Baking Basics and Beyond Second Edition Cookbook Review

Heather says:

Agate Publishing sent me a copy of Baking Basics and Beyond¹ by Pat Sinclair to review for the Home Ec 101 community. As with most households, mine is currently in the midst of a busy season. The book has been sitting on my center island waiting for me to make the time to read it and report back to you.

While some may disagree, I believe cooking and baking are crafts. Yes, some people seem to posses an innate ability that elevates them to the level of an artist, but anyone with practice can become competent in the kitchen. Baking Basics and Beyond is a useful introduction to basic skills, concepts, and recipes.

The photography of Baking Basics and Beyond caught the attention of my eight year old son, who is extremely eager to learn to cook. He’s always creating “recipes” mostly ones that involve the interesting plating of random ingredients, but hey, he’s eight. He is completely enamored with the cookbook and has been carrying it around announcing all of the things he plans on making.

On Valentine’s Day he came up to my office and announced that he was going to make muffins as his Valentine’s Day present to me. All too often I put off these projects as I may or may not completely dread cleaning up a kitchen destroyed by the kids. Due to the sweetness of his request, I bit back the no thank you and said, that it was a wonderful idea and told him he should come upstairs with any questions.

He made a batch of the Everyday Blueberry Muffins without a single question.

Later in the week he made the Chocolate Swirl Coffee Cake completely on his own.

He has performed the cookbook review. If a book is attractive enough for a child, if the recipes are written in such a way that the directions are so concise and clear that an eight-year-old, novice baker can have a successful experience, then that book belongs on the shelf in the kitchen.

Enjoy, I’ve got some New Orleans Bread Pudding with Bananas Foster Sauce to make, as soon as I get through my inbox.

¹Affiliate Link


  1. KeterMagick on February 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Now if she (or you!) could write an equally eagerly-adopted book titled “Vacuum Wrangling and Other Domestic Sorties: Macho Adventures in Housecleaning.”  Feel free to steal the title.  ;o)
    I think it is wonderful that your son is taking to baking and cooking.  My son had absolutely no interest in the kitchen outside of raiding the refrigerator and – in desperation, if I was late coming home from work – putting frozen fish sticks and fries on a baking sheet and into the oven.  I spent his senior year in high school trying to teach him, to no avail.  “You are going to be out on your own next year and will need to know this stuff.” “I’ll manage.”  “You at least need to know how to cook eggs.” “No, Mom, the Air Force will feed me.”  I guess they did for a while, but – at age 30! – his current girlfriend seems to be teaching him to cook.

  2. casey1977 on February 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I can bake pretty well,it’s the decorating part i have issues with.

  3. stacyl on February 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I’m very impressed that your son wanted to and was able to accomplish that without any help. Good for him! I’ll check out the book too.

  4. tiamimi on February 27, 2012 at 10:30 am

    @heathersolos Adding that book to my growing list of must have cookbooks. How awesome is your son to make you muffins for Valentine’s Day.

    • HeatherSolos on February 27, 2012 at 10:30 am

      @tiamimi I know, right? And they were TOTALLY edible.

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