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Friday, September 22, 2017

Delicious Lemon Loaf with Lemon Glaze - Recipe

My mother in law loves lemon flavored anything & we whipped up this little beauty tonight. She's coming over tomorrow and we are sure she will be impressed! The children even enjoyed this delightfully delicious treat and you can cut down the sugar by serving it with a bit of butter instead of the glaze. It's also fabulous as the base under a strawberries and whip cream, or under a bit of rhubarb compote.

Let's get down to business:

Preheat your oven to 350F

Grab your ingredients:
3 eggs
1C sugar
6oz sour cream
1/2C applesauce (or vegetable oil)
1.5T lemon zest
2T lemon extract
1T vanilla
1T baking powder
Dash of salf


I tossed all the above ingredients into my stand mixer and mixed at a rather fast speed until they were combined. Now add:

1 1/2C bread flour

Mix again on low spead

Pour into greased loaf pan (or mini loaf pan, cupcake tins, or turn it into a cake and use a cake pan - the world is your oyster!!!)

Bake loaves for 63 minutes until golden brown, less time for the other options - use your nose as your guide (insert a toothpick to be sure it's cooked all the way through)

Let cool

Remove from loaf pans and prepare your glaze:

1C powdered sugar
1T lemon juice
1T vanilla extract

Whisk the glaze ingredients together and use as desired.

ENJOY!!!!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Review of Jason Schenker's "Jobs for Robots: Between Robocayplse and Robotopia"

Jobs for Robots: Between Robocalypse and Robotopia

Robots are everywhere right now, but what will they mean for us? Automation, robotics, and future technology present tremendous opportunities -- but also significant threats.The way forward is fraught with challenges, and we must bridge critical gaps between the present and the future to fully reap the benefits of tomorrow. Jobs for Robots puts this debate in a historical context and presents readers with actionable steps to robot-proof their professional lives. The book also includes a compelling discussion about the future of work, roboadvising, FinTech, and universal basic income.


Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

Jobs for Robots is a thought provoking read. Whether you believe in a future with robotic co-workers or not, my take away is this: historically as humans we have caused ourselves unnecessary turmoil due to fear of what we don't understand. Reading a book like Jobs for Robots written by someone as knowledgeable on the subject as Jason Schenker can only be good for us. There is no harm in learning the views of others and considering possibilities and outcomes we may not have otherwise come up with on our own.

The tone of the book is that of "don't be afraid" which is helpful for those who may not necessarily agree wholeheartedly. A fast read whether you are techy or not. Worth keeping on your bookshelf to re-read twenty years from now.


About Jason Schenker: 

Jason Schenker is the world’s top ranked Financial Market Futurist. As the President of Prestige Economics, he advises executives, corporate boards, public corporations, private companies, central banks, and governmental bodies. He also directs forecasting, risk management, and strategic projects.

Mr. Schenker is consistently ranked one of the most accurate forecasters in the world by Bloomberg News. Since 2011, he has been ranked the #1 forecaster in the world for his forecast accuracy in 23 categories, including for his forecasts of the Euro, the British Pound, the Swiss Franc, the Russian Ruble, the Brazilian Real, crude oil prices, natural gas prices, gold prices, industrial metals prices, agricultural commodity prices, and non-farm payrolls.

Mr. Schenker is also the Chairman of The Futurist Institute, which helps analysts and economists become futurists. He is also a member of the Texas Business Leadership Council, the only CEO-based public policy research organization in Texas, for which membership is limited to 125 CEOs and Presidents. Mr. Schenker is also the founder of Hedgefly, a foreign exchange risk management platform using Blockchain technology and a digital currency backend that he developed while studying FinTech at MIT. Mr. Schenker is also the Executive Director of the Texas Blockchain Association.

Mr. Schenker has written four #1 Best Sellers: Commodity Prices 101 (2012), Recession-Proof (2016), Electing Recession (2016), and Jobs for Robots (2017). Mr. Schenker is also a Columnist for Bloomberg View and Bloomberg Prophets. Mr. Schenker has appeared as a guest and guest host on Bloomberg Television, as well as a guest on CNBC. He is frequently quoted in the press, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Financial Times. Prior to founding Prestige Economics, Mr. Schenker worked for McKinsey as a Risk Specialist, where he was responsible for directing industrial, energy, and agricultural trading and risk initiatives on six continents. Before McKinsey, Mr. Schenker worked for Wachovia as the Chief Energy and Commodity Economist.

Mr. Schenker holds a Master’s in Applied Economics from UNC Greensboro, a Master’s in Negotiation from CSU Dominguez Hills, a Master’s in German from UNC Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor’s in History and German from The University of Virginia. He also holds a Certificate in FinTech from MIT, a Certificate in Supply Chain Management from MIT, a Certificate in Professional Development from UNC, and a Certificate in Negotiation from Harvard Law School. Mr. Schenker holds the professional designations CMT® (Chartered Market Technician), CVA® (Certified Valuation Analyst), ERP® (Energy Risk Professional), and CFP® (Certified Financial Planner). He is also a certified Governance Fellow by the National Association of Corporate Directors.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Saving Some Corn for Winter - Cream Corn Recipe

Who doesn't love the taste of fresh corn on the cob?
Here at our house, the problem is the season is short and the corn goes really quickly!
We found a solution - and that's to buy lots of extra sweet corn while it's in season and then freeze it so we can enjoy it throughout the winter! This is also a great recipe for kids or those who for whatever reason have a hard time managing to eat the corn off the cob.

You'll need:

3 dozen ears of sweet corn
1 pint of half n half
1 lb of butter (salted or unsalted)
2 T salt (less if you are watching your sodium)
3T sugar



1) remove the kernels from the cob (do this however you feel comfortable, but at our house we use an electric knife and it goes quickly, but they do make special tools just for this purpose and that's fine too)

2) remove the starch from the cobs but taking a small knife and working your way down the cob to get any leftover kernels and you'll see the starch coming off too

3) place kernels and starch into a large aluminum disposable roasting pan

4) preheat your oven to 325F

5) Add remaining ingredients and mix well

6) cover tightly using aluminum foil

7) Bake for 90 minutes

8) Check that corn is tender and delicious; if not....cook longer (start with 10 minutes, then check again and repeat until desired softness and flavor)

9) Allow to cool

10) Place in freezer containers and label/date then throw in the chest freezer to enjoy during those cold winter months - ENJOY!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

WOW! Women on Writing Presents a Book Blog Tour for: Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind By Jennifer A. Payne


WOW! Women on Writing Presents
a Book Blog Tour for:

Evidence of Flossing:
What We Leave Behind
By Jennifer A. Payne

Mark your calendars –
tour begins Monday, November 27th
and runs until December 1st 2018


Part social commentary, part lament, the 73 poems in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind are, at their heart, love poems to the something greater within all of us. Their investigation of the human condition and its folly — politics, religion, development, technology, consumerism — is juxtaposed to a series of poems about our natural world and the possibility of divine connection.

Poetry + Trash Ask Readers to Consider “What is our legacy in this vast and wondrous Universe?”
Would God floss? Do spiders sing? Can you see the Universe in your reflection? Explore the answers to these questions and more in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, a new book by Connecticut author/artist Jen Payne.

