Friday, January 21, 2011

Book Nook guests this week:

Next week's guest line up:
Monday, January 24th, 10:05am
"The Kitchen classroom"-Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer
Tuesday, January 25th, 10:05am
"The Winter of our Disconnect" - Susan Maushart
Wednesday, January 26th, 10:05am
Live report from the Lake Home and Cabin Show - Steve Perkins, Show Manager
Thursday, January 26th, 10:05
"Flour" -Joanne Chang
and at 10:35
"Gluten Free Desserts by the Cake Mix Doctor" -

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Salty and Sweet

You know there is much more to salt than pairing well with pepper! Besides using it as a seasoning, it also comes in handy for a wide range of other uses.
~~Salt keeps egg proteins from bonding to each other, so add 1/8 tsp. of table salt for every 2 eggs just prior to scrambling yours for breakfast.

~~Adding salt to your coffee (1/8 tsp. to the grounds for every 72 oz pot) will reduce the bitterness.
~~Add salt to your cooking water. It not only seasons your green veggies but also helps them retain their bright color. When green veggies cook in unsalted water, some of the chlorophyll molecules lose their color-enhancing magnesium atoms; this causes vegetables to turn a dull shade of olive green. Salt stabilizes the chlorophyll and helps veggies stay greener. Use 1 ½ tsp. of salt for every quart of water.

(And as I said during the show ....there is your science lesson for today!).

Here are some quick dessert tips that I shared on the show today.

· Before baking a chocolate cake from a mix, add ½ c. boysenberry jam to batter. You can also dot white frosting with the jam for a pretty effect.
· For a special ice cream sundae: blend ¼ tsp. cinnamon and ¼ tsp. ground cloves into a 12 oz. jar of hot fudge topping
· Pour thin layer of Grape Nuts cereal on bottom of dessert bowls. Slowly add your favorite prepared pudding. Top with whipped topping. In 2 hours cereal will be crunchy, 6 hours or overnight-a little softer crust

Quick and tasty sweet treats for your family!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Weight Loss, Writing and White Chili

If one of your New Year's resolutions was about losing weight, I've got a GREAT book for you!

Today I talked with Dr. James Beckerman, a cardiologist at in Portland, Oregon. Rather than teaching just one way to lose 10, 20 or even 50 pounds, Dr. Beckerman tells how to lose a SINGLE pound...200 different ways. His new book is "THE FLEX DIET: DESIGN YOUR OWN WEIGHT LOSS PLAN" and is all about using the tool, tips and techniques that work best for you and your lifestyle. Basic, common sense ideas that you can start doing immediately. And ideas that will show results! He takes the 200 solutions and breaks them into 5 sections: Eating/Drinking/Exercise/

Activity and Lifestyle.

For instance

#31: Getting enough sleep. You might not think that this would have anthing to do with weight loss, but Dr. Beckerman tells you why it is so important.

#46: Don't eat while watching T.V. I'm at fault on this one. You'll find out why this prevents you from losing weight.

#72: Skip the diet soda. People think that "diet" foods are good, however, if you're drinking diet soda, you're more apt to order that double cheeseburger, so you really aren't saving any calories-in fact, you're gaining weight instead of losing it.

These are just a few of the many great ideas you'll find in this easy to read book. There are also great recipes, excercise plans. Check it out!

This is Universal Letter Writing Week and International Thank You Day. If you haven't sent out those notes for your Christmas gifts yet, better do it today. In this digital age, it's so nice to get a card, note and/or letter that's hand written. It's a much more personal way to stay connected, don't you think?
I've been asking for favorite soup recipes since we're into the cold winter weather...Here is a white chili recipe that you might want to try. It makes use of a rotisserie chicken (from your local grocery store deli) which saves time for you.

White Chili with a Kick
1 large onion, chopped
6 Tbsp. butter, cubed
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2 c. chicken broth
¾ c. half-and-half cream
1 rotisserie chicken, cut up
2 (15 oz.) cans white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (11 oz.) can white corn, drained

2 (4 oz.)cans chopped green chilies
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. white pepper
½ tsp. hot pepper sauce

1 ½ c. shredded pepper jack cheese
Salsa and chopped green onions, optional
In Dutch oven, sauté onion in butter. Stir in flour until blended; cook and stir for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Gradually add broth and cream. Bring to boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the chicken, beans, corn, chilies, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and pepper sauce; heat through. Stir in cheese until melted. Garnish each serving with salsa and green onions if desired.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Celebrations and Cheddar Cheese

We celebrated the 25th anniversary of cancer survivorship this past Saturday.

