Bookish Baking #7: Dauntless Chocolate Cake (Divergent)

Well, look at that, its not Harry Potter!
Chocolate Cake is big in the Dauntless Faction – and well, cake is delicious.
I hope you enjoy this version! (Adapted from other recipes as usual)

My past recipes include:


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Dauntless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 1/4 sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder/spice or Mexican Chili powder (optional – but this is dauntless after all)
  • 1 cup milk (regular or substitute is fine – I like sweetened almond milk in baking)
  • 5 tbsp malt (Ovaltine)

 Frosting

  • 1 8 oz cream cheese package, softened
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp mint extract (optional – but I think it complements the cayenne)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper powder/spice or Mexican Chili powder (optional – but this is dauntless after all)
  • Black or red food coloring (optional – Dauntless colors)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 150C or 300F.
  • In a mixer stir together the dry ingredients.
  • Melt the butter in a glass mixing bowl and stir in the malt until combined.
  • Pour into the dry mixture.
  • Add in the other wet ingredients.
  • Oil the pan.
  • Pour in the cake batter and bake for 1.5 hrs – until you can press in a fork and remove it cleanly. Begin checking at about the hour mark.
  • Cool.

Frosting

  • In a mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add in the other ingredients, and beat until smooth.
  • When the cake cools, spread the frosting over the entire cake.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Let me know what you guys think of this recipe, and of this series as a whole!

Pride And Prejudice Book Tag

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Fun Fact: This is the exact edition I own.

I was tagged by the ever amazing Icebreaker694 – she’s seriously THE BEST. Go check out her blog, okay? She tags me in stuff all the time, though I’m notoriously bad at keeping up…


 

Rules

  • Link back to Laura and Emma’s original posts so we can see all of your answers! (Just copy and paste these instructions)
  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Answer the questions
  • Tag a maximum of 10 people

While Mr. Bennet silently reads in the study, and Mrs. Bennet’s tales of woe can be heard from miles away, you spend a lovely afternoon in the garden with your dramatic and doting sisters. What is a favourite novel of yours that features a strong sibling relationship?

 

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Jonah and his siblings’ relationship in this book are super cute and realistic.

You can read my review of the book here.


You and Mary have decided to walk to the bookshop in Meryton to search for the newest releases. Which book or books are you likely to purchase?

Anything on my TBR that I happen to see really.

Or pretty much any signed copy…


Netherfield Park has been let at last, and the owner, a Mr. Charles Bingley, hosts a magnificent ball at his new estate. What fictional ball gown would you wear?

 

I would 100% where Hermoine’s yule ball dress (to prom, I really would).

hermione-yule-ball-dress.jpg


It is the Christmas Ball and Maria has asked you to join her at the piano. What music or song would you choose as an accompaniment to your current book?

Well…

My current book is Pride and Prejudice.

Marsh King’s Daughter by Eisley might go well though.

 


You’re helping Jane to take care of her younger cousins whilst staying with the Gardiners. Which fictional children would you include in your own family?

I’d have to adopt the Blackthorn children.

Seriously.

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It’s a sombre evening at Hunsford Parsonage, and after dinner, Mr. Collins stands by the fireplace and quotes from the Good Book, while the party tries not to yawn too obviously. What is a memorable quote from a novel that has always stuck with you?

I would look to steal Icebreaker’s quote, because I love it, but I won’t.

Instead here are a few:

“I don’t want to be a man,” said Jace. “I want to be an angst-ridden teenager who can’t confront his own inner demons and takes it out verbally on other people instead.”
“Well,” said Luke, “you’re doing a fantastic job.”
― Cassandra ClareCity of Ashes

“He could build a city. Has a certain capacity. There’s a niche in his chest
where a heart would fit perfectly
and he thinks if he could just maneuver one into place –
well then, game over.”
― Richard Siken

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
― Albert Einstein

“The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
― Douglas AdamsThe Restaurant at the End of the Universe


You’ve been invited to dine at Rosings Park by none other than the infamous Lady Catherine de Bourgh, but the evening ends in disaster as the pompous Lady insults you and your family. Who’s your favourite fictional villain?

 

This is a hard one, because I like villains.

Sticking with books though, I’ll say James Moriarty.


