Sunday, January 17, 2021

Giveaway - Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez

Years ago I was following Yamile Saied MĂ©ndez's blog. She was a writer but hadn't published yet. She also did sensitivity readings, so read other people's manuscripts and make comments on any stereotypes, biases, or inaccuracies of culture. 

Then a few years ago, I invited Yamile to speak at a library where I worked and she graciously accepted. She is an Argentine-American and spoke about her culture and the importance of diversity in literature. She read fun books, but they weren't her own since she still hadn't published yet. And she is as sweet and cute in person as she seemed on her blog.

Fast-forward just a little bit to present-day. She has has published several books, 3 of which were published by Scholastic and sold at book fairs in elementary and middle schools near you. I gave away a copy of her book Where Are You From? on my Facebook page after it came out. 

As the release date neared for her latest book, Furia, I knew I wanted to have a giveaway for it. All I knew was that the protagonist was a young woman in Argentina who wanted to be a professional fĂștbol (soccer) player despite the cultural norms and family expectations. The book is in English with some Spanish words and phrases here and there so you can learn a little if you don't already speak Spanish. 

Before I could do a giveaway, Furia was chosen as the Reese Witherspoon Hello Sunshine YA Book Club's September book. Reese chooses a book each month with a female in the center of the story.

So, now that you're all hyped to read this book with a strong, determined young woman that everyone is talking about, enter my giveaway for one hardcover copy of Furia! The giveaway is open to anyone living in the U.S. 

To enter, just post a comment (with an email address if I don't know you personally or come back on Saturday to see if you won) and tell me at least one book you've read that I should be sure to read. Enter by Friday, January 22 at midnight MST. 

In the meantime, you can print your own Furia bookmarks from Reese's Hello Sunshine 

Friday, January 1, 2021

Overnight Blueberry French Toast Bake With Streusel Topping

I first made this delicious recipe in 2013 after finding it at Serena Bakes Simply from Scratch and it immediately became a family favorite. I have since started adding an icing to it, which makes it a cross between French toast and a cinnamon roll. 

You do need to plan ahead since it needs to put put together and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. It is so worth the wait. 

Overnight Blueberry French Toast Bake With Streusel Topping

1 loaf French Bread, ripped or cut into cubes
1 1/2 c. blueberries (If frozen, thaw and drain juice)
7 whole eggs
2 1/2 c. whole milk
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
3 t. vanilla extract
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. sea salt
1/2 c. cold butter, cut into 8 cubes


2 c. powdered sugar
1 T. butter, melted
2 t. vanilla
2-3 T. milk or cream 

Grease a 9"x 13" baking dish.

Place 1/2 of French bread cubes in a baking dish and top with 3/4 cup blueberries. Add remaining bread cubes and top with remaining 3/4 cup blueberries.

In a medium sized bowl combine eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix until thoroughly combined. Pour egg mixture over the top of bread and blueberries. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

In a gallon sized Ziploc bag add flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt. Close tightly and use fingers to thoroughly combine ingredients. Add butter and re-close bag. Use fingers to combine butter and sugar mixture until it resembles pea sized pieces. If butter becomes soft mixture, it will re-harden overnight in the refrigerator. Place Ziploc bag in the refrigerator overnight. 

In the morning, preheat oven to 350°. Remove casserole and streusel topping from the refrigerator. Use fingers to crumble streusel topping over the top of the bread and blueberries. Bake for 50 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Serve plain, with additional butter and maple syrup, or with icing.


Mix powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla together in bowl. Slowly beat in just enough milk until it is a thick icing.