About a week ago, I suddenly found myself feeling this inexplicable urge to bake some M&M cookies. M&M cookies always make me think of the time when I was about 8 or 9 and my Mum and I tried to make some, but it all went quite horribly wrong. My Mum had accidentally put the oven on grill and when she got back to it after the required time had gone by, the entire utility room (which is where our oven was back then) was blue with smoke and the cookies were burnt to a crisp. I don’t think I ever made M&M cookies after that…
So, in order to avoid a disastrous outcome this time, I did some cookie science research. It’s so interesting and fun! The smallest change in recipe can make such a big difference for the outcome of the cookie, and that’s just incredible to me. This is the first time I ever used baking soda (turns out you can just buy that in my regular supermarket – did not know that). I always just replaced baking soda with baking powder, but figured I should try the real deal now since baking soda and baking powder are definitely not the same thing. I also added a little bit of cornstarch to the mixture, because I found out that it helps to keep the cookie soft in the middle.
I used to not be a huge fan of making cookies (I’d much rather bake muffins or cakes) but I had tons of fun with this recipe. That’s probably got a lot to do with the fact that I now know what I’m doing (or at least, more so than I used to). It’s fun to try and put together the perfect recipe and mess around with all the ingredients. These cookies are by no means perfect, and I will by experimenting with this recipe a lot more, I expect, but they certainly taste delicious! They are chewy in the middle and crispy on the outside, and the M&M’s add both a lot of taste and a lot of colour to these adorable cookies.
It’s July! We’re officially over halfway through the year, which is a pretty crazy thought. At the moment, we’re having a heatwave here in the Netherlands, so I’ve fled to my parents’ house where it’s nice and cool, as opposed to my own place, which is like a bloody sauna right now. Oh, and my holidays have officially started about two weeks ago! I’ve handed in the final draft of my bachelor’s thesis (the grades are due today, so that’s exciting) and now I’m just hanging out, enjoying the weather and doing lots of reading. I’m enjoying every minute of it, not having to worry about any deadlines or things like that.
I’ve also had some pretty fun things going on in June. I saw Mark Knopfler live at the start of June and last week I went to see Jackson Browne live. Having parents with more or less the same taste in music as me is pretty awesome! Speaking of parents, this month, mine were married for 25 years, so they threw a party for the friends and family. It was so nice to see all those people again, some of whom I hadn’t seen in years. Good times, good times!
So, now that I’ve caught you up on what’s going on with me, let’s move on to the rest of the recap! I tried to get back to my usual posting schedule, and mostly managed to do that – I missed one week due to my thesis deadline and being exhausted. Quite a good score, though, I’d say!
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. It’s been ages since I last did a Top Ten Tuesday! I simply haven’t had the time because of all the university shenanigans (otherwise known as a bachelor’s thesis). But now my holidays have started, so I have all the time in the world again! This week’s topic is my top ten books I’ve read so far in 2015. As of yesterday, I have read 22 books so far this year, so I had to choose just under half of them, which wasn’t that hard since I’ve read some pretty good books! In Goodreads terms, there are four 5-star books on this list and six 4-star books. However, I gave Fangirl 4 stars and can’t remember for the life of me why. In my head it’s definitely a 5-star read!
As always, these are in no particular order (although… the 5-star reads are the first four). The links lead to my reviews of the books.
I don’t know about all you other bloggers out there, but I spend most of my time on the internet. Okay, perhaps not most of my time (I sleep a lot too). It’s pretty safe to say that I spend a lot (
too much?) of my time online, though. The possibilities are endless, especially now that I’ve discovered the bookish community out there. There are so many cool Instagram accounts and YouTube channels and what not, so I thought I’d share a few of my favourites with you today!
First up is a YouTube channel that I’ve only discovered about two weeks ago, even though it’s a pretty big channel with almost 100k subscribers. I’m talking about PeruseProject by the lovely Regan. She does the usual like book hauls, tags and monthly wrap ups, but she also has some really cool themed videos like “Rainy Day Book Recommendations” among others. I mainly just love the way she talks about books quite in depth without giving any of the plot away and her enthusiasm for reading. I’d definitely recommend paying her channel a visit if you haven’t yet!
The last thing Mia remembers is the music.
After the accident, she can still hear it. And she can see her damaged body being taken from the wreck of her parents’ car — even though she can’t feel a thing.
All she can do is watch as doctors rush to save her life, as her friends and relatives gather outside her room, as the boy she loves struggles to be near her.
As the next twenty-four hours unfold, Mia must come to terms with what came before the crash — and what could come after. And she knows she must make the most difficult choice of all.
If she stays…
First published: 2009
Summer is coming, which means I’ve got my freezer stocked up on popsicles 24/7. I’ve been wanting to make my own popsicles for ages now, and last week, on one of the handful of hot days we’ve had so far, I figured I’d give it a try.
I had some strawberries left that really needed to be used, and some mango and orange juice that was on sale at the supermarket. Add some bananas to that, and you’ve got yourself a lovely smoothie. However, freeze it for a couple of hours in some cute popsicle molds, and you end up with some delicious popsicles. So simple, and they’re healthy too, since it’s basically just frozen fruit!
This experiment was a success, and I’m definitely going to play with some more flavours throughout the summer. For now, I hope you’ll enjoy these as much as I did.
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.
First published: 2013
After not having been able to bake anything for about 3 or 4 weeks (I can’t even remember), I was very excited to finally be back in my kitchen figuring out a new recipe! When I was in Normandy I bought this really nice silicon mini muffin form and last Monday I thought it was high time to try it out. I’d had the idea to make some chocolate chip hazelnut muffins for quite some time, so that’s what I’m presenting you with today!
I made twenty mini muffins and still had quite some batter left, so I also made six regular muffins. I brought them with me to the weekly Game of Thrones night at two of my best friends’ place and they were very much appreciated! I hope you’ll enjoy them just as much as we did. They’re really easy to make, and of course you don’t have to make the mini versions, this would be about enough for 12 regular muffins as well, I think!
Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried.
Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book — he thinks he’s made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor . . . never to Eleanor.
Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.
First published: 2012
May has now officially ended, so that means it’s high time I got another Monthly Recap together. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to recap this month, as it’s been uncharacteristically quiet over here. On Saturday I posted my first blogpost in over two weeks! As I explained in that post the reason why I’ve been away is that I’ve been working on my bachelor thesis pretty much non stop since I got back from London.