Treat yourself with delicious dessert recipes, new craft projects and garden and DIY ideas this month. We really couldn’t resist all the decadent dessert books this month, so we’ve packed a number of these in, along with quilting and crochet project books — and our favourite of all our picks, a book on DIY furniture!
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Have a browse, and we hope you enjoy our picks!
In this month’s selection we have loads of decadent dessert ideas and cakes galore, including delicious and indulgent specialty cakes, wedding cakes, and cake and sweet treat ideas for those going gluten-free. Our final cookery pick (in a departure from all the cake!), is a book on making dairy products at home — from butter, to sour cream, to feta cheese. Check out these new books below!
|Decadent Gluten-Free Treats : with tempting vegan & dairy-free options / Tamara Jane ; photography by Devin Hart.“Created especially to cater for people on a restricted diet, there are recipes that are free from gluten, others that are free from eggs or dairy and some that are suitable for vegans … Each recipe is annotated gluten, dairy, egg or nut free for quick and easy reference and all the special ingredients are listed and explained at the front of the book” (Publisher information)|
|Sweet/ Valerie Gordon ; photographs by Pedem + Munk.
“Gordon, founder of the acclaimed Valerie’s Confections, shares her passion for creating high-quality pastries and candies. Full-color photographs highlight the simple beauty of Gordon’s creations, which can be mastered by the home cook with a little effort.” (Publisher Weekly)
|Wedding Cakes / by Rosalind Miller.
“This book is a luxurious source of inspiration as well as a clear how-to of high end wedding cake making and decorating. With easy-to-follow instructions and beautiful step-by-step photography it takes the cake maker through the construction of each individual sugar flower and decoration, so that the reader can either replicate the cakes, or pick and choose techniques from each, to achieve their own unique creation.” (Book Jacket)
|Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free : Allergy-Friendly Vegan Desserts : 100 recipes without gluten, dairy, eggs, or refined sugar / Ricki Heller ; photography by Celine Saki.
“You’ll make delicious – and healthy – changes to the way you bake with Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free. Ricki Heller provides all the tools you need to make wonderful desserts and to receive the benefit of her wealth of experience.” (Book Jacket)
|Wintersweet : Seasonal Desserts to Warm the Home / Tammy Donroe Inman.
“Donroe Inman, a food blogger with a culinary degree, has worked for Cook’s Illustrated magazine and TV show America’s Test Kitchen. Her debut cookbook encourages readers to spend their winters in a warm kitchen preparing comforting seasonal desserts such as pear crostada, brown butter pecan ice cream, and gingersnap-crusted pumpkin cheesecake.” (Library Journal)
|The Creamery Kitchen : discover the age-old tradition of making fresh butters, yogurts, creams, and soft cheeses at home / Jenny Linford ; photography by Clare Winfield.
“Easy step-by-step recipes for fresh dairy products, including butter, yogurt, labneh, sour cream, cream cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, feta, and more. This is the perfect book for anyone with a passion for good honest food.” (Book Jacket)
Are you looking for a quick and easy project? Here are some suggestions and ideas, including how to make slippers that fit like a dream. (A perfect antidote to tortured toes, after you’ve danced the night away!) Plus, little quilts, and crochet ideas!
|Knitted & crocheted slippers / Alison Howard.
“Slippers make a superb gift, and home-made ones are the best. Making your own slippers is ideal, as you can make them to fit the wearer perfectly and add your own personal touch. This book has projects for girls and boys of all ages and adults too, from delicate ballet slippers and dainty Mary Janes to moccasin-soled slipper socks, chunky felted boots and sparkly party pumps. The book caters to all levels, from straightforward booties for beginners to slippers with details such as I-cords, pompoms, picot trims and lacy sock inserts. All the knitting and crochet stitches and techniques are presented in a clear and easy-to-follow style”. (Adapted from Amazon.com)
|My rag doll / Corinne Crasbercu ; photography by Frédéric Lucano ; stylists: Sonia Lucano and Vania Leroy-Thuillier ; text by Dominique Montembault.
“Sew super cute rag dolls and their gorgeous clothes to make the perfect present for little girls. Crasbercu had designed patterns for 11 adorable dolls and a wide range of outfits and accessories to sew, including hats, shoes and bags. The basic doll pattern can be used to sew all the dolls and then altered according to hair and eye colour and hair style”. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
|Little quilts : 15 step-by-step projects for adorably small quilts / Sarah Fielke & Amy Lobsiger.
