Come one, come all to experience the latest the Niles Public Library has to offer that is guaranteed to leave your taste buds yearning for more.

“Bubble and Squawk” is a new cookbook discussion group that is as tasty as it is informative. Every other month, join us for an hour to discuss different recipes from two featured cookbooks and try a couple out. The steps to get in are simple:

– Choose a recipe from one of the books being discussed.

– Make the recipe.

– Bring it in for everyone else to try.

Everyone will get the chance to sample the dishes and talk about the recipes and cookbooks. Bringing a dish is required to participate, so make sure to try one out!

For our first month of “Bubble and Squawk” in October, the featured cookbooks are Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl and Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from my Frontier, both by Ree Drummond. Copies will be available at the Adult Services Reference desk on the 3rd floor.

The discussion will take place on Monday, October 20, from 7 pm to 8 pm. Registration is required to participate, so to guarantee yourself a spot in this mouthwatering munch-athon, click here to register.

To check out Ree Drummond’s other cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks a Year of Holidays, click here.


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nutellla cake

Thanks to this wonderful thing called the Internet, people can look up all kinds of quick and easy recipes for that last minute meal or late night snack. So I bring you the first installment of Eat Cheats, a selection of cool, fun, easy-to-make meals for one that you can eat right out of your coffee cup. This post will focus on the Nutella Mug Cake, based on my experience with the recipe and what you need to successfully bake your own little cake.  Who says you can’t enjoy mini desserts without an Easy-Bake Oven?

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The much beloved British television series Doctor Who has been with us for 50 years. Debuting in 1963, this science fiction show about a time traveling alien ran for 26 seasons before ending in 1989. Reborn in 2005, the series is as popular as ever. The eighth season of the new series begins this fall, starring Peter Capaldi as the 12th version of the title character.

Originally conceived as a program to teach kids about science, Doctor Who has grown into an international geek culture juggernaut. In case you’ve never seen an episode, the lovably goofy and absurd Doctor looks human, but is really the last living Time Lord from the destroyed planet Gallifrey. He travels through both time and space in the TARDIS (a ship that looks like an old-fashioned British police emergency call box) but that is “bigger on the inside.” The Doctor looks great for his age (which fluctuates constantly from all that time travel, but is at least 1000 years) because any time his body is destroyed he simply regenerates in a new one. He loves earth and humans (and, hey, constant space and time travel must get lonely) so he is always recruiting a human companion or two to journey with him.

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Celebrate Earth Day this Friday, April 22!  This year’s theme is A Billion Acts of Green, an international campaign to register one billion actions in advance of the global Earth Summit in Rio in 2012.  Learn more at the official website.

You can make a difference by reusing shopping bags and eating locally grown and organic foods.  Get involved at the Niles Public Library.  Learn how to transform plastic grocery bags into reusable fabric, and make tasty snacks using eco-friendly ingredients.

When: 2:00-4:00pm
Where: Large Meeting Room, 6960 W. Oakton St. Niles, IL


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Yesterday, the library and Chipotle hosted a screening of the documentary film What’s On Your Plate?.  In the film, two friends investigate where the food they eat comes from. The answers aren’t always appetizing.  There are still places where you can find good, fresh food, such as local farmers markets.

Local Area Farmers’ Markets:

Downtown Evanston Farmers’ Market
Saturdays May 8 – November 6

Glenview Farmers’ Market
Saturdays June 26 – October 9

Park Ridge Farmers Market
Saturdays mid-May through October

Ridgeville Farmers Market
Wednesdays June 3-September 30

Skokie Farmers Market
Sundays end of June to the end of October
7:30 am-12:45 pm

For more information about food & health, check out the resources below


Chew On This and Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

Don’t Eat This Book by Morgan Spurlock

Food Rules and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

What the World Eats by Peter Menzel


Naturally Grown

Fast Food Facts

Food & Water Watch

Let’s Move

Sustainable Table


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I liked Mostly Martha, so it’s always hard when a film that was good to begin with gets the remake once-over. It happens quite a bit with older films…many black and white. I guess Hollywood feels the attention span of movie-goers is about 30 years or less. But, what’s usually really frustrating is when a RECENT foreign film is remade into an English film. Um, excuse me, we CAN read subtitles, you know! So, here we go with another contemporary film…this time a very well-received German film…that is getting the Hollywood touch so Americans can go to the movies and not have to spend two hours READING. The horror, the horror! And, I’m not even that big of a fan of foreign films! Imagine how insulted staunch devotees of international cinema are!!!!! All that aside (is that possible after my rant?), Catherine Zeta-Jones plays a tough, temperamental chef who runs her NYC restaurant kitchen like clockwork until her sister dies and she’s left with the responsibility of raising her niece. Enter Aaron Eckhart as a replacement chef and more than just cooking fires begin to heat up. This is a sweet, touching film…more than just your average romantic comedy. It has edge and some truly poignant moments between the Zeta-Jones character and the young girl. Is it better than Mostly Martha? Well, no. But, I honestly didn’t expect it to be. It is a remake after all.


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A fabulously vivid and enticing film from Mexico that combines food and sensuality. The story, based on the acclaimed novel by Laura Esquivel, revolves around a family who has three daughters…the oldest one is a rebel, the middle one is the “good” girl, and the youngest is doomed to a live of misery and loneliness since she will be the one to take care of her aging mother and can never marry. The youngest falls in love with a man, but the middle daughter is the one the mother assigns him to marry instead. Filled with rage and hatred for her mother and her situation, the youngest takes her anger out in her cooking. Beautifully filmed, this is a wonderfully colorful and lush film that will make you both hungry and excited. What more can you ask for than that?


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