Thursday, May 17, 2012

Children's Free Ebook Review- The Imaginary Friend


by Kelly Hashway

Kindle Edition, 9 pages
Published September 3, 2011
by Kelly Hashway
ASIN: B005L4Z9OW
Book Source: Bought
5 stars









Book Description:
     Samantha and Tracy have been best friends since kindergarten, but now that Tracy has gotten over her shyness and made new friends, Samantha is feeling left out. This is nothing compared to how she feels when a strange girl named Jessica tells Samantha that she’s actually an imaginary friend. Tracy has outgrown Samantha, and it’s time for Samantha to help another child who needs her. But will Samantha be able to move on and fulfill her duty as an imaginary friend?

Mary's Review:
      Samantha is Tracy's best friend. They have been friends since kindergarten. Now Tracy doesn't seem to see Samantha anymore-doesn't have as much time for her since she has made new friends. Did she say or do something wrong?
     Samantha soon learns that she is Tracy's imaginary friend. An imaginary friend that made her see the good in herself so that she could reach out to others and make friends. Now that Tracy has learned confidence in herself and has the ability to make new friends, she no longer needs Samantha.
Now Samantha needs to learn how to let go of Tracy so that she can become an imaginary friend to another child who needs her.
     This book is a good source for teaching children about change and growth, getting over shyness, learning confidence, and reaching out to others.
     I recommend this book for ages 4-10.

About the Author:
     Kelly Hashway writes books and short stories for children through young adults. She is the author of the picture books, MAY THE BEST DOG WIN, THE PURRFECT PUPPY, and SANTA BUNNY. Kelly's full-length middle grade and young adult fiction is represented by Lauren Hammond of ADA Management. Her debut YA, TOUCH OF DEATH, releases January 2013 through Spencer Hill Press with the sequel, STALKED BY DEATH, releasing July 2013. Her debut MG, CURSE OF THE GRANVILLE FORTUNE releases January 2014 through Month9Books.

For more information about Kelly and her published works, please visit her website at http://www.kellyhashway.com/ and her blog at http://www.kellyhashway.blogspot.com/.

" see full review at Little Red Reads"  http://littleredreads.blogspot.com/2012/03/childrens-book-review

Read it now for Free

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Children's Book Review- Cougar Cub Tales: The Sneezy Wheezy Day

by Jean Cramer

 








Kindle Edition, 37 pages
Published December 2011
by B & F Publishing, 1st Edition
ASIN: B006T5JLK0
Book Source: Bought
4 stars

Book Overview:
Brother Cougar Cub isn't feeling well. The siblings decide to head to the forest to ask their well-intentioned friends for help with treatments. Although their friend's ideas are wonderful and brilliant, it is a sister's love that is the final remedy for the ailing cub! Written in rhyme and illustrated with brilliant watercolor, it is the third book in the award winnings series, Cougar Cub Tales.

Mary's Review:
      Poor Brother cougar suddenly doesn't feel well. Sister cougar is worried about her brother so she begins to try and find ways to help him feel better. She takes him to see White Owl, Royal King Stag, The Canadian Goose, Red Fox just to name a few and each with their own remedy or cure. Poor Brother cougar only gets worse. Suddenly Sister cougar knows what will really help her brother. She takes him home, wraps him in his favorite blanky and makes him a cup of tea.
She gives him a big hug and sits with him while he rests. When he wakes, he is better. He realizes it is because of his sister's love and care.
     Sister cougar gives her brother unconditional love and caring service to help her brother.
     Beautiful illustrations help to tell this rhyming story.
     I recommend this book for ages 4-8.

