Shatter Me

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SUCH A GOOD BOOK!!!! Shatter Me is about our society (in the future) that has been overrun by the Reestablishment. The main character is Juliette, a girl who has an awful, amazing power. If she touches someone for too long they die. For this reason she has been in and out of juvenile detention centers and insane asylums. When Warner, the leader of Sector 45 takes an interest in Juliette’s power, and maybe Juliette herself, she gets thrown back into a world that is so much worse then what she left. Juliette also catches the attention of one of Warner’s soldiers, Adam, who looks strangely familiar to Juliette. The book is written in a beautiful and poetic way that allows the reader an intense look into Juliette’s tormented brain. It really makes you want to stop and think about our society, our government, and human nature in general.

The Naturals

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The Naturals is a book about a group of teens who have special abilities. The main character of the book, Cassie, is a natural profiler. This means that she can know your habits, what you’re thinking, what you are going to do next. She gets drafted into a special FBI program where there are other kids like her, two of them being Michael and Dean. Dean is a profiler, and Michael can read emotions. These kids help solve cold cases. When a string of murders shows up, they have to start working on it before anyone else dies. However, things take an unexpected turn for the worst…

Chewy Chocolate Meringue Cookies

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I know, I know, we all made that New Year’s resolution saying that we would be healthy. And the great thing is that you won’t have to break it with this recipe! I admit its a little bit of a splurge with all of its chocolatey goodness! But it is low fat and low calorie. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (do not exceed 61% cacao; about 6 ounces), divided
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preparation:

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Coat 2 large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray. Place 1/2 cup chocolate chips in small microwave-safe bowl. Cook in 15-second intervals until chocolate softens; stir until melted and smooth. Cool chocolate to lukewarm, about 10 minutes. Whisk 1/2 cup sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in small bowl to blend.

Using electric mixer, beat room-temperature egg whites, vanilla, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and cream of tartar in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1 cup sugar in 4 additions, beating just to blend after each addition. Continue to beat until meringue is thick and glossy like marshmallow creme, about 2 minutes longer. Beat in cocoa mixture. Fold in melted chocolate, then 1/2 cup chips.

Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake cookies 7 minutes. Reverse sheets and bake until dry-looking and cracked, about 6 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely.

The Downfall of Rom-Coms

And roms, and coms. Have you ever found yourself watching a movie and thinking, “This movie is so predictable I wanna cry!” I most certainly have. Almost every movie I watch. Especially romances and comedies. This is most likely because EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE MOVIES HAS THE EXACT SAME “PLOT LINE”!!! Note my disdainful quotes around “plot line”. Here, my dear friends, is the universal plot line:
~ Movie starts, character introduced
~ Something good happens to character! Yay fun times.
~ Aww something bad happens to main character! Darn. Sad times.
~ Oh wait! Everything is resolved and happy again, but now the character has “learned a lesson”

There it is folks. Seem all too familiar?? Whenever the movie is picking up, and you’re actually enjoying it, something bad must happen! Why I ask, WHY!! Has it ever occurred to the writers that maybe I want to watch a comedy to laugh?? Or maybe that I want to watch a romance to see mushy stuff?? Maybe I don’t want to learn a STINKIN’ LESSON!! And if some movie doesn’t want to follow this ever-so-predictable plot line, it gets bad reviews for not having a plot line at all!! Take Grown Ups 2 for example. So maybe it’s not Hitchcock, but maybe I went to see a comedy movie to laugh! And laugh I did! I rejoiced because it didn’t completely follow the universal plot line. It didn’t make me sad, and it didn’t “teach me a lesson”. That’s good because I didn’t want to be sad or learn a lesson!! The movie, of course, got awful reviews. No surprise there.
My main question here is, “Why must all of these movies be so conforming? Where are these people’s creativity?” All I want is a comedy where I do nothing but laugh, a romance where I can do nothing but make googly eyes, and a rom-com where I do an even mixture of both. Is that so much to ask?

Tough as Nails, Part 2

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Reminds you of a snowy winter day, doesn’t it? Perfect for the holiday season, but certainly not in a tacky way. It is just sparkly enough for New Year’s Eve without being gaudy and obnoxious. Also, this style can carry throughout all of winter, and is not restricted to just one holiday! This beautiful look is surprisingly easy to create. Simply apply two coats of your fav light blue nail polish, and top with white glitter nail polish. Not only is this look festive, but a light cool color can really highlight nice fair skin and add an air if elegance. These nails really create a look that says, “I am festive in an elegant, but fun way!”

Gingerbread

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg</
     1 teaspoon powdered sugar
    For a spicier gingerbread, simply add a sprinkle or two more of the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg.  Also feel free to add some ground cloves.

 

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Beat granulated sugar and butter at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Add juice, molasses, and egg; beat well, and set aside.
  3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour and the next 6 ingredients (flour through nutmeg) in a small bowl; gradually add flour mixture to molasses mixture, stirring until well-blended. Pour batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool gingerbread in pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, or top with homemade whipped cream (see my Whipped Cream post)

Whipped Cream

A super easy topping for any dessert.  Easy to make in a pinch

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Beat cream with a hand mixer on high until stiff peaks are about to form.  Add sugar and vanilla.  Beat until stiff peaks are formed, but be very careful not to over-whip.