Weekly Quotation: Julia Child

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“People who love to eat are always the best people.”
– Julia Child


Book Review: Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert

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eat alphabetEating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z

Written & Illustrated by Lois Ehlert 
Published March 10, 1989 by HMH Books 
Genre/Topics: Alphabet, Foods
Ages: 1-3, 28 pages 


Eating the Alphabet is a simple alphabet book with no actual story, instead the reader enjoys colorful fruits and vegetables illustrations. Most letters appear either on one or two pages. Every fruit and vegetable is written twice – once in all capital letters and the other all lower case letters. It’s a great way for children to really view how letters are displayed in words. I really enjoyed this book, because most letters are represented with 3-6 fruits and vegetables. It’s not your typical ‘A is for Apple. B is for Banana.’, instead Eating the Alphabet highlights fruits and vegetables that are new to young children and perhaps even adults too. Some examples are avocado, artichoke, cauliflower, eggplant, jicama, kumquat, lime, okra, papaya, and xigua. Does the child need to know each food? Of course not, instead it introduces the colorful world of fruits and vegetables besides apples, bananas, and carrots. It goes beyond a simple food alphabet book and opens discussion about healthy foods, finding the fruits and vegetables in the store, and of course tasting the foods that are in the book. There is a food glossary at the back with brief information about each fruit and vegetable. This is also a great book to teach colors, since the illustrations are so vivid and colorful. I highly recommend this alphabet book in your child’s book collection.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

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IMG_20130316_144843My lunch was a toasted meatloaf sandwich with melted cheddar cheese. It was very delicious!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge

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This week’s photo challenge topic is indulge. My first idea was my delicious birthday cake. It was a cheesecake with a chocolate crust, chocolate topping, and cherries. I also included the recipe.


Cheesecake Filling:
3 (4 ounce) packages of cream cheese (I actually used Neuchâtel cheese. It tastes similar to cream cheese, but it has less fat.) 
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice 
1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs (In this recipe, I used chocolate flavored cookies.) 
1/4 cup butter melted 
1/4 cup sugar 
Topping: (Optional)
1/2 cup melted chocolate chips 
1/2 cup of low fat sour cream 
This is the first time I tried chocolate with sour cream and it was a tasty success. Normally, I combine 1 cup low fat sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. 
Prepare graham cracker crust in a food processor to get into a fine crumb. Press onto a 9 inch pie plate or springform pan. I used a springform pan. Bake at 300F for 10 minutes. 
Mix the filling ingredients. Beat until it is completely blended and smooth. Pour into pie plate. Bake at 300F  for about 40 minutes. The center will no longer be wet and it may be slightly cracked, but it shouldn’t be brown. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe container for about 20 seconds. You can also use the double boiler technique, but that takes more time. Spread the sour cream/chocolate topping evenly. Return to oven for about 5 minutes to set with sour cream topping.
Cool to room temperature and refrigerate at least 5 hours before serving. It works best if the dessert is prepared the day before. The most difficult part of this recipe is waiting!
Variation: Normally, I add food coloring with the sour cream topping to make almost a frosting. Create a beautiful design that matches any holiday! 


What is the difference between cream cheese and Neuchâtel cheese?