Monday, April 30, 2018

Goodbye April and Hello May

May the poetry of April flow right into your May with just one more poem
One of the many special memories growing up was celebrating May Day with a basket.

A May Basket is a flower-filled basket given out as gifts by adults and children in the tradition of the ancient Roman and Druid holiday of May Day.

May Day which is May 1st is a centuries-long celebration of spring turning into the pleasures of summer. May Day baskets can be given to friends and family, as well as to elderly neighbors or nursing homes.

Perhaps you recall making a basket, setting it on your neighbor's doorstep or hung it from the front doorknob, ringing the bell and running like crazy so no one knew it was you leaving it.

In school we would weave strips of construction paper to create a basket. We'd add tissue paper flowers, candy and packet of seeds.
Several years later I worked at a school where we would make up May Day baskets to distribute in the neighborhood. Each basket included a cheery note to brighten someone's day. The baskets would be hung on front doorknobs or set out on the front steps.

It's not too late to send along a basket full of cheer.
Here are a few easy ideas to get you started.



And could I be so bold as to suggest you tuck your favorite poem inside the basket? 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Weekend Round-Up

Some Weekend Favorites 
Ravioli with Roasted Asparagus, Tomatoes Garlic and Herbs
Cook's Notes:
Four cheese ravioli is paired with roasted asparagus and tomatoes, garlic and herbs topped with dark balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of prepared marinara sauce. Toast walnuts for a nice crunch and toasted flavor.  It's an amazing dinner that is company worthy and quite delicious. The presentation may dazzle your guests.
Recipe serves 4 and ingredients can easily be increased to serve more.
Ingredients:
  • 1 package refrigerated four cheese ravioli
  • 1 bunch of thin asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • 1 small container grape tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1-2 TB. olive oil 
  • 1 -2 TB. dark balsamic vinegar (good quality) 
  • 1/2 cup  toasted walnuts 
  • Fresh basil and parsley
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 container prepared marinara sauce (refrigerated section)   
Directions:
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone pad. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Place asparagus spears on baking sheet. Arrange garlic around spears. Drizzle with a olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Roast for 10 minutes.  
  • Add tomatoes and add olive oil and balsamic vinegar if needed and roast 10 minutes more.
  • Cook ravioli according to manufacturer's directions and drain.
  • Arrange on a serving plate with ravioli on bottom, then add asparagus spears and tomatoes on top. Drizzle with some of the marinara sauce, grate Parmesan cheese over sauce,top with toasted walnuts. and fresh parsley and basil.     
The Minnesota State Fair boasts more things on a stick than anywhere in the world. Every year at the Fair you can find an abundance of things on a stick ranging from walleye, to corned beef and cabbage, fried fruit, alligator sausage, frozen key lime pie and many more offerings. But nowhere on the list have I seen Poetry on the Stick. This unique non-edible item certainly is noteworthy.

David Bengtson, a MN poet and his wife Marilyn came up with this creative idea to promote poetry. In 2012 I posted his story on my blog during April Poetry month. 

http://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2012/04/poetry-on-stick.html
At that time I wrote him asking permission to post his story and he surprised me by sending a dozen of his poems-on-sticks in the mail. Several months after that I had an opportunity to meet him at a writer's conference. I am one of his biggest fans. He was quite generous with his poem gift. Now I only have these four left in the above photo which I am saving.
The following is David's story. 
In 2003, I was one of the seven poets who read poems on the Mississippi River Stage at the Minnesota State Fair. This event was sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service.

Since so many things at the fair are served on a stick, my wife Marilyn suggested that I glue some postcard-sized poem/photo combinations to sticks, sign them, and bring them along to hand out after the reading. I brought 50 and they went quickly.

I still remember one little guy, maybe around 10, who took a poem, stepped away, read it, turned and looked at me. He then walked back, holding the poem as though he wanted me to take it, and said, “Ya gotta another one?” Not easily discouraged, I have, since then, made and given away more than 8300 “Poems-on-Sticks” at various presentations, readings, workshops, bookstores, and coffee shops.

A new edition of 36 “Poems-on-Sticks” features photographs by Mike Hazard, a documentary filmmaker, photographer, and writer from St. Paul. The design is by Peg Churchwell of Lady Dog Design in Long Prairie.

To view David's poems go to the website http://poemsonsticks.tumblr.com/
This site is a collaborative effort. Mike Hazard has posted his photographs to accompany David's poems. Peg Churchwell has facilitated the design process.


