Frivolous Friday Fondue

FondueIt’s almost that time of year again…..maple syrup season!!  And if you live in Eastern Ontario, that means you’ll be eating a lot of this stuff on pancakes, waffles, and ice cream over the next few months.

So, when I came across a fun recipe that incorporated maple syrup into a more savory meal, I thought it would be a worth a share. Maple Syrup Fondue, anyone?

Design Sponge has a great series called, “In the Kitchen with…..”, and they recently featured a recipe by Laura and Dana Putnam of Finding Home Farms that uses maple syrup as a base for their tasty fondue. Pair it up with wonderful items like crusty breads, spicy meats, and crunchy veggies, and you have a brand new way to enjoy maple syrup.

Stop on over to the post right here to see more, and to get the recipe. You’ll need it once that sap starts running……

Pack a Joke!

It’s the new year, and that means school lunches again. If your kids are bored with their usual fare, it might be easy to spice things up…without having to design new recipes and get them to eat different things. How about packing Lunchbox Jokes!

SERENDIPITYOver at a blog called ALL THE BOYS, they’ve designed fun, printable jokes you can pack in school lunches. Print them on card stock for stability, or fun, colourful paper to make your child excited about lunches again.

The jokes are silly, and very age appropriate, so it will make lunch time extra fun as they search for the Joke of the Day. (Why was the man running around his bed? To catch up on his sleep!)

Lunch will never be boring again!

Skillet Cookies

It’s a cold day out there, and what better thing than to make cookies? Even better, how about a gooey giant cookie you and your whole family could eat for dessert tonight? (Yes, it’s the New Year and after three weeks of “eating well”, I’m dying for cookies. You got me.)

Skillet cookies are the real deal, and they don’t take a lot of time or effort. Just throw the ingredients together, put them in a cast iron skillet and pop them in the oven while you eat. THE BEST.

cookiesAt one of my favourite crafty websites, Skip To My Lou, they featured a post with TEN SKILLET COOKIE RECIPES. Ten! That’s a big choice, and one I don’t want to have to make today, but I will if it means something delicious to start off the week. We can always diet tomorrow.

What do you think? Skillet cookies for dessert tonight?

(Photo courtesy of Padurarsu Alexandru via Unsplash.com)

Stop Baking!

20151106_100614-1Today is the last day to register for our Christmas Cookie Exchange at the library. If you haven’t had a chance to do any baking yet this year, don’t dismay! We’re here to help!

Here’s all you have to do:

  • Register at the library by 8pm tonight.
  • Go home and bake one type of Christmas cookie
  • Bring them back to the library at 7pm on Thursday, December 17th
  • Exchange cookies with other participants
  • Take home a wide variety of cookies to enjoy!

We’re taking the stress out of the holidays! Call us for more information at 257-2702.

Starbucks + Christmas – Christmas = ???

10890728_1234187126596633_2133648073_nBy now, you’ve probably all heard the crazy argument going around the internet about Starbucks and their “plain” holiday cups this year. If you haven’t, you’re lucky. But just to summarize, when Starbucks rolled out their annual red cups November 1st, a former pastor in the US took offense to the fact that they were so plain, and free of all Christmas references, which he took to mean that Starbucks hates Christians, of course.

Now, as far as anyone can tell, holiday references in Starbucks’ previous red cups were only things like ornaments, or reindeer….and not really any religious references. This year, they kept the cups clean—only a graduated ombre to the deep red—to “usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories”, claims Starbucks President Jeffrey Fields. So why the pastor chose to take this fight to such an extreme level (and really, it has nothing much to do with being Christian and celebrating Christmas at all), leaves everyone stumped. He started up a campaign online to get people to say their name was Merry Christmas, so that the Starbucks employees would have to write that on the cups, and therefore, keep the Christmas at Starbucks, as well as fight the fight using the hashtag #MerryChristmasStarbucks.

What?

Red cups, blue cups, reindeer or no deer….what does it matter? Coffee and books go together,and we’re fans of Starbucks here at the library. Does anyone really passionately care what the design is on the cup? Unless you’re the one who designed it, I don’t think so.

I’m pretty sure this former pastor, Joshua Feuerstein, who now calls himself a “social media personality”, just needs to chill out, and maybe take up adult colouring as a form of relaxation.

Just keep the red pencils away from him.

(Speaking of adult colouring, join us at the library on Wednesday, November 25th at 6:30pm for some fun zen colouring. There may even be Christmas things to colour!)

Cookies!

20151106_100614-1We’re hosting a cookie exchange at the library this year! It’s a festive celebration of community…and cookies!

Drop in during the month of December to pick up some new cookie recipes to try out, and sign up for the exchange. We’re taking registrations up until December 14th! Then, on December 17th, bring your creations to the Library Cookie Exchange to share, and take home a wide-variety of treats made by other participants! Make this an easy holiday….all your cookie making will be done for you!

What is YOUR food?

food5.jpgWe all love food, but we all have our own favourites. Sure, there are many great cookbooks out there like the ones shown above, but what are the recipes you love the most? The ones you return to? The ones your Grandmother used to make? Instead of keeping millions of food-stained pieces of paper, why not put together a “Family Cookbook”, filled with the recipes that mean something to you and your loved ones, complete with stories and photos to accompany it!

What is a family cookbook?

A family cookbook is an ambitious undertaking. You’ll need at least a dozen recipes, and photos of the food once it is made. But if you’re looking for something unique and wonderful to give to special people in your life this holiday season, now is the time to start planning.

Why would anyone want to make a family cookbook?

It’s not simply about organizing your recipes…it’s a way to pass on favourites from generation to generation. And everyone has at least one wonderful cook in the family, so bring them in on it. They’ll be a big help!

How do you even begin?

First, gather up some recipes that you love. Ask family members for some of theirs, and talk to other family members about recipes they loved as children, and try to find similar recipes online.

Next, pick 10 – 12 favourites—–any more might be too ambitious for this project. Now, make sure the ingredients and directions are clear. Type out each recipe as its own word document and save.  You’ll need these later to upload to a book design program.

This is the hardest part. Ask someone who takes great photos to help. Check Instagram and Facebook for great food photos taken by your friends or family members at restaurants (everyone loves to take photos of their food, right?). You’ll need some good lighting, and a simple counter top. Now go and cook. Try to take the nicest photos of each dish that you can….make sure the plates are free of splatters, and that you take it from an angle that doesn’t look unappealing, or too shadowy.

Now all you have to do is upload everything to an online photo book design site, like Blurb, Shutterfly, or even your local Staples or Walmart. There are a variety of options and pricing you can choose from—just upload your photos and the word document recipes, and you can arrange everything the way you like it, including a cover!

This would be a great option for an “easy” gift for family. Print multiple copies and they’ll ship everything to you when it’s finished.

Give it a try…make your own Family Cookbook!