As Lydia has gone down to Brighton with the Forsters, and Elizabeth is off on her jaunt to Derbyshire with the Gardiners, you also want to go away for a quick break. Which fictional location would be your perfect holiday destination?

 

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I’ll just leave that there.


You’re running to the fine horse chestnut tree on the green to relive some of your favourite childhood reading memories. What is one that you remember most fondly?

Being about eight and very stubbornly information the school librarian that I was going to read Harry Potter, my first grade reading level be damned (though with less cursing because I was, you know, eight).


You’re on a tour at Pemberley and you come across Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy emerging from the pond, scandalously clad in only his wet underdrawers and shirt. You can’t help but swoon at the sight. Aside from Mr. Darcy, who is your favourite romantic interest?

That list is too long to even contemplate writing and I’m incapable of picking favorites.


I Tag

Jocelyn @ 52 Letters In The Alphabet

Shealea @ That Bookshelf Bitch

Raquel @ Rakiodd Books

The Orangutan Librarian

I’m not sure who has read/enjoyed the book and who hasn’t, so no worries if you don’t want to do this. If anyone else wants to though, feel free to participate, consider this your tag!

It was a fun tag though!

Discussion: Do ARC Reviews HAVE To Be Positive?

Aren’t you proud of me? Being all consistent and writing discussions regularly for the first time ever? I told you had a list of ideas a mile long – I’m just working through it now.

Anyways. Onto the discussion you came here for.


I’ve seen a handful of bloggers touch upon this topic and I wanted to give my own view of it. Arcs are, especially, a book blogger’s lifeblood – one of my most popular discussion posts is on How To Request ARCs.

And for many of us, they are a perk to our hobby – but they are also a responsibility.

Regardless of your stance on negative reviews in general, we have do decide if its okay to negatively review on ARC.

ARC, simply put, stands for Advanced Readers/Review Copy.

An ARCs entire purpose of existence is to generate prerelease reviews and hype, so that the book sells better. Obviously, positive reviews are whats going to accomplish this, not negative reviews.

But upon reviewing an ARC, we all give a statement along the lines of “I received this book for free but it doesn’t influence my opinion”. I think for most of us, thats not even a conscious thing to write, its a legal, automatic, robotic thing. Like a user agreement – you mark agree and proceed to ignore it.

Even if you don’t consciously tailor reviews because its an ARC, I think it subconsciously motivates us to try and like the book a bit more – we feel bad giving a negative review when a publisher/author went out of their way, and spent money, to have us review the book.

But we need to be honest – thats the only way book blogs function. If our readers can trust us, if our fellow book bloggers can trust us.

If you heartily dislike the book – and you don’t want to give a negative review, maybe contact the publisher and let them know. Give them your feedback.

Otherwise, be careful with what you request or accept – if you’re not sure about it, don’t take it just because its offered – you don’t want to get yourself in that position.

Now, if you are reviewing an ARC, and you didn’t like it, DON’T BASH IT.

Explain why did and why did not work for you – what made you dislike it, its it a personal/subjective reason? Could others of certain tastes like it? Is the writing objectively good? Even if its a low rating, can you mention some positives?

We want to promote books. We want ARCs to serve their intended purpose, but not at the sake of our integrity. Be honest – just don’t be harsh or cruel.


What do you think?

Do you agree with me?

Do you have a different stance?

Let me know!

The Candy Book Tag (2)

I was tagged by Brilliantly Bookish, check out their blog!

The tag was created by Jessica @bookishserendipity.

I technically did this tag already (The Candy Book Tag) but I was tagged and I did it so long ago that I felt I could do it again.


Which Books Remind You Of….

1. Apples— Ah. Healthy food. It is deep, meaningful, and probably won a lot of awards but, um, it really isn’t your thing.

I don’t read many books I’m not sure I’ll love. I guess Catcher in the Rye would fit. I never even finished it, I got bored. I’ll finish at some point before AP lit next year.

2.Black Jellybeans— WHY DO THESE EXIST?

I like black jellybeans…

But Lord of the Flies fits. I hate that book.

3. Chocolate Kisses-– Aww…this novel had the best romance.

To All The Boys I Loved Before!

It’s actually the cutest!

