Doodlebug Noodlebug Children’s Book

doodlebug-noodlebugDoodlebug Noodlebug is a new children’s book (ages 1-8) recently launched on Amazon Kindle!  This simple, whimsical book is filled with brightly-colored illustrations of animals and silly rhymes.  As Doodlebug Noodlebug heads out on his adventure he finds he has many friends along the way.

In an age where our children are constantly being compared to others and our society and culture influences them to think they must conform, this book is a refreshing and positive affirmation that we are all uniquely different and special.

This is author Jamie Plum’s first book and with illustrations by Cherish Dior Harlan it is a hit!  Clearly the author has captured the attention of the child through this story and we cannot wait to see what other titles she will be publishing soon.  There are free printable worksheets available too for download and to use with your child to enhance the learning experience.

Grab a copy of this book and snuggle up with your little one to enjoy the adventure of Doodlebug Noodlebug!

Real and Healthy Chinese Cooking


Cookbook-Cover-500+ Chinese Recipes-Clickbank

Nicholas Zhou has put together a phenomenal cookbook, “Real and Healthy Chinese Cooking.”  If you want to learn to cook Chinese food that your whole family will like then click here to download his bestselling cookbook!

Over 1 billion people in the world are overweight and 300 million are clinically obese.  Overweight people are at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, colon and other cancers.  Some studies have shown that post-menopausal women can reduce their risk of developing cancer by as much as 35% if they have a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Any healthy Chinese food dish, from stir-fried beef with broccoli to sweet and sour pork is balanced in color, flavors and textures. In this 543-page digital cookbook, you will get:

338 low carb recipes,

289 low fat recipes,

356 low calorie recipes,

118 fruit, vegetable and vegetarian recipes,

22 tofu recipes,

and much more!

With this bestseller cookbook you can prepare quick and easy meals for your whole family in 45 minutes or less!

To buy Nicholas Zhou’s bestseller cookbook and cook your first healthy meal today, click here!  

(Affiliate offer)

Time for ‘Real Books’

Today I listened to the Super Soul Sunday interview with Oprah Winfrey and Arianna Huffington.  In the interview Huffington talks about how she slowed her life down after collapsing at work and started focusing on her quality of life.  She is sincere and very transparent in the interview where she talks about the mistakes she made in setting priorities in her life, namely that working 18 hours a day was a wrong choice and eventually led to her collapse at work with serious physical injury as a result.

Book-Thrive-HuffintonBut, here’s something she said that I loved!  Huffington talks about shutting off all her technology and not taking her iPhone with her into her bedroom.  Instead, she prefers to read “real books” she said that she holds in her hand and underlines, etc.  For an author and publisher these words are music to my ears, but as an avid book reader I can identify!  There is something so satisfying about holding a real book in her hands and turning the pages, eagerly anticipating what is going to come in the next paragraphs and chapters!  And, like Huffington and Winfrey, holding that book and exploring the thoughts and wisdom from other authors is something that feeds my soul!

Can you turn technology off and, instead, pick up a real book and get lost in its wonder?  I hope so.  Our lives are too busy, frenetic and stressful.  Each of us can be change-makers in the world of reading.

There is so much more in this interview and in the book!  So, if you have not yet picked up Arianna Huffington’s new book, Thrive, I suggest you do so as quickly as possible!

Happy New Year 2014!

Billboard-2014-freedigitalphotosHappy New Year from Sample Meadow Publishing!  We have much to be grateful for this year and we are excited to be working on a number of new projects, including children’s books, more cookbooks and we’ve heard that there may be a fiction novel or two in the works as well.  While we are still in our early months of business we have learned much and feel our efforts in Amazon Kindle have been successful.  So, what does one do with that information?  The answer is quite simple, KEEP GOING!

As you begin your new year, don’t worry about setting resolutions that will be abandoned by the end of the week.  Instead, visualize your life and how you wish it to be and, one day at a time, do just one thing that will put you a step closer to seeing your dreams come true.

Perhaps these words will help you start 2014 off well:

“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your

clothes every day.  This is a power you can cultivate.  If you want to

control things in your life so bad, work on the mind.  That’s the

only thing you should be trying to control.”

~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Celebrities Who are Bookworms

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We don’t often think of celebrities as being bookworms, but there are just as many who would prefer to be curled up with a good book as hitting the red carpet.  In an article published by Online Colleges, we find just a few celebrities who are seriously into reading.

