The Sweet Side of Ancient Grains: A review

The Sweet Side of Ancient Grains by

The Sweet Side of Ancient Grains by

The Sweet Side of Ancient Grains, an exciting new cookbook from Erin Dooner that will show you how to use these ultra-healthy grains and flours in tasty, better-for-you desserts. With an introduction to such ingredients as teff, oat flour, emmer, and buckwheat, as well as a guide to the many recipes that are vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free, this is the perfect cookbook for anyone interested in baking with ancient grains, but the recipes will all work with standard whole wheat or even all-purpose flour as well—making them as versatile as they are delicious.

While not all of the recipes in this book are gluten free, the table of contents shows you which recipes are gluten free, dairy free, or vegan. You can also experiment with the recipes that are not gluten free, to try making them with gluten free flours.

The book is filled with beautiful photos of the completed recipes that will leave you wanting to try making a new one every time you look through it. Such recipes as Teff Raspberry Chocolate Crumble Bars; Quinoa Coconut Chocolate Cookies; Quinoa Molten Lava Cakes; and Oat Flour Plum Crumble will make your mouth water just reading them.

Here is an example of one of the recipes included in the book, Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar or raw sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temperature
1⁄3 cup (75 grams) unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
½ cup (100 grams) light brown sugar or raw sugar
2 tablespoons (40 grams) honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups (188 grams) whole-wheat flour
1 cup (170 grams) semisweet -chocolate chips, divided

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line an 8 × 8-inch (20 × 20 cm) baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on opposite ends.
Prepare the cream cheese layer. In a medium mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and salt. Once thoroughly combined, beat in the egg just until combined. Set aside.

Prepare the cookie crust and topping. In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter or coconut oil, sugar, honey, vanilla, and salt at medium speed until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour and mix until thoroughly combined. It will be crumbly.

Reserve 2⁄3 cup (170 grams) of the dough and pat the remaining dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. It will be a very thin layer. Sprinkle 2⁄3 cup (113 grams) chocolate chips over the dough and gently press down. Spread the cheesecake filling evenly over the top of the chocolate chips. Stir in the remaining 1⁄3 cup (57 grams) chocolate chips to the remaining dough and evenly distribute the dough over the cheesecake layer.

Bake for 28 to 35 minutes or until the top cookie part has lightly browned. The bars will slightly puff up in the oven and fall back down after you take them out. Let the bars cool to room temperature, about 1 hour, and then using the parchment paper overhang, lift the bars out of the pan and cut into squares.

It’s important to cut the bars before refrigerating as they become quite hard. Chill the bars for 3 hours before serving. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Just like with regular chocolate chip cookies, you can omit the chocolate chips and add other add-ins, such as nuts, dried fruit, or candy pieces.

This recipe is NOT gluten free, but I am sure you can replace the Whole Wheat Flour the author used in the original recipe with your favorite Gluten Free Flour blend to make this delicious recipe.

About the Author: Erin Dooner, the writer and photographer behind Texanerin Baking, began her blog in 2011 to share her healthier whole-grain dessert recipes. Since then, her work has been featured on the Huffington Post and Gourmet Live and in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Parade, and other online and print publications. Originally from Plano, Texas, Erin currently lives in Germany.

You can purchase  The Sweet Side of Ancient Grains: Decadent Whole Grain Brownies, Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and More at for $9.99; or in bookstores for suggested retail price of $19.95.

In stores on APRIL 20, 2015 ● 9781581572926 ●  Paperback ● $19.95 ● 240pp

Get Caught Reading With Association of American Publishers and Jim Henson Company

The Get Caught Reading campaign was devised by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read!  Member organizations of the AAP participate in a variety of ways to encourage everyone to enjoy books and magazines and to share that pleasure with the young children in their lives. I read to my children from the time they came home from the hospital, and enrolled them in a children’s book club so we always had new books to keep them reading. It’s no wonder that one of my daughters is a teacher, and one is a librarian.

Enchanted Sisters

Enchanted Sisters

The new chapter book series, Enchanted Sisters, targets newly independent readers—girls ages seven through nine—and tells the stories of the four sisters – the Sparkles: Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer who come together every three months to join their Mother Nature in a ceremony that changes the seasons in our world. Their world is magically different from our own, yet the Sparkles are completely relatable. They are confidently themselves, even when that’s the hardest thing to be. Continuing the longstanding Jim Henson Company tradition, the message in these stories about strong girls making bold choices are clear: embrace and celebrate our differences; anyone can be a hero; and families come in lots of different packages.  The books are co-authored by Elise Allen, author of the book Anna’s Icy Adventure (Disney Frozen), and Halle Stanford, eight time Emmy-nominated children’s television producer and senior vice president of children’s entertainment at The Jim Henson Company.   Paige Pooler, whose artwork can be seen in American Girl magazine, and the Liberty Porter, Trading Faces, and My Sister is a Vampire middle grade book series, is the illustrator.

Three additional Enchanted Sisters books in the series are available: Autumn’s Secret Gift, Winter’s Flurry Adventure and Spring’s Sparkle Sleepover.  PLUS – Keep a lookout also for NEW books coming in August featuring Doozers.

As part of the Get Caught Reading campaign, two NEW posters are available from the AAP beginning today,May 11Enchanted Sisters and Doozersfeaturing adorable characters that are “caught reading” in these fabulous FREE posters made available to teachers and parents for use in classrooms, libraries and other locations.

poster1  poster 5  poster 4 poster 3 poster 2

The posters are available for everyone, and can be ordered at Get Caught Reading .  Posters are FREE plus a $5.00 charge per set (1 – 12 posters each of the same title) for shipping and handling! Click here for the order form.

