Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Young & The Restless: Pizza Summit!!

Tuesday, March 22, the Dundee Library's 20s and 30s group will meet for a gloriously indulgent celebration of pizza. We will sample different types of pizza - all of it delicious - from various local pizzerias. Come prepared to sample these succulent slices and share your thoughts on that most wonderful of all foods. Register for this event on the library homepage, or give us a call at 847-428-3661, ext. 308.

Is the pizza summit more Eat Pray Love or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?
Only you can decide.

Date: 3/22/2011
Time: 7 PM - 8:30 PM
Location: Library Meeting Room, Lower Level

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Winter Reading by the numbers

Teen and adult Winter Reading ended on March 5. Here is a brief wrap-up:

266: total number of books read by teen and adult participants
49: number of books read by teens
130: number of books receiving highest rating from participants (5 out of 5)
4: number of books receiving lowest rating from participants (1 out of 5)
29: most books read by a single Winter Reading participant (Evelyn)

Week 7 winners (previously unannounced): Martha, Catherine, & Patti (each won a $20 gift card to either Classic Cinemas or Dunkin' Donuts)

10: total number of weekly winners
Starting in the second week of Winter Reading, we pulled at least one weekly winner from book entries received up to that point. In weeks 4, 5, and 6 we pulled two winners, and in week 7 we pulled three winners.

2: Grand Prize winners:
Teen winner: Stacy (winner of a $75 Target gift card)
Adult winner: Evelyn (winner of a $75 Target gift card)

Thank you to everyone for participating. Summer reading (A Midsummer Knight's Read) begins in June!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Recipe Tester: Making Whoopie PIes

Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley.
Call No.: 641.8654 WEI
Find it in the catalog!

Generally, I like my desserts to be as glamorous as possible. I prefer tartlets to pie, creme brulee to custard, and macaroons (the fancy, French kind--of course) to drop cookies.  Even though they are so hot right now, I don't think I've eaten a whoopie pie since I was ten.  After all, they don't put gold leaf and sugared currants on whoopie pies!

Thankfully, when it comes to baking, I'm not such a snob.  I'll make anything that doesn't involve a rolling pin or a pastry bag.  So when I saw this stylish retro looking cookbook, I decided to embrace the whoopie trend and try making some of my own.  It helped that some of recipes had fancypants ingredients like matcha and rosewater which appealed to my inner snob, and fun names like "Fat Elvis" and "The Happy Pilgrim." 

This cookbook has mix and match recipes, so you can decide to match different cakes with different fillings.  The authors do give you some suggestions.  Most of the whoopies I tried were based off their suggestions, though I did go rogue and make a Reese's Peanut Butter cup inspired whoopie. Below are photos of the different whoopies I tried:

The Purist Whoopie: Classic Chocolate Whoopie (p. 43) and Classic Marshmellow filling (p. 76).
This tastes pretty much like the classic whoopie pie that I used to have as a kid.  Though I still enjoyed it as an adult, which means it's probably tastier than the Hostess variety.

Peanut Butter Cup Whoopie: Classic Chocolate Whoopie (p. 43) and Salty Peanut Butter Filling (p.87).
This is my personal favorite whoopie that I have made.  I did notice a mistake in the peanut butter filling.  The book calls for "3/4 cup (6 tablespoons) of butter."  Really, 3/4 cup of butter is more like 12 tablespoons, but I used 6 tablespoons and the recipe turned out fine.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Paczki Day!

Fans of deep-fried donuts filled with jelly (and who isn't one?) can rejoice as today is Paczki Day-- the Polish equivalent of Mardi Gras.  Throughout Chicagoland, you should have no trouble finding paczki for a reasonable price, but pronouncing their name might be another story (I say "POONCH-key").  However, if you are feeling ambitious, you can try making your own.

Check out the paczki recipe and many other traditional Polish recipes in:

Polish Touches: Recipes and Traditions
Call No.: 973.049185 POL
Find it in the Catalog!
Paczki recipe on page 181.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Recommended read: Encyclopedia of the Exquisite

Filled with curiosities, the Encyclopedia of the Exquisite by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins is the perfect book to have around when you have just 10 minutes to read, or perhaps when you want to learn a little about a lot (each entry averages two pages). The diverse alphabetical entries range from "Aerostation" (hot-air ballooning) to "Yes" (as in, don't automatically think "no"). This quote from the author's introduction explains her aim: "These entries sprang directly from a file I kept on my desk, bulging with scribbled scraps. Xeroxed articles, quotes, and curious images I'd come across-- anything that lit a spark, or excited 'intense delight.' In my mind I called the collection 'Why I Like It Here,' 'here' meaning on the planet."

So, while not every entry did I love, or even like, I found many fascinating. Favorites include "Tea" where Kerwin discusses the manner in which it was ritualized in Japan and England, which yield two very different perspectives. "Mouches" and "Ogi" delve into the mores and popularity of beauty marks (Mouches) and Japanese folding fans (Ogi). "Pouf" enlightens you on the elaborate hairstyles of the late eighteenth century. "Maraviglia," Italian for "marvels," describes the lengths to which artists would engineer extravagant sights and delights for their princes, including the creation of gelato.

This book would make for a superior gift. With it's unique cover and whimsical illustrations, the book itself is exquisite. It also might be nice to start a "Why I Like It Here" file.

Encyclopedia of the Exquisite: An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins
You & Your Family -- 031.02 JEN
Find it in the catalog!