Winter Fairytales

After seeing that several kindred book spirits were loving this book, I decided that I clearly needed to pick it up and give it a read. I mean, a fairy tale type story set in Alaska? How had I not read it before?

Here’s a quick synopsis before I get into it:

“Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart – he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone – but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place, things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.”

 Okay, let me start off by saying that this book indeed has a magical quality about it! The language; the story! Ivey  weaves it all together beautifully, creating questions and suspense, emotion and dreams all at once.

The stage is set so well in part one, with Jack and Mabel clearly living in their own worlds and struggling in their own ways. And then, one magical night, they build a snow girl, and everything changes.

I especially connected with Mabel in this story: being 8 months pregnant, I found it so difficult and heart-wrenching to read about their struggles to have children. It honestly made me weep on several occasions. And this is truly what I most appreciated about this book: it’s both otherworldly, fairlytale-like and piercingly realistic. At least, in my opinion, for the first two parts.

You see, I felt like the book fell apart in the third section. Everything between Jack and Mabel and Faina and the other characters had been set up so well: Mabel’s distress over whether or not Faina was real or a conjured dream; Jack’s struggle with his promises and with the farm; Jack and Mabel becoming a team again; etc. But then Part Three.

As she gazed upon him, love…filled every fiber of her being, and she knew that this was the emotion that she had been warned against by the Spirit of the Wood. Great tears welled up in her eyes — and suddenly she began to melt. – “Snegurochka,” translated by Lucy Maxym

I adore this epigraph! Clearly, we know what will happen in part three.

But, then, I felt that Ivey just flew through this section. In no time at all, Faina’s fox was shot (without repercussions), Garrett and Faina fell in love (without much hate), they were pregnant, they got married (in the summer, with no mal effect), the baby was born, Faina disappeared. And through it all, the vivid characters Ivey had created in Mabel and Jack faded away.

I don’t know. I feel like part three took away all the magic that parts one and two had done so well to set up. And that almost ruined the whole story for me.

 

I still think that Ivey writes beautifully and that this story had a unique, magical quality to it that I love, but in the end, I was disappointed.

Good thing I had cookies.

 

 


In some ways, this story reminded me of Life of Pi. It asks you if you are willing to suspend reality, and, if so, how far are you willing to suspend it. What do you think happened to Faina in the end? Who was she?

Holiday Binge Reading

Although it was only a couple weeks ago, I can’t remember why I hit upon this series. My two best guesses were either the fact that there was a Christmas book in the series, or that the witty (albeit cheesy) titles caught my eye. Either way, at the end of November/beginning of December, I decided to grab the first two books of this series and see what it was all about. And I didn’t stop after those two.

Here’s the premise: basically, narrator Lady Victoria Georgiana “Georgie” Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. She’s 34th in line to the throne, but her own family is all but penniless and unable to support her. She is, of course, supposed to make an advantageous marriage appropriate to her station. She, however, only wishes to marry for love. Throughout the series, she navigates unwanted marriage proposals, attempts odd jobs (despite being a royal and it being the Depression), and tries to figure out how to say no to a queen who constantly asks her to do little odd jobs for her (one simply does not say no to Mary R.). As well, Georgie seems to be a magnet for murder, with people dropping dead around her left, right and centre. She becomes rather good at solving the things, and leads us on a merry romp in each book as she tries to balance what’s expected of her, basic survival, and love.

 I would relate this series to something like the Flavia de Luce series, by Alan Bradley. It’s of the same humorous and light-hearted murder mystery vein, with slightly older characters.

If you like a good lady mystery series, interspersed with (not exactly historically accurate) details about the royal family, life for a young aristocrat in the 30s, and a bit of romance, give this series a try. It should probably be read sequentially, but each book does  a good, if not repetitive (especially if you read them all within a matter of weeks), job of bringing you up to speed.

In other words, if you’d like to jump in this holiday season by reading the Christmas book, The Twelve Clues of Christmas, you certainly may. It won’t ruin eeeeeverything. Additionally, there is a very short prequel that came out halfway through the series — Masked Ball at Broxley Manor. It does not need to be read first; it does not even need to be read at all, but it is a very quick read!

Now for a little series spotlight: The Twelve Clues of Christmas

For obvious reasons, this time of year I want to read cosy Christmassy books. Don’t ask me why I find murder mysteries cosy, but there you are. I love a good Agatha Christie at Christmas time as well. When I started the Her Royal Spyness series, my intention was to read the first 5 so that I could read the Christmas one. (I didn’t stop with it, of course, but by that time I was addicted.)

