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Eat It! Food Adventures with Gracie Cavnar

Posted by Josh Luckenbach on April 10, 2014 in Award-winning Products, Interviews |

Gracie Cavnar’s multi-award-winning children’s book Eat It! Food Adventures with Marco Polo is part-cookbook part-adventure story. In it, we join Ottavio Fornero on Marco Polo’s expedition along the Silk Road. As Gracie explains in this interview with Terry Doherty, many of the foods we enjoy today have historical significance for the cultures of their origin, as well as in Polo’s efforts to share them with the world. From cooking terms and utensils, to ingredients and recipes, readers can travel the culinary world in style.

Eat It! Food Adventures with Marco Polo: Volume One: Leaving HomeBuy Gracie Cavnar’s book in the Mom’s Choice Awards shop.

Mom’s Choice Awards: Silver

Juvenile Books (Level 2)
Cooking & Foods

Audience:  Ages 9 to 12

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Surviving Cancer – Kevin Murphy

Posted by Josh Luckenbach on April 1, 2014 in Award-winning Products, Award-winning Services, Interviews with Comments closed |

Kevin Murphy, a New York Firefighter and award-winning author, knows first hand that dealing with cancer is hard. Not because he had cancer, but because he had to support his wife through a cancer diagnosis. He’s the first to tell you that finding a support network to get you and your family through tough times is not weakness, but a strength. His book is titled Surviving Cancer after Surviving Cancer.

 

Surviving Cancer After Surviving CancerDo yourself a wonderful favor and buy Kevin’s book in the Mom’s Choice Awards shop.

Mom’s Choice Awards: Gold

Adult Books
Life Transitions

 

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A Dog Named Cat – Eli Kowalski on writing about his dog

Posted by Josh Luckenbach on March 20, 2014 in Award-winning Products, Interviews with Comments closed |

Yes, there is really a dog named Cat! Her name is Kushka, which in Russian means “cat.” In this interview award-winning author Eli Kowalski introduces us to Kushka and tells us why she is the star of his books.

KUSHKA, the Dog Named CatCheck out Eli Kowalski’s book in the Mom’s Choice Awards shop.

Mom’s Choice Awards: Silver

Children’s Picture Book
Basic Concepts

Audience:  Birth to 9

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If You’re Irish, You’re Lucky Enough

Posted by Terry Doherty on March 17, 2014 in Uncategorized with Comments closed |

Big thanks to Valerie Pfundstein, the award-winning author of Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood, who wrote this awesome St. Patrick’s day post about how to celebrate our heroes!

Make sure to take a look at her award-winning book and let us know how you celebrate veterans on our facebook page!

 

 

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If You’re Irish, You’re Lucky Enough

With the month of March upon us, we talk about shamrocks and leprechauns, gold coins at the end of rainbows, and celebrate the Irish.  And we should celebrate the Irish… March 17 this St. Patrick’s Day!

But it’s also a good time to remind children how lucky we are the whole year long!  We are so lucky to be living in the United States where we have freedoms that most countries’ citizens can only dream about, and the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for everyone!  We’re also lucky that there are so many men and women who have offered their lives to protect those rights and freedoms, and bravely serve our country.  Some are protecting us right now, far from their own loved ones, at the ready as duty calls, a great volunteer force protecting us all.  Others who have served bravely already, and now serve humbly in their communities, still should be celebrated for their service to us.  ‘Tis another great time of year, another opportunity, to celebrate the men and women who serve and our veterans who already have!

It’s a very good time to recall

The patriots who once answered the call

They were the bravest of brave

For our freedoms they gave

Veteran heroes, we thank you all!

 

Truth is, the whole year long, if you’re American, you’re lucky enough.

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We’ve come up with some other holiday ideas to thank veterans:

Valentine’s Day, February 14th: Contact your local veteran’s group or veteran’s home and see if you can deliver some home-made Valentine’s!

Memorial Day, last Monday in May: Pause wherever you are a 3PM and observe a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service.

Father’s Day/Mother’s Day, June 15/May 11: If your mother or father, grandmother or grandfather, aunt or uncle is a veteran, make them a special card thanking them for their service.

Independence Day, July 4th: Participate in a parade or celebration of our nation’s birth and thank a veterans for their contribution to your freedom.

Veteran’s Day, November 11th: Attend a parade, tribute, or ceremony thanking our nation’s veterans.

Thanksgiving, 4th Thursday in November: Volunteer or donate food at an American Legion post or other Veteran’s Service Organization or invite a veteran to celebrate with your family.

December religious holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah: Send a special card or package to a veteran in your family or send a care package to active military members overseas.

