The Chocolate Chip Mystery

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The Chocolate Chip Mystery by John McInnes

Thoughts Before Reading:

Well I thought I would try something new, and start reviewing Children’s books on Wednesday instead of putting them with the regular novels on Tuesdays.

Peppino visits the ice cream store, Max, every day after school. He works with the owner, Max, and also helps care for the dog that choose the ice cream parlor to be its home, Fat Dog.

One day Max becomes disheartened and when Peppino asks, it turns out that the building is going to be destroyed to be a office building. What will Max do?

The postman tells him of a ice-cream store that is for sale and the two go check it out. It turns out to be the Gravely store! Max doesn’t want that it is haunted!!!

He goes to see Mr. Gravely to ask about the store and Mr. Gravely is a tall, skeletal, man dressed as an undertaker! Creepy.

He tells him that his uncle used to run an ice-cream store, but it had to be given up as funny things kept happening. Hmmmmmmm?

They fix the store all up nice, but no one is coming. They think it might be because the story of it being haunted is turning people away.

Then to add to it, the ice-cream is disappearing, only Chocolate Chip though.

Peppino offers to stay and see what might be the cause of it. That night he sees a ghostly figure!

It turns out tat Max is sleep eating! That solves the mystery and problem, but what about the other one?

Peppino comes up with a fantastic idea, to market the parlor as a horror one.

Max’s Haunted Ice Cream Store

This Week’s Flavor:

GHOST AND GINGERSNAP

The store is all decorated as Max and Peppino dress up in costumes,. Soon all kinds of people come to visit and all ends well.

Yay!

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Thoughts After Reading:

Adorable. Such a cute book, I loved it!

For more Supernatural mysteries, go to The Winter People

For more ghosts, go to The Barter

For more reviews, go to Spring Breakdown

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The Cat Who Could Read Backwards

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I was trying to find a book to post on Valentine’s Day but didn’t have anything. At least not until I read this book when Qwill goes to a Valentine’s Masquerade ball. It was just in time and fit the holiday.

I thought it only fair to borrow this from my sister blog as she is all about the Cat Who Book series.

 

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“Qwilleran pondered the complexities of the art beat.” (pg 103)

So in the first book of the amazing series we are introduced to James (Jim) Qwilleran–known as Qwill to his friends. An ex-newspaperman who has achieved many honors–Sports writer, police reporter, war correspondent during WWII, winner of the Publishers’ Trophy, and author of a book on urban crime. However, he has recently recovered from bad times, a horrible divorce and bout of alcoholism, and is trying to get back on the straight and narrow and on a newspaper.

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He applies to the newspaper The Daily Fluxion and gets assigned to the art beat.

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Qwill is in shock as he has no idea why he of all people would be assigned that area. He knows nothing about art and the more he tries to learn about it the more he ends up becoming confused. I myself study Art History, and understand…

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The Winter People

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The Winter People: A Novel by Jennifer McMahon

Thoughts before Reading:

I received this book in a contest, my only payment being an honest review.

Read it today!

Let me just start off and say that I found this to be a phenomenal book. Absolutely amazing. I started reading, intending to only start the novel, but found myself buzzing through it I just had to find out the end.

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Plot Synopsis:

So the story is split between two different times. First we have Sara Harrison Shea from the turn of the century, living in West Hall, VA. Young Sara is raised by her father and Auntie, a healer, who teaches her things others, including the minister, would not approve of.

Not-Good

Everything changes one day when her husband goes hunting.

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Since then West Hall has been a strange, spooky place.

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Disappearances are common in the town, along with myths and legends.

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The most mysterious being the tragic death of Sara Harrison Shea, who was found disturbingly dead just a few months after the death of her daughter.

Horrible!!!!

Horrible!!!!

In present day; Ruthie and little Fawn live with their widowed mother Alice on a country farm. Much to Ruthie’s disgust and dislike, Alice has always forced them to live their lives off the grid, no internet, no connections, etc.

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One morning Ruthie wakens to find her mother gone.

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Just disappeared out of the blue, something her controlling and protective nature would never do.

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As she searches for clues to where she might have gone to, Ruthie discovers Sara Harrison Shea’s secret diary.

Obsessed

Katherine has recently lost her husband when he died in a car accident.

Aw...

Aw…

Already saddened over the death of her child, she is even more distraught to discover her husband had a secret.

What?

He’d been coming to West Hall, VA for a while, but why? No one he knows is out here and why would he lie about it?

Idon'tthinkso Idontseeit

As she moves to West Hall to investigate, she discovers a connection between her husband, Alice, and Sara.

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There are others who are after the diary Ruthie holds, and its great secret.

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It was a great book.

Read it today!

Read it today!

Incredibly well written, superb storytelling, fantastic characters and incredible suspense. I just loved it.

fantastic

I won’t say anymore because I don’t want to ruin it, but aw! So great!

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For more supernatural mysteries, go to Grave Peril

For more on disapperances, go to Cookie Dough or Die

For more widows looking for answers, go to The Italian Wife

For more historical fiction mysteries, go to Ticker

For more not-in-a-series mysteries, go to Sleeping Beauty

Schooner’s Summertime-Only Strawberry-Raspberry Pie

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Thoughts Before Baking:

I love pie!

