Monthly Recap – September

monthly recap september

September is over and it is now officially autumn (has been for over a week, but shush). I don’t really mind autumn – quite like it actually – but the rain that’s coming with it isn’t exactly my favourite thing in the world. Oh, who am I kidding, this is the Netherlands – it always rains here.

Anyway! September was a great month! I’ve started my Master’s degree and have been enjoying it very much. It has taken me a bit of time to adjust to actually having to study again, which means I’ve had a bit of trouble with really keeping to my blogging schedule. I’ll just have to see how that works out. For now, Thursday’s post might appear on Friday a bit more often than not.

I’m very much looking forward to October! I’ll be turning 22 next week, so there’ll be some birthday shenanigans happening, which are pretty much my favourite type of shenanigans. Then, at the end of the month, it’s Books Baking and Blogging’s second birthday! I’m not sure yet if I’ll do something special for that or not. We’ll all just have to wait and see! Either way, it’ll be a fun month for sure.

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Macarons: Take Two

Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have noticed that I attempted to make French macarons again this weekend. I did so once before, in June last year, but although I did get a couple of cookies out of it (and they had the little feet!) I wasn’t completely satisfied back then. They were too lumpy. So, I declared I would try to make them again soon. …And here we are, in September 2015, with my second attempt.

Well, my second and my third attempt, actually.


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Playing for the Ashes by Elizabeth George

playingfortheashesDelivering milk to Gabriella Patten at Celandine Cottage on a sunny April morning, Martin Snell cannot help noticing that something isn’t quite right. The gate is off the latch for a start. Peering into the cottage, he sees the blackened armchair, the smoke-stained walls, and immediately telephones the police. But when the body is found it isn’t Mrs Patten. It is Kenneth Fleming, England’s star batsman, dead of asphyxiation, dead because someone wanted him to die.

When Scotland Yard is called in by the local police force, Inspector Lynley and Detective Sergeant Havers are surprised to find themselves confronted by an almost embarrassing multitude of suspects, from Gabriella to the dead man’s teenage son. Nearly everyone with whom Fleming was in contact seems to have a motive for murder – and most of them also seem to have had the opportunity.

First published: 1994

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Chocolate Orange Almond Marble Bundt Cake

Autumn has definitely arrived now in the Netherlands, and with that has come the first wave of colds and flu. Everyone seems to be ill, as was I this past week. I stayed home from class on Monday and Wednesday, and my lovely dad came over to bring me some groceries, so I could still, you know, eat. Quite important, after all.

I still wanted to bake something this week, though, but I didn’t want to make it too challenging or time-consuming, since I also had quite a lot of homework to do. So that meant the plan I had to make macarons this weekend fell through. Maybe next week!

Instead, I figured I’d make a marble bundt cake, because that seemed like fun. I didn’t want to go for the plain old vanilla and chocolate, so I soon came up with the idea of adding the almond to the batter, with some almond flavouring and some ground almonds. I also really love the combination of chocolate and orange, so I decided to go with those flavours for the two different batters.

It came out quite splendidly! It isn’t really all that marbled, at least not in these pictures, but that doesn’t really matter – it still looks cool and tastes absolutely delicious, and it’s such an easy batter to make!


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Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl

P1020042What could go wrong when a wife pawns the mink coat that her lover gave her as a parting gift? What happens when a priceless piece of furniture is the subject of a deceitful bargain? Can a wronged woman take revenge on her dead husband?

In these dark, disturbing stories Roald Dahl explores the sinister side of human nature: the cunning, sly, selfish part of each of us that leads us into the territory of the unexpected and unsettling. Stylish, macabre and haunting, these tales will leave you with a delicious feeling of unease.

First published: 1959

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Why I Love YA

Before I started blogging (almost two years ago already!) I didn’t read a whole lot of YA (Young Adult). I was mostly reading the books I had to read for my literature classes, and not much else. Then, in the summer of 2013, I read The Fault in Our Stars and fell absolutely in love with the story.

whole new world gifNot long after that, I started blogging and a whole new world of YA literature opened up before me.

Technically, I’m no longer part of the target audience, since I’m not a teenager anymore, but we all know that that whole age group thing is irrelevant anyway. I know there are some people who think it’s ridiculous that “grown people” read YA, but that’s a discussion I don’t even want to have. If you think people should not read YA because they’re no longer teenagers, you can move right along, thank you very much.

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Summer on the Cold War Planet by Paula Closson Buck

summer on the cold war planet

In the late spring of 1989, Lyddie, a young American art historian, finds herself alone and pregnant when her husband, Phelps, disappears in Kurdish Iraq. Set adrift from the security of their marriage, she returns to the divided city of Berlin where they met four years before, looking for information about his past.

Now the ferment at Germany’s borders is spilling into the private lives of their old group of bohemian friends—particularly that of exiled East German painter Axel Herzog. Lyddie has always felt the pull of Axel’s art and stories of his boyhood in Greece. Though her missing husband once warned her away from Axel, the attraction grows stronger as she uncovers a vulnerability beneath the scorn he learned on the other side of the Wall. When revelations about Axel’s past send her looking for an escape from him, Lyddie finds herself running headlong into everything she has tried to avoid.

Published: September 3rd 2015

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author’s publicist in exchange for a review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

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Walnut Apple Cake

About a week ago I was feeling a bit stressed and anxious (it happens sometimes), so I figured I’d do something that pretty much always helps me relax: I baked something. The weather has been changing quite rapidly for the past two weeks, and I think it’s pretty safe to say autumn has come. That’s probably why I felt like baking a nutty, cinnamon-y cake – which is what I did!

This walnut and apple cake was a spur of the moment experiment and isn’t it funny how those often turn out the best? Let me tell you, this cake is good. It’s incredibly simple to make and incredibly delicious. A new favourite? Definitely!

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Monthly Recap – August

monthly recap august

Another month over! Today is the last day of my summer holidays, which means tomorrow I will officially start my Master’s degree in Writing, Editing and Mediating! I’m quite excited about it, actually, much more excited than I’ve been in years about starting the new semester. It’ll be fun!

August was a very good month for me. I went on an amazing holiday to Malta with four of my best friends, which was probably the most fun holiday I’ve ever been on. Even though I hardly read anything on that trip, I did do a ton of reading this month anyway, mostly thanks to Bout of Books. Basically, I had an all round great time this month! Let’s hope September will be as much fun…

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Us by David Nicholls

usDouglas and Connie: scientist and artist, and for more than twenty years, husband and wife – until suddenly, their marriage seems over.

But Douglas is going to win back the love of his wife and the respect of Albie, their teenage son, but organising the holiday of a lifetime.

He has booked the hotels, bought the train tickets, planned and printed the itinerary for a ‘grand tour’ of the great art galleries of Europe.

What could possibly go wrong?

First published: 2014

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