Sheila's Motto

"Endeavor to enhance the lives of others through education and encouragement."

Friday, July 29, 2016

Science With The Grandkiddos

During one of the grandkiddos' recent visits, they made two ice cube trays of citrus slices.  These have been such a nice relief during our recent one hundred degree temperatures.

Depending upon the ages of your grandchildren, you may have to slice the lemon or lime into small wedges for them.

If your grandchildren are old enough, they can read the instructions for themselves:

1. Rinse a lemon or lime, dry with paper towel, and cut into small slices or wedges.

2.  Place one wedge into each compartment of the ice tray.

3.  Place the ice tray in the freezer overnight.  Invert the tray to remove the cubes.  If you only desire to use one or two at a time, they can be removed from the tray by grasping the citrus wedge.

4.  This is a fun way to explain to young children how water can be a liquid and a solid.

5.  Other suggestions for the citrus wedges ~~ place them inside a glass of iced or hot tea or a citrus drink!

Happy Reading & Learning.  Stay cool!

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A BusyYear for Idaho Creative Authors' Network ~~ (ICAN)

The Idaho Creative Authors Network has had a blessed this year as far as being able to make contacts and encourage others in their writing journeys. There are so many people out there that want to write but don’t know what the next step is!  Our friend, Phyllis, did a great job making a board that says: We Have Answers! And yes we do!  We can help writers become authors and it is such a great feeling – for us AND them!  Well, our year is not over. We have a lot coming up in the next six months so get your pens and calendars out now to write these upcoming events down.

NEXT WEEK:  Saturday August 6th, the Idaho Creative Authors Network is hosting a Book Extravaganza at the Maple Grove Grange Hall in Boise, Idaho located at 11692 West President Drive from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be close to 20 tables filled with over 50 books by local authors! We have been so fortunate to have the community provide venues for us to make ourselves known that we want to give back to the author community and let them have that same opportunity. 

NOVEMBER 5th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., we are hosting a Holiday Gift and Book Emporium at the Cloverdale Reception Center at 1200 N. Cloverdale Road in Boise, Idaho. This is a perfect time to come and pick up some unique Christmas gifts for those on your shopping list.

NOVEMBER 5th is also our SECOND Annual Treasure Valley Writers’ Fest and Writing contest from 1:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the same Cloverdale Reception Center.  We have the privilege of having three special speakers: Award-winning author, Conda Douglas, will be speaking on Writing Short to Succeed, Author and Marketing Strategist, Angela Strong, will be helping us understand the Marketing process better and Senior Accountant, Jaime Redfern, will be helping us comprehend The Business Side of Writing. This is a first-class event you will NOT want to miss. Along with the speakers, the ICAN team will be sharing writing tips which will spark your interest to ask questions to our panel at the end of evening. We will have a beautifully catered meal as well as an awards ceremony for our writing contest winners. The deadline to send in your contest submission is October 1st. Check out our Eventbrite link to see the categories and guidelines for the contest.

DECEMBER 10th three of the ICAN members will be reading their children’s books at the Ontario Community Library at 388 SW 2nd Avenue in Ontario, Oregon from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Sheila Eismann will be there to read her book, The Christmas Tin. Carol Green will be reading her book, Gary Learns to Skate, and I will be there to read my new children’s book The Battle for Christmas.  So be sure to bring your children and grandchildren! 

We look forward to seeing all of you and helping you along your writing journey!

Doing things the ICAN way – with a little bit of class and a little bit of style!

Contributed by Guest Blogger and co-founder of Idaho Creative Authors' Network, JoEllen Claypool.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sweet & Savory Thursday ~ Fresh Fillet & Fresh Rosemary


  • One large fillet of your choice ( I used Sockeye Salmon)
  • Brush 1 Tbsp. of olive oil on top
  • Sprinkle with dash of kosher salt, optional
  • Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper
  • Lay 3 large sprigs of fresh rosemary on top 
  • Place pan with one inch of water on bottom rack of oven
  • Line baking sheet with foil
  • Place seasoned fillet on baking sheet
  • Cook at 225 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when using a fork
The oil from the fresh rosemary permeates the fillet which really helps to enhance the flavor.  

