Happy Thanksgiving 2015

happy thanksgivingThe Library will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday, but there will still be plenty going on the rest of the week.

Afternoons at the library

Our afterschool program, Afternoons at the library, will be held Monday through Wednesday from 4 pm to 6 pm. During the month of November we will be playing games with words in honor of National Novel Writing Month, making up tall tales, and creating poetry with pictures!

Girl Scouts

Girl Scout troop 60559 will meet at the Library at their usual time on Monday at 5:15 pm in the Learning Center.

Movie Night

Movie Night for Adults Tuesday at 6 pm – Join us to see the new movie adaption of a 1960’s classic. This movie features actor Henry Cavill (who recently starred as Superman) as a CIA agent who teams up with a KGB operative in the cold war era 1960’s to stop a private criminal organization from building their own nuclear bomb.

Story Time

And finally, there will be a holiday themed story time on Tuesday at 11:15 am and again at 6 pm for children of all ages featuring stories, crafts, and songs.

Holiday Meal Planning

It’s still not too late to check-out a few cookbooks from the library’s cookbook display to help with your Thanksgiving dinner planning.

a bird in the handA Bird in the Hand: Chicken Recipes for Every Day and Every Mood
by Diana Henry

From the Book Description

Chicken is one of the most popular foods we love to cook and eat: comforting, quick, celebratory and casual. Plundering the globe, there is no shortage of brilliant ways to cook it, whether you need a quick supper on the table after work, something for a lazy summer barbecue or a feast to nourish family and friends…In A Bird in the Hand, Diana Henry offers a host of new, easy and not-so-very-well-known dishes, starring the bird we all love.


biggest book of casserolesBetter homes and gardens
Biggest Book of Casseroles

From the Book Description

Nearly a year’s worth of clever and comforting casserole recipes are snuggled inside the Biggest Book of Casseroles.

• More than 380 delectable recipes for any time of the day – and any occasion
• Discover the real beauty of casseroles – make-ahead cooking, reheating, and freeze
• Secrets revealed! How to stock your pantry to solve those need-it-not dinner dilemmas


Mom's best dessertsMom’s best desserts: 100 classic treats that taste as good now as they did then
by Andrea Chesman & Fran Raboff.

From the Book Description

In Mom’s Best Desserts, you’ll find 100 foolproof recipes for the desserts you’ve loved all your life. Devil’s Food Cake. Creamy Rice Pudding. Fresh Berry Cobbler. And scattered among the recipes are practical tips on everything from how to make the best frosting to what to do when you don’t have the right size cake pan.


apple pie perfectApple pie perfect: 100 delicious and decidedly different recipes for America’s favorite pie
by Ken Haedrich.

From the Book Description

Whether you’re a veteran pie maker or a slightly nervous beginner, and whether you’re an apple pie purist or you’re looking to try something new and different, apple pie baker extraordinaire Ken Haedrich has the apple for you—and then some:

• Classics that stand the test of time
• Festive holiday pies
• Summery pies
• Creative approaches to traditional combinations
• Sit-by-the-fire-with-a-good-book pies
• Easy pies for those with pastry crust-phobia

Planning for a chili cookoff

Fall is just around the corner, but for many of us Fall starts when the kids go back to school and football is once again a fixture on the television screen and in stadiums around the state on Friday and Saturday nights. For me my favorite part of going to football games is tailgating. As a Chiefs and a Kansas State Wildcats fan, I have been the beneficiary and preparer of many a game day feast.  I am the person that gets called on to bring the bucket of chili and there is a good reason for that: My chili is the best chili that a living human has ever made in the history of chili. A bold boast to be sure, but my mom raised me always to be honest. (I must have fallen asleep when she mentioned modesty, but we can’t all be perfect.)

The secret to my chili is something I call “Chief’s Chili Mix”. It sits in a big mason jar at the back of my spice cabinet and contains….. Well. I could tell you but my mom didn’t raise a dummy.  My jar of secret ingredients has evolved over the years as I fine tune the recipe based on the evolution of my own personal taste and the suggestions of friends. The recipe has gone from being dry and not so spicy to more of a stew-like consistency with a kick.

Recently, I got a flyer dropped on my desk informing me of a cook-off in Seward County and for the first time in my life I thought that it would be fun to participate in such an event. The Seward County United Way Chili, Soups & Sweets Cookoff will be on September 19th  at Blue Bonnet Park starting at 11:30am.

It looks to be challenging as I have never made a batch for a competition and never a batch of 3 gallons.

