Pineapple – Cucumber Salad

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From the Northbrook Library event on picnic side dishes.

pineapple salad

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Orange Salad

Here’s one of the recipes for an orange salad that I learned at the Picnic Sides event at my local library. I think this recipe would work year ’round. Bon appétit!

orange salad

S’Mores Nachos

Monday the Cookbook Bookclub met in the branch where I work and their theme was beach food. The bookclub looked at Margaritaville: The Cookbook: Relaxed Recipes For a Taste of Paradise and The Beach House Cook Book by author Mary Kay Andrews. The later had a recipe for S’Mores Nachos, which seems like a fun summer dessert for a party.

Here’s a recipe from delish.com, which is basically the same.

INGREDIENTS
2 sleeves graham crackers, broke into thin squares
30 marshmallows
3 c. semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In an oven-proof skillet, layer graham crackers and half the marshmallows and 2 cups chocolate chips. Top with another layer of marshmallows and bake until marshmallows are soft and golden, about 10 minutes. (Broil 2 minutes if you want them more golden.)
Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 cup chocolate chips on low heat. Drizzle with melted chocolate and serve immediately.

DIY Gourmet Oreos?

I stumbled on the Bon Appetit series of videos where a Senior Food Editor tries to make gourmet versions of common American snacks. Here she makes Oreos.

I’m curious about how these actually taste. I’d also like to see her final recipe.

She shows a very cool food-safe putty that enables cooks to create personalized molds.

Sweet Tooth: The Bittersweet History of Candy

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I started Kate Hopkins Sweet Tooth: The Bittersweet History of Candy with lots of enthusiasm and excitement. It was my first microhistory read. Like many, I have loved candy and I am curious about its origins and place in history.

While I did learn about how the Arabs brought sugar candy to the world, first as a form of medicine, how candy went from something only available to the rich to something children could buy with their allowances or pay and how the use of chocolate developed.

While Hopkins travels to Europe, New England and, of course, Hershey, PA, were often interesting, her writing style often was wordy and she bored me with long-winded descriptions of her memories of her childhood and overly detailed descriptions of trivial observations of her travels. I wish she did a better editing and had talked to more candy experts. Most of her research was from books, which is fine, but adding more interviews with candy makers and experts would improve this book.

The book did make me see that wherever I travel internationally, I should find a local candy shop and taste sweet local specialities.