Har­le­quin la­dy­bird Har­mo­nia axyridis

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NZ Lifestyle Block - - Country Smile - By Gio­vanna Tor­rico Mur­doch books, 160 pages $45 By Peter Gor­don Allen & Unwin, hard cover, 256 pages $55 by Ariella Chezar & Julie Michaels Ran­dom House, hard cover, 256 pages $55

Auck­land (so far)

Whether you are a be­gin­ner or an ex­pe­ri­enced baker, this book is de­signed to pro­vide you with all the bak­ing and dec­o­rat­ing tech­niques you’ll need to be­come a con­fi­dent and creative cake, cup­cake and cookie maker. Gio­vanna Tor­rico out­lines easy-to-fol­low recipes and ad­vice about essen­tial tools, then guides you through the plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion stages, in­clud­ing bak­ing and ic­ing tips and how to layer and stack a cake. A salad can be a few in­gre­di­ents tossed to­gether in a bowl with a dress­ing, but ac­claimed NZ chef Peter Gor­don shows that sal­ads are ver­sa­tile and fun dishes, and that when in­gre­di­ents come to­gether, they can ei­ther be very sim­i­lar in tex­ture and colour, or op­pose each other. If you want to check out some of the recipes from this book for free, go to www.the­guardian.co.uk and search for ‘Peter Gor­don’s six de­li­cious salad recipes’. This book will help any­one to cre­ate daz­zling ar­range­ments. Flow­er­school’s Ariella Chezar walks read­ers through the nuts and bolts of cre­at­ing a va­ri­ety of small flour­ishes, tonal ar­range­ments, branch ar­range­ments, hand­held bou­quets, wreathes, gar­lands, grand ges­tures, and more, all ac­com­pa­nied by de­tailed pho­tog­ra­phy.

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