Saturday 24 September 2011

2nd Annual Practical Magic Blog Party Post 1

"In this house we eat chocolate cake for breakfast..."-Aunt Jet Practical Magic.

Ahhh... wouldn't we all love to have chocolate cake for breakfast? well how about some delicious recipes to make that miraculous event happen... Follow along now, Aunt Jet has lent use her magical kitchen and we need to hurry to get it all in before the fun party that takes place later tonight....Midnight Margaritas!!!!!

Hershey's Best Loved Chocolate Cheesecake:
  • 3 packages cream cheese softened
  • 11/3 cups sugar
  • 1 container dairy sour cream (8ozs)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Hersey's Cocoa
  • 2Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
Quick Chocolate Crumb Crust:
  • Combine 1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs and 1/3 cup butter, press into bottom of 9 inch springfoam pan (makes 1 crust)
HINT: Place the wafers in a ziploc bag and use your rolling pin to help crush them.

Quick Chocolate Drizzle:
Place 1/2 cup Hershey's Semi Sweet Chocolate chips and 2 tsp shortening (this you CANNOT substitute, it doesn't taste the same) in microwave

Microwave on high for 20 secs, doing additional 15secs as needed STIR well!!

  • Prepare Crust recipe, and heat oven to 450degrees
  • beat cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Add sour cream& vanilla, continue to blend
  • Add in cocoa & flour
  • Add eggs one at a time, beat until well mixed
  • Pour into crust
  • Bake 10 mins, then reduce oven temp to 250degrees, continue baking for 30 mins
  • Place on a wire rack, cool completely
  • Drizzle the Quick drizzle over top, refrigerate 4 to 6hrs
  • Store covered in fridge.
      Maple Nut Sticky Buns

Ingredients: (makes 12 rolls)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 package quick rising dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm water (120-130 degrees)
  • 6 Tbsp softened butter,divided
  • 1 egg, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar divided
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Grease a 13 X 9 in pan and spread pecans and maple syrup evenly over the bottom
  • Combine 2 cups flour, granulated sugar, yeast, and salt in a  large bowl.
  • Stir in water , 2 Tbsp butter and egg. beat until smooth, gradually stir in remaining flour until soft dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap. let double about 30 minutes
  • On lightly floured surface, roll dough in 15 X 12 in rectangle. Mix brown sugar with cinnamon sprinkle over surface.
  • Starting at the 12in side roll up tightly.
  • Cut into 12 slices, place slices cut side down in prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap, place on wire rack set over large pan of hot water. Let rise until buns double. 30-45 mins.
  • Preheat oven to 375degrees, uncover buns bake until golden brown
  • Cool for one minute
  • Serve Warm!!
Magical Aspects of our desserts for breakfast:
These ingredients don't just taste good they are good in many magical ways as well. To make this even more fun, you can add a coin into the cake so that it will come out, and the person who gets it gets a special prize.

Cinnamon: prosperity, success, spirituality, healing,lust, love, psychic powers, passion
Pecans: money and employment
Chocolate: is a well known and documented Aphrodisiac
Walnuts: perfect for weather magic as this tree is Sacred in the Celtic tradition to being associated with Fire and Water, as it's a tree that gets struck by lightening often.  It's great for fertility, healing, and wish fulfillment.

To make it more magical while making it, stir clockwise and imagine all the energies of the ingredients blending harmoniously together, imagine your family or friends enjoying the cakes, imbue it with happiness so that they smile each time they take a slice.

Enjoy your chocolate cake for breakfast and I'll see you tonight for Midnight Margaritas
"Always throw salt over your shoulder, grow lavender at your garden gate, and fall in love.....every chance you get."

Friday 23 September 2011

Friday Follow-Up

Hi my loves
ohh how  I have missed you, so I got my computer back late last night and had a good cry too. because my harddrive was completely corrupted and they had to give me a new one, so all the recent things i had created on the computer and all the stuff I had saved were gone. I spent most of last night attempting to get some of my old backups added on to the computer.

