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Peach Fruit Leather

Peach Fruit Leather

We had several pounds of local peaches on hand, and they were starting to get a little too ripe for most purposes. Of course, this makes them perfect for making peach fruit leather.

I cleaned them up, cut them up, and placed them in the blender to create peach puree. Because these peaches were deliciously sweet, I didn’t add any sweetener.

While I need to get a little more consistent with the thickness of the puree on the drying sheets, they turned out well. Even the ones that were a little too crisp made yummy fruit leather sheets. (They wouldn’t roll.)

I rolled them up and placed them in ziploc baggies for storage. It’s nice knowing that these fruit leathers are made from organic, local peaches without any additives. Yum!

Peach Fruit Leather

Process:

  1. Clean the peaches and remove any spoiled parts. Cut the peach in halves or quarters and remove the pit. I left the skin on, but you could remove the skin if desired.
  2. Place the slices of peach in a high powered blender (I use a Blendtec.) or food processor. Add just enough water (if needed) to allow the blender to process the peaches. Blend until smooth.
  3. If your peaches are not sweet, you can add some honey at this point. Keep in mind that the fruit leather will be sweeter than the puree, so don’t over sweeten.
  4. Spread the puree 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch think on a lined dehydrator tray sheet. Make edges a little thicker than the middle as they will dry faster.
  5. Continue this process until you have used up all of your fruit or your dehydrator is full.
  6. Dry at 145 degrees F for 2 hours.
  7. Decrease heat to 115 degrees F for 6 to 12 hours until center is no longer wet and edges peal up easily.
  8. Tear/cut into sheets or strips to create rolls.
  9. Store in an airtight container.
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Book Review: The Case for Christ Student Edition by Lee Strobel

The Case for Christ Student Edition by Lee StrobelSpecial thanks to Zondervan for sending a review copy of this book.

The Case for Christ Student Edition Book Description:

Based on his award-winning bestseller The Case for Christ, journalist Lee Strobel, along with Jane Vogel, presents his journey from skepticism to faith, written for students.

There’s historical proof Jesus walked this earth, but was he really who he claimed to be? Or are all the stories in the Bible just that-stories? In The Case for Christ Student Edition, teens will join former investigative journalist Lee Stobel as he searches for objective answers, including those that brought him from skepticism to faith.

Lee StrobelAbout the Author:

Lee Strobel (www.LeeStrobel.com), with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School, was the award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune and a spiritual skeptic until 1981. His books include four Gold Medallion winners and the 2005 Christian Book of the Year (coauthored with Garry Poole). He and his wife live in Colorado.

Book Details:

Series: Case for … Series for Students
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; Student edition (June 24, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310745640
ISBN-13: 978-0310745648
Retail Price: $9.99
Electronic version also available

My Thoughts:

Lee Strobel left the faith during his teen years. Between his boredom at church and his newly found belief in evolution thanks to his school teacher, he didn’t really see a need for God. Later in life, a challenge from a friend started his search for evidence for Jesus. He decided to keep an open mind as he looked at the evidence and then make up his mind. This book follows him along on his journey. While his journey wasn’t as need and orderly as this book, it does give a glimpse into his thought process and the evidence he studied.

The evidence is presented – both for and against Christ – so you, the reader, can make up your own mind. Yes, he gives his opinion based upon what he found. As a journalist (at the time of writing), he had a skeptical outlook and needed the evidence to either prove or disprove Jesus. Was Jesus really God? Did He really die on the cross? Did He really rise again? These are some of the questions that are presented during Lee’s journey.

The Case for Christ Student Edition is a basic look into the deity of Christ, His life, His death, and His resurrection. It’s presented from a skeptic’s viewpoint. It encourages the reader to make the final decision for themselves. It’s not a real in-depth look at the evidence, but it isn’t dumbed down either. The charts create an easy-to-read side-by-side comparison of both sides of the evidence. The only thing missing is a list of resources for more in-depth study for the student.

BookSneeze Disclosure Statement

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Review: It’s Not Greek to Me with Todd Friel

It's Not Greek to Me DVD with Todd FrielSpecial thanks to New Leaf Publishing Group for providing a review copy.

About It’s Not Greek to Me DVD Curriculum:

A basic Greek primer to help you study your Bible more deeply and know God better in the process!

