Books

Delicious and Offbeat Recipes for Labor Day from George Geary @ChefGeary

Posted on August 31st, 2017 by & filed under Books, Everything Miz Meliz, Foodie Reviews

Award-winning chef, best-selling author, and renowned educator George Geary celebrates the weird and wonderful foods sold at state and county fairs with his new book, Fair Foods: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America’s State and County Fairs (Santa Monica Press/August 2017). This illustrated cookbook features 120 recipes of some of the most interesting and unusual foods served at fairs across the USA.

I was provided a review copy of the book  by George Geary from The Trina Kaye Organization/Lifestyle Public Relations. I was not required or obligated to publish a review. All opinions are my own. Recipes and photos used by permission. See my disclosure to read more about why I post articles like this on my blog.

Summer is Not Over Yet!

The summer season is a time for ice cream, trips to the beach, and . . . state and county fairs! The food selection at state and county fairs is now more diverse and delicious than ever before, ranging from timeless classics like apple pie and corn dogs to new inventions like spicy peanut butter and jelly cheeseburgers and fried Coca-Cola®!

Would you like to try making some of these crazy creations or even some timeless classics at home? Get the book for your pure enjoyment, the photos are amazing and it is a great “show and tell” book, but you can also use it to wow your guests when you follow the recipes.

Would you like to know how to make Deep-Fried Oreos®? Here is how George does it! 

 

 

FAIR FOODS: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America’s
State and County Fairs
By George Geary
Santa Monica Press/August 2017
Hardcover/$24.95
ISBN-13: 978-1-59580-093-0
“For 28 seasons, I was involved in the largest county fair in the country: the Los Angeles County Fair,” says Geary. “During that time, I watched as the focus of the fair moved from blue ribbons and homemade pie bake-offs to the rows and rows of vendors that now hawk crazy food combinations. Around 1980, ‘classic’ fair food began to evolve from cotton candy and snow cones to bacon-wrapped doughnuts fried in pork belly fat. Not all the food sold at the fair is fried, but the motto of today’s county fair might as well be ‘Just Fry It!’”
Fair Foods highlights not only the new culinary “classics” at state and county fairs, but also longstanding favorites. Some of the recipes in the book include:
  • Maple and Bacon Doughnuts
  • The World’s Gooiest Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Caramel Kettle Corn
  • Fried Sweet Potato Sticks
  • Ten-Pound Cheese Buns
  • Triple Cheeseburger Doughnuts
  • Cheesecake on a Stick
  • Chocolate-Encased Bacon
  • Deep-Fried Twinkies®
  • Fried Coca-Cola®
  • Deep-Fried Oreos®
  • Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots with Dill Dipping Sauce
  • Firehouse Chili with Peppers
  • Grilled Pork Chops on a Stick
  • Spicy Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheeseburgers
  • Egg Cream
  • Funnel Cake with Berries
  • Old-Fashioned Salted Pretzels
Each page of Fair Foods is illustrated with photographs of America’s most beloved fair foods, as well as vintage and contemporary images of rides, attractions, and nostalgic ephemera from the fair.
Fair Foods captures the joy and spirit of America’s greatest county fairs. You don’t have to wait for fair season to make these wacky and wonderful foods—now you can enjoy them all year long!
About the Author
George Geary is an award-winning chef, best-selling author, and renowned educator. A former pastry chef for the Walt Disney Company, George is a Certified Culinary Professional, and was recently chosen as the Culinary Educator of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. He is perhaps best known for creating all the cheesecakes for The Golden Girls and other top-rated television programs.
George has worked as a critic and/or judge for ABC’s The Taste with Anthony Bourdain, The American Baking Competition with Jeff Foxworthy, Hell’s Kitchen, Supermarket Superstar, and many other popular television shows. He also teaches cooking classes aboard Holland America Lines.
For over thirty years, Geary has been a culinary contest judge for such major food manufacturers as Canola Producers, Veg-All, Hormel Foods, the Hershey Company, Knott’s Berry Farm Foods, Ghirardelli Chocolate, Fleischmann’s Yeast, the San Diego Union Tribune, ABC News, and many more. From 1982 to 2010, George was the culinary coordinator of the Los Angeles County Fair.
George is the author of L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants, as well as nine cookbooks including The Cheesecake Bible, The Complete Baking Cookbook, and 125 Best Cheesecake Recipes. He is a frequent guest on national and local television and lives in Los Angeles.