I am so sorry i haven't posted in a while I have gotten caught up in my classes and it's a faster pace than last year and it just seems i have no time to myself anymore. Not that is an excuse but hey I didn't have a laptop I could use.

Today is Mabon and I'm going to celebrate in style in my new home, how are you going to celebrate?

My sister's birthday is this weekend and then next weekend is my best friends birthday weekend, I swear after that I will be back more often, ohhh this weekend is also the PRACTICAL MAGIC PARTY, have you checked out the page??? It's amazing the amount of people who will be participating this year, I can't wait to see everyone's post, I think I just finished it this year for last year's post, amazing the creativity of the participants, don't forget to leave a comment if you come through and make sure to enjoy yourself!!!

For contest winners, look out in the mail for your winning packages, i mailed those who gave me address off yesterday or is it today, oh Goddess I have no idea, but keep an eye out for the broom!! Your prizes are inside!!

I have been knocking this list out one by one, slowly but surely, many small things, but some big ones in the works as well so YAY!!
1) I got a library card, luckily in my state you can register your card in upto five towns around you, so since I'm living in New Haven, I also registered in Braford, and Hamden, I live five minutes away from the huge New Haven library right next to Yale and I love walking over there almost everyday to study, sometimes I study on the steps, sometimes i go inside, but this library is as amazing as the New York City Flagship library in Manhattan, I'll give you guys a tour in a little while.

2) I got a new job, i still have my old job, but now I have one close to home and really enjoy not having to travel all the time, I don't have to get up super early to get there it's only 10 mins away.

3)Obviously I have begun to study for my Fall classes, otherwise I wouldn't be knocking out the A's that I have been, woohooo!!

4)Who doesn't Love Ikea shopping trips?? I picked up a few necessary items for my new apartment at rock bottom prices and had the luxury of knowing many of them were recycled items or easily recyclable or even had a low impact to them. Gotta love Ikea

5)Before I moved I packed up some serious stuff to go to Goodwill, and donated them just before and after I moved, once i moved in & realized I no longer needed some items, I gave them to family, friends, my parents and then to Goodwill, best things in world are gently loved items!!

6)Lucky for me living near so many colleges I didn't have to purchase my med surg book, i simply borrowed it from the library, free and I get to return it for someone else to get it again later, zero waste!!

7) I checked out Borders before they closed, but didn't see anything I really had to have, I had hoped to get my NCLEX books from them but they didn't have the new ones and the test changed this year so I definitely need something published with the new improvements. I was saddened to see them go,because good bookstores are getting harder and harder to find, thankfully, Barnes and Nobles doesn't look like it's going anywhere anytime soon and they will be taking over a lot of the abandoned Borders (at least that was the rumour on yahoo news)

I have been busily decorating my new apartment and have had up my Mabon theme for a while I'll put up my altar pics on the On Altar'd Space, my blog about altars.

If you haven't scrolled to the very very bottom of the blog recently you might have missed my new little logo, you can add it to your blog roll and in a little while I will be snagging yours as well, my facebook badge is also down there.

HAPPY MABON EVERYONE, and a Blessed Harvest to you all!!!

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Book Review: Diamond Bay

Book Title: Diamond Bay
Author:  Linda Howard
Publisher: Mira
Pages: 218
Cost; $ 0
How I Got it: Library

Any hopes Kell Sabin has about taking a month’s vacation from work vanish the minute several of Kell’s “business associates” try to kill him. Although he manages to escape with just a bullet hole or two, he wouldn’t have survived if Rachel Jones hadn’t found him when he washed ashore not far from her cottage on Diamond Bay. Because her previous career as an investigative journalist taught her that things are not always what they seem, Rachel knows she is going to have to find out more about the wounded man who ends up in her home. Helping Kell is a risk Rachel is willing to take, but the risk becomes even greater once Rachel realises she is falling in love with a man with no future.

