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Review: The Mineral Book by David McQueen

The Mineral Book by David McQueen Review

Special thanks to New Leaf Publishing for providing a review copy of this book.

Munchkin loves science. Her favorite subjects are biology and geology as they are the basis for her paleontology studies. She was rather excited when The Mineral Book (affiliate link) arrived in the mail. In fact, it quickly disappeared as she decided that she had first dibs on reading the new book. It did not disappoint.

Like other books in the newly revamped Wonders of Creation series, The Mineral Book features 3 different skill levels. It starts with introductory material on level one, expands into more detail in level 2, and sparks a real-life passion for mineral collecting in level 3. With each step up in levels readers are given more in-depth knowledge, vocabulary, and hands-on activities geared towards the increased understanding that comes with deeper study into the topic. All levels are based on a biblical, scientific viewpoint.

Each chapter highlights a new mineral while digging into different aspects of minerals as a whole. Topics covered include:

  • Where do we find minerals?
  • What is a mineral?
  • How do I identify a mineral?
  • Discovering minerals in the Bible.
  • A world of valuable minerals.
  • Minerals and creation science.
  • Minerals and the lordship of Jesus.
  • Building a mineral collection.

Some of the minerals covered in the chapter mineral focus include: salt, amethyst, biotite mica, jasper, diamond, stibnite, and gold. These particular minerals aren’t the only minerals covered, but they are covered in-depth during the level-two introduction. This introduction includes its name, chemical formula, crystal system, hardness, luster, streak, where it is found, what it is used for, an a biblical passage that relates to the mineral. These are not the only minerals covered in the book. In fact, the book includes a mineral identification guide at the back of the book with beautiful pictures as well as the periodic table of elements.

There is a good chance that if you have a child who is interested in geology, they may want to start their own mineral collection. Chapter 8 is a guide to starting that mineral collection. It details what is needed to get started collecting minerals.  It even gives an alternative to physical mineral collecting – a photo mineral collection.

The Mineral Book is another excellent book in the Wonders of Creation series.

The Mineral BookBook Description:

The Mineral Book is a part of the best-selling Wonders of Creation Series! It has been developed for multi-level teaching, with special color-coding on three skill levels. This educational resource is filled with full-color pictures and illustrations, and can be used in the classroom, for independent study, or homeschool settings.

Salt, one vital mineral, helps maintain the fluid in our blood cells and is used to transmit information in our nerves and muscles. Also, Jesus told his followers that we are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13), something thus needed for health and flavor. Here is a God-honoring book that reveals the first mention of minerals in the Bible, symbolic usages, their current values in culture and society, and their mention in heaven.

David McQueenAbout the Author:

David R. McQueen was trained in mineralogy at the University of Tennessee (BA in geology) and at the University of Michigan (MS in geology). McQueen taught college geology at George Mason University, Virginia State University, East Tennessee State University, and the Institute for Creation Research’s Graduate School.

Book Details:

  • Series: Wonders of Creation
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Master Books (December 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0890518025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0890518021
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Retail Price: $16.99
  • Electronic version also available

Moms of Master Books Disclosure Statement

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Homemade Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt Cups

Homemade Yogurt

It took some time, but I finally have a method of yogurt making that produces consistent results for me. I’ve decided that making plain yogurt seems to produce the best yogurt, so we just sweeten (if desired) when we eat it. From the basic yogurt, I can then strain it to make greek yogurt as well as yogurt cheese.

I like to make my yogurt 2 quarts at a time as that is roughly a week’s worth of yogurt for us. Because it’s easy to make, you can easily adjust how much you make at a time. I personally like to use my food dehydrator for yogurt making because it’s an easy way to control the temperature. Generally speaking, you want to keep the temperature of the yogurt between 70 and 78 degrees.

You use 1 Tbsp. of yogurt starter per cup of milk. For my yogurt, I use whole milk as well as a whole yogurt starter. I’ve used both a dried starter from Cultures for Health as well as a yogurt starter from the store. With the store bought, I use a plain whole milk yogurt that has live cultures. Once you have your first batch of good yogurt, you just reserve some of that new yogurt to use as a starter for the new batch.