About The Author:
     Sharon Jean Cramer was born in Jamestown, New York in 1960. Sharon’s education includes a Master’s in Anesthesia Education from Gonzaga, with her minor area of study in fine arts at the University of Houston. She pulls heavily from her experiences in healthcare to consider subject material for her children’s books.
She also pulls from very personal experience for The Sneezy Wheezy Day. Her twin sister struggled with childhood illness for many years. Sharon observed that the treatments, though helpful and therapeutic were not what was ultimately most significant. What mattered most to Vonnie was the family and friends around her, who supported and loved her.
     Sharon is surrounded by her own cubs. Her three sons all live in Spokane, and though grown, have opinions about the cougar cubs. Lost and Alone was actually written for her youngest son, Chase, when he was born. It is about his two older brothers, who were eight and ten years old at the time! Cole and Shad tangled on occasion so it was easy for Sharon to write about sibling rivalry and conflict resolution!
     Sage is Sharon’s granddaughter, loves the Cougar Cub Tales, and is a tough critic! She pits the cubs against Dora, Spongebob and of course the Disney princesses, but so far, the Cougar Cubs hold their own (and dad doesn’t bore so quickly over reading them over, and over, and over!)
     Sharon’s husband, Daryl, is a nurse anesthetist, and ‘personal organizer’ for Sharon. He is also chef, karaoke partner, best friend, and inspiration to the author. He is a good voice of reason, sometimes editor, and unlikely audience during studio recordings. (More than one take has occurred due to his enthusiastic presence!). If you see Sharon at a big event, say hello to Daryl as well. He is usually close by.

" see full review at Little Red Reads"  http://littleredreads.blogspot.com/2012/03/childrens-book-review

Flsongbyrd: Weekly Menu

Flsongbyrd: Weekly Menu: Menu May 14-May 20 14-Monday Pan Fried Talapia Potatoes, Green Beans and Ham 15-Tuesday  Mary's Casserole Brussel  Sprouts. 16-We...

Mother's Day


     Today was Mother's Day.  As I sat in the back of the chapel, I observed the different mother's with their children.
     There was warmth and love on their faces and love in their eyes as they gazed upon these precious children in their tender care, children sent to them from our Father above.
      I watched as one mother taught her child how to take the sacrament, while another's face glowed as she gently cradled her newborn in her arms.  Yet another quietly and patiently tried to calm her unhappy little one who had just bumped her head on the pew in front of her.  And who could not see their chests swell with pride, the love and tears and hugh smiles as their Primary child stood in front of the congregation to sing their sweet version of "Love is Spoken Here" to their mothers on this special day.

      My favorite was the mother who laughingly tried to crawl (kidding) under the pew to capture her fugitive 10 month old son who was fast making his escape to the back of the chapel via the "underpew railroad" and enjoying every minute of it.
      Life in Sacrament meeting is never filled with a dull moment when there are children.  I watched all these mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and young women as they interacted lovingly with these small children and my heart filled with so much love and the burning of the Spirit knowing that I am a mother one of the grandest callings of all.
     I love you mother and miss you.  Thank you for the example you always set for us; the example you continue to set every day even though you are gone.  I was truly blessed to have you in my life.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Children's Book Review- Marley's Big Adventure

Marley's Big Adventure
by John Grogan
Paperback, 32 pages
Published August 25, 2009
by HarperCollins
ISBN-10: 0061853836
ISBN-13: 978-0061853838
Book Source: Bought
5 stars

Book Overview:
When Marley's family gets angry at him, Marley runs away from home. Who knew one little dog could get into such big trouble? Will Marley's family find him?

There's Daddy who Marley wakes up to early.
Along with sister Cassie and Brother Louie.
Let's not forget there's Mommy to
For Marley to help come unglued
.
Marley gets into way to much
Until the family has had enough
And Marley finally gets barred
To the family's fenced in backyard.

Marley didn't like this very much
And knew that he was in double dutch
So he decided to run away
by digging a hole under the fence that day.

Mary's Review:
     See where Marley runs away to and how much his family misses and loves him. Marley learns not only about unconditional love from his family, but that others can be loving and kind. At the same time his owners learn how much they love Marley and that sometimes they need to be more patient, kind and understanding
     The illustrations are fun and colorful and tell the story well for those who cannot yet read.
     I recommend this book to ages 4 and up.

 
About the Author:
       John Grogan is the author of the #1 adult bestseller Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog, which inspired the bestselling middle-grade memoir Marley: A Dog Like No Other and the #1 bestselling picture book Bad Dog, Marley! He is also the author of the bestselling A Very Marley Christmas, Marley Goes to School, and Marley and the Kittens. John lives with his wife and three children and their new dogs, Gracie and Woodson, in the Pennsylvania countryside.

