When Christina Dymock asked me if I would like to review her Young Chefs cookbook I was so excited to be able to try out some new recipies in the kitchen with Brandi- even though she is a bit older than the typical "young chef"
So here it is.
When I got the pdf and opened it up I was excited all over again. I was reminded of the first cookbook I ever got from Mrs. Nash when I was in 3rd grade. I loved that book. So much that I still have it, stained and dog eared and marked up and I used it for every single one of my seven children when they were learning to cook. Christina's book will be one of those, I am sure.
Once you open this book you'll know that it definitely was written with children in mind. There are recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, and Sides. All with pictures and written in language that little ones will understand and love to try.
You can check them out here if you want. (While you are there you can place an order for your children or children that you love and know would love to learn to cook)
What I love about this book:
The pictures of the tools needed so little ones can see at a glance what they need. And learn the correct names of the tools. This also helps little ones know if the recipe they chose is something they can tackle alone or if they need an older person's help.
The glossary. I love it for the same reason. It helps children, and sometimes their older helper, learn the correct terms used in cooking. There are times that I am in the middle of making something and have to stop and look up what the recipe wants me to do. And there are times that I have found that the writer of the recipe has used the wrong term given the description of what they wanted. If you learn the correct terms at the beginning it makes it easier as you move to more complicated recipes.
The how-to's Simple and easy descriptions and pictures of the basics. How to measure dry ingredients, wet ingredients, when to use what tool etc. And good pictures to go along with the descriptions.
The recipes- Smoothies, Spreads, Waffles, Muffins, Tacos, Sandwiches, Lasagna rolls, Flautas, Trail Mix, Fruit Dip, Popsicles, Pizza, Stew, Chicken, Green Salad, Pasta Salad, Cool Strawberry Sidekick....
These are just a few of the yummy recipes included. They are simple and easy and fun to make, but are yummy enough want to eat everyday.
I looked for a children's cookbook to get for my children when they were learning and we got some, but there were so few of the recipes that we actually ended up using because they were complicated, used ingredients I didn't just keep around and let's be honest here, some of them just took more of my involvement than I was willing to give at the moment. I really wish this book had been around when I had little kids.
TORBJORN AND STORFJELL’S HISTORY UNFOLDS IN AN EPIC EVERTASTER NOVELLA.
Everyone knows the most coveted treasure of the Viking Age was blueberry muffins. Blueberry muffins so succulent that if you sniffed just a whiff, you'd want a whole bite. If you bit a bite, you'd want a batch; if you snatched a batch, you'd stop at nothing short of going to war just to claim them all.
Young Torbjorn Trofastsonn comes from the clan that makes them. He's a Viking through and
through – he's thirteen winters old, larger than most respectable rocks, and most of all, a Buttersmith. That's what he thinks anyway, until a charismatic merchant makes Torbjorn question his place among the muffin-makers. When Torbjorn lets the secret of his clan's muffin recipe slip, he calls doom and destruction down upon his peaceful village and forces his brother Storfjell and his clansmen to do the one thing they are ill-prepared to do: battle for their lives.
About The Buttersmiths' Gold
The Buttersmiths' Gold is a spin off novella in the Evertaster series that tells the story of two Viking brothers and their adventurous past. The Evertaster series (Book #1 released June 14, 2012) is about Guster Johnsonville, who goes searching for a legendary taste rumored to be the most delicious in all of history. Along the way he meets a slew of mysterious characters, including two Viking brothers Torbjorn and Storfjell. The Buttersmiths' Gold is their story. 124 pages. By Adam Glendon Sidwell. Published by Future House Publishing.
This book debuts on May 2. Adam is also giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and free copies of his work
via rafflecopter. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Evertaster, Book #1:
A legendary taste. Sought after for centuries. Shrouded in secrecy.
When eleven-year-old Guster Johnsonville rejects his mother’s casserole for the umpteenth time, she takes him into the city of New Orleans to find him something to eat. There, in a dark, abandoned corner of the city they meet a dying pastry maker. In his last breath he entrusts them with a secret: an ancient recipe that makes the most delicious taste the world will ever know — a taste that will change the fate of humanity forever.
Forced to flee by a cult of murderous chefs, the Johnsonvilles embark on a perilous journey to ancient ruins, faraway jungles and forgotten caves. Along the way they discover the truth: Guster is an Evertaster — a kid so picky that nothing but the legendary taste itself will save him from starvation. With the sinister chefs hot on Guster’s heels and the chefs’ reign of terror spreading, Guster and his family must find the legendary taste before it’s too late.
My mom grew up on a farm and my daddy grew up on a ranch so the things that happen on these places were common events for me to participate in. I remember watching as Grandpa Swapp de-horned the cows. I gathered eggs, fed animals, pitched hay, helped irrigate, weed and harvest. And I wandered to my heart's content in the country and played in the irrigation ditch and caught polywogs and snails and worms and went fishing and slept outside under the stars covered in piles of Grandma's quilts.
One thing I never was allowed to do, though, was go when they slaughtered for the year. I am not sure why, other than I was always afraid that the de-horning and branding was hurting the animals and would cry for them. Maybe Daddy just figured I was too tender hearted. That's what I like to think anyway.
This story is about a time when I was around 8 years old. Maybe I was younger but I know I wasn't older. On this day my sister, brother and I went with my dad, his brothers and my Grandpa Hulsey to brand some calves. It was an exciting day to get to go out to the ranch and do "big people" stuff. And we got to take turns sitting on the horse while the actual branding was happening.