Here’s a synopsis of it: “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me—well, actually, my true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile, Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I’m snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig.

So it’s a miracle when I contrive to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village is like something out of A Christmas Carol! But no sooner have I arrived than a neighborhood nuisance, a fellow named Freddie falls out of a tree, dead…. Dickensian, indeed.

Freddie’s merely a stocking stuffer. On my second day in town, another so-called accident turns up another mincemeat pie

—and yet another on my third. The village is buzzing that a recent prison break could have something to do with it… that, or a long-standing witch’s curse. I’m not so sure. But after Darcy shows up beneath the mistletoe, anything could be possible in this wicked wonderland.”

 

People are dropping like flies in this one, and yet, it keeps that classic Christmassy vibe throughout. Not even multiple murders can take away from a Dickens-like Christmas, I guess. In fact, one of my features of this book is that Bowen includes multiple Christmas recipes, classic English Christmas traditions, and several parlour games at the end of the book, so you can have your own English Christmas, should you wish!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this series. It is nothing intense or impressive; on the contrary, it is a light, fluffy, binge-able series of the best sort. So, if you’re looking for something light and entertaining this season, to read between family gatherings and massive dinners, I encourage you to give this one a try!


Have you read this series, or any others by Rhys Bowen?

What are your favourite sort of Christmassy reads?

Have Yourself a Merry Little Gingerbread Loaf

I had been holding back my Christmas excitement all of November (mostly, anyway), but as soon as December came along, all restraint went out the window, or should I say up the chimmney!

And one of the first things on my list — one of the first things always on my list, if I’m being honest– was Christmas baking! My priorities are Christmas reads, and Christmas baked goods. It’s just how I like to live my life.

I made this Gingerbread Loaf for the first time last Christmas season, and when I started to think of what I might possibly bake first, it came immediately to mind. It’s a very simple recipe, it looks quite lovely, and it tastes AMAZING! It’s exactly the right way to start this holiday season.

I found the recipe on the blog She Wears Many Hats. Amy has a winner of a recipe here, and I encourage EVERYONE to give it a try! Like I said, it’s fairly simple, but it is a definite crowd pleaser! The only change I made was to half the amount of icing used. I found halving the amount was more than enough to drizzle over the loaf, but, then again, I fully encourage you to use the full amount. There’s no such thing as too much icing! And calories don’t count during Christmas, or so I hear!

 

And once you bake it, and fill your home with delicious gingerbready scents, I hope you make yourself a nice cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate, find a wonderful Christmas book to curl up with, and enjoy a moment of quiet solitude during this wonderful, busy season!

 

 

Merry Christmas all!


Here’s the link to the recipe!

Homemade Gingerbread Loaf Recipe


What are your go-to recipes for Christmas baking?

What are your Christmas reads this season?

Taming the Taming of the Shrew

So, to be completely honest, it’s been a few years since I read The Taming of the Shrew. In an ideal world, I should have reread it before I read Vinegar Girl, by Anne Tyler, in order to give a fairer assessment. But I didn’t, so here we are.

Here is the synopsis of Vinegar Girl: “Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but their parents don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner.

Dr. Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, all would be lost.

When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?”

I have read two books now by Anne Tyler, who is, apparently, “the greatest novelist writing in English” (Book flap quote). I find that a very contestable statement no matter what, but in this case especially, since I have not enjoyed either A Spool of Blue Thread or Vinegar Girl. Perhaps I just don’t mesh with Anne Tyler, but, regardless, here are the reasons I did not enjoy Vinegar Girl.

Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew is already one those plays that comes up against a lot of backlash for being misogynistic, and it is definitely arguable (if I recall correctly, for example, Petruchio does some pretty shady things to “win” Katherine over, and, of course, there’s the whole issue of Kate being “domesticated”). Before reading this book, I assumed that Anne Tyler would take the opportunity to give us a fierce and untameable Kate (it is 2017 after all), and, really, just balance out all the…touchy…moments from the original play.

Well, let me tell you, she did not. If anything, we’re given a Kate who is already tamed! I mean, she literally has no drive, no aspirations, no fight in dealing with her infantile and self-absorbed father and sister. Basically, she’s a doormat already. Perfect. Why even write the story?

Kate is encouraged to marry Pyoder, her father’s lab assistant, to get around his visa running out. There’s no plot about her being unmarriable (perhaps because it is 2017, and such things don’t matter), and Bunny, the younger sister, is only 15, so there’s no pressure from her or her suitors to try and marry off Kate first. Kate seems to get talked into this plan because “She has. No. Plan” (25).

