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Joan Leotta, author, writer, performer, libraries, schools, food cooking, Italian, folklore, teaching
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Category Archives: Children, Writing, Performing, Book Reviews, Food
On Saturday, Aug 19, I read my book, Rosa and the Red Apron to a group of Girl Scouts at the Lowe’s Food in Monkey Junction in Wilmington, NC (Lowe’s obtained permission to use photo on FB) . Thank you, Alexandra , for inviting me!
It was a fun way to spend a morning.
We had such a good time! The girls enjoyed acting out the book with me as I read it. We did not have time to talk much about writing–Lowe’s had arranged a wonderful cookie decorating session for them–yummy!
I am available to speak to scout groups on writing, on cooking, on story performance and speaking! I have some dates left before the end of the year. More open in January and February!
100 Egg-Free Vegan Recipes Using Aquafaba
By Rebecca Coleman
Robert Rose Publications
Suggested Retail $19.95
Review by Joan Leotta
This is a book all vegans will want to have on their shelves, especially vegans who want to bake.
Making eggless meringue with bean juice and how to “bind” mixes without the addition of eggs. May not sound appealing on the face of it, but truly, Agquafaba is a godsend to those who want to make dishes that in the non-vegan world, use eggs.
As such, committed vegans have a strong ally in the form of the book Aquafabulous by Rebecca Coleman published by Robert Rose Press.—- A luscious looking photo of a cake slathered in meringue graces the aqua blue cover of this book, which according to its press release, “has blown open the world of vegan baking. Things that were once considered impossible, are now possible and the options are endless.”
As I have come to expect from any book published by Robert Rose, the first pages of this volume describe the element in question and tell us the why and how of it. The rest of the book is devoted to a stellar collection of recipes ranging from breakfast to desserts. Her baked goods selection includes such delights as French macaroons, strawberry shortcake and donuts
The recipe portion is a wonderful exercise in exploring the use of this ingredient—new to me, but oh so useful to vegans everywhere. Of course, it is no surprise that someone with Coleman’s credentials has created such delightful recipes with easy-to-follow direction and helpful hints. Coleman is a Vancouver BC food blogger and the author of a foodie blog, “Cooking by Laptop” that focuses on recipes and her love of cooking. In addition she loves to travel, enjoys eating baked goods (especially donuts) herself.
If you know any vegans, steer them toward this book or purchase it for them as a gift. They will thank you for it—if you are lucky, they will thank you with one of the baked goods she mentions.
Here is a sample of one of the recipes in the book
S’Mores Cups (from Aquafabulous by Rebecca Coleman. Used with permission of the publisher)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get out a 6-cup muffin pan, lined with paper liners
1-cup vegan graham cracker crumbs
¼-cup vegan butter alternative, melted
½ cup chopped 70 percent bittersweet (dark) vegan chocolate
3 TBSP unsweetened non-diary milk
2 TBSP granulated sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp vanilla bean seeds
In a small bowl, stir together, graham cracker crumbs and melted butter to combine. Place two tablespoons of the crumb mix in the bottom of each muffin cup, then pack down with a glass. Bake in the preheated oven for ten minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a wire rack/
Fill a small saucepan with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. IN a heatproof metal bowl, combine chocolate and non-diary milk. Set metal bowl on saucepan so that it fits tightly and does not touch the water below. Stir chocolate until melted and smooth. You want the ganache to be smooth, glossy, and fairly runny, not thick and lumpy. If it is too thick, add a bit more milk. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of melted chocolate over each graham cracker base, then shake pan to spread it around so that it forms an even layer. Transfer to freezer for at least 30 minutes.
In a mixer bowl, combine aquafaba, sugar, cream of tartar and vanilla seeds. Set mixer speed to low and beat for two minutes. Turn up speed to medium and beat for two minutes. Set to highest speed and beat mixture until fluffy and peaks form, about four to six minutes. It will have a similar texture to marshmallow fluff.
Spoon as much fluff as possible into each muffin cup, then return to fridge for at least thirty more minutes or overnight. You may have leftover fluff.
