Autumnal Speculaas Brownies

I really love brownies. And I really love experimenting with brownies. You can do so much with them! For example, I made these lemon and ginger brownies last year and they were delicious. So a few weeks back, when I was feeling all autumnal and stuff and the idea for these brownies popped into my head I was excited immediately. And boy, was I right to be.

THEY ARE SO GOOD.

I’ve used speculaas in quite a few of my recipes on this blog already, and I always feel a bit conflicted, since it’s a typically Dutch biscuit and I’ve got no clue if you can get them elsewhere (except for Belgium or Germany). I really really love speculaas, though, so I’m going to put up this recipe anyway, and provide a few alternatives in the list of ingredients! For example, if you’re in the UK, you could try using Ginger Nuts instead – it would be slightly different, but really tasty still, I think.

As for the rest of the recipe; it’s just like all of my other brownie recipes – very simple, just throw in the extra ingredients along the way, and you’ve got yourself a delicious brownie with a little twist.

P1050339 Continue reading

Advertisements

5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.

First published: 2017

IMG_20170927_153341_800

Continue reading

Apple Crumble

Who doesn’t love a good crumble? Ages ago, I posted a recipe for a crumble with pear and berries, but today I’ve got a true classic for you all: an apple crumble! As with any apple dish, I also added a splash of almond liqueur because that’s just smart thinking.

I made this one last week for my birthday dinner with my family, and everyone loved it. The crumble was gone in its entirety before I knew it! I served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which made it even more delicious. It was the perfect dessert for a wonderful evening!

P1040640

Continue reading

A Book For Every Year Of My Life

A book for every year of my life

It’s my birthday today! I’m turning 24, which seems like the perfect occasion to finally go ahead with this post, which I stole from Cathy of 746 Books. A while back, she made a list of her favourite books from every year she’s been alive. I loved that idea, so I’ve done the same!

Below is a list of 25 books: the best books of 1993 to 2017. I say “best” books, but there were a few years, especially at the beginning, for which I didn’t have much choice. Apparently, the only book published in 1993 I’ve read (according to Goodreads) is Kiss by Jill Mansell – I don’t even remember that one. But years like 2012 or 2015 were really tough! There’s so many good books to choose from! Also, apparently Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Eleanor & Park were published in the same year? That’s a fun fact for ya.

Anyway, I really enjoyed making this list; it was fun to look back on all the books I’ve read on the eve of my birthday (I’m writing this on the 6th – shhh). I hope to read many, many more!

Do you spot any of your favourites on this list?

Continue reading

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’m not gonna lie – I’d completely forgotten about this recipe. I was planning on posting something different when I came across the pictures of these muffins, which had me all confused. The time stamp on them tells me I made these mid-August, but it took me a while before I remembered. Ah, well, we’re all getting a little older, I guess. After racking my brain for a little bit, and finding the piece of paper which I’d hurriedly written the ingredients on, I vaguely recall making these.

I mostly remember tasting them and going “yummmm”, though. These were really good! I love me some coconut, and it goes really well with the banana. And everything goes well with chocolate, so this couldn’t not be a success. All those great ingredients do make for a bit of a long name, though; it’s quite a mouthful. Have I made that pun before? I must have.

Shenanigans aside – these muffins are delicious, and done in a jiffy. Enjoy!

P1040861

Continue reading

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

The first day of senior year: everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly, Sal’s throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is–but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

First published: 2017

P1040843

Continue reading

Summer Book Haul (and a little catch-up)

It’s been ages since I did a proper book haul post, because I usually buy books in small batches which I don’t think warrant an entire post. Recently, though, I’ve had the biggest urge to buy ALL THE BOOKS. The pictures in this post aren’t even up to date anymore as I bought at least three new books since taking them. Oops.

This can partly be blamed on the fact that since a couple of monhts now I’ve been working in a bookstore. So, that means I’m spending multiple days a week surrounded by books – how could I possibly resist that? I’m not that strong-willed! The job is a lot of fun, as was to be expected. It’s not a very steady job – I work very irregular hours because I am one of the on-call employees, but it’s fun and I’m not sitting at home all week, so I’m not complaining. Plus, did I mention all the books?

Speaking of books (wow, great segue), I’m kind of bummed that I haven’t been able to keep a regular blogging schedule. I really do want to get back to blogging a lot, but I’m hardly finding the time to write posts, let alone read other blogs. It’s been about 6 months since I said I would be back, and I’m still not happy with how much I’m posting. Not sure if I can do that much about it, though. Maybe I can figure out a bit more of a routine, but the irregular working hours complicate stuff a bit. We’ll see how it goes!

Now, let’s move on to the actual book haul part of this book haul post!

P1040827

Continue reading

Fresh Strawberry and Lime Tart

So, confession time: I made this tart over 3 months ago and am only getting around to posting it now. Oops. Luckily I was smart enough to write down the recipe! More or less… It was a bit fragmented, but between that and my memory, I think this recipe was saved.

I love strawberries and I love pastry cream – and so does my mother, so it was great to make this tart for her birthday. To give it that extra little kick of freshness, I added the zest of one lime to the dough of the pastry, which turned out lovely. If I could, I would add lime to just about anything. Perhaps I should start doing that.

Fifteen steps might seem like quite a lot, but this recipe is really not that difficult, as long as you have a bit of patience and enough time. The dough needs to rest for over an hour in total, but in the meantime you can do different things like making the pastry cream or cleaning up your work surface. I’d go for the first one, and avoid the second one as long as possible.

Anyway, enough babbling – onto the recipe!

P1030905

Continue reading

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: If he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing with, will be jeopardized.

As his email correspondence with Blue grows more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out – without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

First published: 2015

IMG_20170629_201433_687

Continue reading

The Book Cake Tag

It’s been ages since I did a book tag, but a while back Morgan from The Bookish Beagle tagged me to do the Book Cake tag. Books, cake… seems like the perfect tag for me, doesn’t it?

So, we’re going to build a book cake! We’ve got a couple of ingredients (flour, butter, eggs, icing, sprinkles and the cherry on top), and they’re all linked to prompts, which will be the basis for my book picks. You know, your basic book tag – it doesn’t really need any explanation.

Let’s get to it!

nadiyacake

Continue reading