" see full review at Little Red Reads"  http://littleredreads.blogspot.com/2012/03/childrens-book-review



SMART SCHOOL TIME RECIPES:

The Breakfast, Snack, and Lunchbox Cookbook for Healthy Kids and Adults

by Alisa Marie Fleming
Kindle Edition, 334 pages
Published: August 31, 2010
by: Fleming Ink
ASIN: B0041KKLNQ
Book Source: Bought

5 Stars



Product Description from Amazon:
     This e-cookbook was created to encourage whole foods living for families, while offering ample alternatives to prepackaged meals and snacks.
     Within you will discover 125 healthy recipes and over 100 full color photos for quick breakfasts, on-the-go snacks, and portable lunch items. And of course, the recipes are kid-friendly (and adult-friendly!), easy, and delicious. The chapters include:
Morning Muffin Mania
Sensational Smoothies
Easy Freezin’ Waffles, Pancakes, and French Toast
More Smart Starts
Dips, Fillings, and Spreads
Soups and Stews
Salad-Style
More Lunchbox Love
Sweet Snackin’
Craving Cookies
Essential Extras

Mary's Review: 
     What a wonderful resource for everyone out there. Are you lactose intolerant, have allergies, vegetariain, diabetic, need to eat glutin free? This is the cookbook for you. "Smart School Time Recipes" is not only for children but has been designed to help the whole family institute healthier eating habits by choosing and eating healthier foods. There are great recipes using all natural foods...fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It is chocked full of delicious recipes by cooks who specialize in specific fields of health. How does Lowfat Double Chocolate Chip Muffins sound? What about Banana Gone Nuts Milkshake or Kat's Freezer Crepes. Do you like dips and salsas? Well there are recipes for that to. Soups, stews, salads, and of course let's not forget yummy desserts. All designed to fit your dietary needs. It also includes websites that you can go to for more information on health issues and recipes galore. This book will help you eat your way to a healthier life and family.
     I love this book and it truly fits into my family from our 18 month old granddaughter to the 64 year old grandpa. I recommend that everyone have this book in their home.  



About the Author:
      Alisa Fleming is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, the world's largest informational website on dairy-free living, with over 1 million visitors per year. She recently released the best-selling special diet book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living.
     Beyond Go Dairy Free, Alisa keeps a personal recipe blog at AlisaCooks.com, is a special diet freelance writer for several publications, and does "free-from" recipe development for natural food manufacturers. Her specialties extend to other dietary needs such as soy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan.

" see full review at Little Red Reads"  http://littleredreads.blogspot.com/2012/03/childrens-book-review

 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cougar Cub Tales: I'm Just Like You



by Jean Cramer

Kindle Edition, 40 pages
Published December 2010
by B & F Publishing
ASIN: B004HD5TV6
Book Source: Bought
4 stars

Book Overview:
Mom’s Choice Award winner COUGAR CUB TALES: I’m Just Like You (eBook) is about the continuing adventures of the cougar cubs as they encounter a creature very different from themselves. It deals with non-acceptance for physical difference or disability and the watercolors are a feast for the eyes as the text again communicates to the child in a lovely sing-song rhyme.

Mary's Review:
      Brother and sister cougar stumble across a creature who is different from them but claims to be a cougar just like them. They continue to point out his differences only for him to give them a reason why he is still a cougar like them but only different. They point out he has no tail, but he does. It is smaller. His ears too big-he can hear better; his fur spotted; his eyes just not right. Because he is different, he is not one of them.
     Brother and sister cougar quickly learn through their new and different friend that just because someone looks, acts, speaks, or has a disability doesn't mean they aren't one of them.
The colorful illustrations in this book are wonderful and delightful.
I recommend this book for ages 4-8


