I’m still here! And I’m finally (finally!) going to finish baking through the MSBH. So look for new post updates for the handful of recipes left starting next month.
In the meantime, I wanted to do a FAQ post, as I still get lots of emails with questions about the blog, and particularly about the kitchen tools and equipment in my photos.
- Will you ever come back and finish the blog? Yes! See above. I think I have less than 10 recipes to finish before the project is complete!
- Where have you been? It’s been over four years, so a lot of places! I was very burned out on the project in 2012 and just couldn’t motivate myself to tackle the remaining recipes. I was interested in so many things besides baking and then my life went a little crazy in 2014 (in a good way) and hasn’t really slowed down since. But I find myself getting the baking bug again, and I’m eager to revisit and complete this project. This blog truly is one of the things I’m most proud of creating!
- What is your favorite recipe in the MSBH? There are a lot of gems, but the Cherry Frangipane Galette is hands-down my favorite dessert both to make and to eat. It’s so unique and pretty. The Pignoli Cookies are my favorite cookies; I’ve made them dozens of times. They’re a “grown up” cookie though, not so popular with kids.
- Is the MSBH a good beginner cookbook? Should I buy it for my friend (daughter, sister-in-law, dad, etc.) who has never baked before and will they be able to use it? I came to the book with a pretty solid history in baking, particularly with yeast breads, and so I’m not entirely sure if it’s a great “beginner” baking book. Martha is kind-of notorious for assuming home bakers and cooks already have a grasp of the basics and I’d say that the MSBH assumes that as well. I hope this blog and my photos have helped demystify some of the steps. I, for one, am a complete novice when it comes to the more complicated pastries and I think the struggles I have had with those recipes could have been alleviated by more detailed instructions or photos. I find myself wishing she had anticipated the hard parts and included tips. I plan on using YouTube videos and tutorials to prepare me for some of the remaining recipes.
- What baking pans (food processor, mixer, knives, wax paper, bundt pan, etc.) do you use? I will be writing a “Ingredients, Tools, and Equipment” post next. I will do my best to keep it updated. I also plan on updating individual posts with relevant sourcing links.
- I need a good ______ for a _______ dinner I’m attending. Recommendations? It’s impossible to make perfect recommendations, but here are some of my go-to MSBH recipes for different functions I attend:
Dessert for a fancy dinner — Summer Fruit Tart (can easily be made with other fruits)
Pot-luck savory dish – Easter Pie
Brunch main dish – Tomato Tart (if you’re tired of quiche!)
Vegan – Lemon Ginger Scones (use vegetable-based shortening instead of butter)