  • Natalie Portman
  • Kate Beckinsale
  • James Woods
  • Barack Obama
  • Jon Stewart
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Madonna
  • Gwenyth Paltrow
  • Ethan Hawke
  • Bill Clinton
  • Adonal Foyle
  • Jay Leno
  • Conan O’Brien
  • Brooke Shields
  • Elisabeth Shue
  • Mira Sorvino
  • Robert Pattinson
  • Jodie Foster
  • Matt Damon
  • Edward Norton
  • Steve Martin
  • Geena Davis
  • David Duchovny
  • Mayim Bialik
  • Martin Scorsese

You can read the original article to get more details on each of these individuals and their distinguished scholastic and occupational backgrounds.  Without a doubt, reading has helped them to achieve success.

Why We Love Christmas Carols

Christmas Carols-freedigitalphotosChristmas carols and our favorite holiday songs are showing up the moment the holiday season begins and stick around sometimes a bit longer than we would like.  But, imagine a Christmas without them?  It would be way too quiet and perhaps even lonely for some.

But why do we have this love affair with Christmas carols and holiday songs?  Perhaps someone figured out that if they belted out the lyrics long enough and loud enough that the holiday blah’s would go away?  Or it is just an acceptable time of the year for adults to behave a bit silly and child-like?  Or maybe it is just part of celebrating the season?  But, if you are like me, what DO you do when the doorbell rings and there is a boisterous group of carolers on your front porch?  Do you call the cops or offer them a snack or hot cocoa?

Christmas music, whether everyone likes it or not, is part of our worldwide culture.  We listen to it because we want to.  It lifts our mood and, for a few brief moments, we can leave the worries of the world aside in order to belt out the words to “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

So, for this holiday season, take some time to enjoy your favorite tune.  Sing it out loud, with confidence, and with the intent to drive the blues away, forever!  I’m getting ready to go blast the Halleljuah Chorus out myself …

Oh, almost forgot!  Don’t forget to take our Favorite Christmas Song poll on the top left of this page.

 

Why Add Baking Soda to Caramel Corn?

shutterstock_166023185 (1)Recently we spent some time with J. R. Goode in her kitchen while she whipped up a batch of delicious caramel corn.  We were amazed at how quickly and easily she popped the corn, created the caramel syrup and stirred it all together in a paper bag that she popped into the microwave oven.  As the hot sticky, and very delightful smelling, caramel corn was poured out of the bag and into trays to cool, I asked, “Why did you add baking soda to the caramel syrup?”  Her answer sounded a bit like a science experiment, but in the context of candy making it is very interesting.

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, or bicarbonate of soda, is a common household ingredient that is about 4x stronger than baking powder.  It is used in recipes that have acidic ingredients, such as vinegar, citrus juice, sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk, chocolate, honey, molasses, brown sugar, fruits and maple syrup.

When baking soda is introduced to a hot melted mixture of butter and brown sugar, it releases carbon dioxide bubbles.  As the dry soda is moistened from the hot mixture the bubbles start to form.  This action creates a foaming effect in the mixture.  Once the caramel mixture has started to cool, the trapped air bubbles create a softer, airier texture which can more easily coat and stick to the popcorn.  How cool is that?

Another interesting fact: if baking soda is added to cocoa powder, perhaps if you were making a cake, it causes the powder to take reddish tones in color, hence the name Devil’s Food Cake.

If you have ever tried to make caramel corn without using baking soda you already know that it generally does not turn out well and the whole batch ends up in the garbage.  And that is the story behind this important baking ingredient!

For the best caramel corn recipe ever, click here for an immediate download from Amazon and start enjoying the many types of caramel corn and other recipes in our newest cookbook.

 

How to Make Caramel Candy

This video from the Joy of Baking is about the best demonstration of making caramel candy ever!  But, you have to have a good recipe to get started.  After you watch the video, download our cookbook, Caramel: Candy, Sauce, Popcorn, and Desserts and make yourself some tempting treats for the weekend!

 

Grab Your Coffee, Carmel and a Good Book

Caramel Candy-freedigitalphotosWhat is your favorite thing to do on a cold weekend afternoon?  For me, I like to grab a fresh cup of coffee, a few “special” caramel candies and a really good book!  Within minutes I can be totally transported to a different world where cell phones, emails, door bells and deadlines don’t exist.  It’s heaven and very hard to force myself to put the book down in order to come back to reality.

