Recipe | Mars Bar and Rice Krispies cake bites

Mars Bar and Rice Krispies cake bites: just 5 basic ingredients make this easy, sweet treat!

Quick Mars bar and rice krispie cake bars uk recipe chocolate and puffed rice cereal tray bake

After last week’s brownies, this week I was looking for another tray bake, although what I’ve found doesn’t actually require any baking.

These Mars Bar and Rice Krispies cake bites are quick and simple to make. As there’s no oven involved and you can do all the melting using a microwave, they’re also a good option if you want to “bake” with the help of little people. I got the original recipe here at GoodtoKnow. I made a couple of small changes, mostly to the decorative final layer.

A note on Mars Bars and Rice Krispies

If you can only get your hands on the original brands, that’s fine. But most supermarkets do their own, far cheaper versions of both these ingredients. I used Tesco’s own version of Mars Bars (any bar containing nougat and caramel coated in milk chocolate will be fine) and Rice Krispies because they were half the price of the original brands (see pics below).

Tesco's own brand rice krispies, puffed rice cereal and mars bars crazy caramels

Ingredients (makes 16 to 32 Mars Bar and Rice Krispies cake bites depending on how big you cut them)

Wait! There’s more. Click for the recipe and more pics!

Recipe | Salted caramel chocolate brownies

I need to find more words for “delicious”!

how to bake salted caramel brownies quick recipe uk

I’ve never baked with salted caramel before, but the experiment was incredibly successful. I got the original recipe from the BBC Good Food website. It’s very popular and, having read the helpful comments of other testers, I made a couple of changes to the recipe following their recommendations. I’m glad I did!

Ingredients (makes 16 to 32 brownies depending on how big you cut them)

Wait! There’s more. Click for the recipe and more pics!

ARC Review | Final Girls by Riley Sager

A slow-burning thriller with a decent final pay-off. 3.5/5.

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Thank you to Random House UK and NetGalley for providing me with an e-copy of this book. Final Girls will be published on 13th July.

The blurb: Each girl survived an unthinkable horror. Now someone wants them dead…

They were the victims of separate massacres. Grouped together by the press, and dubbed the Final Girls, they are treated like something fresh out of a slasher movie.

When something terrible happens to Lisa, put-together Quincy and volatile Sam finally meet. Each one influences the other. Each one has dark secrets. And after the bloodstained fingers of the past reach into the present, each one will never be the same…

My take

The premise here is terrific. The question “what happens to the lone survivor once the credits of a horror movie end”? makes for a great set up and interesting story. However, I felt the overall pacing of the narrative was slightly off.

Continue reading…

Recipe | White chocolate and strawberry heart truffles

White chocolate and strawberry heart truffles: small bites of deliciousness.

UK white chocolate strawberry heart shaped truffles easy recipe

After a long break from baking, I’m back with something a little different: white chocolate and strawberry heart truffles. This recipe comes from a recent Tesco’s magazine (I didn’t take a note of which month, but I suspect it was February 2017).

Making the white chocolate truffle mixture is easy, although cutting out the hearts can be fiddly. But all-in-all it’s worth the effort because the final result are small bits of deliciousness!

Ingredients (makes 20 – 40 heart truffles depending on how thick you pour the slab): Continue reading

ARC Review | One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

The Breakfast Club with a murder. What’s not to like? 4/5.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. M. McManus

Thank you to Penguin Random House and NetGalley for providing me with an e-copy of this book. One Of Us Is Lying is published tomorrow, June 1st.

The blurb:  Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive.

My take:

I can imagine the pitch for this book: “The Breakfast Club set in 2016, but the nerd dies and the other 4 are suspects”. As high-concept pitches go, that’s a cracker.

Continue reading…

Review | The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

3/5 stars

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

The blurb: Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life lovingly collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before. Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners. But the final wishes of the Keeper of Lost Things have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters…

With an unforgettable cast of characters that includes young girls with special powers, handsome gardeners, irritable ghosts and an array of irresistible four-legged friends, The Keeper of Lost Things is a debut novel of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that will leave you bereft once you’ve finished reading.

My take:

I want to stress that I’ve given this book 3 stars – which for me is a “good” rating – because overall it was enjoyable. What follows may sound like I’ve listed everything I didn’t like about it, so I want to start by saying I’m not trying to put you off and I’m sure there will be many readers who will love this story!

Continue reading…

Recipe | After Eight mint chocolate muffins

Delicious, easy-to-make After Eight mint chocolate muffins!

Simple After Eight mint chocolate muffins recipe uk

My only tip for this recipe would be to make sure to keep some chocolate out of the mixture and pop it on top of each muffin before they go in the oven. Most of the chocolate will sink to the bottom of the muffin, so don’t skip this step if you want a better distribution of After Eight mint chocolate and some on the top.

Ingredients (makes 12 After Eight mint chocolate muffins)

Wait! There’s more. Click for the recipe and more photos!

Review (spoiler-free) | Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) by Sylvain Neuvel

 4/5 stars

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

Thank you to Penguin UK – Michael Joseph and NetGalley for giving me an e-copy of this book.

The blurb: I won’t post the blurb for book 2 here because it contains spoilers for Book 1: Sleeping Giants (click for my review which features the blurb for book 1). Enough to say that this series features mysterious, giant alien robots and the team of people trying to figure out what they’re doing on Earth.

My (spoiler-free) take:

It’s nearly a year since I read and reviewed the first of the “Themis Files”: Sleeping Giants. I enjoyed the way that book told its story, giving us information through interview transcripts, letters and reports. Waking Gods uses the same methods and returns to the same characters as book 1, but I didn’t enjoy this installment quite as much as the first. Perhaps some of the novelty of the form has worn off? That said, don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to enjoy and appreciate in Waking Gods and if you liked Sleeping Giants I highly recommend you get a copy of the sequel.

Continue reading…

Recipe | Pink and white iced finger buns

Not bad for a first attempt at baking something bready!

pretty pink and white iced finger buns recipe uk

After my attempt to make bread a few months back was fairly successful, I returned to The Big Book of Bread to find a finger bun recipe. They didn’t have one, so I used the one for “Devonshire splits”, figuring that a sweet bun recipe is just that and I could roll the dough into long shapes rather than rounds.

All-in-all I was pleased with the results although, when I make these again, I think I’ll leave the dough to prove for even longer because I’d like the end result to be a little lighter.

Ingredients (makes 10-12 finger buns depending on how big you make them)

Continue reading…

ARC Review | The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas

An insight into one teenager’s life with Asperger’s. 4/5.

The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas

Thank you to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley for providing me with an e-copy of this book. The State of Grace is published this Thursday, 6th April.

The blurb: Grace has Asperger’s and her own way of looking at the world. She’s got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that’s pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn’t make much sense to her any more.

Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it’s up to Grace to fix it on her own.

Whip-smart, hilarious and unapologetically honest, The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas is a heart-warming story of one girl trying to work out where she fits in, and whether she even wants to.

My take:

Being a teenager is complicated for most of us. Navigating a world of mean-girl politics, annoying parents, evil teachers and a new interest in boys and/or girls, all while in the middle of a hormone storm, is a tricky business. Add to this a lack of sensory filter and a difficulty picking up the non-verbal cues most of us read without trying, and you have an idea of the world in which Grace is doing her best to get by.

Continue reading…