Oh, how I love cookbooks…

Last weekend, while visiting family in Ashton, Maryland, I flipped through the Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook and knew instantly that I had to have it.  Back in the Day Bakery is actually located in Savannah, Georgia, and it will definitely be on my list of places to visit should Mike and I ever travel there.

I spent a good part of the drizzly Saturday afternoon reading recipe after recipe, making mental notes of which ones I wanted to try.  My first experiment will be the cinnamon-sugar doughnut muffin, which I cannot wait to bake after I get through my Passover/Easter projects.  Other gems on my list are a lovely lemon loaf, sweet potato cupcakes, chocolate mint cookies, and buttermilk chess pie.

I own 30 cookbooks; of those, 13 are specifically dedicated to baking.  I’ve been fortunate that both Mike and my sister-in-law Kristin tend to give me cookbooks for my birthday and holidays; I’ve amassed quite a collection varying from the sophisticated tastes of Martha Stewart to Warren Brown’s fun, quirky United Cakes of America.

Please share with me – what is your favorite cookbook, and which ones should I add to my collection?



Homemade Vanilla Extract

On a weekend getaway to Williamsburg, Virginia, I spotted vanilla beans at the Raleigh Tavern Bakery.  On the packaging was a recipe for homemade vanilla extract, and I’ve adapted it as follows; I usually have one bottle in use and another steeping in my cupboard.


1 vanilla bean

Good-quality vodka


Place the vanilla bean in a bottle with a good seal.

Pour in enough vodka to cover the bean and store in a cool, dark place for 3 to 4 months.