With the challenge comes the desire to step up my game and luckily we have quite a few new cookbooks here at the library that I hope will help me bring home a trophy.

taste of cowboyA Taste of Cowboy: Ranch Recipes and Tales from the Trail
by Kent Rollins

In the few short months that this cookbook has come out, it has proven to be one of my all time favorites. Full of rustic, down home recipes, the flavors introduced in this book are always spot-on and remind one of meals your grandfather would have cooked on the summer grill. Make sure you have some cast iron cookware on hand as Kent Rollins is big on taking cooking back to the tried and true days of the chuckwagon. Now we know why the cowboys faded away, too much of this food and you are not getting back on a horse anytime soon.

more mexican everydayMore Mexican Everyday
by Rick Bayless

For many of us our palate was forever changed when Rick Bayless released Mexican Kitchen in 1996. Rick brings the flavors of Mexico to life for those new to cooking with the wonderful ingredients native to Mexico and replete with the cooking methods needed to bring those ingredients to life. You never go with a recipe from his cookbook. My personal favorite is his recipe for Mustard Greens Soup with Poblanos and Almonds. Yummm!

made in americaMade in America: A modern collection of classic recipes
by Colby and Megan Garrelts

This is the cookbook that I think everyone should have on their shelf.  My cooking bible is Fannie Farmer, but this is now in the number two spot. If you want to cook the food that makes you feel at home, in your back yard, with the kids running around, then this is the cook book for you. From cover to cover this cookbook is full of wonderful recipes for ribs, pork chops, fried chicken and apple pie.

These are the cookbooks that are currently influencing my cooking and will hopefully see me on the victor’s platform at the United Way Chili, Soups & Sweets Cookoff. For more information on the event please see the entry form at www.scunitedway.com or call 620.624.5400.

There is a $25 entry free, but all proceeds go to the Seward County United Way 2016 Campaign and goes to support the work and services they provide to our community.

Unusual holidays and interesting cookbooks

When I looked to see what sort of things were going on today, July 27th, I found all kinds of interesting and unusual holidays. Today is officially regarded to be Bugs bunny’s birthday. In 1940 the wascally wabbit debuted in Tex Avery’s A Wild Hare.

Today is also Parents’ Day, a day set aside to promote responsible parenting and to recognize positive parental role models. It is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of July each year.

It is Aunties Day, a day honoring Aunts and Godmothers; Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day; and Walk on Stilts Day (hopefully not while carrying your houseplant).

It also happens to be National Crème Brûlée Day. Although there does seem to be some confusion as to whether it falls on the 21st or 27th. Well, for our purposes we’ll say it’s the 27th.

In honor of National Crème Brûlée Day, I thought we might focus this column on some of the newest and more unusual cookbooks available for checkout.

Guy on Fire: 130 recipes for adventures in outdoor cooking
by Guy Fieri, with Ann Volkwein

This is the perfect time of year to explore outdoor cooking. Guy Fieri, of Food Network fame, introduces us to the equipment and rules of barbecue as well as some very interesting recipes (charred octopus and white bean salad anyone?) Some of the recipes included in this book might be a bit ambitious for the average camper, but I thought the baked ziti and the pineapple upside-down cake with rum blueberries might be worth a trying out.

Salad samurai : 100 cutting-edge, ultra-hearty, easy-to-make salads you don’t have to be vegan to love
by Terry Hope Romero

Salad Samurai ( I just really like the name), according to the book cover will “teach you the way of the veggie warrior, rescuing salads from their bland, boring reputation and ‘side’ status“. The author, Terry Hope Romero, is an award-winning chef and bestselling author. There are salad dressing recipes, hearty salads, seasonal salads, and even sweet and savory desert salads. So if you’re thinking vegan or just looking to find a really good new salad recipe, give this book a chance.

The can’t cook book : 100+ recipes for the absolutely terrified!
by Jessica Seinfeld

I’d like to mention The can’t cook book even though it’s checked out right now and I haven’t had a chance to get a good look at it. According to the description it will “show you how to prepare the deliciously simple food you love to order in restaurants…in easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions”. I think this cook book sounds like it’s more my speed.

This is the author’s second book. Her first book, Deceptively Delicious, was a #1 New York Times bestseller. If the author’s name sounds a bit familiar, it’s because her husband is Jerry Seinfeld. Yes, that Jerry Seinfeld.

Keep cookin’ cowgirl : more recipes for your home on the range
by Jill Charlotte Stanford

“Cowgirls have always known that what makes people happy is good food, prepared simply.” This book is filled with simple dishes that will stick to your ribs plus black and white photos and anecdotes of cowgirls past. These recipes are suitable for Sunday dinners with the family or for out on the range.

The author has written several other books including The Cowgirl’s Cookbook andYou Might Be a Cowgirl If…A Guide To Life on the Range.

The dairy-free kitchen : 100 recipes for all the creamy foods you love–without lactose, casein, or dairy
by Ashley Adams

This book actually does have a recipe for crème brûlée in it!

Ashley Adams has a blog on About.com called Dairy Free Cooking. She discovered, like many people, that she has a food allergy to dairy. She has since mastered the techniques of dairy-free substitutions in cooking and baking recipes.

The Dairy-Free Kitchen includes tips on how to avoid buying hidden dairy and finding nondairy calcium sources – including spinach, almonds, and sesame seeds among others. There is even a chapter on making dairy-free milks, butter, cheeses and yogurts. Now, I don’t think I would ever go so far as to make my own milk or cheese, but some of the recipes are interesting and don’t look too complicated. The last chapter is devoted to recipes just for kids, traditional family staples with a dairy-free twist.

These are just a few of the cookbooks currently available. Visit us at the library and see a display of all our newest cookbooks. As always, all of the books on display are available for checkout.