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So when I find a recipe that isn’t chocolate, I just have to try it out.

So I know that this pie is a “summer” pie because of the fruit, but I live in CA. We have summer fruit all year long.

Lordoftherings LifeisGood

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Ingredients:

  • 16 oz-(3 Cups) of Fresh, Ripe, Strawberries; washed, hulled, and sliced in half
  • 6-8 oz (1-1 1/3 Cups) of Raspberries; rinsed and set out in a single layer on a towled area
  • 1/3 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Cornstarch ot white flour
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
  • For dough use the one from the Apple Pie Recipe or buy a premade one.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Make the dough or roll out the premade one in your pie pan.
  3. Combine the berries, sugar, and vanilla.
  4. Add cornstarch or flour and mix gently until blended. Do not break the raspberries.
  5. Fill dough in pie pan.
  6. Cut remaining dough to into ten 3/4 inch strips and create a lattice.
  7. Brush top with egg.
  8. Cook 45-50 mins

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Thoughts After Baking:

My niece wanted to make the pie with me, so instead of doing the crust from my Apple Pie recipe, I decided to buy the a premade one.

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I bought the pillsbury dough which did not turn out well. The dough was hard and dry. When I tried to follow the cooking directions,  it almost burned at 40 degrees. And then it tasted disgusting, like plastic.

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The pie filling was good, not super sweet but that is okay. However, you need to eat this pie fast. It does not hold up well for the next day.

Not-Good

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For more Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries, go to Chicken, Asparagus, and Tomato Pesto Pasta

For more pie recipes, go to Sour Cream Lemon Pie

For more desserts, go to Orange Chocolate Cake

For more recipes, go to Pigs in a Blanket

Oven-Crispy Creole Seasoned French Fries

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With Superbowl Sunday coming up, I decided to share a tasty recipe that is sure to be a hit. I also just want to take this moment to share my support for South Carolina Panthers, go team!

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Moving on…

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Thoughts Before Baking:

So this recipe comes from this Food Network magazine. In the magazine they call it Emeril Lagasse’s Oven Crispy French Fries with Paprika-Parmesan Salt, but I decided that was too long for a title and renamed them.

I love fries!

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And I decided that I would give these slightly healthier ones a try. As I didn’t want to spend money buying creole seasoning when I only need one tablespoon, I decided to make my own. It only cost like 30¢ that way.

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Creole Seasoning Ingredients (from Epicurious)

  • 1/3 Cup of Paprika
  • 3 Tablespoons of Dried Oregano
  • 3 Tablespoons of Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons of Dried Basil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Granulated Onion
  • 4 Teaspoons of Dried Thyme
  • 4 Teaspoons of Granulated Garlic

Directions:

  1. Mix all the spices together in a bowl.
  2. Store in airtight container for three months.

 

 

French Fry Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Baking Potatoes (about 1.5 lbs), scrubbed well
  • 1/4 Cup of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of the above Creole Seasoning, Emeril’s Original Essence Seasoning, or other Creole Seasoning
  • Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sweet Paprika (I couldn’t find any so I used regular)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Onion Powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Pat the potatoes dry and cut them lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices. Turn each slice flat and slice again lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices.
  3. Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and add olive oil, creole seasoning (or Emeril’s seasoning), and 1/4 a teaspoon of salt.
  4. Toss well to combine.
  5. Transfer the fries to a large baking sheet, arranging them in lines and not allowing any to touch.
  6. Roast the potatoes for 15 mins.
  7. Turn them over and roast another 15 mins or until brown and crispy.
  8. While potatoes are cooking, combine cheese, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  9. When potatoes are crisp and brown, sprinkle with mixture.
  10. Serve Hot.

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Thoughts After Baking:

I thought these fries were really good, but the sheet needs to be greased or else the fries all stick.

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I also thought the fries were better without the paprika-parmesan salt. But other than that, they were really delicious.

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For more holiday posts, go to Best-Ever Blueberry Muffins

For more recipes, go to Italian Wedding Soup

Regency Ginger Cookies

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Thoughts Before Baking:

So what could go better with a supernatural, Austen inspired novel, than some cookies in Regency style?

Pride&Prescience

Not much! So this recipe comes from Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder.

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When I saw it was Regency inspired I thought I might give it a go. Hopefully they won’t taste bad.

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup of Melted Butter
  • 1 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 4 Tablespoons of Molasses
  • 2 Teaspoons of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons of Ground Ginger
  • 2 1/4 Cups of Flour
  • 1/2 Cup of White Sugar in a Small Bowl

Directions:

  1. Melt butter and mix in brown sugar.
  2. Let mixture cool and then add egg.
  3. Add baking soda, molasses, salt, and ginger. Stir.
  4. Add flour and mix it in.
  5. Chill for at least 1 hour
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Roll the dough into balls, rolling them in the white sugar.
  8. Place them on a greased cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until brown.

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Thoughts After Baking:

So I’m sure you have noticed my earlier writing that I hoped they would taste good. You see I don’t like molasses. I hate how it tastes and smells.

