March, 2010

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YouTube Tuesday

Kabob it Tonight

Try these fun Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs. You get your meat and veggies all in one. Plus, whats more fun then eating off a stick (skewer)?

Ingredients:

½ cup Teriyaki Marinade
1 lb Chicken, boneless, skinless
1 each Green Bell Pepper
1 each Red Bell Pepper
8 each Mushrooms
1 each Red Onion
8 each Cherry Tomatoes
Method:

1. Soak 8 inch skewers in water
2. Pour marinade into large bowl
3. Cut chicken breasts into one ounce portions
4. Cut bell peppers and onions into one square in pieces
5. Place chicken and vegetables in the marinade. Marinate for 45 minutes
6. Build kabobs by stringing chicken and vegetables onto the skewer
7. Each skewer should contain 4 pieces of chicken
8. Heat oven to 350 degrees
9. Place kabobs on a cooking sheet, spray with PAM
10. Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is done
Yield: 4 kabobs, 1 each
Nutritional Information: 236 Kcalories, 33 grams Protein, 4.3 grams Fat

Tastey French Toast

I remember on the weekends, Mom would always make us something special like French Toast. However, our French Toast wasn’t as heart-healthy and calorie-friendly as these from Wellspring Camps. It just goes to show, fun food doesn’t have to be fattening. Check them out!

Ingredients:

4 pieces of whole grain bread
4 Tbs. egg whites
2 tsp. skim milk
Dash of vanilla
Dash of nutmeg

Mix wet ingredients in a shallow bowl. Lightly spray skillet and heat on stovetop at medium heat. When skillet is ready, lay bread slices in bowl one at a time so that each side is coated with mixture and place on skillet. Turn bread over after a few minutes (as soon as toast is browned) and heat second side until it is browned. Serve with maple syrup and fat free vanilla yogurt.

Only 7 cal and 0g fat per slice, (add calories and fat for the bread you choose to use.)

Healthy Chicken Nuggets

Looking for a healthy meal that your kids will actually eat? Check out Wellsprings Camp, chicken nugget recipe. Try em tonight :)

Ingredients:

12 ounces Chicken Breast, Boneless, Skinless
1 cup Cornflakes
1 tsp Paprika
½ tsp Italian herb seasoning
¼ tsp Garlic powder
¼ tsp Onion powder
½ tsp Salt

Method:

1. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces
2. Place cornflakes in plastic bag and crush by using a rolling pin
3. Add remaining ingredients to crushed cornflakes. Close bag and shake until blended
4. Add a few chicken pieces at a time to crumb mixture. Shake to coat evenly
5. Lightly spray a cooking sheet
6. Heat oven to 400 degrees
7. Place chicken pieces on cooking sheet so they are not touching
8. Bake until golden brown, about 12-14 minutes

Yield: 4 servings (3.25 ounces)

Nutritional Information:
168 Kcalories
27 grams Protein
3.13 grams Fat

March is Nutrition Month – Tips from Wellspring Camps

Worried Your Kids are going to be Inactive over Break?

Wellspring Camps, the leading weight loss organization for young adults and families across the U.S., knows how common it is for kids to run back to their televisions and junk food during their spring and summer vacation time from school. But these unhealthy and inactive habits can cause health problems among kids, so how can you help prevent them from becoming couch potatoes during their breaks?

Wellspring has developed some helpful, fun tips to help keep your kids staying active, and eating right while they are home for break!

Plan a fun activity: With the beautiful warm weather, the spring and summer seasons are the perfect time to engage in outdoor activities. Whether it’s participating in a game of soccer, or going for an exciting hike in your local park, these activities will keep your kids from lounging around the house.

Keep junk food out of the house: It is always important to limit your children’s junk food intake, but while they are home from school, their access to it becomes greater. Try to resist purchasing any unhealthy snacks that may sit in your cabinets during their time off. By not purchasing these items, your kids will have limited access to junk food!

Prepare a healthy snack or meal: Everyone knows it’s hard to feed children a healthy meal they will actually enjoy, but Wellspring has developed a plethora of delicious, healthy meals that every kid will enjoy! Teriyaki chicken kabobs, chicken nuggets, and even French toast, can all be enjoyed with their improved recipes! Visit http://www.wellspringcamps.com/delicious-lowfat-recipes.html for more recipes!

A healthy kid is a happy kid, and by following these simple tips, you can help keep your kids active and healthy during their spring and summer breaks! For more information on staying healthy, or on Wellspring Camps, please visit http://www.wellspringcamps.com/.

