Put a book in the hands of a child and he or she will be transported to worlds unknown. Put a book of lasting value in the hands of a child and he or she will be changed forever!
Georgie Who Saw the Angel by Sheree Alderman is such a book! As you may know, Sheree edits and enhances these posts with pictures that are both appropriate and humorous at times. Sheree is also a gifted author and editor of books and screen plays. She has been working on this Life Series for children for quite a while, and this first of four books just came out! It is available on Amazon either in print or for any e-reader.
While lessons in trust and self-esteem are always in season, this book is also enhanced by being based smack in the middle of the Christmas story! Just in time for the holidays, this book can become a family treasure; ready to be re-read every holiday for years to come!
I have invited Sheree to supply a description of her first children’s book below! If there are children in your family, there is a need for this tender story to be shared by one and all!
Thank you, Deidre!
Georgi is a young camel who just cannot find his way … to anything. His friends, Mya and Rafa, take turns making sure he gets back to the barn in the evenings so he doesn’t spend the entire night outside by himself. Then, one moonlit night, an angel comes to visit Georgi and tells him how special he really is; and how one day he will be the leader amongst kings.
This is the story of how the most unknown, unwanted, and unimportant little camel came to guide a King’s procession to one of the most important events in human history.
Georgi Who Saw the Angel is a “Life Lessons” book from author Sheree Alderman. When you purchase a Life Lessons book, you can feel confident to share it with children and adults of any age. Life Lessons books are wholesome, engaging, and reflect positive values.
Besides, reading Georgi Who Saw the Angel is just good for you!
Look for a new addition to the series with MIA and the MAGIC PAINTBRUSH coming soon to Amazon.com!
I just read the title of the food section in today’s newspaper: “Sweeten up the Holidays!” Gadzooks! Do we really need lots more sugar? Now to be sure, Christmas cookies happen; but we should be looking for ways to celebrate using less sugar!
I want to share with you the results of yesterday’s cookie baking marathon! Thanks to my new Medi-brand maximum-support-knee-highs-without-a-prescription, I was able to happily crank out three batches of macaroons and not kill my legs. Seriously, a wise young Physician’s Assistant recommended these to me and I can genuinely recommend this leg-saving approach to all those who stand a lot. Save your legs NOW! These knee highs are super sheer and really have made the difference in my legs not getting achy and complaining. The best $45 Christmas present to myself … EVER!
Back to macaroons. After our daughter treated us to some designer coconut macaroons from a whole-food-type grocery store, I have longed to recreate some of that tastiness. I think I have found a recipe that can be tweaked in different flavor directions such as mocha, peppermint, cherry, and the like, that could become the centerpiece for your SANE-ish cookies.
Lemon Coconut Macaroons
3 extra large egg whites, room temperature (save those yolks for scrambled eggs using egg whites from a carton)
3 Tbs. raw honey
2 Tbs. lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
Zest from a whole lemon
1 tsp. lemon extract
2 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut
3 Tbs. all-purpose gluten free flour
1/8 tsp. sea salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine coconut, gluten free flour, and salt in a prep bowl.
Using the whisk attachment to a hand-held or standing mixer, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add the honey, lemon juice, zest, and extract while continuing to whip until the mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks.
Pour dry ingredients in and gently fold to incorporate using a rubber/silicone spatula.
Use a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to drop ball-shaped scoops of cookie mixture onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending upon the size of your scoop.
Yield is about 22 cookies if you use a 1 ½ inch scoop like I did. That size gives a good dimension that is not excessive (trying to hold things down for the holidays), but is enough for a treat.
Now, sugar and honey net the same bodily response. They both turn into glucose and cause an insulin response. My goal with a sweet treat is to keep the sweetness in rein so there is not a major swing in blood sugar levels. Many prefer the unrefined nature of raw honey as in the previous recipe, and that is good. I did use white sugar in the next recipe, but there is just 1/3 of a cup spread out over 20 small macaroons, so I am happy with that. I am sure the sugar could be replaced with honey (probably less than 1/3 cup) if you wish.
Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
1 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut
3 Tbs. all-purpose gluten-free flour
1/8 tsp. salt
¼ cup cocoa
2 extra large egg whites, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
¼ tsp. almond extract
Chocolate Drizzle: ¼ cup dark chocolate morsels melted with 1 tsp. coconut oil
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Blend coconut, gluten-free flour, salt, and cocoa in a prep bowl.
Using a hand-held or stand mixer with whip attachment, whip egg whites to the soft peak stage. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and almond extract and whip until glossy and stiff peaks can be formed.
Gently fold in the dry ingredients using a rubber/silicone spatula until all is incorporated. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, place ball-shaped scoops of mixture onto prepared cookie sheet.
Bake about 25 minutes for 1 ½ inch scoop-sized macaroons which will yield about 20 cookies.
If desired, drizzle with melted dark chocolate.
I can easily see how this recipe could use espresso, mint, or finely chopped almonds to change up the flavors!
My third recipe? Well, always being one who is keen on the flavor of almonds, I bought my first-ever box of almond paste and I followed the recipe as printed on the box for almond macaroons. No coconut in these. The reason was, I really wanted to pipe these out with a pastry bag! But because they are sooo sweet (in my book), I made them quite small. You know, “a little dab will do ya’?” My sweet-aholic husband loved these the most, of course! The box’s recipe is follows:
1 carton Solo Almond Paste
1 extra large egg white
½ cup sugar
They called for maraschino cherries halves for the top, but after reading an article about what’s in those little delights, I decided not to. Yes, I will eat one once in a long while but not this time.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Break almond paste into food processor, add sugar and blend together. Add egg white and blend until a dough ball forms.
Bam! That’s all, folks!
Form into desired shape. I used my largest star tip, (#1M), to create many little treats! Bake in prepared cookie pans. Time in the oven depends upon size. My little guys were done in 12 minutes.
I hope this helps you get into a festive mood to fix treats that aren’t so awful for your health. As you start heading off to holiday parties, remember to either eat correctly before going out and then just nibble at the best choices you can make at the party, or concentrate on the veggie and meat trays and eschew the sweets altogether. If gluten is an absolute no-no for you, remember most store processed meatballs are made with gluten-y bread. Also, no one would fault you if you brought your own gluten-free crackers for dipping or spreads.
Holiday exercise? What holiday exercise? I am trying to awaken my “sleeping bear” of a body now! Let’s not wait until January to fix the damage. Not a big deal, but in addition to the jog out to the mail box, I am dedicating coffee brewing time for a little bit of kitchen exercises: kitchen counter push-ups done in slow motion—eight will do, thank you. Eight slow motion squats. Eight palm-up, straight arm, slow motion arm “flaps.” It’s amazing how refreshing coffee-brewing time well used can make me feel!
Best wishes for a blessed, safe, health holiday season to one and all!