When we walk back inside, Charlie is at the stovetop flipping pancakes.
“Smells great,” I say.
He asks, “Will you make your fruit thing?”
I takes me a moment to locate the cutting board and a knife.
I stand next to my son, peeling the apples and dicing them and adding the pieces to a saucepan filled with simmering maple syrup.
—Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
How do I even sum up the epicness that is Dark Matter? This was such a fun read and was reminiscent of The Martian. Jason Dessen is a content family man, if not at times dissatisfied with his mediocre career as a physicist. When he’s dropped into an Odyssean adventure through the multiverse, Jason discovers just how far he’s willing to go to get back to hearth and home, middling career included.
‘Food isn’t about getting through the day, Sebastian.’ She waved her bread under his nose as if he didn’t already have his own piece just begging to be finished. ‘It’s about stopping and appreciating the moment. It’s about exploring new tastes and textures. It’s about giving yourself a little piece of comfort or joy and sharing that with others.’
We all sat around the table. (Father was away again.) I was thrilled. I had watched Mandy bake the cake and Bertha sew the gown and Nathan pick the flowers.
Mandy cut the cake. When she handed me my piece, she said without thinking, “Eat.”
The first bite was delicious. I finished the slice happily. When it was gone, Mandy cut another. That one was harder. When it was gone, no one gave me more, but I knew I had to keep eating. I moved my fork into the cake itself.
“Ella, what are you doing?” Mother said.
“Little piggy.” Mandy laughed. “It’s her birthday, Lady. Let her have as much as she wants.” She put another slice on my plate.
I felt sick, and frightened. Why couldn’t I stop eating?
Swallowing was a struggle. Each bite weighed on my tongue and felt like a sticky mass of glue as I fought to get it down. I started crying while I ate.
Mother realized first. “Stop eating, Ella,” she commanded.
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, 5/5 stars
Ella Enchanted has been my favorite book since I was twelve. I’ve read it at least a dozen times. Most recently, I re-read it for book club and was nervous it wouldn’t stand the test of time, especially with how much I had hyped it up in my mind.
Spoiler: it did. For me and everyone else in the book club, whether it was one of their old favorites or their first time reading it.
It’s also the ultimate love story, so of course I had to team it with my Valentine’s Day post. I was inspired by Ella’s birthday cake and wanted to make something that would truly be a show-stopper. Plus, Brice and I binge-watched the Great American Baking Show and I became obsessed with doing some proper chocolate work.
I usually have a love/hate relationship with cake. They’re fun to make, but it’s never a go-to dessert for me, because it’s usually so heavy and sweet, especially when filled with frosting. These three layers of fluffy red velvet cake sandwiching a light and fresh raspberry cream filling, topped with white chocolate frosting and dark chocolate decor are a perfect balance, though. No “sticky masses of glue” here.
For the chocolate work, I highly recommend using a thermometer with a digital reader. I did not and my temperatures were slightly off meaning my tempered chocolate was a little streaky and wasn’t setting as well as I would have liked. For my first time tempering chocolate, it worked out well enough.
Here are the recipes I used:
Paula Deen’s Red Velvet Cake – the only thing I changed was the amount of food coloring. I had a .25 ounce container, some of which I used for these mini princess cakes. I just tossed in the remainder of the container. (An ounce just sounded excessive!)
“Ordering pizza from Nightshade’s,” said Malcom. “There’s an app.”
“A what?” said Dru.
“Nightshade?” Livvy turned around. “The vampire?”
“He owns a pizza place. The sauce is divine,” Malcolm said, kissing his own fingers.
“Aren’t you worried what’s in it?” said Livvy.
Click here for my review of Cassandra Clare’s latest installment in the Shadowhunter saga, Lady Midnight.
Did anyone else notice how many times the Blackthorns ordered Nightshade pizza? Was anyone else craving pizza with an out-of-this-world sauce? You will suspect addictive demon powders have been slipped into this sauce.
All right – I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re not 100% committed to your Oreo diet. The guidelines are really pretty basic. No excuses. Breakfast is obviously an Oreo granola bar or Oreo Pop-Tart. No, they’re not gross. Shut up. They’re amazing. Lunch should be Oreo pizza with an Oreo milk shake and a couple of those Oreo truffles my mom makes (a.k.a. the most delicious freaking things in the universe). Dinner is deep-fried Oreos served on top of Oreo ice cream, and for a drink, it’s Oreos dissolved in milk. No water. Only Oreo milk. Dessert can be Oreos straight up. Sound reasonable? It’s for your health, Blue.
For my review of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, click here!