A Chat About The Keeper Of The Lost Cities

Keeper of the Lost Cities (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #1)

“Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.”
There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.

In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first.”

 today I thought I would do my book review a little different then I usally do. Because I have so much to say about this book! Sometimes when I love a book so much I will just and chat about it, instead of reviewing it. Cause really? Do I need to review the book if I have nothing to criticise about it? Haha, well grab yourself a cup of tea, or coffee, (which everone you prefer) and sit back and enjoy me talking about this great book, and series. I’m also going to ask a few questions for those have read these books before. 

So I’m not usally into fantasy books. Because I’m the kind of girl who likes to have everthing realistic, so I usually read fiction real-life books. But once in awhile I like some make beileve hobits, or talking bunnys in my books. I mean, really? Who does not want too? 

I learned about this series through, “The Read Aloud Revival.” If you have read my posts before you will probaly notice that I mention it ALOT. Sarah Mackenzie has such amazing book lists. Although I wish she would have more because I’ve read all the books for my age already. Anyhow… Keeper of the lost cities were on one of the book lists. I was pretty hesitant about this series at first. But then I started reading them. And let me just say that I can not put them down now. My family always jokes that I’m going to ruin my eyesight if I don’t take breaks while I’m reading. Its probaly true, because I suppose its not normal to walk through costco while I’m reading. People always looks at me weird, I wonder why? 

This series has seven books in it so far. It follows the story of Sophie Foster, and her friends. I love that they are so engaging, and so fun to read. They are also very easy reads as well. So know I’m going to ask a few questions about some things in the book. And I will answer my opinion as well. I encourge you to check out this series. 

Who is your favorite character in the series? 

Mine would of course be Sophie. She is so fun.

Are you team Dex, Keefe, or Fitz?

I am team Foster-Keefe.

If you could have any elf ability, what would it be?

I would want to be a vanisher.

Okay, so those are just a few questions I would love to know the answer to in the comments below.

Thank you so much for stopping by. And hear me go on, and on about this book! Continue reading “A Chat About The Keeper Of The Lost Cities”

Insanely Easy Homemade Banana Bread Recipe!

Banana bread is definitely my favorite kind of bread. It is yummy, and so easy to make. You just have to whip up some batter, and bake it! I love making banana bread when we have some bananas that are about to go bad. Now add some chocolate chips, and it is heavenly. So grab some overly ripe bananas, head into the kitchen, and whip up a batch of of my insanely easy banana bread!

Here are some tips if you want to get perfect banana bread:

1. Make sure you grease your pan, and use the right size one too!

2. Please don’t forget to sift your dry ingredients. Your recipe will turn turn out so much better if you do.

3. Do not overmix!

4. When mixing, start by using a electric mixer, but when you add your dry ingredients, just fold it into the batter.

5. I added chocolate chips to my batter. You can also add chopped pecans, or you don’t have to add anything!

Insanely Easy Homemade Banana Bread

1 1/4 cup of Flour

1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon of Salt

2 large Eggs, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla

1/2 cup, or one stick of unsalted Butter (softened)

1 cup of Sugar

3 ripe Bananas

1/2 cup of chopped Pecans (optional)

1/2 cup of Chocolate Chips (optional)

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease a 9″x5″X3″ loaf pan. Sift Flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. whisk eggs and vanilla together, set aside.

3. Cream butter and sugar together until light, and fluffy. Gradually pour the eggs into the butter mixture, and mix until incorporated. Add the Vanilla. (the mixture will appear curdled.)

4. Wiith a spatula, mix in flour mixture. Do not overmix. Add the bananas. Fold in chocolate chips, and nuts; then pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. cool, and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foolproof Pink French Macarons With Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Do these macarons look good or what? They are the perfect bite size cookies. The best part is that this recipe is so simple to follow, and if you follow it step by step you should have perfect macarons. Macarons are the most complicated cookie to make, so be sure to read the recipe in it’s entirety and follow closely. If you stir it too much they won’t turn out. If you don’t stir them enough they won’t  turn out. There are quite a few variables so just follow along exactly. But once you take them out of the oven you will feel so accomplished. So give this recipe a try- it may take a few tries but once you have them perfect, and you take a bite of these cookies with the delicious buttercream frosting, it will be all worth it.

