Staff Picks: Easy Living Non-Fiction
As the old song goes, Summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Bealeton staff members have pulled together a few non-fiction titles on easy gardening, light cooking and creative desserts to add to your summer fun.
Container Theme Gardens by Nancy J. Ondra
I just love, love, love this gardening book by award-winning garden designer Nancy J. Ondra. Container gardens make a beautiful addition to any area around your home – porches, pathways, foyers, within your flower beds, at the entrance to your driveway — all make a statement and beautify your area in my opinion. Professionally designed containers adorning beautiful bed and breakfasts and quaint town streets always get me motivated to obtain that same look at my house. Well, “Container Theme Gardens” is going to help me achieve this. The book is complete with beautiful photographs of her designs. The author bases her creations on a “5-plant palette.” And these palettes include plants that are readily available at nurseries and big box stores (affordably). She groups the selections by themes, includes information on selecting a container to match your style, and provides a shopping list for each container choice. You determine your style and how much light your spot will get. Then take the list, shop and plant! And best of all, these containers provide instant gratification AND are low maintenance.
~ Alicia, Circulation, Bealeton branch library
The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor by Gina Homolka
The title of this book is an apt description of it. This cookbook provides a variety of recipes, many that are classic favorites, which take out fat and calories without losing taste. There are even recipes for low calorie desserts! Great for summertime living – enjoy!
~ Maria P., Circulation, Bealeton branch library
Deceptive Desserts: A Lady’s Guide to Baking Bad! by Christine McConnell
It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for the strange. So, when I saw the cover for Christine McConnell’s “Deceptive Desserts: A Lady’s Guide to Baking Bad” featuring the quintessential 1950’s domestic goddess juxtaposed next to a Frankenstein head cake, a be-tentacled bowl of meringue and what can only be described as a ‘spider cat,’ I knew I had to take a closer look. Inside, I found a wonderland of weird creations suitable for all sorts of odd occasions.
Some of my favorite recipes are the Serpentine Cinnamon Rolls and the beautifully artistic White Voodoo Cake. But the author doesn’t let her imagination completely carry her away. Among the kitschy eye candy you’ll find a great section on mastering the basics too. Although, fair warning, once you’ve tried McConnell’s homemade caramel you’ll be forever disappointed by store bought.
This weekend I’ll be trying the author’s Caramel Apple Pies for which the book outlines a simple yet ingenious method for making the flaky treats look like real apples. Whether they come out picture perfect or not, it’s sure to be a tasty adventure!
~ Frances, Circulation, Bealeton branch library