Another suggestion is to use fresh dill when cooking your fish in the oven.

If you have other suggestions of cooking methods for fish or enhancing it with herbs, please leave a comment.  We enjoy hearing from our readers.

  • Check out the health benefits of eating salmon at

Happy Eating & Herbing!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sweet & Savory Tuesday - Presto with the Pesto!


  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Dash of kosher salt, optional

  • When selecting fresh basil, make sure to remove any seed pods which have formed in the very top of the plant

  • Place basil leaves inside food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped
  • Add the garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan Cheese
  • Process until smooth

  • Prepare noodles (I used spelt noodles, but spinach noodles would be delicious as well), and serve with Pesto

  • Pesto is great on pizza crusts, slices of baguette bread or fresh tomatoes, crackers, mixed with sour cream to be used as a veggie dip, and on rolls the herbal river.
  • Pesto can be frozen and eaten at a later date.

If you have other serving suggestions, I would like to hear from you!  Please leave a comment.  We enjoy hearing from our blog readers.

Happy Dining & Enjoy the herbs of summer!

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Friday, July 15, 2016

Sweet & Savory Friday - Planter to Potato

I simply love being able to step outside my patio door, walk about ten feet, and snip some fresh chives for my baked potato!

In the featured photo, I cooked a medium sized Russet Brubank potato at 350 degrees for about an hour and fifteen minutes, turning it at the half way mark. After testing the potato with a knife inserted in the center to make sure it was thoroughly cooked, I added real butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, and home grown chives.  Every small scoop was scrumptious!  

To get the real scoop on potatoes grown in our great state of Idaho, please visit

Back to the chives for a moment.  Herbs are so easy to grow, especially if the area you have to work with happens to be very small.  In this particular container featured in the photo below, I have planted rosemary along with the chives. Herbs are interesting in that several of them can be grown together in a very small space.  It's best to do your homework in advance to learn which ones need more sun than others, so you don't end up positioning one that forms too much shade for another one.

If you don't happen to use all of your fresh herbs during the summer and fall months, you can harvest and dry them for storage inside air tight containers. Your winter soups, stews, and other domestic endeavors will be enhanced by your collection.

Happy Herbing & Eating!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sweet & Savory Tuesday - Nutritious Breakfast Cookies


  • Shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I use crunchy style)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, optional
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup rolled oats, non-instant variety
  • 1 cup dried fruit such as apricots, bananas, cranberries, etc.
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease cookie sheet with shortening.  (If you're using a stoneware pan, you don't need to grease it.)
  • Place butter in large mixing bowl and beat until creamy.
  • Add brown sugar and mix until well blended, scraping sides if necessary.
  • Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix on medium speed until combined.
  • Add the peanut butter and mix until well blended.
  • Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Stir with a wooden spoon or small whisk.
  • Stir flour mixture into the egg mixture.
  • Stir in oats, fruit, and chopped nuts.
  • Drop dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheet.
  • Cook for 13-16 minutes or until cookie edges begin to brown. 

  • I double the recipe and freeze the extra cookies if I have any left over.
  • These are great to eat during your morning commute or pack in your lunch.
  • This is a fun recipe to experiment with by adding additional dried fruits, nuts, seeds, etc.
  • I especially like the peanut butter addition.
  • Other types of flours can be substituted for the whole wheat; however, you would need to experiment as to determine exactly how much to add.

Here's to a Healthy Breakfast which is the most important meal of your day!

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Sweet & Savory Friday ~~ 4th of July Spread

  • Two 15-0z. cans Cannellini Beans
  • Two Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Two Tbsp. diced garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Boar's Head Horseradish Sauce
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground kosher salt, optional

  • Rinse beans thoroughly with water and drain in colander
  • Place inside food processor
  • Add all other ingredients
  • Blend until smooth

Serve with crackers, bread, or condiments of your choice.  I used three grain sweet potato crackers, tomatoes, and greens.

If you are looking for a different spread for your Fourth of July spread, try this one!  It's delish!

Happy Dining & Happy 4th!

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