Sunday, October 20, 2013

Kickass Muffin

The Boss was playing his guitar and my little one was bouncing his head with the rhythm of The River when I put those choco muffins with a raspberry-jam heart in the oven. Their fate was signed by the music, their name carved in stone: Kickass Muffins. What else?

Follow the recipe for my Regular Muffin and add 1/2 spoon of cocoa powder to the batter for the choco taste.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Breakfast experiments

A successful breakfast experiment is this Bio*-Raspberry-Jam Muffin. 
*Aka Organic
A classic muffin with a fruity, fresh, red heart.
Muffins (12 units)
250 gr Flour
100 gr Sugar
2 Eggs
250 ml Yogurt 
80 ml Peanut oil (Sunflower oil is good as well)
1 pkg backing powder
Raspberry Jam
In a big bowl mix all dried ingredients, in an other mix the remaining things. Mix the liquid with the dry ingredients and stir energetically but briefly the batter, divide it in 12 Muffin cups and add a teaspoon of Raspberry Jam on top of each cup. The Jam will be engulfed by the rising batter in the oven. Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Green, White and Red in Friends without Benefits :D

I received an ARC of  Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City) from the author in exchange of a honest review and...

Friends Without Benefits can be read as a standalone, is a full length 120k word novel, and is book #2 in the Knitting in the City Series.
There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Finney: 1) She suffers from severe sarcastic syndrome, especially when she's unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her like Nico Manganiello, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Elizabeth Finney is almost always right about everything: the musical merits of boy bands are undervalued by society, “benefits” with human Ken dolls are better without friendship, and the sun has set on her once-in-a-lifetime chance for true love. But when Elizabeth’s plans for benefits without friendship are disarmed by the irritatingly charismatic and chauvinistic Nico Manganiello- her former nemesis- she finds herself struggling to maintain the electric fence around her heart while avoiding electrocution or, worse, falling in love.

Yeah, yeah. I'm yelling and I'm not ashamed to tell you that it is one of those teenager hysterical cry. One of those I had reserved for Bono, Larry, Adam and The Edge 25 years ago ;) But this time it's all for NICOOOOO! (Sorry, I can't truly stop).
He's my brand new literary crush!

I know, in the past I wrote that there couldn't be anyone better, more irresistible, sexier than Quinn riding his Triumph, but Penny found one of my weaknesses... I'm a cook-food-feticist! So how was I supposed to resist this:

"Before me was the sight of Nico, shirtless and in black boxer briefs, making apple fritters. He was standing at the kitchen table spooning apple goo into a waiting dough shell. Flour speckled his chest and stomach. I noted his stomach was pooch free."  You wrote it Penny! "Watching a shirtless Nico Manganiello bake was something that belonged in Playgirl magazine"

And you know what? I love Lizzybella too! I like strong, witty, sarcastic female characters. She's that and even more!

Cherry on top: the Epilogue. I'm not a crying person, but I had moisture in my eyes when I read the last page :-)

A couple of important things you've to know directly from Penny's notes:
Two characters in this book are diagnosed with a pediatric rare disease. For the last eight years my (day) job has been focused on biomedical research; specifically, research into the (accurate) diagnosis and treatment of pediatric rare diseases. I felt it appropriate that a percentage of the profits of this book go pediatric rare diseases foundations which are dedicated to helping the children (and their families) of this underserved and underfunded population. Therefore, at least 10% of the profits from every ebook sold will go to one of these foundations.
Every month for the next year (October 2014 – October 2015) I will be highlighting a different rare disease research foundation on my blog. Proceeds for that month will be sent to the highlighted research foundation.
If you’re interested in learning more about rare diseases research and the collaborative efforts currently afoot, here are some great resources: (clinical research network with sites all over the world, studies focused on rare diseases)

And now RUN to buy it! If you still didn't have it, don't wait a second more!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Oh Helen Fielding, what have you done?

I think that yesterday the news about how Helen Fielding had killed off Mr Darcy (TheGuardian)  was the most gossiped on Twitter, Facebook, telephone, and so on... I even discussed about it with my husband right this morning (Sipping my coffee during our breakfast). 
I mean, no politics, no bad economy, no wars and no dead people. This morning I had  the impending desire to vent my disappointment at one of the most cruel thing an author can do to an affectionate reader: kill the good guy :O

R.I.P. Mr Darcy
She's not the first one and not the last one to kill an universally acknowledged hero (I'm sure that when he punched Daniel defending Bridget all the female population dedicated to chick-lit and chick-flick -me included- swooned ;P) but every time I've to ask (Better said, cry out) the author "WHY? PERCHE'?"
Was it really necessary? Didn't you find a better way to create havoc in our heroine's life?

I imagine Mrs Fielding answering "Probably yes, dear." She would sip Earl Grey tea in a porcelain cup before adding, "But would I obtain the same resonance introducing a young, beautiful, unscrupulous new assistant in Mark's office? No, indeed. Bridget maybe would be suffering enough, but you readers? No way. You need an earthquake to come back to me."

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about" (Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray)

So, here we are my friends, mourning the death of our beloved Mr Darcy even before we've opened the book. Grief and pain will be fading soon and we'll hurry buying the book to know how did it happened and how Bridget had managed to survive the shock.
And don't worry, we'll survive. Like we did when J. K. Rowling killed Albus Dumbledore, or J. Weiner gave Peter an heart attack. It will pass, eventually.
And, please, leave a comment epitaph below for your stronger literary loss :-)