“Packed with techniques, patterns, and inspiration for small-scale quilts. Doll-sized quilts can be completed relatively quickly and inexpensively. They can be made into pillow covers, runners, or wall decorations, or used as a lesson or as a trial for a larger project; and they can be swapped, gifted, or posted. In Little Quilts’ 15 step-by-step projects, sometimes the quilt is just one block, sometimes several blocks, but all have been designed with the same attention to detail as a full-sized quilt. Seven quilts have been designed by Sarah Fielke and seven by Amy Lobsiger, and the final quilt is a collaboration–with Amy making the central circle, then sending it to Sarah to turn it into a finished quilt. Techniques include hand and machine-quilting, traditional piecing, paper piecing, appliqué, and embroidery. The size of the quilts (nothing larger than 24×24 inches) will tempt you to try a new sewing technique or a new design concept, and you can follow the instructions or use them as inspiration for your own quilt design.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
|The quilter’s appliqué workshop : timeless techniques for modern designs / Kevin Kosbab.
“A fresh take on quilting and applique. Kevin Kosbab shows quilters that not only is applique fun and easy to do, it can open up a world of design possibilities. “The Quilter’s Applique Workshop” teaches you everything you need to know to create applique both as embellishment and as the focus of projects. The book is divided into three sections that each explores a basic applique approach: raw-edge, prepared-edge, and needle-turn applique. Each section includes detailed instructions, tips, and illustrations. Twelve home-decor projects, including bed quilts, wall quilts, table runners/toppers, and pillows, illustrate the techniques and allow you to explore more specialized methods such as broderie perse, felt applique, and bias-tape applique. “The Quilter’s Applique Workshop” gives you the tools to mix and match applique techniques and create any design you can imagine.” (Syndetics summary)
|Granny squares : all shapes & sizes ; Over 50 projects and techniques to give the classic crochet pattern a whole new look / Barbara Wilder and Beatrice Simon.
“These are not your granny’s granny squares! They’re young, hip, and sometimes not even square. More than 70 contemporary versions come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures, along with fabulous finishing ideas. They’re attractive enough to use as an embellishment on a piece of clothing, as well as in traditional stitched-together projects. Many of the designs appear in different yarn weights and colors, allowing crocheters to personalize any of the items and get exactly the look they’re after. The wide selection features everything from ponchos and scarves to sweaters and skirts. – check book for accuracy” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
This month our gardening picks include DIY furniture (we love this one!), gardening ideas for kids, a book on introducing wildflowers to your backyard, and getting creative with shrubs. Enjoy!
|Creative shrub garden: eye-catching combinations for year-round interest
“The Creative Shrub Garden celebrates a plant that is too often taken for granted and gives gardeners the confidence to use shrubs in the design-forward treatment they deserve. This book shows you how to make the most of the many benefits of shrubs–including their hardiness, year-long beauty, size, and low-maintenance nature–by making them the main element in a garden design. McIndoe teaches you the basics first, with tips on choosing shrubs based on a garden’s size, determining soil and climate needs, and pruning and maintenance. He then offers hundreds of shrub combinations that work with 15 main garden styles, including coastal, cottage, Mediterranean, tropical, urban, and more.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)
|DIY furniture 2 : a step-by-step guide / Christopher Stuart.
“Featuring 30 new designs by leading designer-makers from around the world, DIY Furniture 2 builds on the international success of the previous title, showing you step-by-step how to make unique designer furniture.Including both conceptual objects and modern designs, the book showcases innovative processes using readily available materials commonly found at the local hardware store. Each project features diagrams with short, easy-to-follow instructions on how to build the piece.The projects range from novice to experienced, allowing the reader to start where they are comfortable and work towards more difficult projects as they gain knowledge, familiarity with tools, and confidence.The designs in this book will have you thinking about common materials in a whole new way!” (Syndetics summary)
|Taming wildflowers : bringing the beauty and splendor of nature’s blooms into your own backyard / Miriam Goldberger.
“Easily cultivate wildflowers in your own garden…and have a year-after-year supply of gorgeous flowers at your fingertips. Wildflower farmer and floral designer Miriam Goldberger is here to show you how.” (Library Catalogue)
|Gardening lab for kids : 52 fun experiments to learn, grow, harvest, make, play, and enjoy your garden / Renata Fossen Brown.
