Winter is on its way out, but Season 4 of Game of Thrones is coming!

Many of us are eagerly awaiting the start of season four of Game of Thrones, which begins on Sunday, April 6th on HBO. The AADL has the first three seasons of the show on DVD and Blu-Ray, but we also have a large selection of other Game of Thrones-related materials that fans may be interested in. The show was inspired by and is strictly based on the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. The library has all five of the currently published books available. Martin has said that he may publish the sixth installment of the series, The Winds of Winter, in 2015. Even if you’ve already seen the show, reading the books is a cool way to find out more details and clear up any confusion.

The AADL also has graphic novel adaptations of Game of Thrones. These are fast-paced and colorful reads that fans will surely enjoy. There are also unique books about the Game of Thrones fantasy world and the show in our collection. The Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister collects a number of the hilarious and witty quotes said by one of the most popular characters into a fun book. The Unofficial Game of Thrones cookbook: from direwolf ale to auroch stew—more than 150 recipes from Westeros and beyond has appetizers, side dishes, main courses and desserts, all inspired by meals or situations from Game of Thrones. We also have the official companion to the HBO show, Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones. It is filled with hundreds of photos of the set, actors, and props from the show. Finally, an extremely helpful book is The Lands of Ice and Fire: maps from King’s Landing to across the Narrow Sea, a collection of maps and diagrams that show the world described by Martin in his books and shown to viewers on the show. As fans know, keeping the many settings of Game of Thrones straight can be a challenge; this book can help those who are struggling better visualize the continents of Westeros and Essos

Cooking on a Budget

For those of us on a budget, making tasty, healthy meals on a regular basis can be a challenge. Good ingredients can be expensive and the most delicious recipes are often complex and call for a number of pricey items. Here at AADL we have a number of budget-friendly cookbooks that can help you eat well while not breaking the bank. Budget Bytes: over 100 delicious recipes to slash your grocery bill in half is a brand new cookbook by the creater of the hugely popular Budget Bytes blog. Caroline Wright’s Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute Meals: for four people is a great cookbook for those hoping to feed small families. Her book includes healthy, tasty recipes in all forms including vegetarian and vegan recipes, pizzas and desserts.

Student cookbooks can also be a great way to find easy, inexpensive recipes. We have The Ultimate Student Cookbook, the Student’s Vegetarian Cookbook and the Student’s Go Vegan Cookbook and Young and Hungry: making the most of fresh and affordable food, as well as several others.

There are also some wonderful cookbooks in our collection for those intending to eat locally and seasonally while also remaining on a budget. Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons: celebrate the holidays with elegance and simplicity on any income is a lovely book that uses seasonally-appropriate, inexpensive recipes. There is also The Locavore’s Handbook: the busy person’s guide to eating local on a budget, which offers practical advice for using local food in easy recipes. This book is especially useful for those of us in Michigan, since author Leda Meredith’s advice is geared towards those living in colder climates!

Korean Cookbooks @AADL

Do you like to experiment with cooking? Are you fond of kimchi, seaweed, and sesame oil? Why not try your hand at cooking Korean Cuisine!

The AADL has plenty of Korean Cookbooks in our collection, such as Eating Korean: From Barbecue to Kimchi. In this cookbook/memoir fusion, Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee writes about what it was like growing up in a Korean kitchen. In addition, she provides resources for the unfamiliar shopper, such as a list of Korean groceries by state and a glossary of ingredients and equipment.

Other Korean cookbooks include The Kimchi Chronicles: Korean Cooking for an American Kitchen, by Marja Vongerichten, which was adapted to a popular PBS television series in 2011. The Kimchi Chronicles feature both traditional Korean dishes and the more contemporary fusion dishes; in this unique cookbook, Vongerichten explains how it is easy to translate Korean flavors into the American kitchen.

