Friday, December 27, 2013

Best Books 2013

As another year ends, obliterated by time’s inexorable march to oblivion, one’s
thoughts inevitably turn to literature. “What were my local library staff’s favorite
books of 2013?” you have undoubtedly been asking yourself for the past several
days. Well, it is now time to find out…

Cecilia- "And The Mountains Echoed" by Khaled Hosseini
Theo- "Sum It Up" by Pat Summitt
Theresa- "Orphan Train" by Christina Baker Kline
Terry- "Senshi" by Cole Gibsen
Leslee- "The house of Hades" by Rick Riordan
Jim- "Killing Jesus: a history" by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
Jess- "The Engagements" by J. Courtney Sullivan
Jed- "Inferno" by Dan Brown
Alison- “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel” by Anthony Marra
Posted by Grahm Underwood, Library Clerk and Alison Donnelly, Librarian.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday Recipes - Part Seven

Today it’s your faithful narrator Terry’s turn. I am just beginning to bust my chops in the kitchen so I don’t have any traditional or signature dishes yet. However I always loved the meatballs my family would serve around the holidays and aim to serve some of my own this Christmas. This recipe is actually a conglomerate of different Taste of Home magazine recipes and I am sure that in the process (struggle) of making it there may end up being a few "innovations."


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MERRY MEATBALLS

INGREDIENTS

Meatballs:
2 eggs
1 envelope onion soup mix
½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
¼ cup chopped dried cranberries
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 ½ pounds lean ground beef

Sauce: 
1 can (14 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
¾ cup ketchup
½ cup beef broth 
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine eggs, soup mix, beef, cranberries, and parsley in a bowl. 
2. Crumble bread crumbs over mixture and mix well. 
3. Shape into 1-in. balls.
4. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown meatballs; drain.
5. Place in a 2 ½ qt baking dish. 
6. Combine the sauce ingredients. Pour over meatballs. 
7. Bake uncovered at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink. 


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For more seasonal recipes check out one of our holiday cookbooks. The library has a great selection of holiday recipe books that can be found in the nonfiction section both on the main floor and children’s floor. We have a large variety of seasonal reading so also be sure to browse our holiday displays. Happy holidays!

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday Recipes - Part Six

Sometimes around the holidays you need to give in and just treat yourself to whatever your heart (or taste buds) desire. Today Diane is sharing a devilishly delectable family recipe that is sure to satisfy any seasonal craving.

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HEART ATTACKS

INGREDIENTS

1. Little Smokies (little hot dogs)
2. Bacon
3. Butter
4. Brown sugar
5. Garlic salt

DIRECTIONS

1. Start with the number of smokies that you want and wrap each one in bacon. 
2. Put them in a dish and apply butter. 
3. Next sprinkle brown sugar and garlic salt on to season them to your liking. 
4. Bake in the oven until bacon is cooked and the inside of the smokie is hot. 
5. Enjoy! 

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For more seasonal recipes check out one of our holiday cookbooks. The library has a great selection of holiday recipe books that can be found in the nonfiction section both on the main floor and children’s floor. We have a large variety of seasonal reading so also be sure to browse our holiday displays. Happy holidays!

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk and Diane Wolfe, Library Clerk

Monday, December 16, 2013

NEW Library Online Book Club


We're pleased to introduce the new MVLD Online Book Club hosted on Facebook! Join us for discussions on our selection - currently "Holidays On Ice" by David Sedaris - or start your own conversation about a book that you're reading. Like us on Facebook to see what books everyone is talking about - https://www.facebook.com/MVLDONLINEBOOKCLUB.

Posted by Jessica Lawrence, Librarian

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Recipes - Part Five

It’s easy to go a little overboard with snacking this time of year so it’s always nice to have a treat that you don’t have to feel bad about the next day. Today Carrie is bringing us a healthier indulgence for the holidays with her Spinach and Artichoke Dip. 

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INDULGENT SPINACH AND ARTICHOKE DIP

INGREDIENTS:

1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 - 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced (or 1/4
1/4 teaspoongarlic salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika

DIRECTIONS:

Stir all ingredients together.
Grease a 1 quart casserole dish and transfer ingredients to it.
Bake at 350 F for 25 min.
Or cook in a 1 quart crockpot for 2 hours on low.
Serve warm with tortilla chips, crackers or toast.

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For more seasonal recipes check out one of our holiday cookbooks. The library has a great selection of holiday recipe books that can be found in the nonfiction section both on the main floor and children’s floor. We have a large variety of seasonal reading so also be sure to browse our holiday displays. Happy holidays!

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk and Carrie Hawkins, Library Clerk

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday Recipes - Part Four

Today Alison is sharing some of her favorite (she may say favourite!) holiday memories.

As you may know, I spent many Christmases in Scotland.  We celebrate in many of the same ways you do this side of the pond, but here are a few traditions that I still like to enjoy in my celebrations in the US.

My Granny on my mother's side is from Germany, and we would all wait impatiently for a big cardboard box to arrive to her house from her brother.   He would post (somewhat illegally) German cheeses and meats which our parents really liked, but what I was looking for were the Pfeffernüsse and lebkuchen.  These little spiced cookies taste great dipped in a cup of tea, or with a glass of cold milk.  My daughter has come to enjoy these, and Aldi sells them so we are enjoying far too many of them already.

Something else we always had at Christmas was a real tree.  Granny would light real candles on hers (safety caution - maybe don't try this at home!), and she would give us children a little sprig of burning tree to hold so we could smell the aromatic fir scent.  Gorgeous!  So we always have a real tree in our house with a matching live wreath on our front door.  We typically buy a tree twelve days before Christmas and take it down twelve days after.