But, in order to steal those moments of happiness I must do a little prep work.  First of all, make sure that my grocery list was updated and I have everything on hand and at my fingertips.  Then, at least a couple of days ahead of time I take an hour of time and make a fresh batch of yummy, sweet and buttery caramel.  Sigh.  I can smell it already and I’m only thinking about it!

There’s nothing like that delicious-ness that fills your kitchen when you are cooking sugar, butter and cream together.  You almost want to melt in the pan with it.  Well, OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my drift.

So, I make the candy, let it cool, wrap it into little waxed paper packages and set it aside for those golden moments when I can be become one with the characters in my book.

What is your favorite self-indulgent hangout?

My caramel recipe is one with a long-standing history of success.  You don’t have to be a super-achiever in the kitchen to make this work.  So, you can get the cookbook right now from Amazon and have caramels ready to devour within an hour or so if you just click here.

Recently our cookbook was featured on the website GoodReads and we want to give a big shout out to the folks over there and a huge “thank you” for listing our book.

(Image Source: Free Digital Photos)

 

 

Remember Cracker Jacks?

Caramel Corn-ShutterstockNot long ago a friend and I were reminiscing about our childhood when she remembered how we would buy Cracker Jacks® and hurry to empty the whole box out to get the prize before we would eat the caramel corn.  Then, we would sit down and savor each sweet-and-salty morsel of the caramel.  It was so good!

The memory of eating Cracker Jacks® was so good that it sent me to my kitchen in search of a recipe that I could quickly make up for caramel corn and before long I was munching on some sweet goodness of my own making.  While you can still buy Cracker Jacks® today, you can also easily make a batch of caramel corn right in your own kitchen with just a few basic ingredients.  The advantage?  You can control the quality of ingredients, get a caramel corn that tastes just as good,  if not better, and you don’t have to leave home or open your wallet to do it.

If you have a craving for a warm, buttery, sweet-and-salty snack you should download this newest cookbook from Amazon right now!  Chances are you have everything you need in your kitchen right now and, literally, within the hour you can be popping some of this goodness into your mouth!

Click here to begin experiencing joy right away!

 

Buying Greek Yogurt for Max Benefit

Yogurt-a-FreeDigitalPhotosThere are a number of myths about Greek yogurt and which ingredients make it a healthy choice, and which are not.  Before you head out to the grocery store, check out this these facts and our handy shopper’s checklist below.

Fact #1:  All Greek yogurts are not the same.

Every brand uses a different recipe to make their yogurt.  Meaning, the protein, sugar and added ingredients can widely vary.  Shoppers need to read the labels and understand the different ingredients and what they are to make wise choices.

Fact #2:  How is Greek yogurt made?

Greek yogurt is made by straining plain yogurt to remove the whey, or the liquid that remains after the milk is curdled, that results in a more-solid texture with less sugar and carbohydrates and more protein as compared to regular yogurt  According to Maria Bella, MS, RD, CDN in a recent MSN article, there are no regulations on what manufacturers can, or cannot, call a “Greek yogurt.”  And, the FDA only has regulations on the manufacture of regular yogurt.

Fact #3:  So, if there are no regulations on Greek yogurt, how do I know what to buy?

To buy good quality Greek yogurt read the label.  The main ingredients should be milk and live active cultures.  Avoid buying products with whey concentrates and thickeners such as modified corn starch or milk protein concentrate (MPC).

Fact #4:  Greek yogurt contains protein.

All yogurts contain protein, but most Greek yogurts contain twice the amount.  But, that does not mean that all brands are the same.  The variations in the straining process will make a difference in the number of grams of protein per carton.  Some brands will have 10 grams per 5.3 ounce containers while others will offer 18 grams per 6 ounce container which is 50% more protein after you adjust for the difference in serving sizes.  A true Greek yogurt gets its thickened consistency from the straining process.

Fact #5:  Greek yogurt contains artificial thickening agents.

But some manufacturers will skip the extra straining process and add thickening agents, such as modified corn starch, carrageenan, guar gum or gelatin instead.  There is nothing inherently wrong with these ingredients, but they are not ingredients in a true Greek yogurt.  If you are vegan or vegetarian, gelatin quite often contains animal products and products with gelatin may be something you wish to avoid.

Fact #6:  Greek yogurts may contain dyes or food coloring.