4. Gummy Spiders— Eek! You made sure to check under your bed every night for a week after reading this scary one.

I don’t really read scary/horror books. The Long Walk by Stephen King unsettled me while reading it, but I was pretty much fine afterwards.

5. Jumbo Lollypop— This took you forever to get through, but hey! You did it!

Pretty much any Cassandra Clare book. They are amazing, but long as hell.

6. Cotton Candy-– Admit it, you loved this when you were younger (you probably still do). Think: children’s or MG fiction.

My Sister The Vampire series comes to mind. As does The Magic Half and Inkheart.


I Tag…

McKenzie @ Bookish Things and TeaMegan @ Bookslayer Reads

Catia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much

Danielle @ Books, Vertigo and Tea

Ryann The Reader

Reg @ She Latitude

 

Bookish Baking #6: Harry Potter Cauldron Cakes

My first was a Butterbeer recipe and my second was Night Circus Cinnamon Things. The third was Blue Cookies from PJO. Fourth was Treacle Tart . Last week was Treacle Pudding. Don’t worry, this will be the last Harry Potter recipe for a while.
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CAULDRON CAKES

INGREDIENTS
SPICE MIX (this is essentially pumpkin spice mix)
  • ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
THE RECIPE
  • 2 tsp of the spice mix
  • ½ tsp almond essence
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • ½ cup (115g) butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • icing sugar for dusting
Sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1¼ cups boiling water
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat your oven to 175C/350F.
  2. Mix together the spice mix and place in a air tight container. You’ll only be using a bit of this mix for this recipe.
  3. Place in the food processor and blend, then repeat with the rest.
  4. By hand, mix the 1½ tsp of spice mix, 1 tsp vanilla essence and ½ tsp of almond essence.
  5. Set aside.
  6. In a mixer, beat the butter, then add in the sugar.
  7. Beat for a few minutes until creamy.
  8. Add in the flour, then the milk.
  9. Spoon into baking containers.
  10. To make the sauce, in a smaller bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cocoa so well combined.
  11. Spoon on top of the cake mixture.
  12. Pour the boiling water over the sauce powder and cake mixture and place in oven.
  13. Bake for 45 minutes.
  14. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

This recipe is adapted from many I’ve seen.

Below are some great Potter candy recipes from Food In Literature, which I love!

Other Recipes:

Acid Pops

Cockroach Clusters

Pepper Imps

Peppermint Humbugs

Every Flavor Beans

Pumpkin Pasties

Rock Cakes

Sherbert Lemon

Netgalley Review: Lies We Tell Our Kids

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I received an e-arc of this book from Netgalley and this is my honest review.

Original Release Date:

Feb. 20th 2018

Date I Read The Book:

May 2017

My Star Rating:

3 Stars

Official Summary:

From acclaimed artist Brett Wagner comes a book about the tall tales that parents tell their kids in the hopes of getting them to do something—eat, sleep, apologize to their sibling, or learn to do something the right way. Fun, heartfelt, and a little bit weird, Lies We Tell Our Kids exposes the not-so-great generational parenting tactic of lying to your child for the greater good!

Brett Wagner is a Pittsburgh-based illustrator and filmmaker with a penchant for puns and visual anomalies. A generalist by trade, he works mostly in commercial video production, while his short narrative film All Raccoons Are Bandits has been screened internationally. When not on set, he spends most of his time with a box full of Copic markers drawing colorful creatures for himself and others.

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

This book was essentially…fine. A few pages made me giggle. The illustrations were really well done. But it just sort of fell flat for me. I’ve never heard of any of the “lies” show cased – and I’ve heard some weird ones – save for 3 or 4. A lot weren’t even particularly funny or sensical. It wasn’t the worst thing or anything like that, but I didn’t particularly care for it.

Check out:

 Netgalley Review: I Love You With All My Butt

and

Netgalley Review: United States of Absurdity – Untold Stories From American History

Discussion: Unhauling Books

With ever growing TBRs and book collections comes ever decreasing shelf space.

Especially when book bloggers move houses or go off to college.
Shelf space is a hot commodity not to be trifled with.

One ever common way to deal with this is the book unhaul.

Bloggers either donate books or host giveaways for books they no longer want on their shelves.


Different bloggers have different criteria for unhauls.

Some do it periodically to rid themselves of books below a certain star rating or that they distinctly disliked.

