12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book-Beans for Children

literary-advent-6-edited-1DAY 8 of 12
A lovely tale of a girl with the audacity to seek out her dream

The Christmas Wish
by Lori Evert
A brave little girl named Anja wants to be one of Santa’s elves. So she leaves a note for her family and helps her elderly neighbor prepare for the holiday, then she straps on her skis, and heads out into the snowy landscape. From a red bird to a polar bear to a reindeer, a menagerie of winter animals help Anja make her way to Santa. This heartwarming story filled with extraordinary photographs is a special book for the
holiday season.
Rated 4.8 on amazon.com

applepiechaiBook Bean: Crisp Apple Chai
In saucepan heat up half water half apple juice or cider and simmer with green apple slices.  Add in Chai powder mixture or concentrate. Add mixture to blender and blend till smooth. Serve with garnish of apple and topped with whip and/or caramel, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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Autumn Spice & Books So Nice

Back to schoolAutumn is here! My favorite time of year. In Portland the weather is clear and sunny, the temperature comfortably drifts between a perfect 50-75 degrees, and the rains are held at bay for a few more weeks.

The air is filled with beautiful colors, savory aromas, and
the sound of boots crunching golden leaves.
Is there anything better?
Well yes, lets just add some fall-icious books to the equation shall we!

Here are a few harvest reads and warm drinks to ‘fall’ in love with 😉 :


A pocket Full of Rye

The Queen of Mystery and acknowledged mistress of suspense brings us this fall worthy mystery.

The bizarre death of a financial tycoon has Miss Marple investigating a very odd case of crime by rhyme.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

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Book Bean: Cocoa-Nut Mocha
An ordinary mocha gets a little nutty. Mix in 1/2 tsp of nutmeg to cocoa powder/syrup (etc.) and make mocha as usual. Top with whip, crushed hazelnuts, and a drizzle of Nutella.


The Cider House Rules

Set in rural Maine in the first half of this century, it tells the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch–saint and obstetrician, founder and director of the orphanage in the town of St. Cloud’s, ether addict and abortionist. It is also the story of Dr. Larch’s favorite orphan, Homer Wells, who is never adopted.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com
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Book Bean: Cider House Teapuccino
Tea of choice steeped dark in hot cider (in lieu of water.) While waiting for tea, steam, froth, or simmer milk. Combine frothy milk and tea, drizzles with honey and enjoy.



James and The Giant Peach

The story of a young boy on a magical adventure. After James Henry Trotter’s parents are tragically eaten by a rhinoceros, he goes to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and strange things start to happen.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

royal-rose-hot-toddy-saffron.jpgBook Bean: Harvest Peach Tea
Combine approx. 10 oz peach nectar, 5 oz orange juice, and 1/8 cup brown sugar in a large saucepan. Tie cinnamon and cloves in a small cheesecloth bag. Drop into saucepan. Steep, mug, and love!



Lark Rise to Candleford Trilogy

An immortal trilogy, containing “Lark Rise, Over To Candleford” and “Candleford Green”, a heartwarming portrayal of country life at the close of the 19th century. This story of three closely related Oxfordshire communities; a hamlet, the nearby village, and a small market town, is based on the author’s experiences during childhood and youth.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

vegan-pumpkin-hot-chocolate-editedBook Bean: Countryside Cocoa
Heat and simmer milk of choice, melt/ mix in cocoa powder and/or dark chocolate, and dark brown sugar to taste. Add mix to a blender and spoon in apprx. 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, a dash of pumpkin spice, a drop or two of orange extract. Top with cream and a sprinkle of spice.


The Wretched of Muirwood

In the ancient and mystical land of Muirwood, Lia has known only a life of servitude. Labeled a “wretched,” an outcast unwanted and unworthy of respect, Lia is forbidden to realize her dream to read or write. In the midst of a land torn by a treacherous war between a ruthless king and a rebel army, Lia finds herself on an ominous journey that will push her to wonder if her own hidden magic is enough to set things right.

enhanced-buzz-18848-1442882378-5 (1) - Edited.jpgRated 4.4 on amazon.com

Book Bean
: Fall Sangria
I will defer this one to Mr. Flay, because I saw this recipe,
and it looks amazing!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/
fall-sangria.html


Tess of the d’Urbervilles

The daughter of a poor and dissipated villager, learns that she may be descended from the ancient family of d’Urbeville. In her search for respectability her fortunes fluctuate wildly, and the story assumes the proportions of a Greek tragedy. It explores Tess’s struggle against the social mores of the rural Victorian world which she inhabits and the hypocrisy of the age.

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com
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Book Bean
: Spiced Steamer
Steam or simmer rice milk (almond is also nice) over low heat. Mix in agave syrup, vanilla bean, cinnamon, nutmeg, dash (very small) of cayenne, all to preferred taste. Pour in cup and sprinkle lightly with spices, garnish with cinnamon sticks, and let it warm your soul!

books-fall-writingWhat are some of  your falltastic reading go-to’s?

 

Beat The Heat Book Beans Pt.2

Continuing from yesterday here is Part 2 of 2. More yummy chills and book thrills to beat the heat with!

Simmer down with these cool books and icy drinks:

“Love in The Time of Cholera”

Gabriel Garcia Marquez
is a wonderful author, and I really enjoyed this book. It had a warm ambiance laced in it’s pages and left me with a feeling of nostalgia when I finished it.