Just before serving, pop cups out of muffin tins, peeling back the paper liners. Use torch to toast the tops if desired, and serve.
Did you catch my ad on WOW? Or someplace else? If you purchase a copy of any one of my picture books this month, please tell me where you found out about the book, send me a copy of your receipt and I will enter you into a drawing to win one of the other four (my choice of book) in paper or eform (kindle, bn, other) according to the format you purchased.
email me at: email@example.com with your receipt!
I always hated, and never believed, that old chestnut that teachers are people who cannot actually do what they teach–nonsense! Teachers are those who share with us the technology (so to speak) of the art or craft they have fallen in love with. They want to share with us what they love, share the how-to and the mystery of it.
They become educators when they draw out of us our desires to pursue a field to the limit of our ability, usually thanks to their support, inspiration, and ministrations of technique and method.
As a working journalist, story performer and more I want to share with others what I have learned and to inspire others to follow their dreams in whatever field they desire–esp in
writing and story performance. Yep, I talk and write for audiences. It’s that simple!
This month I have had the opportunity to be a teacher and to share my love of these two modes of communication on Donna Washington’s Blog, in Ruby for Women Magazine (writing only in that one. March starts a three-part series for those who want to get started in writing) and here, on this blog by reminding you that I have two new publications out this month–My children’s book, Rosa’s Shell and my book of poems, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon.
PS Today the literative.com site has one of my writings up as the prose winner of their winter contest!
Do check it out!
I’m happy to come and and talk to your school or group about writing (for adults, for children, poetry) story performance (or to give a story performance!)
Please do contact me and let me know if you would like me to come! Those who do, if they are fortunate enough also share what they know by teaching!
Finishing Line Press has informed me that my book will be at least 8 weeks late–today is the day it was supposed to come out.
I just got my galleys on Monday and am sending them back on Tuesday the 17th, checking and rechecking.
Please be patient!
So, I am rarely at a loss for an idea so decided this would be a good way to organize my thoughts for the new year and give me marching orders for a series of new picture books.
Two days into it, already more than two ideas, but the discipline is a very good one. Also trying to channel creativity into a new haiku start each day.
It’s not even ten am yet and already I have been hard at work on the computer, but am not yet dressed!
First thing–saw that Silver Birch has posted my poem What we took with us when we moved, as a part of their moving day series–warning, this one is sad.
Here’s a link to the post. Thank you!
Then, I opened my gmail account and there were the page proofs for Summer in a Bowl!!!!
Amazing work by the artist Rebecca Zeissler.
Countdown to publication day of September 30!!!!!!
You can order the book now , pre-order on THEAQLLC, Amazon and BN
Those who pre-order before the launch date of September 30 can email me a copy of the receipt and be in a drawing to win a copy (signed) of the first book in the series, WHOOSH!
There is a recipe in the back of this one and gardening tips
A writer’s work is never done!
I am busy working on PR, blog hops etc for Summer in a Bowl and also at the same time working on poems, my usual quota of articles, and coordinating with my publisher on revisions in the texts of the NEXT TWO Rosa books–Rosa and the Red Apron and Rosa’s Shell
Heather Zeissler of THEAQLLC has been wonderful to work with.
If you want me to come to your school to talk about the process of writing picture books or to talk to your group about how I got started writing picture books, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fiona McVie in the UK interviewed me and that interview is live today!
Click on the link to connect.
Right now I am in a hold pattern. I am waiting for the illustrator to do her magic, conjuring up the images that will bring my words to life for young readers.
I thought while we were waiting I would answer a question that many people ask of authors–how real is this story?
Like WHOOSH!, this story was inspired by a real afternoon in my life. Yes, there really was an Aunt Mary. Yes, I did watch her make soup from the ingredients in her garden! Yes, I did help her gather those ingredients.
Aunt Mary passed on many years ago. She was the mother of three of my wonderful cousins, John, Diane, and Ernie.
Diane sent me these photos of her Mom to share with you.
Here is the real, wonderful, lovely woman who inspired Summer in a Bowl: