What To Put In Cookbook? What Form?

Decorating By prterrell Updated 25 Aug 2009 , 11:29am by KitchenKat

prterrell Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 8:22pm
post #1 of 16

Besides recipes and photos, what information* would you want included in a cake, cookie, and pastry cook-book?

Also, which would you prefer: a traditional print cookbook or one that you pay to download to your computer?

*In my experience, decorating techniques (i.e. how to pipe or model a rose) are best explained in person or by video, not in text, so I am not going to include those.

15 replies
Brenda0217 Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 8:35pm
post #2 of 16

Whooohoooo!! You are going to do a cookbook Prterrell, I told you I would but one from you. I would prefer one you can buy, that way I can show it all around to friends and family. Step by step instructions are always good, and if you don't have a certain ingredient what can you substitute for it is always good to know. and little tid bit hints like that are always helpful. No big fancy words for items, unless you state what they mean. Pictures are wonderful in a book to. And sometimes a little story on how this or that recipie came about. Geeze I was so excited in seeing this I mis spelled a word at the begining, instead of 'BUT' I meant to say BUY, sorry about that, the excitement just took over me. So glad you are thinking about doing this. Thank you Thank you.

BCo Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 8:44pm
post #3 of 16

I like it when a cookbook has lots and lots of pictures - even if it's just one pic of the finished item for each recipe - I'm a visual learner and I like to see what the finished product is supposed to look like. Something in writing may not sound good but to see a yummy picture of it would make me want to try it! Plus pictures of any complicated or questionable steps in the process may be helpful too!! I'm dissapointed when I buy a cook book and there are only 2 or 3 photos in the whole book! I have a few Rachael Ray cookbooks that come to mind that are like that - - - icon_sad.gif

indydebi Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 11:04pm
post #4 of 16

Definitely pictures! I picked up a cookbook at Sam's just this week and put it back because there was not one photo in it.

I'm sure you're aware, but be sure to avoid using brand names as the product (use "vegetable shortening" instead of "crisco") unless the recipe MUST have that particular brand. And if so, explain what "crisco" is. If Crisco is not available in any area, the reader can't even substitute because they may not know what "crisco" is. (i've seen this in older cookbooks).

I also like a good reference section. How many tsp in a Tbsp; how many cups in a quart. A substitute list .... "if you don't have buttermilk, you can use this instead." A definition list .... what's the difference between "sear" and "brown" the meat?

Pet Peeves I've seen in cookbooks:
- Listing "3 tsp" instead of listing "1 Tbsp". (Yep ... seen it.)
- Trying to find a recipe for "Apple Crisp" under "A" only to find it's listed under "C" under some stupid name that no one would ever think of for "Apple Crisp" like "Crispy Apple Cinnamon Delight" icon_confused.gif

Brenda0217 Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 11:10pm
post #5 of 16

Yes yes yes, Indydebi I agree, the "How Many" equals what stuff is very important, forgot all about that, so glad you chimed in and reminded us about that part. and all your wonderful ideas. Nothing is more frustrating when you think something should be under main meal, desert, or whatever, and find it totaly some where else.

Spuddysmom Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 11:26pm
post #6 of 16

Photos are super important to me, too.

costumeczar Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 11:26pm
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


Pet Peeves I've seen in cookbooks:
- Listing "3 tsp" instead of listing "1 Tbsp". (Yep ... seen it.)
icon_confused.gif




Know why they do that? Because you can't copyright the ingredient list of recipes, but if you change the Tbsp to 3 tsp it takes it one more step away from plagiarism icon_wink.gif That's an old trick that our friend whose initials start with "M" and "S" used in her first cookbook when she stole every recipe in it from other people's previously published cookbooks! (allegedly, of course!!)

Mike1394 Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 11:28pm
post #8 of 16

Toss out the cups, and teaspoons, use weights instead.

Mike

indydebi Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 11:33pm
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


Pet Peeves I've seen in cookbooks:
- Listing "3 tsp" instead of listing "1 Tbsp". (Yep ... seen it.)
icon_confused.gif



Know why they do that? Because you can't copyright the ingredient list of recipes, but if you change the Tbsp to 3 tsp it takes it one more step away from plagiarism icon_wink.gif That's an old trick that our friend whose initials start with "M" and "S" used in her first cookbook when she stole every recipe in it from other people's previously published cookbooks! (allegedly, of course!!)




Nuh-uhhhhhhhhhhhhh! icon_surprised.gif No kidding, that's why??? I had no idea!

I like a variation of Mike's idea ... list the weights ALSO. The average housewife has no idea how much 12 oz of flour is or 6 ounces of eggs, so if the avg housewife is the target audience, it has to be written for that audience.

mcaulir Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 12:15am
post #10 of 16

One of the best recipe books I have is a cheesecake and pavlova book that has photos of some of the more unusual steps. Eg, one cheesecake has a chocolate collar, and it has a couple of photos showing how to do that.

A cake book I read had different amounts of ingredients for a couple of basic recipes for different tin sizes and shapes, and baking times listed. That might be quite helpful.

mcaulir Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 12:16am
post #11 of 16

One of the best recipe books I have is a cheesecake and pavlova book that has photos of some of the more unusual steps. Eg, one cheesecake has a chocolate collar, and it has a couple of photos showing how to do that.

A cake book I read had different amounts of ingredients for a couple of basic recipes for different tin sizes and shapes, and baking times listed. That might be quite helpful.

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 12:36am
post #12 of 16

If something cannot be substituted, make sure it's mentioned. (ie. lard for vegetable shortening - yuck).

Alternatives: "If you don't have X, use Y in this amount" is good.

Tips, especially those pasted down. My favourite is how to make sour milk. Some recipes call for it, and people think they actually can't make it unless they have sour milk. I just give regular milk a couple of splashes of white vinegar (from the shaker) ... sour milk! (I have white vinegar is a shaker. In Canada, we use it on french fries.)

Brenda0217 Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 1:05am
post #13 of 16

Oh my gosh! I remember eating french fries with white vinegar on them, forgot all about that till you mentioned it. LOL...now guess what I am hungry for? yep, you guessed it. LOL...and that is a good idea for in the book to.

xstitcher Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 9:43am
post #14 of 16

Everything mentioned so far is what I too would love to see in a cook book. I prefer the to have a traditional printed cookbook than one I have to download to my computer and then have to print it off.

-Pictures (as much as possible)- Stimulates the appetite.
-common ingredient substitutions
-metric conversion charts - might want to add cooking temps to (F vs C)
-love the idea of having weight measurements in conjunction with weight as well as cups/teaspoons etc - possibly even put the weight in same area as conversion charts (although I think it's easier having it on the same page as the recipe icon_lol.gif )
-not using terms like a stick of butter (stick of butter might mean something different in another country) - give specific measurements
-like the idea that Indydebi had about not using specific name brands unless it's absolutely necessary
-and Indydebi's idea about having a definition list

indydebi Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 10:12am
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by xstitcher


-not using terms like a stick of butter (stick of butter might mean something different in another country)




How funny you mention this! Look what was just posted in another thread on this very topic! http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=6528008#6528008

KitchenKat Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 11:29am
post #16 of 16

Ditto to everything that has been said. I also like reading about the recipes so having a short intro to each recipe makes cookbooks more interesting for me.

Also I like reading about what to expect, for example: "don't worry if the batter is curdled, that is normal".

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