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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

More Good Movies You Might Have Missed...

By Jill Eisner
Information Services

Happy Holidays Everyone!

When you're finally done with the frenzy of holiday shopping, gift-giving and family get-togethers why not relax with a cup of tea or hot cocoa and one of our popular new DVDs? The following titles are new additions to our collection that I think you might enjoy:

The Maze Runner


Starring Dylan O'Brien, Aml Ameen, Ki Hon Lee, Blake Cooper, Thomas Brodie Sangster, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario. 2014.

When Thomas wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner.  Rated PG-13. Sci-Fi/Thriller.

    Begin Again


Starring Keira KnightleyMark RuffaloAdam LevineJames CordenHailee SteinfeldCatherine Keener. 2014.

British songwriter Gretta is adrift in Manhattan after getting dumped by her philandering rock star boyfriend. While playing at an open mic night at a local bar, she is discovered by struggling music producer Dan. Sensing her songwriting potential, Dan pushes Gretta to sign with him and record an ambitious outdoors album all across the city. Rated R. Comedy/Drama.

         What If


Starring Daniel RadcliffeZoe KazanMegan ParkerAdam DriverMackenzie DavisRafe SpallLucius HoyosJemima RooperMeghan Heffern. 2014.

A medical school dropout named Wallace who has been repeatedly burned by bad relationships. So Wallace decides to put his love life on hold. It is then that he meets Chantry an animator who lives with her longtime boyfriend Ben. Wallace and Chantry form an instant connection, striking up a close friendship. Still, there is no denying the chemistry between them, leading the pair to wonder, what if the love of your life is actually your best friend?  PG-13. Comedy/Drama.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cannoli Gelato @MieleUSA Fundraiser

by DianeWhitman
Information Services

Hi Everyone,

We enjoyed fine music, wine and food the first week in December at the annual Music, Merlot, and Miele Fundraiser. The fabulous kitchen at Miele was the setting for my cooking demo of  elegant Rosemary Skewers of Monkfish, Ciabatta, and Pancetta drizzled with a Balsamic Reduction, and our to-die-for Cannoli Gelato -  recipe follows - please give it a try!

This easy and impressive dessert would be perfect to serve with holiday baked goods and chocolates, which seem to mysteriously accumulate at this time of year...

Pistachios, Chocolate,  Candied Orange Peel, and Sesame Brittle were accompaniments


1.5 quarts of French Vanilla ice cream 
     (ice cream used to come in half gallons - now they are 1.5 quarts! - I recommend Breyers.)
1 1 / 3 cups good ricotta cheese 
     (recommend Italian brand Galbani, available at ShopRite - it's exceptionally smooth not grainy.)
3 ounces coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
     (I used Guittard chocolate bars, a good brand of chocolate makes a big difference!)
1 /  4 cup candied orange peel, diced
     (in the baking or seasonal aisle of the supermarket - or you can make your own.)
1 / 4 cup coarsely chopped pistachios,  preferably unsalted
1 / 2 tsp. vanilla
1 / 4 tsp. cinnamon

1. Chop or scoop the ice cream into pieces and let soften in a large bowl about 5 minutes, just until soft enough to mix.  
2. Add the ricotta and mix well.  This "deflates" the air in the ice cream and makes it more like Italian gelato.  
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well again, smoothing the top.  Cover with plastic wrap (to prevent ice crystals from forming) placed directly on the surface of the ice cream.  
4. Freeze 30 minutes or until very cold but not frozen solid; the gelato should be served soft and creamy, not rock hard. 

Have fun and serve with accompaniments like cookies, candied orange peel, brittle, and/or chocolates!
Note:  If making in advance and frozen hard, thaw in refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes, or turn out onto a cutting board, then cut the gelato into pieces and mix for a minute or two until you get a soft-serve consistency.

Adapted from Restaurant Favorites at Home by the Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine.

Wishing you great food, fun, and friendships this holiday season,

Thursday, December 4, 2014

How to experience New York City and their incredible research library

Having just returned from a week-long visit to New York City for Thanksgiving, I thought I would share a few facts and tidbits I picked up along the way.  I am putting together a display for SBPL about South Brunswick artists George Segal and Leon Bibel, so one of the places we visited was the library!  They are currently in a state of upheaval and since we were finally able to navigate our way though, I thought I might let others know what we learned the hard way.