About The Author:
     Sharon Jean Cramer was born in Jamestown, New York in 1960. Sharon’s education includes a Master’s in Anesthesia Education from Gonzaga, with her minor area of study in fine arts at the University of Houston. She pulls heavily from her experiences in healthcare to consider subject material for her children’s books.
     She also pulls from very personal experience for The Sneezy Wheezy Day. Her twin sister struggled with childhood illness for many years. Sharon observed that the treatments, though helpful and therapeutic were not what was ultimately most significant. What mattered most to Vonnie was the family and friends around her, who supported and loved her.
     Sharon is surrounded by her own cubs. Her three sons all live in Spokane, and though grown, have opinions about the cougar cubs. Lost and Alone was actually written for her youngest son, Chase, when he was born. It is about his two older brothers, who were eight and ten years old at the time! Cole and Shad tangled on occasion so it was easy for Sharon to write about sibling rivalry and conflict resolution!
     Sage is Sharon’s granddaughter, loves the Cougar Cub Tales, and is a tough critic! She pits the cubs against Dora, Spongebob and of course the Disney princesses, but so far, the Cougar Cubs hold their own (and dad doesn’t bore so quickly over reading them over, and over, and over!)
     Sharon’s husband, Daryl, is a nurse anesthetist, and ‘personal organizer’ for Sharon. He is also chef, karaoke partner, best friend, and inspiration to the author. He is a good voice of reason, sometimes editor, and unlikely audience during studio recordings. (More than one take has occurred due to his enthusiastic presence!). If you see Sharon at a big event, say hello to Daryl as well. He is usually close by.

" see full review at Little Red Reads"  http://littleredreads.blogspot.com/2012/03/childrens-book-review


Read it now for FREE

Friday, May 4, 2012

Midnight Magic


by Nancy Di Fabbio

Paperback, 240 pages

Published: September 8, 2011

Publisher: iUniverse Publishing

ISBN-10: 1450291457

ISBN-13: 978-1450291453

Book Source: Author

5 Stars

Book Description: Fourteen-year-old Mattie is obsessed with horses. Thrilled to discover a primitive painting of a beautiful black horse hidden in the attic of her grandmother's home, it is not long before Mattie realizes the image of the painted horse seems to be coming to life. This is no ordinary work of art-this is a painting with a fascinating history that Mattie is about to unearth. One moonlit night, Mattie leaves the safety of her grandmother's home and ventures deep into the surrounding forest where she meets a wild horse who bears an uncanny resemblance to the one in her painting. Mattie and her mystery horse form a bond that she instinctively knows she cannot reveal to anyone. The mysterious spirit who inhabits the painting seems to gain strength as Mattie's bond with the wild horse deepens. But Mattie is uneasy as she wonders-and fears-if the two are somehow connected. Mattie soon realizes she should have heeded her grandmother's warnings to be careful what she wishes for in life-for it is one thing to hope her painted horse is real and quite another to discover he might be.

Mary's Review: Mattie is a young teenager with a low self-esteem. She allows others to push her around and refuses to fight back or stand up for herself. She is strong willed with a mind of her own and will do what she wants, when she wants. After being warned by her mother numerous times not to go on or in the water after dark, she does it anyway. She nearly drowns as a result and puts a friend in potential danger. Her mother decides to send her to live with her grandmother for the summer.

Her grandmother lives on a little farm where she puts Mattie to work. Mattie also gets a job at a nearby stable which overjoys Mattie as she has an obsession and love for horses.While living with her grandmother, Mattie makes a bedroom in the attic and discovers a mysterious, lifelike painting of a horse that her grandmother has bad feelings about, but gives it to Mattie anyway.

Mattie's discovery brings with it deceit, evil and mistrust. Because of Mattie's obsession she soon grows as she learns how the consequences of her actions impact on the lives of those around her; how trust has to be earned; that love is unconditional; about patience and tolerance for others, what true friendship really is, goals and succeeding. Mattie spends a summer learning to grow up

becoming a young woman and learning to be careful what she wished for.

This book is a wonderful blend of mystery/thriller that I recommend for ages 9 and above.

Content: No warnings, clean.





About the Author: Nancy Di Fabbio owns five horses who star in her children's column published regularly in two local newspapers. She is the author of Quest for the Dress, and her third book, Saddle Up-And Live Your Dream! is scheduled for release in 2012. Nancy lives in rural Connecticut with her family and her horses.

After closing her custom bridal business, Nancy began a new career as a writer. Her first book, Quest for the Dress: Finding Your Dream Gown Without Losing Your Sanity, Friends or Groom (April 2011), is an invaluable guide for every bride searching for her perfect gown.