Up for a Challenge?

My son and husband love to try making their favorites from restaurants and events that we attend. One of the things they have enjoyed making is fried pickles. We try them everywhere we have been that serves them. My son thinks he has perfected a recipe of his own. Maybe he will be up for a challenge against Chef Cleary’s recipe! Here it is:
Recipe reprinted from FAIR FOODS: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America’s State and County Fairs
by George Geary
Santa Monica Press/August 2017
FRIED PICKLES
The hot, crunchy pucker of these fried pickles is like no other flavor you can imagine. Pair with ketchup or mustard.
Serves 4
24 oz. dill pickles, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. seasoned salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tbsp. hot sauce
¾ cup water
canola oil
Special Supplies:
Stockpot
Candy/deep fry thermometer
Paper towels
Drain dill slices on paper towels. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, seasoned salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Add hot sauce and water to make a runny paste.
In a stockpot, heat 1 ½ inches of canola oil over medium heat to 375°F.
Dip pickle rounds into the batter to coat all sides. If the batter is runny and doesn’t stick to the pickle, add additional flour. If it is too thick, add hot water.
Using a slotted spoon, lower the battered pickles into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds, turning over halfway through.
Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.
Do you like fried pickles or deep fried oreos?
Have you dared to try these items at the county fair?
Let me know if you try the recipe!

Paying for Perfect Grades with Pills by Joy Stephenson-Laws @_pHLabs

Posted on April 10th, 2017 by & filed under A Year in Bloom, Books, Everything Miz Meliz, Guest Post, Inspiring Adventures

Campus stimulant abuse: Paying for perfect grades with pills

Guest Post By Joy Stephenson-Laws, founder of Proactive Health Labs (pH) and her medical team

Parents are expressing growing shock over the frequency of drug use on American college campuses. And we are not talking about illegal drugs, but legal, prescription ones. Stimulants, commonly prescribed for attention-deficit disorder, are finding their way into the hands of students with perfect mental health. A recent study titled Under Pressure: College Students and the Abuse of Rx Stimulants found that 1 in 5 college students (20 percent) report abusing prescription stimulants at least once.

Why would students take medicine they don’t need?

Many are doing it because they believe it will help them study or outperform their classmates. Stimulants work by getting into the brain and forcing the release of neurotransmitters: dopamine, which increases motivation; serotonin, which improves mood and has a calming effect; and norepinephrine, which creates an activated “fight or flight” brain and cardiovascular response, increasing alertness. Students with prescriptions often sell or give pills to their classmates.

The names of these drugs include:

  •          Adderall (amphetamine)
  •          Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine, turns into amphetamine in the body)
  •          Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, Quillivant (methylphenidate)
  •          Provigil, Nuvigil (modafinil)
  •          Focalin (dexmethylphenidate)

Stimulant drugs are less potent than the stimulant cocaine, but much more potent than caffeine. All share similar side effects such as:

  •          Insomnia
  •          Poor appetite
  •          Digestive problems
  •          High blood pressure
  •          Racing heart
  •          “Crashing” afterward (releasing all those neurotransmitters early has its consequences)
  •          Addiction potential

Certain risk factors for stimulant abuse have been identified in young people. Risk factors include:

  •          Membership in the Greek system (fraternities and sororities)
  •          Having some (but not necessarily all) of the symptoms of ADHD
  •          Alcohol or marijuana use
  •          Academic difficulties

While many students who abuse stimulants are indeed healthy, some of them may actually be suffering from undiagnosed ADHD and “self-medicating” with stimulants as well as alcohol and marijuana.

