Rose's Baking Basics Book Review: LA Times' 10 cookbooks to give and get this holiday season

FROM LOS ANGELAS TIMES STORY

We came across this review written by Amy Scattergood on Nov 2. From her article:

“From left: “Milk Street: Tuesday Nights” by Christopher Kimball; “Rose’s Baking Basics” by Rose Levy Beranbaum; “Bestia: Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A.” by Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis with Lesley Suter (Little, Brown and Company; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Ten Speed Press)

Cookbooks are some of the best gifts you can give your food-minded friends and relatives because they’re easy to find, simple to wrap — and can often trigger reciprocal dinner invitations. Among this year’s wealth of cookbooks are a few excellent baking books, some new books from award-winning folks whose other books might already be on your shelves, and two debut books from Los Angeles chefs. Here are 10 new cookbooks to put on your gift list.

“Rose’s Baking Basics” by Rose Levy Beranbaum (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35)

Do you (or whomever you’re gifting) need another of Beranbaum’s baking books? You really do. This one, her 11th, features 100 recipes for the essential stuff: cookies, cakes, pies, tarts and breads along with toppings and fillings. What makes this book particularly useful is all the photos — 600 of them, apparently — often in step-by-step sequence. All these pictures are pretty, yes, but also practical because baking is so often somewhat intangible without visual aids. They also offer pretty good incentive because there’s nothing like more than 300 pages of pictures of cupcakes, brownies, rugelach, chocolate rolls, lemon and blueberry tarts, and babka to make you want to start baking.

“Bestia: Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A.” by Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis with Lesley Suter (Ten Speed Press, $35)

Ever since Menashe and Gergis opened Bestia, their Italian restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, in 2012, the place has been packed. With the couple’s first cookbook, which features 140 recipes from the restaurant, you can just make their intensely flavorful, creative dishes at home — since the place is still one of the hardest reservations in town. This is rustic Italian food, through the lens of Menashe’s technique-intensive cooking: pastas an pizzas, pickles and charcuterie. There’s an ample pantry section, with the mostardas, soffritto and sauces that are fundamental to the dishes, plus recipes for the ’nduja and salumi for the ambitious. And the final chapter is filled with Gergis’ brilliant fruit-intensive desserts. Here’s hoping the duo are already testing the follow-up to this book — their second restaurant, Bavel, is as hard to get a table at as their first.

“Milk Street: Tuesday Nights” by Christopher Kimball (Little, Brown and Company, $35)

Christopher Kimball, who co-founded America’s Test Kitchen and started Milk Street in 2016, has come out with the second book from the Boston-based cooking school and magazine. The conceit of this book is that Tuesday nights are best accomplished with quick meals that make use of staple ingredients. So here are 200 recipes that are organized by the time it takes to make them (“fast,” “faster,” “fastest”), plus categories like “easy additions” and “one pot.” The dishes span many cuisines and there are fun sections such as “weeknight pizza” and “recipes that let you walk away from the cooking” — nice, if you want to load up the oven and go read the rest of the book.”

Milk Street Magazine Feature

The first article I ever wrote was for Chris Kimball's ground-breaking food publication: Cook's Magazine in 1981. I was so delighted when staff writer Albert Stumm, interviewed  me for this fun feature in Chris's newest magazine Milk Street. It's a terrific magazine and is the July-August 2018 issue. It is also available with a digital subscription.

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Bake from Scratch Honors Its 2018 Baker's Dozen

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Is there anything more gratifying than being elevated to the level of the three people (Julia Child, James Beard, and Jacques Pépin) who have had the greatest influence on my career and whom I admire the most?

I am deeply honored and grateful to have been chosen as the “icon” baker in Bake from Scratch’s annual Baker’s Dozen, in the company of such esteemed colleagues including two of my dearest friends: Erin McDowell and Umber Ahmad.

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This issue also has many excellent articles such as Milk Bread and Pizza, with fabulous photos and yes: ingredients are listed in grams. We’ve come a long way!

The July/August issue will be on news stands on June 12, and also available on line and on Instagram and Twitter @thebakefeed.

Concord Grape Pie

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There is nothing quite like Concord grapes and this is the small window time of the year when they are available here in the North East. Heidi Legenbauer Williams has written a delightful and informative article for the Daily Gazette, which includes three recipes (one of which is my Concord Grape Pie from The Pie and Pastry Bible). Check out your local farmers' market. You can stem and freeze the grapes, preferably in Ball jars, for at least a year or until you are ready to make the pie. As I said to Heidi when interviewed on the subject this past August: It's like eating wine.

A Lovely Honor

A friend on facebook recently reported that my name was mentioned in Barbara Fairchild's "Letter from the Editor" in the January issue of Bon Appétit. Of course I had to see what she wrote which necessitated an hour's drive in each direction to the closest Barnes and Noble as we're in the wilds of western New Jersey this week. And there I was, in Barbara's farewell letter, sandwiched between my esteemed long-time friend Lynne Rossetto Kasper (Splendid Table) and delightful new friend David Leite (Leite's Culinaria). (Bon App is moving to New York from LA which is why Barbara is stepping down as editor in chief.)As she only could mention a few of the 100's of people she worked with, I am proud to be one of these few, especially because I've always been very fond of Barbara. It will be most interesting to see what she will do next!

The Montré

And here's a little holiday present. Last year, Woody and I went on a mini press tour to Montréal where we had a most delightful lunch with Lesley Chesterman who writes for the Montréal Gazette--so delightful, in fact, that we never did the interview so she had to call me several months later for that part.Here is the delightful result of our conversations plus three recipes which you may already have but do check them out just in case. Please note, it is Rose's Heavenly Cakes that is available as an enhanced Kindle Ap and the special promotion of $9.99 is no longer in effect. Hopefully The Cake BIble will eventually an e book as well.

Another Review to Share on "Rose's Heavenly Cakes"

Another very special review and recipe from the book, written by another long time friend, Miriam Rubin, and forwarded to me by a newer dear friend and blogger Matthew Boyer! It's so amazingly interesting to me to see how much of people's personalities are reflected in what they write in a review. And, I must say, I feel very appreciated and am wondering when it will be time to descend from cloud 9!

FIT

The Fashion Institute of Technology puts out a beautifully designed quarterly magazine for alumni appropriately called Hue. The current publication is devoted to food and includes graduates who went from fashion to food careers. As one, I have always joked that I went from draping fabric to draping fondant.I'm so pleased and honored to have been included in Hue and if you're interested in reading the profile, beautifully written by editor Linda Angrilli, click Rose_20-21ppSgl.jpg! Here is the pdf for possibly easier reading on your screen: Rose_20-21ppSgl.pdf And here are a few more photos of my work environment which Matthew Septimus took for your enjoyment! FIT_012110_012.jpg FIT_012110_014.jpg FIT_012110_017.jpg FIT_012110_020.jpg

FIT

The Fashion Institute of Technology puts out a beautifully designed quarterly magazine for alumni appropriately called Hue. The current publication is devoted to food and includes graduates who went from fashion to food careers. As one, I have always joked that I went from draping fabric to draping fondant.I'm so pleased and honored to have been included in Hue and if you're interested in reading the profile, beautifully written by editor Linda Angrilli, click Rose_20-21ppSgl.jpg! Here is the pdf for possibly easier reading on your screen: Rose_20-21ppSgl.pdf And here are a few more photos of my work environment which Matthew Septimus took for your enjoyment! FIT_012110_012.jpg FIT_012110_014.jpg FIT_012110_017.jpg FIT_012110_020.jpg