Of Cookbooks, Blog Posts, and E-books
When looking for a recipes these days, there are so many, many, many options. When I have a particular recipe/ingredient/meal I am looking for, I will often just turn to a good ol’ google search and see where the interwebs take me. I will often land on someone’s blog, and this may be what brought you, dear reader, over to Endless Simmer in the first place. Blogs can be good for browsing, too, but when I am really seeking inspiration from out of the blue, nothing beats an actual paper cookbook, preferably weighing a few pounds and liberally strewn with pictures. On a side note, I have recently discovered the joy that is library cookbooks, but I’ll save my extended thoughts on those for another day.
Somewhere between these two media, the blog and the cookbook, lies a strange beast: the cooking e-book. Like blogs, e-cookbooks can be produced by more or less any dude or dudette with a stove and a computer. They can serve many purposes: some are just like traditional cookbooks; others are blog spinoffs. The two categories of e-cookbooks that I have found most useful are mini recipe collections (think “30 savory pies”); and e-books that focus on just one recipe, but one that is longer and more complicated than can be contained in one blog post, like “authentic Pad Thai.”
I was recently sent a review copy of Kolaches – Amazing & Easy! which fits solidly into the second category of my kind of e-cookbooks. For the uninitiated, kolaches are a slightly sweet Czech pastry often filled with fruit or cheese. This book contains a brief history of the pastry, followed by instructions on how to make the dough, make the fillings, and assemble the pastries. Also included are many variations on the initial recipe and what to do with leftover dough.
But…these were a freakin’ lot of work. Perhaps it’s just my baking ineptitude, but despite this book’s exclamatory title, there was nothing easy about making kolaches. And in the end, after all my (long) hard work, the end result tasted like biscuits with jelly. Good biscuits with jelly, but I’m not sure they were worth all the extra effort.
If you are more bakingly inclined than I am (and you certainly are), you may want to check out this e-book on Amazon. In addition to making kolaches, the book includes instructions for some great little rolls, or “little ducks” as the author calls them, that you can make with the leftover dough. These were less work, and still super-delicious.
So what about you? Do you prefer cookbooks, e-books, or blogs? Any little known favorites to share?