“A refreshing source of ideas to help your children learn to grow their own patch of earth. This fun and creative book features 52 plant-related activities set into weekly lessons, beginning with learning to read maps to find your heat zone, moving through seeds, soil, composting, and then creating garden art and appreciating your natural surroundings. Author Renata Fossen Brown guides your family through fun opportunities learning about botany, ecology, the seasons, food, patience, insects, eating, and cooking. The labs can be used as singular projects or to build up to a year of hands-on outdoor experiences. So, slip on your muddy clothes, and get out and grow.” (Abridged from Syndetics Summary)
This month’s picks feature not just one, but two books on sleep and its importance to our health. Plus some nutritious food for thought, with books on preventative diet for allergies, and more!
|The autoimmune paleo cookbook : an allergen-free approach to managing chronic illness / by Mickey Trescott ; [photography by Kyle Johnson].
“In The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, Mickey Trescott provides a resource for those looking to embark on the Autoimmune Protocol–a version of an ancestral diet that is focused both on removing potential food triggers as well as healing the gut. Research shows there is a clear connection between diet and autoimmune disease, and many, including the author, have used these principles to heal their bodies from these debilitating conditions and their accompanying symptoms. With the information and recipes in this book, you can embark on this process for yourself–without suffering through bland and tasteless “allergen-free” meals. Instead, with all of the incredible food you will be enjoying, you may forget that you are achieving better wellness!” (Syndetics)
|Eat like a woman (and never diet again) : a 3-week, 3-step program to finally drop the pounds and feel better than ever / Staness Jonekos with Marjorie Jenkins, MD.
“EAT LIKE A WOMAN and find the health, happiness and harmony you’ve been missing Based on the latest research showing that men and women metabolize food and lose weight differently, Eat Like a Woman (And Never Diet Again) is a groundbreaking three-step program tailored specifically to the needs of the female body. Staness Jonekos, author of The Menopause Makeover, and leading women’s health expert Dr. Marjorie Jenkins show you how to lose weight without deprivation, look younger and feel better than ever. You’ll also learn to understand the relationship between stress and your health, interpret the messages your body is sending you, and correct hormone imbalances without the use of medication. Includes favorite recipes from Sheryl Crow, Padma Lakshmi, Florence Henderson, Dolly Parton, Nancy Cartwright, Devin Alexander, Cristina Ferrare, and other popular chefs and celebrities.” (Syndetics)
|Eat to cheat ageing : what you eat helps you make 60 ‘the new 50′ and 80 ‘the new 70′ / by dietitian, Ngaire Hobbins.
“Did you know that what you eat is key to maintaining an independent and healthy life? The right food choices maximise physical and mental abilities, immune response and the crucial capacity of every body cell to repair, function and renew itself. The science of nutrition shows that what someone in their 60s or over needs is quite different to what was needed when they were younger. This book is for anyone 65+ wanting to head off declining function in the years ahead. But it’s also for anyone 50+ looking to make food choices tailored to their future health and to head off wrong food choices that could hasten dementia, type 2 diabetes, frailty, and more. The genesis of this book lies in dietitian, Ngaire Hobbins’ frustration in seeing so many older people struggling with everyday physical tasks, cognitive decline and dementia, and suffering debilitating frailty, particularly after illness or surgery, when something as simple a change in diet may have helped them continue to live productive, independent lives.” (Syndetics)
|Whole : rethinking the science of nutrition / T. Colin Campbell, PhD ; with Howard Jacobson, PhD.
