Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dyslexia and "Dogs"

In our "Book Nook" segment today, I spoke with Nelson Lauver, a syndicated broadcaster, writer, speaker, humorist, award-winning narrator and advocate. His memoir: "MOST UNLIKELY TO SUCCEED: THE TRIALS, TRAVELS AND ULTIMATE TRIUMPHS OF A 'THROWAY' KID" is a facinating read. Nelson was a bright, young boy with undiagnoased dyslexia and he blends humor, story telling, irony and raw emotion as he shares his account of his learning disability and how he overcame it. His book will touch the lives of parents, grandparents, educators at all levels, and individuals who may have a learning disability or have had difficulties in shcool-and it will also resonate with anyone who works with or cares for children. Because he was undiagnosed, he learned to be the "bad kid" and acted out in class in the hopes that the teacher would pass him into the next grade in order to get him out of their classroom. By the time he graduated (104th out of 104 students), he could only read and function at a second grade level. In spite of the emotional and physical abuse, he perserved and today is a highly regarded speaker. His book a very powerful and inspite of all the tragic abuse, it resonates with the power of hope and how it can make all the difference. You might be able to catch his four-minute slice of the American experience "The American Storyteller Radio Journal"-featured on many radio stations across the country. Or check out his website at

It is also Hot Dog Day! And the weather is warming up. A good day for a ballpark hotdog (although the Brewers don't play until tomorrow-and they're at Cinncinnati, so I guess it will have to be a DQ hotdog! We posted this question on facebook: What condiments do like on your hot dog? Ketchup and Onions are MY choice!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Children's Books and Coca-Cola

During the Book Nook segment today, we spoke with Kathryn Cloward, author of the new children's book, "KATHRYN THE GRAPE: JUST LIKE MAGIC". You will fall in love with Kathryn and her magical butterfly friend-Maggie. The book teaches that each of us has our own magic within and children will discover their own strength and fearlessness, learn about making new friends and learn the importance of helping others. The book is the first in the series and Kathryn's next book, "KATHRYN THE GRAPE: COLORFUL ADVENTURE", is due out in June. I encourage you to check out her website at After interviewing Kathryn, I thought about books that I read to my children. One of my all-time favorites, (and one that I like to give to new moms) is "I'LL LOVE YOU FOREVER". I don't remember the author's name, but it is a fantastic book. The main phrase throughout the book, and one that I still say to my (now grown) children is this: "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as you're living, my baby you'll be!". Today is Love Your Children Day. No matter what their age(s) make sure you tell them. Although I no longer read this story to my kids, I just want them to know I'LL LOVE THEM FOREVER! Coca-Cola was invented 125 years ago today. A few bits of trivia for you:

  • Coca-Cola employes 139,600 people worldwide

  • The company has enjoyed 49 consecutive years with increased dividends

  • Their product is sold in over 200 countries

  • and is celebrating 125 years in business.

Dr. John Pemberton, a pharmacist in Atlanta, Georgia, produced the first syrup and carried a jug of the new product down the street to the Jacobs' Pharmacy where it was sampled and pronounced "excellent". The first glasses of syrup were mixed with carbonated water and sold for five cents!

So enjoy a coke (cherry coke for me!) today.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Eskimo Pies and Easy Desserts

Today is Eskimo Pie Day!

The original ice cream on a stick and covered in chocolate all began back in 1921 when school teacher and candy shop owner Christian Kent Nelson was inspired by a little boy's inability to decide between ice cream and a candy bar and so the frozen snack was born. They say necessity is the mother of invention and some of our best inventions have come in a round-a-bout way!

What is your favorite frozen ice cream treat? Ice cream sandwiches? Drumsticks? Fudgecicles (Haven't had one of those in YEARS!). I think the most delicious frozen treat I ever tasted was during my first trip to Disneyland. Dad and Mom took us (2 brothers, 3 sisters and myself) to California, specifically Disneyland, when I was a Senior in high school. While at Disneyland, I tried a frozen banana, dipped in chocolate and covered with crushed peanuts. YUM! It was delicious! I've tried to recreate the taste, but somehow, it just isn't the same.

We shared some easy dessert recipes on the show today. If you like pecan pie, you will have to try these Pecan Pie Muffins. (see below). They taste just like the real thing-and only use 5 ingredients! Also the recipe for Black Forest Chocolate Cake that you make in the slow cooker. Both are EASY and EXCELLENT!

Pecan Pie Muffins 1 c. packed light brown sugar ½ c. all purpose flour 1 c. chopped pecans 2/3 c. butter, softened 2 eggs, beaten Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 18 mini muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners. In medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour and pecans. In separate bowl beat butter and eggs together until smooth; stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. They should be about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire racks when done.

