Let the Baking and Knitting Begin!

It’s fall, and that means we’re starting to think about holidays including Thanksgiving and Christmas. Have you begun your holiday baking? Have you put together your baking list for all of those yummy things to go along with your turkey this weekend? Or have you spent inordinate amounts of time or money at the craft store lately, buying up soft, scrumptious wool?

If you answered “yes” to any of these things, we’ve got lots of great inspiration for you at the library. Fall books are all about food, knitting, crafts, and celebrating. Drop in to pick up something like Anna Olsen’s BAKE WITH ANNA OLSEN, or flip through DROP DEAD EASY KNITS by Gale Zucker, Mary Lou Egan, Kristen Kapur to see what you can make before the snow gets here. (I don’t even knit, and I want to make all the things out of this book!)

Of course, if baking and knitting aren’t your thing, we have many other wonderful books to choose from. You can see all of our new books in the scrolling box at the top of our website and place holds, or drop in and check out our new bin. Take home a great book for the long weekend!

Food Fun for March Break

FOODAre you looking for ideas for March Break? How about trying out one or more of these fun recipes to make with your kids this week. Not only are they fun, but it’s a great way to spend some time together….

A DIY Cereal Bowl Cake that looks like, well, a bowl of cereal! YUM!

Tie-Dye Smores?  Say no more!

Rainbow Bagels with Funfetti Cream Cheese (they’d be just as fun with regular bagels).

Bunny Ear Ice Cream Cones, because, you know….Easter.

Funfetti Fudge (who cares how tricky it is to make…it looks wonderful!)

A giant Easter Peeps cake!

All right, yes, I became slightly obsessed with these fun desserts while writing this blog post (hint: never write blog posts while you’re hungry!), but you might find you have a mini-baker on your hands after trying a few. Thanks to the StudioDIY blog for all of the inspiration!

Happy Baking!

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……

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!


Gearing up for fall, a lot of people are thinking about back-to-school lunches, and dinners for the family. This is a great time to gather up some new cookbooks from the library and try out new recipes. And we have a lot of fabulous books here to try out!

food2.jpgYou can find our catalog right here.

But the idea of trying out new foods got me thinking about the idea of eating differently altogether. While a lot of people look to become vegan, or vegetarians, it’s not an option for everyone. How about becoming a “reducetarian”? Haven’t heard of that? Me either, until recently.

It turns out, reducetarianism is a “new” movement focused on trying to eat less meat, not all meat or animal products. And to start, they recommend just giving it a go for 30 days. This is something totally doable, I think. And while cutting back on meat and animal products won’t totally win you a spot on the vegan team, it will bring about a lot of health benefits, simply because in order to reduce that meat option, you’ll likely add in more vegetables. It’s a win-win!

Thinking about giving it a go? Drop in and pick up some tasty new recipes for the fall, and see if you can find a few new options that don’t include meat. It’s a great challenge for fall.


Salad a Day

Here is an interesting idea to get you through the end of the year. It has nothing to do with libraries or books, but everything to do with having enough energy to do everything you need to in the next few weeks. On the interesting lifestyle website, SMAGGLE, they have set up a 30-day Instagram Salad-a-Day challenge! Print out the list, read through the suggestions, and then get eating those greens! It’ll be fun to get a bit creative, and to work some salad back into your daily intake during the holidays. (Salad? Does it come in a cookie format?)


Read through the whole post. They give some great suggestions to get you thinking outside the box.  And you don’t have to belong to Instagram. You can also post your photos to Facebook. Just be sure to use the hashtag #smagglesaladaday and tag @smaggle in your post. Easy, isn’t it? If you start today, you’ll be on Day 16–“Asian” is the theme today. Mmmm…crunchy noodles.

Tips for photographing food? If you’ve seen any of Martha Stewart’s awful food posts on Instagram, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you don’t want your pictures to look like. Instead, make sure your plate is clean around the edges, try to take a photo before you eat anything, make sure the lighting is really good, and aim for a photo taken from above, not off to the side. Remember, look at everything in the shot…..not just the food. Is there something on the table? Is someone making faces in the background? All of these things will make your shot less appealing, and you want people to ooh and ahh over your salad photos, right? Right!

Happy Salad Days!

Picnic Like It’s 1914!

museumAre you ready to Picnic Like It’s 1914? July 12 from 12-4pm go to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum for live music, children games and activities, photo booth, and more! Stop by from 12-1pm and see Wayne Cavanagh from Jack FM!

If you haven’t been to the museum, what are you waiting for? It’s such a fun place to visit and the people are so friendly, you’ll go back often. And who wouldn’t want to picnic like it’s 1914?