Celebrate National Waffle Week!

Waffles are so good, one day wasn’t long enough to enjoy them – there’s a whole week in their honor! Celebrate National Waffle Week this week by cooking up something good from the safety of your kitchen. Get inspired by the recipes in the following cookbooks, available to check out on hoopla via Abbot Public Library with no wait!

Dawn Yanagaihara’s recipes in her book, Waffles, include more than thirty different waffles, ranging from the classic Buttermilk Waffle to the more creative Ham and Gruyère Waffle Tartines. The crispy golden delicacy isn’t just for breakfast – find out how you can enjoy these for lunch and dinner as well. 

If the cover is any indication, Tara Dugan’s Waffles also contains some delicious recipes for the popular breakfast sweet, as well as savory options to enjoy later in the day. The recipes for chicken & waffles and waffle sandwiches might make you wonder why you’ve only been eating waffles for breakfast.

Want to make sure you don’t overindulge? Mini-Waffle Cookbook can help. Peruse recipes perfect for your mini waffle maker, sweet and savory options that include Banana Walnut Waffles, Fritaffle, Waffle-Blini, Waffled Panini, Waffled Calzone, Waffle Joe, Strawberry Shortcake Waffles, and Waffle Pops. You’ll even find gluten-free and vegan options! For even more vegan options, you can check out The Global Vegan Waffle Cookbook.

Daniel Shumski takes a slightly different approach. In Will It Waffle?, he experiments with putting different foods in his waffle iron to see if they, like waffles, result in little compartments for their complimentary sauces. Entertain your kids by making dinner more fun with Waffled Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Pressed Potato and Cheese Pierogi, Waffled Meatballs, or mac ‘n’ cheese-turned-grilled cheese sandwich.

Trying to eat healthy? Don’t have a waffle maker? You could celebrate Waffle Week by reading or watching stories about waffles instead! In the movie Waffle Street, the main character works as a waiter at a waffle house after being a V.P. at a $30 billion hedge fund. 

Benny the Woodpecker tries to sneak into a waffle house in the kids’ book, Woodpecker Wants A Waffle, available on hoopla as a Read-Along ebook and audiobook. If you’re in the mood for an adult cozy, check out Murder With Fried Chicken And Waffles, also available as an ebook or audiobook. There are even more waffle-related items to explore on hoopla!

Cool Off With Christmas in July!

Winter is often a time of joy, when people come together to sing carols and spend time with family and friends. Often throughout the year, we forget what is important. The spirit of giving and the season to spend time with those you love can be celebrated all year long. So, to instill these feelings we experience during the popular winter holiday, here are some ebooks, audiobooks, music, and movies about the Christmas season! 

Ebeneezer Scrooge is the quintessential Christmas grumbler in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (also available on hoopla), a story that has inspired countless retellings as books (see these ebooks on hoopla), movies (seven of which are available on hoopla), and even holiday plays such as the one shown at North Shore Music Theater. The unforgettable ghostly quartet that visits the greedy guy, led by the spirit of Scrooge’s deceased partner, Jacob Marley, are enough to change a man’s entire outlook and remind him of what is important in life, especially at Christmastime.

John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas is a popular modern classic which inspired the movie Christmas with the Kranks (available to watch on hoopla with no wait!), starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee-Curtis. If ever there were characters who forgot what the holiday season was about, it’s the Kranks. They decide to skip Christmas and set sail on a caribbean cruise. But will they go through with their holiday plans, or will something remind them of why this time of year is so special despite all the holiday hassle?

Mystery fans will love to cuddle up with some Christmas cozies on Overdrive and hoopla. Get ready for A Little Yuletide Murder with Jessica Fletcher in book 11 of the Murder, She Wrote Series. Who killed Santa Claus? All Jessica Fletcher wants to do is enjoy a nice holiday in Cabot Cove, but someone killed the guy who plays the small town Santa Claus every year, and Jessica wants to wrap up the case by Christmas. 

Baker and amateur sleuth Hannah Swensen is on the case in Joanne Fluke’s dessert-filled delectables, which can be checked out on Overdrive or hoopla. Included in the holiday-themed titles are a spectacular Christmas ball, a deceased Mrs. Claus, and recipes for delicious desserts!

If you’re more into movies than books, stream one of the many holiday movies available on hoopla! Not only will you find the aforementioned Christmas with the Kranks and various versions of A Christmas Carol, but you’ll find family friendly movies like Small Town Santa, in which the sheriff arrests a home intruder who claims to be Santa Claus; or Christmas with the Andersons, to show how you can enjoy the holiday even if you lose your job. For more mature movies, Christmas Kiss or Back to Christmas might be the romantic movie you want to see.