Some giveaway arcs they’ve finished.

Some get rid of old / beat up / or multiple copies of the same books. Sometimes it’s just a book they don’t intend to reread.

This is a good thing – or spreads the book Iove and stops your shelf from killing you in your sleep.


But I think I’m incapable of it.

Over the years I’ve turned in a handful of books to second hand stores, give.
A few to my sister or cousins.
But I am overwhelmingly a hoarder.

I always have been.
I probably always will.

I should probably embrace the unhauling.
Someday.
Someday.
Maybe.

Or next year when I’m packing up for college and start feeling the urge to set things on fire so I don’t have to deal with them.


What do you think?

Do you unhaul books?

Blog Tour: The Eldritch Heart – Promo

The Eldritch Heart
Matthew S. Cox
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Princess Oona Talomir enjoys the little things that come with her station: a handmaiden, her lavish bedchamber, and scores of fancy dresses―the duty to win a decades’ long war, not so much.

Oh, did I mention assassins?

Seers foretold the conflict would end by her hand. From the moment she drew her first breath, the neighboring kingdom has been trying to kill her so she could not grow powerful enough to destroy them. The king, fearing for his daughter’s life, has kept her confined to the castle grounds for most of her sixteen years. With the tide of war turning against them, the burden of her crown becomes too much to bear, yet one thing lifts her spirits amid the gloom.

Her servant girl, Kitlyn.

Alas, in a kingdom obsessed with the god of purity, she is terrified to confess her forbidden love. When her father makes a demand she cannot abide―marry a prince to forge a military alliance―Oona panics. He is handsome and honorable, but he’s not Kitlyn. Unable to admit why she cannot obey, Oona does the only thing she can think of, and runs away.

Alone and unprepared in the wilderness, she prays the gods will let Kitlyn find her—before the assassins do.

Goodreads / Amazon


Author Bio:

Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Hobbies and Interests:

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

He is also fond of cats.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


Top Ten Inspiring Books:

Books that inspired The Eldritch Heart

1 Sprawl trilogy: Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson

2  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick

3   Ghost in the Shell (manga)

4    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

5    The Martian by Andy Weir

6    The Minority Report by Philip K. Dick

7    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8    Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

9    A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick

10    The Running Man by Stephen King as Richard Bachman


GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


July 31st
Loves Great Reads >> Excerpt
Full Moon Bites >>Guest post
Rainy Days and Pajamas >> Excerpt
Amie’s Book Reviews >> Review
Hike2Forty and beyond >> Spotlight

August 1st
SolaFide Book Club >> Guest post
Treestand Book Reviews >> Review
With Love for Books >> Review
Bookish Revelations >> Top 10 List

August 2nd
Girls With Books >> Excerpt
The Mortal Jessica >> Review
Brooke Blogs >> Excerpt
Celticlady’s Reviews >> Spotlight

August 3rd
CBY Book Club >> Excerpt
Bibliobakes >> Review
Urban Fantasy Investigations >> Excerpt
So Few Books >> Interview

August 4th
Jazzy Book Reviews >> Excerpt
Shomeret: Masked Reviewer >> Review
Casia’s Corner >> Review
Abooktropolis >> Review
The Avid Reader >> Review

August 7th
BookWorm8619 😉 >> Excerpt
Everything Alyce >> Review
Literature Love >> Review

August 8th
RiverMoose-Reads >> Top 10 List
QueenBeeBooks >> Excerpt
50 Book Challenge >> Excerpt

August 9th
Shh, I am Reading >> Excerpt
Style Reader >> Guest post
The Cover Contessa >> Interview
Book Huntress’ World >> Review
Hot Off the Shelves >> Review

August 10th
All Things Dark & Dirty >> Excerpt
Hauntedbybooks13 >> Review
Reviews in the City >> Interview
Adventures Thru Wonderland >> Review

August 11th
Ms. J Mentions… >> Review
Second Run Reviews >> Top 10 List
Bookgasms Book Blog >> Review
Two Ends of the Pen >> Interview

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WHAT WOULD THAT VILLAIN READ? – TAG

This super fun tagged was created by Lashaan and Trang over @Bookidote!! Go check them out!

I was tagged by the ever lovely and amazing Orangutan Librarian – check out their blog, its one of my favorites!

