Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Creating a Book That's Good For Teens--in Many Ways

I first started writing Existence eight years ago. It didn't bear that title then, or resembled even closely what it is now, but the idea was the same. I wanted to create a story that could bring the lives of inspiring men and women of history to life for teen readers. I was first inspired by the book, Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, by Mark Twain. Twain's book move me so much that I wanted my kids to experience it, but it was an eight hundred page book not conducive to teen readers. I have since developed the idea into a series that I hope is not only intriguing to my readers, but uplifting and edifying. Interestingly enough, the subject of God somehow always wove itself into the themes of each book. Maybe because I feel He nudged me into continuing with these books when I felt like giving up. The other day I received my first "fan" mail from a reader and it made my eight years of effort worthwhile.

I'd like to share it:

Hey, I just wanted to let you know my 17 year old, Nikolas, is reading your book and loves it. I told him I needed to read it read it, but he took it first and I can't get it back until he's done. He keeps coming and telling me how much he loves it. He said its like an LDS "God's Not Dead." That's awesome! And believe me, it takes a lot to impress a kid who spends most of his time reading books like The Joseph Smith Papers and Brigham Young Discourses and studies Hugh Nibley😊

FYI, the second book, entitled Emergence comes out next month. The third and final book in the series comes out at Christmas time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

My Easy Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

This is a recipe I came up with over a decade ago and it is still my favorite vinaigrette salad dressing. It is very versatile. I use it on green salads. I add it with Parmesan cheese to penne pasta, cherry tomatoes, shredded yellow summer squash, and red bell peppers to make a tasty pasta salad. I use it as a marinade to prepare meat and veges before I grill them.

Mom's Vinaigrette Dressing

*2 TBS dried sweat red pepper flakes (pulverized in the blender first)
2 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS Balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons honey or sugar
slowly add:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water

Grind the pepper flakes in a blender almost into a powder first, before you add any wet ingredients.

Add the next 8 ingredients, blend.

Add the water/oil slowly, mixing well.

Pour mixture onto a salad or into a bottle to put in the fridge and use later. Dressing stores well in the refrigerator and will keep for several weeks.

*I slice up ripe, red bell peppers from my garden every fall and dry them in a food dryer to be used in recipes through out the year.