A lot of people have been asking me about my “cookbooking” so I thought I would share a little insight into the world of cookbook writing and developing (cookbooking) with this post!
First of all, I do a TON of research on whatever it is I am wanting to test and develop. Let me use salad dressing for an example. I had a request for homemade Ranch dressing, so I decided I would find out everything I could about the dressing. Where it came from, where and why it was developed, what the ingredients usually are, why, etc. etc. This might sound boring to a lot of people, but I really do enjoy it! I am a bit of a food “geek” if you will. I love studying food and food history. I know…not everyone’s cup of tea – but I really love it.
Anyways, after I have studied the history of the food (in this case Ranch dressing), I go about learning how people make it. I visit blogs, email some fellow “foodie” friends of mine, and read compulsively in my cookbooks looking for answers and techniques. (I will not disclose here how many cookbooks I own – I’ve never counted and I never intend to – but it’s easily somewhere in the thousands.)
After reading and researching and taking many notes on the subject, I go about writing down and brainstorming MY ideas for the dish (or in this case, the dressing). After I have a couple of recipes I have developed and want to try, I start out by testing in the kitchen.
The testing part can be awesome – or really really challenging! Ha! It IS one of the best parts of the work though.
After I test and test and really feel like the recipe is “complete” I have people test it – as in MAKE it themselves and see if they get the same results as I did.
Then – the next step, is my “taste testers”. I make the recipe AGAIN and this time pass it out for my “taste testers” to try. I tell them I want HONEST opinions. If it needs more salt – I need to know. If it needs to be baked less – I need to know. If it sucks – I need to know! Ha! (I have pretty thick skin).
After I get their results back (depending on what they say the recipe needs) I go BACK into the kitchen and test again – changing things, etc. Then there is MORE tasting.
Sometimes dinner for me will be 7 small bowls of salad with 7 different types of Ranch dressing – or whatever I’m testing at the time. Usually it’s 7 different types of cookies! Ha! It’s fun though…
Once the recipe is PERFECT, I will add it to my “Cookbook” folder/notebook OR put it on my blog.
Not every single recipe will make it here on my blog! I’m writing a cookbook, so chances are – the finalized recipe will end up being in my cookbook…and not on my blog.
I take pictures of everything along the way (and spare all of my social media followers by not posting EVERY single picture and recipe).
I also keep very detailed notes about what I made, how it was, the changes, who sampled and what they said, what I changed, what I kept the same, etc.
SO… that’s it in a nutshell (well, a blog post)! I know it’s not everyone’s idea of “fun” but I LOVE it!
This blog post has also inspired me to create a NEW FEATURE here on my blog called “ASK! Blaise The Baker”. The information and email address are posted on the side column of my blog. Basically, if you have a question about food, recipes, ingredients, my cookbook, etc. JUST ASK ME! I will respond to ALL emails with an answer. I have wanted to start something like this for awhile, so we will see how it goes…
I would love to hear from you! Have a question? ASK ME!
Can’t wait to hear from you,