My take on the book:
Now this story was written many years ago, so some of the mannerisms are a little outdated ( I believe they recently updated the book along with the cover) Yet the story is pretty good, non the less, I actually really enjoyed this one I mean it's no longer the cold war era but our soldiers still have enemies to combat so I just updated it for myself while I was reading. I have always enjoy Ms Howard's spy novels, the action is always good, the characters well developed, they flow well, the writing is always on point & the love scenes are always good. The heat between the two characters is amazing. Rachel takes a chance on Kell that turns out to be right, lucky for him too; that as a reporter she had been exposed to more of the world than your average person.  Until I read books like these I would have never though about it, not about the men & what they truly give up or even about what they did. Rachel needed Sabin just as much as he needed her & they are very good together. I enjoy seeing other characters in the books or even the hint of other characters & knowing that they have a future story coming up it's so cool. 

I love coming back to these books and reading them again, even though I know how the story ends, that's how good Linda writes her books.

If you like adventure, suspense and romance then this one belongs on your TBR Pile. Make sure to check it out.  
Be Blessed

Monday 19 September 2011

Book Review: Ice

Book Title:  Ice
Author: Linda Howard
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Cost: $18.95
Pages: 224
How I got it: From the Library
My Rating: ★★★☆
Tis the season for mistletoe and holly, Santa . . . and suspense. And the gift that keeps on giving is Ice: premier thriller author Linda Howard’s breathless tale of a man, a woman, and a battle for survival against an unforgiving winter–and an unrelenting killer. Oh what fun it is to read.
Gabriel McQueen has only just arrived home on holiday leave from the service when his county-sheriff father sends him back out again with new marching orders. A brewing ice storm, and a distant neighbor who’s fallen out of contact, have the local lawman concerned. So he enlists Gabriel to make the long haul to the middle of nowhere, and make sure Lolly Helton is safe and sound. It’s a trip the younger McQueen would rather not make given the bitter winter weather–and the icy conditions that have always existed between him and Lolly.
My Review:
This is another of those books I hesitated to read due to poor reviews on Goodreads and Amazon; I should have taken those reviews with a grain of salt.  This was a quick read, but just as exciting as all the others, but man it packed the punch.  It contains Linda's signature style & writing process, her stories all have strong female characters, sexy strong men (generally military or former military) which I love because I'm such a suit slut. Yeah I admit it, a tall sexy man in Marine dress whites is just so....*blinks looks around guiltily and gets back to the point* as I was saying Marines in uniform ...hmmmm *drools just thinking about it* ah hem I mean Navy, or Army men.. let's just say if the pilot looks like Tom Cruise from Top Gun then yeah I might ... yeah now you know why I'm gunning to work on a base as a nurse..LOL .

Ok NOW on to the real review: in this book this time one of the main characters is actually mother nature.  Ice not only refers to the huge storm that centers the story, but also to the junkie's drug of choice (learnt that from Dog the Bounty Hunter.. I only watched because of Leland, oh what a sexy sexy man; there is an episode where Beth, who by the way is kick ass despite looking like a real live Barbie, she taunted a bail jumper 'nannani ice head" because apparently in Hawaii they call Meth "ice").  Anyway, the main character here is on her way home and getting ready for a really bad storm that is predicted for their town. While on her way home she picks up some unsavoury characters who need money for their habit.    In comes a hero in the form of the sheriff's son who is sent by his dad to check on her, and there in comes the adventure. I liked that the lead had spunk and wasn't just waiting to be rescued, that the villains although idiots didn't just give up and that the storm made it all that much worse. It moved quickly, had great scenes and you could see the relationship forming between them.  All in all it was a good book, short but good. One that I enjoyed reading.  It may not be a burn rubber to get book, but it's a definite read when you have a chance.

