04 September 2014

August 2014 Reads

Okay, I know that when I say I'll try and do a monthly [insert word here], I never do it. I don't even have any excuses for forgetting about it. Buuut, because I'm stubborn, I thought I'd try something different. How about a books-I've-read-this-month type post ? Are you in ? Yes ? Okay !

I mentionned that I went on holiday in August, and I always always read a lot on holiday (which is why I'm very glad to now have a Kindle. So much room left in my suitcase ! Not having to worry about running out of books !)
Here are the books I've read in August !

The Boy Next Door (Melissa et Son Voisin), Meg Cabot : I read this a long time ago, while on holiday with a friend who'd bought the book. I wanted to re-read it, as I love Meg Cabot's books. It's a very easy and fast read, and it's really fun. The text consists of emails between the characters, which means there are no long chapters  you might have to worry about finishing because you have to do something else (I absolutely hate putting a book down in the middle of a chapter).

Billy and Me, Giovanna Fletcher : I'd heard such great things about this book that I put off reading it, as I was worried I'd be disappointed. I finally decided to read it, and I loved it ! I think I read it in 3 days, and I was very glad to have sunglasses on as I read the ending !

Good in Bed (Alors, Heureuse ?) & Certain Girls (La Fille de sa Mère), Jennifer Weiner  : I read both books back to back, so I guess I did kind of like them. I did have a hard time really getting into the story for the first one (mostly because I didn't understand why the character would still be hung up on her boyfriend) but I enjoyed the second one a lot more. Again, prepare to tear up at the ending.

Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell : This book ! Aah ! I read it in a day ! It rained all day that day so we didn't do a lot, and I couldn't put the book down. I absolutely LOVED it ! Although I wish we could have known a little more at the end, it's still a very great read.

Wedding Night (Nuit de Noces à Ikonos), Sophie Kinsella : I really enjoy Sophie Kinsella's books and chose to read this one. And I have to say that although I liked it (I managed to get through it, although it took longer than the other books) I was a little... disappointed, I guess. I felt like nothing really happened, and there was no "Oh my, I can't put this book down" going on. Maybe I expected it to be something else, I don't know. It's still worth checking out, though !

And there are my August reads ! Have you read any from this list ? What books did you read this month ? Do share !

Some books were read in French (I added the French title for those) while some were read in their original versions. I thought I'd mention it, as I feel sometimes translation can make a difference whether I like a book or not.

26 August 2014

5 Things Tuesday #7

1) I'm back ! Long time no see ! (Pretty sure I say that in every post...) I was on holiday with my family for 10 days and we've been back for a week now, but I'm still not back on "home time". I feel like I still have millions of things to unpack and do and clean up, even though everything's pretty much done. Aaaah !

2) These last few days have been rainy and cold, which makes me want to stock up on comfy sweaters, curl up on the couch with a blanket and watch movies. And...

3) Can you believe Christmas is in only 4 months ???!!!!!!!! Where does the time go ?! I still think 2010 was last year, but we'll be ringin' in 2015 in FOUR MONTHS !! *head explodes*

4) I started watching Once Upon A Time about a month, month and a half ago, and watched the season 3 finale yesterday. I'm already having withdrawal ! This show is soooo good ! I don't know why I waited so long to watch it. Well... I was supposed/wanted to watch it back when it first started airing in 2011, but I'd started uni, which meant I didn't have a lot of time for TV shows, and I had to choose which shows I really wanted to follow... OUAT didn't make the cut. Obviously, every new show that did make the cut was cancelled after one season... Just my luck. Anyway, if you don't watch or know about this show, I suggest you take a look at it. I totally have a crush on Captain Hook, which isn't something I ever thought I'd say. My five year old self would probably laugh in my face if I told her that. I can't wait for it to start again in September ! Speaking of TV...
 
5) Fall premieres are approaching ! Like I said, I can't wait for OUAT, but I'm also very excited for other shows to come back. Grey's Anatomy has always been a favorite of mine, but I'm also waiting impatiently for The Middle (which you should definitely watch, I swear). Lots of other shows, too, but the list would be way too long for me to post. Are you excited about a show (or twenty) in particular ? If so, which one(s) ?

20 July 2014

Snickerdoodles (Cream of tartar & baking soda free)

Snickerdoodles. Snickerdoodles.
What a weird fun word. Where did it even come from ? Snickerdoodles. Okay I'll stop now.

