Shopping! Christmas Baking with SusieJ

Bake and cookware

Fante's in Philadephia's Italian Market remains the best store for bakeware and cookware, especially Italian imports, and I will die on this hill.

Knife Merchant carries a wide selectio of knives, including my favorite, Messermeister. Very preiswert, as the Germans say.

Philadelphia cookware emporium Kitchen Kapers also sells through the web.

Make clean up fun and fashionable with Swedish dishcloths.


[Cover of
        Wintersweet by Tammy Donroe Inman]This is the winter baking book I return to time and again. The receipes are seasons and sophisticated without being needlessly complex. Grouping the recipes by main ingredient answers that question of what to do with all those pears from the farmers' market, or the leftover pint of buttermilk. (It's impressive that it was not subsumed by the Christmas juggernaut that devours all things from late September through December 30th.)

Exterior of Fantes kitchen shop in Philadelphia's Italian Market.


The Best! Bookstore! Ever! for bakers and cooks is Kitchen Arts and Letters in Manhattan. They have everything.

Powells has an extensive collection of new and used cookbooks.

You can shop local but still on line through

Charcuceri platter from DiBrunos.

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

[Cover of
        Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World]Love cupcakes? Buy this book. Baking for anyone who doesn't consume dairy or eggs? Buy this book. Think "green tea cupcakes" sound intriguing and delicious (they are)? By this book. Oh heck, just buy this book — it won't take up much space on your cookbook shelf, and is packed with easy recipes you'll make again and again.

Prepared foods

For 80 years, DiBruno Brothers has been a fixture of the Italian Market, now sell their Italian specialty cheeses, meats, and specialty foods around the city and on the web.

Zingerman's bakes and sells some of the best American bread, especially the chocolate-cherry, along with other delicacies.

Hofer's of Helen, Georgia will ship their German Laugeweckle (pretzel rolls) anywhere in the country.

Interior of a delicatessen, refrigerated case on the right, groceries on the left.


Penzey's has the largest selection of seasonings in one place and a high turnover.

King Arthur Flour carries almost every strength and type of flour, dozens of sugars, and many more specialty ingredients for bakers

Hodgson Mill has a varied selection of flours, grains, and baking mixes, including nut flours and other gluten free mixes.

Last but not least, Bob's Red Mill offers flours, mixes, cereals, beans, soup mixes, seeds, and books.

Interior shot of the Iovone Brothers greengrocer stall in Reading Terminal Market


Regina Schrambling always has the snark on the New York food scene.

Cake Wrecks always makes me feel better about my own decorating skills.

Marion Nestle's Food Politics Keeps a critical eye on US food policy.

My favorite recipe blog to read and cook from is Smitten Kitchen.

Just One Cookbook is just one website that you need for Japanese recipes (try the yaki udon!).

Tasty Korean dishes are possible from anyone's home kitchen by following the recipes on My Korean Kitchen, especially the beef bulgogi.


Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap NSFW! 18+! Riotously funny!

JBF award nominated Racist Sandwich has started again!

Agriculture consultant Sarah Taber discusses policy in Farm to Taber

Three retail shelves filled with dark brown cookie molds.

Baking: From My Home to Yours

 If you have only one baking book in your kitchen, you won't go wrong with Dorie Greenspan's Baking. She covers everything sweet from quick breakfasts like scones and muffins through restaurant-quality desserts. Recipes are well-written and unambiguous.

Food history

Librarian Lynne Olver created and maintained the food timeline until her untimely death in 2015.

Linus Feller created an ode to the art form that is the Springerle mold.

The Joy of Cooking: Christmas Cookies

 The Joy of Cooking: Christmas Cookies by Ethan Becker (son of Marion Rombauer Becker, co-author of Joy). Becker gives detailed directions for the cookies his family made and still makes at Christmas from Pfeffernuesse to "monster cookies." It's worth buying in hardback.


 Bakewise, by Shirley Corriher, could be a textbook for a beginning food chemistry course. Corriher starts with how ingredients react with each other, and illustrates each concept with recipes that take advantage of those reactions. It's helped me to read a recipe and realize why it wouldn't work, and how I could make it work. It also helped me to realize why my buttermilk biscuits tasted of soap (once the baking soda is included for the buttermilk, there is twice as much leavening as needed).

Grocery store shelves with bottles of imported oils and vinegars.