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.

Big City C&M

Good morning friends and fiends! Just droppin’ a little line to let you know that Mr. C&M and I are running off to NYC. So there will be a severe lack of posting until we return.

If you insist on following our shenanigans, you can tag along on Instagram.

If you’ve been to NYC before, what was your favorite thing?

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Blueberry Banana Bread

I have baked so many breads that it’s finally getting to the point where I’m not 100% positive that I have not done this recipe before. I don’t THINK I have.

Either way, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to re-post good recipes.

The grocery stores have been loaded with blueberries and it’s hard to resist buying them every single time I go shopping. Obviously, at least once, I did not resist.

This is an easy recipe with your classic banana bread taste, peppered with pops of delicious tartness. Great for summer picnics.

Recipe here.

Coffee & A Chat – The Sickness

I know I’ve alluded several times to Mr. Cupcakes and Machetes being sick, for over a month now. After numerous doctor visits, labs and other tests, they still do not know what was wrong with him. No solid theory anyway, just a bunch of small things that happened all at once. They sent us on a wild goose chase to find an affordable MRI place when they told us he had a lesion on his liver during his ultrasound. Turns out it was a false reading thankfully. So needless to say, we’ve been worried, stressed and exhausted for some time now. However, he finally appears to be on the mend and we’re both looking forward to getting our lives back to normal.

That means more time for reading, baking and making things…….once we get back from our vacation next week. We’re both ready for it. After all the bullshit, we need a little escape. Then, we’ve got to get cracking on projects we’ve neglected around the house.

So this is just a post about the relief that my husband is finally starting to feel better and life should get some resemblance of normalcy restored.

Fly on the Wall Podcast

Ello mates! Just dropping a post to inform you that the incorrigible Imperial Rebel Ork was kind enough to read one of my book reviews on his podcast, Fly on the Wall. His cohort Waz, reads it in a fun “Michigan” accent.

It’s a fun little podcast that is quickly gaining speed. So if you’re looking for something that will make you laugh, and may be considered slightly offensive at times, this is definitely the podcast for you.

Fruity Pebbles Muffins

America, fuck yeah! We had a relatively quite day on the fourth. We stayed home, had a friend over, grilled some food and binge watched Stranger Things season 3. (Not finished yet.) It also gave me time to do a little baking. I agreed to make something for another fourth of July party but the boys wanted something to snack on in the mean time.

The nice thing once you get into baking is you usually have so many supplies left over from previous recipes. I only had to purchase Fruity Pebbles and a small container of greek yogurt for this one.

This recipe actually sounds better than it is. The cake itself is very dense, with light flavoring. If I were to rate it overall, it would be 3 out of 5 stars.

Easy enough to make though and it will impress your stoner friends.

Recipe here.

ARCs & Guilt

Amazingly, I am really good at controlling myself on Netgalley. I request one to two books every couple of months and I always try to read and review them before their release date as that helps the author sell. Being such, I’ve felt a bit of guilt lately. The last ARC I read, I didn’t review until after the release date by a couple of days. This guilt is all self-imposed, Netgalley doesn’t really require that you do reviews one way or another. At most, sometimes the publisher requests that you wait until two weeks before the release date to post your review.

So, the one that is laying on the guilt for me is :

I was SO excited to start this late last week and then I realized it releases today, the second. AND it’s 800 pages.

Now I love a fat fucking book but man, did that take the wind right out of my sails.

I still plan to start it here soon but it’s going to take me some time to get through, no where near it’s release date. But I love this author, so I think it’s making the guilt worse.

Now I’m left wondering, how the fuck do all these book reviewers who receive a metric fuck ton of ARCs manage to get through them all?

I want to know their secrets, I also want to know if they have any sanity left.

Now I’m just kind of grumpy and not reading anything. D:

The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) – Book Review

Published Date: November 14, 2017

Publishing Co.: Harper Voyager

Pages: 533

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Distinct and enchanting.

Ozzy approved.

As with many epic fantasies that I end up binge reading, I wish I had slowed down for a minute and wrote down a quote so that you may sample the lyrical wine. But, I have no djinn to grant my wish.

Turns out that’s a double edged sword anyway. You get all your wishes but you’ll likely be murdered in the end. Djinn slaves are not to be trifled with.

