Spending the past week in North Carolina made me want to make a Southern bundt cake. When I think of Southern cooking/baking, I think Paula Deen. As a coconut lover I chose the coconut pound cake recipe from Paula's book Paula Deen Celebrates! This recipe was serious business: 4 sticks of butter and 6 eggs! If you hate coconut do not get near this cake. And, if you're dieting you can probably gain weight just by looking at this cake.
All that being said, it's a great cake. Easy to make, rich, and can be topped with frosting (as Paula herself suggests).
This might be the world's easiest "cake." Most people love it and it takes very little time to make. It's pretty much foolproof and looks great. Unfortunately, circumstances beyond my control have severely limited my bundt cake making time. So, when I saw this bundt I knew I had to make it.
Check out tomorrow's post for new cakes celebrating National Bundt Day (Nov 15). And, if inspired, please share your favorite bundt cakes with us in the comments section.
I am not a natural baker. I often like the idea more than actually baking anything. That being said, sometimes I find great satisfaction in baking and other times... Well, they're like today.
For my second bundt (leading up to National Bundt Day, Nov 15) I chose to make "The Naughty Senator" (yes, I planned this to coincide with voting today) from the book All Cakes Considered by Melissa Gray. Each recipe in the book was made by Melissa and tested by NPR's All Things Considered staff. Very cool.
The Naughty Senator is a peppermint and chocolate rum marble cake. To me it sounded... kind of good and kind of weird. Well, it's both! However, here's where my lack of baking satisfaction comes into play: I did everything exactly according to the recipe. I did, I swear! But, instead of having a pastel green and chocolate swirled artful design my cake had color blobs. And, it was really puffy. And, unfortunately, it was slightly overcooked. So... what to do? Consider it a complete failure? Nope, I frosted it to respectability. Or at least to making it look a little better.
Taste? Not bad. But, definitely not for mint haters. The rum flavoring? I couldn't really taste it, but I just used a non-alcoholic extract. Maybe that makes a difference.
Wouldn I make it again? Probably not. But, the name alone made it the perfect cake for today.
I Like Big Bundts (yes, you're reading that correctly) is one clever turn of phrase! Created by the very cool Los Angeles librarian-blogger, The Food Librarian, her website offers up delicious baked goods (and Jello!) and the most incredible 30 days of bundt cakes leading up to National Bundt Day on November 15.
This year she has inspired me to bake along. While I can't compete with 30 bundts in 30 days, I will try my best to make 8 bundts in 15 days using only books available in our library's collection.
Check out his blog about his experience as our special guest storyteller on Tuesday. Everyone, children and adults alike, enjoyed this special storytime!
Our parking lot will be closed for Touch a Truck, where children of all ages can touch, honk, and climb on a variety of vehicles stopping by the library. Patrons may park at All Saints Episcopal Church located at 800 Abbot Road.
The One Book, One Community (OBOC) kick-off event has been rescheduled for this Sunday, Sept. 25 at 7 pm at Wharton Center's Cobb Great Hall. At this event, Foer will discuss the book, take questions from the audience and sign books. Community members of all ages, including MSU students, are encouraged to attend this FREE event. Tickets are not required. Parking is FREE.
Join us for a reading and book signing by popular Michigan Notable Author Heather Sellers. ELPL is very excited to host author and Hope College Professor Heather Sellers, author of the nationally known book, You Don't Look Like Anyone I know: A True Story of Family, Face Blindness, and Forgiveness.
Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's death. The latest issue of Rolling Stone contains the complete last interview with John Lennon. You can access this interview online along with a variety of other articles and video clips relating to Lennon and those closest to him.
Two movies about John Lennon were also released this year:
LENNONYC is already available on DVD. It is a documentary about Lennon's life in and love of New York City.
NOWHERE BOY (releases on DVD January 25th) is a dramatic depiction of John Lennon's early years.
Be sure to also check out the library's collection of other materials about John Lennon.
The conclusion to Larsson's wildly popular Millennium trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, will be available on DVD January 25th.
If you are a fan of the books, you'll enjoy the movies. All movies are in Swedish with English subtitles.
Out of This World is a new book group featuring speculative fiction. Each month will feature a new book exploring the different genres in what is commonly known as science fiction/fantasy.
January 19: Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey, explores supernatural fantasy with the crime-fighting, butt-kicking antihero James Stark who recently crawled up from Hell and is looking for revenge against those who sent him down in the first place.
February 16: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi is a dystopian novel based in a society where the world’s natural resources have been stripped bare: fossil fuels have all been consumed, the seas have risen and destroyed cities and now scavengers comb through the wreckage looking for scrap metals. For one boy, Nailer, this is all life is for him, until he meets a girl among the wreckage, the daughter of a shipping-company holder who can show them a world of privilege and fortune, if they will only trust her and help find her way home.
If you are a fan of science fiction and fantasy please join us starting in January!
Have you ever considered writing a novel? Here's some motivation: November is National Novel Writing Month!
The goal is to complete a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. The NaNoWriMo website offers guidance and motivation: you can join online forums, track your progress, connect with local participants and glean tips on how to survive writing so much in so little time. While you don't have to formally sign up, it is free and easy to do so.
So, up for the challenge? After years of making excuses, I will attempt to write about characters that keep nagging for my attention. I hope some of you will join me!
The Secret in Their Eyes won the Oscar in 2009 for Best Foreign Language Film, yet I knew very little about it. I didn't know anyone who had seen it nor had I read any detailed reviews before checking it out.
The movie is both a thriller and a glimpse into the human heart. If that sounds potentially sappy, the film most definitely is not. It's one of those films that I wasn't sure about while watching it, but I have to say I've thought about it a lot since then. In fact, I am thinking I might watch it again.
The premise is a 1970s murder case that still haunts the lead investigator, Benjamin. In retirement he decides to write a novel about the case, but realizes that the true story hasn't ended. Upon further investigation and past flashbacks we learn more about the principal characters: Benjamin’s true love and boss, his drunken co-worker (who, at times, provides the film’s only real comic relief), a devastated husband, the politically connected suspect, and Argentina’s political landscape.
While this film might prove too slow placed for some, I think it’s worth checking out for fans of foreign and mystery films. Without spoiling anything, I found that the ending did not disappoint. And, like with most fine films, I won't be surprised if you find yourself thinking about it long after the final credits.
Note: This movie is Rated R for language, violence, and nudity. In Spanish with English Subtitles.
I am an unashamed product of the 80s. So, it goes without saying that I love John Hughes films. I can't really say I have a favorite because I hold such fond memories for all of them. Whether teen angst or John Candy silliness, it's all good. I remember back in high school doing a speech on how much I loved Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club. Thankfully YouTube had not yet been invented, otherwise the whole world (including all of you) could see a 15 year old me with purple hair and half shaved head, but I digress.
I knew that I would have to see the documentary Don't You Forget About Me as soon as it was released. And, for an avid fan, it did not disappoint. Basically, the film is a love letter to John Hughes. The filmmakers chose to record themselves traveling to Chicagoland to attempt to meet the reclusive director-screenwriter. I won't spoil the ending, but the trip itself was pretty cool. I enjoyed hearing from teenagers of today lamenting the state of current teen films and thanking Hughes for his earlier contributions.
For those of you have seen and enjoyed John Hughes films, let me know your favorites in the comment section. And, if not, consider checking them out. We have a bunch now, but will be getting more in the coming weeks.