Although she loves all of her horses, her Morgan, Trinity, holds a special place in her heart. Fascinated with this unique and amazing breed, Nancy has written her first novel, Midnight Magic - Be Careful What You Wish For!. This spooky thriller is appropriate for readers as young as 9, but the story is so intriguing, they might have to wrestle it away from their older siblings and parents.

Nancy also writes a children's column for a few local papers based on the exploits of her herd. Each episode of "Tales from the NEIGH-borhood" features interesting information about horses, a story, and a bit of advice from the horse that young readers can apply to their own lives.

Saddle Up! - And Live Your Dream is a comprehensive how-to for the budding equestrian which will soon be released. She is currently working on the book version of Tales from the NEIGH-borhood.

You can visit her website to sample a few of her tales and read her blogs.

Read it now for 3.99



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Children's Ebook Review - Lydia's Fairy Wish

Lydia's Fairy Wish
by Linda Watts
Kindle eBook, 34 pages
Published March 10, 2012
by Linda Watts
ASIN: B007J931EM
Book Source: Bought
5 stars

Book Overview: After her mother dies, Lydia must go live with Aunt Beth, Uncle Mick and her three awful cousins on a farm in the middle of nowhere where magic never happens. But all that is changed by a thunderstorm. After lightning strikes the old oak tree in the pasture, Lydia finds a dazed little fairy in the soggy leaves and twigs underneath the tree. When the awful cousins get their hands on Lydia’s fairy, it’s up to her to figure out a way to send it back to Fairyland. Everyone knows that helping a fairy brings good luck. And Lydia’s luck is about to change!

Mary's Review: What a wonderful story! Even if I am 60, it left me wishing there was more.
Sweet Lydia learns that miracles do happen. She learns that family love is unconditional. That you can forgive those that hurt you and that you can make friends when you least expect it.
Fairies? Why not? Lydia discovers one when she is sent to live with her Aunt Beth and Uncle Mick after her mother dies. Her life changes drastically. She goes from city life to farm life. All she wants is to go back and live with Michael, the man she considers her father. He loved her and her mother. She was what they considered a family, not what her Aunt Beth's family was. Once finding the fairy, she learned that certain fairies could grant wishes. Was this one of them? She had a wish but had to keep it to herself or else it wouldn't come true. What was her wish? Would the fairy grant it?
I recommend this book for ages 8 and up.


About the Author: Linda Watts was born in Missouri and grew up on a farm. After living in California for several years, she moved to Colorado and has lived there ever since. Currently she is the QA Director for a database company, and in her spare time she is (still) remodeling her almost 100-year old home. She also enjoys gardening, theater, and writing children's books.
 
Read it now for only 99 cents
 
 



Children's Book Review- Hannah Montana-Face-off

Hannah Montana-Face-off
Adapted by Alice Alfonso
Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 2, 2006
by Disney Press
ISBN-10: 1423102223
ISBN-13: 978-1423102229
Book Source: Bought
4 stars

Book Overview: Hannah Montana, a.k.a. Miley Stewart, is the face of a worldwide campaign for Magic Glow Skin Cream—everyone’s favorite zit zapper! But when the billboard shows Hannah with a zit the size of an extra-large pizza, Miley is horrified!

Mary's Review: Hannah Montana, a.k.a. Miley Stewart, gives advice to her best friend Lilly about outward appearances and it's what's inside that counts but when it comes right down to it, she doesn't practice what she preaches. See what she learns when she says one thing, but practices another.

Miley and Lilly go on a class camping trip with a science teacher as their chaperone who hates camping and a group of classmates who are stuffy and stuck up. They have to share their tent with the two girls in school they hate the most and who take credit for everyone else's work. Find out what happens when Miley "lies down with dogs" as her father Mr. Stewart puts it.

As books go this is a great book for young girls. Each story has a moral at the end.

I recommend this book for ages 9-12.


About the Author: Alice Alfonsi is a published adapter, author, and an editor of children's books. Some of the published credits of Alice Alfonsi include Top Secret: Junior Novel, New Kid in Town: Junior Novel, W.I.T.C.H.: Friends Forever - Novelization #26 (W.I.T.C.H.), and Poetry in Motion.
 