I hope you will enjoy it as well.
Happy Reading

Tuesday 13 September 2011

Book Review: Calista's Men

Book Title: Calista's Men
Author: Jory Strong
Publisher: Ellorascave
Pages: Novel
Cost; $ 5.95
How I Got it: Purchased
Have you ever wondered what it would be like with a woman we actually cared about? One who belonged just to us? One who wanted more from us than a good time… A woman we could have together or separately. One who saw us as individuals who came as a package deal? One who was waiting for us at the end of the day?"
"I like them easy and I like to share them with you. End of story, Benito."Getting involved with any woman, much less one who might ultimately drive a wedge between him and Benito, is the last thing Dante needs, especially now, when his life is already in turmoil. The wealthy, influential family of a murder suspect he killed in the line of duty is portraying him as a trigger-happy vigilante, putting his career and reputation on the line.
But as soon as he sees Calista Burke—and witnesses Benito's identical reaction to her—he knows the stakes have just gotten higher and a lifetime of never risking his heart is about to be put to the test.
My take on the book:
Sign me up for two of these please. Dante & Benito Hello!?! hot damn Ms. Strong can write. The story is about twin brothers who have a need to share the women that they make love to. In walks Calista a school teacher who screams 'let's settle down and have children' Dante wants to run the other way Benito? He's all set to pop the question & settle down. Calista is also attempting to shake her good girl image by working as a private investigator for Bulldog who owns Crime Tells (which is the name of the series just so you know).  Her case intersects with Dante's case; which really pulls out his dominate side and he helps her with her case as a way to get to know her better.

This is a steamy, raunchy, sexy, hot book, the action flows, the characters are well fleshed out and have complicated thoughts and feelings which make them feel real. The sex is out of this world amazing as a trio & alone. The men insisted on getting to know her as part of their own relationships as well as a trio, which I really loved. There are some BDSM themes throughout the novel & Dante is extremely secy and dominating without being domineering.  I love this story & continuously find myself re-reading it, because I love the love story forming between the three & the struggle that Dante & Benito find themselves in. One not wanting to fall in love and trust anyone else but his twin, & the other struggling not to have to walk away from his twin because he can't walk away from the woman.

This is a definite go to Ellorascave and purchase title. I love the heck out of Jory Strong, as far as I have read none of her books have ever disappointed, so get this one as well!!!.


Tuesday 6 September 2011

Book Review: The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Book Title:  The Girl Who Chased the Moon
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Publisher: Bantam
Pages: 304
Cost; $15.00
How I Got it:   Library
Allen's latest (after The Sugar Queen) takes the familiar setup of a young protagonist returning to the small town where her elusive mother was raised, and subverts it by sprinkling just enough magic into the narrative to keep things lively but short of saccharine. Seventeen-year-old Emily Benedict, intent on learning more about her mother, Dulcie, moves in with her grandfather, but is disappointed to find that her grandfather doesn't want to talk much about Dulcie. She soon discovers, though, that many still hold a grudge against Dulcie for the way she treated an old sweetheart before dumping him and disappearing. Luckily, Dulcie's high school adversary, Julia Winterson, back in town to pay down her deceased father's debt, takes a shine to Emily. She's working another quest as well: baking cakes every day with the hope that they'll somehow attract the daughter she gave up for adoption years ago. There are love interests, big family secrets, and magical happenings (color-changing wallpaper, mysterious lights) aplenty as Allen charts the spiraling inter-generational stories, bringing everything together in an unexpected way. (from description)

My take on the book:

What can I say about this book? Let's see, I picked it up at 11:30pm, and didn't put it down until 4:30am and I was screaming out NOOOOO!!! I didn't want it to end. I have very rarely read an author who pulls you into the world, not just shares the story but makes you feel like your there, walking the streets of the town, watching the Giant go walking by, smelling the sweet smells coming from the BBQ, meeting your friends at the local fair and having a good ol' Southern time in North Carolina (I'm a Virginia girl myself and must say when she describes the food my mouth just WATERS). *wipes drool off just remembering*.
The characters are like friends you haven't seen in a while, the story fantastical and wondrous, yet so believable, even in it's unbelievability you can just imagine wondering into town and discovering that everything she wrote about is actually true.
I got so involved in the story and couldn't wait for the characters to get out of their own way, especially Julie ohhh girl I would ... wait no spoilers, but let's just say i would have snatched her bald for her oppurtunity.  I loved that the young lead Emily, came into town and helped to change it in her own little way; that her presence made each of the other characters take a good look at their lives and seek change. I really really loved her Grandpa the Giant, I could almost see him like a older (cleaner but only a little bit) version of Hagrid. yeah it's a Harry Potter reference and?? Yeah Id don't think so Lol, ok y'all knew I was crazy coming on here so don't gimme those looks,  I enjoyed reading about Win and his family,  this town like the other towns in her books, have so many quirky characters, and townspeople with special gifts and traits.  Some of the plots in the story left you wondering and made you really think, especially abut Dulcie and her past, and how it affected her daughter's future. 
I loved this book, the story, the characters, and even though I keep looking to see if maybe I was dreaming and it really didn't end that way, I even liked the ending.

