November Book-o-Scopes: Cookbooks

November 5th, 2019

Upgrade your dinners by trying a new cookbook. Try one based on your astrological sign!

Aries: March 21 – April 19
Mastering Spice: Recipes and Techniques to Transform Your Everyday Cooking by Lior Lev Sercarz
You’re bold, Aries, so your food should reflect that. Learn more about different spices with this guide & take your cooking to the next level!
Reserve now.

Taurus: April 20 – May 20
The Bread Collection: Artisan Baking for the Bread Enthusiast by Brian Hart Hoffman
You’re a reliable friend & family member; everyone can count on you. Try baking the staple of almost every meal: bread!
Reserve now.

Gemini: May 21 – June 20
Fix-It and Forget-It: Slow Cooker Freezer Meals: 150 Make-Ahead Meals to Save You Time and Money by Hope Comerford
You are always on the move, Gemini, so why not try making meals that value your time?
Reserve now.

Cancer: June 21 – July 22
The Best Comfort Food on the Planet by Kerry Altiero
You’re one of the more sensitive signs, Cancer, and you crave comfort, so try this book about the best comfort food!
Reserve now.

Leo: July 23 – August 22
Effortless Entertaining Cookbook: 80 Recipes that will Impress Your Guests without Stress by Meredith Steele
You love parties & elaborate meals, so you should pick up a cookbook to help you host your next dinner party.
Reserve now.

Virgo: August 23 – September 22
Taste of Home: Half Homemade
You’re always on the go, Virgo. You need a cookbook that will help you cut your cooking time down.
Reserve now.

Libra: September 23 – October 22
Good Housekeeping: 1,200 Triple-Tested Recipes
Libra, have you ever been able to decide on anything? You need a classic cookbook with plenty of variety to satiate your changing tastes.
Reserve now.

Scorpio: October 23 – November 21
The New Orleans Kitchen: Classic Recipes and Modern Recipes for an Unrivaled Cuisine by Justin Devillier
You love strong, bold flavors, so why not try a Cajun recipe?
Reserve now.

Sagittarius: November 22 – December 21
Love and Lemons Every Day: More than 100 Bright, Plant-Forward Recipes for Every Meal by Jeanine Donofrio
You’re all about fresh flavors & veggies. Try some new vegetarian-packed dishes!
Reserve now.

Capricorn: December 22 – January 19
One-Pan Wonders: Fuss-Free Meals for Your Sheet Pan, Dutch Oven, Roasting Pan, Casserole, and Slow Cooker
You like efficiency, Capricorn, so you’ll love these recipes for meals that only use one pot or pan!
Reserve now.

Aquarius: January 20 – February 18
Quick & Healthy Spiralized: Breakfasts, Snacks, Sides, Entrees, Desserts & More
You love trying out new recipes & kitchen appliances, Aquarius. Try learning how to spiralize fruits & vegetable.
Reserve now.

Pisces: February 19 – March 20
Delish Insane Sweets: Bake Yourself a Little Crazy by Joanna Saltz
You’re one of the most charming signs, Pisces, so why not try making treats that are just as sweet as you?
Reserve now.

If you want more personalized picks, try our reading recommendation service Book Mate! Fill out a short form about your likes and dislikes and one of our book experts will choose 3-5 titles for you. Who knows? They might suggest your next favorite book! Try Book Mate online or stop by any branch and pick up a form there!

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Perfect Holiday Recipes

November 10th, 2017

Years ago my husband bought me the Williams Sonoma “Thanksgiving” cookbook—he joked that it was really a gift for him so he could enjoy all the delicious food. At first, I was intimidated by the recipes, but that book taught me a lot of basics—how to cook a great turkey, a flaky pie crust, and the “Spicy Three Cheese Spread” that’s become a Thanksgiving favorite.

Though I’m now a more seasoned cook, I honestly keep very few cookbooks on my shelf.  Instead, I prefer to browse lots of recipes from many sources, plucking ideas from here and there to craft the perfect menu or dish.  Checking out a huge stack of cookbooks is my idea of a relaxing night—hot beverage in hand, of course, to help inspire the browsing.

My new foodie fascination is browsing cooking magazines on RBdigital — the free digital magazine service available through the library.  I was delighted to discover I could download the holiday cookie magazines (if you’re a baker, you know that those magazines often retail at $10 or more).   Taste of Home, Food Network Magazine, Martha Stewart Living and more are all free to browse and download with your library card.

Stop by one of our library branches (and the library’s website) to get inspiration for your holiday menu planning. In the meantime, here’s how we like to make that “Spicy Three Cheese Spread” at our house.  Bon appétit and happy holidays!


Spicy Three Cheese Spread

Adapted from Williams Sonoma “Thanksgiving.”

Make this at least a day ahead to give the flavors time to meld.  It’s amazing used as a dip for crackers or vegetables and adds a delightful kick to leftover turkey sandwiches.

  • 6 oz. Swiss cheese, finely diced or shredded
  • 6 oz. sharp orange Cheddar, finely diced or shredded
  • 4 oz. creamy blue cheese or gorgonzola
  • 5 TBSP salted butter
  • 1/3 cup tawny Port
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (add more if you want it spicier)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 green onion, minced (include the tender green parts)
  • Finely diced pimento, if desired

Let the cheeses and butter come to room temperature, then mix with the remaining ingredients. If you want, mix in some pimento for a festive, red accent.  Makes 8-10 servings.

What’s your favorite holiday dish?

Photo credit: Lauren H. Craig —

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