Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bookish Review: A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones has been getting a lot of press lately because of the HBO series based on the book. That would not normally be enough to get me interested in a book, since I don't even have HBO. It had been recommended to me by several friends, though, so I decided to read it.

The book is the first in a series. It is long, and complex. Martin switches perspective every chapter, there are lots of characters, and it is highly detailed. SO, it takes a little while to get into it. The characters are nicely fleshed-out, though, and you'll begin to care about them pretty quickly. The book is low fantasy, set in a kind of medieval world made up of 7 united kingdoms, as well as a few others. The king who is currently on the throne took it by force, overthrowing the mad king, who had inherited the throne, and killing or banishing his offspring. The new king is pretty well-loved, but not by his wife, and if something should happen to him, what will happen to the kingdom?

A few things to be aware of: the book contains sex, violence, and incest. Martin also has no problem killing off characters--even main characters, so don't get too attached. Despite being so long, the book really is compelling and a page-turner. You'll want to have the 2nd one waiting in the wings for when you finish.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cookish: Party Time

Desserts at my cousin's bridal shower

I threw a bridal shower for my cousin J. We were going for finger food, so cake balls seemed like the perfect dessert. This was my first time making them, and they were a huge hit!

I got the recipe from Bakerella. It's a box of cake mix and a tub of frosting and some coating. Ooh, tough, right? ;) I used red velvet cake + cream cheese frosting + white coating and chocolate cake + chocolate frosting + chocolate coating. I purchased CandiQuick candy coating to coat the cake balls. It worked okay, but here's the thing: it's not less expensive than chocolate chips, you'll need more than one package, it's not that easy to work with, and it doesn't taste that good. SO, when I ran out of coating, I melted some white chocolate chips with some vegetable oil (per package directions). Worked like a charm. Easier to work with and hardened up just fine.

These are so easy. Do yourself a favor and make some!