Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review Thursday- The Lens and the Looker by Lory S. Kaufman

Hi Ya'll! Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned i was going to be a part of a book tour? Well the time has come to post my first review for the Lory Kaufman book tour!

The Lens and the Looker by Lory S. Kaufman
The Lens and the Looker is about 3 “hard case” teens in the 24Th Century. Each for their own reasons are being sent to History Camp for a month. History Camp is a place where unruly teens are sent to live like people in the past in hopes that they will learn a valuable lesson.
 Hansum, Lincoln, and Shamira are sent to 14Th century Verona Italy and must learn to live without all the modern technology they are use to having. Shamira is to be the kitchen girl, while the boys are to be apprentices to a lens maker. The 3 teens who, obviously, are not learning a lesson decided to have some fun at the expense of the History Camp workers. But things go awry when the meet a strange man who takes them back in time to the real 14Th century Verona.
Imagine being able to travel back into time, knowing you would be able to go home after a few weeks.. Sounds like fun right? This has always been a fantasy of mine. I would love to go back in time and see how things were done, how life was… So obviously I found the concept for this book to be very intriguing. I love the idea behind the History Camps and wish they were real so I could go!!
Once in the real 14Th century Verona the mystery man sets the teens up with a family, where once again Shamira/Carmella is the kitchen help and Hansum/Romero and Lincoln/Maruccio will be apprentices to a lens maker. Their new family consists of Master Della Cappa, his wife and their daughter Guilietta and one other apprentice, Uglino.
I found the story line to be easy to follow. Although the switching back and forth between the teens real names, and their camp names took some getting use to. At first I thought the romance between Hansum/Romero and Guilietta was going to be a Romeo and Juliet remake, I’m not so sure now. It could still turn that way in the next book, in which I cannot wait to pick up and read!
Overall I found this book to be quite enjoyable to read and would recommend it to anyone interested in time travel. The Lens and the Looker had just the right amount of twist and turns to keep me wanting more. Although the role Uglino played in the end was a bit predictable.
My rating 4/5

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Book Tuesday's

Hi Ya'll! I know I know.. I've made some promises and have not been able to keep them.. My life has gotten super busy. I went from working 10-15 hours a week (which gave me plenty of time to read and bake) to 40 hours a week. I am still trying to adjust to working so much and trying to have time for reading and baking. Not only has work picked up, but the hubs and I have made friends! Its only taken us 3 years of living in Texas! lol

Anyways, on to what I got in the mail this past week..

I won a copy of  Tempest from GoodReads. As you can see the copy I got was a bit crushed.. Just a little damage to the spine, its still readable though!

That's all for me today. What have you been reading?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin Scones

Hi Ya'll I love this time of year! I love making my house smell like fall and look like fall! I just wish the weather outside was fall like! I look forward to more pumpkin recipes this month. I am going to try and post only pumpkin related recipes for the rest of October!

Pumpkin Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg
For the Powdered Sugar Glaze:
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
For the Spiced Glaze:
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with fit the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Add the butter and toss with a fork to coat with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter pieces no larger than small peas.  If you prefer, you can just use a pastry blender. That’s what I used.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface (I got to use my new marble slab for the first time!) and form into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 4 inches by 12 inches. Use a large knife to slice the dough making three equal portions. Cut each of the portions into an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

While the scones are cooling, make the powdered sugar glaze by mixing the powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. When scones are cool, use a pastry brush to spread plain glaze over the top of each scone. Allow to firm.

While the powdered sugar glaze is firming, combine all of the ingredients for the spiced glaze. Drizzle over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (about an hour).

Eat and Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Buttery Black Raspberry Bars

Hi Ya'll! Here is one of the recipes I've been promising! Unfortunatly I was not able to take any pictures because I made this for a potluck. I pulled it out of the oven 20 min before we had to leave, so I didn't have time to let it cool and take pictures.. I am going to use the picture from the Crisco website, where I got this recipe from, so you can see what it should look like.. It was a big hit though!

Buttery Black Raspberry Bars

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 cups All Purpose Flour
2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup Smucker's Seedless Black Raspberry Jam

HEAT oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
Beat butter until soft and creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, beating until well blended. Gradually add flour, mixing thoroughly. Fold in nuts.
Spread half of batter evenly into prepared pan. (I would recommend using a little more than half..) Spread with jam. Top with remaining batter dropped by spoonfuls.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Cut into 2 x 1-inch bars.

Eat and Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Tuesday's

Hi Ya'll! I know I promised to get some recipes posted by this past weekend, and failed to do so.. I'm sorry.. It just seems like life keeps getting in the way.. I have not even done any baking in the last few weeks either. I do have one recipe that I have ready to post for this week plus I am planning on making something today!

As for books, I got 2 this past week..

Velva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Niven
I bought this one for 3 bucks at the dollar store! I had to get it since I got Velva Jean Learns to Fly a few weeks ago!
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
I won this hardback copy from Listia!

I also got these lovely handmade bookmarks from Bea as a RAK! I love them, they are so pretty!

As a RAK recap, I got Glimmerglass and Shadowspell by Jenna Black and these bookmarks.

As for what I read, its not a lot.. I completed The Lens and the Looker (review will be up by the end of the month) by Lory Kaufman, and read The Story of Solomon Bear by Phillip Laird and The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees. Right now I'm reading Brooklyn Burning by Steve Brezenoff

That's all for me for today. What are you reading?


Sunday, October 2, 2011


Hi Ya'll!
I have a winner to announce! I was hoping for a few ore people to enter my giveaway, but I good with the 2 that did.. And the winner of One Hundred Candles is:


Congrats to the winner. She has been contacted. Thanks to all who participated in my giveaway!