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Mom's Big Book of Baking
200 Simple, Foolproof Family Favorites for Birthday Parties, Bake Sales, and More
By Lauren Chattman
ISBN: 1558323953
Publisher: Harvard Common Press
Publication date: September 2008
Format: Spiral-Bound Hardcover
List price: $21.95 
Type: Baking; Family
Sample recipe: Blueberry-Cornmeal Crumb Squares
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive coffee-table Biblical stature
Competition: outclassed follower in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
# of recipes: <50 <100 <200 <300 ≥300
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: 7-Eleven airfare required online pantry supermarket
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose bare-bones full-figured educational
Time conscious: unconscious outright lies white lies realistic honorable
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant balanced generous
Photos/drawings: none distracting decorative instructive glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine considerate work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging tolerable clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy dubious years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: non-existent hard-to-find spotty sufficient every page
Table of contents: AWOL frustrating passable useful excellent
Index quality: none tragic adequate good a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Writer: beginner food writer writing cook personality auteur
Cook: unknown self-taught chef teacher celebrity
Fulfills ambitions: falls short almost there satisfactory exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward best friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: This is the story of a woman who became a mom, worked for a time as a pastry chef, but found the draw of home – and the attraction of home baking vs. the production of fancy restaurant desserts – more alluring.

Since leaving restaurant kitchens, Lauren Chattman has turned out several books on desserts and baking. Her current work is an effort to convince busy, busy moms that baking from scratch, simple baking from scratch, can fit in their lives, can be an enjoyable activity, and will delight their children. These are meant to be quick, easy, well-written recipes for potluck suppers, birthday parties, bake sales, and just about every other event in daily life.

Recipes include homemade pancakes and waffles; muffins, quickbreads, biscuits, and scones; cookies; brownies and bars; "no-fail" pies, tarts, cobblers, and quiches; birthday and other special-occasion cakes; and basic breads and pizzas. There is a nice mix of traditional favorites and new recipes.


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