Monthly Archives: December 2012

Winter’s Warrior (Winter’s Saga #4) & Cold Days (Dresden Files) book “reviews”

Winter’s Warrior (Winter’s Saga #4), Karen Luellen- 4 of 5 stars

Liked it a lot! Until this book the series had a very Frankenstein feel to it… now the religious undertones are coming out a bit more than in the previous books. It’s not overwhelming, tho. Ther’es a good mix of romance (a little cloying at times) and action. I think this series is YA, and probably geared toward girls (d/t the romantic aspects). Over all I really enjoy the series, I love the strong characters, and how closely knit the family is. Alik is really stepping up and developing into an awesome character! And The “new” villain is excellent… I’m interested to see how Dr. Williams is portrayed in the next book. I know he’s still evil and all that, but… **SPOILER** he did “save” Meg, and it seemed like he really wants the family connection with her **SPOILER OVER** Finally, I’m very excited to see how Danny fits into the family, and can’t wait for the next book.

Cold Days (Dresden Files), Jim Butcher 5 out of 5 stars

I know, I know, I gush over and over again about the Dresden Files. I can’t help myself. Harry is one of my favorite characters in literature. I love Jim Butchers writing, in that there are enough twists to keep me interested, but it’s not over complicated. The characters continue to develop and grow. They story line hasn’t gotten stagnant like so many long series do (Sookie Stackhouse books). Umm… I don’t want to give anything away… So If you haven’t read Cold Days, go do it now, then come back and read my “review”.

So did you read it? Good. I was dumbfounded that Jim Butcher turned Molly into the Winter Lady! seriously, I hope she and Harry don’t “do it”. Charity would kick his ass. Not to mention I really hope that he would finally “get with” Karen. I mean, their sexual tension is KILLING ME. I was thrilled with seeing the regular crew get together… and my curiosity about MAc is peaked. WHAT is he!?

As usual with the series there are some things that got a smidge repetitive (I think there was mentioning of the Blue Beatle complete with description, again). My only other complaint is that I miss Mister. Is that weird? Oh well.

I’ve totes been slacking on reviews… and my only excuse is that I haven’t been reading any new books. I’ve been re-reading the Wheel of Time Series (Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson) in anticipation of the last book coming on next month. Seriously this series is my FAVORITE “High Fantasy” series ever. EVER. I love it more than LOTR or the Hobbit, more than Chronicles of Narnia… So I’m practically wetting myself in anticipation, and these are the only 2 new books I’ve read since I started the re-read… however Dad got me a KindleFire for my birthday so There will be LOTS of books in the upcoming year!

Happy Reading.

-Hey Waitress!!

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Kahlua & Peppermint Red Velvet Cupcakes

I was super excited to make these cupcakes. The idea started when I saw (and forgot to save) a York Peppermint Pattie cupcake online. It looked delish! I also REALLY love peppermint flavored things, Christmas/ the holidays are the perfect season for me to use it in EVERYTHING. So I figured what could be better than adding 2 of my favorite things (Kahlua & Peppermint) to one of my husband’s favorite things (Red Velvet Cake)!?
 
They didn’t turn out exactly how I planned. Mostly because I forgot to take into account that the York Patties would COMPLETELY melt. It left these (tasty, but…) sticky clumps and holes in the cupcakes, and they totally stuck to the liners in some spots. They still taste delish, but I’m now on a mission to figure out why the patties melted… I really wanted them to have pretty “candy cane” looking stripes in the middles. *sigh* I feel the need to mention that I made the first 12 with crushed York Patties in the middle, then sprinkled more on top. The second batch I made with the sliced York Patties. Those came out much prettier and slightly less sticky (but still melted).
 
