#BookLook || History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

history is all you left me

history is all you left me by nobentspines featuring ballerina shoes

My Two Cents
This skirt is just so cuuuute. I really love it. Abstract and seriously colorful. Come to mama
About the Book
Published January 17, 2017
When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.
To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.
If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.
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#BookLook || Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty {Murderous, Secret, Space Adventure}

six wakes

six wakes by nobentspines featuring leather gloves

My Two Cents
Literally just hand over the books and we can keep this little deal between the two of us. Pinky Promise. 
About the Book
Published January 31, 2017
A space adventure set on a lone ship where the murdered crew are resurrected through cloning to discover who their killer was — and the secret to their mission. 
It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood. 
At least, Marie Shea iv had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died, from illness once and from injury once… 
Maria’s vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Pituitary, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. Apparently Maria wasn’t the only one to die recently.

For Those Looking for a Bisexual Main Character {#Listicle}

Books from the past (pre-2017) and books from the present (post-2016) are filled with wonderful, delightful things. One of the topics that the world is becoming more aware of is the necessity of diversity and the value of seeing your face in a book. Everyone’s face is a little different: some are brown and queer, others are trans, while other’s still are disabled and in love and happy. I think tragedy is fine, but I think those who don’t see themselves quite as often also want a happily every after.

I want a happily ever after.

Granted, that may look more like this:

The following listicle showcases folks from the bisexual community. Some are even intersectional, which is actually the greatest. Some, still, are #OwnVoices. Read them all, babes. Read them all.

If you see a book you want added to my list (because it’s S U P E R short at this moment in time!), leave a comment and I’ll post it! 



Sources: Diverse Reading List 2017 | Gay YA Bisexual Masterlist |
Disclaimer: I def found these gifs on Google

This Book Has Me Swooning Over Buildings. I’m Serious.

I went into this book with just about zero expectation. I tend to not enjoy books where there are kids involved. (what in the world is going on with all these readers hoping that Feyre is going to end up preg in A Court of Wings and Ruin???)

I stumbled upon Dare to Love by C. P. Santi on twitter. I’ve gotten SO MANY good recs on that social platform, but this one is one for the record books. The premise is this: a single mother who lives at a convent with her religious family finds this tatted up male sleeping in her bed. What follows is a want to love tug-of-war with herself, and ultimately, deciding if she is able to open her heart.

The name of this main girl is Gia, and she is strong as hell. She’s also got this great gig restoring architecture, and her passion is old churches. Which is just, so freaking cool. I didn’t really know all that went into that, but then I started researching and was like wow. Woah. Not my thing, I like writing more than numbers, but what a cool opportunity.

I’ve decided to compile a list of all the places I’d like to work on if I were in the restoration business. Enjoy, lovelies.

Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz
Plaza L. Ruiz, Binondo, Manila

Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew
Quirino Ave., La Huerta, Parañaque City

Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia
Barcelona, Spain

So let’s chat about wanderlust a bit. If you could go anywhere (outer space included!) where would you go? 

