July 29, 2016

What I'm Reading: Kanye West Owes Me $300

Kanye West Owes Me $300 by Jensen Karp

Kanye West Owes Me $300 
[And Other True Stories from a White Rapper Who Almost Made It Big]
by Jensen Karp

"After Vanilla Ice, but before Eminem, there was "Hot Karl," the Jewish kid from the L.A. suburbs who became a rap battling legend—and then almost became a star."


Jensen Karp, formerly known as rapper Hot Karl, is an LA-based writer, comedian, and co-owner of Gallery 1988, the nation's leading destination for pop-culture themed artwork. He has appeared on several VH1 television shows, hosts and cohorts podcasts and web series and has written and produced for Funny or Die, the MTV VMAs, Rolling Stone, WWE Raw and the ESPYs, to name a few. 

I must preface this review by saying, I am not a fan of Kanye West or rap. But, with Kanye's reputation in the media, when I saw the title of this book, I was immediately intrigued. This memoir is a hysterical look at the rap and hip hop scene and cutthroat music industry in the early 90s to 2000s. And while Kanye plays a minor role is Karp's adventures, this book kept my attention through all 19 chapters. As an early teen when Karp's career in rap took place, I was the furthest thing from a rap or hip hop lover (hey, Backstreet Boys). But, even for this boy band lover there are many familiar faces that make an appearance throughout the book. Some that remain a household name in today's music scene. 

"Kanye West Owes Me $300" was an outside of the box book for me, but I'm glad I chose to give it a chance. Bottom line, it is an easy, no brainer kind of summer read that I would recommend to anyone interested in just that, or rap. 

To & Fro rating: ★ ★ ★ 1/2 / 5 stars


What books have you read lately?

Past reads:
March 
April
May
June


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are 100% my own. 

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July 27, 2016

The Best Lemon & Blueberry Muffins

I'm a big fan of muffins. They're such an easy grab and go breakfast. The best are always made with fresh fruit, or even vegetables. 

At around 84 calories per serving (1 cup), blueberries alone make a delicious low calorie treat. They are also a good source of vitamin C and fibre, making them an even better choice for a summer snack.

You want to know what's even better? Blueberries in muffins.

Here in Ontario, blueberries are in season July to September. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of this delicious berry, starting with the best lemon and blueberry muffin recipe.


The Best Lemon and Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Lemon & Blueberry Muffins


Yields: approximately 12 small muffins


Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or plain yogurt)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease a muffin tin.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, egg, oil, milk and vanilla in a bowl and stir until well combined.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine lemon zest, flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and combine. Lightly mix, until no longer lumpy.
  6. Stir in the sour cream until it is well distributed.
  7. Fold 3/4 cup of blueberries into mixture. Do not over mix the ingredients.
  8. Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tins, approximately 3/4 full. Top each muffin with the remaining blueberries.
  9. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top and inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
  11. To keep muffins moist, store in sealed container while they’re still warm.
The Best Lemon and Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Did you know that North America is the largest producer of blueberries and accounts for about 90% of the world’s crops? High bush blueberries, such as the ones used in this recipe, are grown in more then 30 states and in provinces like Ontario and British Columbia!

If you’re just a big a fan of muffins as I am, check out these recipes:

What is your favourite muffin recipe?

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