring Twenties. If you haven't indexed a book because the task seems daunting, keep in mind that nearly half of our Member indexers have come back to index a second book.

Cheers and thank you to all of our indexers!

The food book that never was

 open books

EYB Members love to read not just cookbooks but also literary works with food or cooking as the primary subject matter. Books by M.F.K. Fisher, Anthony Bourdain, and Ruth Reichl stand alongside standard recipe-filled volumes on our bookshelves. NPR's The Salt tells us about a food book that we would have loved to read - had it ever been published.

During the Great Depression in the US, the federal government put thousands of out-of-work citizens to work in various public projects ranging from construction to writing. For the latter, a program called the Federal Writer's Project employed over 6,000 white collar workers to write books and pamphlets about the history and culture of each state in the US. In 1939, a subject of the project focused on food was started, with the stated aim of exploring "American cookery and the part it has played in national life, as exemplified in the group meals that preserve not only traditional dishes, but also transitional attitudes and customs."

The lofty project sent writers into the American countryside to chronicle the mealtimes of ordinary citizens. The essays covered local traditions that were changing during a period of great transition in the way people purchased, stored, and prepared their meals. The goal was to gather the best of these essays into a large book that would "propel food writing out from the pages of women's magazines and into the national spotlight."

The essays were due the week of Thanksgiving, 1941. After Pearl Harbor was bombed a few weeks later and the US became fully engaged in the war effort, the project was shelved, never to be resurrected. We are left to ponder how those stories would resonate with us today.

Featured Cookbooks & Recipes

At Eat Your Books we want to bring you the best recipes - our dedicated team searches out and finds online recipes excerpted from newly indexed cookbooks and magazines. New recipes from the best blogs are indexed daily and members index their favorite online recipes using the Bookmarklet all the time.

Below you'll find this week's recommendations from the EYB team.

Remember you can add any of these online recipes to your EYB Bookshelf - it's a great way to expand your personal recipe collection.

Happy cooking and baking everyone!


From websites:

Blueberry Soufflé with Maple Drizzle by Karen Burns-Booth from indexed Great British Chefs



From AUS/NZ books:

10 recipes from The Pie Project: Hot, Cold, Hand, Cheat. 60 Pies - All of Them Sweet by Phoebe Wood & Kirsten Jenkins, indexed by an EYB member



From UK books:

2 recipes from The Grain Bowl by Nik Williamson

Save 30% on this or ANY other Phaidon cookbook!
Enter our The Grain Bowl giveaway! (US, CAN, UK, AUS, & NZ)


7 recipes from  The Ultimate Sandwich: 100 Classic Sandwiches from Reuben to Po'boy and Everything in Between by Jonas Cramby, indexed by an EYB member



From US books:

10 recipes from Danielle Walker's Against All Grain: Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion

Enter our Against All Grain giveaway! (US only)


3 recipes from  Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons

Calendar of Upcoming Events


5 recipes from  Better Baking: Wholesome Ingredients, Delicious Desserts by Genevieve Ko

BBC announces new cooking show

GBBO books 

Fans of The Great British Bake Off who were disappointed that the show was leaving the BBC now have something to look forward to watching. The network has just announced that it will be producing a new reality cooking show begininng in 2017.

Called 'The Big Family Cooking Challenge', the program will follow multi-generational family teams of amateur cooks, who will participate via their home kitchens, each facing a weekly culinary challenge. One by one the teams will be eliminated until one family stands as the winner. Twelve episodes have been ordered for the show, which has not yet cast any judges or started filming.

It's not clear whether this is the program hinted at last month that would star Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc, and Sue Perkins. Last week, the BBC announced it had struck a development deal with GBBO winner Nadiya Hussain, so GBBO fans also have that to console them.  

Sweet Sugar Sultry Spice - Malika Ameen

Malika Ameen, the author of the newly released, Sweet Sugar Sultry Spice: Exotic Flavors to Wake Up Your Baking, won me over with her first line, "If I were a spice, I would be cardamom." I love using warm spices to add something special to my baking and cardamom is one of my favorites. 

Malika's debut offering is overflowing with bold, interesting recipes that have me longing for more. Is it too soon to ask if she is working on a second book? The chapters are titled after the characteristics of the spices: Spicy & Warm; Floral & Aromatic; Bright & Fresh; Savory, Earthy & Nutty; Complex & Mysterious which I found intriguing.

Luscious Pineapple and Honey Squares, Rose Latte Marshmallow Knots, Earl Grey Pavlova with Silky Chocolate Cream, Roasted Peach and Custard Borek and Lemon Verbena Chiffon Roll are just a few examples of the recipes that will have us rethinking how we approach desserts. Savory aspects in desserts have always appealed to me as a baker and Malika has delivered a collection of recipes that will keep me coming back for more. For those in the Chicago area, Read It & Eat is hosting a book launch party on October 29th - I wish I could be there! 

