May 26, 2024

Book Review: The Only One Left by Riley Sager

 Looking for a good Gothic-type thriller?  One that will have you glued to the story as you rip through the pages?

Then this is a book for you.

Someone, some where on the internet mentioned it (sorry, no clue - if it was you, yell out) and I immediately put it on hold with the library.  And, I kid you not, less than a day later my daughter-in-law texted a recommendation that I might like what Riley Sager had to offer.  I knew I liked her - this book was right up my ally!

The Only One Left is about a young caregiver assigned to care for a woman who was accused of killing her family decades ago.

The school yard chant that haunted her memories as she pulled up to the house to take up her new duties:

At seventeen Lenora Hope

Hung her sister with a rope

Stabbed her father with a knife

Took her mother's happy life

It wasn't me, Lenora said

But she's the only one not dead.

God, children can be morbid; can't they?  Despite the fact that her patient can't walk, talk or use more than her left hand; the caregiver is wary about her new patient.  Wouldn't you be after growing up with that chant?

I will say there were several twists in this one that I didn't see coming (and one, I kind of did) - and all in all was an enjoyable read.

May 14, 2024

Lemon Layer Cake w/Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream and Lemon Curd

 I hope all who celebrate had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend.  I spent the majority of my weekend channeling my inner Suzanne (as we all know of her love of lemony desserts) as I set about making homemade lemon curd and a lemon layer cake for the festivities.

As the very bad blogger that I am, I neglected to take a picture of the finished cake; but from all accounts it was a resounding success despite the fact that I think I overdid it on the lemon curd; or as my husband tells me, I am my own worst critic.  I put the curd between the layers - which I think, after the fact, would have been more than enough.  But no, I had to be EXTRA and put some on top of the cake as well.  To me, that was overkill.  But the icing was SPOT ON.

I used this recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction; and you will note; there isn't one mention of lemon curd anywhere in that recipe.  That is where I channeled my inner Nicole by playing it easy and breezy in the kitchen - something I rarely, if ever, do.  I can also confirm that my cake did not look nearly as pretty as the one on Sally's website.  For the life of me, I cannot decorate a cake; even after taking a cake decorating class one hundred years ago.  

Then there was the question of what to do with all the leftover lemon curd?  I wanted something fairly simple that didn't involve rolling out dough and spending a lot of time.

Sally to the rescue again (honestly, I think everything I've ever made from that website has always turned out so well; if not as pretty as hers).  Although, the majority of time spent on this recipe was waiting for the dough to chill.  Today I made these Lemon Thumbprints Cookies.  Folks, I think I may have found a cookie that will knock S's favorite spritz cookies from the top of the list; right after I think I've  FINALLY mastered the wicked cookie press. Personally, I think I prefer these cookies without the icing but I will let him be the judge.

And, as you can see...I'm not lying - my drizzling skills are so very amateur.

Despite the poor drizzling technique;
these  are VERY tasty.