I can't remember everything, but I do know that the fire was hot. Daddy and one of his brothers would separate a calf from the rest, rope it and then Daddy would get off of the horse while the calve's feet would be tied together. Then one of them would kneel on the neck and hold the calve's head still so Grandpa could use the branding iron to mark their heard.
Of course calve's would bawl but Daddy assured me that it was more because they were scared and nervous than because it hurt. He explained that it didn't go deep enough to hurt them. But still I worried about them.
My Daddy's brand is a Y+ I love that brand. He had it painted on his lunch box that sat on the kitchen counter as long as I can remember. I would often go in there and trace it with my fingertips. I can still see it in my mind's eye and love it because it means home and my Daddy.
Anyway, back on the ranch, it was my turn to sit on the horse. But this time something happened. I am to this day not sure what. But what I remember is that Daddy had gotten off of the horse and they were tying the calf ready for the iron. My brother walked in front of the horse and for some reason the horse spooked and reared up and started bucking.
Now I was little and the saddle and horse were Daddy size and I started falling off. I tried to hold on, but didn't know what to do to calm the horse and with each buck I slid more to the left side of the horse. The side where the red, hot branding fire was. And I was terrified. I knew I was going to hit that fire and it was going to hurt. Bad.
And then I fell. And I was in my Daddy's arms crying in fear. But I was safe because he caught me and saved me.
I didn't want to get on the horse anymore that day because I was afraid of falling again, because I didn't know what to do if I did. But have I told you that I have a very wise Daddy? After they were all done branding and cleaned everything up and we were back at Grandpa's house, Daddy took me outside and got my back on that horse. And I cried because I didn't want to and i was afraid. But he made me do it.
And I survived.
Riding horses is still not my favorite thing to do. I wish it was because I like doing it, I just don't like that irrational fear I have when I put my foot in the stirrup to mount the horse. But when I get the chance I will do it- if there is someone I trust there to help me should I need it.
I was thinking about this the other day and then I started thinking about the trial I am having in my life right now. I have been hurt and crushed and betrayed in the deepest manner possible by someone I thought loved me and would take care of me for the rest of eternity. I am feeling lost and cast off and abandoned. And I will no longer be a wife. And that scares me because that is who I am. I know I am so much more than that, but that is my calling in life and why I was sent here and now I can no longer do it and I feel like I am falling. And it is going to hurt. Bad. (actually it already does)
And I feel that someday I am going to have to get back up and try again. And that scares me beyond reason because I have no idea how I can ever do that. Because unlike riding horses, being a wife is my favorite thing to do and I like doing it. I just no longer know how to do it.
And this time my Daddy can't rescue me and save me and make it alright. I have to do it by myself. Alone and scared and lonely.
Maybe I'll go visit my brother and take a ride. But only if he promises not to spook the horse this time.
All Hashbrown Winters ever wanted was a simple life: a treehouse full of buddies, enough marbles to keep him occupied at recess, and a Brody the Ape-Slayer action figure with authentic ninja throwing stars. But everything changes when Hi Mashimoto starts a rival club and threatens to take Hashbrown's place as the kid with the coolest treehouse at Pordunce Elementary. This hilarious follow-up to The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters reunites all your favorite zany characters and introduces plenty of new ones. You'll never believe the trouble Hashbrown gets into this time. Frank L. Cole's Hashbrown Winters and the Mashimoto Madness will have your whole family laughing out loud, it's a perfect read for pranksters of all ages.
I was given this book as a review copy but even if I hadn't I would have gotten it to read anyway. This book is funny, funny, funny and I loved it. I love the way Frank Cole takes us inside the lives that live in the elementary school and on the playground. I love the way all the nick-names match the personalities so perfectly. And I loved the couple of hours I spent living in that world again.
I just read an amazing book. The Breakaway by Michelle Davidson Argyle.
From the cover:
When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize
she's missing. Escape isn't high on her list of priorities when all she has to
return to is an abusive boyfriend and parents who never paid much attention to
her. For the first time in her life she's part of a family -- even if it is a
family of criminals. But she's still a captive. In a desperate attempt to regain
some control in her life, Naomi embarks on a dangerous plan to make one of her
kidnappers think she's falling in love with him. The plan works too well, and
when faced with the chance to escape, Naomi isn't sure she wants to take
I really enjoyed this book. It is very well written. As a counselor I was interested in Naomi and the way she responded and changed and grew and learned about herself. I was also interested in her parents and their growth and insight as well.
Naomi is put in a bad situation through no fault of her own but she does the best she can given those circumstances. However what I loved most was how she used her journal to give herself clarity and how she was willing to look at herself and realize who she was and how she wanted to change.
I am looking forward to following Naomi's journey in the next book, Pieces.
I hate Valentines day and today I hate it even more than ever. I was told not to long ago that only one person per family is allowed to have public feelings and that I was not the one in my family allowed. So I have tried to just be all unicorns and glitter, sunshine and rainbows since then, but today my heart is heavy and sad and broken into a million irreparable pieces.
And today is the worst Valentines day ever and today I don't believe in love. I don't believe in happy endings or happily ever after. And if I ate chocolate I would go to a corner with a box of those disgusting heart chocolates and eat myself sick. Instead I am going to take my grand-babies a present, give them loves and kisses and then come home and read.
And maybe someday I will believe again. But not today.