To keep David's idea flowing I have adopted his Poem on a Stick and continue to pass them out for different events I am involved in during April Poetry Month.  











Here's the how to 
Ingredients:
Printed poems
Large craft sticks (from the Dollar store)
Double stick tape
Directions:
Choose a variety of poems on different topics written by your favorite poets.
Tape each poem on a stick.Be creative how you display the poem on a stick e.g. flower pots, vases or at each place settings for a lunch or dinner.
Encourage recipients to read their poem stick out loud and then share their poem stick with a friend at the table. 
A favorite poem
Hungry for Poetry By Ralph Fletcher 

First I saw him chew
a tender Japanese haiku.

He ate a foot-long sonnet
with mustard seed spread upon it.

He downed a bag of ripe cinquains
while walking in the pouring rain.

He gulped an epic, chomped an ode,
wolfed a couplet to cure his cold.

He munched so many limericks,
they made him absolutely sick.

He tried a plate of fresh free verse;
but all that did was make things worse.

He took some onomatopoeia
to cure a case of diarrhea.

He ate a poem of sixteen lines,
and after that he felt just fine.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Art in Bloom 2018


Spring has Sprung with the 35th Annual Minneapolis Institute of Arts Art in Bloom event. Here you can view fresh floral creations and the artworks that inspired them. There are 165 floral designs that interpret objects from Mia’s collection.  It's a  Twin Cities rite of spring! This year's Art in Bloom has a distinct French flair inspired a magnificent signature piece Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhucks and Plums by Eugene Delacroix.   
Art in Bloom raises funds to support Mia projects of Friends of the Institute, including education and transportation for school children, exhibitions, art acquisition, education, and programs throughout the community.

This year's Art in Bloom did not disappoint. I am continually amazed each year at the creativity these artists and florists display. Each artist/florist draws their inspiration from a particular piece of art and strives to replicate the lines, movement, color, textural design and theme by creating a floral homage. Artists pay particular attention to their containers as many were original pieces specifically designed for this display. 
Enjoy these floral displays paired with art. 
Note the floral display picks up on the colors and lines. 
Several women dressed for the occasion. This lady's hat was made out of paper mache and decorated with fresh flowers. She fit right in with the exhibits.  
This was one of my favorite floral interpretation based on the painting. The use of materials mirrored the fresco.
 Title: Standing Deity Holding Horn and Bucket 
A fresco unearthed in ancient Pompei with very subtle colors. The artist creatively  replicated the fresco using a drinking horn from the  Renaissance festival incorporating red alstroemeria, seeded eucalyptus, baby's breath and calla lily.
A bonus for this year's Art in Bloom was being able to enjoy several exhibits currently running at the MIA. One exhibit featured Minnesota author Wanda Gag.
Some of her well known children's books include:"Millions of Cats" and "ABC Bunny".
The exhibit featured original manuscripts and drawings. 

What a wonderful diversion enjoying these exhibits while waiting for spring to make a full appearance.  

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Poem in your Pocket Day

Morning Poem

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches ---
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead ---
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging ---

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted ---

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
lavishly,
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

from Dream Work (1986) by Mary Oliver

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Lemon Bars with Blueberries

Brighten your day with a luscious Lemon Bar topped with Blueberries

It's helpful to know right away that you'll need three medium sized lemons to make these bars. With a triple dose of lemon flavor — zest in both the crust and filling and the fresh juice in the filing — zest the lemons first, and then juice them. You'll have more than enough zest for both the crust and filling, and will avoid the awkward zesting of half a juiced lemon.
The Secret Ingredient for Better Lemon Bars
Unlike other lemon bar recipes, powdered sugar isn't just a garnish for these bars — it lends its cornstarch-enhanced sweetening powder to both the crust and the filling. You'll also need some pantry basics like granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, eggs, butter, and salt.