YouTube Tuesday

Check out A Talent For Quiet – it won both New Covey awards!

Every Night is a Celebration with Rainbow Nights


Children’s Book Examiner
by reviewer Lori Calabrese gave Rainbow Nights a wonderful review

Children’s Books Examiner rates:

Cover of Rainbow Nights by Sally M. Harris Illustrations by Kit Grady
March is Small Press Month, so throughout the month, I’ll be highlighting books from small presses.

In Rainbow Nights, a little girl ends her day and lays her head to rest. But Dreamland awaits and “Dreamland’s like a vacation. Every night’s a celebration.”

The little girl finds there are so many things to do in dreamland– you can use your imagination to raise honey bees, plant a patch of perfect peas, ride a rocket ship, or fly to the nearest star. She finds Dreamland’s busy with swirling colors and flashing lights, tuba music and rainbow nights.

So she closes her eyes and dreams pleasant dreams because soon she’ll wake to greet the sun.

The rhyming text makes this a beautiful read-aloud for bed. Children will be excited to drift off into their own dreamland as they experience the vivid colors and wild imagination of Rainbow Nights.

Additional Information:
Author: Sally M. Harris
Illustrator: Kit Grady
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 20 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc (October 31, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616330023
ISBN-13: 978-1616330026

The Talent Behind the Art – KC Snider

KC Snider is one of the talented people who helps bring the world of picture books to life. Here is what she had to say;

When did you start to seriously illustrate?
My friend, Mary Jean Kelso, asked me to illustrate a children’s story called The Christmas Angel in preparation for self-publishing. So I took my time and finally finished the project in 2005. Unbeknownst to me, Mary decided to submit the story (now illustrated) to Guardian Angel Publishing and surprised me with the announcement that it had been accepted. Shortly thereafter, Lynda Burch, the publisher, asked me if I would like to illustrate another story, The Magic Violin. Thus began a great relationship with Guardian Angel Publishing and an opportunity for me to use my illustrating skills that I had meant to pursue many years earlier.

What is your favorite media to draw in (oils, pastels etc)?
a. For my illustrations, I work primarily in gouache, ink and colored pencil.
b. For my fine art pieces, I can work in all media.

Tell us about the process of illustrating for a publishing company?
a. The publisher sends me a manuscript. Right now I only work for Guardian Angel Publishing which is keeping me plenty busy.
b. I read the manuscript and decide if I would like to do the illustrations. (So far I haven’t turned down a story!)
c. The publisher then informs the writer and sends a contract for us both to sign.
d. The publisher tells me the timeline for each book.

Generally how long does it take to illustrate a book?
About 30-45 days. The fewer words, the more illustrations and therefore more time.

Do you have total freedom in what you draw, or are there guidelines?
I have total freedom usually. I do sometimes discuss ideas with the publisher. And I get ideas from the authors before I start, but I have the final say.

Any advice to give struggling artists/illustrators?
Work constantly, study other artists’ work and never give up.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I really enjoy what I am doing and I love working with Lynda from GAP. Every now and then I take a break and do a fine art piece. My newest piece, “Whatcha Got?” is being submitted to an all-women’s western art show in Pendleton, Oregon.

Check out KC’s web sites at:
http://www.kcsniderart.com/
http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/
http://andyandthealbinohorse.blogspot.com/
http://www.cafepress.com/KCSniderart
http://blog.kcsniderart.com/

"Tiny Angel" – Big Talent – Nancy Lepri

Help me welcome Nancy Lepri, author of Tiny Angel. Check out our interview below :)

Tell us about your book
“Tiny Angel” is a book for tweens and deals mainly with the issue of bullying. When my main character, Macy Carver, moves to a new town, she gets tormented by the class bully, Kenny Thompson, because she’s is overweight, wears glasses and is smart. Her guardian angel, Jody, comes to her rescue and shows her how to make friends and be a friend.

Where did the idea for Tiny Angel come from?

Basically from some of my own childhood experiences. I was never a new kid in school, but I wore glasses and was smart and was constantly bullied by a two different boys in my class.

You do both writing and illustrating, which do you like better?

Hard to say… It depends on my muse at the time. I guess I can say it’s easier writing because if I don’t like what I’ve written, it’s easy to erase and rewrite, but with illustrations, which I do by hand, if I don’t like them, I have to start from scratch, so it can be frustrating as well as time consuming. And, I have to add, I’m my own worst critic with both my writing and my illustrations.