Be sure to enter our contest offering five copies of this book to our U.S. Eat Your Book members and note the special giveaway over at Roost Books. 

Malika and Roost Books were kind enough to share her recipe for Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes to liven up our Fall breakfast menu. 

Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes

With the warm and comforting flavors of cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg, these pumpkin pancakes are the epitome of a cozy fall breakfast. They are a weekend favorite in my home. The trick to tender pancakes is to avoid overmixing the batter. It's okay to have small lumps in the batter, and overmixing will make the pancakes tough. Serve these hot from the griddle with butter and maple syrup.

ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes
Serves 4

1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground Vietnamese cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature, divided
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup pure canned pumpkin 

Preheat the oven to 250˚F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cin­namon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the buttermilk and the eggs, butter, and vanilla. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until barely combined. In another medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and the remaining ¼ cup of buttermilk. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the pumpkin mixture into the batter.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly grease the skillet and cook the pancakes in batches. Spoon about ¼ cup batter onto the pan per pancake. Cook until golden brown on the bottom and slightly dry looking and bubbly on the top, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a metal spatula to flip each pancake and cook on the second side until cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer the pancakes from the skillet to a baking tray, cover with aluminum foil, and keep warm in the oven while you cook more.

From Sweet Sugar, Sultry Spice by Malika Ameen, © 2016 by Malika Ameen. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO

Cookbook Giveaway - Sweet Sugar Sultry Spice

Sweet Sugar Sultry Spice: Exotic Flavors to Wake Up Your Baking by Malika Ameen is sure to be a highly sought after baking title this Fall. Malika is a classically trained pastry chef who will introduce us to a world of exotic spices and flavorings in her debut cookbook. 

Every level of baker will benefit from Malika's encouraging instructions and her passion for spice and flavor combinations. 78 varied recipes covering the spectrum of desserts and more are shared along with eye-popping full-page images. 

You can read more about Sweet Sugar Sultry Spice in our review and recipe post. Be sure to try the recipe for Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes that will have even the grumpiest morning riser smiling with delight.

We are pleased to offer five copies of this title to our EYB Members in the U.S. (Please note the bonus giveaway mentioned below.) One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post:

How do you feel about adding spice or savory aspects to your baked goods?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends November 20th, 2016.  Bonus giveaway: Roost Books is also giving away five copies, and you can enter here and sign up for their newsletter for future cookbook giveaways.


Appliance cookbooks

 recipe booklets

Every new appliance, large and small, comes with an instruction manual and recipe booklet. In times gone by, even trade groups got in on the act, with gas and electric associations publishing small volumes to promote their particular fuel supply. The trend continues today, with recipe booklets packaged along with ranges, toaster ovens, blenders and ice cream makers. You might think that in the internet age this practice would come to a screeching halt,  but that doesn't seem to be happening.

Flipping through a few vintage booklets, it's easy to see that the quality and type of recipes have changed over time. The booklet promoting "Gold Star" ranges - those ranges that received approval from the American Gas Association - offered instructions on how to make bacon and a recipe for "Quick Welsh Rabbit" that instructed the cook to "Combine 1 can condensed tomato soup and 1 jar quick-melting cheese in a covered sauce pan." This is not a promising start, nor was the offered variation to include a can of drained tuna, with suggestions to serve the product over corn chips. Although there is no date on the booklet, judging by the photographs and artwork, it was probably distributed in the mid-1960s.

Fast forward to 2010, and the recipe booklet for a Cuisinart toaster oven featured recipes like Moroccan Spiced Baked Chicken that included no canned soup but did call for fresh shallots. Baking recipes ranged from pâte brisée (complete with proper diacritical marks) to Caramel Walnut Tart with Raspberry and Chocolate. And the booklet was printed in both Spanish and English.

While there have been obvious refinements in these recipe booklets, they are still probably destined for the recycling bin in most households. Even though I have saved each tiny recipe booklet that has come with an appliance (in the case of  wall ovens, duly passing them along with the appliance when we moved), I haven't used one. I've just never trusted the recipes developed in these small volumes. It makes me feel a little sorry for the test kitchen staff at the appliance manufacturer. Do they know that most people are going to pitch the tiny booklet into the trash?

Perhaps I'm being a snob and am missing out on spectacular dishes because of my condescension. Have you ever cooked from the instruction manual and if so, what were your thoughts about the recipes you tried? Are there hidden gems waiting to be discovered?

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!