And Pyoder, let’s talk about him. He seemed like an alright enough fellow at first; I mean, that doesn’t mean he’s worth agreeing to marry in an instant, but still. He shows interest in Kate and seems to admire her forthrightness and makes comments that would seem to encourage her independence, but then, on their wedding day (of all days) he falls apart and basically becomes a jerk. But she still marries him. Oh, but don’t worry, they have one kiss at the altar that goes pretty well. And in the epilogue they’re still happily married.

None of this makes me happy.

And Kate’s final speech? Just as confusing and controversial as Katherine’s original final speech in The Taming of the Shrew.

So that’s that. I am disappointed in this retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. I feel like there was so much potential to bring this story into the 21st century, but Anne Tyler dropped the ball. I want to believe that somewhere in it I missed the humour, the subplot, the play within the play, but no. There was only one level to be had here.


What did you think of Vinegar Girl? Do you agree or disagree with my interpretation?

How do you feel about retellings?

Oatmeal Spice and Everything Nice

Now, don’t get me wrong, muffins are delicious any and all times of the year, but there is something especially comforting and wonderful about muffins in November. Especially when those muffins are Oatmeal Spice Muffins.

I found the recipe for these on the blog Five Heart Home, and, boy, is it a winner. The basic recipe is delicious, but it also has so many possible adaptations!

I made a few with chocolate chips, and a few with pecans and craisins. Both addition varieties were tasty! My sister informed me that she tried out the recipe and added some homemade applesauce to the mix. That also sounds like a super idea, if you ask me!

Anyway, I hope you give this recipe a try, and enjoy a cosy November!


Here’s the recipe link!

Oatmeal Spice Muffins

 

Braving the Wilderness Inside and Outside

Braving the Wilderness is the first  book I’ve read by Brené Brown, and I feel like it won’t be the last. I was very impressed with how readable she was – it’s always a concern of mine when reading non-fiction that I’ll get bored or lost in terminology, but this is in no way the case here.

What I found most interesting about this book is that it is at once both an intense internal reflection and a commentary on how to live in community. And, well, that’s basically the human condition for you.

(As I’m writing this, I’m listening to a mix and the song “Where Do My Bluebirds Fly,” by The Tallest Man on Earth, just came on. Some of the lyrics are as follows:

” And as the early sign of dawn of thunder I see you stir the fog around
And when you find the boys and gears of sunset we’ll hear that high and lonesome sound, oh…”

Too appropriate, no? Brown’s starting point, that we’re in a spiritual crisis of lonesomeness, is right on the money.)

Here are Brown’s elements of true belonging. There were such valuable things said in each of them that I feel like I should go over each one to show what I gleaned from it:

  1. People are hard to hate close up. Move in.
    • This was the point that hit me the most, specifically her comments on how we label and “dehumanize”.  She might get fairly political in this section (okay, let’s face it, she gets political throughout), but what she says is applicable beyond politicians. No one should be called names. No one should be dehumanized. No one should be seen as a thing, rather than a person. No one. “When we engage in dehumanizing rhetoric or promote dehumanizing images, we diminish our own humanity in the process” (75).
    • Her interview with Dr. Michelle Buck on Conflict Transformation was also very valuable to read. It’s the kind of thing I’ll need to read over and over to fully absorb, but I know that it will be exceedingly helpful in life/future arguments. If arguments have to happen, and they always will, I hope I can be a good listener instead of a defensive and uptight defender.
  2. Speak Truth to Baloney*. Be Civil.
    • “If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy” is such an easy trap to fall into, but it is such a dangerous mindset. We need to recognize that, not only are there differences between people, but these differences are often what makes the world go round. As well, differences will always be there, and we can’t just live in smaller and smaller communities where we all agree…eventually we’ll all just end up alone. This section reminds me of an important quote from Rick Warren: ” Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” And on that note…
  3. Hold hands. With Strangers.
    • “Show up for collective moments of joy and pain so we can actually bear witness to inextricable human connections” (120). And don’t let’s so quickly turn to fear, blame, and hatred.
  4. Strong back. Soft front. Wild heart.
    • Why have we decided that showing vulnerability is a weakness, when, really, it takes such great strength?
    • This chapter also challenged me as a future parent. I know I’ll want to reread sections…especially years from now, when I have teenagers (:S).

As Brown says, each one of these presents a paradox and a challenge for us. What will make a difference is if we are willing to face the challenge.

