Summer snacks

Summer is my favorite time of the year. The days are long, the weather is warm, and everything just feels fresh and new. During the summer months, I frequently attend baseball games, go down the shore, and spend as much time as I can outside. The only thing all my summer activities have in common is food. I love a good burger, an ice cold drink, fresh fruit and veggies, and a popsicle that melts as soon as you unwrap it. Luckily, I’m a Princeton Public Library cardholder and can take home as many books as I want from our Cooking neighborhood on the second floor so that every meal will be flavorful. 

The library’s Cooking neighborhood is filled with books on every topic from food writing and cocktails to pizzas, pastas and side dishes, and everything in between. It boasts a wide array of international cuisines and books for every diet and cooking device. Here’s some favorites, old and new, for foodies this summer:

For grilling: Barbequing is a quintessential summer activity, and the library has some new books to check out. Try Ed Mitchell’s Barbeque and The Outdoor Cook. For those looking to add smoky flavor to their feasts, Franklin Smoke will guide you on how to perfect this technique at home.

Fresh salads: I love a good salad but never feel as though I have the creativity to make one truly delicious. Enter: The Salad Lab, which has become a TikTok phenomenom by recreating favorite meals into unique salad creations. I cannot wait to try out their new book, The Salad Lab: Whisk, Toss, Enjoy!: Recipes for Making Fabulous Salads Every Day. While this book will not be released until June 11, cardholders can currently place it on hold and receive it just in time for the start of summer.

Yummy desserts: Desserts are truly fitting all year round but Food52 Ice Cream & Friends is perfect for summer as it has recipes for all your refreshing ice cream and sorbet creations. Gluten-free Baking at Home consists of “tried and true gluten and allergen-free recipes,” ensuring that everyone at your party will be able to partake. Speaking of parties, Booze Cakes is a great companion for when you want to incorporate spirits into a dessert.

Quick and easy: For many, summer is a busy time. We’re constantly on the go, jumping from one activity to the next. And, when we’re not, we’re relaxing on a lounge chair, enjoying the sunshine. Either way, no one wants to spend all day in the kitchen. New, quick and easy cookbooks like Everyday Delicious and The Tried & True Cookbook will be just the ticket. For those who are vegan or vegetarian, Plant-based on a Budget Quick & Easy is a must.

Summer classics: I’ve been working at the library for eight years now, and every summer I feel as though there are certain cookbooks I’m looking for on the shelf or to put on display for others to discover. The Summer Shack Cookbook: The Complete Guide to Shore Food is one of those titles. And, since we are in New Jersey after all, a section on “summer classics” would not be complete without The Jersey Shore Cookbook: Fresh Summer Flavors From the Boardwalk and Beyond

Bonus: Finally, Food Gifts: 150+ Irresistible Recipes for Crafting Personalized Presents is wonderful any time of the year. This book by Elle Simone Scott, contributor to America’s Test Kitchen Boards, is all about giving food as gifts. Not only does it include recipes but also how to expertly and beautifully prepare these items and keep them fresh for loved ones.

PPL’s Cooking neighborhood is top-notch, but the real chef’s kiss comes from our eLibrary resources that can be downloaded and streamed to any device. Overdrive/Libby offers cookbook eBooks and e-periodicals. Magazines included are Cook’s Illustrated, Cook’s Country and Bon Appétit, which are also available in print in the library’s Newsroom. Furthermore, Creativebug has the tutorials and tips you need for putting the finishing touches on any party or creation, from cake-frosting to centerpieces and decorations. At the library, the possibilities are endless, and having a library card is the icing on the cake.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

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