Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Before I begin, I want to let you all in  on a secret. I hate all things pumpkin. I don't like pumpkin pie, pumpkin seeds, or pumpkin bread. My husband, however, loves pumpkin and asked me to make pumpkin bread for him a few years ago. That led me on my quest for a good recipe. Naturally, I felt the need to tweak the recipe until I came up with one that everyone looks forward to getting in their holiday goody bags.

This recipe can be mixed up in a stand mixer but I usually do it with a wooden spoon so my little girls can help with the process.

3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs lightly beaten
19 ounces (about 1 1/3 cans of pumpkin) does not need to be exact
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
cinnamon (just shake a bunch in there. At least 3 teaspoons)
2/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour or use spray oil on 2 9x5 inch bread pans. You can also use muffin pans or smaller loaf pans. Mix sugar and oil together. Add in eggs and pumpkin. Alternate adding dry ingredients and water. Pour batter into pans and put it in the oven. Start checking your bread after 50 minutes in larger loaf pans (30 minutes in muffin pans or small loaf pans.) They will likely need to go back into the oven for another 10 minutes but depending on your oven and even the weather, this can vary. Let it cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool completely before cutting.

What to do with that extra pumpkin? You can divide it in half and stick it in ziploc bags in the freezer so you have it for next time.


Sunday, February 2, 2014



Author: Lexi Buchanan

Book Description: Thalia is twenty-one and has just finished her sophomore year of college. Her new boyfriend, Liam, invites her to spend the summer with him and his family, so as she’s been unable to find a local job to keep her at college, Thalia jumps at the chance. Liam tells her that she can be his guest at his brother, Jack’s, wedding at the end of the summer. 

Jack is twenty-five and feels as though he’s drowning. He’s engaged to Mia, against his will, because it’s always been drilled into him, family comes first. Jack’s studying for a law degree, and wants to go out on his own once he graduates, specialising in criminal law. His father wants him to accept a junior partnership in the law firm owned jointly by him and Lewis, his fiancĂ©es father, to practice family law. 

Then he meets his brother’s girlfriend, Thalia, and he can’t get her out of his head. He needs her to keep her distance, because every time she smiles in his direction, he wants to carry her to his room and do really naughty things to her.

Then Saturday night arrives and Liam takes Thalia to a new bar that has opened on the outskirts of town, where she discovers Jack’s big secret. By day he’s the good looking, slightly older brother with a chip on his shoulder, who gives her hot looks, and by night he’s Phoenix, singer/guitar player for bad boy group ‘Deception’, who makes her sizzle to the core!

He has muscle. He has tattoos. He has piercings. He has a mouth that makes her panties wet every time he opens it. He is supposed to be getting married. He is also her boyfriend’s brother...

Book Review
      I am going to start by saying that this book was a one-click purchase that got forgotten on my tablet for a couple of months. After reading it I can honestly say that I’m glad I procrastinated on this one because I don’t have to wait very long for the next book to come out.
     Okay, so there were really only two very minor things that bugged me in this book so I’ll start with those. First, I had a little trouble believing that Jack could be so easily pressured into marriage. Second, the name change from Jack to Phoenix kind of bugged me. Again, this is a pretty minor complaint and easy to overlook.
     Sizzle was a great title because the book was hot. The sexual escapades of Reece and Donovan definitely made me want to read their stories when they come out. I mean what’s not to love about tattooed bad boy rockers with good hearts? I also found that the sexual tension between Jack and Thalia was well written. They really worked for me as a couple. Even though their romance moved quickly, I didn’t feel like it was forced.
     Overall, this Is a hot romance and a fun read.
Where to buy:     Barnes & Noble     Amazon UK

Charley Davidson Series by Darynda Jones


This is truly a fantastic paranormal romance series. I was worried at the end of book four that it was going to run out of steam. Up to that point the plot relied heavily on Charley’s relationship with the super hot Reyes Farrow. Each book did have a good mystery for Charley to solve and a lot of action but Reyes was  involved in those mysteries. Book five relieved me of that worry. While I would cry if Reyes ever left this series, it would survive and I would continue to read it.

This series has romance, fun paranormal twists, humor, action and a mystery in each book. They all have a well-written cast of characters. I have more than once thought that I would really like to have a girls’ night out with Charley and Cookie. Don’t even get me started on the things I would like to do with Reyes. Darynda Jones also has a fantastic way with words. Her descriptions of simple gestures sometimes amaze me. Oh, and did I mention that Reyes is super hot? Yeah, I know I did but I thought it was worth repeating.

This series is a must read for paranormal romance lovers.