Everyone knows reading is good for you. It stimulates the brain and teaches new words upon occasion. Unfortunately, many people associate reading with boredom on account of too many school assignments involving reading something that person didn’t want to read.
Summer is the perfect time to engage in some pleasure reading – read a book that may not teach you any new words, but that you actually feel like reading! Allow me to suggest (blatantly indulging in self-promotion here) my new, short fictional book, People with Fishtails.
Here is a short description of the book:
Gayle has mommy issues. Her mom left when she was eight, abandoning her in the hands of a drunk and unstable father. Oh, and her mom was also a mermaid.
Sander has daddy issues. His dad is the CEO of KrakenGo, the largest renewable fuel company on the planet. Oh, and he’s also destroying the planet.
When Gayle and Sander find themselves on an environmental pirate ship, bound for the four corners of the earth to pillage and plunder what’s left of the ocean’s magnificent creatures, they agree to band together to stop this madness. Oh, and they still have parent issues…
You can download this book from Amazon here. Download from Smashwords here. It’s currently free on Smashwords, coming soon to Barnes and Noble for free, and will take a while to become free on Amazon.
I’m about to go off to college in a new state. I realized the other day that now was the best time to appreciate my hometown, Santa Monica. We all tend to take our home town for granted, but I know mine has a lot to offer. So when I visited the pier recently, I took my camera along to capture every moment.
I kind of felt like a tourist, taking pictures of everything. But that was my way of experiencing my city in its full glory.
Another thing I’ll miss about being home is being able to cook more often than I expect to in college. To fully enjoy my current kitchen privileges, I made this dish this morning for breakfast.
Bananas and berries go together like a match made in heaven. This easy cheat to a “caramelized” banana pairs it with blueberry Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries, and dried cranberries for a fruity fiesta! Enjoy this balanced breakfast of fiber, protein and just the right dose of sweetness.
“Caramelized” Banana Berry Breakfast Bowl
- 1 large banana
- 1 tbs honey
- 6-8 fresh strawberries
- one container of Greek blueberry yogurt
- one single-serving box of Craisins
Freeze yogurt until it has a soft frozen consistency (about 30 minutes.)
Wash and cut up strawberries. Arrange in serving bowl.
Spray a medium pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cut banana into two to three pieces, and place on pan.
Turn heat to medium. Drizzle honey over banana pieces. Turn over when slightly browned, and brown the other side.
Remove from heat. Place banana in serving bowl. Scoop frozen yogurt on top, and sprinkle with Craisins.
As a kid, it didn’t take much to make me happy. For instance, I remember begging my mom for the special treat of chocolate chips in a bowl, microwaved until they collapsed under my spoon into a simple chocolate-fudgey experience. One time, after giving in to my pleas for melted chocolate chips, my mom became perturbed when the microwave began making strange noises as it heated the dessert. With delight I cried, “the microwave’s burping!” This added a whole new level of heavenly joy to the melted chocolate chip dessert.
These muffins remind me a little of that childhood indulgence, but at the same time they’re much more sophisticated. Chewy muffin with dried strawberries surrounds a hot oasis of chocolatey goodness, melting into the strawberries around it in a sort of reverse chocolate-covered strawberry – more like a strawberry-covered chocolate! Whatever you choose to call it, these muffins are a good, fun experiment. The only thing about them I might change is to somehow make the batter more cake-y and less chewy, and that’s a matter of personal taste. Enjoy!
Inside Out Chocolate Covered Strawberry Muffins
based on recipe from Taste of Home
makes 12 regular-sized muffins
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 packet strawberries and cream oatmeal
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 container vanilla Greek nonfat yogurt
- 1 cup plain almond milk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- a few generous handfuls of freeze dried strawberry slices
- 12 Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Kisses, unwrapped
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Line a regular-sized muffin tin with 12 foil liners.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat in the egg. Add the vanilla, yogurt, and almond milk. Mix well.
Add dried strawberry slices. Stir.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin.
Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, stopping after about 8 minutes to drop the chocolate kisses, upside down, into the center of each muffin. Remove from oven when a cake tester comes out clean.
Serve warm, with the chocolate kisses nice and melty…