It is Foodie Friday. Every Friday, I will be putting up a recipe that I have made the previous week.
Today’s recipe is:
Russian Teacake Bars
(recipe and picture courtesy of Betty Crocker. Click on the picture for link to the recipe)
Prep time**: 20 min
Cook time: 28 mins
Total time**: 1 hour 13 mins
2 1/4 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour
3/4 cup very finely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened**
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar
How to Make
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, leaving foil overhanging at 2 opposite sides of the pan. Spray foil with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix flour, pecans, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat softened butter, granulated sugar and 1/2 cup powdered sugar with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 min or until fluffy. Scrape side of the bowl. Beat in egg and vanilla. On low speed, gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture until well-blended**. Spread in pan.
Bake 32 to 37 minutes or until light brown on top and edges.** Immediately sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the powdered sugar over top. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours**.
Remove bars from pan by lifting foil, peel foil away**. Cut into 8 rows by 8 rows. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons powdered sugar over top of bars before serving**. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
What I did differently in this recipe (the ***’s)
I think my prep time took less time than that.
I did a no way when I saw the serving size
I accidentally melted the butter…lol
The mixture is dense.
I baked mine for 35 minutes. Turned out perfectly.
I left mine on the counter for almost 2 hours (I got busy)
If you spray the foil, this will be super easy.
I put the sugar on before I cut. I don’t think it made a difference.
Was it hard to make: No, it wasn’t. It was surprisingly easy.
How long did it take me to make (compared to the recipe’s prep+total time): It took me about the same time that the recipe said it would
Did BK and I like it: BK wasn’t here. He had a business meeting to attend. I did send a picture to him and he said that that it looked good. I liked it. It was delicious. I thought it was going to hard but it was surprisingly soft and moist.
More importantly, did my kids like it: Yes. I consider it a small miracle because all 3 of my kids loved it. They already have asked for me to make more. And they have demolished the bars. There are only two left.
Will I make it again: Absolutely
Thoughts on the dish, after the fact: Very easy to make. Like I mentioned above, it was soft and moist. From the looks of it, I thought it was going to be hard and dry. I would change nothing about the recipe.
Dave Dobrowski is a detective in Firemountain. Things haven’t been the same in Firemountain since Dinah Steele took down Gleebelix. Now illegal prostitutes are dying in droves. Yet the legal brothel, The House of Fire and Rain, on tribal land is immune to a curse that is killing not only working girls but their clients. Dave and his alchemical partner Jolene Anderson, race to discover why legal girls are protected why illegals are dying and discover there is more than just morality at stake.
Prostitutes and their customers are dying in Firemountain. But the girls who work at The House of Fire and Rain are immune. Dave, a detective, is put on the case to discover what is exactly causing the deaths. When it is discovered that a curse is responsible, Dave must figure out why the “illegal” girls are being targeted. As the curse goes worldwide, Dave and Jolene are racing against the clock. Can they discover who or what is behind the curse?
When I was approached by Victoria to review The House of Fire and Rain, I immediately jumped on it. Not because I had reviewed Whispers in the Woods. It was the blurb. It caught my attention. I wanted to know why the girls at The House of Fireand Rain were immune to the curse. I wanted to know what Dave and Jolene were going to find out about the curse. So, yes, I was thrilled to be reading this book.
I liked Jolene. I thought that her backstory was heartbreaking. Unfortunately, it is only too common. But, Jolene overcame her past. She was going to school to be an alchemist and had a job that she loved. I was surprised at her connection to The Houseof Fire and Rain. When it was revealed what she did for her second job, I had to stop and process it. I also liked how the author worked that into the plotline.
I didn’t know what to think about Dave. I was apathetic towards him at the beginning of the book. My initial observation was that he was weary of everything that was going on in Firemountain. But, as the book went on, my apathy towards him lessened. I actually felt bad for him, at one point in the book. I also thought that he had good instincts when it came to LucasDawnstar. My heart broke for him at the end of the book.
The main storyline of the book started off shortly after Dinah defeated Gleebelix in book 1. The author wasted no time in getting the plotline going. The plotline stayed fast until the middle of the book. The plot did falter when the curse was cured but the author did a great job at getting it back on track.
The secondary storylines were wonderfully written. They added depth to the plotline. They also gave me more background on what was going on.
I liked that the author chose to highlight what and how people view sex workers. She made some valid point about how society treats them. She also made a very valid point for legalizing prostitution. I will say that the cleansing camps that sprung up reminded me of the concentration camps in WW2. I got shudders while reading those scenes.
I will say that I was amused by the inclusion of Kirk Cameron in the plotline. I got a couple of good giggles out of it. Actually, I didn’t put two and two together until Dave mentioned it while watching him on TV. It was light a lightbulb went off over my head…haha.
I wasn’t expecting what happened at the end of the book. I was shocked by what Jezebel did. It went against everything that I thought about her. My heart broke for Dave. For a minute there, I thought that he was going to be happy. I hope that what happen fuels his need to find out what is going on.
