At Westerly Library & Wilcox Park: Cookbooks that will excite your eyeballs | Guest Columns

One of my favorite parts of the week is when the new cookbooks arrive at the library. I’m like a little kid with a brand-new picture book, thumbing through the pages and taking in the breathtaking photographs. It doesn’t even matter that most days my culinary prowess doesn’t extend further than preparing PB&J sandwiches, I just enjoying looking at what other people are preparing!

If you’re like me and enjoy the visual aspects of cookbooks, there are some great new titles in the collection. One of the most eye-catching is Rick Martinez’s “Mi Cocina,” a bright a brilliant celebration of Mexican cuisine; according to reviews, the recipes are just as amazing as the images. Another winner is Shelly Westerhausen’s “Platters and Boards,” in which the author presents examples of gorgeous food platters and spreads for any occasion. Bridal shower? Check. Housewarming gift? Check. Dental appointment? There’s probably a board for that! My current obsession, though, is “Adam Young’s Sift Cookbook,” written by the head chef and owner of Sift in Mystic and Watch Hill. I may not have the ambition to make his blueberry scones from scratch, but I sure do love looking at them.

If you’re not a wizard in the kitchen, but still want to prepare some tasty dishes at home, there are plenty of books for you. “I Dream of Dinner (So You Don’t Have To)” by Ali Slagle will help you plan deliciously uncomplicated meals with what you have on hand, rather than having to purchase a ton of ingredients. In “Cooking at Home, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (and Love My Microwave),” world-renowned chef David Chang and author Priya Krishna offer cooking hacks and shortcuts that will make your life infinitely simpler without sacrificing taste. When all else fails, eggs make for a quick and simple meal! If you’re sick of the scrambled or fried versions, Lisa Steele’s “The Fresh Eggs Daily Cooking” includes over 100 recipes for new and unexpected ways to use this ol’ standby ingredient.

Don’t forget, Memorial Day is just around the corner! If you’ll be firing up the grill, “Horn Barbecue” by Matt Horn or “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ” will help you cook your meat to perfection, while also offering plenty of ideas for mouth-watering sides and desserts. Add “VBQ: The Ultimate Vegan Barbecue Cookbook” to your list, and you’re sure to have something for everyone!

Top requested books

  • 1. “City on Fire” by Don Winslow
  • 2. “The Paris Apartment” by Lucy Foley
  • 3. “Dream Town” by David Baldacci
  • 4. “What Happened to the Bennetts” by Lisa Scottoline
  • 5. “The Hotel Nantucket” by Elin Hilderbrand
  • 6. “It Ends with Us” by Colleen Hoover
  • 7. “22 Seconds” by James Patterson
  • 8. “Finding Me” by Viola Davis
  • 9. “The Match” by Harlan Coben
  • 10. “Run Rose Run” by James Patterson

Top requested DVDs

  • 1. “Uncharted”
  • 2. “Licorice Pizza”
  • 3. “Dog
  • 4. “The Beatles: Get Back”
  • 5. “The Batman”
  • 6. “Belfast”
  • 7. “Spider-Man: No Way Home”
  • 8. “Yellowstone Season 4”
  • 9. “Sanditon Season 2”
  • 10. “The King’s Daughter”

This week

MONDAY — 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Crafternoon To-Go | Clothespin Magnets – This month, we’re making floral designed magnets out of clothespins. Pick up your kit in Reference while supplies last; 4-4:45 p.m., Couch to 5k Run Club – It’s week seven of our Run Club. We meet at the fountain in Wilcox Park for our group run; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Monday Movie Night – Join us in the Auditorium for a once a month film screening! This month, we’re showing a 2022 mystery film directed by Kenneth Branagh.

TUESDAY — 10-10:30 a.m., Family Storytime – Join us in the Terrace Room for a family storytime, geared towards kids birth through 11 years when accompanied by a caregiver; 1-4 p.m., Community Resource Advocate – Our volunteer Community Resource Advocate is available via emai at [email protected] to help connect you with local services/resources; 1-2 p.m., Afternoon Book Discussion – This month’s selection is “Her Hidden Genius” by Marie Benedict. This is a hybrid program, meeting in the library Auditorium and on Zoom. Email [email protected] for more details; 2-3:30 p.m., Virtual Tech Social – We meet on Zoom every Tuesday to address your tech questions. Preregistration is required; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit and Crochet Club – The Knit and Crochet Group is meeting on the 2nd floor of the library.

WEDNESDAY — 2-3:30 p.m., Virtual Film Club – We will discuss three movies we selected last month and choose three to watch for our June meeting. Contact Hannah at [email protected] for meeting details; 6-7 p.m., Virtual Cookbook Club: Dine and Discuss – We’ll be preparing and (virtually) sharing recipes from “Baking with Dorie” by Dorie Greenspan and “The Savory Baker” by America’s Test Kitchen. Please only check out one or the other. Contact [email protected] to register.

THURSDAY — 4-4:30 p.m., Teen De-Stress Day with Chelsea Hauck – It’s almost time for finals! Teens in grades 7-12 are invited to join us on the far side of the pond in Wilcox Park to learn stretching and breathing techniques to reset our nervous systems. Registration is required; 5:30-6:30 p.m., Zumba in the Park and Library – Enjoy a free Zumba class with Yvonne Brown and Tina Pagliusi; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – Players of all skill levels are welcome.

SATURDAY — 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Digital Literacy Classes – Sign up for up to 8 weeks of free computer classes with Spanish support, presented by the Providence Public Library and RI Office of Library and Information Services. Limited spaces available, so registration is required; 10:30-11:30 a.m., Zumba in the Park and Library – Enjoy a free Zumba class with Yvonne Brown and Tina Pagliusi.

Cassie Skobrak is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library & Wilcox Park.

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