Easy Slow Cooker Black Forest Cake ½ c. butter 1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained & juice reserved 1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling 1 pkg. chocolate cake mix Melt butter in small saucepan, mix with reserved pineapple juice; set aside. Spread crushed pineapple in layer on bottom of slow cooker. Spoon cherry pie filling in even layer on top of pineapple; sprinkle with dry cake mix. Stir butter & pineapple juice together; pour over cake mix. Set slow cooker to LOW; cook for 3 hours. Spoon dessert into bowls;let cool about 5 minutes before eating. Yield: 10 servings.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

This week's Book Nook segments:

Tuesday, March 29th at 10:05am:

"KATHRYN THE GRAPE", ~ Kathryn Cloward-children's author

Wednesday, March 30th at 10:05am:

"MOST UNLIKELY TO SUCCEED", ~ Nelson Lauver tells the story

of how he was a "throwaway kid" (with dyslexia) but was not diagnosed

during elementary/middle school and how he overcame this significant

problem to become a very successful motivational speaker today.


"THE GARDEN DOCTOR" program with Dick Zondag from Jung's

Garden Center from 10:30-11am

Thursday, March 31st at 10:05am:

'BIBLE BABBLE", ~ Kristin Howard explains the bible-it's origins, the

different parts and how it relates to pop culture today

Sunday, March 20, 2011

This week's Book Nook segments:

Monday, March 21st:
"THE SELF AWARE PARENT" ~ Dr. Fran Walfish at 10:05
"Realtors Home & Garden Show" landscape expert ~ Darin Meyer from
McKay Nursery, Waterloo, Wisconsin at 10:35

Tuesday, March 22nd:
"BETTER BY MISTAKE" ~ Alina Tugend at 10:05
Why making mistakes is a good thing!
"GHOST SHIP FESTIVAL" ~ Kimm Stabelfeldt ~ at 10:35 will talk about
the discovery of the wooden ship that sank over 100 years ago in Lake
Michigan and was discovered last summer.

Wednesday, March 23rd:
Realtors Home and Garden Show ~ Charlie Koenen, owner of BeePods,
will discuss beekeeping and all things bee related ~ 10:05
GARDEN DOCTOR program with Dick Zondag from Jung's Garden
Center, Randolph from 10:30-11am

Thursday, March 24th:
"SHADES OF GRAY" ~ Ruta Sepetys, writes about the purging of
Lituanians by the Soviets, during WWII

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Longevity and Lent

What do these two things have in common?

We interviewed Dr. Howard Friedman, a health psychologist, who co-authored the facinating book, "THE LONGEVITY PROJECT: SUPRISING DISCOVERIES FOR HEALTH AND LONG LIFE FROM THE LANDMARK EIGHT-DECADE STUDY". Along with Dr. Leslie Martin, they compiled a truly remarkable collection of insights into why some of us are blessed with long lives while others falter. The book looks at thousands of pieces of information, the files of over 1500 participants in a study that began back in the early 1930's and has spanned over eight decades.

Told in an easy to read, easy to understand format, there are many facets (personality traits, relationships, experiences and career paths) that give us a good understanding of how the doctors compiled their results. Dr. Friedman says they became known as the "Myth Busters" because so many of things we've been taught about how to live a long life, turned out not to be true. You'll find lots of great information, as well as quizzes YOU can take to get a sense of your own longevity trajection. Dr. Friedman says the best advice he can give is to throw out all your lists. Develop patterns according to your own personality that lead to healthy living and associate with others who lead healthy lifestyles. Quite a fascinating study...

You can become a "friend" on facebook or check out his website at

We also were looking for some good recipes for making tilapia- a mildly flavored fish. If you are looking for some good (and easy) Lenten recipes see below:

Garlic Alfredo Tilapia
4 tilapia fillets
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. Creole seasoning, or to taste
3 Tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. Alfredo sauce
Preheat oven to 425°. Brush tilapia fillets with oil on both sides, season with Creole seasoning to taste, then place into 9x13” baking dish. Bake until flesh is no longer translucent, and fish flakes easily with fork, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, cook until it’s softened and aroma has mellowed, about 2 minutes. Stir in Alfredo sauce and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to LOW and keep warm until fish is ready. Pour sauce over fish to serve. Sprinkle with additional Creole seasoning if desired.

Hudson’s Baked Tilapia
4 (4 oz.) fillets tilapia
Salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning, or to taste
1 lemon, thinly sliced
¼ c. mayonnaise
½ c. sour cream
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9x13” baking dish. Season fillets with salt, pepper & Cajun seasoning on both sides. Arrange seasoned fillets in single layer in baking dish. Place layer of lemon slices over fish. (2 per piece, it should cover most of the surface of the fish). Bake, uncovered for 15-20 minutes,or until fish flakes easily with fork. While fish is baking, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic powder, lemon juice and dill in small bowl. Serve with tilapia.

