As the searing heat wave in the US eases off and the rain in Europe calms, it is tempting to hope that summer will now return to normal. In Australia and New Zealand, people are settling into winter with a spate of severe storms. It seems the one thing we can never quite count on is the weather – unless we rely on it to be ever-changing! There really is no normal when it comes to the outdoors.
That said, we often find that one thing never changes despite the weather: our craving for good, hearty comfort food. Happiness, we think, is about the little things – a pair of perfect new shoes, the song that reminds you of the good times, and delicious treats like warm cookies or the perfect sandwich.
Who says you can’t have roast beef on a Tuesday or pumpkin pie in April? Some things are so good they deserve to be enjoyed all year round, and there are comfort foods that work in all-weather situations. Nothing says I love you more than the perfect steak sandwich!
Research carried out on behalf of the recipe sharing site Many Faces of Potatoes found that we connect the smell of baked potatoes with happiness and “memories of grandparents.” Perhaps that’s why Grandma’s Best Recipe’s (available in your favourite shop, and on sale this month on Amazon!) remains to be one of our most loved titles.
Have you ever tried putting almonds in your coleslaw; did you know that tomatoes loose their flavor when they’re stored in the fridge? With recipes straight from the kitchen of your childhood, Grandma’s Best Recipe’s guides you through traditional cooking methods and offers tips gathered from years of experience. Most of all, it showcases some recipes that we feel work in all manner of weather. What better way to celebrate sunshine, cozy up away from the rain, or warm up from the cold than with some perfect all-weather comfort recipes?
We’ll be showcasing our top comfort food recipes for all seasons throughout the next week on our Tumblr, so come rain or shine, there’ll be a recipe to make you smile! Click the image below for our first great recipe, Fish and Chips.
When you need a food cuddle, what is it that you reach for? Head on over to our Tumblr this week and see our recipe suggestions, and then tell us your thoughts!
Getting children interested in reading for fun can be a daunting task. During the school year, kids are working on homework and busy with books they’ve been assigned for class. On summer break, you’re keen to encourage your children to spend their free time playing outside and getting some exercise. And furthermore, studies have shown that it’s far more difficult to get boys to read than girls.
What is a parent/guardian with a young son to do? Luckily, there are some answers. The New York Times explored this problem last summer, highlighting the heart of the issue with insights from researchers and publishers alike. The article suggests that the real challenge is not about boys and the act of reading itself, it’s about finding books that boys want to read. The Times quotes Michael Cart, the former president of the Young Adult Library Services Association:
“We need more good works of realistic fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, on- or offline, that invite boys to reflect on what kinds of men they want to become. In a commercially driven publishing environment, the emphasis is currently on young women.”
Researchers all have different theories on why and how to get middle graders, particularly boys, reading, but they all seem to agree on one thing. You will have a hard time getting a boy to read if you’re not presenting him with topics he’s interested in. Through sales figures and firsthand accounts alike, we’ve come to recognize that boys are more likely to read nonfiction than fiction, and that their interests in both genres carry many of the same themes: Dinosaurs! Sharks! History! Superheroes!
All of the above helped the Parragon team to find our own answers to the question: How do we help boys become more interested in fiction? Well, we met a snarky, adventurous boy by the name of Will Solvit, and the rest was history – literally.
Will, you see, has a problem: His parents are missing, and it’s up to him, his best friend Zoe, and a set of mysterious clues to save them! The catch: they’re trapped somewhere in time, and Will has to travel back to a number of places in history to try to find them. Can Will make it past Roman gladiators, fierce dinosaurs, space aliens, and other creatures?
To help kids find out, we’ve released the first book in the series, “Will Solvit and the T-Rex Terror”, for free on the iBookstore, Barnes & Noble Nook, and as a PDF download on Scribd. It’s packed with time travel adventures, real facts about dinosaurs and prehistoric times, and our cool friend Will!
Will Solvit & the T-Rex Terror Free Download: