I started writing this blog, hopelessly, almost four years ago. It has gone through many quiet periods, and for the most part, it remains a somewhat hopeless venture that I do in my freetime to fill the creative void. I often feel like the only people reading this are my parents and my in-laws, and that nothing I do that involves my passions really matters to anyone else but me and the man who gets to eat the fruits of these passions, my husband. I’ve never once received a Google Ads check. I have no patrons on patreon. The only person to ever send me a coffee on Kofi was my mother-in-law.
But this is not a blog post for me to bemoan the state of my hobby. I mention these things because there are people like me out in the world who DID make it work, and this cookbook is from one of those people: Andrew Rea. January 2020 opens with the cookbook of the month, Binging with Babish. You may recall that I mentioned this youtube channel during my food media series a few years ago, and while his success was already cemented then, he’s got a new book out.
I’ve admired Andrew Rea for a long time. He shows up every week with two videos about things that he loves, and the people have responded to it. He goes out of his way to improve the lives of his friends and family in his somewhat newer series ‘Being with Babish’. He uses every ounce of his good fortunes and hard work to the benefit of others, admirable in every way. I was leaving the Delmarva area when he went through Philly for his book tour, and I wish I had been able to meet him.
The great American Cookie bake off is upon us. Across the country, ovens are preheating in preparation for the holiday tradition of cookies and sweets of all kinds. Here at Eating Normal, I am a devotee of this moment in the year. There is nothing more meditative than cranking out dozen after dozen of delicious cookies for your own house and others. Plus, when winter comes knocking, there isn’t any better excuse to make cookies than trying to keep the house warm.
I’m not a good enough baker to have my own special recipes for cookies, so instead, I bring to you my favorite cookies from the internet for your consideration when you wake up in the morning and hear your Kitchen Aid calling your name.
We’re coming onto the beginning of a new era, ladies and gentlemen. 2020 is upon us, and that means that I should be preparing a ranking of this year’s cookbooks of the month. Unfortunately, this last half of the year was so hard financially and emotionally that we once more did not hit a total twelve cookbooks. So, to fill the void, I present to you the top five cookbooks from my two years of Cookbook of the Month to give you some last minute gift ideas for the home cook in your life. These are in no particular order.
The title for each book functions as a hyperlink to the Amazon page for the book in case you really need that last minute gift RIGHT NOW!
For the Budding Baker: Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish
I cannot overstate my praises for FWSY even two years down the road. I was always curious about bread baking, and this book makes it easy for the homecook to understand and accomplish. The great undertaking of the project feels more manageable in the hands of Ken Forkish, and he gives you options depending on how adventurous you’re feeling in your baking.
There is a minor equipment barrier that you may also want to address for your budding baker when you gift this cookbook, such as proofing baskets and a dutch oven for baking the bread. Be sneaky in the kitchen and see what you’re giftee needs.
2019 has come and gone, and the new year is upon us. It’s time to think about those New Years Resolutions we all so love to fail. Would you like to try one with me this January?
Since 2016, Epicurious has led the charge in what’s called the COOK90 challenge. Since its inception, they’ve even published a cookbook with a 90 day meal plan to help you complete the challenge which is as follows: cook three meals a day every day for a month. There are plenty of reasons to give it a try, and for 2020, that includes sustainability. The more meat-free meals, the better. This is, however, a personalized challenge. If you do decide to COOK90, do it how you want. You can check out this year’s primer here for more information.
Now, what does COOK90 mean for Eating Normal? It means that we are going to do this together. You and I will work to eat more consciously, discover new recipes and ingredients, and maybe help reduce the carbon emissions of our farming system one meal at a time.
I’ll check in every week with an article, but I am also interested in starting an Eating Normal COOK90 support group on facebook to keep myself (and you, if you’re interested in joining me) accountable for our 90 meals in January. This group would not only exist to share pictures of our meals together, but share easy recipes from across the internet to help keep our COOK90 friends cooking through the month. You can join us for COOK90 at Eating Normal COOK90 2020 to join the discussion.
I’ve now lived in Green Bay for more than a month, and every single day I’ve been here, I drove right past the little pizza joint that had been recommended by friends that used to visit town: Cranky Pat’s. It’s less than a mile from my apartment on a road that takes me from the main drag down to my apartment, yet we never made the stop. I’ll be honest, I need to be in a certain mood for pizza. The mood finally struck Friday night, and we rolled up to the little pizzeria on a mission.
Part of my misgivings came from the outside appearance. It very much looks like an old pizzeria that may be past its prime, but don’t let the building deceive you. Inside, the decor of that old timey pizzeria is vibrant. The staff is friendly, and the smells are out of this world. IT is exactly what you want from a small chain pizza joint: a buffet in the corner, a small bar so you can get a beer, and pizza paddles engraved with the logo hanging from the wall.
An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird.
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