The original batter recipe was for Southern Comfort Red Velvet Cake from The Boozy Baker (Lucy Baker). I obviously modified it by adding the York Peppermint Patties & switching out the SoCo for Kahlua. The frosting recipe is also based on the one in the cookbook. Just add the crushed patties! I’m sure Red Velvet purists are probably in an uproar over the lack of cream cheese frosting… but *shudder* I don’t like cream cheese frosting. Deal with it. 😉
 
My only other “complaint” is that I can’t really taste the Kahlua. It needs more booze! Of course, I think everything needs more booze! Especially during the holidays. Don’t deny it, you drink more when you’re surrounded by loved ones, and a crazy extend family. Or not, maybe it’s just me.
 
Either way… Happy Baking!
-Hey Waitress!!
 
Kahlua & Peppermint Red Velvet Recipe Here
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Truffle “Pops” 2 Ways & Bourbon Balls

This weeks Sunday Bakery was Peanut Butter Truffles (inspired by last weeks cookies), Peppermint Cookie Dough Truffles (inspired by Big Bear’s Wife), AAAAND Bourbon Balls (because one can never dip too much stuff in chocolate or use booze too often).
 
First off… the “Pop” part of this experiment was because every time I try to make truffles I make a mess trying to dip them in the chocolate. Every. Single. Time. So I figured… make them “truffle pops” by sticking a lollipop stick into the bottom. Maybe it would save me from making a mess, and getting irritated. Not so much. Sadly… both the Peppermint Cookie Dough & the Peanut Butter truffles were too soft, the stick trick (haha check out THAT rhyme) just barely worked. Once either one got even a little close to room temperature the sticks started falling out or leaning awkwardly. That can be solved by serving chilled though. GENIUS!
 
I made both the truffle dough’s Saturday night (I have no life), and made the bourbon balls Sunday morning. I just put ‘em in the freezer while I dipped the truffles!
 
I dipped the chocolate covered peanut butter balls in larger sprinkles, while the Peppermint truffles & Bourbon Balls got their smaller sprinkles sprinkled on top.
 
As for the Bourbon balls… I made them with American Honey Wild Turkey, and dipped them in melted white chocolate. After being dipped in the chocolate you should leave them in the fridge for 24 hours to let the bourbon flavor come out before you eat them.
 
Now I have a plethora or truffles. On sticks. That I had to cut down because they wouldn’t fit in my “treat boxes”, and a blister to show for it. Fortunately Hubs got a job last week (YAAAAY!) so I have people to start gifting junk food to again. Double YAY!
 
One last thing- any of these three recipes would make a great host(ess) gift for a holiday party tucked into cute mugs or stuck in the holes in a colander.
 
Enjoy.
-Hey Waitress!!
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Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cookies!!

My plan for the whole month of December was Christmas inspired cookies. As it turns out, Hubs still doesn’t have a job, and I didn’t want to spend any $ on a cookie press (which I planned on using this week to make some spitz or butter cookies)… Then, thanks to SugarLoco (follow them on Twitter/ FB/ check out their blog) I found THIS blog post! 100 Christmas cookies!? YES PLEASE! Hub’s picked this weeks Sunday Bakery cookies from the list.  I saved like 10 more into my favorites, and was inspired to “create” a Boozy/ Peppermint/ Red Velvet cupcake (still working on it)! YAY!! But I digress.
Overall these cookies are pretty yummy. The chocolate dough was simple, but a little sticky. Moisten your palms to roll it into balls. I used a tablespoon scoop to measure the size.
The Peanut butter “dough” tastes just like the inside of a Reese’s Cup! AND gave me an idea for peanut butter truffles… I used a teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop out the little balls.
I baked mine for about 9 minutes, because I was waiting for the tops to crack. They never did. L I think they’re a little dry, but maybe that’s because I over-baked? Other than that they’re yummy. And perfect to share… unless you’re a fat kid like me. Then they’re perfect to hoard someplace your family/ husband can’t find them! J
 
Happy Sunday Bakery!
-Hey Waitress!!
 
Click here for the recipe. originally from Better Homes & Gardens.
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