Great British Book Off

Idyllic countryside, sponge cakes, and coveted handshakes are the staple elements of the beloved Great British Bake Off. Netflix’s baking competition attracts millions of viewers who enjoy the light-hearted competition and camaraderie. The only drama in this show comes from food fails- cakes that haven’t risen, chocolate that hasn’t set, and of course the dreaded soggy bottom.

If you’d like to try your hand at your own signature bake, technical challenge, or showstopper, try one of these cookbooks from contestants and judges. While we anxiously wait to see who will be named the winner of series 13, I hope you find some baking inspiration in these titles.

On your marks, get set, bake!

Chetna’s Easy Baking: With a Twist of Spice by Chetna Makan

Nadiya’s Everyday Baking by Nadiya Hussain

Celebrate with Kim-Joy: Cute Cakes and Bakes to Make Every Occasion Joyful by Kim-Joy

Crumb: A Baking Book by Ruby Tandoh

Super Sourdough by James Morton

The Great British Bake Off: How to Turn Everyday Bakes into Showstoppers by Linda Collister

-Melinda

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Today marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which will last until October 15. On September 15, Mexico celebrates their independence from Spain, with most Central American countries celebrating on September 16, and Chile celebrating on September 18. It is a time for the United States to acknowledge and commemorate the contributions and achievements of Hispanic Americans. The influence of Central America is everywhere in the United States, from food to culture to language.  

Interested in cooking? Try these Mexican cookbooks: 

Chicano Eats: Recipes from My Mexican-American Kitchen by Esteban Castillo 

Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in México by Ricky Martínez 

Plant Powered Mexican: Fast, Fresh Recipes from a Mexican-American Kitchen by Kate Ramos  

Planning your next vacation? Explore Central America and beyond: 

Lonely Planet’s Best of Central America 

Fodor’s Essential Chile

Footprint: Belize, Guatemala & Southern Mexico

Love history? There’s plenty to learn: 

Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration by Alfredo Corchado 

Diego Rivera by Pete Hamill 

Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States by Felipe Fernández-Armesto 

El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America by Carrie Gibson

And of course, there are plenty of authors with rich bibliographies to further expand our appreciation: 

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova 

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo 

Violeta by Isabel Allende 

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez 

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez 

-Linnea

No-Bake Treats for the Dog Days of Summer

Beat the heat and the boredom with these no-bake cookbooks! It can be hard to gather the motivation to cook in these hot summer months but good thing we don’t always have to. There’s plenty of sweet treats to make without turning the oven on. Here are a few cookbooks to try out and remember, when it comes to dessert, sharing is caring! 

No Bake Makery by Cristina Suarez Krumsick has over 80 recipes for small bite treats that you can make without using an oven! Learn how to make key lime pie, peanut brittle, marshmallow pretzel bars, and more, and learn baking techniques such as decorating your treats and tempering chocolate. 

Haven’t you always wanted to eat a cheeseburger made from rice crispies? Look no further than Jessica Siskin’s Treat Yourself!: How to Make 93 Ridiculously Fun No-Bake Crispy Rice Treats. Making food look like other foods or objects is “in” right now and you too can be a part of the action and make rice crispy treats into a camera, sushi, even a menorah. Siskin provides all the tips and tricks, so don’t worry if you’ve only made rice crispy treats shaped like rice crispy treats. Definitely a fun, creative way to fill your day! 

And what is summer without ice cream? But who wants to deal with churning and ice cream makers? Fortunately, No-Churn Ice Cream by Leslie Bilderback has our back and has compiled over 100 recipes without any special equipment. You’ll learn the basics (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry) and tons of variations, so no need to keep buying pints at the store! 

Enjoy all your new-found techniques for these no-bake treats to satisfy your sweet tooth all summer long! 

-Linnea

Infinite Goodness: Pi Day

Lemon, peach, apple, 3.14159, oh my! Pi Day, which falls on Monday, March 14, is fast approaching! Pi day is an annual holiday devoted to celebrating the infinite mathematical constant π, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter that starts off as 3.14. This Pi Day, indulge with a slice (or two, or three!) of your favorite pie and some of the books below.

How to Bake Pi: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics by Eugenia Cheng: What is math? How exactly does it work? And what do three siblings trying to share a cake have to do with it? Using insights from the kitchen, professor Eugenia Cheng provides an accessible introduction to the logic and beauty of mathematics.