Twenty-five years ago, (December 1985), my daughter was diagnosed with acute lymphocetic leukemia (A.L.L.) She was not quite three years old. This past weekend, she hosted a "Sparkling Celebration" (cocktail party) to thank all those who were part of her life then and now. It was a lovely evening at the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Family, friends and medical personnel were on hand to share the special night. A number of us shared stories/memories of those times and my sister and nephew put together a beautiful photo video with music that was very touching. All in all, it was a wonderful evening...I truly believe in miracles!

It's also time to celebrate all CHEESEHEADS!

The Green Bay Packers won their playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles so it's on to Atlanta next Saturday. GO PACK!

And speaking of cheese, I found this great recipe:
Cheesy Flat Bread
1 loaf (1 pound) frozen bread dough, thawed
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, softened
2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
2-3 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
2-3 Tbsp. paprika
½ tsp. dried oregano or basil
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 c. (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheesePat dough onto bottom and up sides of greased 14” pizza pan or 15x10x1” baking pan, forming a crust. Spread with butter. Sprinkle with onion, paprika, oregano and garlic powder. Prick crust several times with fork; sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 8 servings.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cocoa and Communication

I'm not much of a coffee drinker-never acquired the taste for it. I do love a good cup of hot chocolate and also like flavored tea. I found three ways to update your cup of cocoa...

Malted Hot Cocoa with Toasted Marshmallows
Broil 3 marshmallows in broiler or toaster oven until just golden, about 30 seconds. Mix hot cocoa with 3 Tbsp. malted milk powder. Top with toasted marshmallows.
Minty Hot Cocoa Float
Top hot cocoa with ¼ c. mint chocolate chip ice cream and 1 sprig of fresh mint.
Mexican Spiced Hot Cocoa
Combine 2 pinches ground chipotle chili pepper and 2 pinches ground cinnamon. Mix the hot cocoa with half the chipotle cinnamon mixture. Top with 2 Tbsp. sweetened whipped cream. Sprinkle with remaining chipotle and cinnamon.

It's great to curl up with a warm afgahn, a good book and a steaming mug of hot chocolate while the winter wind blows through the bare branches.

If one of your resolutions is to improve your life, you will want to get a copy of Janine Driver's book, "YOU SAY MORE THAN YOU THINK: A 7-DAY PLAN FOR USING THE NEW BODY LANGUAGE TO GET WHAT YOU WANT". Over fifty percent of what we communicate to others is non-verbal; in other words, our "body language". Whether you want to become a stronger leader, gain a more confident attitude, manage your nerves more effectively or strengthen your interpersonal relationships, this book will help you get what you want out of life!

Janine gives you the tools and techniques to be successful AND she says you can learn it all in 7 days!

A few of the tips/techniques that she shared with us today
~If you want to look more intelligent-tilt your head slightly toward your left shoulder
~If you want to look more attractive-tilt your head slightly toward your right shoulder
~If you want to command attention when speaking in front of others, keep your head straight.

The book is easy to read, easy to understand and you'll learn tricks to help the stress melt away, the 7 second body language fixes to decrease social anxiety and so much more....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fruits and Fiction

Today's blog is devoted to fruits (The Pomegranate) and Fiction (Kim Edward's new novel, "THE LAKE OF DREAMS".

Have you eaten pomegranates? I like pomegranate juice and I've also tried the arils (juice sacs) but I have never purchased one from the grocery store and cut it open. A listener called the other day wanting to know the proper way to open a pomegranate and in case you've been wondering this as well, here is a 3-step process to go from messy to easy...
1. cut off the crown and cut the pomegranate into sections.
2. Place sections in a bowl of water; roll out the arils (juice sacs) with your fingers and discard everything else.
3. Strain out the water; eat the juicy seeds (arils)!

This fruit is believed to have been brought to California by the Spanish Padres over 200 years ago when they grew them at their missions. Today, the San Joaquin Valley is the only concentrated area of commercially grown pomegranates in America. When purchasing pomegranates look for skin that is hard, shiny and bright red; the heavier the better (this means more juice); and the crown should be firm and not too soft. Pomegranates are only available September through January so now that you know more about them, go out and enjoy one today!

My interview today was with Kim Edwards, the #1 New York Times best selling author of "The Memory Keeper's Daughter". This book spent 122 weeks on the best seller list in 2006 and Kim released her newest novel yesterday. Her new book is "The Lake of Dreams". The book's central character is Lucy Jarrett, who has been traveling the world ever since her father died. After returning home, from a trip to Japan, she discovers a stack of old letters and historical pamplets in her mother's house, which leads her to confront the truths about her family's history. Ms. Edwards explores the history of women's suffragettes as well as the history and art of glass blowing and how some artists embedded secret messages into stained glass windows. I wasn't able to read the book before the interview because we set the interview on very short notice. I am however, looking forward to it.