 

You can celebrate our veterans and troops all year round! Special thanks to Valerie Pfundstein for writing the main article. Check out her website: www.ValeriePfundstein.webs.com and take a look at her amazing book here.

3 Snow Days Ideas for Learning (with no Screens)

Posted by Terry Doherty on March 16, 2014 in Education & School, Family Fun with Comments closed |

snowflake snow daysSnow days! Our County School System – like many around the country – is trying to figure out how to “make up” the school time lost when kids stayed home for snow days.

With more snow predicted tonight and more snow days looming tomorrow, I am trying to figure out how to turn off the “I’m bored,” build some learning into our days, AND keep screen-time to a minimum.

Given the look of the weather map, I doubt that I’m alone!

We’ve put together a list of three easy ways to keep kids engaged with learning when weather – like snow days – keep them home from school.

Snow Days Learning Made Easy

1. Read something fun together.

parent readingAll students can benefit from listening to you read aloud. Pick a book that has nothing to do with school work.

It can be a book that you’ve read previously and really enjoyed. It can be the newspaper!

Alternative: Have your middle-schooler read to your second grader!

2. Get out the art supplies!
drawing and art for kidsCreativity and imagination are all part of learning. Drawing helps our youngest students with fine motor skills that relate to writing. Ask a child of any age what they’re picture is about and they can tell you a story.

Alternative: If your child isn’t into drawing (or thinks its for “little kids”) encourage them to make a video.

3. Pull out your favorite recipe(s).

kids-cooking-fun-healthy-foodsWarm, gooey chocolate chip cookies anyone? Inside every recipe you’ve got reading and math practice! From measuring the ingredients to reading the instructions, you’ve got everything for sneaking in some learning.

Alternative: Create a restaurant-style menu to use for the day’s meals. Put younger kids in charge of the design and older kids to write out the items. We’d love to hear from you! What are your screen-free boredom busters for snow days?

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Teach Your Kids Manners with Soup Should be Seen, Not Heard

Posted by Josh Luckenbach on March 10, 2014 in Award-winning Products, Interviews with Comments closed |

Tired of constantly reminding your kids to chew with their mouth closed and get their elbows off the table? It’s probably time you checked out Soup Should Be See, Not Heard.

In this interview with MCA’s Terry Doherty at BookExpo America 2013, Beth Brainard talks about her award-winning book. Beth shares her thoughts on picking your nose, scratching yourself, and fixing wedgies! Wow Beth!

Soup Should Be Seen, Not Heard! A Complete Manners  Book for Kids (Mom's Choice Award Winner)Be sure to check out Soup Should Be Seen and Not Heard in the Mom’s Choice Awards shop.

Mom’s Choice Awards: Gold

Juvenile Books (Level 1 – Ages 5-8)
Self-Improvement

Audience:  Ages 5-8

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Interview with Lynn Salsi, author of Jack and the Giants

Posted by Josh Luckenbach on March 1, 2014 in Award-winning Products, Interviews with Comments closed |

Award-winning author Lynn Salsi is more than just a children’s writer, she’s a storyteller. Lynn loves not only sharing folktales, but the history of those tales. Did you know that Jack and the Beanstalk came over with the colonists from England? Learn that and more in this interview with the author of Jack and the Giants.

 

Jack and the Giants (Mom's Choice Award Recipient)I’m sold! Are you? Head over to the Mom’s Choice Awards shop to purchase Jack and the Giants.

Mom’s Choice Awards: Silver

Children’s Picture Book
Fantasy, Myths, and Legends

Audience:  Birth to 9

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New Year, New You: French Toast the Fiber Way

Posted by Terry Doherty on February 27, 2014 in Award-winning Products, Family Fun, Healthy Living, Recipes with Comments closed |

EatToWin-final coverThis week, Celebrity Nutritionist and Author Rachel Beller shares a healthy and kid-friendly recipe for our last New Year, New You post! Her awesome book, Eat to Lose, Eat to Win, makes eating the right foods easy. Step by step plans in the book will help you achieve your weight loss goals in 2014!

Thank you for sharing the recipe with our MCA fans!

 

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Why not Fiber Insure your kids breakfast choices? This is an easy weekend breakfast that is popular with the moms, teens and kids that come to BNI. The fact that the bread is dipped in eggs disguises the brown color and the wholesomeness of the product that usually tends to deter kids from eating whole grains.

096_EatToLoseTwo slices flourless, sprouted, organic bread (Ezekiel or other brands) 3-5 gms per slice or a gluten free high fiber bread 5gms/slice by Silver Hills. For syrup: 2 tsp of pure maple syrup (Grade B) or honey, add cinnamon (health benefits galore).