If everyone could read this book and employ Brown’s strategies for communication and true belonging, what a world it would be! Of course, if the world could do that, we probably wouldn’t be disagreeing so much in the first place. Still, I encourage you to read this book, and read it with an open mind.


Do you have any Brené Brown book recommendations, or any similar type of books by different authors that you’d recommend?

What are your thoughts on Braving the Wilderness?

Blogging Bright Ideas

Hello there! Me again! Haven’t been here in a while. I decided to take the summer off blogging because a) I was busy, but also lazy, b) I was just not feeling up to it (for various secret reasons…ssshhhh!), and c) my oven was on the fritz, so I couldn’t bake anything anyway. Three solid reasons for sure! (not)

But here we are in September! The mornings are cool, the oven is hot, and it’s time to get back down to business!

I did do lots of reading over the summer (check out my Instagram for proof), but mostly, I feel, I’ve been reading a TON of murder mysteries! I started reading Louise Penny books in August and am on the 8th out of 13 (so far). Phewwww. It’s been a ride. If you are a fan of a good mystery series and are looking for one to fill up your fall and winter, look no further than Louise Penny and her Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series!

Or, if you’re not in the mood to start a whole series, how about Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore? Ha! A sneaky circle back to the topic at hand.

So, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, by Matthew Sullivan. Let me tell you something a little funny about this one: I had seen it all over bookstagram and, with it’s bookish and charming title, assumed it to be a cosy book about book lovers and a bookish mystery, and, naturally, I wanted to give it a read. So, when I had a gap in my Louise Penny availability, I saw this one on the recent releases shelf and scooped it up! I never read the book flap, I never read anything about it; nope, I just stuck to my made up assumptions and went with it!

Well, this is a book that deals with book lovers, and it is a mystery, but I can’t pat myself on the back for getting those things right because it was faaaar different than I assumed. It was way darker, creepier, and heavier than I anticipated. It deals with a brutal murder, a haunting suicide, and tough family lives. Gracious. I was not prepared for that. And I have no one to blame but myself.

This is not to say that I didn’t like it or that it was badly done. On the contrary, it was a twisty, tragic mystery that I could not predict.

The characterization was well done. I was sympathetic to Lydia, the main character, who has had to deal with so much in her life and still remains a quiet, compassionate person. Her father, Tomas, was murky enough to raise suspicion, and quirky enough to be endearing.

The narrative was a mix of flashbacks and present day, all told in the 3rd person, and in such a way that the story enfolded just a little bit at a time to keep you guessing.

I don’t know. I think, in the end, I just didn’t love this novel because it wasn’t what I was expecting to read, which isn’t its fault, it’s mine entirely. That being said, the writing and characterization were good, and if you like a gripping, haunting mystery, give this one a try for sure! As long as you’re aware of what you’re getting into!


Have you ever read a book and not known what it was about? Or read a book expecting it to be one thing (based on your own assumptions, the cover, someone else’s word) and discovered that it’s not what you expected? (I’m sure you are all, unlike me, much more savvy and aware :S)

We are all the Bears from Beartown

I’ll start off by saying that there will likely be spoilers in this review. That is, I’m going to talk about this book as if you’ve read it (and if you haven’t, you should, so go read it and then come right back here!).

This is an awful book. But it is also a beautiful book. And it’s almost shocking that it can be both, but it can be. I think it can because it gives such an accurate picture of human beings. It’s so real. And that’s both awful and beautiful.

Here’s the official synopsis:

“People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.”

Yes, this book is all about hockey, and all about a small town and the interconnectedness of the two (and, having grown up in a Canadian small town, I get it), but to me, that isn’t at all what this book is about.

To me, Beartown doesn’t centre on hockey; it doesn’t centre on a struggling small town; it centres on rape, and how it affects each person connected to it and how each person reacts.

Yes, hockey it absolutely central to the narrative, and the fact that the rapist, Kevin, is the star of the hockey team definitely impacts a lot of the perception and reaction. But rape and reaction to the rape are truly at the centre of the plot. Hockey and small town hopes are just additional factors.

What this book does so awfully and so wonderfully is show us our own human nature. When something awful happens to an individual there are so many ways we might react. In the case of rape, only two individuals actually know what happened (well, Amat too, I suppose). It is, as the book notes, his word vs her word.

He – Kevin – is a lonely boy who can never please his parents (father), yet is a hockey star and the most popular kid in town.

She – Maya – is a fifteen-year-old, fun loving musician, and daughter to the GM of the hockey team.

