Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cook's Illustrated

This time of year, I always want to get creative with my baking. I don’t want to make the same pumpkin pie or the usual Christmas cookies. I want to be inspired and try something new. The problem is time. I never have enough time to experiment to make sure the recipe works. A good solution is to turn to people who have actually tried everything such as the staff in the test kitchens of Cook’s Illustrated. If you haven’t taken a look at this magazine I highly recommend it for all kinds of new holiday baking ideas.

The staff of Cook's Illustrated tests hundreds of recipes to find out the best way to cook something. They not only test ingredients but pots, pans and gadgets too. They present their findings in a neutral way as they don’t take advertising from vendors.

Originally known as Cook’s, the Library owns copies of this magazine from 1984 to current.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


The Thanksgiving holiday offers families an opportunity to spend time together. Perhaps you might want to explore the history of this over three-centuries-old holiday with your children. Do they understand the origin of Thanksgiving? Do you want to help them learn more about this holiday without having to flip through old dusty textbooks? Look no further and explore the Kids InfoBits database:

1. Go to the SFPL Home Page and select “Articles & Databases.” You will need a San Francisco Public Library card to access the databases from outside the Library.

2. Under the Categories side bar on the left, select “Student Resources” then select, “Kids InfoBits.”

3. Select “History & Social Studies” and then “U.S. History.”

4. From the category listings, select “Pilgrims (Plymouth Colony).”

5. Choose any link from this list and you can read concise, informative articles on the pilgrims, puritans, the Mayflower, and other historical Thanksgiving facts.

The KidsInfoBits database—an electronic resource for beginning researchers—contains articles and reference content written specifically for children from kindergarten to 5th grade. A highly visual and browseable database with rated reading levels for various topical articles, this database draws its material from magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias, and other print resources. Subject areas covered include current events, geography, history, science, health, people, and more.