Simple Purple Smoothie

I’m back with a simple recipe from “100 Days of Real Food“. This is gluten-free, vegetarian and freezer friendly!

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Sienna’s Purple Potion Smoothie, is a smoothie named after Lisa Leake’s daughter. The ingredients include:

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1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 ripe banana (the riper, the sweeter)
1 cup loosely packed fresh kale leaves, big stems removed (or substitute fresh spinach, which has milder flavor)
1 teaspoon honey
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup plain yogurt

Place all ingredients in a blender. If using fresh blueberries, add a few ice cubes. Puree until smooth. Straws are recommended for serving.

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About the Author of
“100 Days of Real Food”

Lisa-Heashot-Oct-2012-v2
Lisa Leake is the creator of the wildly popular 100 Days of Real Food Blog, which in just a few garnered more than one million Facebook fans and approximately four million monthly page views. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Matthews, North Carolina.

Everyday Whole-Wheat Bread

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I recently purchased a cookbook. This book is unique because it was written by someone whose goal was to create 100 easy wholesome recipes.  At first I thought wholesome? Really? What about taste? Could someone write a cookbook with wholesome recipes that have good flavor?  Lisa Leake wrote the book “100 Days of Real Food“. The recipes use basic ingredients and are simple to make.  I decided to try the everyday whole-wheat bread recipe.  This recipe was actually developed by guest author, Carrie Vitt. Carrie is the author of the blog Deliciously Organic. As you can see from the pictures below, I tried it and the bread is actually good. It has lots of flavor too!

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Ingredients:
1/3 cup butter (optional)
2 1/2 cups warm water (not above 120 F)
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
7 cups white whole-wheat flour, divided, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon sea salt (Celtic brand recommended)

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1. Melt the butter, if using, over low heat in a small saucepan. In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter, warm water, honey, yeast, and 3 cups of flour. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and set in a warm, draft-free area for 30 minutes.

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2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Uncover the bowl and add the remaining 4 cups flour and the salt.  Stir until just combined and them pour the mixture onto a floured, flat surface.

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3. Knead the dough with your hands for 1 minute (if the dough is a bit sticky, add a tablespoon or two of flour).  Cut the dough in half. Use a rolling pin to roll the first half into a 12 x 9-inch (approximate) rectangle and then use your hands to roll it up the long way, forming a 12-inch long loaf.  Place the loaf seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough, ensuring the loaves don’t touch. Place the dish towel over the loaves and let them rise again in a warm, draft-free area for about 30 minutes or until they double in size.

4. Preheat the oven to 350F and adjust the rack into the middle position.

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5. After the dough has risen, remove the towel and bake the loaves for 20 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown. Another way to tell if the bread is ready is to thump the bread with your finger. If it makes a hollow sound, the bread is ready. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

About the Author of 100 Days of Real Food:
Lisa-Heashot-Oct-2012-v2
Lisa Leake is the creator of the wildly popular 100 Days of Real Food Blog, which in just a few garnered more than one million Facebook fans and approximately four million monthly page views. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Matthews, North Carolina.

Sympathy by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals–
I know what the caged bird feels!

I know why the caged bird beats his wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting–
I know why he beats his wing!

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,–
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings–
I know why the caged bird sings!

Sympathy is a poem written by Paul Laurence Dunbar.  Paul Laurence Dunbar was an African-American poet who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  He lived through slavery, racism and segregation.  My parents have a book of his poetry on the shelf in our library.  I already posted one of his poems on my blog back on October 7th.  It is called Good Night.  Also, I blogged about the death of Maya Angelou on May 28th.  That was five months ago.  She wrote an autobiography called I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.  That book is also on our shelf.  I am going to read it next and I’ll post a summary about it when I’m finished.  She took the name of her book from the last line of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, Sympathy.

Final Judy Blume Book Challenge Summary!!!

Well, I finally made it!  This is my last summary for the Judy Blume Summer Reading Challenge, the summer reading challenge that spilled over into the fall.  But, that’s okay.  If you like Judy Blume’s books as much as I do, then I hope you have enjoyed reading my summaries and felt that they were worth the wait.  My favorite part about her books is that tween girls my age can relate to them.  Her characters could be girls that I go to school with and the situations that happen in her books still happen, even though she wrote these books back in the 1970s and the 1980s.  Like I said before, my mom is actually the one who bought her books for me and she told me that she read them when she was my age, back in the 1980s.  She loved them and wanted me to love them too and I do.  Are there any other Judy Blume fans out there?  Leave me a comment and tell me which book is your favorite.

