By Amy @ cookbookmaniac
Gung Hei Fat Choi!! Happy Chinese New Year!! I absolutely love this time of year. It's my version of Christmas. The streets are decorated with red and gold signs, lanterns and flowers. They are also full of people lining up to watch the parade of lion dancing, firecrackers, and talented musicians smashing away on huge drums and gongs. Everyone is so happy and giving, wishing you good fortune for the new year to come. Isn't it wonderful! My huge family always gathers together for a feast and silent prayer. Don't get me wrong, I am not religious but I feel a quiet grace when I thank my ancestors and the deities that be, for the good fortune that I have presently and for the many that I will receive in the future. It is humbling and I feel very grateful. I decided to make fortune cookies for my Chinese New Year theme blog post. Like a diligent little elf, I made sure I did my research before I started. Double-checking that I had the right recipe and information. It was to my utter devastation that I found out, Fortune Cookies are not traditionally Chinese. They were concocted by some Asian cook in an American kitchen. It felt like someone has just told me Santa Claus doesn't exist. So I threw the idea away and started looking for something else. But when the time came to make something, the Fortune Cookie idea wouldn't leave me. So, what if it isn't traditional?…
By Amy @ cookbookmaniac
In this jolly little gem of a book, Miss Hope and Mr Greenwood offer 50 of their most delectable sweet recipes delights such as toffee and fudge, coconut ice, gums, jellies, nougat and perfect hand-made chocolates. Like the confectionery they sell in their shops, everything in the book will recommend the use of the best ingredients, including fresh cream, butter and natural vanilla, and never use artificial flavours. You will also be treated to a delicious array of sweet stories, historical anecdotes and scandal which are guaranteed to make you chuckle. Exquisitely designed and lavishly photographed, Life is Sweet will tap into the current nostalgia for the confectionery we remember from our childhood and allow us to indulge our sweet tooth to the full. The writing style - deliberately jolly hockey sticks with a huge dollop of innuendo actually made me laugh. Guiltily because I thought for a moment that I should be a bit more ‘grown up’, then realised I was being silly and to go with it. The recipe’s are serious enough for the rest of it to be light-hearted as it likes; the substance is there. Miss Hope explains her love for English Almond Butter Toffee: "Almond Butter Toffee is, without question, the George Clooney of toffees. If I was the last woman on earth and I had to choose between Clooney and his packet of English Almond Butter Toffee (and the existence of mankind depended on it). I'd definitely nibble his packet."