Library Lists: Cool Cookbooks

There are so many cookbooks out there that it can be difficult to find ones that really offer what you’re looking for, whether it’s easy dinner party meals, vegan desserts, good ideas to take for lunch, or elaborate birthday cake recipes. It’s also sometimes challenging to find recipes presented in an easy-to-follow format. This list contains some great, unique cookbooks, complete with easily understandable recipes and fun anecdotes from the authors. Happy cooking!

Salad Samurai: In this collection of over 100 ideas for unique, hearty and flavorful salads, even the most avid salad-creators among us will find ingredient combinations that they hadn’t thought of before. Also included are dozens of ideas for easy-to-make dressings that go with a wide variety of the salads in the book.

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: This laugh-out-loud cookbook is by Jennifer Reese, whose popular cost-benefit experiments are a favorite of her foodie following. She admits that there’s plenty of products that you should buy at the store, and not waste time and money trying to make from scratch. All the recipes in this book are rated for “hassle” and “cost-effectiveness” and are laid out accompanied by anecdotes from Reese’s own kitchen.

Thug Kitchen: This fantastic vegetarian cookbook comes from the wildly popular Thug Kitchen website, which inspires people to take charge of their plates and cook some real food. This book has great tips for how to cook on a budget and experiment on your own with the recipes given. Thug Kitchen’s official cookbook really is, as the back cover says, “an invitation to everyone who wants to do better to elevate their kitchen game.”

Budget Bytes is the perfect cookbook for anyone on a budget! Author Beth Moncel was inspired to create the Budget Bytes blog when she graduated from college during the recession and found herself with very little money… but still wanting to eat healthy. This cookbook version has over 100 easy, delicious recipes that chefs of all levels—and their pocketbooks –will appreciate!

Vegan Eats World: One of the world’s premier vegan chefs, Terry Hope Romero, has collaborated with others on this gem of a cookbook to supply readers with recipes for international vegan dishes of all types. Her adaptations on world favorites to make them vegan are unique and delicious.

The Kinfolk Table is an absolutely stunning cookbook and lifestyle book compiled by the creators of the quarterly journal Kinfolk. With profiles of everyday people from around the world and of how they cook, eat and live, The Kinfolk Table is much more than just a collection of recipes: it is really a piece of art.

Heritage: Chef Sean Brock presents readers with this gorgeous collection of Southern-inspired recipes. He grew up in Appalachia and now lives in Charleston, and both of his Southern homes are reflected in his fantastic recipes. He neatly combines comfort food (easy to make and eat at home) with higher-end dishes (that require more time, effort and presentation), for a book that has something for everyone.

Ripe: This delightful recipe book is organized by colors of fruits and vegetables. Beautiful photographs of the fruits and veggies are followed by recipes and ideas for ways to use each one, from the obvious to the unusual, and each piece of produce is accompanied by a funny blurb from author Cheryl Rule.

The Good Neighbor Cookbook has fabulous ideas for what dishes to bring to any social gathering, from book clubs, to neighborhood potlucks, to recuperating friends or family members. The recipes are easy, and unique enough to be appreciated by everyone!

Beating the Lunch Box Blues: Figuring out what to pack for lunch isn’t just a problem for kids. I’ve definitely struggled keeping my midday meal diverse and healthy over the years. Beating the Lunch Box Blues has tons of great ideas for ways to freshen up your lunch, often with things that one would already have around the house! The format is mostly photos with tips and ideas, rather than specific recipes (although there are some of those, too). A great resource for revamping your lunch, and your day!

Want more user-friendly, interesting cookbooks? Check out this list for more ideas for the kitchen!

Air Plants!

Air Plants: The Curious World of Tillandsias is all about the ever so popular air plants! Are you super into them and want to learn more? Are you baffled at why your friend has these on her coffee table and hanging from art on the wall? Wondering how these unplanted plants survive? If so, then this book might suit your fancy.

It talks all about designing and living with these odd and beautiful plants. The book discusses different types of air plants, how to care for them, and how to arrange and display them in magical ways throughout your house. These plants are so versatile, and pretty easy to care for. If you don't know what they are and are curious, here's a peek at the book's beautiful contents, or just check out the lush book preview in the AADL catalog. Happy "planting"!

