Thanksgiving Cooking


thanksgiving_dinner_1280x1024Thanksgiving is almost here! If you are dreading all the cooking, we are here to help!

Michele Morris presented helpful hints last month on how to beat the clock this holiday season. We also have several resources to make your turkey day as stress-free as possible:



bookcoverHow to Cook a Turkey: And All the Other Trimmings

This holiday survival guide from the editors of Fine Cooking. It answers every question you may have about turkeys (buying information, thawing times, oven temperatures and more) as well as 100 recipes from appetizers to desserts with many helpful hints. Did you know that your pumpkin pies will crack if you overcook them?



bookcover (1)Thanksgiving: How to Cook it Well

Sam Sifton, former New York Times restaurant critic, has created a timeless guide for Thanksgiving dinner from planning of the meal to the washing of the last plate. This is a book about the classic Thanksgiving meal. It’s perfect for first timers or old timers with helpful tips like warming plates and using turkey stock to drizzle over the turkey before putting it on the table for the carving.



bookcover (2)Vegetarian Times Complete Thanksgiving Cookbook

Do you have vegetarians coming over? Vegetarian Times created a cookbook full of holiday favorites that are veggie-friendly. There are 180 recipes from Cream of Yam and Carrot Soup to Apple Cranberry Crumb Tart.




bookcover (3)Thanksgiving Entertaining 

Are you worried about place settings? Williams-Sonoma has created a great guide with several menus as well as step-by-step instructions for decorating your home, setting an attractive table and making a variety of festive drinks.




51S0RV2XNNL._SL500_AA300_ Martha’s Classic Thanksgiving

Martha Stewart is the ultimate holiday entertainer. She shares her tips in this DVD, which includes recipes, centerpiece and table setting ideas as well as some Thanksgiving crafts for the kids.

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Calamity Jane’s Halloween Picks

CalamityJaneHalloween is right around the corner. Make this holiday one to remember with these spooky stories, scary snacks and creepy crafts. We have many silly yet slightly spooky picture books to get you and your little ones into the Halloween spirit.

Is your little one nervous about trick or treating? Check out Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween Scaredies. The book contains zany safety tips to surviving the holidays from everything to costumes to carving pumpkins. bookcover (10)

One of my favorite Halloween picture books is Room on the Broom. This witty story is about helpful animals who find a witch’s missing items in exchange for a ride on her broom. Then a dragon threatens to upset the load on her broom.

10 Trick-or-Treaters is an adorable counting Halloween book featuring a band of ten costumed kids heading out for a night of Halloween. It has a great rhyme and there are lots of counting fun. For more Halloween titles, check out this list.

There are so many sugary treats during the Halloween season. Here’s a healthier snack that is still in the holiday spirit.

escobas de bruja

Cheesy Witch’s Brooms


String cheese
Pretzel sticks

Use kitchen scissors to slice the bottom half of string cheese and then slice or pull into strings to make a fringe that looks like a broom. Place pretzel sticks into the cheese. Grab a piece of chive and wrap it around the cheese and pretzel. Knot it to affix. Enjoy!

mummy-craft-for-young-kids-Masking Tap Mummy

Black construction paper

Masking Tape
Googly Eyes

Draw the outline of the mummy’s body with chalk.

Cut off strips of tape and place them at the edge of the table for easy selection by your kids. Place different lengths of tap over the body.

Cut the mummy out. Add the eyes with the glue. Let dry.

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Secrets for a Stress-Free Holiday Party


Lee Clayton Roper, author of A Well-Seasoned Kitchen, gave us great tips for hosting a stress-free holiday party. She told us how to make the menu work for us by pairing flavors that worked well together–if one dish has very bold flavors, make sure the other dishes don’t fight it. Ms. Roper also recommended thinking about texture; she always includes at least one dish that has something crunchy, even if it’s only a nut garnish. The best way to stay calm and stress-free is to pre-plan with menu items that can be made ahead of the party. All her recipes can be pre-made.

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Quick Bookish Halloween Costumes for Kids

Halloween is next week! What are your kids dressing up as? No idea! We’re here to help. Here are great last minute costume ideas–many which may already be in your child’s closet right now.

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 3.14.29 PMSam I Am Costume

  • Yellow shirt
  • Cardstock for printing “Sam I Am” sign
  • Red felt
  • Green & white playdough

Cut donut shape circles. Cut two floppy hat tops on the diagonally. Sew hat top together and turn right side out. Pin inside of circle to hat top and sew, stretching the entire time.

Either craft the green eggs and ham out of playdough or create them from felt.

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Cooking with Kids and Their Fictional Friends


Do you ever what a helper in the kitchen? Get your child excited about cooking by selecting a cookbook based on their favorite book. It’s a great way to explore the book on another level.

bookcoverRoald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes

Roald Dahl’s books include many descriptive creative culinary creations, such as Snozzcumbers (The BFG) or Mudburgers (James and the Giant Peach). These so-called revolting recipes may sound disgusting, but they are actually quite tasty; for example, Wormy Spaghetti is normal spaghetti with some fusilli to add some “worminess” to the pasta.



bookcover (1)Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook

Put away the green food dye! Georgeanne Brennan, Julia Child Cookbook and James Beard Cookbook award winner, has invented a series of recipes based on Dr. Seuss’s whimsical creations that are actually delicious! Instead of green dye for Green Eggs and Ham, this cookbook calls for cilantro and tomatillos rub for the ham and guacamole to cover the yolk of the egg! Playful names and inventive presentations will keep the giggles up all through dinner.

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This Week: October 20-26

There’s something for everyone this week at Douglas County Libraries. Enjoy special storytimes, book talks, cooking programs and much more!

Monday, October 20

kids_writing4:30 PM

Just Write Jr.!, Parker

A writing group for kids, ages 6-7. Use books, art, music, and real life as inspiration for original writing.

6:30 PM: Intermediate Spanish Language and Culture, James H. LaRue/Highlands Ranch

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Delicious Gluten-Free Holiday Baking


Holidays are synonymous with delicious baked goods. This can be challenging when baking for loved ones that have many allergies. founder, Jean Duane showed us how it could be done Tuesday night at Philip S. Miller.

If you missed Jean’s presentation, you can still register for her talk tonight (October 16th) at Castle Pines here.

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This Week at Douglas County Libraries: October 13-19

Stop by the library this week to enjoy special storytimes, gluten-free baking demostrations, recommendations of great reads from Book Lovers talks and much more!

Monday, October 13

boy in pijama with his teddy bear and book isolated on white7:00 PM

Pajama Storytime, James H. LaRue/Highlands Ranch

Do you feel like coming to the library in your jammies and snuggly slippers to hear stories? Come to the pajama storytime! Puppets may be used occasionally for this early literacy program.

7:00 PM: Highlands Ranch Book Group, James H. LaRue/Highlands Ranch

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Beat the Clock This Holiday Season!


Last night, Michele Morris, chef and author of Tasting Colorado, gave her Thanksgiving meal game plan secrets to a crowd at James H. LaRue/Highlands Ranch. Not only did she share how to prepare it all before the big meal, but she also included a delicious menu with recipes!

Did you miss the talk? Don’t worry, register for her next session on Wednesday, October 29 at Roxborough starting at 6:30 PM.

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Library Models to be Revealed


We have completed the research phase of our new buildings project, and will reveal plans and models at three upcoming community open houses.

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