Another mix

This is another Mix-up post full of random updates I wanted to share and post. Firstly I want to recommend another blog that is a follower of mine and also writes blogs on some of the same subjects- Book reviews, cooking etc. Her name is beluwasstories.wordpress.com

I think that I might take a break from writing blogs for a while, as my exam week is coming up, and I have lots of revision to work on as well as my normal homework. I will still write them when I have the time, and schedule them for times after the 1st of June, when I will continue to write. Please don’t expect any until then, when the usual blogs will appear.

This may sound a little too boring to add to a blog post to you, but for me its a memory that I want to remember. Last week I was on holiday with some friends and family, in Exmoor where, some of our friends live. On the second day we went to a beach, where we all had the best time we’ve had there. Here are some of the photos that me and friends took while on the beach that day.

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Bye for now,

SparrowHorse x

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Film Review: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Hi! Today i’m going to review My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, which I watched on Thursday with a few friends. We started at Pizza Express, then after our meal walked over to the cinema in time for the start. I loved this film, and i’m not even sure which film I liked the best, the 1st or the the 2nd. Here is my review and I hope you like it…

Parenting and marriage is becoming a problem for Toula and Ian. Their relationship is becoming hard to cope with as their daughter Paris is choosing colleges to apply to and struggling with their Greek traditions. On top of that, Toula must contend with aging parents and the endless needs of cousins and friends. When the family discover a secret that could lead to disruption between Toula’s parents, the whole family has to work together to create an even bigger wedding than before.

I love this film despite it’s weaknesses and it is something that i’ll never grow bored of. One problem I think was it’s lack of imagination. Yes, it has different problems with different people, but the whole marriage idea is the same, which I find a little off-putting. It was also a rather short film than I would have liked, only about 1 hour 30 mins; I would have preferred something longer with more info and plot line. 

Now, putting it’s weaknesses out the way, i’ll say why I liked it… I loved the characters enthusiasm and humour throughout the film. Whether things have gone wrong or right, the family is always laughing with their greek humour that the first film had. Some parts make you laugh out loud which I am glad of- otherwise it would have been nothing like so good a film. I think the actor for Paris was just right for the part, and I was also glad that the entire cast from the first film was back and willing to make an amazing 2nd entry.

I would recommend it 4/5 and recommend it for people 10+, as it is a 12A and would say some things are inappropriate for people under the age given. I would push anyone to go and see it, although if it isn’t your thing, it might get a bit boring. It is a comedy/romance, and a great example for that genre.

SparrowHorse x

Making fresh pasta

Today my brother and sister went to a holiday club for easter, and so I was at home with my mum for the day. I thought about cooking something, and so we looked in a few books to decide. We found a recipe for making fresh pasta and thought we’d make and cook that rather than just using dry. It makes tagliatelle, and makes enough for 4 people, here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 200g strong bread flour
  • 2 large free range eggs

Method:

  1. Sift the flour into a big bowl. Scoop out the middle of the flour to create a small well- you should be able to see the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Crack the eggs into another bowl, then pour into the well. Now use the fingertips of one hand as a spoon to mix the yolks and whites together.
  3. Keep slowly stirring- as you stir, the flour will gradually fall into the egg until its all mixed in. You can now use both hands to bring all the flour and egg together to form a ball of dough.
  4. Once you have a big ball of dough, you’re ready to start kneading. Put the dough on a clean surface, push it down with the bottom of your hand, then fold the dough over and push again.
  5. Keep turning the dough and pushing and stretching and you will end up with a smooth ball of dough. It will take about 10-15 minutes before the dough is smooth and elastic, if you stop too soon the dough may tear when you roll it out.  
  6. Wrap the dough in a damp tea towel and leave it for 30 minutes to 1 hour in the kitchen. After it’s break, cut the dough in half-its easier to roll in 2 pieces- and wrap one half back in the tea towel to keep it moist.
  7. Sprinkle some flour over your rolling pin and a clean surface, then start to roll one piece of dough. Keep rolling, turning the dough so that it doesn’t stick to the table, you may want to put more flour underneath.
  8. You want to roll the dough until it’s really thin, and about as big as an A4 piece of paper and as think as possible. If you have a pasta machine, you can use this to roll out the pasta for you. 
  9. Use a small sharp knife to cut the fresh pasta. To make tagliatelle, which look like ribbons, cut the dough into strips about 5mm wide. Don’t worry if it’s not exact.
  10. 3 quarters fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the fresh pasta and cook for 3-4 minutes until its just done. The pasta should be soft, and not taste raw. Finally, drain the pasta in a colander.

This recipe teaches you how to make fresh pasta, and not any sauce, so try to learn how to make cheese or tomato sauce, or simply add a bit of pesto. I personally much prefer fresh pasta to dry, so please try to make it! Here is mine when I added tomato sauce and some grated parmesan: 

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SparrowHorse x

 

 

 

Book Review: Book of Lies

I read this book a few weeks ago, I brought it in a book fair for world book day, and I love it. It is by author Teri Terry; I have read some of her books before, the Slated series, and enjoyed them, though not quite as much as her latest book. I must admit they have some weird covers, but it didn’t put me off and i’m glad. Here is my review:

Quinn and Piper are twins but have never met. A tragic event brings them together and draws them into a family curse that stretches across centuries. One twin can command the darkness, the other could hold the key to breaking the curse. But when lies become truth and the truth looks like lies, who can you believe?

