Reading Snacks for Serious Readers (Pumpkin Pancakes & Caramel Syrup)

Pumpkin Pancakes

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup pumpkin

4 eggs

1/4 cup melted butter

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately – then fold together.   These take a little longer to cook than regular pancakes – but they are totally worth the wait!  You can eat them plain (that's what we do) or for an extra special treat – top them off with some caramel syrup!

Caramel Syrup

1 1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter

2 Tablespoons corn syrup

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Stir everything together except the soda and vanilla.  Bring to a boil, and cook for 7 minutes.  Turn off and add baking soda (this makes it fluffy) and then vanilla.   We recently found out that this is fantastic over pancakes or waffles with fresh peaches!  So yummy!

Are you ready for some more fun?

Remember how much fun it was at sidewalk sales?  All of the books, tables, and collectable furniture?  We had so much fun we are doing a garage sale with our "overstock" of collectables and of course books!  This will be on Friday and Saturday starting at 8:30 at 147 North 100 East in Farmington

We have tables, this awesome couch set, desks and lots of fun stuff.  Stop by and find something you can't live without!

Book Page Envelopes

This is a great way to use those kids books that have been ripped or colored in or otherwise "loved" beyond repair…brought to you by Craftster.

I love writing letters and have been looking for a multi-pack of different colored envelopes for a while now. An epiphany happened! I can just make them myself (just unfold an existing envelope to lay flat and trace it as a template. cut out, fold and gluestick…VOILA!). The first day, I used magazine pages, but found the end results to be too flimsy. Paper stacks can be so expensive! So I went to a yard sale and bought like 10-15 picture or kids books that were in really crappy shape for 20 cents each.

I now have an unreasonable amount of envelopes (I think almost 300)!

Did Ja Know? Part 3 (Trade Credit)

What is "trade credit" anyway?  My favorite thing is when readers come in the store and they are trying to explain how it works to their friends.  Usually they just say – I'm not sure how it works…but it does…just let them figure it for you. 

For those of you who would like to know the exact science behind paperback trade credit (not to be confused with cash credit) here you go…

70% of 1/3 the cover price is given on acceptable trade paperbacks as paperback trade credit.  (This means it has to be in readable, non stinky condition or a book that we don't already have 20 copies of).  When you buy a book using your trade credit, 1/3 the cover price is taken off of your trade credit account and we charge an exchange fee of .50 per book, plus sales tax.  The computer calculates the 1/3 using the current retail price.  Any remaining credit will be kept on file.  Hardbound fiction books receive $2.00 trade credit.

The best practice for paperback trade credit is to treat it like food storage.  You don't want to start making cookies one day only to find out that you are out of chocolate chips!  You always want to have a little extra put away to use the next time.

Check out Did Ja Know Part 2 for more exciting information about how The Book Garden works!

Writers Spotlight – Sigmund Brouwer

I have read a couple of Sigmund Brouwers books and after reading his biography, I was surprised at how "religious" he is.  I have never really gotten a strong religious feel from the books I have read (I was imagining the "Left Behind" series)…He is one of my very favorite writers.  Always draws you in and haunts you until you finish it….Also, the author of my very favorite "bad guy" (by favorite, I mean the very most creepy) I have ever read in Flight of Shadows.

Sigmund Brouwer

Whether writing youth or adult fiction, Sigmund Brouwer is a best-selling author of more than 40 fast-paced novels. Some of his works encourage young reluctant readers into the world of books, and others provide adults with riveting tales. His youth series include Mars Diaries; Short Cuts Extreme Sports; Lightning on Ice; CyberQuest; The Winds of Light; Dr. Drabble: Genius Inventor; and The Accidental Detectives. His adult fiction titles include Out of the Shadows, Morning Star, Thunder Voice, Double Helix, and Blood Ties.

Sigmund's diverse background surfaces in the characters of his books as he inspires kids to get excited about reading. He grew up in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, and developed an early interest in sports like hockey, racquetball, and biking. His poor performance in high school English classes led him to receive a degree in commerce from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and not to pursue writing. When a professor in his undergraduate English course encouraged him to write, Sigmund did, and he eventually received a degree in journalism from Carleton College in Ottawa. After publishing several articles for U.S. and Canadian magazines, he turned to writing books for kids reluctant to read.

In 1993, he cofounded The Young Writers' Institute with home education expert and author Debra Bell and conducts writing camps and seminars for more than 10,000 children every year. His commitment to his faith is an integral part of his creative goals, and Sigmund cites C. S. Lewis as one of his greatest writing influences. Although there is no overt Christian agenda in his novels, the deliberate underpinning of morality and redemption make his books more than tools of escape. He quotes C. S. Lewis, "There is no Christian way to write, just as there is no Christian way to boil an egg."

Sigmund is married to Christian recording artist Cindy Morgan; the couple has two daughters. He writes five pages per day on his laptop, whether he is in an airport, hotel, or dividing his time between family homes in Red Deer and Nashville.