Writing

What’s the message inside your fortune cookie?

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I got this idea from a prompt after I published a post and I thought it was fun idea. Everybody looks forward to the end of a Chinese meal at a restaurant when the fortune cookies arrive at the table. It’s silly, but there’s a hidden mystery when we hope to read something good with luck, success, love, or money. However, did you know that fortune cookies have nothing to do with being Chinese. I know from personally being there and never once given a fortune cookie after my meal. Instead, it supposedly originated in California. Read more about its history from the links below. So, what does your fortune say? I’m not even sure what it means if you receive an empty cookie with no fortune.

*You shall live a long and fulfilling life. *

*Look and you shall find love.*

*Your meal containing MSG will haunt you later.*

*Look no further, your life at its present state is where it will be.*

*Examine a mirror, there may be something in your teeth.*

*Be careful not to initiate a disagreement with a loved one.*

*Leave a generous tip and you will be great.*

*Love  your enemy as your friend.*

*Be careful, danger is ahead.*

*The thing you are dreading is fast approaching.*

*Take a trip and escape your life’s demands.*

*Look to the stars for guidance.*

*Try take out Chinese next time.*

*Smile more, it may make lines but it improves your mood.*

*Remember to say please and thank you.*

I’ve never made fortune cookies, but here’s a recipe I found that could be fun to try.

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
Prep Time:
15 Min
Cook Time:
10 Min
Ready In:
25 Min

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper. Have fortunes ready to go on small strips of paper.
  2. In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites and sugar on high speed of an electric mixer until frothy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and stir in melted butter, vanilla, almond extract, water and flour one at a time, mixing well after each. Consistency should resemble pancake batter. Spoon the batter into 3 inch circles on the prepared baking sheets. Leave room between for spreading.
  3. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges begin to brown slightly. Quickly remove one at a time, place a message in the center, and fold in half. Fold the ends of the half together into a horse shoe shape. If they spring open, place them in a muffin tin to cool until set.

Now you can find fortune cookies at parties, fundraisers, weddings, holidays, or even as creative invitations. Here are some pics with jazzed up fortune cookies for different occasions. Check out the website for even more unique fortune cookies.

http://www.ladyfortunes.com

Brief history of the fortune cookie:

http://www.fancyfortunecookies.com/Articles.asp?ID=148

http://www.chinese-fortune-cookie.com/fortune-cookie-history.html

 

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How did the book attract your eye?

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‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. We’ve all heard this expression numerous times in different situations. The phrase often goes beyond referring to books even if we don’t want to admit. We judge an individual’s personality with their outward appearance,  an appliance or object if it can accomplish a task, whether an animal appears gentle or aggressive, a new food’s taste, and many other situations where we must look beyond only appearances. In this case, I examine only books. What made you stop and pick up the book?

I love bookstores and libraries as I gaze upon rows of bookcases and displays. As I tilt my head along the bookcase and examine the books’ spine there are only a few things I have at first glance: book title, general appearance, and size. Let’s be honest, those bright, flashy, and colorful books scream: ‘Look at me, look at me’. Whereas the monotone and subdued books perhaps state: ‘Ignore the flashy adolescent, instead I’m a book with substance’. Of course, this isn’t the case since a book’s ‘substance’ and ‘worth’ is not measured by its cover. A book’s size doesn’t affect me too much, since I’ve read great short and long books. Sometimes a creative and interesting title pulls my attention. I’m even guilty of doing this on Amazon.com looking quickly at a book’s cover if it has flowers, swirls, dark shadows, bold print, a damsel in distress, a knife with blood, ocean waves, young children, symbols, city background, or nothing but the title.

Where do you ‘classify’ those books with a worn spine, faded paper, creases, stains, and no dusk jacket? I think those books are mysterious and hold secrets. This book states to the world: ‘Look past what I don’t have and my faded appeal, because my wear shows I’ve been loved and enjoyed by many’. A book doesn’t need to be flashy for greatness.

Even if we claim otherwise, a book’s outward look often describes its genre. For example, you’re not likely to discover romance inside a book with a bloody knife on the cover, well perhaps deep heartache. The title and appearance are a ‘sneak peak’ at the treasure deep inside. However, take a chance and pick up that book that turns you off or is nondescript for you may be in for a surprise.

What’s your favorite summertime sense?