Three Slow-Cooker Recipes to Pair with "Status Update" by Annabeth Albert

My friend Brian (who is basically the king of good book recommendations) set out to have me read STATUS UPDATE a little while ago. When I won his Twitter giveaway, this was the first one I set out to read. What a way to begin. I mean, really, y’all—I’m swooning. This book is about two guys who’ve got some issues on the relationship front, as well as some personal problems to work out. Luckily, they meet through their adorable mutts. When Adrian’s latest relationship fails, Noah decides to help this poor fellow out. Of course, we can’t just leave it there. Sparks fly.
In this darling book, which is my favorite of the three I’ve read by the author, Noah has a bit of an obsession with crock pot meals (we learn later the significance of said crock pot). I’ve decided to put together this little post to share some crock pot meals from the ever-glorious Pinterest. Two I’ve tried, and the other, well, I really, really want to.
First up is the recipe I have not tried yet…crock pot beef stew! These two males are stuck in this trailer in the cold of winter. Snow, cute as heck dogs. They’re hungry (I don’t mean just for each other) and I think this stew would have warmed them hair to hide. For me, a crock pot roast is the ultimate comfort food. Salt, pepper, chunks of beef and carrots. Not too many things that I could eat every week for the rest of my life. This recipe takes it up a notch a bit in terms of what to do, but I think that these guys would go an extra mile for the other, to make sure they’re all warm and cozy and full for the winter nights.
Next, let’s talk about the wonders of crock pot hot chocolate. I mean, yuuuummmmy. Sweetened condensed milk? Chocolate chips? Lord have mercy. Wake up in the morning to the rich brew that’s been cooking all night? That, my darlings, that is the life. And it’s gluten-free, just like the beef stew! So Adrian can have it without any issues. Isn’t Noah just super caring? (I know, I’m swooning too. What a catch.)
Finally, we’ve got ourselves something super delicious. I actually made with at the dorm for Sunday dinner. What am I talking about? Crock pot chicken gnocci soup. Ugh. So good. Again. It’s winter. Gnocci is so dang delicious. Chicken is also nice. Warmth. Hot guy. I mean—what? Either way, you can’t go wrong with soup on a cold day.

Here are the Books I’m Selling my Soul for in 2017

Y’ALL. There are so freaking many books that I can’t wait to get my hands on this year. I mean, let’s be real, some of these covers alone can be bought for #bookstagram worthy-ness. All the flowers. I’m swooning.

I swear I need to get one of those super cute fainting couches from the Victorian era. Granted those were for whalebone corsets stitched up to tight, but over-excitement from pretty books can be just as breathtaking.

I’m serious.

In case your TBR shelf isn’t toppling over already, I’ve rounded up fifteen of the books that I’m super-duper excited for right now. I hope you’ll add some to your Goodreads (because we all know that’s pretty much the greatest website on earth) and then tweet me some recs too!

Happy reading.
xoxo,
Jackie

One. 
WHY I’M SUPER PUMPED: In the words of the great artist Paramore “I’m in the business of misery” + besides that I’ve heard some interesting things about what the trauma inflicted that caused out main girl to dash off is. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that this cover is one of my favorites ever planted on the face of a work of fiction. Ever. 
Two.
WHY THIS BOOK LOOKS SO DANG INTRIGUING: First off, it’s Rachel Vincent. SOUL SCREAMERS. Gah. Yes, please. *whisper screams* I love yoooou. Second- the name Trigger? Swoon. Third? “There’s a price for standing out.” Tell me the price and no one gets hurt. 
Three
UGH, BABE, LET ME TELL YOU WHY I NEED THIS BOOK: This book like a bubble of fantastic confusion all wrapped up in a nice, diverse bow. Sounds like just what this community needs after everything. (and no, I’m not going to name all the disgusting, cringe-worthy things that are going on in this big wide world right now. 
Four.
THIS IS WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT: I write about Sex in YA, date rape drugs, and how no means no + only freaking yes means yes. These are things that light a fire in my soul. In the vein of THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES, and THE WAY I USED TO BE–y’all I have to read it. I have to, I hate to, I have to. 
Five.
LET ME TELL YOU A FEW THINGS: Heeeeeeell yes I want to read a book set in the 90’s about rockstar dreams and FRIENDSHIP and that cover? Oh that cover is just the cherry on top of the please buy me this book sundae. 