The main branch of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue between 42nd Street and 44th Street, called the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, (the big marble Beaux-Arts building with the lions Patience and Fortitude out front) is, in a quote from their website, “one of the world's preeminent public resources for the study of human thought, action, and experience -- from anthropology and archaeology, to religion, sports, world history, and literature.”  To explain the disarray that seems to be apparent, they also say, “The Library is restoring the Schwarzman Building to its original purpose of providing library services for ‘the free use of all the people’” which includes opening a new Children’s Center on the ground floor and offering more programs, indexes and online resources than ever before.  

The library is a perfect place for anyone to do research in their extensive collections but it is a closed stack library where you have to request the books you want from their catalog and they will be brought to where you are sitting to use while you are in the library.  However, for the last year, the magnificent Rose Main Reading Room and the adjacent Bill Blass Public Catalog room, where you would usually request your materials and sit to wait for the delivery, has been closed.  A part of the elaborate plaster ceiling fell and they are evaluating how they are going to make repairs.  (See their website at for more information about the repairs).  In the meantime, they have places to sit in every other room in the library in order to accommodate all users. 

To access the General Research Division materials in person, while the reading room is closed, you have to complete a request slip and give it to the staff member seated at a small desk in Room 217 (or you can submit a request in advance on their website).   Before you can make the request, you need to have a NYPL card which you can apply for online or get from someone temporarily seated in the copy room on the second floor.  If you are not a resident of or employee in New York, you can apply for and receive a temporary card that can be used to reserve the books.  These cards are valid for up to 3 months.  Books in their other divisions, such as art and architecture, maps, photographs and rare books are accessed directly in the rooms where they are located.  A list of the divisions can be found at

For some fun facts about the library and its history, check out their description at and for more about the building itself, see  

There is also a Library Shop (on the first floor) filled with fun books and gifts for the readers in your life. And during the Christmas shopping season, Bryant Park, situated behind the library, is set up with little “shops” featuring local crafts people selling a wide variety of handmade items. And surprisingly, since Bryant Park is actually located directly on top of the vast rooms that house the majority of the library’s books, they have put up an ice skating rink! I’m sure the library hopes they don’t spring a leak. And the tree in Bryant Park, that was lit up for the season on Tuesday, December 1st, is particularly beautiful!

So, if you are looking for place in New York City that you can visit for free, the library is a great destination.  And see if you can find their copy of the Gutenberg Bible, on display in a dark showcase in the third floor McGraw Rotunda.

More NYC “insider information” in this blog soon. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

More Good Movies You Might Have Missed...

By Jill Eisner
Information Services

Hi Everyone!

Winter weather's on the way just in time for Thanksgiving.  Be sure to stock up on some library DVDs in case you're snowed in! Here are a few of my picks for November:

Fat Kid Rules the World

A story for everybody who has ever needed to find their inner rock star. Set against the backdrop of the Seattle music scene it is a coming-of-age story about two dysfunctional teenagers searching for something more out of their completely hopeless existence. Troy Billings is fat. His life sucks. He's about to end it all by jumping in front of a bus, when Marcus Macrae, a charismatic punk rock superstar, tackles him to the ground and changes his life forever.

Directed by Matthew Lillard, starring Billy CampbellMatt O'Leary

2013, rated R. 99 minutes. Comedy/Drama

Kill Your Darlings

A tale of friendship, love, and murder at Columbia University in the early1940s. This film recounts the pivotal year that changed Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg's life forever and provided the spark for him to start his creative revolution. Based on true events and characters.

Directed by John Krokidas, starring  Daniel RadcliffeDane DehaanMichael C. HallJack HustonBen FosterElizabeth OlsenErin Darke.

2013, rated R. 103 minutes. Drama/Suspense/Thriller

Obvious Child


Donna Stern is a Brooklyn comedian who gets heartlessly dumped by her two-timing boyfriend. While trying to drown her troubles at the stand-up comedy club, she has a drunken one night stand with a cute young professional named Max (who's not even remotely her type) and ends up pregnant. Donna has to do what is expected of a 'responsible adult' just in time for the best/worst Valentine's Day of her life.

Directed by Gillian Robespierre, starring Jenny SlateJake LacyGaby HoffmanDavid CrossGabe Liedman.

2014, rated R.  84 minutes. Comedy

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy!