On our tree we placed Christmas crackers.  When it was time for Christmas dinner, there was a cracker at every place setting.  When our Mum finally sat down to eat, we would each pull a cracker with the person opposite and we would immediately put on our paper hats and read the terrible jokes inside!  We also had foil wrapped chocolates hanging on our tree.  We would eat them the day we took the tree down, as a small reward for the undecorating chore.

Like children here, we put our stockings out on Christmas Eve.  My Auntie Linda made all of the children in our family a felt stocking with their name sewn on, and although she has been gone for a few years now, we still use our stockings and make them for the new great nieces and nephews she would have adored.  Typical things to get in your stocking are an apple, an orange, chocolate coins, and small trinkets.



Advent calendars were a festive staple too.  For the twenty four days preceding Christmas, we would open a little door on our calendar to see a picture from the nativity scene. At this time, many of the calendars have chocolates inside, which my six year old enjoys greatly. Nowadays, my brother and I like to tease our mother about our hard life with no chocolates in our calendars!

These are some of the special traditions my daughter Felicity and I observe to remember our family across the ocean at this time of year.  Thanks to online shopping and stores like World Market, it is quite easy to buy international delicacies to enjoy over the holidays, abating my homesickness (for the most part)!

For more seasonal recipes check out one of our holiday cookbooks. The library has a great selection of holiday recipe books that can be found in the nonfiction section both on the main floor and children’s floor. We have a large variety of seasonal reading so also be sure to browse our holiday displays. Happy holidays!

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk and Alison Donnelly, Children’s Librarian

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Giving From the Heart


This holiday season the Library is collecting donations from our staff, family, and community for the St. Louis Children's Hospital. If you would like to donate and help spread a message of holiday cheer and giving, please drop your items off in the collection box on the Main Floor of the library. Some items needed include: toys for infants through teens, children’s books, puzzles, art supplies , DVDs and CDs. You can also look through the hospital's "Wish List" for more items to donate - https://www.stlouischildrens.org/ways-give/giving-opportunities/our-wish-list-gifts-in-kind.

Posted by Jessica Lawrence, Librarian

Monday, December 09, 2013

Holiday Recipes - Part Three

Today Grahm brings us a recipe for hot chocolate with a cayenne kick to keep you warm through this winter storm. 


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HOT HOT CHOCOLATE

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup hot water
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

1. Stir together sugar, cocoa, cayenne pepper, salt, and water in saucepan.
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.
3. Add milk; stirring constantly, heat to serving temperature. Do Not Boil.
4. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and enjoy.


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For more seasonal recipes check out one of our holiday cookbooks. The library has a great selection of holiday recipe books that can be found in the nonfiction section both on the main floor and children’s floor. We have a large variety of seasonal reading so also be sure to browse our holiday displays. Happy Holidays!

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk and Grahm Underwood, Library Clerk

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Holiday Recipes - Part Two

Today Theresa is sharing the recipe for her Fiery Cajun Shrimp dish to help heat up your holidays!


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Growing up my family was very traditional when it came to holiday cooking.  Thanksgiving we always had turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls, veggies and pumpkin pie.  Then for Christmas it was ham, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and apple pie.  

When I married my husband and we started our family we decided we wanted a different holiday tradition to pass on to our kids.  We chose that instead of “traditional holiday foods” we would choose something different or unusual that we hadn’t tried before.  

Over the years we have made: Texas oven-roasted beef brisket with German potato salad, grilled whole salmon stuffed with fennel, lemon and onions, and even a rack of lamb with roasted asparagus, carrots Yukon gold potatoes and yams. By far one of my favorites is the dish we made this past year.  The recipe we used was given to me by a friend who used to live and work in New Orleans, and its seafood, which happens to be my favorite food. 

This recipe is for a Fiery Cajun Shrimp dish served with sliced French bread.  Hope you may enjoy it as much as me and mine did.

-Theresa Beck and Family 




FIERY CAJUN SHRIMP
INGREDIENTS:

2 cups (4sticks) melted butter
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons ground pepper
2 tablespoons hot sauce 
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
5 pounds unpeeled medium shrimp
2 lemons thinly sliced
French bread for dipping

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Stir together the butter, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, pepper, hot sauce, garlic and salt. Pour half the mixture into a large heatproof dish.  Layer half the shrimp and half the lemon slices in the dish; then form a second layer with the remaining shrimp and lemon slices, and pour remaining sauce into the dish.  Bake covered, for 20 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink, stirring twice.  Pour off the sauce into individual serving dishes.  Serve the shrimp with plenty of French bread for dipping in the spicy butter sauce.


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For more seasonal recipes check out one of our holiday cookbooks. The library has a great selection of holiday recipe books that can be found in the nonfiction section both on the main floor and children’s floor. We have a large variety of seasonal reading so also be sure to browse our holiday displays. Happy holidays!

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk and Theresa Beck, Head of Circulation

6th Annual "Art & Author Holiday Market"


Join us this Saturday, December 7th from 1-6pm at the Historic Blum House for the Collinsville Library's 6th annual "Art & Author Holiday Market." Just in time for holiday giving. Buy local, buy original. Meet local authors and artists. Books, art, jewelry, unique finds and more! Hosted in conjunction with the Collinsville Holiday House Tour. 414 W. Main St., Collinsville, IL 62234. Please call Jessica at 618-344-1112 for more information.

Posted by Jessica Lawrence, Librarian