Crab Salad
2 ½ c. cooked shell macaroni
¼ c. chopped onion
½ c. chopped celery
1 pkg. crabmeat, cut into chunks
1 c. mayonnaise or salad dressing
¼ c. sugar
1 Tbsp. vinegar
3 Tbsp. sour cream
In large bowl, combine macaroni, onion, celery & crabmeat. In separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, sour cream. Pour over macaroni mixture and stir until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

This week's Book Nook segments:

Lots of great interviews coming up this week.
  • You'll be very suprised to hear the findings of a study on living to an old age...
  • Find out the latest stats regarding identity theft in Wisconsin and what you can do to prevent it from happening to you
  • If you love eggs and/or chickens you'll want to find out how raising chickens as a hobby turned into something else...
  • Featured speaker at the BDAAA will discuss her wonderful book about the time spent in Russia
  • You'll be captivated by a very small book with a very BIG message
Tuesday, March 15th, 10:05am
Dr. Howard Friedman, "THE LONGEVITY PROJECT", a landmark study on living to an old age
Wednesday, March 16th, 10:05am
Mike Prusinski, a certified Identity Theft expert, will talk about the newest statistics just released for Wisconsin from the Federal Trade Commission's consumer Sentinel Network.
and the Garden Doctor returns
Dick Zondag, aka "The Garden Doctor" 10:30-11am

Thursday, March 17th, 10:05am
"THE CHICKEN AND EGG", a combination cookbook, memoir about living in the city and raising chickens
and at 10:35AM
Lisa Paul, "SWIMMING IN THE DAYLIGHT", an inspiring account of the improbable link between an ailing Soviet Jewish refusenik from Moscow and a young woman from America, (Wisconsin native).
Friday, March 18th, 10:05am
Charlene Costanzo, "THE 13TH GIFT", a delightful novella with a profound message

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Barbies and Books

Today is "Barbie's" birthday!

Barbie the Fashion doll that is. She made her debut on this date back in 1959 at a price of $3.00!

Did you have a Barbie when you were growing up? My sister Nancy had Midge (Barbie's best friend) and I had Barbie and we would spend hours, I mean HOURS, pretending that we were Barbie and Midge ~ out on all kinds of adventures. We saved our brithday and Christmas money to buy the outfits-I think they were priced at about $1.99-4.99 depending on how fancy the outfit and how many accessories were included.

Ruth Handler watched her daughter Barbara play with paper dolls and noticed that she enjoyed giving them adult roles. Ruth's husband was a co-founder of the Mattel Toy company and when she suggested the idea of an adult bodied doll, he was unenthusiastic. During a trip to Europe in 1956 with her children Barbara and Kenneth, Ruth found a german toy doll called Bild Lilli. She brought it back to the US, worked with an engineer, reworked the design of the doll, named her after her daughter and Barbie made her debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959. Over the years, Barbie's appearance had changed many times, most notably in 1971, when her eyes were adjusted to look forward rather than having the demure sideways glance of the original model.

  • Here are a few "facts" about Barbie that you maybe didn't know
    Her full name: Barbara Millicent Roberts
  • In a series of novels published in the 1960's she grew up in the fictional town of Willows, Wisconsin and attended Willows High School
  • Her parents were George and Margaret Roberts and she had younger sister (Skipper).
  • Barbie has had over 40 pets and a wide range of vehicles including her pink Corvette convertible, trailers, and jeeps. (She also holds a pilots license)
  • She's had an on-off romantic relationship with her boyfriend "Ken" (Ken Carson) who first appeared in 1961. In 2004 Mattel announced that Barbie and Ken split up however, it was recently reported that they maybe they would be getting back together.

In the "Book Nook" segment today I spoke with Gretchen Rubin, author the #1 New York Times Best Seller- 'THE HAPPINESS PROJECT: OR, WHY I SPENT A YEAR TRYING TO SING IN THE MORNING, CLEAN MY CLOSETS, FIGHT RIGHT, READ ARISTOTLE, AND GENERALLY HAVE MORE FUN". It is now out in paperback and it is a GREAT read. Gretchen spent time exploring ways of "being happy" and broke her resolutions into 12 segments (one each month). When I asked her if she had found the "key" to happiness, she said that both the ancient philosophers and well as contemporary religious leaders agree that strong relationships with other people is really the secret. Check out her book and/or her blog at

Friday, March 4, 2011

Good Grammar and Grandfathers

How's your grammar? You probably know the difference between an adverb and an adjective, but do you know what a "flat" adverb is? What about a "split infinitive"? The English language can get pretty technical, but Grammar Girl keeps everything in perspective and also keeps it fun! Today is National Grammar Day-March Forth (4th) to good grammar. We had a fun interview with Mignon Fogarty, aka: "The Grammar Girl" on the show today. Mignon said that the biggest error most people make is not with grammar itself, but rather with word usage. For instance: we confuse affect with effect and so on. If you want to get more tips and learn more about using good grammar, you can check out Mignon's books, DEV"THE GRAMMAR DEVOTIONAL" and "GRAMMAR GIRL'S QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS FOR BETTER WRITING", or you can check out the website: (You'll also be able to hear the catchy tune, MARCH FORTH, that Mignon wrote for the occassion-National Grammar Day).

