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The Daring Book for Girls

I wish this book exisited when I was young. It’s a hefty book full of information (complete with charts, illustrations and pictures) on a huge variety of topics – historical figures, karate stances, tide charts, how to paddle a canoe, how to build a campfire, the rules of all sorts of games, and profiles of modern princesses. I cannot think of a better gift for every single girl you know, no matter what her age.

hot cocoa made from Green & Black’s Cocoa Powder

Unable to find a hot chocolate mix at our small local grocery we settled for cocoa powder. This is the first cocoa I’ve made by mixing cocoa powder, milk and sugar that tastes like a yummy drink and not cocoa powder, milk and sugar mixed together. It’s good.

lemon poppyseed icebox shortbread cookies

When making large batches for cookie swaps, I find that freeze/slice/bake cookies eliminate the potential for holiday frustration-fueled feelings of inadequacy.

large painted canvas tote bag from Old Navy

I use extra large tote bags to carry packages to the post office. This painted tote offers a bit of waterproofness to the bottom. The handles and stitching are that yellow green, and it’s very sturdy. Happy me. (p.s. I could not find this one in the stores.)


This game was made by the same people who did Shadow of the Colossus, but it came a few years earlier. I’m glad I tracked down a copy, the setting — a huge castle you need to find your way out of — is breathtaking. It’s one of those rare games that is well put together, completely engaging and sweepingly romantic.

· comments [17] · 12-10-2007 · categories:up to ·

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Alyson // Dec 10, 2007 at 8:25 am

    I have given away about 8 copies of The Dangerous Book For Boys (love it!) and am about to give a copy of The Daring Book for Girls to one of my nieces. I am hoping she enjoys it as much as the boys did. Those books are now required reading at my son’s school.

    Below is my favorite hot chocolate mix recipe. I pair this with homemade marshmallows and a cute holiday cup as little holiday gifts. Nothing better on a cold, cold day!


    3/4 cups powdered milk
    1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    4 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

    Mix the above ingredients together and seal in an airtight container until ready to use. You can use it in a ratio of 1/2 cup mix to 1 cup water – OR – 1/3 cup mix to 1 cup milk (not one measuring cup, but rather one mug-full). Warm up the water/milk, place the mix in, stir thoroughly, until the little chocolate bits melt and everything is blended together.


    * I use Trader Joe’s 72% bittersweet chocolate Pounder Plus bars for the chocolate. They are fairly inexpensive and is really good quality chocolate. And you can easily make a quadruple batch from one bar.

    ** I always quadruple the recipe when I make it. You can go through this fast during a cold snap.

  • 2 megan // Dec 10, 2007 at 9:24 am

    Thanks Alyson!

  • 3 Ann // Dec 10, 2007 at 10:00 am

    Ico is my all time favorite video game! It is soooo beautiful and the game play is so heartfelt. Enjoy!

  • 4 Heather C // Dec 10, 2007 at 10:50 am

    I remember loving Ico, and wihed that it was much longer. The game really is beautiful and unique.

  • 5 growler // Dec 10, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Ico is fantastic. It made me cry.

    Just like to give you a tip. Recently I spent way too much on a can of “drinking chocolate” at Whole Foods. I’ll admit it is good, but it was only looking at the label that tipped me off that I’d overpaid. The little curls inside the can were nothing more than shreds of dark chocolate. So, just get yourself whatever kind of dark chocolate you like (bar, chunk, whatever form) and melt it in milk for a rich, and cheaper, “drinking chocolate.”

  • 6 Dodi // Dec 10, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    I was thinking of giving Daring Girls as part of my Xmas grab bag gift (female ~$20) until my sister poo-pooed the idea. Questioned why any adult would want it. (I wanted it, assumed others would be tickled with it too.)

    On first skim through I was a bit disappointed. Too much princess girly-girl stuff. I loved the Dangerous Boys book. I spent hundreds of hours engrossed in a similar book of everything from my mother’s childhood. I distinctly remember the dinosaur section with the illustrations in shades of black and pink.

    I was thinking I could pair the book with something from the book, supplies for an activity or specialized tool mentioned somewhere.