Pie Academy: Mastering the Perfect Crust and 255 Amazing Fillings by Ken Haedrich: Here’s the only pie cookbook you’ll ever need. Novice and experienced bakers will discover the secrets to baking a pie from scratch with step-by-step photos and recipes, advice about tools and ingredients, tips for gorgeous fluted and lattice pie tops, and more.

The Book on Pie: Everything You Need to Know to Bake Perfect Pies by Erin Jeanne McDowell: Start with the basics, including ways to mix pie dough for extra flaky crusts, storage and freezing, and tips for decorating, before diving into dozens of recipes for all different kinds of pies: fruit, custard, cream, chiffon, cold set, savory, and mini.

Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World by Matt Parker: Exploring and explaining a litany of glitches, near misses, and mathematical mishaps involving the Internet, big data, elections, street signs, lotteries, an Olympic team, and even the Roman Empire, stand-up comedian Matt Parker uncovers the ways math trips us up and how essential math is in everyday life.

One Poison Pie by Lynn Cahoon: What’s a kitchen witch to do when her almost-financé leaves her suddenly single and unemployed? For Mia Malone, the answer’s simple: move to her grandmother’s quirky Idaho hometown, where magic is an open secret and witches and warlocks are (mostly) welcome. But when her first catering job takes a distasteful turn, Mia must find out which of the town’s eccentric residents has an appetite for murder before her fresh start comes to a sticky end.

The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman: When her efforts to pursue a professional culinary life away from her family’s northern Michigan orchard end in disappointment, Sam spends a summer working for the family pie shop and begins to understand the women in her life, her family’s history, and her passion for food as she prepares beloved ancestral recipes.

The Curse of the Cherry Pie by Amy Patricia Meade: When Tish Tarragon’s friend pulls out of the prestigious Virginia Commonwealth Bake-Off, an anxious Tish reluctantly takes her place. As the bake-off gets underway, Tish learns that her signature bake, a frangipane cherry pie, has played a deadly role in the previous two competitions. Is the curse of the cherry pie about to strike again?

Pieometry: Modern Tart Art and Pie Design for the Eye and the Palate by Lauren Ko: Whether you want to impress at the holidays or just spruce up a family meal, Pieometry is your guide to transforming a traditional dessert into a modern masterpiece. The pie-making genius behind the popular Instagram account @lokokitchen reveals how to build 50 sweet and savory pies from crust to top. Look for butternut bacon macaroni and cheese pie, lavender blackberry cream pie, honey ricotta tart, grilled cinnamon pineapple pie, and more.

Pie all the Time: Elevated Sweet and Savory Recipes for Every Occasion by Taylor Harbin: Whether you’re craving comfort food, an exciting new flavor, a quick treat, or a celebratory indulgence, the answer is always pie. Taylor Harbin, the creator behind the blog “All Purpose Flour Child,” offers familiar classics, inventive flavors, and easy methods for flawless pies every time.

Sweet as Pie by Alicia Hunter Pace: The path to true love isn’t quite as easy as pie, but it sure is sweet in the end. Jake Champagne is looking forward to a new team, new town, and clean slate in Laurel Springs. After a disastrous year, the hockey hotshot is leaving his past behind – even betting his best friend that he can stay away from women. But he’s happy to reconnect with a piece of home when he visits childhood friend and now successful baker Evie. Between slices of Mississippi mud pie and chicken potpie, Jake starts to remember what a fool he was to let Evie get away.

Cookie Lit

‘Tis the season for cookies. No, really, National Cookie Day was on December 4th. Since 2015, the New York Public Library has celebrated National Cookie Day by baking and blogging delicious recipes that correspond with favorite books. This year’s recipes feature thumbprints as an ode to mysteries, carrot cake cookies for Peter Rabbit, apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies for romance author Sarina Bowen’s latest book, and many more. You can check out the New York Public Library’s cookie lit celebration here. For more inspiration, check out the cookbooks below available at your library. Happy baking and eating this holiday season!

The Cookie Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum 

Featuring nearly every cookie imaginable, from French macarons to double ginger molasses cookies to snickerdoodles to coconut snowball kisses, this is your must-have cookie book. Baker Rose Levy Beranbaum’s foolproof recipes feature detailed instructions, notes for planning ahead, and ingenious tips to ensure cookie success each and every time.  