A timely publication given the state of our world, Evidence of Flossing is more than a simple poetry chapbook. Its pages are illustrated by a random, absurd, and heartbreaking assortment of original and vintage photographs, including a series of discarded dental flossers that inspired the title of the book.
A take on traditional street photography, these images examine human nature from a different and thought-provoking perspective. Several of the photographs were featured in a recent Arts Council of Greater New Haven art exhibit entitled “Where the Whole Universe Dwells.” They are part of a collection of more than 100 photographs of used dental flossers found by Payne between 2014 - 2017, and speak to the subtitle of the book: What will we leave behind?

Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind follows on the heels of Payne’s 2014 well-received book LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, and continues a dialogue about our innate connection with nature. Both books are published by Three Chairs Publishing, www.3chairspublishing.com.


Praise:

“The poems in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind are a brilliantly incisive
commentary on our simultaneous human sense of beauty and waste and loss.” — Dale Carlson, ALA Notable Book author


“In Jen Payne’s exquisite introduction to Evidence of Flossing, she provides the purpose of this book: to illustrate, poem by poem, the very fraught relationships which define us, human to human, human to earth and animal, and human to the unifying spirit, which may or may not be her lower case “god.” She is sober, admonitory, enraptured and antic by turns, her illustrative photographs always a source of pleasure or irony — often both. This is a most unusual book, richly thoughtful and sorely, sorely needed.” — Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely, author, Letter from Italy, 1944

“It’s uncanny how Jen Payne grabs hold of seemingly ordinary strands of life — then surprises us with new meaning. A master at storytelling, Jen brings us to the realization that the stories she shares are actually ours. An engaging, thought provoking and masterful reflection on our collective legacy in this world.” — Mary O’Connor, author, Life Is Full of Sweet Spots and Dreams of a Wingless Child


This book will appeal to all, but will be especially appreciated by:
• people concerned about the environment,
• people who love/appreciate nature,
• people who are spiritually connected to the planet and its creatures,
• poets, artists, writers, creative types



If you’d like to participate in this tour, please email: crystaljotto@gmail.com  with the following details:

1) Your mailing address so you can receive a copy of Evidence of Flossing (not available as an e-book at this time). Please also note if you would like some extra “swag” for your readers; a limited amount is available.

2) The name and url for your blog, or a note letting me know you'd like me to post your review on this blog

3) A date you would prefer as your first choice, as well as a 2nd choice - this will be the date your review or the guest post will be posted to your blog/this blog and social media.

4) If you are an interview only blogger, please email with your interview questions as well as the dates preferred.




Other housekeeping items:

If writing a review – it would be fabulous if you could post your review on Amazon/Goodreads as well as your own social media. This is greatly appreciated although not mandatory to participate in a book blog tour.


As soon as all the dates have been filled and a calendar has been put together for each tour, I'll email a media kit to everyone involved. This kit will include the authors head shot and bio as well the book cover and official summary and buy links for you to use. This email will also include the calendar for the tour and should be able to answer most (if not all) the questions you may have concerning tour participation.


If choosing a guest post, please email as soon as possible with your first choice and a backup choice.


Thank you in advance for your time and consideration in this and all matters.
Connect with Jennifer online:

Website: https://3chairspublishing.com/
Blog: https://randomactsofwriting.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/threechairspub
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThreeChairsPub

Guest Post Options:

1. Exploring Mindfulness **reserved for Madeline
2. Connecting with Nature
3. Everything is Connected **reserved for Mari
3. Finding Inspiration **reserved for Cheryl
4. The Importance of Retreat (down time, going off the grid) **reserved for Lauren
5. Blogging as a Creative Tool **reserved for Tara
6. The Bravery of Storytelling **reserved for MC
8. Copyrighted Images: An overview
9. The important of Sourcing, Permissions, and Foot/Endnotes


About the Author:

Jen Payne is inspired by those life moments that move us most — love and loss, joy and disappointment, milestones and turning points. Her writing serves as witness to these in the form of poetry, creative non-fiction, flash fiction and essay. When she is not exploring our connections with one another, she enjoys writing about our relationships with nature, creativity, and mindfulness, and how these offer the clearest path to finding balance in our frenetic, spinning world.

Very often, her writing is accompanied by her own photography and artwork. As both a graphic designer and writer, Jen believes that partnering visuals and words layers the intentions of her work, and makes the communication more palpable.

In 2014, she published LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, a collection of essays, poems and original photography. Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind is her second book.

Jen is the owner of Three Chairs Publishing and Words by Jen, a graphic design and creative services company founded in 1993, based in Branford, Connecticut. She is a member of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, the Branford Arts and Cultural Alliance, the Connecticut Poetry Society, Guilford Arts Center, the Guilford Poets Guild, and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Installations of her poetry were featured in Inauguration Nation an exhibition at Kehler Liddell Gallery in New Haven (2017), and Shuffle & Shake at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven (2016). Her writing has been published by The Aurorean, Six Sentences, the Story Circle Network, WOW! Women on Writing, and The Perch, a publication by the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health.

You can read more of her writing on her blog Random Acts of Writing, http://www.randomactsofwriting.net.




Photo Credits:

Book Cover, Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind (Flosser No. 007-1214 - Diner, Connecticut, December 2014, by Jen Payne)

Flosser No. 064-0616 - Flosser and Bone, Connecticut Parking Lot; June 2016, by Jen Payne

Author photo by Christine Chiocchio (Branford, CT)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tess Fallier Reviews "Risen" by Eric Trant

Review by Tess Fallier

As I first started reading Risen by Eric Trant, I struggled to get pulled into the story. I didn’t really understand what was going on and a lot of it takes place in dark sulfur mines with characters not yet familiar to the reader. I stuck with it and as the story continued, it started going back to the characters life before they went to work in the mines, and slowly their story unfolds. About a third of the way into the book, I became very curious as to how everything was going to fall together, and by the end of it I was fully engrossed into the lives of the two brothers that are the main characters of the book, Alberto and Paulo. There is a religious element to the story, but it brings the religion to life and becomes a key part of the story. While I feel that the start of the book could have maybe done a better job of easing the reader into the story, it was definitely a great story of struggle, social class, family, and faith that eventually sucked me in. This book would do fine as a standalone story, but I find myself wanting to know what happens as their story continues and if a sequel is ever released, I will most definitely want to read it!



About the Book:

Risen takes readers into a hellish world where none escape!

Haunted by visions of a demonic angel and sold into servitude by his father, young Alberto battles to survive the horrors of a nineteenth century Sicilian sulfur mine.

Suffering merciless brutality, Alberto must save not only himself but his deformed older brother, both pawns in their father’s mad plan to overthrow a group of wealthy landowners.

Bound by a death-debt to his hunchback master, Alberto discovers a door the miners call Porta dell’Inferno, the Door to Hell, deep within the sulfur mines. When he learns the demon-angel of his dreams stalks the caverns beyond the door, Alberto realizes a strange fate has lured him and his brother to the gates leading to the underworld.

Now Alberto must face the creature from his visions and rise to become the man his father demands him to be, or remain forever trapped in a hellish world where none escape.

Print Length: 182 Pages
Genre: Historical Supernatural Fiction
Publisher: WiDo Publishing (August 15, 2017)
ASIN: B0746P5MTS
ISBN-10: 1937178919
ISBN-13: 978-1937178918

Risen is available in ebook and in print at Amazon.

About the Author:

Eric resides in Dallas, TX with his wife and children, where he writes and manages his own business. His writing combines literary characterization with supernatural elements, all the while engaging the reader's senses with constant movement and vivid settings. His books are designed to be one-sitters, meaning they can and should be read in one (or a few) sittings, owing to the fast-paced nature of the writing.

