Happy Wednesday, everyone!
I’ve mentioned here and there, especially on Instagram and in some of the recipes I’ve shared, that I am developing an e-cookbook, Eat to Run: Recipes to Fuel Your Fitness Without Breaking the Bank for release in mid-September. Creating unique, healthy, and delicious recipes requires not only creativity but also an adequate knowledge of baking science, chemical reactions, and how things like leavening, fermenting, and flavor combinations work.
I’ve learned so much over the past several months from a few resources on cooking and baking, so I want to share these resources with you! Whether you’re interested in developing your own recipes or seeking to improve your culinary skills, these are some of the best cooking resources for at-home chefs and bakers!
Before I share those, however, I want to ask you, my amazing readers: what recipes would you like to see made? I’m always open to suggestions, but especially as I finish up this e-cookbook, I want to make sure I offer meals, baked goods, and snacks that appeal to a wide range of appetites, tastes, and dietary restrictions. It’s easy for me to get wrapped up in using my favorite ingredients, so outside ideas always provide a great spark of creativity. So please let me know in the comments! If your recipe doesn’t appear in Eat to Run, then it will appear on the blog!
Best Cooking Resources
Did you know that adding salt to your coffee grounds creates a smoother, less-bitter cup of joe? Or that chlorinated water can prevent your bread from rising? I learned these and many other invaluable and practical cooking tips and tricks from Alton Brown and his show Good Eats. His website is one of the best resources online for everything and anything the home cook may want to know. His recipes are nothing short of genius: his omelet recipes makes the perfect omelets in less than 10 minutes, and I swear by his method of baking, not boiling, brown rice.
Ratio by Michael Ruhlman
Most recipes, whether you are baking cookies or creating a roux for a sauce, are at their very essence a ratio. Take, for example, the versatile biscuit: 3 parts flour, 1 part fat, 2 parts liquid. From there, you can experiment with what types of flours, fats, and liquids and what seasonings you use to create your own unique recipe. Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking clearly breaks down the ratios of doughs, batters, stocks, sauces, meats, and custards. These ratios can make day-to-day cooking much easier, as you can memorize them instead of consulting a recipe, and provide an excellent guide for anyone interested in developing their own recipes.
Culinary Reactions by Simon Quellen Field
Confused about the difference between baking powder and baking soda? Curious about how to preserve food? Culinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking clearly explains the science behind everything from emulsions to fermentations. As someone who loved chemistry in school, I thoroughly enjoyed everything this book had to offer, but even those who don’t enjoy science will find this book interesting and beneficial as they embark on home cooking and baking experiements.
Cook’s Illustrated The Science of Good Cooking
This tome has taught me everything from the power of double leaveners (such as in these fluffy Oatmeal Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins) to how to salt vegetables in order to remove liquid and denature any bitter enzymes (useful for any eggplant recipe, such as this salad). If you purchase any one book on cooking, it should be The Science of Good Cooking (Cook’s Illustrated Cookbooks). From sweet to savory, from soups to sauces, from vegetarian meals to the perfect burger, this book teaches it all, revealing useful little tips that you can easily incorporate into your own cooking, baking, and recipe developing. Plus, it features a carefully organized and thorough index, which makes it useful as a quick resource while you’re cooking.
(Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. These links are no charge to you if you use them and they support This Runner’s Recipes. I thank you for all of your gracious support!)
Questions of the Day:
How did you learn to cook and bake?
What cookbooks are your favorites?
What recipes would you like to see appear on This Runner’s Recipes?