There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our eating habits, and for many it has meant an increase in home-cooked meals. Some discovered a passion for baking sourdough from scratch or mastering the art of the soufflé. Others found creative ways to use their limited pantry items, especially as grocery shopping became more challenging. I’ve loved that many restaurants and establishments that were not able to physically serve customers shared their famous recipes for us to eat at home — from Ikea’s famous meatballs to Disneyland’s famous Dole Whip! If you’re interested in recreating famous treats, or cooking meals from 5-star restaurants, the library has a wealth of cookbooks to help.
For Italian fans, you can bring the flavors of acclaimed restaurants to your own kitchen. “Cucina Simpatico” by Johanne Killeen, offers mouthwatering recipes from the famous Al Forno restaurant in Providence. You may have also heard of Rao’s restaurant in East Harlem, which is well-known for their authentic dishes (and for the near-impossibility of landing a reservation). With their cookbook, “Rao’s Classics” by Frank Pellegrino, you can try your hand at everything from Eggplant Parmigiana to Blood Orange and Limoncello Panna Cotta!
Rao’s is certainly not the only NYC-based restaurant to publish a cookbook full of stories and recipes. The Momofuku Restaurant Group, established by Chef David Chang, includes award-winning restaurants all over the world. The Momofuku Noodle Bar is known for its mastery of ramen dishes, and Momofuku Milk Bar created numerous trademarked treats (and plenty of other amazing baked goods). Two of their books, “Momofuku” by David Chang and “Momofuku Milk Bar” by Cristina Tosi are available for checkout, so you can recreate their addictive dishes at home.
For something a bit more casual and classic, try “Shake Shack: Recipes and Stories” by Randy Garutti. What started as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park quickly grew to a chain of well over 150 restaurants, and the cookbook offers plenty of stories, pro tips, and (of course) mouthwatering burger and shake recipes to your home. Interested in more “copycat” recipes from your favorite chain restaurants? You may like “America’s Most Wanted Recipes” or “America’s Most Wanted Recipes Kids’ Menu” by Ron Douglas, both of which share ingredients and recipes for the most popular dishes in chain restaurants such as Outback Steakhouse.
There are, of course, plenty more where these came from! All of our cookbooks can be found in our second-floor nonfiction collection, which is now open and available for browsing by appointment. Appointments can be made by contacting Circulation at (401) 596-2877 x309, but you can also place items on hold through our catalog. As always, if you need a recommendation, we would be happy to help!
1. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins
2. “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo
3. “The Black Swan of Paris” by Karen Robards
4. “Stamped from the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi
5. “The Girls Weekend: A Novel” by Jody Gehrman
Trending ebooks on Hoopla
1. “The Last Flight” by Julie Clark
2. “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander
3. “If I Were You” by Lynn Austin
4. “Beach Haven” by T. I. Lowe
5. “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla Saad
Trending Movies on Hoopla
1. “Hamilton: One Shot to Broadway”
2. “The Postcard Killings”
3. “Hope Springs”
4. “The Joy Luck Club”
5. “Appalachian Trail”
MONDAY — 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Kids Take & Make Crafts: Mystery Bag – Grab a bag of supplies from the ‘Kids’ tote that will be located outside the Library front door. Each Monday there will be a new craft. 1 per child; 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Teen Take & Make Craft: Fancy little Paper Box – Grab a craft kit for teens! Each week will feature a different bag of goodies for you to take home and assemble. Supplies limited, 1 per teen; 10-10:15 a.m., Kids Mindful Monday Video – Don’t lose your cool! Check out some fun tips, tricks and activities to help keep calm and summer on! These short, pre-recorded videos are on our “Kids Online Programming” Facebook Group; 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Free Summer Lunches (ages 18 and under) – This summer, free contact-less, grab and go meals will be served outside the entrance of the Library; 3-3:15 p.m., Kid Stories with Sara – Enjoy some fun stories with Sara! These short, pre-recorded videos are available on our “Kids Online Programming” Facebook group.
TUESDAY — 11 a.m.-12 p.m., Teen Live Trivia with Kahoot – Join us for some trivia fun! We’ll be meeting through Zoom and using the Kahoot app. Register in advance by emailing email@example.com; 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Free Summer Lunches (ages 18 and under) – Grab and go meals will be served outside the entrance of the Library; 1-4 p.m., Community Resource Advocate – Our volunteer Community Resource Advocate is available via email to help connect you with local services/resources. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org; 2-2:15 p.m., Kids No-Bake Snacks – Join Judy and Meagan and beat the heat with some yummy treats! Find these short, pre-recorded videos on our ‘Kids Online Programming’ Facebook Group; 5-6 p.m., Summer Yoga in Wilcox Park – All ages can join Julia Reid in the park or via Zoom for yoga practice; 5:30-7:30 Virtual Knit and Crochet Club – We’re still meeting virtually! Email email@example.com for details.
WEDNESDAY — 9:30-10 a.m., Essentrics/Classical Stretch Class – Join us for a 30 minute class in the park (appropriate for all ages and fitness levels). We recommend bringing a mat, towel, and water; 10-10:30 a.m., Zoom Book Chat (ages 6-11) – Come chat with the Westerly Children’s Librarians for a “Sports Team Hat/Shirt” themed book chat. Pre-registration is required; 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Free Summer Lunches (ages 18 and under) – Grab and go meals will be served outside the entrance of the Library; 6:30-7:45 p.m., Virtual Meditation – Join John Bednarik as he teaches a simple meditation technique to increase personal well-being. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
THURSDAY —10-10:15 a.m., Kids Around Town Storytimes Video – Join Judy and Meagan as they travel to various locations in our downtown community to read fun, themed picture books; 10-10:30 a.m., Virtual At Home Science (ages 5-12) – Registration required! We’ll lead you through some fun science experiments you can do at home; 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Free Summer Lunches (ages 18 and under) – Grab and go meals will be served outside the entrance of the Library; 3:30-4:30 p.m., Teen Virtual Book and Writing Club – Join us on Zoom for an open discussion on anything book or writing related! Email email@example.com to register.
FRIDAY — 10-10:30 a.m., Virtual Music with Mike (Ages birth and up) – Join Mike Markowitz with some fun songs to sing and dance around to! Pre-registrants will be sent a link and password to join the Zoom program; 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Free Summer Lunches (ages 18 and under) – Grab and go meals will be served outside the entrance of the Library.
SATURDAY — 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Adult Writer’s Workshop via Zoom – Share and discuss your work in this group-led writing workshop. All experience levels and genre interests welcome. Contact Allynn at firstname.lastname@example.org for Zoom information.
Cassie Skobrak is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.