Whole Orange Spiced Cake (Great British Baking Show; Mary Berry)

I’ve been watching the GBBS Masterclass series (in some ways, more fun than the regular show!). I have a huge list of baked stuffage I want to try, but this was high on the list and with a big St. Patrick’s Day shindig happening, I thought it was a perfect opportunity.

(Trivia: People usually associate green with St. Patrick’s Day, but that was the color associated with the Catholic church. Protestants wore orange. I don’t wear orange, but I’m happy to eat it.)

Original recipe here.

I do not have a kitchen scale (yet), so I converted to the best of my ability. It made a mighty fine cake, if I do say so.

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Whole Orange Spiced Cake

Candied Orange Peels (decoration, optional, do the day before)

1 large orange
1/4 cup granulated sugar Continue reading

The Taming of the Not-So-Shrewd (Book Plug)

tmp_9162-51mlI3dxVEL961908595Her wild imagination left her fearing a serial killer in Collapsible.

Trying to sort herself out, she nearly missed the mystery in Flexible.

Now Rachel’s back in Unbreakable, proving that even the strongest heads can change, and the blindest eyes can see (eventually).

I admit, with Collapsible I had to suspend reality. No one’s life could possible be that…that. There were shades of people I used to know, however, which made it hilariously funny and an easy, enjoyable read.

Then Flexible came along, and as Rachel grew as a character, I suddenly realized I could relate to her. I didn’t laugh quite as much, but I cared far more about her and her friends.

And now, Unbreakable*. Rachel is clearly trying so, so hard to improve her flaws and shortcomings, and blinding herself to some truths in the process. With stalkers, students, weddings, stabbings, and discovered love, Ruth Buchanan once again delivers a unique combination of drama and humor.

My favorite things about Ruth’s writing:

The editing is impeccable, so props to her English background and to her editor! It’s been a looooong time since I read a recent publication with NO spelling or grammatical errors in it.

Her humor is hilarious, and she can put a smile on my face even when she’s trying to be serious (this comes from finding out after the fact that Murder on Birchardsville Hill–which I also recommend–was not intended to be a comedy).

Her writing is clean. No foul language, no steamy scenes, and even with darker elements like serial killers, suicidal students, drug-addicted relatives, and stalkers, Buchanan manages to convey the seriousness without delving into details.

Ruth has been through a whirlwind of a time, having 5 titles released within 6 months! Unbreakable is the most recent and the last, although I do hope it won’t be too long before we see more from her.

*I received an advance copy of this book but was not required to write a positive review.

Major Blessing, Part 2

Work has been good for the Dearliest this last year. A large portion of his work is brush mowing, and he has wanted for a while to add a small tracked machine with a mower deck to make the work faster and easier.

When he answered an ad for a skid steer in a far away city, he had no way of knowing he would drive 3 hours only to face a sleazy middle-man and not the machine owner. After a few minutes of a rather disheartening conversation, he returned home without having even seen the machine. (This is, obviously, a very abridged portion of the story.) Continue reading

My new favorite way to remove stains (dish liquid to the rescue).

If you have laundry, you may find this useful. If you are a mom with an infant (read: yellow poop stains), you may find this invaluable, as I did.

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Image Source: Pixabay

If soaking clothes in an Oxi-clean solution and/ or stain remover sprays don’t work, try rubbing a little dish liquid into it. There is a bit of a method, but it works! So far I have successfully removed every stain, as long as the clothes didn’t dry first. There were a couple I had to treat twice AND do an Oxi-clean soak, but I got the stains completely out. Continue reading