Is there an advantage to being able to do both?

I would say the advantage is that I can “see” in my mind what I want to portray with my own illustrations, but it would also be nice to get a different and fresh viewpoint from another artist.

How long did it take from idea to finished product?

Ohmigoodness, I started writing “Tiny Angel” about fifteen years ago, and it went through rewrites and edits a million times. I also put it aside for many years while busy writing for magazines, when I had tons of editing jobs and when I was teaching writing and drawing classes. This was all in addition to other things going on in my life…such as my family, moving, etc.

Any plans for future books?

I’ve started a sequel to “Tiny Angel” which I’ve tentatively titled “Tommy’s Angel”. I’ve also started, but not completed four mainstream novels and have a completed children’s picture book, which I have yet to submit.

Any advice you can give struggling artists or writers?

Never give up! Even when you get rejection after rejection, keep at it. Every NO, is bound to get you closer to a YES.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’d like to add that if one is in this (writing and/or illustrating) to make a fortune, you need to rethink your priorities. I don’t know of many who have become totally successful where they can earn a good living from writing. First and foremost, you have to love what you do and do it without thoughts of dollar signs, and secondly you have to have a story that others are going to want to read.

Check out Nancy’s web sites at; http://nancycl.webs.com,

The Person Behind the Talent – Janet Ann Collins

Guardian Angel Publishing has many talented writers, so let’s take some time to find out all about the, person behind the talent.

Tell us about your book.
The Peril of the Sinister Scientist is about Joshua, who thought he was cloned from the blood on the Shroud of Turin because a scientist who had worked on that experiment twelve years ago is stalking him. Problems with friends and enemies at school and his active imagination get him into all sorts of trouble as he tries to figure out who he really is.

Did you always want to be a writer?
When I was a toddler my parents told me I should become a song writer because I was always making up rhymes but I didn’t consider becoming a writer until I was old enough to read. I’ve been a book-a-holic ever since and write partly to give back some of the things I’ve gotten from books.

Where do you get your ideas?
I have no idea! Ideas are everywhere and not having any is the only thing I can’t imagine. My mother used to tell me I had too much imagination but I don’t think there’s such a thing.

I read that you had a conversation with Koko…tell us about that.
My husband was a Sign Language interpreter, and worked at the California School for the Deaf, and we had a deaf dog who had learned to understand about 350 signs. A linguistics professor friend told us about a woman he knew who was teaching ASL (American Sign Language) to a gorilla at the San Francisco Zoo and arranged for us to meet her.

I was hoping our dog could meet the gorilla but her trainer, “Penny” Patterson, said gorillas are terrified of dogs because they are prey animals and likely to be eaten by canines in the wild.

Miss Patterson did meet with us and left us in front of Koko’s cage. A man was in the cage with Koko and she didn’t want him to leave so she slammed the door shut and climbed up on top of his head so he couldn’t scold her. I asked if he wanted me to get someone to let him out and he said someone would be there soon, but that it was hurting his neck to have Koko on top of his head. She was only about a year old, but weighed quite a lot. I told her in ASL to get down, but she refused by turned her head away. When she looked back at me I asked her politely to give the man a hug, so she climbed down and did so and he was able to hold her.

That wasn’t much of a conversation, but it was one I’ll never forget.

About a year later after Koko was no longer there we happened to go back to the zoo and all the gorillas were signing to the people watching them, “Want food.” Apparently so many people who knew ASL had visited Koko and signed to the other gorillas that they had learned those signs.

Mending a Gutenburg Bible? How did that come about?
I was working part-time in a library and one of my tasks was mending books. I got to be so good at it that the head librarian asked me to mend the Gutenberg Bible. I used Elmer’s Glue and mended it like any other book, but it was a thrill to touch something so precious.

Once at a book fair a dealer in antique books asked to touch my hand since I’d touched the book Gutenberg himself had handled. And now my book, The Peril of the Sinister Scientist, is available on Kindle. I wonder what Gutenberg would think of that. He’d probably love the idea.

Any advice for struggling authors?
Rejections prove you’re really an author, so don’t let them discourage you. But don’t expect getting published to be easy, either. Writing is a profession and, like any other profession, requires a lot of training. Read books, attend conferences, join a critique group, and keep trying.

Any thing else you’d like to add?
Thank you very much for interviewing me.

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