Six.
I WANT IT BECAUSE: I just really, really love magic. Sparks and burns and the earth. Sisters and curses. Things not being all that they seem. GAH. This book cannot be published soon enough. I mean, AUGUST? Are you trying to kill me? 
Seven
LEMME TELL YOU A FEW THINGS, LOVE: Dang, I mean I guess I just have a thing for books that drag you into the darkest, deepest pit of despair and then revive you. It’s hopeful, and tearful. I hope it lives up to my expectations, because they are incredibly high. Let me tell you. 
Eight. 
Y’ALL DO YOU SEE THIS: Renee Ahdieh’s review on Goodreads says-and I quote– “If you are haunted by the idea of a dark, modern fairy tale and knights in shining armor with Harleys for horses, this book is for you.” Need I say more? I mean really
Nine.
DON’T YOU WANT A BOOK WITH SOUL EATERS: Who freaking abandons their daughters in the forest? I mean, can we all just agree that that is rude? Of course, who freaking morphs into something not quite human? I love the not quite human. They’re my FAVE.  Book; come to mama. 
Ten.
ALL THE REASONS: Why, yes, I do love to read about space adventures even though actually going into the great, vast, never-ending, infinite outer space. *shudders* I mean that just freaks me the eff out. I mean imagine just floating…your touching nothing…you’ll run out of air, eventually. Worst nightmare. Whoo. Got off on a tangent there, didn’t I? Anyways girls kissing girls and being badass space pirates sounds hella cool. 
Eleven.
RAISE YOUR HANDS IF YOU’RE HERE FOR MORE TRAGEDY: When a fight in the ring goes horribly, terribly wrong, nothing in anyone’s life is ever going to be the same ever again…Why yes I would love to see how recovery turns to healing and then into romance. I am so very much here for that. 
Twelve. 
WHO DOESN’T LOVE A GOOD CULT NOVEL: Cult culture scares the crap out of me just as much as they fascinates me. The cult leader’s daughter- Eden- is a FBI Agent now. So obviously she’s incredibly strong and brave and just YES GIRL FOR EMBRACING OPPORTUNITIES AND CONQUERING EVIL. So mysterious. 
Thirteen. 
APPARENTLY ANGELS AREN’T ALL THEY SEEM AND THIS NOVEL: “My guardian angel is a drunk.” Pardon me while I just roll on the floor howling with laughter
Fourteen. 
I WANT THIS BECAUSE: I want this because it’s an important story. This one may be fictional, but there are so many that are similar in this world that ring the same wretched tune. We need to change that. To change it, empathy is needed. Books grant that unique ability. Also, Angie is just the bestest. 
Fifteen.
I AM SQEUEALING. THIS IS THE BOOK MY WHOLE LIFE HAS BEEN BUILDING UP TO. There there are two dudes and a girl. The guys have been put on a mission to have said girl fall in love with one of them. So their rivals, right? BUT THEN SOMETHING HAPPENS. They make fun of YA book tropes, and they end up falling for each other. Oh, your training didn’t prepare you for this, boys. *cackles*

Please, Judge that Book by the Cover {+ Year Review}

Y’ALL. WHERE DID THIS FREAKING YEAR GO?

Let’s just talk about some of the things that have happened: I ordered the PERFECT gift for my family (they’re two pillows with maps of our home cities!), the election, I got some articles published to Her Campus (HELL YEAH!). Y’all broke my stats counter with all the visits to the Sex in YA post. That made me way more excited than it should have. I surpassed 1000 followers on Twitter.

The book blogosphere went super passionate over social issues like sexism, rape culture, and sex positivity. The election brought out the fire in people, and I hope we keep it burning these next four years at least. Crossing my fingers for forever.

I made some amazing new friends. I started college. Switched majors. Absorbed a minor. (officially, it’s now a Communications, concentration in journalism, with a minor in women’s and gender studies)

Oh yeah, and I did that one AMAZING internship at the beginning of the year.

This post is going to be a summation of all those things. I think that frequently, books are as they are presented. In that I mean, judge away. If a book has a cover that’s got me like “come hither” that bodes well for it’s contents. This has been a fantastic year for books. It’s been a lovely year for book covers. While I just did a once over of me, let’s get down and dirty with some of my favorite book covers of the year.

Leave a comment telling me the BEST thing that happened to you this year + your FAVORITE cover of 2016. 

xo,
Jackie 

One. 
Two. 
Three. 
Four. 
Five. 
Six. 
Seven. 
The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee
Eight. 
Nine. 
Ten. 
Eleven. 
Twelve. 
Thirteen. 
Fourteen. 
Fifteen. 
Sixteen.
Seventeen. 
Eighteen. 
Nineteen. 
Twenty. 