We also had a chance to talk with Erin Bried, author of "HOW TO BUILD A FIRE: AND OTHER HANDY THINGS YOUR GRANDFATHER KNEW", a collection of tips and advice from 10 men (most of whom served in WWII). It's filled with warmth, humor, nostalgia and wisdom and covers their perspective on everything from how to change a tire, tie a tie, build a campfire, be brave, show respect and love and how to apply these things to our lives. Erin showcases each of the ten men who share their grandfatherly wisdom as well as their advice. The chapters cover everything from pioneering, thriving, bonding, cooking, hosting, leading and prospering as well as others. If you never got the chance to ask your grandfather about all the important (as well as unimportant) things in life, you'll want to read this book.
If your grandfather is still living, take time in the next week or so to seek him out and spend some time together. You'll be glad you did!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Police, Peach Blossoms and Perfect Pasta

In today's Book Nook segment I welcomed back J.T. Ellison. We've talked with her in the past about her continuing series of detective novels featuring police lieutenant Taylor Jackson. Her lastest novel "SO CLOSE THE HAND OF DEATH", is a sequel to "FOURTEEN". Normally, I try to read every book I feature in my "Book Nook" segments. J.T's books are very realistic and my over-active imagination makes them TOO scary for me but I love talking to her about how she researches her novels, and why murder/mysteries are so popular. (I had a co-worker read the book for me and she is now a new follower and fan).

Today is National Peach Blossom Day-to celebrate you can make this easy drink.

Peach Blossom Fuzz

1 1/4 c. sliced peeled fresh or frozen peaches

1/2 medium firm banana

1 c. orange juice

1/2 c. crushed ice

1/2 c. fat-free plain yogurt

1 Tbsp. honey

1/8 tsp. rum extract or vanilla extract

In blender, combine all ingredients; cover and process for 15-20 seconds or until smooth. Stir if necessary. Pour into chilled glasses; serve immediately.

If you want know how to make perfect pasta:

  • Boil in a large pot of water (4 quarts to every 1 pound of pasta).

  • Salt (at least 1 Tbsp.) to add flavor.

  • Add pasta to boiling water. Don't break it as the pasta will soften within about 30 seconds and fit into the pot.

  • Stir as it starts to cook to prevent from sticking to the bottom of the pot and from other noodles

  • Do a "taste test". Folow the package directions but taste before draining to be sure the texture is right.

  • Drain well in a colander. If serving hot, add sauce right away. If using it in a cold salad, rinse pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Peanut Butter and Possibilites

Today is Peanut Butter Lovers Day. Also the first day of March.

(Does that mean spring is right around the corner? It was 40 degrees in Wisconsin today. March definitely came in like a lamb so we can certainly dream about blue skies, fresh air and warmer temperatures. However, before we realize those dreams, I'm sure we will have to endure high winds, torrential rains and yes, even more snow! Ahhhhh the possibilities!

Is there anyone that doesn't love peanut butter? Spread some on a warm bagel and watch it melt slightly...or cover a slice of fresh white bread with peanut butter (and grape jelly or strawberry jam). YUM! Did you know that peanut butter:

  • helps protect against cardiovascular disease due to high levels of monounsaturated fats and resveratrol.

  • provides protein, vitamins B3 and E, magnesium folate, dietary fiber and high levels of the antioxidant p-coumaric acid.

  • is an effective bait for mouse trap.s

  • works as a simple outdoor birdfeeder. Just coat a pine cone with peanut butter; then birdseed.

  • use it to remove gum and tree sap from skin, hair or in fabrics and uphostery.

And of course there always tons of recipes using peanut butter. Here is one that has been in my family for years. Mom used to make these and although all my siblings have the recipe, my sister Marcy's are THE BEST!

Peanut Butter Fingers
½ c. butter
½ c. white sugar
½ c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 unbeaten egg
1/3 c. peanut butter
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 c. oatmeal (rolled oats)
1 c. chocolate chips
¼ c. peanut butter
½ c. sifted powdered sugar
2-4 Tbsp. milkGrease a 9x13” pan. Cream butter. Add sugars and blend with butter. Blend in egg, peanut butter, baking soda, salt & vanilla. Stir in flour and oatmeal. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Spread chocolate evenly over top of bars. Mix glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over top of chocolate.