Nahri is a pick pocket from the streets of Cairo during the French occupation. She swindles to survive, using her unusual healing abilities to help birth children and run cons against the wealthy. She speaks a language she’s never heard another human speak before and learns languages as easily as riding a camel. She smiles at everyone she plans to rob. That’s sweet really. If you’re going to take something someone has, at least do it with a smile on your face so the mark feels good for a minute.

While hosting a fake ritual to heal a mentally broken girl, Nahri accidentally summons a djinn warrior and an ifrit, with a host of ghouls they summon to hunt her down. Not exactly the scam ending she had been hoping for. The surprised-to-be-summoned warrior saves her and they run from Cairo.

What follows is a countries crossed trek through the desert via flying carpet and stolen horses, battles with mythical creatures and the arrival to a secret city inhabited by beings Nahri has never heard of before but apparently, shares as least some small amount of blood with. She’s the last blood of a tribe that was massacred and the people are desperate for both what she represents and her healing abilities. It’s a city of wealth unlike anything Nahri has every seen and a life there is almost unimaginable, until the king offers her virtually everything she could ever want.

Nahri recognizes another con man when she sees one. She decides to take the offer and believes she can hold her own against him but she’s not well versed in politics and it’s games. The youngest prince appears to hate her, the princess tries to humiliate her and the king expects her to fail. She tries to learn to navigate this new world with the help of people from her tribe and her personal warrior, but everyone has their own agendas for her life and Nahri is too independent to be lead by the nose.

Everyone is running their own scheme in Daevabad, and every scheme is interrupted or spun into a new scheme is this politically unstable city filled with various tribes of magical people who cannot seem to get along for long.

Will Nahri survive the city or will she become the victim of a long con?

Coffee & A Chat – Puzzles

Mr. Cupcakes and Machetes has long cried his love for puzzles. So for years, people (mostly Ms. Moth and myself) have bought him puzzles and he’s never sat done once and done them. Then, he got sick and it was finally time to slow down enough and try one out. (This very nearly become a post complaining about the healthcare system here but alas, I have neither the time nor energy to accurately portray our frustration.) Turns out they are rather fun and he now plans to work through our puzzle backlog. We argue half the time because he insists on working on the border first and then the inside, and I do whatever the hell I feel like doing. 😀 Despite that, it’s actually great quality time together. We listen to podcasts and chat about random things and swear a lot at this particular puzzle:

Mario, you beautiful bitch.

Do you puzzle? Give me all your puzzle secrets!

The Final Days of Magic (Witches of New Orleans #3) – Book Review

Published Date: June 18, 2019

Publishing Co.: 47North

Pages: 340

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The King of Bones and Ashes review.

The Book of the Unwinding review.

I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review.

The Final Days of Magic was the most solid installment in the trilogy, which is a good way to end a story. In my reviews of the previous books, I complained that the author appeared to skip important parts or explanations and it left the feeling of an incomplete story. I’m happy to report that seems to have been cleared up in this addition.

Our three witches, Alice, Evangeline and Lisette have for the most part, gone their separate ways again. Each trying to both heal but prepare for whatever the world throws at them next. They don’t have to wait long until they’re tested by the dark force that wants back into their realm.

This time the action felt much more fleshed out and kept me entertained. There were definitely some dark moments for some of the characters that provided a more emotional connection. However, the deaths of a couple of characters felt a little rushed and we were not given proper time to mourn them.

Overall, this series was entertaining and provided a great atmosphere with interesting characters. It’s hard not to love a story set in New Orleans with witches, but I’ve seen it fail before. The author clearly spent a lot of time researching history, the occult and magic and it really paid off.

Cake Mix Cookie Bars

To some people the idea of baking is intimidating, thus they avoid it. They dream of the ability but they don’t take that leap. My advice, as only a decent baker definitely not a pro, is to start easy and build your confidence from there. That’s what I did. It all started with an easy quick bread recipe and every once in awhile I push myself out of my comfort zone to learn something new. (Not the case with this recipe, I wanted easy.)

This recipe is a great place to start for the beginning baker. It was a hit at the work potluck and it’s so easy. I’m going to make a second batch for home since I have enough left over ingredients besides one.

I should have gotten a picture of them all sectioned up. But, I didn’t so this is what you get.

Recipe here.