Hello from sunny California!
My name is Melissa (aka Dizzygrl28), and I’m honored to have been asked to guest post for you. I’m a mother, caretaker, amateur baker, avid reader, crazy fangirl, and an everyday geek. I could go on and on about any of those topics, but today I’m going to discuss two of my favorites: baking and reading.
Baking is something I really enjoy but don’t have enough time to invest in. I love to explore and challenge myself with new baking recipes, and I tend to work at it until the results are perfect. Different types of fudge, cookies, candies, and pies are typically what I stick to. Eventually, I’d like to graduate to cakes and cake decorating, though I would like to take a cake deco class beforehand so I don’t end up on the cakewrecks website. Have you seen some of those wrecks? Holy Batman Cake!
My latest venture in baking was french macarons. Boy, are these suckers difficult, but when they come out correctly, they are amazing.
I’m still working on perfecting these bad boys. For some reason, with each batch I make, there is always one tray – just one – that comes out misshapen or cracked. My family doesn’t complain, however, since they get to eat my mistakes, which still taste yummy, despite their funkiness in appearance.
The macarons pictured here are raspberry with a raspberry/lemon sherbet filling. This filling is so good I could eat it by the spoonful. Okay, okay, maybe I did have a spoonful or two, but it’s important to taste test!
In addition to macaron filling, it would make an amazing cake or cookie icing as well. Since sharing is caring, below is the recipe.
250g icing sugar
80g unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
splash of milk
approx 1-2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh) or to taste
a handful of fresh raspberries
2 tsp of raspberry sherbet
Beat together the icing sugar, butter and milk, then add the jam and sherbet and mix until smooth. Add in the fresh raspberries, mixing until the berries are broken up into large pieces.
Now, if there is anything that I enjoy more than baking, it’s reading. I love books. I read every single day, whether it’s a sentence, a paragraph, or several chapters, and I often have multiple books going simultaneously. In fact, reading and networking through fanfiction is how I came to know Karin, as well as many other friends I would not have otherwise known.
I primarily enjoy fiction books in a wide range of genres, but in recent years my tastes lean toward YA. My first experience with YA was Twilight, and boy was that an adventure. I’d never been so obsessed with a book or book series than I was with Twilight. At first, it was my dirty little secret. I mean, here I was in my mid-thirties, obsessing over two 17 year olds in love (well, Edward was technically a 107 year old vampire, but that’s another discussion) to the point that I’d read the series thrice over and snuck to the first film by myself without telling my family. Then, I discovered the world of fanfiction, and suddenly I was surrounded by other women my age who were equally obsessed. Next thing I knew, I was writing, travelling to Cons, meeting the actors from the movies, and I had amassed an insane amount of Twilight paraphernalia. I was in heaven.
Since then, I’ve read a ton of YA that I’ve really enjoyed, but none that have come close to giving me the same feeling I had when I read Twilight. And while I might never experience that level of excitement again, I came pretty close with my latest obsession, the A Court of Thorns series by Sarah J. Maas.
I honestly never would’ve considered this series if it hadn’t been for the fangirling I was witnessing between a couple of friends who were reading it at the time, and to be honest, prior to A Court of Thorns, I’d never before read any books about faeries. In fact, when I thought of faeries, my mind immediately went to Tinker Bell, and tiny, glittering bug-like beings just did not pique my interest. Little did I know that Fae could actually be written as a powerful race of (hot) magical warriors, and am I ever glad I gave them a shot!
A Court of Thorns is about a young human girl named Feyre who, through a series of circumstances, finds herself in the company of a High Fae Lord, living in the faerie lands that humans have feared for centuries.
Feyre is a powerful heroine whose character we see grow from a young girl doing what it takes just to survive and keep her family alive, to a strong-willed, intelligent woman who is a commanding force. Suspense, love triangles, war, and best of all, hunky Illyrian warriors—this series has it all. Plus, the author does an amazing job at world and plot building, which made reading these books all the better.
There are three books, the latest of which was released earlier this month, and it’s so good that I had to reread them twice. The author is also planning a spin-off series slated for next year, and I, for one, can’t wait! So, hurry and read, or at least add them to your to-read list, because you won’t want to miss these.