God chose the perfect time to fulfill His promise of the coming Messiah. This was a time when the Greek language was thriving, and it became the perfect vehicle to spread the gospel. Now you can explore the Biblical text in Koine Greek (or the common Greek of Jesus’ time) with this easy and fun-to-do, 10-lesson study!

Todd FrielAbout Todd Friel:

Todd Friel is a fun and engaging speaker with knack for making things like Greek and hermeneutics easy to understand. His presentations are filled with a mix of humor and a strong Biblical foundation. Todd is currently host of “Wretched Radio,” a daily syndicated talk radio program, as well as host of “Wretched TV.”

DVD Details:

  • Imprint: Master Books
  • Title: It’s Not Greek to Me
  • Subtitle: 10 Lessons in Greek
  • UPC Code: 713438102283
  • Author: Todd Friel
  • Binding: DVD Video
  • Duration (in Minutes): 150
  • Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group, Inc.
  • Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $19.99

Introduction to Biblical GreekOur Thoughts:

I had not planned on adding Greek to our studies, but I quickly changed my mind once we started watching It’s Not Greek to Me with Todd Friel. Todd’s zany personality paired with his fun teaching style leads to an entertaining way to start to learn the basics of Greek.

Todd immediately grabbed our attention and kept us laughing with his quirky sense of humor. He certainly is not your normal, dry Greek professor. His rendition of the ABC song featuring the Greek alphabet was quite amusing. While you won’t be getting into the nitty gritty of Greek, you will be able to read the Greek New Testament once you are done with the course.

I highly recommend adding in the Intro to Biblical Greek PLP (Parent Lesson Plan) from New Leaf Publishing to get the most from the dvd. The lessons, quizzes, and tests allow you to dig deeper into the information presented on the dvd. In other words, you’ll be practicing what is being taught on the dvd. We found that this was a necessary part to really understanding and digesting what was being taught by Todd.

If you’re looking for a fun way to start learning Greek, I recommend trying out It’s Not Greek to Me with Todd Friel. Want to hear what others thought of the program? Head over to read the other Moms of Master Books reviews.

Moms of Master Books Disclosure Statement

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Summer Squash Bake

Summer Squash Bake

Around here, the summer squash are in season, so they can be found everywhere – including our garden. Our CSA boxes have also been filled with loads of yummy squash goodness along with other delicious veggie and fruit delights. Our fridge was quickly filling up with summer squash, and I didn’t want any of it to go to waster. It was time to come up with a way to use a lot of it at once. While I have used the squash in pasta dishes in the past, I knew I wanted something different this time.

A few days earlier, I had made up a nice batch of fresh salsa using the tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, and herbs from one of our CSA boxes, so my mind starting thinking of ideas to incorporate the salsa and squash into a tasty meal for my family.

Summer Squash Bake

I sliced up several different varieties of summer squash and started layering them in a dish. A layer of squash seasoned with pepper topped with a layer of fresh spinach topped with some fresh salsa and then sprinkled with raw cheddar cheese. I kept this up until I had filled the baking dish. The final layer of cheese was generous as I love that bubbly, slightly brown cheese top on a baked dish. Mmmm….

Into the oven it went to bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes – until the cheese was gooey and slightly brown. The result? A very empty baking dish after the meal was over. Everyone had more than one helping that night, and I’ve already made it again. I like that it allows me to use what I squash I have on hand with nothing going to waste.

Summer Squash Bake

Summer Squash Bake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 Summer Squash (this will vary depending on squash size and baking dish size), sliced thin
  • 2 cups shredded raw cheddar cheese (more or less depending on cheese preference)
  • 2 cups fresh salsa
  • 1 cup washed and dried spinach
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place a single layer of squash in your baking dish. (If using more than one type of squash, alternate layers.)
  3. Season with pepper.
  4. Top with a layer of spinach.
  5. Cover with a light layer of salsa.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese.
  7. Repeat process until you reach the top of your baking dish and cover with a generous layer of cheese.
  8. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
  9. Allow to rest for 5 minutes and serve.
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Review: Writing Fiction in High School with Sharon Watson

Writing Fiction in High School with Sharon Watson

Special thanks to Sharon Watson for providing a review copy of this curriculum.

About Writing Fiction (in High School) with Sharon Watson:

Writing Fiction (in High School) is a year long fiction writing course designed for independent learners, co-ops, and classrooms. Students who have written the manuscript of a short story or novel or who are writing one have the option of completing the additional manuscript tract. All students will be exposed to a variety of short stories, novels, and movies. The main book used with this curriculum is The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick.