You can visit Eric at http://www.EricTrant.com, or see his blog at DiggingWithTheWorms.blogspot.com.



About Today's Reviewer:


Tess is an office manager and service advisor at an auto repair business in Sheboygan. She lives in Manitowoc with her fiance'. Between them they have 6 kids, a dog, and a cat. They all stay very busy enjoying swimming, gaming, Pokemon Go, and all things nerdy.


5 Star Review - Eric Trant's "Risen"

Review by Cathy Hansen

I had never heard of Eric Trant before picking up a copy of Risen. Now that I've finished reading this particular book, I plan on reading some of his other works. I don't usually enjoy science fiction, but the characters in this book are oddly easy to relate to. I found myself cheering on Alberto and Paolo through their struggles.

Some authors seem to have the ability to draw readers right into the scene. Trant has the ability to do this and then some. I found Risen to be a quick read with characters who I genuinely felt drawn to. He is an excellent storyteller who helps readers empathize with the characters.



About the Book:

Risen takes readers into a hellish world where none escape!

Haunted by visions of a demonic angel and sold into servitude by his father, young Alberto battles to survive the horrors of a nineteenth century Sicilian sulfur mine.

Suffering merciless brutality, Alberto must save not only himself but his deformed older brother, both pawns in their father’s mad plan to overthrow a group of wealthy landowners.

Bound by a death-debt to his hunchback master, Alberto discovers a door the miners call Porta dell’Inferno, the Door to Hell, deep within the sulfur mines. When he learns the demon-angel of his dreams stalks the caverns beyond the door, Alberto realizes a strange fate has lured him and his brother to the gates leading to the underworld.

Now Alberto must face the creature from his visions and rise to become the man his father demands him to be, or remain forever trapped in a hellish world where none escape.

Print Length: 182 Pages
Genre: Historical Supernatural Fiction
Publisher: WiDo Publishing (August 15, 2017)
ASIN: B0746P5MTS
ISBN-10: 1937178919
ISBN-13: 978-1937178918

Risen is available in ebook and in print at Amazon.

About the Author:

Eric resides in Dallas, TX with his wife and children, where he writes and manages his own business. His writing combines literary characterization with supernatural elements, all the while engaging the reader's senses with constant movement and vivid settings. His books are designed to be one-sitters, meaning they can and should be read in one (or a few) sittings, owing to the fast-paced nature of the writing.

You can visit Eric at http://www.EricTrant.com, or see his blog at DiggingWithTheWorms.blogspot.com.



About Today's Reviewer:


Cathy Hansen is a wife, mom, teacher, independent
beauty consultant, and small business owner. She and her husband operate SeedsNBeans, a local nature store, in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Old Fashioned Poppy Seed Torte Recipe

Did you know you probably have 99% of the ingredients to make poppy seed torte? The only one you may have to run out and buy is poppy seed, but I'm confident all the other ingredients are staples in most households. You can buy a box mix to make poppy seed torte, but really this recipe is easy to follow and tastes just like you remember when grandma made this as a special treat or holiday dish to pass. Give it a whirl and let us know how you liked it!

Preheat oven to 350F

Crust:
2 1/2C graham cracker crumbs (3 packages of graham crackers)
1t salt
1/4C sugar
1/2C melted butter

Mix crust ingredients and press into an un-greased 9x13 pan.
*If you have a pan with a cover, that's the one I usually grab for torte recipes

Place pan in pre-heated oven until crust starts to brown a bit (just like you do for a cheesecake)



Poppy Seed Filling / Custard:
2 3/4C milk
1/4C poppy seeds (the fresher, the better)
1C sugar
3T corn starch
2T butter
5 egg yolks (4 if the eggs are quite large - we use farm fresh eggs so size can vary greatly)...you'll use the whites for the topping though - so set them aside


I place all the ingredients in a pan and I whisk them together then place on the stove over medium heat. I continue whisking and stirring until the mixture turns from liquid into a thick custard and then I immediately remove from the heat.

Carefully spoon the custard mixture onto the prepared crust.

Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes on the counter (no need to refrigerate)


Once the custard has cooled, begin the next process which is the topping...


Topping:
5 egg whites (4 if the eggs are super large)
5T sugar
2T vanilla

Beat the egg whites until they are stiff, then add sugar and vanilla and fold those into the mix.

Spread topping mixture onto the custard and crust in your pan. I'm not good at making it peakie when I spread it, but if you are...go for it!

Once the topping has been applied and spread, place in the oven (350F again) for 15-20 minutes until the top of the topping starts turning light brown (like a marshmallow expertly roasted on a bonfire)

Allow to completely cool

Refrigerate over night

Serve

Enjoy!

***I'm super impatient....but don't be...if you cut into it too soon the custard will ooze out. Yes, I did it and although delicious, it wasn't as pretty as it should have been.

xoxox
Crystal

Friday, September 1, 2017

Booking FOUR WOW! Women on Writing Book Blog Tours - Sign Up Today!!!

It’s Labor Day Weekend here in the US and I’m happy to say I’m not in labor…but Dr. says any day now, so I’d like to get these 4 (yes I said FOUR) blog tours booked within the next few days so I can relax a bit once this little girl gets here.

Take a look at these 4 fabulous (yet very different) books and let me know if you’d be willing to participate in any or all of the tours. There are limited guest post topics, so act fast!



Thanks in advance!

xoxox Crystal


Interested? Please email:  crystal@wow-womenonwriting.com as soon as possible!


Include in the email:

* The tour or tours you would like to participate in

* Your email address so you can receive an e-book copy of the book

*The name and url for your blog, or a note letting me know you'd like me to post your review on this blog

*A date you would prefer as your first choice, as well as a 2nd choice - this will be the date your review will be posted to your blog/this blog and social media.

Including posting to a blog, it would be fabulous if you could post your review on Amazon/Goodreads as well as your own social media. This is greatly appreciated although not mandatory to participate in a book blog tour.

As soon as all the dates have been filled and a calendar has been put together for each tour, I'll email a media kit to everyone involved. This kit will include the authors head shot and bio as well the book cover and official summary and buy links for you to use. This email will also include the calendar for the tour and should be able to answer most (if not all) the questions you may have concerning tour participation.

If you are an interview only blogger, please email with your interview questions as well as the dates preferred.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration in this and all matters.

If choosing a guest post, please email as soon as possible with your first choice and a back up choice.



Claudette E. Sutton’s
WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR
OF
“Farewell Aleppo”

Tour Begins October 23rd !

My Father, My People, and Their Long Journey Home


Paperback: 180 Pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Terra Nova Books (October 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1938288408
ISBN-13: 978-1938288401
Amazon Link: click here


The Jews of Aleppo, Syria, had been part of the city’s fabric for more than two thousand years, in good times and bad, through conquerors and kings. But in the middle years of the twentieth century, all that changed.

To Selim Sutton, a merchant with centuries of roots in the Syrian soil, the dangers of rising anti-Semitism made clear that his family must find a new home. With several young children and no prospect of securing visas to the United States, he devised a savvy plan for getting his family out: “exporting” his sons. In December 1940, he told the two oldest, Meïr and Saleh, that arrangements had been made for their transit to Shanghai, where they would work in an uncle’s export business. China, he hoped, would provide a short-term safe harbor and a steppingstone to America.

