I have not been in the food blogging business for very long, but I feel like I have learned so much already! Today I wanted to share with you my five favorite books (so far!) that I would recommend to any new food bloggers looking to develop some killer recipes to share with their readers!
These are books that I find myself returning to again and again to pick up more tips and tricks from each time. For the most part, they are geared towards recipe development, which, of course, is at the core of what a food blog is: sharing new and exciting recipes with you guys! So, without any further adieu, here are my top 5 food blogging books!
1. The Flavor Bible, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.
This book seriously is my bible when it comes to flavor in my dishes. Whenever I am stumped on “what goes with this?”, The Flavor Bible’s got my back! This book is divided into sections based on each ingredient, in alphabetical order. For everything from achiote seeds to zucchini blossoms, this book has all different types of other ingredients that go with your chosen key ingredient. They are also nicely categorized from “regularly mentioned” combinations to “highly recommended” combinations. This is great because you can not only find traditional flavor combinations for classic dishes, but less common combinations that have still been proven to work. This book is also useful because it gives various tips and tricks throughout the text in the sidebar. One of my favorites is a sidebar article about balance in your dishes (see page 55 for more!).
2.Ratio, by Michael Ruhlman.
At a fundamental level, cooking (and especially baking) is all about ratios. This is the concept behind Michael Ruhlman’s guide to learning proportions and scaling for basic recipes, including breads, pastas, and other doughs, as well as sauces and stocks. With these simple, time-tested ratios, you will be whipping up your own unique variations of classic recipes in no time! Ruhlman teaches us that understanding the ratios between ingredients is one of the most vital components of truly mastering the art of cooking. I love this concept because it allows you to become freed from the boundaries of traditional “read the recipe and follow the steps” cooking so that you can make the next leap in preparing your meals: writing your own recipes!
3. Will Write for Food, by Dianne Jacob.
This is the definitive guide for anyone looking to go into any type of food writing career, be it food blogging, journalism for a newspaper, or the book industry. Jacobs has such a plethora of advice and tips for all types and stages of writing that my copy of this book literally is filled cover to cover with bookmarks and page corners folded over! I really like that she provides exercises throughout the book for helping to develop your food blog concept, which can be a very challenging but necessary task. I feel like this is something that is perpetually helpful to a food blogger because a blog’s concept should be an evolving, fluid idea of what that blogger has to offer to the world of food. This is also a great book because it contains links to further in-depth resources and information about various topics.
4. Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots, by Nicole S. Young.
One of the core ideas behind a food blog is to get across your recipe’s concept and appeal in an entertaining and visually stunning way. A quality photography book can really help you to accomplish this task, and Nicole S. Young’s Food Photography is my favorite book for this. Her book is great because she not only gives practical advice for how to achieve different photography effects, but she walks you through a photographic step-by-step guide for different effects and actions that can help you bring your photography to the next level.
5. The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails, by Tony Abou-Ganim.
Let’s not forget about the cocktails! Creating delicious cocktail flavor combinations is one of my favorite ways to innovate when it comes to recipe creation. Tony Abou-Ganim’s The Modern Mixologist is an incredible guide to all different aspects of cocktails. The beginning of the book gives a walkthrough of all the different components that can go into a cocktail: from flavored liquors, to simple syrups, to garnishes. In the second part of the book, he covers a variety of classic as well as innovative cocktails that can give you some great ideas for directions in which you can take your own cocktail recipes. I love that this book combines both these types of sections (breaking down the components as well as building up the recipes), which is why I would really recommend it as a starting place for cocktail creation.
It’s Giveaway Time!
So there you have it: my top 5 favorite books so far for recipe creation and food blogging! Which one is your favorite? Let me know by commenting below, and be sure to enter my giveaway! This week, one lucky winner will receive a brand new copy of my favorite book from the above list: The Flavor Bible! You can enter up to four times: by joining my email list, following me on Instagram, following me on Twitter, and sharing the contest on social media:Video submission contest
This contest will run from today until December 16th at midnight EST, so be sure to enter via all four methods for your chance to win! The winner will subsequently be announced on December 18. Enter today to enjoy your very own copy of this amazing book!