The Best Deal in Town!

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.