Hello friends. It's time again for a looksee at some of the new fun books that are on the bookstore shelves just in time for Christmas. First up, "Intensely Chocolate: 100 Scrumptious Recipes for True Chocolate Lovers." Well, that about sums it up. This is a beautiful book with lots of great pictures (a must, in my opinion). Recipes include things like Cocoa Shortcakes with Semisweet Chocolate Whipped Cream, Creme-Fraiche-Bittersweet Chocolate Tartlets, and Intense Hot Chocolate. Okay, I can't look at this book anymore right now, because it's making me hungry. Onto the next one. "How to Build a Gingerbread House: A Step-by-Step Guide to Sweet Results" by Christina Banner. This is a really cute book that goes over everything you need to know to make your very own gingerbread house. What I particularly love about it is that it's not, "Place licorice here. Put M&M's here." She give you the basics and then you're free to create your own masterpiece. There's a section on candies that are good for roofs (Necco Wafers, shredded wheat, M&M's, vanilla wafers, gum, etc.); windows (Pez, graham crackers, wafer cookies); ground cover (coconut grass, brown sugar sand, Royal Icing), and more. And it's not just about Christmas gingerbread houses. There are ideas for a birthday house, Valentine's house, Easter Bunny house and even a sandcastle.
I will be honest and say this is a book that I will look at year after year, and live vicariously through, but I will be shocked if I ever attempt to make one of these. Not that it looks difficult. In fact, she explains everything so well that I *almost* contemplated making one. But the fact of the matter is, I just don't "do" three-dimensional creations. It's not my thing, as evidenced by the 3-D Design class I had to take in college. One of the first assignments (and supposedly easiest) was to create a monolith out of soapstone. The teacher held mine up, in all its hideous glory and said, "This, class, this you could find walking along the beach." He didn't mean it as a compliment.