Here’s to You, Rachel RobinsonTitle:Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson
Author:  Judy Blume
Illustrator:  None

Thirteen year old Rachel Robinson is a straight A student and a musical prodigy.  She excels at playing her flute and she is in all of the advanced classes at her school.  Rachel is good at everything she does.  She has two best friends.  One is named Stephanie Hirsch and the other is named Alison Monceau.  Alison just moved into the neighborhood and with her and Stephanie in the same homeroom Rachel is left out.  Alison and Stephanie become closer and closer.  But Rachel has problems of her own.  Her older brother, Charles, has been expelled from his boarding school in Vermont.  When he comes home the family is ripped apart.  Charles makes everyone feel terrible.  He is disrespectful to the entire family and Rachel just can’t take it anymore.  Her crush on ninth grader, Jeremy Dragon, seems to make everything go away.  Rachel soon changes her mind when she sees Charles’ new tutor, Paul Medeiros.  Rachel soon develops a crush on the college student and seems to forget about Jeremey, Charles, and her friendship problems.  When Paul invites Rachel to a music concert at the University where her father teaches she is thrilled.  Later on Rachel finds out her cousin, Tarren, would be going to the same concert with her boyfriend.  When they get there Rachel is having a great time.  She thinks that she is on a real date.  Then Tarren comes along and is introduced to Paul.  Rachel ends up finding out Tarren’s boyfriend is a married professor.  When Tarren finds out she is devastated.  Paul comforts her the whole night.  Tarren ends up ruining Rachel’s whole night.  Rachel isn’t surprised when she finds out that Paul and Tarren start dating.  But Rachel doesn’t care because after the concert Jeremy Dragon comes over to her house that night and takes her outside.  There he kisses her.  Rachel is so happy!  The next morning when Stephanie calls she tells her the news.  On the last day of school the kids get out very early and Rachel tells Alison and Stephanie about the music camp she would be attending in the summer for six weeks and about Natural Helpers and Challenge – two programs for gifted students which Rachel isn’t sure she’ll even do.

It’s time once again for another Judy Blume Book Challenge summary.

Just as Long as We're TogetherTitle:  Just As Long As We’re Together
Author:  Judy Blume
Illustrator:  None

Twelve year old Stephanie Hirsch, her little brother, Bruce, and her mother just moved to a new neighborhood after her dad went to California for business.  Even though she’s living in a new neighborhood Stephanie now gets to live closer to her best friend Rachel Robinson.  Stephanie soon meets a fellow neighbor named Alison Monceau who is the same age as Stephanie and Rachel.  Stephanie and Alison quickly become friends and Stephanie is excited to hear that one of Alison’s adoptive parents is a famous actress.  The girls are entering seventh grade and Rachel is sad that she’s not in any of Stephanie’s classes.  Even though the girls don’t see each other much at school they all still talk about their new crush – ninth grader Jeremy Dragon, dubbed because he wears a dragon jacket.  Stephanie soon finds out Jeremy’s family moved into her old house.  On Halloween they go over to his house dressed as the Weird Sisters from Macbeth.  They sing him this poem and he knows Rachel’s name!  Stephanie then finds out days later that Rachel is in Jeremy’s ninth grade math class.  Rachel didn’t think it was a big deal and she was embarrassed about the whole situation.  Stephanie has Rachel promise to tell her everything.  Stephanie counts the days until her father comes home from California.

When Thanksgiving finally rolls around he tells her that he and her mother are getting a divorce.  On the bright side, her dad is taking her and Bruce to New York.  But when Stephanie hears the news she becomes depressed.  She doesn’t go to New York.  She keeps herself locked in her room and even gains ten whole pounds.  Stephanie doesn’t tell Rachel or Alison about the divorce.  For Christmas Break Stephanie and Bruce go to California to spend time with their dad.  There they meet dad’s lady friend, Iris.  Stephanie acts out when Iris is over and is very disrespectful toward her.  When Stephanie gets back from the trip she is still angry at her father.  Bruce wins a contest and gets to go to Washington D.C.  Stephanie hates having a famous brother.  One day when Stephanie, Rachel, and Alison are all out shopping for the winter dance they see Amber Ackbourne.  There Amber starts talking about the new kid, Max.  Because Stephanie hates Amber she tells her that Max likes Rachel.  Rachel has them all leave the store.  They go into another store and Rachel is rude to Stephanie.  The girls then get into a fight.  Rachel told Stephanie she knew about her parent’s divorce and from then on Stephanie and Rachel stop speaking.  The same day of the dance is Stephanie’s birthday.  She has her first kiss and gets her period.  Alison also got kissed.  Rachel got to dance with Max.  Alison is scared because her mom is pregnant.  Because she is adopted, she is afraid her parents won’t like her as much as they will their own baby.  Alison also gets the flu.  One day Stephanie follows Rachel home.  While they are walking they talk about their fight.  They apologize and are friends again.