Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "1,001 Ways to Be Creative" by Barbara Ann Kipfer, with a Recipe for Berries & Cream Crispy Rice Treats

Who doesn't need a little more creativity in their lives?! I am really excited to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for 1,001 Ways to Be Creative: A Little Book of Everyday Inspiration by Barbara Ann Kipfer. Accompanying my review are some creative and scrumptious Berries & Cream Crispy Rice Treats, inspired by my reading.

Publisher's Blurb: 

Best-selling author Dr. Barbara Ann Kipfer is back with a new, beautifully illustrated book that will help you break free from to-do lists and find time to think and live more creatively. The third entry in Kipfer’s successful 1,001 Ways series, this interactive list book will inspire anyone looking to unleash their creative genius.
In today’s overscheduled world, there is often little room for creativity in our daily lives. 

1,001 Ways to Be Creative shows you how to set your brain free, and will help you find the time and energy to play, dream, imagine, breathe, and explore. This inspirational book of lists offers a treasure trove of ways to bring a little creativity into your life, including ideas for innovative things to do, practical tips, and thought-provoking quotes. Interactive prompts inspire art projects, storytelling, innovative thinking, seeing like an artist, and more. With this energizing book by your side, your next Big Idea could be just around the corner!

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: National Geographic (March 27, 2018)

My Review:

I started this blog ten years-ago in April of 2008 (yikes!) as a creative outlet. I felt that my job didn't offer much creative inspiration most days, but coming up with recipes to make, or trying recipes and adapting them to my dietary preferences, then plating the food to look pretty and taking pictures gave me a chance to express myself. Besides food & blogging and the occasional paper craft, I dabble in writing and often find myself stuck looking for new ideas. 1,001 Ways to Be Creative is an anecdote for when you feel your creativity is blocked and you need a bit of inspiration. It's gorgeous--colorful and fun--and, more importantly, it actually has some really great and usable ideas mixed in with inspirational quotes and lists of inspirations for journal and writing prompts. 

Sometimes these little "idea" books are just bookshelf filler, but this one is worthy of keeping out--in your office, on your coffee table, or on your nightstand and actually use. There are simple things to think about, thought-provoking questions to ask yourself, and activities both big and small to try. (As you can see in the photo below) I used my (colorful) tape flags to tab a few dozen tips that I especially liked or wanted to try--as well as identifying the food-related ones to come up with my usual book-inspired dish. 

Here are just a few of my favorites:
  •  #4   Find an intriguing item in an antique store and seek out its history.
  •  #6   For one day, bestow a unique and truthful compliment on each person you see.
  •  #55  Paint something in your house that could use a face-lift. 
  • #147 Draw happiness.
  • #182 Adopt a shelf at the library and read everything on it.
  • # 322 Stroll along a street that you have never seen before.
  • #477 In a word, sentence, or drawing, recreate a memory from each year you have been alive, as far back as you can remember. 
  • #544 Try taking photographs from unusual angles. 
  • #839 Use paint swatches as inspiration.
  • #859 Open this book to a random page and perform one of the entries.   
With its bright colors and colorful illustrations and page borders (by Francesca Springolo), 1,001 Ways to Be Creative would be a fun gift (maybe with a journal or sketch pad, and/or a set of colored pencils or paint) for a friend or family member in need of a little colorful creativity in their lives. I know that I will be keeping and using my copy. In fact I am headed off to eat a Berries & Cream Crispy Rice Treat while I try #534--Create a new Pinterest Board. ;-)


Author Notes: Dr. Barbara Ann Kipfer is the author of 14,000 Things to Be Happy About and the Page-a-Day calendars based on it. She has written more than 60 books, including 1,001 Ways to Live Wild, The Order of Things, Self-Meditation, Instant Karma, 8,789 Words of Wisdom, The Wish List, and 4,000 Questions for Getting to Know Anyone and Everyone,and she edited Roget’s International Thesaurus. She holds PhDs in linguistics, archeology, and Buddhist studies. Dr. Kipfer is the Chief Lexicographer of Temnos and has worked for such companies as, Ask Jeeves, and