I loved reading Garden Spells, I fell deeply in love with  the Sugar Queen, and I must say that Sarah Addison Allen is fast becoming for a favorite must read author. I loved this book so much i almost (i said almost so don't gimme that look) didn't return it to the library * of that now means I MUST buy my own copy...heheheheh, another reason to shop Borders*

I will say that I loved this book as much as I loved Practical Magic and that i have placed in all it's witchy and everyday magic (yeah I know it's only in my mind, but my blog, my opinion) her along the likes of Alice Hoffman. yeah I said it.
Go a get this book, it will be worth it I promise!!
Be Blessed

Book Review: Burn

Book Title: Burn
Author: Linda Howard
Pages: 367
Publisher: Ballatine Books
Cost: $7.99
How I got it: Borrowed from Library
When Jenner Redwine wins a lottery jackpot, she can’t imagine ever finding a place in the world of the wealthy. Seven years later, though, she finds an ally—and a guide to the rarefied realm of privilege—in the kind-hearted heiress Sydney Hazlett, who invites Jenner on a charity cruise aboard a luxury liner. But what Jenner gets is more like a Hitchcock movie than a Love Boat episode. Taken hostage by a menacing stranger, with nowhere to run, Jenner is drawn into a game of dizzying intrigue and harrowing danger. But as fear of her captor turns to fascination, Jenner rediscovers feelings she hasn’t had in years—and realizes she’s found a life worth living. If she survives
My Review:
I hesitated to read this because of lots of reviews gave it a luke warm receipts.  I should know better it;s Linda Howard it may not be what you would write but it's pretty damn good.  This book stated a little differently from others, it started at the end. the the back story the back to the action. Kinda catching you up but not in a flashback sequence.

From this book I learnt a few things I didn't know about the lottery. Jenner won the lotto, now her life is very different ( If i ever won the lotto, I have learnt what to do and what not to do) Anyhoo, flashback to Jenner present day and the story really begins.

Personally 1) I would have NEVER let someone steal $50 much less $ 27400 that mother foooo oh ugh *coughs * ahem I meant what I was saying ugh Yeah Jenner has changed somewhat ok a whole lot but wouldn't you?? 2)Her 'love' scenario really smacks of Stockholm syndrome or even hero worship. I would be more pissed before we fell in love but then again people meet and fall 'in love' in some sticky situations doesn't mean they won't last.  The female lead kept insisting she wasn't stupid, that she was strong and capable and sometimes that can be annoying.

The main characters worked together well, and the relationship that formed was a natural formation from that. I am however dying to know about Adam, since his heart was broken in this book. I think this is a much like her other reads and I think this was definitively a book to read despite what others were saying.

I enjoyed this one, the killer was a little too effed up; even for me. I mean really?? That's your solution to your personal problems??? But then again to each their own. Actually no f**k that he soo got what he deserved A**hole.

See strong reactions - good book- you go read
Enjoy my loves

Monday 5 September 2011

My Computer is on the outs

so yeah, this saturday my computer decided it desired a break and the hard drive is now officially effed and gone it won't even restart, so I have to send it in to be fixed. Ill be back in a week talk among  yourselves and ill be back on time for the Practical magic Blog Party, make sure to check out the blog button next and see the toher participants.

Be blessed