Thought of the Day 10.1.12 Julie Andrews

Thought of the Day 10.1.12 Julie Andrews.

 

Reposting and wishing Julie Andrews Happy Birthday!


A Year of READING Dangerously

 

Whatever you do…DON’T READ THIS.

 

If you don’t like subversive literature, like To Kill A Mockingbird or Harry Potter or The Giver, you should definitely just move along.

 

Me? I’m a big fan of banned books, so… this being BANNED BOOK WEEK naturally I checked out all the available lists to see what I should add to my reading shelf.

 

I particularly like The American Library Association’s list of Top 100 Banned/Challenged Book (see below). So I thought why not invite my reading / literary lovin’ friends to a join me in an electronic book club that tackles the list. The goal is to collectively read all 100 books on the list by this time next year, when Banned Book Week rolls around again.  You can read one, ten or all the books if you want. Just jot me a comment letting me know which book you’ve read (or re-read) and what you’ve liked about it. More than one person can read the same book, but I’m hoping we can cover the whole list.

 

If you are on Facebook you can also follow A Year of READING Dangerously there.

 

I’m starting things off by re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

 

Here’s the list of Top 100 Banned /Challenged Books
1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris

13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey

English: Cover of Adventures of Huckleberry Fi...

English: Cover of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by EW Kemble from the original 1884 edition of the book. Source: Project Gutenberg Category:Mark Twain images (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier

Bridge to Terabithia (novel)

Bridge to Terabithia (novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey

Cover of "The Kite Runner"

Cover of The Kite Runner


50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park

The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss

A Day No Pigs Would Die

A Day No Pigs Would Die (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George

 

The Boy Who Lost His Face

The Boy Who Lost His Face (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard

94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine

95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix

96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

 


Muffin “Monday”: Peanut Butter Muffins

Muffin beauty shot
INGREDIENTS:
  • 4  cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 cup Powdered Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup Almond Butter
  • 2 cups Skim Milk
  • 2 Eggs (beaten)
  • 6 tablespoons Butter, melted
I discovered powdered peanut butter at my local grocery store. It is great for smoothies and baking, and has far less calories than traditional peanut butter.

I discovered powdered peanut butter at my local grocery store. It is great for smoothies and baking, and has far less calories than traditional peanut butter.

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep 18 muffin cups.

2. In a large bowl mix the Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Salt and Powdered Peanut Butter
3. Fold in the Almond Butter
4. In a smaller bowl mix together the Milk, Eggs and melted Butter.
5. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry.
6. Divide evenly into the muffin cups.
Peanut Butter muffin oven ready
7. Bake for 25 minutes, until tops of muffins are golden brown and they pass the toothpick test.
8. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before enjoying.
Muffin solo 2
These muffins were nice and dry (but not crumbly) so they travel well. I used them in two care packages and they seem to have made the journey through the post office well.  (Those sauerkraut muffins from last time, did not make it in time, too moist.)
They pair perfectly with a touch of jelly or a bit of butter. My taster Maggie said that “They were the perfect bite size for breakfast.”
Peanut Butter Muffins baked

Muffin Monday: Sauerkraut Chocolate Muffins

with sauce

Momma always said… when life gives you lemons make lemonade. But how about when life gives you sauerkraut? Well, when you marry a German the odds are good that he or she is going to like the pungent cabbage dish. Mine does. So when a certain local grocery chain had a sale on the stuff I was gifted several unsolicited cans for his sake. I’m gratified that my family loves my husband enough to think of him in the canned vegetable aisle, but I don’t even know how to make sauerkraut. So naturally… I looked up Sauerkraut Muffins on the internet to see if there was a base recipe I could borrow for this blog. AH-HA I’m obviously not the only person with the problem, because I found sever interesting recipes.

Basically my version uses the kraut instead of the grated zucchini that you can usually find in my muffins.

Here goes…

 

INGREDIENTS;

3/4 cups of chopped Sauerkraut

2 cups Flour

1/2 cup Cocoa

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Cardamom

2 Eggs

1/2 cup Olive Oil

2/3 cup Sugar

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

3/4 brewed Coffee (any kinds) room temperature

batter

SAUCE:

1/2 cup Almond Butter

1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips

2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

2 Tbsp Butter

ready to bake

DIRECTIONS:

1 Preheat oven to 350. Prep muffin cups.  (This recipe makes a dozen, but I doubled it so I could send some out to unsuspecting college students.)