All these titles are just the tip of the iceberg! Check out even more on Overdrive/the Libby app or on hoopla!

Celebrate National Ice Cream Month!

July is National Ice Cream Month. And no wonder, with how hot the summer can be! If you want to practice social distancing away from those long lines at the ice cream stores, here are some ebooks to help you make, enjoy, and celebrate this tasty summertime treat! 

Get the scoop on how to make ice cream in Charity Ferreira and Lou Seibert Pappas’s ebook with 25 recipes for homemade ice creams and frozen desserts. The A to Z Ice Cream: Making Ice Cream at Home for Total Beginners by Lisa Bond is another great way to start learning how to make this popular frozen dessert, as well as facts about ice cream you can share with friends and family! Find 51 recipes in Nicole Weston’s How to Make Ice Cream, including classics such as coffee and chocolate, as well as original flavors like goat cheese and honey, maple bacon, and more! Or learn from master chef Louis P. De Gouy in The Ice Cream Book, which includes over 400 recipes. We guarantee you will find The Best Ice Cream Maker Cookbook Ever in our hoopla collection! If you care about cows so much you don’t eat dairy products, try Vegan A La Mode by Hannah Kaminsky, with 100+ recipes made from almond, coconut, and other dairy alternatives. 

Once you have your frozen dessert in hand, enjoy while reading an ice cream-themed adult mystery or romance! Jen and Sherry try to solve the Chunky Raspberry Fudge Murder in Penelope Manzone’s cozy mystery. Listen to Lexy Baker and her grandmother, Nans, solve a mystery in Leighann Dobbs’s audiobook, Ice Cream Murder. For A Deadly Inside Scoop, Abby Collette’s wintertime mystery features a recent MBA grad who took over her family’s ice cream business and found the body of a man with an old feud with her family.

If you want something more romantic, Eileen Dreyer’s The Ice Cream Man features Jenny Lake investigating an ice cream man who may be selling something else from his ice cream truck. You could also travel back in time to Grace Thompson’s Ice Cream in Winter, about a woman trying to run a struggling ice cream shop in the winter of 1940. Or take a contemporary road trip in Tiffany Carby’s romance, $(mint)en Chocolate Chip, in which a successful blogger takes a road trip to find the best ice cream spots.

What goes well with ice cream? Dogs! In Drawing with Mark: Happy Tails & We All Scream for Ice Cream, children will learn about popular flavors of the frozen dessert, and they will be taught how to draw an ice cream cone and truck! They’ll also learn how to take care of and draw puppies and kittens. If you want to see doggos enjoying their own frozen treats, take a look at the photos in Diana Lundin’s Dogs vs. Ice Cream! Splat the Cat and Stick Dog also have something to scream or dream about ice cream in the children’s books by Rob Scotton and Tom Watson.

Check out the rest of hoopla’s ice cream-themed items, which include recipe books, fiction, music, and other entertaining items for all ages!

A Trip to the Farmers’ Market!

One of the pleasures of the summer is the weekly trips to the local farmers’ market for fresh produce. Kids enjoy these outings as well. Involve them in the process and they can learn about where their food comes from and how to pick the ripe items. There are also other treats often sold at the local Farmers’ Market. The Marblehead Farmers’ Market is taking place on Saturdays from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm outside of the Marblehead Veterans Middle School. Take a look at their website to read up on their social distancing protocols. Here are some books kids can read to learn more about farmers’ markets.

*All book descriptions are from the publishers. 

At the Farmers’ Market with Kids: Recipes and Projects for Little Hands by Ethel Brennan

“Finish your vegetables!” becomes a phrase of the past when kids discover the diversity and deliciousness of farmers’ markets. From exploring the vibrant booths to selecting produce and tasting the unique flavors each season brings, the farmers’ market provides a fertile playground for kids and brings families together while building healthy habits and supporting sustainable eating. At the Farmers’ Market with Kids profiles the fruits and vegetables available at most farmers’ markets, explaining how to tell which ones are ripe and how to store them. With age-specific tips that cater to children of all ages, plus 65 nutritious and kid-pleasing recipes to put your farmers’ market spoils to use, this cookbook makes it easy for everyone in the family to eat healthfully and live well.