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo || A Playlist by Yours Truely

Y’all. I finally got my greedy paws on Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo like a week ago, and GAH. Was I ever missing out. Obviously I need Crooked Kingdom faster than you can say Kaz is a dream boat and Nina is a goddess on earth and we just need to bow down.

My darling little murderous petunia. And then, of course there is Inej who is just too good for this world. I think I’m loving the totally raw and completely brutal Grisha universe as much this time around as I did with Shadow and Bone (The Darkling, my babe. I’m still swooning over the make me your villain and until you have no other shelter but me. I know. I have issues.).

You’re probably wondering why I’m still rambling on about hot guys and gorgeous girls and world building/destroying. FINE. I’ll get to the music.

Let me know what you think on Twitter (or comment!) and suggest some mad beats of your own.

The Music

Beautiful Lies: Birdy || I feel like this song is equally Inej and Jesper in reference to why they say with Kaz after all this time, as well as Kaz to Inej. Running from yourself much? Or are we just embracing the mess that is this world?

Let’s be numb together

The Good, The Bad and The Dirty: Panic! At The Disco || AKA, How to Survive in the Dregs

If you wanna start a fight
You better throw the first punch
Make it a good one

Catch Us If You Can: Elle King || Gonna be real honest here and just say that this lyric reminds me of Wylan and Jesper. “Maybe I like you’re stupid face.” Or something like that. I feel like this relationship, should it happen, could be explosive. Fireworks, y’all. Fireworks.

If you’re a wildflower
I’m a grenade

Neon Lights: Dancing Years || This song summons of the aura of the inner workings of either Wylan or Kaz.

I pour my make-up on my face and go,
I’ll know that I’ll be alright.

Thank God for Girls: Weezer || All those stupid faces should just be grateful that they’ve got such sensible females looking out for their asses. Inej. Nina. I love y’all. (also maybe she’ll be the one giving the stab wounds. just saying.)

And tender loving kisses on your stab wounds and when you come home
She will be there waiting for you with a fire in her eyes

Lost in You: Three Days Grace || First off, I adore this song. Actually, I just adore Three Days Grace in general. Those voices. I can’t. Gorgeous. Back to this particle song inference to Six of Crows. There’s a scene in the book where I just want to scream out Kaz’s name and throw this song at him. Kind of like how I’m pretty sure Nina wants to shove these two together like PB+J. Or maybe she’s too focused on her own love life.

I told myself that it wouldn’t be so bad
But pulling away it took everything I had

Before I Die: Papa Roach || Inej praying to her Saints. Enough said. Gah, this girl. Like I said: too good for this world. I think the way she maintains her faith is stunning.

I’m begging on my knees
Is there a God to save me

Okay babes:

That’s all I’ve got. Listen to these songs on Spotify. Tell me some that you would add. Fan over all things Leigh Bardugo. Live your best life.

Forever’s Holiday Celebration || All the Holiday Food You Could Want


‘Tis the season to celebrate! Five of Forever’s authors with brand new Christmas romances are sharing their favorite holiday recipes and memories. 