Parents and students can work to prevent unnecessary use of stimulants. Colleges do not want to create an environment where “everyone” needs to use stimulants to keep up. It may be important to identify nutritional deficiencies that may lead to ADHD. Such deficiencies can be uncovered by appropriate testing. Optimizing exercise, nutrition and sleep always enhances cognitive performance, while getting prompt professional evaluation for any persistent difficulties studying can catch ADHD, depression or other mental difficulties early so that students can get help rather than rely on the dorm “drug dealer.”

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, health care attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. To learn more about the pH Health Care Team, click here.

Joy Stephenson-Laws is the founder of Proactive Health Labs (pH), a revolutionary health care company that provides tools needed to achieve optimal health. Her new book, Minerals – The Forgotten Nutrient: Your Secret Weapon for Getting and Staying Healthy [Proactive Health Labs, Inc., 2016] is available through Amazon or wherever books are sold. All proceeds from the book will be donated to The Bili Project Foundation, an organization devoted to reducing the incident and improve the outcome of Hepatobilary cancers, which are cancers of the liver, gallbladder, or bile ducts.  Connect with Proactive Health Labs on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, and at www.phlabs.org.

 

Note from Miz Meliz:

I have the pleasure of interviewing Joy Stephenson-Laws on Inspiring Adventures with Miz Meliz on May 23, 2017! Please join us to learn more about her book, her life, and what inspires her on her journey! See it on BubblrMedia on Facebook.com/MizMelizLA

This article was provided by and posted with permission from Smith Publicity for the purpose of promotion and review of the book by Joy Stephenson-Laws. I received a copy of the book for review purposes. I am not being paid for the review or interview. All opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure statement for details on why I post articles like these on my blog. Thanks!

Without Explanation: A True Story of Love and Loss in the Jungle @RodJasmer

Posted on April 3rd, 2017 by & filed under Books, Everything Miz Meliz

Without Explanation: A True Story of Love and Loss in the Jungle
by Rod Jasmer
HEARTBREAKING MEMOIR BY SHELL-SHOCKED WIDOWER RECALLS ADVENTURE, FEAR, CHAOS, DOUBT AND REINVENTION   
            It was going to be the trip of a lifetime. An enchanting trek through the Guatemalan jungle, viewing the mystical Mayan Ruins, a breath-stealing sunset from atop an ancient temple, a magical entourage of a million fireflies. Then suddenly, this wonderful adventure became a nightmare. This is just the start of Without Explanation: A True Story of Love and Loss in the Jungle (March 21, 2017) by Rod Jasmer.
            Adventurer, geologist and single father of three, through Without ExplanationJasmer shares intimate thoughts, devastating real-world incidences, and heart-breaking single-parent challenges that will hit home with anyone who has ever loved someone with all of their heart. Baring his soul as he details what it means to tragically lose the love of your life, he outlines a roller coaster of hope and despair that would span the longest days of his life. As he and his friends frantically fought for his wife Valerie’s life, they found themselves far from the necessities most of us take for granted at home—a familiar language, state of the art medicine, government allies and more. Meanwhile, three children were thousands of miles away, tucked in their beds, blissfully unaware of the desperate fight to save their mother’s life. 
“Writing Without Explanation has been cathartic for me,” shares Jasmer. “As I continue to process the events and the great loss of life I have felt over the years, the raw emotions surge and I assume the burdens once again and am haunted when I think about the void my children have faced growing up without their mother. But perhaps others will find solace and strength through the description of this ordeal. The very fact that you are reading this reassures me that memories of Valerie will endure.”
Without Explanation was lovingly, yet painstakingly, produced over thirteen years to include a story of anticipated adventure and remarkable courage, of heartache and disbelief, and of hope and fear. Yet, at its very core, is a life-altering tragedy and a story of love and devotion. In fact, amid the heart-breaking twists and turns, there were encounters with brave and selfless people who made a lasting impression during this horrific time.
Each chapter of Without Explanation is chilling and raw. The book shares a voyeuristic look into the chaos that hit Jasmer in the jungle of Guatemala and the challenges that awaited his new life back home in America. It also includes illustrations that depict special places and objects to Jasmer and his wife.
The following is an excerpt from Without Explanation, “A horrible grief weighed on my body and those of my companions. I wanted to go back to last night, back to my old life. My mind was easily drawn into “if only” scenarios: if only we would have done this or if only we had not done that. An atrocious sorrow was just below the surface, inviting me to give in to its vastness. I tried to temper these feelings by thinking about getting Val’s body out of the hospital and back home as soon as possible. Though sobbing and mourning were part of each minute, I needed to do more than just sit and cry. Thoughts of my children and possible dramatic changes in their lives flooded into my mind. Consequences for my children were painfully difficult to comprehend.”
Rod Jasmer grew up on one of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota, where he remained to complete high school and his undergraduate degree. He eventually moved to Idaho to continue his study of geology. It was there that he met his future wife, Valerie. In late 1987 they married, he received his graduate degree, and within a few months they packed almost all of their combined possessions into six suitcases and moved to Australia on permanent resident visas. They traveled extensively during their time Down Under, including an extended five-month overland trek throughout Southeast Asia. Upon their return to America, they started a family, and their three children were born over the succeeding five years.
Jasmer’s professional career includes purchasing and starting a number of companies, and he currently works as an environmental and business consultant to Union Pacific Railroad and other national clients. After the death of his wife in 2004, travel and adventure continued to be a pastime for this single dad. Jasmer spends as much time as possible outdoors, doing most any activity the four seasons allow. He splits his time between living in Linwood, Minnesota, and Park City, Utah.
Learn more about Jasmer and Without Explanation at RodJasmer.com
Without Explanation: A True Story of Love and Loss in the Jungle is available on Amazon and through other fine booksellers. 
The above book release was provided to me by Smith Publicity and is posted with permission. I was not paid to post this. Please see my Disclosure Statement for more details on why I post articles like this.