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Children's Book Review-Swamp Angel

Swamp Angel
by Anne Issacs
Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 1, 1994
by Dutton Children's Books
ISBN-10: 0525452710
ISBN-13: 978-0525452713
Book Source: Bought
5 Stars

Book Summary: This is an original story told in the American frontier tradition of tall tales. The Swamp Angel of the title is Angelica Longrider, who was born scarcely taller than her mother and didn’t build her first log cabin until she was a full two years old. In the tallest tale of all, Swamp Angel tracks down and fights Thundering Tarnation, a huge bear with a bottomless appetite. Swamp Angel’s victory comes only after she lassos the bear with a tornado and fights him all night in her sleep. Richly illustrated in the primitive style of early American painting, the story presents a heroine to match Paul Bunyan and other giants of folklore.

Mary's Review: Angelica Longrider, better known as "Swamp Angel" became Tennessee's greatest woods woman. She could do anything a man could do, only better. She could even fight a Hugh bear named Thundering Tarnation!
 
I loved this book. I love the old backwoods slang, the beautiful woodcut illustrations. Want to know how the Smoky Mountains got their name? How about how we got the Bear constellation? Then this book is a must read. It will bring a smile to your face and I promise your children will love it.
I recommend this book for ages 4-12.


About the Author: Author Anne Isaacs was born in New York and attended school at the University of Michigan. She said she was a constant reader, her life changing forever in the fourth grade when she first read Coleridge and Shakespeare. At her Web site, she said she has done literature backward, reading adult literature as a child and discovering children's literature as an adult while reading to her children. Anne Isaacs was born in 1949. She is now a mother, educator, and children's book writer. She lived in Canada before settling uwith her three children in San Francisco.


About the Illustrator: Paul O. Zelinsky grew up in Wilmette, Illinois, the son of a mathematics professor father and a medical illustrator mother. He drew compulsively from an early age, but did not know until college that this would be his career. As a Sophomore in Yale College he enrolled in a course on the history and practice of the picture book, co-taught by an English professor and Maurice Sendak. This experience inspired Paul to point himself in the direction of children's books. His first book appeared in 1978, since which time he has become recognized as one of the most inventive and critically successful artists in the field.
He now lives with his wife in Brooklyn, New York. They have two grown daughters.
Among many other awards and prizes, he received the 1998 Caldecott Medal for his illustrated retelling of Rapunzel, as well as Caldecott Honors for three of his books: Hansel and Gretel (1985), Rumpelstiltskin (1987), and Swamp Angel (1995).
 


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mini Muffin Meals

Hey!  Look what I found surfin' the Internet.    Mini Muffin Meals.  They would be great for church socials, quick meals at home, and snacks.  They are also great make aheads.
Have a blast with these.  I know my family will!


Spinach, Sausage, Ricotta, Mozzarella Meal Muffins
Makes 8
8 golf ball size portions of pizza dough 8 oz baby spinach
2 sausages diced
4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup ricotta
1/2 cup mozzarella
1/2 cup marinara sauce 1 tablespoon of milk
1 egg
Preheat oven to 375.
In a frying pan, over medium heat, cook sausage in garlic and olive oil. Add spinach and cook until wilted.
Roll out 8 pieces of pizza dough into 5 inch diameter disks, about 1/4 inch thick.
Grease muffin tin. Place each disk into individual muffin tins. In each dough-lined cup, put 1 tablespoon marinara. Then place 2 tablespoons of sausage spinach mixture, 1 tablespoon ricotta, and 1 tablespoon mozzarella cheese. Seal up the dough.
Mix together egg and milk. Brush the eggwash mixture on each mealuffin.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until outside is golden brown. Serve with extra marinara (my kids wanted it) if desired.