Monday, September 29, 2014

More Good Movies You Might Have Missed...

by Jill Eisner
Information Services

Hi Everyone,

If you like to get caught up in a thrilling drama, I highly recommend these selections from our Series section:

PRISONERS OF WAR - Seasons 1 and 2 (Hebrew title: Hatufim)

Shout! Factory, 2010.
Rated TV-MA

For fans of Homeland: Prisoners of War is the Israeli version upon which Homeland is based. The story revolves around three Israeli soldiers captured for seventeen years and the lives they return to after being released. Season One begins with two soldiers and the remains of a third to the families they have been estranged from for so long. More realistic than Homeland, this gripping drama will have you on the edge of your seat throughout.  

Starring Yoram Toledano, Yael Abecassis, Ishai Golan, Mili Avital, Assi Cohen, Adi Ezroni.
In Hebrew with English subtitles.


20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2013.
Not Rated

Set during the Reagan-era, cold war 1980s, a pair of Soviet spies pose as an American married couple so they can spy on the U.S. government. 
Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Holly Taylor, Keidrich Sellati, Noah Emmerich, Richard Thomas, Margo Martindale.

SHERLOCK - Seasons 1-3

British Broadcasting Corporation, 2009 - 2014.
Not Rated

A contemporary take on the classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories, Sherlock is a thrilling, funny, fast-paced adventure series set in present-day London. The iconic details from Conan Doyle's original books remain: they live at the same address, have the same names, and, somewhere out there, Moriarty is waiting for them. And so across three thrilling, scary, action-packed, and highly modern adventures, Sherlock and John navigate a maze of cryptic clues and lethal killers to get at the truth.
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. 

Let me know what you think!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bite Club - New Foodie Book Club

Come to Bite Club TODAY, Tuesday, September 16!

The new #foodiebookclub at #sbpl14:

Bite Club is a new book club for people who love to talk about cooking and/or eating!  Each month we will discuss a new food theme and its corresponding cookbooks. Meetings will take place on the third Tuesday of each month from 7 to 8:30 in our Cafe (make two sharp rights after you enter the Library).

This is how it works:  Starting the 15th of the month, come to the Information Desk in the library to choose and take out ONE of the cookbooks we have set aside for you.  At home, peruse it, cook from it and and then come to the meeting on the following third Tuesday of the month to share your opinions and experiences.  (Return your book, and you can pick up the following month's selection at the Tuesday meeting.)

If you wish, bring in something you've made to the meeting; but please, don't feel obligated to bring something.  We just want you and your opinions to be there as a part of our "foodie" community!   We will provide a "bite" of something that we have made and you can weigh in with your instant review of what you're tasting. If you can, photograph your creations and we may post them on our blog.  If we have time, we may demonstrate a cooking technique or tip.

This book club is for you if you love talking about (thinking about, obsessing about?) good food.

September's theme:  Cooking Seasonally with the cookbooks of Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in California.
Waters' cookbooks give simple and delicious guidelines for preparing fresh local ingredients, perfect for the bounty of late August and early September.  

October's theme:  In Search of Flavor with the cookbooks of Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa
November's theme:  Classic American Cooking with cookbooks by America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated Magazine
December's theme:  Holiday Baking with various authors
Please join us as we get together with fellow foodies and talk about one of our favorite subjects!
Diane Whitman
Reference Librarian

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

More Good Movies You Might Have Missed...

Hi Everyone!

Hope your summer was good.  Beat the heat by staying indoors with a good movie.  Check out these new titles:   

Short Term 12
Directed by Destin Cretton, starring Brie LarsonFrantz TurnerJohn Gallagher Jr.Grace is a twenty-something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers. But Grace's own difficult past - and the surprising future that suddenly presents itself - throws her into unforeseen confusion, made sharper with the arrival of a new intake at the facility, a gifted but troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has a charged connection. 2013. Rated R, 96 minutes. Drama.

A Birder's Guide to Everything
Directed by Rob Meyer, starring Ben KingsleyKodi Smit-McpheeKatie Chang. A fifteen-year-old birding fanatic thinks he's made the discovery of a lifetime. On the eve of his father's remarriage, he escapes on an epic road trip with his best friends to solidify their place in birding history. 2013. Rated PG, 86 minutes. Comedy/Adventure.BIRDER'S GUIDE TO EVERYTHING, A

Directed by Darren Aronofsky, starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Nick Nolte.
A man is appointed by God to carry out a crucial mission of rescue before a calamitous flood destroys the world.
2014. Rated PG-13, 138 minutes. Action/Adventure/Drama.


Jill Eisner
Information Services

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

More Good Movies You Might Have Missed...

Hi Everyone,

We've added a lot of new movies to our collection recently.  Feel free to to browse all the titles in the online catalog (iBistro) or take a look at the printed lists located by the Feature Film and World Language Collection DVD sections.