But the world intervened for the young men, now renamed Mike and Sal by their Uncle Joe. Sal became ill with tuberculosis soon after arriving and was sent back to Aleppo alone. And the war that soon would engulf every inhabited land loomed closer each day. Joe, Syrian-born but a naturalized American citizen, barely escaped on the last ship to sail for the U.S. before Pearl Harbor was bombed and the Japanese seized Shanghai. Mike was alone, a teen-ager in an occupied city, across the world from his family, with only his mettle to rely on as he strived to survive personally and economically in the face of increasing deprivation.

Farewell, Aleppo is the story—told by his daughter—of the journey that would ultimately take him from the insular Jewish community of Aleppo to the solitary task of building a new life in America. It is both her father’s tale that journalist Claudette Sutton describes and also the harrowing experiences of the family members he left behind in Syria, forced to smuggle themselves out of the country after it closed its borders to Jewish emigration.

The picture Sutton paints is both a poignant narrative of individual lives and the broader canvas of a people’s survival over millennia, in their native land and far away, through the strength of their faith and their communities. Multiple threads come richly together as she observes their world from inside and outside the fold, shares an important and nearly forgotten epoch of Jewish history, and explores universal questions of identity, family, and culture.
About the Author:
It’s no coincidence that family is the central focus of both Farewell, Aleppo and the work that has been the driving force of its author’s professional life.

Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in the close-knit community of Syrian Jews all were part of Claudette Sutton’s childhood in suburban Maryland, along with her parents and siblings. Years later, as a young mother in Santa Fe, it seemed only natural to think of creating a similar kind of close support for families in her new hometown by means of her journalism training and experience.

Thus began what is now Tumbleweeds, an award-winning local publication that for over twenty years has been expanding its role in serving the city’s families. As the quarterly newspaper has grown, so have its scope and community contributions, mixing news, commentary, personal writing, advice, and activity guides—all reflecting Claudette’s vision of a community resource to help her neighbors face the challenges of parenting.

Claudette’s eloquent writing, the other great strength she combines with the paper’s wide-ranging utility, has been a door to the world for her since she was a teen-ager. As a reporter, she realized early, “You can learn about everything”—a much more appealing option after high school than the enforced specialization of college.

After three years writing for the Montgomery County Sentinel in Maryland, Claudette moved to New York, where she earned a bachelor’s degree from the New School for Social Research. Living in proximity to another side of her extensive family, she built a deeper understanding of the Jewish exodus from Syria that has formed the backdrop for the story she tells so movingly in Farewell, Aleppo.

The narrative chronicles her father’s youth, his odyssey across oceans and continents, and the new life he made in America. But as Claudette talked with him and researched more deeply, she saw also the essential elements of the larger tale. What began as one man’s story grew into a portrait of the history that made his journey necessary, and of how a vibrant people have preserved their community and culture through the thousands of years from biblical times to today.




Find Claudette Online:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Farewell-Aleppo-Father-People-Journey/dp/1938288408/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408983365&sr=8-1&keywords=books+about+aleppo+syria

Website: www.claudettesutton.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FarewellAleppo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FarewellAleppo

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/claudette0589/farewell-aleppo-the-book/

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Claudettesutton


Praise:
"A multi-faceted biography of her father and his long-ago journey from ancient Aleppo to skyscraper America, the story of the vanished Syrian-Jewish culture in Aleppo, now a battleground in Syria's civil war, [and] a look at how that culture still survives. A treasure of a book."
-Bernard Kalb, former correspondent for the New York Times, CBS News and NBC News, moderator of CNN's Reliable Sources and Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs


"Sutton merges the best of family biography with relevant and fascinating historical, social, and religious knowledge. Incorporating elements of history, religious struggles, pursuit of dreams, and the strength of kinship to create a stirring tribute to the foresight of her grandfather and the strength and perseverance of his offspring, Sutton craftily weaves interesting story lines into an encouraging and intriguing narrative."
-Foreword Reviews

Claudette Sutton takes the reader on a courageous journey as she tells the story of her father, whose world changed with the winds of World War II. Farewell, Aleppo is a story of how people are shaped by their past. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to explore this rich culture that many people do not know very much about.
- Elise Cooper, Jewish Book Council

An engaging, evocative, deeply touching book that is part memoir, part history and part a personal journey....virtually a love-story of a daughter to a father.

– James McGrath Morris, author of Pulitzer, and Eyes on the Struggle

This book is a jewel box, and Sutton's father's shimmering memories of growing up Jewish in Aleppo, Turkey, and Shanghai are the precious jewels. I could taste the food, feel the anxiety after the founding of Israel, experience the highs and lows of life in Shanghai during the Second World War. The specificity of the Mizrahi lifestyle––which continues in America to this day–– will be of great interest to readers.

- Judith Fein, author of The Spoon From Minkowitz and Life is A Trip

Sutton manages to walk that fine, fine line of making the personal universal and the universal personal. [She] interviewed her dad over a period of nearly twenty years and did a tremendous amount of research for this book, but the sprawling story of “China Mike” is somehow concise, a tidy 155 pages in a pleasing design with photos, maps, and enough historical context to complete the reader’s understanding. We are indebted to her for this outstanding book.

- Barbara Gerber, author of "Love and Death in a Perfect World"

Farewell, Aleppo: My Father, My People, and Their Long Journey Home offers the reader a graceful blend of “China Mike's” biography and a history of the Jewish people of Aleppo. When I finished Claudette Sutton's tribute, I felt I'd traveled many miles and gotten to know Miro, Son of Selim Sutton. A true father-daughter story, Farewell, Aleppo is loving, informative and unforgettable.

-Elaine Pinkerton Coleman, author of From Calcutta with Love and The Goodbye Baby

There certainly must have been something unique about the Jews of Aleppo to have allowed them to survive there for thousands of years and preserve a sense of tradition and community in America for the last 100 years. A remarkable tale of the power of family, tradition, culture and history. Makes the current devastation of Aleppo during the Syrian Civil War all the more tragic.

- Ellen Zieselman, retired Curator of Education, New Mexico Mexico Museum of Art; Youth Director, Temple Beth Shalom


Guest post options to choose from are:

I don’t have these just yet….




----------Blog Tour Dates

Beginning Monday, October 23rd @ The Muffin - - running 1 month






Larry Kilham’s
WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR
OF
“Free Will Odyssey”

Tour Begins October 30th !

Peter Tesla, a prodigious young inventor, develops an electronic device to enhance the user’s free will. A major application is drug detoxification.

Paperback: 158 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: FutureBooks.info (August 27, 2017)
ASIN: B07566LDCQ
Amazon Link: click here


Peter Tesla, a prodigious young inventor, develops an electronic device to enhance the user’s free will. A major application is drug detoxification. Peter’s star client is the U.S. president. Along the way, Peter is tried for the mysterious death of a girlfriend and struggles with the machinations of a secretive industrialist.

About the Author:
Larry Kilham has traveled extensively overseas for over twenty years. He worked in several large
international companies and started and sold two high-tech ventures. He received a B.S. in engineering from the University of Colorado and an M.S. in management from MIT. Larry has written books about creativity and invention, artificial intelligence and digital media, travel overseas, and three novels with an AI theme.