Boredom Busters to the Rescue!

Need something fun to do on spring break? Never fear, AADL has it covered with brand new youth nonfiction books!

Monstergami by David Mitchell gives even the most experienced origami artists a new challenge! Make the Fangster, a fierce dragon with pointy teeth; a Sky Sprite with feathered wings; or even a monster Totem with multiple stacked heads! Other new origami books include Folding Origami and Origami X: Paper Folding for Secret Agents.

Comics: Investigate the History and Technology of American Cartooning by Sam Carbaugh is perfect for fans of graphic novels and aspiring artists! Travel through the history of how comics started with ancient civilizations, design your own unique characters, and investigate various comic styles like manga and webcomics.

Totally Washi: More than 45 Super Cute Washi Tape Crafts for Kids by Ashley Ann Laz will inspire you to get decorating right away! Washi tape is patterned tape that is actually made of paper. Maybe you already knew that you could make beautiful cards and bracelets, but did you know that you can also make cool "feather" earrings, a color-coded keyboard, or temporary wallpaper? For more washi tape fun, check out the free Crafting with Washi Tape book from Cherry Lake Publishing!

Magic Mike's Miraculous Magic Tricks by Mike Lane will keep the boredom away this spring! Astound your friends and baffle your parents with these amazing illusions, including the Coin Flip, Floating on Air, The Chosen One, and Money Morph!

For even more spring break fun, check out all of the upcoming events for kids at AADL!

Fly Tying Workshop and Demonstration

Thursday May 14, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

The staff from Bailiwicks Outdoors in Dexter will be on hand to demonstrate beginning fly-tying techniques. Participants will be able to tie their own fly fishing lure just in time for the Spring fishing season - no experience necessary!

Twine Bracelets

Monday June 8, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for teens in grades 6 - 12.

Use twine, beads and buttons to make bracelets and anklets.

Puffy Paint Rainbow Cards

Tuesday August 18, 2015: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults, teens, and children grade 5 and up.

Decorate and personalize simple cards with brightly colored puff paints, and then send your cool creations on to friends and family!

Nerd Nite Ann Arbor presented by AADL at LIVE 102 S First St.

Thursday April 23, 2015: 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm -- LIVE (102 S 1st Street)

This event is intended for adults
This event will be recorded

For the last year and a half, crowds have gathered each month in the early evening - in bars and venues around Ann Arbor. Around 7pm, it begins: three boisterous speakers geek out up front. What is this? Some secret club?

Nope! It's Nerd Nite Ann Arbor! And it's open to anyone and everyone who loves to learn or share what they love.

For the uninitiated, Nerd Nite (NN) has been described as “...like the Discovery Channel™…with beer!” Sounds fun, right? It is! NN is held monthly in 70+ cities, giving several folks the opportunity to give 18-21minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines. Imagine learning about everything from the science of the Simpsons to the genealogy of Godzilla. Fun stuff!

This month, we'll be learning about "The Science of Consciousness" with philosophy scholar-turned scientist Brian H. Silverstein, and Michigan Radio's Kyle Norris will convince us "Why you should fall in love with your own voice."

Doors open at 6:30, and speakers start at 7pm.

So show up, have a drink, meet other nerds, and learn a bunch of awesome new junk!

Want to see past topics and a little more info? Check NNA2's site.

AADL is sponsoring this month's event, so there will be NO COVER!

Mark your calendars and spread the word! Any and all nerds (and non-nerds!) who love learning and having a great time are welcome to join us!

Screen Printing Workshop

Saturday May 2, 2015: 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up

Learn about and explore various low-fi screen printing methods. Ypsilanti based printer and designer Marcy Davy of All Things Grow will lead the workshop and you'll go home with three unique paper prints that you pulled yourself!

Beginning Crochet Class

Saturday April 4, 2015: 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grades 6 and up

Looking to get in on the return to handmade and DIY?

Local crafter Beth Battey will get you started in the wonderful world of crochet with a basic beginner's project. Supplies are provided.

Wear Something That Rocks!

Wednesday April 22, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

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

Use rocks, wire and a few simple tools to create a nature-inspired piece of jewelry! Art meets nature to create a piece of jewelry for yourself or your best friend!

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