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First a review, and then announcing the Cookbook of the Month for November!!

Bread Baker's Apprentice | www.tasteandtellblog.com

When I first received my copy of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart, I was enamored by all of the pretty photos. But as I took the book home and started reading through the pages, I realized this was a lot more than just a cookbook with recipes and pretty pictures. This book is a learning vessel. It doesn’t just hand over a recipe and hope that you can make your way through it on your own. Peter Reinhart teaches you so much more – from the chemistry and science behind bread to shaping the perfect loaf. The latter – the shaping of the bread – is probably my favorite feature of this book. It’s so hard to know how to shape bread by words alone – and Peter Reinhart gives step by step photos for many different bread shapes. I think this book will be my book of reference even when I am baking breads from other recipes or cookbooks. I can completely see why this book has won many awards – including the 2002 James Beard Cookbook of the Year and the 2002 IACP Cookbook of the Year. Being a beginning bread maker, this book was extremely easy to follow and gave me some indispensable knowledge. If you really want to learn how to bake bread, or even if you are an experienced bread baker, I truly believe that this is a book you should have in your collection.

Recipes made from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice:
Cinnamon and Sticky Buns
Portuguese Sweet Bread
Rosemary Potato Bread
White Bread

And now onto November…

Jamie's Italy | www.tasteandtellblog.com

I had a hard time deciding on this month’s cookbook. I have so many dessert and sweet cookbooks on my want list. But after a month of bread, and with holidays coming up, I knew that my body would not be happy with me if I was baking every weekend again. So I sadly passed up all of the dessert cookbooks I want, and went for another cookbook that I have been hearing a lot about – Jamie’s Italy. I usually don’t buy a cookbook that I haven’t looked through before, but after hearing good things about this book, I decided to go for it without going to the bookstore first to leaf through the pages. This was really a blind leap of faith on my part because I don’t really even know a lot about Jamie Oliver. I have seen his show a couple of times on BBC when I have been flipping through the channels, but I don’t really know his style or what kind of things he makes. Well, I received my copy earlier this week, and was almost afraid when I started flipping through the pages. There was a lot at first glance that I am very unfamiliar with. But as I went through, page by page, bookmarking each of the recipes that I would like to try, I realized that this month is going to be a lot of fun for me. I really will be stepping out of my comfort zone, making things that I have never made before – which I am really excited about. There are some recipes that I will have to skip – just because I don’t know where I’d find the ingredients, but by the time I made it through the book, I have more recipes marked than I would be able to make in a month. Now I’m just excited to get started!!

Also, if anyone out there reading lives in the Orem/Provo area in Utah, and knows of anywhere to buy meat besides beef, pork and chicken, I would really appreciate some help!! I don’t cook lamb, but only because I cannot find it anywhere around here. None of the stores I frequent carry anything but beef, pork and chicken, and the one butcher I know of does not have anything except those proteins, either. I have seen so many tasty looking recipes that I would like to try, but it’s hard when I can’t find the ingredients!!

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14 Responses to Cookbook of the Month

  1. kellypea says:

    I love what you’re doing with a new cookbook each month. And I surely needed the advice on how to shape a loaf when I made my honey wheat bread not too long ago.

    I love Jamie Oliver. I don’t have this cookbook, but have Happy Days, and have never made a bad recipe from it. They’re usually very easy, and quick to make recipes that can turn out elegantly — like the Monk Fish wrapped in proscuitto that was to die for.

    Do you have a Trader Joe’s there? They have fast frozen meats that are unique and/or difficult to find.

  2. Deborah says:

    I so wish I had a Trader Joe’s here. But because of crazy liquor laws here in Utah, I don’t think they will ever come here. (Wine can only be sold at the State Liquor Stores, and I know that is a big part of Trader Joe’s, so no luck there…)

  3. Lisa Kendrick says:

    I live in Springville and have yet to find a good butcher nearby. In SLC they have good ones. If you ever want good sausage, there’s Colisimo’s in Sandy. I go to Costco for all my meat.

  4. Deborah says:


    I actually bought some Colisimo’s sausage at Costco once – I’ve been meaning to go up to Sandy to check out what else they have. I usually end up at Costco for my meat as well…not much of a selection anywhere else.

  5. Cakespy says:

    I just came across this blog! Wonderful! I love the cookbook a month idea too. I have always been somewhat intimidated by the Bread Bible one, so it was fun to read your post. And I actually do like Jamie Oliver, his stuff is usually pretty good.

  6. Emilie says:

    I like Peter Reinhart. I have one of his books.
    I’m excited about Jamie’s Italy. I bought that book and read it like a novel. I’m interested to see what recipes you choose.

    My uncle lives in Salt Lake, and he eats a lot of meat. I can see where he gets his lamb. I’m not even sure if he eats lamb, though.

  7. Kelly-Jane says:

    I think it’s a great idea too! This is what I had intended to do when I started blogging, and I’ve drifted away… but really I should drift back again because it’s how I cook 🙂

    Looking forward to seeing what your try from Jamie’s book – I’ve marked a lot, but not made anything yet…

  8. Amrita says:

    hey thanks for popping by my blog!

    Jamie has some really interesting and simple recipes. :)Great blog you have!

  9. Mandy says:

    I can’t wait to read about the recipes you are going to make from this book! What a great idea this is. I wish I have the same discipline too.

  10. Beth G. says:

    Nate’s nana bought us this book recently and I haven’t tried anything yet- shame on me! Have you looked online for ingredients? I know we ordered a turducken from http://www.cajungrocer.com last year and if they can ship that sucker there should be good place online to find other meat stuff! :O) Can’t wait to see what you make from this book first!

  11. Cynthia says:

    I have both of those books and I’m excited and looking forward to your treats.

  12. Shandy says:

    Deborah, you are wonderful for doing this! I have a large collection of cookbooks that are special to me but you know how easy it is to jump on the computer and grab a recipe. . .especially with all the great cooking blogs sharing outstanding ideas! So, I am joining you. You will be posted in my next blog for your fabulous idea =D. . .did I mention your wonderful?


  13. Jenn says:

    Jamie’s Italy is a fanstastic book! I made his shrimp and sun dried tomatoes (on my blog) and a bunch of other recipes which were all a success. Some of the recipes are frustrating though because they use ingredients I would have a lot of trouble getting my hands on (like rabbit, or milky buffalo mozarella which I could find easily in France..but almost nowhere here in Canada).
    It’s a wonderful read nonetheless.


  14. Meryl says:

    I’m not %100 sure, but I believe this is the cookbook that finally de-mystified pasta making for me. For that alone, I adore Jamie Oliver!

    Thanks for the comment!

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