Can't decide? Check out these new, top-rated titles:

Le Week-End


Starring Jim BroadbentLindsay DuncanJeff Goldblum

Long-married British couple Nick and Meg are revisiting Paris for the first time since their honeymoon in an attempt to rekindle their relationship. Diffident, wistful Nick and demanding, take-charge Meg careen from harmony to disharmony as they take stock of half a lifetime of deep tenderness, and even deeper regret. An invitation from Nick's old friend Morgan, an amusingly eccentric American academic, soon leads them to a hopeful vision of what their marriage might still become.
2013, rated R.  Drama.



Starring Liam NeesonJulianne MooreScoot McNairyMichelle DockeryNate Parker

During a transatlantic flight from New York City to London, U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks receives a series of cryptic text messages demanding that he instruct the government to transfer $150 million into an off-shore account. Until he secures the money, a passenger on his flight will be killed every twenty minutes.

2014, rated PG-13. Drama.

Orange is the New Black (Season 1)


Starring Taylor SchillingJason BiggsLaura PreponKate MulgrewDanielle Brooks

Brooklynite Piper Chapman's wild past comes back to haunt her and results in her arrest and detention in a federal penitentiary. To pay her debt to society, Piper trades her comfortable New York life for an orange prison jumpsuit and finds unexpected conflict and camaraderie amidst an eccentric group of inmates.
2014. not rated.  Comedy/Drama.


Jill Eisner
Sr. Librarian, Information Services

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Popular Magazines Free with Zinio (and your library card!)

Beaches, coffee breaks, waiting rooms, long lines and more are all better with Zinio, the world’s largest newsstand.  Why spend $4 or more to browse your favorite magazine if you can get it (and keep it) for free?

Anytime. Anywhere.

Having a South Brunswick Public Library card entitles you to full digital color copies of your favorite magazines on your computer, tablet, or mobile device using the free Zinio reader app!  Check out as many magazines as you like and keep them as long as you like!  No due dates! No late fees!

What’s the catch? You will need your library card.  That’s it!

Find popular selections including Rolling Stone, Esquire, Newsweek, Weight Watchers, US Weekly, Runners World, Billboard, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, Popular Mechanics, National Geographic, and more.  SBPL and other member libraries of LMxAC (Libraries of Middlesex Automation Consortium) offer a collection of 129 magazine titles to chose from absolutely free to library cardholders.

SBPL has partnered with RBdigital from Recorded Books to provide patrons with the Zinio for Libraries service and is compatible with most devices. There are apps for the iPhone®, iPad®, Android™, Kindle Fire™/Fire™ HD, Windows 8, Blackberry® Playbook™, and Nook® HD/HD+. 

Cardholders can browse a full magazine as if leafing through the real deal!  There is no limit to the number of people who can download an issue of a magazine and no complicated checkout or return process.  Once a cardholder downloads a magazine issue it is theirs to keep as long as they want it.

Keep it forever, for free, if that’s what you want.

Begin by setting up your free LMxAC account plus a free Zinio account through a link on our website at or by going directly to  Step-by-step instructions will take you through this quick and easy process.

Your library card number will be needed for verification to create a personalized library collection account with LMxAC.  You will only need your library card the first time.  The process will also ask you to set up a second account, this one will be a Zinio account.  Be aware that Zinio also offers direct sales to the public; a user needs to be in the library’s LMxAC magazine collection site to select from the 129 free titles.
For questions, please call the Information Desk at SBPL at 732-329-4000x7286. 

In addition, the South Brunswick Public Library continues to offer aisles of popular magazines for checkout the old-fashioned way at two locations: our building at 110 Kingston Lane and the Bookmobile, but these magazines are only on loan for a short time and then must be returned to avoid late fees.

Friday, July 11, 2014

HeroCon Saves the Day at SBPL July 19

Along with thousands of others, elbow to elbow, Saleena Davidson, made her way through the crowded New York City streets to ComiCon. The hustle and bustle to get to this point had her feeling spent before it even began. Bigger crowds, longer lines, endless fees for travel, lodging, admission, food, and more. No matter how she tried each year, ComiCon was a stretch on every level. 
The mild-mannered (some may argue this point) Young Adult Librarian from South Brunswick Public Library thought to herself "there has to be a better way!" 
And so,  Saleena - using all the powers afforded her as a Master Information Specialist - created HeroCon.  Free admission and conveniently located at the South Brunswick Public Library, its got all the bells and whistles of a certified comic convention, without all the stress.