“Set in a country on the Caribbean coast of South America, this is a story about a woman and two men and their entwined lives. From the author of the legendary One Hundred Years of Solitude.”

Rated 3.9 on amazon.com

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Book Bean: Raspberry Rose Ripple
Rose Tea Steeped rich and chilled. Add frozen raspberries to blender, add chilled rose tea, add a couple scoops of cool whip and blend. (you can also try this with ice-cream or fro-yo.)

Before The Fall

By Noah Hawley
On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

GL0809_Papaya-Banana_Smoothie.jpg.rend.snigalleryslide.landscapeBook Bean: Frothy Tropical Frost
Prepare Hibiscus tea click for recipe, set aside 4 oz and chill. In a blender add a handful of frozen mango, a scoop of crushed pineapple, the 4oz of chilled hibiscus tea, half a banana, and a dollop of cream of coconut. Blend until smooth and frothy. Sip, read, chill, repeat.

“White Fang”

A great classic by Jack London. If you’d like to escape the heat and spend some time way up north in the wilderness of Canada, this is a book that makes a great escape.

“Half wolf, half dog, White Fang fully understands the cruelty of both nature and humans. After nearly starving to death during the frigid Arctic winter, he’s taken in first by a man who “trains” him through constant whippings, and then by another who forces him to participate in vicious dogfights.

Follow White Fang as he overcomes these obstacles and finally meets someone who offers him kindness and love.”

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com
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Book Bean: Maple Frozen Mocha
Brew espresso over 3 maple sugar cubes dissolve and chill. Add ice, drizzle ice with a little chocolate, add almond milk, and the espresso maple mix to blender. Blend  until smooth. You can double or triple this of course 😉

I’ll Give You The Sun

The New York Times Bestselling story by Jandy Nelson. A book about first love, family, loss, and betrayal. A great choice for fans of John Green, Jenny Offill, Emma Straub, and Rainbow Rowell

“At first, Jude and her twin brother are NoahandJude; inseparable. Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude wears red-red lipstick, cliff-dives, and does all the talking for both of them.”
Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

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Book Bean: Teappaccino
Steep you favorite herbal or white tea blend and chill (citrusy and florally ones are especially nice). Add tea, scoop of vanilla fro-yo, and a squeeze of lemon to blender. Blend and enjoy 🙂

Well that is my beat the heat chill out list, I hope you find something that you’d like to try. Please share your experience if you do.

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Check out my Saga Saturday List for even more great summer reads!

Beat The Heat Book Beans Pt.1

61320c2189a7c67808a67c621ee2520dThis last week Portland has had some hot days, summer is well underway.
I don’t do well in the heat so I need some good reading and nice cold drinks to get me through.
So with more hot days ahead and summer just around the corner, I’ve done a roundup of good summer reading, and some recipes to beat the heat.

Simmer down with these cool books and icy drinks:

“Love & Gelato”

Jenn Evans Welch
gives us a a summer in Italy that turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

“But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long.
It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.”

Rated 4.9 on amazon.com

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Book Bean:
Frappalato-Licious
One scoop of your favorite Gelato (I like pistachio and/or mint) in a blender add 1 shot of chilled espresso and cream or use 2 scoops of Gelato and 8 oz of brewed coffee chilled, Blend, top with  whip cream, and enjoy.

“Of Mice and Men”

John Steinbeck
wrote this classic gem in 1937. It’s been a Broadway play and there have been several adaptations of it in movies and TV. It is a timeless treasure. Steinbeck’s descriptive narratives are like a mellow summer breeze.

“The powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck’s work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing “Of Mice and Men” (1937), creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness.
But though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal; a friendship and a shared dream that makes an individual’s existence meaningful.”

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.” (Often go awry.)
Robert Burn’s poem “To a Mouse”

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Book Bean: 
Orange Marmalade Chiller
In a blender: A hefty scoop of orange marmalade, fresh squeezed orange juice and a little zest, add ice. Blend, pour, and garnish with mint. Now cool your jets.

“The Girls”

Emma Cline’s has written a great debut novel. It is beautifully written and captivating, with precision and startling psychological insight.

“This novel takes place Northern California, and follows a lonely and thoughtful teenager. It begins in the summer of the violent end of the 1960s. An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong.”

Rated 3.9 on amazon.com


Book Bean:
Malted Ovaltine Frappe
blanche_ovaltine_milkshake022x.jpgThat’s right get out the ole Olvatine and whip up this tasty freeze. In a blender add a 1/4-1/2 cup of milk (of choice), Ovaltine to taste ( I like a lot :D), a little ice, 2 shots of chilled espresso or brewed coffee (chilled, but use cream instead of milk and less of it), blend until smooth, pour and sprinkle with malt.

“Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants”

by Ann Brashares
“Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She’d love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins.”

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

lemon-cream-soda-5Book Bean: Twisted Italian Soda
Steep or pull concentrated white tea (same amount of tea only 2 oz water) and chill, mix chilled tea with aprx. 4oz of simply lemonade juice (or the like), pour over ice, add carbonated water leaving a half inch of room, squeeze in a splash of lemon juice, and top with a bit of half and half or whip. Add a straw and lemon wedge, stir lightly if you like.

This was just part 1 of 2, stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2!

What’s your favorite drink to beat the heat?