Find Larry Online:
Website: www.larrykilham.net

Twitter: https://twitter.com/larrykilham

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LarryKilhamBooks/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Free-Will-Odyssey-Larry-Kilham-ebook/dp/B07566LDCQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504162783&sr=8-1&keywords=free+will+odyssey+larry

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36150438-free-will-odyssey



Guest post options have all been selected 



----------Blog Tour Dates

Beginning Monday, October 30th @ The Muffin - - - - running for one month







Dr. Leona Stucky’s
WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR
OF
“The Fog of Faith”

Tour Begins November 6th !


SURVIVING MY IMPOTENT GOD


Paperback: 340 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Prairie World Press (May 25, 2017)
ISBN-10: 099864742X
ISBN-13: 978-0998647425
Amazon Link: click here

After the trauma of a savage attack, a farm girl recovers physically, but her identity, faith, and relationships are shattered.

This is the true story of Leona Stucky’s childhood on a Kansas farm, surrounded by a loving family and the simple tenets of her Mennonite community. Violence enters her world in the guise of a young man who seems normal to everyone else but who Leona knows to be deranged in his obsession with her.

His unrelenting abuses take root, and Leona must deal with them utterly alone. Her pacifist father cannot avenge or protect her, nor can a callous justice system. Even God is impotent.

Leona is cast into a bewildering life of disgrace and poverty—with a baby, a violent husband, and battered faith. Through a series of page-turning events, she hacks through the bones of her naïveté to confront harsh realities and to probe the veracity of religious claims.

The Fog of Faith is a suspenseful and morally unflinching drama of shame and survival, as well as usable and unusual wisdom.

This edition includes thoughtful questions for readers and groups to further explore their own stories.


About the Author:
She fit bucking bales into God’s plan, but bucking fear left this Mennonite farm teen begging and now, after 30 years as a professional psychotherapist, Dr. Leona Stucky narrates her unflinching faith-and-violence dilemma in a riveting memoir, The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God, which spares neither God nor violence against women and has been recommended by MS Magazine.

Dr. Stucky first received a degree in psychology and philosophy from Boston College, graduating summa cum laude, before plunging into seminary, first at Andover Newton Theological School and then at Eden Theological Seminary. She earned a doctorate from Southern Methodist University with honors, and a Diplomate certificate from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors—their highest credential—for teaching, supervising, and offering therapy services. She currently has standing as a Unitarian Universalist community minister.

These professional explorations might have quieted her mind, but the areas where integration seemed impossible became mental sand kernels disrupting many intellectual resting places. Being fiercely honest in confronting contradictions, she honed her wisdom, gained unusual insights, and enjoyed a professional and personal journey that could only be shared by telling the whole story. After numerous failed attempts, Dr, Stucky finally completed The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God.

The provocative title aptly indicates the unflinching moral dilemmas she reveals. The gripping story reads like a real-life thriller that readers can’t put down. Still, each step grounds itself in nuanced networks of passion, relational complexities, cultural and religious dilemmas, circumscribed choices bound by woman’s poverty, persistent violence, and an untamable resilient desire to redeem herself with or without God.

Find Dr. Stucky Online:
Website:
http://thefogoffaith.com/

Link to Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071951HB6

Link to Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/leonastucky/


Praise:
The voice of this woman’s spirit and courage rings clearly as she faces the personal challenges of her faith—when the adversity in life tests the veracity of her beliefs against the reality of terror. This book is an important, insightful book that I highly recommend.
– Michael Paymar, author of Violent No More: Helping Men End Domestic Abuse

Naked with fear, aflame with rage, at once heart-pounding and heart-breaking, this true tale climbs from the wheat fields of Kansas to the promised Heaven above—and down again.
– Robert Mayer, author of The Origin of Sorrow, The Dreams of Ada, Superfolks, and other books

Guest post options have all been selected



----------Blog Tour Dates

Beginning Monday, November 6th @ The Muffin - - - running for one month




Fiona Maria Simon’s
WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR
OF
“Gambling on Granola”

Tour Begins November 13th !

UNEXPECTED GIFTS ON THE PATH OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP


Paperback: 200 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Terra Nova Books (January 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1938288920
ISBN-13: 978-1938288920
Amazon Link: click here

In Gambling on Granola: Unexpected Gifts on the Path of Entrepreneurship, Simon shares a tale that is uplifting and inspiring but also raw and honest. This is a business memoir but also a love story―the love for her daughter, of a journey in uncharted waters, of the products and company she created, and of the continued challenge to follow her dream.

We see her growth and healing over fifteen years, as mistakes, weaknesses, and naiveté evolve into resilience, resolve, and inspiration. For Fiona, it started out as all new businesses do―with an idea. But her world quickly became more complex as she established her company, developed new product lines, forged personal relationships in a competitive environment, grew her business, and held onto her deepest values―all while raising her daughter, Natalie, as a single mom.



About the Author:
Fiona Maria Simon is a former journalist, travel writer, editor, and communications director of the Boulder, Colorado, Chamber of Commerce. She is passionate about developing healthy food products, writing, traveling the world, and inspiring and empowering others with her story. Lured by the adventures of entrepreneurship, she launched her own organic granola company and led it to success despite having no business background and simultaneously juggling the demands of being a single mom. Her book is a story of challenges, hardships, and triumphs, both personal and professional.

Find Fiona Online:
Website: http://www.fionamariasimon.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Gambling-Granola-Unexpected-Gifts-Entrepreneurship/dp/1938288920/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1494595882&sr=1-1&keywords=books+about+entrepreneurship

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34552773-gambling-on-granola?from_search=true

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fionamariasimon/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FionaMSimon

Praise:
"Fiona’s story is both personal and transformative. She lays bare the hopes and anxieties, challenges, betrayals and lessons learned in creating her own business. From the mountaintops of a solar observatory where she was raised, to the struggles and triumphs, her story is like a path of granola crumbs leading the reader to understand how to succeed at any enterprise."
- Jeff Kline, M.A. Ed., Chairman, Hispanic Communications Network, Washington, DC.

"Fiona Simon is an engaging storyteller and her narrative moves right along. It should inspire and motivate anyone who needs to remember the importance of persistence, belief in oneself, and vision in pursuing a goal. Her granola is good and so is her book."
- Bob McCormick, Publisher, Editor, Author

Guest post options to choose from are:

1. Struggle with where to put my focus and my time: necessary tasks for the business vs. leisure activities with my daughter.

2. Fun and creative ways I got Natalie (my daughter) involved with my business.

3. The challenge to keep my stress from interfering with my relationship with Natalie/ the challenge to protect her from the stress.

4. Emotional detachment from my business after the sale.

5. Realizing there is no “being done” with my book. I have birthed an entity that will sprout wings and fly off to adventures yet to be known, and I will support the journey throughout the years. Publishing a book is not much different from birthing a child or creating a food company: these creations will continue to evolve and will eventually have lives of their own. And the creators will continue to support them into the future.

6. The similarities between raising a child and growing a company.

7. Current events (personal and general/public/historic) that relate to events particular to my granola company.

8. Writing the book: Reliving the painful times and the fun times by writing about them. I laugh and I cry when I read my book.

9. Writing the book: Sacrificing activities with others to get the book done and truly enjoying the solitary writing process.

10. Writing the book: Feeling alone and lonely much of the time and wanting to be left alone, uninterrupted, to stay on a role and focused.


----------Blog Tour Dates

Beginning Monday, November 13th @ The Muffin - - - running for one month! 


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Now Booking WOW! Women On Writing Book Blog Tour for "Free Will Odyssey" by Larry Kilham

Now scheduling blog stops for another great WOW! Women On Writing book blog tour - check out these details and mark your calendars!