I know I am actually in love with food–hopefully you are too! All of these darling, delicious recipes will soon make their way into my oven. Let the eating begin. Be sure to leave the authors some holiday well wishes. Checking out their books would also be appreciated.  
CAROLYN BROWN’S PUMPKIN BREAD
Kids, grand children, great-grands, all coming home for the holidays—the aroma of pumpkin bread baking in the oven—everyone waiting for it to get done so they can slice it up while it’s still hot, slather butter or whipped cream cheese on it, and tell the age old stories about the holidays we’ve had in the house. That’s the stuff memories are made off and every time I smell pumpkin bread it puts a smile on my face for the whole day.
PUMPKIN BREAD
This makes 2 loaves and 8 muffins; Or it makes one Bundt cake
½ cup butter
½ cup shortening
2 2/3 cups of sugar
4 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin (one 15-16 ounce can)
3 ½ cups flour
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soda
1 cup pecans (optional)
2/3 cup of cold strong black coffee
(NOTE: I use all butter if I’m out of shortening or even oil)
1.     Cream first four ingredients.
2.     Add canned pumpkin.
3.     Add dry ingredients alternately with coffee
4.     Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour for loaves or bundt cake, 25 minutes for muffins, or until they test done in the center.
5.     Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.
6.     Cool completely before frosting with Harvest Moon Frosting (below).
HARVEST MOON FROSTING
3 egg whites
1½ cups brown sugar
6 tablespoons water
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a double boiler. Cook 7 minutes, beating the whole time with an electric mixer, over the boiling water.  The frosting will stand in peaks when done. Add vanilla.  Beat until thick enough to spread.
Find out more about Carolyn Brown at her website.
PAULA QUINN’S CHRISTAS COOKIES
My dad used to live across the street from us. Every year, when my
kids were little, he would dress up like Santa, climb out his window
on the second floor, and hang Christmas lights on his fire escape. My
kids would watch from our window with wonder in their eyes, unaware
that it was grandpa. He would turn and wave to them, sending them into
little fits of breathlessness. Later, we would visit grandma and
grandpa’s for homemade cookies (left there for them by Santa). The
house was always fully decked out with every Christmas decoration
imaginable with Alvin and the Chipmunks on repeat while the kids
hunted down little “pre-Christmas” gifts he’d hide for them. I loved
witnessing the magic of Christmas and love through their eyes. Now
grown, my kids will sometimes still look out the window at his fire
escape and smile, remembering a grandpa who loved them beyond measure.

GRANDPA’S CHRISTMAS COOKIES (A favored Italian recipe)

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

½ cup butter

2 teaspoons vanilla

3½ cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1.     Sift dry ingredients.
2.     Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs; add
vanilla and dry ingredients.
3.     Knead and add flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to hands.

4.     Pinch off dough, roll in your hands to form a log and then twirl into
shape.
5.     Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

ICING
2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 teaspoons water
Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Stir until creamy. Dip cookies into icing and sprinkle with trim. Place on wire rack with wax paper on counter to collect the dripping icing and sprinkles.

Find out more about Paula Quinn at her website.
DEBBIE MASON TREE TRIMMING PARTY
One of my family’s favorite holiday traditions is our tree trimming party. We’ve held one every year for the past thirty years. Though I don’t know if it qualifies as a party seeing as it’s just the immediate family. But we do make a thing of it with our favorite carols playing in the background, fire on (mostly for ambience), hot chocolate served in festive mugs, lots of holiday treats, and a special ornament for each of the kids and grandkids to open before the tree decorating gets under way.
But I think the most fun for all of us isn’t decorating the tree, it’s unpacking the ornaments. I’ve always tried to buy an ornament that’s uniquely suited to each of the kids, whether it was a sport they were into that year or a movie, book, or hobby they loved, so unwrapping each one brings back a lot of special memories. Here’s a peek at just some of the collection. I don’t think it will be long before we have to break from tradition and let the kids take some of the ornaments home to decorate their own trees. Either that or we’ll have to put up another tree.

And this one in my office doesn’t count. Every year, my family gifts me with an ornament too. This year they gave me these three adorable ornaments to celebrate the release of the first book in the new Harmony Harbor series, MISTLETOE COTTAGE, and the short story, CHRISTMAS WITH AN ANGEL.

  
Find out more about Debbie Mason at her website.
HOPE RAMSAY’S GINGERBREAD COOKIES
Every year for the last quarter-century, or possibly longer, I have set aside the Saturday closest to Christmas to bake gingerbread cookies with my children, and now, with my grandchildren.   These are the only cookies I make at Christmas time, and the activity is more about family fun than turning out a perfect cookie.  Usually I do most of the rolling, cutting, and baking.  And the rest of the family does the decorating.
The magic is in the royal icing.  The white icing is a snap to make, and it can be divided up into small bowls and colored with food dye, creating pots of colored cookie paint.  I give each child (or adult) a watercolor paint brush and let them paint the icing onto the cookies.  The kids have a blast, and the cookies always come out looking wonderfully homemade. 
To me, cookie baking embodies everything I love about Christmas: kids, family, baking, and yummy desserts.