Since I use the quart jars to make my yogurt, I put 4 cups of milk and 4 Tbsp. of yogurt starter in my canning jar. I place a paper towel over the jar and secure it with a canning lid. After that, the jars are placed in the dehydrator for 12-18 hours until the yogurt sets. Once it has set up, it needs to rest in the fridge for roughly 6 hours prior to being used. If I find that the yogurt is a little thinner than I like or if I want more of a greek yogurt consistency, I will strain some of the whey off the yogurt using cheesecloth or a nutbag. (Don’t toss the whey is it is wonderful to use in baked goods!)

Homemade Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt

Because D really enjoys fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt cups, I have started to make my own using organic frozen fruit and the homemade yogurt. I use 6 oz. (half pint) canning jars for my yogurt cups which work great for him. Each jar gets 2 to 3 Tbsp. of the fruit which is topped by the plain yogurt. Before D eats his yogurt, he generally puts a little honey on top to add some extra sweetness. If your fruit doesn’t have a lot of juice or it’s a little tart, you may want to mix in some sugar, maple syrup, or honey to create a sweeter fruit with juice.

Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Homemade Yogurt

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. yogurt starter
  • 1 Cup whole milk

Directions:

  1. Stir 1 Tbsp. of yogurt culture into 1 cup of milk. (If you’re making a larger batch, just use 1 Tbsp. of starter per 1 cup of milk.) Put mixture in a jar.
  2. Cover the jar with a paper towel and secure in place. (You can use a canning ring if using a canning jar or just a rubber band.)
  3. Place in the dehydrator or in another location where the temperature will be consistently between 70 to 78 degrees F. It needs to remain undisturbed for 12 to 18 hours. You’ll know the yogurt is set when you tip the jar and the yogurt moves as one mass away from the side of the jar.
  4. Place in the fridge for at least 6 hours to stop the culturing process.
  5. When you use the yogurt, make sure you set aside enough yogurt starter for your next batch. To keep the starter healthy, you should make yogurt at least once every 7 days.

Fruit-on-the-Bottom Option

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbsp. of fruit per jar
  • Sweetener (if desired)
  • Homemade yogurt

Directions:

  1. If your fruit has plenty of juice and/or you don’t want added sweetener, you can skip this step. Place fruit in a bowl and add sweetener to your desired sweetness level. Allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour before using to allow for a beautiful juice to be made.
  2. Spoon 2-3 Tbsp. of the fruit into the jar and top with yogurt.
  3. Store fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt in the refrigerator and use within a week.

 

Homemade Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt Cups
 
Create healthy, delicious cups of fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt using homemade yogurt and fresh/frozen fruit.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Dairy
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp yogurt starter
  • 1 Cup whole milk
Instructions
  1. Stir 1 Tbsp. of yogurt culture into 1 cup of milk. (If you're making a larger batch, just use 1 Tbsp. of starter per 1 cup of milk.) Put mixture in a jar.
  2. Cover the jar with a paper towel and secure in place. (You can use a canning ring if using a canning jar or just a rubber band.)
  3. Place in the dehydrator or in another location where the temperature will be consistently between 70 to 78 degrees F. It needs to remain undisturbed for 12 to 18 hours. You'll know the yogurt is set when you tip the jar and the yogurt moves as one mass away from the side of the jar.
  4. Place in the fridge for at least 6 hours to stop the culturing process.
  5. When you use the yogurt, make sure you set aside enough yogurt starter for your next batch. To keep the starter healthy, you should make yogurt at least once every 7 days.
Notes
Fruit-on-the-Bottom Option

Ingredients:

2-3 Tbsp. of fruit per jar
Sweetener (if desired)
Homemade yogurt

Directions:

If your fruit has plenty of juice and/or you don't want added sweetener, you can skip this step. Place fruit in a bowl and add sweetener to your desired sweetness level. Allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour before using to allow for a beautiful juice to be made. Spoon 2-3 Tbsp. of the fruit into the jar and top with yogurt. Store fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt in the refrigerator and use within a week.