These cookies aren't known here in France. I stumbled upon a recipe for snickerdoodles maybe four or five years ago, and I'd never heard about them before. The recipe sounded delicious, so I thought I'd try them, even though I wasn't a big cinnamon fan back then.

 So I made the recipe, that called for cream of tartar and baking soda, without any cream of tartar or baking soda, because I didn't have any. I obviously used baking powder instead, hoping it would have the same effect. Well, 30 minutes out of the oven, the cookies were rock hard. Let's not even talk about the state they were in the next day (they were pretty much break your teeth hard).

But, you know, I'm stubborn, and I re-used the recipe many times, always using more baking powder. Well, it never worked. Then about three or four weeks ago I had a craving for snickerdoodles, but there was NO WAY I was gonna use that recipe, because I wanted to enjoy the cookies without worrying about them going solid as a rock. I found a recipe, divided the quantities (didn't want to end up with dozens of un-eatable cookies), and IT WORKED. They were still soft and delicious the next day ! Hurray !


Here's the recipe :

Snickerdoodles
Makes about 10 cookies
180g of flour
1/4 tsp of salt
1 tsp of baking powder
110g of softened butter
150g of granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp of vanilla

Coating :
1 tbsp of ground cinnamon
1 tbsp of granulated sugar

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
Mix the softened butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg, mix. Add the vanilla and mix.
Add the dry ingredients (a little at a time is easier) and mix until the dough is smooth.
You can now refrigerate the dough or choose to bake the cookies right away.
Mix the coating ingredients in a small bowl.
Shape little balls of dough (I used an ice cream scoop for even in size cookies) and roll them in the coating mixture, before putting them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until light golden brown, and firm around the edges, in a preheated oven, TH4/5.
Remove from oven, and let cool.

Note : adapted from Joy of Baking
Don't put the cookies too close to one another on the baking sheet, as they will spread as they bake.

See other recipes here

05 June 2014

Window Shopping #3

Did anyone watch The Normal Heart ? Because I did, and boy did I cry. Drown-in-my-own-tears cry. I blame the acting. It was exceptionnal. I have never cried so much watching a movie before. Or even a TV show, and I watch Grey's Anatomy, where bad things have happened to good people on a daily basis for the last 10 years, so that's saying a lot. I'm not going to spoil anything in case you haven't seen it but plan to, but Bruce's story about Albert is the one that got me the most. I'd accidentaly read a spoiler about the ending, so I'd prepared myself for it (though it still made me cry some more), but that entire scene with Bruce's story... I actually had to pause because I was sobbing so much.

Anyway, on a completely unrelated note, I went window shopping online. I'm so very bored with all my clothes, so here are a few picks from around the web. If anyone wants to send them to me for free, I wouldn't mind.

26 May 2014

Cookies

 

Today's one of those days.

It's been raining, and it's so windy outside I'm not sure I can let the dog out to pee because he might fly away. Yep, it's that windy.

I don't even know why I bothered doing my hair this morning cause once I step outside I'll look like a crazy person.

I just want to sit on the couch, watch a movie, drink hot chocolate and eat a cookie. Or four.


This cookie recipe is one I've used for years. I can't even remember where I found it in the first place. I've doubled it, added M&Ms, Smarties, cocoa powder, almond powder, white, milk or dark chocolate chips... It's one of those basic cookie recipe. You can add anything you want to to the dough.

The cookies in the pictures have dark chocolate chunks (left), white chocolate chunks (middle), and dark chocolate chunks with pralin, a mix of crushed almonds and hazelnut (right). Need I say they were delicious ? The recipe makes about 8 to 10 cookies, depending on the size of your scoop. 


Basic cookie recipe (makes about 8/10 cookies)
85 g of softened butter
50 g of granulated sugar
50 g of brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp of vanilla extract
150 g of flour
1 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
100g of chocolate chips

Mix butter with sugars until well combined. Add egg, vanilla extract, beat.
Add flour, baking powder and salt. Once combined, add chocolate chips (or anything you want)
Form dough into balls and put on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 12/15 minutes (Th. 3/4)

Tips :
You can either put the dough in the fridge until you're ready to bake, or put it in the oven straight away.
Use an ice cream scoop to make your dough balls.
If you want to add cocoa powder, add about 2 tbsp, but add less flour.

See other recipes here.