Monday, October 25, 2010

Book Review: Seeds of Turmoil

Bryant Wright’s book entitled Seeds of Turmoil, The biblical roots of the inevitable crisis in the Middle East provided a detailed perspective on the history of the unrest in the Middle East. I found this book very helpful in understanding the historic culture of the areas we see labeled on maps as Israel, Palestine, etc. Wright also goes into clear detail of what cultural impacts many readers of the Bible may not know. 
One of the refreshing parts of this book is when the author gives a current day example of a point he is referencing in biblical times. This helps to recapture the mind and attention span during the weight of heavy details. 
This book would be an excellent resource for anyone wanting a deeper understanding of the history of the Middle East. It reads quicker and easier than historical textbooks and offers an understanding brought to us through the history written about in the Bible. Good job Wright! 
The publisher provided a free copy of this book for me in exchange for an honest review. 

Book Review: The Boy Who Changed the World

Andy Andrew’s book entitled The Boy Who Changed the World was a fun and encouraging read! This is a great, heart warming story for all ages to enjoy- especially elementary ages. I loved the illustrations- they were vibrant and beautiful. 
The Boy Who Changed the World is actually three different little boys and how they lived their childhood dreams out into adulthood. Each of the little boys needed the others to make their dream come true. I enjoyed the fictional-look to a real-life story! A great addition to an American history lesson! 
Andrew’s other popular book, The Butterfly Effect is paraphrased at the end of The Boy Who Changed the World- so for the cost of one book, you get two lessons! 
The publisher provided a free copy of this book for me in exchange for an honest review. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Recipes!!!!

Pumpkin Bread
3 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 1/5 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
Combine in mixing bowl. 
4 eggs
2/3 cup apple juice
1 cup oil 
15 ounce can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!)
Add to dry ingredients. 
3 cups flour
Add to mixture and mix until smooth. Scrape sides of mixing bowl to ensure everything is mixed well. 
Spray 3 coffee cans ( or 2 loaf pans) with Bakers Joy (an oil & flour blend spray) or oil and flour your cans or pans by hand. Equally divide batter into cans or pans. Place cans on sheet pan to catch any dripping during baking. Bake at 350 for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 
When removing from oven, allow to rest in cans/pans for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. 
Wonderfully enjoyed with cream cheese spread on top!

Pumpkin Butter 
1 15 ounce can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp maple syrup
Mix all ingredients into a sauce pan and cook over medium heat. Stir continuously. Butter will burn and spatter quickly (due to the sugar content) so be cautious. When butter thickens and everything is combined to a smooth texture (about 10 minutes), remove from heat and pour into heat safe jars. Refrigerate. 

(I did not have maple syrup when I made it last and found it tasted just don't head to the store just for that ingredient!)
Butter is great on everything- waffles, pancakes, toast, salty crackers, pretzels, vanilla ice cream, etc. Be prepared for amazement! 

I am about to try making Baked Stuffed Pumpkins for dinner sometime in the next few weeks. I'll let you know how that goes!

Happy pumpkin eating!