Open to all ages, HeroCon is an after-hours special event from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 19 at the Library.  Free tickets are available at the Information Desk and the Main Entrance that evening. Pre-Con events begin at 3 p.m.

Do you need money when admission is free? Only if you want to purchase food or buy merchandise from the vendors. Artists will also be selling and signing their work! 

D&D, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic card games, LARPing, Costume Contest, crafts, trivia contest, panels, and more!

Saturday, July 19
3 - 5 p.m.
History of Blacks in Comic Books (a pre-con special event)
“And Still the Most Un-told Story of Them All-The History of Blacks in Comic Books”
Yumy Odom, will speak on the impact and influence of Blacks in the comic book industry (1938 - Present). 
Yumy Odom, Founder of The East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention, Inc. (ECBACC, Inc.), is an award-winning educator, community ambassador, and BlogTalkRadio show host with 35 years of professional experience. Mr. Odom’s latest work is a 250-page web document  A Public Resource Guide to the Epic Myth Continuum that outlines and contextualizes ten thousand years of ancient, modern and neo-mythology. Complementing this web document is a most unique exhibit The Heruic Age: Ten Thousand Years of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, Amazons, Witches, Wizards & Warriors inspired by more than three decades of researching, reading, imagining and collecting the myths and lore that connect the genres of modern sci-fi, superhero tales and comic books / graphic novels.

Saturday, July 19
5 - 5:30 p.m.
You've Written Your First Book: Now What? (an after-hours special event)
You’ve written your dream novel.  You want to share it with the world.  How do you do it?  Presented by author Audra Osorio. From beginning to end, she will discuss her experiences publishing a book. This presentation will be about her journey from written novel to published novel. 
Audra Osorio is the Assistant Director/Head of Youth Services at the Mount Olive Public Library in Flanders, NJ   She published her first Contemporary Adult Romance novel The Swear Jar in September 2013.
Saturday, July 19
6 - 10 p.m. 
HeroCon Comic Convention (an after-hours special event)
All Library 
HeroCon is our own Comic Convention!  Open to all ages, this event is free, but tickets are suggested as space is limited.  Tickets may be obtained at the Information Desk in the library beginning June 1.
Featured events: 
  • Pre-Con Panel "And Still the Most Un-told Story of Them All -- The History of Blacks in Comic Books" from 3 to 5 p.m. Presented by Yumy Odom, founder of the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention, Inc (ECBACC,Inc).
  • Pre-Con Panel: "You've Written Your First Book:  Now What?" by Audra Osorio, author of The Swear Jar from 5 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Story-time with Mark Poulton:  He will share his book A Cat named Haiku with children and answer questions 6:30 to 7 p.m.
  • Panel: "How to Draw Cartoons for Fun & Money" by Paul Merklein, cartoonist from 7 to 7:50 p.m.
  • Panel:  "Pronto Comics--an Introduction" by Dominic Sparano, editor-in-chief and founding member of Pronto Comics from 8 to 8:50 p.m.
  • Panel: "Poetry in Anime: The Power of Words in a Visual Medium" by Ink, Ink writes and edits articles, reviews, and analyses pertaining to anime, video games, conventions, and manga. He can also be seen periodically within the pages of Otaku USA magazine as well as online at (credited as Mastilo Von Plume).
  • Also featuring Costume Contest, viewing areas for shows we love, Karaoke, Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh/Magic: the Gathering card games, D&D short game, kids "Make Your Own Superhero Costume" program, Quick build Minecraft challenge, LARPing, and a trivia contest for various levels of knowledge.   
  • We will have a variety of artists & vendors, including Comic Madness Comic Store, Lady Mists Cosplay & Design, Cool Geek Madness, Needle Gnomes, Sea Phoenix Creations, Joe Kleinkauf Jewelry, KL Draco, Yennie Fer (aka Remote Angel), GlitterFragGrenade, Ramen Bento, Phoenix Taylor and some locals sharing their talents as well.
For a full itinerary & information on HeroCon; check out our Facebook Event page at or the Library's Teen page 
Program Courtesy of the Friends of the Library & lots of hard work by many teens & adults in the community.

*written by Rosemary Gohd, PR/Marketing at SBPL

Thursday, June 26, 2014

If you Give A Mouse a Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookie...

 Compost Cookies are multifaceted: crispy, chewy, sweet, salty.
If You Give A Mouse A Cookie....