Muffin-Pan Potato GratinsSource: Martha Stewart Everyday Food, November 2010 2 medium-sized Russet Potatoes, very thinly sliced
6 tablespoons heavy cream (I used 1% milk)
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400°.
Lightly coat 6 standard muffin cups with unsalted butter. Place two slices of potato in each cup and season with salt and pepper. Continue to add potato slices, seasoning after a few slices, until the cups are filled. Pour 1 tablespoon heavy cream over each cup. Bake until potatoes are golden brown ad tender when pierced with a knife, about 30-35 minutes. Run a knife around each gratin. Place a baking sheet on top of the pan and invert to release the gratins. Flip right side up and serve.
Chix Alfredo Pasta Pies
INGREDIENTS
1 cup uncooked penne pasta
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 jar (15 oz) Alfredo pasta sauce
1 box (9 oz) Green Giant® frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain 1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® refrigerated buttermilk biscuits 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
DIRECTIONS
1 Heat oven to 350°F. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. 2 Mix pasta, chicken, Alfredo pasta sauce and spinach. Separate dough into 8 biscuits; press each biscuit to 5 1/2-inch round. Firmly press 1 biscuit in bottom and up side of each of 8 ungreased jumbo muffin cups, forming 1/4-inch rim. Fill with chicken mixture; sprinkle with cheese. 3 Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from pan.

Muffin Tin Tacos
(12 individual tacos)
-1 pound ground hamburger -1/2 onion, diced
-1 large jalapeno, diced -3/4 cup water
-seasoning mix (see recipe below)
-12 flour tortillas
-2 cups shredded cheese
-Shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes for topping.
Directions
--Cook the ground hamburger thoroughly, drain and return to a clean skillet.
--In a separate skillet, saute the diced onion and jalapeno and add it to the hamburger. --Blend in the seasoning and toss to coat.
--Heat the mixture on high and add water; reduce and let simmer on med/low for about 10
minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
--Cut 4-inch diameter circles out of the flour tortillas. A standard margarita glass is about the
right size for measuring and a pizza cutter gets the job done quickly. (Bake the leftovers for extra chips.)
--Wrap tortilla circles - 3-4 at a time - in a wet paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds to soften.
--Mold the circles into a lightly greased muffin tin.
--Add a layer of shredded cheese
in the bottom, add about 2 tablespoons of meat mixture, then top with cheese.
--Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
When they're done, just pop them out and add your favorite toppings, including lettuce and tomato. Add a dollop of salsa, fresh or jarred, if desired.
Taco Seasoning Blend
(for 1 pound ground beef) -1 Tablespoon flour
-2 teaspoons chili powder -1 teaspoon paprika
-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin -1/4 teaspoon oregano
-1/4 cayenne
-pinch of salt if desired

Petite Lasagnas
recipe slightly adapted from Hungry Girl (makes 12)
Ingredients
12 oz raw ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup finely chopped onion
1⁄2 cup finely chopped mushrooms 2 cloves garlic, minced
14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes, or tomato sauce 1 tablespoon dried oregano, divided
1 tsp dried basil
1 1⁄2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
24 small square wonton wrappers (the kind near the tofu in the refrigerated section of the produce department)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions
Preheat oven to 350oF. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey, onions, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Crumble the meat and saute the mixture for about 10 minutes, or until the turkey is cooked through. Add the garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds.
Add the crushed tomatoes and 2 tsp of oregano. Bring the pan to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, a pinch of salt and pepper, the remaining teaspoon of oregano, and the basil. Stir to mix well. Set aside.
Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Place 1 wonton wrapper into each of the 12 cups, pressing firmly in the bottom of the cup and up the sides.
Using half of the ricotta mixture, divide it among the 12 muffin cups. Next, using half of the turkey tomato
sauce, spoon it evenly over each of the ricotta filled cups. Sprinkle with 2 tsp of mozzarella.
Gently press another wonton wrapper on top of the mozzarella layer.
Repeat the process by distributing the remaining ricotta, then the remaining tomato sauce, and finally the rest of the shredded mozzarella.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
Let the cups cool, remove them from the pan, and serve!

Chili Mac Pasta Pie
INGREDIENTS
1 box (7 1/4 oz) macaroni and cheese dinner
Milk and butter called for on macaroni and cheese box
1 can (15 oz) chili
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (6 oz)
1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® refrigerated buttermilk biscuits DIRECTIONS
1 Heat oven to 350°F. Make macaroni and cheese as directed on box. Stir in chili and 1/2 cup of the Cheddar cheese; cook 1 minute.
2 Separate dough into 8 biscuits; press each biscuit to 5 1/2-inch round. Firmly press 1 biscuit in bottom and up side of each of 8 ungreased jumbo muffin cups, forming 1/4-inch rim. Fill with macaroni mixture; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
3 Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from pan..