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"The Chocolate Deck," by Lori Longbotham

To a certain extent the utility of this deck is dependent on your personality and style; if you’re highly organized, I think you’ll find it much more usable than I did. If, like me, you have ADD-induced brain scatter, constantly having to find the small cards while you cook might drive you a tad nuts!

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A Thanksgiving Menu

I have a ton of recipes picked out now, carefully calculated to allow me to review as many cookbooks as possible, naturally! This is going to seem like an awful lot, but we live off of our Thanksgiving menu for

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"How to Bake," Nick Malgieri

This book is well worth the cost if you love to bake – there are lots of great recipes, and some good information. If you’re really and truly trying to find out “how to bake,” however, I’d recommend the KAF cookbook instead.

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"The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Chocolate," by McFadden and France

If you’re desperately looking for a book of information on chocolate and are willing to pay for a huge hardbound book in order to get those 60 pages or so, then sure, get this book.

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"Death by Chocolate," by Marcel Desaulniers

Danielle’s Temptation. Caramel Rum Delerium Ice Cream Cake. Chocolate Demise. Chocolate Devastation. Chocolate Phantasmagoria (yum!). Double Mocha Madness. Death by Chocolate.

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"Rosie’s Bakery Chocolate-Packed, Jam-Filled, Butter-Rich, No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book" Judy Rosenberg

These recipes are, overall, more innovative and “new” than the ones in Rosie’s Bakery Book. You’ll also find a number of cookies designed to mimic certain brand-name store-bought cookies. For anyone who loves cookies this is a fabulous investment; for the rest of us it’s good too.

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"Rosie’s Bakery All Butter Fresh Cream Sugar Packed No Holds Barred Baking Book," by Judy Rosenberg

This book tempts me to give it a 5, but I’m going to stick with a 4. The layout bugs me, as does the rampant cuteness. The recipes, however, are almost entirely first-rate.

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"The Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts"

I hadn’t yet gotten this cookbook the last time I visited my relatives in Ithaca. If I had, I probably would have stopped by the Moosewood Restaurant while I was there. You won’t find any elaborate pastries in this book, but you will find a surprising array of very yummy recipes.

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"Dessert Circus at Home," by Jacques Torres

Jacques brings you professional-level pastries of great beauty and flavor, but this book was designed for the home cook, not a pastry chef. While a beginning cook probably won’t want to dive right in to the puff pastry, there’s plenty in here that even the very occasional baker will feel comfortable making.

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"Hot Chocolate" by Michael Turback

Some of these recipes call for one cup of dairy to 4 oz of bittersweet chocolate for one serving of hot chocolate, and even a couple of sips was almost enough to lay me out flat. Wow.

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Stuff for Gamers

Take a look at the shirts-n-things in our stuff for gamers store.

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