Recipe adapted from kitchen.com
Ingredients
For the crust:

  • Cooking spray 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1/3 cup toasted coconut
For the filling:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Directions:
  • Heat the oven and prepare the baking dish: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 325 degrees. Grease a 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 glass pan. 
  • Make the crust: Place the flour, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, zest, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse 5 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  • Pour the crust mixture into the prepared baking dish. Use the bottom of a measuring cup or your fingers to press the crumbs into an even layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Parbake the crust until light golden-brown, 30 minutes.
  • Make the filling: Whisk the whole eggs, egg yolk, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, zest, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk in the lemon juice, and then the flour, until combined.
  • Remove the parbaked crust from the oven. Pour the lemon filling onto the warm crust. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
  • Return the pan to the oven and bake until light brown around the edges and the top appears relatively dry, 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.
  • Use a fine mesh strainer to generously dust bars with powdered sugar and serve with fresh blueberries. 
April 26th Time to share some poems 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mu Shu Chicken Wraps

Keep on celebrating Earth Day's message with a poem 

Earth, What Will You Give Me?

by Beverly Mc Loughland

Earth, what will you give me

In summer
In summer,
Earth, what will you give me
In summer
Serene?

I’ll give you my fields
Made of lilies,
Of lilies,
I’ll give you my fields
Made of lilies
And green.

And what will you give me
In autumn

In autumn
And what will you give me
In autumn
So bold?

I’ll give you my leaves
Made of maple,
Of maple,
I’ll give you my leaves
Made of maple
And gold.

And what will you give me
In winter,
In winter,
What will you give me
In winter
So light?

I’ll give you my stars
Made of crystal,
Of crystal,
I’ll give you my stars
Made of crystal
And white.

And what will you give me
In springtime,
In springtime,
And what will you give me
In springtime
So new?

I’ll give you my nests
Made of grasses,
Of grasses,
I’ll give you my nests
Made of grasses
And blue.



Mu Shu Chicken Wraps

Cook's Notes:A restaurant quality meal that is so worth the time it takes to put together. Where to begin...tastes like something you'd order from PF Chang, a great mix of Asian flavors, lots of texture with ground meat, salad slaw and sunflower seeds. Use live butter lettuce for the wrap which cuts down on the carbs. I avoided using romaine leaves due to all  the recent food safety warnings. Ground turkey or pork can be substituted for chicken. Sauce can be made earlier in the day as a time saver.  

Recipe makes 5 servings and was adapted from cuisineathome.com December 2017 
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 lb. ground chicken, turkey or pork
  • 2 TB. olive oil, divided
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup minced green onion
  •  3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp dried ginger 
  • 2 cups from a bag of Asian Chopped Salad Mix
  • 3/4 cup minced water chestnuts
  • Sunflower seeds found in Asian Chopped Salad Mix  
  • Butter lettuce leaves
Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 TB. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 TB. chili garlic sauce (found in grocery store Asian aisle)
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 TB. honey

Directions:
  • Make sauce and set aside.
  • Beat eggs with a whisk. Heat non stick pan or wok with 1 TB. olive oil. Scramble eggs just until set, Cut into bite sized pieces and  set aside.
  • Wipe pan clean and add 1 TB. olive oil to pan. Heat and saute onions, garlic and ginger just until fragrant.
  • Add in ground meat and water chestnuts. Cook on medium heat. Crumble meat as it cooks. When meat is cooked through add in sauce and mix well. Cook on low uncovered 2 minutes. 
  • Stir in 2 cups salad mixture and diced egg mixture into meat mixture. Fill lettuce cup with a large scoop of meat mixture.


Monday, April 23, 2018

Weekend Round-Up

I love these last minute improvised baking hacks video- such creative ideas when you don't have the right size pan on hand. The best one is the improvised bundt pan. 
https://www.facebook.com/buzzfeednifty/videos/vb.1679616822293043/2052711801650208/?type=2&theater ALERT
 Hope you  have been squirreling away poems for 

Keep A Poem in Your Pocket Day April 26th
The idea is simple: select a poem you love, carry it with you, then share it with co-workers, family, and friends.

The Academy of American Poets, which launched National Poetry Month in 1996, took Poem in Your Pocket to all fifty United States in 2008, encouraging individuals across the country to join in and “channel their inner bard.” There are many creative ways to share poems on this poetry day.
In Your School
Post pocket-sized verses around your school. Encourage students to write new poetry.
In Your Community
Within your community distribute bookmarks with your favorite lines of poetry or pocket sized verses. 

Create chalk poems outside on the sidewalk
On Social Media
Post lines from your favorite poem on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr account.
Home
Look up some of your favorite poets and enjoy their  poetic verses.