Kids view this breakfast as French Toast, but Rachel sees it as giving kids scrambled egg whites (or 1 omega 3 egg + 2 egg whites) with a side of two slices of sprouted,flourless, whole grain, organic toast, cinnamon and a touch of natural sweetness (side of strawberries)

 

French Toast the Fiber Way

Serves 1

1 whole egg, plus 2 egg whites

2 slices whole grain bread

Olive oil spray

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 large strawberries, hulled and sliced

2 tablespoons Joseph’s Sugar Free Syrup or 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

Whisk the egg with the egg whites in a wide, shallow bowl, then dip in the bread slices. Lightly coat a pan with olive oil spray and place over medium heat. Add the coated bread to the pan and cook until both sides turn golden. Top with cinnamon, berries and syrup.

Note: Since brands of bread vary in fiber amount, fill in the gaps with fruit if needed.

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Let us know if you try this recipe on our facebook page!

Lisa Rivard – I Am Stumped!

Posted by Josh Luckenbach on February 20, 2014 in Award-winning Products, Interviews with Comments closed |

Dr. Lisa Rivard talks with Terry Doherty about I am Stumped, her multi-award-winning picture book. Lisa shares how her experiences working with children influenced this story about helping children understand the dynamics of friendship.

 

I Am Stumped!Order I Am Stumped! now in the Mom’s Choice Awards shop.

Mom’s Choice Awards: Silver

Children’s Picture Book

Audience:  Birth to 9

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New Year, New You: A Truly Healthy Family Recipe

Posted by Terry Doherty on February 18, 2014 in Award-winning Products, Contests & Sweepstakes, Educational Resources, Family Fun, Healthy Living, Recipes with Comments closed |

9781624140082This week we have a post from Tina Ruggiero, a registered dietitian and nutrition expert! She’s sharing a family-friendly, seasonal, and healthy recipe from her award-winning book, The Truly Healthy Cookbook. Also, Tina is giving away FIVE cookbooks to lucky fans, so make sure to enter below!

 

Oh, My! Spaghetti Surprise

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Sausage

Spaghetti Squash 097

Photo by Bill Bettencourt

This recipe is fun to make with kids because they’re amazed by how the solid squash magically becomes thin strands of “spaghetti” after it’s cooked! This fun factor also makes them more likely to try the dish once the squash is mixed with bone-building kale, juicy tomatoes and flavorful chicken sausage. You’ll be happy knowing just one serving delivered 70 percent of a day’s worth of vitamin A, 80 percent of the daily requirement for vitamin C and nearly 20 percent of the minerals iron and calcium.

 

Yield: 6 servings | Time: 50 minutes

1 small spaghetti squash, halved

lengthwise and seeded

2 tbsp/30 ml vegetable oil

½ cup/8 g finely chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 ½ tsp/1.4 g thyme leaves

1 tbsp/20 g tomato paste

1 (28 oz/784 g) can whole tomatoes

4 oz/112 g Tuscan kale, sliced in

½”/1.3 cm strips, tough stems removed

12 oz/340 g precooked chicken sausage, sliced

6 tbsp/30 g finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C or gas mark 4. Place the spaghetti squash on a baking tray with ¼ inch/6 millimeters water, cut side down, and bake until a knife goes in easily, about 30 minutes to an hour depending on size. When cool enough to handle, use a fork, scraping lengthwise, to create the “spaghetti” and scrape into a bowl. Measure 3 cups/765 grams and place in a large bowl. Save the remainder for another use.

While the spaghetti squash is cooking, make tomato sauce. Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and sauté the onion until golden, 2 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until aromatic, another 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and stir to allow the tomato paste to caramelize, about 1 minute. Add the canned tomatoes and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.

Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the Tuscan kale and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes, depending on how mature the kale is. Drain the kale. Place in the bowl with the spaghetti squash. Add the chicken sausage and tomato sauce. Toss well and place in a 9 x 13-inch/23 x 33-centimeter baking dish. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake until heated through and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

Per serving: Calories 250, protein 19 g, total fat 13 g, carbohydrates 19 g, sodium 810 mg, fiber 3 g

Tina’s Tip: Spaghetti squash can be frozen. Place leftovers in zip-top bags, squeeze out air and freeze. Thaw before use. To thaw quickly, place in a bowl of hot water or microwave.

 

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Thanks, Tina, for sharing this great recipe! If you try the recipe, make sure to share pics on our Mom’s Choice Awards facebook page! Enter the giveaway above for a chance to win a cookbook.

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