Is there any reason to believe one over the other?

But, the thing about reading this in a book is that we, as readers, are witnesses as well. We read about the rape. We know exactly what happened. Most of the time, we would never have this insight. So yes, we’re on Maya’s side right away! We’re outraged!

But outside of a book, how might we react? Would we be like the other high school kids and label Maya all the nasty things? Would we be like Kira, the insanely protective mama wolf? Would we be like Maggan Lyn?….I can’t think of anything nice to say about Maggan Lyn, so I’ll move on. Would we be like Ramona, independent and fierce and full of worthwhile life experience that she’s not afraid to share? Would we be like Dave, unable to see past his own obsessive little world? Would we be like Kevin’s mom, able to stand back and look, really look, at her own child, but still afraid to be alone? Would we be like Benji, facing his own demons but trying to do right?

 

Each reaction, as admirable or awful as it is, is one that we can see displayed each and every time a rape story hits the news. Think of the Jian Ghomeshi trial, or the ongoing Bill Cosby case, or the Brock Turner/Stanford Rape case, which is probably one of the most directly comparable examples (here’s an article on it, if you don’t remember the case: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/06/what-makes-the-stanford-rape-case-so-unusual/486374/). And I am sure there are more.

In each of the cases listed above we hear similar things:

“She was asking for it.”

“What was she wearing?”

“Had she been drinking?”

And, in each of the cases listed above, the male was elevated (a well-known radio host, an actor, an athlete).

Beartown is such an important read because it forces us to look at our society and look at how we might react in a similar situation. Because we are no different. We are not better. We are all the Bears from Beartown. And our way of dealing with rape needs to change.


What is the most powerful or memorable book that you’ve read?

Mr. Wednesday’s Shadow

I’m a big Neil Gaiman fan. I love his writing style, and find his writing very entertaining (and humorous). I saw that they were making American Gods into a TV series, and that was an excuse enough for me to give it a read.

American Gods is definitely a strange book. I mean, it’s Neil Gaiman, so that’s no surprise. Still, definitely some odd stuff going on. Here’s the synopsis:

“A storm is coming…

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbours secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.”

I liked Shadow as a character. It was a 10th anniversary edition that I borrowed from the library, complete with “An Introduction to the Tenth Anniversary Edition” from Gaiman himself. In it, he claims that this book was quite “divisive” and people complained that Shadow was “unsympathetic” (xi). I did not find this to be true. I thought Gaiman did an excellent job portraying Shadow as a gentle, somewhat naive character, who still managed to be tough and stalwart. He certainly came across as sympathetic to me.

I didn’t like Wednesday, but I was impressed at how Gaiman managed to keep his character murky, yet compelling – someone you were drawn to but never quite trusted.

I thought the history of the gods was so interesting – how they ended up in America, how they stayed strong…or began to fade and die off.

The idea of the new gods was also interesting, though I agree with the criticism Gaiman addresses in the Introduction that “the true religion of America was sports” (xi). A god of sports would have been an interesting addition to the roster.

All in all, this wasn’t my favourite Gaiman, but it was still interesting, unpredictable, and entertaining, which is more than can be said for many a novel.


Are you into book to TV series adaptations? Any to suggest?

Is anyone planning on watching, or already watching American Gods? Or The Handmaid’s Tale?

Blondies. Not Brownies.

So, Easter. That was just last week, right? It’s amazing how quickly this spring is flying by, and it’s amazing how quickly I can get behind in blogging. But it’s all good, because today is a recipe that (yes) I tried at Easter, but I have made a few times since then! It’s pretty versatile, and it’s definitely worth sharing!

When I originally found this recipe I was looking for something fun to make for Easter that my nieces, in particular, might enjoy. I found this recipe on the blog AverieCooks, and it seemed like just the thing.

It turned out to be so delicious that these blondies were thoroughly enjoyed by family members of all ages (though I had to explain the concept of a blondie vs a brownie at least a thousand times).

They were so tasty, in fact, that I made them again last week with mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It just seemed like a good idea, and boy o boy was it ever!

The funny part about all of this is that these blondies are originally called Rolo Chocolate Chip Blondies, using, you guessed it, Rolos instead of Cadbury Mini Eggs or mini Reese’s cups.

According to Averie, the blondie base is very basic which makes it very versatile. You could use Rolos, Mini Eggs, or whatever little treat catches your fancy.

I just might have to try the Rolo version next.


Here’s a link to the recipe! Enjoy!

Rolo Chocolate Chip Blondies