100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen by Sarah Kieffer  

Chocolatey, fruity, crispy, chewy, classic, inventive – there’s a creative recipe for the perfect cookie for everyone in this book from celebrated blogger Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Baking Blog

Sally’s Cookie Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cookie Bars, Shortbread, and More by Sally McKenney 

From the blogger behind the popular Sally’s Baking Addiction, this cookbook features dozens of recipes for cookies, cookie bars, cookie dough dips, slice-and-bakes, no-bakes, and more. 

The Cookies & Cups Cookbook: 125+ Sweet & Savory Recipes Reminding You to Always Eat Dessert First by Shelly Jaronsky 

With recipes ranging from the deliciously decadent, like s’mores fudge bars, to the deceptively simple, such as chocolate chip cookies, The Cookies & Cups Cookbook has something for everyone, from the cooking novice the seasoned chef.  

The Cookie Collection: Artisan Baking for the Cookie Enthusiast by Brian Hart Hoffman  

Become a cookie connoisseur with a variety of flavors and cookie styles from sandwich cookies to sugar cookies to gingerbread to shortbread. No matter the occasion, this cookbook has you covered with cookies for the season. 

Cookie Love: More Than 60 Recipes and Techniques for Turning the Ordinary into the Extraordinary by Mindy Segal 

Get ready to up your cookie game. Self-professed “cookie nerd” Mindy Segal offers more than 60 recipes for every kind of cookie including drop cookies, bars, sandwich cookies, shortbread, thumbprints, and more, as well as tricks and tools to build the ideal cookie pantry. 

Live Well Bake Cookies: 75 Classic Cookie Recipes for Every Occasion by Danielle Rye 

Danielle Rye, the creator of the blog Live Well Bake Often, believes that anyone can become an expert baker, and in this cookbook she gently guides bakers in the kitchen with easy recipes for delicious, classic cookies.  

Life Is What You Bake It: Recipes, Stories, and Inspiration to Bake Your Way to the Top by Vallery Lomas 

Winner of the Great American Baking Show, Vallery Lomas debuts her first baking book featuring more than 100 recipes, many of them family heirlooms from her native Louisiana, and stories. Vallery’s “when life gives you lemons, make lemon curd” philosophy will empower legions of bakers and fans to find their inner warrior and bake their best life.  

Cookbooks for Thanksgiving Inspiration

Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday (Halloween will always hold that title) but I do rather love an excuse to consume copious amounts of food, try out new recipes, and acceptably nap on the couch in the middle of a family gathering.

If you are in need of some Thanksgiving kitchen inspiration, take a look below at some of my recommended titles for creating and sharing a delicious feast with your friends and family. Whether you are hosting a large group, people with special diets, or perhaps you are attending an intimate gathering, there is something for everyone in this curated collection.

Request one of these fabulous cookbooks today or stop in and see us at the library. What are some of your favorite cookbooks to break out for the holidays? Share in the comments!

August eBook Display- Cooking for Busy Schedules

With another school year just around the corner, and many of us returning to spending more time in the office, you might be in need of some help in the kitchen! Fear not- all the titles below are cookbooks perfect for crafting delicious meals that work for those short on time.

Click here to jump to our OverDrive digital library!

Time to Prepare?

There’s still time! You can still bake, and craft, and read, all the holiday treats your 2020 heart desires! (I qualify this to your “2020 heart” as this year is not like the others. Maybe you’re skipping, or maybe you’re all in, it doesn’t feel like there’s one, right answer. Aannyyyywho…)

If you want to make something Buddy the Elf would approve of: Cookies and other Sweet Treats might have a digital book that can help you out!

Rather than hitting all the stores, maybe you want to check out a digital book from Why Buy it When You Can Make it? collection!

Or perhaps you’d like to unwind, read or listen to Holiday Stories for the Young and the Young at Heart -which also tend to be shorter, and great for my minimal attention span?

Maybe you want to sample something from all three options -and then- take a nap! This is a judgement free zone -enjoy what works (plus a piece of candy)!

Stacey

Chocolate Day Reads

Try some chocolate themed fiction. We have sweet chocolate stories, dark chocolate stories, and even some hot chocolate stories.

Maybe nonfiction is more to your taste. We’ve got you (chocolate) covered.

Happy Reading (and sweet snacking)!

~Megan