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Welcome to Good Karma

Welcome Friends! Here is a place for teachers, parents, librarians and writers to learn what's going on in the world of book author Karma Wilson.

The Cow Loves Cookies! Illustration process

 

This is a link to the blog of Marcellus Hall, illustrator of The Cow Loves Cookies. He posted a comparison of the beginning art samples for the book to the end pieces. The transformation from  concept to final art is amazing, and I think it’s interesting to those of you wondering about the illustration process.

Booklist seems to appreciate the efforts of the talented Mr. Hall . The Booklist review said, “The big, clear watercolor pictures with thick ink lines leave lots of white space, and the simple rhyming lines, with descriptive words and messy action, will encourage preschoolers to join in.” 

Well deserved praise. Bravo!

They said some very lovely things about my writing as well.

The Cow Loves Cookies can be preordered on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Summer!

I’m back after an embarrassingly long absence. I’m in this difficult adjustment period leading up to “empty nest syndrome”. My oldest is almost 18 and we are helping him prepare for college, navigate high school, etc… Add to all that the fact that I am almost 40. Oy. Can anybody say, “Big life changes”.  I have struggled this last year with inspiration (or should I say “lack of inspiration”).

But summer is here now, a sunny respite from the hurry and worry of life. And with the summer months has come a refreshing rush of creativity and renewed sense of purpose. Part of that purpose is staying more connected with my readers and focusing on creating.

Tomorrow I will post some news about my upcoming book “The Cow Loves Cookies” which will be released in early July. I am very excited about this book, and I hope you all enjoy it. It is fast becoming a favorite read aloud during school visits. Kirkus gave it a starred review!

 

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Hey honey! Pumpkin pie!

I’m posting my favorite pumpkin pie recipe just in time for Thanksgiving! And it’s fitting because the sweetener used is honey, which of course Bear loves.

I want to start by saying that I *recommend* you use fresh pumpkin. I know, I know… I can hear you now. “My snarky relatives are coming, there are a million things to cook, and who has time to process pumpkin for pie? This this isn’t the Plymouth Plantation ya know!”

If you have no time, then canned pumpkin is fine, but really processing pumpkin is easy. So easy you don’t even need pumpkin! 🙂 Any hard orange- fleshed squash will do, including the readily available butternut. Jack-O-lantern pumpkins will work, but Sugar pumpkins especially grown for baking are optimal. And get this—no peeling or boiling required.

How to Process Fresh Pumpkin

Stab the pumpkin or squash a few times(pretend it’s your snarkiest relative and relieve some pent up frustration), and throw it on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 until a knife inserted goes in easily. Let cool. Cut pumpkin or squash in half, and carefully scoop and discard seeds. Scoop out the flesh away from the skin and pop it in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. You now have the most beautiful, bright orange pumpkin you’ve ever seen in your life.

If you used regular Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins you may want to put the pumpkin in a fine strainer set in a bowl for a few hours. Jack pumpkins have high water content. Squash or baking pumpkins don’t usually require this step. You are now ready to bake a pie. If you skipped this step and opened a can of Libby’s I won’t be mad, but I will insist you are missing out on a real treat. Fresh pumpkin is better than canned. Trust me. 🙂

Honey Pumpkin Pie

I don’t bake too often with honey. The added liquid content can throw off a recipe. The flavor isn’t compatible with everything (though it’ works for quick breads absolutely marvelously). But honey and pumpkin are literally made for each other. The first time I made honey pumpkin pie I swore I would never go back and I haven’t. My whole family raves. So does anybody else who tastes it.

This Honey Pumpkin Pie recipe makes two large pies.

Ingredients
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 6 eggs, slightly beaten
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or spice to taste)
• 1.5 cups honey
• 2 deep dish pie shells
• 3.5 cups pumpkin or 1 29 oz. can of pumpkin puree.

Preparation
In large bowl mix all ingredients except pie shells until smooth. Pour into shells. Bake at 400F for 15 mins. Turn oven to 350 and bake for about 30 more minutes until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Be sure to cover with tinfoil tent if pie browns too quickly.

Serve with Honey Whipped Cream, if desired. (To make honey whipped cream just whip up heavy cream and carefully fold in a few tablespoons room temp honey and a small splash of vanilla or almond extract—I prefer the latter).

I leave you with a picture. I don’t have a picture of pie, but I do have a cute picture with a pumpkin in it. 🙂 Two if you count the adorable child.

pumpkinboy

Giving Thanks…

 

Thanksgiving happens to be my favorite holiday of the year. People expect less of me than they do on Christmas. Cooking is one of my hobbies. I adore Turkey. And I have a lot to be thankful for.

We tend to list the big things we are thankful for each year. But it goes without saying that I am grateful for my family, friends, career, house, pets…etc…etc…

What are some of the small things you feel thankful for? I’ll go first.

Farm fresh brown eggs.

Coffee in the morning.

Slip on shoes.

A child’s sense of humor.

That my favorite authors existed.

The hutch my husband built me.

Making apple butter.

The smell of my favorite spices.

Family jokes.

There’s just a few. It’s fun to sit down and take a moment to think of the small things we so easily overlook that have contributed to our joy and content.

Happy thanksgiving. :)