Misc. · Q and A

Cookbooks and Internet Sites!

It came up in a comment a little while back on a post of mine and I have been thinking about it since. Some people like using cookbooks. Others stick to the Internet. I like to do both to a certain extent. But it’s made me curious about what other people tend to go for. If people go for cookbooks – what are their favourites and what are the stories behind them! Do people purchase their cookbooks or use those that that are passed down to them. Do people make their own cookbooks with practice and experience! Or do people prefer to go through the Internet and build up their repertoire like that!

I have several cookbooks devoted to gluten-free cooking on hand. A lot of the other cookbooks I had access too have been donated or sold over time due to limited space when we moved houses. But these ones are mine and four have stuck with me as actual hard copies. Although I understand e-books are useful too, as I have access to several of these as e-books! 

200 Gluten-Free Recipes – A cookbook from the Hamlyn all colour cookbooks series. It’s a neat little book, which has a lot of great ideas for mains and savouries. Its desserts require a little adaptation because of their particular flours and things, but as I learned from experience their recipes are rather forgiving. It was how I ended up with a delicious Victoria sponge cake. I like the Hamlyn series a lot. I started using some of their other books when I first started blogging. I picked them up for about five dollars apiece at a discount bookstore and had a lot of fun with them. So I like their gluten-free book a lot as well. I also like that each recipe has its own photo and most – if not all of them, have little variations and suggestions at the bottom of them as to how each recipe could be changed. Their Caramel Shortbread has a variation for Orange and White Chocolate shortbread at the bottom, for example. It’s neat!

Jacki Passmore’s Gluten Free Bible – another of the more recent cookbooks I bought. The gluten free bible is a great little book. It was where I got the recipe for that butter cake and that coffee and walnut cake! It also has some good recipes for mains and savouries. But what I like is that it also has recipes for making pastries that don’t ask for xantham gum or unique flour blends. For the most part this book relies on gluten-free plain flour and gluten-free all purpose flour, with a little rice flour and cornflour thrown in here and there. So it’s not all that hard to shop for the basic ingredients for their recipes. But it is criminal to have such delicious looking breakfasts tease me each time I open this book! One shortcoming of this book is also that it doesn’t do the useful list of prep and cook time at the top of each recipe, although it does list serving size at the bottom.

Frederique Jules, Jennifer Lepoutre and Mitsuru Yanase’s Good Without Gluten – This is the latest addition to the cookbook collection. As I mentioned before this cookbook has been a hit and miss due to the cooking times and tastes of some recipes needing work. But the shortbread I made from them and their chocolate cupcakes were both a success! I also can’t help but fall in love with their stunning photographs! I look forward to giving a few more of their recipes a go in the future too! Their recipes are also well laid out and simple to follow. Each has prep and cooking time, etc, listed up the top and as I mentioned before all their ingredients are listed in grams and mls, which makes swapping things out weight for weight much easier. 

Heather Whinney, Jane Lawrie and Fiona Hunter’s The Gluten-Free Cookbook: What to eat and what to cook on a gluten-free diet – I got this cookbook awhile back now and it has proven to be a great addition to the collection. I have had a lot of success with the recipes from this book and most of them have required minimal or rather straightforward tweaking. It doesn’t have the same amount of photographs as some of the other books to use as a guide. But I still feel confident in doing their recipes due to how successful the others I have done were. One thing is that the recipes often ask for xantham gum, which I have stopped using and since found I no longer need at all. But the recipes are also still quite well laid out and simple to follow, and this book is rather informative about gluten intolerance and coeliac disease. It makes a good starter cookbook for that reason.

Lisa Stander-Horel and Tim Horel’s Nosh on This: Gluten-Free Baking from a Jewish-American Kitchen – This is one of the cookbooks I have used the least. I admit that. But their linzer heart biscuits knocked me for six! There is a lot of love and flavour in their recipes and it’s clear that Lisa and Tim have a lot of passion for their food. I also like the little introductions to each recipe that talk about what inspired the recipe or about it’s taste or who has made it before. The recipes are well laid out, and their photos are nice too. 

UPDATE: Oops, some of the post didn’t make it across! Hang on!

Ashley McLaughlin’s Baked Doughnuts for Everyone – You can’t go wrong with a cookbook all about gluten-free donuts! This book is neat. It has about one hundred and one donut recipes, although I haven’t had the chance to make all those at the moment! I have had a chance to make one of their recipes, and those Jam Donuts were delicious. I would like to give a few more of their recipes a go, especially seeing as not including the applesauce didn’t seem to cause me too much trouble, and this book has a lot of good and interesting flavour suggestions!

Elana Amsterdam’s The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook – I do have access to this cookbook, but I haven’t had a chance to cook a thing from it. She does present a wide range of recipes to choose from, all based on almond meal. The recipes are well laid out, but don’t seem to include that nice list of prep time and cooking time, although servings and sweetness are listed, interestingly enough.

So what cookbooks do other people have and what are their pros and cons! I’m also curious about what sites people like to use. Do people tend to stick to one site or blog more than others? If so please tell me all about it!

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16 thoughts on “Cookbooks and Internet Sites!

  1. Oh, I like this topic!

    I started off using cookbooks, but after I reached a certain level the need fell away. With the iPad I started to digitize everything. I went online and found digital versions of most of what I had and kept the paper versions of the few that were sentimental or I couldn’t get in digital form but were somehow necessary to me.

    One of the hardest things to do was to prune my Julia Child collection. I whittled it down to her Mastering the Art of French Cooking I and II and one of her celebrity cookbooks. I kept a James Beard as well.

    I will purchase ebooks 1) when it’s something I don’t know how to do, 2) something I want to learn from, 3) to support a new chef/cook. Otherwise I’ll download (illegally) random bits that catch my interest and read them online — I read cookbooks like people read a narrative. 😉

    For the most part I use a book called The Flavor Bible. Since I know the techniques I more often look for flavor combinations through that text and go to work in the kitchen (which was a large part of what my blog was s u p p o s e d to be about). 😉 I swear by it. There was an internet site based around a similar premise but it’s become too expensive to subscribe to.

    I do go around various sites looking to learn Molecular Gastronomy tricks and tips and formulas. To that end I downloaded both versions of Modernist Cuisine which I often reference when I’m in that mode. I have purchased two books from people who put together their work to show my support.

    I don’t really use the net for cooking unless it’s my fellow bloggers. Like I said, I read recipes like narratives. It’s hard to explain but I can see the whole process in my head when I read, which I can recall from memory when I’m in the kitchen.

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    1. 😀 Interesting! I found it very hard to prune my cookbook collection when we moved as well. But I found that the books I kept are my tried and true favourites. And I feel much the same about ebooks. But I also love, love, love the flavour bible. A friend of mine has it, and she leant it to me for a little while so that I could have a read of it. And that’s quite neat! 🙂

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  2. I always used my cookbooks and sometimes the site libelle.be (it’s a Belgian magazine) but now I often use blogs! When I see some interesting recipes passing by, I bookmark them so I can try them myself when I have the time 🙂 So now I actually use cookbooks, internet AND blogs ^^

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  3. For my non GF cooking I use a mix of online recipes, blogs and cookbooks. I tend to do a lot of gluten free baking experimentation on standard recipes as well. Trial and error etc. I have to say that most of my cookbooks aren’t gluten free specific, I have had more success with online resources. I do like Sue Shepherds GF cookbooks. I have one or two of hers.

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    1. Neat! 😀 Thanks for that reply! I have heard of Sue Shepherd before, but I haven’t been fortunate enough to get a look at her books. Does she use straight gluten-free plain flour, etc, or does she use her own blend, etc?

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