    I’m glad to read that I’m not the only one who finds this charming. Now I’m reconsidering it as my gift. Is it general interest enough to appeal to women from 23-81?

  • 7 megan // Dec 10, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Dodi – I think the book is better suited for known recipients. As much as I love it, it’s not something with general appeal.

  • 8 Gloria // Dec 10, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    Actually, something like that book do existed. I remember reading a pink encyclopedia thick book. I just can’t remember the title. It was either Every Girl’s Handbook or The Girl’s Handbook. And it was pink. One of the last parts where about nutrition, exercises and recipes. I thought it was incredible! I wish I could find that book again, but now I’m far away from my hometown. (I got that book from the library).

  • 9 Carolyn J. // Dec 10, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    In a moment of extreme absurdity, I thought about another new “hefty book full of information (complete with charts, illustrations and pictures) on a huge variety of topics – historical figures, karate stances, tide charts, how to paddle a canoe, how to build a campfire, the rules of all sorts of games, and profiles of modern princesses”….

    It’s called Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds!! I know, right? I kill me!

  • 10 Christine // Dec 11, 2007 at 7:56 am

    You might like the Green and Black’s cookbook too – I’ve made the chocolate stout cake over and over again.

    What I like better than using the G&B powder is breaking up half a Maya Gold bar into milk and heating it up while frothing with a whisk.

    Also, Ibarra’s Mexican hot chocolate (as far as I’m concerned, it has to be Ibarra.)

  • 11 ellen // Dec 11, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    I’ve been making a lot of hot chocolate “the old fashioned way” lately — I’m not sure what exactly inspired me. Something about never liking the way the instant stuff came out, I guess. I top it with mini marshmellows, whipped cream and some fun holiday sprinkles I dug out :o) I’m thinking about doing little “cocoa in a jar” gifties for friends and family this year.

    My grandmother always had instant cocoa — but she was famous for “doctoring” all of her recipes. She usually bought the generic hot cocoa mix, but would stir a few teaspoons of powdered coffee creamer into the mix before adding the hot water. It always made really creamy cocoa.

  • 12 megan // Dec 11, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    Ellen – I admit to liking cocoa mix as well, I doctor cocoa mixes by adding a teaspoon of cocoa and, of course, marshmallows.

  • 13 kerrio // Dec 12, 2007 at 10:14 am

    I am soooo making those cookies. But wat IS “confectioner’s sugar” over here in blighty? caster sugar? Icing sugar?

  • 14 megan // Dec 12, 2007 at 10:32 am

    Kerrio – In the US we also call it “powdered sugar”. It looks like it’s called “icing sugar” in the UK.

    Caster sugar is called “superfine” over here, and is not called for nearly as often as regular granulated sugar and powdered/confectioners’ sugar. Does that help?

  • 15 MissGinsu // Dec 12, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    I’m insanely jealous of any young girl who receives the DBfG this year… I may take your advice and gift it to myself.

    Have you tried the Schokinag Drinking Chocolate? It’s pretty tasty.

    I’ve found you can make an easy cup of very rich chocolate by melting down chocolate pistoles or a high-quality chocolate chips with some milk in a saucepan. Delicious, simple, and you can use the pistoles or chips in other recipes, too.

  • 16 Cheryl // Dec 13, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    We have both the “Boys” book and the “Girls” book in our house. I like the “Boys” book better, although both cater to stereotypes. Good, entertaining reading all the same.

    We do old fashioned cocoa in this house.
    1tbsp cocoa powder
    1tbsp sugar (I prefer brown)
    a generous cup of milk.

    I heat the milk on the stove and mix the powders with a bit of milk to form a runny paste before mixing it in the milk. Add vanilla, Bailey’s, peppermint extract, etc. for fun.

  • 17 KT // Dec 20, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    I bought this book and its male counterpart (Dangerous Book for Boys) for my one year old boy-girl twins. I am looking forward to entertaining all of us in the years to come! What great books!! I bought extra copies for various other children on my gift list. It’s just a fabby gift all the way around.

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