Read, Talk, Eat

I love to read. I have loved to read long before I even thought to become a teacher. Now that I am a teacher, I'm passionate about kids learning to love literature. I'm actually working on my master's degree in Literacy right now. I'd like to be a "Reading Specialist", which is a teacher who works with struggling readers.

I started a book club for my 3rd grade Language Arts students. We meet once a month at lunchtime to discuss a book that we've all read. I also started a book club for adults at my school. We meet once a month to do the same. Book club gives me the opportunity to combine three things I love: Reading, Talking, and Eating!

Here are some of my favorite book club treats! The first recipe is one that I make for my "kid" book club. The other two are ones that are more suitable for a "grown up" book club. I've got lots more book club recipes to share in future posts!

Cranberry Oat Cereal Bars*
~This is a fresh take on the traditional "Rice Krispie Treat"~

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 bag (10 ounces) marshmallows
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups toasted oat cereal
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, or raisins
  1. Spray a 10-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with waxed paper; spray paper with cooking spray, and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add marshmallows and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until marshmallows have melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in cereal and dried cranberries.
  3. Immediately transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula (or your fingers) coated with cooking spray, press in quickly and firmly. Let cool, about 1 hour; cut into 24 bars (3 rows lengthwise by 8 rows crosswise). Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.
*Let's be honest...I may add a smidge more butter and marshmallows so that they are extra gooey and delicious.

Recipe taken directly from Everyday Food Magazine

Brown Sugar-Dijon Brie*
~My sister-in-law brought this to a family gathering and it was so divine...I knew it would be a great book club recipe~

(Don't pay attention to the Pampered Chef 'tools' referred to in the recipe, if you don't have them. I wrote typical kitchen tools in the parenthesis)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, divided
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 4-in. round (8 oz) Brie cheese with rind, room temperature
  • 1 loaf (16 oz) French baguette
  • Vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup of the almonds using Food Chopper (or a knife). In Small Batter Bowl (or bowl), combine chopped almonds, sugar and mustard; mix well using Skinny Scraper (rubber spatula).
  2. Cut Brie in half horizontally using Utility Knife (or just a knife). Place one half of Brie, cut side up, onto center of Large Round Stone with Handles (the stoneware would be best for this, but I can imagine you could use a cookie sheet). Spread half of the sugar mixture evenly over bottom half of Brie using Small Spreader (rubber spatula). Top with remaining half of Brie, cut side up. Spread remaining sugar mixture over Brie; sprinkle with remaining almonds.
  3. Using Bread Knife, cut baguette on a bias into twenty-four 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange baguette slices around Brie; spray with oil using Kitchen Spritzer (or cooking spray). Bake 8-10 minutes or until baguette slices are golden brown and Brie begins to soften. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes before serving.
*Variations: Tangy Pepper-Pecan Brie: Substitute 1/2 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped, for the almonds, 1/4 cup apricot preserves for the sugar and 1 jalapeƱo pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped for the mustard. Proceed as recipe directs.

This is a Pampered Chef recipe

Cheesy Salami Pinwheels*
~The possibilities are endless with this simple recipe~

  • 1 package of crescent rolls (the kind in the tube)
  • 1/4 lb Salami from the deli
  • A couple handfuls shredded cheese (I use the Mexican 4 cheese blend)**
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Carefully remove the crescent roll dough from the tube (try to keep it in one piece)
  3. Unroll it so that it makes a horizontal rectangle (long sides on top and bottom, shorter sides on left and right). Using the perforated line down the middle, separate the dough into two smaller rectangles.
  4. Using your fingers, push the perforated lines together so that the dough doesn't fall apart when you roll it later.
  5. Cover each rectangle with an even layer of Salami and then an even layer of shredded cheese.
  6. Roll the long side up to make a cylinder, then cut 1/2 (or 3/4) inch slices. Lay the slices flat on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes (or just keep an eye until they are golden and the cheese is melted). Serve them warm.
*You can prepare these ahead by assembling, cutting, and arranging them on the cookie sheet. Then pop the cookie sheet in the fridge until you are ready to bake them.

**There are numerous variations for this recipe. I've done dessert ones by sprinkling chocolate chips over the dough. I've even made a mushroom and cheese mixture before. If something sounds good to you..try it! Anything stuffed into a buttery crescent roll dough can't be that bad, right?

I got this recipe from a friend of mine...she made them for Bible study one night and we ate them all in 5 seconds. I have been making up variations ever since!


  1. Ha - do I have to have all those Pampered chef tools to make the brie? So funny. Like I can't just figure out what tool to use on my own...come on, PC! When I saw utility knife, I thought I was going to have to go rooting through Patrick's toolbox! :)

  2. Eileen,
    Thanks for pointing that out! When I first posted this, I meant to suggest regular kitchen tools to use instead of the Pampered Chef stuff (which most people don't have). I just edited it now.

  3. Hey - just thought to go back and see if you followed up on this comment. I wasn't critiquing YOU - just Pampered Chef. They're kind of funny like that - God forbid someone just peels and cores an apple the old fashioned way! :)

    Love this blog! I'm making the Thanksgiving broccoli casserole next week - sounds so yummy! By the way, I just sauteed broccoli for the first time. Holy cow, it's good! Just some olive oil, salt and pepper with frozen broccoli florets. They get a little brown and caramelized. Yum yum!!!

  4. Eileen, I knew you weren't critiquing me :) Pampered Chef recipes can be silly that way...it's like they have to meet a quota of how many products to include in each recipe!

    My mom has been making that broccoli casserole for years and it is just so good...I hope you like it. I saute broccoli for a few recipes, but I've never just sauteed it as a side dish. Good idea!

    By the way...is there a way to respond to someone's comment so that it's emailed to them? That way, they don't have to check the blog to see a follow up comment. Just curious...

  5. I don't know...If I'm replying to someone's comment, I will usually just do it from the email I got and put their address in place of the 'blogger' one. Only because I know that I rarely go back to see if someone responded to my own comment (this thread is exhibit A :) I know that the person reading the blog can subscribe not just to the blog posts, but also to all the comments...but I always imagined that would be email overload. So, all that to say, I don't know how to help. :) No matter...I think people in the blogosphere know to go back and check a thread for comments.