We also talked about new uses for coffee beans
1. Pie Weights-line bottom and sides of cold pie dough with foil. Fill to the brim with coffee beans and bake according to directions
2. Hand Deodorizer-after chopping onions or garlic; rub a few beans between your palms to eliminate any lingering smell.
3. Candle anchor-fill hurricane vase with beans before adding a pillar candle to help keep candle steady and minimize mess (beans will catch the wax).
4. Nose Neutralizer. Sniff beans between spritzs at the perfume counter to cleanse your “palate” between fragrances.
5. Pore shirker. Place two cups of medium-to light roast beans (these have more caffeine than dark varieties) in a bowl or bathroom sink and fill with hot water. After a few minutes (when water is cooler), splash your face for a tighter complexion.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Brain, Beliefs and Blueberries

Our brain is such a fascinating part of us. All the information it is able to store, retrieve, process and well as all the emotional functions that it's capable of performing never ceases to amaze me.

In today's "Book Nook" segment I spoke with Spencer Lord, author of "THE BRAIN MECHANIC-A QUICK AND EASY WAY TO TUNE UP THE MIND AND MAXIMIZE EMOTIONAL HEALTH". It's a concise, entertaining and easy-to-use handbook that demystifies cognitive behavioral therapy. It took only about 90 minutes to read and Mr. Lord shows us how to overcome negativity, anger, depression and more. First he defines what the brain is(Under the Hood), and the different parts to our brain. In section II (The Tune Up) he tells how we can change our beliefs. In the third part, (The Toolbox) he shows us excercizes that we can initiate and the last part of the book deals with the "Action Plan"-5 quick steps to emotional well being. We can't always control the events that happen in our lives and we have limited control over our emotions but Spencer Lord shows us how to control our beliefs. A very fascinating and thought-provoking book....

If you're looking for a quick and easy dessert that you can make in the slow cooker here's a GREAT one....

Blueberry Cobbler

1 (21 oz.) can blueberry pie filling

1 (9 oz.) pkg. yellow cake mix

1/4 c. chopped pecans

1/4 c. butter, melted

Vanilla ice cream, optional

Place pie filling in greased 1 1/2 quart slow cooker. sprinkle with dry cake mix and pecans. Drizzle with melted butter. cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or until toppping is golden brown. serve warm with ice cream, if desired. (You can also substitute the blueberry pie filling with apple or cherry pie filling).

Monday, January 3, 2011


Happy New Year to you!

It's hard to believe another has come and gone.

Are you a person who believes in making New Year's resolutions? I like to write down one or two. Something that I can stick to and feel a sense of accomplishment when I reach my goal.

Marsha Egan-business coach, author and consultant ( says that if you are going to make resolutions for the new year you need to do the following:

1. Write it down. Seeing it print will motivate you to keep going. Post it at your desk, on the refrigerator and/or the bathroom mirror.

2. Make it specific and make it measureable. Don't just say you want to lose weight. Set a specific goal (Say 10 pounds by March 1st or whatever your specifics might be).

3. Be accountable. Share your resolutions/goals with others. You'll be more apt to stay on track if others know about your goals.

4. Pick a goal that will have the most impact. If there are a number of resolutions that you would like to accomplish, begin with the item that will have the most impact.

One of my resolutions is to blog every day after the show. Monday through Friday. Last year, when I scheduled a specific time during the work day to blog, I managed to do it! So I am taking tip number 3 (see above) to heart.

I have posted my goal for all to see. And I'm sure you will all keep me accountable, if I do not stick to my resolution!!!

I read that most people stick to their New Year's resolutions for about 2 months. I plan to make mine work throughout 2011!

What about you?

One of my goals last year, was to read more books in 2010 than I did in 2009. I first started doing the Idea Exchange program in February 2009 and that first year I read 89 books and did 123 interviews.

In 2010, I read 108 books and did 183 interviews. I read so many wonderful books:

"The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin,**** "Saving Cee Cee Hunicutt" by Beth Hoffman, "Life's too short to fold Fitted Sheets" by Lisa Quinn****, "52 Loaves" by William Alexander (it will change the way you think about this wonderful food), "Heroes for my Son" by Brad Meltzer****, (a fantastic gift to someone who is a hero in your life!) "Messages", by Bonnie McEnnay (about survivors from 9-11 and how they have received messages from their deceased loved ones)***** and those were just some of the great ones that I read from January through June.

****denotes the fact that I feel this is a MUST READ kind of book!

I'll save the second half of the year for tomorrow....