The author did a fantastic job of wrapping up plotlines. She also left some plotlines open. The very end of the book made me go “Hmmm”. I can’t wait to read book 3!!!
I gave The House of Fire and Rain a 4-star rating. This was a fast moving book. It had complex characters that I connected with. I did have an issue with the plotline lagging halfway through the book. But the author did a great job picking the plotline back up again.
I would give The House of Fire and Rain an Adult rating. There are sex and sexual situation. There is violence. There is language. There are triggers. They would be sexual abuse and rape. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book
I would reread The House of Fire and Rain. I would also reccomend this book to family and friends.
I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review The House of Fire and Rain.
All opinions stated in this review of The House of Fire and Rain are mine.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
This week’s Throwback Thursday is a young adult/historical fiction/fantasy
Click on the picture of the Amazon link
The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.
Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.
Thank you Macsbooks311 of Macsbooks for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award. I have always been a versatile reader. But since I started blogging, I have found myself reading genres that I wouldn’t have dared to read in the past.
• Thank the person who gave you the award • Include a link to their blog • Select 7 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly • Nominate those bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself
I am going to try and get 7 facts about myself out here. I am with Macsbooks, I am not sure that there are 7 things that people would want to know about me. I’ll try, though…lol.
I was an early reader. I remember being reading The National Enquirer (yes, I know) to my great-grandmother when I was 4 years old.
I have never been off the East Coast. Well, last year, my SO took us on a drive to Elizabeth City, TN. Other than that, I haven’t been off the East Coast. I just realized that I need to travel more. Haha!!
I like to garden but I have a black thumb. Everything I grow ends up dying. It’s very discouraging. But it doesn’t stop me. I will make something grow.
I love to play World of Warcraft. I have been playing since 2006.
I was told in my early 20’s that it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for me to get pregnant. My oldest was born in my late 20’s, my middle in my early 30’s and my youngest in my late 30’s. Proved that Dr wrong.
I have been living in North Carolina for 3 years. It was one of my best decisions to date. I absolutely love living here.
I haven’t had cable in a year. We have Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Philo and the antenna to watch TV. Don’t even miss it and we’re saving money
WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.
The Three Ws are:
What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?
What’s going on with me this past week:
We got a snowstorm that dumped 14 inches on us. Now, if this was in the NE, Mid-West, or SW (think Washington/areas of California/Oregon), it wouldn’t have been a problem. They are equipped to deal with that much snow. But, here in Hickory, NC….they are not. My kids haven’t been to school since last Friday. I am slowly going insane. Add to everything, BK had to go to Chicago on Monday for a meeting and is coming back late tonight. So, its just been me. I told him this morning that I am going to chug an entire bottle of wine on Friday….lol.
Speaking of the kids, I have a busy week with them next week. Miss B has her Winter Concert (she plays the trumpet) on Monday. My only complaint is that it is at 7:45pm. Which is beyond Miss R’s bedtime. So, it will be interesting to see how that goes. Progress reports go on Tuesday. I am not too worried about Mr. Z (he’s straight A’s). It’s Miss B. She has made up everything that she didn’t pass in or do. That raised her grade from a 40 to a 63. Almost there. On Wednesday, Miss R has her Christmas presentation at school. It should be cute, seeing 2, 3, and 4 (with some 5) year olds putting on a play about Jesus’s birthday. Thursday, Mr. Z has a bell presentation as school. He is playing C sharp. It is also a 1/2 day (which is unheard of in thisschool system). On top of all that, I still have to wrap presents. I planned on getting 90% of them done this week and well, look how that turned out.
I am almost caught up with reviews. I have maybe 3 reviews to write and plan on doing that today. Reading wise, I am behind by 2 books. Which is pretty good for me. I have gotten 90% of my author request books read (which factors into the reviews Ineed to write). I have also whittled down my NetGalley TBR. My January and February are chock full of reviews…lol. I have one book on my NetGalley TBR that is bugging me. The publisher took it back for editing, send an email saying that I would get another copy of the book. And nothing. It’s just sitting there. I am anal about stuff like that. I want this book off my 3 monthsand older section.
What I am currently reading:
click on the picture for Amazon link
In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful coworker in Ginny’s own bed, and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she’s on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.
At first, the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing—and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.
I am only on the first chapter of this book but it looks interesting. I can’t wait to see where this book is going to go. If, Then is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is March 12th, 2019. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.
What I recently finished reading:
click on the picture for Amazon link
The Reckoning is the stunning follow-up to The Legacy, which was the start of a thrilling new series that Booklist (starred) recommends for fans of Tana French.
Vaka sits, regretting her choice of coat, on the cold steps of her new school. Her father appears to have forgotten to pick her up, her mother has forgotten to give her this week’s pocket money, and the school is already locked for the day. Grownups, she decides, are useless.