Remember: Poetry is best when shared, and Poem in Your Pocket Day is the perfect time to share!
Here's one to get you started
 
Charred Broccolini with Grapes, Cashews and Brussels Sprouts Leaves
Cook's Notes: Broccolini
Compared to the somewhat bitter flavor of regular broccoli, the taste of broccolini is more mild, with a sweet, earthy taste. While it can be eaten raw broccolini tastes best when cooked  sautéed, steamed, roasted or grilled.
Health Benefits: Broccolini is not only generally agreed to be sweeter in taste than your regular broccoli, it's also a healthy option. A good source of vitamin A folate, iron and potassium and an excellent source of vitamin C that provides 35 calories per 3 oz. serving, which is around 5 to 6 stalks.
Recipe makes two large servings.  Add a  drizzle of Ken's Steak House Lite Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette Dressing to the salad and you have a yummy healthy start to your week.
Salad Ingredients: 
  • A bag of Shaved Brussels Sprouts leaves. You will need 2 cups. 

  • 8 broccolini stalks. trim 2 inches off the stalks. 
  • 2 TB. olive oil, divided 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 cup combinations mini red and yellow peppers
  • dash of red pepper flakes  
  • 1-1./ cups red grapes, halved
  • Lemon squeeze (1/2 lemon) 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup toasted cashews  
Directions:
  • Heat 1 TB. olive oil in a large non stick fry pan. 
  • Stir fry shaved Brussels sprouts leaves with half of the minced garlic until crisp about 2 minutes. 
  • Places crisp Brussels sprout leaves on a paper towel lined plate. 
  • Heat rest of oil, add broccolini with rest of garlic, peppers and red pepper flakes. Stir until charred about 2 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice over broccolini mixture. Add to paper towel lined plate. 
  • To serve place salad ingredients in a bowl or spread out on a small tray. Mix in grapes and cashews. Drizzle with dressing. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Earth Day




Today is Earth Day. It was first observed in 1970, but its roots go back to the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring. 
This book exposed the effects of pesticides and other chemical pollutants on the environment. Earth Day became a secular holiday in 1970. According to Earth Day Network, Earth Day is celebrated by a billion people making it the world's largest secular holiday.
Earth Day gives us the opportunity to think about how we can better take care of our home planet.  Earth Day is now a global event each year, and we believe that more than 1 billion people in 192 countries now take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world.

It is a day of political action and civic participation. People march, sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, plant trees, clean up their towns and roads. Corporations and governments use it to make pledges and announce sustainability measures. Faith leaders, including Pope Francis, connect Earth Day with protecting God’s greatest creations, humans, biodiversity and the planet that we all live on.

Earth Day Network, the organization that leads Earth Day worldwide, announced that Earth Day 2018 will focus on mobilizing the world to End Plastic Pollution, including creating support for a global effort to eliminate single-use plastics along with global regulation for the disposal of plastics. EDN will educate millions of people about the health and other risks associated with the use and disposal of plastics, including pollution of our oceans, water, and wildlife, and about the growing body of evidence that decomposing plastics are creating serious global problems.

End Plastic Pollution campaign includes four major components:

  • Leading a grassroots movement to support the adoption of a global framework to regulate plastic pollution.
  • Educating, mobilizing and activating citizens across the globe to demand that governments and corporations control and clean up plastic pollution.
  • Educating people worldwide to take personal responsibility for plastic pollution by choosing to reject, reduce, reuse and recycle plastics.
  • Promoting local government regulatory and other efforts to tackle plastic pollution.
Chief Seattle
Chief Seattle's speech, according to pioneer Dr. Henry Stevens, was given on the occasion of an 1854 visit to the Seattle region by Issac Stevens who was the governor and Commissioner of Indian Affairs of the Washington Territory. Today Seattle's significant words about taking care of Mother Earth still carry great importance. There are several versions of the speech's text since it had to be translated from one language to another before being translated in English. Here are some familiar words from the last part of the speech.

"Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

"This we know the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

"One thing we know our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

"Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted by talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

"When the last Red Man has vanished with his wilderness, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirits of my people left?

"We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother's heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children and love it, as God loves us all.

"As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you. One thing we know there is only one God. No man, be he Red Man or White Man, can be apart. We are brothers after all."


Broccolini Grape Salad with Cashews
Blueberry Lemon Bars
Asian Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing 
Taco Tortellini Skillet Meal 

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Cowboy President


“It is better to be an original than an imitation.” 
Theodore Roosevelt 

Being a cowboy crazy kid growing up it’s no surprise Michael F. Blake, author of “The Cowboy President: The American West And The Making of Theodore Roosevelt” found a kindred spirit in Theodore Roosevelt with his love of Western life. It is evident throughout the book Blake admires Roosevelt for his determined efforts to protect the country’s wildlife and land for the future and his ability to speak the truth, even when it is not the popular thing to do.