 

 

 

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Review: Bread Revolution by Peter Reinhart

Bread Revolution by Peter Reinhart Book Review

Special thanks to Blogging for Books for providing a review copy of this book.

One of my favorite things about this book is the scientific approach to baking. It goes into techniques, baking theories, tools, and ingredients before diving into the art of working with a sour dough starter and sprouted grain flours. I love reading all the technical stuff when it comes to baking, so this aspect of the book was right up my alley.

Before I go much further, I have to point out that the font in this book is really small for a cookbook. When looking at a cookbook, I want to be able to easily read it at a glance, but that’s not the case with this cookbook. I’m not sure why the publishers went with this particular font/font size, but in my opinion, it was a poor choice. That being said the paper weight is wonderful, and the images are beautiful.

My family is gluten free, and I enjoy using ancient grains in my baking. I’m not a novice when it comes to baking, and I have a lot of ancient grain flours in my pantry. I was thinking that I would be sprouting my own grains for the gluten free recipes, but Reinhart expects you to purchase sprouted grain flours. Bummer. Given that we’re gluten free, I’m familiar with many different flours, but there were some flours in the gluten free recipes that were even unique for the gluten free crown – ie: grape flour.

There are 8 gluten-free recipes in this book:

  1. Gluten-Free Sprouted Flour Pizza Dough
  2. Gluten-Free “Do No Harm” Sprouted Grain Bread
  3. Gluten-Free Sprouted Grain Crackers
  4. Gluten-Free Sprouted Corn Bread with Teff
  5. Gluten-Free Many-Seed Toasting Bread
  6. Gluten-Free Holiday Cookies
  7. Gluten-Free Holiday Biscotti
  8. Gluten-Free Focaccia

The recipes in this book are fairly complex and involved, so I can’t say that I would recommend the book for the novice baker. I also wouldn’t recommend this book for someone who is strictly gluten free as it just doesn’t have enough to offer for the gluten-free crowd. The ingredients tend to be even more pricey that regular gluten-free flours.

If you’re looking to expand your break-making skills and want to try out new techniques and flours, this may be the book for you. Be prepared to spend some money and time finding the ingredients needed for many of the recipes.

Bread Revolution by Peter ReinhartBook Description:

Renowned baking author and instructor Peter Reinhart has always been on the forefront of the bread movement—from his seminal work, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, to today. In Bread Revolution, he explores the cutting-edge developments in bread baking, with fifty recipes and formulas that use sprouted flours, whole and ancient grains, nut and seed flours, alternative flours (such as teff and grape skin), and allergy-friendly and gluten-free approaches.

A new generation of bakers and millers are developing innovative flours and baking techniques that are designed to extract the grain’s full flavor potential—what Reinhart calls “the baker’s mission.” In this lushly photographed primer, Reinhart draws inspiration from these groundbreaking methods to create master recipes and formulas any home baker can follow, including Sprouted Sandwich Rye Bread, Gluten-Free Many-Seed Toasting Bread, and Sprouted Wheat Croissants.

In many instances, such as with sprouted flours, preferments aren’t necessary because so much of the flavor development occurs during the sprouting phase. For grains that benefit from soakers, bigas, and sourdough starters, Reinhart provides the precise guidance that has made him such a trusted expert in the field.

Advanced bakers will relish Reinhart’s inventive techniques and exacting scientific explanations, while beginning bakers will rejoice in his demystification of ingredients and methods—and all will come away thrilled by bread’s new frontier.

Peter ReinhartAbout the Author:

PETER REINHART, the author of eight books on bread and baking, including three James Beard Award winners, is a baking instructor and faculty member at Johnson and Wales University.

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (October 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607746514
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607746515
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1 x 10.3 inches
  • Retail Price: $30.00
  • Electronic Versions also available

Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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Wordless Wednesday: Around the House

Digging for Ground Squirrels

Digging for Ground Squirrels

Dixie Enjoying the Warm Breeze

Dixie Enjoying the Warm Breeze

New Lehman's Catalog

New Lehman’s Catalog – Wish List Time!