This is true. Some brands use a substance called carmine to give strawberry yogurts a pink hue.  This is a natural dye that is derived from the body of beetles that makes the food look like it contains more fruit than it actually does.  Look for both carmine and gelatin on the label if you wish to avoid them.

Fact #7:  Greek yogurts contain artificial sweeteners.

This may be true so you need to be familiar with the sweeteners such as “grape juice concentrate” or “evaporated cane juice.”

If you are choosing your yogurt based upon its ingredients then the first three ingredients on the list should be milk, live and active cultures and fruit.  Sugar should be near the end of the list.

If you prefer a more natural approach to sweetening your yogurt consider a drizzle of honey or even a serving of fresh fruit, such as cranberries, to liven things up.  Click here for a Cranberry Greek Yogurt recipe that is delicious!

 

Thanksgiving Fun Facts

Pilgrims-FreeDigitalPhotosHow are you at Thanksgiving facts and trivia?  As you are sitting around the table today you might be able to show off your skill by adding some of these facts into your conversation.

Which six states are the largest producers of turkeys?

Answer:  Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia and Indiana. 

How many American households serve turkey on Thanksgiving Day?

Answer:  Nearly 88% of Americans say they eat Turkey on this holiday as compared to another meat or main course. 

Which states produce the largest crops of cranberries each year?

Answer:  Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington.  If you don’t have cranberries on your menu yet, it is not too late.  For recipes and creative solutions on how to add this flavorful superfood to your menu, consult our cookbook Cranberries: Delicious, Mouth-Watering Recipes for Every Day available for immediate download. 

Which states produce the largest number of pumpkins each year?

Answer:  Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and New York. 

In which state is the sweet potato most plentiful?

Answer:  North Carolina, followed by California and Mississippi.

How big was the largest pumpkin pie ever baked?

Answer:  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever was baked on October 8, 2005 in Ohio.  It weighed 2,020 pounds and measured a little over 12 feet long.  Ingredients included 900 pounds of pumpkin, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 1,860 eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds cinnamon, 2 pounds pumpkin pie spice and 250 pounds of crust.  Now THAT’s a pie! 

Name four places in the United States with the name Turkey?

Answer:  Turkey Creek in Louisiana; Turkey, Texas; Turkey, North Carolina; and Turkey Creek, Arizona.  There is also Turkeyfoot Township and Lower Turkeyfoot Township in Pennsylvania.

 

Image Source: Free Digital Photos

 

Many Uses of Horseradish

Condiments-FreeDigitalPhotosYou may want to consider putting some cranberry horseradish on your table this Thanksgiving!  (The recipe can be found in Cranberries: Delicious, Mouth-Watering Delicious Recipes for Every Day.)

Horseradish is one of five bitter herbs, coriander, horehound, lettuce and nettle and is in the same family as cabbage, brussels sprouts, and broccoli.  Historically horseradish was eaten during the Feast of Passover and today it is still commonly used in the Passover Seder.

Horseradish is a flavorful condiment that pairs well with meats and fish.  But it also has a high sulphur content and can be used as a natural antibiotic for conditions such as sinus infections, bladder infections, and indigestion.

Over the holiday season cranberry horseradish can be used as a colorful addition to the table that will add flavor and zing.  To learn about how foods that horseradish can be paired with, click here.

Shedding Light on the Cranberry

Cranberry Bog-ShutterstockDo you know what gives the cranberry it’s beautiful red color?  In a recent article published by The World’s Healthiest Foods I learned that sunlight makes all the difference.

In many places around the country cranberries are water-harvested.  Meaning that they are grown in bogs and floated in water to make harvesting easier.  But, recent research has shown that the anthocyanin content in cranberries (the phytonutrients that make it a superfood and healthy for you) increases in direct proportion to the amount of natural sunlight that the berry receives.  When the berries are floating on top of the water they naturally soak in more sunlight and have greater concentrations of anthocyanins.

Some researchers tell us that the antioxidants in cranberries may be more powerful than those found in Vitamin E.  Another benefit of the cranberry is that it helps to reduce LDL-cholesterol, or the “bad” cholesterol.  Not to mention a dietary aid to prevent urinary tract infections, aid in keeping our liver healthy, a cancer-fighting food and so forth.

As a result, sunlight on the superfood produces a deeper, more brilliant color of red that give us antioxidants and anti-inflammatory fighting nutrients we need for healthy bodies.  