Date: October 30th through December 1st 2017
Location: WOW! Women on Writing Blog and Beyond!!! 
Book Title: Free Will Odyssey
Author: Larry Kilham

Details
Print Length: 158 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: FutureBooks.info (August 27, 2017)
Publication Date: August 27, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07566LDCQ


I am working on putting together this WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour! The tour will begin October 30th with a giveaway and author interview on the WOW! Blog (the Muffin), and run for a month. If you would be interested in reading and reviewing Free Will Odyssey by Larry Kilham, please email: crystal@wow-womenonwriting.com as soon as possible!


Include in the email:

* Confirmation that you've purchased your completely free Kindle copy of  Free Will Odyssey (click on this link to find it easily: https://www.amazon.com/Free-Will-Odyssey-Larry-Kilham-ebook/dp/B07566LDCQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1504231564&sr=1-1&keywords=free+will+odyssey?tag=wowwomenonwri-20   )

*The name and url for your blog, or a note letting me know you'd like me to post your review on this blog

*A date you would prefer as your first choice, as well as a 2nd choice - this will be the date your review will be posted to your blog/this blog and social media.

Including posting to a blog, it would be fabulous if you could post your review on Amazon/Goodreads as well as your own social media. This is greatly appreciated although not mandatory to participate in a book blog tour.

As soon as all the dates have been filled and a calendar has been put together, I'll email a media kit to everyone involved in the tour. This kit will include the authors head shot and bio as well the book cover and official summary and buy links for you to use. This email will also include the calendar for the tour and should be able to answer most (if not all) the questions you may have concerning tour participation.

If you are an interview only blogger, please email with your interview questions as well as the dates preferred.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration in this and all matters.

A select number of guest posts will be available soon - if you prefer a guest post instead of a review, please email as soon as possible to choose a date and get in line for a guest post.


About the Book: 
Peter Tesla, a prodigious young inventor, develops an electronic device to enhance the user’s free will. A major application is drug detoxification. Peter’s star client is the U.S. president. Along the way, Peter is tried for the mysterious death of a girlfriend and struggles with the machinations of a secretive industrialist.

About the Author:
Larry Kilham has traveled extensively overseas for over twenty years. He worked in several large international companies and started and sold two high-tech ventures. He received a B.S. in engineering from the University of Colorado and an M.S. in management from MIT. Larry has written books about creativity and invention, artificial intelligence and digital media, travel overseas, and three novels with an AI theme. His book website is www.larrykilham.net and he looks forward to hearing from readers at lkilham@gmail.com.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Now Booking - WOW! Women On Writing Book Blog Tour for Farewell, Aleppo by Claudette E. Sutton

Now scheduling blog stops for another great WOW! Women On Writing book blog tour - check out these details and mark your calendars!

Date: October 23rd through November 23rd 2017
Location: WOW! Women on Writing Blog and Beyond!!! 
Book Title: Farewell, Aleppo: My Father, My People and Their Long Journey Home 
Author: Claudette E.  Sutton

Details
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Terra Nova Books (October 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1938288408
ISBN-13: 978-1938288401






I am working on putting together this WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour! The tour will begin October 23rd with a giveaway and author interview on the WOW! Blog (the Muffin), and run for a month. If you would be interested in reading and reviewing Farewell Aleppo by Claudette E. Sutton, please email: crystal@wow-womenonwriting.com as soon as possible!


Include in the email:

* Your email address if you'd like a digital copy or your physical address if you'd like a hard copy mailed (limited number of hard copies available - act soon)

*The name and url for your blog, or a note letting me know you'd like me to post your review on this blog

*A date you would prefer as your first choice, as well as a 2nd choice - this will be the date your review will be posted to your blog/this blog and social media.

Including posting to a blog, it would be fabulous if you could post your review on Amazon/Goodreads as well as your own social media. This is greatly appreciated although not mandatory to participate in a book blog tour.

As soon as all the dates have been filled and a calendar has been put together, I'll email a media kit to everyone involved in the tour. This kit will include the authors head shot and bio as well the book cover and official summary and buy links for you to use. This email will also include the calendar for the tour and should be able to answer most (if not all) the questions you may have concerning tour participation.

If you are an interview only blogger, please email with your interview questions as well as the dates preferred.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration in this and all matters.

A select number of guest posts will be available soon - if you prefer a guest post instead of a review, please email as soon as possible to choose a date and get in line for a guest post.


About the Book:
The Jews of Aleppo, Syria, had been part of the city’s fabric for more than two thousand years, in good times and bad, through conquerors and kings. But in the middle years of the twentieth century, all that changed. To Selim Sutton, a merchant with centuries of roots in the Syrian soil, the dangers of rising anti-Semitism made clear that his family must find a new home. With several young children and no prospect of securing visas to the United States, he devised a savvy plan for getting his family out: “exporting” his sons.



In December 1940, he told the two oldest, Meïr and Saleh, that arrangements had been made for their transit to Shanghai, where they would work in an uncle’s export business. China, he hoped, would provide a short-term safe harbor and a steppingstone to America.



But the world intervened for the young men, now renamed Mike and Sal by their Uncle Joe. Sal became ill with tuberculosis soon after arriving and was sent back to Aleppo alone. And the war that soon would engulf every inhabited land loomed closer each day. Joe, Syrian-born but a naturalized American citizen, barely escaped on the last ship to sail for the U.S. before Pearl Harbor was bombed and the Japanese seized Shanghai.



Mike was alone, a teen-ager in an occupied city, across the world from his family, with only his mettle to rely on as he strived to survive personally and economically in the face of increasing deprivation. Farewell, Aleppo is the story―told by Mike's daughter―of the journey that would ultimately take him from the insular Jewish community of Aleppo to the solitary task of building a new life in America.



It is both her father’s tale that journalist Claudette Sutton describes and also the harrowing experiences of the family members he left behind in Syria, forced to smuggle themselves out of the country after it closed its borders to Jewish emigration. The picture Sutton paints is both a poignant narrative of individual lives and the broader canvas of a people’s survival over millennia, in their native land and far away, through the strength of their faith and their communities. Multiple threads come richly together as she observes their world from inside and outside the fold, shares an important and nearly forgotten epoch of Jewish history, and explores universal questions of identity, family, and culture.


About the Author:
Family has always been a major focus of Claudette Sutton's writing. She is the editor and publisher of Tumbleweeds, an award-winning quarterly newspaper for families, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her work has appeared in local and national publications and online. Her new memoir, "FAREWELL, ALEPPO: My Father, My People, and Their Long Journey Home," the story of her father and the close-knit community of Syrian Jews that her family came from, is an extension of that interest. In part a labor of love, the book is as well as a tribute to Aleppo, Syria's intriguing Jewish community whose history extends back thousands of years, but which has now left Syria and relocated around the world. Claudette and her husband live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and have one son.

Back to School Breakfast Solutions

The air is getting crisp and the mornings call for a sweater. The beginning of the school year is upon most of us, and leisurely mornings will no longer be enjoyed during the week. Here are some back to school breakfast solutions that will hopefully simplify your mornings and bring a smile to the entire family!

Most of these recipes can be enjoyed fresh as well as being frozen in individual servings to be heated up and enjoyed for tweens, teens, and adults!

