How To Grow Bean Sprouts For #Recipes and #Healthy Eating @DonnaFaz

Bean sprouts are the tender, edible shoots of certain bean plants that result in the germination process. The nutrients in harvested, ripe vegetables progressively decrease as they sit, while bean sprouts retain their nutritional value until they're consumed. Bean sprouts are a rich source of amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and also have a good amount of fiber. They contain all types of vitamins (A, B, C, D, E and K), folate, and are an excellent source of iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and zinc. Other nutritional benefits vary, depending on the type of sprout. Mung bean sprouts contain estrogen-like phytochemicals, called isoflavones, which are responsible for some of the many healthy proprieties of these sprouts.

Okay, enough about nutrition… let's talk taste. Bean sprouts offer a delicious, fresh crunch to salads, stir-fries, spring rolls, and other dishes. Where do you buy mung beans? I purchase mine in the bulk food section of my local farmer's market. But you can also find them on line. (It's much cheaper to buy them at a farmer's market!) You can buy all kinds of fancy sprouting trays and equipment, but none of that is necessary. Later this week, I'll offer a recipe for a chicken stir-fry, but today I want to focus on explaining how to grow your own sprouts. The process is very easy and kids (or grandkids) will love seeing the beans sprout and grow, so get them involved. Let's get started.

What you'll need:
Mung beans, Mason jar, metal ring, mesh
1/3 cup of mung beans
1 quart Mason jar with metal ring (minus the lid)
1 circle of mesh (I cut a circle of mesh from a plastic mesh onion bag)

1. Rinse the mung beans until the water runs clear.

2. Put the beans in the jar and cover with 1 cup of cool water. Put the plastic mesh over the jar opening and screw on the metal ring which will hold the mesh in place (see picture). Place the jar on the counter in the darkest part of the kitchen and soak overnight.

3. Drain the beans and rinse with cool, fresh water. Drain all the water from the jar and place the jar on its side on the counter (remember, not in direct sunlight).

4. Repeat step 3 every morning and evening (approximately every 12 hours). Watch the beans sprout and grow. You can start using your bean sprouts as soon as they're large enough, around day 4 or 5, depending on the temperature and lighting in your kitchen. At the end of day 5, move any uneaten sprouts to the refrigerator. They'll keep for at least a week.

Have you ever grown your own food? What was your favorite food-growing experience?

March Book Frenzy with @eNovelAuthors At Work and @FabulosityReads

Welcome to my stop on the March Book Frenzy.

Thank you for stopping by! I hope that, once you read a little about The Merry-Go-Round, you'll visit the blogs of the other eNovel Authors at Work. You'll find links at the bottom of this post. Your help sharing the March Book Frenzy would be greatly appreciated. Tell your friends!

This March Book Frenzy is brought to you by





$35, $25 and $20 Cash PLUS 2 eBooks from each author.
Refer to the BOOK CATALOG
Giveaway Link: March Book Frenzy (Readers)
The Rafflecopter for Readers is at the bottom of this post.


2 X $20 Cash
Giveaway Link (Bloggers ONLY): Bloggers Giveaway
The Rafflecopter for Bloggers is at the bottom of this post.

Increase your chances to win by visiting as many of the blogs on the book tour as possible. (Find the list of participating blogs by clicking here).

About The Merry-Go-Round:

" utterly charming romantic comedy...told with humor and honesty..." ~Karen McQuestion, Author of A Scattered Life, Easily Amused, and The Long Way Home

When Lauren divorces her husband, she has one thought on her mind...stepping off the merry-go-round. However, her life quickly turns into a three-ring circus: her hypochondriac father moves in, her ex is using her shower when she's not home, and her perky assistant is pushing her out into the fearsome dating world. She also has to decide if the vintage merry-go-round she's awarded in the divorce settlement is a blessing or a bane. As if Lauren's personal life isn't chaotic enough, this slightly jaded attorney is overrun with a cast of quirky characters who can't stay on the right side of the law. What's a woman to do? She can allow life to spin her in circles forever. Or she can reach out and grab the brass ring. 

Visit and follow my friends:

Carmen Desousa

Here's the Rafflecopter for Readers:

Here's the Rafflecopter for Bloggers:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find the list of participating blogs by clicking here
Now go visit the other blogs and have lots of fun entering!

Should You Google+? Yes! Here's Why

We all know has become the search engine of choice for many internet users. The "+" in Google stands for all the other Google offerings: Gmail, News, Translate, Drive, Maps, etc. One of the services is a social network that is much like Facebook only much more stream-lined (and with no ads!). Connect with family, friends, and colleagues. Build your business and find clients or customers. Or simply interact with people who share your interests.

Why do you need another social network?

One website I found states there are 300 million active users on Google+. That number is backed up by a blogger for the New York Times. That's a lot of social and business activity. So instead of asking why I should use Google+, I say, why not?

Let's get started! Sign up for a Google+ account by going to and clicking "sign in" (located in the top right-hand corner). Fill in the information and create a password. Upload a profile picture and choose your settings. Click here to learn more details. And if you still want to learn more, this site offers a wealth of information.

Once you've signed in, you can find the social network by clicking the "+[your name]" at the top right-hand corner of the screen. It looks like this:

 Now let's take a look around, shall we?

