Blogtober Day Four: Books & Baking – House of Salt and Sorrows

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Hi, lovelies! Today I am here to share my first post of the newest blog feature here at Classy x Book Reviews! We’ve titled it Books & Baking. Basically what this new feature is baking (or cooking sometimes) things that are inspired by the books we read. For this first post, I have baked something that was directly mentioned in the story, but sometimes we will just make things that are inspired by the story. Not all books mention food and we don’t want to limit ourselves to books that directly mention or talk about food. So, now that we have the business out of the way, let’s get down to the first part of this post.

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Book: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Read my full review here!

I had so much fun buddy reading this book with my fellow Capricorn moon signs for Zodiacathon. I love the setting, the world, and the characters. It was such an atmospheric experience. The perfect read for the spooky season. It was creepy and mysterious, there was suspense on every page. I highly recommend this book for so many reasons. I’m going to share a few of my favorite quotes before getting into the baking half of this post.

“We are born of salt and starlight.”

“We’re not going anywhere. We’re the People of the Salt. We’re tied to this land, to these seas. Fire cannot force us to retreat.”

“The High Mariner says Pontus created our islands and the people on them. He scooped salt from the ocean tides for strength. Into that was mixed the cunning of a bull shark and the beauty of the moon jellyfish. He added the seahorse’s fidelity and the curiosity of a porpoise. When his creation was molded just so-two arms, two legs, a head, and a heart-Pontus breathed some of his own life into it, making the first People of the Salt. So when we die, we can’t be buried in the ground. We slip back into the water and are home.”

Baking: Glazed Almond Cookies

Now, these cookies were a part of the many delicious sounding treats that Annaleigh sampled at the Churning festival. These were the most realistic for me to bake, also some of the other things don’t exist.

“We stuffed ourselves with treats from street vendors. Spun sugar sea glass, glazed almond cookies shaped like sand dollars, roasted corn, and bowls of thick clam chowder were offered on every corner, along with more exotic fare: red frog crabs and whelks, jellyfish jerky and sea urchins.”

If you feel like you want to make these delicious cookies too, here’s the link to the recipe I  used!

Ingredients:

Softened, salted butter
Granulated sugar
Egg
Almond extract
All-purpose flour
Baking Powder
Salt
Chopped sliced almonds
Orange zest

Icing Ingredients:

Confectioners’ sugar
Milk
Almond extract

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix the butter, sugar, egg, and almond extract until the mixture is creamy with no lumps. Next, in a new bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually mix the butter-sugar into the new bowl. Then stir in the chopped almonds and orange zest. Place on parchment paper over a cookie sheet in tablespoons. Bake for ten minutes then cool.

Icing Instructions:

Combine all three ingredients until smooth.

Assembly

Drizzle icing over cookies once cool and top with a dash of orange zest. Then enjoy!

 I love baking, so trying something new like these almond cookies was super fun! And now my family has dessert for the next few days! I think they turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. I’ve added a photo so you can all take a look at my final product!

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What did you think of the first installment of our new Books & Baking feature? Let me know if you decide to make these too. Feel free to give me any feedback you might have to make this new blog feature the best it can be! Thoughts and opinions are entirely welcome.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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GoodReads

Blogtober Book Review: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

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GoodReads Summary:
In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
House of Salt and SorrowsReview:
A 12 Dancing Princess retelling? Say no more. I was beyond excited to read this book and I was lucky enough that my fellow Capricorn moon signs wanted to buddy read it for the Zodiacathon. It was the perfect read to start off the Spooky Season.
Let’s start off with the atmosphere. The setting was an island that worships the sea. That’s a place I could live in. It starts off with the fourth funeral of one of Annaleigh’s sisters. So, right from the start, it’s a little creepy and grim. It continues like that for the rest of the story. You can almost feel the atmosphere. Foggy and rainy, murder and mystery. It’s the perfect October read.
At first, I had trouble keeping the sisters straight. There’s so many of them, even the ones who died. Trying to remember who was who and who was dead or alive was confusing, but I did figure it out after about 100 pages. I really enjoyed our main character Annaleigh, but I feel like because there were so many sisters and other side characters, we really only got the chance to get to know a few of them. We got to know the stepmother, who I alternated between loving and hating several times. Fisher, who I also both loved and hated for different reasons. And a few of the sisters. I would have liked to go more than surface deep for the other characters. Cassius especially. Though I’m still obsessed with him, we didn’t really get to know him that well. We learn who his parents are, but not what he likes and doesn’t like and things like that. It was similar with a few other characters too.
The mystery was really great. I suspected almost every character except the sisters at one point or another. I really love books that keep me guessing and this one did. While I did predict (but then convince myself I was wrong) the identity of the big bad, there was so much more to the mystery than I could ever have predicted. I loved that the mystery was so much more than I anticipated.
Overall, I completely loved this book. I am excited to see what else Erin Craig comes out with. I loved the main character and Cassius. I loved the setting, the mystery, and most of all the atmosphere. I also really enjoyed the twist on the 12 dancing princesses’ story. This is a must-read if you like fantastical retellings and spooky reads.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.