Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How sweet it is....

OK, all Martha Stewart wannabees, these are for you! The first book, food, gift, love : more than 100 recipes to make, wrap, & share  by Maggie Battista is so timely for the season. There are many gifts in here, fresh gifts, pantry gifts, candied gifts and baked gifts. There is everything from the usual ( pesto, cookies, truffles) and the unusual. (extracts, infused oils, candied blood orange rinds) There are suggestion for collections of gifts, and tips for wrapping. ML

Also a delicious book is maple:100 sweet and savory recipes featuring pure maple syrup by Katie Webster. The book opens with a short history of maple sugaring, a DIY guide, and why choose maple? Did you know that because maple syrup is a by-product of a wild plant, it is more ecological than say, sugar? The recipes include breakfast but there are also savory choices, like mustard maple vinaigrette, turkey burgers with maple pickled onions, and Asian pork cabbage cups. Sounds good!  ML

Saturday, November 21, 2015

How Stuff Works

Have you ever wondered just how a microwave really works? Pick up Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Randall Munroe. In it he explains the operation of everyday wonders using only about 1,000 words. Inside this volume lies the secret to the universe—the periodic table made simple, how a helicopter flies, the skinny on bridge construction and elevator operation and even the scoop on tectonic plates. Intrigued? Find out everything you wondered about in this informative and entertaining book today! DB

Monday, November 16, 2015

Houses and Sauce!

Two fun and timely new books in the library are Christina Banner's How to Build a Gingerbread House: A Step-by-Step Guide To Sweet Results and Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook's Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors by Susan Volland.
The gingerbread house is fun! Lots of photographs take you step-by-step through the process of making and decorating a gingerbread house. There are recipes for the gingerbread and royal icing, a footprint to copy to cut the components of the house out and then the fun part-decorating!
One would not know there were so many cute ways with candy, cookies and frosting to decorate a house. There are even different themes to decorate for, such as, Easter houses and birthday houses. Who knew!
Mastering Sauces is altogether a more serious book. At 425 pages, this is the definitive book for sauces. Not only are there fundaments of sauce making, the author goes into making stocks, broths, reductions and turning whole foods into sauces. Library Journal Review says "Volland is a trained chef who served as an editorial assistant for the six-book masterwork Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. Here she provides thoughtful and in-depth coverage of modern sauce-making fundamentals, teaching readers to maximize flavor, season confidently, and navigate cooking vocabulary (they'll know when their sauce is mucilaginous). Discussing cooking temperatures, reduction times, thickening agents, and troubleshooting tips, Volland expertly answers the technical and scientific questions most readers will have." So get your balloon whisks out and go. M.L.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Christmas on Candy Cane Lane

Christmas on Candy Cane Lane by Sheila Roberts tells the story about the lives of three women that live on one festive street. Candy Cane Lane is a special street in Icicle Falls. All the homes on the street go all out for Christmas, even though it is a headache to many of the residents.
Newcomer Tilda is a local police officer and she's not a pleasant lady. She's bought a fixer upper. She's not as festive as some. Then, there's Ivy, a divorcee trying to keep things perfect for her young kids. Lastly, there's Maddy who is just way too into the holiday. *JK*

Monday, November 2, 2015

Scotsman of My Dreams

Scotsman of My Dreams is by Karen Ranney. It is a wonderful story featuring a strong willed woman and scarred rake who never intended to be titled. I love the dynamics of this couple, the slow buildup to romance and the mystery and intrigue that surrounds these two, creating a historical romance that is hard to be missed. All in all, it is a fast pace tale of secrets, misconceptions, deceit, betrayal, romance, passion and love. It is also well written with engaging and interesting characters. The storyline is unique and interesting. A wonderful tale of post-war trauma, and the secrets they hold. An enjoyable and satisfying read! *JK*

Friday, October 30, 2015

Something Sinister

Elizabeth is a wife, mother, and real estate agent in southern California. When several murders of people she had contact with take place, it makes her wonder about her connection. She was adopted and has always had a “sixth sense” about things before they happen. Although she had contact with some of the victims and wished their demise---she didn’t kill them. Could she still be guilty somehow? Meanwhile her cousin Ravinia is trying to find her. Ravinia was raised by her Aunt Catherine, Elizabeth's birth mother, at Siren Song in Oregon. It was a lodge far removed from modern life where women with “special powers” were kept safe. Will Ravinia find her before another murder occurs? Pick up Wicked Ways by Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush to find out. DB

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

So Many Books, So Little Time!

Magpie:Sweets and Savories from Philadelphia's Favorite Pie Boutique by Holly Ricciardi. Now doesn't that title just make you want to pick up this book? Add in the lovely pictures and yes, lets bake pie! Just like the title says, there are sweet and savory pies. In the sweet category, since Thanksgiving is a month or so away, how about cranberry curd mini meringue pies? Or, lemon gingersnap pie, it sounds so good! If you feel compelled to be fancy-schmancy, lime custard pie with basil cream and pistachio praline would definitely impress people. So, not in a sweet mood? If you had fresh tomatoes, tomato cheddar corn pie would be delicious. Dinner? macaroni and cheese potpies would fill them up. Sunday dinner, you couldn't go wrong with chicken biscuit potpies.
All in all a "delicious" read! M.L.

So, maybe you are in the mood for Chinese? Instead of ordering out, try the Lucky Peach 101 Easy Asian Recipes by Peter Meehan. The author prepares you by making an equipment list(very small), ingredient list(exotic, except for Planters peanuts!) This cookbook is divided into creative categories, such as Cold Dishes, Apps and Pickly Bits to begin with, on through Noodles, Rices, Warm Vegetables and the meats. We finish up with Sauces(ginger-scallion) and a modest dessert section...two recipes! Ready to cook?