Macarons, Or Macaroons?

A lot of people want to know, what is the difference between a macaron and a macaroon? There actually is a vast difference. Macaroons are a completly different thing. They are cocount based, with condensed milk. And they don’t look even remotely the same as macarons.

Macarons are two cookies, with filling in the middle, with all different flavors. And are meringue based. So hopefully that helps your understanding of the difference between the two!

I do have another recipe for macarons on my blog. If you scroll down on the page you will see a few helpful tips. I encourage you to check it out.


best-lemon-macaron-recipe.

Pink Foolproof French Macarons With Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 Egg Whites (at room temperature)
  • ¼ cup white sugar (50 g)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (200 g)
  • 1 cup almond flour (120 g)
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar (2 ml)

For the Filling:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon milk
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extrac

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 300F degrees
  2. Beat egg whites until foamy, then add salt, cream of tartar and white sugar for 8-10 mins.
  3. Whip until they form a peak that stands upright. Think Seattle Space needle.
  4. Then add the food coloring.
  5. Sift almond flour, and powdered sugar. What remains will be the larger lumps of almond pieces. Just discard those, or use them to snack on 🙂 You want a really fine powder mixture to create a smooth and pretty on top to your cookie.
  6. Fold flour/sugar mixture into the egg white mixture. About 65-75 good strokes.
  7. Transfer batter to a pastry bag.
  8. Pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Tap the pan hard at least 2-3 times to release the air bubbles. This will prevent the tops of your macaroons from cracking.
  10. Let them sit out for 20-30 mins, or up to an hour if you want. This will allow them time to dry out a bit before hitting the hot oven. They should be “tacky” to the touch, but not stick to your fingertips. This is another important step to assuring your macarons develop feet! When they dry out they can’t spread out in the oven, and are forced to rise up. That’s what creates the feet!
  11. Bake for 20 mins. DO NOT UNDER BAKE, even if they look done! Otherwise they will stick to your tray.

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FILLING:

  1. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, cream butter until soft and smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.

MAKE THE MACARONS:

  1. Transfer the buttercream filling into a piping bag with a round tip.
  2. Pipe a swirl of filling on half the cookies.
  3. Sandwich cookies together with the remaining halves.

If these didin’t turn out, or you have any questions let me know in the comments below!

 

The Rest Of My Week In Photos

Here is the rest of my week in photos- like I promised. I know that today is not the usual day that I post, but I wanted to share the rest of my week. I am so sad that today is the last day of vacation, but it will be so good to get home.😊

Michaela and her daughter Nora making the same face. They are so much alike. 😂

Cousins swinging together.

Oh sweet Nora, you are one of a kind.

Had such a great spa night with my mama and sisters.

Hailey did my makeup for me!

Emmi Jane, you are a girly girl, lover of lipstick, dresses, necklaces, and anything pink. You are so sweet.

Me and mama.

Cute!!!!

This picture is so funny.

Me and my little family.

Me and my big family.

Nora Laine, you are a lover of dirt, rocks, getting dirty, and playing with babies. You are a one of a kind, special girl. The opposite of your sister, but every bit as great.

Good bye, see you next time.

Hattie Big Sky:Book Review

Hattie Big Sky (Hattie, #1)

“For most of her life, sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks has been shuttled from one distant relative to another. Tired of being Hattie Here-and-There, she summons the courage to leave Iowa and move all by herself to Vida, Montana, to prove up on her late uncle’s homestead claim.