To learn more about how to add cranberry to your diet, get our newest cookbook, Cranberries: Delicious, Mouth-Watering Recipes for Every Day from Amazon.

Cranberries are a Superfood?

Cranberry-Bowl-FreeDigitalPhotosCranberries are a superfood?  The answer is yes and while it surprises some, this is the perfect time of year to cash in on their health and nutrition benefits!

Cranberries are an antioxidant food that helps to protect against heart disease, cancer, hypertension (or high blood pressure) and the effects of aging.  They are rich in vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, lutein, anthocyanins, lycopene, flavonoids and other nutrients.  Scientists continue to discover more compounds in antioxidants every day.

Here are ten (10) antioxidant foods that are rich in vitamins, hence a “super” food:

  • small dried red beans,
  • red kidney beans,
  • pinto beans,
  • wild blueberries,
  • cultivated blueberries,
  • CRANBERRIES,
  • blackberries,
  • raspberries,
  • prunes, and
  • cooked artichokes.

During the holiday season cranberries can be found fresh or frozen in great abundance.  To learn more how to use these as part of your healthy diet, download our cookbook, Cranberries: Delicious, Mouth-Watering Recipes for Every Day while supplies last.

 

Cranberry Muesli – Kick Start Your Morning

Want to kick start your morning in a satisfying and healthy way?  Cranberry muesli is not only delicious, but it will give your body the boost of energy it needs to take you through your morning without all the sugars and carbs of those more expensive breakfast cereals.  It is SO easy to make and our book Cranberries: Delicious, Mouth-Watering Recipes for Every Day shows you how.  Download your copy from Amazon today!

 

(Image source: Free Digital Photos)

 

Cranberry Mania Is ON!

Cover-Cranberries-smallOur new cookbook, Cranberries: Delicious, Mouth-Watering Recipes for Every Day was offered on Amazon on a free promotional yesterday, November 20th and today, November 21, 2013.  The response has been overwhelming!  As of about noon today 1,555 people had downloaded the book and we have an average 5-star rating!  How cool is that!

Thank you to everyone who is following this blog, BookWindow on Twitter and Good Reads and those who are just avid readers!

 

Just in Time for the Holidays

Cranberry mania is here and just in time for the holidays.  Grab your copy from Amazon today!  There are over 80 recipes including beverages, appetizers, relishes, sauces, side dishes, breads, salads and desserts.  For the health-minded community the book also includes a section on sugar substitutes and another on nutritional facts.  Get started with these superfood recipes today and become a rock star in your kitchen!  Cranberries: Delicious, Mouth-Watering Recipes for Every Day is J. R. Goode’s pride and joy, just released on Amazon.  Download your copy today to your Kindle, PC, iPAD, iPhone, Smartphone or any electronic device with the free reader software.

 

Free Stain Removal Guide

Have you ever tried to remove cranberry juice stains?  If you have, you know just how stubborn those stains can be.  J. R. Goode recently published a fantastic cookbook on cooking with cranberries.  As a “thank you” gift for purchasing the book you are entitled to receive our free Stain Removal Guide.

Just click here, fill out the request form, and we’ll immediately send you the Guide.

By the way, we value your privacy and never, ever, share your information with anyone!

 

 

Books here, there, and everywhere!

ID-10085579Sample Meadow Publishing LLC is, literally, a dream come true!  This business was begun as a result of brainstorming with my sister-in-law and I am so pleased to announce it has become a reality!

Why did we call it Sample Meadow Publishing?  As a child my parents would take my brothers and I up into the Kaiser Wilderness area in California to a small campground called Sample Meadow.  We would camp for two weeks each summer and they were most the glorious, adventure-filled weeks three kids could ask for!  We explored every canyon, valley, trail and stream in the general area while our Dad fished and Mom read.  It was, and still is, a primitive camp so only “true” campers make their way to this special spot.  Not many years ago my brother and sister-in-law invited me on a camping trip with their two boys back to Sample Meadow.  While the campground has changed a little over the years, the serenity and beauty of the natural forest have not.  It is for that reason we established Sample Meadow Publishing LLC.

As we publish books on Amazon for Kindle and to other platforms we will let you know where to find the books.  We have over six books already in the final phases of development and we can’t wait to bring them to you.  Welcome to our family and stay tuned!

Michele Webb