Lauren Chattman has written a delicious new book titled Mom’s Big Baking Book: 200 Simple, Foolproof Family Favorites for Birthday Parties, Bake Sales and More. Like a lot of moms, I have a very busy schedule and to be completely honest here the kitchen really isn’t a safe or friendly place for me. I have found, however, that Lauren Chattman’s baking recipes are really easy and even I can make them.
The book is divided into seven sections: Beyond the Freezer Box: Homemade Pancakes and Waffles; Mom’s Cafe: muffins, quick breads, cookies and scones; Le Bocal à Biscuits: Old-fashioned cookies, mom’s way; Easy-Bake Oven: Make your life easier with brownies and bard; Mom’s apple pie: pies, pies, quiches and cobblers without fail; Birthdays and beyond: cakes for all occasions; and yeast is your friend: Basic bread and pizza.
I love the cake – can’t help it. But I don’t like just any type of cake. It must be a yellow cake. So I figured I’d try to make the classic yellow layered cake (or cupcakes) from the chapter on birthdays and beyond. I chose to bake cupcakes over cake because I felt more comfortable with my cupcake molds than with my cake molds. The recipe was so simple I couldn’t believe my luck. No cupcake would go to a party without frosting, so I topped my freshly baked goods with some vanilla frosting for the birthday cake. I love a party! My friends couldn’t believe my new found talent.
I felt very confident in the dessert category, so I decided to make my son some spicy apple and raisin turnovers in the chapter on mum’s apple pie. The sweet pie dough recipe was easy to make, as was the filling. My kitchen smelled divine as the slippers cooked. Turnover is a keeper.
I invited my best friend (and her waffle iron) over for Sunday breakfast a few weeks ago so we could try one of the waffle recipes in the Beyond the Freezer Case section of the book. After much deliberation, we choose gingerbread waffles. I think maybe I have a new career here and my list of new friends just keeps growing.
I plan to bake a lot more in the coming weeks. On my list to try are pan pizza dough, salted cornbread, homemade oatmeal cookies and microwave brownies.
I enjoyed the time-saving tips and techniques offered in each chapter as well as the information on mail order and online resources. The only complaint I have about this book is that it didn’t contain color photos of the recipes – a feature that I really appreciate since I’m a real newbie in the kitchen.
You can find this book in your local public library, but you’ll probably want to purchase a copy for your own collection.