A fun “icy” fresh idea I recently found came from Cocktails & Amuse Bouches by Daniel Boulud. The Hollow Ice Ball is the newest way to serve a cold beverage. Start by rinsing out a party balloon. To stretch it out, blow the balloon up a couple of times. Fill balloon with distilled water and tie a knot in the balloon. Using distilled water creates a clear ball. Suspend the balloon by it’s knot in a freezer. I used an ornament hook, attached to the balloon knot and hooked the balloon on a rod placed in the freezer so the water balloon could hang freely. After about 6 hours, the outer shell of the balloon froze and my husband drilled a hole with a big router tip through the big end of the balloon into the semi-frozen water balloon. We let the unfrozen water drain out of the center and placed the Hollow Ice Ball back into freezer until we were ready to fill with a cold beverage. Chef Boulud's two-volume collection of sophisticated drink recipes also contains a delicious Virgin Mojito using fresh mint.
A few weeks before Mother’s Day in May, the book Herbcrafts by Tessa Evelegh was returned to the Stillwater Public Library. My friend and colleague Jeanna pointed out a fun craft project highlighted in the book called Herbal Ice Bowl. Incredibly pretty and easy to make, I made a bowl to serve fruit in for Mother’s Day. I froze orchid petals inside the bowl instead of herbs and have suggested the craft project to mother’s with children in the home as a fun summer time activity.
Need help planning a party or celebration? Look no further than CelebraTori: unleashing your inner party planner to entertain family and friends by Tori Spelling. (Gallery Books, c 2012) This party companion and 100 percent do-it-yourself ideas book will have people talking about your party for weeks. Tori suggests serving mini foods at parties such as mini meat loaves, sliders, and cake pops. I just happened to spy a mini-meat loaf pan at a local home wares shop in Stillwater this summer, and slider recipes have been popping up in current magazines.
Speaking of popping, Crazy for Cake-pops: all new delicious and adorable creations by Molly Bakes shows the new treats that everyone is making. Replacing the big cake, this little bite is just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, making celebrations very special.
If you have game in the freezer and need a new recipe or fresh idea check out Girl Hunter: revolutionizing the way we eat, one hunt at a time by Georgia Pellegrini. Georgia Pellegrini, a classically- trained New York chef leaves Wall Street and discovers the real world of local, organic, and sustainable food. She offers finger-licking recipes and, in the quest for becoming self-sufficient, she theorizes “the only way we truly know where our meat comes from is if we hunt it."
If you are raising or buying your meat local, check out Odd Bits: what to do with the rest of the animal by Jennifer McLagan. Chef McLagan’s mission is "restoring our respect for the whole animal, developing a taste for its lesser-known parts, and learning how to approach them in the kitchen as confidently as we would a steak or a burger.”
Eating gluten –free has become a way of life for many people and Stillwater Public Library has several helpful books on the subject. Co-workers, cousins, or tail gate friends – we all know someone who is affected by celiac disease or we are affected ourselves. Elisabeth Hasselbeck has published her second book, Deliciously G-free: food so flavorful they'll never believe its gluten-free. The book offers her story, along with help and loads of mouth watering, easy-to-make, family-friendly gluten-free recipes.
For loads more recipe and entertaining books, ask at the Help Desk!