All posts by cupcakesandmachetes

About cupcakesandmachetes

I read stuff, I bake stuff, I rant about stuff. Book in one hand, cupcake in the other, machete for a mind. I find myself endlessly entertaining. You might too. Or you might not, but you'd be lying to yourself.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! For the first time in a couple of years, we went to someone else’s house and didn’t have to do the cooking. Being a good guest though, I baked some mighty tasty bread to bring along. This recipe has been hanging out on my Pinterest board for a couple of years now and it was time to give it a whirl. The result? Awesome. Sweet and tart.

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Recipe Here

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Thankful for Authors

Ok, ok. Everyone is thankful for everything this time of year, however let’s focus on authors. If it wasn’t for them, the world would be a much darker place.

I’m going to keep one of my favorite authors OFF of this list because of two reasons: 1 – He makes SO many people’s list. 2- I’m currently in a perturbed mood with his lack of production on the ASIOF books. (I’m not generally one to get all pissy about it but, I am today. I want more books damnit!)

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As long as they fuel you to continue writing George, I’m ok with that.

My top 5 favorite Authors:

  1. Robin Hobb
  2. Anne Bishop
  3. Mark Lawrence
  4. Patricia Briggs
  5. Pierce Brown

What authors are you most thankful for?

Snowbelt Brewing Company – Brewery Review

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Brewery Location: Downtown Gaylord, Michigan.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

It’s been a hot minute since my husband has done a beer review, so while we were in the great, white Northern Lower Michigan we stopped at a couple of breweries. Why not rate the entire experience? (Note: 1 of the 2 breweries we were so excited about we didn’t remember to take pictures or rate anything.)

Now we had only heard mediocre things about Snowbelt and thus went in not expecting too much. Maybe a decent beer and some half way decent food. Turns out, it was much better than expected. (Always a pleasant surprise!) They had pretty damn good beer and pretty damn good food.

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Downtown Pumpkin Brown, Rolling Belt, Sunnyside Hop & My Chest Hurts.
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Soft Pretzel bites with beer cheese and beer mustard, both of which were great.
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The winning beer of the night was the My Chest Hurts IPA. ABV: 7.2% IBU: 100+

The atmosphere was laid back with classic rock and 80’s ballads playing on a Friday night. It wasn’t packed but it deserved to be. This will be a new must-go-to stop when we are in the area from now on.

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You can sneak a peek at where the magic happens as you walk out the back door.

Recommendation Level: Do it. 

Fur Covered Sofas = Home

Since we bought our house in June, we’ve been operating with a recliner in the living room and the entertainment center. That’s about it. I mean, it’s not like we had a ton of money when we decided to buy a house, then we had vehicles problems until we recently gave up and got a lease. So, half a million things were more important than a couch but, HOLY HELL IS IT AWESOME HAVING A FUCKING COUCH AGAIN.

Some serious coffee drinking, reading, blogging, and let’s be honest, napping are about to happen on this new gray beauty.

Dog approved. Which is good because we bought it with them in mind. Just like we bought the house with them in mind. I mean if reincarnation was real, I would want to come back as one of my dogs.

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Ready Player One – Book Review

4 out of 5 stars

Well, wasn’t that a fun little dose of nostalgia slapped in with a lot of adventure?

As an 80’s baby who mostly remembers the 90’s, you won’t get far in this book without reminiscing a lot. Video games, music, toys, you name it. I definitely had fun “membering.”

As much as I would love to give this five out of five stars, I cannot. The issues were small but ever present. While the author doesn’t delve too deep into the planetary issues that create this depressing world where people escape to virtual reality, I have a hard time believing that if the planet was dying that every single person (homeless or not) would freely be using all this electricity to escape. I mean really think about it, try to imagine just how much electricity is being used while millions of people are playing the same video game all day, every day.

My second issue is that the danger doesn’t seem real. Wade is able to navigate every issue with minimal consequences. At no point was I sweating for the main character, thinking to myself, “Is he going to get through this? Is something bad going to happen to him?” He escaped death once by mere accident and ever since then he’s been able to outsmart a company with thousands of workers. No one was catching on in the slightest. He’s the smartest boy ever.

Despite that, it was fun and I’m forcing my husband to read this book as he is an avid gamer. Once he’s finished we’re heading to an arcade bar in Detroit inspired and named after this novel. I reward him when he listens to me and reads.

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Gotham City Sirens, Vol.1: Union – Comic Review

4 out of 5 stars

DC Comic’s three best ladies (in my opinion) move in together and of course, crazy antics ensue.
There are clearly some things I missed jumping into this one however, it was nothing that the comic didn’t review so you knew what was going on.

Catwoman will always be my favorite.

The artwork was spot on.

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Frost & Flurries

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If I’ve mentioned it once, I’ve mentioned it a thousand times. Michigan is always drunk when it comes to weather. We can have all four seasons in one day. This morning I woke up to the first full frost of the year. I have a feeling we’re in a for a nasty winter since last year’s was so week. (It rained and was cold the whole winter. It maybe snowed twice and neither time did it stay for longer than 24 hours.) My dad texts that they’re about to get hit with a snowstorm tonight, less than two days before we venture up to where I grew up in Northern Lower Michigan.

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I’ll make the trip up north, snowstorm or not because I haven’t been up there in over a year and a half. We deserve a mini-vacation. Plus, when winter does hit, I fully intend to become a hermit and never leave my house except for work and food. (It will probably be my busiest blog season yet! Cabin fever is real thing.) I look forward to an awesome Winter of Epic Fantasy once the snow descends.

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Monstress, Vol. 2 – Comic Review

5 out of 5 stars

Maika Halfwolf keeps eating her arm. That’s the price of power. You sissies just cannot handle what it takes to harness the power of a god. That’s not Maika’s problem and she’s on a quest for answers. Appendages be damned.

This installment is better than the first. The first was awesome, this one is splendiferous.

Dark, intriguing fantasy with bloody amazing artwork. Monstress is easily shooting to the top of my favorite comics list.

From Spooky to Sci-Fi

September through October was my horror/paranormal marathon reading in honor of the Halloween season. November means it’s officially Sci-Fi month! I’m ready for the change but before we leap into a new genre, here’s a recap of a spooky two months of reading.

Book Reviews:

Fire & Ash

Gather the Daughters – Book Review

Curtsies & Conspiracies – Book Review

A Monster Calls – Book Review

The Witchfinder’s Sister – Book Review

Home Improvement: Undead Edition – Book Review

Kitty Goes to Washington – Book Review

A Season with the Witch – Book Review

Raven – Book Review

Recipes:

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Buttermilk Pumpkin Bread

I consider the season a success and I am ready to plunge head long into science fiction month.

Do you plan to participate in Science Fiction month? How so?