Homemade Gluten Free Ancient Grain Sandwich Bread

Homemade Gluten Free Ancient Grain Sandwich Bread

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Review: You Have a Brain by Ben Carson, M.D.

You Have a Brain by Ben CarsonSpecial thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

You Have a Brain: A Teen’s Guide to Think Big (affiliate link) begins with the story of Dr. Ben Carson’s life. He went from being the “dumbest kid in the class” to being a renowned neurosurgeon, author, and more. His journey to knowledge began at an early age when his mom required him to read a certain number of books each week. While she didn’t have an education beyond elementary school school, she was smart enough to understand what her boys needed to succeed in life. She would ask her boys “Do you have a brain?” when she wanted them to think about their decisions.

I truly enjoy reading stories about people who beat the odds and make something of their lives no matter what hardships they need to overcome to be successful, and Dr. Carson’s life story did not disappoint. I had previously watched Gifted Hands, but to truly appreciate his story, you need to read it in his own words.

After sharing his life story, which is a large chunk of the book, Dr. Carson talks about how teens need to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. He wants teens to be able to set goals for themselves and then succeed at achieving those goals. He lays out a plan, and of course, that plan involves utilizing the brain that the Lord gave them. As a mother of a teen, I found this section to be really motivational for me as it gives me tools to help my teen succeed at her dreams.

Whether you’re a parent of a teen or you’re a teen, this book can help you lay down a solid strategy for success in life. His foundation is based upon using the brain that the Lord gave you. Honestly, it’s not a bad book for anyone to read no matter what stage of life they are in as we can all use a little help in realizing our goals/dreams in life.

Book Description:

Throughout his life, renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson has needed to overcome many obstacles: His father leaving the family; being considered stupid by his classmates in grade school; growing up in inner-city Detroit; and having a violent temper. But Dr. Carson didn’t let his circumstances control him, and instead discovered eight principles that helped shape his future.

In You Have a Brain: A Teen’s Guide to Think Big, Dr. Carson unpacks the eight important parts of Thinking Big—Talent, Honesty, Integrity, Niceness, Knowledge, Books, In-Depth learning, and God—and presents the stories of people who demonstrated those things in his life. By applying the idea of T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. to your life, and by looking at those around you as well, you too can overcome obstacles and work toward achieving your dreams.

About the Author:

Dr. Carson is an emeritus professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In 1984, he was named director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, a position he retired from in 2013. In 2008, he was named the inaugural recipient of a professorship in his name, the Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D., and Dr. Evelyn Spiro, R.N., Professor of Pediatric Neurosurgery. Also in 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the land. He was the keynote speaker for the President’s National Prayer Breakfasts in 1997 and 2013. Through his philanthropic foundation, the Carson Scholars Fund, he strives to maximize the intellectual potential of every child. An internationally renowned physician, Dr. Carson has authored over a hundred neurosurgical publications and has been awarded more than sixty honorary doctorate degrees and dozens of national merit citations. Dr. Carson has written six best-selling books, and his fifth book, America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, released in early 2012, made the New York Times Bestseller List. His sixth book, One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future, was released in 2014, and became a number one New York Times bestseller. He is a syndicated columnist and a highly sought-after, world-renowned inspirational and motivational speaker.

Gregg Lewis is an award-winning author and coauthor of more than fifty books, including Gifted Hands, The Ben Carson Story, Take the Risk and The Big Picture.

Deborah Shaw Lewis has authored or coauthored more than a dozen books, including Gifted Hands, The Ben Carson Story, has taught school, does professional storytelling, speaks on motherhood and family issues, and holds a master’s degree in early childhood development. She and Gregg are the parents of five children.

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (February 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310745993
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310745990
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.7 inches
  • Retail Price: $18.99
  • Electronic Version also available

I review for BookLook Bloggers

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