Clicking your Home Button (red arrow #1 on the image below) will bring you back to your main social networking page. This is where you can actually share posts, pictures, etc with your friends. Simply click inside the box that says "Share what's new" and begin to type. Use the icon in the box to share photos, links, videos, and events. Hover over your Home Button, and you can use it to go to your profile, people, communities, settings, and more.

Now let's look at the dashboard of Circles (red arrow #2). When you friend someone on Google+, you designate a Circle—that you create—to place them in. As you can see, I have Circles named Friends, Family, and Acquaintances. I have other Circles and those show up under the More button. Separating people this way makes it easy to share items of interest with a particular group with just once click.

Now let's talk about "Communities" for a moment. In the image above, I have clicked on Explore so you can actually see where to find topics that interest you. Because I'm a fiction writer, I naturally joined communities that revolve around books. I found these communities by searching for: #writers, #readers, #self-publishing, etc. But you can search for any topic that interests you. I found other communities by searching for: #recipes, #food, #cooking, #travel, etc. Explore the many Communities Google+ has to offer.

Hangouts (red arrow #3 in the image above) is a fairly new feature of Google+. It allows real time conversations with your friends. You can chat, share photos, and even enjoy group video calls. Simply sign in and begin to hangout.

Google+ has many other features, but these are the basics. If you're on Google+, let's hook up. You can find me at:

Did you find this blog post helpful? What other information would you like to know about Google+?

And The Winner Is... RECLAIM MY HEART for Best Romance 2014

I am so proud to announce that Reclaim My Heart has been voted Best Romance in Books and Pals 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. There is nothing that gives me more satisfaction than when readers tell me they find my books entertaining. THIS is why I write. So having readers vote my book Best Romance... WOW! I am overwhelmed. Thank you, BigAl and all the reviewers and readers at Books and Pals Review Blog. 

 I would like to take a moment to thank my editor at Montlake, Maria Gomez, who read my book and chose it for publication. I am also grateful to Danielle Marshall, Sr. Marketing Manager at Amazon Publishing, along with Jessica Poore and the entire Author Team. I am so blessed to have such a great group of talented, knowledgeable people behind my book.

Anne R. Allen's Blog: Are You Ignoring This Simple Platform-Building Tool @AnneRAllen

I have been telling authors for a while that they should visit and comment on other (highly visible) blogs. I'm so glad to see that Anne R. Allen agrees with me. Here is her comprehensive reasoning (go it...and leave a comment!):

 Anne R. Allen's Blog: Are You Ignoring This Simple Platform-Building Too...: Whether you're planning to self-publish or go the traditional route, every author needs a "platform" these days. Some auth...

Irish Stew and Irish Soda Bread - 2 Delicious #Recipes

Irish Stew made with B&Z Brown Ale
It's that time of year. March has me wishing for spring, but the winter winds continue to blow something fierce through the woods behind my house, sounding as loud as a freight train. The chilly temperatures call for something hot and hearty. Here's a meal that is sure to stick to your bones and ward off the cold. Enjoy!

Irish Beef Stew

The broth of this stew is so rich and complex that it completely transforms everyday beef cubes, potatoes, and carrots into something extraordinary. I. Am. Not. Joking. I used a brown ale home-brewed by my son (the "B" in B & Z), but any store-bought brown ale will do.


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ pounds of chuck beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 large garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef stock (store bought is fine)
1 cup of hearty brown ale
1 cup of good red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 - 3 bay leaves, depending on the size
3 pounds golden potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
5 - 6 carrots, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Sear the beef cubes until brown on all sides. Work in batches if necessary. Crowding the pan will steam the beef, not brown it. The resulting brown bits in the bottom of the pot add lots of flavor to the finished stew. Searing the meat should take about 8 minutes. Remove all beef from the pot and set aside.

Add garlic to the pot and sauté for about a minute. Add beef stock, brown ale, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to simmer. Add beef back to the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

After meat has cooked for an hour, add potatoes, onion, and carrots to the stew. Simmer until vegetables are tender, approximately 30 more minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in fresh parsley and serve this rich, delicious stew steaming hot.

Irish Soda Bread
Real Irish Soda Bread

Soda bread is a quick bread that uses baking soda as the leavening ingredient, rather than yeast. The buttermilk contains lactic acid that reacts with the soda to make the dough rise. Do not knead this bread. Simply mix, pat into a circle and bake. The resulting "round" of baked bread will be rustic and lumpy. The crust will be crisp and the inside will be dense and chewy. Here's an interesting tidbit: read the oldest known recipe for Irish Soda Bread at the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread.


4 cups cake flour (all purpose will also work)
1 ½  teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups buttermilk


Heat oven to 425º F. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray. (I bake my soda bread directly on a pizza stone.)

Combine flour, soda, and salt in a large bowl. Gradually stir in buttermilk, mixing constantly, until dough is moist enough to be gathered into a ball. If dough is dry, add a little more buttermilk, a couple tablespoons at a time, until it's moist enough to hold together.

Place dough on a lightly floured board and pat into an 8-inch round loaf. Don't over handle it to avoid developing the gluten.  
Place loaf on baking sheet and slash the traditional, deep "X" into the top of the dough with a sharp knife.

Bake about 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Serve warm with soften butter.

Readers Choice Awards! Time To Vote! You Could Win $50 And eBooks!

I've announced my nomination on Facebook and on Twitter. RECLAIM MY HEART has been nominated for Best Romance in the Readers Choice Awards. I would love to have your vote.

Voting has begun. Pop over to BigAl's Books and Pals to vote for your favorite books.