Dare to be Kind with Gabriella van Rij on Inspiring Adventures with Miz Meliz @GabriellavanRij

Posted on January 17th, 2017 by & filed under Books, Everything Miz Meliz, Inspiring Adventures

Get yesterday's news tonight! Or mabe tomorrow...Find out more!
I'm always a day late and a dollar short! @LastNightShow with Miz Meliz
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In this episode of Inspiring Adventures, Gabriella van Rij shares her steps that anyone can do to make kindness a habit. We have an amazing open discussion about kindness, tolerance, communication pitfalls, navigating our overly reactive society, how to become better and kinder communicators, and much more on our “Inspiring Adventure” together.

 

“As a toddler, I was plucked from a Catholic orphanage in Pakistan. Without the determination of two strangers, I would not have made it to my adoptive family. Today, I ask this question: Will you pick up the ball of Human Kindness® and be a hero to someone who needs your help?” ~Gabriella van Rij

 

Connect with Gabriella here:

Website: http://gabriella.global/

 

 

A 4-Step Process For Making Kindness
An Everyday Habit In 2017

Research has shown that being kind makes us happier and also is contagious, inspiring others to be kind as well. For example, one such study published in the Journal of Social Psychology linked performing acts of kindness to an increase in life satisfaction.

That’s why as people make their resolutions for the coming New Year, they should make up their minds to commit purposeful acts of kindness every day, says Gabriella van Rij (www.gabriella.global), a kindness activist and author whose latest book is Watch Your Delivery.

“Making kindness a habit changes lives – your own life and others,” van Rij says. “I believe we’re born with innate kindness, but we’ve just forgotten about it because we’re always running. We’re just too busy doing other things and we need to remind ourselves to be kind.”

She says we as a society have dropped the ball on human kindness and it’s time we picked it back up.

“I truly believe that we are all born with innate kindness, but then the hand that feeds us or the environment makes us abandon it pretty fast,” van Rij says. “By the time we are 5, we have learned to compete and to strive for success. It’s time for a new measuring stick for success.”