One of my personal favorite Korean dishes is the spicy beef soup – called 육개장 yukgaejang (pronounced yook-gae-jahng) – which features beef, vegetables, transparent noodles (I like to call them ghost noodles!), and lots of spicy red chili paste (gochujang). This hot and spicy soup is perfect to warm up with in the cold weather we are currently having here in the mitten state! You can find this traditional recipe, along with several others, in the cookbook Authentic Recipes from Korea by Injoo Chun.

For a list of more Korean cookbooks in the AADL collection, visit the public list Kimchi, Bulgogi, and Gim – oh my!

The Candymakers

Since February is a traditional time for candy, it also seems like a perfect opportunity to sample this sweet story, The Candymakers by Wendy Mass.

Reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this book introduced readers to four twelve-year-olds competing in the Confectionery Association’s annual Best New Candy contest. Alternating between the perspectives of contestants Logan, Miles, Daisy and Philip, the story unfolds in truly surprising and delightful ways. Through these alternating perspectives, we come to learn that each contest is carrying a secret, but they will have to trust the others enough to reveal all in order to ensure a happy ending.

The audiobook, narrated by Mark Turetsky, is also worth checking out.

Perfect for fans of Trenton Lee Stewart’s The Mysterious Benedict Society or Pseudonymous Bosch’s The Name of This Book is Secret.

National Bread Machine Baking Month

January is almost over, but it's not to celebrate National Bread Baking Month.

Whether you're the owner of a new bread machine, or whether you have one that you might want to dust off, Bread Machine Magic can get you started. That book isn't your only choice, you might find something you like in The Complete Guide to Bread Machine Baking, The Breadman's Healthy Bread Book, or The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook.

You don't have to have a bread machine, though, to get into the spirit of bread making.

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day is a great book for those who are interested in making bread at home, but are less interested in developing a mastery of broad bread-making techniques. Jim Lahey's, My Bread is another good book for those who want the bread, but not the kneading.

Vegans and people who can't eat gluten don't need to be left out either! Gluten Free & Vegan Bread is the right book for people with those particular dietary restrictions.

Maybe you're intrigued by the idea of spending some time with grains in the kitchen, but not quite sure that you're ready to take the next step. In that case, you might check out Video Bread Basics. Sometimes a DVD can deliver a blast of information in a short amount of time.

Maybe your bread making adventures will inspire you to embark on a journey to make the perfect loaf. William Alexander did just that, and you can read about it in 52 Loaves: One Man's Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning and a Perfect Crust.

Go! Ice Cream Presents the Story of Delicious Ingredients!

Thursday February 27, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).
This event will be recorded

Rob Hess of Ypsilanti’s Go! Ice Cream will share the story of the ingredients behind your favorite ice cream flavors.

From the story of vanilla and its variations around the world to the science of brown butter, learn about delicious flavors and then taste some of Go! Ice Cream’s delectable flavors!

Go! Ice Cream is a small company that crafts artisanal ice creams in small batches using local ingredients, and delivers them right to your door.
Whether it gets to you from the back of their bike or you find it in your favorite grocer’s freezer section, you can be sure you’re eating all-natural products without preservatives, emulsifiers, stabilizers, or other multi-syllabic chemicals.

Go! Ice Cream was founded by Rob Hess on the belief that dessert is a good thing, a sweet enhancement to a life well-lived. His goal is to bring more flavor to life through bold versions of classic ice creams and adventurous new flavor combinations.

Smell and Tell: Baking with Flavor

Wednesday February 19, 2014: 6:30 pm to 8:45 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

This event is intended for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

Food grade essential oils are a great way to add flavor to pastry and chocolate creations. A few drops are all you need to make memorable desserts.

Flavor and fragrance expert Michelle Krell Kydd will teach you how to use food grade essential oils to make exquisite tea cakes and cookies without a mixer. You’ll learn how to work with a “master dough” and use your sense of smell and taste to create unique and interesting flavor combinations.

Michelle blogs at Glass Petal Smoke, an award-winning blog that explores the connections between scent, food and science.

