Posted by Book Mavens on February 24th, 2011
Title: Baked/Baked Explorations
Author: Matt Lewis
Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc. October 2008/October 2010
Summary: This winter has really been no fun. I’m not a real fan of winter sports so having fun out in the snow is not something I look forward to. Lurching spastically down a ski slope or falling on my butt on a frozen pond doesn’t leave me feeling invigorated and full of the joy of life. I prefer to pull the shades, draw the curtains, put on some music and bake, so two of my favorite books have been getting a real work out lately.
Baked (2008) and Baked Explorations (2010) by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
I knew I was going to love the Baked cookbook when I read Lewis and Poliafito’s philosophy of breakfast:
“As the first meal of the day, we think it should not be squandered on tasteless bran thingamajigs, dreary wheatgrass shakes and not-so-healthful nutrition bars…A glorious baked good is a wonderful thing to wake up to…Our breakfast philosophy comes down to this: We want you to go to bed with visions of lemon loaves and marble bundts dancing in your head.”
While you can feel virtuous and glowing with health digging into the oatmeal or bran flakes in the morning, give me a slice of lemon, lemon loaf, some double chocolate loaf with peanut butter cream cheese spread or some monkey bubble bread before I have to leave the house and spend a happy twenty minutes chipping ice off my car.
But it’s not just about breakfast. The Baked brownie recipe has been praised by the The Today Show, America’s Test Kitchen, AND Oprah. Lewis suggests serving them with ice cream – a most excellent suggestion. The maple cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting are another winner, and they contain nuts – an excellent source of protein.
The books are beautifully illustrated by Tina Rupp, a New York based photographer who specializes in photographing “everything that has to do with food.” Though it can be slightly depressing to compare your finished product to the photos.
My most recent experience with one of the baked recipes was the lemon, lemon loaf and it is a wonderful way to forget that the outside world is grey and cold and covered in really gross looking snow. After juicing the lemons your whole kitchen smells like citrus. Put on some Gloria Estefan, close the curtains and you’re in Florida.
Recommended by: Sue D’Num