Review: Journey to Munich (Maisie Dobbs #12) by Jacqueline Winspear

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The desk clerk took Maisie’s Baedecker guide, opened the map inside, and lifted his pencil. “May I?” 

“Of course,” said Maisie. “I need to know where I’m going.” 

Flourishing the pencil, the clerk marked the place where Maisie could board a tram and the point at which she should step off. He told her where to walk, and made a note in the margin of his favorite coffeehouse, where he informed her that she could buy a slice of the very best apple strudel. Maisie thanked the man and set off.

For a Maisie-inspired apple strudel recipe, click here.

5/5 stars

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Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (The Dark Artifices, #1)

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“All right, enough,” said Jules. “We’re taking a break from killings and profiles for dinner.” He took the boxes from Emma, shooting her a grateful look, and set them down on the coffee table. “I don’t care what you all want to talk about, it just can’t involve murder or blood. Any blood.”

“But it’s vampire pizza,” Livvy pointed out.

“Immaterial,” Julian said. “Couch. Now.”

For a pizza + sauce recipe that will have you raving over how it could possibly be so good, click here.

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Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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Blue, 

Okay, first of all, Oreos absolutely qualify as a food group. Second of all, they’re the ONLY food group that matters. My sisters and I actually made up this place called the Shoreo a few years ago one night when we were staying at our aunt’s house. It’s like this place where everything is made of some kind of Oreo, and the river is an Oreo milk shake, and you sit on top of this massive Oreo and float down it. You get to scoop up cups of milk shake whenever you want. It’s kind of like that scene in Willy Wonka, I guess.

For my Oreo-obsessed Simon inspired cupcake recipe, click here.

 

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Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass, #2)

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“Is that…chocolate cake?”

“I thought you might need some.”

“Need, not want?”

A ghost of a smile was on her lips, and he almost sagged in relief as he said, “For you, I’d say that chocolate cake is most definitely a need.”

Click here for a Crown of Midnight inspired chocolate cake recipe.

Click here for a review of the first book in the series, Throne of Glass.

The Story:

At the cost of nearly her life, Celaena has won the title of champion. Now she’s her enemy’s assassin, dispatched to remove the King of Adarlan’s dissenters. She’s living luxuriously off her blood money in the glass castle, but her friend Nehemia won’t allow her to enjoy these comforts, and neither will Celaena’s conscience. It’s time for Celaena to decide whose side she’s truly on and her reluctance to choose will come at a price.

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Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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I’m off across the frozen Fjerda tundra with six convicts for an impossible heist. Kaz Brekker, here I come!

5/5 stars

For a Nina-inspired cake recipe, click here.

The Story:

Cruel mob boss Kaz Brekker has a new job: break into the most impenetrable prison ever built. Enlisting the help of five other criminals from the Ketterdam slums, the six are staging a heist that will make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. The journey strains Kaz, though, breaking through his armor to reveal a seventeen-year-old vulnerable boy with a haunting past. … Continue reading

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

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4/5 stars

“I’ll spend the rest of the evening enjoying a potato. And by ‘enjoying’ I mean ‘hating so much I want to kill people.’”

For a baked potato recipe significantly better than anything Mark Watney enjoyed, click here.

The Story: 

Mark Watney has been abandoned on Mars. Accidentally. Now, he must figure out a way to survive for four years until the next NASA mission to Mars. Watney proves to be the McGyver of space, constantly rigging solutions to his increasingly deadly obstacles. … Continue reading

Recipe: Coconut Curry Chicken with Baked Sweet Potatoes

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“I started the day with some nothin’ tea. Nothin’ tea is easy to make. First, get some hot water, then add nothin’. I experimented with potato skin tea a few weeks ago. The less said about that the better.” —The Martian by Andy Weir

For my review of The Martian, click here.

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Review: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) by Sarah J. Maas

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5/5 stars

The Story:

A slave in the Endovier salt mines, eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is one day released by a royal guard and presented to the crown prince who invites her to participate in the King’s competition seeking a Champion. Why her? Because she was once the country’s greatest assassin. Sponsored by the womanizing and flawless Crown Prince Dorian Havilliard, trained by the also handsome though less politically refined Captain of the Royal Guard Chaol Westfall, Celaena prepares to compete against 23 men for the spot as the King’s Champion. In the midst of hiding her true identity, recuperating from a year working as a slave underground in the mines, training for her competition, and staying in the competition, Celaena must also battle a darkness that’s threatening the castle.

Sarah J. Maas creates a diverse and action-packed fantasy world and one example of that diversity is the main character, Celaena. She’s physically strong, mentally tough, and has a soft spot for the finer things in life. I’ve gathered some of my favorite scenes that demonstrate Celaena’s sometimes hilarious character.

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Review: Siege and Storm (Grisha Trilogy, #2) by Leigh Bardugo

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5/5 stars

“A few dim memories flashed through my mind. A shallow dish of cooked beets, the slippery feel of them between my fingers as they stained my hands red.”

See here for a Siege and Storm inspired borsch recipe.

The story:

Siege and Storm  continues Alina Starkov’s journey to master her new found powers as the Sun Summoner while chasing a legendary creature that could magnify those powers. News of the Sun Summoner is out, though, and thrones are vying for her strength. Alina must choose which side she is on.

The second installment of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy is a heartbreaking story of cost and sacrifice. As a suspenseful sequence, I’m struggling to say much without giving away everything, especially for those who haven’t even read the first book yet. And so, without further ado…

Spoilers begin here. You have been warned.

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Recipe: Fried Egg Burgers with Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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“…on the fourth day he comes into the room with an honest-to-God hamburger on a hot, homemade bun and a side of roasted potatoes. It’s the first real food I’ve had since escaping Camp Ashpit. It’s also a freaking hamburger, which I haven’t tasted since the Arrival and which, I think I’ve pointed out, I was willing to kill for.”

Here’s my recreation of a cozy, meaty, apocalypse worthy burger as inspired by The 5th Wave, Evan’s homemade buns included. The best part? Each element is super easy, including the buns. See my book review here!

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