GINGERBREAD COOKIE DOUGH
Makes about 6 Dozen
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Dutch cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter
1 cup superfine sugar
1 egg at room temperature
½ cup unsulphured molasses
1.     Whisk together the dry ingredients – flour cocoa, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, backing soda, and salt.
2.     Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and molasses and beat thoroughly.
3.     On low speed, add the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
4.     Cut the dough into thirds, pat into disks, wrap in plastic and chill until firm – 2 hours or overnight.
5.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough about 1/16 inch thick and cut cookies with cookie cutters.  Transfer the cookies to an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges of the cookie turn brown.
6.     Let cool on sheets and then transfer to a wire rack.  Decorate with royal icing.
ROYAL ICING
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 pound confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup water
Using a mixer, place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat at high speed until fluffy, thick & shiny (about 10 minutes.)  Divide the icing into smaller bowls and color it using food coloring. 

  
Find out more about Hope Ramsay at her website.
OLIVIA MILES SNOWFLAKE COOKIES

In my newest release, CHRISTMAS COMES TO MAIN STREET, my heroine owns a cookie bakery. As this story takes place over the holidays, I thought hard about a signature cookie she might make, and eventually I settled on charming snowflake cookies. Of course these are not just any old cut out cookie, though. No, Kara makes them by the dozen, sure to keep each one in the batch distinct in shape and decoration, because no two snowflakes are ever the same, after all! And it’s these snowflake cookies that she delivers every day to the inn in Briar Creek…where a Christmas visitor falls in love with more than just her cookies.

I hope you all enjoy these snowflake cookies as much as Nate does! J


KARA’S SNOWFLAKE COOKIES (sugar cookie cut-out and royal icing recipes courtesy of Martha Stewart)

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1.     Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
2.     Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
3.     Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. Roll out dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Cut out cookies. Transfer cookie dough on plastic wrap to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer, freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet from freezer and transfer shapes to baking sheets lined with nonstick baking mats. Roll out scraps, and repeat. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.
4.     Bake, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

ROYAL ICING
2 large egg whites, or more to thin icing
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, or more to thicken icing
Juice of 1 lemon
3 drops glycerin
Beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar, lemon juice and glycerin (if using); beat for 1 minute more. If icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it is too thin, add more sugar. The icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Decorate each as you wish!
Find out more about Olivia Miles at her website.

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Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies

We all have that one friend who watches Master Chef and The Great British Baking Show religiously.  (this friend in my group may be me, tbh) Maybe it’s the fact that they can pair cheese with their countries of origin, or the way that—without fault—they always somehow end up at Whole Foods or some other food selling establishment on every outing. They’re a foodie to the bone. And you wouldn’t have them any other way.

Shopping for these folks isn’t a heard task, but if you are struggling a bit, that’s what I’m here for. I’m here to help you construct the best foodie gift basket ever. And, why YES, I do believe that books are some of the best thing to give. We’re going to throw in a few options for that as well.

*cue the maniacal laughter*

Books

…that I’ve read
Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins, Play Me by Katie McCoy, Feel the Heat by Kate Meader

….that I need to read
Too Hot to Touch by Louisa Edwards, Delicious by Susan Mallery, How to Make Out by Brianna Shrum

Subscription Boxes

Try the World, Batch, Bon Appetit, Graze

Hella Cute Cooking Stuff

Have you ever ventured into the realm of ModCloth cooking supplies? Sur La Table? Williams Sonoma? Here are a few things that you’ll be dying to put in your kitchen.

Mortar and Pestle (mushroom and all that cuteness)
or maybe this Foxy Cheese Grater
These floral Measuring Spoons are hella cute too
But, these Cat Measuring Cups are my personal favorites

Clothing that’ll Earn You Brownie Points

S’more shirts are the new black
Here are the donut PJs you never knew you needed
…and finally, some super inspiring coffee socks