Tag Archives: baking

Don’t Buy Holiday Gifts, Make Them!: Learn How with Craftsy Instructional Video Classes via Hoopla

3 Nov


Now that we are able to venture out a bit further again you might be looking for what you can serve and give for the holidays, but if you don’t have a lot of cash or you simply want to give something that has the added sentiment of being homemade you can get the knowledge and support you need with Craftsy.

With Craftsy, you can learn a new skill, master a hobby, or discover new techniques.  As they say, “Don’t Just Dream It. Make It.” Through a partnership with Hoopla, Craftsy’s dynamic instructional video content is now available to Hoboken Library patrons.  As someone who loves baking I was excited to see videos on everything from fanciful cupcakes to sourdough bread.  I can’t wait to watch the class on croissant making, something my French grandmother would make regularly, but I’m intimidated to try my hand at. 

There are plenty of videos to impress your Thanksgiving guests including a series that will take turkey newbies on the road to becoming roasting masters.  For dessert the Fall Foliage course will give you an adorable cake topper in a few easy steps and Classic Pies Made Easy will give you the knowledge to make the best traditional sweet potato pie or be more adventurous and watch and learn how to make a fanciful meringue creation.

For the December holidays aspiring bakers can check out how to make their own Challah bread for Chanukah or view Holiday Cookies for ideas for creating snowmen, reindeer and Santa!.  It isn’t just the kitchen where Crafty shines you can also take courses on sewing and knitting so you can do everything from make your own tree skirt to making Fair Isle Holiday Ornaments or quilted gifts for your loved ones.

Looking to learn more with instructor lead courses, check out Universal Class, also available to Hoboken Patrons.  Universal Class has computer classes and many other continuing education options, but it is also chockful of crafting, cooking, and other topics that will get your creative juices flowing including topics like painting, candle making, digital photography, pie baking, cookie making, sewing and soap creation under the Arts, Crafts & Hobbies category.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

Two Sweet Romances for LGBTQ Pride Month: Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake and For the Love of Cake

30 Jun

I started off Pride Month, this June, with a post about Trans and Non-Binary Authors writing speculative fiction.  To end the month I thought I’d focus on two romance novels, I recently enjoyed, featuring bisexual protagonists both set in the competitive world of baking shows.

Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake
by Alexis Hall
Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake is the first in Alexis Hall’s new Winner Bakes All series.  The series has as its backdrop a baking competition that bears striking similarities to the fan favorite Great British Baking Show.  Rosaline is a young single mom and amateur baker.  Her wealthy parents, despite being loving grandparents, are disappointed in how Rosaline has lived her life and what they see as her lack of ambition.  The baking competition is her chance to shine and set an example for her daughter about following her dreams.  It also gives Rosaline the unexpected opportunity for finding love when two very different fellow contestants catch her eye.  Rosaline is proudly bisexual and the book handles this in a nuanced way looking at issues of bi-erasure and prejudice.  Even though both of Rosaline’s love interest are men, her identity as a bisexual woman is never undermined. Interested in reading more books by Alexis Hall; I’ve written previous blog posts about some of Hall’s other work including The Affair of the Mysterious Letter, Looking for Group, and the Kate Kane Series.

For the Love of Cake
by Erin Dutton

Erin Dutton’s For the Love of Cake is also situated in the world of competitive baking although this show feels slightly more generic and is representative of many that air on TV or streaming channels.  It features some characters from one of Dutton’s previous romance novels, A Place to Rest.  Maya is the first winner of For the Love of Cake, who is tasked with both coaching and judging a competition with middle aged baker Shannon as one of the new contestants.  They find themselves fighting an attraction to one another which could spoil Shannon’s chance at a win and Maya’s career.  Maya is bisexual while Shannon, despite a previous marriage to a man, identifies as a lesbian, which causes a brief moment of friction between the two early on.  The novel despite having a sweet romance at its center also manages to examine a variety of social issues.

Love baking competitions? You can also check out a previous post which featured bake-off fiction and non-fiction that is sure to delight your palate.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

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