Under the big sky, Hattie braves hard weather, hard times, a cantankerous cow, and her own hopeless hand at the cookstove. Her quest to make a home is championed by new neighbors Perilee Mueller, her German husband, and their children. For the first time in her life, Hattie feels part of a family, finding the strength to stand up against Traft Martin’s schemes to buy her out and against increasing pressure to be a “loyal” American at a time when anything—or anyone—German is suspect. Despite daily trials, Hattie continues to work her uncle’s claim until an unforeseen tragedy causes her to search her soul for the real meaning of home.

This young pioneer’s story is lovingly stitched together from Kirby Larson’s own family history and the sights, sounds, and scents of homesteading life.  “

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book. This book is written in first person, and I would say that this book falls under historical fiction. The reading style I loved. It is also so fun that the time is set during World War 1.

Is this book funny?

There were some parts that were funny!

Did this book make me cry?

No

Would I read this book again?

Yes, I would love to reread it some day.

Would I recomend this book to a friend?

Of course!

My rating:

3 1/2 out of 5

If you like this book I encourge you to check out the sequel, “Hattie Ever Ater.”

Have you read this book before? Have a book review you want me to do? Let me know by email, or comment below!

My Week In Photos

I have been in one of the most beautiful places in Minnesota this week. So I thought I would share my experience in photos. Enjoy!

My beautiful necies stopped to say goodbye before I see them in two days at the cabin.

Entering Duluth!

We go to stay in the most beautiful cabin in Lutsen, called, “Foxfire.”

A picture of my feet.😀

This was my view through the windows.

I love this photo.

The lighthouse in Grand Marais.

😊

The rest of my family joined us!

Awww….

Oh Nora…..

😁

Little Maisy.

Its a moose!!!

Morning funny faces!

The waves were huge yesterday.

Oh how I missed you Java Moose.

Selfie!!

More pictures to come!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Poppy Seed Muffins are the best muffins ever! They are so good. I am in a lemon phase right now, so I feel like everything I post is something involving lemon. But really who does not like lemon?

This recipe is so, very, easy to make. I love how everything in this recipe are ingredients that are just right in your pantry. And the poppy seeds you can buy really anywhere. The glaze has only two ingredients. WARNING: the glaze does not taste good by itself. But once you drizzle it on your muffins it will taste amazing!

A few helpful tips: Please make sure your butter is at room tempture. We don’t want the butter to warm or to cold. Tip 2. Make sure you bake for 5 five minutes at 450. And then 10-15 minutes at 350. Thats really all I can think of for tips.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Ingredients

For Muffins:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5.5 tablespoons unsalted butter-room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2–3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Grease a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and poppy seeds, set aside.
  3. Beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute), then add sugar and cream together. Add eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest and greek yogurt, mix just to combine. Add lemon juice and mix to combine.
  4. Finally, add flour mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pan, filling them about 3/4 full with muffin batter. Bake for 5 minutes at 425F degrees, then lower the oven temperature to 350F degrees and bake for 10-15 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. To make the glaze, stir together powdered sugar and lemon juice and drizzle over the muffins. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days or freeze up to two months. Enjoy!

This Recipe was adapted from Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts

If you have any questions then please let me know in the comments below.

Roses For Mama: Book Review

Roses for Mama (Women of the West, #3)

” Angela Peterson’s family had moved West because of her mother’s health. Her father sold the farm and loaded everything they could take with them in three wagons. They found new land and set about building a new farm a new life. Though the mother’s health improved for a short time, a winter cold lingered until it became clear that she wouldn’t recover. She valiantly did what she could to prepare Angela for the responsibility of raising her three sibling-but no one dreamed that her father wouldn’t be there to head the household. Angela was only fourteen, and, as determined as she was, she worried that her efforts wouldn’t be adequate. As the challenges of raising three children alone intensified, Angela came to the realization that preparing them for life would require more than she could have imagined.”

My Review:

I enjoyed this book. It was such a unique situation, I just love Angela and her siblings. The writng style was very easy to read as well. I love reading this book again, and again.

Is this book funny?

There were a few parts that I smiled at, but I did not burst out laughing or anything.

Did this book make me cry?