The bibliography for this book is extensive with a most impressive list. Blake has read books, scoured magazine articles, newspaper accounts, Internet articles, manuscripts, documentaries and interviews to give the readers a fresh perspective and insight into a man whose life has been told many times over. Blake’s extensive research included personal diaries, which helped him create an informative description of the people Roosevelt encountered and the land out West. The preface to this book is one of the most well executed ones I have ever read. It encapsulates in just a few pages the charismatic, magnetic, principled, egotistical, romanticized and funny person Roosevelt was.

Blake is successful creating a book that gives a vivid picture of how Roosevelt found solace in the vastness of the Badlands, how the land challenged him to live relying on his own inner strength and skills with help from a few friends, how the land eventually restored him from a major personal life crisis and how the west shaped Roosevelt his policies, and eventually his presidency.


TR North Dakota with his beloved mount, Manitou 1885
Initials TR are carved into the cantle of the saddle

As Blake began his research he followed the example set by Louis L’Amour, a popular western writer. L’Amour believed if you are going to write about a place you need to see it and experience it personally not just rely on notes made from other books and material. Over the three year time period it took Blake to complete the novel he made two to four  trips a year to the Badlands area, There he explored the land on foot and on horseback researching and imagining every aspect relating to TR’s days in the Dakotas. Like Roosevelt Blake has also driven cattle, crossed rivers on horseback and spent days in the saddle giving him a renewed perspective as he experienced the land just as Roosevelt had. His time spent in the Dakotas helped Blake write an intimate portrayal of a man who found his heart and strength in the West. 

The book traces Roosevelt’s years in the Badlands with his adventures as a big game hunter, a rancher, frontiersman, cowboy and even a pursuer of outlaws. It was here he learned first hand the importance of conservation. The majority of the book chronicles the west period of his life. The last half on the book extends Blake’s analysis into his presidency years showing how his passion for the west and needed conservation measures shaped his politics and eventually presidency.

Blake hopes readers will see that Roosevelt’s time spent in the American West transformed him physically and emotionally. Blake’s’ carefully crafted sentences engage the reader into a mesmerizing saga of Roosevelt’s life. With crisp, straightforward and detailed sentences the reader gets a window view of a western landscape with life as a rancher and Blake’s writing seamlessly brings the reader back full circle to city life with Roosevelt's family life and the political arena.


Mt. Rushmore
In his lifetime Roosevelt authored thirty-seven books, hundreds of magazine articles and editorials. As president, he preserved over 230 million acres of unspoiled land for the American public, established 51 bird sanctuaries, 18 national monuments, 6 National Parks, and created or expanded 150 National Forests. As Roosevelt witnessed game life not being as plentiful as he once believed he had the foresight to see there was a need for strong laws to protect the wildlife and the land.
“The Cowboy President” is informative and expertly written, meticulously documented book, which includes lots of photographs from Roosevelt’s time out West that perhaps many have never seen. Besides owning a personal copy of "The Cowboy President" it’s a great resource that should be accessible for high school and college history classes.

Blake’s stellar resume includes books: "Code of Honor: The Making of High Noon, Shane and the Searchers." These books are recognized as informative works relating to the Western genre.  Besides being an author Michael F. Blake, a two-time Emmy-winning makeup artist, has worked in the film industry for sixty years. In 2017, Michael received the Stirrup Award from Western Writers of America for his article on the making of John Ford’s "The Searchers."


I met a real cowboy at the Western Writers' Booth,  Michael Blake. He was at the Tucson Book Festival in March. He generously gave me his new book and provided me with additional pieces of information for this review. I used Michael's favorite Theodore Roosevelt quote in the beginning.

Check out Michael Blake’s website. http://www.michaelfblake.com/to learn more about the author, his upcoming events, blog, a Q and A section and previously published books. 


Blake is committed to making Theodore Roosevelt a relevant figure in today’s world with his lively presentation where he relates stories about Theodore's time in the west and how it influenced him. He has designed it so it can be as long as 45 minutes or as short as 15 minutes. Contact information is available on his website. 

Cinnamon Apple Muffins

GET TO KNOW YOUR APPLES Pink Lady , great balance of sweet and tart. Granny Smith , maybe the most popular baking apple. A little more tart ...