National Vinegar Day

If I had to guess what day National Vinegar Day fell on, I never would have guessed a cooler month.

You learn something new every day.

If you're inclined to celebrate National Vinegar Day, our cookbooks can help you do that.

To learn more about vinegar, you might try The Good Cook's Book of Oil and Vinegar or Zingerman's Guide to Good Vinegar.

Maybe you've been meaning to try your hand at making adobo, a preparation involving meat, seafood, or vegetables prepared in a sauce of vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. In that case, The Adobo Road Cookbook is a good place to start. But you'll also find a recipe for Pollo Adobo (Chicken in the Adobo Style) in Asia: The Beautiful Cookbook. If you're more of a pork fan, you'll find Puerco en Adobo (Pork in Adobo) in Diana Kennedy's Cuisines of Mexico.

Scraping frost form your window in the mornings doesn't mean that you have to say goodbye to salad season. Why am I talking about salads to celebrate National Vinegar Day? The vinaigrettes! Fresh Ways with Salads, Cooking Light Big Book of Salads, and Italian Salads for All Seasons are good places to start.

Finally, I can't talk about celebrating vinegar without talking about pickles. The Complete Book of Pickling, and the Pickled Pantry will have you puckering in no time. If you're in for a smaller time investment Quick Pickles might be the choice for you.

How did you celebrate National Vinegar Day?

Chicago Chef Charlie Trotter has died

Charlie Trotter, well-known chef and author who put Chicago cuisine on the map, died yesterday at his home in Lincoln Park, IL.

Trotter, born and raised in the Chicago area, never strayed far from his roots. As a student at the University of Wisconsin, he accepted a roommate's challenge to prepare a multi-course meal, and was soon hooked on tossing the cookbooks and boldly experimenting.

At age 29, with the help of his wealthy father, Trottter opened his revolutionary restaurant, Charlie Trotter's. It was an instant success. Trotter was committed to the idea of buying local and in season, long before locavore was A Thing. All of a sudden, Chicago's ho-hum reputation with foodies was shot with the adrenaline of new possibilities. Many of the area's finest chefs trained under Trotter, not an easy task, as he was known not only for his food creativity, but for his outsized temper. (Look for Trotter in the kitchen scene in My Best Friend's Wedding (2001), starring Julia Roberts, in which he delivers the memorable line, "I will kill your whole family if you don't get this right.")

Author of several cookbooks, Charlie was also a presence on PBS with his show, The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter, based on a book (1999) by the same name.

Last year, on its 25th anniversary, Trotter closed his most famous restaurant, announcing he wanted to travel with his beloved second wife, Rochelle. He had a history of strokes and lived with a brain aneurysm and felt he was on borrowed time.

In fact, Trotter had just returned from the very first Jackson Hole Culinary Conference in Wyoming where he was the keynote speaker, despite his doctor's warning not to fly with the time bomb in his head.

Trotter was just 54 years old.

National Homemade Bread Day is November 17th!

I was surprised to learn that on November 17th, in two weeks, we get to celebrate National Homemade Bread Day! This special day is a great excuse to learn about baking bread, discover information about its history, and experience the many delicious breads that the local bakeries in Ann Arbor have to offer.

The AADL has tons of great books to help you create delicious homebaked breads in your own kitchen. Check out The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking and Flour Water Salt Yeast: the Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza for tips on how to get started. We also have Gluten-free and Vegan Bread: Artisanal Recipes to Make at Home and many other vegan and gluten-free oriented bread and baking books for those who have dietary restrictions. Beard on Bread has been a favorite of bread bakers since the 1970s and has more than 100 recipes in it, along with illustrations that kids (and adults!) may enjoy.

Of course, “homemade” doesn’t have to mean made in your own home. National Homemade Bread Day can be celebrated with other people’s homemade bread too! Try out Jefferson Market and Cakery for some delectable baked goods and swing by Angelo’s for a slice of their thick homemade raisin bread along with your brunch.

Enjoy your homemade feasting!

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