Sweet, but not easy, Compost Cookies (do you love that name?)  are the kind of cookies you need to make a project out of.  Because if you're like me, first, you ate all the potato chips before you found the time to make them. Wait, what? Cookies with potato chips?  Not only that, there's more, lots more, including ground coffee...!?

The next time, you bought the chips and the pretzels, but you didn't realize you needed milk powder, and glucose (see below for source!).  And then finally, you need butterscotch chips, not just chocolate chips (and make those mini chocolate chips, by the way) to make these danged things.  Oh, and that finally you got organized and read the entire recipe and saw that you actually need to make a graham cracker crust first (yes, FIRST, you have to make a recipe in order to make the recipe) and you don't have any graham crackers on hand, of course.

Hmm, it's slow going, but I did it.

The reward?  Here are some of the reactions to these amazing cookies that have it all: 

"These are the best cookies I think you've ever made!" ( from my son Andy). (And I've made a lot of good cookies through his 22 years!)

"They have what in them?  Potato chips and ground coffee?  I don't think I want one." (from our neighbor's son.)  Then, after trying one:  "Can I pay you to make these for me?" (Thanks, Dirk!)

"These are even better than the ones they make at their store in the city!" (from our other neighbor's daughter Liz, who lives in Manhattan).  Wow, Liz, thanks! Maybe because they were fresh and warm out of the oven?

No matter.  Make these cookies if you have a cookie monster in your life, or if you are one.   But just plan ahead.  You'll thank me later.

Compost Cookies are complicated!
Click on the link below for the amazing Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookies:

Some things I learned in making this recipe three times:
  • Cream the butter and sugar together for the full amount of time in a stand mixer, like a Kitchen-Aid - a portable mixer will not work.  
  • Not only should the dough be refrigerated ahead of time, but the baking sheets should be also, otherwise the cookies will brown too quickly. (I made this mistake.)
  • You can double the recipe, and the cookie dough ages well for 1 or 2 days, just be sure the baking sheets are refrigerated too, as above. (Especially helpful if you want to prepare the dough today, and bake the cookies off tomorrow, which you may want to do, since they take so darn long to prepare!)
  • Use Cape Cod brand potato chips which are sturdy and Herr's mini pretzels.  
  • You can buy milk powder in any grocery store.
  •  Glucose can be found at Michael's with the Wilton cake decorating supplies.   
You can take out Christina Tosi's cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar, from our library's intralibrary loan program.  What a fun book to cook from or even just to read. (Christina Tosi recently appeared as a judge on the Food Network's show "Chopped".)

The renowned Momofuku restaurant group in New York City is run by David Chang, who hired the talented Christina Tosi to work on the management side of his business, but who was always baking and bringing in unusual desserts for the staff.  David prevailed upon Christina to create desserts for his restaurant with the evolutionary end result being the creation of the stand-alone baker(ies - there are now two) Momofuku Milk Bar from whence this cookbook came.

By the way, Momofuku means "lucky peach" in Japanese.
Also, if you love to cook or just eat, sign up for my cooking demo/and class, the Science of Cooking, here in the Library on August 5th, Tuesday, from 1 - 3, sponsored by the Adult Summer Reading Program.

We will be cooking, tasting, and learning about the Science of Cooking using Jersey fresh fruits and veggies.  Sign up on our Events Calendar - hope to see you there!

Diane Whitman
Reference Librarian
With Apologies to "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie..."

Friday, May 30, 2014

TMI: Too Much Information - Facebook Class

What's free, informative and fabulous?  - our next Facebook Class, to be held on Friday June 6, 2014 from 12 - 1 in our beautiful Smart Lab.

We'll show you how you can sign up if you're new to the game.  For regular users, we'll talk about managing your privacy settings, and take your questions.  (If your questions are not answerable in the time we have allotted for class, we'll even email you later!)

Here's a recent issue I was asked about:

"I don't want to include my birth year on my Facebook page but it somehow appears on my Timeline and is visible for my Friends to see. Help!"

Here's how to keep your day and month available (so that you get birthday greetings!), but bypass the inclusion of your birth year in your profile (some things are best left private, after all!):

1. Log in to your account.
2. Click on your Name in the upper left hand corner
3. Click on the Update Info button to the right of your name.
4. Click on the About tab.
5. Locate the Basic Information box.
6. Hover over your birth year until you see the Edit button and then click it.
7. Click on the down arrow to the right of the year.
A dialog box appears with the following choices:
     Friends Except Acquaintances
     Only Me

8. Check mark next to Only Me.
9. Click Save Changes button.

Now, to check and make sure that you have implemented the change you wanted, hover your mouse over your birth year in the Basic Information box.  Point the cursor over the lock icon.  "Only Me" should pop up.  If so, congratulations!  You have successfully hidden your birth year information.

