Thursday, 5 March 2020

Cook Book Review: Now For Something Sweet - Monday Morning Cooking Club

In 2006, a group of four women got together to form the Monday Morning Cooking Club to collect recipes and stories from some of Sydney's best Jewish cooks. 
Since then, the women have culminated three cook books, and Now For Something Sweet is the fourth that the group has put together.

This book features a number of cakes, biscuits, bars, tarts, and some savoury recipes also.
The recipes all have a little story about their origin, which I adored reading about, and the recipes themselves are delicious and simple to follow.
I absolutely love the photos in this cook book; they are so appealing and totally drool worthy!!

Interspersed throughout the book are special step by step instructions on how to perfect certain things such as making custard and chiffons, how to dissolve sugar, and how to work with yeast. 

I have been poring over this book for the past couple of weeks, reading the women's stories and admiring the recipes.
It is a beautiful book that celebrates family, food and friendships.
I have already made one recipe from this cookbook (Salty Sticks), and look forward to making many more, including the Romany Creams pictured below (with complete recipe).

Romany Creams

3 teaspoons unsweetened Dutch
cocoa powder
60 ml (¼ cup/2 fl oz) boiling water
250 g (9 oz) unsalted butter, at room
temperature, chopped
230 g (1 cup/8 oz) caster
(superfine) sugar
185 g (2¼ cups/6½ oz) desiccated
300 g (2 cups/10½ oz) plain
(all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
150 g (5⅓ oz) milk chocolate,
roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Line 2 large baking trays.
Combine the cocoa powder and boiling water and set aside. Beat the
butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the cocoa mixture and beat
to combine. Fold in the coconut, then sift together the flour and baking
powder, and fold into the mixture until well combined.
Roll large teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls and arrange on the prepared
trays. You should end up with around 60 biscuits. Lightly press the tines
of a fork on to the top of each ball. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden, then
allow to cool.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler until just melted
and still thick. Use the melted chocolate to sandwich the flat sides of the
cookies together.
Makes 30

Recipes extracted from Now For Something Sweet by Monday Morning Cooking Club (Harper Collins Australia) RRP $49.99, out now.

Monday, 2 March 2020

Book Review: You Are No Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

This is the third novel that Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen have written together. I have read their other two novels, The Wife Between Us and An Anonymous Girl, and thoroughly enjoyed both.
After reading You Are Not Alone, it is safe to say that this is another winner in my opinion.

The main character is Shay Miller, a 31 year-old woman with few friends, no job, and no significant other.
One Sunday morning as she is waiting at the subway, she sees a woman of similar age and appearance waiting on the platform.
In a matter of seconds, the woman leaps to her death in front of an oncoming train. Shay is left shocked and traumatised by the woman's death and tries to uncover more about the mystery woman.
She finds out that the woman's name was Amanda, and then goes on to attend her memorial service.
It is there that she meets a group of women who seem to have their act together, including sisters Jane and Cassandra Moore.
Shay is drawn to these women, in particular the two sisters.
When Cassandra and Jane start to take her under their wing and offer to help her out, Shay is thrilled.
But it isn't long before she realises that getting the life she wants comes at a price. 
What do the sisters really want from her? And just how well did they know Amanda? What secrets are they keeping?

This book had so many twists that kept me guessing until the end!
The story is told in alternating chapters, and as there are quite a few characters, it can be a teeny bit confusing to get your head around them all and the roles they play, so it's a book you need to give your full attention.
It is very well written, and the characters are described in a lot of detail, which I liked.

It wasn't at all predictable. It is a great thriller that will have you turning the pages!

Available now through Pan Macmillan Australia, RRP $29.99