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When summer occurs, new and fresh senses interweave which creates an environment that happens for a short period. Many of our senses overlap which creates an even more overpowering sensual experience. What’s your favorite sense that captures summer to you?

Sight: We want to remember our summer experiences and vacations, so of course numerous photos are taken as a snapshot ‘vision’ for the day. The days are now longer with more light to enjoy. Bright colors are found in flowers, swimsuits, patio tablecloths, sunsets, and our favorite summer fruits and tropical drinks. People are seen bike riding, swimming, playing volleyball, running through the sprinklers, sunbathing, preparing food on the grill, boating, setting up the tent, or walking through the park.

Sound: The sense of sound during the summer can be heard throughout the day. Do you have your loose change ready when you hear the familiar songs of the ice cream truck? The loud lawn mower can be heard from your neighbor’s yard to the community park. Laughter and screams of delight are heard when playing outside games. The refreshing sound of a water splash when jumping into a pool. At the beach, we hear the boat’s motor in the distance and water hitting upon the shore.

Smell: So often the phrase: “Oh, what’s that smell?” doesn’t bring the best thoughts, since we normally think of awful smells such as garbage or smelly socks. When I walk outside into a perfect summer day and close my eyes certain smells drift and make me smile. I’m lucky that I have no allergies. Walk near a park, garden, or neighbor’s yard and smell the aroma of fresh-cut grass. True this summer smell occurs year round, but most frequently smelled during this season. Continue on your walk or into a campground and smell the charcoal of a barbeque.

Taste: The sense of taste may be the most fun. Many summer foods are only available or at their peak during this time. Go on, let the peach juice dribble down your chin. Bite into sweet corn and get cornels in your teeth. Pop the pits out of cherries. Savor a cold glass of sweet lemonade on a hot summer day. Lick a delicious ice cream cone or popsicle.

Touch: The sense of touch sometimes gets lost behind, but there are certain touches that occur mainly in the summer months. I don’t think many feel the rough feeling of sand between our toes or squishy sand when wet in January. The warm heat on our skin defines those hot summer days. (Just remember to enjoy the heat with a strong sunblock.) Dip into the pool, lake, ocean, or river and cool off in refreshing water. (Remember to be safe with life vests and supervision.)

Enjoy the last month of summer with all your senses!

What makes a great 5 star book?

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There’s always excitement and hopeful anticipation when opening those first pages of a new book. ‘Will this be my new favorite book? How will this book compare to others I’ve loved?’ I really don’t mean to, but throughout my reading I think ‘Hmm, does this live up to my 5 star standard?’ Sometimes books surprise or disappoint mid-reading, such as their rating may increase or decrease. So I ask you: ‘What makes a great 5 star book?’ I have certain ‘criteria’ to get the high praise. Don’t get me wrong, a 3 or 4 star book is still a good book but I’m interested in a great book.

1. Characters: Do the characters have depth and multi-dimensions? Can you feel the character’s struggles and personalities? Do you wish you could meet these characters? Not every character in the book needs to have depth, but each should have a purpose for being in the book.

2. Plot: Was the book too predictable? Did it have a new ‘twist’ or viewpoint then other books in the genre? A great book makes me think and keep me on my toes.

3. Word usage: Can you smell, hear, and see everything that occurs in the book? Some authors surprise me with how creative their words flow and I can actually believe that I’m part of the book.

4. Emotion: Did the book make me laugh, cry, think, or learn something? This is normally a big factor in defining a great book, since I can relate at a personal level.

5. Recommendation: Do I love the book so much that I recommend it to everyone? I want to share the enjoyment I felt with others.

6. Reread: Do I love the book so much that I’m sad when it’s over? I don’t reread many books, so another factor of whether it’s a great book is if I can’t wait to read it again.

You’ll notice that page number has nothing to do with a great book. I’ve read wonderful books with hundreds of pages, yet many are turned off due to the thickness. And great books can also be relatively short, but still pack a great punch.

It’s sometimes terrible while reading a wonderful book. I want to read it so quickly, because it’s so terrific, however then the book is finished. I’m sure many readers will agree that there are many books that when it’s over is bittersweet: a wonderful book yet it’s sadly over. I always feel bad when selecting my next book after finishing a 5 star book: ‘How will the next book compare to my last great book?’ (Even though I know I shouldn’t do this.)

What’s a wonderful 5 star book that you would recommend to everyone?