Food

Sesame Beef Tacos

20180927_202221Recipe: Gouda Pork Burgers
Vendor: HelloFresh
Calories: 720

Time: 20 min
Rating: ★★★

The flavoring used for the beef was savory and sweet, however, I would advise you not to add the sriracha as it spoiled the previous flavoring. But, when in doubt, add hoisin sauce (not included with the recipe). Hoisin sauce is my best friend. My boyfriend and I literally add it to every dish we cook. It is so sweet and succulent that I just can’t get enough! Honestly, our version was probably better than the recipe would’ve been.

As for the pickled radishes and cucumbers…they were a hit! They added a little crunch to the tacos that had my taste buds screaming for me. And, especially for me, I can’t eat a lot of meat…just not a big fan. The pickled veggies made it easy for me to load my taco up with meat! 

The cooling sour cream, tart pickled veggies, and sweet and savory meat were a great combination that I would definitely try again!

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – January 18, 2018

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). The book I picked today is one that contains a highly  important message, especially with everything we see in YA books these days being. You can check out my review of the book here!

The first thing I learned as a hunter was how to hide. There was a skill in disappearing in the trees like the wind and merging into the river like stones, masquerading yourself as something you weren’t was what kept you alive in the end. Most humans didn’t think the masquerade was as important as the kill, and most humans ended up paying for it with their lifeblood.


ABOUT THE BOOK

An Anonymous Girl

Title: An Anonymous Girl
Author: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Rating: ★★★★★

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. 

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Bookish Features

Waiting on Wednesday – January 16, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

From Goodreads:

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

I love fairytale retellings and this one is about one of my favorites…Beauty and the Beast!

Bookish Features

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I decided to post the first five books based upon actual length. However, the last five novels are books that felt like they took me forever to finish.

1. Bree Barton

2. Alexandra Bracken

3. Tray Banghart

4. Krista & Becca Ritchie

5.  Mindee Arnett

6. Mary E. Pearson

7. Mimi Yu

8. J.R. Ward

9. Laini Taylor

10. Holly Black

Book Reviews

Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

Fire and Heist

Title: Fire & Heist
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

In Sky Hawkins’s family, leading your first heist is a major milestone–even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It’s a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you’re a wyvern–a human capable of turning into a dragon.

Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family’s wealth and rank in their community.

With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society–a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be.

This was my first heist novel and it did not disappoint! What was really cool about this novel was that it was set in modern times. A modern time where were-dragons exist. WHAT?! Sky, our protagonist, and her family embark on heists in order to keep rank within the were-dragon community and make a living for themselves. However, Sky’s mom goes missing on a heist of her own. The failure of the heist brought the were-dragon world down on Sky and her family, hoping to make no mistake and create their own demise. But are things as they really seem? Where is Sky’s mom? And how can Sky and her family earn their rank back?

I am Sky Hawkins, and I’m a were-dragon. I’ve been called stuck-up both in the tabloids and in the hallways of P. Murphy Hugh, a poor little rich girl who surrounds herself with false friends and shallow dreams. Arrogant. Conceited. Egotistical. Haughty. Self-absorbed. All the synonyms, I’d heard them. But they were wrong.

It’s not arrogant to know who you are.

It’s powerful.

And I am powerful.

Sky is a likeable protagonist, while immature and egotistical at times, she is also level-headed. The writing was easy to follow and not overly descriptive. Durst made it easy to imagine every scene and every setting. The novel was action-packed and the characters were well-developed. While only a standalone (such a relief lately), a part of me wishes it were a duology.

My friends and my family are my treasure.

They are my gold.

Fire and Heist is the perfect standalone if you like adventure, suspense, and a hint of love.

Food

Garden Quesadillas

20180926_200024Recipe: Garden Quesadillas
Vendor: HelloFresh
Calories: 620

Time: 30 min
Rating: ★★★★

You know why salad is always one of the first items you encounter? Because it is a filler. And, that’s kind of what I thought about this dish. I’m all about a good salad, however, when the main course has a lot of the same ingredients, just feels like not a lot of thought went into the side dish. However, the main event, the veggie quesadillas, exceeded my expectations with flavor and there was enough cheese for even me! I would definitely try the quesadilla portion of this dish again. The vegetables were crisp yet soft, the cheese was savory, and the combination perfect. Besides from being distracted cleaning and accidentally overcooking the tortillas, I thought the quesadillas were a success!

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – January 11, 2018

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). The book I picked today is one that contains a highly  important message, especially with everything we see in YA books these days being. You can check out my review of the book here!

The first thing I learned as a hunter was how to hide. There was a skill in disappearing in the trees like the wind and merging into the river like stones, masquerading yourself as something you weren’t was what kept you alive in the end. Most humans didn’t think the masquerade was as important as the kill, and most humans ended up paying for it with their lifeblood.


ABOUT THE BOOK

White Stag

Title: White Stag
Author: Kara Barbieri
Rating: ★★★

The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.