2. RINSE the Sauerkraut several times to cut the vinegar taste. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl mix the Flour, Cocoa, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt, Cinnamon and Cardamom.

4. In a medium bowl mix the Eggs, Olive Oil, Sugar and Vanilla Extract.

5. Add the wet to the dry and mix until combined (it will be on the dry side.)

6. Alternate adding 1/4 of the Sauerkraut and 1/4 of the Coffee, gently folding with each addition.

7. Divide evenly into the muffin cups.

8. Bake for 30 minutes until the muffins pass the toothpick test.

9. Make the Sauce (yes, these muffins have a sauce, I don’t know why that doesn’t make them cup cakes, just roll with me here.) place the Almond Butter, Dark Chocolate Chips and Maple Syrup in a medium sauce pan. Cook over low heat until the Chocolate starts to melt. Add the butter. Stir continuously.

10. Pour a hefty tablespoon of the sauce over each of the muffins (divide evenly.) Let cool 5 minutes then enjoy.

baked

I tried the muffins with and with out the sauce and they are definitely better WITH the sauce. I liked these muffins. I liked them MUCH better than I like actual Sauerkraut, but, really, just as muffins they were good… not too sweet and the present with interesting flavor profiles (the coffee, cardamom, cinnamon and almond butter help with that.)


Tuning Up: CLOUDS

For this, the second in the Tuning Up series here on ritaLOVEStoWRITE, I’m presenting CLOUDS by Zach Sobiech.

IMG_0212

 

Sobiech was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, at the age of 14. After 10 surgeries and 20 rounds of chemo it became apparent that the end game was at hand. His mother, Laura, asked him to write farewell letters to the people who were important to him. He found that difficult, but he was able to write music. He penned CLOUDS.

The song was recorded and released on YouTube where it has been seen by 11.8 million viewers.

Here’s the original with Sobiech on vocals and acoustic guitar. The session was produced by Karl Demer and engineered by Merritt Benton. With John Lynn on piano, Zach Miller on drums, Sean O’Hea on bass and Matt Vannelli electric guitar

http://youtu.be/sDC97j6lfyc

The song reached #1 on iTunes and charted on the Billboard Hot 100.

After his death a local radio station held a tribute concert with 5000 people — a mix of school choirs, church choirs, and fans — singing the song at the Mall of America.

Sobiech’s hope in releasing the song was to promote awareness of Osteosarcoma and help others with the disease. His family established The Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund at Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

The sheet music is available here for free. (click on the image at the bottom of the link for a pdf download). A request for a donation to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund is recommended.

I’ve done this song with several of my voice students. I love the message of the song and that it lets us, as performers, look beyond ourselves to a greater need.

Here is my Monday Night Trio, (Ellie, Meg and Emily) singing the song… (It is a little quiet)


Muffin Thursday: Zucchini and Berries

IMG_0750This recipe is similar to the Zucchini Double Berry recipe I posted in July of 2013. But if you click HERE you’ll see this is quiet the different recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 cups Vegetable Oil
  • 3 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Orange Extract
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1 3/4 cups White Sugar
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 cup grated Zucchini
  • 1/2 cup whole Blueberries
  • 1/2 cup mashed Blackberries
  • 1/2 cup Slivered Almonds
Batter in the extra-large muffin cups, ready to go into the oven.

Batter in the extra-large muffin cups, ready to go into the oven.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prep 12 extra-large muffin cups by spraying with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl beat the Eggs then add the Vegetable Oil, Vanilla and Orange Extract.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the Flour, Sugar, Salt, Baking Powder and Baking Soda.
  4. Mix the dry into the wet and stir until well incorporated.
  5. Fold in the Zucchini, Blueberries, Blackberries and Almonds.
  6. Divide evenly into the muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes until tops of muffins are golden brown and the muffins pass the toothpick test.
Ready to eat.

Ready to eat.

My tester Bill called these “really delicious” and gave them his stamp of approval. They are sweet, as one would expect from a muffin with that much sugar and fruit. I think they will keep and travel well because they seem to be firm and not too moist.

Give them a try. I think you will be pleased.


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