Tuesday, January 30, 2007

More books!

Yeah! The mail came, the mail came!

Doesn't take much to excite us some days but DS and I were both dancing around when DH came in from work last night. He'd been by the post office that afternoon and there were three packages for us. Three, count'em, three!

We were ready for bed so all we did was open them to see which orders had come through but first thing this morning, DS started in on the first book in a new Star Wars series he's discovered. The series is by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta and titled "Young Jedi Knights." The book DS received is the first in the series, "Heirs of the Force."

He found what turned out to be the fourth book in the series at the library book sale last week. Devoured it in two days (not bad for a 7yo!) and then when we looked in the library catalog we discovered the rest of the set of 14 available -- except for the first one in the series! So I turned to bookfinder.com and found the first book at Half.com. At the rate he's reading, I think he's going to finish it tonight so we picked up the next five books in the series while we were at the library this afternoon.

The other two packages were ostensibly for me but DS was still excited about at least one. I ordered three more Dinah Zike books for our homeschool collection: Dinah Zike's Big Book of Science for Elementary K-6, Dinah Zike's Big Book of Social Studies (Elementary K-6), and Dinah Zike's Big Book of United States History. He's enjoyed the things we've done using her other books and I thought I could use another boost her books always provide.

They can be hard to find, tho, with Amazon only carrying a couple. I usually order from her site, Dinah-Might Adventures, but this time I found them on eBay from a storefront that carried several titles by Zike and offered free shipping if I purchased more than two books.

The other package was a paperback by Sue Gregg and Emilie Barnes that I ordered from Half.com, too. It's titled "The 15-Minute Meal Planner: A Realistic Approach to a Healthy Lifestyle".

I have a set of Sue Gregg's cookbooks that I really like. They're a little heavy-going at first but I've found quite a few recipes I wouldn't want to be without. Especially her Blender Oatmeal Pancakes. Talk about fiber -- and delicious! DH says he could eat them a couple of times a week and I don't feel bad about fixing them either as they're pretty good for us, too.

Thing is, I don't know that it was essential I have this book but it's mentioned several times in the 7-volume set that I have and every so often I run up against a reference to a recipe that's only included in this particular book. And I tend to be a completionist or whatever LibraryThing calls those of us who feel the need to own all of an author's works. I'm not always that bad, tho -- for example, I only own 10 (the 7 Basic cookbooks plus "Four Food Storage Plans," "Yeast Breads," and "Holiday Menus") plus this new one. I'm sure she has several other books available -- somewhere.

Blender Oatmeal Pancakes

1-3/4 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
2 tbs oil (olive oil preferred)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats, uncooked (this is the same as Quaker Oats Old-fashioned oats in the cannister)
2 tbs sucanat or regular white granulated sugar (optional - Gregg suggests crystallized fructose as an option, too)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder

Place the first 5 ingredients in a blender container and blend at high speed for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix in thoroughly, but briefly, using blender or rubber spatula.

Bake on moderately hot griddle or in hot waffle iron for waffles. Makes about 16 4" cakes.
The recipe is correct as written -- it calls for no flour, just old-fashioned oatmeal. At times when I'm out of buttermilk, I have substituted a plain yogurt thinned with a bit of water in place of the buttermilk. About 1 or 1-1/4 cups yogurt plus 3/4 or 1/2 cup water as needed to make the total of 1-3/4 cups called for in recipe.

The 2-min blend is essential to getting the recipe to work. The first few times I tried this, I did not let the blender run the full time and couldn't understand why the pancake batter was so-o-o runny. Ended up adding as much as 1/2-cup flour each time. Finally I decided to set the timer and actually "follow the recipe" (a novel idea for me) and, voila! It works like a charm.

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