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Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl

I’d initially heard of the author mentioned in a best books list on http://www.goodreads.com (Rowell’s Landline has made the Best Book of 2014 list). My interest now, thoroughly peeked, commence the research on all things Rainbow Rowell! I see brilliantly interesting titles like Landline, Eleanor & Park and finally chose Fangirl as my frist read for Rowell. I’m a TwiHard fan, TwiNerd etc etc. so naturally I immediately related to the title ‘Fangirl’ of the book.

This is a coming of age story about two twin sisters, Cather and Wren. Cather is shy and socially awkward; Wren on the other hand is friendly and sociable.  I thought it was brilliant of the author to explore two side of the coin via twin sisters. It’s safe to assume that both sisters are a product of the same background. Yet they’re journeys are totally different. What a fantastic way to show the outcome of a different path taken. How many times have we wondered what if I did this differently or that differently; how may my life have been different now? Rowell shows us, literally through Cath and Wren.

Along with the life lessons you learn in Fangirl, you also feel an infallible positivity throughout the whole book. Life lessons, positivity and happy endings may be a common ingredient in YA books however Rainbow Rowell did this with lots of tact and adds a fresh feel to it. You constantly see people coming together to help each other and you gradually see a new type of family being shaped. You see an authority figure’s constant battle with a mental illness and he “wins” with the support system built strongly on family values.

Overall, I’d say I enjoyed the book and I am looking forwards to reading Landline and Eleanor and Park.

Below is a visual treat for those of you who have read the book already and a teaser for potential readers.

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Recipe: Lemon Cake

I stink at desserts!! Stink I tell you! So I needed a trust worthy recipe! Paula Deen! I used this recipe to make the cake itself and really went crazy with the raspberry filling and made that from scratch. The filling was fantastic! The cake over all was edible, not so awesome looking but tasted good.  Oh and the frosting was store bought. Like I know what cream of tartar is.

Raspberry Filling

  • Equal parts water and sugar (in my case one cup each)
  • 3 cups fresh raspberries

Reduce until thickened

cookingfilling rasberry

Cake Recipe

Link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/paulas-lemon-cake-recipe.html

Ingredients

Cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups sifted self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Lemon wedge, for garnish
Mint sprig, for garnish
Frosting:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Filling:
8 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 lemons, zest grated and juiced
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.

To make the cake: Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4-inches above counter, then dropping flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks. Cool completely.

To make the frosting: Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. Beat constantly on high-speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

To make the filling: Place the ingredients in the double boiler over boiling water. Don’t let top pan touch the water. Cook and stir until mixture begins to gel or thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To assemble, add 1 tablespoon of filling to the cake pedestal. Run hands along the side of the cake to remove excess crumbs. Place the cake layers on the pedestal, spreading filling between the layers and on top. Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining filling. Frost top and sides of cake with frosting. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of mint.

batterwholecake