About the Author:

Sharon Watson, author of Apologia Press’s popular middle school writing curriculum JUMP IN, loves finding ways to make difficult writing tasks easy to understand and accomplish. She believes it is time for Christians to influence the culture through meaningful and entertaining fiction.

Sharon homeschooled her children for 18 years and has taught high school fiction writing, composition, and literature to local homeschool students and in all-day workshops. She has been a Christian since her youth; her textbooks reflect this worldview. She lives in Indiana with her husband, whom she met in college in upstate New York. They have three grown children and two grandchildren.

Curriculum Details:

  • Writing Fiction (in High School): Bringing Your Stories to Life
    • Publication Date: Jul 18 2011
    • ISBN/EAN13: 1463582080 / 9781463582081
    • Page Count: 300
    • Binding Type: US Trade Paper
    • Trim Size: 8.5″ x 11″
    • Language: English
    • $25.05
  • Writing Fiction (in High School) Teacher’s Guide
    • Publication Date: Jul 18 2011
    • ISBN/EAN13: 1463582285 / 9781463582289
    • Page Count: 84
    • Binding Type: US Trade Paper
    • Trim Size: 8.5″ x 11″
    • Language: English
    • $9.95
  • The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick
    • Paperback: 240 pages
    • Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (June 1, 2005)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0439771331
    • ISBN-13: 978-0439771337
    • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
    • $6.99
    • Electronic version available

Writing Fiction in High School with Sharon WatsonOur Thoughts:

The Teacher’s Guide is a valuable resource for this writing curriculum. It contains a detailed list of books, short stories, and media needed for the curriculum broken down by chapter. It also has a discussion guide with an answer key that contains talking points for the teacher. It contains assignments for both the regular student track as well as the manuscript track. Everything is presented in a logical, sequential manner.

The student text is broken down into 13 chapters and roughly 100 lessons. It covers:

  1. Facts about Fiction
  2. Point of View
  3. Fairy Tales
  4. Characters and Characterization
  5. Conflict
  6. Dialogue
  7. Description
  8. Words, Words, Words
  9. Theme
  10. Plot
  11. Scenes
  12. Beginnings and Endings
  13. Getting Published

The student text is presented sequentially from starting to write to developing the story and characters to polishing the story to getting it published. The lessons run together a bit with just a little statement that says “end of lesson”;  a fact that my daughter didn’t really like as she would have preferred a definite separation between lessons which clearly showed the beginning of the lessons. Another negative, for us, is the fact that this curriculum is set up to be used with a writer’s group or in a classroom, so it was rather difficult to fully utilize the curriculum as a independent student even though the curriculum description stated this was possible.

I admit that I personally had some concerns with some of the resources that were utilized with this curriculum (such as movies rated PG-13), so we chose not to use those particular resources. I chose to use ones that we found more suitable. Each family will have their own ideas on what is and what is not suitable for their teen to watch/read as part of this course. The main resource (which can be purchased through Amazon) is The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick. It is a postapocalyptic story that contains violence, slang, and a strong dependence on electronic mind probes as a form of escape (like drugs). While it’s an interesting story that makes you think and has some intriguing characters, it’s not a book I would have chosen as the key resource for a high school writing curriculum.

The aspect of the curriculum that intrigued Munchkin was the manuscript track since she is working on her second book. Some of the information given was helpful, but other parts were contrary to what another mentor has told her. Obviously, there will be differing opinions on writing, so this is to be expected. Chapter 13 – Getting Published was probably Munchkin’s favorite chapter in the curriculum as it contained a great deal of good, practical information on the publication process including a query letter example. (Note: We have not gone through this entire curriculum as it’s a year long course. We went through a few chapters and then looked at the final chapter, so our opinions are based upon what we have used thus far in the curriculum.)

You can download a sample of the curriculum which includes the table of contents. While this isn’t the right fit for our family, it is a strong, solid curriculum that I’m sure will be beneficial to many families. You can read what others on the Home & School Mosaics review team had to say about the writing curriculum line from Sharon Watson.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this curriculum as part of the review team at Home & School Mosaics to help facilitate the writing of a frank and honest review. A positive review is not expected nor guaranteed. All opinions are my own.

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