A Free Cook’s Illustrated Book for your iPhone or iPod Touch

Another rockin’ app for the iPhone (or iPod Touch) has been released that will bring joy to the kitchen—Amazon’s Kindle App for the iPhone (or iPod Touch) — free!! I’ve observed the Kindle for a while, and loved it, but I don’t need to haul another electronic around with me. However, with the app, you’re able to do all the same with the iPhone or iPod Touch, as with the Kindle–including downloading books!

I got a tip about a free Cook’s Illustrated book for the Kindle. It’s the How-To Library from Cook’s Illustrated (you may be familiar with their PBS shows, “America’s Test Kitchen” and “Cook’s Country”). It is easy-as-pie to get the book, too!

  1. Acquire a Kindle or Amazon’s Kindle App (for iPod Touch of iPhone); download and install
  2. Browse over to Amazon.com to get The Cook’s Illustrated How-to-Cook Library: An illustrated step-by-step guide to Foolproof Cooking (Kindle Edition) (free!!!)
  3. If you’ve not already registered your product, you will be directed how to do so.
  4. Open Kindle (or Kindle app on iPod Touch or iPhone)
  5. Get cooking!

I’ve already spent 30-minutes just drooling over the recipes. I own a few of the hard-bound “How-to” books—but, what can beat a freebie??

MacGourmet Touch–reviewed

Recipe piles (yikes!)

Recipe piles (yikes!)

Love it! Love it!! Love it!!!

I’ve always been a “paper girl”—I would have stacks and stacks of paper of recipes that I was dying to try. However, eventually, they become a frightening mess. Despite my efforts to recycle, I saw that effort being undone by my waste of recipe printing. (note photo—yikes!)

I’ve tried many things…I believe this is the order in which they progressed:

  1. Printing recipe; storing in binder
  2. Printing recipe; storing in big piles
  3. Finding recipes; adding to Delicious
  4. Finding recipes; saving as PDFs on my computer
  5. Finding PDFs; printing and storing in big piles

Enter: MacGourmet

I spent two or three hours seeking the recipes online that I had printed once-upon-a-time. Then, those recipes that seemed as those I really wanted to make, I used the simple keyboard stokes (genius!!) to import them perfectly into my program. I could insert a photo, if I chose, assign categories, and even courses to meals. These are all customizable, of course (love it!!)

Of course, now I’ve just taken a bunch of paper and put it on my computer, which resulted keeping my laptop on the kitchen counter. Better, but not ideal.

Enter: MacGourmet Touch

Wow!! Having my recipes RIGHT in front of me, complete with photos, shopping lists, recipes notes, blah, blah, has been fantastic!! I don’t even worry about spills, as I store it under a piece of saran wrap to protect from any misguided splatters. The setting to keep the iPhone (or iPod Touch) from going to sleep keeps the recipe alert and ready when I’m ready to scroll to the next directive.

I LOVE having my recipes with me when I’m on the go. When a craving hits for a particular dish, I don’t have to curse myself for forgetting an ingredient while at the grocery store—because it’s always at my fingertips! The shopping list feature is worth the $4.99 in and of itself. With the ability to add, edit and remove items while on the go—it beats out a paper list any day!

If you’ve been holding onto your five dollars for fear of value…it’s time to let it go. As consumers, we definitely are getting a bargain!

MacGourmet Touch at iTunes Store

MacGourmet program for your Mac (you need the base program to use the App)

Perfect Baking 101 (Lesson five) :: Ingredient Temperature

Keeping in line with temperatures…it’s extremely important to heed one important fact: all ingredients must be at room temperature. In order to more perfectly define “room temperature, it refers to about 68º F (unless otherwise stated in the recipe).

If you take a combination of ingredients, such as flour, butter and eggs, then try to mix them together while they are all varying temperatures, you will have a cold, messy lump–resulting in a baked, messy lump. Knowing that a cake’s (or bread’s) final internal temperature is about 200º, when you begin all ingredients at the same temperature (68º), they will all reach the final temperature at the same time.

  1. Cold butter does not beat well; room-temp butter will break-down and create air bubbles, allowing aeration
  2. Cold eggs will not blend properly; room-temp eggs are maleable and will beat fluffier and act as a binder between wet/dry ingredients
  3. Cold milk (or water) will coagulate and clump in the batter, requiring extra beating time to mix the ingredients; room temperature liquid will moisten the dry ingredients without the need over-beat, therefore avoiding gluten (when flour and liquid are over-mixed—tasting like glue, with a gluey texture)

Problems:

  • Batter too thick, won’t spread evenly in pan
  • Outer edges cook faster while middle is still raw
  • Finished product is dense, not aerated
  • Heavy product, gluey-taste

Solution:

  • Allow butter to come to room temperature naturally; to speed up, cut into smaller pieces and rest in single layer
  • Heat eggs in bowl with hot tap water for five minutes
  • Warm milk (or liquid) in microwave
Baked From Scratch