While I'm at it, I might as well tell you about my #1 must-haves in your cooking library. These people are geniuses. And they do all of the work for you. You just have to follow their instructions. I've had this book for about 3 years now, and I seriously turn to it at least a few times a week for recipes, inspiration, information, or just plain good reading:) I am a completely different cook because of them.
If you don't know much about the good people at America's Test Kitchen, let me tell you a little about how they work. They slave away for hours, days, weeks, sometimes months at one recipe to get it perfect and fool-proof. They test different methods, ingredients, products, utensils, appliances, anything you can think of in the kitchen, to tell you what's best and why. It's amazing. And recently they came out with this book:
Another new Christmas addition to my library. And I seriously think I sat and just read it for a couple of hours straight yesterday. They have all sorts of classic recipes, explained and simplified. I love these people. This book is a little more complex, I think, than the cookbook counterpart, but mostly just because by nature baking is more complex than cooking. I love that this book has a little note next to recipes that are "great for beginners", and almost every other page has little "don't make this mistake" explanations as to why this certain bread recipe won't rise if you make this mistake, or why your frosting won't go on in a clean layer if you make this mistake. I love it. This is definitely another must-have in your home. Honestly, I think that if you were to only buy 2 cook/baking books for your kitchen library, I would say these are the 2 to get.