by Christi Farr Johnstone
(Running Press, $16)
by Mei Li Lee
(Quirk Books, $14.95)
Reviewed by Larry Cox
Two new books are aimed at keeping home bakers and crochet enthusiasts busy this autumn.
“Smart Cookie,” by Phoenix-based writer and photographer Christi Farr Johnstone, sets out to show that baking doesn’t have to be a chore. To prove her point, she features recipes using store-bought ingredients such as graham crackers, icing, sprinkles, nuts and candy to create 50 visually appealing treats. Best of all, most take less time in the kitchen than making a batch of cupcakes.
This nifty cookbook is divided into six distinct chapters: The Great Outdoors; Desserts in Disguise; Happy Holidays; Celebrate Good Times; Child’s Play; and Cute Creatures. There are formulas for metric conversions, a list of resources and even a getting-started section for novice cooks.
The recipes are fairly simple and focus on the fun part of making decorating cookies.
Hello Kitty is a fictional character produced in 1974 by the Japanese company of Sanrio and designed by Yuko Shimizu. Within two years, the creature had invaded American shores and presently generates over $6 billion in annual sales internationally.
“Hello Kitty Crochet: Supercute Amigurumi Patterns for Sanrio Friends” marks the 40th anniversary of Hello Kitty with a collection of easy-to-follow patterns for amigurumi, or Japanese knitted dolls. Whether you are an old hand or just learning how to crochet, this guide is certain to please and entertain, even those who think they have no craft skills. “Hello Kitty Crochet” is written by Mei Li Lee, a Malaysia-based blogger and crafter.