So how did I like it? I loved the cookies. They tasted a bit like gingerbread, but not quite; lighter and fluffier. I loved them and will most likely make them again in the future.

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For more Hannah Swenson Recipes, go to Butter Berry Cookies

For more cookie recipes, go to Dark Choco Almond Butter Cookies

For more desserts, go to Strawberry Shortcake

Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged)

So I was about to review this book, when it hit me, why do it when my big sister blog already has it covered?

So here we go with an Austenian fused mystery, and perfect for October with it’s supernatural elements!

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Pride&Prescience

Pride & Prescience: Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged by Carrie Bebris

So as I’m sure you are aware, whether from reading my post Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice; or perusing your local bookstore/library; there are a lot of sequels to Pride & Prejudice. But unlike those that write about the Darcy children, or married life of Lizzie & Darcy, this one is a mystery.

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Yeah, at first I wasn’t sure about it, but when I started reading it, I actually enjoyed it. I solved the mystery quickly, but it was very well written and worth reading. There were a few things I didn’t like, but I’ll save that until the end.

So are you ready to take on this mystery?

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So the book begins at the after-the-wedding-next-day-breakfast. Jane was just married to Bingley, and Elizabeth to Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth is happy about how everything went, and even more…

View original post 4,892 more words

Peppermint Bark Chocolate Cupcakes

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So the book I reviewed this week was The Missing Mah Jong Player.

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While this book contains no recipes, one of the characters owns a cupcake store, so I felt it was the perfect time to include a recipe I created.

Thoughts Before Cooking:

I love anything minty chocolate and we had a plethora of Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark, so I thought I would test something out.

Now I love making everything myself and don’t care for using boxed things, but I was baking a ton of cupcakes for a party, in a limited amount of time and used a cake mix from a box. If you make a favorite chocolate cake recipe and just follow my little extras it should be just as good, if not extra.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of Chocolate Cake Mix (If not from scratch, I usually use Duncan Hines)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Peppermint Extract
  • Cupcake Liners
  • Ice-Cream Scoop
  • About 10 Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Squares
  • Chocolate Frosting (If not from scratch, I usually use Duncan Hines)

Directions:

  1. Either follow a recipe for a cake from scratch or the directions on the box of cake mix.
  2. When adding your wet ingredients, add a teaspoon of peppermint extract to the cupcake batter.
  3. Using an ice-cream scoop, place the batter into the cupcake liners.
  4. Bake according to box directions.
  5. While cupcakes are baking, chop up the peppermint bark into tiny pieces. Make them as small as possible, sprinkle size.
  6. When cupcakes are finished let them cool, otherwise the frosting will melt.
  7. When cupcakes have completely cooled down, frost them.
  8. After you have frosted the cupcakes, sprinkle the chopped peppermint bark along the tops of the cupcakes.

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Thoughts After Cooking:

I LOVED THEM! and everyone else did too. They were absolutely amazing. I’m just sorry that they were snapped up so quick that I wasn’t able to take a picture.

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For more desserts, go to Special Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

For more recipes, go to Chicken, Asparagus, and Tomato Pesto Pasta

Glazed Murder

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Glazed Murder (Donut Shop Mystery #1) by Jessica Beck

This is the first book in the Donut Shop Mystery novels. In this we are introduced to Suzanne Hart. Suzanne lives in the small town of April Springs. She was married to an actor, Max, who was a huge jerk and pretender. He cheated on her, and that was the end for Suzanne. Good-bye Max.

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As soon as the divorce was final, Suzanne bought the old railroad depot and changed it into a donut shop. She doesn’t even know why she picked donuts, but that’s what she wanted to do.

Life is very different as she had to move in with her mom, she has to get up at one in the morning in order to make all the donuts, and is trying to get her business off the ground. It doesn’t leave her much time for socializing, :(.

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She is helped out by a college student, and friend Emily. And she has her best friend Grace, who makes due with Suzanne’s alternate hours.

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One day as Suzanne is heading into work, she finds a dead body.

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Making her donut shop a crime scene and her the main suspect in his murder!!

Crap

The Chief hates Suzanne and won’t look at any other person as the killer but her. This puts Suzanne on the case as she needs to find out who killed her customer and clear her name.

what have i gotten myself into star trek next gen

Luckily the Chief isn’t the only one investigating. Hot, North Carolinian, State, Detective, Jake Bishop has been called in and it looks like he is interested in Suzanne for more than just her alibi. 😉

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Thoughts After Reading:

I didn’t really like this book. I thought it was alright, but the mystery was too easy to solve. It was pretty obvious who the killer was from the moment they were introduced.

Are you lying to me?

I also thought the characters were two one-dimensional. On a whole I didn’t enjoy it, BUT, BUT it is the first novel and it wasn’t as horrible as Lane Changes. It has the potential to be better, which means that I am going to give the second novel a try.

This book includes lots of recipes for donuts, but I never gave them a try. The main reason because I don’t want to prepare them and see how horrible they are for me. I want to be able to continue to eat and enjoy them.

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For more mystery reviews, go to The Dollhouse Murders