This post was the idea of a friend who called me this morning asking for breakfast ideas for her two adorable boys - so I apologize for the lack of photos. I'm usually much more prepared for posting...but school starts here in less than a week. I promise I'll add some photos to this post - or if you try the recipes and have photos of your own, please feel free to share them and I'll add them to the post (you can email them to me at: crystaljotto@gmail.com )

Healthier Muffins (or bread)
Ingredients:
3 cups whole wheat (unbleached) flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons cinnamon (I'll be honest, the more the merrier with cinnamon in this house)
3 farm fresh eggs
1 cup applesauce (home made is best and leave it chunky for added moisture)
3 teaspoons vanilla (don't scrimp on vanilla and use the real deal if it's available)
1 1/4 cups agave nectar (or honey - but if using honey you may have to use a bit more)

Options:
2 cups grated zucchini (if you have picky eaters you may want to process the zucchini so it is not detected)
OR
2 cups dried cranberries and a bit of orange zest
OR
2 cups fresh blueberries
OR
2 cups dried blueberries
OR
2 cups raisins
OR
1 cup strawberries with 1 cup rhubarb
OR
2 cups strawberries
OR
2 cups dried cherries

More Options:
Chocolate Chips - use your discretion...I say you can never have too much chocolate (especially dark) so throw in the entire bag if you'd like!
OR
walnuts
OR
pecans

truth is...the options never end!


Instructions:
I wish I could tell you that it matters which ingredients you put in first, last, or in the middle...but I honestly do most of my baking with small children so we are just happy to get all the ingredients in the bowl and not on one another...(side note - when telling a 6 year old to find something hard to crack the egg on - you may want to specify that although you often tell your six year old how hard-headed he is...his head is not what you had in mind).

We toss all the ingredients in the bowl and mix with a vengeance until everything looks just right! Then we have a conversation about what type of pan we are going to use - this particular recipe can be divided into a muffin pan for cupcakes, into a bread pan, or into a cake pan...you do what works for you and adjust the baking time accordingly.

Set the oven to 325 and bake for approximately 40-60 minutes for a cake (less for cupcakes, more for bread).

After fully cooled - you can wrap muffins individually, cut bread or cake into single serving portions and then you can freeze them. I like to make muffins for myself or a friend who is having a baby. The single portions are easy to take out at bedtime and by breakfast you're ready to grab and go!

Enjoy!!!



Breakfast Burritos
The toughest part of this recipe is deciding what to include in your burritos.
Ingredient options:
Soft tortillas (spinach, tomato basil, wheat, etc...)
scrambled eggs
diced onions
diced peppers
diced tomatoes
pieces of bacon
fully cooked ground sausage
salsa
shredded cheddar cheese
hot sauce
mushrooms
black olives
ham
shredded swiss cheese
etc...

Instructions;
I cook the eggs (and meat if necessary) then combine all desired ingredients in a large skillet. When I make this recipe I go big...like 2 dozen eggs at a time...

While that mixture cools, I lay out as many soft tortillas as will fit on my workspace.
Scoop egg mixture into the tortillas - I find that 1C of egg mix per tortilla works best
And now for the tricky part (not really)
-fold the burrito in half
-fold in the sides
-roll until burrito-fied

Repeat until you've used all your tortillas and egg mixture

Place wrapped burritos on a cookie sheet for freezing (if your freezer has a particular odor, then cover the sheet with saran wrap)

Freeze over night

Individually wrap your burritos in saran wrap and then place into a large freezer storage bag and label (I save the yummy ones for myself and the kiddos get the boring ham n cheese or whatever they've chosen).

Pull out of the freezer and remove from saran wrap before heating

wrap in paper towel and heat 1-2 minutes in the microwave

ENJOY!!!



Apple or Pear French Toast Bake
6C bread torn into pieces (approximately 1 loaf)
1 dozen eggs
2 cups milk
¾ cup honey or sugar
2 TB vanilla
½ cup brown sugar
1t cinnamon
¼t salt
1 stick of butter cut into small pieces

Options: 4 C sliced apples or pears (slice like you are baking a pie - peelings are optional)

Instructions:

Line a greased 9x13 baking dish with the bread

Place fruit over the top of the bread

Whisk together other ingredients. Pour evenly over bread and fruit mixture

Cover your pan with Saran Wrap and refrigerate overnight or if you are in a rush, just let it sit until it gets soggy

Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes until top is golden brown - add some powdered sugar if desired

You can absolutely eat this right out of the pan (after it cools a bit), or you can freeze the entire pan to be heated up later, OR cut into single servings, freeze in small sealed containers and then just microwave 2 or so minutes when you need a sweet breakfast treat!

Pancakes
We all have our favorite pancake recipe - so I won't tell you exactly what to do or not to do, but I will tell you that you can freeze a few pancakes in a freezer bag and the kiddos can grab them and heat them up in the microwave for 45 seconds and make their own breakfast if you want to sleep in every now and then!

Omelet in a Pan
6C bread torn into pieces (approximately 1 loaf)
1 dozen eggs
2 cups milk
1 C shredded cheese (cheddar is our favorite, but any flavor will do)
¼t salt
1 stick of butter cut into small pieces

Options: 4 C total of any or all of the following -
diced onions
diced peppers
diced tomatoes
pieces of bacon
fully cooked ground sausage
salsa
mushrooms
black olives
ham

etc...

Instructions:

Line a greased 9x13 baking dish with the bread

Mix your optional items in with the bread

Whisk together other ingredients. Pour evenly over bread and veggies

Cover your pan with Saran Wrap and refrigerate overnight or if you are in a rush, just let it sit until it gets soggy

Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes until top is golden brown and cheese is bubbly - add some more cheese just show your love for dairy farmers!

You can absolutely eat this right out of the pan (after it cools a bit), or you can freeze the entire pan to be heated up later, OR cut into single servings, freeze in small sealed containers and then just microwave 2 or so minutes when you need a savory breakfast treat!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Beer Bread Recipe - Save Money Today!

I like saving money even more than I dislike going shopping. Here's a recipe that will save you a trip to the store and it will save you money too. Make this delicious beer bread at home with simple ingredients you likely already have in your pantry. I'm not naming names either, but I think this recipe may be even better than that expensive box you can purchase at those home parties...wink wink...you be the judge!

Ingredients:

2 3/4C flour
1 1/2 t salt
2 T baking powder
1/2C granulated sugar
12 oz beer
2 1/2T melted butter

***if you prefer, you can use 3C self rising flour and omit the salt and baking powder listed above


Preheat oven to 350F

Mix dry ingredients well (flour, salt, baking powder and sugar) by hand or using a mixer

Add beer and mix until combined, but don't over mix (ie: mixing by hand is sufficient and if using a stand mixer, don't walk away - it doesn't take long)

Spoon mixture into greased bread pan (or a fancy pan if you are entertaining)

Bake at 350F for 55 minutes - - - enjoy a glass of wine, cup of tea, or mug of coffee during this part!

Brush melted butter on top of the loaf

Bake an additional 5-10 minutes until it looks tan and delicious

Allow to cool on a wire rack

Serve and watch everyone enjoy - - - tell them it took hours if you wish!


Today's recipe brought to you by yours truly, but here's my bio in case you are curious!

Crystal is a council secretary and musician at her church,
birth mother, babywearing cloth diapering
mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 10, Andre 9, Breccan 3, Delphine 2, and baby Eudora due this fall), two dogs, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at WOW!Women on Writing  - -  Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Everyone Has an Opinion - F THEM!

