It’s fruitcake-making time!

Posted by on Sep 16, 2019 in alcohol, Blog, boozy, Bready or Not, cake | 0 comments

Bready or Not Original: Mini Fruitcake Loaves

Yes, the subject line is serious, because YES, fruitcake can be delicious–especially if you make it yourself and control the whole process! Follow my Mini Fruitcake Loaves recipe and you’ll see what I mean. Bake these babies now and you’ll have plenty of time to ripen them (that means brushing them down with a simple sugar mix once a week to soak in flavor) in time for holiday festivities.

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Book Blog: A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker

Posted by on Sep 13, 2019 in Blog, book blog | 0 comments

I review everything I read and post reviews on Goodreads and LibraryThing. That’s not enough. Good books are meant to be shared. Therefore, I’m spotlighting some of my favorite reads here on my site.

A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker
out now; Indiebound, B&N, and Amazon

song for a new day

 

I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley.

I’m a big fan of Sarah Pinsker’s work. I adored her collection Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea [reviewed here] and have been genuinely excited that her first novel would be inspired by her fantastic novelette “Our Lady of the Open Road.” The book absolutely lived up to my high expectations.

Pinsker’s science fiction is eerily plausible: a near-future world where a series of terrorist attacks and illness with high mortality have led to laws against congregations of people. Society fully embraces the digital and insular, relying on drone delivery for most all goods and on virtual experiences for dating, sports events, and–most notably for this book–concerts, with StageHoloLive being the major purveyor of much entertainment.

Enter the two protagonists: Luce, a gifted musician on the cusp of going big when the world fell apart, and Rosemary, a young woman rendered agoraphobic by her parents and culture, but who perkily heads out to find undercover musical acts as part of her new job for StageHoloLive. All of the characters in the book are nuanced and realistic, and Pinsker’s own background in bands completely grounds the world. This develops into a book with some shades of Charles de Lint’s works, yet with an original, fresh approach to a timeless theme: a celebration of music, of EXPERIENCING music, of how much more is involved than merely listening.

This book is beautiful, and its deep message will linger with me for a long while.

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Bready or Not: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars [cake mix]

Posted by on Sep 11, 2019 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, cake mix, chocolate | 0 comments

These Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are so good that people won’t even guess that it uses cake mix.

Bready or Not: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars [cake mix]

I, personally, don’t see any shame in using cake mix. It’s a convenient base ingredient to doctor up.

Bready or Not: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars [cake mix]

Chocolate and peanut butter is such a classic pairing. You can use any number of chocolate cake mixes for this (it was tested with a 15.25 ounce box), but I recommend devil’s food cake. It has a nice depth to it.

Bready or Not: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars [cake mix]

If you’re in America, you might find a premade bag of peanut butter and chocolate chips at stores like Walmart. If you can’t find that, just use separate bags of those kinds of chips and measure out a cup of each.

Bready or Not: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars [cake mix]

At my husband’s work, some of his co-workers considered this among their all-time favorite recipes. That is high praise indeed.

Bready or Not: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars [cake mix]

 

Bready or Not: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars [cake mix]

This easy-to-make recipe is so good that people won't even know it uses cake mix!
Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: bars, cake mix, chocolate
Author: Beth Cato

Ingredients

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix 15.25 oz
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 bag peanut butter and chocolate chips or 1 cup of each kind of chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray.
  • In a big bowl, combine the cake mix, melted butter, and milk. Spread half of batter on bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Place peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl and warm to be spreadable. Pour over the baked bottom crust and spread to edges. Sprinkle the peanut butter and chocolate chips on top, followed by dollops of the reserved cake batter. Finish with the chopped peanuts.
  • Bake for another 20 minutes, until the visible portions of the peanut butter layer look set. Cool completely, refrigerating if desired.
  • Use foil to lift onto cutting board to slice into bars. Store in a sealed container at room temperature.
  • OM NOM NOM!
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Book Blog: The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner

Posted by on Sep 6, 2019 in Blog, book blog | 0 comments

I review everything I read and post reviews on Goodreads and LibraryThing. That’s not enough. Good books are meant to be shared. Therefore, I’m spotlighting some of my favorite reads here on my site.

The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner
out now; Indiebound, B&N, and Amazon

okay witch

I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley.

The Okay Witch is more than okay. It’s absolutely charming. I adored this graphic novel and everything about it–art, story, characters, EVERYTHING. Moth is thirteen and doesn’t fit in at school–and when she suddenly discovers she has magical powers, that doesn’t exactly help much. This is a story packed with genuine heart. The tone is light, but there are heady issues addressed with a delicate hand. Moth is a wonderful, relatable heroine, but the entire cast is fantastic–including a talking cat who threatens to steal the whole show. I loved, loved, loved how inclusive it is. A subplot involving the said talking cat and a beloved actually made me get teary-eyed at one point.

I mean, really. Start reading because it’s about magic and a smart girl and because the art is fantastic, and keep reading because you find everything about this book is fantastic. This is not only a 5-star read for me, but I’m adding it to my nomination list for the Norton Award.

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