Food Inspiration:

Some of my favorite food-related ideas:
  • #23 Eat ice cream for breakfast. Small pleasures spark joy and creativity.
  • #28 Carve a watermelon into an edible sculpture. 
  • #30 Plate your dinner with flair using colorful foods and a whimsical swizzle of sauce. 
  • #63 Churn your own butter. 
  • #82 Create a Mr. Potato Head out of real vegetables.
  • #115 Create your own trail mix.
  • #194 Develop your own recipe for barbecue sauce. 
  • #399 Compile a book of unique recipes.
  • #507 Make colorful ice pops.
  • 740 Create a new breakfast cereal.

I found my self most inspired by #134 Make a big batch of Rice Krispies Treats with creative fillings. Although I typically don't eat Rice Krispies Treats often or get cravings for them, thinking about how to be creative with them made me want some. I decided that for Spring, a Berries & Cream version would be fun.

In my pantry I had a box of brown rice crispy cereal that I needed to use, as well as part of a package of freeze-dried strawberries from Target, dried blueberries from the bulk bin, and a bag of white chocolate chips--so all I needed was marshmallows and something to mix in to give it more strawberry flavor. I looked on line and saw where a couple of people used the powdered flavored jello to add flavor but since I was making a small batch, I thought of the powdered Crystal Light On-the-Go drink packets that are .11 of an ounces of a sugar-free powder. (A more natural version would be grinding up the freeze-dried strawberries into a powder but I only had one bag and didn't have time for a Target run.)  

Let's face it, even with a less-sugary brown rice crisp cereal and natural dried fruit, these are not healthy (although with fruit and cereal I should be able to count them as a breakfast bar!) ;-) But sometimes life just needs a crispy rice treat to make it better and these are easy and delicious to make for an occasional indulgence. Although I wanted to make a small batch with my small jellyroll pan, I am giving the recipe for a full on 9x13-inch pan full.

Berries & Cream Crispy Rice Treats
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 12 to 16 Servings)

3 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 1/2 to 2 packets strawberry drink mix (I used Crystal Light Wild Strawberry)
4 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup dried blueberries
3/4 cup freeze-dried strawberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Prepare a 13"x 9" pan by spraying it with cooking spray and lining it with parchment paper or waxed paper.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stirring constantly, cook until marshmallows are completely melted. Stir in drink mix until blended completely. 

Remove pan from heat and add cereal, mixing well. Sprinkle in the dried blueberries, freeze-dried strawberries, and white chocolate chips and stir until thoroughly mixed into the cereal.  

Press cereal mixture evenly into pan. Cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: These are really good! The strawberry flavor is present and the more tart bites of dried blueberry and freeze-dried strawberry keep the white chocolate from being too sweet. I like that the blueberries are chewy, while the strawberries are more crisp, then you get a little chunk of white chocolate and all is right with the world. I just used one packet of the strawberry drink mix for my 2/3 batch and wouldn't have minded a bit more so I suggest two packets for a full batch. Because I used brown crisp rice, you can't see the pink from the drink mix but if you use plain Rice Krispies or crisp rice cereal from white rice, I think it would be a pale pink color. Just a fun way to jazz up Rice Krispie Treats, I am already planning on trying a blueberry-lemon one with lemon drink mix and dried (or maybe even yogurt-covered) dried blueberries.

I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy of "1,001 Ways to Be Creative" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.



  1. Congrats on 10 years of blogging! That's a great milestone! And I'm so glad you loved this wonderful little book.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  2. This book looks like it'd be fun to explore. I'm sure I'd find a lot to spark my creativity. Yay for the class of 2008! That's when I started blogging too (Sept. is my blogiversary). Those colorful rice crispy treats look yummy. I guess you could freeze some for later???

  3. What a fun book and thanks for the examples of some of the ideas-congrats on 10 years of blogging- I really enjoy your beautiful professional photos, interesting reviews, delicious recipes and your Souper Sundays! Looking forward to more!


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