With no way to call home, she resigns herself to waiting on the steps until her father remembers her. When a girl approaches, Vaka recognizes her immediately from class, and from her unusual appearance: two of her fingers are missing. The girl lives at the back of the school, on the other side of a high fence, and Vaka asks to call her father from the girl’s house. That afternoon is the last time anyone sees Vaka.
Detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja are called in. Soon, they find themselves at the heart of another shocking case.
From the international number one-bestselling author of The Silence of the Sea, winner of the 2015 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel Yrsa Sigurdardottir returns with the follow-up to The Legacy.
I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. I am not going to go much into the book except to say that it was really good. I am hoping that there will be a Book 3 and I am going to read Book 1 as soon as I can. The Reckoning is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is February 12th, 2019.
What books I think I’ll read next? (click on the pictures for Amazon links)
Originally titled Sixty Seconds
A deeply emotional drama that explores a family’s path to forgiveness and redemption in the aftermath of a tragedy.
The Brennans — parents, Finn and Bridget, and their sons, Jarrah and Toby — have made a sea change, from chilly Hobart, Tasmania, to subtropical Murwillumbah, New South Wales. Feeling like foreigners in this land of sun and surf, they’re still adjusting to work, school, and life in a sprawling purple clapboard house, when one morning, tragedy strikes.
In the devastating aftermath, the questions fly. What really happened? And who’s to blame? Determined to protect his family, Finn finds himself under the police and media spotlight. Guilty and enraged, Bridget spends nights hunting answers in the last place imaginable. Jarrah — his innocence lost — faces a sudden and frightening adulthood where nothing is certain.
In the Blink of an Eye is a haunting, redemptive story about forgiveness and hope.
I was intrigued by this book. This book is something that I like to read. I am hoping that this book is as good as I think it is going to be. In the Blink of an Eye is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is March 19th, 2019. Look for my review after that date.
Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.
Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game–and his heart–to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.
Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.
I like reading second chance romances. I can’t wait to read this book. The Girl He Used to Know is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is April 2nd, 2019. Look for my review after that date.
A twisty, compelling novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in murder…
From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice who helped female refugees assimilate to their new country. Diana was happily married to Tom, and lived in wedded bliss for decades. Lucy wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.
That was five years ago.
Now, Diana has been found dead, a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer.
But the autopsy finds no cancer. The autopsy does find traces of poison and suffocation. Who could possibly want Diana dead? Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her adult children and their spouses?
With Lucy’s secrets getting deeper and her relationship with her mother-in-law growing more complex as the pages turn, this new novel from Sally Hepworth is sure to add to her growing legion of fans.
Another book that I am looking forward to reading. I like a good mystery and this looks like something I will enjoy reading. TheMother in Law is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is April 23rd, 2019. Look for my review after that date.
“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman andGrimms’ Fairy Tales.
Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.
A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley―to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.
Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.
Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.
This book sounded super creepy. Changeling stories are always creepy in my eyes. I am hoping that this book is as good as it sounds. Little Darlings is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is May 10th, 2019. Look for my review after that date.
Know what’s worse than being forced to marry your depraved, sadistic alpha? Hiding his corpse.
Ten years after storms and seismic disasters ravaged the world, only one major forest remains intact in the United States, and my werewolf pack is responsible for keeping Heartland Forest for the wolves. Jacob Knight may have been a terrible alpha, but he kept the fae, vampires, and man-eating trolls from taking over Heartland. Day by day, they close in on us.
For two years, I’ve gotten away with murder, and it hasn’t been easy. I live a lie, and it’s eating me up inside. It’s a price I must pay to keep my secrets buried and my pack safe.
But nothing stays buried for long in Heartland Forest.
When Jacob’s three alpha brothers ride their motorcycles into town, claiming they want to rent a room in the apartment building I manage, I know they’re here for more than low rent and creaky pipes.
Do I have what it takes to take on three dirty alphas?
I haven’t read (or reviewed) a reverse harem in a while. I also haven’t read anything to do with shifters in a while. So when I was approached to review Dirty Alphas, I figured “Why not“. Dirty Alpha’s is currently on pre-order. Its expected publication date is December 14th, 2018. Be on the look out for my review after that date.
In #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s latest thriller, the town of Rockton–and her fans–are in for another hair-raising adventure.
The secret town of Rockton has seen some rocky times lately; understandable considering its mix of criminals and victims fleeing society for refuge within its Yukon borders. Casey Duncan, the town’s only detective on a police force of three, has already faced murder, arson and falling in love in less than the year that she’s lived there. Yet even she didn’t think it would be possible for an outsider to find and cause trouble in the town she’s come to call home.
When a US Marshal shows up in town demanding the release of one of the residents, Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Dalton, are skeptical. And yet only hours later, the marshal is shot dead and the only visible suspects are the townspeople and her estranged sister, in town for just the weekend. It’s up to Casey to figure out who murdered the marshal, and why they would kill to keep him quiet.
The blurb for this book made me want to read it. It seems like it would be a good murder mystery. I can’t wait to read it!! Watcher in the Woods is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is February 5th, 2019. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.
So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.