Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Cookbook With More Than Recipes!

Food blogger I may not be, but I do enjoy a good cookbook.

And besides, what could be better than scrumptious, easy-to-follow recipes and beautifully styled and photographed food?  
(Right up my alley.)

This book is full of them. The stories and recipes, lovingly collected by author, Erin Farha Kimmett (who also happens to be an Orthodox iconographer and priest's wife), are a tribute to Erin's grandmother, "Sitey" (My Grandmother, in Arabic).

"Favorite recipes and cherished memories 
inspired by a grandmother's kitchen, 
where her love of God was ever-present, 
traditions of hospitality and joy were handed down, 
and lessons of faith, life and love were learned." 

I absolutely love the format of this large, hardcover cookbook (and how it looks in my newly remodeled kitchen!!)  Martha Stewart could not have done better!  Erin had the expert help of her good friend, photographer Alexis El Massih.

The titles of each beautifully photographed section make you want to delve right in...
Slow Mornings
Coffee And...
After Noon
Always Room at My Table
Cozy Suppers
Sweet Traditions
Just Desserts

Delve in is exactly what my husband and I did after I returned from my visit to New York to help with my new granddaughter.  (I purchased Hospitality and Joy at the St. Vladimir's Seminary Bookstore while I was there.  It's also available on Erin's website.)

I sat and read this book cover to cover with a cup of coffee! Then my husband flipped through the pages, started drooling, and decided to tackle the Maple Oat Pecan Scones (he's quite a good cook, and makes a killer Eggs Benedict, passed down from his dad.)  The scones were dee-licious!

Each mouthwatering recipe in this cookbook is carefully explained, step by step, with an Ingredients List, Make Ahead Tips, "First Things First" Preparations, then Assembly and Cooking Directions (and did I mention, beautiful photography?)

At its heart, this unique cookbook is about the role we play in ministering to others when we cook for them... it's "about food and faith, cooking and ministering: two different but integrally connected kinds of nourishment."

As someone who grew up with a loving Grandma who baked her grandchildren the world's best chocolate chip cookies, I highly recommend this lovely cookbook.  

Give it to someone you love.  It would make a perfect wedding, birthday, anniversary, Pascha, or Mother's Day gift.

You can visit Erin and Alexis' website to read their blog, try their recipes, and to order Hospitality and Joy - here.

Happy Cooking! Make some memories...

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Lexi, The Word Wrangler

My grandsons were so excited to have their new baby sister, Lexi, come home!  I really enjoyed thinking up fun things to do with them so their Mommy could rest.  Googling around, I found a fun picture book about another Lexi (but with an E on the end)!

My five-year-old grandson is just starting to read (he loves the beginner set of Bob Books), and I knew when I read the description that we had to get Lexie the Word Wrangler by Rebecca Van Slyke (with illustrations by Jessie Harland).

Lexie is the best wrangler west of the Mississippi—word wrangler, that is. She watches over baby letters while they grow into words and ties shorter words together into longer ones; she herds words into sentences, hitches sentences together, and pens them all in to tell a story. But lately, something seems off at the ranch. First the D goes missing from her bandana, leaving her with a banana to tie around her neck, and soon afterward every S-T-A-R in the sky turns into R-A-T-S. There’s no doubt about it—there’s a word rustler causing this ruckus, and Lexie plans to track him down . . . even if it means riding her horse through the sticky icing of a desert that’s suddenly become a giant dessert.

The book quickly arrived in the mail. My grandson loved the humor and wordplay! After we'd read it a couple of times, we got out his magnetic alphabet letters and did some wrangling ourselves on his chalkboard! 

Made for quite a fun afternoon!  And his Mama had a nice nap.  :)

I highly recommend this amusing book for ages 5-8.  Perfect for a reluctant or enthusiastic reader!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Wait is Over!

Grandchild #3 is here!  It's said the third time's a charm, and Alexandra Elizabeth - "Lexi" - is most definitely charming! 

Reading The Happy Egg by Ruth Krause and Crockett Johnson (originally published 1967) together with my grandsons before the baby's arrival, we all recognized the seemingly endless anticipation we felt just like the mother hen. 

Lexi arrived on February 10th, and boy did she sing!

Her Mommy and Daddy and two big brothers are smitten with their lovely little Valentine!

Her Grandma is back home now, sad that my four weeks in New York are over, but happy to have been able to help out and spend time with my daughter and son-in-law and grandchildren... 

We read lots of books together, and I'm ready to blog about them.  February may be gone, but lots to share this month in my upcoming posts!