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This book is so emotional, as you read the book it feels as if you’re really there, and as the chapters alternate in first person between Quinn and Piper, you’re able to communicate with both aspects of the story. The plot is tense and captivating after the first 70% of the book, but before that I felt that it dragged on a bit and didn’t really get to the main point of the story. The author got to the main plot too late and before you got there you didn’t really know what was happening. 

The last 30% of the story is suspenseful and thrilling but if Teri Terry had evened out the action it would have been a much better read for me. Don’t get me wrong, I did like the start, just it would have made it better as a whole if she had written things a different way. The end plot was quite dark and full of twists, not what i’d usually read, but what I was expecting having read some of her other work.

I would recommend it for people who like dark, YA books. I would rate it 4/5, for people 12+ and a good read. Have fun reading,

SparrowHorse x

 

Update post

Recently lots of things have been going on, but none of them really big enough to write a real blog post about…this post is an update of all the things that have happened, hopefully in a rough order…

  1. I read Twilight! In my film review I said that I wanted to read them next, and so i’ve read the first. I didn’t really want to write a blog post about it because i’ve already done one on the film, but I think that is definitely as good or even better than the film and I would recommend it to anyone. I have spoken to a few friends who have both read and watched the series, and we all think that if i’d read the book before watching the film, I would have found it a lot better because of not knowing what was going to happen. From now on i’m going to read the books first, then watch the film so as to not spoil the book.

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2. About a week ago the chickens lay their first egg! As you knew from a few posts ago, I got three chickens, and for a while we didn’t have any eggs. But then, we found one in the nesting box and it was great! From then on we’ve had three eggs a day, one from each of our chickens, and I love them much more than our usual Sainsbury’s eggs. 

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3. Today I got a new pencil case for school! I know this my not sound that exciting to you, but i’ve been waiting to get one for about 3 months and finally I saw one that I liked in WHSmith this morning. It’s quite small but i’ve managed to fit everything I need to in it… Below is the picture of my pencil case, with all my stationary inside.

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Hope you enjoyed this,

SparrowHorse x

Film Review: Twilight

I watched this yesterday at a friends sleepover, and I thought it was a really good film. I haven’t yet read the books, but now I have seen the first film, I am going to read them before watching the next movie. At first I wasn’t sure about the whole vampire thing, but soon it all pieced together and I found myself watching the most amazing film. Here is wikipedia’s description and my thoughts.

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High-school student Bella Swan, always a bit of a misfit, doesn’t expect life to change much when she moves from sunny Arizona to rainy Washington state. Then she meets Edward Cullen, a handsome but mysterious teen whose eyes seem to peer directly into her soul. Edward is a vampire whose family does not drink blood, and Bella, far from being frightened, enters into a dangerous romance with her immortal soulmate.

I realised soon after I began watching that I didn’t really like the actor of Bella- Kristen Stuart. To me, her facial expressions and acting skills annoy me and I don’t really think she was the best actor they could have got for the part. I think that Edward’s actor-Robert Pattinson -was good for the part, but others weren’t as pleasing.

What I did love was the plot line, I didn’t know what was going to happen next, it was action-filled and thrilling to watch. The story made perfect sense and it was easy to tell who was who. The only thing that did confuse me was that you could tell who was a vampire or not by their pale skin, but Bella, a normal human was pale too? Confusing…

The film gave me a scare in the right places, and it wasn’t too noticeable that it wasn’t real, like some films, e.g someones dying on the floor and you’re laughing because the blood looks so fake. I think I would rate it 4/5 and i’m looking forward to seeing the next ones. The age rating is a 12, and so I think I would recommend it to people 12+, because of its creepy content…

Watch it and you won’t regret it!

SparrowHorse x

Chocolate chunk and pecan cookies

Today I made some really nice cookies, chocolate chunk and pecan, from a BBC recipe book. It was a new recipe for me, one that I hadn’t made before, but I wanted to give it a go. They are really sweet, chocolatey, and fun cookies to make, and if you follow the easy recipe, you will end up with some of the best you have ever tasted. A hint: I would space the mixture out a LOT when you put them in the oven,, because I put them too close to each other, and they all managed to merge into a massive cookie, so I had to cut them up. Here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy making!

 Ingredients:

  • 200g plain chocolate
  • 100g chopped butter
  • 50g light muscovado sugar
  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 1 or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g whole pecan nuts
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees or gas mark 4
  2. Melt 85g of the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute or over a pan of simmering water
  3. Beat the butter, sugars, vanilla and egg into the melted chocolate, until smooth
  4. Stir in three quarters of the nuts and remaining chocolate then the flour and bicarbonate of soda
  5. Heap 12 spoonfuls of the mixture, VERY spaced apart on two baking sheets on greaseproof paper
  6. Poke in the last nuts and squares of chocolate into the lumps of mixture
  7. Bake for 15 minutes until firm-ish, then leave to cool on a wire cooling rack
  8. Eat!

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These cookies make 12, and take about 30 minutes to make. They can be stored in a tin for about 3 days. I love these cookies and I hope you do too. 

SparrowHorse x