A great way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to books. Communities ranking high in achievement tests have several factors in common: an abundance of books in public libraries, easy access to books in the community at large and a large number of textbooks per student.

Anyone can get together to help increase reading achievement and literacy by organizing a book drive. This tool kit provides the basics to run a book drive, organize your group, and make an impact.

Jim Henson’s Enchanted Sisters: Summer’s Friendship Games suggested retail price for hardcover is $15.99, softcover $5.99. You can purchase it at

Win a copy! Just use the Giveaway Tools entry form below to enter.

Never Been Stitched: 45 No Sew & Low Sew Projects

During National Craft Month, I am trying to bring you more things crafty. Never Been Stitched: 45 No-Sew & Low-Sew Projects by Amanda Carestio is full of easy to make crafting projects.

Never Been Stitched

Never Been Stitched

The book is divided into sections on things to Wear, Decorate, Play, Carry, and Give. There is a wide variety of things to make that are both functional and beautiful. You’ll be proud to make any of them to use for yourself or to give as gifts.

Ms. Crestio talks a bit about the techniques used in the two categories of crafts, No-Sew and Low-Sew.  The No-Sew techniques include using grommets; bonding, fusing, and gluing; and braiding, tying, folding, and knotting to complete these projects. She says ” There’s nothing more involved here than what is required to make your basic fourth-grade friendship bracelet.”

For the Low-Sew projects, you will use hemming, applique, and simple embroidery to make some beautiful handmade items.

Some of the projects that caught my eye are the Tank Top made from a pillowcase; a woven leather cuff bracelet; Queen Anne’s Lace Panels; and a no mess message center.  You can download instructions to this cute upcycled shirt project here.

Make a skirt out of an old shirt

Make a skirt out of an old shirt

Never Been Stitched: 45 No-Sew & Low-Sew Projects by Amanda Carestio retails for $17.95 and be purchased at

If you’d like to win a copy of this book, use the Giveaway Tools entry form:

Family Gift Guide: Green Smoothies Cookbook Giveaway

Green Smoothies

Green Smoothies

Green Smoothies For Every Season by Kristine Miles is a little paperback book packed with great smoothie recipes.  It’s a one-of-a-kind book to help you lose weight, detox, maximize energy, and stay healthy with 52 deliciously creative smoothie recipes. That’s one new smoothie for every week in the coming year!

“Green Smoothies for Every Season” will guide you through each week of the year to make tasty smoothies using only the freshest fruits and vegetables. With a green smoothie a day, you’ll truly feel better than ever!

If you are looking for a healthier way to start off the new year, then this book is for you.  Kristine Miles is a health expert who runs the website, a forum for green smoothie recipes. She has previously written The Green Smoothie Bible. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.

BUY IT: Green Smoothies for Every Season is available for sale on Suggested retail price is $16.95

WIN IT:  One reader will win a copy of Green Smoothies for Every Season. Use the Giveaway Tools form below to enter.

Family Gift Guide: Fairview School Historic Classic Southern Dishes Cookbook

The Fairview  School Historic Cookbook is one of those cookbooks where members of the community or an organization all pitch in their best recipes. This one is from a Rome, Georgia collection of recipes submitted by family, friends and alumni of Fairview and E.S. Brown Schools. From their website:

Classic Southern Dishes

Classic Southern Dishes

The Fairview-E.S. Brown Heritage Corporation seeks to preserve the life-affirming African-American cultural experiences of the early 1900s; namely, the Fairview Colored School located in Cave Spring, GA. The campus was erected under the Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington philanthropic building campaign to provide an education for African-Americans. The only remaining structure, the first grade building, is now in imminent danger of collapsing. Tentative preservation plans include a re-created four-acre campus with museum, campsite, organic garden, and multi-purpose buildings to benefit the entire community.

There are so many yummy recipes in this book,and it is definitely the southern of style cooking at its best. Wokked Greens; Roasted, baked and Cajun fried turkey; Dressing with Sausage or Oysters; Sweet Potatoes of every persuasion; the Vidalia Onion Pie; Pot Likker and Cornbread; Shrimp and Grits; Ambrosia Punch; Nieman Marcus cookies; and the return of the Pinto Bean Pie.

You can order Classic Southern Dishes  online at Fairview Brown for $25 and that includes shipping. Your purchase will benefit the Fairview and E.S. Brown Schools Corporation.


Family Gift Guide: Five-Star Trails: Chattanooga Book Giveaway

Five Star Trails: Chattanooga

Five Star Trails: Chattanooga

If you love hiking, and either live in the Southeast or are planning a vacation in the area, then Five Star Trails Chattanooga will be ideal for you. The book includes routes for all ages, skill levels and abilities. Readers will find detailed directions to trailheads, GPS-based trail map,s and elevations for each trail. Each trail is rated for scenery, difficulty, trail condition, solitude, and accessibility for children.

The book is written by Johnny Malloy, who is one of the southeast’s most prolific outdoor writers.  He brings the trails to life with vivid descriptions of the trail, local history, flora and fauna. He also gives concise, accurate directions for the regions’s best trails.

BUY IT: You can purchase Five-Star Trails: Chattanooga: Your Guide to the Area’s Most Beautiful Hikes at

WIN IT: One winner will receive a copy of Five Star Trails: Chattanooga. To enter, us the Giveaway Tools entry form.