Here's something that perhaps you didn't know:  if you would like to keep your information private from apps (like games) your friends  may use on Facebook, follow these steps as well. (Yes, your information may be shared through the games that your friends play even without you using those games yourself.)

1.  Log in.
2.  Click on the down arrow on the uppermost top right of your page.
3.  Click on Settings in the drop down.
4.  Click on Apps in the left menu bar.
5.  Find the "Apps others use" section and click on Edit.
6.  Uncheck all boxes.
7.  Click the Save Changes button.

That's it!

(Note that the above steps are for using a PC, you will have to modify somewhat for mobile devices.)

Facebook Class will be held in the Smart Lab, right next to Meeting Room A/B in the South Brunswick Public Library.  Hope to see you there!

Diane Whitman
Twitter @whitlibrarian
Reference Librarian
Technology Instructor

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

More Good Movies You Might Have Missed...

The Past (Blu-ray)
The Past


Hi Everyone!

I think you'll like these new titles we've recently added to the collection:  

The Past 

Directed by Asghar Farhadi, starring Berenice Bejo and Tahar Rahim. 

An Iranian man deserts his French wife and two children to return to his homeland. Meanwhile, his wife starts up a new relationship, a reality her husband confronts upon his wife'request for a divorce.  

2013, In French and Persian with English subtitles. 130 mins. Rated PG-13. Drama.

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Short Term 12

Short Term 12

Directed by Destin Cretton, starring Brie Larson, Frantz Turner, John Gallagher Jr.

Grace is a twenty-something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers. Passionate and tough, Grace is a formidable caretaker, and in love with her long-term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason. But Grace's own difficult past - and the surprising future that suddenly presents itself - throws her into unforeseen confusion, made sharper with the arrival of a new intake at the facility, a gifted but troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has a charged connection.  2013, 96 mins.  Rated R. Drama.

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In A World...

In A World...

Directed by Lake Bell, starring Lake BellJeff GarlinFred MelamedRob CorddryEva Longoria.

An unsuccessful vocal coach competes against her arrogant father in the movie trailer voice-over business.  2013, 91 mins.  Rated R. Comedy.


Jill Eisner
Sr. Librarian
Information Services

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Smitten Kitchen: Salad Days Start Here

What exactly does that mean - salad days?  I (erroneously) thought it's when you were young and poor and all you could afford was salad.  But with the state of food availability in the United States, the affluent are the ones who eat salads all the time and the poor eat fast food burgers and pizza, so that didn't make sense...

It turns out that "salad days" refers to the time when you're young and GREEN, but not necessarily poor, although those three do oftentimes go together!

As we approach Memorial Day and the real beginning of grilling season, we still need some awesome salads no matter what we're throwing on the barbie, and whether we're in our salad days or not.

Here's a super easy, inexpensive and delicious salad that you can make with your eyes closed - well, not exactly, unless you're one of those TV chefs who can chop without looking.

Photo by the Smitten Kitchen

Vinegar Slaw with Cucumbers and Dill 
adapted from the Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman

1 medium head green cabbage
1 seedless cucumber (the kind wrapped in plastic where you can eat the peel because it's so thin)
2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons of kosher salt
4 teaspoons of sugar
1/2 cup cold water

Core and thinly slice the cabbage and put in a large bowl.  Thinly slice the cucumber - no need to peel, and add to bowl.   In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients.  Pour over the veg.
Best when marinated for an hour or two in the fridge.

Leftovers keep well, and this salad is great with anything grilled - the acid in the vinegar offsets and balances the richness of the meat.

Feel free to substitute and add:  for example, instead of cukes, use green apples or blueberries (yes, it totally works with this), or carrots.

Find The Smitten Kitchen in our Library now:  call number 641.5 PER, and enjoy the salad days of summer!

Diane Whitman
Reference Librarian
Twitter @whitlibrarian

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

More Good Movies You Might Have Missed...

by Jill Eisner
Sr. Librarian
Information Services

Hi Everyone,

It's miserable out; it's a good day to stay home, snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie (or two). Here are some new interesting titles that we've recently added to the collection:


Broadchurch (2013) Poster
Starring Olivia Colman and David Tennant.
This highly acclaimed British crime drama brings together two compassionate detectives to solve the murder of an eleven year-old boy in a small coastal town. Under the glare of the media spotlight, the two race to find the killer. 2013, not rated.  Drama. Season 

All is Lost

All Is Lost (2013) PosterStarring Robert Redford.  After a collision with a shipping container at sea, a resourceful sailor finds himself, despite all efforts to the contrary, staring his mortality in the face.  2013, rated PG-13. Drama.