She says by following a four-step process, people can put a little more kindness in the world and quickly fall into the habit of committing kindness every day:

• Be kind to yourself. It’s hard to have the patience to be kind to others if we can’t even take the time to be kind to ourselves. “This might seem selfish, but it’s not,” van Rij says. “By being kind to ourselves, we shape our attitude toward others.”
• Answer rudeness with kindness. This one is difficult, van Rij acknowledges. “When someone is rude to you, the first thing you do is instantly react and not always in a positive way,” she says. “And the second thing you do is say it’s about me. They were nasty to me.” But van Rij says it’s not about you, it’s about the emotion. By answering rudeness with kindness, you diffuse the situation and there’s also a certain satisfaction in seeing the change in the attitude of the person who was rude.
• Watch your delivery. The tone that accompanies your words is as important as what you are saying. Do you need to soften your tone? Does what you say sound more aggressive than what you mean? Body language also can send a message you didn’t intend, so be aware of your body language and your facial expressions.
• Acknowledge kindness when you see it. When you acknowledge the kind acts you see, that person will be encouraged to continue to spread kindness. Acknowledging kindness in others also will serve as a reminder to you about how you can show kindness.

“Unfortunately, one of the reasons we don’t always treat each other well is that we are a fear-based society, and fear only breeds more fear,” van Rij says. “But luckily there is an antidote because just as fear breeds more fear, I believe kindness grows more kindness.”

About Gabriella van Rij

Gabriella van Rij (www.gabriella.global) is a speaker, author and activist whose latest book, Watch Your Delivery, explores how we often fail in communicating. She began her life as an orphan in Pakistan, and today is a frequent guest on TV and radio. She also is the author of I Can Find My Might and With All My Might.

Dare to be Kind with Gabriella van Rij on Inspiring Adventures with Miz Meliz https://smiletime.com/channel/mizmeliz #onSmiletime

Inspiring Adventures with Miz Meliz featuring Dream Big author @KatKronenberg

Posted on January 10th, 2017 by & filed under Books, Everything Miz Meliz, Inspiring Adventures, Interview

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I'm always a day late and a dollar short! @LastNightShow with Miz Meliz
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Be Empowered by Dreaming Big with the Inspiring Kat Kronenberg

on Inspiring Adventures with Miz Meliz

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Kat Kronenberg is a debut children’s book author living in Austin, Texas. As a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, her hope and dream is that through reading we can encourage one another other to “follow our bliss,” stay in the arena fighting for our dreams, and allow joy and fulfillment to be our internal GPS.

In addition to spreading her message through her children’s book Dream Big, she also provides interactive games that promote positive thinking, Common Core aligned discussion and project guides, and free downloadable activity sheets at www.katkronenberg.com.

Dream Big (Greenleaf Book Group, January 2017) will be available from Amazon as of January 10, 2017 and other booksellers nationwide.

More information about Kat Kronenberg can be found at www.katkronenberg.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

dream-bigDream Big by Kat Kronenberg

I look forward to meeting anyone who believes in helping others to Dream Big! I can’t wait!
We will discuss a lot of topics such as:
• How Kat decided loss wasn’t going to stop her from believing in her dreams, and how dreaming big actually helped her cope
• How games and activities—like drum circles, dream catchers, riddles, and songs—can help children realize their power within and from nature
• Why it’s important to help children become empowered by their dreams, no matter how big they may be
• How can we help children develop an attitude of gratitude
• How we can help children learn from nature—one of our greatest teachers
• How proceeds from her book Dream Big will benefit the Me to We organization, an incredible group that shows how one person can make a difference. Started in 1995 by a 12-year-old boy, this youth-empowered worldwide movement seeks “to educate, engage, and empower young people as agents of change.”

Be Empowered by Dreaming Big with the Inspiring Kat Kronenberg https://smiletime.com/channel/mizmeliz #onSmiletime

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