Apple and Carrot Muffins

Today my mum, sister and I made some Apple and Carrot Muffins, with lemon icing. We had made them before but couldn’t remember what they were like and so made them again. The recipe comes out of a children’s book with recipes in, one of my sisters. They are a great snack, and I would recommend you make them as they are not hard! I found the icing a little too overpowering, with a little too much cream cheese in, so I would recommend that you add a little less than what it says on the recipe. Then again, if you think that you will like it that way, don’t take my advice! Here is the recipe, I hope you like it, it makes six…

For the Muffins:

  • 75g brown sugar
  • 75g soft butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon natural yoghurt
  • 125g self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 apple (core it and grate it before you start)
  • 1 carrot (peel it and grate it before you start)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the icing:

  • 75g cream cheese
  • 300g icing sugar
  • the juice of half a lemon

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4
  2. Beat the sugar and the butter in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until it is nice and creamy
  3. Add the egg and a yoghurt and mix again
  4. Mix in the flour, baking powder, apple, carrot and cinnamon
  5. Line a muffin tin with 6 muffin cases and spoon a large desert-spoonfull of the mixture into each of the cases
  6. Put it in the oven for 25 minutes or until lightly golden
  7. Whilst you leave them cool on a wire rack, mix all your icing ingredients together until smooth and creamy
  8. Spoon the icing onto the muffins and enjoy!

Here are the muffins before they have been iced,

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And here a few of them are afterwards…

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I hope you like them, (if you try them!) The muffins may sink a bit when they come out of the oven, but don’t worry, they’ll be fine… Bye for now, i’ll be writing another blog post soon,

SparrowHorse x

Book review: Paper Towns

Hi, today i’m going to do a book review on Paper Towns, by my favourite author at the moment, John Green. I have read a few of his books before; An Abundance of Katherine’s and The Fault in our Stars, as well as Paper Towns. I’m also about to read Looking for Alaska, as I have found loads of great reviews on it… Anyway, book review!

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Quiet Quentin Jacobsen was surprised when Margo Roth Spiegelman turns up as his window, ready to take him out for the best night of his life, playing pranks on a bunch of school friends who betrayed her. But the next day, when he turns up at school, she is not there… With some help from some of his friends, using clues she left behind, Quentin (Q) embarks on a trip to find the girl who stole his heart. What will happen next?!

I love this book as it has a lively storyline, with quite a lot of fun characters and conversations in it. The plot line is odd, although entertainingly funny, there were parts where I couldn’t help laughing out loud! In this book, I really liked the first introduction to the characters and settings; how it was like at high school, who people were and why they were there. I can also say that Q and Margo’s night out was amazingly told and so funny…! It was suspense-filled and I couldn’t put the book down.

I think that one it’s main weaknesses, though, was the fact that it was quite similar in a way, to An Abundance of Katherine’s. There was the same quiet, and somewhat nerdy boy, the same best friend and the same girl-that-he-loved… I would say that the storyline has many differences, but if you have read about one set of characters, you have read about them both. If you are just reading one on its own, though, I would totally recommend Paper Towns as John Green’s best novel.

I’m not really sure which genre John Greens books fit in, sort of YA fiction, coming of age, sometimes romance? I would recommend this for people 12+, people who have either read some of his other novels, or people who like authors such as Annabel Pitcher and David Levithan. 

I hope you get round to reading this soon,

SparrowHorse x

Star Cards

Today it was my sisters-friends birthday, and as I know her quite well, I thought I would make her a card…I looked in a few craft books and I found some instructions for a card that looked okay. I adapted it a bit, because I either didn’t have the required stuff or I didn’t like the element…Here is my adapted version:

You will need:

A star template

White scrap paper

Several sheets of coloured card

Scraps of decorated card

Scissors

A pencil

Pritt Stick 

Method:

  1. Find a star template that is about 8cm wide and trace it onto the white scrap paper
  2. Put that sheet to one side and get your coloured card -any colour will do, I used black- and cut it so it is measuring 12 x 24 cm
  3. Measure 6 cm from each side and score gently with the point of the scissors. Fold along the score lines so that the two sides fold into the centre
  4. Find another sheet of a different coloured card and measure a 10 x 10 cm square of the card. Cut it out and stick it into the inside of the main card using Pritt Stick
  5. Get the white sheet of scrap paper with the star on it and turn it over, so that you can only faintly see the lines of the star through the paper
  6. Stick down all of the scraps of decorated card down over the lines of the star, overlapping the card making sure it is all covered
  7. Cut out the star outline from the other side, ending up with a star, with lots of different patterned card on it
  8. Find the 10 x 10 cm square of coloured card, that is stuck in the middle of the card, and stick the star down into the middle of it
  9. Write your message on one or both of the flaps at the sides, fold the sides into the middle, and if you want you can seal it with a sticker or tape

Here is a roughly what you should end up with:

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I hope you enjoy making this,

SparrowHorse x

 

 

My new boots

Today I’m going to talk about my new boots! I got them in the post yesterday off amazon, from a brand called reiker, who produce boots…

My mum got a similar pair first and I sort of went: Ok, I need new boots!