We’re Going to the Farmers’ Market by Stefan Page

In this story, readers get to visit local farmers, fill baskets with fresh fruits and vegetables, and then head home to cook a feast, all with goodies from the farmers’ market! Featuring Stefan Page’s graphic art, this delightful ebook is filled with bold splashes of color and unique patterns. Plus, this is a fixed-format version of the book, which looks nearly identical to the print version.

Let’s All go To The Farmer’s Market! by Weingart Cydney

This rhyming book explores the farmers’ market with children and families. Healthy foods, fresh air, and community are all part of the farmers’ market – it is a great way to expose children to fruits and vegetables.

What’s your favorite thing to get at the Farmers’ Market? Comment below with your favorite food or craft you’ve gotten!

Get Your Grills Ready For Independence Day!

Celebrating the 4th of July may be different this year. Fireworks have been postponed or canceled, and with social distancing, big family cookouts are limited to the people in your household. This is a good time to form a new kind of celebration! Let’s Go To a Cookout! will get kids excited about the experience. The following ebooks include tips and tricks to having the perfect cookout. Stay tuned tomorrow morning for decorations you can make and music you can enjoy to complete your patriotic celebration!

THE MEAT OF THINGS

Franklin Barbeque: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto will teach you how to cook meat (brisket, anyone?), spilling secrets from the popular pitmaster Aaron Franklin, renowned for his barbeque trailer in Austen, Texas. Learn how to build and customize your own smoker, find and cure the right wood, create and tend the perfect fire, choose the right meat, and more! To get a taste of his barbeque techniques, watch this video of the pitmaster cooking a brisket.

For more Texas recipes, check out the Legends of Texas Barbeque Cookbook, and The Brisket Chronicles will teach you more about making brisket. Where’s the beef, you may ask. Find recipes for the #1 cookout dish, the burger, in several of the ebooks available to check out on hoopla, including The Great American Burger, Wicked Good Burgers, Weber’s Big Book of Burgers, Pornburger, and more! The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet even gives you a vegetarian alternative.

America’s Best Ribs might not be so bad, either. Any book about barbequing may be sufficient to satiate your desire. Try some more of the titles you’ll find in hoopla’s Barbecue & Grilling collection, including BBQ USA, Sizzling Grilling, and America’s Best BBQ – Homestyle. Perhaps your taste turns towards different kinds of meat. Fish Grilled & Smoked or even Beer-Can Chicken may be more your style.

VEGETARIAN, VEGAN, AND DIETARY OPTIONS

Don’t eat meat? The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet isn’t the only vegetarian option. Check out VBQ-The Ultimate Vegan Barbecue Cookbook! Instead of beef or brisket, put an eggplant hot dog or cauliflower cutlet on the grill! Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer share tips for having a fabulous plant-based barbecue, from how and when (and where) to light the fire, how to control the heat, how to use different cooking methods, and even how to clean your barbeque after. Also included are more than 80 recipes, with photos to show how appetizing a meatless meal can be.

Vegetables on Fire contains recipes for Cauliflower “steaks,” broccoli burgers, brisket-like beets, and other meat alternatives, and Vegetarian Grilling has not only recipes for veggie burgers, skewers, and rolls, but cheesy options, as well as desserts to satisfy any sweet tooth. Get back to basics with Paleo Grilling, a guide for the modern caveman to grilling unprocessed food over a natural fire. It even includes desserts a caveman would love!

Find more vegetarian barbeque ebooks in hoopla’s Barbeque and Grilling collection.

GETTING YOUR JUST DESSERTS!

After all the hard work of barbequing your meal, you probably feel you’ve earned your dessert. We’ve got you covered!

Find different takes on the popular cookout classic in S’mores. Keeping the three-layer design with the crunchy outer layer and the gooey and melty inside ingredients, Dan Whalen creates such masterpiece variations as Salted Caramel S’mores, Lemon Meringue S’mores, Kettle Corn S’mores, and even an Elvis-inspired creation with bacon, banana, and peanut butter! For even s’more ideas about how to enjoy this popular treat, check out So Much S’more To Do by Becky Rasmussen and Erik Ahlman. Featuring 55 alternative recipes to the well-loved graham cracker-chocolate-marshmallow creations, you’ll find such creative twists as Brownie, Peanut Butter & Banana, and Tiramisu S’mores!

