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.

Events this week

Cinco de Mayo

Celebrated in parts Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla, Cinco de Mayo is known as El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (The Day of the Battle of Puebla). It commemorates the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, when an outnumbered Mexican army defeated the invading French.

In the United States, where it is a much bigger holiday, Cinco de Mayo has grown to be a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage.

Liberal’s Cinco de Mayo community celebration is being held on Saturday May 10th. There will be a parade at 1:00 p.m., traveling north up Western Avenue to end at the fair grounds and followed by the Liberal Rodeo Fiesta held there at the Seward County Fair Grounds.

The library has several children’s books about the holiday, including:

Cinco de mayo : celebrating the traditions of Mexico
by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith

Book Description
A young Mexican American from California learns about her heritage and celebrates the holiday with her friends, family, and community.

Max celebrates Cinco de Mayo
by Adria F. Worsham ; illustrated by Mernie Gallagher-Cole.

Book Description
Join in the celebration of Cinco de Mayo as Max is invited to a fiesta at Jose’s house which includes food, music, dancing, and a parade as part of the fun.

Star Wars Day – May the Fourth be with you

Some of you may not know this, but today, May 4th, is a holiday as well. It’s an unofficial, fan-created, holiday, but a holiday none the less. The day was chosen based on a pun, “May the Fourth be with you”.

It’s said that the first use of the pun was on May 4, 1979, the day the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was elected. There was ad in the London Evening News proclaiming, “May the fourth be with you…” Since then is has become an internationally celebrated holiday.

This year’s celebration is bound to be a big one, with so much talk about the new movie, “Star Wars Episode VII”, floating around on the internet. It’s going to be a day for fans worldwide to break out their Darth Vader helmets and Wookiee costumes or maybe grab their lightsabers to show off their dueling skills.

If you’re like me you might want to go a little more low key and have a Star Wars party and movie marathon with a few friends. The Library has all of the Star Wars movies available for checkout, episodes one through six, plus “The Clone Wars” an animated adventure from 2008 which is meant to take place between episodes two and three.

The library also has just shy of a hundred Star Wars books, ranging from fiction to non-fiction; adult to children’s books; Lego books to comic books. There are print books and audiobook versions. Here are just a few of the newer ones:

William Shakespeare’s The empire striketh back : Star Wars part the fifth
by Ian Doescher
This is the second in the William Shakespeare’s Star Wars trilogy, with the third book soon to follow in July.

Book Description
Many a fortnight have passed since the destruction of the Death Star. Young Luke Skywalker and his friends have taken refuge on the ice planet of Hoth, where the evil Darth Vader has hatched a cold-blooded plan to capture them. Only with the help of a little green Jedi Master—and a swaggering rascal named Lando Calrissian—can our heroes escape the Empire’s wrath. And only then will Lord Vader learn how sharper than a tauntaun’s tooth it is to have a Jedi child.

Art2-D2’s guide to folding and doodling
by Tom Angleberger.
This is part of a popular children’s series, “Origami Yoda”.

Book Description
Kellen and the kids from McQuarrie Middle School – with some help from Art2-D2 – present this guide to mastering over seventy-five activities inspired by the bestselling Origami Yoda series, including: doodling, folding, and more! May the doodles by with you!

The wildlife of Star Wars : a field guide
by Terryl Whitlatch and Bob Carrau.

This field guide catalogs some of the some of the amazing creatures that inhabit the Star Wars universe. It is organized by planet, from Tatooine through to Coruscan with a helpful index in the back.

Star Wars. Kenobi
by John Jackson Miller
This book takes place before the events of episode four.

Book Description
Ben—Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, hero of the Clone Wars, traitor to the Empire, and protector of the galaxy’s last hope—can no more turn his back on evil than he can reject his Jedi training. And when blood is unjustly spilled, innocent lives threatened, and a ruthless opponent unmasked, Ben has no choice but to call on the wisdom of the Jedi—and the formidable power of the Force—in his never-ending fight for justice.

Books To Assist You With Your New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! There’s a refreshing renewal and commitment individuals make in the new year whether it be personal goals, projects, or habits. The anticipation of the New Year, and new beginnings.
The most popular goals include resolutions to improve health by losing weight, exercising, drinking less, or quitting smoking; improving finances by getting out of debt or saving money; improving career; improving education; improving self by becoming more organized or reducing stress; taking a trip; or volunteering to help others.

I’m a fan of resolutions. I only came up with five quirky fun resolutions this year. As the New Year was about to ring in, someone passed an invisible mike around, questioning what resolutions everyone made. When it was my turn, I forgot my four quirky fun resolutions and only remembered the fun malefic one.
I hope you’ve made a resolution to visit your local library more often this year or perhaps partake in the services we offer! There’s a couple of brand new books that just left my desk to aid you in your resolution whether it be weight loss, financial freedom, or utter organization from clutter.

Weight Watchers New Complete CookbookThe new “Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook” with over 500 delicious recipes is out for the healthy cook’s kitchen. It has the new points plus values that Weight Watchers recently revamped. I have several friends who over the years have been on Weight Watchers and have passed down a marvelous Taco Soup recipe.

365 Thanks yousIf you’d like to exhibit some kindness and gratitude this year check out “365 thank yous: the year a simple act of daily gratitude changed my life” by John Kralik. The author made a resolution to be more thankful for the good people and things in his life by deciding to write a thank you note each day for a year to the people that mattered in his life. So send an impromptu thank you card or postcard to someone in your life.

Suzanne Somers is out with a new book entitled “Sexy Forever: How to Fight Fat After Forty shed the pounds shed the fat”. The book includes a simple three phase weight loss program, recipes, and an exercise program.

Debt free for lifeFor something to listen to in your car, check out “Debt Free for Life” by David Bach. The author of “The Automatic Millionaire” offers an approach to personal finance that teaches you how to pay down your debt and adopt a whole new way of living debt free.

Those are the newest titles. For more check out the first display of the year: New Year’s Resolutions.

For tips on organization, productivity, and time management browse through “Time management from the inside out: the foolproof system for taking control of Your Schedule and Your Life” by Julie Morgenstern, “Getting things done: the art of stress-free productivity” by David Allen, or “The complete home organizer: a guide to functional storage space for all the rooms in your home” by Maxine Ordesky.

For tips relating to a new you browse through “The eat-clean diet: fast fat loss that lasts forever!” by Tosca Reno, “The Mayo Clinic Diet” by the weight-loss experts at Mayo Clinic, “How to quit smoking without gaining weight” by Martin Katahn, or “The new Atkins for a new you” by Stephen Phinney.

For financial tips browse through “The 9 steps to financial freedom” by Suze Orman, “Bank on yourself: the life-changing secret to growing and protecting your finances” by Pamela Yellen, “Generation debt: take control of your money: a how-to guide” by Carmen Wong Ulrich, “Downsized but not defeated: the family guide to living on less” by Hope Stanley Quinn, or “The everything money book” by Richard Mintzer.
I wish you many successes in the goals you have made for this year. As for that fun malefic goal I made as the New Year rang in? It’s part of a greater ‘run a marathon by the age of blah’ resolution for a great cause. So if you see me around town passed out on a sidewalk as I learn to run ten miles this year without, like, stopping, shout out a friendly “Hello!”

As always, for the latest library programming take a peek at the library website or grab a newsletter from the circulation desk. Stay tuned and connected through our social media pages. The full schedules for Library and Lunch and Book and Movie Series will be out soon. Most importantly, I hope to see you at the library this year!