Everyone has an opinion about what other people should or shouldn't be doing. This statement is unbelievably obvious when it comes to parenting. If you are married, they want to know when you are having children because "they'll bring so much joy". If you have one child, they encourage you to have two, "so they have a friend". And if you are 40 and having your sixth baby they want to know if you have lost your mind because apparently in 2017 it's got to be insanity causing you to procreate. About a week ago someone at the grocery store asked how many children we have and after I replied, she said "I'm sorry"...

I SHOULD have said "do you know how this happens?" or "I wish I knew who the fathers were" or something equally clever. Instead, I looked at her in disbelief and said "I'm not - we are absolutely blessed". Then I loaded up my groceries, filled the 4 carseats in the minivan, and went on my merry way. I was a bit flabbergasted, but again...everyone has an opinion.

As I drove home I couldn't help but wonder why she felt sorry for me. Usually people say clever things like "you've got your hands full" or "you sure are busy"...but pity is a bit of a new one. I like to think that people make a comment simply to strike up a conversation. Before children, strangers would say they like my hair or my shoes, my handbag or something else. Now my clothes, my purse, my hair and such aren't a bit enviable, so people comment about the children - or that's what I choose to believe. But pity...

Why pity?

Well I'm thinking maybe she had a hard time raising her children. Maybe she knows that the teenage years are going to be difficult. Maybe life was different for her than it is for me. Maybe she can't imagine having 6 children anymore than I can imagine having just one. The good news is, opinions are prevalent and it costs nothing to have one.

My opinion is this:

Live and Love with complete abandon because life is short. Have the cinnamon roll - or if you want two of them, have two of them! Have 18 children if the sounds of their voices fill your home and your heart with love. Wear bright colors if you are drawn to them. Sing loudly if it makes you happy. As long as you aren't hurting anyone else and you are right with God - just rock this life you've got. Whether you're the single girl riding the Harley or the soccer mom driving the mini van - do it with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. This is YOUR life to live and no one else's. If they don't like it, that's on them. Some people don't know how to be happy, so if YOU do - just keep on keepin' on!


And by the way - you rock! You're amazing! You're beautiful! Yes YOU!!!! I'm talking to you! Stop listening to those other voices telling you that you aren't good enough, because they are wrong. You are phenomenal!!!


May your paths be abundantly filled with positive voices reminding you you are amazing - and mix all that goodness with some sunshine, lemons, and sugar and have a big ole glass of lemonade and drink it down with a smile!

xoxox
Crystal 

ps -  if you are curious about the picture on this post...that's my 2 year old singing at the top of her lungs - she's counting 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 !!! yes, she missed 5 and yes, she'll tell you she's 3 years old, just because she can! She's also wearing a shirt as a dress because she wanted to take her pants off, and her sandbox is filled with water so she can jump in it and make a mess. 2 year old's are rock stars and they don't care what you think. They love and live with complete abandon. When I grow up, I want to be just like this little girl!!!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

5 Star Book Review of Larry Kilham's "The Digital Rabbit Hole" by Tess Fallier

The Digital Rabbit Hole allows reader an opportunity for self reflection and asks readers to consider the following questions:

Will digital media sweep us into a new era of prosperity?

What new advances in entertainment, culture, education, and knowledge can we expect?

Will we get stuck in Cyberland only to be saved by digital detox?

The Digital Rabbit Hole reveals that we are becoming captive in the digital universe. The portals are smartphones and the world is the Internet. We immerse ourselves in social media; we learn through packaged feel-good information; and we will leave the hard work to robots and AI. The book details digital media and discusses smartphone addiction problems. It proposes solutions to stimulate creativity and education and to recapture our humanity.

Paperback: 144 Pages
Genre: Social Science/Non Fiction
Publisher: FutureBooks.info; 1 edition (January 1, 2016)
ASIN: B01A3MTVBS
ISBN-10: 1533307075
ISBN-13: 78-1533307071

The Digital Rabbit Hole is available in ebook and in print at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.



About the Author:


Larry Kilham has traveled extensively overseas for over twenty years. He worked in several large international companies and started and sold two high-tech ventures. He received a B.S. in engineering from the University of Colorado and an M.S. in management from MIT. Larry has written books about creativity and invention, artificial intelligence and digital media, travel overseas, and three novels with an AI theme. Currently, he is writing a novel about free will.

Larry can be found online at:

Website: www.larrykilham.net

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Larry-Kilham/e/B003UPNVNK/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4352387.Larry_Kilham





Review by Tess Fallier:

The Digital Rabbit Hole is not a book I would normally pick up off a shelf to read. It was recommended by my dear friend as something to read and review and I’m so very glad I took her suggestion. It caught my interest and attention quickly with the introduction, which is set to the theme of Alice in Wonderland, where he writes about Alice falling down a different kind of rabbit hole this time. “Once or twice she peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘when people can see everything in color and sound on their smartphone.” At that point while reading I came to an interesting revelation: I was reading this “book” on my smartphone. I have always had a love of reading and even I have gotten sucked down this “Rabbit Hole” and do so much with my smartphone that even enjoying a book is something that has become digital. This realization made me want to continue reading this book so that I could try to understand what has caused this and whether this is a good or bad thing for our world.

Kilham does a fantastic job of explaining how and why the digital world has become such a huge part of our lives. My one concern before I read the book and as I first started reading it was that it would only point out all of the negative points of the digital world, but I was very pleasantly surprised that he did a great job of explaining all of the many benefits to having information at our fingertips as well. He made me really appreciate all of the ways our lives are easier and how in many ways we are able to become more intelligent because knowledge is at our fingertips, but at the same time we are not using our brains to figure things out like we had to in the past, because all we have to do is type or talk into our smartphone and get an answer. We no longer have to work for information. Social media helps us stay in touch with friends and family in ways we couldn’t before, but a side effect to that is that we are spending less time with people in person and losing our social skills. Its not just social media that is to blame for the change in social skills and human interaction. In Chapter 5, Kilham points out that even at the stores, people are encouraged to use the self checkout option, where you scan your own items and use the computer to pay, so you never have to speak to an employee to purchase your items.

I plan to reread this book and really take the time to think about all the different points that Kilham makes. I also think as a mother of 6 children, it is something I would like the kids to read. The older ones should read it now, and the younger ones as they get older. I don’t want to discourage using technology, but understanding the risks and benefits of becoming so immersed in a digital world is important and this book is a great way to get people thinking about how we need to find a balance in our lives. We need to use and appreciate all the digital world can bring to us, but still find time to use our minds and stay grounded in the real world.

My plan for this coming weekend, because of reading The Digital Rabbit Hole, is to read a real book that is written with ink and paper. I also want to implement one device free day a week for our family where we play board games and do outdoor activities. I think we need to take little breaks from the digital world we are always so immersed in.


Thank you to WOW! Women on Writing for allowing me an opportunity to participate in this book
blog tour!





Be sure to check out some of the future blog stops on this tour:



Wednesday, August 9th @ The Muffin
Angela Mackintosh reviews Larry Kilham's The Digital Rabbit Hole.
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/





About today’s reviewer:

Tess Meyer is an office manager and service advisor at an auto repair business in Sheboygan. She lives in Manitowoc with her boyfriend. Between them they have 6 kids, a dog, and a cat. They all stay very busy enjoying swimming, gaming, Pokemon Go, and all things nerdy.