“Humans should eat only the whole food, plant-based diet for which their bodies are designed. All animal products and/or added fats are bad. Repeat. Tell a few interesting stories, oversimplify a few biological concepts, and repeat. This sequel to the author’s extremely popular The China Study is more a personal examination of political and social constraints on Campbell’s diet crusade than true science. It should be no surprise that the coauthor Jacobson is a marketing expert. Don Hagan gives a beautifully clear reading. Verdict Readers looking for “scientific” support for radical diet choices will probably love this book; however, a more skeptical approach might be safer.” (Syndetics)
|The secret life of sleep / Kat Duff
“We all sleep, but how often do we consider what goes on while we engage in this (usually) nightly practice? This impressive account from Duff (The Alchemy of Illness) presents the science of sleep without putting its readers to sleep. She intersperses personal anecdotes amid her array of data, which ranges from laboratory sleep studies to poetry and folklore. Some of her examples might already be familiar to readers, but here they serve to show the universality of sleep. The scientific work Duff seamlessly draws into the narrative serves to illuminate cultural understandings. For example, the mythic spirits that visit us in our sleep-the kinds that come to Scrooge at the height of his Christmas cynicism-are described in their literary contexts, before being analyzed on their biological bases. Dreams, from the barely memorable to the life changing, play a prominent role in this text, and Duff addresses the anxieties and fears of sleep itself that keep us awake at night. We learn, too, about what differentiates a waking state from its sleepy counterpart. Sleep as a phenomenon exists just outside of our conscious awareness, and can be difficult to study objectively, yet Duff leads an absorbing foray into the vibrant activity that we otherwise sleep right through.” (Syndetics)
|The complete guide to a good night’s sleep / Dr Carmel Harrington.
“Sleep is highly individual and there are many reasons why you may not be sleeping well. In this definitive guide, we examine the process of sleep, the particular reasons why you are having trouble sleeping well, the behaviour patterns that hinder your restful sleep, and helps you to uncover ways to achieve deep, restful sleep on a permanent basis.” (Syndetics)
|Could I do that?
“Hands up who feels like a completely inadequate underachiever whenever you hear about someone’s great achievement. When someone in the office is off cycling around the world, or someone on TV has just launched a great new business which will save the planet? Most of us envy the drive and determination of these people. They’ve actually made this stuff happen rather than just day-dreamed about it. We all ask… Could I Do That? Well Simon Hartley is here to show us that we can! Taking on a challenge – big or small – in your career or personal life, can be intimidating but also totally transformational.” (From Amazon.com)
|Risk savvy : how to make good decisions / Gerd Gigerenzer.Posits that “most of us, including doctors, lawyers, financial advisers, and elected officials, misunderstand statistics much more often than we think, leaving us not only misinformed, but vulnerable to exploitation. Yet there is hope. Anyone can learn to make better decisions for their health, finances, family, and business without needing to consult an expert or a super computer, and Gigerenzer shows us how”. (Syndetics)|
|The life plan : 700 simple ways to change your life for the better / Robert Ashton.
“Do you ever feel you’re just floating through life with a lack of direction? Or get that nagging feeling that things could be better? People’s lives can be thought of as stories -filled with challenges, turbulence and adventure – and, like all great classic stories, they follow a pattern. By understanding this pattern, you can develop the perspective you need to write your own story and live an extraordinary life. Your Life Plan brings together practical tools and approaches to help you master the art of personal change, by developing a plan to identify and realize your life goals.” (Back cover)
|The ecstasy of surrender : 12 surprising ways letting go can empower your life / Dr Judith Orloff.
“In this hope-filled offering, Orloff (Emotional Freedom) posits that the only way to live a powerful, successful life is to surrender to it. Blending neuroscience, energy medicine, psychiatry, and the art of intuition, Orloff, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, addresses major life issues by breaking them into 12 different “surrenders,” including “redefining true success, power, and happiness”; the “four vital insights into power and letting go”; “cultivating impeccable communication”; and “exploring the divinity of your body and sexuality.” With a compassionate and empowering tone, she counsels others not to micromanage life details, but to be in “flow” with them and to look for the lessons in all situations as well as to refuse to live a life governed by fear. Self-assessment quizzes allow readers to measure their level of involvement in self-defeating behaviors; helpful and non-judgmental suggestions provide strategies for overcoming these negative mind-sets. Orloff demonstrates her own adherence to these principles by unflinchingly sharing her own experiences in the spirit of teaching others.” (Syndetics)
|Living with intensity : understanding the sensitivity, excitability, and emotional development of gifted children, adolescents, and adults
“Gifted children and adults are often misunderstood. Their excitement is viewed as excessive, their high energy as hyperactivity, their persistence as nagging, their imagination as not paying attention, their passion as being disruptive, their strong emotions and sensitivity as immaturity, their creativity and self-directedness as oppositional.This resource describes these overexcitabilities and strategies for dealing with children and adults who are experiencing them, and provides essential information about Dabrowski s Theory of Positive Disintegration. Learn practical methods for nurturing sensitivity, intensity, perfectionism, and much more.” (From amazon.com)