They are sort of lace-ups-with-zips, and are really comfortable…

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There isn’t really much to say about them, except they are boots and I would very much recommend them to ANYONE!

SparrowHorse x

Book review: Silence is Goldfish

Hi again, I wouldn’t usually do a book review so soon after another but I have just read one of the best books I have ever read! It is by an author called Annabel Pitcher, a YA author that is quite new to me. She has only written 3 books, and I have read two of them recently; Ketchup Clouds, and Silence is Goldfish. Here is my review on it, starting with the blurb:

“My name is Tess Turner – at least that’s what i’ve always been told. I have a voice but it isn’t mine. I used to say things so i’d fit in, to please my parents, to please my teachers. It used to tell the universe I was something I wasn’t. It lied. It never occurred to me that everyone else was lying too. But the words that really hurt weren’t the lies: it was 617 words that turned my world upside down. Words scare me, the lies and the truth, so I decided to stop using them. I am Pluto. Silent. Inaccessible. Billions of miles away from everything I thought I knew.”

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At first the title put me off a bit, I mean, who names a book Silence is Goldfish? I wasn’t really sure if it was something that I would like to read, I haven’t ever read a book like it. It had a bit of a slow start, and a lot was confusing, if you didn’t concentrate fully. But the author really captured Tess’ feelings, making you connect with her. I think a lot of readers were able to relate to her struggles and that made it a helpful book. Annabel Pitcher has a writing style that leaves you thinking, wondering whats going to happen next and who is going to do what, and why. I read it all within four hours, unable to put it down. 

It is a sort of coming-of-age novel, which I like as is different from the usual genre I read. I think one of its main drawbacks is that Pitcher doesn’t go into depth with some of the actions that happens in the book; she mentions them, but them skips ahead, as if they don’t really matter. The book makes you feel as if you are really there, though, as if you are the ones having conversations, or seeing things. Annabel Pitcher speaks as if it is real-life, and it really happened. I would recommend it to people 12+, who like interesting styles writing. I would also say that her style is rather like John Greens, so fans of him will love this. 

I hope you get a chance to read this, because although it has some drawbacks, it is a great book.

SparrowHorse x

 

Film Review: x+y

x+y is a film I’ve watched recently on Netflix. It’s not so much a film that would be entirely enjoyable for some people, although I certainly found it entertaining, and in most respects enjoyable. 

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It is about a teenage autistic boy called Nathan, and about his struggles building relationships with others. Through personal tragedy, and while studying for the International Maths Olympiad, he gradually starts to realise how people think compared to him. 

It is an extremely emotional film, and I cried several times through the course of it. It helps you to understand what it can be like for some people, and others can relate to what he had been through. It is a sort of Drama film, and a 12A film. It captures the feelings of Nathan so well that you feel as if you know him yourself. x+y is such an interesting film to watch, I recommend that do if you get the chance.

I hope you get round to watching it after my recommendation,

SparrowHorse x

 

Book review: Legend

Hi, I’ve been trying to write something on my blog for ages but not much has come to mind recently. A few weeks ago I finished a book called Legend, by Marie Lu. I had never come across this author before, but I thought I’d give it a go. 

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It is about two people, a boy called Day, and a girl called June. They are both on the run and undercover, and meet each other by chance. June is seeking her brothers murderer, and has sworn revenge on the person who killed him. They are drawn together, neither knowing each others pasts. But Day murdered June’s Brother….

I think that it a great book to read but it is quite hard to get into. At the beginning I found the whole thing a bit confusing and I wasn’t sure whether to read on or not. I did and it slowly came together and I got to know what it was on about. It is a good example of an action book, because it is fast-paced, getting you wanting to turn the page.

Another thing I like about the book is that you get to know the characters quite well. You can easily imagine that you are there, with them, and I like that. I would also say that this book is set in a dystopian world , an imaginary place, where everything is bad or degraded. The way it is set out is kind of like the Hunger Games, and if you a fan of Divergent, or the Hunger Games, I would definitely recommend this to you!

I would recommend this to anyone above 12, as I found some of the chapters quite disturbing and also the language is quite bad! 

There are also two more books after it, making it a trilogy. The last two in my opinion are not as good as the first but if you like the first try out the next two. They are called Prodigy, then Champion.

I hope you think its a good book,

SparrowHorse x