Monday, December 30, 2013

Cook Fight

Cook fight : 2 Cooks, 12 Challenges, 125 Recipes : an Epic Battle for Kitchen Dominance pits New York Times food writer Kim Severson against fellow food writer and friend Julia Moskin in a spirited series of culinary challenges - not only testing ingredients but the very core of their friendship. The blame lies with office mate and

Monday, December 23, 2013

Community Picks

Any librarian or bookseller will tell you, if a book is marked as a "Staff Pick" it will get snatched off the shelves immediately. I'm sure somewhere a sociologist has written a dissertation about why this is so. I'd like to turn the tables a bit and see what happens when the community picks the books for display. We will have a display shelf at the Main library starting early January that shows off books that are loved by various community members.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Let It Snow

Ah, the holidays. This is the time of year when families come together in perfect harmony, cheerful parties go off exactly as planned, and we all just sort of float blissfully from one stack of attractively-wrapped gifts to the next while bells jingle and Yule logs crackle somewhere in the distance. Or that's how we always imagine it, anyway. But sometimes the idyllic holiday we picture falls by the wayside when the cookies burn, the dog eats all the pigs-in-a-blanket when nobody's looking, and the car breaks down on the way to Grandma's house. Sometimes real life gets in the way. But that's when the magic happens--at least, according to John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle.

In Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances, three interlinked stories feature a circle of friends in a small Southern town who find love and laughter while making their way through one night where nothing goes as planned--a record snowstorm, travel delays, unrequited crushes, dead cellphone batteries, a Waffle House full of stranded cheerleaders, and a search for a pet pig (it’s a long story). A pinch of holiday magic turns these less-than-ideal circumstances into a night full of friendship, romance, hilarity, and the kind of stuff that holidays are really about--the kind of interesting, real-life enchantment that happens when plans go awry. The best gifts, after all, are the most unexpected ones.

Fans of the authors especially won’t want to miss out on this special and offbeat treat.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pizza Dough by Gabi Moskowitz

It's December and I know, you are making Christmas cookies. You have dough up to your ears (maybe in your ears) and your rolling pin has become an extension of your arm. But before you pack away the flour, browse through Pizza Dough: 100 Delicious, Unexpected Recipes by Gabi Moskowitz. The cover alone is enough to make my mouth water. There are breadsticks, pizza, pretzels, tartlets, and cinnamon rolls. Basically, it provides the opportunity and reasoning to eat bread for breakfast (Caramel Pecan Monkey Bread), lunch (Bean and Cheese Empanadas), dinner (Green Pizza), and dessert (Sopapillas).  One of my favorite parts of the book is Moskowitz's understanding of the Fear of Dough. I know I am not the only one who feels an inevitable sense of doom when faced with kneading. She reassures the reader by providing simple recipes and easy instructions, as well as tips for using store bought dough.

My first attempts were the Artichoke Pocket Squares and Apple-Onion Tartlets with Cheddar and...perfection was not achieved. There was no problem with the recipes, more that this chef needs some practice. It might be a good time to take a step back and try pretzels. Who knew pizza dough could be used for so many things?


Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Black House

Thomas Wolfe wrote, "You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood,...back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame." Fin Macleod should have heeded this advice.

In Peter May's book, The Black House, Edinburgh Detective Fin Macleod is sent to the Isle of Lewis, a remote island off the northwestern coast of Scotland, to investigate a grisly murder. The murder resembles an unsolved Edinburgh case. This is an assignment Fin does not want. He is still mourning the death of his young son, Robbie. He and his wife, Mona, have recently come to realize that their son was the glue holding their marriage together. Mona will not be home when Fin returns.  

Fin has spent the last eighteen years trying to forget his boyhood on the Isle of Lewis. However,