Starring Tim Roth, Cillian Murphy and Eloise Laurence. The summer holidays have just begun and young Skunk's afternoons are full of daydreams and curious wanderings, with the exception that she must regularly give herself injections for her type-one diabetes. When, one day, Skunk discovers her bitter and angry older neighbor, Mr. Oswald, savagely beating Rick, a psychologically troubled boy from the neighborhood who has been callously and fictitiously accused of rape, Skunk's innocence begins to vanish. 2012, not rated. Drama.

Don't forget to check out the movie showings at the library!



Saturday, April 26, 2014

Food 52 Cookbook + VB6 = #awesomedeliciousness

Food 52 Cookbook + VB6 =  #awesomedeliciousness

French onion soup - something that sounds so appealing on a menu, but no, how could you possibly eat that plus an entree if you've had all that cheesy goodness to start?  Way better to make it at home.  And I have the perfect recipe for you - from the Food 52 Cookbook  Then have a salad after and you can still feel virtuous.

What's even better is that this French onion soup is dead easy to make with a store bought stock, but it becomes totally transformed into the best restaurant quality when you make your own.  Don't be scared off - if you can turn on your oven and roast some veg, you've got it in the bag.  And the stock is totally vegan, if you care, or even if you just want to eat more vegetables.

When I was in my twenties, I served French onion soup to two vegetarians, not realizing that the beef stock I used was not ok!  They loved the soup, and then confessed that they were sick later.  Oops!  I wouldn't make that mistake today...Here's how to make a great all veggie stock according to Mark Bittman's cookbook VB6:

Fast and Flavorful Vegetable Stock , Slower Variation
adapted from Mark Bittman's The VB6 Cookbook

2 medium or 1 large onion, quartered
4 carrots, cut into large pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into large pieces
1 pound button mushrooms, washed but left whole
4 - 8 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled but crushed
1 bunch fresh parley, including stems
4 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 tsp. dried thyme
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Roast the veggies - onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms and garlic on a half sheet pan or roasting pan lined with foil (no clean up!), for 30 - 45 minutes or until lightly browned.

Put the roasted veggies and everything except for the final salt and pepper in a stockpot with 3 quarts of water.  Boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.  (The longer it simmers, the deeper the flavor.)

Remove from heat and strain out the vegetables.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Keeps for a week in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.  (Use for everything and anything  calling for stock!)

Now on to the French Onion soup of your culinary dreams:

French Onion Soup
adapted from the Food 52 Cookbook by Amanda Hesser and Marrill Stubbs

3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 - 6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
3 lbs. onions, sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
6 cups vegetable stock, preferably homemade (or beef stock)
2 cups red wine, or beer
To serve:  2 slices crusty bread for each person
Cheese - can be sliced deli provolone, or better:  1/2 cup each gouda, gruyere, and parmesan mixed together OR see vegan variation below.

In a large stockpot, melt the butter and olive oil.  Add the garlic and cook slowly for 5 - 10 minutes until caramelized.  Add the onions, large pinch of salt, a few grindings of pepper, the thyme and bay leaf and stir. 
Cook over medium/low heat until the onions are very soft, about 20 minutes.

Pour in the stock and wine or beer, bring to a boil, and simmer, uncovered for 1 - 3 hours.  Taste and add more stock and/or salt and pepper as needed along the way.

To serve, put one slice of bread in the bottom of a deep bowl.  Add a ladleful of soup.  Then take one additional slice of bread for each person, and top with cheese.  Toast that bread in a toaster oven until melted.  Place the cheesy bread on top of the soup.

Be transported to a happy place.

(For a vegan variation with no apologies, sprinkle the second piece of bread with panko, salt, LOTS of freshly ground black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.  Toast as above, and drop into the soup.)

Find these cookbooks and more in our own Library, or our member libraries.  Did you know you can use your South Brunswick card at any of our member libraries, which are almost all the libraries in Middlesex County? What's more, you can have books brought directly to our library from those libraries instead.  You can do this online, or call us at the Reference Desk at732-329-4000 extension 7286.

Diane Whitman
Homemade stock convert
Reference Librarian
South Brunswick Public Library