Show off your patriotism with the All-American classic: apple pie! An Apple a Day has recipes for all year ‘round. Included are savory recipes as well as the much-desired desserts. Learn how to make Frozen Apple Daiquiris, pies, sauces, tarts, and more! For recipes from all across the United States, here is America’s Most Delicious Dessert Recipes State by State, with different takes on cakes, pies, tarts, cookies, bars, sorbet, ice cream and more!

If you only want to look at pies, take a gander at such titles as America’s Best Pies, First Prize Pies, and The Magic of Mini Pies. Filled with recipes for simpler pies using apple, custard, strawberry, raisin, blackberry, and more, as well as more inventive pies such as Root Beer Float, Banana Dulce de Leche, and Lavender Cream Toffee pies – your taste buds will be swimming with sweet flavors!

If it’s too hot for s’mores or pies, cool off with some frozen treats! Try your hand at popsicle making with For the Love of Popsicles, 20 Best Frozen Pop Recipes, Ice Pops, and Perfect Pops. For those who prefer ice cream, try any of these titles: 

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

The Ultimate Guide to Homemade Ice Cream

Ice Cream Treats

The Artisan Kitchen: Perfect Homemade Ice Cream

Sweet Scoops

I Scream Sandwich!

and more! 

For more frozen desserts you can attempt to concoct, check out The Art of Making Gelato, How to Make Frozen Yogurt, and, for dairy-less cold treats, Making Vegan Frozen Treats. Browse through even more dessert titles on hoopla!

Narratives with Recipes!

Enjoy a good book and try a new homemade treat with these novels and biographies that delve into the culinary world!

Meet Me at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan is a heartwarming story of Issy Randall realizing her dream of opening a café. Growing up with her Grandpa Joe, who ran several bakeries, baking was in her blood. So, after being laid off from her job, she decided to turn to what she knew how to do best.

Don’t forget to check out the next book in the series: Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe. Jenny Colgan has many other culinary-themed fiction novels to check out from other series as well, and they are also available to download on hoopla. 

My Life in France by Julia Child is the fascinating autobiography of Julia Child, a tall girl from Pasadena, California who we know as the celebrated French Chef from her PBS cooking show and her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which she wrote with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. It is an endearing story about how she met and fell in love with her husband, Paul Child, who worked as a diplomat. They had to travel to France for his work, and with the desire to learn how to cook for her husband and falling in love with the cuisine of France, Julia was inspired to take courses at Cordon Bleu Cooking School. The rest is history.

Julie and Julia became a movie, directed by Nora Ephron and starring Meryl Streep, based on the books My Life in France and Julie Powell’s memoir, Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. It won a Golden Globe Award. Powell’s book chronicles the year of embarking on a project to cook a recipe from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking every day for a year. Frustrated with her job as a secretary, this cooking project and the successful blog she writes about it gives her a whole new direction in life. Check out the ebook on Overdrive or the audiobook on hoopla.

Ann Mah’s impressive travelogue, Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love From a Year in Paris, details the regional food of France as she travels the country. Stationed in France with her husband, who is a diplomat, Ann Mah researches the traditional food of France, referencing the work of Julia Child. Ann Mah is a writer for The New York Times travel section, a journalist, and a novelist.

Lavender Blue Murder by Laura Childs is 21st in the Tea Shop Mysteries featuring Theodosia Browning, proprietor of Indigo Tea Shop. Prolific writer Laura Childs’ cozy series is set in Charleston, South Carolina. There are likeable regular characters, recipes, and, of course, a mystery to solve. Attending an English-style game bird hunt with her friend Drayton, there is a murder of the host who has been shot and his widow presses Theodosa to help solve the crime despite Theodosia’s detective boyfriend, Pete Riley, wanting her to stear clear of the investigation.

Lavendar Blue Murder can be found as an ebook and audiobook. There are more titles from the series accessible in Overdrive. Check out the full series in NoveList here. The first book in the series is Death by Darjeeling.

Coconut Layer Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke is the 25th book in the popular Hannah Swensen Mystery series, so there are many volumes to enjoy for new fans. This cozy mystery is set in Lake Eden, Minnesota. Hannah Swensen owns a bakery shop, The Cookie Jar, and finds herself solving mysteries on the side. In Coconut Layer Cake Murder, Hannah tries to go on vacation with her mother to California when her sisters’s boyfriend is suddenly a suspect in a murder case of an old high school friend. Hannah also has to move in with her old love interest, Norman Rhodes. Recipes, of course, are included!

You can see the list of the Hannah Swensen Mystery series in NoveList with your library card. The first volume in the series is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. There are titles also available to download by Joanne Fluke from hoopla.