When I first started this blog back in October 2004
, it was at the suggestion of my friend Sheri, whose blog is Pork Cracklins
. As I am neither the accomplished cook nor the tech savvy blogger that she is, I named mine "Not As Good As Pork Cracklins". Neither of our blogs has a thing in the world to do with pork cracklins
Though I do still occasionally blog about cooking, over the years, NAGAPC (or as another friend calls it, "Not A Bad Ass") has begun leaning more and more toward baking. I guess I've baked since I was kid, but it's only been fairly recently that I've paid attention to where the recipes come from and who writes them. I've learned that there are certain authors whose recipes can be completely trusted and whose tastes tend to be similar to mine.
Some of my baking inspirations are:
Rose Levy Beranbaum, whose classic books are some of the greatest baking tutorials ever written, including: The Pie & Pastry Bible (I need to use it more), The Bread Bible (LOVE it!), The Cake Bible (my first "real" buttercreams), and Heavenly Cakes (destined to be another classic).
Abigail Johnson Dodge, who used to be a contributing editor for my favorite magazine, Fine Cooking. The only book I own is The Weekend Baker. "My" two signature recipes are actually hers: Double Ginger Crackles and Chocolate Banana Swirl Cake. Several of my go-to reliable, favorite recipes are hers as well: Supermoist Banana Muffins and Emergency Blender Cupcakes.
Dorie Greenspan, whose Baking With Julia(Child) should be in every kitchen. But the book of hers I love the most is Baking From My Home To Yours. The first time Carolyn did the Tahoe Triple, I baked Perfect Party Cake to celebrate, and "perfect" truly describes it. In fact, everything I've made from that book is perfect.
Try to imagine how star-struck I was last week when Dorie Greenspan commented on Not As Good As Pork Cracklins
about my Sour Cream Bundt Cake with Black Raspberry Swirl
! She said it looked "perfect" and that she was glad I'd made it. As I told my marathon friends, it would be like Arthur Lydiard
slapping you on the back, saying "nice run"!
You might think that I reacted by baking another of her recipes so soon, but in fact, I'd already made my next cake -- her Holiday Bundt Cake -- and frozen it for Thanksgiving Day. It was all I could do to keep it, not cut into it, and not blog about it. It's moist, dense, fragrant with cinnamon, and studded with cranberries, apples and nuts. Like every other recipe of hers I've made, it too is perfect. Holiday Bundt Cake
, Baking From My Home To Yours
, Dorie Greenspan