No not tons. But I did cry in the middle.

Would I read this book again?

Yes, I’ve already read this book many times.

Would I recomend this book to a friend?

Yes!

My rating:

Four out of five.

Have you read this book before? Have a book review you want me to do? Let me know by email, or comment below!

Lemon Loaf Pound Cake

I recently tried Lemon loaf cake from Starbucks, I loved it! But it was so sweet. I then thoguht, “Why can’t I make Lemon Loaf cake at home.” So I looked up a recipe on pinterest and tried it out. It was so good. It was not as sweet as Starbucks and I loved that.

So I took pictures of mym lemon loaf, and here I am. This recipe is so, very easy to make too! I had a glaze on it but it all melted. Oops! I’m writing this post on my deck, it is so warm out. I’m wearing shorts and a tanktop. Anyways back to the post. I just love how moist it is, and you can taste that little bit of lemon in it. It is so increidbly, delightfully, good.

Not in the mood for lemon cake but want something with lemon? Check out:

My Lemon Sugar Cookies:
https://cultivatingcozy.blog/2019/02/12/lemon-sugar-cookies/

Or my Lemon Macarons:
https://cultivatingcozy.blog/2019/03/13/best-lemon-macaron-recipe/

Lemon Loaf Pound Cake

Ingredients

Loaf:

  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest from about 1 large lemon
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup sour cream removed from fridge 15 minutes before using

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup icing/confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice plus more, as needed

Imperial – Metric

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray an 8×4-inch loaf pan with baking spray and line with a piece of parchment paper that covers the bottom and long sides, with an inch or so extending past the top of the pan (these will be the “handles” to lift the loaf out of the pan).
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugar until light coloured and fluffy. (Don’t skimp on this process. It should beat about 3 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time and beat in well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed. Beat in the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together well the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. With mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the sour cream, starting with 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 of the sour cream, 1/3 of the flour, last of the sour cream, then finally the last of the flour.
  4. Scrape into prepared 8×4-inch loaf pan and level batter. Bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then run a knife along the short ends and use the parchment paper edges to lift and remove from pan. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
  6. While loaf is still a little warm, prepare the glaze, adding enough lemon juice to make a pourable glaze. Place a baking tray under the cooling rack to catch any drips and spoon glaze slowly over top of loaf, allowing it to drip down the sides a bit. Cool completely, then slice and enjoy.

This recipe was adapted from Season and Suppers

Oh one more thing. I’m sorry that this post was a day late. I had a busy day yesterday.

Thanks for stopping!

My Five Friday Favorites

Happy Good Friday! Today I’m going to share five random favorites right now. I think that it is incredible that today Jesus Died on the cross for me, and my sin. I’m so excited for easter on Sunday as well!

My Favorite Socks!
  1. These sock are seriously the best socks ever I’ve ever had! They are comfy, and cute, and are just the best things. They come in five colors and are washable. Order yours today! Here is the link,
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075D9G69J/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Jane Austen

2. Okay so right now I’m obsessed with Jane Austen. I love her, how she writes, her storys, I love everything! All of Jane Austens novals are romance. I consider her one of the best authors of all time. Here is the link if are interested in buying her novals.
https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Novels-Jane-Austen

3. Janette Oke’s books are also great! She wrote tons of books, and I just love them. They are also romance novals. But are much easier to read then JAne Austens novals. Here is the link if you want to look in buying some of her books. I recommend the Love comes Softly series, and the Canadian West Series.
https://www.amazon.com/Janette-Oke/e/B000APD1ME

Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by [Gaines, Joanna, Stets, Marah]
My Favorite Cookbook

4.Magnolia Table is my favorite cookbook because she has such pretty, but simple recipes. I love all of the photos as well.
https://www.amazon.com/Magnolia-Table

5. My favorite song right now is a cover from JJ Heller called”The Place Where Lost Things Go. This song is actully from the movie Mary Poppins Returns. Liston to it here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9FmyPBVzG8

Thank you for stopping by!

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