My Thoughts on Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (with spoilers!)

This review contains spoilers for the entire Throne of Glass series, including Kingdom of Ash itself

Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series.

First published: 2018

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What I’ve Been Up To [6]: Guinea Pigs!

I love guinea pigs. Anyone who knows me well knows this about me. I used to have guinea pigs as pets as a child, but the last one passed away about a year before I moved out of my parents’ home and since then I’ve been guinea pig-less. Having a guinea pig cage in student housing isn’t the best idea, so for the past couple of years, I’ve had to make do with following a ton of guinea pig accounts on Instagram. Which is fun, too!

But a few months ago my boyfriend and I moved in together into an actual apartment with actual rooms and stuff. It’s been quite exciting. This also meant that I could finally get guinea pigs again, though, and after careful consideration of the responsibility it would take as well as spending some time convincing my boyfriend, we decided to go for it! Last weekend, we visited a guinea pig shelter and brought home my two new best friends: Arthur and Ziggy.

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Recipe: Kinder Bueno Brownies

Who else is loving autumn? I’m definitely enjoying the colder weather after the insane summer we had. But most of all, I’m enjoying the warm sweaters, hot cups of tea and delicious baked goodies. It’s cinnamon season! As I’m typing this, I’ve got a mug of apple cinnamon tea sitting beside my keyboard. Autumn definitely is the cosiest season – and I love me some cosy.

The recipe I’ve got for you today definitely fits with this image, although there’s no cinnamon involved. Instead, you get lots and lots of chocolate!

This is a recipe I thought of a little while ago. I love Kinder Buenos and I think I was eating one when I suddenly thought: Kinder Bueno brownies! Best idea I ever had? Maybe. It’s definitely up there. Although I must admit I was a little surprised by how the soft hazelnutty stuff inside the Kinder Bueno changed consistency – that was not part of my plan. But apparently, the stuff hardens when you bake it! It’s not super tough, or anything, but it’s definitely no longer runny. Still definitely delicious, though.

As with any brownies, this recipe is very easy to make. I whipped it up right after I came home from work because I needed a sweet treat for friends who were coming over for dinner and a film. This was perfect because it takes very little time and the result is amazing. I took the leftovers with me to work and my co-workers were very happy with me that day!

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Five Year Blogiversary + Giveaway

5 YEAR BLOGIVERSARY

It’s time to celebrate because today marks Books Baking and Blogging’s fifth anniversary! That’s right, I’ve been keeping this thing going for five whole years now. I’m as surprised as you are. A lot has happened in those five years since I posted my very first post, but this blog has been a constant throughout it all and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, let’s look back over the years, shall we? Keep reading until the end to find out how to enter the giveaway!

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Book vs. Film: 3 adaptations I watched recently

BOOK VS FILM

I love a good film adaptation, but like a lot of readers, I tend to want to read the book first. That usually makes me even more excited to watch the film, although I am also more likely to be a bit more critical (but that’s fine; I like being critical). When it’s the other way around, however, meaning when I see the film first, I’m usually not very inclined to pick up the book afterward. That happened to me with Everything, Everything, for example.

Over the past couple of months, I read a couple of books mainly because I was excited to see the films: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Marie Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows (wow, that’s a mouthful), Room by Emma Donoghue and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

I thought it’d be fun to write a post comparing these books and films because I had very different reactions to all of them. It ranged from loving the book way more than the film, preferring the film over the book and thinking both were great in their own right.

So, let’s get to it!

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Top Ten Books By My Favorite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read

Top Ten Tuesday

It’s been ages since I last did a Top Ten Tuesday – it was still hosted by The Broke and the Bookish back then, so that means this is my first TTT of the year. And it’s September. Whoops. Last week, I was reminded of this lovely prompt again, though, so I figured I’d participate again this week! It’s now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and the prompts are still just as fun and creative!

I think the reason why I stopped participating is that I sometimes find it difficult to come up with 10 books that actually really fit the prompt of the week. I don’t read as many books as some other book bloggers, so I sometimes felt like I was just repeating the same books over and over again. But I’m going to step past that insecurity and just get back on the horse, as they say, because Top Ten Tuesday is a ton of fun, and that’s what it’s all about!

So, let’s get straight to it! Here’s my top ten books by my favourite authors that I still haven’t read…

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The Ultimate Rocky Road Recipe

There’s no Great British Bake Off Bake-Along post this week and that’s because I’m on holiday in France as you’re reading this!

I did watch the Dessert Week episode and debated making a meringue roulade before I left on holiday… But then I quickly realised that that would be a dumb idea and I would be biting off way more than I could chew. After all, I still needed to pack all my stuff, decide how many books to bring for a one week holiday and which books, inevitably have a (light-hearted) disagreement with my mother about what would be a suitable amount of books for me to take with me, write a blogpost or two, spend some quality time with my boyfriend (who’s not coming with me on the holiday)… Oh, and go to work.

So. No Dessert Week bake along for me. Instead, I decided to make Rocky Road. It’s quick, it’s delicious, and it’s one of my boyfriend’s favourites, so it’s kind of the perfect bake (without actual baking – all you need for this is the fridge). I decided to make it extra filthily good and used Oreos and Peanut M&Ms along with the marshmallows. Yum!

As for next week’s Bake-Along; I don’t know yet how that will go since I’m still on holiday when the episode airs and I only get back on Saturday. We’ll see! I’d love to bake something because next week is Spice Week and I love baking with spices. But it’s all about having fun, so I’m not going to make any big plans I won’t be able to follow through on.

And now, onto the recipe!

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Chelsea Buns with a Dutch twist [GBBO Bake Along]

bread week

You guys, I’m so proud of myself! I’ve only gone and baked myself some bread! Now, you might think “well, duh, you’re a baker, right?”, but any baker will be able to tell you that baking bread is something completely different from baking pies and tarts and cakes. And I’d only ever baked something resembling bread once before a couple of years ago. I think it was a pizza type dough.

Anyway, back to this bread! It was Bread Week on The Great British Bake Off – the week everybody always dreads, including me this year. I was going to have to bake along and I knew nothing about bread! Luckily, the Signature Challenge of the episode was to make Chelsea Buns (for the Americans: think cinnamon rolls). Baking something like Chelsea Buns or cinnamon rolls had been on my baking bucket list for a while now, so it was perfect. Still daunting, but perfect!

I found a recipe from the winner of the 2015 edition of Heel Holland Bakt (the Dutch Bake Off). She bakes something that looks like Chelsea buns, only she calls it suikerbrood (“sugar bread”, a typical Dutch bread). They seemed close enough to  Chelsea buns to me, though, so I decided to give them a go. I used her quantities for the bread, but changed the method a tiny bit (I used a stand mixer, for instance) and also changed up the filling. I added sultanas, for example, which are a must in Chelsea buns, or so I’ve been told by Bake Off and Wikipedia. I also added a little more orange zest.

I was so afraid the dough wouldn’t rise properly, or that I would do something wrong with the baking, but these buns came out perfectly! The original recipe was a bit brief in its directions, so I’ve written it all down a little more elaborately (and in English) so it’ll be easier to follow.

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Book Reviews: Yay or Nay?

book reviews_Yay or Nay_

I was planning on writing a book review today. I haven’t written one in ages and in between all of those recipes I’ve posted recently, I figured it was high time for another review. So, I looked through the books on my “Read” shelf on Goodreads to find the perfect book to write a review about. But… I couldn’t really find one. I’ve had plenty of interesting reads recently, so that’s not the issue. I also haven’t been in a reading slump, so that can’t be it either. What is it that made me go “meh” about writing reviews on these books?

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