Monthly Archives: April 2013

Consumer Reports

Now that my boyfriend and I are seriously looking at buying a house I’ve been looking at appliances and other big household purchases. To help us in our decision-making we’ve been using Consumer Reports Online.
crConsumer Reports is a great eResource that the Guelph Public Library subscribes to. As an independent magazine their mission is to creat a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to encourage consumers to protect themselves. They have reviews on everything from air conditioners to wrinkle creams. If you’re looking at buying it they have reviewed it and the competitors. This resource is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Cooking out of my comfort zone


Here is another installment of Cooking out of your comfort zone.


I’ve always loved the look of macarons, they just look too good to eat. I’ve thought many times that I wanted to make them but was always intimidated that they wouldn’t turn out. That was untill Les petits macarons: colorful french confections to make by Kathryn Gordon came across the desk.
macaronsThis book is beautiful, the photography is amazing, and every recipe looks fantastic. Everything is explained so well and there is even a trouble shooting section that you can use to see why your macarons are not working. Kathryn Gordon has thought of every question you could possibly image as to why your macarons are not working and given you the answer and how to fix it.  She even includes images to compare your macarons too so that you can accurately fix what is not working. The flavour combinations all sound amazing and I would love to make them all.
Books to get you inspired to do some French baking…
The art of french baking by Ginette Mathiot
The new french baker by Sheila Linderman
French food at home by Laura Calder
Chocolate & zucchini by Coltilde Dusoulier

Craft Corner


Do you like to craft? Are you looking for something that you or the babysitter can do with your children? If so then I have the thing for you.
DIY-Wreaths-for-FallWorld Books Online Craft Corner is an eResource that the Guelph Public Library subscribes to, it’s a great place to get craft ideas. You can search by age range, activity, culture, time to finish, cost, and even holiday themes. Do you know what craft you want to do but don’t know how to start it? Craft Corner has an amazing how to section that can show you everything from how to cast off for a knitting project or how to make a wreath. You can even share upload photos of the crafts you’ve made.
You can asses this resource under the eLibrary tab on the home page and click on eResources, from there you will click on crafts and hobbies.

Duct tape

Now this may seem like a strange post but recently I’ve seen duct tape in all colours and with really cool designs. This got me thinking, “What would you do with hot pink duck tape?” I did some research and found out that you can make all kinds of things from prom dresses to covering old furniture.
promDuck tape brand duct tape runs a contest every year for high school students to win a $5,000.00 scholarship for university. The couple or single participant must be wearing an outfit made of Duck tape brand duct tape. Click here for contest rules.
sesame walletsI’m suer most of you have heard of the duct tape wallet or know someone who has one. They can be boring becuse they only come in one colour …. until now! With all the funky colours and designs available there is no need to use the drab grey tape. You can make your favourit cartoon character into a wallet or make one with an elegant design. It doesn’t stop at just wallets, you can make shoes, hand bags or any fashion accessory you can think of.
Thinking of making your prom dress out of duct tape or making a wallet? We have books that can help you.
Stick it! 99 D.IY. duck tape projects by T.L. Bonaddio
Crazy-cool duct tape projects by Marisa Pawelko
Go crazy with duct tape by Patti Wallenfang
Ductigami: the art of the tape by Joe Wilson

Doggie treats

Dehydrating Sweet Pototo Slices in the Oven
I don’t know about you but I like to feed my dog healthy all natural dog treats. My dog Jenny loves sweet potatoes but I’m wary of giving her the irradiated dog treats found in pet stores after seeing Marketplace Fighting for Fido.
I thought I would give it a try, here’s how I made them.
  1. Preheat oven to 250° F
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Cut off one side of the sweet potato lengthwise, as close to the edge as possible. This makes the potato easier to cut. Don’t discard that first piece, cook it with the rest.
  4. Cut the rest of the potato into 1/3″ slices, I recommend no smaller than 1/4″.
  5. Bake for 1 and a half hours, turn the potatoes over and cook for another 1 and a half hours.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Storing – keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. You can freeze them for up to 4 months.
Books on dog food and treats.
Dog treats: pamper your pooch to prove you care by Eve Devereux
Raw dog food: make it easy for you and your dog by Carina Beth McDonald
The ultimate dog treat cookbook: homemade goodies for man’s best friend by Liz Palika

Cooking out of my comfort zone

Here is another installment of Cooking out of your comfort zone. This one is a bit different as it is a drink not food.
When I was in Kenya I discovered this amazing drink called a Dawa. Dawa in Swahili means “medicine” and it is a very strong drink. I like mine to be spicy but it’s also very good without the spice.
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 shots vodka
Crushed ice cubes
1 whole lime quarter with skin on
1 Dawa stick twisted in honey (a Dawa stick can be a thick swizzle stick used to crush the limes in the glass) optional 4 to 6 drops of Tabasco
1) Put lime and sugar into a whisky tumbler.
2) Crush limes slightly, add ice and pour in the vodka.
3) At this point you twist a dawa stick into some honey and add the stick to the drink. A wooden honey stick or other type of stick twisted in honey will work.
4) Muddle limes with dawa or honey stick. The more you crush the limes into the mixture and stir the sweeter the taste. If you want it spicy add Tabasco to taste.
This drink is great for a hot summer night with friends or just to remind you of Africa.
mango-languagesAre you interested in going to Africa knowing Swahili or just learning another language? Then you should try Mango Languages, it’s a cool eResource that the GPL subscribes to.  Mango can help you learn languages such as Spanish, French, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Italian and more all from the comfort of your own home.

Maple Syrup

Food and Farm Maple Grading

It’s that time of year again where the days are warm and the night are cold. It’s the perfect time for maple syrup harvesting.
Fun maple facts
maple_leafThe maple season may last 4 to 6 weeks, usually March to mid April.
maple_leafThe harvest season ends with warm spring nights and early bud development in the trees
maple_leaf       Canada produces 80% of the world’s pure maple syrup, 91% of which is produced in Quebec.
maple_leaf       Amerindian peoples taught the early settlers how to make maple syrup.
maple_leaf       Maple trees can produce syrup for 70 to 100 years.
maple_leafThe sugar content of sap averages 2.5% but once it’s made into syrup the sugar content avreges 66.5%
*Syrup facts from Pure Canadian Maple Syrup, Jackman’s, and James Bay Wild Fruit.
Looking for more information or to do something will maple syrup? We have all kinds of books to help you. Here are just a few …
Maple syrup cookbook: Over 100 recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner by Ken Haedrich
Backyard sugarin’ II by Rink Mann
Sweet maple: life, lore and recipes from the sugarbush by James Lawrence