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I LOVE villains. I’m fond of villain redemptions stories, and antiheroes tend to be some of my favorite characters. So this tag is great!


Rules:

  • Pick 5+ villains and wonder what books they are most likely to read (feel free to use our villains or find new ones!)
  • Nominate bloggers! As many as you want!
  • Have fun in the world of villainy!

–1. Catwoman –  Six of Crows

Its about criminals, but criminals who aren’t bad people and can be redeemed and fin love along the way (from what I’ve heard at least) – she’d love it.

2. Dracula – Twilight

I don’t think he’d pick this one up on his own. Someone would give it to him as a joke to horrify him and he’d keep reading because he’d be entertained by how wrong the 21st century is about vampires. It’d be his guilty pleasure read.

–3. The Joker – The Book Thief

This book is about the depths of human depravity (holocaust) from the view of death himself. The Joker would love this.

–4. Moriarty – Murder on the Orient Express

He’d be a fan of mystery novels I think.

–5. Voldemort – They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group

(yes, I did straight up google KKK books, why would I know this off the top of my head?)

I didn’t want to repeat any of the (marvelous) answers I’d seen before (like Mein Krampf) but similarly, since Voldemort is all about that racial purity, I thought he might want to see how even the muggle accomplished it.

-6. Loki – War of the Worlds

He’d enjoy living vicariously through “aliens destroying earth” stories.

-7. Dr. Horrible – Vicious

Dr. Horrible would relate so hard Victor Vale – both villains, neither a bad person, both hate the so-called hero who is dating the girl they like… It works!

-8. Hades – Percy Jackson

I think he’d enjoy reading his own story – if only to complain about everything thats “wrong” and how under appreciated he is. He’s a drama queen.


I TAG:

 

The first 5 are the same villains as the original. I added the last three for fun. Feel free to use them!

What do you think of my answers?

Do you agree?

Let me know!

 

Bookish Baking #5: Harry Potter Treacle Pudding

My first was a Butterbeer recipe and my second was Night Circus Cinnamon Things. The third was Blue Cookies from PJO. Last week was Treacle Tart – Also from Harry Potter.

This is pretty much a continuation of last week’s. Well, the week before that, I didn’t have a recipe for the last week of July…Sorry, I was at Supercon.

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TREACLE PUDDING

Makes 2 puddings (2 cups each).
INGREDIENTS
  • ⅓ cup Golden Syrup
  • 3/4 cup room temperature unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup of white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1⅓ cup self-raising flour
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Grease the pudding bowl. If you don’t have a pudding bowl, a heatproof container like a Pyrex bowl or measuring cup, will also work.
  2. Take half of the golden syrup and pour into the bottom of the pudding bowl.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, white sugar and golden syrup until fluffy.
  4. Alternate adding in an egg, then  flour, then milk and repeating until it’s all mixed.
  5. Scoop into the pudding bowl, stopping when the batter is an inch from the top.
  6. Take a sheet of baking paper and cut a length twice as wide as the bowl and fold a 1″ pleat in the middle.
  7. Repeat the same with aluminium foil.
  8. Lay the baking paper on top of the bowl first, then the aluminium foil.
  9. Take some twine and tie around the top of the bowl to secure the baking paper and foil. If you have a pudding bowl, you’ll need to also make a handle with the string for easy lifting. If using a measuring cup, this won’t be necessary. – I copied this step verbatim from Food in Literature, from which I adapted this recipe.
  10. Cut the excess foil and baking paper and fold the edges up.
  11. In a deep saucepan, place in a small trivet or bowl.
  12. Place the pudding bowl on top then fill the saucepan with water until it reaches halfway up the bowl.
  13. Cover the saucepan with a lid and boil for about 1½ to 2 hours.
  14. Pierce with a fork to check for done-ness, should come out clean when finished.
  15. Let cool before serving. Drizzle golden syrup on top.

When I first read Harry Potter (about a decade ago…wow) Treacle was a mystical magical Harry Potter-esque thing on par with Butterbeer. Treacle isn’t a word in America.

Now I know better.

Like most of my recipes, this is adapted from various around the internet.

If you try out my variation, let me know how it goes, if you liked it, etc!

I hope you guys are enjoying this Bookish Baking feature as much as I am!