ON THE SHELF: Hobbies and habits for the new year

Published 8:00 am Sunday, January 8, 2023

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.

This week, the library is featuring cooking, craft and hobby titles in our New Adult Nonfiction collection.

“Dishes for Two: 125 Easy Small-Batch Recipes for Weeknight Meals & Special Celebrations” is our latest cookbook from the test kitchen of “Good Housekeeping” magazine. These perfectly portioned recipes are for couples or small families that don’t need or want a bunch of leftovers. Readers are getting secrets for downsizing any recipe, including your own family favorites. You get cooking techniques that include how to perfectly sear a chicken breast, how to mix and match delicious pan sauces and simple sides to keep your meals from being boring, and you’ll learn shopping and storage strategies for reducing food waste. You’ll get recipes for Bacon-Roasted Potatoes, Pork Ragu Rigatoni and Creamy Corn Chowder, as well as special treats like Skillet Brownies and Small-Batch Cupcakes. Whether you’re craving something hearty or lighter, the recipes in this cookbook will come out perfectly portioned and delicious every time.

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If you’re looking for something a bit more exotic to tempt your palette, then try “Simply Korean: Easy Recipes for Korean Favorites That Anyone Can Make” by Aaron Huh. Even if you are new to cooking, this book will teach you easy, delicious Korean dishes that you can make at home. Aaron Huh offers streamlined techniques, minimal ingredients and clear instructions so that you too can make fried rice, bulgogi, kimchi and more without sacrificing taste. You’ll also learn the art of banchan and be able to wow guests with an excellent K-BBQ party. This book includes an introduction to Korean cuisine, including ingredients and preparation methods, how to make restaurant-quality meals at home, and simple formulas for Korean sauces to make any dish more delicious.

Tiffani Thompson is about all things noodle in her cookbook “Noodle Worship: Easy Recipes for All the Dishes You Crave.” Have you ever wanted to learn to make the creamiest, most delicious noodle dishes you could imagine? Look no further because the author of this book shows you how to create the best noodles from around the world using simple, flavorful and straightforward recipes that even beginners and busy families can master. You’ll learn the secrets to rich, Italian-inspired pasta sauces like Spinach Alfredo Radiatore, Spaghetti Carbonara and Cacio e Pepe. Recipes like Nene’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Cheesy Chicken Tetrazzini and Cheesy Baked Mostaccioli will have your family grinning from ear to ear at their cheese pulls. In the mood for Asian-inspired cuisine? How about Garlic-Chili Noodles, Shanghai Noodles or Garlic-Butter Shrimp? This collection of recipes brings easy and affordable noodle and pasta dishes into your home so you and your family can satisfy your cravings.

Marie Kondo is back with her latest, “Marie Kondo’s Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life.” The Japanese concept of kurashi is also known as “way of life.” Kondo invites readers to visualize their best life from the moment they wake up until the end of each day. To do this, you must once again ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” with your mindset and behaviors. This is a holistic and personal approach to manipulating your environment by imagining what your life could look like with greater connection and free from limitations. You will learn to make conscious, mindful choices — from how to use every corner of your living space to taking advantage of every moment. This philosophy seeks to teach readers not what to get rid of but to recognize what sparks joy in their lives. The newfound clarity you gain will inspire you to clear out the things you don’t need so you can appreciate the spaces, belongings and peaceful moments that remain.

For those who wish to take up a new hobby, “15-Minute Ink Landscapes: Simple, Striking, Soothing Lineart of Forests, Mountains, Beaches, and More” by Rosa Hoehn will get those creative juices flowing. With 50 easy, nature-inspired projects, this book will teach you how to draw in pen and ink. Whether you are looking to hone your artistic skills, or you simply want a creative way to unwind at the end of the day, following these simple steps can help you create line drawing works in just fifteen minutes. You’ll learn everything about working with ink including tips on line weight, shading, and creating frame designs while you play with mediums like colored pencils, brush pens, and watercolors. Explore mountain landscapes, desert scenes, beaches and woodlands along your journey to improving your artistic skill and learning to make your own projects.

Social media influencer Erica Domesek has penned another DIY book on how to craft for parents and kids with “P.S. We Made This! Super Fun Crafts That Grow Smarter + Happier Kids.” Domesek offers creative and colorful at-home projects that the whole family can enjoy. It encourages parents to step away from screens and help their little ones learn essential sensory, motor, developmental and life skills. From self-expression and imaginative play to problem-solving, these projects are designed to keep kids entertained, curious and growing. Each chapter has simple out-of-the-box crafts, recipes and ideas to engage kids of all ages while allowing them to have fun along the way.