I never tire of leafing through the pages of a new baking cookbook. It is a favorite pastime, especially when I need to boost my spirits.

I did something stupid. On the way home from visiting a friend, I lost my camera and two lenses. It seems I left my camera bag in the airport or on the plane. The crazy thing is that my life has been so nuts, I didn’t even notice it was missing until nearly a week later.  I suppose that traveling with two little kids, running my consulting business and launching a new business takes a toll. In this case, I paid handsomely with very expensive equipment.

Since the launch of Whipped, I joked that one of the main reasons I started this blog was as an excuse to buy a fancy camera. Five years later, I suppose I have gotten so much from that camera (and this blog) that I can confidently say it was money well spent. Honestly, I haven’t spent too much time bemoaning the loss of my camera because due to my hectic life, I am just feeling fortunate that I didn’t lose my head!

Probably for my marketing consulting work and blogging, I will need to invest in a new camera. And, having a new toy isn’t so bad, even if it dents the bank account. In the meantime, I’m snapping away with my most recently purchased gadget -an iPhone 4s. Siri hasn’t been quite the companion I had hoped she would be but the camera is a major improvement from the iPhone 3.

When I feel down and out, or do something stupid like lose a camera, I find solace in the pages of cookbooks. Baking books really do the trick. Baking Basics and Beyond is a pretty simple book with large text and easy recipes. Though I have clocked many hours with my oven, I always learn something new from every book. Pat’s Gingerbread Nectarine Cobbler caught my eye (why didn’t I think of that?!) and after I was stopped by the photograph, I was more pleased to find a factoid on the page about spices used in the Middle Ages explaining the historical popularity of gingerbread.

From Turtle Cheesecake Pie to Butterscotch Cashew Blondies, this book feels like the type that will treat each baker to a few new, non-fussy favorites for his or her repertoire. Want to see if it is a fit for your style? On Friday, I will randomly choose a winner from all those who comment and will send the lucky baker a copy of this book.

I love reading all your comments when I give you a specific question, so here it goes… Leave a comment answering: If you could choose any dessert for your birthday celebration, what would it be?

Update: Rachel is our lucky winner!